BJ Bookends Not So Subtle Hints
The street that runs behind the right-center field wall of Principal Park in Des Moines is no Sheffield Avenue. Ballhawks do not roost there nor are there rooftops from which knotholers eavesdrop on the ballgames. Beyond it runs the Des Moines River which has been known occasionally to swell up and invade the playing field.
Yesterday I stood near an exit ramp inside the ballpark in the bottom of the 8th inning, waiting for Brett Jackson’s last at-bat of the day before making for the parking lot. When he stroked what was clearly bound to be his second homer of the day I decided to amble out toward the approximate landing area and see what I might find. When I got there a young girl was bouncing a baseball on the pavement. Next to her was a man I presumed to be her father. He was talking on his cellphone, trying, he said, to fetch her brother, who was still inside. Nobody else was around.
“Is that the ball that just flew over the fence,” I asked. She nodded.
“Hang onto it,” I said. “The guy who hit it might be somebody someday,” a possibility lost on most of the crowds at PP where Jackson’s name booming over the PA elicits none of the rippling that accompanied the intros of past phenoms like Patterson and Pie. The man and the girl looked at one another and smiled.
In between homers [the other coming on the second pitch in the bottom of the first] Jackson tried to bunt a few times without succeeding even to the point of drawing in Sacramento’s third baseman, Kevin Kouzmanoff. He also drew a walk on a full count; as good to see, maybe, as the long balls. I was hoping it might be prelude to a stolen base attempt but DJ LeMahieu’s at-bat didn’t last long enough to allow for that. BJ & DJ at the top of the lineup; another possible prelude?
Afield, Jackson had only one chance, gliding back and to his right to make routine work of a well-hit drive to left-center. Both LeMahieu at 3B and Ryan Flaherty at 2B turned in sparkling plays. The former is rangy at the hot corner. The latter has a nice wide base defensively but needs to get his Triple A batting average north of .200.
He’s listed at 6’2”, but Jackson is actually built more along the lines of Lenny Dykstra. He has made himself right at home in the pitching-poor PCL, swatting seven homers in just 24 games but fanning twice as often as he walks. His days in Des Moines are numbered. May the ones he spends in Chicago be countless.
Charlie 7 min 27 sec ago (view)
Frazier beat him on an inside corner two-seamer (albeit belt high), but the Hayes homer came on an 0-2 meatball. Not very professorial.
crunch 14 min 45 sec ago (view)
hendricks starts the game giving up back to back homers. wtf...
crunch 2 hours 43 min ago (view)
happ / rizzo / contreras / schwarber(DH) / maybin(LF) / heyward / baez / kipnis / bote
George Altman 3 hours 59 min ago (view)
Let's hope so. It would be great next year to NOT have to 'piece together a bullpen'.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 20 min ago (view)
DJL: I think that if Lester, Chatwood, Quintana, Jeffress, and Chafin leave via free-agency and do not return or are not replaced by at least one veteran MLB FA SP, the default Cubs 2021 Opening Day pitching staff will be Darvish, Hendricks, Mills (out of options), Alzolay (could be out of options - TBD), and either Rea, T. Miller, Steele, Abbott, Marquez, or D.
Arizona Phil 5 hours 14 min ago (view)
I understand that any team can win a three-game series, but if I'm a division winner I'd want to be the #3 seed rather than the #2 seed in both the A. L. and the N. L., because I would rather face the worst second place team (Houston in the A. L. and probably Miami or Philadelphia in N. L.) than the best wild card team (Cleveland in the A. L. and probably Cincinnati or Milwaukee in the N.L.).
Hagsag 13 hours 17 min ago (view)
Maybe, if he makes the roster!
Charlie 18 hours 50 min ago (view)
Jose Martinez is going to hit some big post season homerun, isn't he?
Cubster 21 hours 37 min ago (view)
Is the Chafin experiment over yet?
crunch 21 hours 45 min ago (view)
well that sucked.
even with the loss the cubs officially clinched a playoff slot tonight, though.
crunch 21 hours 53 min ago (view)
oh, it's totally the hitters unless the coach is forcing guys into trying ill advised changes...which is doubtful to the point of obsurdity for this many slumping hitters.
it's just that a near team-wide hitting outage with no one getting "fixed" isn't a good look for a hitting coach.
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 4 min ago (view)
How many hitting coaches would that be over the past five years?
At a certain point maybe it's just the hitters? I love the current group but we've been burning through hitting coaches recently
crunch 22 hours 32 min ago (view)
anthony iapoce might want to start updating his resume...
i'm not saying it's his fault, but it doesn't seem like much is going right with the bats and it's getting worse over time.
Dolorous Jon Lester 23 hours 52 min ago (view)
I look at the 8 man pen for next year and would assume 6 RHP 2 LHP. The LHP would currently be two of Ryan, Wieck, and Steele (and I guess Osich but I suspect he's non-tendered).
The 6 RHP would be from Kimbrel, Wick, Tepera, Adam, Underwood, Alzolay, Winkler, Rea (and potentially others). I feel like they're only keeping one of Tepera/ Winkler for final arb year. Tough to say which is better value at this point.
crunch 1 day 11 min ago (view)
im impressed tepera has "only" given up 2hr in 19.2ip, but i wouldn't hold out on that holding up. also, his control is sketchy as ever...
he's got promising stuff, but at age 33 (few weeks from now) what more does he have to learn/show?
it would probably cost the cubs 1.5m or so to keep him around (900K this year). they liked something about him to pick him up, but who knows where that's at now...
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Two Cubs reached significant milestones today:
1. OF Jason Heyward now has "10/5 no trade" rights and so he cannot be traded without his consent (he had a partial "no trade" the past couple of seasons);