Jackson Two Really Can Say Goodbye

looney logoThe weather on closing day was as perfect as it had been inclement on Opening Night. A full house was still trickling in at a leisurely holiday pace into the third inning. Enough came to nudge the season turnstile meter past the half million mark for the seventh time in the last eight seasons despite a last-place team that lost more games than it won for the first time since 2005 [for the record, the home slate was well above sea level at 40-31] and the loss of three dates, most recently on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend on the final home stand. Oddly, the franchise ended up setting an attendance record for a three-game series over the weekend, thanks in part to a rainout that nobody wished for.


A fickle breeze that heralded the change in seasons from summer to autumn and had the flags waving goodbye to the sun-splashed crowd also played havoc with airborne balls. Several were dropped including one that glanced off the glove of Lorenzo Cain and reduced the otherwise fine-looking Omaha centerfielder to Alfonsoandso; bopping him on the schnoz and allowing the eventual but still meaningless winning run[s] to score. Earlier, the Storm Chasers’ left-fielder, David Lough, wrestled a routine fly into his glove like he was lassoing a rhinoceros before dropping the equally routine one hit by the next batter. At that point he accepted a pair of shades relayed to him from the dugout. Iowa’s Marquez Smith snagged a pop fly near the stands and dropped one on the infield grass on consecutive plays an inning later.


On the concourse the scent of sunscreen mingled as pleasantly with grill smoke as season-ticket neighbors did with one another for the last time until spring again comes round.


Prospective wunderkind Brett Jackson opened the game with a home run before later drawing a walk and making a sparkling catch that was extra conspicuous in light of the aforementioned atmospheric conditions.


Having been followed out of the park by a foul ball during the first matinee of the year back in mid-April I decided to make a deliberate try to collect one as a bookend to the campaign. I went out to the parking lot behind the third-base side of the ballpark in between the top and bottom of the 2nd inning. The I-Cubs were retired without hitting one out of bounds, but in the top of the 3rd I heard a percussion just before a white speck appeared on the blue metallic roof of Principal Park. I played it perfectly and it bounced to me as obligingly as a room service double play ball does to the shortstop. Omaha DH Clint Robinson banged 23 homers this year to go with the one foul ball he hit my way [on the next pitch he singled in his 100th RBI of the year, tying the game temporarily at two].


Jay Jackson was one inning shy of his seventh consecutive quality start when he was pulled after five solid innings. Cain’s misfortune in the bottom of the 5th, which was in addition to having already been hit by a Jackson pitch, did at least make Jay the winning pitcher.


The I-Cubs began the season with only three players on the roster age 24 or younger. On Monday there were 11 from that demographic in the home dugout up against the division-winning and playoff-bound visitors from the Royals’ fertile system. Reinforcements seem to be spurting from the farm like water from an uncoiling hose, although LeMahieu at 23 was the only one of the 11 among the Cubs quartet of call-ups.  We are left to hope as many will spray all the way from Des Moines to Chicago as from Omaha to Kansas City. Gordon, Duffy, Hosmer and Moustakas? There are more where they came from.


The scoreboard reported that Iowa won, 7-2. But it also posted this grimmer news - next home game: April 5 vs. Round Rock.


BONUS: Bryan LaHair stands to reap an additional $7,600 from the 38 homers he tagged in 2011. Not only did he break the franchise record of 37 set by Joe Hicks in 1984, he will collect $200 per roundtripper as the recipient of the Joe Bauman Award, bestowed annually upon the top homer hitter in the minor leagues. It’s as though each one equates to a lap around the Monopoly board. LaHair is the first I-Cub to win the honor. Bauman, you may or may not know, hit six dozen IFO’s playing for Roswell, N.M. in 1954 [and drove in 228 runs!]. Folklore holds that every time he hit one at home the fans thrust dollar bills at him through the backstop like they were ringsiders at a strip joint. I doubt he raked $7,600, though. Within a couple of years he was pumping gas at a Phillips station on Route 66.

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Comments

The Chuck LaMar buzz. The next GM of LaCubs?

