Cubs DFA Marmol, Release Stewart, Call Up Bogusevic...Then Dance!

TheJedi took away some of the Blackhawks thunder this morning by finally ridding the Cubs of long-time heart attack-in-waiting, Carlos Marmol. The Cubs will have 10 days to trade him or he'll be released, either way the Cubs are going to be on the hook for the bulk of the rest of what he's owed (around $5M). They also announced that the suspension of Ian Stewart was upheld and he's been released as well. There were earlier rumors that the two sides were discussing a settlement, so I'm unsure if he'll get all of the money still owed to him or just a portion. Brian Bogusevic is the next up on the Price is Right and will take Marmol's spot on the 40-man.

As for our favorite elephant-eared closer, a career that started with a biting slider and visions of Francisco Rodriguez, eventually fell into a career of roller coaster 9th innings and in a sad way, the epitome of the Jim Hendry era. Too much money, to the wrong kind of player, even though he showed signs of promise and domination. Let's take a quick look at Marmol's top 5 fiascos...or at least 5 that I remember and found through Baseball Reference.

5. Back-to-back losses to start 2012 season versus Nationals

The first game Marmol entered with the game tied 1-1 and immediately got the first 2 batters, but then gave up a double to Chad Tracy and a single to Ian Desmond and the Cubs took the loss...nothing too egregious, but a bad start to the season nonetheless. Game 2 was a combination disaster between him and Kerry Wood. The Cubs start the 8th with a 4-2 lead and Kerry comes in and gets two quick outs before the wheels falls off...home run by Espinosa, single by Zimmermann and a single by LaRoche and Marmol has to enter in a jam that he turns into a catastrophe.

  • Walk to Werth (of course)
  • Single to Tracy (Nats take 5-4 lead)
  • Double to Bernadina (6-4)
  • Walk to Ramos

He's replaced by Shawn Camp who gives up a single to Lombardozzi to allow the inherited run...Wood gets the loss, but the tone of 2012 is set right off the bat as Marmol starts off the season with a 27.00 ERA that takes him until August 1st to get under 5.00. Remarkably, he ends up only blowing 3 saves in all of 2012.

4. August 20, 2010 - Cubs @ Braves

This seems like the type of game that Marmol will best rememebered for....the Cubs head into the 9th with a 3-2 lead. The following occurs:

  • Walks Prado
  • K's Derrek Lee
  • Walks Brian McCann
  • Walks Alex Gonzalez (really?)
  • K's Melky Cabrera
  • Gives up a 3-run triple to Rick Ankiel
  • K's E. Hinske

Final Line: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 B, 3 K, 3 ER and the loss

3. August 26, 2011 - Cubs @ Astros

The Cubs enter the 9th with a 5-2 lead and the 5-6-7 hitters are due up for the lowly Astros (38-84 heading into the game). Pretty close to the easiest of saves scenarios you could muster up...

  • Paredes lineout to LF
  • Shuck single to RF, wild pitch gets him to 2b
  • Barmes single to LF
  • Downs walks to load the bases
  • Bogusevic walk-off grand slam

Final line: .1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 WP and the loss

2.  May 31, 2011 - Astros @ Cubs

The Cubs come back with 3 in the bottom of the eighth to take a 3-1 lead and spare Zambrano a loss and set him up for a win. They hand the ball over to Marmol and the following happens.

  • B. Wallace single to RF
  • C. Johnson double to RF
  • M. Downs double to LF ties the game
  • Sac bunt (thanks for the out)
  • Bourn single to CF gives up the lead, who steals 2b
  • Walk
  • 2-run HR by Pence

Final Line: .1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 1 BB and the loss

1. June 16, 2013 - Cubs @ Mets

Having already lost the closer role to Kevin Gregg, but forced into duty after Gregg pitched four days in a row, Marmol's crown jewel ends his Cubs career. Entering the 9th with a 3-run lead versus the 3rd worst team in baseball...

  • M. Byrd hits a home run
  • L. Duda walks
  • John Buck singles
  • Quintanilla gives Marmol an out with a sac bunt
  • Nieuwnhuis hits a 3-run walk-off HR

Final Line: .1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 ER, the loss and his walking papers

I'm sure there are a few more painful outings out there (gives up home runs to the Upton brothers earlier this season for example or this 8th inning disaster versus the Reds earlier this season), but those were the ones that caught my eye and that I recall living through.

