Tuesdays with Felzzy- Kablooey

Tuesdays with Felzzy- Kablooey

 

 Hi folks. Took the weekend off. Nice weekend to take off right? Anyway, see the place is a mess. Last time I leave Mooney in charge.  I see the Cubs are trying the slow, clockwise, downward spiral after the big trade. I'll have wraps of this swell doubleheader in the morning. Until then, here's an article I wrote for the Ivy Drip- my brother's publication on the Northside 9. It's a plaything, but I kinda like what I wrote so I'm letting my 6 or 7 fans read it for free. Anyway, if you like it, check out Sam's work at thecommittedindian.com, it's a fun weekly update on the Cubs done in sam's style which is as unique as it gets…. Anyway, here's is the 957th opinion that you didn't ask for on the Jeff Samardzija trade.

 

Ka-Blooey

So the Cubs epicenter wen Ka-bloeey this weekend. It was supposed to go Ka-blooey a little later. Had the chance to go Ka-blooey over the winter. But going Ka-Blooey now is certainly fine and it’s better to go Ka-Blooey all at once then doing it in stages, which certainly looked, liked an option.

In case you were under a rock or got knocked out by a runaway fire rocket this weekend, then you probably saw that the Cubs traded both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s for prospect Wunderkind Addison Russell and 2012 1st round prospect Billy McKinley, and P Dan Straily, who actually was a pretty good pitcher last year, before losing his fastball, and his location and becoming bad. Straily was 10-8 last year so to think of him in a straight up trade for Jason Hammel isn’t really all that far fetched. Which leaves Jeff Samardzija being traded for the 5th best prospect in baseball and a second prospect right around the top 100. For a pitcher who was ready to bolt before you’re scheduled to be good.  It was a no brainer, and it should leave Cub fans over the moon. I can’t tell you how much I love this trade.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

But that hasn’t meant being stopped by several types of Cub fans who don’t share my views:

1)   THE EDUCATOR- this person might actually agree with you but it’s important for THEM to know that YOU understand how YOU think the rebuild is going and why the trade had to be made. There’s a bigger picture going on and it’s important for you to know that people like THEM are the ones that recognize it and it’s only when THEY give their nod of approval can you go ahead and feel good about the trade.

2)   THE LOYALIST- they simply like the player. They’ve watched him since he was a rookie, (or more likely in this case, saw him play WR at Notre Dame,) saw him work his ass off to go from bullpen arm to Top-of-the-Rotation pitcher and you would have liked to seen him say a Cub. This was has a little merit. Although sentimentality is a dying breed and the truth is the deal was just too good to trump whatever sentimentality there is. But at least I can understand someone whose likes a player who’s been as loyal to the team as the fan has been.

3)   THE DOUBTER- hates everything. Every time you mention a prospect, they throw Felix Pie at you. Every time you mention a Cubs trade, they mention Lou Brock. Every cub move is wrong and they should have just kept everyone and maybe…just maybe…they might be .500 right now.

4)   THE MASOCHIST- Everything sucks. You wonder why they’re even Cub fans. Did you know a Wrigleyville Bar changed its awning to “It’s never going to happen.” After the Samardzija trade. Really!???!!??! Reallly!???!!? Were you that jacked about the Cubs chances when Shark was taking the bump? Or are you one of these outdated dudes who still think it’s cool to yell “we suck”

All things being equal, I wish this type of person didn’t exist. Sadly, there are more of them than anyone would care to admit.

Anyway, they were all out in full force. Or at least to provide enough force so that the Chicago press, in their effort to churn out the same tireless narrative- is Theo simply pushing back the timeline because Ricketts doesn’t have the money to get things done.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Luckily, we live in a Social Media world with blogs and Zines, and Twitter and you can real opinion when and where you want it. And most of the stupid has died away. Most of the people are analyzing the trade for what it is- A team going for it mortgaging the future trading prospects to a team that has the future on it’s mind and was willing to overpay. Did I mention that I love this trade

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I love this trade for so many reasons. Let’s see if I can count them.

