Pie Tastes Bitter

Felix Pie went 2-3 with a lead-off first-pitch double roped down the RF line, a bases loaded RBI walk on a 3-2 pitch, a grand slam HR hammered over the CF fence, and a hard-hit 4-3 GO, as the AZL Cubs thumped the AZL Royals 18-1 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in hot and sunny Mesa. 

box score

So do I really think Pie was sent to Fitch Park to "rehab" a "sprained thumb"?

Well...

... from what I've heard, he did have a thumb injury, but it wasn't particularly significant, and it certainly wasn't the type of injury that would normally warrant a trip to the hell that is Fitch Park in June. 

Reading between the lines, it appears that Pie being sent to Fitch Park was more for disciplinary reasons than it was to rehab an injured thumb, with the so-called "sprained thumb" the excuse needed to justify the DL stint and the Fitch Park rehab assignment.

What the exact nature of Pie's transgression at Iowa was, I don't know. Maybe Mike Wellman can find out. But I have heard whispers that he sulked big-time after being optioned to AAA by the Cubs in May, and that part of the reason behind the Cubs decision to option the Pie man to Iowa in the first place was related to his becoming a bit of a "party animal" in Chicago, staying out until all hours of the night and then showing up at the ballpark not necessarily "ready to play" the next day.   

As a further tidbit of bizarro information, Pie had what sounded like an argument with someone from the Cubs brass (I couldn't see exactly who it was, but I could probably guess) who was sitting up in the Fitch Park Tower that overlooks the four fields as Pie was walking to the clubhouse after he left the game in the 6th inning.

I didn't understand the complete nature of the "discussion," but I believe it had something to do with Pie expecting to leave town immediately (like "who is driving me to the airport?"), but being told instead that he would be staying in Arizona for at least one more day.

Pie did not look happy, that's for sure. 

As for the rest of the fellows, the AZL Cubs had a really poor performance yesterday (Saturday) versus the AZL Angels in Tempe, especially the hitters (OK, the defense sucked, too), leaving men on base all over the place and failing to advance runners into scoring position. All this in front of Cubs Organizational Hitting Instructor Dave Keller.

Well, Coach Keller (who is making his once-every-six weeks visit to Fitch Park) apparently was none too pleased with yesterday's effort, as he held a closed-door 90 minute meeting at the Fitch Park clubhouse with the hitters this morning at 7:00 AM, followed by an extended BP session that ran until almost game time.

I guess it must have worked, though, because the AZL Cubs slammed out 21 hits (the AZL Royals had only three). 

On the pitching front, two AZL Cubs pitchers who were at the Fitch Park Infirmary made their first AZL appearances, and both looked VERY sharp.

RHP Cedric Redmond (torn labrum, but no surgery) threw a 1-2-3 1st inning, striking out two and keeping all three Royals hitters off balance with his fine screwball.

And then Ryan Acosta (injury unknown) threw a masterful 14-pitch (13 strikes) two-inning shutout stint (he was only supposed to throw one inning) where he just toyed with the Royals hitters. Acosta actually looked like a young Greg Maddux out there today, the way he threw strikes and with lots of movement on his fastball. And he worked VERY fast, too.   

And please note that there were two mistakes made by the AZL official scorer (as appears in the "official" MiLB box score -- see above).

First of all, the AZL official scorer identified Ryan Acosta as Francisco Acosta (they are two completely different AZL Cubs pitchers), and then the official scorer had "F. Acosta" (who did not pitch today) working three innings, when actually "R. Acosta" (that is, Ryan Acosta) worked two innings, and then Toby Matchulat made his pro debut, working one inning. (The official scorer didn't even list Matchulat!) 

See, this is the problem with the AZL official scorers. They don't have a clue. Maybe Oneri Fleita could yell at them, too.

So anyway, RHPs Toby Matchulat (2008 11th round pick out of Wabash Valley CC) and Justin Bristow (2008 5th round pick out of East Carolina) both made their pro debut today, throwing one inning a piece.

Working out of a wind-up, the long and lanky Matchulat walked his first hitter on four pitches as he appeared out of whack (please keep Rich Hill away from the young'uns!), but then once he got into the stretch, his mechanics became much more compact and he struck out two and got the other batter on a ground out FC. 

Bristow retired the first two hitters he faced easily on infield grounders, before giving up a walk and an RBI double that resulted in the AZL Royals one and only run of the day.

Julio Pena (who normally would have started the game) worked the final four innings and looked very sharp, allowing no runs on just one hit and a walk, with two Ks.

