Independence Day Weekend Open Thread

Brewers vs. Cubs

I'm taking the weekend off from TCR to spend some much needed time with the family, although I probably will be around parachat for some of the games. We did have a decent chat crowd last night for the opener which always makes it more fun.

....Neal Cotts had Tommy John Surgery.

....Alfonso Soriano will be back at leadoff and left field today.

...Aramis Ramirez, Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman should be back Monday, goodbye Kevin Hart, Sam Fuld and ? (I assume one of Fox, Hoffpauir or Fontenot). Honestly, that Jeff Baker trade is making no sense. I assumed Ryan Freel was going to be the casualty of Aramis returning, but the Cubs created a bigger log jam with the acquisition. There's no doubt that Fox is hot and can handle major league pitching and while he sure hasn't been smooth in the field, he's made the plays so far. Ramirez isn't going to be able to play every day, so wouldn't you want Fox around on those days that he can't play and to give Bradley and Soriano some breaks (a lot more breaks)? I could see Fontenot getting sent down as he's just stunk up the joint, particularly over the last month, but that means committing to a Blanco/Baker second base platoon and having only three middle infielders which Lou doesn't seem to like.  I think Blanco is safe by virtue of being the only capable back-up shortstop on the team, safe at least until Aaron Miles returns.

I guess the answers will come Monday...Happy 4th!


Fontenot has gaught to got...

for 3rd game in a row I-Cubs hold opponent to a single run...and this time they WON!

Vitters got two singles and Carpenter didn't give up any runs in his first game in Daytona yesterday.

Another roster move option is a DL stint for Soriano if the 2 days off dont do any good for him. I think its pretty obvious that leg injury he has been nursing isnt helping with his sitution even if it isnt the cause of it. I guess if Bradley doesnt produce this weekend he could be the next DL stint for anxiety in MLB. Unless Fonenot has a couple multi-hit games he is going back to Iowa as Blanco is safe (unless they trust Fonty to back up SS). I imagine they could always go down to 11 pitchers but that hasnt happened under Pinella.

With Fuld producing in the leadoff spot, it is stupid to take him out of there if he is playing and the postgame show on CSN hinted that he will be playing CF today. With Fuld on the roster the excuse that there is no typical leadoff hitter on the roster is now gone, so either Lou, Sori, or both of them are stubborn about him being there.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 11:03am.

Vitters got two singles and Carpenter didn't give up any runs in his first game in Daytona yesterday.


REAL NEAL: 9th round pick C-1B-DH Richard Jones (The Citadel) is a big-time left-handed power-hitter. Jones jacked two home runs in his pro debut at Fitch Park Wednesday night, and if you have been to Fitch and know what a huge park it is, it is really an amazing acomplishment to do what Jones did.

Also, #1 pick CF Brett Jackson is playing for the AZL Cubs for a while before he gets moved up to Boise. I would think Richard Jones will probably go with him.

And 12th round pick OF Runey Davis (played this past season for national JC champ Howard JC after leaving the University of Texas) and 7th round pick IF-OF Blair Springfield (MacArthur HS - Decatur, IL) are also playing for the AZL Cubs.

Thanks AZ Phil,

Have you got to see this Jones kid catch yet or heard the scuttlebutt on him playing that position? Think the writeup on the draft called him a good hit no field guy, but is that correctable or is he a first basemen?

Apparently, Fuld NOT starting.

I like Blanco. A lot. He is consistent in the field, and certainly can make the spectacular plays.

However, he looked just horrible at the plate last night swinging at pitches nearly hitting his foot. Really Soriano-like.

It won't be long until the league realizes he cannot hit breaking balls well, as Bren. mentioned last night.

I hope he sticks. If you compare him to Cedeno (now hitting .126 I think with Seattle), it is an upgrade, imo.

I still can't figure out why Derrek Lee is still a Cub. Why do the Cubs keep playing him every day?

