Jeff Samardzija vs. the Astros. It's Shark Week on the DISCUBBERY Channel.

 

 

I learned the word "Cubbery" right here at TCR.

And it sure seems like we've been seeing quite a bit of the DISCUBBERY Channel this year.
When Jeff Samardzija broke a bat over his knee last week, do you have any idea how lucky we were that he didn't, you know, break his wrists?
Cubbery!
And then we wouldn't have Shark Week starting Monday night.
Jeff Samardzija is 7-10 with a 4.21 ERA, and the guys runnin' the show for the Cubs think he's one big gigantic piece of the future.
Me too, by the way.
And he'll be on the mound against the Houston Astros.
A team who, as a fan, I cannot stand and now can't stand even more.
We kind of figured the Cubs would lose 100 games this year, right?
In fact, if they lose 31 more games then...goal reached.
Because a team that loses 100 games... wellllll, you'd sure figure that team would get the number one pick in the draft, right?
Well, the freaking Astros only have to lose 22.

Cubbery.

Comments

Luckily, there is also such a thing as Astrosury, and so the Astros will pick a guy they can't sign, and the Cubs will get the first signable pick.

100 losses? Has firetheoepstein.com been registered yet?

Jokes.

Registrant:
Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0128967413
96 Mowat Ave
Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
CA

Domain name: FIRETHEOEPSTEIN.COM

ContactPrivacy is a firm that a domain registrar uses when a domain holder doesn't want their name known publicly.

In other words, TheoCorp bought the name as part of the rebuilding process.

Buy low. Sell high comes later. Long term asset.

I think Sveum found an old pair of Dusty's lineup dice in the manager's office

DeJesus RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

Dusty's lineup dice...

Opening Day 2003: Grudz, Alex Gonzalez, Sosa, Alou, Choi, Bellhorn, CPat, Damian Miller, KWood

game 2, 2003: Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi, Neifi

Opening Day 2004: Grudz, CPat, Sosa, Alou, ARam, DLee, AGon, Barrett, KWood

Opening Day 2005: CPat, TWalker, Nomar, ARam, Burnitz, DLee, Hollandsworth, Barrett, Zambrano

It was hard work watching Neifi play day after day.

Game 2, 2004: Jose Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias, Macias.

The roster in 2004 seemed disgusting--like the rest of the NL Central had absolutely no chance. But by 2005, man had the shine faded; CPat dropped off a cliff, Burnitz and Hollandsworth took the places of Sosa and Alou, and the lone major addition, Nomar, tore himself in twain in only April. Meanwhile the injuries to the starting rotation started to seem less and less like the products of simple bad luck. Amazing how quickly a great team can go downhill--2004-->2006. 2008-->2011. Hope the new regime has more luck building toward some lasting level of achievement a la Yankees, Red Sox, Braves.

Opening Day 2004: Grudz, CPat, Sosa, Alou, ARam, DLee, AGon, Barrett, KWood

Opening Day 2005: CPat, TWalker, Nomar, ARam, Burnitz, DLee, Hollandsworth, Barrett, Zambrano

Let's see one every day player developed by Cubs in the line up and he wasn't much.

Now you see why you have to build a minor league system.

the 2004 and 2005 redsox agree...wait...doh.

2007 Red Sox Varitek, Pedroia, Youk

But whatever

Varitek came via trade

He was a minor leaguer when he was traded. So yes if you want to only count drafted players...but the idea of developing a minor league system is doing exactly that--trading veterans for prospects.

The Red Sox traded Heathcliff Slocumb to the Mariners for AAA catcher Jason Varitek and a 24-year old Derek Lowe with only 12 big league games under his belt.

Lowe went 70-55 with a 3.72 ERA in 8 years with the Red Sox, and Varitek had a .776 OPS over 15 seasons with them.

It was ranked as one of the most unbalanced trades ever (http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/readers/deadl... )

If the Cubs get as lucky pursuing this strategy we will be very happy.

HEATHCLIFF SLOCUM!

Man, Harry had fun with his name, didn't he?

Womder if he makes Cubs Conventions ever?

wait...the RSox traded a guy under contract...a contract for money...the type you spend...for prospects?

woah. wait a minute.

but, spending money means you don't develop a system.

me and paul maholm are confused.

Sarcasm coefficient = 1,000,000 %

Logic coefficient= 0% - wtf is your point?

my point is that spending money doesn't mean you can't build a system or a championship team.

you can use all the tools in the toolbox without fearing the hammer will somehow keep you from using the wrench.

aside from the riches of the team and national exposure...those cubs tickets aren't exactly cheap.

veritek+lowe came from a 30 year old reliever under a $2+m contract in this specific case...maholm just snagged the cubs a 95+mph reliever who's a possible starter.

if the cubs happened to have "lucked" into a lineup that popped this season they'd have a very cheap/strong middle rotation option to support the 2013 effort. as it is, they found another option in trade for the guy...nice pickup for both teams, imo.

I agree with you in theory. But even that is dependent on players available, players who want to play for cubs, not committing to bad contracts, no trade clauses etc. I think they'll step it up a hair each year ... But had to gut it this year. Still they tried to fill roster with Maholm's and DeJesus's and Reed Johnson's ...

I just think its a unique situation because of total organizational rebuild of crap organization, and the level of futility, and the clearly stated goal.

The long term assets will merge with the yearly plan at some point. They'll spend the big $ then, and there will be a reckoning ... But they had to start somewhere and I STILL would watch the current team over last year's roster any day.

There's enough contracts coming off the books this year that if I'm Theo/Hoyer, I'm offering big money short term (1-2 year) contracts. That, and see what big free agents aren't getting the offers they feel they deserve (like Beltre with the Red Sox 2 years back). I'm also looking to trade for potential salary dump deals. Josh Beckett could probably be had. With only 2 years and $34 mil left on his deal he doesn't impact the long term plan and coming from the AL East to the NL Central and getting the hell out of the toxic situation that the Red Sox have become are almost certain to help him rebound (see AJ Burnett).

The only big money FA's that they sign will have to have not received the qualifying offer that would cost the Cubs a draft pick. That pool of players is A) not going to include any truly elite players (except those traded mid-season and B) a small chunk of the FA pool.

The 1st round pick is protected.

I sure as heck wouldn't let losing a 2nd round pick get in the way of signing a Zack Greinke.

