The Game Behind the Game

A few quick observations from today's game: - MLB and their blackout rules are on a whole new level of stupid. The game started three hours before anything was going on FOX today and it was blacked out. I feel this should be it's own level of stupidity, their's the Titanic, the Scott Kazimir trade and MLB blackout rules. - That being said, I did manage to watch the game through some back channels which I'd mention here but I'm afraid it will go away if I do. I do want to say the director and camera men working today's Cubs broadcast were really on their game today. Can't say enough about them, I really can't. Brilliant, just brilliant work in between pitches. Wow, just wow! Emmy-award winning material. - Not a real world-class effort by the bullpen, particularly by Rocky Cherry but it did give Ryan Dempster a shot to earn his seventh save for one of my fantasy teams. So thanks for that. Neil Cotts did give up an inherited run, but I thought he pitched well. The double he gave up to Jesus Flores was a well located outside fastball, down at the knees which Flores was able to just sneak inside the line. Sometimes you just get beat. - A whole lot different game if the wind wasn't blowing in 13 mph from center. Austin Kearns murdered a ball with the bases loaded in the third that died at the track in center. We'll take the breaks. - The home plate umpire was awful today, just needed to be said. - Levale Speigner walked in three runs for the Nationals after replacing John Patterson who left with an injury to his bicep. I envision him being a Cub by 2009.


ROB G: CUBSTER & I in attendance today. BOTH teams had a couple of well hit balls that WOULD have gone out on most days. A-Ram hit his HR very close to the same spot that Kearns did a half-inning earlier. This was a kind of break that we didn't get much in April. We left too many people on-base today! DLEE had a terrific chance for an RBI w/bases loaded in the "walk inning" but he hits into a DP. Its SO refreshing in post-game on TV, Lou says "we really have to get better" and is not satisfied - even with a win. How often have we heard THIS in the last 4 years? Like, ZERO? Santo gives Rich Hill the "Player of the Game" award and the toaster - saying what a "great game" he pitched. Whereas Lou says "Hill toughed it out today and struggled" but got the win.

thnx for the in-game report e-man. agree with lou on hill, not on top of his game, but got the job done. Of course that's probably what makes good pitchers great pitchers. Getting by without your best stuff.

GO Cubs!! Cheer up. Cubs go over the hump tomorrow.

Chien-Ming Wang perfect through 4. Could care less if I ruin it.

make it 5

8 walks as a team. I can't remember the last time we did that... Seems to me if they're not going to play Pie, they should send him down. Maybe send Pie and Cedeno down, especially since Blanco is hurt.

Holy crap we're .500. w00t. If my math is correct, which it's entirely possible that it's not, the last time we were .500 (not counting being 3-3 on 4/8) was May 5, 2006 when we lost 1-0 to @ San Diego. Fourth of what would be eight consecutive losses and our season being over.

"Its SO refreshing in post-game on TV, Lou says “we really have to get better” and is not satisfied - even with a win. How often have we heard THIS in the last 4 years? Like, ZERO?" and why does it matter? it may make the fans feel good...but still...its just words to the media. when lou got all pissed what happened...more losses. did he not yell enough? was he satisfied then? did it even matter? it just makes so little sense to even be a positive because of the lack of impact. lou has an opinion he wants to share with the media, good for him. i dont see how it helps/hurts or even has much of an impact on anything but the fans, though.

Wang is perfect through 6.2....fwiw Cubs played a decent game today. They need to step it up against he Mets and Phillies coming up...

5.2 actually, but close enough. :)

:) oops...yeah 5.2

and make it 6

is A-rod going to stay in NY? does he leave at the end of the season, or do they trade him sometime for pitching?

uh what?

Just watching him make that play to end finish the top of the 6th, I would love to see him play for the cubs.....I hope he leaves NY at the end of the season and Hendry makes a pass at him.

never going to happen.. A) A-rod would be walking away from a lot of money B) Even if he gets a longer deal which would be the reason to walk away, it would probably be for less money per year at his current age C) Cubs unlikely to sign any big ticket free agents (maybe any free agents at all) while in the process of selling the team.

