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It's the most exciting thing to happen in Cubdom all month...the 2013 schedule release!!! They actually have the entire thing up at cubs.com already, but here are some of the highlights.

The season begins at Pittsburgh on Monday, April 1st followed by a trip to Atlanta. The home schedule begins the following Monday, April 8th versus the Brewers. We'll get an immediate feel for the new interleague schedule with a 3-game series versus the Rangers during that same homestand (April 16-18). The customary city rivalry versus the White Sox has been reduced to 4 games and will be back-to-back 2-game series at each home park (May 27-May 30) starting at Comiskey. Then in a horrific bit of traveling, the Cubs head to Anaheim against the Angels for a 2-game set on June 3rd and 4th. They have an off day before and after, but it's sandwiched between two homestands and that "away" series at Comiskey.

They're next interleague match-up will be versus the Astros at Wrigley from June 21-June 23. That's sandwiched between 2 road trips of 7 and 10 games culminating at Oakland to start off July. Then they come home for a 9-game homestand versus the Pirates, Angels and Cardinals before the All-Star break. The 2nd half starts with a 10-game roadtrip to Colorado, Arizona and San Francisco. Their Southern California trip through San Diego and then Los Angeles will be from August 23-August 28th. By September, they could be playing the role of spoiler with a 11-game roadtrip versus Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. They end the season at St. Louis on Septemeber 29th.

As for 2012, Anthony Rizzo is out after a nasty collision with Brett Wallace yesterday and Brett Jackson misses his 5th straight game. That means folks will witness this: Mather CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Sappelt RF, Recker 1B, Wood P

MILB.com gets the gold star for getting their homework done first and has put out a Top 20 Cubs prospect list based off the end of the 2012 season. It's actually a fairly in-depth look at the system so I encourage folks to check it out. But as for the names, check after the jump...

I waded through about 5 minutes of clips from "The Benchwarmers" trying to find something funny for this post. 5 minutes I'll never recover...

Anyway, the Cubs are taking advantage of the roster expansion with a few call-ups. The lucky bastards so far include:

(Drumroll)

  • Dave Sappelt, OF
  • Crazy Legs Campana, OF
  • Adrian Cardenas, INF
  • Miguel Socolovich, RHP
  • Jaye Chapman, RHP
  • Rafael Dolis, RHP
  • Anthony Recker, C
  • Chris Rusin, LHP

Rusin is actually taking Brooks Raley spot in the rotation as Raley hit some innings limit on the season and has been shutdown.

In the minors, the Arizona League Cubs lost to the A's team in the one-and-done semifinal playoffs last Thursday (15-3). Boise is the only other affiliate in the playoffs and lost Game 1 to Yakima (Diamondbacks affiliate) last night 5-4 (despite an early 4-1 lead on a Rock Shoulders grand slam). 1st round supplemental pick from this year's draft, Pierce Johnson pitched 3 innings, giving up an unearned run in the losing effort. They play again tonight in a must-win game for Boise.

Cubs vs. Nats tonight; Rusin vs. E. Jackson; Cubs lineup - DeJesus, Valbuena, Rizzo, Soriano, Castro, Castillo, Jackson, Barney.

I've added the Draft pick standings to the left sidebar...might as well do some scoreboard watching.

By my rough count - and I suppose Christian would be a better authority on it - this is the 7th major incarnation of the site. If I recall, there was its inception, then its days on all-baseball.com, then the buyout by mvp.com which is about the time I joined, then the move to a whole new mvp.com website, then the move to our own site so we could use profanities, I'm then going to count the last year when the old site design failed and I've been running the default theme for far too long and now this.

(Fancy hand gestures, lights go out, puff of smoke...lights go back on)

Voila!!!!

I can't apologize enough for how long this took, I pretty much had it ready in April and did something terribly stupid and had to start from scratch. Life and work tend to get in the way too much for me to devote the time I once did, but luckily a kind reader helped me this time around and we were able to get it going after Thursday's crash. I still have some tweaks to make and I'll share those in a bit. I've checked the site on Firefox, Safari and Chrome and seems to be all working. I don't have Internet Explorer and you shouldn't either, but if you do, let me know if you have any problems and then I'll suggest to you to try a better browser.

Enough of the boring stuff...here's a quick rundown of the new stuff and other supremely important things.

Tags: 

Sorry about the site hiccup yesterday, I have no idea what happened...but I took it as a sign that I needed to upgrade the site immediately. A kind reader volunteered to help me and we took advantage of the downtime by upgrading the site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7...the upgrade before the upgrade. Now I need to make the comment and theme modifications. Hopefully by Tuesday, the actual new site will be up and running, but I'm sure there will be some hiccups along the way.