Who was the last Cubs 2nd round pick to amount to anything of note?

I'll wait

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 8:33am — Dr. aaron b

The 1st round pick is protected.

I sure as heck wouldn't let losing a 2nd round pick get in the way of signing a Zack Greinke.

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

DR AARON B: The Cubs would not lose a draft pick if they sign Zack Greinke, because he was traded mid-season and only players who spend the entire previous regular season with the same club are subject to compensation (if they are tendered a "Qualifying Offer").

Same goes for Anibal Sanchez, BTW.

And the Cubs 2013 payroll right now projects at around $69M (or $77M if all players eligible for salary arbitration--including likely non-tenders like Manuel Corpas, Ian Stewart, and Chris Volstad--are tendered), so the Cubs could make highly-competitive offers to Greinke and/or Sanchez post-2012 if they choose to do so.

PROJECTED 2013 CUBS MLB PLAYER PAYROLL

SIGNED:
Alfonso Soriano - $18M
Carlos Marmol - $9.8M
David DeJesus - $4.25M
Jorge Soler - $1M (plus second $3M installment of $6M signing bonus)
Gerardo Concepcion - $500K
SUB-TOTAL: $36.55M

PROJECTED ESTIMATED SALARY ARBITRATION (rounded-off to nearest $250K):
Matt Garza - $13.25M?
Starlin Castro- $4M? (very likely “Super Two“)
Jeff Samardzija - $4M?
Chris Volstad - $3M?
Manuel Corpas - $2.5M?
Ian Stewart - $2.5M?
Justin Germano - $1.5M? (possible “Super Two”)
James Russell - $1.25M?
Luis Valbuena - $1M? (likely “Super Two”)
PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $33M?

13 pre-arbitration players to fill-out 25-man roster:
PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $6.5M? (average $500K per player)

13 players (besides Concepcion & Soler) on optional assignment to minors:
PROJECTED ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL (not including Concepcion & Soler): $1M?

PROJECTED ESTIMATED 2013 TOTAL MLB PLAYER PAYROLL: $77M? (if all players eligiblke for salary arebitration are tendered)

NOTE: Although the Cubs 2012 MLB Opening Day payroll for 25-man roster was reported (accurately) as $88M, the Cubs 2012 MLB player payroll outlay is actually $120M, because of various legacy payroll obligations ($15M+ of Carlos Zambrano's salary paid to Marlins, Carlos Pena $5 deferred salary from 2011, Ryan Dempster $1.5M in deferred salary from 2011, and Carlos Silva $2M 2012 buy-out) and MLB signing bonuses and MLB salaries paid to Gerardo Concepcion and Jorge Soler ($7.5M combined total in 2012).

MLB ARTICLE XX-B FREE-AGENT POST-2012:
Shawn Camp (will NOT be tendered "Qualifying Offer")

LIKELY OUTRIGHT POST-2012:
Michael Bowden (MLB Article XX-D minor league FA if outrighted)
Blake Lalli (MLB Rule 55 6Y minor league FA if outrighted)
Marcos Mateo (MLB Rule 55 6Y minor league FA if outrighted)
Joe Mather (MLB Article XX-D minor league FA if outrighted)
Blake Parker (MLB Article XX-D minor league FA if outrighted)

LIKELY 12/2 NON-TENDER
Manuel Corpas
Justin Germano
Ian Stewart
Chris Volstad
NOTE: All five will be eligible for salary arbitration if not non-tendered/
Any or all could be re-signed to 2013 minor league contract with NRI to Spring Training if non-tendered)

Seven slots on the 40-man roster should be open post-2012 for minor league FA, Rule 5 eligibles, and MLB free-agents

MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS MOST-LIKELY TO BE ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER POST-2012:
1. Christian Villanueva, 3B
2. Kyler Burke, LHP (6Y minor league FA if not added to 40 by 5th day following conclusion of World Series)
3. Trey McNutt, RHP
4. Nick Struck, RHP
5. Zac Rosscup, LHP
6. Chris Rusin, LHP
7. Frank Batista, RHP
8. Logan Watkins, INF
9. Marcus Hatley, RHP
10. Justin Bour, 1B

McNutt, Struck, Rosscup, Bour, and Watkins are likely candidates to be assigned to the AFL, where they could solidify their status or play their way onto the Cubs 40-man roster with a good showing.

You said five likely non-tenders but only listed four. Did you mean to put Valbuena in that category? I certainly think he should be.

I agree that Germano probably will be, but this year he has almost pitched up to that level of commitment. Almost.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 11:41am — John Beasley

You said five likely non-tenders but only listed four. Did you mean to put Valbuena in that category? I certainly think he should be.

I agree that Germano probably will be, but this year he has almost pitched up to that level of commitment. Almost

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

JOHN B: I keep going back & forth on Valbuena. I'm thinking now he will be tendered because he won't be making a whole lot of money.

I project $1M (rounded off to the nearest $250K) for Valbuena, but it could be even $750K. He's a LH hitter who can actually play 2B-SS-3B, and with the MLB minimum salary at $490K in 2013, $750K-$1M isn't that much more. It's just a matter of whether his roster slot will be needed for one of the minor leaguers Rule 5 eligibles.

Germano could be tendered, but I don't think he will be if he qualifies as a "Super Two" (and with projected MLB ST at 2+130 post-2012, he's right on the bubble).

BTW, the Cubs could sign any of their non-tenders to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, but of course the player would have the option to decline the offer.

No way do we tender contracts to Volstad, Stewart, Buna or Germano.

They can fight for jobs via NRI. So that should put payroll down another 10 million.

Pretty sure Phil already factored in not tendering them in his $$ figures.

I'd let 6/$120M get in the way of signing Greinke though.

Would he be blocking somebody of note?

stupid is stupid and Greinke has been barely above league average for 3 years now.

if I'm way off on the price fine, but I doubt he gets less than 5/100 and I'm guessing more like 6/120.

Don't forget Theo gave out just 3 contracts to FA's that were over 4 years; Drew, Lackey and Crawford and he regrets the last 2. (I suppose you can count Dice-K and Gonzalez in there, but they don't count as true free agents imo).

Sanchez is a possibility, but it would be a max of 4 years I bet and I'm sure they'd prefer less. I don't know what his market is yet, but he seems like a 4/60 type guy at least.