Q: How do you know you pitching staff is struggling? A: Jacque Jones draws a walk off your pitching staff.

"and why does it matter?" And it matters because at least there is an appearance of accountability. It matters because excuses are not being given in a full-throttle sense. It matters because this particular manager is professionally competent and knows WTF he's doing, whereas the last one for four years didn't have a fucking clue. It matters because HE KNOWS the difference when the team is playing poorly or not up to abilities instead of looking feeble, and telling us "walks clog the bases", or, "Gee, that was a tough break, right there. Wait a minute...I have to wipe my son's nose. What was that last question?" THAT is why it matters. Maybe you prefer Dusty Baker? I sure as hell don't!

oh no you didn't... JJ has 9 BB's for the record, had 2 in that suspended game earlier this week Seems to be seeing the ball really well at the moment.

#19 was in regards to #17 btw 6.1 perfect innings for the Wang-man.

goes 3-0 on Ibanez and comes back to get the K... 7 perfect

i dont care who has to sit, but get Theriot into the game anyway possible. Gets on base and just makes things happen

ARod will be dealt by the trade deadline. We could rent him, if we are in it. Think about it. Why would the Yanks NOT trade him, if they are not in it? They know he'll void his deal. It won't cost us Z either. They'll want top prospects, pitching prospects. Can we put together a good enough package? I don't know know. But if we are in the race come July 31st, go for it.

Theriot needs to be the everyday SS. Cedeno needs to go to Iowa. Send Floyd (back) to the DL and call up Gooz to pitch tomorrow. What DL is wood on, 60-day?

what makes anyone think the yanks will be out of it though? yanks don't sell, they buy. pitching isn't so horrible. Mussina, Petitte, Wang now, that's at least league average if not better. All you need with that offense. Hughes is back in June and if Clemens ends up joining them, well that's not the worst rotation in baseball.

yanks offense doing everything they can to freeze wang though... chad's not happy.

Rob, its not just their rotation. They are not pitching well all the way through their bullpen. And the collective age of some of these guys is worriesome. Mussina on the DL to start the season, and has a 5.7+ ERA since returning. Wang, well, maybe he'll be awesome, but his run at a perfect game against the Mariners doesn't have me crowning him Cy Young. Petitte...ugh, old, allthough he has pitched well thus far, barring the 5ER he gave up to Boston last time out.

and if yanks really are out of it and really planning on selling, neither of which would likely occur, mussina and petitte would be more likely to go. Vet pitchers are a hot commodity at the deadline. A-rod's got a ntc and a hefty deal , that's not an easy sale. Either a team has to agree to an extension to give up a huge package of prospects or they won't give up what the Yanks want if he can just walk out at the end of the year.

Chad, if I were the Cubs I would go for it. I would see if we can get ARod and Boras to agree to an extension of a year or two on top of the remainder of this year. Some pitching prospects might bring him over...if they deal him.

ARod would agree to play for Lou Pinella again....I would bet on it. If the Yanks are looking to trade him, that is. LouPa is the wildcard.

well you don't trade a-rod for bullpen help... you trade A-rod for johan santana or homer bailey and edwin encarnacion or lincecum and matt cain, something more along those lines.

"THAT is why it matters. Maybe you prefer Dusty Baker? I sure as hell don’t!" actually, it comes off to me about as much as dusty. i could care less about lip service. i could care less about what they say. i care about what the players do. what happened when lou was upset and mad...same thing that happened when he wasnt. oh, he's not happy just winning a few...well, yeah. even if he gave a ticker tape parade to himself for the latest wins its still the players getting it done out there. seriously, though...i personally dont wanna hang any success or failure of this team on what the manager is saying to the press after the game is done. its that kind of culture that creates 3-4-5m a year managers.

yeah LouPa helps... Trib's not willing to agree to Z's extension at the moment, why would they agree to give A-rod money though?

Perfect no-no is gone! Broussard HR! :) i hate the yanks

and it's all over, 7.1 IP home run to Ben Broussard ends it all

I don't think ARod needs to be the highest payed guy in MLB. He's filthy rich and wants to win a ring...the Cubs might be contenders next year with the kids they have and the guys they have locked up.

