I'm Just A Fuzz Machine & I Don't Work For Nobody But You...

No official word yet as to whether or not the mysterious "fuzz machine" made the trip from Des Moines to Chicago along with Von [when there's somethin' wrong in the neighborhood who you gonna call?] Joshua. The unorthodox device is a pitching machine contraption that somehow both accelerates and decelerates a batter's swing, according to Carrie Muskat's expose earlier in the season. If Joshua couldn't get it through security at Des Moines International he may have just rented a car, thrown it in the trunk and headed east.

The Sun-Times has a piece this morning about "three Cubs to watch." In that spirit, here are three I-Cubs who currently bear a little closer watching:

1. Kevin Hart - Since moving from the bullpen, where he was struggling early in the year, to the Iowa rotation, Hart has found his groove. In five starts he's compiled a 1.38 ERA, a .128 BAA while permitting only 11 hits in 26 innings. He starts tonight in Oklahoma [kiss of death; watch him get hammered]. Remember; we got him for Fast Freddie Bynum...

2. J.R. Mathes - The old reliable of the staff has walked only 6 in 61 innings pitched this year while notching seven wins.

3. Sam Fuld - After a slow start, Fuld is hitting at a .419 clip in June. He's second in the PCL with 8 triples and has stolen 15 bases in 18 tries. The lefty-swinging Fuld is hitting .301 against southpaws; only .256 when facing right-handers.

Samardzija dropped to 3-3 in yesterday's 5-1 loss to the Redhawks. The game was scoreless into the bottom of the 5th when he was reached for four runs.

Jake Fox wasn't in the lineup. He may still have been catching his breath after legging out his 3rd triple of the year on Sunday.

Finally, fuzz machine notwithstanding, Joshua leaves behind a team whose three homers in the month of June rank last in the PCL...MW


"the mysterious "fuzz machine"

This reeks of Skynet.

"the mysterious "fuzz machine"...he may have just rented a car, thrown it in the trunk and headed east.
is there a blue flashing light on top of the car?
Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.
Jake Fox: Hit it.

LOL! Nice.

having a nice CWS


DJ LeMahieu had three hits and scored two runs in LSU's 9-1 win over Arkansas in the College World Series Monday night in Omaha. LeMahieu, the Cubs' second-round pick in the June Draft, also stole a base.

I believe he's the only Cub draftee playing right now..

have you seen him pitch much Mike?

curious on your take, his repertoire, etc?


Wildcats athletic director Jim Phillips is in discussions with Cubs chairman Crane Kenney about moving either the Iowa or Illinois game in November 2010. Another possibility for Northwestern to play in Wrigley Field, according to sports information director Mike Wolf, is a home game in November 2011 against either Michigan or Rice.

I know George Halas would build temporary bleachers to up the attendance when the Bears played, so I wonder what they would do to get more seats in if this happened? Or probably just double or triple the prices for a normal Northwestern game.

And Papa Bear obviously did not mind the health of his players to get some extra bucks.

According to Wiki-

"The football field ran north-to-south, i.e. from left field to the foul side of first base. The remodeling of the bleachers made for a very tight fit for the gridiron. In fact, the corner of the south end zone was literally in the visiting baseball team's dugout, which was filled with pads for safety, and required a special ground rule that sliced off that corner of the end zone. One corner of the north end line ran just inches short of the left field wall. There is a legend that Bronko Nagurski, the great Bears fullback, steamrolled through the line, head down, and ran all the way through that end zone, smacking his leather-helmeted head on the bricks. He went back to the bench and told Coach "Papa Bear" George Halas, "That last guy gave me quite a lick!" That kind of incident prompted the Bears to hang some padding in front of the wall.

Doubt Big Ten would be as careless with their student-athletes, then again this is the NCAA.


According to Wikipedia Ryan Field (where NW plays) holds 47,130, which is only 6,012 more than Wrigley. This isnt exactly like Michigan or Ohio St moving out of there stadiums that seat over or around 100k. They are only losing 12% of seating capacity and demand for tickets to the first game would likely justify a 25% increase over what Northwestern charges for admittance into Ryan Field.

my bad, forgot that no one gives a shit about Northwestern football...carry on.

310/348/500 in 15 G/42 AB....7 K to 3 BB's, 2 HR's, 2 2B's

Noticed that yesterday (as well as Carpenter's 7 inning shutout for Peoria). Not too many at bats, but here's hoping he keeps the power up for a month, then gets promoted to Iowa and turns into a legitimate prospect again.

cause I'm bored...

