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.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.