Snark Weak

Snark is the blogging equivalent of pennies:  easy to throw around, but no matter how much is thrown, it doesn't buy much.  Using too much of it in one place is a real jerk move, but when one just don't have any currency more valuable to offer, for a short while you can make due with each.

That weak analogy aside, let's snark up the Cubs sports media.  From the headlines at the Sun-Times, I learn...

Bench player doesn't mind the opportunity to play every day

Pitcher has a tired arm, therefore he will rest it.

Player would prefer not to hold an unflattering record.


From the Tribune, I learn that:

It is surprising to lose a game that you were winning.

Two bad innings do not warrant a demotion.

Moving to a new team causes you to root for them, not their rival.


From MLB I learn that:

A team's best player is the key to the team's success.

A manager wants his players to be healthy.

Companies want to make sure I spend money on their products.


From ESPN I learn that:

ESPN doesn't bring in enough money to pay for a coherent webpage layout.

(Update, thanks to Navigator) - Just because you are a TV personality and beat your meat-based-analogy until it's raw doesn't mean that you know flank steak about the Cubs. (Evidently, Skip Bayless is amazed at the notion of Cubs instructors turning catchers into pitchers.  Marmol says hi)


And from some place calling itself THF CUB REPORTER I learn that:

 Fearing anarchy, looting and pillaging in his absence, the most reliable contributor wants everyone to join him and his family on their vacation

The quality of articles posted in his absence warrants his fear of anarchy, looting and pillaging.








anarchy, looting and pillaging...
couple of tough series coming up against the Huns and the Visigoths


I loves a good Visigoths joke.

anarchy, looting and pillaging...
I keep reminding myself that it's Pillage then Burn

It took me a second, but "heh!"

From The Cub Reporter I learned that statistical information can be both informative and fascinating for some. For others it's an invitation to an online swordfight. For the rest of uszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I just love the Cubs and enjoy Cubster's and Arizona Phils's insights.

Was at the game last night: a smallish but largely pro-Cubs crowd. I did not care for the home plate ump's interpretation of the strike zone-particularly for lefty batters. I thing "Stormy" Weathers agreed with me there. I think Randy Wells and even Zeus got screwed out of a strike three call. Fukudome made a game-saving catch. MB and Koyie Hill didn't seem to want to spend a lot of time at the plate which was a shame because the Haranguatang could have been hittable. It would be nice if we could stay in first place for more than a day. How about th enext few months? Go Cubs!

I just love the Cubs and enjoy Cubster's and Arizona Phils's insights.

Trans and Rob G love you too.

Heh.  As long as I'm not doing any original historical research and writing for TCR, or lying out of my ass,  I'm not contributing my unique expertise the way that AZ and the Good Doctor are.  I can live with it.  :)



Thanks to your link to ESPN I learned that RANDY WELLS is a rag-arm who even a sportsreporter could hit.

Apparently that guy never saw Greg Maddux pitch.

Nice catch.  I make a point of not ever listening to Bayless, because he makes my brain hurt.


That video was no exception.

Thanks for reminding me why I don't watch that show. 100% pure unadulterated idiocy.

It was almost breathtaking in how Bayless weaved fatuous "analysis" with his own sense of self-importance.  A lesser buffoon would have never gotten through it.

or lying out of my ass...
phew, for a brief second I thought Trans was doing a gastroenterology related comment. I remember when Angel Pagan went on the DL with a bout of colitis.

off topic:

STARLIN CASTRO (19) was promoted to AA last night. I know he was hitting .300 but this seems rushed. Maybe AZ PHIL will wade in...

Interesting news, thanks.

I'm not sure you can rush that guy.

Anyway, the vacancy at Daytona is useful with the backlog of shortstops at the lower levels including Watkins and Flaherty. They probably want to get Lee out of Boise. Lake or Lee to Daytona?

"Bench player doesn't mind the opportunity to play every day"

Onion headline if I ever saw one.

and for tonight's bold prediction:

I say Gorzelanny throws a gen tonight. a dusty baker team should be baffled by a lefty.

Isn't there a guy in the bullpen called Snark?

Rob, go on vacation more often, especially during the season. Hey, the umps take two weeks off during the season!?! Rob, are you blue?

I remember when Skip Bayless was with the Tribune, I think in the middle to late 1990s. He was more of a football guy, and said dumb things about baseball regularly. He also had an intense dislike for Sammy Sosa, but loved Mark Grace, an "old-school" ballplayer. Obviously there were baseball-related reasons to criticize Sammy, but with Bayless, it seemed to me to go deeper than that; Grace looked and sounded like Bayless' image of a big-leaguer, Sammy didn't. I recall thinking to myself after reading one of his tirades, "This guy must have had to take off his pointy white hood when they took his byline photo." All in all, he defiled Bob Verdi's page-one slot. The current occupant of that slot, Rick Morrissey, also not strong on baseball in my opinion, looks good by comparison.

I know it's gauche, but if no one else will do it, I will:

I hereby nominate the following sentence, authored by Yours Truly, for a TCR Award:


"Just because you are a TV personality and beat your meat-based-analogy until it's raw doesn't mean that you know flank steak about the Cubs."

