Anarchist's Brunch- Equal parts Ho and Hum.

Anarchist's Brunch- Equal parts Ho and Hum.

So the dust has settled from the raucous opening of spring training. Only it wasn't that raucous. Still isn't. And there's not a lot of intrigue or questions to answer either. Another Cubs season is around the corner, sure, and that should have all of us excited. But there isn't a lot of controversy, or "rooting" interests. I was hoping Dontrelle would bring a tiny bit of intrigue. Brett Jackson might tear a hole into everyone's plans by hitting .550. ( Last I checked he's still hitting .375. which is great. But not going to stop him from becoming a child of the Corn to start the season.)  So what exactly is a good rooting story for this last month?

Well, there's three in my book- Junior Lake, Darnell McDonald, and Steve Clevenger. And Clevenger is sort of a pipe dream.

Arguello has done a fabulous job documenting Junior Lake. Needles to say I echo those sentiments. Third base might be a bigger sinkhole than the Dan Ryan this summer. I set the over/under at 5. Stewart, might get his shot, Valbuena will play. Vitters and Lake too. Lillibridge possibly. Does anyone really blow your skirt up? Especially if Vitters is still in his swing at everything mode? To me seeing Junior Lake break with the big club and getting some games at 3rd base is the most intriguing and certainly the best to root for.

Darnell McDonald is a cool story to root for too. Drafted in the first round, the Cubs will be his 7th team. And the only baseball highlights I can recall are he once pitched in a game against the Orioles in the 17th inning against Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who wound up pitching 2 innings himself that game. He also donated his dreadlocks to charity when he signed with the Yankees and the Yankees grooming policies dictated that he gets rid of them. Who bids on a dreadlocks? And if you do, why would you bid on his? But he's had a good spring, pushing Dave Sappelt in a race for the 5th outfielder.

And then there's Clevenger, who I recall having a good April, getting hurt, coming back and then having the worst stats in the world. like worse than Koyie Hill......That screams playing hurt to me. The Cubs wisely got Dioneer Navarro to back Beef up this year. So Clevenger is playing outfield,1st base, doing whatever he can.This is last stop on the train and the air brakes are being applied time. That's a desperation I can get behind.

All three of these players are kind of "so-what" guys. The Cubs big rebuild isn't moved up by any of their success and isn't hindered by any of their failings. That includes Lake, when you consider the futures of Javier Baez and possibly Christian Villanueva on the horizon. But embracing the long term goals means getting to enjoy the short term filler guilt free. And Junior lake, Darnell McDonald, and Steve Clevenger are mine.

ODDS AND SODS

Anyone just a tad turned off by the media's rush to hand the Yankees Alfonso Soriano after Curtis Granderson got hurt?

And since we're all Trader Joe's here, lemme ask this again. Are we at all considering trading Javier Baez? Supposedly this huge rush to trade Matt Garza is to get the young pitching necessary to fuel this big rebuild. But Baez would fetch you more than Garza ever would. And we don't even know if Baez can play in the major leagues. You wouldn't trade him for these major needs? Just asking...

Speaking of hot pitching prospects, Joel Sherman has an interesting read on that subject. Sherman can rub some the wrong way, but the man knows and loves his baseball.

At least two thirds of Cubs Den will be excited this Tuesday when the Replacements put out a new EP of cover songs. you can hear their wonderful Gordon Lightfoot cover here. Yeah, no Bob Stinson, but it sounds like a old comfortable pair of blue jeans. Looking forward to the rest.

Speaking of Arguello ( He's the other Mats fan...) I kid him all the time about joining the Cubs front office and eventually becoming GM of Kane County. After reading his draft reports where he details possibilities for the CUBS SECOND ROUND PICK!!!!!!! I don't think I'm kidding anymore.

Also, with no dog in the fight whatsoever, I've been enjoying @cubsden weekly pow wows with Sharadev Sharma, Harry Pavlidis, Brett Taylor and anyone else about Manea, Stanek and Appel. They dissect the weeks performances, re-affirm who they would like the Cubs to take, some wise ass inevitably suggests the idea of a HS player and everyone tells him to shut up..... it's quite fun.