Run out 100-loss teams until every guy in your system is a Top 5 pick. Pure genius.

worked for PIT and BAL...wait.

But they didn't have Tim Wilken!

Would Wilken really pick different players with a top five pick than he would with a top fifteen pick?

Hayden Simpson and Tyler Colvin were consensus top 300 players when he swooped in on them!!!

as Bruce Levine pointed out, you don't have to resign just to get an interview.

he is buddies with Wilken allegedly.

anyone catch that b.phillips/soto hug, btw? hehe...

i missed the game until it went into extras, myself.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=...

I don't blame him- I love Brandon Phillips, too.

hahaha

Soto's just on board with Project #2 Overall. He gave Votto a BJ.

well-written as always Mike, loved the Bonus info...

from Bruce Levine chat...

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chicago/chat/...

Re: Fleita and Wilken extension

There is no extension for Wilken at this point. There is only a meeting planned in two weeks. I don't think it hurts anything because the owner will make it clear to anyone he hires that the new GM can re-assign them.

heh, and teammate Hunter Pence has caught wind of it

So does anybody want a date with Mayberry?....He's Stanford educated....

Wait wait wait. . . You mean some of you get dates without hiring an agent?

http://www.csnchicago.com/09/07/11/Buckner-wo...

Buckner wants to manage Boise Hawks next year, hopefully for him current manager Mark Johnson doesn't want to anymore.

Speaking of Buckner, if you haven't watched the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode from last week you have to see it.

"that was a horseshit throw, Larry"

"What do you mean you couldn't hit it? Swing at everything! Throw your bat if you have to, but for God's sake, swing!"

Just what we need. My original, favorite Cub.

I just spoke with two GM candidates who both told me they have no prob w/contract to Fleita and probable to Wilken. In fact. they love both.

From Kapman
---
I didn't realize Lou Malnotti or Mindy Kaplan were candidates for the GM job...

Castro SS, Johnson CF, Ramirez 3B,Pena 1B,Soriano LF,LaHair RF,LeMahieu 2B, Hill C, Dempster P

vs.

Phillips 4, Renteria 6, Votto 3, Bruce 9, Alonso 7, Stubbs 8, Francisco 5, Hernandez 2, Cueto

LaHair sur le Feu for Chicago Cubs Team MVP! (apologies to Marmol)

It looks like the way to get rid of Hill is to get rid of Dempster. They're inseparable.

really common up until a few years ago...ted lilly got away with it for a long time, even as a cub.

no hitter watch for A's against Royals

G. Moscoso with 6 IP, retired 30 in a row over 2 starts until giving up a 2-out walk in 6th.

through 7

ends after 7.2 IP...

boo.

My fantasy team approves.

Barney out until Friday, wife expecting.

dewitt and baker...woo.

or day off tomorrow and LeMahieu is starting today

Crawford-LF, Watty-2B, Cerda-3B, Bour-1B, Opitz-DH, Easterling-RF, Szczur-CF, Soto-SS, Brenly-C LHP Antigua

Daytona scores first, 1-0 headed to the 3rd

Justin Bour singles on a pop up to second baseman Justin Jackson.
Jake Opitz walks. Justin Bour to 2nd.
Taiwan Easterling ground bunts into a force out, catcher A. J. Jimenez to third baseman Kevin Ahrens. Justin Bour out at 3rd. Jake Opitz to 2nd. Taiwan Easterling to 1st.
Matthew Szczur grounds into a force out, fielded by third baseman Kevin Ahrens. Jake Opitz out at 3rd. Taiwan Easterling to 2nd. Matthew Szczur to 1st.
Elliot Soto singles on a line drive to center fielder Brad McElroy. Taiwan Easterling scores. Matthew Szczur to 3rd.
Michael Brenly flies out to center fielder Brad McElroy.

2-0 Cubs heading to bottom of 4th

Evan Crawford singles on a ground ball to left fielder Brian Van Kirk.
Logan Watkins singles on a bunt ground ball to first baseman Jon Talley. Evan Crawford advances to 3rd, on missed catch error by second baseman Justin Jackson.
Matthew Cerda walks. Logan Watkins to 2nd.
Justin Bour out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Brad Glenn. Evan Crawford scores.
Jake Opitz flies out to left fielder Brian Van Kirk.
Taiwan Easterling grounds out, second baseman Justin Jackson to first baseman Jon Talley.