I take personal offense when we derogate compulsive masturbators.

Wankers are people too!

To quote the 21st century's wisest philosopher, toddler and viral video:


"That weally huwt, Chawlie."

New tagline, perhaps?

Maybe, "Charlie: Biting the fingers of dumbass kids for the betterment of society"?

I've been on vacation and missed this, but does anyone know why Jay Jackson was demoted to Daytona? He has made one start there and is still listed on their roster.

I also think that Castro may be moving too fast. He is only 19. Theriot is probably looking over his shoulder and the threat to his job is getting closer.

I think it was in Bruce Miles blog at the Daily Herald that it was for disciplinary reasons.

Per Wittenmyer's Twitter page, Cubs bring up Gorzelanny today and make room for him by putting Andres Blanco on the DL with a calf strain. He also says they'll probably bring Miles back tomorrow and send a pitcher down.

Raining pretty hard in Cincy this evening...not sure if they'll get the game in.

well at least that explains why baker was a recent late-inning defensive replacement at 2nd over blanco.

Looks like the worst of it blew through already. There's another system that could interrupt the game for a little while, but as long as the field's not a pond, they can probably play around it.

pinhead's got competition...

Rolen went for a CAT scan, which revealed...

"They said I had almost the size of a normal human brain. I was real pleased with that," (said) Rolen.

via Wittenmeyer (and cincy twitter) links...Bradley ''rest'' day against nasty-stuff RHP.

Tues lineup: Taveras 8, Rosales 5, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Gomes 9, Balentien 7, Gonzalez 6, Hanigan 2, Cueto 1


Lineup: fuky (CF), riot, lee, rami, fox (RF), sori, font, hill, gorz.

Good thing we got more left-handed.

does milton really need 2+ rest days a week?

recently when he was allowed to play more than a week without rest he tore it up...

at least he's getting rest with a wet OF, i guess.'s getting a bit old. soriano didn't get this treatment and he got to lead off while doing it.

You're implying that Pinhead plays favorites? We all know that isn't the case.

Bradley did poke his knee into a pitch last night, though, maybe it stiffened up on him. Or maybe Soriano stiffens up Lou and that's why he gets differential treatment.

well, i probably shouldn't have thrown in the soriano statement, but i still don't understand why bradley gets so much "rest" when he's healthy and in the zone.

Another possibility is that Cueto throws hard, and the guys who have been able to bust Bradley inside with 93+MPH fastballs have pretty much had their way with him.

I want Bradley's gig. Get me a manager that gives me a day off when I have a difficult surgery to do.

...that is unless the manager thinks it's because I suck.

(that's why I'm the managing partner...)

I just had the frightening realization that some people who willingly take part in this board are legally permitted to cut people. Perhaps there are others who prescribe medication, carry guns, or--oh no--approve mortgage loans!

i guess a .400 ob% doesn't impress as much as it used to.

latey he's been playing at a level that warrants NOT benching him so damn much...and by lately im not just talking the past 2 weeks or so.

since june he's been doing his job, sans occasional power outages, but still loses 20+ ab's a month for some f'n reason.

Maybe its because Bradley isn't doing the job he is paid to do? A single and a walk every so often isn't cutting it. He is right around the worst performing OFer in baseball because A)he doesn't get extra base hits B) He is a blackhole in driving in runs.

I remember last year Theriot being attacked a lot because "all is he is a singles hitter who takes walks." Where are these people blasting Bradley at a position where good offensive production is kind of expected? All i hear is silence.

9 doubles, 1 triple, 8 Hr, 26 RBI....August 3rd....has anyone figured out yet that is awful? I have.

Give me Jake Fox fulltime in RF, its time to end this pathetic season from Bradley.

theriot plays SS...that's why he gets a pass. theriot's alternatives last year and this year aren't even mildly attractive.

milton isn't being attacked as much because besides the power outage he's getting on base at a .400 clip for quite a while now, playing decent D, and smacking an occasional double/homer/fly-out instead of pounding everything into the ground.

But Theriot hasn't got a pass despite playing SS. Why does Theriot get attacked for being a singles hitter who takes walks and Bradley gets a complete pass for doing the same?

I know i have defended Theriot time again for doing what he does from that position. You think people would be more pissed about a RFer hitting worse than a SS who got a bunch of shit for his hitting.

So i guess the obvious conclusion would be if Theriot was playing RF for the past 2 years no one would bitch about him being a .290/.359 40-50 RBI RFer? Because no one really cares that Bradley is pretty much doing a worse version than that.

I personally am going to laugh my ass off when Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot finish the season with more RBI than Bradley. Theriot is at 43, Fontenot 35, Bradley 26. I don't mind the OBP from Bradley but we paid for, and expected more, than what we got so far. And for that he is a complete and utter failure. Even Jacque Jones and Jeremoy Burnitz delivered more offense than what Bradley is set to do, considerably more. And neither one of those guys put up seasons that people were entirely pleased with.

i was under the impression TCR and cubs fans at large had just settled on the fact they got an average little SS doing an average job, but at least getting on base at a decent clip while doing it. he's got limitations all over the place, but he's a decent enough complete package that he's not worth worrying about until he needs to get paid 3-5+ million a year.

as far as bradley the player goes...right now it's nice to see him driving more into the air than pounding stuff in the infield on contact.

i don't know what people expected out of bradley, but when/if healthy i was expecting a 20-30hr clip, 30-40 doubles, high Ks, above average BBs, and a bit more running than he's been doing. he doesn't even inspire SB fear in the pitchers this season when he's on.

