Chicago Cubs: things that cancel each other out.


Whenever I eat a bag of chips, I get that guilt feeling that comes from years of being told that stuff my mom used to put in my lunch bag is really bad for me.

So I eat an apple, and the whole deal evens out.

It's like no harm no foul, or something.

Okay, maybe not totally, but you know what I'm saying.

Take a look at these Cubs and apply the same thinking. 

Alfonso Soriano has committed some of the worst errors in left field that I've ever seen committed in the Bigs.
On the other hand, he's made some spectacular throws from that corner.

Carlos Marmol has come into some tight games and proceeded to hit batters, walk batters, have batters stand with their bats on their shoulders til Carlos can get one over.
Gives me the worst kind of heart attacks - the bottom of the 9th is no time for this stuff.
On the other hand, 138 strikeouts last year.
One hundred and thirty eight.
Best in the majors by 26.
Honestly, Marmol's one of those players who's becoming so breathtaking to watch, if something bad happens it's totally no big deal.
He'll be reaching some kind of God-like status if he keeps up the good part. 

You could invest in this new "6-Pack" ticket idea at Wrigley, and I guess the Saturday Yankee game would cancel out the Diamondbacks at 1:20 on a Tuesday. 
Oh but wait, you gotta buy Padres, Marlins, and Nats too. Plus the Astros. I guess this one's just a kinda-cancellation.

There's Starlin Castro with the million errors, but on the other hand the range, the athleticism, the effort, the youth...

The loss of D Lee and his gold glove at first, but also the new (though not as often) gold glove from Carlos Pena.

Koyie Hill with no ability to hit the ball whatsoever, but then the... oh wait. 
He really can't do anything. 

I guess some things just can't cancel out.

Comments

let us not forget, Koyie brings 5 mph to his pitchers fastballs

Muskat article on Marmol and Angel Guzman (who is throwing off a mound).

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2011/02/21...

Asked (Marmol) if a deal was done, he said: "Not yet."

I love knowing that there will be daily coverage from here on out. Project .500 here we come!

Bruce Levine on his talking baseball saturday radio show had Jim Hendry on and when asked about Marmol said he was expecting to talk to Marmol's agent tomorrow, so it sounds like it's going to be a deadline announcement if they do agree on a deal.

Nice to see some position players down there as well, though no real surprises among the names.

Marmol's agent arrived at ST today, deal expected to be announced on Monday.

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs/status/3685388419...

wrongway phil rogers at it again...

he must have stolen this idea from the bowels of TCR

discusses Soriano/Byrd for Michael Young

Young-for-Soriano might be the best possible fit.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

"Once one of the best shortstops in baseball, the gifted Jose Reyes, heads to the Marlins hoping to show the Mets and 29 other teams he still can be an impact player."

am i missing something here? i keep re-reading it and it makes my brain hurt on multiple levels of "dur."

i keep re-reading it and it makes my brain hurt on multiple levels of "dur."
---
sometimes he just writes and random letters come out. Evidence supporting the theory regarding a monkey sitting in front of a typewriter...

In a million years, a monkey would eventually produce Shakespeare. Rogers would not.

Phil Rogers is like Jay Mariotti, only instead of beating women, he beats up common sense.

More Phil Rogers:

"The St. Louis Post Dispatch's Jeff Gordon has a theory that's worth considering. He believes that the Royals — of all teams — would be a likely destination for Albert Pujols if he reaches free agency."

1b Eric Hosmer, considered one of the best prospects in baseball (and projected to jump to the majors in 2012), would be bypassed so the small market Royals could pay $25-30 million per year for Pujols.

Not to mention the extension they just signed Butler to.

Look for Toronto to get in on Pujlos

I could see Toronto in on him, but KC, that would be shocking.

and Sullivan chimes on with a Quade, etc. story...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

ah, spring has sprung!

"The Cubs have been looking for a left-handed run-producer for what seemed like decades. Pena will either hit third, fourth or fifth in Mike Quade’s lineup."

Levine is either a bad writer, or poor at English, or just an idiot.

Good God..."Castro, called up on May 7, had his best day in his first big-league game, hitting two homers and driving in six runs in his debut against the Reds."

Looks like Wrongway is going to be taken down as the king of Chicago Misinformation.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/1...

You can start with a Petco Park marathon. On May 25, 2008, three days after throwing 103 pitches, Harang threw 63 pitches and four shutout relief innings in an eventual 12-9, 18-inning loss to the Padres.

