Vitters Cleans Up After Rizzo, Jackson

(Oh My) Josh Vitters doubled and singled today to nudge his batting average past .300 as the Iowa Cubs, tied with Delmarva of the South Atlantic League for the most one-run losses in MiLB, nipped Omaha for the third straight day at Principal Park. Adrian Cardenas, whose error permitted Omaha to tie the game in the 7th, delivered a walk-off single in the 9th to give the I-Cubs a 6-5 victory.

Brett Jackson sat for the fourth straight game with those pesky back spasms. But what about his bat spasms? Whenever he returns to the lineup he'll lug a 16 game whiff streak to the plate. Not since June 17th has Jackson started and not struck out at least once. Almost half of his hits are for extra bases (he's in double figures in all three of the non-single categories) but he's no Adam Dunn as a slugger, except for having fanned an astonishing 122 times already this year. Last week Jackson got a haircut and declared his intention to also trim his sweeping swing. We'll see if a curtailed swing curtails his futility as effectively as the aching back has in recent days. 

Today was my first return to the scene of The Call-up and somebody named Diory Hernandez and his .179 BA were where The Rizzo used to be (sigh).

Randy Wells trudged to the mound and went through the motions to the tune of a 3-0 deficit after two innings before pitching a few relatively professional innings while his mates climbed back into the game. The winner in relief was recently promoted Alberto Cabrera who struck out four in two+ frames, running his total to 13 in nine innings of work across five appearances against nary a walk so far. He's promising at 6'4" with heat wave velocity. Cabrera earned a Southern League all-star nod before joining the I-Cubs.

Wellington Castillo threw out a base thief today after the Storm Chasers swiped five last night with Brian Esposito behind the plate. Iowa ranks last in the PCL in catching speeders.

Jay Jackson has pitched to the tune of a 1.67 ERA in 12 relief appearances. In nine starts he went 2-5 with a 9.23 ERA. Yes, he can hit, but maybe he's best-suited for supporting rather than leading roles; a bullpen/occasional pinch-hitter combo.

Finally, the hat trick of wins against the runaway division leaders notwithstanding, the only race in the second half of the season that's close around here is the local knock-off of the Milwaukee sausage derby. Today Hot Diggity Dog won. At the break it's Chippy 17, Koolee 16 and HDD now at 15.

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Comments

my god...

i love it (seriously).

we're getting closer to Blernsball every day.

can't wait for the body count to come out.

needs to work motorcycles, fire and sharks into this somehow

Thanks for flagging this. (Just linked to it in TCR Twitter feed.) Wondering how they'll improve on this next year. Maybe put the guy working the oyster bar in front of the 12-foot-high net.

From the twitter box:

The Cubs spent $6 million and a 40-man roster spot on 20-year-old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, but scouts who have seen him pitch in the Class A Midwest League have come away totally unimpressed. "They're trying to tell people it's just mechanics that he needs to get straightened out," one scout said. "But I'm telling you, he stinks. If he was in a junior college game you were at, you'd leave." Concepcion is 2-6 with a 7.39 ERA in 12 starts for Peoria.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobl...

If I were a ballplayer in my late teens, I think I'd change my name, move to Cuba, shave about 4 years off my age, and then "defect" back to the US. Seems like a good way to add a few million to your signing bonus.

Isn't that what Richard Pryor's character did in Bingo Long (for entirely different reasons of course)?

Apropos of nothing, does Jonathan Mayo's face scare anyone else?

Tribune is reporting that Almora has signed for $3.9 million

Make that "will sign" not "has signed"

Well, I "will sign" for 1.8.

1.8, but it's gotta be gluten-free.

haha!

holy cow, the sammy cat!!

here's the Jim Callis tweet that started the re-tweeting stuff...

https://twitter.com/jimcallisBA/status/222392...

Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA
‪Cubs‬ agree w/1st-rder Albert Almora on $3.9 mil (pick value=$3.25 mil). Florida HS OF w/lots of tools & polish.

Almora is Polish? I wouldn't have thought that.

