September 2009

The Giants battered four Cubs pitchers to the tune of 12 runs on 17 hits, en route to a 12-6 victory in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.

A's pitchers held the Cubs to one run on four hits while fanning twelve, as the Cubs dropped a 5-1 decision to the A's in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in hot and sunny Mesa.


D. J. LeMahieu singled, doubled, and tripled, and scored two runs, Ryan Flaherty reached base four times (double, two singles, and a walk), scored twice, and drove-in a run, Michael Brenly doubled and tripled and scored twice, Dong-Yub Kim singled and tripled, scored one run, and knocked-in another, and Rebel Ridling had four RBI, but it wasn't quite enough offense to provide a victory, as the Cubs and Brewers played to a 9-9 tie in Arizona Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in sunny and VERY hot Mesa, Arizona. 


Rank the reasons behind the Cubs 2009 demise from most important (1) to least (10). Thanks to reader dc60124 for the idea. Your choices after the jump with explanations or just go ahead and vote.

My how the sports writers love to speculate. They don't start a rumor mind you, they get a few out of context quotes to make it seem like it's from a real "the trade's just about ready to be completed" source. We all know Captain Wrongway Phil Rogers loves to do this stuff in his Sunday 'mlb whispers' column. The newest wanna-be GM rumor comes from Paul Sullivan, the Cubs beat specialist from the currently bankrupt (can I count the ways) Chicago Tribune.

Pseudo GM, 'Paul Sully-My-Reputation' pulls out the two martini cocktail napkin and draws up trade possibilities for Milton Bradley this offseason. On a bigger picture level he categorizes two "how to unload Bradley scenerios". Then he paints a classic bad contract for bad contract, real dollar salary swap with the Giants that oddly makes some sense (accent on odd).

- Cubbery at its finest:

As Lee and Baker were mobbed by teammates in the dugout, relief pitcher Angel Guzman
slapped the side of Lee's helmet, causing Lee to experience neck spasms
that forced him to come out of the game for defense in the bottom of
the ninth.

- Rich Harden is shutting it down for the year, a mutual decision between him and the club. The tone of the article sounds like there isn't much interest by either party in reuniting beyond this season. Fine by me, but will the Cubs offer arbitration?

- Wittenmyer has a rundown of the Cubs rotation down the stretch.

At some point tonight, probably around 10pm CST - although it could be later, could be sooner - we'll be doing a small software upgrade and the site will be down for however long it takes to get done.

If you're still parachatting these days, you can load the link before the upgrade kicks in and keep it open. Once it connects to Parachat, it shouldn't need to access our site, unless you get booted out and have to log-in again.

Lineup for tonight is Fukudome, Blanco, Lee, Hoffpauir, Fontenot, Baker, Hill, Colvin and Dempster versus Brad Penny.

Tags: 

"I chose Chicago as a free agent," Bradley said in the statement,
"because I wanted to be part of finally bringing a championship to Cubs
fans. I expected to have a great season and I am deeply disappointed by
my performance and the team's struggles. I played every game with
everything that I had and wanted to desperately win.

"My frustration and disappointment boiled over and I said and did
certain things that I regret," he said. "In hindsight, I wish that I
had handled certain things differently and I apologize for those things
that did not work out for the better.

"The air has been cleared," he said, "and we all want to move on and look forward to better days."

The union will not file a grievance and Milton will be paid for the rest of the year, but not rejoining the team.

We've hit the 150 mark and I'm assuming Transmission isn't doing one of his surveys this time around to see how we feel about the rest of the season. The Cubs will be eliminated from the NL Central race tonight with a Cardinal win and Cubs loss. The death magic number for the Cubs in the Wild Card is 5. Here's what you may have missed over the last few days.

- The team is 3-0 since Milton's suspension which is more likely coincidence than anything else, although WIttenmyer and Sullivan sure want you to think otherwise.

- According to Muskat, the resolution to the suspension and potential union grievance should be taken care of in the next few days.

- I haven't been able to watch the last two games, but it appears Tyler Colvin is making a good first impression including robbing a home run from everyone's least favorite Brewer. He's 2/6 with 2 BB's at the plate.

- Angel Guzman is done for the year with a strained shoulder.

- Derrek Lee set some sort of milestone with four straight months of 20 RBI's or more, and a career high in RBI's.

- Jeff Samardzija gets his second start of the season tonight for Ted Lilly, whose shoulder is acting up again.

