TCR Friday Notes

A somewhat-weekly tour of Cubs' related links...

- Reader Virginia Phil spotted that infielder Justin Sellers was now with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A quick peak at Baseball America shows that he was dealt for a player to be named later a few weeks back. Sellers along with Richie Robnett were acquired for Michael "2.35 ERA, Hasn't walked a guy in 7.2 IP" Wuertz over the offseason (I'll work on the nickname).

- Some video and amateur scouting of Cubs' prospects down in Peoria including Josh Vitters and Ryan Flaherty at The Hardball Times courtesy of Colin Wyers.

-  Harry at Cubs F/x graphs the loss of velocity over the last few seasons by Rich Harden. 

Reader "DougDascenzo" has started a petition to stop the "Luna Jingle" from playing at Wrigley Field. I had no idea what any of this was until the last 5 minutes of Google research, but apparently it's becoming quite the controversy. I'm all for grassroots movements,  so go sign the petition and then donate $250,000 to TCR so we can buy a part of the Cubs. You'll be a part of history.

- Speaking of controversy...there's the Milton Bradley drama. First, he goes to Lou and says he's not 100% and Lou says he won't play him until he is 100%. As reader "Real Neal" pointed out, Lou didn't have much problems playing Alfonso Soriano over parts of the last two years(or Rich Harden for that matter), so that don't smell right . That being said, Milton's injury looks like it has more of a chance of getting worse than Soriano's did with more playing time, so maybe there is something there. And to Soriano's credit he seemed to go all out on the leg, just with a limp while Bradley was clearly struggling to move on Wednesday night. Plus Lou may still be peeved that Bradley didn't just take the 2-day suspension and get it all over it. Also, part of that conversation was urging Milton to talk to the media.

So Milton then calls Carrie Muskat over and tells her that he doesn't want to talk to media. Hey, mission accomplished. Part of the story says the Cubs' media relation director Peter Chase encouraged him to talk to the media which I guess went something like this.

PC: Hey Milton, your not doing yourselves any favors by not talking to the press. They'll just turn the fans against you.

MB: But they ask really dumb questions and Sullivan smells funny. Plus they have a vendetta against me.

PC: Alright, go talk to Carrie Muskat. She'll reprint everything verbatim, walk your dog for you and babysit your kids later. She won't even mention the 1-23 streak your on.

MB: That's a she? Shit. Okay.

The rest of the beat writers, particularly Gordon Wittenmyer, take offense to the whole thing and there's still 5-6 months left of this season and 2-3 years on Bradley's contract and I'm already over the drama. We knew he wasn't going to play 162 games, I myself was hoping for 120-140, so put the guy on the DL already. He already said he's not close to being back and the Cubs need to make sure that third year option doesn't kick in automatically.

Enjoy the weekend!


I feel a bit bad about the cheap shot on Muskat in there but I couldn't resist.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

If Muskat reads TCR (or any other Cubs blogs for that matter), she 1. hasn't learned anything about sports writing from it, and 2. either has absurdly thick skin or is on a truck load of anti-depressants.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Musket or someone who seemed like they may have been pretending to be her posted a couple years ago when we were all calling her 'Muskrat'. She seems like a generally nice person, so the vitrol that gets thrown around here may be a turn-off for her.

[ ]

In reply to by The Joe

Hah that's funny. I always thought she came off as a person who can barely grasp the fundamentals of her profession in her mailbags. She gives some stupid fucking answers to some stupid fucking questions, but she is the one picking the questions...

The Cubs better be paying for the entire payroll with that jingle money. That's pure, concentrated obnoxious.

