I-Cubs Will Go Head to Head With J-Rob in Home Opener

Long time, no post.


While the I-Cubs are opening the season in Albuquerque and getting the Isotopes off and running, finishing touches are being put on their headquarters here in Des Moines. Yesterday was Open House and a parking lot full of fans came to walk the warning track and tour the remodeled clubhouses. Too bad Chicago and their Cubs don’t get along as cozily as Des Moines does with ours. The city helped rebuild the ballpark back in the 1990’s, replaced the playing field not long ago and kicked in on this latest project too, despite that we can’t keep the libraries open a rightful amount of hours.


Besides peeks behind the scenes fans were lured by promises of a free hot dog/chips/soda lunch and a GA ticket to a 2013 game. While the facilities were easy enough to get in and out of, the line for the eats was surely the longest one there’s ever been there without a ballgame at the end of it, so I fasted.


Does it surprise any of you that there is a sign posted in the clubhouses forbidding the consumption of any alcoholic beverages on those premises? It did me.


Besides the free ticket handout I cashed in a Groupon that netted me 20 tickets for 50 bucks - @ $2.50 per that’ll make for a good time some just right evening this summer when I’d rather go with friends than alone as I usually do.


The home opener is set for next Friday, a date that coincides with the opening of ’42’ starring Harrison Ford as the grandfather, I think, of the PCL president. I’m anxious to see it and will let the weather make the decision as to whether I go to the ballpark or the movies that evening.


My streak of seasons with at least one visit to Wrigley may be in jeopardy this year. I’m not sure how long it is but it’s fairly lengthy and right now I have nothing planned. 


It’s good to hear that a renovation detente may have been achieved in Wrigleyville and the organizational pipeline seems to be filling with fuel, most of which is pretty far downline from Des Moines. I may make a cheap trip or two to catch Kane County when the Cougars road-trip into Iowa. As for what I’m anxious to see right here, I guess I’m curious about this Loux kid and hopeful that Jackson won’t be such a strikeout artist now that his swing’s been Tinker-ed to make the most of Ever-y Chance (sorry).


Sorry, too, for any errors. I’m kinda rusty, like Pat Hughes, who called Rizzo’s Opening Day blast to the back of the right-center bleachers in Pittsburgh “playable.”


I’ll be in touch.


Nice to hear from you Well-Man!

I'll be looking forward to your reports on Rusin and Raley during the year. I think as the year goes on I'd rather see one of those guys pitching for the big club than Feldman.

And, of course if anyone in Iowa can hit with RISP, that's a bonus.

I hate the idea of Harrison Ford playing the grandfather of anybody. Makes me feel older, if not necessarily bluer.

Marlon Byrd with game-winning hit bottom 9th:

Michael Brenly signed on with the Diamondbacks.

Marquez Smith was released by the Rangers organization.

"Michael Brenly signed on with the Diamondbacks."

dad must have some connections (again). seriously, though...supposedly he's a good defender...but that bat is nearly inexcusable and it's not like he's got a rocket arm to match the glove work.

AZ Phil,
I see on your depth chart that Matt Loosen and junior Lake are not listed. Are they AWOL?

Jr. is on the DL with rib fracture. Not AWOL. He's out 6-8 weeks.

I know Junior is on the DL, but he isnt listed on AZ phils rehab list.

Anybody want opening day tickets?

Any new start times announced? Is there going to be ANY rain breaks this afternoon? Last I heard (7:20am) they said there may even be sunshine this afternoon for a wee bit. But plenty of rain too...

If it gets delayed long enough, I may be able to make it. I have to be daddy until at least 1:30. My wife set up a spreadsheet to track how much money we are losing, I think she is going to poison me.

2013 is making 2012 seem like 2009. Every single ticket holder is going to get killed this year. I don't know anyone who wants to watch this team, either. Here's to a sunny summer, it's our only hope.

Oh man. That is terrible. I can't even look until years' end. I refuse to give box tickets away for $10 and would rather give 'em to Miseracordia, etc., and take a full tax deduction.

Wtf is with the early stubhub cutoff? That hurts.

I know, right? I tried to adjust the 7am cutoff yesterday. Maybe they have club agreements?

