Cubs Week in Quotations

Commence the Season

"Hey, it's Opening Day. We've got some things to find out about this group, and we'll find them out relatively quick.'' - Lou Piniella

''Words can't describe how it felt. Just awesome.'' - James Russell on his major league debut.

Quote You Only Hear from the Losing Team on Opening Day
''Opening Day don't mean anything. You want to win ballgames early in the season. The more games you win now, the less you have to win later. But it's just a game.'' - Aramis Ramirez

Is There a Draft?

"We need Zambrano to shut the door." - Lou Piniella

Maddog Love

"This Spring Training for me is very special. To have Greg Maddux around, he's my guy. ... I was asking him the other day, 'How can I throw a backdoor sinker to a lefty?' It's unbelievable -- you ask him something, and the way he answers is ... wow." - Carlos Silva

"When Greg's on your team, you're better in any role. He's got a great way about him, and he's the most successful, non-promoting person I've ever met. We can all learn from Greg." - Jim Hendry

"In every sense of the word, he's someone I aspire to be. It's just how he's so personable and knowledgeable and doesn't try to force it on you. It's almost like he breathes excellence. It's pretty cool and pretty special having him around." Randy Wells

Except Steal Their Hearts

"I haven't done nothing for them." - Greg Maddux

A Land War in Asia?
"Those things shouldn't happen." - Lou Piniella on Chad Tracy getting doubled off first on Opening Day

I Want Answers!
''We've just played two games, sir. 'We're not in our 22nd game or our 42nd. We've played two games, for God's sake. What do you want? Roles changed in two games? - Lou Piniella

Once You Lose That Trust, It's Gone Forever
"Demp pitched a heck of a ballgame, and I kind of let everyone down. But you've got to come back tomorrow and go at it again. Once you leave this place, it's over.'' - John Grabow

The Other is Where to Hide Soriano's Body
''We're going to have to sort some things out here, period. I said that coming out of spring training. And one of them is the youth that we have in the bullpen.'' - Lou Piniella

Quicksand Jesus or Jason Heyward?
''I don't want to be more impressed than I was the first day. He's impressed me enough.'' - Lou Piniella on Jason Heyward

Maybe 3 Feet
“...2-0 you’re on top of the world; 0-2, you’re six feet under. - Lou Piniella

Like How I Forgot How to Throw Strikes Last Year
"We learn from our mistakes. We have tomorrow. He needs to forget stuff."- Carlos Marmol on Esmailin Caridad

And Make Routine Catches
Control yourself, and that's all you have to do."- Alfonso Soriano on Esmailin Caridad

Lies, Damn Lies
"We have a good bullpen. We just have to trust them." - Carlos Zambrano

Someone Should Hang a Green Jacket in Fukudome's Locker
"He's a Masters player. That's when they play the Masters -- in April, right?" - Lou Piniella on Kosuke Fukudome

"This is the year I feel he'll break out and have a nice solid offensive year. We know he can play defense."- Lou Piniella on Kosuke Fukudome

Funky Fukudome
"The country guys play country music, the Latin guys play Latin music -- Kosuke's on the team so he should be able to play his music." - Carlos Zambrano letting Fukudome choose the music the day he starts. It's customary to let that day's starting pitcher make the choice.

Can Lou Make It Anymore Clear that He Doesn't Like Soto's Defense?
''I like Koyie, the way he calls a ballgame. He's a really good defensive catcher. When a team isn't scoring many runs, the more defense that you have on the field, the better. Is he going to catch more? We need Soto to hit. I've said that before. That's the key to this whole thing, how well Soto swings the bat. And we'll leave it at that.'' - Lou Piniella

18 Million Excuses
"I took a couple steps then hit the grass, and as soon as I hit the grass, I thought I had two more steps. I took little steps, because I didn't want to hit the wall. You know, full speed into the wall can be very dangerous." - Alfonso Soriano

"But at the last moment, I take my eyes off the ball and just think about the wall. One second, I took my eyes off the ball, and I dropped it." - Alfonso Soriano

"I've got to have a little stop, because I don't want to go into the wall. If you go full speed into the wall, it can be very dangerous." - Alfonso Soriano


"But it's just a game."

uh oh, some people get upset about that one... =p

I really like this piece, I hope you can put one of these together every week or so.