So, if I'm understanding this, the Scott Boras strategy based on the new mlbpa deal is pretty simple:

For each club, his 1st round client is the last to sign (not relative to other's in nearby slots but it's got to be over-slot). Whatever remaining money allocated for the club, short of losing a future year draft choice, goes to his client. If they didn't leave enough money then... they don't sign.

Waiting to see what happens to Appel and the Pirates.

How well this works when all the other agents recognize this will also be interesting.

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 1:26pm — Cubster

So, if I'm understanding this, the Scott Boras strategy based on the new mlbpa deal is pretty simple:

For each club, his 1st round client is the last to sign (not relative to other's in nearby slots but it's got to be over-slot). Whatever remaining money allocated for the club, short of losing a future year draft choice, goes to his client. If they didn't leave enough money then... they don't sign.

Waiting to see what happens to Appel and the Pirates.

How well this works when all the other agents recognize this will also be interesting.

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

CUBSTER: Plus the Cubs will have to pay a $280,350 penalty-tax for going over their assigned Signing Bonus Pool, although the amount the Cubs went over their assigned SBP falls short (just barely) of the amount where the Cubs would have had to forfeit a 2013 1st round draft pick.

And yes, I agree that Scott Boras did exactly what you said. This is the New Way.

And the penalty tax money goes into a pool to be distributed to low revenue teams, right?

Bud didn't see this coming? Theo certainly did...

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 2:09pm — QuietMan

And the penalty tax money goes into a pool to be distributed to low revenue teams, right?

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

Q-MAN: Correct.

The SBP penalty tax money will be distributed to the teams that are eligible to receive revenue sharing.

I think Boras might simply have said to the Cubs: "It will take $3.9 million to sign my client. I don't care what the slot is. I don't care how you come up with the money." I'm sure he would say that it was the Cubs' choice whether to fund the overslot amount to Almora by saving elsewhere within the bonus pool or by paying the 75% tax.

Can't wait for the year Reinsdorf's Sox have a top 5 pick and the $500K he saved on his first ten rounds has to be added to the $3.5M slot for his 1st rounder to sign. My bet since he's the type of guy who would rub two nickels together for an hour if he thought it would turn into a quarter, he would pass on signing the guy. Welcome to the new Draft world you and Bud have spawned, Jerry.

Nah, he'll just waive some more non-guaranteed contracts on the Bulls to make up the extra $$ he needs for the Sox draft picks.

Verlander and Cain are starting in the All-Star game

how to say something without saying anything at all...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

clear as mud.

I saw that, but when I read the first couple sentences decided not to finish reading. Anything worth repeating?

not really...especially since he can't explain himself due to non-disclosure agreements with his previous employer.

a city somewhat-quietly going broke as hell seems to want a MLB team...

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sacramento-explo...

are the cubs and nyy the only MLB teams without a mascot?

there's a furry convention...i mean, mascot gathering...at the AS game and it's something i've never really thought about. dunno how many (if any) other teams don't have a mascot.

-edit- thank u wikipedia...LAA + LAD, too.

There will be a VERY weird after party somewhere in KC.

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 3:04pm — crunch

are the cubs and nyy the only MLB teams without a mascot?

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

CRUNCH: Not Ronnie Woo-Woo?

barf...

well, love the enthusiasm...hate the noise.

hope they never do...@ iowa the 'huggable, lovable, cubby bear' is more of an attraction than the ballgame!

"The stories I like to tell about Bo Jackson are about how much of an asshole he is." - George Brett, who followed by telling a story about the time Bo came to visit and when he left did doughnuts all over his front lawn with his motorcycle before taking off.

he should get so much more air time...on HBO.

he can be abrasive, but he doesn't really have many boundaries for humor...which is mostly good stuff.

anyone here ever shit your pants? lulz...

nsfw reference - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6hu4aLXv7U

anyone know if zach rosscup (one of my man-crushes in the system) is being stretched out to start?

he's put in 2 - 2.1 - 3ip his last 3 outings in AA (all in relief).

he don't fire it, but he's got location and movement on 3 pitches...even if his fastball only sniffs 89/90 on a day when he's got his great stuff.

also, Bob Brenly is having a meet-and-greet at AA Tenn tonight. lulz.

