Royals tie series at 1 apiece. Billy Butler's smack in the 6th.

Hope you're enjoying the series...


if Kansas City were to beat the Cardinals this would be more fun for me, but a Giants win does make all the Dodgers fans I'm around sulk, so that's nice.

I know I do this every year, but I'm in a 12-team Fangraphs Ottoneu league and we're down some owners. Let me know if you're interested. $10 fee to Fangraphs for the year and we all paid in $40 last year for prize money, but the $40 is negotiable. Year-round activity...

Russell done with AFL after today.

"The Cubs feel like Russell played close to a full season after 10 extra games in Arizona, where he hit .190 in 42 at-bats and got some time at second base." 78 games (counting AFL)...yeah, that's a full season. hope he really is healthy.

mlbtr says Joe Madden has opted out of his contract with the Rays. Hmmmm....

Hopefully you are renting Capt Happy

It begins... Offmanesque but steve simmons ‏@simmonssteve 10m10 minutes ago An unconfirmed rumour at exec levels of baseball has Joe Maddon going to the Cubs.

Smoke... fire? Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 7m7 minutes ago My guess on Joe Maddon: He eventually winds up with the Cubs.

Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, tells Topkin (Twitter link) that he expects Maddon will manage a team in 2015. Friedman tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) that his new team, the Dodgers, will not be among the suitors regardless of Maddon’s newfound availability.


Rumor that Dodgers won't pursue him as manager, but then some were speculating he may be GM.

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 9m9 minutes ago First guess from Maddon friends:Cubs, Mets

if the cubs spend millions of dollars on a manager rather than the team this leadership group can attach their faces to a fat cock. we've already been through the "spend a little on a manager rather than a lot on players" fan distraction/placation thing...lou pinella ended up quitting early on the team and it wasn't any better for the trouble. if they wanna spend on the team and waste money on a manager...whatever, though.

I believe they will be doing both.

we've already been through the "spend a little on a manager rather than a lot on players" fan distraction/placation thing

I know better than to reply, but Lou was hired the same offseason they signed Soriano, Lilly and DeRosa. Cubs were top 3 in payroll by end of his tenure.

Maybe he meant Dusty?

would be just as wrong...

don't be scared...i don't bite. forgot soriano was part of pinella's offseason. either way, pinhead made 3+ million a year to pretend he's a top tier strategical babysitter. if the ownership group wants to play poverty again they don't need to be throwing 2-3+ million at a manager. hopefully they're not going to play poverty.

wrong end of the emotion spectrum...

pay Maddon whatever he wants, Cubs can afford it and he's good at his job.

yeah, it's jokes. cubs can afford a lot of things...i'm just ready for them to pull the trigger now that they've gotten the things we were told to be patient for while losing like hell for the past few years.

I'd like you to finally come out and say it. Stop beating around the bush here. Would you like the Cubs to spend more money on free agents rather than focus on management?

*insert reply*

My favorite Lou moment -- Cubs down a run in the 9th, get a man on first, ARam coming to the plate. The other team has a lefty on the mound. Lou pinch runs Felix Pie. Bob Brenley says this is a great move, since Pie can steal a base and put the tying run in scoring position. Pie never tries to steal 2nd. Brenley is flabbergasted as to why they would pinch-run Pie if he wasn't going to steal. The reason -- the scouting report said the lefty used a slide step with a fast runner on first, and when he went to the slide step, his slider flattened out. A few pitches later, the guy hangs a slider and ARam hits the game-winning HR. Brenley has no idea what just happened. Lou knew what he was doing.

Well that's a perfect description of Bob Brenly if I ever heard one.

Cubs had two great years under Lou, he was just too old to care to babysit when they stopped winning.

4-23-2008 at Colorado: Cubs trailing 5-4 going into top of the 9th... Manny Corpas is the pitcher (he was the Rockies closer at the time)... one-out single by Derrek Lee... Felix Pie pinch-runs for D-Lee.... A-Ram two-run HR puts the Cubs ahead 6-5... Kerry Wood blows the save in the bottom of the 9th, but the Cubs win 7-6 in 10.

According to WSCR Bernstein's Cub insiders say "Cubs are ready to talk to Maddon. Want to keep Ricky in some capacity." Also said Maddon's position could "include more than manager duties" Don't know how he can have front office/manager role.

"include more than manager duties"

I was thinking events coordinator. He does like his themed plane trips.

32m32 minutes ago

Maddon instituted 33 theme trips. The @Ken_Rosenthal/Nerd trip in 2012 was one of the most memorable.