Today's Beatle album is what I consider to be their best album: Abbey Road.

Today I get to wait for the Cable guy. Hopefully it's Jim Carrey so I can tell him how excited I am to NOT see his next movie...

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    Damn you Felzzy! Just as I think you can't possibly top the last article, you do. BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD MAN!!!

  • Why is Ronald Reagan holding that cat like an ear of sweet corn?

  • Ha ha. Thanks Mr. Caldwell.....

  • Great stuff again Felzz! And you're absolutely right about John and Kane Co...he's way smarter and dedicated than we dont give him credit for.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Thanks copinblue!

  • No Beatle album this morning?
    Speaking of possible Baez trade scenarios, I believe it's like any other situation. If a team is willing to give up more value than what we're giving up, yeah you gotta consider making that trade. But is a team really willing to give up the same great pitching prospects for Baez as we would get for Garza?

  • You're right Bill. I should put a Beatles album in there...

    I look around and see what kind of young pitching has been moved. I guess you can say jacob Turner got moved in the Anibal Sanchez deal, but his star was on the fade when they did it. But Trevor Bauer went for a Young SS.

    I personally don't look to make trades. I'd just as soon keep Garza and keep Baez. They both look like they can contribute to the Cubs. But if the need is to get solid young pitchers, I would think you can get more with a possible cornerstone SS than you would with an expensive breaking down P....

  • Fixed. Abbey Road is today's Beatles album.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Good choice! One of my favorites.

  • Happy Birthday Fels and thanks for the kind words as always.

    Really excited about this Replacements EP.

    Agree with you on Clevenger. He's really hitting the ball well this spring. Even his outs seem like they're all line drives. I like that they're trying to expand his role as well. Would like to see them try him at 3B next.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Clevenger as 'super sub' sounds like fun to me.

  • Nice call on the album Felzz. I look forward to your album choices almost as much as I look forward to your articles on Sundays. :)
    I hear ya with the the whole trades thing. I guess it all boils down to our decision makers in the F.O. and their evaluation of talent and whether or not a trade provides surplus needed value. Only time will tell, but I haven't trusted a F.O. like this current one this much since the Dallas Green days. I'm not saying they're infallible, but I have a lot of confidence in their abilities. Bottom line: I'm not afraid to trade Baez if the F.O. thinks it's worth it. But I have no problem. Keeping him either. Same goes for Garza.

  • I think they should wait on Baez... his stock will certainly rise when two things happen, 1). he proves to everyone he can stick at SS. 2). he proves he can rake at the AA/AAA level. I think there's still a high risk/high reward for him right now... but just imagine what he would return once he proves #1 & #2.

    Then again, we need to wait until Garza proves he's healthy.... so there is a chance we wait too long on either or both of them while trying to get maximum return.

    Nice call on the Abbey Road selection. I have a very eclectic & diverse taste in music. Fortunately, my 19yo daughter shares my love for this album (one of her favorites) and not my taste for Five Finger Death Punch.....

  • You should have The 'Mats "Let It Be" and "Tim" as albums of the day!

  • In reply to historyrat:

    Agreed! Two great ones.

  • Lots of big news today on the Cubs front. Covered in latest Game Preview/Thread.

    A few items...

    *Shark opening day starter
    *Garza out until May
    *Vogelbach and Almora may play today.

  • Can we agree now that we are not going to be able to trade Garza for much now? I was high on re-signing him, but now I think it is wait and see. Whoever he signs with next season will be for a discounted price, as this will be two consecutive years with some arm issues. Could be a bargain, even if he only returns to #3 starter stuff.

    I would hold on to Baez. I think the infield is coming around nicely, but wouldn't mind seeing his bat in a corner outfield spot down the road. I doubt we're going to see Almora, Soler, AND Jackson become stars in the league, and having a player of Baez's talent and apparent flexibility helps.

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