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: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/index.html

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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 51 min 26 sec ago (view)

    Good to see Roederer and Velasquez  providing some production. From what I've followed they haven't been up to much. Granted this season isn't great for development


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 54 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have added OF Brennen Davis to their AZIL Active List roster. 


  • crunch 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    "He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable."

    reggie golden flashblacks...if BP was a game he'd be an all-star.


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Unfortunately for the Cubs, all of their Top 10 position-player prospects (M. Amaya, Davis, Hearn, Howard, Made, C. Morel, R. Morel, Quintero, Roederer, and Strumpf -- listed alphabetically) are two or more years away from the big leagues, in most cases more like three or four or even five years away. 


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 26 min ago (view)

    TIM: One of the things people wonder about when they see a young shortstop for the first time is does he have the arm and range necessary to play SS or would his tools maybe be better suited for 2B, 3B or OF. So far at Instructs Kevin Made has shown all of the attributes of a SS, and he is an advanced hitter (for his age) as well. 


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 4 min ago (view)

    AZBOBBOP: Ethan Hearn showed off his plus-arm by back-picking a runner off 1st base last week. You don't see catchers with the confidence to attempt pick-offs much out here. 

    He's a strong kid and shows a lot of HR power in BP and it's just a matter of making it game-usable. His hitting (contact and barreling) has improved at instructs, and that's one of the things he needed to improve.

    His receiving should improve with experience as well. 


  • azbobbop 21 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Phil, saw Ethan Hearn with a couple of hits today. How has he been trending?


  • tim815 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    That Kevin Made is already representing offensively seems, on the 1 to 10 scale with 10 being fantastic news, in the 17 or 18 range.

    Nwogu in the 9 to 11 span.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    For those of you wondering about catcher Ronnier Quintero (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the 2019-20 ISP), he participates fully in pre-game and Camp Day work-outs and he catches bullpens, and while he has been the bullpen catcher at every AZIL game he has not yet played in a game.

    As a catcher he has a lot to learn, and the Cubs would prefer that Quintero mainly concentrates on receiving and learning how to work with pitchers right now. He can learn about hitting and baserunning later. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    In adition to the 22 pitchers originally on the Cubs AZIL Active List roster plus RHP Manuel Rodriguez (right biceps strain last March) and LHP Brad Wieck (wearing a brace on his left knee) who are on the Cubs MLB 60-day IL and are rehabbing at AZIL, the Cubs have added four additional pitchers to their AZIL Active List roster:  

    RHP Josh Burgmann 
    RHP Chris Clarke 
    LHP D. J. Herz
    RHP Michael McAvene 


  • Charlie 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    This is weird. He seemed well liked and shifting him to another role would've made just as much sense.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    I'd say the only guys who struggled all season were Baez and Bryant. Willson struggled for a lot of August but was one of the few who hit in September. Most of the team hit well in 2019 (including Baez and Bryant before injuries derailed them). I don't know if there's any reason to blame Ipoce in particular for the September slump. 


  • crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    iapoce expected to stay.  i'm surprised.  i know it's a weird/short season, but it was a season-long slump for a lot of guys and answers weren't showing up.


  • crunch 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    i eagerly await the espn 10 part mini-series "Rafael Palmeiro, More Like Rafael Baseballmerio" covering those 28 legendary games.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    In fairness those 28 games he played at 1B were breathtaking that year


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Cubs fire asst. hitting coach Terrmel Sledge. I knew it was his fault!