Three-Finger Hill Makes the Team

The Cubs by two more today, releasing Gabor Bako and LHP Mike Stanton. Congrats to Koyie Hill and his bionic hand. The roster now stands at 28 and the position players and bench are set for Opening Day. The spring roster with just a week left in camp.

CATCHERS - Soto, Hill

INFIELDERS - Lee, Theriot, Miles, Fontenot, Ramirez, Hoffpauir

OUTFIELDERS - Soriano, Fukudome, Johnson, Bradley, Gathright

STARTING PITCHING: Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Harden, Marshall

RELIEF PITCHING:  Gregg, Marmol, Heilman, Vizcaino, Cotts, Gaudin, Patton, Guzman, Fox, Samardzija


I think the first 5 bullpen spots are locked down, leaving Gaudin, Patton, Guzman, Fox and Samardzija for the final two spots and I don't see why they'd keep Samardzija in the majors with the relatively poor spring he has had and the fact that he has options left. And it's quite possible that Rich Harden will see the disabled list to start the season and the Cubs will then just have to move one of the four left  - Gaudin, Patton, Guzman or Fox (Large cartoon blinking arrow pointing at Chad Gaudin's name).



They made the right call on these two; so glad we don't have to live through the Gabor Bako Era, Part II. Next up: Release Chad Gaudin.

I wish Stanton the best and I'm glad as hell he's not with this team.

I'm just glad that once every couple of weeks Marmol gets to throw 100. That's going to be great.

PRAISE THE MAKER! I'm still upset about Gathright over Taguchi, but this is good news indeed.

Wow, the remaining RP cuts are going to be tough to judge... it's too bad one of the 4 amongst Patton, Fox, Guzman and Gaudin isn't a lefty. Based on spring performance, Patton and Fox should be in. To me, Fox is too much of an injury risk so I think he will be the one to go next. I think they will go with Harden on the DL to start the season, put Samardzija in the minors to work on starting, and then see who falters in the early part of the season. I think Patton has pitched himself into a job (for now, at least)... I think Gaudin will get it figured out in the pen. At least we know for sure he wasn't 5th starter material!

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the probability of injury should preclude him from breaking camp with the team. If Fox gets injured, you just DL-him and call someone else up. And at this point I think the risk of a Fox injury is overblown. I think we all just expect it because we practically watched him snap his arm off at the elbow on live TV a few years ago. If he was so fragile that an injury was a matter of when, not if, then I don't think he would be pitching. I'm not saying he's a low injury risk, I think it's just overblown. Maybe I'm wrong on both points and maybe I'll regret this entire comment. Who knows.

I agree, Ryno. If his performance merits giving him a spot on the roster, then do it. Unless it means having to pare other people from the organization in order to make it so. Then, if our fears are confirmed, three weeks down the line, we're much less able to replace him than we were right now...

"Unless it means having to pare other people from the organization in order to make it so." This is my fear--since including Fox likely means losing Gaudin or Guzman without getting much in return. Fox can't be used as a long-reliever or spot starter the way those guys might, nor does he have the upside of Guzman (though they have injury concerns in common). [Edit: Momentarily forgot about Patton. But Andrew does a better job explaining below anyway.]

I'd agree, unless the possibility of calling someone else up isn't a possibility. For example, if the Cubs choose to open the season with Harden active, then choosing Fox over any of the other three (Patton, Gaudin, Guzman) means they lose the other three - Patton goes back to CO and Gaudin and Guzman would get claimed off waivers. Those guys can't just be called up at a later point if Fox gets hurt. As, for his injury chances, I have to think they're pretty real. He hasn't had any surgical procedures since his problems in the past, and those weren't slow-developing. He felt a pop and couldn't throw at all. He's more of a time bomb than anything else. Thus, in my mind, the only way they can justify keeping Fox is if A) they really feel that Gaudin is totally useless and/or cutting him is a cost-saving move and B) if Harden starts on the DL, which would allow them to carry Guzman, Patton, and Fox. I'd personally much rather have Guzman or Patton around than Fox, simply because we can't get them back if we lose them.