Four days later he made his regular start and exited after getting shelled for 10 hits and six runs in four innings. The pitch total: 239 in eight days. Harang was 2-6 with a 3.50 ERA before the relief appearance. He was 4-11 with a 5.88 ERA after that game.

He spent a 28-day stint on the disabled list that summer with a strained forearm.

“What it did,” said Harang, “is fatigue me beyond the point of recovery. I started to change my arm angle to compensate for the fatigue and that’s when my forearm started to bother me.”

harang, prior, and 100,000 fanboys...and tom house.

the harang thing was stupid, he should have gotten skipped a turn at the very least...so was his 2009 thing after a 2+ hour rain delay. he can't blame 2009 or 2010 on 2008, though.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/sports/base...

“Larry’s no pussycat,” Trammell, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bench coach, said in a telephone interview. “He’s stern, he’s direct and, if needed, he’ll get in your face. He had the ability to calm Carlos Zambrano down. That’s a tremendous feat. He confronted him, but they talked man to man, and Carlos loved him for it.”

Maybe it's just me, but that's not how I remember it.

I don't recall seeing you in the dugout, or hearing about you in the clubhouse.

Seeing me?? How would you know what I look like?

But yes, thanks to Larry, 2010 was known as the year Big Z became Big Zen. After years of working with Rothschild, Zambrano reached a state of total calm.

It took some time though. In this pic you can see Rothschild "calming" Z down just before Carlos tried to club some sense into Michael Barrett. http://thesportsaddict.files.wordpress.com/20...
That's Larry at the lower left.

Then there's this pic, entitled "CALM", taken after Larry got in Z's face when Zambrano was tossed in the seventh inning of a game in 2009.. http://www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Carlos+Zam...

lulz...glanville...

http://wap.mlb.com/news/article/2011021216625...

---

Former big league outfielder Doug Glanville -- who began playing Strat-O-Matic at age 6 -- said that he considered showing up on one of the game's cards as a huge rite of passage. Glanville said that he's played Strat-O-Matic for more than three decades, and he can still remember what it was like to treasure the cards as if they were something valuable.

"People borrowed our cards, and I wanted people to take care of them," said Glanville, recalling a simpler time. "I remember being very offended because someone spilled grape juice on somebody. ... Another guy came in and there were teeth marks on it and he said the dog got to it. I said, 'That's Ron Guidry, man. Your dog cannot eat Ron Guidry."

Sometimes I swear Doug Glanville is a poet.

I saw his book at Borders the other week and was tempted, but decided to get something else. Has anyone read it?

It will be on sale next week at Borders

My wife bought it for me. Not so good. I've enjoyed many of his essays but the book was not up to that level. Not even close, in fact. Very disappointing read.

What was interesting is to discover how utterly square he is. Loves Hall and Oates. Is even friends with one of the aging-pop-semi-legends. Don't want to turn this into a debate on the merits of Hall and Oates. I can hope even fans aren't delusional enough to think that they were, are or will ever be hip in any way.

Hall and Oates are for people that think Tim and Eric are funny...aka, the braindead. Death to the 80s revival. Death to hipsters. Death to PBR and bad beards.

I can't believe how bad that Tim and Eric show is.

agreed...and the next person that compares it to "theatre of the absurd" insulting the name of andy kaufman is gonna get a beatdown.

i don't care if they're the nicest and most humble guys in hollywoodland...they're a 1-trick pony and their trick is wearing too much makeup, making awkward faces at their audience, and fumbling through their "act."

i blame bob odenkirk for continuously funneling them television work...they've infected almost every part of Adult Swim lately, down to the sketchy "humor" in the station bumps during commercial breaks.

i'd totally catch a felony if i ever met them. i'd expect medals and a parade afterward, too.

Whoa: Re Hall and Oates - I wrote music for radio and TV for over ten years and at least recognize song-writing craft.

You may not like them, but honestly - if you removed your subjective analysis from the equation, they are prolific song writers (or at least Daryll Hall is). Any writing team that has had that many hits and have sold millions of records, have had their shit covered by other artists, you have to give them their props if you know anything about the artistic process.

It is the same way I feel about Elton John, or Billy Joel. I don't care for them much, but respect the shit out of what they have done with their careers and how their songs have endured over 30-year+ careers. You and I should be so fortunate.

Finally. I was hoping somebody would turn this into a debate on the merits of Hall and Oates!

oh, i just hate the 80s...especially the pop music...harmless angst.

tim and eric, though...now that's hate.

I feel similarly towards Georgia O'Keefe, I'm sure she's real talented, I just prefer to not stare at paintings of vagina flowers all day. Hall & Oates = paintings of vagina flowers.