1)   Who it was with. Trading prospects with Billy Beane might be a kin to fret boarding with Eddie Van Halen. But the truth is our guy is no slouch. And this wasn’t prospect for prospect; Beane had a certain need, whereas Epstoyer could be open minded as to what they wanted. And Beane needs a ring to validate everything he thinks he is. Which kind of puts Beane in a desperation mode, and Epstein pounced.

2)   ) The versatility of it. As an over eager Cub fan, I’ve been driving myself crazy as to who is going to pitch for these Crazy Cubs once all these mashers are hitting .350 in Iowa with multi HR games a week…you know, Kris Bryant numbers.  But with every trade, starting pitching prospects become more and more scarce. When Samardzija was first put out there. Names like Archie Bradley and Jameson Tallion were being thrown around. Last week, Toronto was saying how they weren’t going to include either Marcus Strohman or Aaron Sanchez. So instead of simply taking a 6.5-7 talent because that was the highest talented P available, Epstoyer got the 9.5 talented Russell.

3)   It’s Addison Russell. I file this under “ I might not know much about hip hop, but I know how good Outkast is. I have a pocket of people whose opinion I respect and believe when it comes to prospects. When I see they’re all drooling in a cup and slapping themselves with glee at adding the 4th best prospect in Baseball to what is already an amazing farm system…well I’m happy.

4)   The next domino. John Harper has already suggested throwing Zack Wheeler and other prospects for Starlin Castro. I don’t know if I’d do it. I might. But I’d have to think about it. But that’s the kind of move that’s next. All these players can’t play the infield. And while it might be Castro, It might be Baez, the next trade is going to be just as large as this one and it’s probably going to be for a pitcher for the Cubs.

5)   The finances. Say everything goes Milhouse and it’s Rizzo-Baez-Russell- Castro across the infield with Bryant Soler and Almora in the OF. What is that? 35 Mil, you can buy 3 SP to go with Arrieta or hopefully Hendricks.

6)    The Samardzija conundrum.  I love Shark. And I’m going to miss using all those “Deep Blue sea” and “Jaws” quotes for my wraps. But defending signing him was beginning to be a drag. And since he’s going to be a free agent in a year and a half. Whatever.  He did nothing but pitch his ass off for the Cubs, and helped set the Cubs up with one of the best prospects in baseball. He’s more than done his part. I know how I’m rooting for come playoff time.

The Cubs have celebrated the big trade just like they did the last two years- by losing. I doubt that continues. I think Hendricks might be a real pitcher. And I the bullpen am still a weapon.  And maybe the world going Ka-Blooey earlier than usual means an earlier return to normal.  But I’m glad it happened.  And I can’t wait for the Cubs world to Ka-Blooey again.

 

Comments

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  • I don't want to sound like the perpetually negative Cubs fan, but the contrarian side of me is wondering if Beane made the trade because he knew Russell is way overrated. 5th best prospect for an above average hitting shortstop, playing in high A/AA? Alcantara seems like a better prospect to me, and similar in many ways (hitting, speed, position). But I'm no scouting expert. Russell is just 20, so that probably means a lot....just saying, maybe Beane does know something we don't know. Wouldn't be the first time.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Beane wants to WIN A WORLD SERIES.. BADLY. He is doing what he can to do that. This is definitely his best chance to do it. He isn't gonna have any regrets by not doing everything possible to get it done this year. Has nothing to do with Russel not being good.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    For the most part I agree with you, playing devil's advocate here because I'm not sold yet on Russell's sky-high propect ranking. I get that he is good, but at the same level as a Bryant or a Baez? That would be crazy if it's true, and I really, really hope it's true. What exactly puts him in this exclusive world?

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    In reply to HefCA:

    When the season is over, the A's current SS, Jed Lowrie is a FA. Starting next year, Josh Donaldson, who could put up 10 WAR this year, will start the first of 4 years of arbitration.

    Did you see "Moneyball" ? At the beginning of the film, the A's lose in the playoffs then lose 4-5 of their best players in free agency.