If Harden doesn't flip out about it, I think starting him on the DL is probably a good idea. Let the weather warm up a bit, let him continue to get stretched out, and use the time to deal with your bullpen. I gotta think Patton's going to make the roster -- he's done as well as he could do and why would the Cubs keep him around so long or acquire him at all if he didn't have a real shot. And I gotta think Guzman will get tapped before Gaudin if it comes down to those two. If the Cubs let Gaudin go now, will they still save some money?

The Cubs trimmed their roster by two more today, releasing Gabor Bako {Cues Angelic choir}

Damn, and I just trademarked "It's Gaborrific!"

M. Bradley on-base again, that will never get old...

Wow... Bradley is 18 for 38 before today's game... with 5 walks... thats a +500 OBP. I hadn't noticed that until now. Jeebus, that's good.

Fiery Bradley won't calm down and take a pitch in Life, but he always has at the plate. Lowest OBP last 5 seasons is .350.

He's also slugging 929. His OPS is over 1.500.

I expect him to maintain those numbers or I will sit in the RF bleachers and boo him.

In anticipation of his decline from his Spring Training performance, I have begun training with a vocal coach so that Bradley can hear me boo him from my home.

Boo if you want. I'll just scream the name of Parker Brothers board games. I imagine that pisses him off more. "HEY OUIJA BOARD! GET A CLUE!"

Another injury and he'll be at RISK for an OPERATION.

Hey Milton! You're Sorry! Get a Clue!

Good debate, but if we end up DFA-ing Chad Fox, isn't there a great chance he will accept a minor league assignment and go to Iowa? It is unlikely another club would give him a roster spot for the reasons above. And you would think that Chad would help us out here on a roster crunch, since Jim Hendry has given him several chances to get his career back. Just saying. I think Chad's career situation is different than the other guys. If they get DFA'ed, they should look for, and get, a major league deal. I don't want to give up on Gaudin, just a few months ago everyone was saying how brilliant it was to get him in the Harden deal. I suppose it was that mysterious late-season injury, he hasn't been the same since. I wonder if that was alcohol related.....

fwiw, Fox isn't on the 40-man roster yet, so he wouldn't have to be DFA'd.  I don't know the specifics of the minor league contract he signed though and you're probably right that he might be willing to pitch at Iowa if no other major league teams are offering a job.

86-92mph in the 2nd inning... threw a lot of change-ups coming in at 81-84mph 2-run HR by Gordon to right-center off a fastball, didn't see the radar gun on it though.

more high 80's, low 90's fastballs...change-up still fooling everyone.

1-2-3 inning...

HR by Teahan, just left of center off a fastball...4 K's though through 4.


another HR by Gordon off Harden, this time off a change-up... Berkman's shoulder hurting Hoffmann to the DL with an oblique strain, Villanueva or McClung to close. Jacque Jones taking a minor league assignment with Reds not in the link, but Glaus had to stop baseball activities and might be out longer than originally expected (late April, early May). David Frese is the current leader for the job. Murton optioned to Triple A despite easily out-hitting Podsednik in camp...

2nd/3rd 0 outs goes to 2nd/3rd 2 outs but Hoffpauir singles them both in to tie the game... Lou wants to decide the bullpen by Tuesday and Cubs signed a Korean outfielder out of high school to a $550,000 bonus...Dong-Yub Kim.

I must confess to some Hoffpauir man-love here, but is Derrek Lee really better? As much as I like DLee I think his D is running on reputation at this point, and he's certainly not the offensive threat he used to be. Hoffpauir clearly has more power, he's as good at getting on base, and from what I can see a little better with the glove. The only thing he doesn't have is a track record. If I'm Lou I give Hoffpauir some serious ABs in the first half of the season, to see if he can sustain his AAA and spring training success.

