Balls

J-Hey reached double figures Tuesday night, less than halfway through the season after managing only eight all of last year, and he’s not the only one who’s putting up some impressive HR numbers in 2019.

Monday was Getaway Day for the I-Cubs. It was a beautiful day for a ballgame in Des Moines and this one was scheduled for a noon start. Even though I work for the school district and summer break is in full swing, I had to report for light duty. The best I could do was pack a sack lunch to enjoy at the ballpark along with the first couple of innings, so that’s what I did. I ate my ham sandwich in the parking lot, then sat in the sun-soaked bleachers to watch the first inning before heading back to work. But first, I decided to walk a lap around the ballpark which straddles two rivers. I’d just rounded the RF corner when the idling crowd started to rev and I looked up to see heads turning in my general direction. I looked higher and picked up the flight of a ball riding a generous breeze clear out of the park where it landed on a concrete terrace of fountains and bounced to a stop in the grass beyond. I was the only one nearby and could have taken my time retrieving the bright white meteorite. Still, I hustled as quick as I’m able. Always have with regard to baseball(s). That’s HR #4 for me this spring/summer. A few weeks ago, I recorded my first-ever two-homer game. In addition, I’ve collected 3 in-park foul balls, 1 parking lot foul and 4 BP balls; 2 outdoors and 2 that escaped the indoor clubhouse batting cage through a door left slightly ajar. Last year I tallied a career high 11 PCL pearls, none of which were homeruns (though one was the single hit by Kris Bryant when he stopped here for a few games on his way back into the Chicago lineup late last August. After it was taken out of play and trickled back to the I-Cub dugout, Taylor Davis handed it to me in the dugout annex reserved for shutterbugs.). In the gift shop they sell pristine ones for $20. To me, the abrasions on mine are worth more. (For the record, The Hannemann hit it. Mostly he runs well and plays strong OF defense, but he’s wearing other caps since rejoining the I-Cubs after EXST. He’s had a couple appearances as a pitcher and he later homered again on Monday. Everybody likes hitting the juicy MLB balls in PCL clothing they’re playing with this year.)

Comments

Thanks for the scene, Mike! (Almost makes up for not being able to take my lunch by the ballpark!)

games attended by me: hundreds - balls caught by me: zero

games attended by my wife: a few dozen - balls caught my my wife: two (one literally bounced into her lap)

*shrug*

CRUNCH: The following is an absolutely true story:

I can't say I've been to hundreds of Cubs games, but it's been quite a few. I, too, had never gotten a ball until one day in 2004 during batting practice. (To this day, I've never gotten an in-game ball.) I was in the left field bleachers and a ball rolled onto the warning track. Moises Alou was out there shagging and came over to get the ball. I yelled, "Moises! Hey, Moises! I've been coming to Cubs games for 30 years and have never gotten a ball!" He looked at me like "yeah, right" and tossed the ball to a pretty girl. Another ball rolled onto the warning track and again I called out, "Moises, serioulsy, I've been coming to Cubs games for 30 years and have never gotten a ball!" He again looked at me in disbelief, and this time tossed the ball to a kid. But I didn't give up, on the next ball I did the same thing. "Hey! Moises, c'mon man, I'm serious! I've been coming to Cubs games for 30 years and I've never gotten a ball!" He looked up at me and asked, "For real?" I said, "Yeah, man, for real." And , much to my surprise, he tossed it to me. Everyone around me in the bleachers cheered. 

A short while later, another ball rolled over in my direction and again Alou came to retrieve it. I yelled, "Hey, Moises, I've been coming to Cubs games for 30 years and only gotten 1 ball!" He, and everyone around me, laughed. He looked up and said, "Now that's funny. man," and tossed me that one, too. 

haha.  awesome.

that was funny.

*tosses you a ball that didn't come from someone who pees on his hands*

Recent comments

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  • crunch 10 hours 36 min ago (view)

    "MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports former player David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada "appear to be the frontrunners" for the Cubs' managerial opening."

    espada's had 2 interviews.  for a guy who's actively at his "other job," having a 2nd interview seems like both sides want to make this work.  SF and PIT are also supposedly interested in espada.

     

  • JustSayin' 12 hours 1 min ago (view)

     That's a fair description of the benefits of the plan but If I have to choose between "better way" and "owners' greed," I pick the latter.  MLB wants better MiLB facilities, on average, without paying a cent.  They want to deal with the social and legal pressure they are getting for not even paying minor league players minimum wage per real hour worked by having less players.  In addition, the draft is to be moved to late August, so every draftee would lose compensation for the stub year in which they are drafted.  For this reason, I'm not sure your point about col

     

  • Hagsag 12 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Thanks Mr. Phil.

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 28 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Besides reducing the costs that are associated with operating a minor league club, reducing the number of minor league affiliates would allow MLB organizations to increase the salaries of their remainng minor league players (who would be the organization's most-legit prospects) without having to increase the organization's aggregate minor league payroll. 

     

  • crunch 13 hours 53 min ago (view)

    The discussions on this matter have been quite varried.  There seems to be a lot of pressure connected to this on minor league team owners who haven't upgraded their facilities/park in a while or who lag in quality compared to their competitors.

    It seems like this would not only cause some teams to fold, but some radical redistribution of existing teams/cities into new minor league levels rather than just pruning some teams over others.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what are your thoughts on the discussion to eliminate 42 low minor league teams in 2021? What would this do to the Dominican League? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    yanks/astros game 6 was a f'n classic.  wow.

    altuve continues to build his astros legend.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Thanks for this. I agree they’ll probably take their chances in the Rule 5 if he will resign, though I really wouldn’t mind adding him back to the 40 man. I feel like he has a good chance to be effective out of the bullpen. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    I hope Sagara doesn’t end up leaving because of the shakeup. The Athletic did report that his position might be eliminated but that he should be offered another role in the organization somewhere. All I know is Sagara’s name came up frequently in connection with the pitch lab, and he was credited for improvements with Ryan, Wick, and Wieck. Maybe he’ll end up focusing more specifically in that role helping guys tweak things in the lab. 

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone have insight into the new management hires and musical chairs the Cubs announced yesterday?  Craig Breslow might be the only guy out there with extensive MLB experience AND the grey matter to challenge any quant not making sense. His role intrigues me but are they going to give him real responsibility to clear out the deadwood (including the existing minor league coordinator who was never good enough to be the pitchers he's coaching?)  Or, is this a superficial change aimed at keeping ownership off Theo's back? 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: I think the Cubs want to retain Oscar de la Cruz post-2019, just not on the MLB 40-man roster.

     

  • Charlie 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Who are you all rooting for in the World Series? I'm rooting for the Nats to face and defeat Houston, I think, but with very mild interest. Let them get that championship out of the way and then maybe go the way of the post-2016 Cubs.

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil, what do you think the Cubs will do with Oscar de la Cruz if they don’t add him back to the 40 man? Can they try to re-sign him but wait until after the Rule 5 to make it official? Do you think they will try to keep him in the organization in some fashion? 

     

  • bradsbeard 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Angels also make sense as a destination for Kris Bryant. 

     

  • azbobbop 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    I wonder if Maddon will take any of the coaches with him.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    I doubt that Maddon would have taken the job if the Angels aren't fully prepared to sign one or maybe even two FA TOR SP (like Gerrit Cole and/or Stephen Strasburg if he opts out). 

    When you have the best player in MLB and now the highest-paid manager, not making the playoffs again in 2020 just can't be acceptable.