Wed Funnies: How Morneau will beat Rizzo in All-Star voting.

Thanks John Beasley.

Comments

Nice. Obviously, Apple computers...

I didn't get any mary jane when I got my Apple desk top

what a peach.

Here's what I've never understood with Rickey's lineups.....can't Valbuena play LF? I mean, I believe Az Phil when he wrote that Epstoyer were dictating lineups to Rickey. So...you can still play Barney, Schierholtz, Valbuena & Ruggiano almost every day AND play Olt at 3B at least 5-6 times a week IF they wanted to.

The only result would be less at bats for Sweeney, Coghlan, & (God forbid) Lake. Since Lake couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat - not a big loss. There has to be a reason but right now the only conclusion I can come to is that Epstoyer don't see Olt as a long term part of the rebuild. And that brings another question: then why has he been the 25-man all season?

.

hell, if olt is going to be a part time player how about letting him play LF/RF/1st/whatever to increase his playing time?

the guy is 2nd on the team in HRs with 200-ish less PA than #1 or #3.

along with the good D there's something there worth investigating or building value with.

Olt at ss to give Castro a breather

/not really

It's silly to play Olt anywhere but third. He's a good third baseman, just play him there. See what he can do. In an earlier post Ryno bitched about all the swooning over Olt. It's worth addressing again. It's NOT swooning over Olt. It's wondering out loud why a guy with such enormous power - to all fields, which suggests he may eventually hit some doubles - isn't getting a real test out there.

For all I know, Olt will end up a being a dud. He looks rather Oltish pretty often at the plate, swinging and missing at what seem to be perfectly hittable pitches for a major leaguer. On the other hand, he rarely goes fishing, plays nice D, and it could be that he misses those fastballs simply because his timing is not quite there. So his percentage of jacks may actually go up a bit if he plays more, and his average BETTER go up if he has any hope of sticking.

But the team has a pretty brief window here to find out if he can play, and if he ends up being good, it's going to be ugly if he ends up good for another team after the Cubs skip out on this window. Even if he doesn't fit the new "Cubs Way", if he gets some playing time and does fairly well, he's another valuable trade chip.

This is not about swooning or even thinking Olt is some kind of star in the making. This is just fans wondering why the team isn't more eager to find out what they have here, especially given the prodigious power he has shown.

Yeah hard to imagine not wanting the power in the lineup especially with good D. At 1 HR every 14 AB he'd be hitting a little over a homer per week ... and that's at his current pace. Plus I would like to see how he settles in. Remember how balanced and confident he was coming out of ST? Shark said he knew exactly what he was doing at the plate and that he was the real deal.

I had some concern about the Kris Bryant ejection last night, wondering just what exactly happened, is he a hot head, etc. The report from the Iowa broadcasters today:

The reason Kris Bryant was ejected last night is after his strikeout, on his way back to the dugout, Kris calmly says "that's on you, blue". I think most times comments like this don't get a response.

Alcantara's starting tonight.

Coghlan LF, Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Ruggiano CF, Sweeney RF, Castillo C, Beeler P

One-Hit Wonders?

Ben Cherington.

Tanaka headed for MRI, unknown what part of arm yet.

...baseball gods be cruel

Whoah!!! That's heavy duty...

the good: Kane and Toews sign 8-year extensions

the bad (sort of): Anthony going back to Knicks, maybe Bulls can pull of Kevin Love trade if they want any chance

Tanaka, MRI right pitching shoulder.

Has Battleship Cubbery made a 180 degree course change?

Cubbery is giving the Cubs good health this year just to snatch it away when the team aims to be competitive again. Pure, unadulterated optimism. Seriously though, in a year when so many players are getting injured around the league, the Cubs have been relatively unscathed by the injury bug.

CBS story says to DL with right elbow inflammation fwiw...

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24613030/yankees-masahiro-t...

future Cub tweet:
1m

A's have basically turned over their whole rotation three times in these three years of sitting atop the AL West.