Hoffpauir as just "as good at getting on base" as Lee is a stretch. Lee has been pretty good at taking walks and batting for a high average over the past several years. Hoffpauir, from what I've heard, is a hacker. Maybe he would adjust to pitchers staying out of the zone, or maybe he would chase. Either way, Hoffpauir certainly hasn't had the opportunity to show that he can get on base as well or better than Lee, so the jury is out at best. Hoffpauir also has more pop than 20-homer Lee, but I don't know that it's a big stretch to think Lee could have a good year and muscle 30 over the fence and hit plenty of doubles. I like Hoffpauir a lot, but until he goes on a real hot streak at the plate, he and Lee aren't even close to splitting time at 1st. Heck, he's got a better chance of pushing Kosuke out of a job and creating a terrifying Soriano/Bradley/Hoffpauir outfield.

Just released MLB At-Bat for the iPhone ($10). Includes gameday audio.

something reasonably priced for an Apple product? unpossible!

Umm... most, if not all, apps on the iPhone are very "reasonably priced."

harden done, gets his last pitch up to 93mph and singled into right by Dejesus to make it 5-3. Heilman K's the next batter to get out of it.

So do we think Harden is holding back or this is Harden? I believe the latter.

sorry if this is a repeat, but Miles says the Cubs are getting some feelers on Gaudin and Guzman...

off Soria, Cubs score a total of 3 in the top of the 9th off him to tie the game. Impressive. Bradley 4/4 today...

will ohman finally finds work...minor league deal, dodgers.

Both moves were good ones, I think Gaudin pitched himself out of a job, Guzman and Fox go too.

Submitted by Andrew on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 12:58pm. If the Cubs let Gaudin go now, will they still save some money?


ANDREW: Presuming Chad Gaudin signed a non-guaraneed contract (and not being a FA, he almost certainly did), the Cubs have until Wednesday 11 AM (Arizona time) to decide whether to place him on Release Waivers and owe him 45 days termination pay. So if the Cubs want to give Gaudin one more chance, it will have to be tomorrow.

Of course, the Cubs would probably prefer to trade Gaudin rather than release him (they couldn't do that with Bako, BTW, because Bako was an Article XX MLB FA post-2008 so he had an automatic "no trade" through June 15th), and as long as the other club is willing to take on Gaudin's contract (or at least pay $1.5M of the $2M) the Cubs would get the same payroll savings they would get by releasing him, plus, maybe a player back, too. But all this really needs to be decided by Wednesday morning, otherwise Gaudin's 2009 contract becomes 100% guaranteed after that.

If he were to get released by Wednesday, the Cubs would have to pay Gaudin 25% of his 2009 $2M salary as termination pay (that's $500K), and then the Cubs would save $1.5M in payroll.

BTW, by releasing Bako now, the Cubs only had to pay him $180,125 in termination pay, saving about $545K in 2009 payroll, instead of being on the hook for the entire $725K, which would have been the case if they had waited to release him at a later point.

I'd be giving Kenny Williams a call, Sox pitching is not good.

I see Patton making the team for several reasons-to a non-contender he's a great trading chip. Since the season is long and they can modify the roster, Patton will stay. As for trades, those rumors are mighty suspicious. Who the hell wants Gaudin? There are too many established pitchers out of work that you could sign right now without giving up players. I suppose if you wanted Gary Matthews Jr or some other bad contract in return-but why take that risk? Break camp with him and hope he turrns it around. As for Guzman,tough to read his market value. Maybe some interest from Oakland since Durcherer (sp) is injured?

White sox need pitching, Detroit needs pitching and Angels just said they hope to have Lackey back by late April.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 2:36pm. Good debate, but if we end up DFA-ing Chad Fox, isn't there a great chance he will accept a minor league assignment and go to Iowa?


Q-BALL: As ROB G mentioned, Chad Fox is not on the 40-man roster, so he doesn't need to be DFA'd or placed on waivers if he doesn't make the Cubs 25-man Opening Day roster. Technically, he has been on the AAA Iowa Reserve List ever since he signed his contract during the off-season.

However, most veterans who sign minor league contracts to get an NRI to Spring Training have a clause in their contract that lists a deadline by which time they have to get added to the club's MLB 40-man/25-man rosters, or else the player can exercise an opt-out clause that allows the player to request his release. Typically, this deadline is sometime during the last week of Spring Training.