That's all the news that's fit to print.

Tags: 

If there's anything good about this Milton Bradley suspension other than not having to read about the last idiotic thing Milton said, is that the Cubs are calling up Tyler Colvin. Well it would be good if Lou Piniella wasn't managing, because then he would just play Sam Fuld, Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir and Tyler Colvin the rest of the season with a few at-bats for Kosuke Fukudome sprinkled in, but instead I imagine it'll be more Scales, Fuld and Fukudome than anything else and that makes me want to throw a brick at the TV screen. And let's say I wouldn't be all to upset if that brick magically traveled through that TV screen and knocked some sense back into Lou.

For those that might have missed the former #1 picks career arc, he was a suprise first round pick at #13 in 2006. There were reports later that some teams were thinking about taking him later in the first round, so there's no way he would have lasted to the Cubs next pick in the 5th round and then the Cubs picked up a first round talent in Jeff Samardzija who slipped because of his football committment at the time. Then the Cubs ruined it all by giving Samardzija a major league contract but that's for another time.

Colvin then had some decent seasons in Boise and Daytona in 2006 and 2007 but struggled badly in 2008 in Double A. Ended up that he had a bum elbow and went under the knife for Tommy John Surgery at the end of last year after trying to play in the Arizona Fall League. He was ready by the start of this year, but just in DH capacity and started the year off in Daytona. Once the Cubs felt he was healed up, they brought him back to Tennessee for his second tour and in half a season he put up a .859 OPS in what is normally considered a pitcher's league with 35 XBH's and earned Southern League player of the week twice in August. He still strikes out at a Mark Reynolds rate with no walks or patience to offset that, so let's just say I'm not on the edge of my seat, but I'd like to see the kid get plenty of opportunties to play the rest of the way.

This is basically a one-line blog entry, but I'm so over all this Bradley drama.

Nick Cafrado over at the Boston Globe is reporting that if Carlos Zambrano is moved, there are only three teams he'd be willing to go...Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. I would say, I don't know how the Angles wouldn't get on that list. If he's willing to to an AL team or Los Angeles, you couldn't find a classier organization than the Angels, so if the Cubs really pursue that course, I'm sure they'll get a few attentive general managers on the phone.

As for Bradley, pardon my over-used metaphor, but it's a disaster of Hindenburg proportions both by the player and management. Good luck trying to move that $21M off the books Jim, unlike Zambrano, I don't think they'll be a lot of attentive gm's on the phone for that call. The only other parallel I can think of is Jose Guillen getting suspended by the Angels near the end of 2004. The Angels did move him to the Nationals in the offseason for Maicer Izturis and Juan Rivera, but Guillen (according to BR.com salaries) only had $3.5M and a $4M 2006 option left on his deal. They also had Jim Bowden as their GM, who made a habit of taking on talented basket cases at a discount.

The Cubs have announced that Milton Bradley has been suspended for the rest of the season.

"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said.

"I'm certainly not going to let our great fans become excuses,"
Hendry said. "I'm not going to tolerate [Bradley] not being able to
answer questions from the media respectably."

Paul Sullivan and Gordon Wittenmyer could be seen congratulating each other after the announcement.

For all the pecularities that have plagued the 2009 Cubs, this Bobby Scales starting in left field has to be the most perplexing. First, let's look at the numbers:

Well that little fling the Cubs had with the playoffs was fun, but I'm back to not giving a damn. One of our readers suggested a poll on what was the reasons for the Cubs demise in 2009. You never want to jump the gun too soon on something like that, but I think by the end of the weekend, it'll be safe to post.

- BP looks at the some of minor leaguers around the NL that took a big stride in their prospectdom. Kyler Burke and pitcher "Cub" Carpenter(so as not be confused with the Cardinals Chris Carpenter) get mentioned.

- A nice article on where and how the Cubs make their money and where new owner Tom Ricketts will try to boost profits.

-  Fun day at the ballpark yesterday....Cubs lose again and Randy Wells looks cooked. Milton got on-base finally, but complained of a knee injury and was removed from the game. This sent the press corp into some sort of odd frenzy, which of course Bradley fed with a terse post-game press conference around his locker followed by Lou sort of dressing Bradley down for his actions. This after Lou just decided he wasn't going to hold a press conference of his own. Oh yee double standard, how I love you so...

The writing is getting pretty clear on the wall that Lou and Bradley just aren't going to get along. I imagine Hendry will be working the phones for some overpriced relievers to try and swap bad contracts this offseason. Then he can cut the reliever and flush $23M down the drain.