How do you donate them? I know I've seen that somewhere on the shitty ticket manager site, but I can't find it. My wife loves her some deductions, she's been threatening to make me cut back to two tickets, maybe that would convince her to keep them.

I asked last week and they don't have it together yet. You still have to physically convey tix. However, I was told you can use your STH user/pw (you see it on your invoice) and electronically get tix to those you wish through the STH portal. This apparently works, although I have not tried using it.

Children's would be close? Oh wait - they moved Downtown...

I wish I itemized. =(

Sending sick kids to a Cubs game? Are you trying to finish them off?

I had to go (way) below face value just to get relief from mine. Oh mercy.

It's barely raining now and last I heard, it was supposed to be done by noon.

Thank you. Any addendum re downpours in the PM?

It's sunny in the west burbs right now.

The weather.com hourly forecast has 0 percent chance of rain until 4:00, when it goes to 20 percent.

For whatever that's worth.

Wow. Thank you!

Partly sunny downtown right now, too. Guessing this game will get played on schedule.

Hmmm...in checking wunderground.com, they have 90% probability of rain all afternoon. Which says, "Its gonna rain..." Fwiw.

the wrigley field organist is off his meds...

big pops from the crowd for fuji, garza, ninja (huge), castro, rizzo (huge)...boos for marmol (stay classy cubs fans).

Having a WHIP higher than most pitchers ERA will do that to a guy. :)

How do they like Jackson walking in a run in the first inning?

i think the crowd is mostly numb at this point...scattering of boos, but mostly a "well, that isn't surprising" reaction.

5-0 cubs now...top 2nd, 1 out. the crowd is numb...

"5-0 cubs"? That is one amazing comeback.....

doh. yeah...5-0 mil/chc...

also, derp and another doh for good measure.

hey, 5-2 now...welly HR.

this game already sucks...MIL up by 4, top 1st, 2 out.

welcome to wrigley, e.jackson.

Through 6 games and one AB -- Starlin Castro has yet to walk. Just what you want in a #2 hitter ahead of Rizzo.

It would not shock me if Castro was traded.

Depending on the return, it's hard to imagine the organization wouldn't be in a better place. But after the season might be more likely, and certainly not before July.

Of course we need to get value in return, but I think Theo and Jed value Castro's assets less than others might.

They value him so little that they (a) refer to him as a cornerstone of the rebuilding and (b) extended his contract.

He's what, 23? Come on.

Show me that he can play defense reliably (and I mean a track record) and we can talk about potential. Until then, I could give a shit what they do with Castro or what kind of batting numbers he puts up.

Doesn't a track record require some time? The flip side is true also: Show me a track record of bad defense, which also requires some time. Castro has had his issues, but he's also a dude who has worked his butt off to get better at his defense and showed it last year.

23 and a week into the season seems a bit early to throw in the towel on a guy who has shown improvement.

Jed/Theo gave Starlin a $60M contract extension. Something tells me they value his assets pretty highly.

I think the Castro defenders are perhaps missing the point. Castro is a "young pro" who's going to be a major league starter for years to come and has a ceiling as a perennial All-Star. He's signed to a team-friendly deal. He has to be huge trade bait for an organization looking for that type of player and can certainly fetch multiple talented players in return. This organization also has a SS prospect who seriously needs to be discussed as one of baseball's best prospects at this point, and he will probably be ready to break in within two years.

His defense got called out by someone else, but I'm not talking trash about Starlin. I'm still saying he's a guy you want ... until something better comes along.

Agreed. You don't trade Castro because he is bad, you trade him because he is good, others think he is better than you do, and you have strength in the organization at his position.

I don't disagree with anything you said.

My comment was in response to the idea that the Cubs management doesn't value Castro's assets. I fail to see how such an assertion could be true, considering the deal that Cubs management gave Castro.

FWIW...I'm not a Castro defender. I think he has a ton of talent, and I think he hasn't figured out how to put it all together yet. And I think that, in the right deal, I would absolutely trade him. Then again, I don't think there are many players that I would define as untouchable in a trade.