I can't speak for what Hendry expected of Bradley when he signed him, but if he or Cub fans were expecting those stats (20-30 HR, 30-40 2B, etc.), we were setting ourselves up for disappointment. Over his carrer, he has only cleared 20 HR once, and 30 2B twice, and that included his best season last year, when he was playing in possibly the best hitter's park in the majors in Arlington. His career averages are .277/.371/.451.

A much more reasonable expectation would be a line just like the above, in about 120 games. That would probably get him about 500 PA, about 125 hits, about 50 BBs, 15-20HR, and 20-30 2B. Watching him bat, which I had not done much of prior to this season, gives a good explanation of why he doesn't drive in many runs. He looks for the exact pitch he wants, and he's more than willing to let borderline pitches go in hopes of getting on base with a walk. That's fine as a table setter at the top of the lineup, but when there are RISP, and you're in the 5th spot in the lineup, you're expected to drive those runners home. So I think it's very possible that what Bradley was expected to do is not in line with what his skills are.

Burnitz drove in runs because that was his style - similar to what Fox does. Jones was actually pretty good at that too: go back and look at his stats from 2006, and you'll notice the .499 SLG. I think a big part of the problem is that our expectations out of the RF slot are not realistic. We were spoiled for YEARS with our RF production. We need to realize that we will probably never have as good of a RF as Sosa. It was awesome to have a .320/.400/650 guy out there, batting in the 3-spot. But that's historically great production. If we have a guy who hits .280/.370/.450 and plays good defense, that's not bad. Now, if you want to argue that it's not worth $10M a year, I won't disagree with that.

As far as Theriot, he's an average hitter for his position, an average defender, never gets hurt, and has a minimal salary. It's incredibly valuable to have a guy like that on your team. He fills a position for near the league minimum cost, and allows you to spend money on other areas. You can't pay everyone $10M. So I have no problems with what he does. Sure you could do better, but it would be hard to find better value.

I've never understood the Theriot hate, I wonder if everyone would be happier if he hit .230 but fielded like Ozzie Smith? Guh, he does just fine, on an overall basis he's league-average at worst. And as noted, cheap.

Bradley OTOH is a slug. I wanted Dunn or Abreu.

Could someone please point out that Theriot didn't hit 8 HR's last year, in whatever it was, 700 PA's?

Milt's OBP is impressive, but Please excuse me for not jumping for joy over his July #'s.
.275/.457/.420 3 HR, 9 RBI. Much better numbers, but from your #5 hitter?


Other RF in July?

Werth: .267/.424/.556, 7 HR, 23 RBI
Hermida: .253/.305/.402, 3 HR, 9 RBI
Ludwick: .340/.396/.570, 6 HR, 28 RBI
Pence: .2445/.302/.357, 3 HR, 11 RBI
Hart: .305/.380/.451, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Ethier: .287/.363/.545, 6 HR, 14 RBI
Hawpe: .250/.370/.393, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Winn: .276/.330/.378, 0 HR, 11 RBI

So MB is playing better. He still isn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball.

So, Milton leads all NL right fielders in OBP, by over .030, and 6th in slugging. Then there's the counting stats. You forgot to show a very important counting stat: PA's.

Werth: 118
Hermida: 95
Ludwick: 112
Pence: 106
Hart: 92
Ethier: 113
Hawpe: 100
Winn: 107
Bradley: 94

The only guy with fewer PA's on the list than Bradley had fewer HR's and RBI's. Bradley ranked third in RC/27 outs for the month, and he's the only guy who you can expect to continue or outdo that pace.

So the #5 hitter is getting on base. Excellent. 6th in slugging...WOW!!! am I impressed.

He isn't driving in runs, he isn't hitting the ball with authority, and looks like he is dying to walk every time up. Congrats. Hopefully Soriano will continue his hot streak, and drive MB in a bunch in the second half.

MB:319 PA's. 8 HR, 26 RBI, 40runs, .248/.387/.384
Werth:448 PA's, 69 runs, 22 HR, 66 RBI, .270/.379/.500
Hermida:405 PA's, 38 runs, 11 HR, 41 RBI, .254/.338/.385
Ludwick:347 PA's, 45 Runs, 18 HR, 68 RBI, .269/.332/.487
Pence:436 PA's, 52 runs, 13 HR, 43 RBI, .292/.358/.460
Hart:404 PA's, 56 runs, 11 Hr, 40 RBI, 2.646/.335/.433
Ethier: 457 PA's, 65 runs, 22 HR, 69 RBI, .275/.363/.510
Hawpe: 398 PA's, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 62 runs, .310/.397/.544
Winn:432 PA's, 2HR, 42 RBI, 52 runs, .268/.321/.375
Upton:436 PA's, 68runs, 20 HR, 66 RBI, .300/.374/.543 MB is outperforming Randy Winn, Jeremy Hermida, Corey Hart, and Hunter Pence. MB is getting fewer PA's than those guys. Sorry he was so ineffective and hurt most of the first half, that he wasn't getting at bats.