ADDENDUM: Let's call this #1B and thank Mike Wellman for the find:

The date is September 24, 2011 and the Cubs head into the 9th up 1-0 against a Cardinal team desperatetly trying to stay alive in the wild card race. Marmol does his best to save their season.

  • Berkman Fly out
  • Holliday single, Green pinch runs, steals 2b, advances to 3b on E2 by Soto
  • Freese K
  • Molina BB
  • Schumaker BB
  • Theriot BB ties the game
  • Wild pitch ends it...

Final Line: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, the loss and the World Series to the Cardinals


deadspin writes something useful...…

But Carlos Marmol had no interest in being just another footnote. He wanted the strikeouts, and, sure, the walks. But he wanted them with a desire more fervid than anyone else's. He had no interest in the hitters determining the outcome of his at-bats. He wanted to be the least hittable pitcher in baseball history.

And, um, it might not be much of an accomplishment, but holy crap: He was. Among pitchers with more than 400 innings pitched, throughout all of baseball history, Marmol allowed the fewest hits per nine innings. He's right there, just above Billy Wagner, Troy Percival, and Armando Benitez—try though you might to hit Carlos Marmol, you could not.

Ah, but that's the thing. No batter really tried all that hard to hit Carlos Marmol. Since the Pitch/FX era began in 2007, Marmol has the lowest swing rate of any pitcher in baseball. Hitters swung at only 38.2 percent of his pitches. (Did they make contact? Not really: His contact rate—batters made contact on 70.6 percent of swings—is the third-lowest since '07.)

My favorite moment came after the Mets game, when Soriano -- a grossly overpaid shell of his former self -- said Marmol "used to be good", the implication being that he now was no good. Gosh, Sori -- looked in a mirror lately?

There was definitely Game 1 of the 2007 NLDS, when Piniella stupidly pulled Zambrano after six dominant innings and Marmol immediately gave up a gopher ball to Mark Reynolds, plus a second run in the inning. Cubs lose 3-1, never recover in the series. However, the next year in the Dodgers sweep, I also remember Marmol pitching some effective innings to keep the games close (but the team lost anyways).

there was a doozie vs. the redbirds last weekend of the '11 season on national tv, i think, that helped hand them the flag &, eventually, the series...hbp's, wild pitches, the usual assortment...

Castro's 269 game streak to end tonight...Ransom at shortstop.

-edit- I'm unsure of whether it's a games played streak or starting streak, so I suppose one can still continue if he gets into the game later.

The story here and the comments remind me of just how brutal watching the remains of the Hendry regime has been. Although, honestly, I don't think I've watched an entire game all the way through in a few years now. If I watched regularly for some odd reason, my wife would accuse me of being a bulimic.

7th round pick Garner signs for $175K, $25.4k under slot. Cubs are currently $186,900 over their pool money, awaiting Bryant and any picks post 10th round that signed over 100K (possibly 12th round pick Clifton and 24th round pick Alamo). They can stretch that to $527,825 over without losing a draft pick, so should be plenty to sign Bryant and give Clifton his 3rd round money that he allegedly already agreed to. Alamo's twitter account says he's a catcher in the Cubs organization...don't think that's official or anything, but he must be leaning to sign. Literally plays down the street from me....

out of the games i were the Win probability numbers when Marmol entered...

Nats Opening Day: tie game in 9th (50%)

Nats Game 2:  1-run lead, 2 out with 2 runners on in the 8th (75% in Cubs favor)

Braves game: 1-run lead starting the 9th (84% in Cubs favor)

Astros Aug. 16th game: 3-run lead starting the 9th (97% in Cubs favor, 99% after getting the first out)

Astros May 31st game: 2-run lead starting the 9th (93% in Cubs favor)

Mets game last week: 3-run lead starting the 9th (97% in Cubs favor)

Cardinals game at end of 2011: 1-run lead starting the 9th (82% to start off, up to 90% after 1st out)

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In reply to by Rob G.