Spooky - I turned to the Yankees GameDay just as they put the "HOMERUN" graphic up. Brick = Jinx.

uh yeah, Boras is his agent. You hire Boras to get you the most money. if Arod was still getting booed and struggling in the clutch, then maybe he'd want to get out. Just not going to happen now though. And Yanks will be fine, probably win the wild card unless Rsox pitchers start getting injured.

"yanks offense doing everything they can to freeze wang though… chad’s not happy. " I'm telling you, you do all you can to get your pitcher back on the field. But you guys only believe in numbers and fail to realize that these are humans. And humans have feelings and feel pressure. And you all fail to realize that sitting on the bench for a half hour to think about your game, is not a good thing. Fact of the matter is that there is an unwritten rule in baseball that says, late in a game, and expecially a big lead, if your pitcher is pitching a no hitter, then you swing the bat. If you hit it, you hit it, but you keep swinging. You don't try to draw walks and you don't work the count. Any major league player would agree with that. And, IF the Yanks are not in it, they will try to trade him. They know he'll walk away. There is no reason NOT to trade him. Sure he has a NTC, but I'm sure something can be worked out.

Boras has given Hendry some interesting deals in recent years. Maddux being one of them. I agree Chad, you get your guy back out there while he's in a rhythm.

I was at both yesterday and todays games. Really nice to get a couple of wins but to be realistic the Nats look like a really Sad-Sack baseball team.

"actually, it comes off to me about as much as dusty." Whatever dude. You're entitled to your opinion. You're wrong - but you're entitled to it.

at 6-0 I agree with you chad at 1-0 I do not.

Cubs Win!! Woo!!! .500, Here we are!!! New season. Now let's build a little cushion while we are playing these weaker teams and a few players are playing over their heads. Go Cubs!!!

"at 6-0 I agree with you chad at 1-0 I do not" Fine. I will accept this as a point of arugement. I will say that often times, the opportunity for the no no, over trumps the need for insurance runs. Maybe that's not a good idea. But I see what you are saying. At 0-0 its paramount to score a run otherwise your pitcher is going to have to come out at some point and ruin his chances. Having said that, I had this idea, maybe in my great baseball movie that i will write someday: Pitcher goes 9 innings perfect and its 0-0 going to the bottom. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth they lift him for a pinch hitter who homers. That would be cool.

bye cedeno...hello angel.

ooops...angel guzman that is...forgot about the pagan =p

is that official crunch? it's definitely the right move to me, since the only times cedeno was playing was when ward walked while PHing. theriot needs to be option #1 at SS. this yields lineups like todays, where murton and derosa are hitting 7-8. that's damn good. i hope blanco is ok, with so many off days recently (and again monday!) barrett can play every day for a while but hope they don't have to worry about a minor league catcher.....blech. Jjones+every pitcher in the system = saltalamacchia ? not necessarily now but at some point, possibly this offseason? the braves definitely would get more value by trading him rather than moving him to another position imo.

according to ye olde world of roto cedeno was cleaning out his locker after today's game. not official...just damn likely at this point

from rotoworld.. Ronny Cedeno was seen clearing out his locked following Saturday's game, suggesting he'll be sent down to make room for Sunday's starter, Angel Guzman. other than another mistake at rotoworld, looks like Ronny gets the shaft.

if pie can perform as a fulltimer by next season (which i believe/hope he can) the cubs are set at every hitting position for the next two years except C. not to go all Arizona Phil on you, but Lee DeRosa Theriot Ramirez Soriano Pie Murton could be full core for a while. some will argue that theriot isn't an everyday guy for a competitive team (at SS at least) but i'll disagree. also, with izturis' useless 5 mill coming off the books this winter there's some dough to provide another option. this leaves catcher and a pitcher slot (zambrano status...?) as many know, the best catching prospect, mr. saltalamacchia is in the braves system, but they have the best catcher in baseball outside of mr. mauer in brian mccann (salty actually just got called up bc of mccann's hand injury). the braves really should trade salty bc moving him to another position ruins some of the tremendous value he has by being a catcher, where there are only 20 or so quality players in all of MLB. i'd say jones (and his cheap yet productive final year)+marshall+eric patterson is an interesting package, although probably not quite enough. whether it's around the deadline this year or next offseason, this trade can work for both teams. cubs have excess outfielders but need a catcher after this season (barrett is nice but getting old and is a FA). braves get two youngsters (plus probably another young pitcher the cubs would throw in, wuertz?) and a good but cheap OF for this market. sorry about my rambling, but it's something i thought of today. dealing with the braves seems dangerous but intriguing in this case.