On offense, Dutch-Aruban 2B Dwayne Kemp (signed out of the MLB European Baseball Academy last year) got his first three "official" pro hits (including two doubles) and first RBI. Also, Nelson Perez (a single, a double, and a triple, plus two RBI), Bryan Jost (a single, two doubles, an RBI, a walk, and three runs scored), Sean Hoorelbeke, and Jose Guevara also had three hits each.

In AZL Cubs roster news, INF (now C-INF) Robinson Chirinos has completed the Cubs six-week catching course at Fitch Park and has been assigned to Daytona, where he will alternate at catcher with Steve Clevenger and Blake Lalli (Mark Reed has been promoted from Daytona to AA Tennessee). .

The AZL Cubs don't play tomorrow, and let me tell you, I can really use the day off!

 

Return to Homepage

Comments

Well we knew Pie could hit AAA hitting now we know he can hit AZL pitching. I am rooting for Dwayne Kemp to make it though. More European players in the majors would be cool, help the sport grow. I wonder if he'll have an outside shot for the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team next year.

if you're over the age of 23-ish and in ARL this time of year...and you're healthy...you f'd up.

NO ONE wants to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to shag flies, run, and take BP that early in the morning greeting the days in the 80s and going home in the 100s.

hope pie "learns" something. aka, hey, there IS something worse than having to ride the bus in the minors. a bus may not be a chartered plane, but its not a dusty field complex in the desert.

I would LOVE to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to shag flies, run, and take BP. Instead I have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to sit in a cubicle and suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D.

I second that.

Mmmmmmmmm! Love me some ass crack of Dawn. She's hot!

Concerning the comment about official scorers making mistakes, that's not necessarily the case. The information is called in to milb.com in New York, where it is transcribed by whomever is on duty that day. The guys in New York are juggling several games, so they don't always get the information entered correctly and it has to be fixed later.

After seeing the box score online this afternoon, I emailed Rodney Johnson, who was today's official scorer. (By the way, Rodney also scores Diamondbacks games and has been scoring professional games for years). He was already aware of both mistakes and had notified milb.com that they had not entered the information correctly. So the assumption that the official scorer had screwed up is not accurate. It's not an easy job when it's 110 degrees, you've got bad sight lines and no instant replay. Phil, please don't disparage the guys doing a difficult job. I've been there ... it's not an easy job.

Pie could sure use something at this point, might as well make him eat some dirt in order to help him get his priorities straight.

"I couldn't see exactly who it was, but I could probably guess"

So who did you guess it was? tell us?

So... After many years of hard work you're the starting CF for the Cubs. You have talent, and all the promise in the world.

So your priorities are to party all night????????????

Yeesh.

The Cubs must have a monopoly on players with small brains.

The Cubs must have a monopoly on players with small brains.

No, Farnsworth plays for the Yankees now.

Heh Heh. Yep, indeed he does.

Speaking of Pie, he's far away but still remembered in the Chicago dugout--the White Sox dugout, that is. I notice that the Sox hitters, after hitting one of their frequent home runs vs. the Cubs, do that little hopping hip-bump that the Cub outfielders do after a win. Pie started that business, right?

It always reminded me of Santo clicking his heels after wins in '69. The Mets took exception to conduct they considered unsportsmanlike, and they got the last click that season.

Dancing after a win is still bush league almost forty years later.

Submitted by fitch-fan on Sun, 06/29/2008 - 7:11pm.

Concerning the comment about official scorers making mistakes, that's not necessarily the case. The information is called in to milb.com in New York, where it is transcribed by whomever is on duty that day. The guys in New York are juggling several games, so they don't always get the information entered correctly and it has to be fixed later. After seeing the box score online this afternoon,

I emailed Rodney Johnson, who was today's official scorer. (By the way, Rodney also scores Diamondbacks games and has been scoring professional games for years). He was already aware of both mistakes and had notified milb.com that they had not entered the information correctly.

So the assumption that the official scorer had screwed up is not accurate. It's not an easy job when it's 110 degrees, you've got bad sight lines and no instant replay. Phil, please don't disparage the guys doing a difficult job. I've been there ... it's not an easy job.

==============================

FITCH FAN: Look back over the past few months of posts here at TCR and last year at Road to Wrigley and you might notice I've been unofficially scoring Cubs minor league ST games, EXST games, AZ Instructional League games, and even Cubs intrasquad games (where the players aren't wearing numbers). You don't see me complain. And I don't even get paid to do it!

Maybe Rodney should try sitting down with the fans. I can see the game just fine from where I'm located, and it's 110 degrees for me just like it is for Rodney. And I don't remember seeing Rodney spend two hours pre-game watching BP either. And then I work a full-time 40+ hours per week job on top of it where if I make a mistake, somebody dies.

So I really don't want to hear any excuses about "sight lines" and the heat.