- Speaking of Bradley, there's been some odd debate between the on-field merits of Alfonso Soriano vs. Bradley this year in the comments. Seems pretty cut and dried to me, but I did try to look at it objectively in this comment. I reposted the analysis after the jump as well.

- And I'd like to welcome all of you Bears fans, to The Bear Truth. A little Bears blog I'm going to start up. Right now, it's just yours truly, but hopefully I can blackmail a few more writers into joining the venture (drop me a note if you're interested, qualifications are the English language and not being an over-opinionated douchebag). If anything, it will hopefully keep the Bears talk off here. I'm sure it'll one day grow into something just as kick-ass as TCR, but for the time being, it'll be just a good place to gather and chat about the Bears, including Parachat on gamedays. I also plan on using it as my testing ground for improvements to TCR as the two sites run on the same platform. Stop on by... 

Just when you let that little piece of hope back in, the Cubs yank it out of you like their Mola Ram from Temple of Doom. Rich Harden left his change up in the zone all game and paid for it as the Brewers knocked him for 5 runs in 3 innings. The first two courtesy of back-to-back two out hits by their 8 and 9 hitters in the 2nd. In the third, Aramis backed up on a chopper by Ryan Braun with a man on first. The ball went past him and one of the nicest gift doubles was awarded to Braun by the official scorer. That changed the whole inning, because instead of a man on 2nd and 1 out, you've got 2nd and 3rd and Prince Fielder up. He was intentionally walked and after a Casey McGehee sac fly (should have been the 2nd out and wouldn't have scored a run), Harden walked another and got a fielder's choice that would have ended the inning in theory and kept the game at 3-0(or possibly 2-0). But after seeing Alcides Escobar flail at 2 change-ups down and away, Harden went to the well one more time but missed right over the plate and Escobar pretty much ended his night (UPDATE: It appears they changed their mind and gave Ramirez the error afterall, just 2 ER for Harden last night).

It looks like it may have ended Harden's career as a Cub as well, as the team announced this morning that he will be shutdown the rest of the season. I imagine his agent is thrilled with the news considering his impending free agent status. I imagine the Cubs are thrilled at the prospect of not getting those two draft picks for his Type A free agent status. Tom Gorzelanny will slide into the rotation.

(UPDATE #2: Looks like Sullivan had a case of the jump to conclusions, as Muskat is reporting that Harden is just being skipped a turn in the rotation and there's nothing wrong with him).

The Cubs got 2 back in the bottom frame and were looking for more, but Milton's epic September slump continued, thanks to a fine play by Escobar to end the threat. That was Bradley's last at-bat of the game, as Lou curiously double switched, even though he has a 12-man pen and brought in Micah Hoffpauir to play RF and David Patton to pitch. Patton coughed up a run in the 4th and three more in the 5th, although two scored after Justin Berg relieved him. The Cubs battled back to make it 9-5 on an Aramis Ramirez home run and Bobby Scales RBI, but that was all the scoring for the night and the Cubs 3-game win streak ends.

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The Cubs have won 8 of 10, and 7 of their last 8 to get within 5.5 of the wild card and 8 of the Cardinals. At the very least, it makes the games bearable to watch for the time being. The Cubs have 19 games left and play a few more games than their current competitors, so they're actually just 4 back in the loss column to the Rockies and tied with the Marlins and Braves in that category. They trail the Giants by 2 in the loss column but play them next week. So they'll need some help from teams to beat the Rockies, but in a round-about way, they still control most of their own destiny for the rest of the season.

As for the sort-of-big weekend series versus the Cardinals, it's already guaranteed that the Cardinals won't be able to clinch anything this weekend. That's not going to stop them from trying to bury the Cubs though. They'll send out John Smoltz, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright for the series against Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano. 

Lineups for tonight:

Lopez 2b Theriot SS
Hart RF Fukudome CF
Braun LF Lee 1B
Fielder 1B Ramirez 3B
McGehee 3B Soto C
Cameron CF Bradley RF
Kendall C Fontenot 2B
Escobar SS Scales LF
Looper P Harden P

I wouldn't be suprised if things get a little chippy tonight. The teams have become almost as intense rivals as the Cubs and Cardinals and there were 3 HBP's last night and a few almost HBP's, following Braun getting hit by Dempster the night before.