You wouldn't like my house, then. It's covered wall-to-wall with vagina flower paintings and has Hall and Oates blasting 24/7.

I wanna live all alone in the desert. I wanna be like Georgia O'Keefe.

speaking of...Tucson, AZ needs to cough up a job for me so I can go live in the desert and teach people how to grow flowers/veggies.

it helps that people are leaving the state in droves because of their ass-backwards government...it doesn't help that it's driving down wages like crazy, though, because too many people are leaving too quickly.

at least the housing is being nearly given away...and the food is always cheap.

Speaking of, where can I buy some of these unique crunch hybrid hot pepper seeds? It's almost time for us zone 5 people to start our seeds inside and I'd like something no one else has... Hmm?

You should start an online store or something.

if you're talking about the seed i bred it's a sweet pepper seed and it's a non-hybrid after many seasons of post-cross breeding selection. it comes true to type from seed even if saved year after year at this point.

that said, you can send your mail addy to (deleted 12/13) and i'll send you a selection of some hot pepper seeds and a description of their growth/heat-levels (and the sweet one if you want).

i have a nice selection of all kinds of pepper seed...more than i can use, f'sure.

Hell yea. Sent.

Just Google imaged "Georgia O'Keefe" -- Vagina flower paintings, for sure.

"I hate flowers- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move!"
-- Georgia O'Keefe

Great old picture, Sarah Silverman as Georgia O'Keefe:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eat-the-press/s...

For my part, I didn't debate the merits of Hall and Oates, just their lack of coolness. At a time when Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Talking Heads etc. etc. etc. were pushing the pop envelop a bit, Hall and Oates were cranking out competent but unchallenging candy like Maneater.

You are right, we should be so fortunate. It's just not very interesting. I have written for TV for nearly twenty years and if I were to use a Hall and Oates song it would be as a joke to show how tragically square someone is.

HAHA! :D

Indeed. I get your excellent point. I had a hearty laugh as you are so right about the contrast between the pop song-writing of H and O and the edge of the artists you mention. Actually, it is also ironic that both groups have had enduring "anthems" from the era.

We can all name several. BTW - if you have not caught it, Elvis' cable show, Spectacle on Sundance, is excellent.

Funny you should mention Elvis' show. My wife's friend works on it and she says it is a miracle of editing. Each 45 minute show is cut down from over 3 hours of material, much of it simply unusable. She says Elvis, whom she is a fan of musically, is one of the worst interviewers in the history of broadcasting.

But I do agree, the finished product is excellent.

"[Hill] really can't do anything."

Mark Riggins obviously has strong opinions about catchers--

"The catchers are the ones calling the signs and setting up (for location) and hopefully they’re on the same page with the pitcher. The catcher has to know what he’s doing. You have to have the right catcher out there or he will really mess up the pitcher."

--so if Hill makes the team, it will likely be with Riggins' approval. It will probably have something to do with the pitches Hill calls and the way he sets up. He also throws out more runners than Soto, 28% to 25% over their careers.

Everybody knows Hill can't hit, so he must earn his keep some other way. I don't think he's Hendry's illegitimate son.

I guess I get annoyed when other people talk about Hill the way I talk about Fukudome. But Hill is a veteran grinder who is just trying to grab a couple of seasons of paychecks near the ML minimum. I admire that.

Hill made 700k last year to Soto's 400k

I guess I get annoyed when other people talk about Hill the way I talk about Fukudome.

Not sure how the two are comparable, considering that Fukudome is significantly better than Hill, both offensively and defensively.

"e also throws out more runners than Soto, 28% to 25% over their careers."

I'll live with that 3 point difference compared to the 300 point difference in OPS.

It's not about comparing the backup catcher to the starting catcher (at least not now that Piniella's gone). It's about comparing the backup catcher to other backup catchers. Personally, I'd rather have a guy who "calls a good game" and shuts down running games. A .500 OPS will do - that's Randy Wolf territory and almost a given for any catcher in MLB.

Hill will be gone in 2012 anyway. The grooming of his replacement--and maybe also Soto's--is almost finished. Castillo had something of a breakout year, power-wise, in 2010, with 13 HRs and 59 RBI in 239 ABs. If he continues to hit HRs in Iowa this season, he could replace Hill during the season. Castillo throws out 40% of runners (at least in the minors).