7 IP, 1 K, 0 BB for Carpenter...way to pitch to contact I guess

my boy Justin Berg with a shutout inning in relief, 3.18 ERA since returning from injury, 10 K, 7 BB, 3.44 GO/FO ratio...

Reinhard with a run allowed  in one inning of work, June ERA looking much better than May though and still K'ing everyone.

not a HR hit yesterday in the minors, Flaherty 1/3 with 3 RBI's though...Vitters is having a rough June.

Carpenter had a pretty good GO/FO ratio as I recall. Vitters isn't getting a lot of hits, but his K's seem to have come down as well.

I was listening to the I-Cubs game yesterday (actually I think I cursed them, the Redhawks started scoring as soon as I turned it on) and the announcer said Reinhard had a gimmick pitch, which he didn't elaborate on, but it would explain his difficulty as a starter, I guess.

it was 12/9 yesterday and 55% on groundballs for the year...

K rate is actually pretty good on the season...7.82, high walk rate though...4.27

Hilarious that the Cubs dumped Perry and called up Von Joshua to "change the voice". Yet, in the article MW links to (written 5/5/09) Ryan Theriot says this:

"The cool thing is Gerald and Von are close and share stuff," Theriot said. "It's a perfect scenario for guys coming up to the Major Leagues to have the same message."

Tell me dumping Perry was nothing more than a PR move and I'll sell you some beach-front property in Florida.

I guess you can question why have coaches at all in baseball if they aren't accountable for the players performance? When the hitting numbers are as bad as they have been for the Cubs, Perry wasn't helping anyone out of a slump, you have to make a change - it's not a PR move, it's a move to shake up the players if nothing else. You can't fire all the players.

As far as I'm concerned, we have read several times this year about Lou watching film on a player's swing, and suggesting something to him. That tells me that Perry wasn't really doing his job to Lou's satisfaction. Sounds like a perfect reason for a change...

can he walk on water, too?

every manager does this...at least you'd hope.

Tim Wheeler with Rockies....hopefully that means Brett Jackson will soon be following.

Any terms released?

Think I've been pretty vocal that the Jackson pick was just a waste, but I hope he realizes it's pretty crucial that he gets working with professional coaches as quickly as possible if he's going to have any chance.

just saw a blurb on Rotoworld, nothing about the amounts...

MLBTR has kept track so far of 1st round signings


#26 Arnett signed for $1.2M supposedly...


personally I would rather have the 32nd pick in the draft next year over Jackson who just seems to be another Hendry-Wilken "lets draft athletes over baseball players" pick. Maybe with a new owner in place (hopefully by June of 10) someone rather than Wilken will be making the picks.

I agree. Wilkens is sort of like a hitter who had an unreasonably high BABIP in his tenure with the Jays that made him look a lot better than we now see he is.

I don't believe Wilken says, "Let's draft athletes over baseball players."

He does draft two-way players, because the Sings, Dopiraks, Duboises, Murtons, EPats, Hoffpauirs, Foxes et al. ad nauseum are very hard to place in the majors.

Wilken didn't draft Felix Pie, who might be a good example of a non-ballplayer.

"Athletes vs. ballplayers" suggests track stars. The only Wilken draftee who steals a lot of bases is Tony Campana (27 steals), who got a quick promotion from Peoria and is hitting .275 in high-A Daytona after being drafted last year.

Athletes are guys who can run and throw and hit BP home runs. Ballplayers are guys who can control the strike zone. Which group do Jackson, Colvin and Vitters fall into?

Here's a hint:


I think a 2-1 K/BB ratio is typical of young two-way players who have slugging propensities. I don't know how many names it would take to convince you that "controlling the strike zone" is not the holy grail, but the first two that I looked at were Justin Upton and Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman didn't spend long in the minors but while he was there, he struck out 41 times and walked 17. In four+ seasons in the majors, in which he has hit a very respectable .285/.346/.468(/.814) while anchoring third, he has struck out 377 times versus 189 walks (1.99).

Justin Upton has a .958 OPS this season, while striking out 62 times versus 30 walks.

I thought Evan Longoria would help your case, but no: in the majors he has 183 Ks to 76 BBs.

Chase Utley started to get his Ks under control when he was 28. Before then, his Ks-to-BBs were 303/158 = 1.93.

Derrek Lee, I'm sure you know, has always had high counts for both strikeouts and walks. The career totals are 1308/716 (= 1.83).