I read somewhere recently that he's hitting 94 with his fastball. If true that changes his prospects

with his control that would be awesome.

hell, if he can still get movement and control on anything 92+ that could be deadly.

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 3:58pm — crunch

anyone know if zach rosscup (one of my man-crushes in the system) is being stretched out to start?

he's put in 2 - 2.1 - 3ip his last 3 outings in AA (all in relief).

he don't fire it, but he's got location and movement on 3 pitches...even if his fastball only sniffs 89/90 on a day when he's got his great stuff.

also, Bob Brenly is having a meet-and-greet at AA Tenn tonight. lulz.

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

CRUNCH: Zac Rosscup was hittihg 94 in his last rehab outing at AZL Cubs (he struck out four of the five men he faced) before getting moved up to Peoria (by way of Boise). That in itself is kind of amazing because (as you mentioned) he never threw that hard before, AND he was coming back from biceps tendinitis and had just started throwing in May.

I don't know what he was throwing at Peoria, but the fact that he was moved from AZL Cubs to Peoria to Tennessee in the space of two weeks probably means he was still dealing at Peoria (no walks and 12 strikeouts in 7.1 IP).

i really love the guy's control and movement. i would have given him a high shot at being a pen option for the majors even without the velocity improvement.

it's a game-changer going from a (imo) legit "crafty" lefty to a guy who suddenly has a + fastball to go with + control/movement of his FB and secondary stuff.

-edit- well, well...guess who's starting for AA tonight...z.rosscup

Waiting to see what happens to Appel(Boras) and the Pirates.
------
tweets Jim Callis on Appel:

Keep hearing ‪Pirates‬ won't give up 1st-rder, which means $3,837,575 max. Not sure what he'll do?

tweets Jon Heyman on Appel:

Mark Appel, rhp picked No. 8 overall, is leaning against signing w/ the pirates for $3.8M to instead return to stanford

and a Heyman article:

Appel seems likely now to pass on the Pirates' offer, and hope to be picked higher next June. His father is a lawyer with Chevron, so he has the luxury to wait if he prefers.

The Pirates could conceivably push the offer a bit past $4 million, but would lose a 2013 draft choice and the few extra hundred thousand dolars are unlikely to make a difference, anyway

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/...

on cubs radar next year?

Depends on how he pitches at Stanford next year. His stats from this year, frankly, aren't all that impressive. I think he's overrated.

Trying to do his best Matt Harrington impersonation. I hope he goes the last pick on round 1 next year.

I suppose the difference being that he'll have a Stanford degree. Whereas Matt Harrington was relegated to working at Best Buy.

Target...with his dad...but same thing, kinda...

fwiw, he did see some money. whatever agent he had at one point (had a few) got his arm insured with London LLoyd's Silly Insurance Emporium...plus whatever settlement(s) he got from sueing his agent.

it most likely wasn't millions, but it was probably enough to help a stockboy's salary.

he was a Cub

commercial featuring k.wood+a.dawson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghITg_eq8Zo

so that's where he was in 1989 nlcs

#4 pick Gausman says he's going back to LSU. Appel may be going back to Stanford next year.

Gutsy moves.

so what happens to the teams that took them?
Any comp? More money to spend next year?

Very gutsy move. I know the draft crop next year is supposedly weak, but Gausman is gambling that he's going to be a top 3 pick. They're going to have even less leverage when they don't have a school to go back to.

Believe that the team that doesn't sign their first round pick gets that pick next year minus one spot (so a team that lost the 4th pick this year gets the 5th the subsequent year) and they get the slot money for that pick back as well.

fwiw, Gausman story doesn't sound like it's 100% yet, could just be posturing on his part. They have until Friday I think.

He can always pull a Hochevar I suppose, but always risky especially if you're a pitcher.

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 7:21pm — tem99

Very gutsy move. I know the draft crop next year is supposedly weak, but Gausman is gambling that he's going to be a top 3 pick. They're going to have even less leverage when they don't have a school to go back to.

Believe that the team that doesn't sign their first round pick gets that pick next year minus one spot (so a team that lost the 4th pick this year gets the 5th the subsequent year) and they get the slot money for that pick back as well.