2-1 Daytona after 5...

Kevin Ahrens grounds out, shortstop Elliot Soto to first baseman Justin Bour.
Justin Jackson walks.
Ryan Goins doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Evan Crawford. Justin Jackson scores.
Brad McElroy grounds out to first baseman Justin Bour. Ryan Goins to 3rd.
A. J. Jimenez flies out to center fielder Matthew Szczur.

3-1 Daytona after 6, Szczur HR

Szczur's second half will be regarded as a little bit of a step backwards from what he had been doing when the list makers get to it during the offseason, but one thing he has found since the all-star break is a little bit of a power stroke. Obviously he hasn't turned into a slugger, but he looks like he might have a little pop in the bat. If he can get his K:BB ratio back on track too, he'll just be an even more well-rounded player.

In Daytona his K rate raised a little (9.4% to 11%), but he traded 3% fewer groundballs for 3% more line drives. Still his BABIP took a big hit .336 down to .270 (increase in line drives would suggest the opposite). Hopefully just a bit of bad luck. I am OK with not worrying about his diminishing patience, based on 173 PA's, but let's hope he starts taking more balls again next spring.

Antigua so far, 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Daytona escapes bases loaded, 1-out jam in top of the 8th. Still 3-1, heading to the 9th.

Daytona wins 3-1 on a game-ending GIDP 3-6-3...

Del Valle gets the save, Antigua the win

via rotoworld...

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cardinals offered Albert Pujols a nine-year contract extension worth about $195 million last offseason.
SI.com's Jon Heyman reported the figure to be around $210 million. Either way, Pujols and his agent rejected the offer, reportedly seeking something worth over $23 million annually.

I'd be OK with 23 annually for 7 years max. Anything longer than that is just insanity.

From the same guy who said Hendry would not be fired.

Nightengale?

No thanks.

John Smoltz and Al Leiter on MLB Network giving a tutorial on how Smoltz learned to change his mechanics after surgery and how Strasburg needs to change his. They brought up Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

Smoltz showed he used to stand with his back flat against a wall at home during the offseason and practice taking the ball out of his glove and trying to keep from putting both elbows up and putting additional stress on the joints. It was interesting.

Did anyone bother to tell Smoltz that he went back to being continually injured?

http://www.csnchicago.com/09/07/11/Kap-No-LaM...

“I have known Oneri for 20-plus years and he is as good as it gets. He is bilingual, which is a huge plus in his role, he put the entire Latin American operation together and that includes a network of scouts that will go with him wherever he goes," one GM candidate told me. "In addition, the Cubs new 50-acre facility in the Dominican Republic is being put together under his direction. So to lose him would be a major blow to the entire organization.”

~snip~

One NL West executive told me this: “I wish I had an owner as committed as Tom Ricketts is. He spent $20 million on amateur signings and he is spending an unbelievable amount of money to build a state of the art academy in the Dominican Republic. We are all a little jealous of the commitment the Cubs have made to rebuild their organization.”

That's very cool. If that's really the general consensus, fuck it, let him make a few minor personnel decisions while Bush is holding down the fort. Besides, the discussion probably went like this:

Oneri: I think we should not bring up Jackson and let him play for Team USA
Ricketts: Cool

So my earlier griping was probably a waste of valuable bandwidth (we need to preserve as much of that as possible for the lame ad network servers)

dj leM and castro flashing some glove early...great play by leM and a saved bad throw from hill by castro.

lahair made a throw from deep RF...a bit wide and bounced in...not totally weak, but not strong.

One thing I noticed watching the archived game yesterday was how young The Hair looks. He of no hair. I matured really slowly both physically and mentally so I know of what I speak when I say I don't think we should discount that happening to him. He worked the count, then displayed some serious power yesterday. I want to see more of this "kid". I also liked how the Cubs fans cheered when he came out of the dugout as a pinch hitter. Talk about a fan base desperate for a prospect to emerge (Castro not withstanding).