Speaking of Cabrera... BA has a Prospect Notebook update titled: Alberto Cabrera Finding A Grove. (I hope this doesn't lead to his nickname becoming...Stella)
Alberto Cabrera, rhp, Cubs: Cabrera made it to the big leagues as a reliever last year after a seven-year odyssey through the Cubs system, going 1-1, 5.40 in 25 appearances for Chicago. But seeing Cabrera’s power arm with the potential for a quality three-pitch mix combined with their lack of much in the way of quality starting pitching prospects in the upper minors prompted the Cubs to give Cabrera another crack at a rotation—2012 was his first year as a reliever—with Double-A Tennessee. Cabrera’s been up and down with the Smokies—his ERA stood at 4.08 on June 6—but he’s now made three straight quality starts. The 24-year-old had his best outing of the year on Monday, setting season-highs for innings (eight) and strikeouts (13) while allowing one run on three hits. Cabrera improved to 7-3, 3.53 through 92 innings on the year, and he should take over the Southern League strikeout lead shortly. He’s up to 94 whiffs, putting him second in the SL and two behind the now-promoted Taijuan Walker’s 96.…

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In reply to by Old and Blue

given that there's (most likely) soon to be 2 SP options gone (feldman, garza) and 2 RP options gone (marmol, gregg)...and only 1 person in AA/AAA worth bringing up (c.rusin, SP)...i kinda wonder what's going to happen going forward for the rest of the year. rusin/vanillawafers can fill the SP slots...but that puts 3 RP options gone in play.

scumbag wrigleyville hockey "fans" turn out to not be so scumbag. a group descended upon wrigley field and tried to unhinge/rip down one of the sculptures... was that stupid Kraft macaroni and cheese ad "sculpture". this is one time i wish the "bros" would have won their battle.

it'll be interesting to see who marmol will actually fetch in trade...and how much $$ they're willing to give up to make it happen...if anyone wants him vs. letting him hit the market. it's kinda forcing the issue, but it extremely doubtful they didn't try to trade him before this. maybe there's a few teams on the fence about him and the cubs are trying to force the issue. either way, i doubt anything exciting will come of it.

r.sweeney with his 10th double in 95ab...also 3hr and a triple thrown in there. nice. fwiw, his career high in HR, doubles, and triples is 6, 31, and 484ab in 2009.

from the department of "at least we're not trying to punt in 2014 during mid-2013"... "CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that teams have asked the Cubs about James Russell, but they are not inclined to trade him."

Cubs roster is indeed for sale…

allegedly should see a ton of scouts in Milwaukee for Feldman and Garza starts.

“I’ve probably talked to every GM, or [team president] Theo [Epstein]’s talked to every GM in the last four or five days,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said before the Cubs opened a three-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday. “In some ways it’s an invigorating time of the year because there’s lots of action going on, a lot of things to discuss.”

hector rondon still sucks...edwin jackson sucked in the 5th...this game sucks. ...also, c.ransom's been playing some good SS tonight.

found in the twitter-verse... Cubs Prospects ‏@Cubs_Prospects 5h Paniagua's season line so far in the DSL: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 10 K. It's a dominating line as it should be against lesser competition.

Jinm Hendry had absolutely zero plan for the Cubs long-term. He used to say, "That's the price of poker". You fucking shit-head. Let's not forget too easily that there were moments of Cubs baseball in 2007, for example, when Marmol made hitters look foolish at the plate, saving the game in the 7th or 8th inning for Dempster. i was there many times and saw him do this. I'm sure many of you were. One time in particular was a night game against the Brewers when he struck out the side with Prince and Braun up, when the Cubs were chasing them in the Division hunt. It is really sad he just lost it. And sad Hendry signed him to such a long deal.

Jinm Hendry had absolutely zero plan for the Cubs long-term. He used to say, "That's the price of poker". You fucking shit-head. Let's not forget too easily that there were moments of Cubs baseball in 2007, for example, when Marmol made hitters look foolish at the plate, saving the game in the 7th or 8th inning for Dempster. i was there many times and saw him do this. I'm sure many of you were. One time in particular was a night game against the Brewers when he struck out the side with Prince and Braun up, when the Cubs were chasing them in the Division hunt. It is really sad he just lost it. And sad Hendry signed him to such a long deal.

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In reply to by Charlie

The 2007-09 Cubs won more games over a three-year period than any Cub team since the 1936-38 Cubs, and even the 2001-03 Cubs teams won more games over a three-year period since the 1969-71 Durocher Cubs, and I do give Jim Hendry credit for at least TRYING to win every year.