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

TEM99: If a club does not sign its 2012 1st round pick, it receives a selection in the 2013 draft one slot lower in the 1st round than where the club picked in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft).

Likewise if a club does not sign its 2nd round selection.

For a 3rd round selection not signed, the club receives a compensation pick between the 3rd and 4th round in the next draft. (If more than one club has a 3rd round compensation pick, the order of selection between the 3rd and 4th round is based upon the club's slot in the drafting order).

If a club does not sign its 1st or 2nd round compensation pick, the club gets another compensation pick in the next draft after that, one slot lower than the compensation pick from the previous draft. (This is a change in the new CBA. It used to be that a club only got a compensation pick for failing to sign a 1st or 2nd round in the next year's draft, and if the club did not sign its compensation pick, it did not receive another one).

If a club does not sign its second compensation pick (that is, the one it got when it did not sign its compensation pick from the previous year), it does not receive an additional compensation pick in the next draft after that.

If a club fails to sign a compensation draft pick between the 1st and 2nd round received after an MLB Article XX-B FA who spent the entire previous MLB regular season with that club declines a "Qualifying Offer" (a guaranteed contract for the next season with a salary at least equal to the 125 highest MLB salaries from the previous season) and subsequently signs with a different club, the club does not receive an additional compensation pick in the next year's draft.

Likewise for the six new Competitive Balance "lottery picks" awarded to small-market/low revenue MLB clubs between the 1st and 2nd round, the six Competitive Balance "lottery picks" awarded between the 2nd and 3rd round, and for the 1st and 2nd round draft picks awarded by lottery when a club forfeits a 1st and/or 2nd round pick(s) as the result of exceeding its Signing Bonus Pool (SBP) from the previous Rule 4 draft (First Year Player Draft).

The Competitive Balance draft eligible teams could change from season-to-season, but this year they will be AZ, BAL, CIN, CLE, COL, KC, MIA, MIL, OAK, PIT, SD, STL, and TB. Once a club has been awarded a Competitive Balance lottery pick, it drops out of the lottery and cannot receive another one that season.

All MLB clubs that did not exceed its SBP limit are eligible to participate in the lottery for 1st and 2nd round SBP forfeited draft picks (if there are any, and right now it doesn't look like there will be any).

Clubs that receive compensation draft picks between the 1st and 2nd round after losing an MLB Article XX-B FA will get to pick first (in draft slot order) prior to the six Competitive Balance lottery picks that will be awarded between the 1st and 2nd round.

Note that the lottery for the new 2013 Competitive Balance picks and SBP forfeited draft picks will be held on July 16th (the Monday after the 2012 Rule 4 Draft Signing Deadline), and these picks can be traded beginning on the day after the lottery (Tuesday 7/17) up through the last day of the 2012 MLB regular season, and then again starting on Opening Day 2013 up until the 2013 First Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) next June. The two caveats are that these draft picks can only be traded in exchange for a player or players (the pick cannot be sold for cash), and the pick can only be traded once (only by the team that was awarded the pick in the lottery).

Further, the two lotteries (Competitive Balance and SBP forfeited picks) will be weighted based upon the standings from the previous season (and in the case of the SBP forfeited picks, clubs that receive revenue sharing will have a better chance).

The mechanics of the lottery have not yet been announced, but perhaps MLB could borrow the NBA's lottery equipment (ping-pong balls and wheel). I guess it will be obvious if they do that, especially if Sacramento gets one of the six Competitive Balance picks, or if Elgin Baylor represents the Padres.

Yes. Good call. Of course, since Expos > Nationals were MLB owned at one time, maybe they would have "Hornet's luck" ending up with the #1 pick.

AZ Phil: Can you tell me what you/heard about Greyfer Eregua pitching ability? He was with the DSL #2 Cubs which means bottom of the totem pole but at 18 seems to be having some success.

Eregua, Greyfer 6 3 0 0 1 2 0.56 W (2 - 0)

More for AZ Phil: Is Reggie Golden rehabbing there in AZ? Since he had weight issues in the past, I have concerns about what kind of physical shape he's going to be in once he returns.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 9:55am — QuietMan

More for AZ Phil: Is Reggie Golden rehabbing there in AZ? Since he had weight issues in the past, I have concerns about what kind of physical shape he's going to be in once he returns.