Rival executives believe that if Joe Maddon winds up with the Cubs, the Rays will investigate the issue of tampering.

Madden is the best person alive for the Cubs manager job because of the way he keeps player loose, having fun, not taking things too seriously outside the lines. No team like a bunch of barely-adults with 110 years of expectations, a media crush, and an insane fanbase needs to be relaxed as much as this one would. Nothing against Renteria, but this would be a massive get. I don't typically buy into managers as key pieces on teams, but in this case, I am sold.

"Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Joe Maddon is seeking a contract in the five-year, $25 million range." ...also of interest because of past rumors/links... "CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Cole Hamels is updating his no-trade list."

if i were to guess

Cubs, Phillies......then maybe Blue Jays, Rangers(yeah I know they just hired someone), Twins (Twins aren't gonna pay that much).

Mets and Tigers also being rumored and both seem plausible.

yeah, guess I could see Tigers getting rid of Ausmus. Mets made sense and was team everyone jumped on besides Cubs, but they've been rather adamant all day that they're not making a move, but that could change of course. Cubs on the other hand have been completely silent about it today.

Is Maddon really that much better than Renteria? I honestly don't know that much about Maddon since I hardly pay any attention to the AL. Renteria had this team playing pretty sound, fundamental baseball. I haven't seen that in about ten years. I'd be bummed if they hired a star manager and then started missing cutoff men again or played wacky in their many other ways. On the other hand, Olt. It's these huge questions that I rely on you guys to answer, since I really have no clue what is best.

it's a manager, no one has yet to devise a great way to really evaluate one vs the next in any tangible way. But we know he can succeed with young talent, we know players love playing for him, sure does love defensive shifts, is a really sharp guy.

Not saying Renteria isn't any of those things, and that Maddon wouldn't make some head scratcher moves here and there, but the track record and reputation are certainly there.

"He was everything we were looking for," says Friedman. "Smart, passionate, a background in player development and an understanding of objective decision-making. His positive attitude was the antidote for years of negativity."

He was runner-up for Red Sox job btw when they hired Francona before 2004.

Don't expect a set lineup either (The lineup is almost never the same for the Rays. Because the roster is built for versatility, and Maddon is wired for creativity, they've had 128 different ones in 141 games, and this one is about to be No. 129.)

I never read "The Extra 2%", and I'm sure the focus is on the front office, but imagine there's some good insight on Maddon in there.

Thanks Rob - all managers make head scratcher moves so I'm not worried about that angle. My overall feeling is that if everybody loves the guy then they ought to go for it. The march against Cubbery needs every angle it can get to overcome the stench we've had to endure.

The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria as Bench coach in an attempt to get Mike Olt on the field since the two cannot be in the same place at once. F+ The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria as special manager in charge of Valbuena. C- The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria as special assistant to the Manager in charge of grinding it out. B- The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria as Assistant Manager in charge of replay review and ejections. C The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria as special coach in charge of weird people batting cleanup. D+ The Cubs reportedly will keep Renteria to play 2B and bat second. F-

finally, someone is making sense of all this managerial shakeup stuff.

Why the hell are the players announcing their nationality, like it's a friggin football game?

...a challenger appears "LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins plan to contact Joe Maddon regarding their managerial vacancy."

Twins paying 5/25 for Madden would make his salary about 50% of their 25 man roster

Maddon was the ideal fit, open to ideas from the analytics-minded front office and popular with players for cultivating a loose clubhouse atmosphere while thriving on competing with the payroll behemoths in the American League East. 

If they hired Maddon, the Cubs, with their losing history, would be happy if he could forge the same kind of legacy in Chicago that he described for himself from his time in Tampa Bay.

“That I did my job and was successful,” Maddon said, “and that we created a culture that didn’t exist before.”

The "Culture" That's a huge part of this job. It's what turned NY cocksure Lou, into mumbling going to the beach Lou. Going to need a strong character for when this team kicks in and starts challenging. That's when the real pressure hits. And when it happens this time, it's going to make Lou's situation look like what Herman Franks dealt with in '77-78. Maybe that's why Cpt Happy is good for the job. He might be oblivious to it all.

Reading the various internet reports last night I can't help but think this is Maddon's job now. For him, it's the opportunity of a lifetime, the ultimate career challenge, and possibly ultimate career accomplishment. Being the manager that helps break the 100+ year cycle. I think he'll risk some mumbling for that. I will kind of feel for Capt Happy, but them's the breaks.

