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.

Comments

collector speaks out

http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mc...

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 CSNChicago.com:

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!

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/service...

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 skill...cool.

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

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  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 41 min 4 sec ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 5 hours 6 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 9 hours 51 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 9 hours 52 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 19 hours 34 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 22 hours 31 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 22 hours 44 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 22 hours 53 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 22 hours 58 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 23 hours 16 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 23 hours 52 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 1 day 10 min ago view