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

Q-MAN: Reggie Golden is in very limited (non-baseball) rehab at Fitch Park. He has a brace on his knee and he can walk, but he will be having additional surgery next month (he tore two ligaments in his knee; one was repaired in May, but surgery to repair the other one was postponed until August).

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:53am — Cubster

AZ Phil: Can you tell me what you/heard about Greyfer Eregua pitching ability? He was with the DSL #2 Cubs which means bottom of the totem pole but at 18 seems to be having some success.

Eregua, Greyfer 6 3 0 0 1 2 0.56 W (2 - 0)

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

CUBSTER: I haven't heard anything about Eregua.

LaHair passed on a 2 year deal to play in Japan this past off-season. $2.8 to $3 million contract.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Phil - could the Cubs drop Concepcion from the 40 man roster at this point, or do they have to keep him there no matter how badly he pitches?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 10:50am — DavidP

Phil - could the Cubs drop Concepcion from the 40 man roster at this point, or do they have to keep him there no matter how badly he pitches?

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

DAVID P: Gerardo Concepcion can be dropped from the 40-man roster at any time, although he would have to first go through Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) where he could be claimed by another club for $20,000.

Also, his $6M contract would remain in force even if he is outrighted to the minors (presuming it's all guaranteed money).

I would think it's VERY unlikely that the Cubs would drop Concepcion from the 40-man roster prior to the end of the 2013 season, no matter how badly he pitches.

I could see him get moved down to Boise or AZL Cubs, though. He obviously is not ready for Peoria.

I wish they would drop him from the 40. Keeping him there is doing nothing but burning up his options.

If the Cubs put him on waivers and someone claimed him, would the Cubs still be on the hook for the remaining three million, or would that be the responsibility of the claiming club?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 2:03pm — DavidP

If the Cubs put him on waivers and someone claimed him, would the Cubs still be on the hook for the remaining three million, or would that be the responsibility of the claiming club?

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

DAVID P: The claiming club would be responsible for whatever salary is left on the contract, which is probably why the Cubs could probably get him through waivers (as long as he continues to suck).

Here's an interesting article about why the Kansas City Royals success in building a great minor league system hasn't translated to also having a great MLB team:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8147253/t...

That's a good article, and a good reason why I will stay skeptical until TheoCorp actually puts a winning team on the field. That's not really a knock on TheoCorp. It's just that it is tough to build a winner and that was a good example of how hard it is to do it completely from within.

I liked the quote that it takes 5 solid pitching prospects to make one good starter because of the rate pitchers get hurt. That seems like pretty good math to me.

Luckily, the Cubs will never have to build entirely from within. Their revenue advantages are likely almost twice those of Kansas City, which creates extra tens of millions of dollars in resource advantage.

Part of the Royals issue too is never holding on to their players when they become good and more expensive and never bringing in expensive FAs. The Cubs will be able to hold on to those players and bring in a Fielder like player when we have the proper core of the team in place.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

Re: Jae-Hoon Ha
Ha delivered the most shocking blow of the Futures Game, a two-run homer to the opposite field off a 95-mph fastball from Pirates righthander Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. In 143 Double-A games over the last two seasons, Ha has gone deep just six times.

Originally signed as a catcher out of Korea in 2008, Ha developed the yips making throws to second base and moved to the outfield. He stands out most for his quality defense in center field, where his plus speed and outstanding jumps give him plenty of range. He has a short righthanded stroke and has leveled off in Double-A (.267/.321/.371) after showing some pop in the lower minors. His speed has yet to translate into basestealing.

While he's still just 21, Ha may not make enough offensive impact to be a big league regular. On the Cubs' center-field depth chart, Ha ranks behind Albert Almora, Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur, though he's the best defender of that group.

"the yips"...callis keeping it real.

Thanks for mailing it in, Jim. We already had the numbers.

He showed some pop in the Futures game--I don't recall Szczur or Jackson getting two hits including a homer--and also in the Southern League finals where he homered to give the Smokies the lead in two games they ultimately lost.