Theo is good at rotations so far (E jackson being the only outlier I can think of). I'm a lot less worried about pitching next year than others are.

d.beeler throwing 85-87mph cheese.

awesome.

-edit- in the 2nd+ he was hitting 88-90 (especially the 3rd/4th). no idea what was up with the 1st inning.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/07/jeff-samardzija-oakland-as-national-leag...

Samardzija will be at All-star game in NL jersey, will hang out in AL dugout, cannot pitch in game.

Well I can tell you that based on some of Alcantara's swings that he could use a large helping of Captain Happy's patented big league rest. Let's bring him up and get his ass on the pine for a few months - he'll be fine in no time at all.

20 strikeouts for Iowa pitchers in 14-inning win. Jokisch started them off with 11 in 7.

i dont blame renteria for getting tossed...im a bit sick of watching this game, too.

Haha. I actually turned it off. What happened?

valbuena fielded a bouncer foul...he was claiming to the ump at 3rd it was fielder fair...renteria came out and starting bitching about it and got tossed.

Well you don't mess with his main man Valbuena! You just don't do it ...

Just watched it, looked foul. But the ump in slow motion was awesome, he was like screaming "Bye Bye" as he gave him the boot.

When Cubs don't come back it will be 6 losses in a row

currently with 5th worst record, 1.5 games back of Astros for worst overall (Houston, DBacks, Texas, Rockies ahead of them and Boston a half game behind),)

Astros losing in 3rd against Texas, Rockies and DBacks already won and Red Sox losing.

I'll just leave these here

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/never-too-early-to-look-ahead-to-15-...

http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2015-mlb-draft-early-30-college-prosp...

 

We can do this!!!! I want #1 for the last big sell year ... C'mon boys!!!

Since it's early, I'll go way out on a limb.

Best college bat. Or shortstop.

Hahaha! Well played ...

Alcantara underwhelming debut, 0-4 with 3 ugly ABs, with his third and fourth trips of the night being much worse than the first two.

another failed Cubs prospect

/troll'd

Obviously, Olt should be playing 2B.

jason hammel delay of game because of a thumb cramp. trainer is out...

we're about 4 minutes in so far. crazy.

Kyuji Fujikawa with another rehab outing for AZL Cubs (second in four days after being shut-down for a month following conclusion of EXST), a 1-2-3 inning (9 pitches - 7 strikes). Fastball velocity was consistent (90-91 MPH on all six fastballs thrown), plus three outstanding hard-splitters (one used to chase the strikeout on first hitter faced). After the first batter struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch, second man popped out on a bunt, and the third hitter flied out to short-center. Very fast inning. 

2014 7th round draft pick RHP James Norwood (Saint Louis U.) worked a dominating 9th for AZL Cubs, pitching with swagger (unlike pro debut last week, when he looked uncomfortable on the mound) and pumping one 94-95 MPH fastball with heavy sink & run after another. Unhittable tonight.

Stinnett, Sands, and Steele haven't thrown in games yet (not ready) and Cease has sprained elbow UCL, so Norwood is (by far) the best of the recent Cubs draft pick pitchers I've seen so far. Future bullpen power arm. Has the "short-arm" action you often will see from a converted infielder. Just get the ball and throw it.

Billy Beane video interview on the trade (with Jim Bowden)

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11191885

the interview also has a part 2

Hard not to like Beane, I think he really does try to shoot straight.

What we already knew intuitively about AJ Pierzynski confirmed by Boston clubhouse here.

Tito, Ryno... I'm sorry if I've been annoying. This is not meant to be argumentative but let's look at the numbers:

Olt vs. rest of Cubs roster:

HR - 2nd on team
RBI - 4th on team
BB - 4th on team
AB - 9th on team behind:
Barney
Castillo
Boni
Lake
Valbuena
Sureoutz
Rizzo
Castro

Olt vs. other NL rookies:

HR - 1st with 12 next closest has 6
BB - 2nd in league
RBI - 2nd in league behind Billy Hamilton who has 317 AB to Olt's 174 AB. And it's worth noting Hamilton was struggling early and has even missed games due to minor injuries AND he plays on a contender. Now he's playing GREAT!

