All-Star Game Open Thread

Ted Lilly should be available for an inning tonight....chat is open for those interested. Evan Longoria will sit out with an infected fingertip and Michael Young takes his spot in the lineup...Chone Figgins his roster spot.

* Ichiro Suzuki RF Hanley Ramirez SS
Derek Jeter SS *Chase Utley 2B
* Joe Mauer C Albert Pujols 1B
# Mark Teixeira 1B Ryan Braun LF
Jason Bay LF * Raul Ibanez RF
*Josh Hamilton CF David Wright 3B
Michael Young 3B # Shane Victorino CF
Aaron Hill 2B Yadier Molina C
Roy Halladay P * Tim Lincecum P

 

If you're passing on the All-Star game, Dave Pinto at Baseball Musings is doing a brief rundown of all 30 teams at the break, here's the Cubs entry. Over at The Bleacher Report, the top 20 Cubs transactions since 1990...I think #17 is silly for a list that seems to be intended to be serious, I mean, if you want to talk about transactions that involved just getting rid of a player, moving Michael Barrett in 2007 probably had a bigger perceived impact than moving LaTroy Hawkins.

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Comments

Lilly got booed, and took it like a champ.

All I care about is Hamilton, Hanley and Braun coming out of it healthy. Not going to watch, though.

gametime in 2 and 1/2 hours...can't wait.

these 3 hour pre-games are murder.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2009/7/13wexler.html

GEORGE BRETT: Perhaps we should change the subject a little. In his confirmation hearing a few years back, now Chief Justice Roberts analogized the role of the judge to the role of the umpire. Do you agree with that characterization? And specifically, do you think that it would be unconstitutional to waterboard Tim McClelland?

SONIA SOTOMAYOR: I'm sorry. Tim McCllelland?

GEORGE BRETT: I'll phrase it another way. Let's say, for example, that a hypothetical rule prohibited the use of pine tar on any bat higher than eighteen inches above the tip of the handle. Would you strictly construe that provision as it applies to someone who has just hit a game winning home run?

WILLIE WILSON: And, also, would you legalize cocaine?

Love the parody, Rob. I'm not sure why I think it's funny, but I do. It captures the Zen of Supreme Court confirmation hearings so nicely.

Is Steroid Week finally over?

yeah, but we still have 1 day without baseball that counts and 2 without cubs baseball.

the best part for me...it's @WAS and the 1st 2 games are on CSN...which means it's in my blackout area so i don't get to see any cubs til their saturday game on WGN. oh boy!

not only do i live 4 hours from DC...my cable co. doesn't offer any of the channels WAS games are shown on. i'm also in BAL's blackout zone and only see the handful of games on Fox Sports East.

this is one of my "i pay $160 a year for what now?" times of the season.

just 1 day...Cubs play Thursday...

For me this weekend's games in Washington are just another reason not to watch. That is easily the worst park in professional sports for watching a game on TV. Whomever designed it, or whomever told the designers what they wanted, decided to put the main camera that's behind home plate up on the roof or damn near the roof. Whenever a ball is hit in play the TV angle is atrocious. And it's impossible to judge fly balls at that angle. My solution is I just don't watch any game at the Nats. Bad timing with the All Star week means I won't be watching any Cubs games until next week.

not to undermine any of your causes, but I'm not sure your boycott is going to be very effective. I do agree about their camera angle to the outfield though...is it okay that I still watch?

Did I mentioned how bored I am over the break?

You may all watch. And my boycott is not to change the world, it's just so I don't have to watch that crap. Lol.

From Baseball Musings: "When I was at STATS, Inc, we found the direction of the wind at Wrigley affected offensive output greatly." Most of us figured that out before our tenth birthday!

A couple years ago I saw the Cubs play the Giants and had really great seats in LF so I could taunt Bonds. One of the things I remember about that game is 3 or 4 balls were hit very well and everyone was just sure it was going to be a home run, only to peter out for warning track fly-outs. Wrigley is a fickle lady.

were you working for stats, inc at that time?

Yeah, I've got a lot of respect for Pinto, STATS, and statheads in general, but comments like that are just ridiculous. It's probably not how Pinto intended, but the way it reads is just chock full of arrogance and implied discovery.

Not sure if this is new or 3-44, but Pedro to Philly.

Not 3/44, but disappointing, just the same.

zomg, that was so 3/44, it was 6/88...lolz....lollerskates....(internet gang gestures)....please start baseball again.

supposedly for $1M, and another $1.5M in incentives...immediately placed on DL so he can warm up in the minors over the next few weeks.

Placed on the DL with what, or is this just standard operating procedure?

