Czech, please!

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

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

After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

I've been to Europe several times and remember the days before mlb was so accessible on the internet. In Med School, I was in London and Paris "studying" for 6 weeks toward the tail end of my senior year and remember following the 1984 Cubs via newspaper info only. The International Herald Tribune was about my only daily source and the info was usually 48-72 hours old. Their friday edition was actually friday-saturday-sunday, so there would be no scores for 3 days and the monday edition often didn't have any of the sunday results yet.  So on my recent vacation just for grins I looked at the "sports section" of the IHT and nothing has changed. MLB Standings and 2-3 day old results with a minimal top news story often about bicycling or tennis. 

I needed to travel light on this trip so no laptop computer,  just my iPhone set up with an extended data package for what is fairly pricey internet access. I did have the new mlb at-bat application, which is essentially mlb's gameday for cell phones. Apple had just upgraded their software the morning I was leaving for Europe. Given the glitches at Apple that morning with everyone trying to download the new software,  I got a bit lucky getting the download completed with 15 minutes to spare. I was panicking an hour before leaving home as the software upgrade wasn't happening and I couldn't go back to the earlier version without losing my phone software. Visions that I might be going back to the days of IHT hell danced in by brain.  Fortunately the download completed and I might have been the first Chicagoan to have the iPhone 2.0 software. Alas, no slingbox this trip, which is the ideal way follow from afar if you have wi-fi (but that's another story).

The first hotel we stayed in (Munich) had free wi-fi and computer access in the lobby (but not in the hotel room). Given the time being 7 hours ahead, that first evening in Munich, I was following the Saturday noon start game against the Giants, Rich Harden's debut. As you recall he left with a 7-0 lead and as it was almost 9pm, I headed back to the room to crash with that secure feeling of having a game in the W column. You know the rest but since I was messed up from Jet Lag, I woke up around 3 am, couldn't get back to sleep and went back down to the hotel lobby to check out the other final scores. Two hours later...after trying to sort out what the hell happened, I was finally able to crash. Welcome to the Cubs, Rich Harden. Oh, and in Munich don't miss the Viktualienmarkt, where you can have the popular Frühstück of Weisswurst (white sausage) and sweet mustard (Weisswurstseif), sauerkraut with a pretzel and a Pilsner for breakfast although it was really more of a late night snack, Chicago time.

The trip was planned so I could miss the fewest games during the season, so it was a premeditated act to relinquish the all-star week for this vacation. I did follow some of the mid-season classic, using the gameday feed as Dempster finished the 9th. It was tough to follow much beyond that for it was the wee hours of the early Vienna morning. My Cubbie paranoia had me figuring that it would end about the 12th inning with Marmol blowing the game, permanently ruining his confidence and forcing him to enter the land of Steve Blass disease. Fortunately, Marmol was great in his inning of all-star glory and we get to forever kick Dan Uggla and Brad Lidge around instead. In Vienna, we loved the Leopold Museum and don't miss the pastries although you can get them in Chicago right here.

We were in Prague after the All-Star break and the night games were tougher to follow closely as by now I was adjusting to the time zone and an 8 pm start translated to 3 am in Prague. I did gameday watch the 5 run ninth inning in the game Dempster pitched a complete game shutout to avoid a sweep in Houston.  On the last morning on the trip, I awoke about 4 am to catch the last 4 innings of the Randy Johnson vs. Rich Harden game with his almost a no-no. It must have been a very depressing game to watch in real time let alone on a cell phone at 4:30 am in a hotel in the Czech Republic. Ah, Prague. Wonderful city of Bohemian Crystal, Czech deep red garnet jewelry and Smažený sýr (a local cheese dish)...yep, it's just like going to Wisconsin.

See you at Miller Park tuesday night, it's Little Cubster's 23 birthday party! We're rooting for WeissWurst in the sausage race.

Comments

Yo doc,

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?
---------
the slingbox people did announce it's coming to the iPhone at the MacWorld conf last January, just don't know how soon. Probably >6 months is my guess. It took them a year to come out with the slingbox for mac although it works really well on a fast internet connection (ie. Wi-Fi or 3G).

To quote my hero, Peter Griffin:

Freakin' sweet!

Ahh, you were in Munich a week after I spent 15 hours there trying to connect flights. I had the white sausage for breakfast as well. It's pretty bland without mustard.

It was great to see Marmol throwing so well. He looked like he did in May, Zeus-like. Wood is "not close," Howry has been shitty, but Marmol, Gaudin, and Samardzija look like the new late inning options.

Nice to take game 1, looking forward to the Z-Sheets matchup tonight.

I don't know what I'd do without the internet. Living in Rome for 5 years a decade or two ago would, I imagine, just about cure me of my Cubs' addiction, but thankfully TCR and, probably, MLB.TV are around to make sure that doesn't happen. It is frustrating to not find out the scores of the current Brewers series, for example, until they're several hours old. Of course, the excitement/anxiety of living the play-by-play is probably something I can do with out as well.

let me say, not only does the lineup suck, but please stop posting game threads!

