Cubs Bunting Tourney Update and Other Notes

- Let's see if I kept track here correctly in the bunting tourney. First round winners to date include:

Position Player's Bracket

  • (16) Szczur over (1) Lake
  • (9) Cardenas over (8) Vitters
  • (12) J. Mota over (5) Brenly
  • (4) Lalli over (13) Adduci
  • (11) B. Jackson over (6) Ha
  • (3) W. Castillo over (14) Sappelt
  • (7) Clevenger over (10) Campana
  • (2) LaHair over (15) Rizzo
  • (1) Mather over (16) E. Gonzalez
  • (9) Barney over (8) Scales
  • (5) Castro over (12) J. Jaramillo
  • (4) Stewart over (13) Tolbert
  • (11) Soto over  (6) DeWitt
  • (3) Baker over (14) Amezaga
  • (7) Byrd over (10) Johnson
  • (2) DeJesus over (15) Soriano

Pitcher's Bracket

  • (1) J. Beliveau over (16) A. Cabrera
  • (8) L. Castillo over (9) C. Weathers
  • (12) McNutt over (5) Carrilo
  • (13) Dolis over (4) Jay Jackson
  • (6) Rhee over (11) Gaub
  • (14) Rusin over (3) Bussy
  • (10) Maine over (7) Parker
  • (2) Coleman over (15) Mateo
  • (1) T. Wood over (16) Caridad
  • (9) Samardzija over (8) Russell
  • (12) Wells over (5) Volstad
  • (4) Sonnastine over (13) Corpas
  • (11) Marmol over (6) Garza
  • (3) Maholm over (14) Lopez (originally postponed due to Maholm being sick)
  • (10 Dempster over (7) T. Miller
  • (15) Sveum over (2) Kerry Wood

2nd Round Matchups are:

Position Players' Bracket

  • (9) Cardenas vs. (16) Szczur
  • (4) Lalli vs. (12) Mota
  • (3) W. Castillo vs. (11) B. Jackson
  • (2) LaHair vs. (7) Clevenger
  • (1) Mather vs. (9) Barney
  • (4) Stewart vs. (5) Castro
  • (3) Baker vs. (11) Soto
  • (2) DeJesus vs. (7) Byrd

Pitcher's Bracket:

  • (1) Beliveau vs. (8) L. Castillo
  • (12) McNutt vs. (13) Dolis
  • (6) Rhee vs. (14) Rusin
  • (2) Coleman vs. (10) Maine
  • (1) T. Wood vs. (9) Samardzija
  • (4) Sonnastine vs. (12) Wells
  • (11) Marmol vs. Maholm/Lopez winner (Update: Maholm beat Lopez)
  • (10) Dempster vs. (15) Sveum

- Paul Maholm is back in camp after missing two days with the flu.

- It appears Jeff Samardzija is a bit of a Kenny Powers fan.

- The Cubs will play some intrasquad games Friday and Saturday, with Cactus League play beginning on Sunday. Rodrigo Lopez gets the starting nod on Sunday. He'll be followed by Ryan Dempster on Monday and Matt Garza on Tuesday.

- Carlos Marmol spent the offseason riding horses and starring in romantic novels or something like that.


collector speaks out

Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.

Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement. My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples. No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored.

Interesting example (I thought) of a manager's words seeming to change according to their context. In this case the different contexts are provided by Patrick Mooney and Carrie Muskat.

Apparently Sveum said something recently about Soriano's tendency to stand at the plate after hitting a warning-track fly. Here is an account in

The diehards at the Cubs Convention loved it when Sveum answered one fan question by saying that you might have to bench guys who embarrass the organization.

Sveum seems to have a more realistic view of Soriano. Sveum remembers Bill Hall watching a few balls that didn’t go out with the Milwaukee Brewers.

“It wasn’t that (Hall) didn’t play hard,” Sveum said. “They feel bad (afterward). That’s a natural major-league habit. It’s very hard to hit fly balls that are almost home runs, or you think might be a home run, and sprint to first base.

“Sure, you want that to happen, but some of those things (are) actually hard to break in the heat of a battle. It’s the other things: We want to be able to run balls out to the left side of the field. We want to be able to stretch singles into doubles, take hard turns (and) run the bases really hard.

“I know the fans don’t like that, but sometimes they have to understand that’s a habit.”

Today, Muskat gives the same answer (with modifications) as a response to a different question, why Soriano sometimes doesn't chase down fly balls.

Another criticism is Soriano's defensive play. He has a tendency to watch balls as they go past him in the outfield.

"I've seen people do it before," Sveum said. "Billy Hall had a habit of doing it, too, in Milwaukee. It wasn't that he didn't play hard, but it was almost a habit. Then they feel bad after they do it, but unfortunately it's a weird habit some people have. Deep fly balls, as hitters, you're like, 'Oh, man, I think I got it, I think I got it,' so you didn't run as hard as you should have."

Bad habits are hard to break.

"You talk about it, and hopefully in that spur of the moment, he thinks about something I said," Sveum said. "A lot of things are tougher than just talking about."

I think Muskat just butchered the story. She's taking a quote about gawking at home runs because you think you got it all and using it to punctuate a point about hustling on defense.

Harmon Killerbrew's legacy lives on.

i think we've already established long ago that Carrie Muskat has absolutely no idea what she's doing.

Well played.

I would note that is has nothing to do with her gender. It has to do with her competence.

