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

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.