Now, even if C. Fox were to agree to go to Iowa to start the season, he likely has another opt-out clause in his contract that would give him the option to request his release at certain points during the season (like maybe every 30 days) and become a FA.

This happened in 2003 with Rod Beck, who accepted an assignment to Iowa (and lived in an RV parked behind the scoreboard), but had the option to be a FA every 30 days. And in fact he did exercise this option after spending two months with the Iowa Cubs, getting his release from the Cubs at the end of May and signing a major league deal with the Padres, and he eventually became their closer and had a good year in SD (20 saves, 1.78 ERA, 1.02 WHIP). The Cubs might have had some use for him in the NLCS that year, too, BTW.

Submitted by carmenfanzone on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 7:00pm. I see Patton making the team for several reasons-to a non-contender he's a great trading chip. Since the season is long and they can modify the roster, Patton will stay.


CARMEN F: The problem with a pitcher like David Patton, who has never pitched above "A" ball, is that while he has looked great in Spring Training (so far), what happens once the season starts?

The big difference between Spring Training and the regular season is that in Spring Training, Patton is basicaly pitching for himself, to try and make the team. If he has a poor outing, it just affects him and his chance to make the Opening Day 25-man roster. It doesn't really hurt the team, because winning and losing insn't very important in Spring Training. And the fans are usually forgiving and tend to be quite laid back.

But once the MLB regular eason starts, if Patton makes a bad pitch or has a bad inning, all of a sudden, he blew the game. It's his fault that the Cubs lost. He gets booed as he comes off the field. ("Patton, you bum!...You suck!"). That's a lot to handle if you're not used to it. And he doesn't get to experience that kind of pressure in Spring Training

It's not that unusual for as Rule 5 guy (especially a Rule 5 pitcher) to get an extra couple of weeks in April to show what he can do during the regular season. If he shows he can handle it, that's great. If he can't, you put him on waivers and hope you can finds a way to keep him in the organization.

So I think I would probably be inclined to retain Patton on the 25-man roster into the season, and see how he performs in games that matter in April. If it doesn't work out, I would probably ask Chad Fox to go to Iowa for a month to see how it goes, and turn to him if Patton gets cut. Or else there is always Samardzija or Hart, too.

BTW, back when I was a youngster (1960's), the MLB active roster limit was 28 for the first 30 days of the regular season,and then clubs had to make their final three cuts around the end of April. That gave clubs an extra month to look at Rule 5 guys. I would like to see that again. If you can play with up to 40 players during September, there shouldn't be any reason not play with 28 in April, when pitchers are still rounding into shape.

Cool! Now I have a ballpark figure of how old AZ PHIL is!! :)

I also think Patton will pitch in mop-up-games in which the Cubs are behind. Simply to save the rest of the pen for when the games are close. In my opinion, this is the only reason to carry 12 pitchers-otherwise there's not enough innings to go around. Which begs the question, why not carry a player that you might use more-like Jake Fox? Saving the 7th and 8th inning guy is obviously more important.

Once again Rob G. you have proven to me that you have something against Samardzija. How can you compare his spring against the other one inning pitchers. He played his first four games as a starter facing the best hitters in start of a game. The other guys always came in the end of the game when the minors were in batting. Lets compare apples to apples to bad mouthing cub players. Samardzija did give up a hit in the 8th that scored the go ahead run but he came back in the 9th to strike out 3 starters but you fail to mention any of that.

quite an observation after being here 1 day. ninja's destiny isn't the pen...nor is it working 3-5 innings a week. not making the pro club would be one of the best things for him even if he had a stellar spring...which he didn't.

Jeff, is that you? So the best hitters only play early in the game, but then they just happen to bat when Samardzija pitches in the 9th inning? Do you think maybe the reality is that in spring training all pitchers face a mixture of scrubs and stars?

I don't think I gave a recap of today's game, so I'm not sure how I failed to mention anything...I did some updates for part of the game, but didn't get to watch it all.

and I have nothing against Samardzija, I have him as the top Cubs' prospect and was quite excited to see him pitch last year.

the reality of the situation though is that he's not pitching well enough in spring training and far more importantly he has options left. There's no reason for him to sit at the end of the bullpen gathering dust when he can be pitching in Iowa working on his game. There's a few guys pitching better in camp right now and if they falter or there are injuries you can call Samardzija up if needed.