So expect the site to be up and down periodically throughout the weekend. Feel free to leave comments when it is up. Thanks for your patience and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P

vs.

Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the time being (4 games over the Twins). The Cubs still "trail" the Astros by 9 games for the top spot and doubtful they can tank enough to get there.

As for the lineups, two ex-Cubs start for the Rockies. The thin air of Colvin has certainly helped his power and probably his confidence and he's enjoying a solid season with an .884 OPS through 319 PA's. His home/road splits are about as extreme as you'd expect out of a Rockie (.991 vs. .775). He had an amazing June with an OPS north of 1.000, gave back a little in July(.720), but is enjoying another fine month in August (.985).

LeMahieu (still just 23), hasn't quite reaped the benefits of the Mile High city, but has been taking advantage of the Rockies' injury bug with some playing time and a solid .789 OPS in the second half.

As for the Cubs, Joe Mather is leading off, an image of that lineup card should be the cover art for the Cubs year-end review.

I realized my Cubs apathy reached a new height when I had no idea who the Cubs are playing today and don't really care to look it up.

- In the news, Kaplan's impeccable, most-excellent sources told him that the Cubs and Starlin Castro are working on an extension that would take him up to free agency and beyond. Rosenthal piggybacks on it with a tweet today saying that it should be a 6 to 7 year deal possibly with a club option and that it could be completed by next week. If my math is right, that should take him through 2018 and possibly 2019 which would be through his age 29 season. The numbers on this should be fascinating. My prediction yesterday was something in the 6/60 range, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's higher considering inflation and factoring in the usual rise in salary numbers.

Theo is already saying nice things about Castro in the media, so looks like this is just crossing the t's and dotting the i's, and hopefully doing it a lot better than Jim Bowden did during the trade deadline.

- Filed under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up", Ryan Dempster was put on the Rangers restricted list for personal reasons and won't make his start for Saturday in Toronto. Sounds terrible, until you find out that the personal reason is that Canadian-born Ryan Dempster can't find his Canadian passport.

- And in "Sad Trombone" news, Mark Prior has been released by the Boston Red Sox. The 31-year old had a 3.96 ERA in Pawtucket in 25 innings with 38 K's, but 23 walks.

A bit of an old news at this point, but the previous thread is overloaded with yet another should the Cubs spend or wait to develop some talent first argument. A good 2-3 years more of that discussion...I'm excited.

The big news is that the Cubs fired Oneri Fleita, VP Of player personnel. Of course, last September, Fleita was about to jump ship to the Detroit Tigers and Ricketts gave him a 4-year deal before hiring Theo Epstein. Some thought such a move before hiring a GM would scare off potential top candidates and that was obviously proved wrong. Ricketts did his homework, knowing Fleita was well-respected in the business, while certainly assuring any prospective candidates that if they decided otherwise, he'd eat the contract...better to whiff on a 4-year management contract than a 4-year player contract. 10 months later, that seems to be happening. Epstein had nothing but nice things to say about Fleita and Fleita will certainly catch on somewhere else, which probably means Ricketts will only on the hook for the difference in salaries.

Besides Fleita, the Cubs manager of Baseball Information was also fired, Chuck Wasserstrom. I'm guessing his Excel spreadsheets running on Windows 3.1 weren't sophisticated enough for the TheJedi. Ari Kaplan's job title (Manager of Statistical Information) was also eliminated, but Kaplan will remain within the organization as a consultant.

Cubs are laying a 6-1 ass-whooping through 5 on the Astros behind 2 DeJesus home runs and 1 by Castro along with the pitching of Justin Germano.

I just sent out a mass email (hopefully the one and only that I'll ever send out) on signing up for a new user account with Disqus. In case you've switched emails without updating your TCR account, I've included the text below the jump. But my intention is to upgrade the site sometime this week or next weekend. It sounds more dramatic than it is as most of the changes will be aesthetic in nature and I'm probably rushing it a bit as there are plenty of minor changes I still want to make, but if I don't get the site up and running, I'll just continue to procrastinate and it'll never happen.

While I think I can handle this myself, if you or someone you know is familiar with Drupal, CSS or databases - drop me a line. I can throw a little money your way.

Provided with no comment (click on the links if you're not familiar with the saber stats)

Darwin Barney (Age 26):

  • 268/309/389 .306 wOBA, 85 wRC+
  • 4.9 BB%, 9.5 K%
  • 31 XBH, 31 RBI, 48 R, 6/7 SB
  • 7.9 UZR, 2.0 WAR

Starlin Castro (Age 22):

  • 272/301/414 .303 wOBA, 83 wRC+
  • 3.9 BB%, 16 K%
  • 32 XBH, 52 RBI, 53 R, 17/27 SB
  • 7.1 UZR, 2.1 WAR

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