Here in Manila the internet is all I depend on. ESPN here will show the Cubs live maybe about 3 or 4 times all season.

Sorry Cubster. Vienna Pastry has closed.

However, Lutz on the North Side on Montrose is still open as far as I know.

I had my first taste of Lutz in utero. My mom's friends threw her a baby shower there.

And yup, it's still around.

We're so damn lost. Where the hell is Innsbruck, Austria?

Well then.... Goodaayy Mate!!!!!! Throw another shrimp on the Barbie!

5.8 earthquake in the middle of the day and i'm on the 7th floor. Fun times.

You ok over there?

That was fun.

it's all good, epicenter was like 45 miles away...the building swaying was the real fun part. It does that some times when it's super-windy.

 

 

bill hicks' Arizona Bay beachfront property has to wait another day.

i don't think that Bill Hick's will be buying beach front property any time in the next, i'd say, eternity.

(i know, i know)

I guess if your building doesn't swing, that's when you're really in trouble.

I looked out the window when I was on the 8th floor of a hotel in Manilla once during a quake and it looked like something from a cartoon. All the buildings around swaying haphazardly, scariest thing I ever saw.

I wonder was that in the 90's or the 2000's? The last truly massive quake we had here was in 1991, but only a few pretty noticeable ones since then.

It was 2004 I think, sometime between August and October. Never heard the number, but it was enough to wake me up and make me wonder 'what the hell is going on'?

Edit: The beauty of the interweb:

http://english.people.com.cn/200410/09/eng20041009...

6.2 at the epicenter I guess.

Oh yeah remember that one. I was having late dinner at the time. Good thing I live on the ground floor where it's not as shaky :)

In my best Keanu Reaves "whoa"....

What part of LA do you work in , Rob?

beverly hills...

Are you a plastic surgeon Rob?

yup, I parachat even during surgeries.

 

You must have been working on Bruce Jenner during the 2007 NLDS

Or game 3 or the 89 World series

That wins the thread in a runaway.

to the Angels for Kotchman and P Stephen Marek.

crazy good deal for LAA.

even if they dont keep teix they get to pay a 1st round pick replacement less money than they'd pay for a power-streaky kotchman the next few years.

LAA gets a playoff push with very little downside unless marek makes more for himself than people expect.

I can't believe the Braves didn't at least get Adenhart or Walden.

seems fair for a 2-month rental....

I think Kotchman will only get better getting out of Anaheim which is really tough on lefties.

 

I think it's a better haul than the 2 first round picks if he left at season's end.

that's the thing...i dont think kotchman is any more that a 20HR 30-double guy who's not gonna walk a lot. some think he's ready to break out with his power. personally, i think a guy who swings and makes contact with as much stuff as he does should be showing more of that power by now.

i also don't like his prospects playing in ATL/FLA/NYM parks.

and i don't really understand why rotoworld (and some others i assume) want to paint marek as a future closer.

those that think highers of either or both would have a view i dont, f'sure. it's not a slam-dunk thing based on a flaw or anything.

atl is a launching pad and who knows what new shea will be like. and we all know about philadelphia.

Turner field is an average park (this year is 6th in runs scored and 05 it was 8th, but in 06 and 07 it was 21st and 24th in that department) and Citi Field (New Shea) is suppose to be pretty identical to Shea.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor?sea...

Its a good deal for both sides. LA3 needed a run producer and Atlanta needed cheap talent. Though I wish they would have waited until Thursday to do this because this is going to be one boring trade deadline as Jose Guillen is the best player who might get dealt.

well the old atlanta was known as "the launching pad", the new one plays a little more for pitchers. That being said, it doesn't have the dead West Coast night air or the big wall in RF.

"those that think highers of either or both"

my god...i dont know where to start with that one.

i should use that preview more often...or type less than 3987294872394 wpm.

He had some pretty solid BB numbers last year, but that's regressed this year. His HR's and K's are trending in the right direction, so I guess his hitting coach Bakerized him, and he's being more aggressive early in the count. After last year, he looked like another Mark Grace in the making. This year, hard to say, but first basemen who slug .440 and have a OBP in the .320's are not going to have long careers.

Recent comments

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  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 17 min 53 sec ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 42 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 4 hours 42 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 5 hours 29 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • i have no doubt at all you quit reading at that point. you're very enamored with outcomes without caring what it takes to get there.

    the fact it's exploitable, especially without someone to cover the running game for him, as well it's evolution in how people are testing possible exploits is interesting to some people...to me...i'm some people...hurrah.

    some people want to check the boxscore to see who won, some want to know how it went down.

    crunch 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • I read it as him saying it's not really that much of a concern and that the one time it really cost Lester, vs. K.C., was an anomaly.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 5 hours 55 min ago view
  • if jeff says it, it's cool...when i say it, it's straight from the mouth of hitler.

    aside from the lack of jeff touching on the insane leads runners take and lester's inability to throw if he's fielding, this is a lot of what i've said about the issue.

    exploitable, needs his own personal catcher to control his shortcomings, relies on his ability to get outs along with his personal catcher keeping runners in check before things become further exploited...

    crunch 5 hours 57 min ago view