Oh yeah Rob G. another way I can tell you hate Samardzija is that you always place him at the end of the list when you mention the other bullpen pitchers. I have no idea why you dislike Samardzija so much but every chance you get you drill him. Alot of us Cub fans happen to like Samardzija as a Cub pitcher.

And also the best wide receiver in Chicago.

i know he hates him cuz i heard it here:

Klaatu barada nikto.

Probably shouldn't mention this, but I miss Art Bell.

Oh yeah Rob G. another way I can tell you hate Samardzija is that you always place him at the end of the list when you mention the other bullpen pitchers. I have no idea why you dislike Samardzija so much but every chance you get you drill him. Alot of us Cub fans happen to like Samardzija as a Cub pitcher.

I put him at the end of the list because he has the least likely chance to make the team at the moment. I'm sorry you're not familiar with how major league rosters work and options.

Rob G. i have another question for you. Did you attend todays game in person or did you watch it on TV?

Dude, what wrong with you? He's a baseball player, chill out. You can kiss Jeff's ass all you want, he's not going home with you.

I was watching it on and didn't even see Samardizja pitch today. This post was written before the game.

Geez, what the hell "jakester". Why the chubbie for Samardja? Rob has "proven" to you he hates your boy? Is this a school-boy crush, or are you a Golden Domer just drinking black and gold kool-aid? (I hate ND & Charlie Weis - but like Heilman, Joe Montana - and Old Style)

he's got a mancrush on the guy. from another post it seems since he was in ARZ for 6 games the few looks he took at him seems to beat out the fact samninja has options, the club has more relievers than slots, and the pen isn't where his future is anyway. ...not to mention a near 9.00 era. al yellon would love this point of view.

"al yellon would love this point of view." LOL! Yes. He of the opinion (in 2007) that Soto will be "...nothing more than a backup catcher..."

when did ND cop Purdue's colors?

I bet jakester is really Samardjiza's mom or something. Anyways, I have no doubt Samardjiza will be balls-on good someday, but I don't think this year is the year. Let's let him pitch some AAA ball and see how he reacts to a hitter's league like the PCL. I'd like to see him develop that 2-seamer into something legit as well. That's always a good pitch to have at Wrigley.

By the way... Cubs tie Royals = lame

Wow...Cubs cut Pawelek, Grant Johnson and Ryan Harvey. Throw in Bobby Brownlie and Hagerty and the Prior to Colvin era of highest Cub draft pick is all departed. Colvin...who knows what we will get this year out of him. Imagine the Cubs if they actually could draft well. More importantly, the poor drafting might be evidence of how well Hendry has done outside of the top draft picks; who would expect a team to be a contender for a 3rd straight division titles without any #1 draft picks from the last 10 years being on the team.

Well, I am doing this off the top of my head, but the World Champion Phillies IIRC, have one draft choice only that helped them win a WS: Cole Hammels. So what difference is it?

I agree with your point that it isn't relevant, but the Phillies do have major contributors in the 1st 5 rounds. Myers was their 1st rounder in 99. Rollins was a 2nd rounder in 96 and Howard was a 5th rounder for them in 01.

Could you have picked a worse example E-man? Burrell (98), Utley (00) and Hamels (02) were all 1st round picks. Scott Rolen (93) and Jimmy Rollins (96) were second rounders. I'd say they did pretty well with their top picks, no? Edit: and Wes points out that Brett Myers was a 1st rounder too, wow. I'd say the Phillies have been awesome in the draft. The Cubs have a huge crutch to fall back on--a big market team's fat wallet. Lousy drafts haven't hurt them because they have the $$ to just get proven FAs instead. For the alternative, look at some lousy, small market franchises that have drafted poorly--the woeful Nats and Pirates, the slightly-less woeful Royals as three obvious examples. They've drafted just as bad as the Cubs, but do not have the money to make up for those mistakes.