David patton's groin injury...

press release says mild right shoulder strain...just procedural I imagine to get him on the MLB roster right away and so he can get some minor league starts in....

Clearly this is a made up injury (see the quote below), but who could contest this: another team, the union, MLB or does no one care.

"They said he was throwing much better than he was last year and that he was in tremendous shape," Manuel said after the game. "Then I also hear today that he took a physical. That's about the extent of what I've heard."

Sorry I am bored.

Doubtful Patton complains. He gets 400k weather he pitches or not. Better than 60 k in Colorado Springs.

Puy on DL for being old and bad.

the above post is proof positive why you deserve a kick in the nuts

Good morning! I take it everyone here is eagerly anticipating the second half! Me too.

For one day, we get to wish what it would be like to have all those wins under our belts say, if we were Angles fans, or Rangers fans.

Trouble is, they are still 2-3 games between each other in the standings. Ain't baseball great? I still have a bit of trouble with the divisions and 30+ teams, but I guess the economy will take care of the ones who are faltering.

Who do ya'll thing will be the first team to fold? If the Rangers weren't near first I think they would go under. DFW fans are baseball fair weather and a lot of times the Rangers' AA team in Frisco outdraws them. This is Dallas (read Arlington) Cowboys country. Here's my list of the top 3 that might struggle for existence:

1. Kansas City Royals
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Washington Nats

Not in any order, of course and probably not this year. Bailouts are not the sole property of banks and GM, so it's possible fan Obama will bail baseball out also. It will be interesting however, if Bud Selig DOES take from the Yankees and give to the poor. Clark Howard on his TV show said fans can gets $1.00 nosebleed tickets at Braves games and bring your own food for a savings of 75 bucks per seat, but that doesn't help the team survive. Anyone?

SD Padres.

BTW... Their DL is ridiculous:

D. Eckstein 2B/SS 15-day Strained right hamstring
H. Blanco C 15-day Strained right hamstring
C. Floyd RF 60-day Torn labrum in right shoulder
C. Young SP 15-day Right shoulder inflammation
B. Giles RF 15-day Right knee contusion
N. Hundley C 15-day Left wrist contusion
J. Peavy SP 15-day Strained tendon in right ankle
S. Hill SP 60-day Right elbow inflammation
M. Worrell RP 60-day Right elbow surgery - out for season
C. Baek SP/RP 60-day Strained right forearm

Their DL alone is a pretty good team.

Other than Peavy, who is good on that team?

My thought, before I saw that last comment, was that even a health team, with everyone of those players on the active roster, that is still a bad team.

Okay, Dave, that was hyperbole. I said it because they have so many of their best players on the DL.

*sigh*

I'll run all my future comments by you first.

Although it says a lot about the state of the Padres' DL when I make a comment like that and someone takes it literally...

Ryno... not trying to be an ass. I just thought it was interesting that I had a completely different response when I saw that list of players.

Yeah, I don't think even a healthy Padres is a team built to contend.

More on the original point, though: I think the Padres would be one of the first teams to fold. They already tried moving Peavy to lower payroll and couldn't. No one will take him now.

I guess they could always move Adrian Gonzalez for cash, couldn't they?

You forgot Mark Prior. 365-DL

TOO SOON!!!!

Selig's not going to let MLB leave a TV market as big as DFW, even if another owner must be arranged.

I'd think Oakland and KC are most at risk; Florida or Tampa Bay could be in the talks if they don't get stadiums/perform; but I think the most likely is that we have 30 teams for at least ten more years.

One more point: It's easy to say a small-market owner is being greedy by crying poor and pocketing a few million a year, but if you consider how much they could earn on $200-500 million by simply investing in secure assets, you can see the risk of running these businesses a little bit better.

I think part of the problem with taking money from the Yankees to give to the other teams is forcing them to spend it. I see no reason why the Yankees/Red Sox/etc. should have to pay millions in luxury taxes only to see a KC/Pittsburgh/Cincinnati owner pocket the dollars while crying poor.

The Marlins are probably the worst offenders. But yeah, they need a salary floor if they're going to continue with this luxury tax. Make the floor optional, i.e. if you don't hit it ,then you don't get luxury tax money, so you don't force teams to pay for players they don't want.

The trouble with a salary floor beyond the current MLB minimum is that you may end up paying undeserving players more money than their worth. Then those salaries are brought into some arbitration hearing or free agent negotiation as comparables and another unworthy player is seeking the same amount of dough. Neither salary caps nor floors make sense in MLB. Teams need to have the freedom to spend or not spend as makes sense for their strategy (rebuilding, competing, or just hoping).