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/sports/mlb/11...

Selig asks Crane to move to AL if he's approved as new owner of Astros.

Stupid, move CO to AL

Houston would be a natural rivalry with Dallas. Makes total sense to try and cultivate that thing in state.

There's not much Rockets-Mav's rivalry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Basketb...

Looks like there is some sort of rivalry with all 3 Texas teams.

What a dumb fucking comment.

What? How so?

Looks like there is some sort of rivalry between any teams in the same league.

Yeah that, the link just said "hey, these teams played in the playoffs, there's a rivalry." People in Houston don't get jazzed up when Dallas comes to town.

Astros average attendance (headed south daily)-
25958

Attendance vs natural rivals, Rangers (who actually brought a lot of fans because the people of Texas are bandwagon fans, aside from football)
26514

Attendance the prior week day series versus the Pirates:
28264

People in Houston go to see the team when they're good, and their main rivalries are with the Cubs and the Cardinals, because they were good at the same time.

It just seems like a natural potential rivalry. More so than any natural rivalry that Colorado would have with anyone in the AL West.

Yeah it will be draw a little extra interest, but it's not going to be any huge windfall of profits for either team. It shouldn't be a motivating factor for league realigment, and personally if it means I have to watch AL baseball, I'll stop going to my 10-15 games per year.

Someone needs to switch leagues. Just to make it a 15/15 balance.

I don't care who does it(other than not the Cubs). I just say that Houston is as good a candidate as anyone.

The Brewers?

15-15 makes very lame interleague happen every day. It's bad enough that it happens twice a year.

Can't we just eliminate the DH and thus de-lame interleague play?

Hey, RN, I really love a lot of your comments but what is with shit like, what a dumb fucking comment? The days of compuserve are gone, pal, and your comments, which are usually pretty good, pull a lot more weight when you don't act like a dick. Seriously, just dumb. Let us enjoy your brain, and not your itchy underwear.

Wuddya mean "the days of compuserve are gone"? I'm logging on here every day on my dial-up connection via *Prodigy! What? How do you guys do it?

Well, say you live in a city and someone tells you "I don't care what the actual case is there where you live, this is what Wikipedia says, and it says 15 years ago something happened". You'd probably think it was a dumb fucking comment.

You're right, I should have phrased it a little more nicely though.

It's less the content and more just the douchefag way you go about life in general.

~No disrespect~

Yeah...

I still have trouble believing some of you fuctards are actually people, with some of the things you say. Like "how you go about life in general" Hard to take anyone seriously, who says something like that. Even harder for someone who agrees with it.

No disrepect intended, of course.

comment withdrawn

And the Cowboys and Oilers/Texans play for a Governors Cup.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor's_Cup_(Texas)

The gulf in Texas from Football to Baseball is about the same as from Football to Soccer everywhere else in the US.

As a DFW resident, I promise that most all of us believe that Houston is vastly inferior in every way. It's a crappy city. I mean, they don't even have zoning. Who does that?

I know this has not been considered, but if the idea is to get rid of one team from the six-team N. L. Central and add a fifth team to the playoffs, I would suggest this:

A. L.:
Keep 14-team league with the divisions the same but add a second Wild Card team (so that three teams from A. L. East can qualify for the playoffs), with the two Wild Card teams playing the play-in games(s).

N. L.
Go to four four-team divisions with one Wild Card team, with the Wild Card team and the division winner with the worst record playing the "play-in" game(s)

N. L. EAST: NYM, PHI, PIT, and WAS
N. L. NORTH: CUBS, COL, MIL, and STL
N. L. SOUTH: ATL, CIN, FLA, and HOU
N. L. WEST: AZ, LAD, SD, and SF

This is good PHIL.

Send it to Bud.