it would also make sense if the braves are in it this july, which they likely will be (at the very least for the wild card). they get several guys who can help them now for one who can't. the braves LF, matt diaz, is OK but only hitting .211 vs. righties so far this year. JJ could help a bunch and be a great weapon off the bench when lefties start. i know, i know.....i like jones too but if he's expendable and can get you value back, we have a loooot of lefthanded outfielders right now.....soriano becomes your backup CFer if something happens to pie......just another thing dependent on how pie can hit this season.

saw this from gammons' blog, related to all the clogging today: "Then there's the matter of plate discipline and on-base percentage. After one frustrating loss in April, Piniella went into the clubhouse and yelled, 'There's nothing wrong with taking a walk once in a while.' 'In reality, plate discipline and patience has to be taught in the minors and become part of the club's culture,' Piniella says. 'But we'll get more aware on the big league level. Believe me, it'll happen.'" love it. best thing i've read yet about pinella, along with the comment about "there's no clock in this game, but there are outs". he gets it. if this team is patient they will be up with the mets as far as best hitting clubs in the NL. for the record, currently it's marlins, mets, braves, brewers, cubs for most runs scored in the NL.

I like Felix Pie alot more than Ronny Cedeno, but I'm not sure that it doesn't make more sense to send Pie down to Iowa instead. I guess we'll find out tomorrow what shakes out. btw-- those quotes about Piniella from Gammons' blog are GOLD. I really really really didn't like the hiring of Lou Piniella but I have fallen in love with him.

i realize my package for salty is probably low, but as I said, i'm ok with giving up more probably. freaking brewers win again. first time 10 games over 500 for them since 92 i believe.

the braves will also be looking for a CF in all likelihood next year, if there's no one out there to their liking (torii will likely go elsewhere) jones could be a bridge solution. he's actually been quite good in CF so far i'd say for the cubs.

"Trib’s not willing to agree to Z’s extension at the moment, why would they agree to give A-rod money though?" There is two big differnce in the two and that is marketability and durability. I doubt Z is going to last a five year deal. I think if the new ownership group is in place before Free Agency starts they will make a push to sign a big free agent if for no other reason to create a big PR buzz.

things can change of course but they were talking about selling the team after the season. If the Cubs don't make the playoffs that's basically a month to find an owner, approve the sale, have the MLB approve it and whatever time it takes for the new group to take over. I don't see that happening. Plus the A-rod proposal from above was trading for him and to get him to waive his NTC giving him a few extra years on his deal which would still have to happen under Trib's watch.

well, i got nothing to bank it on, but i imagine they'll start looking for a buyer for the team before that...or at least a group who are finalists. then again it could be some big ass conspirarcy so zell can take the reign of the team and gut it. its a smaller cog on the tribune chain with a big public presence. not like zell's afraid of the public, though.

The Brewers Death Spiral is clearly underway, as they only won by 3 tonight, as opposed to last night when they won by 10. Slackers.

I agree with Crunch I think the new owners will be known before the season ends. They will probably be calling the shots this off season even if the sale isnt offical by the end of the year.

"love it. best thing i’ve read yet about pinella, along with the comment about “there’s no clock in this game, but there are outs”. he gets it." Don't tell CRUNCH this. He sounds just like Dusty to him.

I agree with Rob about the broadcast director and the cameramen today. Resign them to Soriano-like contracts.

Tennessee got one run tonight but it stood up. Veal with a 3-hitter for seven innings.