Doesn't solve the crime of small market teams stealing from the big markets. Until recently, Philly was actually a huge culprit, as they were measuring revenue with no regard to market size.

It's almost like you didn't read what I wrote about making the floor optional.

"Neither salary caps nor floors make sense in MLB. Teams need to have the freedom to spend or not spend as makes sense for their strategy (rebuilding, competing, or just hoping)."

Do you think they make sense for the NFL and the NBA?

The trouble with a salary floor beyond the current MLB minimum is that you may end up paying undeserving players more money than their worth.
----------------------------
I get your point, but they are already paid more money than they are worth. It's a game for christsake, and they cheat at it to boot. Fuck 'em. They are there for our entertainment.

Ideally all sports should pay their players only for team wins, nothing else, no base salaries, etc.

http://deadspin.com/5315166/buzz-bissingers-3-nigh...

I imagine Samuel Jackson has to play Dusty Baker since he's in every movie.

wesley snipes=dusty baker
woody harrelson=Larussa

Make it a buddy movie

You know who would make a good Dusty Baker... Bernie Mac...

And now I'm sad. :(

what was the result in the series? i never read the book.

Cubs dropped 2 out of 3.

Wait for the sequel "Four Days in September"

i'd still see it knowing full well that we vanquish them in the end. and that i will leave before the inevitable text at the end of the movie telling what happened to each team.

I hope M. Night Shimano writes the screenplay and directs.

Kiefer Sutherland would be great as Tony Larussa, since both suck cock.

Other than Peavy, who is good on that team?
---
certainly not friggin' Heath Bell

"One pitcher who could turn it around in the second half is Rich Harden. His first-pitch strike pct (50.6%) was the worst among major league starters with 300 batters faced. Harden, who had a disappointing 5-6 record and a 5.47 ERA at the break, had a 44.4 first-pitch strike percentage in losses. He was at 56.2 percent last season, so he can probably turn it around."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4329089

"disappointing"?

I would have selected a more, ah, colorful description of the performance of a pitcher who is "as good as they come when he's healthy".

He's been healthy, and terrible. Somebody needs to tell Rich he's in a contract year.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/cards-willing-to-make-strong-offer-for-halladay.html

Unfortunately, Jim Hendry and Hot Seat go together like oil and water...thus the apropos nickname 'Teflon Jim'.

But it is good to see that a sports writer finally thinks he is on the hot seat after over 5 years since winning a playoff game.

Who was going to fire him on the Trib, his enabler Kenney? I don't think Zell knows that Soriano misses fly balls.

I think there's a decent chance that Hendry gets fired within a week of the team (finally) changing hands.

I'll be sorry to see him go in some ways--if he goes--but he really should fall on his sword after the long-term mess he's made of the Cubs' outfield.

Hendry just got an extension amidst the sales process, I imagine the parties that were involved didn't protest too greatly.

That being said, if they don't make the playoffs, him and Lou should certainly be held accountable, whether the Ricketts choose to do so is another story.

The extension will likely keep the Ricketts from firing Hendry and maybe rightfully so as he will have 3 years left. But it would send a strong message that they want to win and will not accept crappy results.

Of course this is all assuming the Cubs don't make the playoffs and don't advance.

A team that gets hot/lucky in October should not in theory be forgiven any more or less for previous incompetence than one which doesn't, not that I need to convince you.

Even if the Cubs go all the way, Hendry is still as much of a liability as an asset. With the sunk cost of his contract, I'm sure nothing short of a 95-loss season would get him fired at this point.

Crappy results? WTF are you talking about?

Hendry has been, BY FAR, the most successful Cubs GM since... 1908?

How many teams have been in the playoffs 3 times in the last six years?

Take your blinders off, Manny.

"Hendry has been, BY FAR, the most successful Cubs GM since... 1908?"

Great, Hendry is the tallest midget...WooHoo!!

The Cubs have not won a playoff game since October of 2003 (that is 69 months and counting). For a team that has had their very high payroll that is crappy results. No blinders needed.

The Cubs have not won a playoff game since October of 2003 (that is 69 months and counting). For a team that has had their very high payroll that is crappy results. No blinders needed.

The playoffs are a crap shoot. Hendry has gotten them there three times in the past six years. That is pretty damn good.

Your hate of Hendry is hilarious. And irrational.

"The playoffs are a crap shoot."

What page does that come from out of the 'I Love My GM' playbook? And even in craps you win once in awhile, right? And oh yeah, how do you think that excuse would fly if I used that to support Dusty in 2003?

"Your hate of Hendry is hilarious. And irrational."