There have been 14 times this season that he's been allowed to start back to back days. The last time that happened was in May - 27th and 28th. Remember this is a rookie who needs exposure and repetition at the highest level of play.

Again sorry if it's been tiring to hear - I agree I personally am a one trick pony at this point because there's almost nothing else to explore this year on the ML team. Maybe K. Hendricks will be fun. Valbuena was my favorite player last year and I hate seeing his name right now. I think Ryno is right about there being little to cheer for so I'm filling my energy with Olt bitching. But I think, at least for a few of us it's just as baffling that they aren't letting the guy play every day. He was a platoon+ matchup player from week one who's pretty much been abandoned now - and on a last place team that's really hard to figure out when he is a former top 50 prospect and plays great D, while showing flashes of brilliance.

That's pretty much the whole of my argument and the rest of it either I or someone else had said before.

I'm hoping it's just very shrewd marketing of people Theo wants to trade but I think when Ricky opens his mouth or consistently pulls him late in close games (even when he homered, walked and lined out hard in the same game) it makes some of us wonder what Ricky is doing because obviously front office doesn't dictate that.

Anyway that's the best I can explain it. I hear your opinions, this is just mine.

Carlito, this is July and the Cubs are sellers. The seats behind the plate are filled with scouts. This is Valbuena's month and Barney's month, not Olt's month. The previous months were geared to making Valbuena and Barney look like starters come July.

Next month will be different for Olt. Of course, so will next season, when Bryant comes looking for his job. But at least it won't be Valbuena and Barney keeping Olt on the bench.

This is the only thing that makes sense. I hope you are right. As we've seen theo jed are pretty cutthroat with their strategies - I really hope you are right. It just feels like Ricky does stupid shit on top of this strategy which makes me wonder if he'll ever get behind him.

That said your argument fits and as I've said before if they didn't like Olt I think they'd be playing him to shop. Weirdly now I wonder what they will do with him haha as word is Bryant is a better defender and of course Russell / Castro / Baez / Alcantara all vying for infield jobs!

Hendricks gives up 3 in the first vs the Louisville Reds (No Phillips, Votto, Bruce or Mesoraco)

BB, BB, pop out, Double, Single, Single and E-7, FC out at home, IBB, Fly Out

error actually didn't lead to any runs

much better 2nd, 2 K's and and line out

groundball, HR by Ludwick, groundball, foul out in 3rd, 4-1 Reds

after last night btw...all within a .5 game of each other

  • Rangers .418
  • Dbacks .419
  • Astros .419
  • Cubs .422
  • Rockies .424

good Q&A with Jason Parks on Cubs prospects

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-insider/2014/07/cubs-prospects-qa-with-ba...

gushes over Russell and offers this on whether Baez, Castro and Russell will play togehter

JP: Sure. I can see that. In fact, I’d love to see that. However, it does seem likely that one of Castro/Baez will be with another org long-term. But I would love to see the Cubs figure out such a first-world problem and put all the talent on one field. Can you imagine that? Damn.

Something like Baez at third, Russell at short, Castro at 2B, Rizzo at 1B, Alcantara in LF, Bryant in RF? That lineup is baseball pornography.

Alcantara with his first MLB RBI. Sac fly.

just saw video on MLB.com, holy hell is Hendricks slow.

also the pitch he threw to Ludwick for HR was god-awful, 78 mph something that was supposed to be low and outside and ended up middle in...just a meatball.

Yes yes and YES! Looks like if Hendricks misses it looks ugly!!

Alcantara beautiful piece of hitting with major opposite field finesse and power on that 2B.

Alcantara 2-RBI double for his first hit, along with earlier sac fly.

8 in a row retired by Hendricks since Ludwick HR...

