TAWL Drills

In a recent Paul Sullivan , Cubs new GM Jed Hoyer was asked what are the greatest needs short term to fix the roster. Hoyer said, "It's no secret we need to get some depth in the rotation. Depth in pitching hurt the team last year." To complete the quote: "We have to find a way to improve the defense, and we probably need to find a little more athleticism on the bases." Improving the defense, of course, will help the pitching (which might be as simple as including more pfp/pitcher fielding practice for Matt Garza).

We all recall the 2011 season started with significant pitching injuries to the starting staff. After one week the Cubs lost their number 4 and 5 starters.

Where is this leading? just ranked the NL Central using their metric for team/player injuries called T.A.W.L (Total Adjusted WARP Lost). More after the jump...

Andrew Cashner was lost for most of the season due to a rotator cuff strain. On April 5th, Cashner was into the 6th inning of his first start when his shoulder pulled up lame. He had given up only 2 hits including a solo HR and the Cubs were leading 4-1 when his season flashed before his eyes (the bullpen coughed up that lead although the Cubs eventually won 6-5). He rehabbed and
tried to return in about 6 weeks but in mid-May. Finally, manager Quade was allowed to use "Cash" in a few relief outing in September.  Certainly, this makes everyone question whether Cashner would fit in better as a starter vs. near the end of the bullpen for 2012.

Randy Wells going on the DL was a surprise since he didn't seem injured during his first outing on April 4th. Wells went on the DL almost simultaneously with Cashner, due to a recognized sometime after his start. Apparently he felt a "twinge" in his last start in spring training but his first start, a 6 inning, one run 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks, did his arm in. He returned on May 28th, almost 8 weeks later. He was never the same, excluding his first start his season totaled 129 IP and an ERA over 5.

This unhealthy start probably sealed the 2011 Cubs fate. So when I read a recent on the Cubs being one of the healthiest teams in MLB baseball for 2011, I scratched my head (medically speaking, I hope it's not ).

The loveable Cubbies may not have performed the best on the field, but they did awfully well in the athletic training room. Losing only 2.28 WARP due to injuries, they also did very well in the number of injuries and days lost, ranking first or second in both categories. This proves that they didn’t lose significant production from their injuries, and there weren’t many injuries to start with.

Say "ah" to medical sabermetrics:

Total Adjusted WARP Lost (TAWL): 2.28
Number of DL trips (Days): 11 (411)
Number of DL & DTD trips (Days): 28 (451)

I'm not quite sure I've got the TAWL drill down, so I'm hopeful our readers can help me understand how this works as well as the flaws in their methodology. For example, I'm not sure current sabermetrics takes into account when a player does poorly (Randy Wells) after coming back from an injury using WARP alone. Here is the raw data from , with the Cubs Pitchers here:

PLAYER             2011 Team Games Missed            Adjusted WARP Lost

Cashner                    135                                               0.1191 (10% pitchers, 5.2% team)

Mateo                        76                                               -0.0330

Wells                         44                                                0.3843 (32.2% pitchers, 16.7% team)

Wood                         32                                               0.1139 (9.5% pitchers, 5% team)

Garza                         17                                               0.3045 (25.5% pitchers, 13.2% team)

Zambrano                   12                                               0.1674 (14% pitchers, 7.2% team)

Dempster                     9                                               0.1372 (11.5% pitchers, 6% team)

Cub pitchers, as the Wells and Cashner injuries would make one expect, had a lower overall league finish at 12th in TAWL. I'm unsure why Wells 6 week injury was 32% of the Team pitching TAWL and Cashner's entire season loss was only 10%.  Additional contributors included Garza with a bruised elbow plus Dempster and Z missed some starts with some low back issues and Wood had his annual blister DL stint.

Again, I'm not sure what this critically means as games missed for a starting pitcher isn't as useful as starts missed and Adjusted WARP Lost seems confusing to me with Cashner missing the entire season gets 0.12, Wells 6 weeks gets 0.38. Relief pitchers opens up additional questions and certainly should be getting some adjustments compared to starters. A negative number for Mateo means his injury helped the team? Maybe. How low can it go? It would have taken an injury to "Dud" Davis to find out. Can these stats be useful regarding league comparisons and rankings? Not until some of the above questions are cleared up.

I was in Boston to see Marlon Byrd get in the face. That was truly a scary moment and it did affect the team health stats as he missed 39 games which accounted for the biggest individual non-pitcher loss of TAWL (total adjusted WARP lost) for the Cubs at 20%. In comparison, next most for the Cub hitters was Geo Soto's groin strain which accounted for 8% of the TAWL. In sum, according to the BP author, the Cub hitters finished 4th in TAWL. Here's a to BP's raw data for hitters.

PLAYER             2011 Team Games Missed            Adjusted WARP Lost

Byrd                          39                                               0.4802 (43.4% hitters, 20.9% team)

Soto                          17                                               0.2014 (18.2% hitters, 8.7% team)

ARam                          9                                                0.0927 (8.4% hitters, 4.0% team)

Reed Johnson             19                                                0.0782 (7.1% hitters, 3.4% team)

Soriano                      15                                                0.0731 (6.6% hitters, 3.1% team)

Baker                         18                                               0.0609 (5.5% hitters, 2.6% team)

Barney                        15                                              0.0486 (4.4% hitters, 2.1% team)

Fukudome                    4                                               0.0443 (4.0% hitters, 1.9% team)

Pena                            2                                               0.0253 (2.3% hitters, 1.1% team)

Here are the overall . The Cubs ranked 6th behind the leading Astros, next the Royals, Tigers and Diamondbacks. The bottom ranks from each league were the Mets at 29 and Twins at 30.

Sabermetrically speaking, it sure seems like this is a work in progress. It didn't need much numerical analysis to see that Cashner and Wells replacements (Doug Davis, Casey Coleman, Rodrigo Lopez and Ramon Ortiz) added up to Jed Hoyer's quick analysis that a lack of pitching depth hurt the team in 2011.