That's funny, because I think your unconditional love of Hendry is hilarious. But I am glad to see people starting to see what I have seen from him for years.

What page does that come from out of the 'I Love My GM' playbook? And even in craps you win once in awhile, right?

Sure... and pretty sure that the Cubs did win in the playoffs a few years ago. Of course, you probably think it is Hendry's fault that Dusty left his starting pitching in too long. Or that Alex Gonzalez forgot that he was one of the better fielding SS's in baseball. Or that Ryan Dempster would all of a sudden forget that he knew how to throw strikes. Or that practically the entire Cubs offense would forget how to hit last year.

And oh yeah, how do you think that excuse would fly if I used that to support Dusty in 2003?

Actually... yea. You see, unlike you, most people around here are capable of thinking unemotionally. I would argue that Dusty made some bad decisions in the playoffs, but that yea, the playoffs are a crap shoot and the Cubs lost at craps in the NLCS.

That's funny, because I think your unconditional love of Hendry is hilarious. But I am glad to see people starting to see what I have seen from him for years.

I don't have an unconditional love for Hendry. I know it is difficult for you to understand when people don't hate who you hate, and love who you love, but again, many around here are capable of looking at things logically and rationally.

In Hendry I see a GM that has made a lot of really good moves, and a decent amount of bad moves, and a few "yet to be determined" moves. I also see a GM that has been one of the more successful GMs in recent years.

Is the best GM in baseball? No. Is he the worst? No. But I would argue (with facts, which seem to be things you don't like too well) that he has been one of the better GMs in recent years.

In my opinion, and seemingly more and more in Cubdom, Hendry is not a good enough GM to build a championship team. I have had that stance for years now, and he has done nothing to change that.

Oh yeah, BTW, thanks for showing all the double standards, now that is truly humorous.

Peace out...

What double standards?

You have a blind hate of Jim Hendry. I don't see that kind of blind adoration (or hate) of anyone by many around here other than from you.

Chad:Theriot/Piniella

Mike C:Bradley

Manny:Hendry

True. I guess there are a couple of others besides Manny.

And they are all irrational.

Chad:Theriot/Piniella/Rob G.

Chad: Women. People without mullets.

You forgot Caucasoid wide receivers.

TCR: Baker

Hendry is very mediocre. Give Dave Littlefield a $120 mil payroll and he'll give you a .500 team at the all-star break.

The problem is not spending the money, it's getting good value for the money you do spend, and that's something Hendry doesn't consistently do.

The problem is not spending the money, it's getting good value for the money you do spend, and that's something Hendry doesn't consistently do.

Again... 3 playoff teams. 6 years. Very, very few GMs have that kind of success.

Bah, fine Dave, in the interest of making peace with you, I'll just agree with you today.

The Algonquin Round Table over at Mlbtraderumors has all the midseason trades figured out.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/discussion-t...

My favorite:

"Yankees trade Jesus Montero Austin Jackson Zach McCallister Mark Melancon for Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells

Yankees trade George Kontos and a player to be named later for Ian Snell

Rotation: Doc, CC, AJ, Pettitte, Snell

7th-Joba
8th-Hughes
9th-Mo

Championship"

Are you saying those trades are unlikely? They seem alright to me, though I haven't heard of George Kontos. If the Yankees are offering to take Wells off of Toronto's hands, they may be offering too much prospects in that deal.

More so that predictions tend to not be predictions but 'this is what I hope will happen so that my team will get better'.

But yes, this is not the 'prediction' that I would make if pressed on Halladay's destination. I'm sure the Jays would love to see both Halladay and Wells in their own division, though.

My prediction: Pujols is traded to the Cubs for DLee, Milton Bradley, and Vitters.

Isn't Riccardi a Beane disciple? Bean doesn't worry about trading in his own division. If Montero and Jackson and unloading Wells' contract are on the table, I think the Jays would strongly consider it.

Dunno. But you're right. It's a great trade prediction and will probably happen.

So really your point is that no one should bother making trade predictions.

Actually yes, now that you mention it. Either one picks something that's possible, but still just a guess or picks something outlandish so they can say "see, I called it!" when it happens...disregarding all the other predictions that didn't come true. It's a waste of time.

But: http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/ny-sprieber.... So, whatever.

thought I heard something from the Yanks about not being in the mix for Halladay and definitely not going to take Wells' contract to do it...

Phils need him the most

Rangers/Dodgers/Angels could offer the most although I guess Rangers are having $$ issues...

Cubs would be wise to spend their bullets somewhere else, as much as I like Halladay.