I'd like to think that this is the kind of player that Wilken is drafting, not just slow-footed sluggers that pitchers don't mind walking.

Let's cut to the chase and eliminate your HS kids.

Utley's final season in college:
27 BB's/35K's in 283 at bats.

31 BB's/14K's in 234 at bats.

40 BB's/20K's in 201 at bats.

Have you got anything else to add?

Is anyone else having problems with the RSS feed from this site the last few days?

Someone in the previous thread was. I haven't had any problems with TCR's feed using Google Reader.

I'm using the Google home page, not Google Reader and am having the problem but I suspect it is a Google bug. Techwise, it is probably because Google is cacheing some feeds. They've probably built their own Akamai-like service and it's serving up these cached feeds. The last feed I've got is "Miles Activated; Fox Trots to Iowa". If others have the same then that means I'm right. Clearing your browser cache won't help. The cache is server side on Google's servers (or whatever cacheing service they use).

I've had trouble with other feeds in the past on Google home page.

Sorry for the tech speak. I'm at work and just in that zone.

Which is better than being in Amy Winehouse's zone.

I pinged it, sometimes that wakes it up.

otherwise make sure you're using this link


may want to set it up again on whatever you use as your RSS reader


I added via your URL, but no luck. I am using the iGoogle homepage, so its probably their problem as mentioned above.

iGoogle was having problems all last week. I thought it was fixed over the weekend, but I guess not for all sites.

Any one have rain update near the ballpark because it starting to rain quite steadaly in northeastern Will County.

By the way.....


Shocked, I am shocked!! ~see "Casablanca"~

I'm guessing that the super stars thought "They mean everyone else but me" when they heard about the crack down.

C'mon Pujlos!!!

only a matter of time. 2 down at least 102 more to go.

It's weird he popped off last week about "doing it the right way" and then his name droppped.

Pujlos did the same in SI in April but no luck yet.

Interesting in re-reading Sosa's statement to congress how he left himself some loopholes. Had he only taken oral drugs that were proscribed or available over the counter he, actually, didn't lie to Congress.

Even if the details never come out, though, that's going to pretty much torpedo Sosa's HoF chances.

Interesting in re-reading Sosa's statement to congress how he left himself some loopholes. Had he only taken oral drugs that were proscribed or available over the counter he, actually, didn't lie to Congress.

Yea... was thinking the same thing. What he took also could have been legal somewhere else - say, the Dominican Republic - and he would escape from his statement without "lying."

I would like to know the background of the source or the source material for the allegation before I come to a conclussion. I mean this paper does have a history of being on the wrong side of the facts (Nothing to Watergate, WMDs in Iraq, Duke Lacrosse players gulity, McCain had affair with lobbyist).

according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

Just asking... but do you want proof Sosa was on the report or that he took steroids or both?

More so that he was on the report. Without the info on sources it is pretty hard that to take without a shadow of a doubt that he was on there. I mean the source could have a grudge agnaist Sosa and telling the Times a rumor that he is on the list. Honestly if A-rod never said he was on the list he would have likely been giving a pass in the Court of Public Opinion given the stalkerish obession Selena Roberts had with him. At this time know that multiple names are being leaked the fairest thing for the most amount of people people involved is to just make that list private.

What a shocker. I never would have guessed.

Just kidding. I'm not surprised but I also don't really care.

Hilarious to me that it happens right before a Crosstown Classic game ... because Sox fans hate this guy so much!

In or out? OUT
But retire the number still.

Retire the jersey with Sosa in it, and put both under a batch of wet cement.

These guys are lucky I'm not the commissioner, I would cut their hands off on first offenses.

Say it ain't Sosa [sigh]...

'03 was also the year of Soso's juiced bat...

Waddell to DL with an injury that apparently isn't "baseball-related." Fox back up - glad the 13 pitcher roster was short-lived.

Bad day for former Cubs outfielders...

Mel Hall was convicted of having sex with a 12 year old girl he coached in basketball, and is also facing charges for having sex with a 14 year old girl.


"The sentencing phase was to begin later Tuesday afternoon. Hall faces up to life in prison."

I believe Mel Hall still holds some Iowa Cub hitting records including the unofficial one for hitting on girls in junior high...

the roid list...

I guess the next question is who's next?

4 more specimens to consider...



Recent comments

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  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 3 hours 35 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 4 hours 18 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 7 hours 40 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 8 hours 2 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 10 hours 12 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 10 hours 56 min ago view
  • crunch 12 hours 38 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 16 hours 30 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago view