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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  • Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run

    For the first time in a year, 33 starts.

    //not really

    jacos 1 hour 11 min ago view
  • Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-

    J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:

    Ryno 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 43 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 5 hours 18 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 6 hours 12 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 7 hours 4 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 9 hours 52 min ago view