TCR Friday Notes

- Chone Figgins loves his Orange County Angels.

"...when you find a home, you want to stay here. I love what this
organization is all about -- winning, playing hard. I love being here."


- The Peoria Chiefs dominated the Midwest League this season to the tune of 81-57, then proceeded to get swept out of the best of 3 playoff series by the Cedar Rapid Kernels (Angels). It's important to have an organizational philosophy that runs through the entire system.

In Game 1, Jovan Rosa hit a game-tying two run home run in the 9th, only to see Peoria lose 6-4 in 10 innings.

In Game 2, the Chiefs led 8-7 heading into the 9th and turned to bonus baby, Chris Huseby. And in spectacular Cubbery fashion, he walked two to lead-off the inning, then got the next two outs, then a wild pitch, another walk to load them up, another walk to tie up the game and a hit-by-pitch to finish off the season. Final line for Huseby on the night: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP.

- As for Tennessee, they played Game 1 last night against Huntsville (Brewers) and were up 2-1 in the 8th when Marcos Mateo served up a 3-run shot to get saddled with the loss. Tyler Colvin hit one out for the Cubs earlier. Casey Coleman takes the mound tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-5 series.

- Gordon Wittenmyer continues his assault on the coveted, "Worst Beat Writer in Sports." Today he blames Bud Selig for the Cubs missing the playoffs and explains how the Colorado Rockies have benefited from interleague play and how if they didn't enjoy that 11-4 record in interleague games, they would still be in first place in the wild card standings. Wait. Check's article. Yup, that's exactly what he demonstrated.

Consider the current NL wild-card standings (before Florida’s late game Thursday night):

Colorado 81-60 —

San Francisco 76-64 4.5

Florida 74-65 6

Cubs 71-67 8.5

Now look what happens when only National League games are included:

Colorado 70-56 —

San Francisco 67-58 2.5

Florida 64-57 3.5

Cubs 65-58 3.5

- Cubs vs. Reds at Wrigley today. Justin "Shutout" Lehr vs. Rich "Farewell Cubs Tour" Harden. I just hope beyond hope that Bobby Scales gets to start another game.


I like how the level of snarkiness is direct inverse of the Cubs playoff chances, even if some of it may be aimed at me.

Glad to hear that Figgins doesn't want to go anywhere. That signing would just be a PR band-aid, and probably leave us with another contract we can't get rid of in two years.'re the victim...

My mother must not have loved me enough when she taught me to make sense. Should I give yours a call?

I can see why he likes Milton so much....two peas in a pod.

I don't like Bradley, I think he's a racist ass.

What I am able to do, is separate my opinion of his personality from my opinion on his skill as a ballplayer.

I am done debating you, or anyone else on Milton Bradley. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine.

Go Cubs 2010!!!!

His skill as a baseball player sucked this year.

But i wasn't the one comparing him to Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Ichiro. So i guess your opinion about Miltons skills isn't really worth that much.

Actually you were comparing him to those players, the irony of course is that you didn't realize it. Mickey Mantle a 4th outfielder....

I also asked you a series of questions about Bradleys career that you have yet to answer.

Go ahead start ticking off all the times Bradley ever put up seasons like the people you mentioned. I will patiently await your silence.

True or false. You said you can identify whether a player is starting caliber based on the number of at bats.

True or false. You went on to say that a starting outfielder should get 600 at bats in a season.

True or false. The players listed seldom if ever had 600 at bat seasons.

I glossed over that thread but did read a little bit of it. So, correct me if I'm wrong, then, but I took MikeC's point as being that a starting OF should be durable, someting Bradley hasn't been most of his career. Perhaps total ABs wasn't the best way to illustrate it, but bringing up Bonds, Mantle, etc., to snarkily refute it probably wasn't the best way to do so.

Again, I may be way off base.

I don't know what his point was. But when a player walks or gets a HBP in 20% of his PA's, using a statistic that discounts that is well... not optimal for reasoned analysis.

I was thinking about this and came to a realization. AB's is really a stupid stat. It's only function is to calculate batting average, which is a relatively useless stat. It would make more sense, and probably produce a more meaningful number to illustrate H/PA's than H/AB's.

H/AB is a quality of contact stat at this point. it's good for looking at specific types of players and investigating afterwards where those hits/outs spray on the field.

it's not a top tier stat anymore, f'sure...but it's got it's uses. there's a lot of ways to be a .330-.350 ob% hitter.

Ichiro and Bonds had very similar batting averages.