Oh fine , today u decide to write something. :) Nice article

Sorry I'm such a writing slug. It was nice to see all the support for TCR in the last thread. I guess your lament over the web software and advertising issues motivated me to kick it into gear (plus not being on call this weekend helped too). Go TCR!

Completely undirected at anyone. Perhaps you guys could hire a doctor to write for TCR. Then after few months to a year, ask him to entirely fund the website with he amassed wealth. All doctors are rich, right?

The last time I drove through an employee parking garage at a hospital I was amazed at how few nice cars I saw. They were mostly practical cars like Hondas and Hyundais and Toyotas because so many doctors are fighting insurance agencies for every penny, when they're not getting sued by lawyers lurking over every misdiagnosis, and paying off $200,000 student loans. So, good luck with that.

The majority of employees at a hospital are not doctors. Just saying...

If the current macro trends in healthcare continue, in about 5 years, the majority of doctors will be hospital employees.

I assume BP is using the projected values for WARP, not the actual ones. I don't subscribe any more, but this link has some projected stats: http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/02... It has Cashner projected at 4.75 ERA, and only 11 starts so over the course of the season, he would only accumulate maybe .4 WARP of value, that's why his total value is so low (starter ERA being worth a bit more than reliever ERA all else being equal) Wells was forecasted for 4.71 ERA, but over 26 starts, so maybe he was a 1.3 WARP player, who lost a quarter of his year. That's my best guess. It also explains the negative value for Mateo. It would be nice if they explained it though. I think the Cubs fans and Hendry were much more bullish on Cashner (and rightfully so). They projected a 4.15 ERA for Garza, and he did much better than that.

Thanks TRN. It looks from the CCO link that BP did project Cashner to 11 starts. I guess they felt he wouldn't hold up or expected Silva would be the 5th starter when they made their projections. Course they really missed the Diamondbacks (Giants), Brewers (Reds) and Tigers (Twins). Most of their division winners were the same from 2010. Stat projection only goes so far no matter how much fun it is. I do really like looking back at this stuff though.

Astros signed OF Brad Snyder to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

He'll hit .480 with 89 hr's and make that Garza trade look awful. Oh wait...

Boston Globe Peter Abraham says the front runners for manager jobs are... BoSox: Sveum Cubs: Maddux http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/... Boston future-scanners don't go as far as the Mississippi.

I'm confused, Levine says that Alomar may be the frontrunner.

Maybe the Boston future-scanners got to downtown St. Louis, assumed it had been abandoned, and retreated.

StL Bernie Miklasz on the Cards managerial candidates, Matheny is his frontrunner:
RYNE SANDBERG Plusses • Instant credibility in the clubhouse. A Hall of Fame player who refused to take a short-cut to a big-league job, he headed to the minors to learn how to be a coach and a manager. That's honorable and admirable. Players who played for him in the minors say Sandberg runs a good game and knows how to deal with players. Cubs fans would hate this. Questions • OK, if Sandberg is such a marvelous candidate, then why have the Cubs declined to hire him in their last two manager searches? Sandberg does have a quirky personality. He doesn't know Cardinals players and isn't familiar with the St. Louis minor-league system and the people who run it. Would Cards fans accept a Cubs legend as the new boss? Why he'd get the job • Is ready after a diligent apprenticeship and would bring star power and Hall of Fame cachet to the assignment. Why he wouldn't • Lacks a working knowledge of the Cardinals.

Sandberg has a "quirky personality"? Isn't he generally considered to be exceptionally bland?

he's no george brett...who is weirder than most give him credit for. i blame his sensible haircut and work ethic.

CUBSTER: Because 11/20/2011 falls on a Sunday, all reserve lists (MLB & minor league) must be submitted by close of business on Saturday (11/19). No players eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft can be traded or added to a 40-man roster from the time reserve lists are submitted up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) cannot be outrighted to the minors beginning two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft until the conclusion of the draft.

CSN's Patrick Mooney has a new article up with everything everyone else has said. http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