Ohh thats right its now Soriano's turn to get the Dlee treatment. Time to bench/release/trade him cuz he is worthless and Sam Fuld can do a better job. ThEEEE Sam Fuld of 14 career AB's.

Bit of a straw man, especially since Fuld can play any of the three outfield spots and all of our outfield has been struggling with the bat.

Also Lee did get some time off. So has Soriano, about a month too late.

We have 3 outfielders who are not producing so as long as Fuld is producing then they should go with a rotion with him, Sori, Fuku and Bradley vs. RHP until the 3 of them start producing or Fuld comes to earth. I prefer that who gets to play is based what a player is doing now not based on the name or salary.

I'm sure Soriano will eventually break out of it, but he's been one of the worst players in baseball for the last 2 months. It's not just slumping off his numbers, it's been Neifi bad.

But no, I don't think they should trade or release him...a bunch of days off until he shows some signs of his old self, I'm all for...

Submitted by The Real Neal on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 11:47am.

Thanks AZ Phil,

Have you got to see this Jones kid catch yet or heard the scuttlebutt on him playing that position? Think the writeup on the draft called him a good hit no field guy, but is that correctable or is he a first basemen?


REAL NEAL: It's hard to draw any conclusions so far about Richard Jones remaining a catcher, but if he can stay back there, he would just have to be passably-mediocre because he has plus-power. Or to put it another way, if he was just a 1B-DH type, he'd still have a good shot to make it.

The Cubs got themselves a top pitching prospect (who can also hit, BTW) in the 9th round last year (RHP Jay Jackson out of Furman, who I rank as the Cubs #2 prospect), and it looks like they may have done it again in the 9th round this year, but this time they got a bat.

Interesting that Furman and The Citadel are both in the Southern Conference. They apparently develop some pretty good baseball personnel down there...

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Bradley, RF
Fukudome, CF
Fox, 3B
Fontenot, 2B
Hill, C
Zambrano, P

2008 11th round pick RHP Toby Matchulat (Wabash Valley JC) has pitched lights out so far for the AZL Cubs (11 scoreless innings) and should be ready for a promotion to Boise, if not to Peoria. Matchulat couldn't hit the broad side of a barn last year, but he has revamped his delivery and altered his arm slot (kudos to Mark Riggins and Rick Tronerud) and has really got it together.

Matchulat, LHP Melvin Vasquez, and RHP Dionis Nunez were battling for the last slot at Boise at the end of EXST, and Nunez won (and he has pitched well so far at Boise), but Matchulat is way too good to remain at Fitch Park.

DFA 2b/3b/SS/OF Russ Adams...don't tell Hendry.

Offer them one Baker and one candlestick maker... aka Freel.

* New infielder Jeff Baker will likely get at-bats vs. left-handed pitching. "He's basically in the (Mark) DeRosa mold," Piniella said.

Cubs have signed Casey Fossum to a minor league deal as well...

ew mold.

speaking of...soriano is a leadoff hitter.

and wow...i didnt know fossum was out there still trying to pitch.


tough call to end the game for brewers, it looked just high, but we'd be going nuts if that call went against the cubs.

well no crap. if you'd bother to look at the numbers run a few days ago you wouldn't be shocked.

26 win july, it's a lock.

No doubt.

By July 49th, at the latest.


it was 100% high. i watched it live then again in slow mo. completely above the belt. perhaps above the letters.

i personally think that should be a strike, but it's not in this mlb.

fwiw, Gameday has it as a strike...

gameday is wrong. watch the replay. kendall barely frames it as a strike. it crosses well above the belt.

It was letter high (logo high in this case)

But that's in the batter's crouch. The strike zone should be determined when the batter is standing straight. Not that it is, but technically that's how it should be done.

The pitch they scored their run on was and continued to be a strike all day, anyway.

i agree. you post makes it sound like you are disagreeing with me

I meant to say that not only was it above the belt, it was higher still. wasn't trying to nitpick, just furthering the argument that it was high. impressive (or stupid) take by Fox, it seems like he would protect the plate if it was that close, but it worked out well today.