You like ABs well enough when you're computing SLG. That's how Bonds slugged .812 in 2004, the year he drew 232 walks.

Ichiro had more total bases that year.

I would say throw it out entirely. Just use PA's. Total bases/PA hits/PA etc. At bats only tells you what a player did when they got a hit or made an out, unless there were some extenuating circumstances, then sometimes the outs don't even count. It's a stupid statistic.

But if we don't use ABs in computing slugging percentage, and don't factor BBs in, then we penalize patient players. That's the use of ABs, limited though it may be. ABs are only useful in light of other information and are almost never useful on their own.

You should penalize patient players when talking about slugging. When you're taking walks, you're not slugging, you're taking walks.

If I want to know how likely a guy is going to drive in a run from first in a given plate appearance - which stat are you going to give me?

But clearly that's not what slugging percentage is best at measuring. A stat that would measure that would be great. Maybe it could be a measurement of extra base hits with a runner on first/ plate appearances with a runner on first.

I find slugging percentage useful.

However, I wouldn't mind counting the base on balls and the HBP as a sort of secondary total base. For example, a modification of slugging percentage that uses TB + BB + HBP / PA. There would be issues with this too that would necessitate using it in only certain arguments, such as it penalizes a player for collecting a sacrifice or, in some cases, a walk is not as good as a single, such as with a runner on 2nt or 3rd without runners behind him (but there are similar problems with counting infield hits the same as single up to the outfield).

Basically, it helps knowing how a stat is calculated and what in measures in making an argument.

PS--There have been some studies on whether patient players really waste RBI opportunities. I remember reading one by THT a few years ago that demonstrated that Abreu, despite collecting a ton of walks, actually managed to be an above average RBI guy in relation to the number and quality of opportunities he had. Dunn, on the other hand, sucked. Wish I could link to it.

What is slugging percentage best at measuring? The arbitrary nature of it's denominator ruins it as a truly useful statistic.

You can look at the BP stats to see how good guys are at driving in runs (sort of), though I think that lineup position has a larger share of that success than most people have imagined. If you look at the guys with high RBI%'s they almost uniformly hit 3 and 4th. Obviously there is some chicken and egg there, but I imagine that a #4 hitter comes up with runners on 3rd and no or 1 outs more often than a 5 or 6 hitter, particularly in the NL.

Abreu has been very good this year, despite his lack of HR's. He's been derided for a long time about being a stat guy, but according to BR's leverage stats, he tends to very well when it's important, including stealing bases.

if you're trying to figure out how to compare bonds and ichiro you're not going to need BA unless you care that much about quality of contact.

end-all-be-all stats SUCK. they just suck.

you get a player type and work with the stats that separate similar players from each other.

quality of contact for ichiro and bonds you could look into if you want to ignore power...which would be a horrible starting point, imo.

It was just an example. You can't really look at BA and know much of anything - other than the guy probably wasn't over matched for the league, but you can get that from OBP.

Player A: 480 AB's, .281 batting average
Player B: 433 AB's, .284 batting average

What do you know about these two players based on that stat? They seem to be relatively similar hitters. Player A has 36 HR's and 157 K's. Player B has 5 HR's and 33 K's. Totally dissimilar hitters, but this stat leads you to believe they're close approximations.

Now if you looked at hits/PA you get:
Player A: .229
Player B: .249

Which would give you a better indication of their ability to put the bat on the ball.

you're ignoring everything ive said about it's use.

You didn't articulate yourself very well if you think I ignored you.

The question is: What is hits/divided by (PA-HBP-BB-SF-S) good for? The only answer I can think of is 'not a helluva a lot'. Even the thing you mentioned about hit charts would be better served by using BABIP, which at least makes an effort to align numerator and denominator.

"you get a player type and work with the stats that separate similar players from each other."

then you give an example with a power hitter and a non-power hitter.

To what advantage?

3 guys, .330-.340 ob%...low walks...low power...makes their living off putting balls into play. pick 1.

drag out spray chart (outs/hits/fouls/etc) and see where they're making their living.

there's a lot of these non-sexy non-fantasy players out there who's stats don't explain themselves...just point in a direction worth investigating.

But simply dividing hits by PA's still gives you what you need anyway.


-edit- also, meh.

BA isn't even a reliable measure of quality of contact in Ichiro's case, since his approach depends so much upon being 3 steps down the line when he puts the bat on the ball. But in many other cases it is more reliable, even if it is slightly corrupted by infield hits. Remember Matt Murton's batting average in 2006? He couldn't rely on those high choppers to third the next year.