Trading prospects to get Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Nomar Garciaparra, Rich Harden, Jason Kendall, Juan Pierre, and Matt Garza was at least an attempt to win every year, and in fact the only two prospects the Cubs gave up in all of those deals that have amounted to anything (so far) are Ricky Nolasco and Josh Donaldson. So trading prospects for established big leaguers is not a bad strategy, and Hendry was really good at that.  

But he had siginificant negatives, too, like:

1. Giving veteran free-agent outfielders and middle-relievers ridiculous multi-year multi-million dollar contracts that cost the Cubs high draft picks.  

2. Signing a certified head case like Milton Bradley and then trading Mark DeRosa to make room for Bradley (because the Cubs were supposely "too right-handed," despite being #2 in the N. L. in OPS vs RHP in 2008), so that when Aramis Ramirez went down with a shoulder injury in 2009 there was no viable Plan "B" at 3B for much of the season,

3. Waiting until 2006 to become major players in international scouting.

4. Failing to create a scouting & farm system that could draft, sign, and develop "impact" talent (unless you consider Starlin Castro to be one), although Scouting & Player Development had improved enough after Tim Wilken took over as Scouting Director that Baseball America had the Cubs farm system rated #8 prior to the Matt Garza trade in January 2011.

5. The Cubs clearly needed more scouts, more minor league coaches, and a unified player development philosophy, and Hendry did not recognize that. Under Hendry, the Cubs farm system was still living in the 1980's.   

6. Ignoring modern technologies like video and computer programs that could have (at least to some extent) aided player evaluation & development.     

No question Hendry had to go, but I also salute him for making some outstanding trades, not being a quitter, and at least trying to put a winning team on the field every year. 


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In reply to by Arizona Phil

IMO, Henry's most glaring weakness was not focusing on players who can control the strike zone. This left us with pitchers who threw hard but couldn't be counted on the throw strikes, and toolsy position players who couldn't tell the difference between a ball and a strike.

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

I saw it more as pretending to put a winning team to appease fans while saddling us with those crippling contracts. Something that clearly failed and yet people want Theo to do the same thing. Wanting to win every year isn't admirable when it hurt our team as much as it did.

Soriano's triple slash line for June 191/196/326 (92 PA) 27 K 1 BB This season v. righthanders 216/244/351 (193 PA) This season v. lefthanders 301/333/473 (99 PA) Platoon time?

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In reply to by The E-Man

A year ago there were multiple reports in the media that Alfonso Soriano had turned-down a trade that would have sent him to SF.

It wasn't reported at the time what the Cubs would have gotten back if the trade had happened, but after Soriano declined to go to San Francisco the Giants acquired OF Hunter Pence from PHI for OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph (the Giants #2 prospect at the time), and RHP Seth Rosin. So it would seem likely that the Cubs probably would have gotten Schierholtz (who the Cubs eventually ended up signing this past off-season as a non-tendered FA anyway) and maybe one prospect back (more like Rosin than Joseph) in the deal, with the Cubs paying what remained of Soriano's salary 2012-14 (about $42M at the time), offset by the Giants paying Schierholtz's salary 2012-2014 (he is not eligible to be a FA until post-2014).

The Cubs did a similar thing when they traded Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for RHP Chris Volstad, with the Cubs paying what remained of Zambrano's salary (about $18M for 2012) offset by whatever Volstad got in arbtration for 2012. And then the Cubs would (theoretically) retain club control over Volstad 2013-14. (Volstad was not eligible to be a FA until post-2014, but as it turned out, he got cut).

So I think the Cubs will probably try again to trade Soriano (presuming he will waive his NTC this time) and they will accept an arbitration-eligible guy (somebody like Schierholtz) and a second-tier prospect back in return, with the Cubs paying what remains of Soriano's salary (which right now is about $23M) offset by the 2013-14 salaries of whatever arbitration-eligible MLB player the Cubs get back in the trade. 