I believe my point was that I believe that other teams may value Castro's MORE than the Cubs do. Because of this, I wouldn't be shocked if Castro was traded.

i'd rather see him as a long term solution at 2nd with baez pulling time at SS.

both could be fixtures through 2019+...

btw, baez is off to a slow start in high A this season...but it's only been 4 games.

The Rangers designated lefty Jeff Beliveau for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for newly-acquired catcher Robinson Chirinos.

soto will be lucky enough to get 200ab's as it is unless m.moreland/l.berkman gets injured.

I should have mentioned that Chirinos was optioned to AAA.

Don't they also have Baker and Wells?

Baker has one AB. Wells is at AAA.

JD says "word" a lot when he's impressed by something...i approve.

"Word" is pretty 90's actually.

which is why i love it...i'm ready for this 80s revival to end already...


6ip 8h 5bb (2ibb) 6k 5er for e.jackson...102 pitches

For those who missed Big Z, they must be joyful of this salute to Zambrano by EJax today.

cubs need to reconsider this "shift on everyone" thing...

along with past games, it's been exploited 3 times in this game (twice in the 7th) for hits.

marmol comes out to a chorus of boos...after a leadoff double you'd think he was milton bradley.

btw, even though he may not enjoy it, he seems unfazed by it.

9th inning rally in progress...

7-4, 0 outs...men on 1st/2nd.

bases loaded, 1 out...wind starts blowing in like mad for the 1st time today...wtf

K followed by a warning track out...damn you wind...damn you.

If my math is correct -- Cubs fall to 75 games under .500 in the Ricketts era (209-284).

The Ricketts family must have a good shot at the "fastest to 100" crown.

Something to watch from the rooftops -- that, and the date of Castro's first walk in 2013. Stay tuned!

they'll make up for it 2015-2020 when they're a 110+ game a year winner with a $80m a year payroll.

I can guarantee they will have higher than an $80m a year payroll. They've shown a complete willingness to sink money into all phases of the team and so this whole "Rickets are cheap" meme gets more and more silly.

I guess instead of sinking money into the minor leagues, scouting and the park they should have appeased the fans and spent it on overpriced and average free agents so we could again be spinning our wheels in slightly above average play burdened with ridiculous contracts and never actually winning a World Series. Or in other words our entire history.

Rickets spends money. Stop pretending otherwise.

I'm curious if people who are complaining about the Ricketts' era will feel it was worth it if they are a well oiled machine by 2015-2016? It seems obvious the current ownership and front office have a plan and are renovating a VERY long term dysfunctional perpetual-crap machine on every level. I really don't get the complainers. Like picking on a newborn pony for walking funny. Oh well.

so...only 2-3 more years of baseball not worth watching before the 1st game of the year is even played? sweet.

well, "if" they are a well oiled machine by then.

i don't think anyone's rooting against them...but this is a hard product to watch right now...and last year...and besides that, the owners are f'n billionaires 4-5 times over.

more TV money is coming soon at least...that's visible profit in the fan's faces.

"the plan" is nice and all, but i'm ready for a few offseason signings that aren't followed by "damn, that should be good trade bait in june!"

we should have b.jackson due next year...baez knocking on the door if he has a good stint in the minors...vogelbomb making rizzo expendable in another couple of years...castro's locked down for many years...welly isn't a superstar, but he's here for good amount of years on the cheap...it should get better if they get some support.

Also I would maybe give it a few weeks and let the weather warm up before panicking (that's very un-dude!). I think this team will play a little better than right now. There is some decent pitching and obviously Soriano and others will hit when their knees have a chance to work out the rust.

I think poeple will be fine if/when the 2015/2016 plan comes together. But, that will mean 5 years of very lousy baseball -- tough to develop kids into fans when their parents don't want to waste their time/money on a very bad product. Trades like Colvin/DJ for Ian Stewart don't give me warm & fuzzies about "the plan".

Dj and Colvin are both in AAA, so Rockies don't think much either about them.

That's like blaming the recession on Obama.

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract

    jacos 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 4 hours 54 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 5 hours 39 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 7 hours 27 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 34 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.


    Tito 8 hours 11 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.


    Tito 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.








    Tito 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 8 hours 21 min ago view