Well this year, to be a little picky Rob, he was 9-3 before the trade, his ERA was a half run below the NL average, and his WHIP, BB/9, K/9 were all above average.
Can't disagree though...5 or 6 years on a pitcher? Oof....for a team that's not going to contend most likely for a couple more seasons....

are we randomly discarding stats?

believe he was shutdown for a bit right before he was traded because he was struggling and right now he stands at a 108 ERA+. If the difference between the AL and NL is that big, Matt Garza would be a lot better this year...also, there's Z. Greinke circa 2009 that blows up the AL vs. NL thing.

He can be brilliant at times, but he's just not consistent enough for the deal I expect he'll get. If you look at his career, 2009 was the obvious outlier and $20M per year is a bad risk to think he'll get anywhere close to there again (consistently).

So in 3 starts, he's struggled in the new league. So are we going to assume he'll struggle the rest of the year like this? What stats did I discard...I said "before the trade." I just don't think Greinke was slightly above average this season.

Again, I can't see spending the $$ on a pitcher for that long without it being a Sabathia...Halladay...etc.
You're right of course in that Greinke is inconsistent, and shouldn't command that huge of a deal.

he was 9-3 before the trade

Pretty sure Theo and Jed look very little at W/L records.

his ERA was a half run below the NL average, and his WHIP, BB/9, K/9 were all above average.

$20M/year isn't a "better than average" contract. It is an ace -- even top 5 pitcher in baseball -- contract.

I, like Rob, and not convinced that Greinke is one of the best pitchers in baseball. And definitely not convinced that he will be one of the top pitchers in baseball for the next 5-6 years. Of his 6 full seasons, he really has only had one year that would deserve anywhere close to $20M a year.

ADDED: For context, there are only 14 players in MLB that make $20M a year this year. And only 5 pitchers - Santana, Sabathia, Lee, Verlander, and Halladay.

As much as I love watching Chris Volstad, Justin Germano, and Brooks Raley get shelled,

Both Greinke and Sanchez will be 29 next season.

The Cubs are a large-market team.

Pitching costs money when you don't have any.

The Cubs will otherwise have a 2013 payroll of (at most) $77M, and probably more like $69M.

$10M in annual salary comes off the books post-2013 when Marmol is a FA (and it's $13M+ more if Garza isn't signed long-term), and another $18M comes off the books post-2014 when Soriano is gone.

If Theo is haunted by the Lackey and Crawford contracts, he should submit his resume to the Padres or the Royals. Or grow a couple.

I don't know if haunted is the right term, I think he felt pressured and went against the way he normally operated the previous 6-7 years.

He ultimately made the decision, and he's owned up to it, but doesn't care to repeat the mistake either.

Thank you Arizona Phil!!!!!

My sentiments exactly.

Couldn't agree more.

So somehow giving ace money to slightly above average pitchers is gonna make us compete? Since we need multiple pitchers, are we going to be giving ace money to multiple slightly above average pitchers? This is the master plan to make the Cubs successful?

Ok.
Please outline the plan you have? The Cubs have....who ready in the minors? Nick Struck? Matt Loosen?
Dallas Beeler? Let's hear it.

For now, giving short term deals to average pitchers. Working out some trades for better pitchers when we have a good team. When we're ready to compete, I would like to see us trading prospects for a pitcher like Dempster.

Giving a 6 year, ace deal to a pitcher like Grienke (who will be 35 when the deal is over) when our team sucks is the height of stupidity. It won't get us into the playoffs and would only be done to appease the fan base, which is a dumb way to build a team.

So...trading prospects for a 35 year old pitcher? Or for a pitcher with an expiring contract?

I get it I suppose, not signing Greinke now...but who knows who's going to be available in 2 years, and what prospects we'll have to trade.

How exactly do we plan on getting "Better"?

Do we wait until the Minor League system produces 15-20 studs at the MLB level before we even attempt to improve?

You do realize that could take anywhere from 7 to Never gonna happen years?

2 Years ago Trey McNutt, Jay Jackson,Josh Vitters and BJax were cream of the crop prospects.

Now not a single one of them looks like an every day player.

Luis Montanez, Bobby Hill, Hee Man Choi and David Kelton were going to be our homegrown star studded infield.

Not a single one of those guys panned out.

Too many of these prospect maven fans just don't accept that fact that 99% of these guys crap out.

"Luis Montanez, Bobby Hill, Hee Man Choi and David Kelton . . . 99% of these guys crap out."

Of course you realize that every player in the majors was a prospect at some point. Stockstill's failure rate was not typical of scouting directors.

You mention McNutt and J. Jackson but not Samardzija. You mention BJax and Vitters but not Rizzo, who was pretty much an even trade for Cashner. Barney and Marwin Gonzalez (and BJax for that matter) are everyday players at the moment, while Colvin, Josh Harrison and maybe Donaldson are close.

Older Cub fans recall that the 60's and 80's were good for home-growns, although a few of the better ones--Brock, Carter, Palmeiro--were traded while Maddux jumped the fence.

Well ok...Harrison, Donaldson and Harrison...none of which are putting up an OPS+ of even 100., or even 90.
It's nice to see former Cubs prospects succeed..but I wouldn't be heralding them with trumpets just yet.

Rizzo wasn't here 2 years ago. And Samjay was already pitching with the Cubs.

He said Rizzo was acquired for Cashner who was in the system. Oh forget it. Keep SLAMMING your head against a wall. Theo already said the plan. Obviously they will have a go point when they have to fill slots . . . But it is not 6 months into gutting a shit org. But keep bitching about something that has been clearly stated and is happening. It just makes sense . . .

If they keep having 20K plus no shows at the park. They will sure as shit have to do SOMETHING.

Ownership probably didn't want to spend post 2006 either. However they had to or risk further fan apathy.

I don't think this is wise in any sense. There is no way the Cubs would give up a 2nd round pick to entertain people like you. They will not win next year. Period. It's a fact. The goal is sustained success and a world series.

But more importantly 2nd round draft picks are VERY VALUABLE in the right hands. To compare traditional Cubs 2nd round draft picks with the new administration is also not fair.

But there is no way in hell they will give up a top 2 round draft pick to parade ANY thoroughbred around wrigley field when the rest of the stable is ponies . . . It just doesn't make any sense. And more importantly they have said they won't.