Here's my ambitious realignment plan:

AL East
NY
Boston
Baltimore
Detroit

AL Central
Minnesota
Chicago
Cleveland
KC

AL West
Seattle
Oakland
California (yeah, the California Angels)
Vancouver (formerly Toronto)

AL Southwest
Texas
Houston
Arizona
Mexico City (expansion)

NL East
NY
Washington
Philly
Pittsburgh

NL Central
Chicago
Stl
Milwaukee
Cincy

NL West
LA
Colorado
SD
SF

NL Southeast
Atlanta
Florida
Tampa
Louisville (expansion)

No wildcards, just 4 division champs. 1 in 4 odds of winning your division, makes things more competitive.

No interleague play.

And while we are changing rules, no f-ing dh.

"Mexico City (expansion)"

Just what we need, another team in Los Angeles.

How bad are we going to feel when Mexico City and Louisville win the WS before Cubs?

(B)ryan LaLudwick redux?

I hope not. My last scan of Ludwick's numbers didn't exactly make me see him as someone to mimic.

I'm thinking more like Roy Hobbs.

Or an age 29 Carlos Pena?

He looks good to me, dude. He's got a good eye at the plate, a nice quick swing. Doesn't seem to be afraid to go with the pitch, works the count. Maybe all those years taking buses and smelling some serious greenbacks is pushing this guy.

I'm a sucker for a great story, though, so take it all with a grain of salt.

WTF? Kerry still doing 98?????

meant more in terms of being a late bloomer than a quick fader...

As a contributor, Mike, you need to reply to the comment. I think a lot of your stuff gets lost when you don't do that. Try it now. Hit reply and say fuck you. It will be therapeutic.

he did reply to your comment, but when there's replies to replies and you reply to the original comment it gets buried under and is a little harder to follow.

Fuck You!

i don't have very good command of my replies o&b; they never go where i aim them but i am well-practiced in the art of fy therapy...about to hit the button so this may be a case in point; here goes...

Just tried to access Bruce Miles' blog and it's now officially locked. Too bad, he's probably my favorite local beat writer (his braindead commenters notwithstanding).

If you're reading this, Bruce. we'll miss you.

I concur. There's a few people from this forum who became regs there. And he ran a pretty good ship when it wasn't inundated with multiple link comments directing people to malware. Which we don't get here, I'd like to add.

I actually even made a comment on Bruce's blog: Dude: Akismet.

Probably, the DH found the overhead on blog maintenance, as well as the rest of their online presence, too much. They are not familiar, apparently, with open source stuff like Drupal or even Concrete5. A smart guy could probably create a decent major league city news site these days with open source and a few east european programmers to keep the spammers at bay. But the DH is in the mode of, oh dear, this costs a lot to maintain and are charging 20 bucks a month to access their content.

A better model would be to set up access to individual columnists like bruce and take micropayments, but hey, what do i know.

-edit-

I would not pay one red cent for one of your comments, Ryno, and I think you know that. Based on parachat shit. Carry on.

Miles will be the only thing (and Tim Sassone's Blackhawks coverage) that I'll miss about the Daily Herald.

Dumb. 20$/month?

Miles at 20 cents a column, or whatever. It's called micropayments, DH, enjoy your death.

In literally seconds I can have you all reading the DH again just like before. Ask me how (just say "how?" in another thread).

You're welcome.

k.hill's ytd average drops below .200...awesome.

What's his catcher's ERA pal? Huh? Huh?

Marmol threw 4 sliders and then 2 fastballs to Phillips last night, producing an off-balance 3rd-strike swing on a fastball high and tight. Then he threw 2 fastball strikes before getting Renteria to go fishing for a low outside slider. He threw 2 fastballs to Votto before getting a ground out on a slider.

This is an unusual pattern for Marmol, and an unusual balance: 6 sliders, 6 fastballs. An easy, efficient inning!

I think Koyie Hill has something to do with an inning like that. I think he tends to encourage pitchers to throw fastballs. With a couple of recent blown saves fresh in his mind, Marmol is less inclined than usual to shake off his catcher. Even if you don't agree that there is a difference in game-calling between Hill and Soto, you might acknowledge that a Marmol who is not slider-happy is a good thing, and that a catcher could make a difference.

