Game Preview: Cubs (48-67) @ Cardinals (64-49)

Derrek Lee is back, Hoffpauir gets sent back down...okay, why not?

With Soto on the DL, Aramis still out, Colvin in the penalty box and Soriano incapable of moving spots in the batting order without the Earth's magnetic fields being reversed, we get to witness the following lineup featuring Blake DeWitt batting 5th.

Fukudome, Castro, Lee, Byrd, DeWitt, Soriano, Barney, Hill, Diamond


F. Lopez, J. Jay, Pujols, Holliday, Rasmus, Molina, Schumaker, Westbrook, Ryan

In happier news, Castro is just 17 plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title race, in which he'd currently be third, just two points behind Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.

Cubs get to play the role spoilers this weekend or more likely the role of roadkill. Happy weekend everyone!


Does anyone see any rationale for DeWitt 5th and Soriano 6th? Ay Caramba!

A batting title for Castro would help my morale a bit.

Soriano doesn't like to be moved around in the order, and it breaks up the RH bats a little bit.

20 games under .500


5th pick in the draft is here, and we're making our run to go higher. The biggest plus is we've got the most negative velocity of any team (2-8) going into the final 6 weeks!

Looks like we have a definite shot at the 2nd pick given how much better the O's and M's and even DB's are playing after manager changes. And we have the dreaded Pirates for 3 more games, so I'm thinking...we can go for the first pick as long as Lou and Trammell don't both take bereavement leaves at the same time, forcing Hendry to call up Sandberg.

MLB Standings, Draft Standings...8/14/10

Pittsburgh 39-76...last 10 (3-7)
Baltimore 41-75...last 10 (8-2)
Seattle 45-71...last 10 (6-4)
Arizona 46-71...last 10 (6-4
Chicago (NL), 3 way tie at 48-68...last 10 (2-8)
KC 48-68...last 10 (3-7)
Cleveland 48-68...last 10 (3-7)

Ah yes. One of my favorite times of the year. A weekend series against the Cardinals. The drama! The excitement! Two arch rivals fighting like the Cullens and the Blacks. Clear your schedule everybody!!!!

I-Cubs end losing streak with 5-0 win on wing of Austin Bibens-Dirkx (more fun than spelling Samaramadingdong) who is now 5-0 at Iowa.

What is the chance that B-D's mlb debut will be more impressive than Diamond's? He does have a knack to stack wins.

John DeWan's take on CF defense, reans Byrd #1 with Bourne 2nd.

I didn't look, did he give alot points for dives?


He says no, but that's what I think:

"We award a Good Fielding Play (GFP) when a fielder makes a play that we wouldn’t ordinarily expect him to make, and the action has the positive consequence of recording an unexpected out or preventing baserunner advancement. GFPs are not necessarily plays on which the player looks good making the play—diving or spinning. Scooped throws out of the dirt and robbed home runs are two of the 27 different types of Good Fielding Plays. "

Yeah the "we wouldn't ordinarily expect HIM to make" part makes it sort of stupid.

...and with CHC/STL going on they assign mark grace the BAL/TB game.

the retardation of fox continues to be awesome.

...and mark grace needs to quit smoking.

Mark Grace needs to quit breathing. Or at least announcing. They could pair him with Sutcliffe, Joe Buck, and Tim McCarver and it could be the All Giant Melon Head Booth Who Only Talk About Themselves.

Only the Cubs would be a day late and a dollar short trying for the #1 pick after Strasburg and Harper the last 2 years.

But hey we draft really well in the 1st round, we should get a sweet backup infielder or 5th OFer in 3-4 years.

Harper's not all that great a prospect. He's good but not on the Strasburg level - like comparing Ken Griffey Jr to Shawon Dunstan.

TRN: FWIW, Peter Gammons disagrees:

"In a wood-bat league, the 220-pound Harper hit .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBIs.

There have been five previous high school-age position players taken as the first pick in the country in the last 25 years. Three -- Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Justin Upton -- were All-Stars by the age of 21. Chipper Jones was an All-Star at 23, a rise delayed by injury. Josh Hamilton is the one exception because of his detailed personal struggles, but he now can make the case to being the best player in the sport."

So at the very least, he's in company with those 5 dudes? Let's see, 3 sure-fire HOF'ers, one 5-tool stud and Justin Upton... not bad company...