Gameday doesnt adjust their strike zone for the height of the batter...its always the same height.

I dont have it on DVR, but it looked high.

I don't disagree, just sayin' it was damn close.

pitched really well and got of that jam created by Bradley losing the ball in the sun and the phantom HBP.

Everybody pitched well... at the end of the season someone will look at this and say that Zambrano had tough luck because he didn't get a win when he only gave up a run in 7 innings... With that accordion strike zone and the win blowing in it wasn't that hard pitching.

that someone will be me...

In lous post game remarks he said (were gonna play with the lineup tomorrow)he also gave no answers as to what he is gonna do.

Is that a riddle?

I'm going to guess 'zebra'. Am I right?

about f'n time soriano got moved down...225ab later.

moved down as in triple-a? sweeeeet

It is about time. It's great that Ramirez & Reed are coming back, but I hate to see Fuld and Fox lose time, especially in favor of Baker and this ugly version of Soriano.

All of a sudden we have too many guys to fit in the lineup and not enough spots to put them.

Apparently Kap on post-game said Sori bats 6th tomorrow.

6th? that's cold.

should be 8th

He'd be the WORST f'n NL 8-hitter ever.

9th? Now we're talking. Sure, buddy, you can "lead off" the batting order.

I think we should put Soriano at second. I know it's a terrible idea and he's a butcher etc, but it would be a nice thing to try until Fuld either proves himself or fizzles out (or until KFuk short circuits and Fuld can get some time in center). It might make it easier to replace him with Blanco late in the game due to his treacherous defense

Fuld - 7
Theriot - 6
Lee - 3
Ramirez - 5
Bradley - 9
Sori - 4
Soto - 2

LHPH: Hoffpauir

Fontenot to AAA, I dunno about Baker

I'd rather put Fox in left than Fuld if that's what you're going to do. I don't like the idea at all, but if so inclined, I see no reason why Fuld is more valuable than Fox.

Fair point. I know it will never happen and probably should bot ever happen, but if we must have Soriano in the lineup it would be nice to have him replace the worst hitter, which has generally been whoever's playing second (Font, Miles, Blanco - though his D is amazing).

no batter on this team is worth moving soriano to 2nd...even when he was playing there everyday his footwork was horrible...not to mention actually fielding/throwing.

assuming they hit to their career norms:


could be the best in baseball?

that's the allure of it for me, and if Fox takes left field instead of Fuld that's another tough bat to get through before/after Soto

Its tough for me to buy Soto's "career norms" until I see a full second season from him. I'm not sure if 2008 or 2009 is his career norm. I'm still believing in 2008, but the performance of the whole offense has shaken me a bit.

Lee and Theriot are just about at their career avg for AVG and OPS.

I respectfully disagree. You put Blanco at second. After today's game no one should have any doubt about the importance of good defense. It wins games even though it's not counted on the back of the baseball cards.

i just watched the highlights and boy did Fonty do everything he could to lose that game.

he gets doubled off of second and then doesn't score on z's single. it was a bloop, sure, but there was no way cameron was getting that ball.

how fucking stupid can you be David Weathers?

How can you give up a 2-2 grand slam to Pujols in a 3-0 game?

you fucking moron.

It occurs to me that if the Cub's season hinges on David Weathers performing, we're in deep shit.

excellent point.

however, sometimes you need a little help.

That's what I'm watching tonight. The pitch before, Weathers got him to pop up, which ended up about 2 feet out of Votto's reach on the first-base stands. Then he blazed Albert a fastball.

Interesting stat the Reds TV showed ... Reds are second-worst in the NL with a runner on third and less than two outs, about .491. Any guess who's worst, with a .430 achievement rate?

the count was 2 - 2. i mean i can almost understand, ALMOST, if it was a full count.

Does Chadball walk in a run and go after Ludwick instead?

in that specific situation.