Some other winners from the last ten years (1st rounders only): Rangers: Carlos Pena (98), Mark Teixeira (01), John Danks (03) Orioles: Brian Roberts (99), Mike Fontenot (01), Nick Markakis (03) Mets: David Wright (01), Aaron Heilman (01), Scott Kazmir (02) Marlins: Josh Beckett (99), Adrian Gonzalez (00), Jeremy Hermida (02) Dodgers: James Loney (02), Chad Billingsley (03), Clayton Kershaw (06) Devil Rays: Josh Hamilton (99), Rocco Baldelli (00), BJ Upton (02), Delmon Young (03), Evan Longoria (06), David Price (07) Diamondbacks: Carlos Quentin (03), Conor Jackson (03), Stephen Drew (04), Justin Upton (05), Max Scherzer (06) Brewers: Ben Sheets (99), Prince Fielder (02), Rickie Weeks (03), Ryan Braun (05) Athletics: Mark Mulder (98), Barry Zito (99), Jeremy Bonderman (01), Nick Swisher (02), Mark Teahan (02), Huston Street (04) And stepping back a few years, how about the Mariners picks from 91 through 96? In successive years, they drafted Shawn Estes, Ron Villone, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek, Jose Cruz Jr., and Gil Meche; all solid major league contributors.

This really proves the crapshoot that is the draft. There are few teams who seem to do really really well, especially in landing 1st rounders (e.g. A's) but other than that a "good" team is lucky to get 3 major league contributors in 10 years. And that's the first round! During this same time the Cubs would have Corey Patterson (98) and Mark Prior (01), which would likely still put them ahead of many of the teams not on this list.

Not sure your point is accurate. Phils top picks: 1999: Brett Myers 2000: Chase Utley 2001: Gavin Floyd (terrible trade for Freddy Garcia, but still more productive in 2009 than any Cub pick) 2002: Cole Hamels 2003: Tim Moss (out of baseball) 2004: Greg Golson (up for cup of coffee last year, traded to Rangers for prospect John Mayberry Jr.) 2005: Mike Costanzo (part of trade for Brad Lidge) 2006-8: Kyle Drabek, Joe Savery and Anthony Hewitt (#5, 20 and 14 in BA's Phils top 30). Other than the fact that Hamels (their best pitcher), Utley (one of the best hitters in baseball) and Myers are 1st round picks and that Costanzo was used as part of the Lidge deal, I think you miss the point. The difference is that 1st round draft picks, in general, perform much better than any other round (as you would expect). So a team that produces good players from their top picks would have an easier time being successful than a top that does not. Or, more exactly, a team that fails with every top draft pick would not be expected to be good. Thus, I am saying that Hendry's work is impressive that we are good when the drafting has been so terrible.

tim moss f'n sucked...people are still trying to figure out how someone so good at division I baseball can suck so hard even at low-level minor league ball. he never came close to figuring it out. he wasn't something special, but he was a contact hitter who couldn't make decent contact once he became a pro.

"Could you have picked a worse example E-man?" Terrible example, I admit. ok, there have to be other examples of recent success stories without top draft choices or minor league blue-chips...

the Red Sox, particularly the 2004 version....

I've heard that if C. Fox makes it through camp healthy and feeling good, he gets a roster spot. His pitching this Spring has proven he can still get people out. The guy has a wicked slider. You can pitch him in Houston the opening series because the weather will be warm. I'd limit his innings in the chill of Chicago as long as I could. Also hear he's a good clubhouse guy, and likes working with the young pitchers. I look for him to have a roving instructor/scouting gig with the Cubbies when his playing days are over.

Again, the only way I think this is smart is if Harden starts the year on the DL. Otherwise, you're giving up on two of Patton, Guzman, and Gaudin with virtually zero possibility of getting them back. I agree that Fox has had a good spring and he can clearly get hitters out when healthy. But the fact that he's SUCH a risk to have a season-ending injury at any time, it's just not prudent at all to kick two of Patton, Guzman, and Gaudin to the curb just so Fox can pitch for, in all likelihood, a couple months at most.