In the hot 'n cold department, Soto's found his groove with a 1.252 OPS in September and 7 XBH's in 7 games played. Derrek Lee has a 1.333 OPS since August 25th with 9 HR's in 19 games. Then there's Milton Bradley, who hasn't walked since August 30th and has a .447 OPS in that time. Bobby Scales keeps getting playing time in LF despite a .617 OPS in September and some boneheaded defense and baserunning, while Micah Hoffpauir has a 1.122 OPS since being recalled. Godenot has returned as well for the final month with a 1.071 OPS in 8 games (6/14 at the plate).

Parachat actually had a small crowd last night, so stop on by.

(Click on the thumbnail for the full-size image)

According to Lou Piniella's comments before the game, Carlos Marmol will be the closer in 2010.

"I see that, yes," Piniella said Monday. "I really do. I think he's
done enough and shown enough. We have confidence in him enough going
into spring training next year. It's his job. We'll leave it just at
that."

Short-term memory loss is becoming a problem for our manager, who just on Saturday had this to say about his future 2010 closer.

"You know, you just can't keep walking people like that
late in the game," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, whose team fell to
72-68 as its four-game winning streak ended. "It catches up to you. And
it did today.

"With Marmol, it's the walks. This young man wants to
be a closer. And that's OK. But you've got to have command. If you
don't have command, you can't close."

Ah Lou, your slow descent into whatever PC term I should use for you forgetting things is either going to be highly entertaining or very, very sad.

Considering the Cubs abundance of problems and likely rigid budget constraints, it's probably best they stay away from the free agent closing market that includes Mike Gonzalez, Billy Wagner, Trevor Hoffman, Jose Valverde and Fernando Rodney.

The St. Louis Cardinals magic number sits at 11 before game play started today. That means there is a slim shot they could be clinching against the Cubs this weekend. And whether they do it this weekend or next week or the last day of the season isn't really a big deal, but I'd rather avoid watching the spectacle and the future highlights. So here's a rundown of what would need to happen this week with the Cubs at Milwaukee for four and Cardinals at Marlins for three.

Apparently Fenway Park is a big part of Wrigley Field's Upgrade Template for Tom Ricketts. 

Cubs management over the past few years has held several luncheon meetings for season ticket holders where they provide a forum for suggestions to improve the ballpark experience. I finally had my chance last Thursday to attend one of these sessions.

Wrigley Field on this warm September non-game day had it's usual majestic feel but without the game day buzz, one senses the serenity that is baseball's crown jewel at rest. The streets surrounding the ballpark maintain their working day activities, construction site sidewalk hazards, beer trucks unloading their wares, but open parking spots on Addison seemed out of place.

 Ah yes, it is written.
Maybe spelled a little wrong, but applying a little "Da Vinci Code" logic and the conclusion is: Carlos is the Closar.
The answar.
The easiest decision the Cubs have to make during the off-season.
No longar does he appear bewildared.
And as time goes on, he's getting bettar.
In his last 8 appearances, Carlos has given up 5 hits, 2 runs, struck out 13, walked 6, and saved them all...but lost one.
And I couldn't be happiar.
Because I don't like feeling that 9th inning dangar.

Okay, enough with me being the bad spellar.


Tim Souers is the illustrator and author of Cubby Blue and appreciates the opportunity to guest blog here at The Cub Reporter.
http://www.cubby-blue.com

- Chone Figgins loves his Orange County Angels.

"...when you find a home, you want to stay here. I love what this
organization is all about -- winning, playing hard. I love being here."

The Cubs record against the Pirates the last three seasons and its affect on the team overall record.

  Overall
Against Pirates
Record w/o playing Pirates
2007 85-77 .525 8-7 .533 77-70  .524
2008 97-64 .602 14-4 .778 83-60  .581
2009  70-67 .511 8-2 .800 62-65  .488

I was expecting it to make a bigger difference to be honest. Even at a .581 winning percentage, the Cubs would have had the best record in the NL last year and - at least in the Brewers case - they had plenty of success against the Pirates as well in 2008 (14-1). This year you could definitely make a case for them living off the fat of the land.


- The Cubs tied some major league record with 8 hits in the first inning yesterday. The 2009 season has now been redeemed.

- Some fans will be happy to hear that Milton Bradley left after the first inning because of some hamstring tightness.  He was going to get a day off on Wednesday anyway and the Cubs were up big, so probably no big deal. According to the article, if he plays in 23 of the last 24 games, he'll match his career high in games played in a season.