You know, Rob, Adam is right. Putting one of these together each week would be swell.

That is if you have time between doing the pre-game write ups, the Friday recaps and finishing up my taxes, that would be just swell, Rob.

And mow my lawn.

Do I look like Zambrano?

I thought that was my job.

You are all racists. Probably are booing Soriano yesterday, didn't ya? DIDN'T YA?!?!?!?

Ricketts on WSCR this am-

-been reading Bill James since late 80's

-Wasserstrom is our sabre guy

-Went to DR this winter to check on things there(willing to bet first cub ownership ever down there)

-Hosts suggested that Hendry is "safe" this year and next due to previous Ricketts quotes, Ricketts reiterated that Hendry and Lou " are accountable" for this year

-Believes player development needs to be strength of the team, rather than relying on free agents "so you are not stuck with big contracts" (looking at you Sori)

-Knows Cubs have had dry spell with development(still in it)

-Says there is "flexibility" with pay roll if needed during the summer

-Does not have same options as Fenway regarding bringing in outside income(landmark status)


It's good to know that they're willing to spend a little if, by some miracle, they are in contention in July.

And also, I hate Albert Pujols.

Edit: "Believes player development needs to be strength of the team, rather than relying on free agents "so you are not stuck with big contracts" (looking at you Sori)"

That is an amazing quote. Clearly he's talking about Soriano. I agree with Ricketts on this point, but I would also say that having a good player development system does not excuse a big-market team from opening the wallet.

The Soriano error was terrible, but let's not let that error distract us from all the other bullshit that happened in that game.

Loading the bases up in the first with zero outs and letting Cincy off the hook? A team that does that doesn't deserve to win. Ridiculous. Walking in runs? F' that.

Sori made the last out of the first inning.

~piling on I know~

Had Ramirez or Byrd done what Soriano did, we at least get a run.

Byrd sort of sucks, that's to be expected, but the pitch that Ramirez swung at - and tried to pull - that's just not the smart hitting I expect from Aram-Ram.

Rookie, making his ML debut - bases loaded and no outs in the first and they let him off the hook - who oculd do that other than the Cubs?

I'm not trying to excuse Soriano for anything. I'm just saying let's not forget all the other bs in that game.

ss theriot, cf byrd, 1b lee, 3b ramirez, rf nady, lf soriano, 2b baker, c soto, p dempster


2B Rickie Weeks
CF Jim Edmonds
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
RF Corey Hart
C Gregg Zaun
SS Alcides Escobar
LHP Doug Davis

7th game, I count one start for Colvin so far - is that right?

No started against Reds Homer Bailey. Lefty pitching today.

2 starts, which is within the 2-3 games a week range that Piniella gave. I, however, think 2 is not enough. If they don't want to stall his development, he needs to start at least 3-4 and get into most of the other games off the bench as well, especially if he's going to sit against all left-handed pitchers.

Facing a southpaw today seemed to wake up the bats. The Cubs don't usually beat up on Doug Davis. (He's 9-6 against us lifetime with a 3.20 ERA.) Newcomers Byrd, Nady and Baker may present a problem for lefties. We may see fewer lefty starters than usual during the season.

Colvin had another walk today, although he swung at a bad pitch (he likes those low ones) during the at-bat.

On a more positive note, although it's debatable whether or not getting more access to Cubs games is a positive, I subscribed to MLB Premium and can now watch the games from my iphone and was surprised at the good quality.

I also have MLB Premium, but am blacked out for all Brewers games because I live in Wisconsin. And my apartment building's cable package does not carry the Brewers' channel. Annoying.