The Cubs and Bryant -- the University of San Diego slugger who hit a whopping 31 home runs, nearly 50 percent more than the second-place homer hitter in the NCAA, who had 21 -- are nowhere close to a deal, according to people familiar with the talks. Word is, Bryant is looking for something above the $6.7 million slot allotted for the No. 2 pick, while it's believed the Cubs are thinking about something closer to the $6 million range.…

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

July 12th is the deadline...Boras and the Cubs are both just posturing. Cubs can easily fit the $6.7M and not forfeit a draft pick (they could probably go as high as $7m), although it would probably cost them the 2 high schoolers they were trying to sign (Clifton and Alamo), which would certainly be unfortunate.

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

BOB: The deadline this year is July 12th, and really the only reason to get the deal ASAP is to get Bryant on the field sooner and get his career started. It probably won't change his MLB ETA.

BTW, if the Cubs don't sign Bryant by the deadline, they get the #3 overall pick in next year's draft (as well as whatever Top 5 or 10 pick they would get in 2014 based upon where they finish this year), but they would also lose the 2013 #2 slot $6.7M in Signing Bonus Pool (SBP), which could impact some of their other signings from this year's draft if they were expecting to sign Bryant for something significantly less than the #2 slot SBP value and use the difference to pay "overslot" bonuses to sign some of the picks who want to get paid overslot. 

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In reply to by Rob G.


Background: Four years in the making, Alcantara’s offensive breakout at high Class A Daytona in 2012 elevated him to the top of the heap among Cubs middle-infield prospects (non-Javier Baez division).

What To Watch For: Alcantara’s strong arm and positional flexibility could make him a valuable big league contributor, even if his power and speed don’t continue to develop. That he ranked among the Southern League leaders in extra-base hits and total bases suggests his bat still has potential.


Background: Soler made one unsuccessful attempt to defect from Cuba in 2011, but attempt No. 2 proved to be successful—and lucrative, when he signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs.

What To Watch For: Slick-fielding shortstops are no longer the paradigm for Cuban position players. Now it’s run-producing corner-outfield bats such as the Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig. Soler has similar tools and profiles as an impact right fielder when he reaches Chicago, perhaps as early as the second half of 2014.

btw, if anyone thinks the Cubs are unprepared for this Bryant/Boras grandstanding...if he happens to not sign, the Cubs lose his $6.7M from their bonus pool money, dropping them to $3,848,100. Now they've already paid out around $4.04M, but they can go 5% over and pay the tax but not lose a pick. 5% on the $3.8M is $192,405 and they're currently $186,900 over. Clifton and Alamo have allegedly agreed to sign, but the Cubs are obviously waiting until they get Bryant signed to be sure they fit within the budget.

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In reply to by Rob G.

that would be a steal...and would probably cost garza + gregg + sureholds...if not more. elbows gonna long as it's not a shoulder (or an elbow that's damaged, but hasn't popped yet) teams seem to be a lot more chill about this lately. hell, s.baker and a.vizcaino didn't scare theocorp...

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In reply to by Rob Richardson

s.baker has been $5.5m of nothing so get a "few times a decade" talent like bundy in an era where TJ surgery is a time inconvenience more-so than a serious concern it wouldn't be too much of a risk. that said, i don't think the O's would even want to shift bundy. he turns 21 in november. if it takes him til 2015 to heal, get some rehab experience, and earn his way back that wouldn't be much a concern for the O's. bundy is owed $2.5m the next 2 years and isn't FA eligable until 2019.

"According to ESPN's Buster Olney, there has been a breakdown in the negotiations between the Rockies and Marlins involving a trade of right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Olney says there is a disagreement over which side would pick up what remains of Nolasco's $11.5 million salary for 2013." Worst owner in baseball is worst owner in baseball. It looks like he's actually looking for more salary dump over picking up the loot in exchange for a better quality prospect package. Un-f'n-believable.

Carrie Muskat‏@CarrieMuskat #Cubs prospect Jorge Soler was to be examined in Chicago. His left shin isn't healing after he fouled a ball off his leg

His left shin isn't healing after he fouled a ball off his leg --- Shades of Todd Hollandsworth?

Marlins are 13-9 in June --- Cubs are only 5 (games behind) games ahead the 1st draft pick holders in 2014.

From the twitter feed: Danny Ecker @DannyEcker Tom Tunney now says Jumbotron has to be about half (58%) its proposed size if he's gonna sign off on the Cubs' plan. --------- Now presenting your 2017 Rosemont Cubs.

says Jumbotron has to be about half (58%) --- Dinkotron? Shrimpotron? Tunneytron?

