Dr. Joseph Hecht's Archives

“…But If You Try Some Time, You Get What You Need”

If Eric Patterson had only known how much impact his tardiness would create in the 2007 playoff picture. When Corey's little brother was sent down to the AA Tennessee Smokies playoffs as the consequence of his reporting late to the ballpark, little did he realize he just might have Wally Pipped himself. In a quasi-punitive measure, Cubs GM Jim Hendry sent EPat out and recalled Sam Fuld.

Vitters and the Game of Chicken

Jim Callis, Baseball America's minor league guru was on XM Radio Saturday morning. He updated the first round draft choices which haven't signed yet. The deadline to sign is this next Wednesday, August 15th. The only one signed in the top 5 is Pittsburgh's (#4) pick potential closer Dan Moskos, who did sign for the slotted $2.5 million dollars. Callis thinks Cubs (#3) pick third baseman Josh Vitters will sign but is waiting to see what the #2 pick gets, KC's Michael Moustakas (a Scott Boras client). Everyone involved is eager to see how much above the MLB slot money the agents particularly Boras can get. He believes #1 pick David Price (also in the Boras camp) will sign and that they may already have an agreement but are trying not to release it until the last minute. It seems that if they announced it early it will affect how much above the slotted money the other top picks sign for. It's a game of chicken so blinking at the last minute makes it harder to make the other's blink in unison leading to falling dominoes. Although Callis thought all the top picks will sign, the two with the highest probability to not sign would be Boras clients, Moustakas and catcher Matt Wieters (#5, Baltimore).

M*A*S*H

Can Hawkeye Pierce be added to the coaching staff? It's not just incoming, we've finally got some outgoing from the M*A*S*H unit. Last week we added Kerry Wood to the bullpen (it's a miracle!) and now pinch hitter deluxe, Darryle Ward is in Colorado almost fully recovered from his calf/gastrocnemius muscle strain and just might be reactivated for the weekend. Darryle doesn't want to miss the high altitude hitting. Friday Morning Update on Aramis Ramirez follows...

Quadrophenia or Who’s in Left? Why.

As an eyewitness to the Alfonso Soriano now infamous grade II quadriceps strain, the repercussions from it have taken a life of their own. I saw that gleam in Soriano’s eyes as he rounded second base. He knew he had a 5th gear and shifted the transmission so he could motor on into third base. He never did make it to third base. Inning over, and a call in to AAMCO! Mighty Alfonso had grabbed the front of his right thigh…metaphorically, there was smoke coming out of his transmission, never a good sign. He couldn’t even walk to third base, so Met David Wright walked over and tagged him. Next, in great irony, our third base coach named Quade (in the old country, the family name was Quadracepese but they shortened it when they came to America) helps him and lends a shoulder and a leg to stand on as he leaves the field. Did I wait on the MRI with baited breath? No. I knew right then and there it was going to be 4 or more weeks for Alfonso.

Down to the Trading Deadline Wire…

Rumor mongers vs the real deals. Eric Gagne, Bronson Arroyo, Octavio Dotel, Bobby Kielty, Ryan Church or Reggie Sanders? 4 way deal for A-Rod? Have at it. ...and Carlos, MVN's own "The Transaction Guy" is monitoring every possible wire report for information on that last minute deal coming at cha. (OK, so it's a shameless plug)

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  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 57 min 31 sec ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 2 hours 52 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 22 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 22 hours 33 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 22 hours 39 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 22 hours 44 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 22 hours 55 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 23 hours 6 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 23 hours 32 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 1 day 12 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 7 hours ago view