You'll be happy as hell in 2015 if you can hang in there!

You can't just wait until 2015 to start shopping for the groceries.

You have to start accumulating actual MLB talent NOW.

You better call Theo and tell him you are hungry. And to further your metaphor:that food will be spoiled well before 2015.

I do agree you can't wait until the last minute to go shopping on the free agent market, but the team has to show some improvement first before you start handing out dumb contracts.

and I'd say 90% of free agents contracts over 4 years end up being dumb.

Especially ones with diagnosed mental issues.

The clamoring for Greinke right now reminds me a lot of the way people wanted Eric Bedard a few years ago when a lot of people thought he was on the cusp of being an ace. The problem with giving long term contracts to pitchers like these is that they are pitchers, for one thing, and a hot season or two doesn't make them worth the money that they will get on the open market.

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 1:14pm — Old and Blue

The clamoring for Greinke right now reminds me a lot of the way people wanted Eric Bedard a few years ago when a lot of people thought he was on the cusp of being an ace. The problem with giving long term contracts to pitchers like these is that they are pitchers, for one thing, and a hot season or two doesn't make them worth the money that they will get on the open market.

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

O&B: But that's true of any pitcher. By that logic, you would only give long-term contracts to the absolutely best pitchers in baseball (#1 starters who are future Hall of Famers and who have proven themselves as #1 guys over many seasons), and even then, those pitchers can tear a labrum or lose a season or two to TJS.

I understand the argument that you don't want to sign a FA if if costs you a 1st or a 2nd round draft pick, and I can understand not wanting to sign an older pitcher (like a Ryan Dempster) to a big bucks multi-year contract, and I can understand why teams like San Diego, Kansas City, or Pittsburgh can't afford to sign an expensive FA pitcher.

But the Cubs are a large market team with a projected 2013 payroll of only $69M-$$77M, with more payroll coming off the books post-2013 (Marmol and possibly Garza) and post-2014 (Soriano).

The Cubs need starting pitchers.

Greinke and Sanchez will be 29 next season.

Both are free-agents.

The Cubs can afford to sign both Greinke and Sanchez.

Neither will cost the Cubs a draft pick.

I just don't see it happening, because it is going to take a 6-year contract to get either one of them signed, I'll bet.

Yeah, I know. I just think it's a dilemma. It's a tough decision. The Cubs really need starting pitching, that's for sure. I'm with you on not getting a big charge out of watching some of these guys get clobbered. To me, Greinke is a Bedard/Garza type. Bedard of a few years ago, I mean. Possible up and comer who is capable of a really good couple of seasons. If they can nab him for a fair price, sure, why not? Sanchez, too.

If I sound a little wishy washy on the subject it's because I am. On one hand, I don't want to wait till 2015 or whatever till the Cubs "wave" of pitching produces a couple of studs (there is no guarantee that will even happen).

On the other hand, I hate albatross contracts.

Would the Cubs give up a pick? Since Greinke got traded mid-season wouldn't that tender rule not apply?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 1:08pm — Dusty Baylor

Would the Cubs give up a pick? Since Greinke got traded mid-season wouldn't that tender rule not apply?

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

DUSTY B: The Cubs would not lose a draft pick if they sign Zack Greinke, because he was traded mid-season and only players who spend the entire previous regular season with the same club are subject to compensation (if they are tendered a "Qualifying Offer").

Same goes for Anibal Sanchez.

BTW...I'm not saying the Cubs should try to get Greinke necessarily.

Is there any line on what pitching might be available in 2014-2015 free agent market? Because I have a hard time believing that the Cubs will develop 3 or 4 starting pitchers by then.

I'd feel better if this list came from AZ, but whatever...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/2014-ml...

I can guarantee you that the Cubs will not sign a player that costs them their second round pick in next year's draft. Eventually, when they're picking out of the top 5-10 picks I think they'll rightfully value a second round pick less.

Yet their sustained excellence has largely been (or was up until last Sept) built on home grown players. That is the real point.

and spending, which I agree the Cubs need to do both.

But the old Cubs method was 10/1 ratio in spending rather then developing, and if anyone denies this they are ignorant or just not paying attention.

**and spending**

Definitely. Very few teams have sustained success without a strong minor league system and real free agent spending.

Tampa Bay is trying to buck the trend though, but on the opposite of what a handful of folks around here want the Cubs to do.

I think free agency has become such a lousy crap shoot with bloated, extended contracts that I can't disagree with TheoCorp not taking part in it last year. I really wouldn't want the Cubs to take either Prince's or Pujols' contracts. Even next year, who do they go after that really makes the team a contender next year? Any signing they do, they will have to consider the fact that the player involved will want a 60 year guaranteed no trade contract.

There is, I guess, a chance Hamilton could be available for fewer years than what we've been seeing lately, given his propensity for ingesting toxins.

To me it makes sense to give it a year and see which of the prospects seem to really be on their way up before the team signs a free agent that could block one of them, pitchers excluded of course. But I hate the idea of long term contracts for pitchers, especially. For position players, the team will eventually just need to suck it up and take a gamble or two. But with the current condition of this team, I'm not sure even next year is the time for it. Not without a bit more home grown starting pitching.

Anibal Sanchez
Zach Grienke maybe?
Edwin Jackson

Trade for Chase Headley

An outfield bat?

None of those names exactly make my blood pump. With Sanchez and Jackson both with WHIPS over 1.35, no thanks on the long mega deal contract. Grienke might not be a bad idea if they keep Garza, because then suddenly you have a decent 1-2-3. Again, it really all boils down to how many years does the team want to commit to on any given pitcher, and how close do you really think the team is to contending next year?

To me, it boils down to:

How many years does this regime/Ownership group plan on being perennial 100 game losers?

Building a system is all well and good. However waiting 7-8 years for it to bear fruit is complete bullshit. Especially when the revenues are there to run 150 million dollar payrolls if they so choose.

Completely agree. No reason to be a bottom-feeder for more than a year or two in a market like this.

Attendance may slip below 3MM for the first time since 2003, despite thousands of added seats. If the team is going to continue to suck, we better see ticket prices go down. If prices stay up, they better the hell start fielding a competitive team or we're going to start seeing LOTS of empty seats.

