November 2008

Everthing Arizona Phil writes in the comment section is worthy of a Best of TCR article. But this Best of TCR writeup is to show that I can find a post when news is particularly thin (beyond those gimme's from our TCR guru in the desert). Thanksgiving weekend is usually a desert of baseball news unto itself. Thus to brighten our tumbleweed desolate weekend, my long time friend, The E-Man steps up with a summary of Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000 saturday morning "Talking Baseball" weekly radio show. Enjoy (except for the part where he says that my season tickets will be more expensive). Take it away E-Man:

Just heard Hendry on WMVP this AM with Bruce Levine.

Jimbo came on the show...

- no slam dunk with Marmol as closer. He is not "set to close", but it is Lou's decision. They (Marmol/Gregg) may share duties. One may close more in the beginning of the year than the other.

MLB clubs have until Monday (December 1st) to decide whether to offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type"B" free-agents. 

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

I read the Sun-Times writeup on an interview with Lou Piniella in yesterday's paper and thought it was worthy of TCR discussion.

''The two things that I take from the postseason are that I didn't get a chance to pitch [Ted] Lilly, and he was such an integral part of us getting there.."

Here's my translation of Lou's comment #1:

1) The Ted Lilly Fan Club Super Computer predicted this.

2) Lou prefers Jason Marquis to Jake Peavy or Rich Harden because the latter two makes it tougher to pitch Ted Lilly in the playoffs.

3) You should have seen Z's reaction when (Lou) told him Dempster was pitching game one and Ted Lilly was pitching game two vs LA.

 

And Lou's comment #2: "And, two, we've just got to figure out a way to score more runs in the postseason."

...then Lou says: Raul Ibanez is the type of professional hitter "that we are alluding to".

Translation:

1) I'm batting Raul 4th.

2) Defense? We don't need no stinkin' defense.

3) Is there a Raul Ibanez Fan Club Computer I can check with?

Back in April, I put up some polls for our readers to rank the position players and number one pitchers in the division. I originally intended to get them up before the season started so any hot starts wouldn't influence the results. I failed miserably at that and the poll results showed that (Derrek Lee second?). Nonetheless, let's revisit the fun.

Kansas City is focused on Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot in talks with the Cubs about Mark Teahen. …

That is according to a Phil Rogers article.

That's great, I'm focused on solving world peace after I cure cancer, which will all happen after I retire at age 35 because the charming widow across the street is really the heir to the Buffett family fortune and appreciates when I roll her garbage can up her driveway on Tuesdays.

Let's just say I don't see either one happening.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I did some math a while back, from the beginning of the season each month Olt was in the lowest 10% of AB/game of all rookies. There were 33 rookies at the time I did it and all but 4 were averaging over 3AB per game and the studs obviously more like 4 per game. Olt was averaging 2.5 per game WHEN he even played. Which meant he was sitting/PH'ing way more than 90% of all rookies. He also would be benched after torrid stretches and games where he homered.

    1 hour 28 min ago
    Carlito
  • I'll do it for you. It's super easy:

    1.) they've started and finished every game they've been healthy for.

    2.) the manager has pledged complete support despite any struggles they might have.

    1 hour 43 min ago
    Carlito
  • No.

    1 hour 48 min ago
    Tito
  • I have already responded to all of this. Now tell me how many games baez and Alcantara have started (when healthy) how many they were pulled from and how the manager has handled it when they slumped. Thank you.

    1 hour 52 min ago
    Carlito
  • Olt started 34 of the first 45 games. He was pulled in 8 of those, none before the 7th inning. I'll assume matchups played a part in those. He had 145 plate appearances in those first two months.

    Beginning May 17, he started 10 straight games. He managed four hits, 1 HR, and 17 Ks in 38 ABs.

    2 hours 15 min ago
    Tito
  • Since this thread is still active....the last two days have been prime examples of what I haven't liked about the way Olt is handled in the lineup. He's had one opportunity, a pinch hit, over the last two days. That one hit was a solid liner to left. The previous day to his latest unplugging he was one for four. That situation encapsulates my argument perfectly. This late in the season, against some of the best pitching in baseball is a good opportunity to have him get some at bats. I think everyone would agree that overall Valbuena is a better ballplayer right now.

    5 hours 54 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • 14 hours 33 min ago
    Newport
  • Totally agree. I think the pitch was inside (only a couple inches) but it was unhittable and ultimately not a strike so I liked the take too. Ump wasn't calling that all day either.

    19 hours 43 min ago
    Carlito
  • The umpires are burying him even deeper. But I'd honestly rather he looks that one in than get burned swinging on it. It was a good pitch and the pitcher got his call. I thought I saw Baez shorten his swing to just pop the previous one foul, too, although I do have a pretty active imagination.

    20 hours 27 min ago
    Old and Blue
  • Baez usually keeps his mouth shut, to his credit. But that strike 3 was inside and he said a word or two. he doesn't get any calls- that will change with time too.

    20 hours 55 min ago
    Carlito
  • d.straily pitches an inning without giving up a run...neat.

    it's his first appearance this season without giving up a run.

    21 hours 23 min ago
    crunch
  • Rosscup with 1.0 IP and 1 ER -- which lowers his ERA.. Nice.

    22 hours 20 min ago
    billybucks
  • I know what you meant to say. But the last four words are impossible, strictly speaking. Is there any way to rephrase it?

    (Turner is still a baby, they'll work with him in off season and spring training. See if anything changes).

    23 hours 43 min ago
    Carlito
  • i think it's time for the j.turner experiment to end...dude is making ejax look good.

    1 day 25 min ago
    crunch
  • These lineups are killing me. I put the % chance of victory today at about .09% with Turner working through his tough season, and Valbuena at cleanup with Valaika and Szczur kicking major butt today.

    Reminds me of my freshman baseball coach who used to have the team actually vote on the bus as to who would start each game. Yes the bus ride on the way to the game, we'd vote. "Who wants tommy to play SS?"

    1 day 57 min ago
    Carlito
  • I think the rebuild was too time consuming and costly to gamble multiple prospects for a single entity, no matter how good he is. The idea I think was to start a machine that produced consistently and improves the odds of winning every year for a long time. Stanton would certainly cost too much in terms of prospects to gamble on ... The gamble btw isn't necessarily his production, but also his health etc.

    1 day 1 hour ago
    Carlito
 

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