And on a semi-related note: How can you realistically say that the #1 overall pick is "not all that great a prospect. He's good but..." Fuck seriously?

harper is the real deal, works hard, lives/breathes baseball (but give him a few million before he's 18 and let's see where that goes), and also i've never heard so much negative remarks about a non-thug kid.

his reputation amongst his peers is pretty remarkably awful and it expands beyond them.

I missed Shawon Duston's HoF induction ceremony, what year was that again? Chipper Jones wasn't even the #1 prospect, he got taken because Van Poppel was going to be a tough sign.

He's a good prospect, but it's not like I would automatically trade him for, say David Price.

Also, I am not sure where you and Gammons are getting your info, but what the hell do you two think is "high school aged"? Would you trade Delmon Young or Shawn Abner for Strasburg?

Dunston was drafted more than 25 years ago (the stat was "in the last 25 years") (though there are other counterexamples you could have cited). But the fact is that you are discounting Harper based on, approximately, nothing. Prospects can only be valued and graded at their projected level and graded strengths and there are few prospects ever who have been graded as high as Harper.

This value is based on rather amazing stats. For example, he more than doubled the previous home run record at his school. And this record was set with aluminum bats and he did it with wood. And he did it during should have been his junior year in high school.

He would be a higher rated prospect that every player the Cubs have drafted (at the time they were drafted) other than Mark Prior since the draft was instituted. But he is not a great prospect? You have pretty high standards for great.

25 years was an arbitrary number, there have been plenty of other high school position players drafted first during the last 30 years that haven't gone on to HoF careers. "That great a prospect" - as in not as great as Strasburg, he'll probably be the #1 prospect on most lists headed into 2010, but Korey Patterson was the #1 prospect on some people's lists at one point as well.

As to the numbers he put up - he did them in JUCO as essentially a professional baseball player. If Ken Griffey Jr. Shawon Dunston and Arod played in the same league, blew off their classes and concentrated on baseball 24/7, I am going to go ahead and speculate they would have put up some pretty good numbers too.

TRN, you're married to your idea here, and that's fine, I get like that sometimes too.

The point was that, even taking your explanation into account, there's a pretty big difference between "not all that great a prospect" (comment 13) and "not as great as Strasburg" (comment 77). As you also pointed out, Van Poppel was considered a better 'prospect' than Jones... goes to show that being a great 'prospect' does not always equate with a great career.

But back to the discussion at hand. 25 years is an arbitrary number that Gammons picked to back his point--agree, numbers can often be skewed to prove one side or other in a debate. But let's state it differently; "Over the course of the last 25 years, teams have been much more reluctant to spend the first overall picks on high school players unless the team is fairly certain that player is a lock to have a solid career; Harper falls into this category." I didn't say anything there that Gammons didn't state or imply, I just said it differently, and the numbers Gammons provides back up my statement.

And so did you. So if I put Jr, Arod and Dunston in Harper's JUCO league, they'd have put up some pretty good numbers? Agree. Are 66% of your examples going to be in Cooperstown, probably all 66% on the first ballot? Yes, unequivocally (the first ballot part for Arod is the only debate). Would they have put up the numbers he did at AGE SEVENTEEN, with the physical attributes of a 17 y/o? Hard to say, but the point is that Harper has accomplished quite a bit in his young life, whether or not he's a complete ass (and that could be blamed on the 'roids, just sayin').

No offense dude, but here's your entire comment:

#13 Re: Game Preview: Cubs (48-67) @ Cardinals (64-49)
Submitted by The Real Neal on Sat, 08/14/2010 - 3:11pm.

Harper's not all that great a prospect. He's good but not on the Strasburg level - like comparing Ken Griffey Jr to Shawon Dunstan.

* reply

and the fact is, none of that statement is true, for several reasons and from several different angles, and I called you out on it. If you thought I was rude, my sincerest apologies, none of this is personal.

But it is what it is.

*edit And coincidentally re #71, I think "high school-age" (and I'm sure Gammons as well, although I shouldn't speak for a Hall of Fame baseball writer) is, approximately, THE AGE PEOPLE NORMALLY ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL. Not sure where the confusion is...anyone?