Here's a link to an article from Crain's Chicago Business about the Luna jingle:… Mattew Wszolek, the Cubs marketing director, somehow compares it to playing "Rubberband Man" every time Carlos Marmol comes into the game. Is he serious? This guy is a completely disingenuous slimeball with the way he's trying to spin this and make it sound like some sort of fun tradition at Wrigley. If anyone knows how to obtain his email address, or even just a generic Cubs email address that he might get, I'd love to send a formal complaint somewhere, since he thinks it's ok because only "the media and bloggers" have complained so far (never mind the fact they're the only ones with a voice to complain since the Cubs' website doesn't list his email address).

1. Sports journalists can eat a scrotum. Preferably not mine. Get over your fucking selves. 2. I am always in favor of Carrie Mustache jokes. That one was funny. 3. "First, he goes to Lou and says he's not 100% and Lou says he won't play him until he is 100%. As reader "Real Neal" pointed out, Lou didn't have much problems playing Alfonso Soriano over parts of the last two years, so that don't smell right..." Bradley goes out there an plays while still injured. Clearly he's favoring the injury and/or 'dogging' it. Lou says, "You're not playing until your 100%" "You play like shit when you're not 100%". I don't really see that as a contradiction with his handling of Soriano. Bradley is in no way helping the team by playing (in the field or with the bad). 4. The enemy is syphilis.

[ ]

In reply to by The Joe

Isn't a groin injury the thing that put Nomar down back several years ago? Clearly his injury was a different intensity, but still, it can't feel good. Either way, I think I'm willing to give Bradley the benefit of the doubt because 1. I think people are allowed to screw up and be given a fresh start, and 2. he played pretty hard in the Astros series and didn't "dog it". There's what? Over 130 games left this year? It's a long season, fellas, let's see Bradley bust out of this slump before we jump on the "that's just Bradley being Bradley" bandwagon. And I also don't mind him taking 3rd-pitch strikes sometimes. At least he makes opposing pitchers throw strikes: That's better than what some of these batters are doing.

Isn't a groin injury the thing that put Nomar down back several years ago? ---- Nomar tore the groin muscles off their attachment to the pelvis and they decided to surgically clean up the tissues (not often done except in really bad tears) whereas Bradley's injury is in the muscles further distal in the upper thigh and probably is a grade 1 injury. They are graded in a 1-3 scale, grade 1 means tissue injury without stretch. Grade 2 is with stretch but not separation. Grade 3 tear with a gap/separation. Groin strain means injury to the adductor muscles to be medically accurate. There are 3 including adductor longus, brevis and magnus. These are easy to re-injure and even grade one injuries can take 2-6 weeks to fully recover. The concerns and treatment are nearly identical to a pulled quadriceps or hamstring or calf (gastrocnemius) except for the differences related to the anatomic region. So in that context we've discussed this before wrt Soriano quite a bit (hamstrings, calf and quad).

"The concerns and treatment are nearly identical to a pulled quadriceps or hamstring or calf (gastrocnemius) except for the differences related to the anatomic region." Another head-scratcher for WTF DID THEY NOT DL HIM?! It is so early in the season. What possible benefit does he give to the team looking at strike three every AB? And, as MANNY indicated, according to CUBSTER'S post, can't he do more potential damage swinging at 95mph heaters?

[ ]

In reply to by The E-Man

I think they are either: 1. Scared if they put him on the DL, he will throw a fit that they are gipping him out of the option year being guarnteed. 2. They honestly feel that a hobbled Milton Bradley is a better pinch hitter than anyone down on the farm. 3. Or most sinister, they reliaze that they made one big ass mistake by signing him and hope that in one of pinch hitting apperences he finishes the job on the pulled groin muscle causing him to go on the DL long enough to unguarntee the 3rd year. 4. Either Jimbo or Lou are in our pre-season contest and have someone rather than Bradley as their first DL casulity and want to win enough to keep him active until somebody else goes on the DL, there by screwing over the pluraty of respondents who picked Bradley. They also likely had Shark as the first call to the farm candidate, which also explains the head scratching Waste 3.5 million to dump on effective (so far) reliever to call up our best SP prospect who needs to develop a 3rd pitch in AAA move.