Updated Cubs roster info: CHICAGO CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER 33 players (seven slots are open) * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS (18): Alberto Cabrera Esmailin Caridad Chris Carpenter Andrew Cashner Casey Coleman Ryan Dempster Rafael Dolis Matt Garza * John Gaub * Scott Maine Carlos Marmol * Sean Marshall Marcos Mateo * James Russell Jeff Samardzija Kyle Smit Randy Wells Carlos Zambrano OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS: Samardzija ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE: Garza and Wells “NO-TRADE” RIGHTS: Dempster and Zambrano CATCHERS (4): Welington Castillo * Steve Clevenger # Koyie Hill Geovany Soto OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS: Soto ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE: Hill and Soto INFIELDERS (6): Jeff Baker Darwin Barney Starlin Castro * Blake DeWitt * Bryan LaHair D. J. LeMahieu OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS: LaHair ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE: Baker and DeWitt OUTFIELDERS (5): Marlon Byrd * Tony Campana * Tyler Colvin Lou Montanez Alfonso Soriano “NO TRADE” RIGHTS: Soriano ================================== ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENT: * John Grabow, P Reed Johnson, OF Rodrigo Lopez, P Ramon Ortiz, P * Carlos Pena, 1B (Type “B”) Aramis Ramirez, 3B (Type “B”) Kerry Wood, P (Type “B”) NOTES: 1. A club must offer salary arbitration to a Type "A" or Type "B" Article XX-B FA on 11/23 in order to receive compensatory draft pick(s) if the player signs with another MLB club. 2. An Article XX-B MLB FA who is offered salary arbitration has until 11/30 to accept the offer. 3. If an Article XX-B MLB FA is offered arbitration and accepts, the player must be immediately placed back on the club's MLB 40-man roster. ============================ SIGNED FOR 2012: + Has "NO TRADE" rights + Alfonso Soriano ($18M) + Carlos Zambrano ($18M) + Ryan Dempster ($15.5M - includes $1.5M deferred from 2010 salary) carlos Marmol ($7M) Marlon Byrd ($6.5M) Carlos Pena (FA post-2011 - $5M deferred from 2011 salary) Sean Marshall ($3.1M) Carlos Silva (RELEASED - $2M 2012 buy-out) SUB-TOTAL: $75M NOTE: If an unsigned player on a 40-man roster (either arbitration-eligible or auto-renewal) is not tendered a contract on 12/2, the player automatically is a free-agent, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player signs elsewhere. ELIGIBLE FOR SALARY ARBITRATION Jeff Baker ($1.5M?) Blake DeWitt ($1M?) Matt Garza ($9M?) Koyie Hill ($1M?) Geovany Soto ($5M?) Randy Wells ($2.5M?) ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $20M AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION): Darwin Barney Alberto Cabrera Tony Campana Esmailin Caridad Chris Carpenter Andrew Cashner Welington Castillo Starlin Castro Steve Clevenger Casey Coleman Tyler Colvin Rafael Dolis John Gaub Rryan LaHair D. J. LeMahieu Scott Maine Marcos Mateo Luis Montanez James Russell Jeff Samardzija ($2.4M?) Kyle Smit ESTIMATED SUB-TOTAL: $9M (includes estimated $2.4M salary for Samardzija, an average $450K 2011 salary for the other auto-renewal players on the MLB 25-man roster, and an average $75K minor league “split“ salary for players on Optional Assignment to minors). ESTIMATED TOTAL 2012 PAYROLL $104M 2012 CUBS MLB PAYROLL BUDGET: $???M (2011 Cubs MLB payroll budget was apparently around $130M) ============================= MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS: ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Brad Snyder, OF (signed with HOU) RULE 55 SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA: Justin Berg, RHP Marco Carrillo, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Dylan Johnston, RHP Mario Mercedes, C Scott Moore, INF Chris Robinson, C Carlton Smith, RHP Alvaro Sosa, RHP Jeff Stevens, RHP John Urick, 1B (player-coach) RULE 55 PREVIOUSLY RELEASED MINOR LEAGUE FA: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (previously released by SEA) Robert Coello, RHP (previously released by CIN) ============================ ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2011 RULE 5 DRAFT: Abner Abreu, OF Jim Adduci, OF (6YFA - re-signed) Jeffry Antigua, LHP Adrian Aviles, LHP (ex-OF) Jeff Beliveau, LHP Dan Berlind, RHP Smaily Borges, OF (player-coach) Michael Brenly, C Justin Bristow, RHP Michael Burgess, OF Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF) David Cales, RHP Matt Camp, IF-OF (RESTRICTED LIST - see NOTE below) Hung-Wen Chen, RHP Manolin DeLeon, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF (player-coach) Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF Luis Flores, C (RESTRICTED LIST - see NOTE below) Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OF Miguel Gonzalez, C (player-coach) Yohan Gonzalez, RHP Gian Guzman, INF-RHP (player-coach) Marcus Hatley, RHP Jay Jackson, RHP Junior Lake, INF Blake Lalli, C-1B Jordan Latham, RHP David Macias, IF-OF Oswaldo Martinez, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF (6YFA - re-signed) Craig Muschko, RHP Jon Nagel, RHP Jake Opitz, INF Blake Parker, RHP Nelson Perez, OF Ramon Reyes, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Rebel Ridling, 1B-OF Carlos Romero, C Nate Samson, INF Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Marquez Smith, 3B-2B Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF) Larry Suarez, RHP Matt Szczur, OF Jose Tineo, RHP Josh Vitters, 3B-1B Ty Wright, OF NOTES: 1. A player on this list is not eligible for selection in Rule 5 Draft if added to an MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. 2. A free-agent signed to a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection. 3. A player on the RESTRICTED LIST is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft.

When Hendry was GM, a post like this was reason alone for making sure TCR stayed alive, since Hendry probably relied on them to keep track of his players. With the Theoregime, presumably they have their own tracking mechanism?

Maybe the Theoregime hires AZPhil?

AZ Phil: Have the Cubs officially exercised their buyout for 2012 on Silva? Seems obvious but I haven't seen that as a transaction.

Sat, 11/12/2011 - 6:15pm — CubsterNew AZ Phil: Have the Cubs officially exercised their buyout for 2012 on Silva? Seems obvious but I haven't seen that as a transaction. ================ CUBSTER: The Cubs were automatically on the hook for Silva's 2012 $2M buy-out when they released him last spring, but they do not have to actually pay him the $2M until January 2012.

ESPN's Jon Greenberg says Maddux and Alomar are the frontrunners:
The only thing I'm sure about right now is that if the Cubs choose between Maddux and Alomar, they will win. It's turning into quite a winning streak for a 91-loss team.

Alomar has absolutely no charisma. Probably not much of a factor, just an observation.

and you know this because you've met him in person and spent time with him??

I think that's something you can pick up on from an interview or two. He's struck me the same way, but I wouldn't be 100% certain about it. Charisma is a good attribute for any manager. The thing that worries me a little more about him is how shady his brother seems to have turned out.

Alomar does seem a little dull in all the interviews I've ever seen him give. But sometimes the quiet ones are the axe murderers, so you never know.

AZ Phil: Doesn't the 40 man roster have to be set by next Friday, Nov 18th, with regard to who gets protected from the rule 5 draft? Even with only 33 on it right now there are several who could be easily dropped. Hill, Caridad, Smit and Montanez come to mind. Here are some deadlines I found: NOV. 18, 2011 Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels. and just before the Winter meetings (Dec5-8) --- DEC. 1, 2011 Last day to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft --- DEC. 5, 2011 5 p.m. ET is last time to outright a player prior to the Rule 5 Draft Also next week is a bunch of awards: Rookie, Manager, Cy Young. Nov 21-22 is MVP's. AL seems to go a day before NL on most of these. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dat...

via rotowurld... Carlos Zambrano yielded three runs over six innings Saturday in the Venezuelan Winter League. Big Z struck out five but walked two batters

Carrie Muskat to privately work out Yoenis Cespedes, oops... she will watch the Cubs privately work him out...then they will all go eat BBQ ribs. http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/13/1112-cub...