I'd take Halladay. Certainly I'd prefer him over Peavy. I am worried about the rotation as much as I am worried about the offense. Maybe a Hill trade is being bandied about, based on the report you linked below.

I'd take Halladay too, but not for $20M and Vitters, Jackson, and 3-4 other good prospects....

Z, Lilly, Wells, Marshall, Dempster will be here next year...

If you trade for Halladay, you probably trade away Lilly.

maybe, maybe not...that's a lot of moving pieces and a lot of scenarios that need to play out to happen...

Blue Jays at the moment want an "ace" pitcher under control for 5-6 years, plus everything else...so kind of like the Cubs and Indians(who wanted a power hitter at the corner close to the majors) last year, I don't think the teams match-up.

-edit- Cubs and Indians with Sabathia...

It obviously would take some work, but so did the Nomar trade. The payroll considerations are the main issue.

Fuck Vitters, Jackson, and the 3 or 4 other good prospects. An A+ prospect in the Cub's organization is a C- prospect anywhere else.

... with all due respect. :)

as I said that, a high-level Blue Jays scout caught the Yanks/Cubs Hi-A game last week...

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/postedspo...

vitters + marshall/wells + anything else needed for Halladay

worth it?

sure, if "anything else" is the top of the rotation starter near or in the bigs that they're looking for...

I don't know what the Blue Jays think of Ninja, Jackson or Cashner though and if I wer to guess they don't fit that profile. I also heard they'd like a shortstop prospect, which we do plenty of, just at the lower levels.

Fuck NO. I swear my brain will explode if that fucking douche bag is ever a Cub.

Edit for out of sequence reply: I was talking about poop-hole.

What makes him a douche bag?

duh, he's a cardinal. just like jim edmonds whom everyone hated until he hit a bunch of homers for us.

i only hate a-holes that bag on the cubs or wrigley. like fat elvis.

i still hated edmonds...

you'd take Fat Elvis in a heartbeat to play RF for the Cubs...

Um. I don't care if he is a douchebag. Personally, I don't particularly think he's one.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/icin...

fires GM for not filing paperwork (supposedly the reason, apparently they never got along), ex-players don't like him...

I predict Soriano will like going back to DC and will hit
three home runs in the four game series.

The cubs will win three of four losing game Zambrano pitches.

Sam fuld will start at least one game in center.

And unfortunatly there will be a Jeff Baker sighting at second base.

I'm bored. I wish tomorrow's game was in the afternoon. They should do the All Star game AFTER the season. At least the NFL understands that nobody gives a shit.

I find the ASG vastly more interesting than bye weeks.

haven't heard anything about his return, been about 3 1/2 weeks...

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

He who shall not be named is rehabbing.

didn't get to watch the ASG, but finally saw the highlights...

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5572...

could Buck and McCarver make that sounds any less exciting? If you looked away, you'd think it was a pop-up to the infield. Let Gus Johnson call a baseball game for pete's sake..

it was a pretty good game, but the crowd was DEAD.

the fox broadcast on whole was pure crap. aside from missing the president's throw and having the wrong camera on it (who cares)...they showed replays of checked swings from the CF/pitcher-view camera rather than a side angle at least twice and missed many 1st pitches coming back from promos or breaks.

Well the AAA ASG on ESPN2 was a bit more exciting with Eric Young calling the game with his son Jr. on the field. Of course as soon as they told about his batting skills he struck out but he did hit a monster double. The pitching was not impressive on the whole, but German Esteban really slammed the ball in Portland along with Eric Patterson. They mentioned Corey but only in passing. Also most of the speedsters took second at will. There were 19 K in attendance. The International league beat the PCL 6-5. I tuned in late so didn't see any Iowa Cubs.

These are the guys who are destined to be the PLBNL and they all played with energy.

i-cub chris robinson was the starting catcher for the pcl team, played 5 innnings, went 1-2, lining out to right in his first ab with a nice single and a run scored. highlight of the game, however, was the 50 mph eephus pitch some guy threw for a strike which had the whole place laughing, including the guy he threw it too, who froze in disbelief.

I watched a bit. Matt Murton was the starting DH for the PCL. He took a called 3rd strike in his first at bat. Pitch looked about 6 inches off the corner.

Nice little bit on Randy Wells over at Fangraphs:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/who-are-y...

Wells appears like he’s throwing almost more of a slider/cutter hybrid compared to Dempster and Greinke, with more sweep and less sink. Someone who knows a lot more about PitchFx than I, Harry Pavlidis, notes the same thing, and gave the pitch a delightful name – the slutter.

The Slutter... love it. I thought it already had a name though: frisbee slider.

Fosh?

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