I'm also willing to bet that none of them have been hit by a fly ball, or forgot how many outs there were in the inning this season.

So if Bradley replicates his "breakout" July...another 3 HR and 9 RBI's?

Effing great.

Had you been watching the Cubs games during the month of July, you would have noticed it was quite efficient for Bradley to get on base ahead of the #6 hitter.

But now I see you're one of the people who expected Bradley to hit 35 HR's and drive in 100 runs. And while you're at it, you blame Bradley for batting 5th, and not playing enough, since everyone knows it's Bradley, not the manager who makes up the lineup card. Too bad the Cubs didn't get rid of Aramis Ramirez when that ball hit him on the head - that's the sign of a good player, not letting a baseball hit you.

Quick questions: What was the Cubs record in July, and how many runs/game did they score?

Keep the faith!

Nope. Dead wrong.

I'm one of those guys who hoped the Cubs would sign Abreu or Ibanez. Then, upon hearing they signed Bradley, expected him to hit....275/.380/.450...maybe 15-18 HR's...maybe 75 RBI...and get completely overpaid for the next 3 seasons for doing it...and hope he'd play 110-120 games a season.

I'm one of those guys who blame Bradley for being terrible in April and June, and having a decent May and July, with outstanding OBP in July.

I'm one of those guys who think Ramirez has been an integral part of the Cubs for 6 1/2 seasons, who does his job, and, while dinged up, managed to average 141 games from 2004-2008, while hitting 31 HR's and 105 RBI's with 87 runs each season. I will never expect Bradley to put up those kind of numbers...ever.

Milt still can't hit RHP this season...for whatever reason. If they want to hit him 2nd in the order, and let him hit .207/.379/.348 (lefthanded)...hey, go for it.
On most teams, the 5th place hitter should hit 80-100 RBIs...and score some runs...not score 70 runs..and drive in 55.

ESPN projects Bradley's season to .248/.387/.384, with 13 HR, 43 RBI, and 66 runs. I wonder how far off that will be...for $7 million this season.

Of course TRN, I agree on keeping the faith, and being excited by a really good July from the Cubs.

When Bradley sits, it's usually against righty pitchers, since Lou has a hard time watching Bradley trying to hit left-handed.

Of those 9 RBI in July, only 6 were against righty pitchers. Of those 6, one was an HBP on July 11 that drove in a run.

So, 5 RBI swinging the bat from the left side. On July 4th he hit a 2-run shot off of Looper--so 3 RBI swinging lefty from the 5th through the end of the month.

On July 4th he hit a 2-run shot off of Looper--so 3 RBI swinging lefty from the 5th through the end of the month.

HAHAHA. Thanks for the brilliant analysis, telling us that when you take away some of Bradley's RBI, he has less RBI.

Arbitrarily choosing to not count a home run that drove in 3 runs makes your analysis look very, very silly.

Using the quote you used, that's not what was said. He said Bradley had 3 RBIs from the left side from July 5 to the end of the month. He wasn't subtracting any RBIs since he was talking post-HR.

Also, the HR in question drove in two runs, not three.

The 2-run homer drove in 2 runs, like I said.

When you take away the first week of July, you get a pathetic number of lefty-hitting RBI for the remaining three weeks of July.

I didn't remember Bradley having a decent month, certainly not batting lefty, so I tried to look underneath the numbers--not that the 9 RBI were impressive to begin with.

Numbers can be deceiving, as I've tried to remind you several times in connection with Soriano's fielding. Last night our leftfielder welcomed our new starting pitcher to the team by dropping a catchable ball in the first inning. But as usual, he did it off the record. He wasn't charged with an error. Statistically, it didn't happen.

When you take away the first week of July, you get a pathetic number of lefty-hitting RBI for the remaining three weeks of July.

Again, you use arbitrary cutoffs to try and prove your point.

Numbers can be deceiving, as I've tried to remind you several times in connection with Soriano's fielding

You seem to have an inabiltiy to stay on topic, and instead try to bring up old conversations that are irrelevant to the conversation. I have already previously addressed Soriano's poor defense this year, and you know it.

Statistically, it didn't happen.

Huh? First of all, I have NEVER used fielding % or the number of errors as a justification for anyone's defense, so you pretty clearly don't know what you are talking about. Second of all, yes, it still did "statistically" happen. Just because it wasn't an error doesn't mean it "didn't happen." That really shows you know very, very little about defensive statistics, or any statistics at all.

It's just common sense that "error" is the only stat that indicates that a ball was catchable. As far as errors are concerned, infielders are held to a much higher standard than outfielders, which is why Soriano can impersonate an outfielder.

You really have no knowledge of recent advances in defensive metrics, do you?

As I have said before, Soriano has been awful defensively this year. But I also think that he has also been much worse this year than in previous years.

He was never a great outfielder, but in past years he has arguably had decent range and a very good arm, which has mean that he has had some value as an outfielder.