Right now the guy is only a four-tool outfielder. 33 HR's with only a .333 batting average in Cuba probably means he will struggle a lot with contact facing AAA and MLB pitchers. I wonder what you get to see in a "private workout". Seems like watching him play against real competition is more important. Fun way to kill a weekend for the Cubs scouts and execs, though.

I don't think they should hand a big contract to a guy with no MLB experience and whose name sounds like the name of an insect.

I could see it as a placation move for not signing Fielder. Darvish seems like a better (though more expensive) risk, if they are going to go for non-MLB player.

There's going to be a lot of competition to sign him, so our odds are slim. A guy like that is going with the highest offer, period. Also, the early scouting reports on him were that he would likely hit under .250 at first and maybe, maybe hit .270 later in his career. I know OBPS is the most important stat(s), but making contact is also extremely important. I'm not crazy about handing out $30 mil or more to a guy who has never played in the minors or majors, and who can't make consistent contact compared to the other 750 mlb players.

Daisuke didn't turn out like a lot of people thought he would (although he did have one pretty nice season). I'll be surprised if Theo lands an overseas guy as one of his first moves with a team that is still reeling from bad contracts. I really only just don't like his name. It gives me the creeps.

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 6:49am — The Real Neal Right now the guy is only a four-tool outfielder. 33 HR's with only a .333 batting average in Cuba probably means he will struggle a lot with contact facing AAA and MLB pitchers. I wonder what you get to see in a "private workout". Seems like watching him play against real competition is more important. Fun way to kill a weekend for the Cubs scouts and execs, though. ====================== TRN: No MLB clubs have spent more money to sign Cuban defectors over the past three or four years than the Cubs (pre-Epstein) and the Red Sox (while Epstein was there), including several big bonus deals. Just over the past two years alone the Cubs signed (among others) OF-2B Rubi Silva ($1M signing bonus), C Yaniel Cabezas ($500K bonus), LHP Frank Del Valle ($350K bonus), and RHP Juan Yasser Serrano ($250K bonus), and the Sox signed SS Jose Iglesias ($6M signing bonus and a four-year $2.4M major league contract), OF Juan Carlos Linares ($750K bonus), C Adalberto Ibarra ($750K bonus), and 1B-Of Jorge Padron ($350K bonus). So I would be VERY surprised if the Cubs do not go hard after Cespedes. (And FWIW, Cespedes' first name was spelled Yoennis throughout his career in Cuba). BTW, Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league) is considered by MLB scouts as approximately equivalent to Hi-A (like Daytona).

Phil, Any idea if we they worked out these other guys in the these private sessions, or is that an honor just reserved for guys who want $30+ million?

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 6:53pm — The Real Neal Phil, Any idea if we they worked out these other guys in the these private sessions, or is that an honor just reserved for guys who want $30+ million? ============================== TRN: The Cubs worked-out all of their previous Cuban signees (and a few they did not sign) in private workouts at their Dominican Academy. Oneri Fleita is considered to be the #1 most Cuban-connected scouting & minor league exec around and Theo has shown a lot of interest in mining Cuba, too, so I would not be at all surprised if the Cubs sign Cespedes. In fact, with Oneri & Theo now operating together on the same team, I would be surprised if the Cubs don't sign Cespedes. If the Cubs do sign Cespedes, I would expect it to be to a major league contract with the money spread over several years. Given his age and experience, he would probably start out at AA, and then see what develops, no matter where he signs. And FWIW, Cespedes will get four minor league options if he signs a major league contract.

Thanks as always for the info. That's an awful lot of money for a guy who's going to have to start in AA. A similar argument could be made to say we'll get in on Darvish as well.

Right? $30M for a "26" year old who hit 33 bombs in hi-A? Pass.

New Yahoo article says Marlins aren't going to draw anyone to the new park, and some MLB sources agree. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=ArcLGV9...

Actually it says they'll draw 30,000 a game next year, and that unless they are a consistent winner, those numbers will drop. The problem before, was even when they were winners, people wouldn't come to the ballpark. Now, in theory, they can afford to keep their better players, if they win. Can anyone make sense of this bit? Since 2001, 11 MLB teams have moved into new stadiums. In the first year, eight increased payroll over the previous season, and the three that didn’t dropped less than 5 percent. By Year 3, five of 10 teams lowered payroll from the year before. In Year 4, it was four out of seven, and the three that increased payroll did so by less than 4 percent. Editor and Passan should be cattle prodded for writing and not correcting, whatever that is supposed to mean.

Florida could afford better players before, but decided not too and pocket a lot of profit though. I don't really see how that's gonna change. That paragraph is awful, but just seems like in general teams who get new stadiums promise more payroll but give up after a few years and revert back to their old ways for whatever reason.

Actually it says they'll draw 30,000 a game next year.. --- No, it doesn't say that. "The idea that the Marlins will suddenly pack the stadium with 30,000 fans a night beyond the honeymoon period of 2012 is laughable. Chances are they won’t even reach 30,000 a night this season..." And: "The Marlins, remember, averaged 16,089 fans per game in 2003, when they won the World Series. Attendance has held steady at an official 18,000 or so the last three years, a number so inflated Goodyear ought to sponsor its announcement every night." And: "...unless people from Broward and Palm Beach counties really want to travel to Little Havana through brutal traffic – and all indications are they don’t – the Marlins are going to be exactly where they were: sunk by an indifferent fan base and ownership that carries itself like it knows what it’s doing. “Who takes them seriously?” said one source familiar with the Marlins’ operations. “They’re not going to draw. That’s going to be a disaster." Maybe TRN needs a class in reading comprehension.