I agree with all of you basically. They're a big market team, and they need to act like one. My point was that this year, particularly, was not a good year to be diving into the free agent market, and next year may not be so great either.

Garza getting hurt may have changed the game some. Get another good pitcher in there and the team has an okay starting staff all the sudden.

In the long run, they will have to play the free market game, as ugly as that does get sometimes. If the Ricketts didn't want to play that game, they shouldn't have bought the team.

That's why I think the end of the 2006 season was the greatest thing that has happened in recent Cub history.

People stayed away in droves, and ownership took notice. They fired McFail after 13 years of mostly failure. And they finally opened up the checkbook and stopped running this thing like a mid market.

I think it's pretty obvious Joe Ricketts loaned the kids the money to purchase this thing. Largely because he thinks Cubs fans are "morans".

Hopefully enough people vote with their feet, and we see some kind of 2006-2007 offseason Redux.

Fired McPhail but kept his clone in Hendry. It was nothing more than a shiny pebble game of look we fired this guy, now give us 5 more years under new GM to try get the Cubs winning under the same plan as McPhail. Nothing changed except titles, same coaches, farm system, philosophy.

And we only spent money to increase the sale price of the franchise nothing more. It was never to win games.

In the end the Cubs are kinda forced to play within the parameters of Oakland or any small market team. Sure we can spend money but we suck at it/are to cheap to do it and we have no clue how to build a farm system. At least Oakland does that correctly, something Theo is doing a good job of at the moment.

Nothing changed except for three division titles and a team in 2004 that should've made the playoffs. Apart from that, a carbon copy.

Tue, 08/14/2012 - 5:41pm — MikeC

Fired McPhail but kept his clone in Hendry. It was nothing more than a shiny pebble game of look we fired this guy, now give us 5 more years under new GM to try get the Cubs winning under the same plan as McPhail. Nothing changed except titles, same coaches, farm system, philosophy.

And we only spent money to increase the sale price of the franchise nothing more. It was never to win games.

In the end the Cubs are kinda forced to play within the parameters of Oakland or any small market team. Sure we can spend money but we suck at it/are to cheap to do it and we have no clue how to build a farm system. At least Oakland does that correctly, something Theo is doing a good job of at the moment.

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

MIKE C: The 2007-2009 Cubs won more games over a three-year period than any Cub team since the 1936-38 Cubs, and even the 2003-2005 Cubs won more games over a three-year period than any Cub team since the 1969-71 Durocher Cubs.

And Baseball America ranked the Cubs as the #8 farm system in baseball prior to the Matt Garza trade (when the Cubs traded three of their Top 10 prospects, including #1 and #4).

I don't have good memories of the 2007-2009 Cubs, and then you have to bring up 1969-71 to make it worse!

You prefer the 2011 and 2012 versions instead?

You know what I'm going to say. The next Cub team that makes it to the playoffs will show up there.

I'm not crazy about the current team but I love the fact that younger players are not blocked by the likes of Fukudome. Even a scrub like Baker--because he had some value to a contending team--was blocking a talent like Vitters.

Meritocracy!

I don't care what Baseball America said, we have always had a very poor farm system and if trading away some talent for 1 semi-good guy just completely shatters your farm system then the #8 ranking was nothing more than a fantasy.

This is what i have always said. Our systems best players don't even come close to other systems best players.

Take Vitters and Jackson.....our best hitting talent outside of the trade of Rizzo. Thats just sad.

That is why it took a couple of our "best" to get Garza because they weren't that great as individuals. We traded 5.....5 players to get Garza that is what it took from our vast and talented, or untalented, farm system...5 players.

The only person i miss from that trade is Lee.

Mike Zunino (SEA) promoted to AA for the last 20-ish days of the season...man, i wish he was a cub.

Bowden up, Raley down, Stewart to 60-day DL.

I believe Raley can still be called back up for Saturday's DH as an emergency starter and the 10-day rule is waived, but believe he has to be sent back down.

Does the new 26th man for double headers rule allow for Raley to come up and pitch on Saturday? Or does the 10 days down rule still apply?

i wish they'd stretch casey weathers out over the next couple of weeks and let him start in the majors in Sept+...

if we're going to watch a circus we might as well bring in the clowns.

Since Rob answered my question before I asked it, I'll ask another. Can Raley then be recalled the following weekend for the Colorado series?

Phil will certainly correct me with appropriate detail...but my understanding is:

- the team has to call up a starting pitcher as the 26th man (in other words Raley), but that player is exempt from the normal 10-day rule (in other words they can call Raley back up).
- they have to send someone down the day after to get back to 25, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the player they called up (so they can keep Raley and send Bowden back down if they wish).
- the player they send down doesn't need to wait 10 days to be called back up (or they can send Raley down after his start, go with an extra reliever and call him back up in 5-6 days for another start)

ive been waiting on a phil thread for a few days so i can ask if he's seen Joey Gallo (TEX).

his numbers paint a wild picture of his talents. i wanna know what's behind them. he's looking very "adam dunn" with his bat on paper...

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 4:12pm — Rob G.

Phil will certainly correct me with appropriate detail...but my understanding is:

- the team has to call up a starting pitcher as the 26th man (in other words Raley), but that player is exempt from the normal 10-day rule (in other words they can call Raley back up).
- they have to send someone down the day after to get back to 25, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the player they called up (so they can keep Raley and send Bowden back down if they wish).
- the player they send down doesn't need to wait 10 days to be called back up (or they can send Raley down after his start, go with an extra reliever and call him back up in 5-6 days for another start)

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

ROB G: Starting in 2012, a club's MLB Active List limit is expanded to 26 players on any day where two games are scheduled, as long as the second game was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.

The 26-man limit is in effect for both games of the doubleheader, but the "26th man" cannot be switched between games.

The club's Active List limit goes back to 25 players the next day.

The only restrictions on who can be added to the club's Active List is that the player has to be on the club's 40-man roster or has to be added to the club's 40-man roster that day.

The "26th man" does not have to be a pitcher, although it almost always will be.

A player can be recalled as the "26th man" even if he has not spent the minimum required 10 days on optional or outright assignment prior to being called up.

So for example, Brooks Raley can be recalled on Saturday as the "26th man," even though he would have only spent five days on optional assignment. However, because the Cubs would need to use the "26th man" exemption to recall him from the minors prior to his spending ten days on optional assignment, Raley would have to be sent back to Iowa on Sunday, unless he replaces another player on the 25-man roster who is placed on the DL that day.