Now can we stop bringing up this straw man anytime you disagree with me on something? Because I really don't think that you want me to bring up every time that you have been wrong. Because all I would have to do would bring up 99% of the minor league players that you have liked better than than major league players.

BTW... Bradley only had 20 plate appearances with RISP in July; it isn't like he has has had a ton of opportunities.

I know that you don't like to deal with reality, but RBI are one of the most team dependent stats that we can talk about. A player isn't going to get many RBI if they don't get many RBI opportunities.

By the way... you should really like Milton Bradley. He hit pretty well in the minors.

I might have liked him earlier in his career.

He hit pretty well at Texas, too, but they let him go and put a rookie in right field.

If he had 20 plate appearances with RISP in July, and he drove in 9 runs, that's not terrible. We'll see if the mini-trend continues. So far he has no RBI in August.

I know that 9 RBI versus 20 RISP opportunities does not mean that he drove in 9 runs in those 20 opportunities: you can drive a runner in from first base, and you can drive yourself in. But the two numbers yield a useful percentage, .450 in this case. That's very close to Micah Hoffpauir's percentage (25 RBI, 56 RISP, .446) for the season. I would say Hoffpauir has had a rough and disappointing season, having to scramble for at-bats.

In general, you don't want to bring up RISP in connection with Bradley. Bradley's RBI versus RISP numbers for the season are 26 RBI, 83 RISP, .313. I looked at Ramirez, Lee, Hoffpauir, Fontenot and Soto, and they were all higher.

Ramirez 33/49, .673
Lee 72/114, .632
Hoffpauir 25/56, .446
Fontenot 35/83, .421
Soto 27/80, .338
Bradley 26/83, .313

Don't get me wrong - Milton Bradley has struggled to get hits and drive runners in with RISP. No one has denied that. But as I pointed out below, his BABIP is .244 in those situations, well below his overall BABIP this year and his career BABIP numbers.

Also, the ratio that you use (which I have issues with, but that is for a different post) is way off from his career numbers, which would make us think that it is an outlier that will not continue.

Snark from Vin Scully calling last night's Brewers/Dodgers game after Bill Hall failed to get to a ball hit to him in the outfield:

"That might have been a catchable ball, but you can only play three of them out there."

Classic. I guess Hart is in bad shape.

Scully is great.

soriano timing his hop rather than soriano tracking the ball to get under it puts a runner on 3rd.

i swear, dusty lets these guys do anything. fire hell with hendry. yeesh.

and gorez/cubs keeps the run from scoring...woo. 1-0 cubs.

no time for parachat but I didn't pay much attention to this guy Gorz whatever during the trade. Is he really kinda good? Or is his slider just working? He looks young. He's wearing one of those dumb choker things so he's obviously under 30.

EDIT: Okay, it's not really a choker, it just looks a lot like the chokers we wore in the 70s.

It's a fucking necklace. A 70's choker-style necklace.

well, this is one of his best starts in his career..and his control was there...and it is vs. a weak CIN team.

he threw a lot of fastballs and little else. he had decent control over all of it.

great start to a cubs career, but i wanna see more vs. a different team.

You didn't explain about the choker/necklace crap. What the fuck is that about? Not even my kid wears that shit.

I hate the fucken Cardinals, how can any team have so much luck? You're a big pussy, K-Rod.

I'm probably different than most Bears fans but at least when Favre was QB I sort of, what. Respected the Pack? Maybe even a little more than that.

But I hate the Cardinals so much my bone marrow expands when I think of them.

Poor Petit. Of all the MLBish hitters that could break up yr no-no with five out to go, it's Ronny Cedeno?

I can't believe we traded Hart for that guy!

Well see above, Crunch isn't convinced. But I saw quite a bit of the game and, Crunch, I didn't see a lot of fastballs. I saw a lot of nice sliders. I don't know shit about the guy other than tonight. His sliders WERE hit hard, but at somebody almost every time. That might be something to think about. And Aram fielded quite a few nicely.

Augh -- Neal, you got me by a few minutes. Shouldna skipped them typing classes.

- I really, really miss Kevin Hark. Harp. Whatever.
- The Mets are clearly trying to throw the game against the Cards. Bud "Whaaa? Hunh?" Selig will get to the bottom of this.
- Why is the 9th inning so different from all the others when it comes to Cubs pitching?

If the bullpen continues to struggle, and Gorzellany looks good beyond one start against the feckless Reds, might Lou entertain the notion of moving Dempster to the bullpen when Lilly returns? It would only be for five weeks, I bet Dempster wouldn't bitch about it. The Cubs have the luxury of having 7 starting pitchers (if you count Marshall) on the roster when Lilly returns, seems like you could move them around some to get maximum results for the good of the team.

Sure looks like a nice trade so far for Jim Hendry, he was due one I guess.

After watching Marshall today Marshall as closer doesn't seem so idiotic.

Guzman was actually okay, too. First inning.

Second inning is when the wheels fell off a little.

Lou has time to replace Gregg.

That's all I'm saying.

He's paid a lot to figure this shit out while we whine and bitch.

Nice to see we have gotten things turned around:

- Cub hitters used to make crap pitchers look like Cy Young.
- Now, Cub relievers make crap hitters look like Babe Ruth in the 9th inning.