HELL YES!!!!!!

i would intentionally walk him, but i would pitch away away away and if my pitcher left something over the plate to hit, he would be sent to the minors or in david weathers situation, dfa'd

I would usually disagree in that situation, but Pujols is absolutely destroying everything in sight. Look at these splits:

Last 7 days: 533/696/1.467 2.162OPS 250OPS+

Last 14 days: 415/547/1.049 1.596OPS 161OPS+

Walk him. Unless you're walking in the go ahead run, I'm putting him on every single time.

If there is 2 outs and walking him puts the go-ahead run home and the next hitter is in as bad of slump as Ludwick is you walk him. It is alot easier to come back from a 1 run defcit than a 2, 3, or 4 run hole.

I see the theory, but I'd have an awful hard time explaining that to media and the fans after we didn't score in the last 3 innings and went on to lose by one.

Something tells me that intentionally walking in the eventual game winning run would not go over well.

David kaplin is reporting cubs to be sold in next 2 weeks.

League approval in august, lets hope its true

Good to hear, but unless as Owner-elect (for a lack of a better term at the moment) Ricketts can give Jimbo the greenlight to add (or eat) payroll it doesnt help this season.

Trib confirms Soriano's line-up drop:

As would be expected Fuld will be handling the lead-off duties tomorrow. Len did mention Monday that Lou was tinking with the idea of Hoff/Bradley platoon in RF but given Fuld's play I imagine its a Fuld/Bradley platoon for the time being in the OF with Kosuke now in RF vs. RHP.

my brain is melting a little bit.

they're going to move the guy in the OF not hitting at all down in the order and replace 1 of the 2 guys that are hitting with fuld?

Since I'm not in the local Chicago viewing area, I followed the game on the computer.

Were the HBPs of Fielder and Lee early in the game really accidental, kind of accidental, or pretty much not accidental?

Also, it did seem that the strike zone was kind of mobile today.

Question 1. Fielder was accidental, Lee was on purpose. Later .. who got hit, Fox? Accidental.

2. Yes, particularly on the corners.

The Houston-SF game is a fun one if a) you're a fan of watching the Astro's get clobbered and/or b) you're a fan of Pablo "The Fat" Sandoval. I fall into both categories.

Reed Johnson and Aramis Ramirez both seemed to play well at Peoria in the first game of their rehab assignments. Ramirez hit a double, so that's encouraging.

It will be REALLY interesting to see what happens with upcoming roster crunch.

Maybe the roster crunch is going to be solved with a trade. There is some pitching depth and a lot of spare parts bouncing around. If we could end up with a major-league-average 2B in exchange for our odds 'n ends, the lineup starts looking pretty solid.

Since you brought it up, The major league average OPS for second basemen is .769

Guess which AL team is posting this line at 2B -- and name their primary second bagger

.274 .348 .422 .769 *

Mark DeRosa's line -- looks like an average MLB 2B'er to me

.261 .334 .443 .777

Mike Fontenot's career line --- still looks pretty average

.270 .349 .427 .776

Chicago Cubs' 2009 2B line -- woeful! 28th/30 in MLB

.216 .271 .286 .557


* Baltimore Orioles -- Brian Roberts

Oops there you go, mentioning Roberts. I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Bradley RBI watch: still stuck on 17

On pace for 42 RBI

Neifi "Saved us" Season: 54 RBI

Can Bradley save the Cubs season and outduel the great Neifi Perez? Stay turned as we watch our off-season middle of the order juggernaught chase history.

FWIW - Bradley has managed his appearances so that he's just about on pace for another 120 game season.

With ~50 fewer AB's than Bradley, forgotten man backup RF MICAH HOFFPAUIR has 22 RBI.

On, Derrek Lee was misidentified in highlights of Thursday’s game.

(It has since been corrected.)

What up Cub Nation? Happy 4th. I am a Chi transplant and now living in NOLA. I will be heading out to at least 2 of the 4 Iowa Cubs games this weekend - Tuesday for sure. If anyone is around and wants to talk Cubs or needs any info about the city let me know and will try and help out best I can. Have a safe holiday all.