BA isn't a measure of quality of contact on it's own. That along with a spray chart will tell you a bit, though.

quality of contact is just 1 thing you'd use to gauge a player.

i'm just saying how it's used in this era by people who actually use it to judge players. it's not even a major comparative stat, but it has it's place when trying to sort all these low-bb guys that live off their averages.

A dependable productive OFer should get you near 600 AB's in a season. In fact that is true for a great many baseball players.

I love using Bobby Abreu as a sample, because he walks alot like Bradley, and he hits for average, but his power is middle of the road.

Lots of 570, 580 AB seasons, and a couple 600 AB ones. Thats a dependable productive OFer.

A young middle of the order threat like Markakis on a crappy team gets 637, 595, and currently sitting at 560 for this season in AB's.

And my exact quote was "Get a real RF who approaches 600 AB's in a season" Your response was to throw out a 200 walk Bonds season (something Bradley has never done) and using Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle (again Bradley has never done anything in his career approaching their seasons). And you know damn well they played shorter seasons than they currently do and yet they all still managed to get more AB's on a consistent basis than Bradley.

The typical everyday RF (or any player) does approach 600 AB's in season, all you need is the web address from Baseball Reference to verify this.

But i do notice how you answered a question with another question and thus avoided answering mine. I have been so gracious as to answer yours. So why dont you go ahead and tick off all the times Bradley bested the best players in the game at the things i listed.

What things did you list? He lead the league in OBP - the single most important offensive ratio, as well as OPS and OPS+ - just like Williams and Ruth and Bonds used to.

Of course, that doesn't matter to you because everything you need to know about baseball you learned from the back of a 1974 Topps baseball card... oh wait, did those have walks and OBP on it? Those things, I've learned here at TCR, are not important.

But you still don't get it, do you? Just because a player doesn't have 700 PA's in a season, doesn't mean they should be a bench player or be relegated to a reserve role, or whatever cockamamee plan you have for Bradley. The player that gives the team the best chance to win on a given day should be the guy who starts. On the 2009 Cubs and most likely on the 2010 Cubs, that means that when Bradley is healthy, he should be in the lineup.

It's really great that you used Bobby Abreu as an example. Bobby Abreu just came off of a 5 year $65 million contract. Bradley doesn't make that much. If he played 158 games every year, he would.

Call me crazy, but I would like a Cubs team composed of the guys who give us the best chance to win, regardless of their ability to accrue at meaningless stat like at bats. We could probably trade Bradley for Juan Pierre, is that what you want? That guy can get 700 at bats in a season.

Call me crazy, but I would like a Cubs team where the players we depend most on can stay healthy. Do you not consider durability to be a factor to consider?

You keep attacking people's stats when the sole point is that you shouldn't depend on someone who has played one full season his entire career. Perhaps you are an optimist and believe that Bradley just hit a run of bad luck (though the fact that some of his games were lost to suspension slightly limits that point). The rest of us believe that depending on him to play a full productive season is an unrealistic dream.

You know I argued with Manny for many years with the style you are using.

I know you read it because you added Ichiro to your list and a few people took you to the wood shed for using Ruth, Mantle etc. Now suddenly you don't remember it, and if you don't acknowledge it, then it means it never existed. Its a cute game of denial.

I could post the list again for you, but then you would disappear from this thread and show back up in a new one and claim ignorance again.

I simply want to know out of that list how many times Bradley bested the best players of all-time? Only then will you recognize the stupidity of your arguement. But my guess is with your sudden influx of amnesia you have already figured it out.

I try not to argue lost causes, but I'll give this one more attempt since everyone is confusing their Milton Bradley hate with a valid point that Neal was making...

a) Everyone and their mother gets that Milton is an injury risk, you, nor anyone else didn't break any new ground there

b) You made a few arguments over a span of a few weeks using Milton's at-bats instead of PA's and comparing him to other OF's and Reed Johnson, which is disingenuous.  Because if you used his PA's, while your main your point that Milton has been injured a lot in his career (wow, thanks) isn't quite as dramatic because he moves up a bit on those lists and certainly the comparision to Reed Johnson in 2008 would have never been made.

c) Neal then pointed out the fallacy of using AB's instead of PA's in a dramatic fashion and never once compared Milton's accomplishments to Mantle, Ruth or Williams, other than to say that if you're just going to look at AB's instead of PA's as your barometer, you're going to miss out on a lot of players that walk a Milton Bradley.

Moral of the story, use PA's instead of AB's, especially if you're trying to make any sort of point about a player that walks a lot.

and with that I'm done...

