Well, we're somewhere in the "Jawas-sell-C3PO-and R2D2-To-Luke-Skywalker" part of the baseball season and it's a little frustrating. There isn't a whole lot to talk about, other than the usual day to day baseball stuff. It's too early to think playoffs, it's too early to talk trades. The draft is coming up but that's down to two people and that's Arguello's baby. And there's been enough time for this regime that we really don't need to discuss how it differs or improves from the last one. So allow me to take something I usually rant about in the comments section, and occasionally hint at in my game wraps, and try and expound on it into a full length column.
There is no "Big plan".
A lot of people subscribe to this idea of "a big plan"- The Cubs are going to be awful for a few years, might even tank on purpose, are going to get as many high picks as possible, going to trade everything short of Castro, Rizzo, and the new right field patio for prospects and then in 2015- the magical year, when all the prospects have developed, that's when they open the Ricketts family vault, sign the lynch pin free agent and begin a reign of terror that will bring championships and blood coursing through the streets of Wrigleyville. And while I'd love for that to be true, especially the part about Championships and blood, it just isn't.
That's just one possible plan out of hundreds, perhaps thousands of plans lying around the offices at Theo, Jed, Pi Epsilon HQ. And all of those plans are re-written, shredded and re done all the time. These plans are fluid and are based on marketplace, opportunity, new developments, and un-forseen things being seen. Right now, the only "plan" is to decide between Appel and Gray ( fine, I'll throw Bryant in there...) figure out what the signing number is going to be, or at least ballpark it.) and execute a plan to draft two maybe three others before going to the college senior route of minimum contracts through the 10th round. ( I mean really, who drew this part of the CBA up? Daffy Duck?). Other than that...
There is no "Big plan".
There's a big goal. There's a big picture. I do agree that by 2015 or so the Cubs want to be a fully stocked team that churns out it's own players and thus gives the roster cost control and flexibility and makes them players whenever a star player becomes available. That they're contending every year because each year one of their own players takes a step forward as Rizzo is doing now. I totally agree with that.
That's why I bristle when Matt Garza comes back to pitch and everyone from the pressbox to to the bleachers starts listing possible suitors and talks about how few starts Garza has to have before they can "ship him out of here". They might. THey might qualify him and get another year to increase his value. They might sign him to an extension. Garza for 3 years at 30 might be a better move than 90% of the trades out there.
That's why I don't have any definite pans for Javier Baez. He might be a shortstop and move Castro to third or the outfield (although I doubt it.). He might be moved to second base. He might be traded. He might flame out or get hurt. Is it written in the big plan or not whether Javier Baez gets hurt? Of course there isn't.
Because there isn't any "Big plan".
You might have a big plan. But the Cubs don't. They have a big goal. Splitting hairs? Picking nits? Perhaps. But I'm always reminded of that great sports mind Mike Tyson when he said "Everyone has a plan, until they get hit." The hits fly fast and plenty in baseball, especially if Rizzo's up. ( That's right, the Cubs are playing well so the Jokes are positive. If the Cubs were losing that line would have read "especially when jackson is pitching..."). So the goal may stay the same, but the plans change all the time.
Because there is no "Big plan". Click your heels three times and keep saying it.
A LITTLE HERE, A LITTLE THERE.
Really, really enjoyed the debut of Matt Harvey Friday. Reminded me of when Jason Isringhausen debuted for the mets and struck out 12 Cubs. Next day Mike North was calling the GM and offers him half the White Sox team for him.
Eeegads. Mike North. Remember when he was a thing? City of Chicago is not gonna live that one down. Mancow Meuller either.
I've got the Stones "Sticky Fingers" playing right now. Getting jazzed for the Stones show in two weeks. Going with my pops. It'll be his 15th Stones show. He saw them at the Stadium in the 5th row in 1975.
In new music, thumb is mildly up on the new Daft Punk. Which considering the hype it got, is pretty impressive.
Ryan Dempster threw 127 pitches last night and didn't even get through 5 innings. Ahhh.......
By the way, Randall Delgado, the stud pitcher everyone was so upset we didn't get in the failed Dempster trade....? Yeah, he stinks. He's currently got an ERA of 9 in AAA. Vizcaino is already a better pitcher and he hasn't even pitched.
When does he start pitching by the way?
By the way, for the two to four people that might care, the name of this Sunday column was taken from this book. It's one of my favorite collection of short stories anywhere. We even named our beagle after one of the characters in the last story.
I'm in the middle of a new business pitch, which means I have to go into the office today. Which is a long way of saying today's game wrap might be delayed a couple of hours.
But Arguello and Loxas will be at the game today. So be on your best behavior. Because they won't be.