Fukudome, Theriot, DLee, Bradley, Fox, Soriano, Soto, Fontenot and Harden

per Bruce Levine, espn 1000

poor fuld

does harden have any minor league options left? he fooled a grand total of nobody today.

It's July 4 and Lou still hasn't worked out a viable lineup.

well we don't have to hear about bradley's RBIs or an arguement about things lost in the sun.

seems we have bigger issues or something...sup harden...sup soriano...sup bullpen

I would have rather __________ than watched that game.

I'm going with "set-off an M-80 in my underwear"

wow...they're trying to do things to sori's stance.

granted...after about 250ab's of crap it's time to try something, but he hasn't tweaked his stance in a loooooong time. it doesn't seem major, but i've never seen him "relax/wait" on his trailing leg in the box.

Manager Lou Piniella wants Soriano to narrow his stance and “get a little weight on his backside so he can sit on (the pitch) a little longer."

they're not trying to move him back in the box, evidently. the guy's never been able to see breaking stuff, he sits in the front of the box trying to hit them before they i dunno if moving him back in the box is even an option.

...also fuku is supposedly gonna be leading off for a while (with fuld/reed spelling i'd imagine) for the forseeable future.

from the 'insult to injury' department...via the loss, not actual injury...

I'm throwing at somebody for that shit. You don't teabag my 2B when we're down 7-0. Fuckers.

well, to his credit, he has been hearing for months now that fontenot sucks.

5555. Noice!

"Get your head out of your J J Hardy's ass!"

On a cloudy day, Cubbers watching the game with $100's 90% tinted glasses...

That shows you how far we have fallen. Even Len had to boo the fan who couldn't see out of them.

...then there was Chet Koppeck in his short shorts...ugh...

did the Cubs win today?

guess this means johnson up / fuld down

Todays game is fairly crucial...taking 3 out of 4 from the Brewers means that their is still hope. Splitting the series leaves alot of questions, but isn't a total disaster.

I want to at least be 3 games or less back from the Cardinals for next weekends series.

I don't see it that way. Win or lose, I think it's important for the Cubs to focus on playing good baseball. If they can do that, then it's early enough they can work things out.

Of course so far this year they've played shit baseball. That's why I'm so blah about this team this year.

Fuku CF, Riot SS, Lee 1B, Bradley RF, Fox 3B, Soriano LF, Soto C, Fontenot 2B, Lilly P


Seems familiar... hopefully this time if we load the bases twice in the first two inning we'll do better than three outs in two at bats.

It looks like Fuld is going to be optioned down if he cant get into the line-up agnaist a guy with very limited expirence in MLB that he was a teamate of in the minors last year for a period of time. Watching the Wimbledon final and Fededer-Roddick 09>Fededer-Nadal 08.

Fuku CF, Riot SS, Lee 1B, Bradley RF, Fox 3B, Soriano LF, Soto C, Fontenot 2B, Lilly P

Much improved lineup at home except for the black hole batting sixth.

At home:

Fukudome .374 OBP
Theriot .360 OBP
Lee .372 OBP .308 AVG .592 SLG
Bradley .417 OBP .315 AVG .522 SLG
Fox insufficient data

rearranging the final four:
Soto -- A good argument could be made that Soto belongs on the All-Star team. Believe it or not, Geo leads all Qualified NL catchers in OPS at the moment.
Fontenot (6/15 the last week) has not been a liability recently
Soriano (2/20 the last week) just leave him here and forget about him

Good news Soriano was NOT voted into the all-star game.

We are blessed.

Thank goodness. Not that the NL was going to win anyway, but still, that could've been embarrassing. No need for the Cubs to Uggla the rest of the league.

Unfortunately for us all it doesn't look like even Dan Uggla can Uggla the rest of the league this year.

At least he won't Uggla the NL in the ASG.