"Don’t tell CRUNCH this. He sounds just like Dusty to him." oh no..i brought a counter point to your point its playground pissing match time! hey, your mom wears combat boots! geez...first of all you got no idea what i was saying if you think i said lou sounds like dusty. maybe if you read more than 1 line you'd see: "actually, it comes off to me about as much as dusty. i could care less about lip service." could care less what a manager says to the press at a press conference and i dont believe it to have much of an impact on the game. that's not very radical thinking...its not a huge leap. hell, i even ranted a little bit about why...

I'm among the fans that believe that Lou's media rants do make a difference. I don't think he gives a crap what the media thinks -- he simply uses them as a tool to indirectly and publicly send messages and motivate his players. When Lou says "We gotta get better at blah blah blah", he isn't just talking to the media. He's establishing a public record of what is expected of his team. So when certain players fail to step up, he has the foundation to take action. It's simple, but very different fromt the Baker regime.

#37: Brick = Jinx #60: bizmarquis: The Brewers Death Spiral is clearly underway Brick, can I interest you in a TV package of Brewers games?

freaking brewers win again. first time 10 games over 500 for them since 92 i believe. I marked it down, but it looks like it took less than a week for Chad's high water mark prediction to sink.

So, I know a lot of people have complained about having both Izturis and Cedeno on the roster, but with Ronny going back down, am I the only one concerned about having only 1 backup infielder on this team? DeRosa and ARam have already had to sit on the same day because of minor injuries. What happens if they both are out on the same day again? We're getting a little to close to the return of Soriano at 2nd for my taste.

Another anti-Dusty moment by Lou. On Guzman: "I told him we have confidence in him," Piniella said. "I told him I don't know what happened in Iowa, to put that behind him, but that we expect him to pitch much better here."

" I the only one concerned about having only 1 backup infielder on this team?" yes.

433: "I’m among the fans that believe that Lou’s media rants do make a difference." And, I concur with this viewpoint. I tired of Dusty, at least publicly, not letting the players know that their play was unacceptable. As you say, airing some sentiments "in the media" creates a record of accountability. Also, we are witnessing a difference with Lou actually walking out to the mound and telling the pitcher to throw F'ing strikes! And CRUNCH, if my mom was alive, would only wear heels! LOL

Ex-Cubs hitting stats thru yesterday:AVG/OBP/SLG Neifi Perez 2-13, .154/.154/.154 CPat 22-94, .234/.308/.340 JMabry 4-26, .154/.185/.308 JPierre 37-128; .289/.313/.328 TWalker 11-44; .250/.271/.273 JHairston 9-37; .243/.310/.378 FBynum 3-14; .214/.214/.500 Nomar 34-114; .298/.344/.395 This is a brief reminder as to how ugly last year was. Can't say I miss any one of them, although Nomar could always hit when not injured.

Romero — May 5, 2007 @ 8:30 pm I like Felix Pie alot more than Ronny Cedeno, but I’m not sure that it doesn’t make more sense to send Pie down to Iowa instead. =============================== ROMERO: Given what their roles have been on the team so far this year, it would make sense to send both Cedeno AND Pie to Iowa so that they can both play every day. And I have already explained the MLB service time issues with Pie in previous comments on other threads. Angel Pagan or Chris Walker (4TH OF-PR) would be a better 25th man at this point in time. Walker isn't on the 40-man roster, but it would be no big deal to transfer Mateo or Wood to the 60-day DL (or recall Prior and place him on the 60) to open up a spot on the 40 for Walker. (BTW, Walker is one of the fastest players in the organization and is a Gold Glove-quality defender in the outfield, albeit without the arm of a Felix Pie or Ryan Harvey).

Bleeding Blue — May 6, 2007 @ 7:14 am So, I know a lot of people have complained about having both Izturis and Cedeno on the roster, but with Ronny going back down, am I the only one concerned about having only 1 backup infielder on this team? DeRosa and ARam have already had to sit on the same day because of minor injuries. What happens if they both are out on the same day again? We’re getting a little to close to the return of Soriano at 2nd for my taste. ===================================== B BLUE: If something happens to two infielders where they both miss games at the same time, Ronny Cedeno is only a 24-hour recall away. And if something happens in a specific game where Uncle Lou manages himself into a corner where Soriano has to play 2B, then so be it. I saw Ron Santo play SS in extra inning games a few times back in the 60's, and as long as it isn't anything more than an emergency thing, it's no big deal for Soriano to move to 2B in a pinch.