I also associate the fastball-shyness that we have seen in relievers like Marmol, Wuertz and Dempster with Larry Rothschild. Guys like Wood and Cashner were never going to go overboard with their offspeed stuff, but many pitchers seem to have that temptation.

This is an unusual pattern for Marmol, and an unusual balance: 6 sliders, 6 fastballs. An easy, efficient inning!

I think Koyie Hill has something to do with an inning like that. I think he tends to encourage pitchers to throw fastballs.

The unusual pattern was throwing the fastball where he wanted it. It's just sample size. Had he gone 2-0 on Renteria with fastballs, something he has been prone to do, he would have had to revert to the slider to try to throw some strikes.

I'm sure if a coach told Soto that he should call more fastballs, especially from Marmol, he would do it. Hill has nothing to do with it. The reason Marmol doesn't throw many fastballs is that he has even more trouble controlling his fastball than he does his slider. It's kind of amazing.

"he has even more trouble controlling his fastball"

Perhaps, but if you have trouble controlling both pitches, it's safer to throw the slider, for two reasons: one, hitters will take a 2-0 slider right down the middle, where they would be sitting on a fastball; and two, hitters will sometimes swing at a slider out of the zone whereas a fastball has to be a strike to be any use. A third reason might be that if they hit the fastball, people might second-guess him since the slider is considered his best pitch.

None of these reasons impresses me. If he could command two pitches, he would be great. Instead he's lazy and sloppy.

I watched Soto catching Marshall recently against the Phillies and he made excellent strategic use of the fastball. (Marshall's fastball, by the way, registers higher on the gun these days than Marmol's.) So, yes, it's mostly to do with the pitcher, not the catcher.

Mike, another great article.

Side note to your bonus: I'm living in NM (Clovis, not Albuquerque, don't ever come here, you're not missing much), and went to an Amarillo (TX) Sox game earlier this year. The fans went to the backstop and thrust their singles through after every homer the home team hit, apparently for the 'privilege' of dropping them into the batter's waiting helmet. I thought it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen, and so did a few folks sitting around me. One guy turns to us and says something to the effect of, "These boys don't make too much playin' independent ball, so the fans tip 'em when they hit one out. It's brought in some better hitters over the years, you'd be surprised."

........At which point, I wondered, "Would actually frigging TIPPING the Cubs help the lineup???"

As a rule, I don't tip people who make at least 10x more in a single year than I do. But I'd be happy to connect them with any sexy mermaids I know if that motivates them.

The Cubs players should throw money into the stands after every crappy at bat or fielding play.

I'd only appreciate that if anyone on the team had enough arm to get the money up to the cheap seats.

Ha! Thanks, Tony! As for tipping the Cubs, I'll go as far as my hat if/when they do something worthy of even so much as that!

If they want a tip, tell them to not smoke in bed

If they want a tip...
---
Tippecanoe and Colvin too?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tippecanoe_and_T...

meh, with the winning...

We seem to be able to beat these other crappy teams. We need more playoff contenders scheduled.

Football.

Calling Arizona Phil:

I've been away from here for some time, and have missed your farm system updates.

Does Brenley's kid have a realistic chance at advancing much higher?

Submitted by samclyatt on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 12:27pm.
Calling Arizona Phil:

Does Brenley's kid have a realistic chance at advancing much higher?

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

SAM: With Luis Flores spending the first month of the 2012 regular season on the Restricted List while serving out the balance of his 50-game PED suspension, Michael Brenly should at least start the 2012 season as the #1 catcher at AA Tennessee. But he is going to have to show a lot more with the bat at AA than he did this season at Daytona to get regular playing time after Flores is reinstated.

At the very least Brenly has the defensive skills needed to be a AA back-up catcher, but whether he will ever rise above that depends on his bat. While he did a fine job behind the plate at Daytona this season, he regressed (significantly) offensively, and that was while repeating a level. And that is never good.

A/Phil:

Thanks, as always. Maybe his daddy can take some time off from his guitar playing this winter and help the kid find a good batting coach. Or, perhaps the kid is just a chip off the old block, because I don't think the old man was that good with the bat either, although that was a long time ago--almost too long for me to remember.