I haven't seen the final tallies, but, upon checking the current tallies on ESPN, I am firmly of the opinion that voting needs to be taken out of the hands of fans. It is absolutely ridiculous, because A) fans are stupid and vote for their favorites (eg Soriano, Hamilton) and B) small market players have no shot (eg Justin Upton, Scutaro, whoever). The All Star game is a fucking joke if it determines WS home field advantage AND it isn't represented by the best players that year.

[Edit] Also Pablo should have been in the mix.

That's my thing, too. Either pick one or the other.

If you want it to mean something, let the managers, players, or even some stupid suits in NYC pick the most deserving players and then go play. The other option is to let the fans jerk themselves off for 2 months and then play an exhibition. I still can't see how it's a good idea to have it both ways.

Although, 2/3 of the NL starting OF isn't even going to play. So it's pretty likely that Justin Upton and Hawpe will start, anyway.

I have one thing to say about the players and managers making the picks... Gold Glove awards. Besides the injured outfielders, who's the bad choice for the NL team?

I think catcher and third base were also mistakes in the NL. At catcher McCann or Bengie Molina should have started and at 3B Reynolds is the best choice.

McCann was out for a month and has been pretty bad defensively and there's no one in baseball who would trade for Bengie for Yadier. Reynolds has all those HR's, but overall Wright's been a more effective hitter and defender - though his defense is down this year.

Hell, Sandoval's got the best OPS among ALL 3B not named Aramis, American League included. He'd be my choice over Wright. He's slightly ahead of Wright in OPS+, too.

I'm somebody who votes late and gives the benefit of the hot hand. In the last month, Sandoval's OPS is almost 400 points higher and his OPS+ is over 40 points higher than Wright. That's my thought on it.

Right now I'm wondering if the "fans" confused Yadier Molina with Benjie Molina...

The biggest snub in the NL was Reynolds not making it because Manuel went with his own guy (Howard) for his manager's pick. That is why I think the managers picking the starters would be as bad as the fans as they would go with their own guys as much as the fans do. The best way to pick the starters is to divide the vote in fourths. With the fans, the players, beat reporters and broadcast teams and the manager all having equal say.

as was expected Lilly is our only player in the game. Tejada was choosen over Escobar and Theriot for the back-up SS role.

7-1! They are going to take 3 out of 4 this series! Big statement. Making a run before the AS break...fantastic.

has to stay in the lineup after A-Ram comes back. Soriano and Bradley can take a seat to get him in the lineup, at least until opposing pitchers figure him out, if they ever do. That might mean that Hoffpauir has to be sent down, though. Frankly, I could do without Baker and I see no need to ever call up Aaron Miles.

see comments 37 and 39 ...that's right - I can see you like it already

I'd rather just sit Soriano and/or Bradley (or preferably DL one or both of them). It's not like Soriano is hitting much better than Fontenot anyway. Fontenot's swing has looked better the past few days. Actually, Bradley appears to be coming around and is posting an adequate OBP if nothing else, and Fuki has shown signs of life. But Soriano looks as awful as he's ever looked.

I guess we have to plan on Soriano playing basically everyday, even if it takes him forever to come around. Given that he's in the lineup, him at second would let Fox keep on hitting. It won't happen, of course.

With Bradley, Fuku, and Fonty all starting to come around at once it makes for a tough roster decision. I think it will be Fuld, Hoffpauir and Hart down.

aside from middle IF and C this team has starters locked in for another year (d.lee) and 2+ for most.

should be an interesting offseason with the excess talent (or a vet) going somewhere...if they're not shifted in the next few weeks.

I would guess Smardizija, Hart and Fuld go down, though Hart has looked pretty good.

But only 1 reliever is coming back from the DL and you have 2 relievers going down. I guess it's conceivable to have a 11-person pitching staff but standard operating procedure these days is to carry 12 pitchers isn't it? My guess:

Fuld, Ninja, and Fox

But what I would do...

Fuld, Ninja, and Fontenot

Interesting that Blanco is listed above Fontenot at 2B on the depth chart. Gives me a little more hope that Andy White sticks around... though I would swap Riot & Blanco because I think Riot does less damage at 2B.