Rob G. — May 5, 2007 @ 9:50 am Holliman, Holliman!!! Wonder if he changed anything this offseason? ================================ ROB G: It's the same Mark Holliman. He pitched really well at Daytona the first half of last season, too, and then hit a wall in July and lost command and velocity on his fastball and started to get creamed. The presumption at the time was that because he had never thrown more than 113 innings in college at Ole Miss (he made his pro debut on Opening Day 2006 because he signed late) he wasn't used to the longer pro season and just ran out of gas. Hopefully it won't happen again this year, but until he proves the problem was just part of his learning curve, there will be doubts about his stamina over a full pro season and his future as a starting pitcher.

Rob G. — May 4, 2007 @ 2:30 pm Rapada in AAA right now 11.1 IP, 7 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 11 K, 5.56 ERA bring him in, stat. ================================ ROB G: With his sidearm sling, Clay Rapada is the protypical LOOGY (death on left-handed hitters, but gets murdered by right-handed hitters because he throws his pitches on a straight plane like a Frisbee and they come right into the wheelhouse of RH hitters). This has become especially obvious with his work at MLB ST and at AAA this year. Rapada's splits so far at Iowa in ''07: vs LH: 5.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K vs RH: 7.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 HR, 3 BB, 5 K So as long as Rapada throws only to left-handed hitters, he's fine, and he could very well be successful pitching in the big leagues. But he cannot be allowed to pitch to MLB-quality right-handed hitters unless he's throwing a garbage inning or two in a blow-out. Rapada is even more of a LOOGY than Will Ohman.

chifan3887 — May 5, 2007 @ 12:13 pm Also is Soto still the 3rd catcher if Blanco goes on the DL or is it Koyie Hill? ================================= CHIFAN3887: Geovany Soto would probably be the #3 catcher, just because he’s already on the 40-man roster. The problem with Koyie Hill is that if he is added to the 40-man roster to replace Blanco, when Blanco is reactivated, K. Hill is out of minor league options and so he would have to pass through outright waivers (which are irrevocable) before he could be sent back to AAA. And even if he did clear waivers, he would have the right to be a FA because he has been outrighted previously in his career. So it would be OK to bring up K. Hill if Blanco goes down for the year, or after September 1st (when rosters expand), but not just for a few weeks. If it’s just a short-term thing, it would almost certainly be Soto. But Soto (who is a converted 3B) is a mediocre defensive catcher (and he’s one of the worst throwing catcher in the organization, 28% CS in ‘06, with just 8% CS so far in ‘07), while K. Hill (a former BA Dodgers Top Ten prospect) is at least league-average defensively in all areas (throwing arm, catching mechanics, and receiving skills). BTW, here are the Cubs organizational defensive catching numbers through 5/5: MLB: 1. Michael Barrett: 5-15 CS (33%), 3 PB, 2 E 2. Henry Blanco: 0-1 CS (0%), 2 PB, 0 E NOTE: Barrett has been throwing better this year (although his receiving skills are still piss-poor), and nobody runs on Blanco AAA: 1. Koyie Hill: 5-17 CS (29%), 0 PB, 0 E 2. Geovany Soto: 1-12 CS (8%), 2 PB, 1 E 3. Tony Richie: 2-6 CS (33%), 0 PB, 0 E (at AA Tennessee) AA: 1. Chris Robinson: 9-20 CS (45%), 1 PB, 2 E 2. Jake Fox: 3-8 CS (38%), 1 PB, 1 E 3. Casey McGehee - See NOTE NOTE: Like Barrett, Fox has been throwing better this year, although he’s been playing a lot of LF and 1B to increase his versatility, and Casey McGehee was demoted from Iowa to Tennessee last week so that he can catch at least semi-regularly to help increase his value as a utility player. DAYTONA: 1. Mark Reed: 10-25 CS (40%), 0 PB, 1 E 2. Jake Muyco 10-16 CS (63%), 0 PB, 0 E 3. Alan Rick 1-4 CS (25%), 1 PB, 0 NOTE: Muyco has the best throwing arm among all the catchers in the Cubs organization (he has a howitzer for an arm), and is hands-down THE best “catch-and-throw” guy in the system, and has been for the last three seasons, while Reed is probably the best "all-around" catcher in the organization. PEOR: 1. Welington Castillo: 9-21 CS (43%), 4 PB, 7 E 2. Matt Canepa: 1-6 CS (17%) , 1 PB, 0 E 3. Blake Lalli 3-6 CS (50%), 0 PB, 0 E NOTE: Four of Castillo’s errors came as the result of “catchers interference” (touched a hitter’s bat with his glove), and Canepa is terrible at throwing out base-stealers (14% CS last year at Boise). EXST: I don't have any defensive stats, but Steve Clevenger, Mario Mercedes, Blake Parker, and Carlos Perez are the catchers at EXST. 1. Clevenger was drafted as an infielder in the 7th round of last June's draft and hit .286 with 2 HR and 21 RBI and 26/28 BB/K in 250 PA in 63 games while playing 2B at Boise in '06, but he was moved to catcher in the Arizona Instructional League last Fall and has made a smooth transition. He should be at Boise again when the short-season leagues start play in mid-June, and he could develop into a definite prospect. He seems to be highly-motivated and appears to have a high "Baseball IQ." 2. Parker also plays 1B and 3B, and has been the best hitter (with plus-power) so far at EXST, although his future will probably be as a 1B-3B-C utility guy. 3. Mercedes has had a disappointing year in 2007 (both at ST and EXST), especially considering that he was supposed to be the #1 catcher at Peoria this year (he got beat-out by Castillo). 4. Perez is only 19 and struggled offensively and defensively last season at AZL Mesa, so he will probably return to the AZL and be the #1 catcher at Mesa this season.