"Born October 16th, 1992 (1992!!) Bryce Harper is a 17 year old left-handed hitting catcher currently playing for Southern Nevada Community College." (February,

"Bryce Aron Max Harper[1] (born October 16, 1992, in Las Vegas, Nevada) was selected by the Washington Nationals as the first pick of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.[1] ...Harper earned his GED after his sophomore year in December 2009, making him eligible for the June 2010 amateur draft in order to begin his professional baseball career earlier.[4][5] For the 2010 college season, Harper enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada of the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC), a league that uses wood bats in conference play. In 66 games, he hit 31 home runs, 98 RBI, hitting .443/.526/.987 (AVG/OBP/SLG).[6] His 31 home runs broke the school's previous record of 12." (

And just in case... "In the United States a high school is an upper secondary school which educates children from grade nine or ten through grade twelve[4], in other words, from the age of 14 or 15 to 17 or 18...Students will generally graduate from high school in the year of their 18th birthday if they were born between January 1 and August 31, but this varies by state depending on the kindergarten cut-off date, which ranges from August 1 in Missouri to January 1 in Connecticut and December 1 in California[7]...As a practical matter, while laws in most states mandate school attendance at least until graduation or age 16, many require attendance until age 17 or 18 (unless the student earns a diploma earlier, usually around age 16)." (

So that's probably what the hell us two "think is "high school aged"".

Questions? Concerns? Comments?

There should be a really good 6th inning setup reliever available to the Cubs in the first round.

Hopefully it's someone 5'9 or shorter...

working range mph on Z's fastball today?

FB 88-91 tops 93 as far as I noticed

sinker is what he used most, 91-92


9th inning cubbery...

Leadoff error on horrible throw by aramis, miles (no less) gets to 2nd

KHill misses a popup on a slide catch, then triumphs on a 2nd popup, this time in front of the plate

Inf popup for 2nd out vs Marmol

Then K's Craig. Attaboy Carlos. 20 saves.

On to da Bears first exhibition game...

Do we have to?

It was a nice game today. I was talking to my friend on the phone about it, and we were talking about how 2-3 years ago, when Z was on the mound against the Cardinals you just assume the Cubs were going to win.

Z could have blown up in the 6th when AramRam's shoddy fielding got him into some trouble, but he kept it cool. It was sort of odd to behold.

Sun Times: Piniella said he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild have discussed putting rookie Casey Coleman in the rotation in place of rookie Thomas Diamond (0-3, 8.31) next time through, but a decision won't be made until at least today.

''I was impressed with Coleman [Friday] night,'' Piniella said of the right-hander's two innings of score

"I am also impressed with our ability to dismiss an entire season of information based on two innings in our decision making process", Rosthchild when on to add.

In this weeks edition of Small Sample Sizes, "Does it Really Matter Now?"

I'm just surprised that Lou and Larry actually know who these two guys are.

They don't, Lou just calls Sandberg and says, "Well, what do you think?"

Nady starts in LF, Colvin works on his sitting skills.

9 Fuku, 6 Castro, 3 Lee, 5 Ram, 8 Byrd, 7 Nada, 4 DeWitt, 2 Hill, 1 Dempster

Nady is probably getting traded outta here this month. No problem with him getting burn to build his value.

That was a fun half-inning to watch (top 4th). Cubs bat around, Cards' MacDougal (and even better, Molina) looked like they wanted to cry and go home. Was that the Cubs' 2010 highlight right there?

macD should have "gone home" 2 seasons ago.

you'd think he was a lefty or something...he just wont go away.

Kevin Slowey, no-no thru 6, 2 walks, vs A's

edit: 7 no hit innings, 106 pitches...then Jon Rausch gives up 2 runs on 2 hits in the 8th.


Not sure anyone noticed (or cares) but Milton Bradley will have his knee scoped this tuesday by Dr. Tim Kremchek in Cincy (TK did K. Wood's shoulder scope and Ryan Dempster's TJ elbow surgery) and although many (like Ted Lilly) can be back in 3 weeks I won't be surprised if MB is be done for the year.

Bradley's reaction?

"I have nothing to say," he said.

Glad I don't have to get the medical history on him, not fun when you have to write: patient is a poor historian.

he needs to go the junior spivey route and just latch onto a close-to-home indie league team to "beer league" the rest of his playing days out. go be a big fish in a small pond and destroy guys who peaked out or never made it.

he's not going to see a 5m payday any time soon, much less 10m...