Defense plays better than many people imagine. Check out Barney's career so far.

hurrah for this being the last night i have to hear that dumb "i didn't take the road of the easy" AS game commercial.

RIP garden claw gold.

RIP great gifts.

albert almora‏@albertalmora

Officially a ‪#Cub‬.. Starting my career tomorrow! So excited!!!

sweet.

it seems the agents were well prepared for this massive change. i was wondering how much they'd try to throw their own might against it, but it seems that was a battle already fought and lost.

childhood flashback to 70's and 80's watching all star game

Thanks.

bryce harper's shoes = fail.

he looks like he robbed ronald mcpimp.

Suck it American League. I'm sure ESPN and Fox love seeing this.

Joe Buck- "Here's Byran LaHair, he's been very dramatic with the Cubs with the home run ball."

WTF?

Joe Buck (what my dad called me as a child, by the way) defines 'mailing it in'. I detest him to the extent that an Anabaptist is allowed.

Fox ruins MLB w carver and buck

I'll tell you though, Berman almost made the derby unwatchable for me. Are there people out there that actually like him? Buck is anathema to me, but I can at least see how he might be just bland enough for people to appreciate him...regardless of (or due to) the fact that it seem his entire knowledge of baseball comes from mild cramming the night before the broadcast. Berman's creative homerun calls of "back-back-back-back-back-back" are nauseating to me.

Yeah, I don't even watch the home run derby now because of that. I really liked it when I was a kid, and so now I just view it as a show designed for kids and skip it and focus on the game the next day.

But to add, Buck and McCarver are horrendous.

I forgot where I heard it (maybe a Stark column, or maybe here on TCR last year when we were all complaining about this same thing) but I really like the idea of bringing in all-star play-by-play and color teams. Why not let the host team's TV guys go innings 1-3 (e.g. Royals), and then have one National League team (selected somehow) do 4-6, and one American League team do 7-9. It lets the fans hear how other fans hear their games called, would reward good pairs, etc. Have Scully in there and make this part of All-Star game interesting as well.

back...back...Back...Back...BACK...BACK...

-click-

*Sanford and Son theme*

My biggest problem with the HR Derby (besides Berman) is the stupid camera angles they use. Often, they'll closely follow the flight path of a ball hit really high, but since all you can see is the ball against dark sky, you can't tell if it's a pop-up or a 500ft HR.

Either use the CF camera they use during the games, or a camera behind home plate. Tracking fly balls without anything to put them in perspective is fucking useless.

What made me really start to notice Buck's broadcasting was when he said that he doesn't even like baseball anymore. Not that he really as to like baseball, but if it's your job, you should probably keep that to yourself. Bring me Costas!

I agree with this to the fullest extent possible

I detest him to the extent that an Anabaptist is allowed.

Which probably isn't much (see below)--

"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire." Matthew 5:22

But I do love seeing you get an Anabaptist reference in there.

Yeah, we're not given much wiggle room. I dislike the quality of the broadcasting that Buck brings to the table, but value him as a brother. Better? :)

Said one Amish to another: "I love you Zebediah, but your carpentry sucks."

Nicely put. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I'm only an ex-Baptist, so I'm cool with however you choose to express it.

Word! I initially just threw in the Anabaptist part to address the extreme hyperbole. I don't actually hate anyone...just the jobs they do:)

Remember, if we love our enemies, Satan is like family!

You're an ex-Baptist or Anabaptist?

Former Baptist. I now describe myself as a Protestant Christian (and currently attend a Presbyterian congregation). Too much hair-splitting among the denominations over the fine points of theology and people taking the differences way too seriously for me. I prefer to focus on the similarities that unite than the differences that divide.

You two should go help all the leaders in the middle east before they kill the rest of each other's populations.

Ha! I remember sitting down once with a couple of Palestinian friends, discussing politics. One was saying, "We need to be reasonable and negotiate". The other was yelling back, "You are a traitor! To the last drop of blood!" It made eating the grilled shish kebobs a little more tense.

It also reminds me of some of the back and forth stuff that has happened here on TCR in the past. The existence of some moderating opinions did little to calm the vitriol and extremism of the more excitable boys. I'm afraid that's just part of the human condition. TCR imitates life!