Also, once he is sent back to the minors, Raley would only have to spend another five days on optional assignment (rather than the full ten), because the five days he spent on optional assignment prior to being recalled to be the "26th man" for the doubleheader counts toward the minimum ten-day minor league assignment/recall limit (the clock does not reset).

If some player other than Raley is recalled as the "26th man," that player could remain on the Cubs 25-man roster on Sunday and a different player could be dropped, since any player other than Raley would not be bound by the minimum ten-day minor league assignment/recall limit. And if another player (other than Raley) is added as the "26th man" to the Cubs Active List for the doubleheader, that player would not be bound by the minimum ten-day minor league assignment/recall limit at all as long as he is sent back to the minors on Sunday.

BTW, with Raley having been sent down today, he will NOT burn a minor league option in 2012 as long as he is recalled no later than September 1st. That's because a player does not use a minor league option if he spends less than 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in a given season, and September 1st would be Raley's 20th day.

Thanks guys!

Sveum on Starlin fitting into lineup: "In a real world and a prolific offense, he’d probably be more towards the sixth and seventh spots.”

castro had a closed-door meeting with sveum today and this is what he tells the press afterwards? ...cold.

Wow....in a prolific offense he would be the #1 or #2 hitter for me. I guess thats why i don't manage for the Cubs.

If you were managing the Cubs, you might have some inside info on Castro that we don't have. Some inside knowledge as to why he's had an offensive drop this season. It could be Sveum thinks Castro will respond well to that kind of comment. I personally think that it's just a delayed sophomore slump, and with his defense getting better, I just see a kid still working on putting it all together.

I don't get why so many people, apparently managers included, tend to forget that Castro is doing what most players do while they're still in the minors -- learning the game. As far as his space cadet lapses, have they even considered the possibility that he might be ADD?

I am kinda going with the philosophy that the lineup sucks and he is technically our most sound hitter and the rest of the league knows it so why pitch to him? Tends to make a hitter reach out of the zone and do too much which is where i think Castro is right now.

That seems about right. He does seem to be in this trap of trying to do too much at the plate. I wonder if Sveum, by saying he's a 6th/7th guy in the lineup, isn't just finding a weird way to say that Castro needs to try to make less of an impact.

And on Starlin Castro bobblehead night.

I couldn't agree more with Sveum on where Castro would hit in a pennant contending team's lineup - AS OF TODAY. Based on his aggressive, free-swinging style that makes up the current Starlin Castro, why would a playoff-contending team hit him in the 1-2 slot?

Props to Dale for his honesty.

b.jacKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKson watch...

21ab 13k...and counting. tonight, 0/1, 1K

Some teams bring up Manny Machado. Cubbery gets something else entirely.

lol..d barney homer...cubs lead by 2.

There's an organization that knows how to tank a season for a draft pick.

And likely several years to come. It'll be easier to rack up losses in the AL anyways. Even the Devil Rays think these guys suck.

soriano hits his 4th HR in 7ab vs galaraga...crazy...also 2 more runs.

cubs win.

d.barney...100 games at 2nd without an error

Manny Corpas apparently not in 2013 plans.

“(Marmol) is signed through next year and he is the one guy on our roster next year that will have closed,” Sveum said. “Hopefully everything continues.”
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

Not that Corpas has been lights out or anything. But this is his first year back from injury.

marmol too good to keep...interesting spin on the situation. he's been great since mid-july...woo, etc.

still, even with the 9+m owed him next season he should be worth something interesting in trade, though not a top prospect...and the cubs will, of course, have to pick up some loot (the top-tier closer market seems to be settling out in the 7-8m/yr range and marmol's not putting up top-tier numbers).

i know jed has a thing for paying closers even if he's got 2-3 other pen guys around who could do it for a fraction of the price, but i wonder how tanked marmol's value was vs. what they perceived he could do with a bounce-back attempt in 2012. it seems this trade should have been made before the season began. hopefully he can keep up his good month...or turn a rodney and suddenly find his control.

mlbtr has an article on Ian Stewart as a non tender candidate:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/08/non-ten...

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=...

AZ Cubs 17-7 over AZ Reds
Highlights:
Almora 5-6, Triple, 3 RBI, 3R, 1K
Maples 3 IP in relief, 2H, 5K, 1BB

---
Chiefs lose 3-2 to Beloit
Soler 2-3, Double, 1R
http://peoria.chiefs.milb.com/milb/stats/stat...
---
Boise lost 11-4 to Salem-Keizer
Jeimer Candelario 3-4, all singles
Hayden Simpson imploded, 0.1 IP, 6H, 8R, 6ER, 1BB
Vogelbomb, 0-3
http://boise.hawks.milb.com/milb/stats/stats....
---
Daytona another day off (preceded by their weekend getting rained out)
Smokies had monday off
---
I-Cubs ugly. Lost 14-7 to Vegas
Campana 3-4, 1BB, 2 SB, 3R
newly acquired:
Seth McClung 0.1 IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB (fits well in the Iowa pen, needed Jay Jackson to mop up his mess)
http://iowa.cubs.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.js...

at the mlb level, winning didn't hurt the Cubs last night (huh?) as the Rockies also won 9-6 over Brewers. Cubs still 2.5 GB Rocks for the #2 pick.

and Ryan Dempster met his match last night (Nick Swisher Grand Slam), NYY 8 Rangers 2
Demp 6IP, 9H, 8R/8ER, 2BB, 4K, 2 HR
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=...

waiting 7-8 years for it to bear fruit
---
per Rotoworld...

Athletics recalled INF Josh Donaldson from Triple-A Sacramento.
Donaldson will provide depth at third base while Brandon Inge recovers from a dislocated shoulder. The 26-year-old has hit just .153/.160/.235 this year in the majors and will carry zero value in fantasy leagues.

Donaldson is still a good-looking prospect in my book. If he were in the Cub organization, I think he would be their starting catcher or 3B. With the A's he's being retooled at 3B while they give Derek Norris an opportunity at catcher.

Catchers take longer to ripen. Donaldson's career line in the minors is .275/.365/.470(/.834). This compares favorably with, say, Josh Vitters or Welington Castillo. Donaldson's career caught-stealing percentage is 38, a couple points higher than Castillo's.