28 to 25 is not decisive, and Soto's bad shoulder cost him two-and-a-half career percentage points last season; but most ML catchers throw better than he does--and also better than Hill. Here are some NL CS numbers for 2010:

Y. Molina .485
M. Olivo (107 GS for COL) .423
R. Martin .386
B. Posey .371
Y. Torrealba .367
H. Quintero (74 GS for HOU) .352
I. Rodriguez .344
R. Hernandez (85 GS for CIN) .340
J. Lucroy (74 GS for MIL) .315
R. Paulino .312
M. Montero (75 GS for ARI) .309
B. McCann .300
N. Hundley (73 GS for SD) .293
C. Ruiz .286
G. Soto .221
K. Hill (60 GS for CHC) .178
G. Kottaras (60 GS for MIL) .164
R. Doumit .122

Soto's CS number was .280 in a healthy year, 2009.

Can we watch Max Ramirez hit in Arizona before we give the backup job to Hill for certain? Please? Koyie Hill is the latest version of Lenny Harris, Jose Macias, Aaron Miles, et al., the bench player that everyone but the Cubs can see doesn't belong in the majors because they can't hit. Yet the Cubs maddeningly continue to trot the guy out there, soaking up useless at-bats, unnecessarily costing the team a couple of WAR per year. Frustrating to say the least.

Koyie Hill is the latest version of Lenny Harris, Jose Macias, Aaron Miles, et al., the bench player that everyone but the Cubs can see doesn't belong in the majors because they can't hit.

If everyone by the Cubs knew that those three didn't belong in the majors, why did they (actually 2 of the three - Harris and Miles) continue their major league career after leaving the Cubs?

wait until STL bats theriot leadoff in 2011...that will blow some cubs blogger minds.

Miles of course, was a favorite of LaRussa's....and that .281/.311/.317 he put up in 151 PA's really didn't help show his worth did it?

http://m.mlb.com/chc/news/article/20110213166...

carrie muskrat continues to go out there and get her quotes. as much as she's mailed in a lot of stuff (especially her mailbag articles, no pun), she's been writing a lot of good stuff for a while now, imo.

Don't EVER compliment the Mustache.

ha.

i'm just glad she's using her power of access to track down some decent quotes to pad out her work. it's refreshing.

Fair enough. She did manage to splatter a large number of good quotes into that piece, I'll give you that.

But come on, if you're going to write: "Quade guided the Cubs to a 24-13 record after he took over for Lou Piniella. But when "Q" replaced Lou on Aug. 23, the Cubs were 21 1/2 games back. Now, Quade starts fresh, yet has had six weeks to make the transition easier." then you have to continue using "Q" to refer to him. Otherwise it's pointless to point out the nickname. You only do it in quotes once to indicate it as such, then you continue without the quotes. She uses "Q" only that one time. I'm getting fucking tired of seeing "Q" in quotation marks by these shitty journalists. We fucking get it! His nickname is "Q". It's fucking clever. Congratulations. Now use the fucking thing or stop pointing it out.

By the way, "J" is ready for the season to start.

hahah...awesome.

They shouldn't call him "Q", the Blackhawks head coach is Joel Quenneville and his nickname is "Q".

how about "Q-ball"

lol, that works.

damn...and I thought Nelly Furtado wrote their signature song when she was 4, d'oh

long story short...many cubs ate a lot of pasta and chicken this offseason.

heh...dude is a decent writer for a PA announcer, btw...and seemingly handy with photoshop.

geo's looking pretty slim...nice.

I need a better shot of his eyebrows to fully evaluate how Geo is really looking this year.

from the boys o spring link, I like the Bryan Harper at AA info

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Wittenmeyer says he expects Marmol to get 3/23

I think JH offered 3/44.

Barney looking sort of like Garciappara there. Maybe the bat won't get knocked out of his hands quite so often this year.

Is it just me or does the baseball offseason feel unbearably long?

Hear, hear.

They should make Prozac shaped and painted like little baseballs. Quick, patent that before MLB steals it.

Bruce Levine on radio: Marmol deal done, somewhere close to 3/20 (he didn't have the final numbers yet).

NTC?
Can opt out after first year?
Suite on the road?

/standard Hendry contract

I forgot back loaded contract.

$ 10 million in Marmol's last year.

Hendry already giving the next GM ulcers.

Yes, Hendry's successor will have a lot to deal with in 25 years when he's finally replaced.

Actually it's $9.8 million in his first FA year, which is less than F-Rod or Soriano got, and is, Blass and/or Prior disease aside, a pretty good discount.

Silva out of workouts today with 103 fever (per Sully tweet)

anything to get out of work? took his temp between toes while wearing hunting socks? Silva's motto: feed a fever, starve a cold

Looks like he feeds colds too.

rotoworld details the marmol contract

The new contract will cover Marmol's final two years of arbitration and his first year of free agency. He'll take home $3.2 million this season, $7 million in 2012 and $9.8 million in 2013. The new deal also includes a limited no-trade clause.

info source seems to be a Mustache tweet

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/372376...

