37 players on 40-MAN ROSTER (three slots open)
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Brooks Raley
* Zac Rosscup
* Chris Rusin
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
* George Kottaras
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Logan Watkins
* Brian Bogusevic
* Brett Jackson
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
Greg Maddux was named April Pitcher of the Month, that's cool. Plus he pitches tomorrow versus the Diamondbacks. And that's about all the good news we have for today.
Angel Guzman looked the part of a rookie once again, occassionally brilliant, occassionally wild, giving up 2 runs in the first in a sequence of events that looked like this if you were scoring at home:
HBP, K (swinging), 2B (RBI Sanchez), BB, FC-3, WP (Run Scored), BB, GO-3.
He then gave up a 2-run homer to a guy hitting worse than Jacque Jones. And then with the game still possibly within reach in the 6th, Guzman put a couple runners on before yielding to Roberto Novoa who promptly booted a tapper that would have ended the inning without a run crossing the plate, instead four did and that was more than enough for Cubs nemesis Zach Duke.
For the 2nd time in this young season, Duke made Cubs hitters look like he was throwing ping-pong balls out there, only allowing 5 hits and one walk for his first career shutout. Congratulations kid and let me be the first to say that I hope we miss you the next time our two teams battle.
Off to Arizona where the players can hook up with the spring training groupies they met in March. I kid, actually they can say hello to half the team that is rehabbing.
CUBS 2, PIRATES 1W: Bob Howry (2-0) L: John Grabow (0-1) S: Ryan Dempster (7)
Wrapup | Box Score
Sounds like it was a nail-biter last night, as the stoppable force (the Cubs' offense) came up against the moveable object (the Pirates). Our boys in blue (well, actually, white with blue stripes) prevailed, with some timely hitting from Matt Murton overcoming some bad baserunning by Jacque "It's A Dumb Decision" Jones. Sean Marshall was very efficient -- it looks like's he's learning how to pitch at the big league level and it's a good thing, considering he's currently the Cubs' #2 starter.
Of course, I didn't get to see it, because of the arcane MLB blackout rules. In case you're wondering, yes, I am going to mention this every time it comes up, which means every time the Cubs and Pirates play each other. In case you didn't read my post the lat time I wrote about this (and I don't blame you), I live in an area where Pirates games are blacked out under MLB rules, as are Phillies, Orioles, and Nationals games. That means none of those teams' games are available to me on DirecTV Extra Innings. The Phillies, Orioles, and Nationals have a number of games broadcast either over the air or on the local Fox or Comcast sports channel, and I get those games. But, because I am outside of the Pittsburgh area as far as DirecTV is concerned, I cannot get Fox Sports Pennsylvania (or whatever it's called), which broadcasts Pirates games. So, there is no way for me to watch a Pirates games. Now obviously that's not that big of a deal, except for the 15 TIMES A YEAR the Pirates play the Cubs.
It's a stupid, arcane set of rules that MLB and DirecTV need to work together to change.
in fact, there comes a point (especially when you've shed a lot of payroll) where you invest before you become better than the bottom 10. 8 wins is all that separates this year's #4 cubs pick from the #11 pick (which means you lose that draft pick if you sign a protected player).
I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the debt issue is a bit misleading since the Ricketts family essentially created a vehicle to loan themselves the money to make the purchase. So to say they can't increase the payroll because the left hand needs to re-pay the right hand is a bit disingenuous.
It's better to have a guy who's 23 hit 23 HRs and knock in 80 than a 38-year-old with 30 and 103, since after that season McGriff had 113 games left in the tank, with very little production.
People always assume it's about money, but I really think it's about sustained excellence. From the Cubs' point of view, Ellsbury was attractive for his left-handedness; but signing him would have been Cub-career ending for Soler, Lake, Vitters, probably Vogelbach and others you could name, since Bryant and Almora are going to occupy two thirds of the outfield fairly soon.
It was that kind of season for the Daytona Cubs, who had two no-hitters, a four-homer game, the most prospects in the franchise’s 20 years as a Cubs affiliate, and oh by the way, a run to the high Class A Florida State League championship.
You're right about the Zell demand - I forgot about that. Somebody should erect a Zell statue in front of Wrigley that has replaceable balls that can get cut off by the people as they go through the turnstiles.
the debt you speak of was a demand by Zell to lower his tax burden. Any owner that bought the team would have the same issues.
I don't doubt the Ricketts are now using at as an excuse to get the Wrigley improvements they want now and TV deal they want, but I also have little doubt that if the Cubs were any good, they'd be bigger players in the free agent market.
What puts Tanaka in play for the Cubs — who often are forced into mid-market decision-making because of debt-related restrictions — is that the often-exorbitant posting-bid price isn’t subject to restrictions on player spending that have been in place since the Ricketts family’s highly leveraged purchase in 2009, a source said.