My Dad's awesome Phil Cavarretta 1st baseman's mitt
See this glove?
It was my dad's.
I just called him - he told me he wasn't much into little league, but you know, look at that thing.
That's alot of sandlot ball.
He was a kid in the '40s, and Phil Cavarretta was his favorite player so he got the Cavarretta signature (Hutch brand) glove.
I have a book called "The Complete Chicago Cubs" written by Derek Gentile with "statistical information provided by STATS inc." It's got every player who ever played for the Cubs (up to whenever I bought the book) and their stats and stuff.
And once in awhile there's a little photo and a couple paragraphs about the really memorable ones.
Right between Cassidy, John P. (played EVERY position for the Cubs between 1876 and 1885), and Cey, Ronald Charles (you may remember came from the Dodgers and played 3rd from '83 to '86) is Philip (Phil) Joseph "Philabuck" Cavarretta.
I'll paraphrase from the book: he was born in Chicago in 1916, dropped out of highschool a couple weeks before he was to graduate and signed with the Cubs. Within a year he was the starting first baseman at18 years old (what you think about that, Starlin Castro?). He was a line drive hitter, and didn't hit alot of homers but when he did "they always seemed to make a difference".
So... a clutch hitter.
And a "darling" of the fans because he always gave 110%.
Exempted from The War because of an inner ear problem, he was an All-Star from '44 to '47, and in 1945 "his .355 average led the league and he was named the National League MVP as he let the cubs to their last World Series" where he hit .423.
It also casually mentions that he had a "shaky 1935 World Series" but "shone in the 1938 Fall Classic".
It's so WEIRD to think about a Cub who played in THREE WORLD SERIES!!!
Anyway, the story wraps up with "Cavaretta is 5th all-time with the Cubs in triples (99), 6th in games played (1,953), 9th in both hits (1,927) and at-bats (6,592), 10th in runs scored (968) and RBIs (896) and 11th in doubles (341).
And in today's Trib you'll find that he passed away at the age of 94.
What a life he had.
And you never know - maybe 70 some years from now, somebody will write a similar story about Starlin Castro or Tyler Colvin.
Man I love baseball.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.