That's funny. I always wonder why we don't just say, "fuck it. You all want to kill each other, go for it. We're done." Any reason besides oil?

Florida?

Humanity?

That would be my choice...but I think he was going for political.

Pretty sure that's not why we've been doing it, but I hate politicians.

How about because trouble spots like that in the world have had the bad tendency to spark world wars?

During the Reformation, BOTH the Protestants and the Catholics banded together to burn us at the stake. Now we abstain from politics:)

WOW Rob G! The Cubs are a sponsor/advertiser now? Nice work!

I have no idea what you speak of.

Sorry. Cubs branded ad/schedule in the Twitter feed above.

From Rotoworld:

Chris Volstad has been seeing a sports psychologist to help him from pressing while he's on the mound.

Volstad's father, Ken Volstad, told the Palm Beach Post that the 25-year-old right-hander has been pressing for a long time due to a lack of confidence and that the issue wasn't really dealt with during his time with the Marlins. "A new Chris Volstad will emerge from here on in," said Volstad's father. "He’s a different person mentally. It’s not going to be an event. It’s a process." Volstad is 0-7 with a 7.94 ERA in nine starts at the major league level this season and is currently pitching with Triple-A Iowa.

AND

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Dodgers have spoken with the Cubs about possible trades for Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

The Dodgers have been linked to Dempster in numerous reports already and are considered a favorite to land him, but it turns out they have also discussed the possibility of acquiring Garza. Of course, Garza will cost more in the way of prospects, as he remains under team control through 2013 while Dempster will be a free agent this off season.

Tradedeadliner saying that Red Sox have been talking to the Cubs about trading Ryan Sweeney to them. Why in the world would the Cubs want him? They already have a traffic jam in the outfield, and finding time for a pop-gun slap hitting outfielder would be tough...

My thoughts exactly. Maybe they are only interested because he'll be cheap? I'd be okay with a Jeff Baker for Sweeney swap. Anything other than that seems like a waste to me.

Sweeney is basically Dejesus with less power, less speed, a lower OPS, and without the ability so far to play a full season.

So if you want 75% of Dejesus's talent for 300 ABs, well then Sweeney is your guy...

Honestly, I barely want 100% of Dejesus... PASS!!!

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/

Doug Padilla appears to not understand that Peoria is at a level below Daytona, and that starting out in Daytona is probably a bit too big of a jump for Almora...

Does anyone remember the dreaded inverted "W"-shape delivery (wouldn't that be an "M"?) that supposedly was a precursor to arm problems in a pitcher? We had a lot of discussion about that in analyzing photos of Mark Prior and Chris Archer, as I recall. Check out the photo of the White Sox Chris Sale that accompanies this Bruce Levine story. If that's not an extreme inverted "W", then I don't know what is. It almost hurts me to look at it -- http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

imo, too much is slammed on the "inverted W" setup, and not the follow though.

many view it as a "cheap/dangerous" way to get a little more velocity...many use the motion as a top-heavy whipping mechanic on the follow through.

some...like, imo c.sale...don't rock back as much to slingshot their arm/body through the pitch. sale does a decent job keeping his elbow up through the motion, too. plus, his arm slot is nearly side-arm...it's like a side-arm meets 3/4 slot hybrid.

some may not like to see this at all in a pitcher, but his mechanics seem to be "aware" that there's somewhat safer ways to throw from that setup.

i'm not saying he's doing it 100% safe, but he's not like a lot of "inverted W" guys who rock their body/arms back to get more velocity/momentum on the pitch.

Prior getting dumped on his shoulder and pitching after that, Hi Dusty!, had to add to his problems.

Card collectors dream come true-

http://news.yahoo.com/baseball-cards-ohio-att...

fwiw...billy hamilton (CIN) makes his AA debut tonight.

104/21 sb/cs in 82 games in A+...with a .413 ob%.

also, c.volstad goes tonight in AAA and z.rosscup goes for AA (keep an eye on this guy).

Yeah, I hear he's got a great curve and 94+

oops...volstad and rosscup go tomorrow night.

also, hamilton went 1/4 (2k) with a sb.

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