Serious question -- what's the scoop on Cashner? A sub-1.00 ERA through 6 starts in AA? Is he starting in order to work on arm strength and secondary pitches? On paper (or a computer screeen), he looks great.

Is Cashner a better prospect at this point than Vitters? If he stays successful as a starting pitcher, I have to think yes. Dominating starting pitchers don't grow on trees, and Cashner has dominated all season long.

I notice Cashner has an unusually high proportion of unearned runs given up: 5 of the 8 runs he's given up are unearned. Some research has shown that RA is a better evaluation of pitcher performance than ERA (at least in the majors), but still his RA is 2.35, which is mighty impressive.

I don't care what the pundits say, I think the Cubs have a number of very interesting prospects in the minors. Vitters, Cashner, Castro, Flaherty, J. Jackson, LaMahieu, Castillo, and some others could all be significant contributors to the big league club in the next 2-3 years. Besides, it doesn't matter as much what they do in the minors, as long as they perfom in the majors - who had Randy Wells, Jake Fox, or Geovany Soto high on their prospect lists a year or two ago?

PS--and Albert with the granny. Thanks Mets!

Uggla'd by the entire Mets organization.

Dear Mets:
you suck.


I swear to God the Mets are throwing this game.

- Bases loaded HBP with 2 outs (DeRo) to force in the go-ahead run.
- Followed by a Pujols grand slam on an 0-2 pitch. Who in their right mind throws Pujols anything remotely hittable on 0-2?

The fix is in.

did any one mention:


do you really need to use every pitcher every night?

are you so fucking senile to remember that sean marshall is a starting pitcher? he can go 2 innings!!! i

we are sunk with this guy. we can barely hold on to a game against the crappy reds. two nights in a row.

Relax Chad. There are Cubs Help Groups.

In case you are not familiar with the process:

Step One: We realized the Cubs suck and we were powerless to stop it.

Gorz's next start is at Coors. That should be a decent test. If the rotation held, he would go v. Pit, @ LAD and v. WAS after that. I'm convinced after tonight. Let the guy work a few games.

Geo Soto 1-3 tonight, 1 HR, 1K -- looks like Tenn in a rain delay. Starlin Castro impressive SS debut with AA Tenn, 2-3, 2 rbi and 1 BB (no errors). Castro listed at 6'1", 160 lbs -- he's no 'idgit, room to grow.

It's probably not a good sign you felt compelled to mention that he made no errors.

The only Barney is probably the only 'prospect' who has a chance of making the big league team this year at short. I was afraid we would see him tonight after Theriot took that one off his wrist.

Castro erred on a toss to second in the ninth when the score was 8-8. It cost them the game, actually.

Submitted by SheffieldCornelia on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 2:59pm.
Per Wittenmyer's Twitter page, Cubs bring up Gorzelanny today and make room for him by putting Andres Blanco on the DL with a calf strain. He also says they'll probably bring Miles back tomorrow and send a pitcher down.


SHEFF: One other thing about Gorzelanny. He is presently on target to accrue enough MLB Service Time (2.160+) to qualify as a "Super Two" for salary arbitration purposes post-2009, UNLESS he spends just one more day on optional assignment to the minors in 2009. That's because he spent 24 days on the Pirates Active List (25-man roster) earlier this season, and if he stays on the Cubs Active List (25-man roster) for the rest of the MLB regular season (through October 4th), he will accrue another 62 days of MLB ST, giving him 86 days of MLB ST in 2009. And a player can only qualify for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" if he accrues at least 86 days of MLB ST in that season. So it will be interesting to see if the Cubs option Gorzelanny out at some point later this month to keep him from qualifying as a "Super Two" post-2009, because it would save the Cubs about $500K in 2010 payroll if they keep him from qualifying for salary arbitration.

Also, Aaron Miles 20-day minor league rehab expired today, so the Cubs can either activate him from th DL, or DFA him (trade or release him), or just leave him on the DL indefinitely (or at least until rostersx expand on 9/1), but he can't play any more games at Iowa. But with Blanco going on the DL, I would think it's a virtual lock that the Cubs will activate Miles tomorrow, and send out either Sam Fuld, Jeff Stevens, or Jeff Samardzija. And then another player will have to get sent down when Geovany Soto is reactivated (as expected) on Friday.

This is fascinating. AZ Phil, I don't know how you know the details of all the transactions, DL moves, service time, options, etc., but it never ceases to amaze me how you can explain roster moves, and even anticipate them to this degree. One more day for Gorzelanny on options and he won't be a Super Two? I'm certain the Cubs will figure out a way to make that happen. Unless - is it possible that the number will move, depending on the service time of the other candidates for Super Two?

One more day?!?!? Would've been WELL worth it to bump up Harden a day and have Gorz start the Wednesday finale.

Now they have to figure out a way to send him back down for a day, or presumably for 10 days. If he keeps pitching like he did last night, it's not going to happen.

I tend to look at these things a bit differently. We're talking about this guy's livelihood, and in baseball your future isn't a certainty. If I were Gorz, I'd be pretty upset if my GM sent me down for a day to fuck me out of an extra $500K.