Yes, but don't forget we got Rich Harden out of the deal.

One of these days you will learn how age and level impacts a minor league player's prospect status.

I'm very conscious of prospect ages and have a table to prove it.

Whoa, for some reason I thought Soriano was 33-34, not 36. Can we just go back to using his fake birth certificate?

"Ten Bobby Valentine pictures that gained a new context with Tuesday’s big report"

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-...

to Boise...

vitters hitting 2nd again...interesting.

a lot of people put a strong contact guy in that slot...some go for the ob% and/or speed...

vitters...okay.

either they got a feeling for vitters or the MLB team is now a minor league team in practice trying to get maximum ABs for 2013 auditions.

also, lahair is a sad panda.

I remember saying when LaHair first got his shot that his window was short. It's a tough break, but he really needed to continue to rake and he didn't keep doing it.

WGN had a restaurant event, at Wildfire, with Sveum (Shark and Russell). Sveum is quoted as he'd be surprised if Garza pitches again this year.

http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

"Rangers signed C Koyie Hill to a minor league contract."

awesome.

Maybe Koyie Hill will add 5mph to Soto's throws down to 2b?

That would only work if Koyie was pitching.

Or...maybe they're blaming Dempster's struggles on the lack of Koyie Hill. That must be it.

Idiots. They should be blaming M_Barrett.

Don't tell Va Phil:

AaronGleeman -- So far this season three MLB teams have 100+ steals and they rank 22nd, 27th, and 30th in runs per game.

speaking of...i know the cubs are supposed to be aggressive this season, but they are doing a bit of stealing they probably shouldn't be doing with guys that shouldn't be attempting so much.

it's not horribly lopsided or over-used, but this cruddy team has been kinda aggressive.

69% rate, 5th worst in baseball.

they should try being less aggressive.

thank gawd for campy...or something...i think he's still a cub.

Indeed, also thank god for neifi in 2005....

/season savers

i'm just saying that 69% would be a lot uglier without campy.

he's like 1/3rd of the total team SB as it is.

47sb/30cs discounting campy...meh.

Marlins, Rays and Padres if anyone was curious.

Ozzieball!

You don't have to worry about the Cubs having too much speed on the bases any time soon, Big.

Only Castro has double-digit SBs (19 versus 10 CS). No one else has 7. Campana is at Iowa.

The Cards, who lead the NL in runs, are a mature team with a couple of former base stealers in Furcal and Beltran. Even so, they have four everyday players with SBs in double digits: Molina (11-2), Furcal (12-4), Jay (13-2) and Beltran (10-5). Recently traded Tyler Greene had 9 SBs versus 2 CS'es.

The Braves, second in the league in runs, have Bourne (31-8), Heyward (16-5) and Prado (14-2).

SB totals for teams are skewed by "running prospects" like Campana (26-3) and Bonifacio (Marlins, 30-3) who steal at every opportunity but don't play every day and don't get on base enough to score many runs. Both players have fewer runs scored than steals.

You don't have to worry about the Cubs having too much speed on the bases any time soon, Big.

I've never worried about having too much speed. I just don't place an irrationally high value on SBs, as the data shows very little correlation to actually scoring runs.

I think there's a high correlation to scoring a run when a base stealer gets on to lead off an inning.

But you probably don't have a stat for that.

I think there's a real correlation between a base runner of any kind getting on base to lead off an inning.

Exactly.

So in other words, someone with a high OBP and a good SB% has value and helps the team score runs? Who knew?

I've never said otherwise.

My point is that you appear to value speed over most other things, and there simply isn't statistical support for that.

"you appear to value speed over most other things"

You made that up.

You've called me out several times recently, and I have responded. Tell you what, let's agree to a non-aggression pact, a no-taunt rule. I'll have no problem omitting you from my comments if you can do the same for me.

Not trying to be a dick, but what is the point of the chart you linked the other day? I was expecting it to refer to a Fangraphs chart that I'd bookmarked, but it was just a list of player ages. What is it that your chart is supposed to communicate? (Disclaimer: I only looked at the chart for about four seconds)

HOU is fielding a lineup that has 2 guys hitting over .230 (b.wallace + altuve)...the highest HR total of any of the hitters is 5hr (various)

Well I am pretty sad and obviously am throwing in the towel on what I was hoping was a player who just may have beaten the odds in the Majors.

MIKE C was spot on, and LaHair either was truly a AAAA player, or just should play every day for some club - whether Japan, or a bottom feeder that might need some cheap power with a decent 1B, and are not competing for anything.

I guess I was duped into the typical Cubby hope and valuing our guys too much - something I have been doing since 1968. So MIKE C, I owe you a beer, or some cheese fries. You were right about the guy in 2012.

I am disappointed for the player, but bummed for us that he could not have held "trade-able value" and at least brought back a middling prospect for him.

Fortunately, they team has a bona fide prospect at 1B. At least it looks that way this year!

Well just remember i was a big Choi and Dubois fan.......soooo yeah, lol.

I was pretty sure on Choi, too. Until I realized he rarely took the bat off his shoulders. There was one line drive run he smashed against the basket that really amazed me. The last prospect I was right on was probably Mark Grace, so I'm kinda giving up.

To be fair, your average isn't any worse than the Cubs' scouting department.

I remember chanting "Hee Sop Choi" up in Milwaukee in the good old Cub days. Fun times...

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:25pm — The E-Man

I remember chanting "Hee Sop Choi" up in Milwaukee in the good old Cub days. Fun times...

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

E-MAN: Just wait until Jae-Hoon Ha arrives.

P. A. ANNOUNCER: Next batter, Jae-Hoon....

FANS: HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

It'll really clean-out your spleen.

I don't think I was duped by false hope. I usually don't put much hope in a Cubs prospect. History has shown me the way there. I really thought he was a good hitter. I liked his approach to the plate, I liked that he was seeing a lot of pitches, etc. I loved the story, too, of course, but he just looked really good up there. He will probably lead the Japan league in homers some day, though, so there's that.

volstad is not keeping the ball out of the OF...or in the park in the case of the 3r HR that just happened.

bleh. he's ineffective if he can't keep it in the park.

kuroda (NYY) no-hitter through 6ip vs TEX (good luck with that).

no hitter gone in the 7th, 1st batter.