I saw Ron Santo play SS in extra inning games a few times back in the 60’s, and as long as it isn’t anything more than an emergency thing, it’s no big deal for Soriano to move to 2B in a pinch. Michael Barrett also has a game or two of Shortstop history on his record, its doesn't mean I want to see him playing SS at any time for the Cubs. It probably wouldn't be the end of the world if Soriano has to play 2b for a couple innings, but even a few innings is more than I'd like to see from him, especially now that he hasn't played the position in more than a full season. Actually, I would probably rather see Barrett finish a game at 3rd than see Soriano finish it at 2nd. Lets just hope we don't get to a position where we are faced with that choice.

Also, we are witnessing a difference with Lou actually walking out to the mound and telling the pitcher to throw F’ing strikes! I think you've touched upon one of my favorite differences between Lou and Dusty. Lou has no problem going out to the mound to talk to a pitcher. Dusty never talked to a pitcher during an inning. If he went to the mound, it was to make a change. He let Larry do all the heavy lifting when it came to talking to a pitcher. Its a small difference, in a see of vast improvements, but its one that I really like.

the cardinals, in addition to getting the news that Carpenter is out for 3 months from elbow chips and spurs (is that a Texas version of the British pub food) also placed Preston Wilson in the DL with a chronic knee problem. Apparently it was drained earlier in the week and it's been bothering him since spring training. Teach him to have a game winning 2 run homer against us.

AZ Phil, that's the first I've heard of Soto not being tough on baserunners. I can't imagine why he is on the 40-man if he can't hit and can't throw. Meanwhile, Koye Hill sometimes bats cleanup for Iowa with Hoffpauir in a slump, and, as noted earlier, would be a good lefthanded bat off the bench in Chicago. Don't hold me to this arithmetic, but Blanco is probably the highest paid guy per inning played on the squad. Since Muyco seems to have the same skillset (catch-and-throw) as Blanco, why hasn't he advanced more rapidly in the system?

from gameday: Soriano 7 Theriot 4 DLee 3 ARam 5 JJones 8 DeRosa 9 Barrett 2 Izzy 6 Angel Guzman 1 vs. Lopez4, Langerhans8, Zim5, Church7, Kearns9, Schneider2, Casto3, Wilson6, Hill-1

