So the Cubs rebuild has been thrust under the under the spotlight again with the coming of trading season and with Javier baez being promoted to AA Tennessee and crushing the first pitch he saw over the fence. The rebuild is front and center of so many Cub fan's minds, that there are tons of "comparisons" about what organizations the Cubs rebuild is similar too. The Blackhawks are a popular one, with the Hawks being local and having just won the championship. ( Although right now, I might argue the Cubs are more Edmonton Oilers than Blackhawks right now. But whatever.) Tampa Bay is a good one as they are a success team driven mostly by their farm team. And the Cardinals are pointed out as a team that is constantly on top. But isn't the Cubs rebuild, hopefully, like the one this weekend's opponent?
The Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates currently have the best record in baseball. Their payroll is incredibly manageable. Their farm system has many gems in it. They're poised to be a good to great baseball team for a very long time. Their star- Andrew McCutchen, is locked up for the next 6 years. They have plenty of home grown players- Pedro Alvarez, Starlin Marte, Neil Walker. There's only one drawback to this comparison.
It took forever.
The Pirates haven't had a winning season in 20 years. Good starts have been thwarted. Last year the Bucs were in first place as late as August before heading into the tank. This season is GM Neil Huntington's 6th season. He didn't even draft McCutchen. And there were lots of whispers that if this season went the way of the last couple of seasons that it would be his last.
It might be possible that Epstoyer might be in their sixth season before they find themselves #1 in the power polls. ( And who's to say Epstoyer might still be Epstoyer. Jason Macloud has been rumored to be a GM in waiting. And wouldn't success find Hoyer in position to take a job more like Theo's?) We like to think the Cubs plan might be expedited by a few years- more cash, more successful leaders, the appeal of F.A.s to Chicago as a city, the ability to keep players more. But the common link will be patience. And of course pitching- almost all of which the Pirates found from other organizations. ( Burnett a Yankee, Morton and Locke from Atlanta in the Nate Maclouth trade. James Macdonald courtesy of an Octavio Dotel dump.... Of course Gerrit Cole will change all that.).
So rooting for the Pirates might not be the worst thing once this team leaves Wrigley. They're not only a great story and infusing new life into baseball. They're exactly what we want the Cubs to be when they grow up. So go Bucs.
ODDS AND SODS.
OK, I'm gonna say something that isn't the most popular thing to say. But it is what it is: My "ROID"-dar goes screaming Mimi every time I watch Yusiel Puig. I suppose it's only fair, given the sins of past players. It went off last year when Mike Trout was doing what he was doing. But I had heard to lookout for Trout. And I had never heard of Puig's accomplishments, except for a YouTube clip. And here's the thing.... I didn't mind the Steroid era. I knew it was wrong. But I enjoyed the heck out of those seasons ( and so did everybody else). I think they should all be in the hall of fame and it should be properly documented that their records were achieved during the "Steroid Era". (More of a quote guy than an asterisk guy.) The hall of fame is a museum. Museums document history. The steroid era happened. It should be recorded as such. So Puig's performance shouldn't bother me. But it does. Probably because Ol' Bud keeps bragging about their new testing. And Puig's forearms are the size ship cannons.
Another opinion that might not be popular. Eloy Jimenez signed with the Cubs because of his idol- Sammy Sosa. he worships Sosa. He's talked with Sosa. The Cubs have been interested in this kid for a couple of years. They obviously played on this kids affection for Sosa to help lure his signature. If they can use Sosa as a means to sign players- they can welcome him back and let him have his day in the sun.
Alright, done with the negative stuff.
Is anyone else confused by where the Cubs stand with their international spending money? Do they need to acquire mrs? Are they going to be heavily penalized? Do Epstoyer even care? I find this "second draft" incredibly cool.... even if I don't truly understand it.
Speaking of incredibly cool things I don't truly understand, I'm trying to understand all the hype behind this Daft Punk album. Because it sounds like a run of the mill Daft Punk album.
I really wanted to hear "Here Comes the Sun" so Abbey Road is today's sunday listening by the way.
While John and Tom will have the trade deadline covered like blanket this month and especially at the deadline, our blog-brother Brett Taylor over at Bleacher nation is also a fun check-in. Frankly the guy loses his mind. He blogs for 24 hours straight. He blogs, he tweets, he chains himself to his computer he drinks his own pee.... Well, maybe not that far. Anyway, this year he's doing something really cool. For every $1000 dollars donated to make-a-wish, he will blog for an extra hour. He's capping it at 36 hours, but so far contributions have been strong. It's a great cause, he's a great dude, go here and get involved. If we can get Taylor to blog that 35th or 36th hour, we might witness a man eating his thumbs...
Speaking of Make-a-wish, this might be the coolest thing I've seen all year. Maybe all decade....
Hopefully this Murray-Djokovic final makes up for the stink bomb that was the women's final. Heck, the competitive shots between Murray and Djokovic's girlfriends will be better than that. Anyway, would be tres cool to see Andy win. So go Scot....
Not the best Cub season when you find yourself missing Ryan Sweeney. All I'm saying.
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