Anarchist's Brunch- The April reminder.

Anarchist's Brunch- The April reminder.

Last year we compared this point in the season to what point we were at in the movie "Star Wars".  This year we're trying a slightly different tack...

Sugaree

This is one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs. Jerry almost always played it second in the opening set, usually after some lackluster Bob song like "Hell in a Bucket" or "Feels like a Stranger" ( To be fair I always liked "Greatest Story ever told" as an opener…). This one was no exception. I always like second songs in sets. Openers come with such huge expectations, is accompanied with the drama of the house lights going down, with people rushing into the theater/ stadium to their seats, it's hard not to get caught up in it all…..Thus the opener is almost always great. But the second song was usually a true barometer of what kind of show you had on your hands.

It was the last night of what would be the band's last run at Alpine Valley- the summer mecca place for them to play. The Grateful Dead crowd was in the middle of switching from diehards and regulars to a whole new wave of newbies and hipsters. The last night was played in the rain and the woman in her designer ripped jeans and her backward baseball hart wearing boyfriend were complaining about everything….. The weather. Their seats. That they haven't played "Uncle Johns Band" yet….. Finally a dude next to us turned to them and said "Folks, we've got three more hours of show left. You have to chill out!" (That's the clean version anyway). They did, Jerry went nuts on his guitar and we all settled in for one last marvelous show...

And that's where we're at with the Cubs this year. We're in April folks. And yet people are in full throat about Jose Veras. Jose Veras doesn't have any of the baggage that Carlos Marmol did when he started walking opponents left and right. And yet he's treated every bit as harshly. Castro was considered a bum after he went 1 for his first three games, now he's considered "Back". There were cries for My Colt to play 1B against left handed pitchers because Anthony Rizzo got dominated by Francisco Liriano. How's that looking?

But you let it go. Because it's the opening week. And everyone is excited to have baseball back. And we haven't got that football-overanalyze every single play of every single game- style of watching sports entirely out of our system.  But now we're settling in for the long haul. Time to let stories "develop" instead of force our own. Time to enjoy the weather as it warms up. Time to chill out.

It's why I get so thin skinned about every Jeff Samardzija start ending with trade talk.  Chill out. Unfortunately most of this meatball attitude is being driven by sports media with their own agenda. Look it's not like I'm not prepared for Shark to be traded. Sadly, I think he will be. But he'll be traded in July. And I know in July we'll have Samardzija trade rumors coming out of our ears. And I guarantee you'll be tired of hearing them. So knowing that, you want to ruin our April, May and June too? Let him pitch. Let some of these future Cubs develop every fifth day with a dominant starter for a while. Enjoy a 7 inning shutout performance for the athletic achievement that it is not what it might bring on paper in a few months. Let the season breathe.

We're at the second song of a 2 1/2 - 3 hour show. We're going to be here awhile.

PINCH HITS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

So happy the NHL regular season is over. It truly is/was time to say goodbye to some bad hockey teams. As for the playoffs, the Blackhawks can go out in the first round or go to the Cup final. The West is that odd. I thought the Sharks were going to be a team to watch but Niemi has really faltered. Maybe the Kings. Maybe the Hawks.

So what exactly is the plan to get top of the line pitching on the Cubs? Not gonna sign it in Free Agency right?….To expensive…..Not gonna draft it in the first round where the difference makers are usually drafted……too risky. Instead….we're gonna hope that sme team panics and gives it to the Cubs….using last year's Garza trade as an example. ( And which most GM's will probably learn from and be gun shy.)

I know we can't do this….but what the hey. If the Cubs had a rotation of Samardzija, Cashner, Garza and Feldman, would they be contending?  Don't get me wrong, I love the Garza trade, and I love the Feldman trade, And I like Rizzo too. But that's good pitching out the door. And the plan for replacing it is………what?

Speaking of NHL, saw a wonderful Elliot Friedman piece on Dominic Moore and his wife Katie. We so rarely see athletes humanized. this piece does that and then some. Very emotional.

Saw a great Manny Pacquiao fight last night. What surgeon. Footwork, countermoves. You forget what a beautiful sport Boxing can be….

So Blake Parker is on his way up and Rusin is back down? Which means Villanueva stays a starter right? Well here's hoping he builds up his arm. Nothing more annoying knowing you're gonna need 4 innings from the pen. Pens are overworked and unpredictable as it is.

C'mon Liverpool.

 

Comments

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  • I've changed on Shark. Last year I was convinced he'd be traded but now I'm convinced they're going to keep him. Keep him, sign one of Sherzer/Lester/Masterson, draft Beede/Hoffman and pray for Edwards to develop and the rotation shapes up nicely. The current team is looking better (much thanks to Renteria, he is looking like a great choice) to the point that 2015 looks really good if we can find a TOR to go with Shark during the offseason. It's not that rotation you listed that makes us look like a playoff team but rather putting Baez and Bryant into the line-up. I know it's not going to happen, but if both of them were with the big-league club right now we may be contemplating 85 wins. No reason we can't dream on 90 right now for 2015 if we keep Shark and get the +1.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I think it's far more likely we re-sign Shark & then sign a one of the top 3 FA SP's on the market than it is we trade Shark. O also think this is what's best for the Cubs. Trading away Shark is a huge gamble and sets back the timeline.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I agree on resigning Shark (if they can work out a fair market deal)
    then trade for or sign one of the top guys (masterson,scherzer, price) draft a rookie (jackson until rookie is ready) add wood & edwards and you have a very good long term staff.

    Then you still have: Arrieta,Ramirez,Grimm, Hendricks, Johnson, Jokisch and Pimentel (and even Rusin) waiting for their chance within the next year or so..

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I was for trading Sarmardzija when he was a #3 starter looking for #1 money and appeared to be over-valued by other teams based on his "potential". Now I'm not so sure. If he turns out to be a consistently solid #2 with flashes of #1, then I agree it makes more sense to sign him, especially if we sign a FA #1 starter in the off-season, since in that case 2014 might be the last season of futility we have to suffer through and a Samardzija extension could start to pay dividends as early as 2015.

  • I'm with you. Especially the way you're seeing all these "Prize pitchers" like Tallion and Walker going down with Arm injuries. You have a guy who likes it here, you have a wonderful contract comparison (Homer Bailey) to which to build a contract off of…. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  • No one's resilient as the typical Cubs fan.
    Even when the Cubbies can't, he always thinks they can.

  • Keeping Shark makes a lot of sense, and more so if we get one of the FA available this winter. Honestly, I feel bad for Samardijza. He is so fricken competitive and it has to be killing him that he is pitching this well and we aren't able to finish the games off.

    Probably the most impressive thing about him this year has been his transformation around pitching to contact, when he really still has the stuff to pitch through people. I don't know if he will match the Ks he did last year, but I could see another significant jump in innings and a huge reduction in ERA.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Yeah, he is looking so far like he's about to become that guy. Like Felzzy said, it's early, but his 1st two starts look good if they can become a trend. If he keeps it up he'll be the one finishing them anyway.

  • Too young to see The Dead at Alpine but I caught them at Soldiers. Always fun and terrific anecdote to set the table for this week's great brunch!

    Living in California allows me to stay above the Cubs local media frenzy/speculation and I'm enjoying the view. To me it appears the Cubs' front office is on the correct trajectory and I for one sure hope we keep Spellcheck. I like that kid. He's got the eye of a winner.

    Cheers!

  • When you step back and look at it, trading shark is insanity. His best seasons are ahead.

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