Save a Tree [and a Life]!
Maples are my favorite kind of tree. They are at their best this time of the year. I grew up in the shade of a huge one and one of our two pooches is even named Maple. But someday a maple baseball bat is going to be the cause of death. What a way to go.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that one of the games in the season-ending series between Iowa and Memphis included five shattered bats. I don’t know how many of those were maple, but there is a growing body of evidence that maple bats crack differently than ones made of ash. A game which has always featured balls as hard as stones being hurled around at high speeds and being swatted with wooden clubs is becoming even more dangerous with metallic mallets at amateur levels and maple ones in the major leagues...
What’s to be made of Mike Quade’s 17-7 record as the Cubs’ skipper? What a shame that the best series the team’s had in St. Louis in over 20 years and the best road trip it’s ever enjoyed benefit no one in the Cub legions with the possible exception of Mr. Clean. Will Jim Hendry attach any significance to this run? The games are barely facsimiles of meaningful ones when pennants and playoff berths are still at stake. Here’s a thought: maybe hiring Quade would so underwhelm the masses that attendance would stay down next year and keep the pressure relatively low on the youngsters. They’ve been thriving under more or less those conditions this month.
Phil Rogers mentioned Seattle as perhaps another logical spot for Ryne Sandberg in yesterday’s Tribune. It makes some sense. Sandberg hails from Washington. There are going to be a lot of jobs open this winter and Sandberg will get one of them, I’m betting. I hope it’s the one he’s best-suited for in the organization he’s most familiar with in all ways, especially organizational history and personnel.
Recent remarks by Mr. Ricketts can easily be interpreted as Sandberg stage-setters. The best combination of the new ownership’s business instincts and fondness for the Cubs would seem to be #23. The combination of a philosophical downshift to homegrown young talent and a no-name manager will cost the royal family a lot of money in the short-term. More, I hope they decide, than they can afford.
Pay no attention to the man behind the meaningless lineup cards!
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
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.
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.
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...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
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.
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 close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
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.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
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.