A League of Her Own

Breaking: First-Look Video at Cubs New Pitching Prospect

 

After watching Shawn pitch, it was reported that Jeff Samardzija immediately burst into tears out of fear for his job. (If find it endlessly amusing that I have no problem making up fake, insulting stories about Spellcheck, yet I'm always careful to spell his name properly).

 Okay, I kid. . . I kid. But don't worry about the best-recieving pitcher in baseball, he wants you to know he's on his way back to restore the pigpen to its former glory.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports: Former Notre Dame football star Jeff Samardzija has struggled with the Cubs, but he's keeping a positive attitude since being demoted to Triple-A Iowa.

"I put a lot into spring training this year to be a starter. I worked hard in the offseason," Samardzija said a day after allowing one hit in 1 2/3 innings to beat Las Vegas and improve to 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA. "To go to the 'pen and not pitch how you wanted, it's not fun, so I'm down here working on what I need to work on to get right.

"My arm feels good. That's the biggest thing. It's really coming around to midseason form," he said. "I'm just going back to the basics, really. Every time I come here, I seem to get right."

If there's anyone in America who can turn a minor success into a monumental self-esteem victory more easily than Jeff, they should have a radio show on Oprah's radio network.

Ahhhh, but we have nothing to worry about when it comes to pitching. Just ask Carlos Marmol, who assures us the pigpen's woes are no more:

Marmol said (Zambrano) has solidified the Cubs bullpen.

"It's a lot better," he said. "(Hitters) have a lot of respect for Zambrano, and that's a good thing."

Sean Marshall, who induced a double play grounder to end the seventh, has held opponents scoreless in 14 of his 18 appearances, while Zambrano hasn't allowed a run in five of seven relief outings. Marmol struck out three men in 1 1/3 innings and now has 33 strikeouts in only 16 innings.

General manager Jim Hendry apparently is not seeking bullpen help at this juncture, which means Zambrano will remain in his role.

"We haven't blown a lead in the late innings, to my knowledge, in 15-16 games," Hendry said. "We'll always keep looking, but to blame the bullpen for the last couple of weeks is very shortsighted."

So happy-freakin'-Friday, Cubs fans. It looks like Z is in the bullpen to stay!

Now where's that bottle of hemlock I keep around here for situations like this?

 

If that news hasn't sent you running for the razor blades, perhaps this will:

The San Francisco Giants acknowledged Thursday that left fielder Mark DeRosa could need another surgery on his troublesome left wrist during the season if it doesn't improve -- though that will be a last resort.

On Tuesday, DeRosa told reporters he could need a second procedure on the wrist after calling the first one after last season a "failure." Manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday the comments caught the Giants by surprise because the matter hadn't been discussed between them before DeRosa said it publicly.

For those of you who haven't given up on the return of St. DeRosa to Wrigley, you may have to wait until next year. Though there's a chance Jim Hendry will sign his injured wrist to the bullpen for $4 million and a full no-trade clause.

Over at the Daily Herald, Bruce Miles takes a look at the Castro move (and others):

It's been a mixed bag for Castro, who set the Cubs on fire with a record-setting 6 RBI in his big-league debut last Friday at Cincinnati. The Cubs talked about that giving them a spark, but then they went on to lose their next four games.

On top of that, Castro has 5 errors in 6 games.

"The kid's going to make a few errors every now and then," Hendry said. "I think he'll settle in here soon and be really, really good defensively. There's not anybody in the game that would tell you he's not a plus, plus defender with outstanding range and a well-above-average arm.

"He's going to find his niche. He's going to be very, very good defensively. We're not worried about his defense at all."

The major upshot of the Castro move was that Ryan Theriot moved from shortstop to second base, pushing Fontenot and Jeff Baker into utility roles.

"I guess that's baseball at times," Fontenot said. "There's really nothing I can do. Just try to make the most of it. Do things that help the team. That's really what we're all here to do: win ballgames in any way.

(snip)

 Zambrano doesn't like the move. He exited Wrigley Field quickly after picking up his second hold (after being yanked by Piniella before finishing the inning) and did not talk with reporters.

The Cubs clearly don't care what Zambrano thinks or how he feels. They point to the 18 consecutive games without a blown lead since Zambrano worked as a reliever as evidence their adjustment is working.

Piniella says he's now able to use youngsters Russell, Justin Berg and Esmailin Caridad in roles more suited to their level of experience.

It's no secret that I wasn't a fan of moving Z to the pen. After reading Bruce's story today, I can't help but wonder if the Cubs are trying to force Z to waive his no-trade clause. This makes me very, very sad. Also, very rage-y.

Hey--it's Friday, so don't forget that both Julie & Alex's Excellent Sports Adventure (12:00 CT)and Wrigley Talk Friday (1:00 CT) are up today. Throwing Like A Girl is on Sunday at 5:30 CT (links to come).

Oh, and the Cubs take on the Pirates at Wrigley today at 1:20 pm CT on WGN.

And, because it's Friday, please enjoy 5 random songs from my iPod, Alt-Country Edition:

  • The Weary Kind: Ryan Bingham  (I love this song sooooo much)
  • Blue: The Jayhawks
  • Portland, Oregon: Jack White and Loretta Lynn
  • Witches and Sailors: Chaperone (my friend Mary's band!  Check it out on their website. I ADORE this song, and it's so great live!)
  • California Stars: Wilco/Woody Guthrie (Aidan is playing this in his guitar recital in June)  


 

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30 Comments

secdelahc said:

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The reason the pigpen hasn't blown a lead in 16 games is because they're either 27 runs ahead or don't have a lead.