Arizona Phil.....we sure appreciate all your reports and insights into what is going on at Fitch.What is your "paying occupation"? I sure hope it's in air conditioned comfort ! Does the Cubs trainer help keep you hydrated with gatoraid? Do you ever take pictures of the action that you can post?

Whoa, Phil, hold on! I think maybe the heat is getting to you. You're getting a little testy.

I was just challenging your non-factual assertion that AZL scorers are "clueless" with the fact-based statement that many of the errors are made when the results are transcribed in New York. It has nothing to do with where the official scorer sits when he scores the game, how many hours you've spent watching batting practice, etc., etc.

Your reports are great and provide lots of info that you can't get anywhere else. But there's no reason to automatically make a statement that the scorers are clueless based on one error on the MILB website. Do you have any other evidence to back it up? Your readers are relying on you for what actually is happening at Fitch Park. You start to lose credibility when you don't have the facts right, and in this case you didn't report the facts.

Keep on reporting because, as I said, your reports are great. Just show that scorekeeper a little love the next time.

In Pie's absence, ANDRES TORRES and his .958 OPS is playing centerfield for Iowa.

JEFF SAMARDZIJA started yesterday, pitched six innings, gave up one run on four hits, struck out four and won the game, BUT walked 6!!

JASON DUBOIS has 10 home runs in 82 AB's for Iowa.

given that the 30 year old torres has spent most of his past many years (including the past 3 so far) in AAA he should have it down by now. you should see what trot nixon did in tucson. =p

it is nice to see dubois seemingly has his power stroke back, though...might help him catch on with someone for another year. he was almost out of baseball options if he didn't improve over the 13 homers he had all year last year in AAA in between being injured.

Maybe somebody should get Felix the manuscript of the upcoming book, The Josh Hamilton Story, and tell him to get back to work.

Partying aside, I like the idea of Pie being rambunctious and not just trying to be his coaches' pet. That wasn't working. Ariz Phil didn't see who Pie yelled at or hear what he said, but I understand he was shouting these words to Dave Keller, his erstwhile hitting coach: "Shorten THIS!"

Pie is circulating the Cubs organization drain right now. He's an uncoachable spoiled moron demoted all the way down to the Arizona Summer League.

What's not to like?

What kind of shoddy sensationalism is going on here??? Felix Pie's name and reputation are being smeared on this blog based on what? Someone whispered something that Pie was maybe at a party all night, and then someone might have heard someone else say something to Pie but he's not sure who said it or what he said? I realize this is just a blog and not some serious attempt at journalism, but have at least a shred of ethics.

Oh Felix. The first thing you do upon waking up at 1:00 in the afternoon after a late night out is post this?

I think it's pretty much understood that a lot of this is speculation and AZ Phil seems pretty careful about stating absurd rumors without anything to back them up. The point of his posts is to give the rest of us a look at what goes on in the Cubs organization down there in AZ. If he's giving his opinion on some things, well that's kind of what we're looking for. If we just wanted box scores with no context around anything, we'd go to MiLB.com (and apparently those are wrong anyway).

Rumor has it that there really is no Arizona Phil, but that the blogs are being written by the altar ego of Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie has spies everywhere who report in to him, and he knocks off a new posting from his hotel room on the road. Strange but true, folks.

The Pie as as a party boy story was the rage of sports talk radio when he was sent down. Az Phil has been Pie's biggest fan on this site since about as long as I have been posting here which was 05, so I doubt he was trying to "badmouth" him.

wow...that's one forum you'll never catch me on.

geez...1/2 those people are acting like baseball players dont have a life.

wow...felix pie partys...so does 1/2 of mlb...so does 99.999999% of the minors.

some people can just handle it better than others. some can show up hung over and get the job done (what's up bj upton?).

they're human beings...it happens. this is beyond not surprising, but some people on that board refuse to believe a baseball player is human i guess.

At age 23, if I were in Chicago and didn't have to get up for work until noon (for a night game), I might sample the night life quite a bit as well.

But...if I had an entire off-season to party, and, if messing up my million-dollar baseball career meant that my next best career option was...ummmm...organ donor, I might have a little self-control during the season. 23 ain't 17. Time to grow up.

I don't think we are acting at all like baseball players don't have lives. No one said that. The point is that many baseball players can party and play solid baseball. Those who can't cut back on the partying. Each player has to strike his own balance. For some that means more partying, for some less. I think given Felix's rather pathetic performance this season, many of us would have hoped he'd have tried to back off the partying to see if that helped him. From what we've heard, he has chosen not to do so. So I'm all for sending his ass down to the desert.

Whatever's been said on this blog pales next to some of the ridiculous stuff we read (and hear) every day in the mainstream sports media - calm down and stop making accusations until the rest of the story evolves.