YOU did it CRUNCH! Nice work!

:[

i blame bobby valentine.

Michael Barrett.......Unavailable for comment

thank god lendy castillo is back.

awesome.

Castro didn't help either. Booted easy DP ball...

forgot about this

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0...

who is winning?

as for the questions, current leaders are:
Most Wins? Maholm (Samardzija will probably overtake him)
Most PA's in #2 spot? Castro
1st to DL? K. Wood
1st Called Up? R. Lopez
Team Wins? on pace for 64
More Starts, LaHair vs. Rizzo? LaHair (82)....Rizzo at 41 with 48 games to play
SB's? Campana
Samardzija, more IP in pen or rotation? Rotation
Best bWAR? D. Barney (4.6)..Dempster is second with 3.1, Castro is third at 2.5

article on Ricketts visit to the Tenn Smokies...and the tidbit that Jake Brigham recently acquired from Texas for Soto has gone on the DL last thursday.

http://tennessee.smokies.milb.com/news/articl...

didn't John Lennon write a song called, Instant (Cubbery) Karma?

he really likes his new toy.

he's been to pretty much every Cubs minor league park multiple times this year....probably all of them.

RedSox players don't really like Valentine.....

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bobby-valentine-...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/2...

Of course sample size is an issue.

Bruce Miles‏@BruceMiles2112

Source: Oneri Fleita out as #Cubs front office continues changing. More later on Daily Herald site. Fleita led player development

here's slightly more (but not much more):

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/7099

I'm actually pretty curious about how this is going to impact the Cubs. If I recall correctly, Fleita was touted as a guy with a lot of contacts in the Latin world and who was instrumental in spreading the Cubs' positive image down there. I hope this doesn't diminish the Cubs' ability to land the Latin prospects we're going after.

I've been expecting this since Fleita spoke at the Smokies banquet last winter and had this to say about the new Cub brain trust:

"When we're in the room, I'm the dumbest guy in the room."

I also recall something about Fleita hearing criticism for promoting pitchers too aggressively. No names were mentioned, but I thought of Jackson and McNutt at the time.

That's pretty much something you only say to your wife.

Wisdom. Obviously, you've been married for either a. a very long time, and/or b. to many different women.

should have took that job with Detroit

Hardball Talk says Ari Kaplan's gone too: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/15/...

Three of the Cubs Player Development Agreements (PDA) expire after this season:

Daytona
Peoria
Boise

So the Cubs will be in a position where they could switch to a different affiliate in the same league, or even change leagues.

DAYTONA: A couple of years ago when the Hendry regime was in charge, I was told it was a virtual-lock that the Cubs would switch their Hi-A affiliate from Daytona (Florida State League) to a slot in the California League after the PDA with Daytona expires. There are just too many rain-outs in ther FSL.

The Cubs and the Brewers are the only MLB clubs who train in Arizona with Hi-A affiliates in the FSL, and the Astros are the only MLB Club who train in Florida with a Hi-A affiliate in the California League, so a Cubs-Astros switch would seem to to be a good fit for both organizations. The Astros could place an FSL affiliate at their Spring Training facility in Kissimmee, and the Cubs could take-over Houston's Lancaster franchise (or move the franchise to a different California town).

With Theo Epstein now in-charge, the Cubs still could opt to leave the FSL, but might prefer to move their Hi-A affiliate to the Carolina League (where the Red Sox have their Hi-A Affiliate). The problem with the Carolina League is that there may not be any club that wants out (as would more likely be the case with the Astros in the California League).

PEORIA: It's highly doubtful that the Cubs would transfer their full-season Lo-A affiliate from the Midwest League to the South Atlantic League, but they could move their Lo-A affiliate to a different town in the MWL.

BOISE: Tom Ricketts visited Boise this year and inferred that the Cubs were hoping for a new stadium or major improvements to the existing facility. If they are not satisfied that improvements will be made, the Cubs could transfer their NWL affiliate to a different town in the NWL, or they could move their Short-Season "A" affiliate to the New York-Pennsylvania League (NYP). The Cubs did have a SS-A affiliate in the NYP (initially in Geneva, NY, then moved to Williamsport, PA) for many years (1977-98).

Isn't a problem in the California League that it's very difficult to judge hitters ability, since the league is sooooo easy for hitters?

Wed, 08/15/2012 - 12:04pm — Dusty Baylor

Isn't a problem in the California League that it's very difficult to judge hitters ability, since the league is sooooo easy for hitters?

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

DUSTY B: And the pitchers get hammered, too, but scouts and Player Development guys know that and factor it in.

Bottom line is, the players gotta play and the pitchers gotta pitch, and anything and anyplace is better than the rain-outs that plague the FSL.

BTW, if you look at the ten MLB clubs that have affiliates in the California League, there doesn't seem to be much of a handicap as far as producing MLB players (and pitchers):

Arizona
Cincinnati
Colorado
Houston
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle

Plus, think of the fun guys like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Dan Vogelbach, and Dustin Geiger will have hitting there. They will be brimming with confidence as they head to AA in 2014.

Good point. Damn rainouts!
About Peoria, they have a really excellent new-ish stadium in downtown Peoria. I hope they keep their Lo-A Ball team there

I have heard the stadium there is very nice. hope to visit someday to see for myself.

Has anyone ever been to see the Schaumburg Flyers or Joliet Jackhammers (or whatever they're called these days)? I have not. Do they have the type of facilities to support a MWL team? It might be nice to have the low A team a little closer than Peoria.

I've been to Joliet a lot. It's a decent park, but probably not as nice as the MWL ones I've visited such as South Bend, Lansing, and Kane County. Not sure about the guts of the building, though.

FYI, there's also an indie team in Gary - probably technically the closest to Chicago. NW Ind. (past Lake County) does love them some Cubs.

The Gary park is actually pretty nice -- definitely on par with the MWL parks I've been to (QC, Clinton, Kane Co.).

The only problem is it's in Gary.

It's Bulletproof vest night here at the ole Ballpark.

Melky eats testosterone, gets 50 days. According to my phone.

wow...

a lot might have missed this, but a SF beat writer (I think Andrew Baggerly) went up to Melky about 2-3 weeks ago to ask him about Internet rumors that he tested positive and Melky freaked out and the dude apologized.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/28/...

score 1 for twitter

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