Archive - 2011

September 17th

 

Man, life ain't fair.
Oh wait, this isn't life, it's the Cubs.
Which is worse.
Matt Garza gives up a first inning run, then shuts down the Houston Astros all the way til Carlos Lee comes up with 2 outs and a man on in the top of the 9th.
Ding.
Ties it up, ruins Garza's day.

September 15th

logoYesterday’s tease piece in the Sun-Times that envisioned a reunion in Chicago next year of Walt Jocketty, Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols got me connecting some dots of my own.

September 14th

The Cubs will open and close the 2012 season at Wrigley next season. The opener will be Aprl 5th vs. the Washington Nationals and I presume Stephen Strasburg. They'll close against the Houston Astros on October 3rd. Interleague series include the annual home and home versus the White Sox (@ Wrigley from May 18-20 and @ The Cell from June 18-20). They'll travel to Target Field againt the Twins on June 8-10 and host the Tigers(June 12-14) and Red Sox (June 15-17). 16 of their first 26 games will be versus the NL Central. Full schedule can be found at cubs.com.

September 13th

The Savior knocked out 3 hits including his 9th home run last year and is up to 190 hits. That's 10 hits shy of the magic 200 mark for the math impaired. He has 15 games to do it, which I don't believe will be a problem unless Q-Ball decides he needs another life lesson on the bench. By my back of the envelope calculations, if he stays healthy, he's on pace to reach 3,000 hits by age 36, sometime during the 2026 season.

No pressure.

- Baseball America took to some list making and recently rated the Cubs 2005 draft as the worst of the lot. A look at the 2006 draft, the first under Tim Wilken sees them moving up 5 spots.

$11.5 million investment in Tyler Colvin (1), Jeff Samardzija (5) has yet to pay off.

That year the Cubs lost their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks by signing Bob Howry (Type A), Scott Eyre (Type A) and Jacque Jones (Type B). Their 1st round pick was protected since it was in the top half of the draft. Other notable (notorious?) picks from that draft were Steve Clevenger, Jacob Renshaw (traded to Orioles for Trachsel), Chris Huseby ($1.3M bonus, released by Boston in August), Marcus Hatley, Matt Camp and Blake Parker.

September 12th

The Cubs win two of three over the weekend,and are going the wrong way in terms of earning a better draft pick. There's some blame for this that can fall on Q-Ball, who says he'll mostly play the veterans and try to win as much as he can, but I expect the latter from any manager or team, and considering the way the Cubs played most of the year, the former is probably a better environment for the Cubs to lose some games.

I watched about two innings of last night's game and I finally got to see a Bryan LaHair at-bat. You hate to read too much into these things, but he did seem to have a nice, compact swing and obviously he has some power in that bat. The Cubs certainly shouldn't be passing up on Pujols or Fielders for him, but he might deserve a tryout in left field during spring training with Tyler Colvin. Oh you say, we have Alfonso Soriano there for the next year, which I say, Soriano should be nothing more than the short side of a platoon. I presume as well, and it could be a faulty presumption, that LaHair doesn't have the arm for right that anyone would be willing to put out there. At worst, he certainly deserves a look at a bench spot.

Otherwise, news is light around Cubsville. Daytona won the Florida State League Championship by sweeping the St. Lucie Mets. It was their first championship since 2008. Tennessee swept their first round series and await tonight's winner between Birmingham (White Sox affiliate) and Mobile (DBacks affiliate).  It's Tennesee's third straight trip to the finals, losing the last two to Jacksonville (Marlins affiliate).

Baseball Prospectus and ESPN Insider take a look at what the Cubs could do in 2012. Goldstein talks about what no one with the Cubs or many fans want to hear. Rebuilding with the farm system is great and all, if there's quality there to rebuild with.

The Cubs have a strange minor league system. It's more deep than star-studded, with plenty of potential big leaguers but few who can actually help turn around a moribund franchise. The most likely player to help in 2012 is center fielder Brett Jackson, the club's 2009 first-round pick who hit .274 with 20 home runs in 23 stolen bases in 115 games split between Double- and Triple-A. He'll fight for a job next spring and likely have one by midseason, and although he's an outstanding athlete with above-average power and speed, his alarming strikeout rate (138 in 431 at-bats this year) prevents scouts from seeing him as a true impact player in the big leagues. (Kevin Goldstein)

Cubs venture into Dustyville tonight with Rodrigo Lopez getting the start.

I'm gonna let The Bear Truth website evaporate into the Internet ether over the next few days, but I'll occasionally post some thoughts on here and be sure to team them up with a Cubs related post for those that do not wish to discuss football.

To the recap...

September 9th

...the necessary return.

- Daytona won in spectacular fashion last night to advance to the finals of the Florida State League and will take on the St. Lucie Mets in a best of 5 starting tonight. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the 8th, the Daytona Cubs plated four with Matt Szczur delivering the game-winning two out hit.

Casey Harman starts with a lineup of Crawford (7), Watkins (4),  Cerda (5), Bour (3), Rohan (0), Burgess (9), Szczur (8), Soto (6), Noble(2) behind him.