Bailey comes out with apparent arm injury in 6th with a 1-2 count on Castro.

#robotpitchers

eh, twitter sucks, video looks more like leg or back

*updated.. right knee issue

oh surprising, AJ was not well liked by Boston teammates

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/rob-bradford/2014/07/...

the #VoteRizzo twitter campaign is making twitter unbearable today...ugh.

Hendricks strikes out the side in 6th including Jay Bruce pinch hitting with 2 on and 2 out, nice bounceback from the rough early innings. Ludwick had his number though 3/3 with 2 RBI's.

I ask if the Cubs played the Reds 162 games, how many would the Reds lose?

how many Ditka's in the Cubs lineup?

haha

Cubs dugout flipping out against Chapman. Rizzo clearly called him a mother fucker while pointing at him. Now Baker mocking Chapman after getting a walk. Awesome viewing right now.

Whoah! Any idea what incited the reaction?

I think Chapman threw 2 over Sureouts's head...

Was Alcantara's 2nd hit a swunt or line drive off pitcher?

Gameday says "singled to pitcher", so just curious.

Tipped off pitcher glove then went out towards SS. Sharply hit ball. Don't think it was a line drive.

some sort of melee in Cincy, twitter says Rizzo went over to Reds bench which regardless of what Chapman did or didn't do (not watching) seems a bit bush league.

*updated - seems someone was yelling at him as he took first base, I withdraw my bush league comment

well fun teaching moment for Captain Happy, game tied 4-4 in 9th...

does he he order the Code Red and nail a Reds batter or try to win the game instead?

let's hope he chooses wisely

uneventful bottom of the 9th, Rizzo due up 3rd in the 10th though

Haha. Just watched it all - John Baker was frickin' hilarious ... priceless. Never seen that before. Love him!!

Garza no-hitting Phillies through 5

through 6 for Garza

Rollins leadoff single in 7th, followed by Utley single...

/stand-down

Alcantara "tripled to shallow right"...

I await the video with giddiness.

Reds then IBB Rizzo to get to Castro...shrug

Castro K's looking...sigh

need a Valbuena bat flip now

Valbuena walked, Ruggiano popped out to end threat.

Yahoo's description is way off, solid line drive down the RF line, cruised into third quite easily as ball rolled along the outfield wall for a bit.

Y. Molina out 6-8 weeks for Cardinals, torn ligament in right thumb, B. Phillips could be out 2 months too with possible torn ligament in left thumb.

5m

Rodon's $6,582,000 bonus is the 5th-highest in history, behind Cole ($8 mil), Strasburg ($7.5 mil), Starling ($7.5 mil) ...... and Bryant ($6,708,400). All five of those top bonuses ever were signed by Boras Corp. clients.

Trying to avoid sarcasm: but it REALLY is gonna be hard to go back to watching Barney after the offensive clinic at second by Alcantara today. Damn. I guess he shook off the nerves pretty quick!

Now adds an infield single for another hit. Dude can fly.

Castro slumping right before ASG. Oh well...

AA with a shot at the cycle...

Well, he might get another chance.

Ron Coomer all hot and bothered by the call out at home plate.

he was definitely tagged out, but catcher was in his way before ball got there that he had to go well around him..or so I thought

Valbuena nearly an inside-the-park HR, Cubs challenge that plate was blocked but they keep with ruling that he was out. Catcher was up 4-5 feet up the line without the ball and Valbuena had to go way out of his way to avoid tag.

~shrug~

They reviewed it and still blew it.

Funny part is when Shumacker face planted the wall on the play.

Where was the fastes man in baseball to back up?

I watched this live and three replays and he was safe by this year's revised rules. However, Ricky is going to have learn that getting tossed twice in the same series and bitching about the strike zone from the dugout every inning is not going to buy your team any close calls as he's not Torre/Cox/LaRussa.

Blake Parker in for the save...Cubbery looms.