I believe it's a dream come true for Theo as well ... again I don't believe Renteria was a good manager and he certainly wasn't very captivating in the press room either. If Theo/Jed were disappointed as I believe they were they had very little choice but to keep him onboard. Going through managers that fast (and pitching coaches) is bad publicity. Here they can say it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get their man, save face with apologies to captain happy, and get on with somone who excels at their job. I didn't for a minute believe Renteria would survive 2015 and had a strong instinct he would be gone before the season started. I still feel that way and this could be the perfect storm to align it all. I know he's not perfect but Maddon's a HUGE step up from Renteria, he's got a personality and energy, he's competed against all odds successfully in the AL East. If this goes down it's just as exciting as landing Russell as far as I'm concerned. This message has been approved by Mike Olt.

I think Renteria was much better than most people seem to think he was. This was a team that competed and played well every day without a very good lineup to work with. They did the fundamentals well, and managers must have some impact there because no Cubs team has for quite awhile, and it can't all be attributed to the Cubs Way, whatever that is, because it just hasn't had enough time to really bake. I liked his absolute impatience with late inning pitchers who walked guys. I really liked how Castro and Rizzo progressed, and I felt like he was a good guiding hand for Baez during his struggles and that his approach with him will pay off, too. I was almost as annoyed as you by the strange case of Mike Olt, but managers always have strange quirks and I am sure Maddon will do Maddoning things, as well. That said, everyone in the baseball world seems to think this is a no-brainer. So I'm on board. I just like to see Capt Happy get his props. He did a better job than most give him credit for, in my very humble opinion.

I know how you feel, and I respect that and I agree they were good in fundamentals and I liked his intolerance of the BB as well. But he is kind of like a Pediatrician who had solid skills and great staff and diagnostic ability perhaps, but had the annoying habit of slapping the children in the face in the lobby. I don't care how good his behind the scenes work is (and honestly we don't know how much influence he had on their fundamentals and Rizzo Castro etc) but his flaws were obvious and highly visible. I think you are overcompensating yourself trying to be balanced. Are you a Libra O&B? Haha!

I'm honestly not trying to be balanced. I'm pointing out the things I liked. And I'm most definitely not arguing in favor of him over Maddon - all of the internets are saying Maddon should be a Cub, and who am I to argue with all of the internets? I'm also not a Libra. When Renteria was picked I wanted Martinez, so we may get the best of both worlds now, with Martinez coming in as bench coach. I'll be very, very, very surprised if Maddon is not the Cubs manager by midnight, October 30. So whatever I think of Renteria is a moot point. And I agree, Cap Happy has his flaws. I think we disagree a bit on their severity, but I don't think there's a big disagreement here. We'll both be happy to see Maddon and it's not like I'm worried Castro and Rizzo will take a step backwards with Maddon.

The Cubs have assigned INF Danny Lockhart to the Mesa Solar Sox (AFL) effective Monday (10/27), replacing INF Addison Russell. It has not been reported yet if Lockhart will be on the MSS Active Roster or Taxi Squad (in which case he can play only on Wednesdays and Saturdays). OF Bijan Rademacher is presently on the MSS Taxi Squad and he is really rakin', so he could be promoted to the Active Roster if Lockhart is assigned to the Taxi Squad. 

Lockhart is the son of ex-MLB infielder Keith Lockhart, who is an Area Scout (Georgia) with the Cubs. Danny played HS baseball in Georgia, so he was both scouted AND signed by his dad.

Danny Lockhart was at Instructs this past month where he played both 2B & SS, but he can also play 3B. The Fangaphs article by Kiley McDonald from last week regarding the Cubs minor league system erroneously stated that Danny Lockhart and Gioskar Amaya were being converted to catcher at Instructs. Actually it was Amaya and Jordan Hankns. I was there every day, and Lockhart never got anywhere near the Tools of Ignorance. Not that Lockhart can't try catching sometime in the future, but it hasn't happened yet. But he is a very good utility infielder, fundamentally solid both at the plate and in the field, a decent hitter (albeit with virtially zero HR power), slightly above-average speed, and a reliable & versatile defender (2B is his best position).

Also, shows RHP Loiger Padron among the Cubs playing in "offseason leagues" (Venezuela). However, Padron was released by the Cubs at the end of Minor League Camp last March and is presently a free-agent. Apparently has him listed as a Cub because the Cubs were his last MLB organization (he did not pitch in the minors in 2014 after being released by the Cubs).   

In addition, erroneously shows OF Junior Felix Arias as one of the Cubs playing in an offseason league, but he actually is a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization and is one of their better prospects. (Baseball America rated Arias as the Reds #14 prospect coming into the 2014 season).

Are you a Leo (Durocher)?

Terrible news Cards Oscar Taveras killed in car crash today. He was 22.

wow. unbelievable.

I just read this news and came here... I was looking for many years of young Cub players versus Taveras and others. But it puts the game into perspective - what is really and truly important. Let's not forget there was another equally important person who was also lost.

Condolences to our rivals, and friends, the Cards.

Really awful news. Condolences to his family. He had a bright future.

Top 15 draft prospects for 2015 per Law

1 LHP Brady Aiken
2 RHP Mike Matuella (Duke)
3 SS Brendan Rodgers (HS)
4 LHP Nathan Kirby (VA)
5 LHP Kolby Allard (HS)
6 RHP Walker Bueller (Vandy)
7 RHP Kyle Funkhouser (Lou)
8 OF Nick Plummer (HS)
9 SS Dansby Swanson (Vandy)
10 OF Alonzo Jones (HS)
11 RHP Mike Nikorak (HS)
12 OF Daz Cameron (HS)
13 SS Richie Martin (Fla)
14 RHP Kyle Cody (Ken)
15 RHP Cody Ponce (Cal Poly)

Ow, we want the funk Give up the funk Ow, we need the funk We gotta have that funk

Never offer an empty gesture to a Funkhouser. /Larry David

@Buster_ESPN on Joe Maddon: "I don't think there's any question he's going to the Cubs ... basically a done deal."

lack of any comment from Cubs front office seems telling...

Mesa/Salt River 3-3 tie, called after 11 innings CJ Edwards 3 IP, 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 walks, 1 K Hanneman 3-6, 2 triples Vogey 2-5

Musings from Maddon back in Sept, but published yesterday

“Offense hasn’t benefited at all from any of the new discoveries in the game,” said Maddon. “It’s only been injured by it. Along with the subtraction of PEDs, there’s informed data on pitching and defense, which has really slanted the field in favor of that area of the game. There are also accelerated bullpens. Look at Kansas City’s bullpen, Oakland’s bullpen, Baltimore’s bullpen. Specialization has really taken over.”


“There are a lot of ways to look at how you might augment your offense, but it can’t just be nine guys working a pitching staff over,” said Maddon. “If your goal is to get a starter out of a game, that might be the last thing you want to do. You see a lot of 95-plus out of the pen now, and some of those guys have quality secondary pitches. I think it’s become easier to build bullpens, and it’s rare a team has a bad one.”

I don't really understand the text after the snip. Can sharper baseball minds explain it to me? (I mean, I understand what he's saying about bullpens being better.)

that the idea of trying to get the starter out of the game by running up pitch counts and going to the inferior pitchers in the bullpen is quickly being phased out..bullpens are getting better.

and that an offense needs to be more than 9 guys working a pitch count, need some speed, contact hitters, etc, etc, etc...


But working the pitch count isn't just about getting the starter out of the game. It's also about getting the BB and getting into slugging counts, isn't it? (And getting hacks at a starting pitcher who might be a little on the fatigued side.) I get that driving the starter out of the game loses some of its value if you are facing a team with a strong bullpen, but that doesn't make patience and smart base running any less valuable. [Edit: OK. It does--but it doesn't make them not valuable.] To put it another way--it seems to me that facing more good bullpens wouldn't significantly affect the way you put together a lineup.

Well...the Cubs had a very strong 7-8-9 trio in Ramirez-Strop-Rondon. If you get to the starter up his pitch count quickly, and get to the pen by the 4th or 5th? that seemed to work pretty well against the cubs in 2014.

I don't have a sharper baseball mind than you, but I think his point is that it's not necessarily a given that you try to drive the starter out by fattening up the pitch count. He's obviously not saying don't try to get a bunch of runs, but before the recent trend of power bullpens, a lot of teams would work the count, and try get a high pitch count, especially on the 1,2,3 starters. Now, though, that's not necessarily a priority, because you see the starter leave the game and these power guys come in and shut you down.

Right. The old strategy of getting Kerry Wood or Carlos Zambrano out of the game because of a high pitch count, so that the manager has no choice but to go to Remlinger, Veras, Farnsworth, Alfonseca and Borowski just doesn't work anymore.

That's what I'm talking about. Wow!

Not just getting pitch count up etc, right?

In Olney's podcast Keith Law flat out said that Renteria's in game management was poor.

Only when Olt is playing.

Who is Olt again?

I think we all felt that way, but I'm sure it's something he can work on. I doubt Bruce Bochy was a great tactician his first few years either, takes some time to develop if you haven't been in the hot seat. Also tough to assess when the primary goal of last season had nothing to do with winning games.

That being said, #HireJoeMaddon

I'm a firm believer that a good manager is like a good blackjack player. Just play the odds and if the talent is there, you'll get on a hot streak and be up a few hands. It's the managers that need to be too clever or double down on Neifi Perez that bug me. A manager that is entertaining is a plus too...afterall this is entertainment, people take it far too seriously.

Remember the good old Hendry days when everything was leaked by anonymous sources? I sure am liking the crickets out of the Epstein regime. "A Red Sox insider told Bill Madden of the New York Daily News that the Red Sox coaches "all hate" outfielder Yoenis Cespedes."

when you get a new staff yearly it cuts down on that sort of thing


seems like whenever anonymous team insiders are trashing one of their current or former guys 90% of the time it's the red sox

The tweet in the sidebar about Bochy on the verge of having his ticket punched for Cooperstown is something that has crossed my mind lately, mostly in this context: wasn't Bochy at one time a finalist for the Cub job? I think it was when Hendry hired Piniella. That would have been a one-way ticket to Palookaville (in the famous words of Terry Malloy).

good memory

Maybe 2007 or 2008 playoffs go better, maybe not. Bochy does manage a bullpen pretty well, not sure if I could identify anything else remarkable about him.

World Series getting tied at 2-2 is the best thing in the baseball world, because it means there will be a Game 6, and if there's a Game 6, that means there could be a Game 7 tomorrow.

What a damn fun postseason.

I'll root for the Royals tonight, just for the Game 7 possibility.

is there any way to forfeit a game? Only thing Giants can do tonight is burn through pitchers.

Peavey on the Cubs is a deal breaker for me as a fan Hopefully Theo see him as a the dumpster fire that he is and he signs with the Cards.

Agreed. Also I don't think he fits the Cubs' plans so I'm not terribly worried about it.

agreed to what? As if there's anything the Cubs would do that would make any of us stop rooting for the team.

You wouldn't stop rooting for them if they signed Peavey? What the hell is wrong with you? That's my line in the sand, too. Definitely not the fact that the Wrigley Ricketts family patriarch spends huge sums of political money trying to burn down the country.

Some people just want to see the world burn Jake Peavy in a Cubs uniform.

Yeah, Cardinals fans.

Bam!!!! Be sure to tip your waiter!!!

I saw the protest as metaphor and yes hyperbole ... I'm just not a fan of peavy, his self-screaming personality, his age, and his performances against the Cubs were poor recently AND he has an epically bad post season history. Why would the Cubs want him?

I actually thought Peavey was going to fight through that inning and that he seemed to have pretty good stuff. Maybe his velocity was down enough that they were seeing the pitches or something, but he was hitting his spots it seemed and his stuff had pretty decent movement. There was some pretty good hitting there. Not that I'm suggesting the Cubs should pick him up - I was just thinking he may just get out of that inning. If Lester only comes as a package deal with Peavey, that would be weird and I doubt that's gonna be the case. I'm not a fan of spending scads of money on free agent pitchers, but if it's gonna happen I hope they get Lester, along with Maddon and Russell Martin. I know Martin is going to be pretty long in the tooth before his contract is up, but he'd be a nice bit of glue on a contending team like the Cubs think they are going to be.

a lot of people in the "big bucks" seats behind home plate have left before the 5th is even over. is this LA or something? c'mon KC...

This Tim Hudson guy worries me tomorrow throw in Linsecome and Bumgarner in pen should be a fun watch ,all recent history points to Royals , I hope history repeats its self.As a secondary Royals fan. Will Madden be Cubs manager by saturday? I think so. Game 7 does not happen to often enjoy and go Royals

Cubs outright OF Ryan Kalish and INFs Chris Valaika and Josh Vitters to Iowa; RHP James McDonald elected free agency

i thought it was shaping up to make valbuena trade bait and sliding valaika into a bench super-sub role based on how much the team bent over backwards to get him regular play over the last 2 months of the season. there was an odd fascination with playing him. fun his 2 months of playing time he got 60-70 fewer PA than jose macias got in any of his 2 full seasons with the cubs. wait, that's not fun.

Renteria just honestly had no clue about personnel usage.

wont be having that problem starting 2015

I'm in 7th fucking heaven!!