- The same article says Andres Blanco and Sam Fuld probably won't be available until Friday. 

- Reed Johnson is likely out for the season.

For the Iowa Cubs the final tally is six dozen up, six dozen down. For Jeff Samardzija it's half a dozen of each after today's season finale at Principal Park in Des Moines.

The team finished with an even split of their gross of games in 2009 after their struggling pitching prospect lost to Albuquerque this afternoon to even his personal slate in what's been an up and down season in more ways than the win/loss ledger.

The last game of the year was clipping along at the ultimate getaway day pace through four innings. The 1st frame required only seven minutes. Both teams scored little league runs in the 4th. Albuquerque broke through in the top when Samardzija bounced a wild pitch that ended up on the concourse behind the box seats. Iowa tied it in the bottom when Matt Camp drew a walk, stole his 18th base in 21 tries and came all the way around on wild throws to both 2nd and 3rd.

In the top of the 5th Samardzija labored [lower case] and finally broke down in the face of the Isotopes' daunting lineup. The Dodgers' top affiliate parades a statistical juggernaut to the plate one through six in the persons of Tony Abreu, Xavier Paul, Blake DeWitt, Mitch Jones, Hector Luna and Dee Brown. Iowa's depleted squad looked like a high school team taking on professional athletes. 

A two-run double by Paul and a two-run homer by Jones finished Samardzija's day and season after he got in trouble with a walk and a squibber between the plate and the mound that he threw away down the right field line. I watched him trudge dejectedly from the dugout to the showers after the bottom of the 5th before I left too. He may as well have walked backwards because that's the direction his career seemed to go in 2009.

Both the organization and Samardzija himself must be wondering what exactly is in store for him in 2010 and beyond. Can he be a big league pitcher or not and, if so, is he a starter or short reliever?

The big question for me personally is whether or not his next manager might be Ryne Sandberg. As a Des Moinesian I'm banking on Ryno climbing the farm system ladder to Triple A after taking Tennessee to the Double A playoffs this year. Next year he'll replace Bobby Dickerson here before returning to Wrigley Field in 2011.

As of this afternoon his chances look better than Samardzija's.

I had brought up the name Chone Figgins earlier in the season as the one free agent name I thought the Cubs would try and pursue. That is if they can figure out how to squeeze him into their already bloated payroll for next year. There's also the insanity of paying him 10M+ per year, for someone who is not anywhere near that kind of money, but he's got that "true leadoff" label that worked out so well the last time the Cubs overpaid for that skillset.

Nonetheless, the Sun-Times conjectures that he is indeed in the Cubs' crosshairs and has been ever since the Brian Roberts talk from a couple offseasons ago. They also reveal what the offseason mantra will be. Last year it was of course to get more left-handed, this year it's going to be: More Team Speed. Print up the T-Shirts! Makes you wonder why they ever traded Joey Gathright away this year.

Figgins is definitely fast, although Wrigley will take away some of those triples he's use to hitting at Angel Stadium and Lou isn't nearly as aggressive as Mike Scioscia when it comes to stealing, so don't expect similar stolen base totals if the Cubs can sign him. He does fit the super-utility role that Mark DeRosa so aptly filled, although he's been playing mostly third base for the last three seasons. The Angels actually considered center field to be his best position, but I assume the Cubs would pursue him to play second base.

Insanely early start today in Pittsburgh, I'm sure you're all going to be glued to your TV sets to watch Ted Lilly vs. Dan McCutchen. Congrats to Tennessee on winning the second half division title in Double A. Congrats to Iowa for proving Cubbery extends through the entire Cubs organiztion and finishing anywhere from 4-6 games back depending on today's games after getting within a half game earlier in the week.

Maybe the Cubs read TCR afterall...

After Dr. Hecht pleaded with the Cubs to liberally use the DL and get Alfonso Soriano off the field, they announced he's been shut down indefinitely to rest his knee. Piniella says Soriano was agreeable to the decision. Yes, one of the five worst players in baseball this year(with meaningful at-bats), is okay that you sit him. Well phew, I'd hate it if he was upset.

I'd applaud the Cubs for the move if this was July, but now it's just desperation and an offseason talking point.

In roster move news, Bobby Scales has been called up and Derrek Lee is still in Chicago for the birth of their second child. Fuku, Theriot, Bradley, Ramirez, Hoffpauir, Baker, Soto, Fuld and Z are taking on the Mets as we speak.