I'm really looking forward to the return of the Darwin Barney era. This Alcantara kid just doesn't cut it for me.

I really like that the cubs showed some heart - it's good to win the ones when there's chippy shit going down. And dammit AA that was an amazing ball game young man!!

Rizzo is in! Wooooooo!

8m

Alcantara will stay with Cubs, hendricks optioned because Cubs don't need a fifth starter.

Bring them ALL up!!!

Awesome. Glad to see that happened. Hopefully he stays for a while. He will certainly go through some struggles, but I liked what I saw today--great speed down to first, cruised around the bases, looked comfortable on defense and had a great arm, and ball seems to jump off bat. Unlike Lake, he just looks like a ball player!

What Rob said.

Rogers and Gonzales reporting AA to stay up.

When they brought up Alcantara, I was hoping he would do a Wally Pipp on Barney, and was disappointed by his performance at the plate yesterday. But today was great, and I commend the Cubs for giving the kid a continued shot. Will be interesting what happens next--trade of Valbuena and Barney? Olt at third, Logan Watkins the new utility guy? This could be fun.

$20 TCR dollars says Olt gets demoted

*correction - forgot they had 13 pitchers, optioning Hendricks should be enough at least until the ASB

No reason not to keep Arismendy Alcanatara on the MLB 25-man roster after Barney returns.

The Cubs won't need a 4th starter again until Tuesday 7/22 and they won't need a 5th starter again until Saturday 7/26, so Kyle Hendricks should be sent back down when Barney is reinstated, just like Dallas Beeler was optioned back to Iowa to make room for Hendricks. Then Hendricks and Wada can be recalled when 4th and 5th starters are needed again in a couple of weeks. 

BTW, even if he is optioned back to the minors Hendricks won't burn an option until he spends at least 19 days on Optional Assignment, and he would be recalled before that. 

Capt Happy-"Alacantara! congrats you're staying up in the show!"

Alcantara-"Thanks skip, I'm looking forward to helping the team and getting at b.."

Capt Happy interupts-"Good, good...oh Mike? show the kid where to sit on the bench so I can't see or hear him"

Olt shuffles over- "Follow me"

Brandon Phillips out 6 weeks for the Reds. Any chance they'd want to corner the market on recent Gold Glove 2nd basemen?

Maybe we can get Sean Marshall back. Hamilton could probably move to 2b if a CF is easier for them. Otherwise Utley and Zobrist should be available before they start slumming it.

I've heard Utley has not intention of approving a trade from Philly.

Also liked what I saw from Hendricks today. After a rocky start, he settled in and kept the Cubs in the game. My guess is the excitement of that first inning is extra tough on a young finesse/change up pitcher. Could be a nice back of the rotation pitcher. Hope to see more starts after the ASG.

seems like a right-handed Travis Wood... okay stuff, will succeed/fail on changing speeds/luck.

 

Best comp for Kyle Hendricks is a young Doug Fister. 

landmark commission approved Cubs revised signage plan...7 new signs. I'm lost at where it's at, but word be they have meeting with rooftop owners tomorrow to try and settle something and get started. Dan Bernstein claiming on twitter they've already ordered materials and won't wait for rooftop owners if they can't agree on something.

Looks like the rooftops over played their hand. Not much leverage to negotiate with.

Tom Tunney with some serious Cubbery. Seriously, though, I don't know what all went on behind the scenes, but this is the best possible outcome for the Cubs- they appeared to be reasonable and tried to work with the neighborhood and the neighborhood came across as unreasonable.

Bernstein seems to have Cubs source that's pretty wired in and his predictions have so far been proven spot on. Rooftop owners probably need to realize Plan A (threats) and Plan B (offering 2 sign settlement) failures are leading to Plan C -- settle with Cubs or try to sell property.

The team told fans and Lakeview neighborhood residents in an email Thursday evening that it plans to finish installing new seating, group terraces, outfield signs and lighting, including the new left-field video board, by Opening Day 2015.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/ch...