If every move a GM made were simply about money, and not about keeping his employees happy, Milton Bradley would have been DL'd or benched before ever reaching his 75th game to avoid his 2011 contract.

Maybe Hendry does send Gorz down for a day, but I think that extra $500K means a lot more to Gorzellany than it does to Hendry right now.

I hear you, and I can certainly see it from Gorzelanny's point of view. But it seems like players spend a lot of time in the minors when they shouldn't be there. It's not that much different from a guy who's ready to play in the majors, but they keep him in AAA for the first month to keep his MLB clock from starting, thus avoiding him becoming a Super Two down the road. It just isn't as blatant when it's on the front end.

The other question I'd have would be about free agency - if he doesn't qualify for Super Two, he doesn't get to go to arbitration this year, right? Does that mean his FA eligibility gets pushed back by a year as well? If so, I can see that as another very reasonable excuse to avoid Super Two status.

Hendry seems to have a reputation as a player's GM. I've heard a few quotes from players saying things like he's a real straight shooter, always up front with them, etc. There's definitely some value to that. I'm sure players from different teams talk about these things on occasion, and this is an example of something Hendry could do that could either make a player happy or piss him off.

It depends on how you look at it, but that extra $500K number you've got can be pretty far off. If he's a 4th starter type the difference between one year of arbitration and one year of free agent salary can be more like $5 million, and that doesn't count the time value of the money.

anything is possible, but Gorz doesn't really have a roster spot when Lilly gets off the DL, so this whole Super-Two thing shouldn't be much of an issue.

Submitted by Iowa Cub on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 9:09pm.
I don't care what the pundits say, I think the Cubs have a number of very interesting prospects in the minors. Vitters, Cashner, Castro, Flaherty, J. Jackson, LaMahieu, Castillo, and some others could all be significant contributors to the big league club in the next 2-3 years. Besides, it doesn't matter as much what they do in the minors, as long as they perfom in the majors - who had Randy Wells, Jake Fox, or Geovany Soto high on their prospect lists a year or two ago?


IOWA CUB: Speaking of Jake Fox, I heard on the ESPN Cubs-Reds game broadcast last night (or maybe it was the Reds feed) that the Cubs are planning to send Jake Fox to the AZ Instructional League post-2009 to learn to play second-base.

Jake Fox at second?? That almost sounds like a joke. I'm as big of a believer in the guy as anyone, but he already seems stretched at 3B or LF. I can't imagine him having the agility/quickness it takes to play 2B. But hey, I suppose it's worth a try. The worst that can happen is we find out that he can't do it. The best case scenario is we get a guy who can hit .300/.360/.520 and play a respectable 2B for near the league minimum.

Sounds like the Cubs are really trying to make Jake Fox into Mark DeRosa. You know, like Mark DeRosa jumbo. His value would definitely be more on the offensive than the defensive side, but they clearly intend to make him an option at 3rd, 2nd, 1st, LF, RF (and Catcher?), which were DeRo positions during his tenure as a Cub. It'd be great if we could just put him in one of those positions and leave him there, but we have star-ish players at all of the corners and he'd be very stretched at either 2nd or Catcher (where we also have a star-ish player).

Brewers successfully moved Casey McGeehee, a 3rd/1B/C in the Cubs organization, to 2nd base. Schumaker moved from OF to 2nd. Didn't KC move Mark Teahan from OF (previously 3B) to 2B? So, similarly strange things have happened.

Is Fox too big to be gritty?

Yes. But he can be both "tough" and "a real gamer."

He's both too big and hits with too much power to be "gritty" or "scrappy" or to "show a lot of hustle."

Submitted by Iowa Cub on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 9:16pm.

This is fascinating. AZ Phil, I don't know how you know the details of all the transactions, DL moves, service time, options, etc., but it never ceases to amaze me how you can explain roster moves, and even anticipate them to this degree. One more day for Gorzelanny on options and he won't be a Super Two? I'm certain the Cubs will figure out a way to make that happen. Unless - is it possible that the number will move, depending on the service time of the other candidates for Super Two?


IOWA CUB: Ther are two aspects in regards to determining if a player qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two." One is that the player MUST accrue at least 86 days of MLB Service Time in that season (and that's a hard & fast rule), and the other has to do with the player being in the top 17% in MLB Service time of players who have accrued at least two years of MLB Service Time but less than three years.

Historically, the cut-off point for MLB ST for players qualifying for "Super Two" status is right around 2.130 MLB ST, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a little bit more (it's never been less than 2.120). But at 2.160+ MLB ST, Gorzelanny is a lock to qualify as long as he accrues the 86 days he needs in 2009. And he projects right at 86 days right now AS LONG AS he doesn't spend one more day on optional assignment to the minors in 2009.

Gotcha - it's the 86 days of service time this season that he's up against. I think that even further supports the theory of the Cubs' intentions to block his attainment of Super Two status. This is probably why he was optioned to Iowa right away instead of brought to the Cubs, and then brought in today to replace an "injured" player. If they hadn't done it this way, they would have had to have optioned him 3 or 4 days earlier at the end of August, which would have caused a problem with the rotation, under the best-case scenario that he pitches well and remains in the rotation.