The Cubs were awarded a waiver claim today, acquiring 26-year old RHP Thomas Diamond from the Texas Rangers.

Allyssa Milano says have a happy Labor day holiday. 
Just a little rant from me after a game where Soriano left his pants on the left field chalk line. After he did the pretzel dance, I thought that chalk outline was from a CSI scene. Someone should press criminal charges for that effort.Tired ol' Lou Piniella just grunts and shrugs his shoulders. "Ah, ah, ah...Whaddya expect me to do about it?" Clearly he's been beaten into submission by overexposure to Cubbery.

After torturing myself by listening to local sports talk outlets, with the only brief reprieve coming from occasional banter about a meaningless preseason Bears game, I think I've had enough pain to land on my own personal DL. Steve Stone with glee in his voice said, "that's what you get for playing a DH in left field." I get the message. Listening how the Cubs are held hostage to their long term contracts with no end in sight (well it's 3-5 years before we see the end to this tunnel), forcing them to play overpaid, under performing players (Soriano in the role of 40/40 guy and Bradley in the role of rbi machine) or under performing players with a brief track record of performance (Geo Soto, Kevin Gregg, The not-Hanks...Aaron Miles and Heilman) or under performing players without a track record of performance (better when in small doses, Fonte-NOT), it dawned on me that there is a simple solution. 

The White Sox arrive today to finish off the Cubs 10-game homestand. A win for the Cubs would mean a winning homestand at 6-4 and keep the Cubs perfect September in tact. More importantly possibly - he says facetiously -  is a win for the Cubs would tie up the season series, which in turn would tie up the decade series record, which in turn would tie up the the all-time interleague record between the two clubs. See the Cubs and White Sox have been staging their own little Spy vs. Spy since interleague play started back in 1997. Each team taking turns knocking the other out, but ultimately ending up in the same place that they started.

The Cubs throw Ryan Dempster today, the White Sox do not counter with Jake Peavy. Instead it will be rookie Carlos Torres and a 6.75 ERA in two starts. 

The minor league playoff chase has soured for the Iowa Cubs. They've dropped three in a row after winning five straight and find themselves 2.5 back and in third place with just five games left to play. Double A Tennessee has a one-game lead heading into their 5-game set versus West Tennessee(Mariners). To complicate matters, Chattanooga (Dodgers) has also moved within a game, so there will be a little scoreboard watching to go along with the dueling Tennessee's.

Randy Wells continued his dominance of the Houston Astros last night. He's started three times against them this season, won two of them and has yet to give up an earned in 20.2 IP, with just one unearned run last night in the 7th. The win last night was his 10th on the season, the first Cub rookie to accomplish that since Kerry Wood in 1998. I took a look at some of the more advanced metrics too see how fluky Wells' season may have been and you know, it's not to bad. While a low 3 ERA is probably a bit much to ask for next year, his .285 BABIP isn't ridiculously out of whack, like let's say his ROY competition J.A. Happ and his .249 BABIP. Wells' FIP (Fielding Independant ERA) is 3.85 and his xFIP (a fancier version of FIP that tries to 'normalize' for expected home runs per flyball) is higher at 4.30, which is still pretty respectable for a guy that will barely make over the league minimum next season.

I think if they did vote today, J.A. Happ would likely win the Rookie of the Year vote with a better ERA in a tougher park, nicer win-loss record(thanks Cubs bullpen) and the strength of a better team. A quick look at some of the other competition.

J.A. Happ: 2.63 ERA, 10-3, 143.2 IP, 97 K, 51 BB

Tommy Hanson: 3.15 ERA, 9-3, 88.2 IP, 73 K, 32 BB

Randy Wells: 2.90 ERA, 10-7, 133.1 IP, 82 K, 35 BB

Chris Coghlan: 9 HR, 301/377/446/823 OPS in 422 PA's

Colby Rasmus:  14 HR, 259/315/427/742 OPSin 418 PA's

Andrew McCutchen: 11 HR, 288/362/495/857 in 354 PA's and 15/18 in SB's

Garrett Jones:  17 HR, 295/365/614/979 OPS in 233 PA's

(I missed McCutchen and Jones on the first pass)

Today's must-win lineup is Fukudome, Blanco (wtf?), Lee, Bradley, Fox, Fontenot, Baker, Hill and Lilly.

And here are the 29 players eligible to play in the 2009 post-season for the Chicago Cubs:

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