Teams do better the year after they win a World Series, especially when you have a team that has to go .nuts to make the playoffs. This is a historical fact, it cannot be argued. The 2003 Marlins drew about 30K a game, after school was back in session in the last week of the 2003 season. Why is that? Because they were winning. Now, what will happen if they have A. Win, B. Have a ballpark where the fans don't get rained on half the time and C have the financial resources to hang on to their players and build some fan loyalty? In the late 90's, the Astros were the dominant team in the NL Central, but finished with middling attendance. Then what happened? They opened up a new ballpark, finished 4th place, but drew 3 million fans. Then they continued to draw 3 million fans just about every year until 2009 when the fans realized the team was shit. In 2000 the Brewers won 73 games, and drew 1,573,621 fans. Then the next year they won 75 games and drew 2,811,041 fans. Then they began to get bad again and the team dropped down to 2,211,023, which is still 700K a year more than they had at their old shitty ballpark. Then they got good and now they draw 3 million fans. If you build a new ballpark, and put a good product on the field. Fans will come. There are no examples of this not happening. Zero, none. Let me know if you still don't understand, and I'll be happy to elaborate.

I don't understand. Please elaborate.

Fans do not like to go to games that may get rained out, and sit in uncomforatable seats in 90 degree heat and 95% humidity heat while feeding swarms of mosquitoes to get a very distant view of the action. If you correct those things, and put a team that has a pretty good chance of winning on the field, fans will come.

They've won the World Series twice and had nobody show up. That throws out your theory. Meanwhile, Tampa has a dome, isn't affected by the elements, and nobody shows up. That throws out your theory as well. Florida does not support pro baseball. Both teams should be relocated or contracted.

I have the evidience that the Marlins fans drew 245K more fans in 2004 than they did last year, and the Rays drew 480K more fans after they went to the World Series than their last place team drew are indifferent to baseball. Things like winning, park ammenities, and ownership commitment, that have worked in Chicago and Philadelphia and Cleveland and Milwaukee have no bearing in Florida. It's a magical place.

I have evidence that TB and Miami have been among the worst drawing teams during their entire existence. Period. Let's think about who lives there. Senior citizens who cannot afford to go to games. Illegal immigrants who cannot afford to go to games. Legal immigrants who cannot afford to go to games. That's a giant portion of the population, and in a state that doesn't have gigantic numbers of citizens like California. Who goes to all of the Spring Training games for the teams that train in Florida? Tourists. Mostly tourists. The locals do not support their teams, other than college football, who only has 5 home games per season, and get half of their attendance from the current students. The Florida Panthers hockey team has had attendance problems their entire existence. The Miami Heat have had major attendance problems every year of their existence. The Orlando Magic have had major attendance problems every year of their existence. Same for TB Rays. Same for Miami Marlins. Pro sports teams struggle for fans in Florida, period.

You can come up with all the theories you want, but even winning hasn't fixed the attendance problems for those franchises. TB/Miami/Panthers/Magic/Heat have been there almost 20 years now, and they all struggle to draw fans, all among the bottom ranked attendance in their own sports.

So many just wrong things. How do you get on to TCR without access to the internet? The state of Florida has the fourth highest population in the country it's in (it's called The United States of America). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._sta... Miami Heat 2010-2011 Arena: American Airlines Arena ▪ Attendance: 810,930 (4th of 30) Miami Heat 2005-2006 Arena: American Airlines Arena ▪ Attendance: 818,149 (4th of 30) Orlando Magic 2010-2011 Arena: Amway Center ▪ Attendance: 777,852 (9th of 30) 2007 Tampa Bay Bucs attendance 99.5% 65K plus per game Chicago Bears - a shitty sports town, obviously where fans don't follow their teams 92.9 62K plus per game http://espn.go.com/nfl/attendance/_/year/2007 2008 Miami Dolphins 65K + per game, again, more than the Bears. I am not going to bother looking up the Panthers. You may well be right, but it's not relevant. You're like the Jim Hendry of arguments. You think throwing more bad info on top of your orginal bad info is going to save it.

How were the cherries?

*golf clap*

Two notes about this: 1. Soldier Field has the lowest capacity in the NFL, so the number-to-number comparisons don't work, particularly the one to Miami. And I don't know where that 92 percent comes from; Bears games are always sold out and are never blacked out. 2. I don't know why 2007 stats are relevant, and I don't know/care to look up the Bucs' current attendance, but my parents live in that area and my dad told me not long ago that Bucs' home games have been blacked out for a while because they don't sell out.

I changed my mind and looked it up (source is ESPN http://espn.go.com/nfl/attendance): 2011 Bears - 62K-plus, 101.2 pct. Tampa - 54K-plus, 83.2 pct. Miami - 59K-plus, 79.4 pct. 2010 Bears - 62K-plus, 101.1 pct. Tampa - 49K-plus, 75.1 pct. Miami - 67K-plus, 90.1 The 92.9 percent for the Bears in 2007 was correct. Interesting, since they've been over 100 percent since. And Tampa was 99.5 percent. No data listed for Miami.

Because one contentions he was pushing was that the fans never go to any sporting events, regardless of how good the teams are. When in fact, they seem to be bandwagon fans, just like 80% of the people in the USA.

But what happens when a team with a new stadium just hires cronies?

But what happens when a team with a new stadium just hires cronies? --- The surplus can be ushers.

Reyes a Marlin? XM/Sirius Tweet says "various" sources confirm it. https://twitter.com/#!/DINOCOSTA/status/13582...

mike "spitting teeth" matheny...new cards manager

Sort of sad state of affairs when the Cards new manager has almost no bearing on the Cubs.

I was listening to XM when the Matheny news broke (during an interview with Gabe Kapler), they said the Reyes rumor was bogus. nevermind. https://mobile.twitter.com/joecapMARLINS/stat...

How did the Brewers not draft or sign this guy? http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/oriole...

I had to breathe a sigh of relief that Sandberg isn't the StL manager, even though he clearly wan't the favorite there. Hopefully he won't be their bench coach either...I suspect he's going to be a coach on some mlb roster this year. Probably the Phillies unless Ricketts twists Theo's arm after the manager gets named. If MacKanin gets the job, Sandberg just might get the call because Mac's 60 (and wouldn't be all that threatened) and there is that Phillie connection (whatever that means). (puts the Blue Kool-aid away) http://tinyurl.com/7fkz88k

sandberg has to be sick of riding buses...shame he didn't get a mlb coaching job with someone last year. 3rd base coach or bench coach somewhere...

He's been in AAA the last two years. No buses.

I'm surprised he hasn't landed one of those yet. I'd love to seem him come on with the Cubs this year, but whoever's running the show knows he's gunning for his job. That said, lots of coaches must be 'sick of riding buses' who have been doing if for a lot longer.

Aren't most third base coaches gunning for the manager's job?

the emphasis being on "most". I can't imagine Wavin' Wendell seriously gunning for a managerial job. I don't know why, I just can't.

Yeah, everyone WANTS it, but there are career coaches. Ryno has made it very clear what his ultimate goal is.

Kemp close to 8/160 extension. Wow

Never realized this, but Kemp has some crazy high babip.

Even BIP aside, that's a helluva a season he had.

Yea, no question. But I was referring to beyond just 2011 - his career babip is .352. Thats pretty crazy. The other concerning thing (when giving a guy $160m) is that in 2010 he most definitely didn't have a helluva season. Does a Matt Kemp, landing somewhere between 2010 and 2011 (roughly what he did in 2009), deserve $20m? That's a lot of money.

Sometime last week on MLB Network they did a pre-MVP award interview with him and he said that he lost weight (and he implied it was some muscle weight, not just fat) prior to this year, and that helped him. I don't think you give him $20 million a year unless you think he's a little better than his 2009 year. A big part of it is whether you think he's a legitimate center fielder or not too. If I were the Dodgers, in my shaky financial I may gamble that his BABIP is going to swing low again, and extend him when he's feeling down next June. .352 BABIP is your exception to prove the rule and provide hope Brett Jackson is going to be able to hit for decent average in MLB.

I think the Dodgers are worth more with Kemp signed than without. After McCourt, the fans would be furious if the club let Kemp get away.

Some of us were discussing it the other day. Free, self-agrandizing article about it over at BP. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

j.hellickson gets AL ROY c.kimbrel gets NL ROY

never heard of 'em

The awards, or the players?

Barney got 2 second and 2 third place votes. Hopefully there is a GM who thinks he was better than Freeman, Worley or Ramos and we can trade him quickly.

BBWAA site shows just 2 third place votes http://bbwaa.com/

That's right, I just misread the MLB.com article. Sadly we have to take Freeman off the list. He would have been nice to have.

Pineda's showing is very disappointing. There's still that old W-L stigma floating around. He would have been second on my ballot behind Hellickson.

That's part of it. A 4.40 road ERA and a 1 -4 record over 58 innings with a 5.12 second half ERA probably had more to do with it. Both of those guys pitched in pretty good pitcher's parks.

Cubs hire Shiraz Rehman as an Asst. to the GM http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&s...

Wittenmeyer tweets: Shiraz Rehman hired from DBacks as Cubs asst GM; will oversee development of tech info system. --- Had been with Diamonbacks the past 6 years. Does Ari Kaplan report to him?

"I think that whether it's with some of the guys on the 25-man roster bubble this spring, like Billy Buckner, Juan Gutierrez, Yusmeiro Petit, or Travis Blackley, or with some of the younger players within your system, like Esmerling Vazquez or Cesar Valdez, you'll always have that question." *cricket chrips* i dunno much about the guy, but he gives a nice/intelligent interview from his ARZ days here... http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php... he seems well rounded and approachable to other's ideas while having strong opinions of his own.

Nice read. The one thing that stood out as I was finishing reading it is that everybody thinks they're doing it a little smarter than everybody else. You never hear someone in baseball say "gosh, we're really struggling to identify which players are good" but the fact is that probably 10 teams are having that exact problem.

Shiraz...will oversee development of tech info system --- He's here to give his name to the Cubs new computer program. (Cubbie blue grapes--->Shiraz) Carmine eat your heart out. --- The grape is also known under many other synonyms that are used in various parts of the world including Antourenein Noir, Balsamina, Candive, Entournerein, Hignin Noir, Marsanne Noir, Schiras, Sirac, Syra, Syrac, Serine, and Sereine.

The most common of all I believe, and ubiquitous in the US, is Syrah.

Carmine is an Italian name, appropriate for Boston. Chicago version should be Stanislaw, Olga, Ludmila, something like that.

carmine is the red-color of the sox jerseys, btw. i had no idea until i read an article on theo/crew years ago.

Chicago version should be Stanislaw, Olga, Ludmila, something like that. Or Jose, Laquanda, Syed, Paddy, Adolf, or Bob?

They should name it Ryne.



Great Caesar's ghost! I hope the mirrored interview process with Boston doesn't extend to this one. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=sportsx...

Cubs to bring in Don Zimmer for managerial interview.

Hide the magnets!

The BP article is interesting reading.

Levine drinks some Petit Syrah... Rehman intern-ed with the Red Sox in 2005; to complete the circle and get in on the Ricketts connection, he has been a commodities trader. Probably a nobel prize candidate in economics too. http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

I've got a friend who is interning now at a PR firm, despite having recently gotten her degree... she works part time at Hooters so she can eat. I wonder what Shiraz did.

34 yr old Mark Ellis, 8.75/2 to the Dodgers (per the law firm of Olney & Rosenthal) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/e... http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/136...

in the twitter sidebox in the upper right...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect... 1. B. jackson 2. J. Baez 3. M. Szczur 4. T. McNutt 5. D. Maples 6. W. Castillo 7. R. Dolis 8. J. Lake 9. J. Vitters 10. D. Vogelbach

maples #5...damn...okay...*shrug*

A few head-scratchers there. Seems like the guys at BA need to watch Clubhouse Confidential and learn about BABIP.

past lists http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Baseball... also, D. Barney shares something in common with Mark Prior http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_Roo...

Mine would be: 1. Brett Jackson 2. Jae-Hoon Ha 3. Welington Castillo 4. Josh Vitters 5. Javier Baez 6. Trey McNutt 7. Junior Lake 8. Matt Szczur 9. D. J. LeMahieu 10. Dan Vogelbach

When a GM changes organizations, it is not unusual for the GM to bring players over to the new club from his former organization. In the case of ex-BOS GM Theo Epstein, there are five Red Sox minor league free-agents post-2011 who were drafted, signed, and developed by the Sox, and who could be given a new life and a second chance in the Cubs organization in 2012: Kyle Fernandes, LHP Tommy Hottovy, LHP Ryan Khoury, INF Blake Maxwell, RHP Mark Wagner, C Wagner could replace 6YFA Chris Robinson as the veteran back-up receiver at Iowa, Khoury could be the utility infielder at either Iowa or Tennessee, and Fernandes, Hottovy, and Maxwell could compete for spots in the I-Cubs bullpen. (Hottovy was a former Sox Top 15 prospect who had his career derailed by TJS in 2008, before battling back and getting a brief taste of MLB this past season). So do not be surprised if the Cubs sign one or more of these ex-BOS 6YFA to minor league contracts (with an NRI to Spring Training) sometime during the off-season.

for anyone interested, Baseball America has a neat sortable database tracking minor league free agents. Doesn't appear Cubs have signed anyone yet and as mentioned earlier, Brad Snyder the only one to have signed with another team so far. http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/pla...

Nice work, AZ. How about players Hoyer might bring over from SD?

Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:23am — Paul Noce New Re: TAWL Drills Nice work, AZ. How about players Hoyer might bring over from SD? ================================ PAUL N: Hoyer & McLeod were at SD for only a couple of years, so there aren't (yet) any minor league free-agents drafted , signed, and developed by the Padres during that period of time who would be available. However, if the Padres decide to trade 3B Chase Headley this off-season rather than go to arbitration with him, I would think that Hoyer would go after him.

One more (manager) thing... Muskat on twitter: Cubs interview DeMarlo Hale for manager's job. GM Jed Hoyer did interview by phone http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/136287...

CSN's Patrick Mooney tweets... Theo on Big Z: "I told him we'd give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub. Nothing would be given to him." http://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/136286687... ---- multiple Muskat tweets on Z... Not sure who picked up the tab but Theo and Big Z had lunch today in Chicago. During lunch/meeting, Theo said Zambrano "expressed a strong desire to be a Cub" Theo says Big Z will have ther right to earn his way back to Cubs

busy girl today... more Muskat: Cubs scouting director Jason McLeod headed to Dominican this week to see several players, including Cuban OF Cespedes

more on Z-Theo meeting in a Muskat article...
"I told him we'd give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub," Epstein said. "Nothing would be given to him, but he could earn his way back from very hard work this winter, through rebuilding relationships man to man with all of his teammates, and through some other steps that we discussed. "We're not welcoming him back unconditionally at all, but we're going to give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub." "There are steps," Epstein said of what Zambrano must do. "Most of the details will stay confidential. There are steps he needs to take and he seems motivated to do so, and if he earns his way back under certain conditions, we'll see him in Spring Training and welcome him back." Was Zambrano contrite during their meeting? "Yeah, very much so," Epstein said. "But from what I understand, he's been that way before."

Good job, guys. We won't have Aramis to kick around any more when he loafs on a play!
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez' tenure with the Chicago Cubs is officially done, according to his agent, Paul Kinzer.
Oh, and they're still butthurt about Brenly lighting him up. http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/723...

Brenly's torching of ARam was mega-ignorant, pandering for his own gratification to that portion of the fanbase that literally thinks that players sometimes decide not to get hits out of pure cussedness. It's embarrassing that anybody could call themselves an analyst of this sport while spouting such blatant nonsense. That said, Kinzer probably should've taken the Soriano tack: "Who's Bob Brenly? Oh, that guy who rode two monster aces to a WS ten years ago? Oh yeah. Hm. Well. Anyway."

I've sort of been wondering if Kinzer encouraged him to be extra sensitive to nicks and bruises the last couple of weeks of the season so that he wouldn't qualify as a Type A free agent. He was bearing down on it pretty good, then suddenly missed time.

Who is Soriano?

I don't know I would want to give Aram a 4/68 contract. And if he's really that thin skinned about an announcer, good ridance.

we would have been better off with Mark Bellhorn

I didn't say that, I'm talking Aram today.

sounds like his agent is the thin skinned one... 3 or 4-year deal is pretty steep for Aramis I agree, but anything short of Aramis was one of the best Cubs players we ever got to watch is bullshit...so let's not go pissing on his Cubs grave so nonchalantly. anyway, Aramis had more big hits as a Cub than any other Cub I can remember...Brenly is full of shit, but that's nothing new for him.

ARam's agent is also Castro's agent.

and Soto's and Marmol's and I bet a lot of other players in the big leagues

And Brenly didn't criticize the other two.

The agent is not fond of Bobby Valentine.

Brenly hasn't criticized Castro and Marmol this year? I find that hard to believe.

Don't expect Greg to be with Mike Maddux if he's named Cub manager. Greg has a situation with one of his kids, which would preclude him from being away 200 days. Bruce expects manager announced early last week.

Simply having kids generally keeps you from traveling 200 days a year.

Bruce expects manager announced early last week. ---- Wow, Bruce is wrong. :)

I usually don't drink this early in the day.

ChiTribRogers Mark Buehrle, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena all are Type Bs.

2 week old news...

Thanks Phil. In other news, I heard the Titanic Sank.

SI JonHeyman... sounds like cubs second round of manager interviews may just be on phone. not too far from making their pick.

Tom Haudricourt... Just talked to Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. He's on way to Milwaukee for second managerial interviews with Red Sox and Cubs. Good luck

Consider the source before y'all break out in hives http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

being rather lame if they changed it mid-way through free agency, my recollection is this stuff doesn't usually doesn't take until the following offseason. As for eliminating Type B comps, that's an interesting one...teams don't give up a pick, so they can't be against it, and it doesn't really restrict player movement, so that can't be much of an issue. The only thing I can think of is that it would limit the number of supplemental round picks which would lower the draft bonuses and that's something the owners wanted. Hopefully they fix Type A status for relievers while they're in there tinkering....