AndCounting said:

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Indeed. It's the starters that have been blowing the leads the Cubs have had. Grrrrr.

berselius said:

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Not to mention the fact that Lou continues to use his starters as their own setup-men, when not using another starter (Z) to set up Marmol.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm debating whether or not i want to look up the actual stats on this . . .

JulieDiCaro said:

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Turns out, I do:

-Cubs are 27/30 in the majors in saves.
-18th in blown saves (that suprised me) with 4.
-27/30 in the majors in save opportunities


JulieDiCaro said:

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Let's look at some individual stats:

Grabow 9.26 ERA/2.14 WHIP/ 14.7 H/9/ 1.5 HR/9
Spellcheck 18.9 ERA/3.30 WHIP/13.5 H/9 2 HR/9
Gray 6.75 ERA/ 1.82 WHIP/ 11.6 H/9

I'm going to have much more to say about this in our game thread.

AndCounting said:

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I can't differentiate in my head between Berg and Gray. From here on out I'll refer to them as Rosengray and Gildenberg.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh hee.

i also can't tell the difference between berg and russell (despite the fact that one of them is a lefty---not sure which one, though)

LostinFla said:

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I'm hoping that you will append the "ARE DEAD" to your moniker forthwith...

AndCounting said:

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Do they look like Tim Roth and Gary Oldman? I felt the impulse to watch that on Netflix as soon as I posted that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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it's cultural AND true. well, career-wise, anyway.

berselius said:

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Today's random 5

Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffet
Wedding Bell Blues - The 5th Dimension
The Payback - James Brown
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Stones
I Heard It Through The Grapevine - CCR

Cubs Psychologist said:

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I've heard that the Diamondbacks are now referring to their bullpen as the "pigpen" as well. Don't we have a copyright on that? Here is my Top 5 All Country

Devil Went Down to Georgia-Charlie Daniels Band
All My Exes Live In Texas-George Strait
Unaswered Prayers-Garth Brooks
I'm Going to Jackson-Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
Kiss An Angel Good Morning-Charlie Pride
***Bonus Song*** Honkytonk Badonkadonk-Trace Adkins

Doc said:

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songs:

Eyes Wide Open - B-52s
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Spiderwebs - No Doubt
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
The Serpent is Rising - Styx

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's wisconsin jet ski music, right there.

Doc said:

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Um...if you say anything along the lines of "you've assimilated," I'll kill you.

AndCounting said:

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Five Songs:

Having Wings - Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Cuyahoga - R.E.M.
There Goes Your Man - Damien Jurado
A Little Respect - Erasure
Corinna - Taj Mahal

DustyBaylor said:

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Cuyahoga!!!!! Great Song!!!

On that note:

Man In the Box- Alice in Chains
Swan Swan Hummingbird- R.E.M
Rock the Casbah- The Clash
Girlfriend-Matthew Sweet
Another Choice- With Love and Squalor

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Rock the Casbah...Great childhood memories. Sharia, dont' like it!! I used to destory those lyrics as a kid. Kinda like Harray used to do with names.

AndCounting said:

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"Girlfriend" is fine music. I love that song so much I could marry it, but I don't think it would be half as good if it were entitled "Wife," so I just have to leave things where they are.

Doc said:

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I have to admit...I actually have that one on my normal play list. Good song from my post high school days.

HoboHanson said:

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This made me laugh this morning:
http://deadspin.com/5535220/fake-yo+yo-trickster-fools-every-tv-station-everywhere

Five Songs:
Mutiny- William Elliot Whitmore
To Be Young, Gifted and Black- Nina Simone
Portland Water- Michael Hurley
Bust A Move- Young MC
Pueblo Waltz- Townes Van Zandt

Umbra said:

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Way ahead of you! This guy was on Wausau TV for Earth Day, and good gravy was it riveting TV.

http://www.wsaw.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=4721967&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

HoboHanson said:

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The speech at the beginning will make me laugh forever. "I have a brother in Portland who I don't get along with very well. Because of his wife.." Hilarious!

Umbra said:

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Sometimes the kids and I laugh so much, we don't even get to the environmental stuff!

gravedigger said:

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"General manager Jim Hendry apparently is not seeking bullpen help at this juncture, which means Zambrano will remain in his role."

THIS is why Hendry deserves to go. This, if for nothing else.

gravedigger said:

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Go Pirates! And Nats!

gravedigger said:

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Oh, Julie: I LOVE that song (Portland, Oregon). BTW, I'd also read recently about how Loretta Lynn had something like 3 kids by 15 years old or something like that? Don't quote me, but it was mind blowing, and I'd never realized that. Anyway, that's one of the reasons her music is so good -- she has a lifetime of experience and emotion behind each and every one of her songs. Love her.

cadarnell said:

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nice to see the cards get swept !!!! ha ha ha ... 5 songs

Happy - Martin Sexton
Romeo's Tune - Steve Forbert
Alice's Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie
Sugar Town - Cliff Eberhardt
The Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin

MillsChC said:

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I think people laughing at her missed the point of that 1st pitch video... it wasn't that she doesn't know how to throw a baseball... that was her dead-on impersonation of Jacque Jones throwing to the cut-off man.

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