Chicago's Most Wanted Makes Getaway
Be on the lookoput for a white Cadillac Escalade with Florida plates being driven by a young adult male with short hair who was last seen wearing dark, baggy gym shorts, a Miami Dolphins t-shirt and a wide grin.
Anthony Rizzo's last at-bat as an Iowa Cub was almost storybook. He flew deep to the warning track in right-center. I was standing directly above the player who made the catch, hoping the ball would travel a few more feet than it did so I could scamper down a flight of stairs, out a gate and retrieve it. There was no one else in the area with the same idea. Oh well. Instead I strolled around behind the Cub Club atop the leftfield wall and found the homer Josh (JV) Vitters had pounded minutes earlier hitting in front of Rizzo. When I returned from that scavenger hunt Rizzo had been lifted and the inevitable was a reality rippling through the stands.
I spent the rest of the game lying in wait outside the I-Cub clubhouse with a local TV crew and a few autograph hounds. A "clubbie" emerged and drove off in Rizzo's car after loading it with gear. Was it a diversion? Was Rizzo being smuggled off the grounds disguised as a Zooperstar? The clubbie returned about half an hour later having apparently washed the car and presumably gassed it up for the five-hour drive to the big leagues.
You'd figure the guy getting the call-up would be anxious to make his getaway. But when Rizzo finally emerged he was maybe the last of the I-Cubs to leave. By then I'd moved my car nose-to-nose with his and got to ask him something while he signed balls and caps as a Triple A'er for what we all hope is the last time. That final at-bat when he went not quite deep enough, did he know it was his last plate appearance as an I-Cub? He said no. "Honestly, I had no clue," he insisted and there's no reason to doubt him. Unless the scoreboard operator who told me Rizzo is usually all business during pregame BP and this morning he was uncharacteristically loosey-goosey, as though he knew a pleasant secret, deserves credence.
As for the game, Vitters drove in both runs in the I-Cubs' 2-1 triumph, their seventh consecutive game against Round Rock as the teams play a home-and-home of four-game series. Jay Jackson, groping for a niche as a middle reliever, fanned the side in the 8th and Rafael Dolis notched the save with a scoreless 9th.
While waiting for Rizzo and feeling like a paparazzo I watched Brett Jackson and Vitters oblige the autograph seekers. As I suspected, Jackson does not rise to his listed 6'2". His hair is as California moppy as Rizzo's is hip-hop close-cropped. Vitters seems slight up close. I've been skeptical of his potential but now that I have a piece of him, maybe I'll cut him some slack. We'll see how he does without Rizzo hitting behind him any longer. Defensively he made his 13th error today but also started a couple of DP's.
Rizzo too appears smaller in person than his prodigious numbers paint him in the mind's eye. But he's thick-legged and, one hopes, thick-skinned too. He'll need to be. Even an approximation of his deeds here won't salvage this moribund season in Chicago. But it would certainly go a long way toward making the next several more promising.
After saying all of his good-byes Rizzo climbed into his white Escalade and I got into my black Accord and followed him out of the parking lot. Our routes were the same for several blocks through downtown Des Moines. When he turned east and drove off into his much-anticipated future I turned west and headed home. Now I gotta go finish mowing the lawn. Rizzo should make Chicago by sundown. He's all yours.
Wrigley Rat 17 hours 3 min ago (view)
- 92-95 mph https://twitter.com/P15Sports/status/1371873329565...
- Dominant in the B9th with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out all three batters. FB 93-97 T98 https://twitter.com/rayteodora1/status/13015758552...
crunch 17 hours 9 min ago (view)
it's really cool how playing vs DET in 2021 counts toward the MLB win/loss totals of a team. it's like using a cheat code.
crunch 21 hours 16 min ago (view)
there has been a ton of fringe signings the past 48 hours by many teams...guys that were not playing organized ball or playing indie ball for the past 1-2+ seasons.
tim815 22 hours 2 min ago (view)
The Cubs have apparently signed Tyler Suellentrop, a pitcher drafted by Seattle in 2018 from Indian River Community College in Florida. He's been assigned to Myrtle Beach. I expect he'll pitch on Friday.
crunch 22 hours 59 min ago (view)
wrigley going 60% capactity may 28th. hopefully we'll be 100% by july/august.
we're getting closer to "normal." i hope we can get things stable for those that can't get a vax, and those that are still refusing or on the fence will cross over and join the rest of functioning society.
as someone who was on strong chemo with a wide open immune system a decade ago, i'm thinking about them and others in similar health conditions.
Arizona Phil 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
VIDEO: Zach Davis and Rochest Cruz are (were) probably the two fastest players (sprint-speed on the bases) in the Cubs system (though not Cruz anymore, obviously).
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Cubs minor league RHRP Ben Hecht (Cubs 2017 12th round pick - Wichita State) had TJS a couple of days ago.
videographer 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Rochest Cruz had some success in the DSL a couple of years ago. Too bad he didn't pan out. Carlos Pacheco showed power numbers in the DSL two or three years ago along with a high K rate.
tim815 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
The rush to 70 players.
Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have released OF Luis Berrelleza, INF Rochest Cruz, LHP Misael Garcia, OF Orlando Guzman, C-1B Brayan Mancilla, RHP Yander Montero, OF Carlos Pacheco, and OF John Rodriguez.
crunch 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
it screws up stats. i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.
it also makes historical comparisons difficult.
the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high. what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.
Charlie 2 days 17 hours ago (view)
Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-runner-on-second-i...
I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.
Arizona Phil 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List.
crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
well that sucked.
2-game sweep, 2 games under .500
crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)
stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...
boog used to call games for ATL, btw...
tim815 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
Someone on social media was floating Yoelqui Cespedes to the Cubs in a Bryant trade.
I was clueless if it was permitted. It is.