    It could be happening again. Beans doesn't gave the upper hand here. He has the best team in baseball, and they're playing so well that their run differential is DOUBLE that if the next best team. But they needed arms. They reportedly floated this deal to TB for Price and TB wanted more. Beans is going balls to the wall to ein a WS right now. He perpetually has one of the bottom three budgets in baseball. He can't afford (literally) to let this opportunity slip away.

    Also, it's a little naive to think that if there was anything wrong with Russell, that Theo, Jed, Jason, and a small army if scouts and cross-checkers wouldn't know.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    uhhh, check the prospect lists.. they all have him high. for being a very good fielding SS who will most likely hit for high average and good power. he gets Barry Larkin comps. I would say that kind of comp makes you a premiere prospect.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Agreed,.... might just have to become an A's fan for the remainder of the year - just on the premise that the man is going all out and has gathered the tools to do it.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Here's the quote I liked best from Felzz: "And Beane needs a ring to validate everything he thinks he is."

    Exactly. We know who Beane is. The Hawk Harrelsons and Joe Morgans of the world will never acknowledge what he's accomplished and done for the game and to the game unless and until he can rub their noses in it. Only a WS title will do that. It's not just ego. He's entitled to get the recognition he deserves and this is perhaps his last chance for a long time. He probably overpaid, but I wouldn't be too sure about that, and if things don't work out, he can flip Samardzija this winter or next year and get a pretty good prospect back for him if that's what he wants. And overpaying to get someone who can put you over the top is standard operating procedure in a pennant race.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    I don't think that Epstein and Hoyer would have traded for Russell if that didn't think he would be great. I am guessing they could care less how he was rated (maybe would have appreciated it if he was lower) because they are concerned with how they rate talent. They had a very good look at him during AFL and probably had an eye on him for much longer than that. I don't think this trade was about Beane's opinion of Russell, I think it was about Epoyer's.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Good point, and that's how it should be, too. Trusting in the FO when it comes to evaluating talent makes sense, given their track record. It does seem to me, however, there is still a lot of risk that Russell even can be an MLB-starter caliber player. He is just barely out of high A ball, and didn't dominate that level (.865 OPS - very good but not great). A very good high A player doesn't translate as the next Barry Larkin (Beane's alleged quote). Not saying he can't be a HOF shortstop, just waayyy too early to make that call. He's only 20, is this the main factor that makes him special? i.e. quality SS at AA who is only 20 years old.

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    In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Agree with this 100%...I read an article at BN yesterday that said as much....It was about Cashman's interview on NY radio after the trade...he basically said that he felt the Yankees had the pieces to get a deal done for Shark and Theo told him that they would talk more about it, but he potentially had another deal on the table that if it came to fruition blew all the other deals out of the water....I think it's safe to say that "other deal" was Addison Russell and it shows just how highly Theo & Co think of AR....

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    Good stuff felzz! I love point #5 the best and agree that there is going to be another big move but it may not come until the WS is over. And after the big trade goes down this very same article can be posted with just a few names changed.....

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    And just might…..lol.

    onwards.

  • Beane's philosophy is to put together the best team as possible on a limited budget. That has not paid off for him the playoffs where he faces teams that have spent and are loaded to the gills. He realized he had to modify his philosophy a little which he did with this trade.

  • I like the trade from Beane's perspective too.

  • On (5) Epstoyer just unloaded 2 half season contracts for about $5 million each, saving another $5 million. What's that bring the payroll down to now, considering that they still have to pay about $7 million to the Yankees for their DFAed player?

  • In reply to jack:

    And I would think they still want to shed EJax's contract too. Wonder if there would be any takers?

  • In reply to jack:

    What the payroll is this year is not really important. That we have payroll flexibility in the future when we are a really good team is important.

  • In reply to John57:

    It is important if anyone wants to buy a ticket when there is a really bad team, like in 2014 and 2015. If they are financing 2019 with current admissions revenue, people ought to know that.