Or do you have something to refute the original statements at this point in time? If not, then put a sock in it and take yourself down from the cross.

Submitted by fitch-fan on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 10:35am.

Whoa, Phil, hold on! I think maybe the heat is getting to you. You're getting a little testy.

I was just challenging your non-factual assertion that AZL scorers are "clueless" with the fact-based statement that many of the errors are made when the results are transcribed in New York. It has nothing to do with where the official scorer sits when he scores the game, how many hours you've spent watching batting practice, etc., etc.

Your reports are great and provide lots of info that you can't get anywhere else. But there's no reason to automatically make a statement that the scorers are clueless based on one error on the MILB website. Do you have any other evidence to back it up?

Your readers are relying on you for what actually is happening at Fitch Park. You start to lose credibility when you don't have the facts right, and in this case you didn't report the facts. Keep on reporting because, as I said, your reports are great. Just show that scorekeeper a little love the next time.

===========================

FITCH FAN: Scoring a baseball game is NOT complicated and it's NOT difficult. (Well actually it CAN be difficult and complicated if you don't pay attention).

Over the many years that I have attended AZL games out here I have sat next to or in close proximimity to AZL official scorers many times (although not at Fitch Park, because they sit up in the tower), and I can state absolutely positively from first-hand knowledge that the "official" scorer is not always totally paying attention.

Whether it be taking a bathroom break and missing the first hitter of an inning, or (in recent years) being too busy and pre-occupied giving the last half-inning's game log to the MiLB office over a cell phone after the next half-inning has started, the scorer is not always all there.

SCORER: Hey, what just happened?

AZ PHIL: 4-3 ground out to the second-baseman

SCORER: Thanks. I was on the phone. 

or

SCORER: Was that a passed ball or a wild pitch?

AZ PHIL: It bounced in front of the plate, so it was a wild pitch.

SCORER: Hey, thanks man.

Ya, there's no way it could have been the official scorer who forgot to make it clear to the transcriber that the pitcher was RYAN Acosta (not FRANCISCO Acosta), or that the scorer forgot to tell the transcriber about the pitching change when Toby Matchulat came into the game (and he was making his professional debut, too, although his family would never have known it if they were following the game at MiLB). And what's really interesting is that Ryan Acosta was misidentified as Francisco Acosta in AZL Cubs box scores last year, too (in August), and it wasn't corrected for about ten days! So it's not like it hasn't happened before.

See, similar mistakes were made last year. I was THERE when some of them happened. There was one game at Diablo where I corrected one of your pals twice in the SAME GAME after I overheard him "reporting" inaccurate game log information over the phone to the transcriber. 

 

Submitted by cub-afficionado on Mon, 06/30/2008 - 1:41pm.

What kind of shoddy sensationalism is going on here??? Felix Pie's name and reputation are being smeared on this blog based on what? Someone whispered something that Pie was maybe at a party all night, and then someone might have heard someone else say something to Pie but he's not sure who said it or what he said? I realize this is just a blog and not some serious attempt at journalism, but have at least a shred of ethics.

=================================

CUB-AFFICIONADO: I did not smear Felix Pie. He is one of my favorite players.

But that fact is, Pie reportedly suffered a hand injury in the 4th inning of the game on Sunday June 22nd, and Pie's status the next day was described as "day to day." Then the next day after that, Pie was suddenly sent to Mesa on a "rehab" assignment. By his third day at Fitch Park he was taking batting practice, and by last Sunday (just a week after the injury) he was back playing CF and hitting lead-off in an AZL game.

See, I know you probably can't understand this, but Iowa players aren't sent on a rehab to Arizona (Fitch Park) if their injury status is described as "day-to-day," if they are expected to miss maybe a week. They just stay with the I-Cubs, take BP when they're ready, and then get reactivated after their 7-day DL stint is up (the minor league DL is only seven days).

So for Pie to be sent to Arizona on a "rehab assignment" when he's listed as "day-to-day" doesn't make sense, UNLESS it (the rehab assignment) was related to something else. Like maybe the day after he got hurt, he showed up late, or maybe he didn't show up at all. I don't know.

But something beyond a "rehab assignment" was involved here. Getting sent to Fitch Park to rehab in late June when it clearly was not necessary, putting the player into a situation where he has to report to the clubhouse at 6 AM and play in 110+ degree temperatures is nothing short of punishment IF IT'S NOT NECESSARY. 

And it's clear that there is nothing physically wrong with Felix Pie now, and so there was no need for him to "rehab" at Fitch Park. What he did at Fitch Park he could have just as easily done by staying with the Iowa Cubs.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter