Musky fishing with the Cubs, sort of.

Just got back from a big Musky Trip waaay up in Wisconsin.

Got some bass, but skunked on the musky part, of course.
There's this thing about fishing for musky, they say "you only get a musky hit every ten thousand casts."
Man, that's alot of casting...
I got mad at this one lure - a giant old Rapala that cost a fortune.
I don't think I've EVER caught anything with it.
Started calling it "Alfonso Soriano" since it cost so much and couldn't catch anything.
(I know - he's been better, but still...)
After that, I started naming all my lures after Cubs.
Like the AC Plug, since , became "Reed Johnson" because they both made "The Catch".

Had someone been recording, it might have sounded like this:
"Oh okay Mr. Musky... Won't bite on old Alfonso? We'll see what REED JOHNSON has to say about that!"
Reed would last about a dozen casts, then it would be, "Hmm, maybe Reed needs a little RELIEF. Lets put in a little call to the pen for Mr. Kerry Wood."
Then I got out a Suick, which is made of wood. 

Duh, but anyway here's the gif:

There may have been a hand-crafted Wisconsin something in the little cooler I brought on board to help with the names...

And... back to the Cubs.

It's hard to concentrate on the games right now since the BIG THING is getting the new general manager, but man, it's always nice to beat the Reds. 


another nice one...the linked story is a good one, too. hell, i don't even fish. =p

Nice punch line @ Soriano... nice one, CubbyBlue.

"ditto" I loved this one Cubby Blue. For me, Muskie fishing was just like sitting in the Wrigley bleachers. I never caught a big Muskie just a lot of Northerns, the thrill of which was a lot like snagging a log and trying to reel it in. So fishing consisted of sitting on a wooden bench seat in a boat, staring at a spot, drinking beer in the sun, hoping to get lucky and going home disappointed.

Hilarious! I gotta figure a way to draw that some day.

Started calling it "Alfonso Soriano" since it cost so much and couldn't catch anything. so much win

Reggie Golden named NWL player of the week Daytona Cubs have a new logo allegedly Brett Jackson is 1 of 4 players in minors with 20 HR's and 20 SB's this year.

Submitted by Rob G. on Tue, 09/06/2011 - 11:39am. allegedly Brett Jackson is 1 of 4 players in minors with 20 HR's and 20 SB's this year. ================================= ROB G: OF Tim Wheeler (COL), OF Kole Calhoun (LAA), and OF Kalian Sams (SEA) were the other three. 4) There are rumors that the Cubs met with both Beane and Forst while in SF-- and that Ricketts brought along Tim Wilken, Oneri Fleita, and Ari Kaplan, three key front office execs that the Cubs would like to keep.

Haven't heard about Fleita and Wilken before but Wittenmeyer reported that Ari Kaplan was along on the trip.

I'd be more than happy with a Beane and Forst front office going forward. They obviously know the importance of producing young players. Plus they would have the resources to do what they couldn't in Oakland.

Passan tweet The four-year deal Ricketts gave player-personnel man Oneri Fleita was one thing. Another like it for Wilken would frighten top candidates. web • 9/6/11 1:43 PM

what is frightening about this? There will, however, be some flexibility for Ricketts and his next general manager to make changes to those spots in the near future. Fleita’s deal (and a possible one for Wilkens) will be structured creatively with buyouts and options to benefit both the team and the executives. I'd also add that prospective gonna-be-totally-awesome-GM-that-never-fucks-up isn't necessarily gonna be able to clean house right away. Presumably "their guys" may be under contract and can't jump ship immediately. And especially with a guy like Fleita that allegedy knows the system, you might want some overlap before making big changes.

I get your point, Rob, and conceptually agree with you that this shouldn't be a deal maker. However, I don't know how any top shelf replacement for Hendry can read this any other way than EVERYTHING (and I mean everything) baseball goes through Ricketts. The 'baseball guy to watch his baseball guy' is Ricketts himself. I'm hearing on sports radio here that the top candidates are already passing on this 'opportunity'. Obviously, I can't confirm that but these are 'sources' they have reporting what their sources have told them. I don't have names but probably the Cashman, Epstein, Friedman group are among those passing. What baffles me is how Ricketts can go on and on during the Hendry dismissal press conference about how the new GM will be able to hire their own people, and then extends Fleita for 4 years (with Wilken in the on deck circle). Why the rush on guys signed through 2012? I mean, it's not like their track record is a half-dozen starting position players, and top of rotation starting pitchers in the league currently. I had a shred of optimism until the Fleita announcement, but this just looks like 'Cubbery' business as usual. As they say in Texas, 'all hat and no cattle'.

I'm hearing on sports radio here that the top candidates are already passing on this 'opportunity'. well there's your first problem... Why the rush on guys signed through 2012? sounded like another job offer for Fleita, I assume there's a buyout after 2012 which is the same thing, other than costing Ricketts himself more money.

Rob, I get that you have a low regard for sports radio. I'm certainly not going to champion their genre or accuracy. That being said, I can't point to the Chicago print media or even the national guys being poster children for great scoops either. I've been in management a long time, and when I've been approached with a job offer to leave my current employer it is a plus to know I can make changes. It is a plus knowing I'm not tied long-term to personnel who may not be the best fit in my department. I have a hard time believing a Friedman or Epstein wouldn't have the same reservations. The fact that I could approach Ricketts with my desire to fire Fleita would be tempered with the fact that it was going to cost Ricketts money to do so. Again, Fleita and Wilken are under contract thru 2012. I'm pretty sure these guys could decide within the year if they wanted to give them a 4-year contract in that time.

I have a hard time believing Friedman or Epstein are coming to the Cubs anyway, and holding off decisions on the hope that you may get an interview, isn't good business. Ricketts obviously likes Fleita, it's a good idea to have some continuity with a new GM coming in, especially one involved in player development and there seemingly was some urgency to make a decision, and there's options to get rid of him.

I totally agree GA, I don't buy that either of these guys were such hot commodities that they need 4 year extensions now. MAYBE they are so great that a new GM will want to keep them? However isn't that a decision that....I don't know.....MAYBE THE NEXT GM SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE? Sure maybe there is latitude for the next guy to axe these guys. However I'm sure Ricketts will have some reservations about eating these contracts. I'm sure the new guy will have to plead his case to jettison these guys. What top candidate want to deal with that kind of meddling oversight from ownership?

it's a rather amusing utopian view of baseball executives some folks have... it's like they all get open checkbooks and full veto powers without ever having to explain their reasonings. I call it Paul DePodesta syndrome. I'm sure if Ricketts can actually talk Epstein out of his dream Red Sox job, they'll find a happy middle ground on Fleita and Wilken.

What top candidate want to deal with that kind of meddling oversight from ownership? What type of GM would want to walk in to work on day 1 and find that everyone has jumped ship and there's way too much work for one person to do?

If the next guy wants to keep Fleita and Wilken than so be it. I just think it should be left up to the next guy.

Fleita and Wilken are both signed through 2012. Are you suggesting they would walk out on their contracts? That doesn't say much for their loyalty.

Seriously? This is the logic you are using here: Don't extend them, so the new guy can fire them. Are they loyal or not? You can't tell people they don't have secure jobs and also deny them the chance to interview with another company, and maintain any credibility in any business at all... unless I guess you're a pimp.

It's not having a Utopian view, it's basic facts of managing anything. What is a better management position to come into? 1. Managing something where you can choose who you want to fill the 3 top positions 2. Managing something where the boss has his 2 Sons and an idiot cousin installed as your direct subordinates It might not seem like a big deal to you. However much of a GM's job is delegating authority to his underlings. If the underlings aren't up to the task then it will reflect poorly on the GM. Whether it's his fault or not.

It might not seem like a big deal to you. However much of a GM's job is delegating authority to his underlings. If the underlings aren't up to the task then it will reflect poorly on the GM. Whether it's his fault or not. sure. I'm saying Fleita and Wilken are pretty well respected in the league. I'm also saying that if one of the top 4 wants the job, I'm gonna guess Ricketts isn't gonna tell him he has to keep them, but they are there to help the transition and there are options to change them. and the assistant GM's are gonna be fucking thrilled to just have a job with the flexibility to change things if they see fit.

But... why the rush to give Fleita 4 years of contract? Afraid he'll 'get away'? Are you fucking kidding? You either shake things up or you don't. Shit or get off the pot. And if you have an owner micro-managing, the only GM you'll pull is one desperate for a job. You won't get one of the elite GMs.

But... why the rush to give Fleita 4 years of contract? There will, however, be some flexibility for Ricketts and his next general manager to make changes to those spots in the near future. Fleita’s deal (and a possible one for Wilkens) will be structured creatively with buyouts and options to benefit both the team and the executives. And if you have an owner micro-managing, the only GM you'll pull is one desperate for a job. doubtful, there's only 30 GM jobs in the world and only about 10 with the resources the Cubs have. Maybe you meant you won't be able to pull a GM that already has a job and with that I partially agree with. that being said, besides Beane, I don't see a GM right now that fits what the Cubs want and the Cubs could lure. Epstein isn't going anywhere and Cashman isn't gonna lose $80-$100M off his operating budget.

I'm reading you Rob, but I'm also getting a mirky McCaskey feel out of Ricketts that will be hard to shake until all the cards are played out.

I should add Friedman too with Beane... the top 4 that people seemingly want are Epstein, Cashman, Beane and Friedman and I don't see why Epstein and Cashman would leave. Friedman and Beane have reasons for staying and I'm sure reasons for wanting to leave. any asst GM isn't gonna pass on the Cubs job, unless they just don't want to move to Chicago. Gillick, Schuerholz, Ryan don't really seem like legit options.

Do you know for a fact that the contracts will actually have buyouts?

just the report from Levine yesterday...of course it makes a ton of sense to do it that way, so I'm believing it. but if we just start talking about what we know to be 100% certain around here, there would be 3 comments a day.

So, you seem to be responding to my question "why did he have to be given a four-year contract right now?" by saying that, if needed, they could buy him out and do creative things to get rid of him.

they gave him the contract because Rickets (right or wrong) wanted to keep him and make sure he didn't take another job. It appears it's structured that if the next GM disagrees, it won't be terribly costly to the Ricketts.

Yes, that is my bone of contention: clean house. There's no need to keep people around.

So if your boss was fired, you would recommend everyone underneath him being fired as well?

It depends. If my job involved executive decisions in a failed Cubs minor league system, probably.

I've only heard them on websites like Chicago Now, not from any actual baseball writers. Even Wittenmyer doesn't say that they did meet, and he says A's officials say there was no contact at all. It sounds more like fanciful speculation fueled mostly by fan-type blogs like Chicago Now, where they pull flying monkey's out of their asses and claim it proves the world will end on Wednesday.

LeMahieu and Gaub called up

don't forget Luis Montanez

Levine is slacking or whomever runs the ESPN Chicago twitter. Muskat did mention all 3. meh on Montanez, at least he won't be stealing anyone's playing time. That's got to put the final kabosh on Brett Jackson being called up.

Maybe the Cubs don't intend to add him to the 40 man next year either, and this is their way of keeping him a secret, so he doesn't get nabbed in the ML draft.

The newspapers here have been saying for a few days that Brett Jackson isn't getting called up because they don't want to start his mlb service time. I don't think anyone was really expecting him to be called up after hearing that.

Continue to hear from several folks that #ArizonaState partnering up with the #Cubs new spring ballpark will definitely happen. #Pac12

well they finally figured out how to get sabermetrics accepted by the masses

This site is the hub over her online activity to ensure everyone has access to the most recent pictures, videos, tweets and highlights. Looks like a straight-up bleach job to me. Sanberg makes the playoffs, I believe I read Dave Bush is starting game 1.

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, Colvin RF, Soto C, Lopez P W. Tenn vs. Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers) starting Thursday, Brooks Raley gets the Game 1 start Daytona starts tonight vs. Dunedin Blue Jays, Dae-Eun Rhee gets the start some quotes from Wilken about wanting to stay a Cub

Remember when the conventional wisdom was that Wilken et. al. would follow Hendry out the door if Ricketts fired him. lafs

I am more concerned about Maddux.

REASONS FOR OPTIMISM: Try and look forward to next year with these positives going forward. New GM - should be better than Jim Hendry No John Grabow what a waste of $$ and spot on the roster. No Koyie Hill......likely not to return No Zambrano.......that drama is over No Ramirez.....we didnt win with him save $$ No Soriano ???? a possibility No Pena ???? a possibility Do a complete rebuild go young except for pitching. They have lots of money to work with, and it sounds like the desire to do what it takes. We've seen the bottom things will only get better.

While I agree with most of your ideas my credulity is strained whenever I see the "we didn't win with him so let's get rid of him" trope. The fact is by the end of the season 29 teams will not have won, so by that logic should they be getting rid of all their players? We may not have won with him, but can we win without him? notes from Peoria Richard Jones wins Midwest League RBI crown and named team MVP, first Peoria Chief to win RBI crown, third highest total in franchise history. Jokisch named Chiefs pitcher of the year Catcher Micah Gibbs earned the Ryne Sandberg Award, given to the player who exemplifies professionalism, dedication and work ethic.

I thought the Ryne Sandberg award was given to the guy with the Sluttiest Wife or Girlfriend during that particular season?

Winner gets the corncob dress

A nice honor but isn't Jones repeating low-A? I swear I saw him play last year for Peoria. Is he considered a real prospect?

I believe he played college football? So yes...He IS a real prospect.

only had 138 PA's last year in Peoria, so I wouldn't consider it repeating. but as a rule, RH hitting first basemen are rarely prospects, especially 23 year olds in A-ball. Cubs gonna have to find room for Rock Shoulders, Vogelbach, T. Gretzky, Hoilman, Bour, Ridling, Jones, Rohan, Spencer, and possibly LaHair next year.

If you flip-flop Shoulders and Vogelbach, you've got that list in order of importance. Should be easy enough to figure who finds the bench and who finds the door.

(Jones hits lefty.)

whoops, had him mixed up with Greg Rohan in my head. Thanks. still bad K and BB rates, gonna have to be a legit 30 HR guy to interest anyone... podcast with Jonah Keri and Len Kasper Quade says vet players will still get most of the playing time. Cashner on a pitch one day, get 2 days off schedule DeWitt out with a left hamstring injury W. Castillo in town for a check-up on his hamstring, will not be added to roster.

Reed Johnson saved us dude!

He's the team MVP.... two years $5 million? At least he actually had a good year.

there's quite a internet sabermetric war to end all sabermetric wars going on today... it started here was rebutted somewhat here some more here and so on... this one comment though is Cubs-related from Colin Wyers of BP left on Neyer's post Is it possible that this is due to random chance? Potentially. I should say that I didn’t pick the worst possible example; Cubs left fielders were 62.4 runs better at home than on the road, for instance. Sox CFers are only the ninth-most extreme home/road split in UZR of the time period being measured. But it’s also possible that these sorts of issues are caused by park-based biases, is it not? I’ve done extensive research into bias in batted ball scoring and other stringer-collected data, and it seems that there are park biases caused by things such as the position of the press box. And these will be persistent errors – if there is something that is causing UZR to systemically overrate Cubs LFers, it won’t make Soriano’s WAR any less persistent, it will just make it less accurate.

Didn't you deny this like three years ago when talking about the +/- system?

something like that I guess, although +/- wouldn't use the press box since they use video scouts. There bias would be video camera placement. I think I argued that it would be simple enough to adjust for each park, but I don't for sure if they do. UZR and +/- have been bad-mouthing each other years, so I won't presume Wyers comment pertains to both, although it may. I think I'll just trust the manager vote from now on :)

It's my opinion that team OPS correlates pretty well with team runs-scored and OPS isn't some nebulous, hard-to-figure-out statistic like WAR. So when sizing up a hitter, I usually just look at OPS for a quick measure of offensive capabilities. For defense I still don't trust anything but my eyeballs. The interesting thing about baseball is that team defense, even though there still isn't a reliable stat, is still the single biggest factor in winning games. Nearly 50% of all runs are scored with 2 outs. If you give the other team another out in an inning, then it makes it extremely difficult to win games.

Where to begin...

if you're going to even attempt to defend any defense stat you should probably not...a lot of us are really tired of laughing at it. our sides hurt. yes, people need to flesh out these processes and let them grow up to adulthood, but in the meantime johnny math-head is busy pretending biting on a stick and having ether applied on a battlefield is the pinnacle of innovation.

Point crunch's head.

if people would just quit taking other people's work and championing it like it's a fact it wouldn't be so bad. there's grown up/good stats from the new realm...and there's a lot that are in their infancy and make people look foolish over the years as they're improved upon and old methods tossed aside. the arguing between the statheads aren't helped by the peanut gallery who have nearly arbitrarily decided they've found religion picking sides for which boy-king they cherish. some stats should be left alone by bystanders until they grow up.

I agree with your point here. There's some really serious logical flaws with the way UZR is computed, all biases etc aside. People vehemently arguing the merits of one of these over another are a bit wrongheaded. If all the evalauation systems agree, including "eyeball based ones" I tend to think it's probably pretty accurate for a given player. Some things, however, I really take with a grain of salt.

I love those old Johnny Math-head records. "Chances are..."

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just want to understand where you are coming from... is your objection to 1. my contention that defense is the most important aspect of baseball or 2. that there is no reliable stat and that we are better off using our eyeballs for defense?

#1, unless your argument is having a good defensive team vs 9 paraplegics is hugely advantageous. The difference between the woeful Cubs' defense and the Rays' is .037 (or the Rays turn batted balls into outs about 5% more often than the Cubs). The difference between Houston's runs per game (3.78) and St Louis's (4.67) is 23%. The thing about the 50% of runs being scored, think about it a little. There are three possible out conditions, so if everything else was equal, you would expect 33.3% of runs to be scored with 0 outs, 1 out and 2 outs. Assume you have a inning in which no runs have scored. What is more likely, you get a guy to 3rd base (the easiest scoring position) with no outs (so a leadoff triple, or double stolen base etc) or a guy on third with two outs? The reason most runs are scored with 2 outs is that you've got a shit load more baserunners in scoring position with 1 and 2 outs. Simply put, the deeper you are into any inning, the more likely you are to have baserunners. The more likely you are to have baserunners, the more likely you are to score runs. If you have the best defensive team in the league, or you have the worst, you're still going to give up more runs with two outs. The 2010 Marlins tried to stack the deck by grabbing a bunch of guys that UZR liked as defenders... it got Hernandez an ERA title and Cy Young, and the team 100 losses.

Yes, that's exactly my point... the deeper you go into an inning, the more probable it is the opponent can score on you. If you give away outs then it makes it much much more likely the opponent will score. On the other hand, if you have defenders that go above and beyond and take outs away, it becomes much much more difficult to score runs. I only cited the 50% thing because it illustrates this point and the importance of taking outs away from the opponent. And the case of the 2010 Marlins is interesting. You say they "tried to stack the deck by grabbing a bunch of guys that UZR liked as defenders" which is neat because the Marlins ranked 11 out of 30 in baseball last season in most unearned runs allowed. I'm skeptical of UZR and any stat that claims to reliably measure defense. I'm even skeptical of unearned runs. But stats or no stats... in baseball- you play defense or you lose.

Believe we mean Mariners, not the Marlins.

Indeed- Mariners come in at 8th most unearned runs out of 30 teams in baseball in 2010. Apparently, UZR is a poor predictor of unearned runs and, more importantly, wins.

UZR doesn't treat errors any differently than say, a ball hit to Aram that goes into left which 75% of MLB third basemen turn into outs. Fielding percentage is probably about as valuable as batting average in terms of evaluating a team (or player).

Shit, and all the time I was thinking that giving up walks and home runs was a sure way to give up runs... Let's just check. Two teams that are last in walks allowed in the NL are the two teams last in runs allowed. The Astros are also worst in HR's (Cubs 4th worst in HR's). Just like walks and HR's are major drivers for OPS, they're major drivers for pitching OPS. You're VASTLY overrating defense. Is your theory that the Cardinals played a bunch of shitty defensive teams and the Pirates played only the Rays all year long?

The Mariners tried that same strategy.

Hollandsworth doing 7th inning stretch today Aramis will turn his back to the booth

or middle finger salute.

Or not notice and not care.

Can anyone explain why Ricketts is supposedly talking to Wilken about an extension? Wilken is signed through 2012. There is no reason to give him an extension until a new GM takes over and decides if they want to keep him. I can slightly understand Ricketts excuse with Fleita since the Tigers were interested, but c'mon, if they resign Wilken too then the next GM has no major positions to fill/retain other than the next manager. It's just poor stewardship by Ricketts.

What do guys like Fleita and Wilken make? I can't imagine it being so much that the new GM would be handcuffed by it. Plus since they are so highly regarded around baseball, when they take new possitions elsewhere the Cubs would be off the hook.

Comment #73 is appropriate to cover your question.

Game 1 vs. Dunedin Blue Jays Crawford, Watkins, Cerda, Bour, Optiz, Burgess, Szczur, Soto, Brenly with Rhee pitching

Rhee has posted a few high K games at the end of the year. Hopefully he is resurrecting himself as a prospect.

Cubs take 1-0 lead in top of 2nd Bour singles, takes second on an error by LF'er, takes third on a single by Opitz and scores on a GIDP by Burgess.

This is what the big league team is missing, the ability to manufacture runs. Promote Bour and Burgess to AAA at least.... sorry, channeling another poster there for a minute.


2-0 in the 3rd... Elliot Soto 2B, Brenly ground out advances him to third, Crawford ground out strands him at 3b, but Logan Watkins with a 2-out single

Bour singles again, steals 2B after the next 2 batters make outs. Then after a walk to Szczur with 2-out, tries to score on a single to CF by E. Soto. He does not succeed. 2-0 heading into bottom of 4.

Rhee gives up a solo shot in bottom of 5th to Brad McElroy, 2-1 Cubs in top of 6th.

Szczur K's looking with 2 on and 2 outs, Rhee gets a 1-2-3 6th though 2-1 heading to 7th...

Kurcz gives up a solo shot to Ryan Goins in the 7th, 2-2 heading to the 8th

Watkins reaches on an error to lead-off 8th, gets to third base with 2 outs and is singled in by Jake Opitz. 3-2 Cubs heading to bottom of 8th.

Kurcz gives up leadoff single, relieved by closer F. Batista, who gives up 2 more singles. Loaded, no one out...

line out, run-scoring ground-out and a K to get out of it tie game though heading to 9th

Dunedin leads off with a double in bottom of 9th, then a bunt single and IBB with no outs. Followed by... A. J. Jimenez grounds into a force out, second baseman Logan Watkins to catcher Chad Noble. Justin Jackson out at home. Ryan Goins to 3rd. Brad McElroy to 2nd. A. Jimenez to 1st. Ivan Contreras lines into a force out, pitcher Frank Batista to catcher Chad Noble. Ryan Goins out at home. Brad McElroy to 3rd. A. J. Jimenez to 2nd. Ivan Contreras to 1st. Brad Glenn grounds out, second baseman Logan Watkins to first baseman Justin Bour.

minor league Cubbery Logan Watkins walks. Matthew Cerda ground bunts into a force out, third baseman Kevin Ahrens to second baseman Justin Jackson. Logan Watkins out at 2nd. Matthew Cerda to 1st.

Daytona ends up losing 4-3 in 10 innings something about catcher getting legs taken out after another force out at home and throwing ball away trying for DP. the headline says it all... "Cubs' LeMahieu ready to sit and watch"

Whooooooo!!!!! That's awesome....lmao. I sure hope A-Ram comes back..

no reason he shouldn't be playing some 2b actually, not like Boy Wonder Barney has been tearing it up since the break(222/276/311) or did all that much in the first half to think he should be gifted the starting gig next year.

Barney is the Cubs' backup shortstop of the future or the Pirates' starting shortstop of the future.

Barney since he peaked on May 16 with a .345 BA and an .802 OPS: .245 .289 .317 .606 .280(BABIP) I think he's 1 for his last 21 He's arguably a below average fielding second baseman. 12 errors. Only Rickie Weeks has a lower FPCT and he has the lowest number of double plays in the major leagues at his position. And he tries to play second base like the SS he really is. Bob Brenley has called him out for getting in the way of Castro making plays on balls hit behind the pitcher. Personally, I'd like to see what LeMahieu can do instead of watching Barney implode.

didn't realize Boise made the playoffs lost Game 1 last night 6-0 to Tri-City (Rockies affiliate) Game 2 tonight, Joe Zeller goes for Boise “Oh yeah! I think there is some happy medium,” Quade said. “These [veterans] absolutely deserve it. I’ve given some of them some down time. I rested [Alfonso] Soriano and I rested [Carlos] Pena. We will continue to look for spots to get the kids in, but, oh yeah, by the way, you’re trying to compete and win some games.” Quade’s problem is that many of the veterans put the team in a better position to win, but the fan base would prefer to see more areas of player development this month it's a shame Q-Ball wasn't around the last 5 months to see the vets compete and lose a bunch of games.

article says Dolis and Clevenger likely call-ups when AA playoffs end, possibly a third player

Chuck LaMar resigns from #Phillies. I gotta say that's a surprise.

Rangers up 2.5 on Angels and they play each other final series of season, everything else is up 5 games or more...

DeVoss, Zapenas, Lopez, Cuneo, Hoilman, Golden, Darvill, Harrington, Na with Zeller pitching you'd think they'd play Baez...

Think Baez may be hurt.

pinch hit and played an inning of short the first game fwiw

loses badly, 9-1...season over.

Colvin had 2 deep fly outs to center according to Yahoo... warning track power or is wind blowing in?

Chalk it up to the wind.

LaHair with a game tying 2-run HR with 2 outs in bottom of the 9th neat.

Koyie Hill is a bad baseball player.

No one catches a better game. His glove more than makes up for his bat. He's a great guy. It's just a little 5-year skid that he's on. You gotta ride it out. The guy's clearly a genius. He was only in Chicago for about three hours when he convinced the pitcher to beat the shit out of the catcher so he could get into the game. Koyie saved us, dude. No way he's back next year. Gotta get it all out of my system now.

What??? Statistical back up or I don't believe it!

horrible bottom 11th. if wilken would have signed this 12th round kid at 25% above slot money back in 2008 with the permission of fleita and then started him A+ ball with an educational emphesis on taking a walk (there's a simple phamphlet for that)...the cubs could have pinch hit him in the 9th and ended the game. this is why the cubs are in trouble, people. wake up and smell the pencil shavings.

Patently ridiculous, What the Cubs need to do is exactly what they've done for the last 100+ years. Obviously the track record for success is right there for everyone to champion. Status quo needs to be the goal going forward!!!!

there is no status quo...there was no status quo. just because the dice roll hasn't produced pujols doesn't mean nothing happened or there's a decades-long tradition of doing things the same way. suck and back luck can follow suck and bad luck without institutional help.

John Grabow... you stinks.

Taking all things into consideration (i.e. offense, defense, pitching), is John Grabow/Koyie Hill the worst battery ever?

Yes.....someone name one that is/was worst. How much longer do we have to watch Hill and Grabow play baseball in Chicago? Is Quade being fired the only solution to inflicting this offense to our baseball sensibilities?

John Grabow... you stinks. --- Grabow signs 3/44 (using crayons) with Children's Memorial Hospital:
Grabow spent part of the afternoon with some of the patients at the hospital, passing out Cubs hats, talking baseball and helping them with their coloring.

Remember, a loss puts us 1/2 game closer to KC & Seattle. We need to see more of the Grabow-Hill battery. ...or is the crime assault? "We talked about it, just didn't feel the time was right for him yet," Bush said. "He's getting better. We're thrilled with his progress. He certainly put himself on our radar. He continues to get at-bats and continues to show great improvement. … But I feel he'll come to spring training again with a chance to open eyes, if not make the team with the way he's progressing." said decision was ultimately Ricketts, but he agreed with his baseball people. ~snip~ One major league executive who has been involved in similar GM searches said the Fleita extension is unlikely to have a significant effect on "the type" of candidates Ricketts is seeking. that's not nearly sensationalistic enough Mr. Sullivan, you'll sell no papers with that kind of language.

So much for an owner who just owns the club. Now he's deciding who gets called up? Did he decide on LeMahieu too?

Ya, that's not a good sign at all. I don't think it was a bad decision, but it's a little worrisome if the owner is having an impact of any kind on baseball player personnel decisions, especially about minor leaguers. Obviously he's gotta sign off on signing a big name free agent, but otherwise? Delegate, dude.

why the hell is ricketts pretending he's running a baseball team? he should have no say over this matter. none. i agree with the decision, but involving ricketts in it isn't a good sign.

While I agree with you that it really shouldn't be Ricketts' call, without a permanent GM right now, Bush really shouldn't be the one making 40 man roster decisions. That really only leaves the decision to the one person the GM truly reports to and that right now is Ricketts. We didn't really hear anything about Tom meddling this past year when Hendry was making the decisions, so maybe he is just a bit more involved since there is no permanent GM?

true...i just get amped when i hear about owners interfering or being a guy who has to sign off on anything that's not a huge multi-year contract. i hope this is the case...makes sense.

I don't know. I feel like Bush has been around long enough to make that call. If he wasn't going to let the guy be GM, why name him that? This almost sounds like Ricketts is talking Bush through the intricacies of being a ML GM.

I read it as Ricketts just saying do what you people think is best when it comes to Jackson and other call-ups. I'd be more worried if he said waste a 40-man spot now and call up Jackson because he might bring a few more people to the stadium.

Sort of like they made the decision and he signed off on it, saying "Whatever you think is best"? Let's hope that's the case.

Does the draft still switch off from National to American teams or is it strictly by record these days ?

By record for the last few years (hence Nationals getting Strasburg and Harper back to back). Which brings to mind my Marmol for Team MVP campaign. Had he not blown his nine saves we could have six more teams between us and the 2nd overall pick.