More heavy backloading on Hendry's part. I guess Ricketts has given Hendry a very hard line budget for this season. The $3.2 million is about a million less than the Cubs offered Marmol in arbitration.

Yep! Attaboy, "Back-Load Hendry"!

Hendry takes some well deserved criticism for some of his contracts, but as far as "backloading" in this case, keep in mind that Marmol's contract covers two arbitration years and one free agent year. Without a long-term contract, the difference in salary between each year would be as large or much larger than shown in this deal.

Assuming a healthy Marmol, this deal looks very club-friendly.

Though I've probably just damned the man to severe elbow damage by even typing the words "assuming a healthy Marmol".

That's like admitting you're willing to pay $3M to a dominant closer and $10M to a guy recovering from TJS.

Yankees designate for assignment Brian Schlitter.

Georgia O'Keefe was Mark Pryor's maternal aunt?

and Sandy Koufax was his uncle.

*clap* *clap* *clap*

Is that a vagina joke?

Queef

Ah, gotcha. I was drawing the connection between her vaginal art and Prior's being a vagina. I didn't even think about her vaginal fart.

VART

"Angel Guzman (shoulder) is expected to throw a simulated game by mid-March."

by the time he's 100% it'll be like making a trade mid-season...wait, that's getting old.

We should have an over/under on IP if he makes the team.

1

I'll take the under.

I'm impressed that Guzman is still trying. No, I don't help to expect to help the Cubs,but I admire his guts. At the time of the injury, he said, "Doing it [surgery], I have a small chance, but there is a chance. So I'm going to take the chance."

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2010/03/07/ange...

im more impressed he should be around 35 years old before he gets his MLB service time for free agency. =p

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 02/15/2011 - 10:20pm.
im more impressed he should be around 35 years old before he gets his MLB service time for free agency. =p

================================

CRUNCH: Angel Guzman was a minor league FA after getting outrighted last October, so he did have the opportunity to leave as a free-agent if he had wanted to try his luck elsewhere. But Gooz really likes playing for the Cubs, and nobody is better with the younger players at Fitch Park than he is. He's always telling jokes and keeping everybody loose, and he sometimes cooks meals for the guys, too. He's a really good cook.

24 yr old Mark Sanchez "hooked up" with a 17 yr old girl, per Deadspin --

http://deadspin.com/#!5755011/the-somewhat-ro...

Is there something about the NY Jets? Sanchez with a 17 yr old, Cromartie with his multiple children of the same age by different women, Rex Ryan with his foot fetish and offering up his wife for group sex on swingers' web sites, the rude comments with Ines Sainz. Brother. After a while, it just begins to feel icky.

edit - Sorry about the link. It says here that Web page addresses turn into links automatically, but it's not happening.

17-year old not a crime in NY or Connecticut apparently

"That's what I like about high school girls, I get older, they stay the same age."

creepy though indeed....

I wonder if he traveled with her if that could become a crime, i.e., having sex with a minor even though in NY she's legal.

---

Back to Pujols, I still can't see Ricketts making a big commitment like that, even though they'll have enough money coming off the books to pay Pujols. Even if they would, I'm not so crazy about the idea of rushing out to sign another aging player to a monster long term deal. I guess the one plus to signing Pujols, for any team, is that when he eventually starts declining defensively he's not as big of a gaping hole on defense as someone playing LF or SS/2B, etc. The other plus is that he's likely to only play 1 season under a new contract before the Mayans come back and murder us all.:)

The other plus is that he's Albert Pujols.

from the "a little too early" department:

http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyman/status/373625...

"one competing baseball exec told me he believes #cubs will offer pujols the a-rod deal ($10 mil, $27.5 mil/yr)."

But how would Pujols help the Cubs get more left-handed? He's a bad fit. /sarc

nearly 30m a year for a 1st baseman aged 32-41 sounds pretty damn "cubs" to me.

I doubt he gets 10 years, but unless there's another bump in the economy, based on this last off-season's salaries I think eight years $230 million his what he gets.

I'd rather that than Pena having a goodish year which he turns into a three year $36 million extension from us.

Anything over 7 years would have to come from an AL team, IMO.

Ever hear of Stan Musial?

Yes, but did Musial's contract cost 30% of the payroll?

It may well have... but Pujols won't, and it doesn't have any bearing on which league he plays in for 2019.

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