  • In reply to jack:

    Not taking Arb and free agt acquisitions into account... it's a smidge less than $30 million for 2015.

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    Wada the chances the Cubs win the nightcap?

  • In reply to Ray:

    Just a dash above nada.

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    You might have to eat your words. they are winning 5-0 right now.

  • In reply to John57:

    And lost it 6-5. With the Cubs, "tank" does not mean Viceado.

    John, how's that crow taste?

  • In reply to jack:

    Hold on, John. You might need someone to help you.

  • Felzz, put me squarely in the #2 camp - my head is happy because I think the Cubs made out extremely well in terms of value but my heart is heavy because I thought Shark was a great competitor and actually seemed to enjoy being a Cub. Will be interested to see how well the team responds after they get over the shock of this, but they are professionals and had to know this was a likely outcome (for both).

    Great article as normal my friend

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    Agreed. It was difficult to see Shark pitching in anything other than a Cubs uniform, but I am happy to see him get the opportunity to compete because I think it will offer everyone the chance to see him at his absolute best. I would like nothing more this season than to see him dominate and take the A's to a WS title. Would love it even more to see Russell do it for us sometime in the future.

  • Love this part, Felzz: "He did nothing but pitch his ass off for the Cubs, and helped set the Cubs up with one of the best prospects in baseball. He’s more than done his part." That's a nice tribute to Shark. A Cub.

    That sentiment is not far removed from The Loyalist, except that it recognizes his trade helped the Cubs (hopefully, likely?). I certainly bear no ill will to Shark and will definitely be pulling for him and the A's. I always appreciated and shared your views on signing the guy. Too bad he won't be around for The Cubs Rapture.

    But what about the other Cubs fan -- like me? Surely you have also been stopped by The Optimistic Pupil: He loves the Cubs, can't wait till these prospects get here, almost always watches the games looking for signs of the coming rapture, is joyful whenever they win, bummed whenever they lose, believes in the rebuild but often get frustrated and angry watching his guys get beat because too many of his guys are not very good, yet applauds the trade based on faith in Espstein and, well, because The Educators say so.

  • In reply to TTP:

    You know if Jeff was really telling the truth when he said he wanted to be with the Cubs, he can always sign with us when he is a free agent after the 2015 season. He just might like our offense by then. :)

  • In reply to John57:

    I thinks he was sincere, but that doesn't mean he would take a low-ball offer. And when you see the offers he gets, I think it will be quite clear that $85 million was a low ball offer. True he can come back, and I suspect he would, in the unlikely event that Cubs meet or come real close to meeting the other offers that will be on the table. I don't begrudge his or any other athlete's refusal to turn down tens of millions of dollars more, although is is laudable when they do.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I could see the Cubs coming in 2nd in the bidding. I think the Yankees will throw crazy money at him. Do you think he takes the Cubs offer if it is 2nd best?

  • In reply to John57:

    No. Especially after he said what great guys were in the As dugout, and how they wanted to win. Mark Giangreco took that as an immediate slap at the Cubs.

    But you can dream for a year and a half; even less if Oakland offers him a contract or doesn't offer him arbitration.

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    In reply to TTP:

    I'm fairly sure he wasn't entirely sincere there. He wanted to win and the rebuild had worn him down. This was a divorce that made made both sides happier.

  • Both Russell and Soler out of the lineup tonight for Tennessee....hoping it is merely a night off.

    Dae Eun Rhee moved up to Iowa to make a start (possibly not for good but merely until Wada comes back). Hard not to root for that guy....he is trying to have success as a finesse pitcher after losing velocity from surgery and is doing well. Hope he has a good game.

  • In reply to springs:

    Promotions upcoming maybe?

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    In reply to Behn Wilson:

    Probably not. Neither one has a lot of AA at bats.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    too bad, I would like to see the Triple A team loaded to the gills.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You are correct that it wasn't a promotion...Soler pinch-hit (and walked and was replaced by a pinch-runner)

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    Nice article Felz. Some if your finest work.