Either way the team gets a ton better tomorrow, whether A-Ram hits for power or not by virtue of them having a legit starting third baseman take the field.

Interesting that Blanco is listed above Fontenot at 2B on the depth chart. Gives me a little more hope that Andy White sticks around

The Cubs don't maintain, so they don't maintain the depth chart. In other words, the depth chart on doesn't tell us anything.

Too bad, because Blanco is legit. Fontenot is a 4A ball player.

When you say 'legit' are you talking about as a 9th inning defensive replacement, or as a spot starter? There's nothing about Blanco's 340 ML PA's that point to him being a legitimate ML player, nor in his minor league career really.

To put it in context:

Pie 60
Cedeno 59
Blanco 55

With all due respect... Fontenot's bat will win about as many games as Blanco's bat. Fuck their bats. Get our multi-million dollar batters to hit the damn ball and it doesn't matter if Blanco goes 0-for for the rest of the season.

Last week Fontenot booted a completely routine and easy grounder to second base. They ended up getting out of the inning easily, but what if that were an important play in an important game? It's baseball, folks, find some guys that can catch a baseball and throw the baseball.

I'm pretty damn sick of this little league b.s. where the ball gets booted around the field. And no I haven't seen either one of their stats, I don't know Blanco's batting average and I don't care.

Mike Fontenot has one error at 2b this year.

His defense at 2b has hardly been a problem.

I agree with you that Blanco is very good defensive. But I would argue that Fontenot is also at least decent, if not good, defensively at 2b.

And using one play as an example of why he sucks defensively is silly. Even Derrek Lee makes the occasional error on a routine play.

It's not silly. This isn't the Pacific Coast League, it the big leagues and you make routine plays. And you cite only one error at 2B when he's played at 3B most of the season. The thing is, on a scale of 1-10, the level of difficulty on that particular play was probably a 2.

Look, I know we all get warm and fuzzies with Fontenot and that's fine... I'm just saying I prefer Blanco. I hope Blanco is our starting 2B. Fontenot might be an effective bat off the bench, though. He has some surprising pop.

It's not silly.

Yea it is. Every major league baseball player makes mistakes, sometimes on routine plays. Even some of the best defensive players (such as Derrek Lee) will drop the occasional ball or make an occasional bad throw. It happens. I am sure it has has even happened to Blanco.

And you cite only one error at 2B when he's played at 3B most of the season.

Sure... but he has still played more innings at 2b than Blanco. By the way, I know that you don't want facts to get in the way, but Blanco and Fontenot basically have identical fielding %'s - .988 and .987 respectively. Blanco does have better range though.

Look, I know we all get warm and fuzzies with Fontenot and that's fine

We do? Speak for yourself. I get no warm fuzzies with Fontenot.

Look... I like Blanco's defense. I really do. But Blanco has a career minor league OPS of 635. That is just plain awful.

I think that we could all probably agree that Blanco is better defensively than Fontenot. But I would argue that Fontenot brings A LOT more to the plate (literally) than Blanco does, and more than makes up for the slight difference in defense.

Well then I've never seen so much argument between two people that agree: Fontenot is the better bat and Blanco is the better defender.

I'm saying that defense matters. Get the big bats to earn their paychecks and hit the damn ball and it doesn't matter who you have playing second... in that case I take the better defender and don't think twice about it.

And I know ol' Dave must be struggling if he's pulling out Fielding Percentages... so let's just agree to disagree... or agree... or whatever the hell is going on.

I agree that defense matters. And I am using fielding %'s because you want to refer to one individual error.

I just don't think that Blanco's defense is that much better than Fontenot to justify Blanco playing everyday over Fontenot.

But I think that we are arguing about which mediocre (at best) player is better, and it probably doesn't make much of a difference either way at this point.