Virginia Phil — May 6, 2007 @ 11:10 am AZ Phil, that’s the first I’ve heard of Soto not being tough on baserunners. I can’t imagine why he is on the 40-man if he can’t hit and can’t throw. Meanwhile, Koye Hill sometimes bats cleanup for Iowa with Hoffpauir in a slump, and, as noted earlier, would be a good lefthanded bat off the bench in Chicago. Don’t hold me to this arithmetic, but Blanco is probably the highest paid guy per inning played on the squad. Since Muyco seems to have the same skillset (catch-and-throw) as Blanco, why hasn’t he advanced more rapidly in the system? ================================ VIRGINIA PHIL: Muyco is a TERRIBLE hitter. And I mean MUCH worse than Henry Blanco. Because he has such an outstanding arm, the Cubs have tried all kinds of things to help Muyco improve his hitting (I watched him spend 90 minutes with organizational hitting instructor Dave Keller doing nothing but hit balls to the opposite field in a special one-on-one BP session one day at Fitch Park), but nothing seems to work. I would not have a problem with the Cubs keeping Koyie Hill (a switch-hitter who can catch and play 1B) as their 25th man, although it wouldn't give Piniella the 4th OF and PR he would get with Angel Pagan or Chris Walker. I would think K. Hill would perhaps be a candidate to replace Daryle Ward after June 15th (as a Type XX FA, Ward has a "no trade" through 6-15-07), if the Cubs decide they can't afford to keep both Cliff Floyd and Daryle Ward on the roster. As for Geovany Soto, I think his main value (to the Cubs) is that he has spent the last three seasons as the #1 catcher at Iowa and the last four STs in the big league camp, so he knows the Cubs pitching staff very well, and the Cubs pitchers probably feel comfortable working with him. BTW, Soto (who is the cousin of former Cubs utility infielder Ramon Martinez) will be out of minor league options next ST.

would i really rather sit pie for another day and have derosa in RF? against a RHP? eh.....floyd would be a good choice too. we're going to need all the offense we can get with guzzie on the bump. if izzy makes another error today i'm going to flip out. let's go 5 game winning streak, hasn't happened since july of 2005.

Ward and Floyd was the problem with the Roster as soon as Floyd signed, and 5 weeks into the season, that remains the problem with the roster. Trade/Release Ward, roster crunch solved.

The game was on Comcast where I live. No problem. All kinds of people in the Chicago area saw the game. You're acting like no one saw it. It cant be on everywhere. You should know ahead of time whether you can see it or not. The TV listings in the your local paper are pretty accurate. Comcast carries about 1/2 their games now, so it was just another day for me. Fox cant show the Cubs every week. Get MLB.TV if you have to.

Fox cant show the Cubs every week. Get MLB.TV if you have to. Do you work for Fox or MLB? I have but the game was blacked out for me in Los Angeles. Now I understand that Fox blacks out games so your forced to watch whatever their offering but in this case they weren't offering anything. The Cubs game started 3 hrs before the Fox game of the week in L.A.

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  • Cubster 27 min 13 sec ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.


  • Cubster 36 min 57 sec ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts


  • crunch 11 hours 9 min ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.


  • crunch 15 hours 28 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.


  • Jackstraw 15 hours 55 min ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.


  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    A's are furloughing nearly all of their staff through the entire organization...including scouts, which make a shockingly low amount of money.

    the A's are owned by a multi-billionaire who inherited his loot from dad (founder of The Gap)...and him + family spent $10m trying to keep Obama from getting a 2nd term, which i assume is their idea of a good investment in their community...whereas paying loyal employees for years/decades for a few months is...well...*shrug*


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Depends on who you are.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Sorry--Just needed to experience a little normalcy.


  • Ryno 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    That was the dumbest lineup I've ever seen.


  • Hagsag 2 days 59 min ago (view)



  • Cubster 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    speaking of Trump's trained rats...


  • Hagsag 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubster, your comments about President Bone Spurs could not be more accurate. Thanks for posting!


  • BobbyD 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.