While he did a fine job behind the plate at Daytona this season, he regressed (significantly) offensively, and that was while repeating a level. And that is never good.

To me, he's been the single most disapointing Cubs farmhand this year. He looked like a guy who would just inch up the ladder and eventually make it to the bigs as a backup, maybe a poor hitting second divisional starter, and he just crapped his pants, for whatever reason this year.

His dad was a much better hitter than he was, but didn't hit the bigs until he turned 27.

Bob Brenly was a decent hitting catcher at the time, although a tad inconsistent, and really only had 4 seasons as a true starting catcher. Now that most of the MLB players appear to be off steroids and/or HGH, catcher (and middle inf) stats have dropped back to normal levels and making a direct comparison to the early 80's stats for those positions is a little easier. A good comparison for Brenly's bat with today's players is probably actually Geo Soto, although Soto I think has more talent as a hitter, his actual production has been very inconsistent. Another thing to note is that Brenly didn't become a starting MLB catcher until he was 30. Still, because Brenly/Soto could hit 15 hr's and drive in 55-60 or more rbi in a year, in a decent year, they were far better choices than most other catchers at their time.

Never looked at Brenly's stats before, but how did he manage a career .264 BABIP? That seems to make up the biggest difference between his and Soto's offensive numbers.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/07/abbata...

Maybe the change in organizations is something that LaHair needed to be able to make the jump from Triple-A to the Majors. He credits Iowa hitting coach, Von Joshua, with changing his hand slot in his swing.

Crawford CF, Watkins 2B, Cerda 3B, Bour 1B, Opitz DH, Abreu RF, Szczur CF, Soto SS, Brenly C

Matt Loosen pitches.

Smokies Game 1 lineup

Adduci, Ha, Lalli, Ridling, Vitters, Clevenger, Lake, Mota, Raley

B. Raley didn't have it, down 5-1 in the 3rd

0-0 Daytona in the 4th.

Vitters with a 2-run HR, down 5-3 in bottom of 4th

Daytona down 1-0 in 5th.

Smokies take 6-5 lead on Mota sac fly, Adduci double and Ha single.

still going in the 4th

Blake Lalli goes yard, 8-5, still in the 4th

Daytona down 1-0 now in the 7th.

7 spot in the 4th. Nice going Smokies!

4-run 8th inning rally by Daytona, Szczur with the game winning hit and Daytona wins 4-3.

Smokies up 9-5 in the bottom of the 8th.

Barbie Dollis gives up one in the 9th, but they win.

That's two more wins in one day at the minor leagues than the big league team has accumulated in the last eight years.

I'll be Dr AaronB:
Sure he got the game winning hit, but Szczur doesn't even have a 700 OPS! I can't believe people like him! What a shitty minor league system!

Let me know when he puts up Marlon Byrd level stats in A ball.

If Byrd could play a decent center, he'd be a pretty good player.

Daytona Bottom of the 8th

Michael Brenly singles on a bunt ground ball to pitcher Frank Gailey.
Evan Crawford singles on a ground ball to right fielder Justin Jackson. Michael Brenly to 2nd.
Logan Watkins walks. Michael Brenly to 3rd. Evan Crawford to 2nd.

Pitcher Change: Aaron Loup replaces Frank Gailey.

Matthew Cerda singles on a ground ball to left fielder Brad Glenn. Michael Brenly scores. Evan Crawford to 3rd. Logan Watkins to 2nd.
Justin Bour singles on a line drive to center fielder Brad McElroy. Evan Crawford scores. Logan Watkins to 3rd. Matthew Cerda to 2nd.
Greg Rohan out on a sacrifice fly to left fielder Brad Glenn. Logan Watkins scores.
Abner Abreu singles on a line drive to right fielder Justin Jackson. Matthew Cerda to 3rd. Justin Bour to 2nd.

Pitcher Change: Vince Bongiovanni replaces Aaron Loup.

Matthew Szczur singles on a line drive to right fielder Justin Jackson. Matthew Cerda scores. Justin Bour to 3rd. Abner Abreu to 2nd.