    And although I realize you disagree, I'm looking forward to the oncoming spiral into garbage. (For just this one. last. year. )

    It's a great day for baseball. LET'S LOSE TWO.

  • Baez/Bryant batting 3-4 tonight.

    Kane County series is on MiLB TV...

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    In reply to Eldrad:

    About time.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I believe the Cubs wanted Baez to adjust to what the pitchers were trying to do to him in AAA (get him to chase pitches) instead of the pitchers adjusting to Bryant behind him and therefore giving Baez more pitches to hit....and it worked out perfectly, Baez made the adjustment, started taking walks and looking for pitches to hit and now he is on a roll. That also gives the kid the confidence that it was all him that turned things around and not for any other reason.

  • Like a lot of things in life we laugh because it's funny and we laugh because it's true. Completely agree Felzzy, well done.

  • Coghlan (home run after 4 hit night) & Ruggiano (over .300 now) on fire, who needs Bryant, etc. Seriously if someone wants to trade for any of these waiver wire pickups knock yourselves out. But I don't think anyone will be fooled by these minor hot streaks.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I don't think the FO wants to trade those 2 guys. Someone has to play the OF this year and next. Of coarse if someone makes an offer you can't refuse, you take it.

  • In reply to John57:

    I understand the whole "don't trade him unless it's an offer you can't refuse" for guys like Castro but not for spare parts like Coghlan and Ruggiano.

    Lake, Sweeney, Schierholtz, Alcantara, Bonafacio will be back. Try Olt in OF for a couple of games. Bring up Kalish again. Vitters/Jackson for one last try. There's plenty of names to throw out there. You can pick up another spare OF this upcoming off-season if need be.

    Every trade can't be a complete fleecing or a Godfather offer. If there's proper value to be had then make the damn trade.

  • Glad to have you back felz. Was missing your unique game recaps. Good article, as usual. Look forward to your recap of the double header. As a wise man once said . . . Onwards!

  • Kane County game is on MILB tv tonight and the announcer (who is the announcer for Quad Cities, KC's opponent) stated that Hanneman is out for 2 more games to serve his suspension (I believe that would be six games total). Not sure what that is related to, but it is possible that Schwarber (who was out the first game Hanneman was out) was also suspended for a game. Balaguert is not playing and Kevin Brown has been brought down to fill his spot. Not sure if he is injured or also suspended.

    Does anyone have any idea what happened?

  • In reply to springs:

    Announcer mentioned that Hannemann stretched a single into a 2 bagger, and that another player had been suspended (Johnson). I think I heard that Hannemann made contact with an ump during whatever resulted, so I imagine a fracas was the spark.
    Balaguert is on D/L with a foot injury. See transactions on MiLB Stats page for Midwest League.

    Schwarber just tagged a lefty brought in to deal with him on a 2-strike inside pitch that was tattooed against the base of the right field wall. Dude can hit.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Thank you for the information Eldrad. I hope Hanneman can come back without a hitch and continue the resurgence he has shown over the last month or so.

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    Not strictly cubs related but fangraphs has a very readable article on why this cubs-A 's trade is different from the James schields - will Meyers trade:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-as-royals-and-going-for-it/

  • in the Comments Dave Cameron says he likes Russel more than Cardinals super prospert O Tavares.. wow

  • Everyone talks about how Shark pitched his ass off for the Cubs. I won't deny that. However, he got a 5 yr deal at 21 yrs. old worth $10 mil. He didn't set the world on fire by any means his first few trips to the bigs, and he'd come in and walk batters in less than meaningful situations. The Cubs gave him a lot of chances, and stuck with him. Worked with him, made him better. So....the Cubs organization did for him, just as much as he did for them. They gave him what I think is a fair offer for his sample size...5 yrs. $85 mil . He turned them down. 2 years before this team takes off. Only a half season into a new contract (after his year and a half he's currently in). The Cubs stuck with him, he didn't return the favor.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    That's what a lot of players forget IMO. A poor development can really hurt a players future earnings. What would Shark be making if he wasn't allowed to try starting? Either way The Cubs got a good return so it's in their best interest to make them all into All Stars. The funny thing is that if the Cubs would have had a good rotation he might never have got his chance and turned into what he is.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    I am in the minority here and don't really think Shark is that great, so I agree with you. He has had two nice half seasons or so as a starter and multiple not so stellar periods, along with inconsistency as he developed out of the pen.