I was stating that Bradley has never performed as a starter, nor has he ever been healthy enough to be a starter. He doesn't play enough, nor does he hit enough to be considered a starter.

All you need to do is look at his career, and his production for evidence of this. One 500 AB season, one 400 AB season (should have 2 after this year).

My arguement was to bump him down to 4th OFer and get a real RFer. Because a 400 or a 300 AB starting RFer is no better than a Reed Johnson who is an actual 4th OFer.

The main disconnect is in the belief that Milton Bradley is good enough and healthy enough to be a starting RFer, which i don't think he is even close to. Nor has Bradley ever proven himself to be reliable with his health or his production.

So in closing, why depend on Milton to get you 400 AB's and produce like a Reed Johnson when you can depend on someone else and let Milton get 300 AB's in a reserve role and stop trying to make him into something he clearly isn't and never was. The best you can manage is 300-400 AB's??!!? Yeah your a reserve OFer, might as well make the title official and get someone capable of handling the job.

We don't play in 1952, he doesn't walk 200 times, and he isn't Ichiro. If your going to start in this league in this day and age you better damn well be durable enough to get something approaching 600 AB's on a consistent basis. If Bradley can't do that, find someone that can. Because no one gives a shit about a high OBP middle of the order hitter who maxes out at around 400 AB's and sits below 50 RBI in September. Very back up worthy numbers from your starting RFer. Get someone else to play the position, put Bradley where he belongs on the bench 50% of the time. As a starter he only plays 60% of the time (at best) whats the big deal?

Yes, but your argument makes no sense. When he's going right he's one of the top 10% players in the game, therefore he should play. That's the end of it. The reason he doesn't have 700 PA seasons is because he gets hurt, not because anyone in their right minds thinks he belongs on the bench.

When does everything go right? Right there your arguement crumbles.

25 man roster x 30 teams=750 players in MLB.

You are saying that Milton is one of the top 75 in baseball? Only once in his career has he had a season of what could be looked at as being one of the top 75 in the league(2008). ONCE. He is mediocrity with a horrible attitude and a rather large paycheck.

Can I just ask, why do you continue to insist on using ABs without incorporating PAs?

I don't get it. That would force TRN and others to respond to what I think is your main point, that Bradley doesn't play enough to be considered a true starter. I'm not saying I necessarily agree with that stance...

Anyway, I'm curious about this particular use of statistics.

[Edit: Didn't mean to insinuate that nobody responded to this argument, just that those responses were delayed by a debate regarding ABs and PAs that lasted way longer than I thought it would.]

Because it doesn't really matter whether you use PA or AB's when discussing Bradley. The fact is he will not put up the RBI or Runs to be a meaningful OFer nor will he ever be healthy enough.

The PA is an attempt to hide Milton's faults behind his walks. But thats easily dismissed when you show players like Abreu or Nick Markakis who can take walks as well and still get to 600 AB's.

Thanks, MikeC.

The PA is an attempt to hide Milton's faults behind his walks. But
thats easily dismissed when you show players like Abreu or Nick
Markakis who can take walks as well and still get to 600 AB's.

The PA is an attempt to bring you to the 21st century. Everyone already knows he's been hurt most of his career, the only thing you demonstrated is you either don't know what a PA is or can't read.

I say everyone goes to Parachat for todays game for old times sake! We can tell our favorite Dusty stories, bitch about Bobby Scales playing LF.......basically its just cold and lonely in there.....

That's what she said! YES! *double fist pump*

I don't understand - Figgins on the 2010 Cubs just makes very little sense to me. His versatility is wasted on an overpaid outfield and regular 3B. So he plays second, he steals less bases for Lou than Nuclear Mike, and a lot of his triples become double. And that's worth a multi-year contract? It seems to me like the cheapness known as Baker/Fontenot fits what should be the Cubs' M.O. - work with the guys you have under contract, and since there won't be a lot of $ available presumably, spend it where it will be most effective.

... Which brings me to the bullpen. Any talk of the Cubs doing a multi-year deal this winter almost definitely must start at closer, in my opninion. I like don't love Jose Valverde, who's probably getting a 3-year deal. I could live with a one-year job for someone like Fernando Rodney, who may be Kevin Gregg in Tigers' clothing. And don't rule out Brett Myers, who's about to get a great audition to demonstrate his bullpen stuff.

Figgins does have a .401 OBP this year (and is hitting .353 with RISP).

Ummmm we have some scrub named Carlos Marmol as our closer.....he is cheap and the league only hits .158 off him. Yeah we dont need a closer.