I have been a proponent of Hendry's trades and FA/Manager signings, cir. 2007/2008 - but really, after reading AZ PHIL regularly, and this latest Bradley groin bullshit - the organization just does not seem to know what they are doing with regard to the ins and outs of roster management. It is really odd seeing as that the Cubs are perhaps the third most popular team in baseball, and their payroll is perhaps 4th.

can't he do more potential damage swinging at 95mph heaters? --- Nomar's injury was due to slipping about 2-3 steps out of the batters box as he accelerates after a swing. I recall it as an acute event and he just crumpled in obvious pain. I think that might be the most problematic area to worry about although it probably hurts to swing and miss (his expertise seems to be more in taking called strikes just out of the strike zone). Also rounding 2nd/3rd base could be an issue if he ever got that far...hasn't happened often enough to worry about that yet.

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

My memory was that it happened in the batter's box as he was driving to take his first step. If Mia Hamm was my wife, I would probably be on the DL constant with groin pulls as well. Can't really blame the guy.

I don't remember Soriano going 100%. I know he stopped stealing bases, and I think I recall him turning some doubles into singles and I remember Jacque busting his but to cover for him when Jacque was in center. *edit - dur.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

to me Soriano looked like he was pushing his leg as much as it could go, many times I thought to myself that I was worried he'd pull something again and should back off...

Bradley on the other hand seemed to obviously be protecting himself...and I'm not blaming him for it, but he was certainly being very cautious on Wednesday night.

it's probably just the nature of the injuries and I'm not really blaming Bradley, same when I could care less if Aramis runs out a grounder on a bad groin either.

but they should totally DL him so his 3rd year isn't automatic...

stream of consciousness...Bradley is a rare & delicate flower...Gallagher sent to Sacramento by the A's; they're due in Des Moines in about a month - if he's still there will be interesting to see if he can encore a game I saw him pitch in our ballpark just about a year ago; a real gem right before he came up as I recall...about 12 years ago Muskat's brother was our backyard neighbor here in DM; once helped him move in some new furniture - how 'bout that ol' circle of life, huh?

Who would have guessed that almost all of these offseason moves really sucked?

Rich Hill pitching tonight in Frederick, MD. From Roch Kubatko (an Oriole writer/blogger) yesterday:
If you're curious about seeing Rich Hill on a mound, facing live hitters, in an actual game setting, without palm trees in the distance, you can drive to Harry Grove Stadium tomorrow and check him out. Hill will oppose the Potomac Nationals at 7 p.m. in his first injury rehab start. The Orioles have him on a 60-65 pitch count. Here's hoping it takes more than one or two innings to reach it. Hill was the MVP of the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2006. The Orioles would settle for having him occupy a spot in the backend of their rotation. Over the last two seasons, the Keys have made room in their clubhouse for Miguel Tejada, Chris Ray and Steve Trachsel during rehab stints. And to answer a reader's question from yesterday, a corresponding roster move isn't required when a major league player is added. The Keys will be one over the limit for the one night that Hill pitches.
Hill managed not to throw a single pitch in a game in spring training. This is really his Oriole debut. I expect he'll be wild. If not, then that Dunn-Kranitz medicine really does work.

My wife had a great idea. She isn't a baseball fan but was appalled that a mother and father with the last name of "Bradley" would name their son Milton. She said, "who would do such a thing? No wonder he's angry. Why doesn't he just change his name? He'll feel a lot better." Most in-game comments have to do with things like uniform fashion and hair styles (Samardzija -- "please tell me that's not a mullet") so this is actually pretty good stuff. I think that could make a great contest. Milton Bradley's new name.

Nice interview I have to say. I`m happy to be reading your web page now and I tried for the whole day to post a comment and I`m gland I finally managed. While I was going to a chevy trucks shop I manage to assist at this interview you posted above and I wanted to share with you this feeling. You don`t have this chance many times in a life.

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