Though I am generally not a proponent of pirated media- when there's a series of circumstances that conspire against you like that, what else can you do? Someone can probably find you a site that broadcasts the Brewers' channel.

type in p2p baseball into google

In the first inning, the Cubs work Davis for 27 pitches. I'm feeling good about that.

2nd inning, Soriano and Baker see a grand total of what, 2, 3 pitches? And they both ground out to the right side.

Is there any game plan at all?

Maybe we need a hitting mechanics coach and another hitting strategy coach. And somebody to press the button on the shock collar remote when guys err from the path without a good reason (like a hanging slider or fastball down the middle).

fun fact: Doug Davis is contractually obligated to go 3-2 on all hitters...if you let him.

I hate Byrd's swing.

Anybody know if he has any power at all to RF? He looks like he shouldn't.

If you look at his hit chart from last year at home -

You can see almost all of his HR's were to left (left center) and his two triples were to right center. His doubles and fly outs were more evenly dispersed. His groundouts were almost all to the left side. I would guess when he's trying to hit a HR he's going to be pretty pull-conscience.

Not a terrible thing on a day when the wind is blowing right to left, though.

nothing like a good blowout to cheer us up (don't blow it Dempster)

Lee grimacing when he swings, hurt his right wrist it sounds like

on cue, Nady to 1b, colvin in, lee out

-edit- right thumb inflammation

Can we get Millar back!?!!!?

that's just great.

Some comments on watching the game:

After he singled to left in the 2nd, I saw Soto shaking out his left hand as he returned to first after his turn. It was his left hand/wrist that he hurt at the end of 2008, wasn't it? I wondered if that was a manifestation of that same injury or was it just a stinging from a "bees in the bat" situation. Or possibly both? I know there has been some speculation about whether Soto is still having injury problems with his hand. A left hand injury would definitely affect one's power. Something worth watching.

What were they thinking? On Soriano's single off McGehee in the 4th, Vargas had a 1-2 count on him and had just got him to swing and miss on a (what else?) slider low and away. The next pitch? Zaun, the catcher sets up INSIDE and Vargas throws a thigh-high fastball on the inner third of the plate, which Sori smokes on a line off 3B McGehee's body for an infield single. I don't know if they just missed location on the pitch and intended to waste a fastball off the plate inside, but why they (or anybody) wouldn't just throw him another slider low and away, I just don't know. I know you got to mix things up sometimes to keep from being too predictable, but I would wait until Sori actually starts to HIT that pitch before I started mixing things up.

I'm sure he just missed, Soriano does see quite a few fastballs up and in that he usually fouls off or swings through.

Up and in I would understand, but Zaun was set up low and inside. It was just a head-scratcher.

Another Soriano- related question: Has anyone EVER seen him successfully check his swing and not be rung up by the umpire? I've just come to the conclusion that he is constitutionally incapable of doing so.

dude swings a very heavy and long's gonna be hard.

he's using a new bat this season thanks to rules that length/weight requirements that can only be "3" +/- from each other.

42 ounce bat I believe?

I'm no hitting instructor but I would suggest a lighter bat.

Alfonso Soriano is turning into the Michael Barrett of 2010.

Does that mean that Zambrano will slug him and we'll trade him for a decent prospect then take off in the standings?

I bring up these things about Sori even though I like the guy. He's just like a damn Ferrari -- great capabilities but quirky as hell, VERY high maintenance and a lot of work to get it to perform at its best (so I hear). I wonder if he has ever been checked out for ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Stuff like the "hop" before catching a routine fly helping him concentrate sounds very much like classic ADHD coping behavior. If he does have it, some medication may help him decrease some of that "scatterbrained" behavior. Now that the Cubs have a psychiatrist on staff, they may have someone who could look into that (if he is very familiar with classic ADD/ADHD symptomology).

with Roberts going on the DL...apparently Izturis is there other option.

Can you short a baseball team?

and Pie leads off with a HR off Garza. heh.

I know your question was a joke, but if you were so inclined you could just take the under on whatever Vegas has for their season win total.

