Bijan Rademacher roped a two-run triple, walked twice, and scored three runs, and NWL batting champion Stephen Bruno drove-in three runs with a two-run triple and an RBI FC, propelling the Cubs to a 10-7 victory over Athletics in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Jorge Soler and Dan Vogelbach blasted home runs, Chadd Krist singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, Gioskar Amaya singled, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Nathan Dorris collected his second save in successive games by throwing three innings of one-hit shutout ball, leading the Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Athletics in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #2 (AKA “Connie Mack Field”) in Phoenix.


Well, the good news is 2012 is almost over for the Chicago Cubs.

Dan Vogelbach crushed a towering three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence in the top of the 6th to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead, and a two-run Diamondback rally in the bottom of the 9th fell just a bit short as Nathan Dorris struck out Justin Bianco looking on a 3-2 pitch with the potential tying and winning runs on base, earning the Cubs a 5-4 victory in Arizona Instructional League action at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale this morning.


In addition to Vogelbach’s Big Fly, Shawon Dunston Jr drilled a double and an RBI single, stole a base, and recorded an outfield assist, and RHP Pierce Johnson threw three innings of one-hit ball.


Ronnie Freeman lined a two-out opposite-field RBI single to right to score B. J. Lopez with the go-ahead run, as the Diamondbacks rallied for three runs in the 8th and edged the Cubs 6-5 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Jorge Soler laced a three-run bases-loaded bases-clearing double down the LF line with two outs in the bottom of the 4th to break-open a close game, and the Cubs went on to defeat the Athletics 7-4 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


Soler also walked twice and scored a run.


Jacob Rogers singled twice, walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, and Gioskar Amaya ripped an RBI single and walked twice, to aid the Cub offense

Mitch Haniger belted a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the 4th to break a scoreless tie, and four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Brewers blanked the Cubs 3-0 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Park Field #7 (AKA “Paul Molitor Field”) in Phoenix.


Jorge Soler and Chadd Krist blasted solo home runs, and Marco Hernandez ripped a double and an RBI single, scored a run, and stole a base, leading the Cubs to an 8-3 victory over the Giants in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale.


Andrew Velazquez singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Jonathan Griffin doubled twice and knocked-in two runs, and Alex Glenn blasted a three-run home run, to lead a ferocious 20-hit attack as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs 17-3 in Arizona Instructional League action Saturday night at the Main Stadium at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale.


The game was halted for about 25 minutes with two outs in the top of the 5th after Cubs outfielder Trey Martin was hit in the head with a pitch. Paramedics from the Salt River Fire Department were called by the Diamondbacks team trainer, and the ambulance responded directly to home plate where Martin was laying on his back.

Rafael Lopez ripped a bases-loaded two-run line-drive single to key a four-run 4th, and Ben Carhart drove-in a run with an RBI single and Chadd Krist followed with a sacrifice fly to highlight a two-run 6th, as the Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 6-3 in Arizona Instructional League Opening Day action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


The Twitterverse says the Cubs have finalized plans with Kane County to move their Class A player development contract a little closer to home. With guys like Almora, Vogelbach, Amaya, Candelario, Dunston Jr. and so on possibly playing there next season, there should be some good crowds. The dirty, rotten Cardinals have already taken up the void left by the Cubs in Peoria. I haven't seen where the Royals affiliate (formely Kane County) will end up at yet. Player development contracts in Boise and Daytona were also set to expire, but the Cubs say they've renewed the contracts with those two minor league franchises. The contracts with Boise, Kane County and Daytona run through 2014.

Cubs get another shot tonight at delaying the Reds from clinching the NL Central (magic number is 4). They'll go DeJesus 9, Barney 4, Rizzo 3, Soriano 7, Castro 6, Valbuena 5, Castillo 2, Jackson 8, Rusin 1.

If you haven't been paying attention to the #2 Draft Spot Derby (lower left sidebar), the Cubs have a half game "lead" over the Rockies and 3 games over the Twins and Indians. Rockies are in the midst of a series at San Francisco at the moment. In the race to avoid 100 losses, Cubs need to go 5-11 (or better) the rest of the way.

 

First off, I got a new MacBook Air this weekend. I'm hoping this helps with keeping the blog up-to-date better as my old laptop was on its last legs and seriously annoying me so much that I didn't even want to surf the net much.

As for the site, Disqus has been a bit of a disappointment. Not quite what I thought was advertised. While there are features I like, my biggest disappointments so far are:

  • lack of new comment notifications when re-visiting site
  • lack of real-time updating
  • odd thread structure when putting in new comments

I think the "Latest Comments" sidebar helps with the lack of new comment notifications. I just go there and see what I missed, but it doesn't seem to update too quickly and I feel like I'm missing comments. Granted, things are slow right now and interest is at pathetically low levels this time of year, but when the news starts coming again in the offseason, I think it will get even more annoying.


So, I'm going to try upgrading to what they call Disqus 2012. We'll see if it's any better. This requires nothing on any of your parts, but by tomorrow morning, the comments will look a little different. We'll see how we like that after a few weeks. If I/we are still unhappy with the comments, I'll see about getting the native Drupal comment system working again.

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It's the most exciting thing to happen in Cubdom all month...the 2013 schedule release!!! They actually have the entire thing up at cubs.com already, but here are some of the highlights.

The season begins at Pittsburgh on Monday, April 1st followed by a trip to Atlanta. The home schedule begins the following Monday, April 8th versus the Brewers. We'll get an immediate feel for the new interleague schedule with a 3-game series versus the Rangers during that same homestand (April 16-18). The customary city rivalry versus the White Sox has been reduced to 4 games and will be back-to-back 2-game series at each home park (May 27-May 30) starting at Comiskey. Then in a horrific bit of traveling, the Cubs head to Anaheim against the Angels for a 2-game set on June 3rd and 4th. They have an off day before and after, but it's sandwiched between two homestands and that "away" series at Comiskey.

They're next interleague match-up will be versus the Astros at Wrigley from June 21-June 23. That's sandwiched between 2 road trips of 7 and 10 games culminating at Oakland to start off July. Then they come home for a 9-game homestand versus the Pirates, Angels and Cardinals before the All-Star break. The 2nd half starts with a 10-game roadtrip to Colorado, Arizona and San Francisco. Their Southern California trip through San Diego and then Los Angeles will be from August 23-August 28th. By September, they could be playing the role of spoiler with a 11-game roadtrip versus Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. They end the season at St. Louis on Septemeber 29th.

As for 2012, Anthony Rizzo is out after a nasty collision with Brett Wallace yesterday and Brett Jackson misses his 5th straight game. That means folks will witness this: Mather CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Sappelt RF, Recker 1B, Wood P

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