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!
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?