Ya know, if gambling were legal and all.

Walked! I seem to recall that many on this site didn't think this would happen until July...

he walked last week too.

Hey, Double Play! Cubs Win!

Good thing, too. Marmol was starting to give me a stomach ulcer again. 10 pitches, 4 strikes, 6 balls (incl. a HBP). So what else is new?

Ah, the Marmol angst. Gotta love it, especially after how dominant he was in Cincy.

Yeah, why wouldn't anyone forget the 77 free base runners in 74 innings last year based on one good inning in Cincy over the weekend?

Wow, when you put it that way... that's wretched.

Of course not. But it was his third game of the year, he didn't allow a run and there's a complaint about him, immediately after he had a great outing. Just thought it was a little quick.

"Mark McGwire drew a standing ovation before the Cardinals’ home opener Monday, a clear sign many St. Louis fans have forgiven the former home run king for using steroids."

More like don't care that he used steroids, while playing for them.

there's a lot to learn from the roid-era...

...most specifically that you'll still get paid, whatever team hires you will still love you, and you'll be welcome back to coach the game.

i'm sorry...what am i supposed to learn from all these roid commercials besides my balls might shrivel up? all i'm learning from the real world is you get paid and you might not make the HOF.

these roiders are not only not shunned by our community, they're forgiven and celebrated.

jason giambi is an embarrassment to the game, yet no one has an issue giving the guy work. mark mcgwire is a cheating piece of shit who dragged others through the mud while he waited over a decade to come clean...standing O, yall.

Hey, Hey! The Cubs are undefeated at home.

A source familiar with the talks tells Jon Heyman of that the $180 million contracts handed out to Mark Teixeira and Joe Mauer are considered "mere starting points" for a contract extension with Prince Fielder.

allegedly looking for north of $200M over 8 years...

when they replace 1b defense with a weigh-in, he might have a shot at it.

GO Cubs!!!

Aww man, they need to just get rid of everybody. @#$@!!

Yay!!! Cubs win!!!

!#%#@ bullpen... f* this...

Awesome win!

#$@@#!@ Soriano. What a bastard....

Go Cubs!!!

WHATEVER. this turnaround is ___________ (insert coach's name) victory in spite of the faults of ___________ (insert coach's name).

if __________ (insert other team's coach's name) was here then __________ (insert 3-4 player's names) would be competing for MVP/CY right now.

fire ____________ (insert a slew of names of dudes 50+ years old).

lol, oh my god. We need this as a printable PDF form on TCR.

Dude! I love madlibs!

per Muskat:

X-rays of #Cubs Derrek Lee's right thumb were negative and he's listed as day to day. No fracture. He originally hurt it last Wed in Atlanta

Jake Fox is the A's DH tonight vs mariners.

he started at catcher yesterday vs. the Angels...

Rich Harden did better today, 6 ip, 3 bb, 2k, 2 er, 5 H, 1 HR

only 59 pitches were strikes though out of 105...

CUBSTER and I in Attendance.

The Good: The offense! Soriano with a SINGLE! The X-Man commeth today. Decent relief by youngsters. Soto nails Weeks. Best weather I can remember for an opener since HS.

The Bad: Doug Davis turns every AB into a ten minute affair. Theriot trying to steal 3b on a ground out to Fielder.

i just noticed the pitching chart on the right. that is really cool. What a great usage of google docs.

thanks. started it last year.

it's handy.

Recent comments

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  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 4 min 27 sec ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 9 min 53 sec ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 28 min 13 sec ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 4 hours 55 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 4 hours 56 min ago view
  • Phil, when will the Cubs start moving international players from EST to the Dominican for the start of the DSL season?

    diamondjaxx 5 hours 33 min ago view
  • It was a nice barehand pick-up but he was close enough to 1st where he could underhand the ball to Bryant. The trouble he's had has been with the overhand throw. He's definitely working on it, but I don't know if that play was a good example of progress made.

    K Dub 8 hours 45 min ago view