OK, so Marmol should be closer. Who's going to set him up? Not a lot of guys on this year's team.

If the Cubs give a multi-year deal, it should be for a *high-quality relief pitcher*.

Literal enough for you?

Rich Harden with a 120 pitch 1st inning...

Nice name-check for TLFC on the L&B show. I don't think Bob liked the Magnum reference, haha.


c'mon scrubbies...

ESPN's Jayson Stark talked to GM's and execs about next year's starting pitching crop of free agents. Harden was one subject...

Rich Harden: "I'd be scared to death to commit years to this guy," one AL exec said. "He's been used kind of like Pedro [Martinez] was used in the past, where they're always trying to build in an extra day's rest. And he's just a five-inning guy, in the National League. He might strike out 10, but he'll only go five innings, so he still kills your 'pen. He'll get some money. I just don't see anybody giving him more than a year."

except maybe Jim Hendry, who should be fired on the spot if he even attempts to re-sign Harden. Let the guy walk and open a spot up for Mitch Atkins or another kid, or put Marshall or Gorz back in the rotation. Even on a good day Harden taxes the bullpen. From a business standpoint, and building a team on paper, that makes no sense, especially for the money he'll ask for.

In 24 starts Harden has completed the 6th inning 15 times.

One thing not a lot of people realize is it's just as easy to go deep into AL games. You don't get the pitchers to face, but you don't get pulled for pinch hitters either. The AL has 2 fewer CG's this year, for example (2 fewer teams).

jake fox...i mean bobby scales pinch hits and smacks a double.

time for him to take over LF full time.


Extend Hendry!!!

Following the win, ESPN now has Cubs' playoff probability at 0.8%.

If I am calculating it correctly, the Rockies magic number to eliminate the Cubs is 15.

Well, if you want to be cruel about it . . . 15 Rockies wins gets them to 96 wins, which the Cubs can't get to even if they win out.

Of course, in terms of the wild card standings, the Rockies could overtake the Dodgers (which looks increasingly possible: the Rockies have made up about 12 games on LA since the beginning of June), which would mean that 15 Rockies wins might not eliminate the Cubs, since that would mean that the Dodgers had dropped from first.

On June 5, 2009, the Cubs were 27-25. Colorado was 22-32. Since then, the Rockies have gone 59-28, while the Cubs have gone 45-42.

You forgot the bit about the Cubs needing to win all their games for that to come into play. The Dodgers magic number to beat the Cubs is 13, though. Let's just keep track of the WC leader. Cards are at 12.

7-3 over the last 10 games, and we lost two games in the standings.

For that matter, the Phillies could also drop back. They only have 79 wins (and a five game lead on Florida). The point is that 15 Colorado wins do not necessarily eliminate the Cubs.

It's sort of like the time they did Peter Pan on TV when I was a kid. I think Mary Martin played Peter. Tinkerbell was dying, and Peter Pan said that if all the kids watching believed and clapped their hands, Tinkerbell would not die. You didn't clap your hands, did you?

I'm not that old.

I don't see how the Phillies have anything to do with the Cubs, though. The Cubs are going to have to pass the Cardinals or the Rockies to make the playoffs, at a minimum. Yes there are other teams they would have to pass on their way up the standings.

That's just not true.

Suppose the Rockies do win 15 AND the Cardinals win 13. If the Dodgers win 11 or fewer and the Giants win 18 or fewer, then, depending on what happens in the East, the Cubs could get in if they win out. It is a very slim possibility, I'll grant you, but they do not have to overtake the Rockies or the Cardinals.

That's just not true, because the Marlins could win out and the Cubs could finish in 2nd behind the Phillies.

The Cubs are going to have to pass the Rockies, or the wild card leader, who are now the Rockies, or the Cardinals.

Now you're just changing what you said.

"It's sort of like the time they did Peter Pan on TV when I was a kid. I think Mary Martin played Peter. Tinkerbell was dying, and Peter Pan said that if all the kids watching believed and clapped their hands, Tinkerbell would not die. You didn't clap your hands, did you?"

I DIDN'T clap because I was too pissed off that they had Peter Pan being played by a woman. Like they thought I wouldn't notice -- "These dumb kids will believe anything". I knew damn well that Peter Pan was a boy and she was a woman and I wasn't going to believe a damn thing she said about "Tinkerbell" (if that really was her name). I learned early on that adults will try to get kids to believe ANYTHING, no matter how preposterous.

I'm still bitter.