    I hope he does well the rest of the way mainly be cause, at times, the level of PTBNL is based on performance of acquired talent. While not likely here, I want the best PTBNL, so if that matters then I want Shark to be unhittable. Otherwise I don't really care....we offered him more than I think he deserved based on performance and he turned it down, so it is clear he didn't want to be here.

  • In reply to springs:

    Thanks guys...I know loyalty is a dying and rare thing anymore, but he got more than what he gave, and that's that.

  • At what point does Ricky and/or Cubs' brass figure out that Carlos V. can no longer get mlb hitters out?

  • Great article Felzz, really good stuff. I'm a big fan of the trade as well, the Cubs went with quality over "needs" or quantity. By the way, the Cubs also get the PTBNL as the last piece. Right after the trade happened Keith Law (who I don't trust anyway) said that the PTBNL was not "significant" but their seems to be some dispute about what "significant" means because Nick Cafardo says that the PTBNL is significant but not Raul Alcantara. Got all that?

    Robert Murray ‏@RobertMurrayMLB Jul 6

    Yesterday, @nickcafardo said the #Cubs would get a "significant" PTBNL in trade w/ the #Athletics. Unlikely to be Raul Alcantara, he says.

    So based on Law saying the PTBNL wasn't significant the player was assumed to be Dustin Driver, the A's #20 prospect who is coming back from tj surgery.

    If the player is significant like Cafardo says (but not Alcantara) then I predict that the PTBNL will be Dillon Overton, the A's #6 prospect, and the A's 2nd round draft pick last year (#63 overall) who had TJ surgery right after the draft and is the OK teammate of Jon Gray and considered the team Ace and the better prospect until Gray went nuts in his last year. If I'm right and it's Overton, that would definitely be a significant piece and he's in AZ right now pitching great. Cubs might just be waiting to make sure their are no setbacks.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    First of all, always ignore Keith Law. Secondly, at the time of the trade I instantly thought of Overton as a potential PTBNL because this front office loves nabbing flawed players that they otherwise wouldn't be able to attain. You have to believe Epstoyer is looking for a 2nd pitcher in this deal, so the only reason to hang a "PTBNL" tag on the 4th player coming from Oakland would be due to health concerns. I think this PTBNL scenario is going to be analogous to the 2014 draft, where everyone was pretty pumped about what we got and then out of nowhere we get Cease and all of a sudden this is crazy awesome.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    "the only reason to hang a "PTBNL" tag on the 4th player coming from Oakland would be due to health concerns."

    That's why the 3 names mentioned all had tj surgery. It's not rocket science.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The only other reason is if they want to judge certain players based on remaining performance or if the person can't be traded due to timing based on their draft/signing. The latter is not likely (as we passed the period for last year's picks and PTBNL doesn't go long enough for this year's picks) and the former would be true only if the players were all lower tier or injured.

    In other words, that was just a long way of saying I agree with all of you that it must be an injured player as I doubt we would be getting a lower tier player here.

  • K Bryant just got ejected.. the first pitch of his AB a high breaking ball was called a strike.. he had some words for the ump on it

    he swung at a high breaking ball the next pitch.. 2 pitches later, he struck out and had some words for the ump

    and the ump tossed him

  • the manager got ejected for the I cubs too..

    so manny ramirez has come out to be the 1st base coach

    LMAO!

  • In the meantime at the mlb level... Oh, well. Nevermind.