If MB changes his name and pretends to be a first baseman, Hendry will go hard after him.

Didn't he already change his name to Nady?

seen tyler colvin walking around the dugout for a 2nd time this game with gum hanging out bunched up on the end of his tongue.

looks like he's walking around chewing on a red condom.

i know it's 9-2, but marcos mateo an AB?

im sure zambrano thinks that's cute.

enjoy summer camp, boys. golf and swimming after the game, then arts and crafts.

9-6, bases loaded, 1 out.

this is just...cubbery.

-edit- phew...9-7 final.

WOW, Chicago pitching (both north and south side) was SHUT-DOWN AWESOME today!!

lol barmes...2 runs score in bottom 9th with 2 outs (and bases loaded) on a missed IF popup to tie the game.

it was wind and/or sun.

no 18th win for u.j.

phew...draft pick milton "ty cobb" bradley...i mean bryce a bit of lip from stephen strasberg (both have the same agent, btw)

“if he doesn’t want to play here, then we don’t want him here.”

Cobb always left the most annoying Facebook posts. What a tool.

beyond all the racist crap he was probably one of the most abrasive-to-others-just-being-himself guys in the game.

he also had one of the best and most "scientific" approaches to hitting in the game. it's amazing how much he realized about how to hit before others took his views as a base for basic fundamentals.

Yeah, you gotta appreciate a guy who offered equal-opportunity dickery. Plus, yeah, you can be a huge dick if you're awesome at something.

That explains Milton Bradley.

"phew...draft pick milton "ty cobb" bradley...i mean bryce harper..."


why does no one in the world of baseball or sports news care that g.laird took a swing at a.galarraga in the detroit dugout today?

ESPN's announce crew just mentioned the game with no mention of the dugout crap...weird.

i guess no one gives a damn.

found an article...

It's not like this story is buried. ESPN has an article on its MLB frontpage with video:

But it is not getting as much press as it would on the Cubs because its the Tigers, a team which has little following outside Michigan.

There's a team in Michigan? I thought the zombies killed everyone in that state, at least that's what my parents always told me.

well they only took about 10 hours to actually report it, but it was about time.

it seems like something you grab and lead with...3 teammates fighting, 1 taking a swing at another.

Hmm, after our own dugout FUCKING FIASCO, I have no idea why they didn't show it....

(incidentally, one of their guys said he didn't want it shown because he got his ass handed to him last year over using cell phone pics of Rick Porcello in a dress on air..... I can't make this shit up)

Because they've been to the World Series in the last 65 years and are therefore not the laughingstock of all?

"What can we say about Miguel Cairo? This guy has been a savior for us," Baker said. "He's been great. He stays ready all the time. I'd hate to think where we'd be without him."

Rings a bell?

Miguel Cairo's career stats...

It's amazing to think back and remember that Hendry gave Neifi 2/$5. Just unbelievable

tommy lasorda approves.

at least cairo's not a piece of shit. i didn't know that was one of dusty's "throw around" phrases, though...wonder who got that in SF.

steve stone did sox game solo yesterday,hawk had hemroids,
he did a pretty good job.

That's too bad I certainly hope that Hawk was not the butt of a lot of jokes.

If Stone did that well, he's really going to be on the hotseat when he returns.


Derrek Lee out with back problems again

What would we do without you. Thanks for nixing all trades, DP...

Randall Simon (Cubs 2003) is now playing independent minor league ball with the Gary, IN Railcats. I went to see their game Saturday night (the band I play in provided pre-game entertainment). Man, does he have a vicious swing. Brought back memories. He nailed a two-run HR and really didn't even get all of it.

He was fun. Sort of a poor man's Vlad Guerrero. Swung at everything. Hit it more often than he should have been able to.

With his physical skill, he should have been an all-star, but he never learned how to hit. It was weird to behold.

No man who's a public figure ever wants to be best remembered for whacking the sausage.

Fangraphs says the 2000's Cubs are ridiculously unlucky, though I disagree with the stat analysis.

The real gem is the first comment.

Looks like Bradley was right...

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract

    jacos 36 min 40 sec ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 2 hours 45 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 4 hours 34 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 21 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.


    Tito 7 hours 6 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.


    Tito 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 7 hours 12 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.








    Tito 7 hours 12 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 7 hours 17 min ago view