I clapped. I believed. Bitch wasn't going down on MY watch.

Good for you! We need people like you on that wall. Truly.

cubs suck

Just not as much as the Reds or Pirates.

Woo, we are the tallest midget!

Didn't realize that the NFL player's association is no longer abiding by their contracts. It could lead to a season of FFA on PED's unless certain courts and legislatures extract their heads from their asses.

Cubster and I out at the "Park" today.

I am glad personally that I upped my record to 3-12, from 2-12.

JEff Stevens??

So - why, at the league min., could Blanco or Scales have been the 25th man instead of one Aaron Mild?

What a fucking awful signing.

Damn, 3-12? Now we know the real reason the Cubs tanked this year. You realize that they're winning percentage in games you didn't attend is .717?

I think technically Gathright was the 25th man.

So the idiot from the Sun Times blames Bud Selig for implementing interleague play and the Cubs not making the playoffs, but when interleague play is removed the Cubs still don't make the playoffs. What a genius. The guy also doesn't mention that the Cubs get to play 15 games a year vs. the Pirates, which Colorado doesn't get to do, plus another 15 vs. Cincy.

I would take those teams over the Padres. The Pads are the worst team in the league.

Colorado is 8-4 vs. Padres, Cubs are 9-2 vs. Pirates. You play who you play, it's not the Cubs fault the Pirates have sucked for 17 years, or the Rockies fault the Padres currently suck. It's not Bud Selig's fault the Rockies have a better interleague record than the Cubs this year, or a better record vs. the NL than the Cubs this year. Teams control their own fate.

in games that matter...

3-1 Tennessee in the 6th, Colvin 1-2 with an IBB and a K

we have a league leader (of sorts)...

Defensive Runs Saved Leaders—Catchers
(2009 through September 10)
Player Runs Saved
Koyie Hill 8
Rob Johnson 8
Yadier Molina 4
Russell Martin 4
Kenji Johjima 4
Miguel Montero 4
Jeff Mathis 4
Joe Mauer 4
David Ross 4
Eliezer Alfonzo 4

"each catcher pickoff is estimated to save the team .46 runs"

isn't that special.

They could at least break it down by the runner's base. .46 runs is pretty arbitrary.

BP likes Hill's defense as well, not as much as it likes Yadier Molina's though.

Does anybody else find it funny that Koyie and Rob Johnson top this list? Who the hell is Rob Johnson? I'm sure most non-Cub fans have a similar question regarding Koyie. They are the only two complete no-names on the list, and they're tops.

a bit off subject (and a bit on subject since he's the leader in their weird points assignments)...

ignoring all batting, y.molina has no peer. he's kinda amazing all-around, from knowing his pitchers to scaring the hell out of base runners.

Tennessee wins 3-1, tie the series at 1 apiece.

C. Coleman, J. Adduci and I'm assuming the defense were the heroes as Coleman went 7.1 IP, with only 4 H, 1 K, 0 BB and just the 1 ER.

here's the Tenn box score

Cards lose 1-0 to Atlanta. So ends one of the uglier streaks in Cub history (not gaining any ground on Stl since early august)

Congrats to MJ on the HOF and for taking a shot at Jerry Krause in his speech. Made my day.

Soriano not leading off next year...

because he's gonna need a people mover to run the bases next year?
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Friday that even if Soriano returns completely healthy next spring that he won't return to the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

"No, no, no, that's over with," Piniella said emphatically. "No, we're not going to do that.

Wow. Sort of sad that it took his injury/slump for Lou to not be afraid to do his job.

I am alright with Fukudome/Bradley/Lee/Ramirez/Soriano/Soto/2ndbase/Theriot. It groups the two or two of three left handed bats, but it's also going to give the 3/4/5 guys a cakewalk to 100 RBI's.

soriano shouldn't have led off the past 2 years. big deal.

absolutely retarded to waste a RBI doubles/homer hitter like that...especially when he has 15sb tools.

Iowa Cubs mvp, Chris Robinson? (from the post #83 link)
Question for all our Cub minor league guru's:

What can Robinson expect next year except another year at Iowa?

I suspect it's tough going thru life being remembered as the player obtained from Detroit for Neifi Perez.

Just looking at what you can glean from his stats and splits - he seems interesting. Defense looks pretty solid, but only a mediocre arm. Someone who's seen him play can comment more usefully on that.

The offense was driven by a high BABIP. He hits very few fly balls, and has been a ground ball machine for his career. This year he hit about 20% line drives, so he may be on to something. He had a .373 BABIP, but that wasn't even his career high. You would think that a catcher that gets a high percentage of his hits from ground balls isn't going to do well in the majors (where groundballs are more likely to be outs.