Hopefully they fix Type A status for relievers while they're in there tinkering......and mabye don't group center fielders with DH's and third basemen with shortstops while they're at it? The whole fucking thing is barmy.

http://bbwaa.com/ some jack-ass gave D. Robertson a 5th place vote and another gave R. Romero a 4th place vote...maybe the same jack-ass.

If the Cubs feel Sveum is the guy, I would hope they could hurry up the process and offer him the job, rather than lose him to the Red Sox. After Sveum, the only appealing choice is Maddux, and there's no guarantee he says yes. McCannan looks like a radio host on WGN. I would also speculate that there's a good chance if Sveum were offered both jobs he would prefer the Cubs, closer to his current home, more familiar with the current team and the division opponents, etc. Just my 2 cents, and TRN will jump in here and tell me I'm full of shit and that Sveum sells out every game he's at and illegal aliens and senior citizens will show up in droves to watch Sveum manage, regardless of what city he's in. :)

Especially in Florida where they line up 10-deep to watch professional baseball.

keys to the next manager... - manage the media for the team and his players (Francona and Torre were masters of this in my casual observations) - work well with the GM, understand the team they're trying to build and not decide that individually he's smarter than the rest of the organization. (not Baker) - manage the personalities on the team on an individual basis (not Piniella) - be prepared (not Quade)

i still can't believe lou...on multiple occasions...sic'd the press on his clubhouse with "i dunno, ask ____" comments. when you need the media to shame your club (or players) into performing...well, maybe it is a tool, but it's tacky as hell. i guess it's better than your relief pitcher having enough of your crap and trying to kill you in a locker in front of media cameras, though...

Keep being racist, dude, everyone loves it.

Yes, merely saying the words "Illegal Aliens" makes me racist. You must work for Fox News. I'm actually amazed you can type with your head up your ass.

No, you dumb fuck. What makes you racist is implying that they're all too poor to afford a baseball ticket. It would be the more liberal media accusing Fox News over racism, for essentially acting like you act, not the other way around, you stupid shit.

whatever you do...never...ever...read the comments on Foxnews.com where a minority that's not H.Cain is involved. hell, until the past couple month even Cain was feeling the hate. there are some very angry race-baited people with lots of free time to comment on stories all day. everything that's wrong with the world are "mexicans" (whether they're legal, illegal, or just plain ol' brown and not from mexico), blacks, and especially liberals (which all "mexicans" and blacks are...except the ones they like). you can go there at any time on almost any race-based story (even if race isn't the real story) and find a buffet of misguided hate.

Paul Noce: What do you think makes my comment racist? TRN: What makes it racist is the implication that they're all too poor to afford a baseball ticket. Boring as hell, but isn't it easier to read without the bile? I'll shut up now.

Agreed, but just in the interest of correcting some more of Noce's misinformation. Illinois has more illegal immigrants than Florida. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/peo_est_num_...

Great. Many illegal aliens are white. And quite frankly most of them(of all races)ARE poor. These are facts. I don't think dude said anything racist. Maybe he was picking on those of a lower socioeconomic status in general, either way, big fucking deal.

I think we can all agree that it's no fun being an illegal alien.

... it's no fun being an illegal alien --- Unless you are in a movie with Sigorney Weaver

dudes if you keep talking politics Rob is gonna shut down TCR and it's gonna be all your fault and i'm gonna cry

You should be banned for invoking Phil Collins

?!?! I never! Those are fighting words, sirrah! Marquis of Queensbury rules!!!

I wasn't picking on anyone, and for me to have to defend or even address that is ridiculous. TRN, go to hell.

allegedly Brewers GM on XM radio saying they have interest in Furcal and Aramis.

Brewers getting multiple years of production out of McGehee for nothing + Brewers getting ARam = severe kick in the pants (3rd Base Edition)

apparently it's now a 6/90 offer from Marlins, Reyes would like over $100M.

I'd take the 3/60 offer if I were Reyes and had those two choices.

supposedly, the "hot" new thing in signing players (at least teams are trying) is going for the big-money-short-years (3 or less) offer and safer loot on the 4+ year offers. it all depends on how long the players will wait for the money and which teams are going to shell out the loot. pujols and fielder should be very interesting considering NYY/BOS probably aren't in the running.

Wittenmeyer tweets... Source: Sveum to meet with Cubs today in Milwaukee for 2nd interview. (his Redsox interview #2 is Wednesday)

and Levine's Blog post contradicts Wittenmeyer... http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/723... the Chicago Cubs will not do a full-fledged second interview with Sveum, according to a major league source. The Cubs may have a conversation with Sveum, since he's already at the meetings in Milwaukee, but it will not be a long, drawn-out interview, according to the source. ------- Epstein said he and general manager Jed Hoyer would follow up with some phone calls and conversations with candidates. He also said Monday that he would present his final choice to chairman Tom Ricketts and his family. A conclusion for the managerial search appears to be on the horizon for the end of this week, or by early next week at the latest.

this is a lot of work just to name mike maddux the manager. it's already taken a month too long.

"Mariners prospect Alex Liddi was dropped from his Dominican Winter League team on Tuesday." holy crap. this is the 2nd winter league team...in the 2nd country...that he's been kicked off of. for those that don't know he's a young SEA power prospect 1st/3rd (better at 1st, but SEA wants him at 3rd at this point...kinda like ARZ's r.wheller). he could very well be the 1st european-signed position player (Italy) to see significant playing time if he can ever get his K's under control. that said, it's weird to get cut from a winter league team for on-field performance...even weirder to get cut from 2...even if you're sucking.

"it's weird to get cut from a winter league team for on-field performance" I don't think that's right, crunch, or even close. Guys get sent home all the time. Felix Pie used to last about two weeks at Licey every winter before they sent him packing--and he lived close to there!
"I think it's crazy that organizations don't take advantage and send their players to winter ball," Bailey said. "If you go to winter ball and you don't produce, you are going home. It's like the big leagues in that if you don't produce, you are going back to Triple-A. Minor League baseball is not even close to getting you seasoned because you really have to have physical maturity, mental maturity and emotional maturity in this game. In these types of tournaments, you play with the pressure of a whole country watching you. You just can't get that in the Minor Leagues."