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In reply to by Rob G.

I love Tom Ricketts passion for rebuilding Wrigley Field, but he really needs to listen to his brothers and sister before he commits to doing business with the devil (i.e. Tunney/Emmanuel). Seriously, how many ways does he need to remind the leeches in Wrigleyville, their house-organ sleazebag alderman, and anyone else who doesn't get that it's his $500 million being spent. Given the circus that is the bars, restaurants, clubs, rooftops, etc. that have made their fortunes off a baseball team in the neighborhood, when are the Cubs going to tell all of them to go eff themselves? Really Tom, they can build ballparks anywhere in Chicagoland. There are all kinds of deals some counties and towns will make to land a MLB team. Revenue stream nirvana. Do yourself a favor and check it out. The only way the scum suckers in Wrigleyville will learn they killed the golden goose is when the biggest games played every year at Wrigley are the IHSA 3A/4A State Championship games. I would love to see the data the Ricketts have on Cubs games season ticket holders/waiting lists/attendees as to how important playing in Wrigley Field is to their spending money on tickets. I can't believe it's that significant given decreasing game attendance over the last two years because of their won/loss record. I'm guessing that winning teams will put fans back in the seats even if those seats are in Rosemont or Wheaton. Oh, and for those who claim they need the CTA to get to Wrigley and the suburbs would make that impractical..........BUY A CAR. Or better yet, rent one for game day. It will cost less than parking around Wrigley Field.

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In reply to by George Altman

i wish they'd just move...this is said by someone who doesn't live in chicago or travel there much, btw...some others have more attachment to the field. i'm a bit sick of trying to make that old building work for a modern club...the cramped facilities, the amount of day games, the revenue crunch of the place from seating to advertising to making changes to the building, itself... it's a great place to watch a's great to watch on tv, too...the dimensions are nice...the ivy/brick, though unforgiving, is nice...the improved drainage of the field is nice...but i'm a bit sick of hearing players complain about the clubhouse and facilities (both cubs and visiting players).

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In reply to by George Altman

As much as Tunney is scum, let's not pretend Rickets hasn't reaped huge rewards from the huge benefits baseball receives economically. Anti-trust exemptions, Wrigley field a tourist attraction despite a crappy team, a huge media market. Basically no other team could have maintained the popularity we still have with this long of a failure rate. Rickets has reaped the benefits of this and I'm sure still makes lots of money from this team despite the product on the field (look at the Marlins for a difference). So it's a bit disingenuous to say he's the victim here. Baseball isn't capitalism.

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In reply to by johann

That's really not the point. His group paid $860M for those anti-trust exemptions, huge media market, popularity, etc. He's now asking for government 'permission' to spend $500M MORE of his OWN money to renovate the dump in order to continue to enjoy those 'benefits' while he pays off $860M of investment/debt/intrest. I didn't say or imply he was any kind of victim. Again, I would tell Rahm/Tunney/Beth Murphy/Rooftops to go eff themselves and take the best relocation offer out there if it was up to me.

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In reply to by George Altman

He knew what he was getting when he bought this team and past that he got hand picked to buy this team by MLB even though I think Cuban outbid him. Baseball is not "fair" and Rickets should have known exactly what he was getting into. Tunney should go to jail for corruption, but Rickets is not a good guy here. Get rid of the special privileges baseball owners get financially and let's see how many still want to own.

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In reply to by johann

I can't know of course, but I doubt Ricketts is making any money off this team at this point. It's a money pit so far, methinks. The family is gambling on enhanced TV revenue, but until then, this is a highly leveraged team with obscene debt burdens. Ameritrade must have been very, very good for the Ricketts clan. And the overall point being made I think is that the Wrigleyville people are being jerks. Nobody who moves into that neighborhood can possibly complain about things like noise, etc., the usual stuff that comes with living in a ballpark neighborhood, since Wrigley has been there longer than 99,9% of them. And whatever reward these parasites reap from it really should just be whatever they can muster from legit businesses that surround the neighborhood, not from those dumb ass apartment bleachers. I don't give two craps what agreements were put in at one time, it's nonsense for people to think they are entitled to profit from someone else's investment in that way. If someone paid, say, $15 million for an apartment building across the street hoping to cash in, tough luck. You made a shit investment. That would be like me investing in pristine beach front property in Galveston. I'd deserve whatever fate befalls me. THAT's capitalism.