Two other things to keep in mind about potential Cubs roster moves this month...

Neal Cotts (who is out for the year after undergoing season-ending TJS last month) will almost certainly be recalled from his optional assignment sometime before September (probably August 31st) and be placed on the Cubs 15-day DL. (He is presently on the Iowa DL). By doing this (recalling Cotts from Iowa and placing him on their MLB DL prior to 9/1), the Cubs will get a second post-season roster-exemption (Chad Fox is the other one), allowing the Cubs to exchange a 12th pitcher for a 14th position player, and/or exchange a starting pitcher for a reliever, and/or exchange a lefty reliever for a righty reliever (or vice-versa), and/or add a DH bat for the WS (presuming the Cubs get that far), depending on match-ups (the rosters can be altered before each series).

And David Patton recently suffered a setback in his minor league rehab at AA Tennessee (he aggravated his groin injury) and might be shut-down for the season, and if so, that would give the Cubs three post-season roster-exemptions, providing tremendous roster flexibilty from post-season series-to-series.

Can we please start calling Jake Fox Mark DeRosa Jumbo from now on?

Submitted by Iowa Cub on Wed, 08/05/2009 - 9:55am.
The other question I'd have would be about free agency - if he doesn't qualify for Super Two, he doesn't get to go to arbitration this year, right? Does that mean his FA eligibility gets pushed back by a year as well? If so, I can see that as another very reasonable excuse to avoid Super Two status.


IOWA CUB: Having qualified for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" earlier in his career has no bearing on a player's opportunity to be a free-agent once he has accrued six years of MLB Service Time. Qualifying as a "Super Two" merely gives a player a chance to make more money a year earlier than he otherwise would if he had to wait until he had accrued at least three years of MLB ST (which automatically qualifies a player for salary arbitration).

Also, requiring a player to accrue at least 86 days of MLB Service Time in a season in order to qulaify for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" is NOT a requirement for players who have accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time. Any player on a 40-man roster who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and who is not signed for the following season and who is not eligible to be a free-agent is eligible for salary arbitration, even if the player spends the entire season on optional assignment to the minors. 

An interesting case is Neal Cotts (who underwent TJS surgery last month). Cotts had accrued 4.028 days of MLB ST going into the 2009 season, and while he will be eligible for salary arbitration post-2009 even though he has spent most of the season on optional assignment to Iowa, he needed to accrue at least 144 days of MLB ST in 2009 in order to stay on target to be eligible to be a free-agent post-2010, and there is no way he will accrue 144 days in 2009, Now, he probably will get non-tendered (and become a free-agent) on 12/12 because the Cubs won't want to go to arbitration with a pitcher who will miss most of the 2010 season rehabbing, but even if he had stayed healthy, he would have had his free-agency delayed by a year (becoming a FA post-2011 instead of post-2010) because he spent too much time in the minors this year. .  

Mike Fontenot is the other Cubs player who will likely qualify for salary arbitration post-2009 as a "Super Two." Fontenot will have accrued 2.139 MLB ST by the end of this season (and that should make him a "Super Two," although it's not as certain as Gorzelanny), as long as he avoids spending 20 or more days on optional assignment to the minors this season. (If a player spends less than 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in a given season, the player gets credit for a full season of MLB ST and does not use up an option year)..

So if Fontenot were to get optioned to Iowa for at least 20 days this season, his projected accrued MLB ST by the end of the 2009 season would go below 2.120, and he would very likely NOT be eligible for salary arbitration a a "Super Two," and the Cubs would save about $500K in 2010 payroll. Of course there is a difference between playing without Fontenot for three weeks just to save $500K in 2010 payroll versus sending Gorzelanny down (between starts) at the end of August to save $500K in 2010 payroll.


He's hitting .203 with RISP (59 ABs) this year. It'd be nice if he did better than .203 in the opportunities he does get.

Of course, he also only has a .244 BABIP in those situations, and has a .422 OBP. But lets just focus on batting average, because it tells us so much in an 83 plate appearance sample size.

All I said is that it'd be nice if he could hit better than .203 with RISP. .203 sucks no matter how you sabre-slice it. Obviously, the .422 OBP helps. But wouldn't anyone want better than .203 with RISP? I guess that's just me.

Well... considering that the .244 BABIP is a) below his 2009 overall BABIP (.300), b) his career BABIP (.322), and c) his career BABIP with RISP (.301), it would appear that a decent part of the .203 would be a lot of bad luck.

That's a good point! Of course...if MB would go up to the plate with RISP looking to swing at an effing pitch instead of looking to walk, he might drive some in.

I'm all for OBP, taking bad pitches...but he sure likes to take borderline strikes at all costs..swinging only at the perfect waist high, outside corner 85-88 MPH pitch that he can drive to left-center.

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  • Hate to give the Mets credit, but they did everything right tonight in what had to be a very tough game for them to play. As Hollandsworth said on the Cubs post-game -- if you watched the game, you saw Mets players consoling Marlins players who were in tears during the game. Between that and the way Molina handled the Ross farewell -- maybe the Mets and Cardinal players aren't pure evil. Just the fans.

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