Did someone imply that it had something to do with her gender? Or did you infer that's what they meant because they kept calling her a "she"? Who's really the sexist here? And how do you feel about segregation and Ian Stewart's swing plane?

Just responding to the voices in my head. I often do that out loud on the train. It keeps people from sitting next to me. Especially when I discuss Ian Stewart's swing plane with myself.

Maholm takes his first round match over R. Lopez

and we're down to 32

and we're down to 28

Cardenas, Lalli, Beliveau, McNutt advance to Sweet 16.

Sweet 16
(1) Beliveau vs. (12) McNutt
(4) Lalli vs. (9) Cardenas

Go Banana!

per our talk about Brett Jackson in an earlier thread

late April call-up keeps Jackson away from free agency until after '18 (presuming he stays in the majors from that point on). A mid-to-late June call-up likely keeps him away from Super 2 status after 2014.

Rizzo is late June (free agency) and late August(super two). I doubt they'd wait until late August unless LaHair is killing it or Rizzo is not.

If LaHair is killing it, Theo Corp had better be selling higher than Tim Allen at the deadline.

I know I just argued that Jackson shouldn't open the season in Chicago, but on the flip side, if Rizzo is still in AAA in August, Theo's grade for Year 1 couldn't possibly be good and will in fact probably be quite bad. "The plan" is clearly Rizzo at 1B, and frankly, they'd better be right.

Or ELSE!!!

The real tricky part is if LaHair is killing it then they trade LaHair, bring up Rizzo, then Rizzo stinks and LaHair keeps killing it for his new team.

Naw. The plan would be to ditch Soriano then shove LaHair over to LF.

if anyone wants a major buzzkill check out the videos of this "bunting contest."

they're lobbing balls barely strong enough to get proper BP out of it with many seconds for the batter to find the ball.

in a way, that may be harder for some since a lot of the balls are arching in from lack of velocity.

it seems more like a "fun" team building exercise rather than a skills exercise.

No chin music during the early spring training bunting tournament? Truly unfathomable

I thought the seeding was the giveaway that it wasn't all too serious.

well, there's BP...and there's lobbing the ball in where the bunter can adjust his footwork a few times and move his hands up to unnatural/unsafe positions on the bat (kerry wood) because the ball is coming in less than 60mph.

that said, there is -nothing- wrong with a team building exercise (especially at the start of camp) and if it at least ties into some kind of useful

There's nothing wrong with it, yet you came here to post that it's a buzzkill.

yet, there's more than a few of us that thought this exercise was at least BP-quality rather than a bunch of guys leaning against the cage practicing bad bunting form.

btw, some colleges use this as a legit drill.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I know, man. What a season. 3rd best record in all of baseball, good enough to have won any division other than the one there in.

    With a win tomorrow, the Cubs will match their 2008 record. Bad omen, I know. If they do win, the most recent year in which the Cubs will have won more games would be 1945 (98-56), the last time they went to the World Series.

    I'll take that omen instead...

  • "oh yeah, and get the fuck off my lawn. :D"

    Ok, now that was funny. :)

  • KB 0-5 with 8 LOB. Really? He is torturing me with 99 RBI. He is also a very different hitter at home vs. road. I suspect most young hitters are.

  • Greinke still in for the 8th. 3 up, 3 down. After 8. 108 pitches, ERA still at 1.66 according to mlb boxscore and he's in line for a 19th win.

  • Greinke 95 pitches through 7. Gives up one run (solo HR to Hedges). ERA at 1.66. Doubt that they will let him give up 5 runs in the 8th.

    Dodgers ahead 2-1.

  • 96 wins with one game to go. Who woulda thunk it.

    Cubs 96 wins have clinched a better record than any AL team and the NL West/East division winners too.

  • cubs win, pirates lose...

  • the curse is now yours.

  • cog a HR away from the cycle after a single in the 6th.

  • Hendricks: 15 up, 15 down.

  • he strongly separates his post-playing career from his playing career, though he loves to visit the barrier of player and fan. many ex-players don't put up this barrier.

    he's not interested in going back to the clubhouse or pretty much anything field/game related, but he'll grab a ticket and observe with the fans and visit ex players on "neutral" ground. he's written 3 pieces for the new yorker and other pieces elsewhere. i remember one photo/bio piece he did, but don't remember where i read it (years ago).

  • ?
    I find your comments rather obtuse. He recognized he didn't want to pursue baseball anymore and went back to school to learn how to become a better writer - opening up a new chapter in his life.

    I don't know where you find a "sad disconnection" because he is writing about his experiences? He pursued a ball career for a long time so no doubt there is some meloncholy in his tone, but I just don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

  • he has an almost sad disconnection from the game based on his writings. even though he's "been there" (no matter how much of a minor role) he doesn't seem to feel like he belongs or deserves to belong in the boy's club.

    he seems to go to great lengths to enjoy the game from an arm's length while occasionally getting close enough for a high-5 from those who affirm him that he belongs.

  • I read that guy's article about why he quit baseball and it was really well done too. In terms of Rizzo, I have seen multiple references to how this is Rizzo's team just as much as Madden's and it makes that pick up that much better that we have someone that is not only a great player but a leader and all around great guy (been reading about all the charity work he does too). There is really nothing not to like about Rizzo.

  • Nice article on Rizzo

    Written by ex teammate

  • JD concurred with Ariettas second at bat