3m

Cashman: Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn ligament in his throwing arm. Will have one PRP injection. Tear is considered small.

UCL btw, not sure why they think rehab will work in this case...

4m

Cashman: Partially torn ligament for Tanaka - no surgery recommended for now. 3 doctors in agreement. 6 week return time if successful

This is why I don't like free agency as a way to get top of the line pitchers, and why last year I wanted Bryant instead of a pitcher first round, and why this year I wanted a position player first round, instead of a pitcher. Although I will admit I was a little disappointed the Cubs didn't get Tanaka - I got caught up a bit in the hype, but I was hardly crushed when he went to the Yanks. The TheoCorp approach is working pretty well - somehow they are finding quality starters every year without breaking the bank. The one time they did spend some money they got burned, but at least that wasn't an injury. So next year, can they get a Hammel type again on the cheap? I hate to even see them move a high end prospect for a TMJ candidate, sort of a reverse of the Rizzo trade. They may decide to do that, but there's a 50-50 chance that if they do, whoever they pick up will miss a year just like half the other pitchers in the league seem to be doing these days.

Soler with an alleged crushed HR to center tonight

Bryant with a confirmed crushed HR to left tonight in Omaha. Long, high fly ball just ~50 feet bigger than the field of play. Also 2 throwing errors....both times ball hit right down the line and pulled him into foul territory...came up firing...high/wide.

Would Rizzo have made the play on either of them? The guy is like the rubber man from Fantastic 4.

No chance on the first, I think it hit the dugout fence on the fly. On the second I don't think they'd have gotten the out but Rizzo might have come up with the ball and kept it from hitting the dugout fence.

C. Headley HR off Kershaw, ends scoreless streak at 41 IP I believe

Can somebody calculate Alcantara's WAR really quick? Thanks.

BR has it at 0.4, which ties Barney for 6th on the Cubs offensively (Rizzo, Castro, Bonifacio, Wood [no joke] and Valbuena)

LeBron handled this one a lot better...back to Cleveland. If Bulls can get met Melo or Love and Rose stays healthy, could be fun next year.

http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers

Agreed -- it pains me to say it, but -- Well done, LeBron.

Way to turn it back to something classy LeBron. I applaud this move. Very cool.

I don't know how much of this is genuine and how much is written by a PR person, but either way he seems to have handled this wisely.

Love is going to Cleveland too.

/d'oh

Really?? C'mon melo!

probably true....if that's the case I would withdraw the offer to 'Melo if I was the Bulls...seriously what would be the point. Love, James, Irving, Wiggins on Cleveland is a better core than the Heat had...don't even bother. Although I guess they could trade Wiggins for Love, not up to speed on the NBA trade mechanics at the moment.

The rumor is Wiggins for Love

makes sense, still Irving, Love, James is ridiculous...just needs Phil Jackson

~sad horn~ for phil

LeBron is brilliant.

Comes home to younger version of Heat, only bad thing is home is Cleveland.

Alcantara leading off today.

2015 opening day lineup:
Alcatara 2B, Ruggiano RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Bryant CF, Baez 3B, Castillo C, Coughlan LF, Price P

Thoughts...

No way Bryant is in cf. But you could just switch Ruggiano to cf, Bryant to rf, etc. sure would be a lot more fun to watch!!!! I think Alcantara might be in OF ...

who are they going to trade for Price?

guessing Alcantara at 2B or CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Castillo C, Bryant 3B, and free agents/scrubs at the other 3 with Baez starting the season in Iowa and ready to jump in at 2B, Russell and Soler should be looming next year as well depending on how the rest of AA in 2014 goes.

A lot of musical chairs going on in those last few comments.

I don't get the impression that the Cub brass enjoys moving shortstops and 3Bs to other positions.

What they really love is trades, preferably blockbusters.

That would basically mean trading Castro.

Save Castro for the Stanton trade, then sign Price after the 2015 season.

/bam

Bam!

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