More Ivy at Wrigley?
With yesterday's trade for Matt Garza, the by-product that caught my eye is the fact that the Cubs seem to have cornered the recent market on Ivy Leaguers. Fernando Perez studied creative writing and received a degree in American Studies at Columbia and now joins the exclusive Cub club of four.
Perez has published in Poetry Magazine.
Perez says he turns to poetry when he's "after displacement, contrast" from the game of baseball. "The thick wilderness," he continues, "of, say, late Ashbery can wrangle with the narrowness of competition."
From his Poetry Magazine article, titled: Para Rumbiar
Like poetry, baseball is a kind of counter culture. The (optional) isolation from the outside world (which I often opt for); the idleness about which—and out of which—so many poems are written or sung: I see this state of mind as a blessing.
...and if you haven't seen the Fernando Perez You Tube video on "The Working Poor" here's the link.
"nobody talks about the Fernando Perez(s), Jason Nix(s), Emilio Bonafacio(s), all these great players, playing for the minimum, that keep these guys (the stars like ARod) afloat."
Growing more Ivy, after the break...
We all knew Mark DeRosa was a Penn grad, Ivy League starting Quarterback and received a degree from the Wharton School of Business. DeRosa's exit from the Cubs, in a 6 degrees of separation way, is related to Fernando Perez getting here. The Cubs received Chris Archer from Cleveland and now Archer goes to Tampa.
Doug Glanville also graduated from Penn and right from the get-go was one of the most scholarly ballplayers ever. His Penn senior thesis was a study of the railways surrounding a potential new Phillies stadium...and that thesis has been added to the collection of historic documents at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He was a first round draft choice of the Cubs from the 1992 amateur draft and patrolled the OF for the Cubs in 1995-6 before an offseason 1997 trade to the Phillies for Mickey Morandini. He's become quite a celebrated author, publishing as a columnist in the NY Times and now has a book out titled, "The Game from Where I Stand". Here's a link from Chicago Magazine.com including an interview with DG from Wrigley Field reminiscing on his Cub experience and moving back to Chicago as his current home. I love listening to him and this is a great Chicago ramble.
I'd forgotten that Mike Remlinger was a Dartmouth grad. He lead the NCAA with a 1.59 ERA in 1986. His legacy as a Cub? I'll always remember him for the weirdest disabled list injury...breaking his throwing left hand little finger when it got caught in a reclining chair.
The most famous Ivy Leaguer (but alas, not a Cub) is Lou Gehrig. Gehrig's college prowess was as a pitcher and he held the Columbia career strikeout record from the 1920's until 1978! Lou, Lou, Lou.
I say, Collect 'em all...and here's my invite to Fernando Perez to do some creative writing on TCR.
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?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.