Maybe this is a guy who has figured enough about hitting that he can become a backup. He's not left handed and not a great hitter, so unless his defensive reports are glowing, his MVP season may be his career highpoint.

I went to sleep last night, reasonably hopeful that the Cubs would actually make up a game in the .8% race. It was 1-0 going into the 9th.

I woke up today - Magic Number 14.

reasonably hopeful that the Cubs would actually make up a game...
yeah, Padre closer Heath Bell sucks

Fukudome, Theriot, DLee, ARam, Bradley, Soto, Scales (7), Blanco (4) and Wells

watch Bradley for RISP opportunities?

3 Cubs on this dude's underachiever list including Z.

So where has Jake Fox been, he must be waiting for Ramirez to get a day off.

If Lee keeps playing defense like he has in the first two games of the series, Fox may get his chance as a defensive replacement over at first.

does not look like it's going to be a 5-game winning streak....

Nice game Milton - he's like the missing link to the Cubs' offense.

milton bradley kicked muh dog and it up n' died.

j/k...seriously, if he wasn't an uppity black man and just behaved himself like soriano he'd be better. if you're going to suck you need to step n' fetch with the OF bleacher crowd.

ignore that last paragraph. the bleacher creatures do.

6 LOB?'s like having Soriano bat in the middle of the order.

3 errors helped a lot too today.

2 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, 1 HBP...great job marmol



- Sigh -

Well, after being in-person to watch Marmol's "vintage" appearance on Friday (hitting 99, with great movement), and then watching him shit himself today on TV, I think that his control problems are not making him an ideal choice for closer (Captain Obvious - OK).

The last I looked however, he led the NL in "holds", and he is an upgrade over Kevin Gregg - but still - isn't there some FA available that would be a better pick-up than having Marmol close right now?

To be completely fair - the HP Ump was just terrible and took an important K away from him.

But - imo - Marmol needs more "seasoning" before he is a successful closer.

Jose Valverde, Fernando Rodney, Mike Gonzalez, Brett Myers, Rafael Soriano, Trevor Hoffman.

Does anyone know the minimum number of days a player has to log in their first season to qualify for rookie status? AZ Phil?

to qualify for ROY, a player must not exceed 130 AB's or 50 IP or 45 days on the active roster (DL and post-Sept 1st time does not count)

technically I suppose a player could receive votes in the ROY in 2 seasons if they didn't reach those numbers, but had a monster 130 or less  AB's or 50 IP's or less.


Greg Jeffries, who was maybe the most hyped minor leaguer of my generation famously received RoY votes without using up his eligibility (finished 6th, then 3rd the next year). It would take a real perfect storm of a fantastic 125 AB's and a bunch of shitty competition for it to happen, and I am sure that they would disqualify the guy in year 2 anyway.

Soto has been crushing the ball lately....

Tenn tied 0-0 in 4th, Cashner versus old friend Mark Holliman

Russ Canzler, pinch hit 3 run double with 2 outs in the 4th...

Smokies ahead 3-2

Maestri replaces Cashner in the 5th

5-2 win for the Smokies, up 2-1 in the series

Besides the three-run PH double by Russ Canzler, important contributions to the Tennessee victory by the Smokies "Chicago Connection"...

1. Save by closer Brian Schlitter (Wheaton North HS), who has pitched very well since the All-Star Break after struggling the first-half of the season (Schlitter was the guy the Cubs got from the Phillies for Scott Eyre)...

2. Two hits, two walks, a run scored, and an RBI by CF James Adduci (Evergreen Park HS and son of ex-MLB OF Jim Adduci). Adduci was the replacement player acquired by the Cubs from Florida in the Todd Wellemeyer deal when LHP Zach McCormack was returned to the Marlins as damaged goods. BTW, Adduci has developed into a dcecent MLB 4th OF prospect...


3. 2.1 shutout IP by reliever David Cales (Mt Carmel HS), who has been nails since returning to AA from Daytona last month (15.1 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)...

Schlitter went to Maine South HS in Park Ridge, didn't he?

I'd call them our rival, but I think they beat us at everything but basketball.

I wonder if the Cubs will want to have Andrew Cashner used as a closer in the AFL with the Mesa Solar Sox, with an eye toward giving Cashner a chance to win the Cubs closer job in 2010. He really is basically a two-pitch pitcher (four-seam fastball and hard slider), but his fastbvall runs up to 98 MPH when he throws only one inning, while it stays more in the mid-90's when he starts. He also tends to throw a lot of pitches-per-inning because of the strikeouts.