Hey Rob, I have a question. Why do you hate Jeff Samardzija and puppies?

He doesn't hate them, he loves them. He said that with mango salsa they're both delicious.

Does this remind anyone else of when someone (can't remember her handle) fancied herself the expert of Maddux and came to his rescue whenever he was in danger of slander?

I believe the stalker's her name was "Jessica."

Ah yes. That was it. Thanks.

Good call. What happened to her? Also, I noticed there were suddenly 87 comments on this thread, and my first thought was someone had to be stirring shit up. Sure enough, Rob apparently hates Samardzija. Here's a potentially interesting tidbit from Samardzija's blog ( that might give us some insight into who "jakester" really is: "One last sweet piece of information, my new video game alias I'm hearing is Jake Sampson. I haven't played the game yet because we're on the road, but the new MLB 2K8 has me in it with the Cubs. My buddies are saying I'm in the minors, and have good quicks on the base paths. I like what I'm hearing. Though the hairstyle is up for debate at this point people are telling me. Guess the name Jeff Samardzija isn't too appealing these days to gamers. Jake Sampson does have a nice ring to it..." So, is "jakester" really Jeff Samardzija himself, using his video game alias? My guess is he's just a 14-year old who took a break from tweeting and found TCR, but it's an interesting idea...

I actually met her in person in 2007, while I was working in New York. I accidentally intercepted a NYC/Cubs fan get together for a game. She's nice, but very #31 centric. I believe she mentioned that she was scared off by the people here. If I recall, Chad was one of the people she singled out by name.

I think she had the poor misfortune of wandering into a Parachat or two. Good Lord, that would scare anyone, especially a female, especially when Chad's around. I don't know how TLFC and JAG can stand it.

Jessica:Chad::Rob:Samardzija Makes sense. Chad, stop scaring off readers.

Sun Times files chapter 11.

Sign him and put him on the juice!

Or at least see if he can hit left-handed.

I smell sitcom! Sheff and the Juice tag team crime fighters. Sheff is always angry and full of roid rage, The Juice just goes bonkers at the sight of an interracial couple. Together they're two bad mo-fos who you don't want to cross.

Juice was part of an interracial's intraracial couples he despises.

Geoff Jenkins (Phillies) and Jose Valentin (Mets) also released today. More I am sure will be coming.

lineup per mlb boxscore: Soriano, Fukudome, DLee, Hoffpauir (RF), ARam, Fontenot, Soto, Theriot, Marshall vs Adenhart (LAA)

My company just switched to Webwasher and TCR is now blocked. Anyone know of a good proxy or other method for getting around it?

Bastards! How did this happen??!

Oh no! My school uses Webwasher, so I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

(shrug) this came up on a google search

I'm sure "bypass webwasher" or "internet proxy" in google will get you some answers. Not something I have any experience with...

i may be late on this as i've been offline all day... but wittenmyer saying chad fox has been told he'll start the season in AAA also says lou not interested in risking losing gaudin or guzman to waiver claims apologies if this is stale info!!!

That is so Scott Eyre is broke

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 9 min ago (view)

    I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.

    But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 10 min ago (view)

    DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training. 


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 31 min ago (view)

    CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season. 

    Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.  


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series. 


  • Craig A. 11 hours 39 min ago (view)

    I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls. 


  • bradsbeard 15 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly. 


  • crunch 16 hours 25 min ago (view)

    cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.

    good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).


  • crunch 17 hours 1 min ago (view)

    ...or he won't make it out of the 8th

    0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches

    there's some great stuff in that arm.  mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless.  21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.


  • crunch 17 hours 7 min ago (view)



  • crunch 17 hours 11 min ago (view)

    rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.


  • Charlie 17 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).


  • crunch 17 hours 21 min ago (view)

    back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.

    he's not in the zone.  he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.


  • crunch 17 hours 21 min ago (view)

    alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.

    i wonder what role j.lester will be given.  if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all.  someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.


  • crunch 17 hours 25 min ago (view)

    dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.

    unfortunately, neither were near the plate.


  • Charlie 17 hours 27 min ago (view)

    So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.


  • crunch 17 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...