- Smokies won game 1 of their best of 5 last night versus Chattanooga (Dodgers affiliate). After Brooks Raley put the Smokies in a  5-1 hole, the Smokies put up a 7-spot in the bottom of the 4th with the help of Josh Vitters and Blake Lalli home runs. Game 2 is tonight with Ryan Searle getting the start. The lineup is: Adduci (9), Ha (8), Lalli (3), Ridling (7), Vitters (5), Clevenger (2), Lake (6), Samson (4), Searle (1).

- As for the big league club, Jayson Stark and Jon Heyman have articles on the GM search. From Stark...

So one longtime friend of team chairman Tom Ricketts predicts that, in the end, he'll hire a young, creative, sabermetrically inclined executive willing to try a whole new approach to curse-busting.

Lineup versus the Mets tonight: Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, LaHair RF, Soto C, Coleman P

The Cubs currently have the 7th worst record in the majors.

September 7th

looney logoThe weather on closing day was as perfect as it had been inclement on Opening Night. A full house was still trickling in at a leisurely holiday pace into the third inning. Enough came to nudge the season turnstile meter past the half million mark for the seventh time in the last eight seasons despite a last-place team that lost more games than it won for the first time since 2005 [for the record, the home slate was well above sea level at 40-31] and the loss of three dates, most recently on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend on the final home stand. Oddly, the franchise ended up setting an attendance record for a three-game series over the weekend, thanks in part to a rainout that nobody wished for.

September 6th


Just got back from a big Musky Trip waaay up in Wisconsin.

Got some bass, but skunked on the musky part, of course.
There's this thing about fishing for musky, they say "you only get a musky hit every ten thousand casts."
Man, that's alot of casting...
I got mad at this one lure - a giant old Rapala that cost a fortune.
I don't think I've EVER caught anything with it.
Started calling it "Alfonso Soriano" since it cost so much and couldn't catch anything.
(I know - he's been better, but still...)
After that, I started naming all my lures after Cubs.
Like the AC Plug, since it actually caught a musky before, became "Reed Johnson" because they both made "The Catch".

Had someone been recording, it might have sounded like this:
"Oh okay Mr. Musky... Won't bite on old Alfonso? We'll see what REED JOHNSON has to say about that!"
Reed would last about a dozen casts, then it would be, "Hmm, maybe Reed needs a little RELIEF. Lets put in a little call to the pen for Mr. Kerry Wood."
Then I got out a Suick, which is made of wood. 

Silly?
Duh, but anyway here's the gif:

September 5th

The Iowa Cubs 2011 season is officially over.


Here is the I-Cubs roster as of today, and the post-2011 status of the players:


(CLICK ON PLAYER'S NAME FOR 2011 STATS)


Over the weekend, Tom Ricketts had the audacity to spend his own money on a guy he seems to believe is good at what he does. Someone whom the Detroit Tigers and possibly a few other organizations believed in as well. Some folks reacted as you might expect...with uninformed opinions.

Why is that stupid? Because that’s one of the prime positions that general managers want to fill. That’s not a position that a Fanboy Owner should be filling, and certainly not a Fanboy Owner who doesn’t seem to understand much beyond bison dogs and urinals.


So, now the situation in the Fanboy Owner’s search for Jim Hendry’s replacement is this: The new guy will have to take Fleita if he’s going to take the job.


Which means the situation is really this: The Fanboy Owner can forget about the top-shelf candidates he blathered on about hiring. Or maybe he already has. Maybe he was wrong or lying about that. Maybe he found out that what he’s offering is a joke as long as Clown Kenney remains his team president and no one else can get that title.

Rosenbloom seems to be actually using the term "Fanboy Owner" as a derogatory term, becaue we all know how much better it was with "Non-Fanboy Corporate Owner" in charge.

September 1st

The first hint that it was not a normal night at Principal Park came when the national anthem was whistled.

August 30th

According to a Paul Sullivan tweet, the Cubs will send Andrew Cashner, Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Carpenter, D.J. LeMahieu and Junior Lake to play for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Bruce Miles adds that P Jeffrey Beliveau will be added to the taxi squad meaing he's only eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays. That seems to be one of the better crews of talent they've sent to Arizona over the years.

This is the second year in a row that Jackson and Carpenter were sent out to play. It's also Cashner's second go-round, although not in successive years, his first visit being after the 2009 season.

You can check historical Arizona Fall League rosters over at Wiklifieid.

While not set in stone, I assume this means Brett Jackson will not get a September call-up and I'll tell you why I'm okay with that after the jump.

August 29th

The team, the economy and the schedule all stunk. This looked to be the year when the Cubs’ winning streak at the turnstiles would snap.

August 28th

Javier Baez, Dan Vogelbach, and Rock Shoulders hammered back-to-back-to back doubles and Gioskar Amaya ripped an RBI single to cut the deficit to one, and then Gregori Gonzalez slammed an RBI triple to tie the score and scored the go-ahead run (eventual winning run) on a suicide squeeze play (pitcher threw a ball in the dirt and past the catcher), as the AZL Cubs rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the AZL Diamondbacks 5-4 in Arizona League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.


 This was the final 2011 game for the AZL Cubs, who were eliminated from contention for the AZL Wild Card last Thursday.


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