Elliot Soto flies into double play, right fielder Justin Jackson to catcher A. Jimenez. Justin Bour out at home on the throw.

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

Understand that even if the next GM comes from another organization, teams granting permission to speak with a candidate often do so under the condition that he can't bring more than a couple of key employees to his new job. That makes the institutional knowledge and continuity a guy such as Fleita offers an asset more than a liability, particularly given his reputation. The Tigers weren't the only team to tempt Fleita since Jim Hendry was fired, a source said.
---
What some viewed as a naïve move by a novice owner others considered a good sign that Ricketts can be decisive when identifying a smart baseball man. Fleita, 44, qualifies. The move also reinforced Ricketts' commitment to increasing the size of the baseball operations staff that has been a priority since he took over.

unpossible!!!! Ricketts is destroying everything...EVERYTHING!!!

so when the Trib has Rosenbloom write his article and then has Haugh write his, does some editor even bring up the question how stupid it makes Rosenbloom look?

With this short attention span society?

Would serious baseball fans even read Rosenbloom if he didn't get linked at sites like this? I imagine the other writers and the editor know what Rosenbloom's job is and "insight" is not part of the description.

You and Rob G are invited to write the wikipedia entry for Trib writer Steve Rosenbloom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Rosenbloom

Please seriously consider it.

It's really surprising that a guy who's job is basically self promotion hasn't filled out his own wiki.

I am too busy correcting the NBA Rivalry page this week, to take on this one, though.

Heyman

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers...

Stark

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings...

suggest Beane is the only one of the top 4 that Cubs have a legit shot of getting and it's not that legit

So one longtime friend of team chairman Tom Ricketts predicts that, in the end, he'll hire a young, creative, sabermetrically inclined executive willing to try a whole new approach to curse-busting.

beane's only a part owner of the A's...i could see him selling low on his investment in order for cali kid to move to chicago and deal with all that.

totally sounds legit.

"Umpires show ethnic bias in ball/strike calls—unless they're feeling watched"

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/09/u...

when an umpire was from the same ethnic group as the pitcher, they were more likely to call a pitch a strike, at least at a ball park that was not equipped with a QuesTec monitor. When the same analysis was performed at a QuesTec game, the probability that a pitch would be called a strike when there was matching pitcher/ump ethnicity dropped by a full percent—"more than offsetting the favoritism shown by umpires when QuesTec does not monitor them." This was specific to pitchers, as running the same analysis with the catcher and the batter showed no statistically significant differences.

It wasn't just the presence of the automated system, though, as the authors found that any situation that would lead to heightened attention on the umpire changed the ball/strike calls. These included having more fans in the stands, and pitches that were more likely to be decisive (the pitcher had thrown three balls or two strikes, meaning the next pitch could end the at-bat). Most of the effects were very small, but the authors note that, in rare edge cases, they could add up. "One can construct specific examples where the estimated direct effect is fairly large," they write. "A black pitcher throwing a nonterminal pitch in the early innings of poorly attended games in a non-QuesTec ballpark gains over 6 percentage points by matching [the umpire's ethnicity] (41.4 versus 35.2 percent called strikes)."

Not terribly surprising, to me, since it makes up the largest part of home-field advantage in all sports.

I wonder if part of it could be that the pitchers actually do throw better with a same ethniticity umpire behind the plate. Just a thought.

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, LaHair RF, Soto C, Coleman P

magic # = 18...will he/won't he?

Archer struck out 11 yesterday in 5.2 IP

he also gave up 5 ER, 7 H, 3 BB and a HR

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/694...

Cubs will reach 3M fans, will reduce prices for bleachers for portions of 2012.

The Chicago Cubs will draw 3 million fans for the eighth straight season, according to a team source, yet the team will lower prices on bleacher seats in 2012.

And when I say "Draw 3 million fans" I really mean "sell 3 million tickets while actually drawing 2 million people and 1 million fans".

Good to see the death of the English language is progressing on schedule.

God, that link is so bad it makes me weep for America.

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