...can we f'n quit being so aggressive in absolutely stupid ways? if i had a nickle for every out recorded at 3rd because someone from 2nd is running on any contact, even a ball hit to SS...or someone on 3rd trying to take home on a shallow popout...i'd have...well, a lot of nickels. it seems like this happens 1-2 times a game recently...and all season when the cubs actually get people on base. that rizzo out at home was almost as embarrassing as the welly out at home a few days ago...or the welly out at 3rd yesterday.

Baseball America chat: Arismendy Alcantara seems to have taken a huge jump this year with his patience and power. Is he a top 100 player at this point? Can he be a major league regular in a couple years and, if so, is he at second? J.J. Cooper: I don’t see him as a Top 100 guy yet, but he could be a major league regular down the road, yes. Any chance that Terdoslavich gets called up to the Braves at some point this season.... J.J. Cooper: I’d put it at pretty unlikely. I think he’s a backup type guy long-term and realistically El Osso Blanco is a better fit at pretty much every position Terdoslavich can play adequately.… No tie to the Cubs. But El Osso Blanco and Terdoslavich are fun names.

UNF...MIL pulls a CHC and stupidly sends a runner on contact from 3rd. nailed for the out by more than a few steps. welly is probably going to get rest tomorrow after taking a hard smack at the plate...seems to be fine, fwiw. ...and gregg gets the save on a warning track popout. awesomes.

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In reply to by crunch

I was dumbfounded by the luck of Weeks breaking for the plate on that one. Made me think there is a reason the Brewers are sharing the basement of the NL Central with the Cubs. --edit: I forgot it was Weeks running. If I recall correctly, he's usually good for a generous number of TOOTBLANs every year.

Heading up to Miller, tailgate then game. Look for me in the Stands I' ll be wearing the Cubs hat.

Another fine outing for 18-year old Venezuelan RHP Eric Leal (one of two pitchers acquired from Arizona for Tony Campana last February) for the AZL Cubs last night vs AZL A's, allowing one run on one hit and a walk with seven strikeouts in 5.0 IP (66 pitches - 45 strikes). He gave up a lead-off double over the head of CF Rashad Crawford in the top of the 1st inning, and then pitched hitless & shutout ball the rest of the way with seven strikeouts.

Leal had one high-pitch inning (the top of the 4th), but otherwise he was just cruising along (14-11-13-23-5 PPI). It's not easy to throw only 66 pitches over five innings if you strike out seven, but (for example) he struck out the side on 11 pitches in the top of the 2nd.   

He was one of the best pitchers at Extended Spring Training, with a 2.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 15 hits allowed and 7/17 BB/K (66% strikes thrown) in 18.1 IP, and he has continued to pitch well in the AZL (which is about a half-level below EXST).

Leal's curve ball is his strikeout pitch, and while his fastball velocity isn't anything special (consistently sat at 88-89 MPH throughout EXST and now also at AZL), he has outstanding command of it and moves it around with precision. He also has a decent change-up that he uses to keep hitters off-stride. 

It's unusual to find an 18-year old with such an advanced feel for pitching, an outstanding curve ball, and the ability to throw strikes, change-speeds, work both sides of the plate, and vary the eye-level of the hitter with his fastball. 

He probably could pitch at Boise right now.  

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In reply to by Cubster

CUBSTER: I've seen Lim throw several times, including "sim" games at EXST. At least he appears to be healthy, and I guess he has decent stuff, but he doesn't throw particularly hard (upper 80's two-seamer). He supposedly threw harder (91-93) earlier in his career. Maybe the velocity will come back as he throws more innings.  

He does have a decent slider, though, and that's his strikeout pitch. He just started throwing it again about a month ago (he was restricted to fastballs before that).

Lim has a similar pitching style as Kyuiji Fujikawa, except Fujikawa throws (threw) harder and uses (used) a splitter as his chase-"K" pitch, while Lim is more sinker/slider.  

I think the Cubs might give Lim a look later in the season.  

Soriano sits again today in favor of Bogusevic. Garza gets his catcher of choice in Navarro.

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