During one of the games this week they said they would try to go with 11 pitchers to the all-star break and, then get the guys some rest and go with 11 for a bit after that as well. It all depends on how well the starters do, of course.

my roster guesses are:

Soriano to the DL for that leg injury he has been nursing.
Fuld and Hart optioned to Iowa.

It looks like Soriano needs a break and with the all-star break its really only a 11-day stint. All of the other guys who have struggled this season have started to turn it around except him. They should take advantage of the role that Fox is on and put him in LF until Soriano comes back.

i heard from a friend that patton tripped on a banana peal on his way out of the ball park and twisted his ankle,he could be dl material

peel news apalling

my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw patton slip on a banana peel outside of wrigley field last night.

i guess it's pretty serious.

I heard it from a friend who
heard it from a friend who
heard it from another you been slippin around.

No apologies to R.E.O. Speedwagon because they suck donkey balls.

I heard from a friend's wife (don't ask) that Patton got sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

i'm guessing fuld, hart and hoffpauir...

Need Hoffpauir lh bat off bench and to spell Dlee to get him a day off now and then.

I'm guessing fuld, hart and Soriano on the DL.

Fox won't be doing much and can spell D-Lee, and he's a better hitter than Hoff and technically can play one more position.

Anyone know how many ABs Soriano is into his slump?

Depends on where you start the slump, but he had a 923 OPS on May 17th.

His OPS hasn't hit that mark since then, and his line after May 17th, in 182 plate appearances, is .179/.242/.262 OPS: .504.

I thought we pinpointed its beginning to the beratement by the WWE wrestler.

I was expecting Crunch to answer this one.

Soriano Shame Watch (since May 18th)

179/242/262 2 HR, 8 2B, 44 K in 182 PA's

His OPS dipped below .700 after Saturday's game for the season, got it back up to .702 after yesterday

Hmm... that looks really similar to what I wrote. :)

it's a 143 comment thread, it's quite possible I missed a few...

plus I ignore everything that everyone else writes

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  • in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, Twins are hiring Indians 32-year old Derick Falvey from the Cleveland Native Americans organization.

    Suppose McLeod could still be asked by another organization but likely staying put.

    Rob G. 28 min 25 sec ago view
  • Well put, both your remark, and Crunch's.

    Transmission 29 min 31 sec ago view
  • I saw the Gordon HR. It was like a funeral where the mourners were made to play baseball. So sad...

    CTSteve 33 min 42 sec ago view
  • i wanted to watch more of it, but it started to feel like i was going beyond witnessing a human experience that isn't often seen into an uncomfortable voyeurism. these guys are in pain.

    crunch 52 min 50 sec ago view
  • wow I am glad I missed the start of the MIA game.  I would have been sobbing.

    Transmission 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • Baez!!

    Brick 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • baez grand slam!

    crunch 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • lulz, MIA with a 5-0 lead after 2 innings.

    crunch 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • d.gordon leads off MIA inning with a HR...came up to bat wearing j.fernandez's helmet.

    he barely made it back into the dugout after crying his way around the bases.

    i can't watch this game anymore. it's too much...too real.

    crunch 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • FLA really doesn't look like they're mentally/physically prepared for this game. never seen anything like's not just a few people in the dugout still feeling it large, it's pretty much everyone.

    i doubt it will lead to some kinda error-filled little league quality game, but everyone looks drained and still draining.

    ...and onto the cubs game. go #100.

    crunch 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • The Marlins organization is obviously affected deeply by this. I feel for the people there. And I understand circumstances have changed.

    But retiring his number. Wow. Literally a week ago the rumor mill was fast and furious about how Fernandez was going to be traded this winter, with the front office in response doing almost nothing to deny it. And to turn around and retire his number, just like that, when they obviously felt the organization would have been better long-term without him, just reeks of insincerity.

    John Beasley 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • jose fernandez's number is going to be retired by FLA.

    there's custom jerseys on their way to tonight's game (and hopefully will make it on time). all the marlins are going to wear #16 tonight.

    this still sucks.

    crunch 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 11 hours 56 min ago view