Submitted by Cubster on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 7:27am.
Iowa Cubs mvp, Chris Robinson? (from the post #83 link)

What can Robinson expect next year except another year at Iowa?


CUBSTER: I guess Chris Robinson might have a future as an MLB back-up catcher, but probably not with the Cubs. I think it's noteworthy that the Cubs did not bring Robinson up to Chicago when Geovany Soto went on the DL with a strained oblique. If there was any time for Robinson to get a shot with the Cubs, that would have been it. But instead the Cubs opted to catch Koyie Hill every day while keeping Jake Fox as an emergency-only back-up.

Robinson did lead the PCL in fielding % for catchers, but he also threw out only 19% oppopsing base-stealers. So while he is a "clean" defender, is not a run-stopper.

He also hit .326, but rarely walked and had only a .346 OBP. He is a line drive hitter who has zero HR power.

I doubt that the Cubs will add Robinson to their 40-man roster post-2009 (C Welington Castillo, OF Tyler Colvin, and LHRP John Gaub are locks to get added, and RHRP Blake Parker and C-1B-LHPH Steve Clevenger have an outside shot), so it's not inconceivable that Robinson could get selected in the December Rule 5 Draft by a club looking for a cheap back-up catcher. Otherwise, there will be a backstop long-jam at Iowa in 2010, with Welington Castillo, Chris Robinson, Steve Clevenger, and Blake Lalli all vying for PT, although both Clevenger and Lalli can play 1B, too.

BTW, Robinson and Iowa Cubs teammatate RHP Vince Perkins are presently playing for Team Canada in the World Cup, As a result, both players left the I-Cubs prior to the end of the PCL season.

Speaking of catchers, I think Michael Brenly is one of the gems in the organization. He's 22 and will be at Daytona next year. He set a record in the Midwest League for fielding percentage by a catcher (.997) with two errors in 87 games. He nailed 44 runners (35% of 80). And he can hit.

I have to believe Blake Parker will go on the 40-man and into the bullpen next season, simply because it would be hard to improve on the season he had this year as a closer at Tennessee and Iowa. He had 22 saves and one blown save at Iowa. Parker gave up 36 hits in 51 innings at Iowa, with 58 Ks. His 27 walks were a tad high.

Ken Rosenthal on his latest video thing says the Cubs could trade Zambrano during the off-season. I'd give you the link but he doesn't give anymore details. He does mention he expects Oswalt and Halladay to be shopped and Oswalt considers Chicago a place to waive his NTC for.

zambrano has a no-trade. he won't waive it to go to the a.l. since he won't bat. cubs won't swap him to the n.l. just my opinion.

perhaps it was just a slow day for mr rosenthal, and he needed to honor a contractural obliagtion.

I'd trade Zambrano to the Cardinals if we could get good value for him.

the only thing you demonstrated is you either don't know what a PA is or can't read.
RosannaDanna: so is PA referring to the Phillies or the Pirates?

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  • J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.

    If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...

    The E-Man 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • Giants scare me. I think you're wrong about Bumgarner, he would pitch on short rest for Game 2 and then full rest for Game 5. Cueto would go Game 1, then short rest in game 4. Add in some really tough outs in that lineup and I want nothing to do with them. With that rotation they can easily steal a series.

    Cards are a tough matchup. The rivalry evens out their comparable lack of talent. And like someone said, they love HRs, which is how to beat the Cubs. The upside is that I would feel really good about Lester twice against STL.

    John Beasley 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er

    zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8

    heyward 0-4 :(

    crunch 14 hours 55 min ago view
  • Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales

    Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says

    crunch 17 hours 32 min ago view
  • Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.

    I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.

    The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.

    I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.

    The E-Man 17 hours 52 min ago view
  • I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.

    With that said in reverse order:
    3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.

    2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.

    blockhead25 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • 1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
    2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
    3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.

    Charlie 20 hours 18 min ago view
  • Who's asking?

    jacos 20 hours 20 min ago view
  • #TeamEntropy

    CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.

    Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.

    Rob G. 20 hours 29 min ago view
  • I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.

    johann 21 hours 16 min ago view
  • any opponent preference for NLDS?

    Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.

    Rob G. 21 hours 38 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Can't teach height and thinness

    jacos 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 1 day 14 hours ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should something like it.

    crunch 1 day 14 hours ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 1 day 14 hours ago view