  • Maybe nobody cares, but that's a gut punch loss. For a team on a bad roll, they needed a win. Especially since so many media members are burying them or saying that they will fold after the big trade. They needed a boost. And Ricky did a poor job with bully. Again. Carlos V. should not enter a ballgame when the outcome is in doubt. He can no longer get anyone out. I love all the optimism about the future, but some of these guys are part of the core, and need to learn how to win. In the first game, Ricky left in two lefties to hit in high leverage spots (vs. lefties) and in the nightcap, he mismanaged the bully. I know the cavalry is on the way, but I wonder if Ricky is a good game day manager. He seems to have a good repore with the guys. He seems to have reached Starlin and Rizzo. And I know he can speak Spanish.... But, can he speak baseball? Just wondering.

  • In reply to ErnieB:

    Who do you want him to use? Ramirez was unavailable after pitching in the first game and you have to save Stropp and Rondon for the 8th and 9th. In the 2nd game of a double header you pretty much have to go with whoever's arm hasn't fallen off at the elbow yet.

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    Grimm (only threw 12 pitches game one), Ramirez only threw 13 in game one. Russell and Parker were available. Since it was a high leverage spot, I wouldn't mind seeing Strop in the 7th there. I'm a believer of using your best guys in the highest leverage spots. Carlos is a mop up guy at this point.

  • Oh, and I know this has been mentioned before, but in what crazy alternative universe does it makes sense to have a guy with a .250 OBP batting leadoff? Just wondering.

  • In reply to ErnieB:

    Literally anyone on the roster not named Barney or Baker would be a better leadoff hitter.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Reminds me of when Brenly (whom I grew to really like in the booth) said that you could throw a dart in the dugout and hit a better OF than Soriano........ Well, I think you could throw a dart into the dugout and hit a better lead off hitter than Lake. And that's when he's not slumping terribly.... If and when he plays, he's really a 7 hole guy, isn't he? Nobody is pressing more than he is right now. And I like that he seems to care, but Ricky isn't doing him any favors sticking him in the one or two hole.

  • In reply to ErnieB:

    Lake and Holmberg both played in the Southern League in 2012, which most likely means Lake was the only player to have ever faced him before. Maybe he had even had success off of Holmberg in the past.

  • We're now 8-15 in one run games. Worst in the NL. And we're 6-12 in two run games. So....... we are 14-27 in close games. And I think our bullpen has been, by and large, pretty good the last 2+ months. So, what gives? Some argue that numbers like these are simply a small sample size and that, ultimately, those numbers even out over time. Maybe so, but there have been very few times that I've praised and/or been positively surprised by a move that Ricky has made late in a close game. Am I way off base?

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    In reply to ErnieB:

    We're really bad.
    It's not supernatural.

    29th in AVG and OBP.

    When you can't hit the ball, it's tough to win close games.

  • Alcantara called up to the Cubs! Woohoo!

    It begins...the first of the big namers' to hit Wrigley. I am a huge fan of Arsismendy, I hope he takes the league by storm. I'm sure their will be hiccups like with any young player but the kid is dynamic and should give the team a spark in the 2nd half...even if we don't win many games.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    ...that should be Arismendy...a lot of letters their to get right.

  • Barney goes on paternity leave to make room for Alcantara. With the way that Barney has been hitting lately, and the reports of teams interested in him for a trade, I'm wondering if this was Barney's last game for the Cubs this year? If it was, it was a good one going 4-9 with a double and some nice defensive plays.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I doubt he gets traded. Unless there's a package of players getting moved.

    He has zero value by himself.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Thanks for your opinion, but I think that Barney does have value and that he will get traded.

  • Alcantara is only going to be here for two days only while Barney is on paternity leave.

    He knows that it's only for two days as well. I wonder if Renteria will start him or will only use him as a reserve just in case.

    The light at the end of the tunnel just got a little more visible.

  • they are gonna us him.. it be stupid to call him up and not to.

  • One thing keeps coming to my mind when the history of failed Cubs prospects gets raised in the aftermath of another prospect-oriented trade (and a great one, IMO). That is, the Cubs do in fact have some success stories when it comes to prospects; they are not all just Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Gary Scott, etc. In fact, not too many years back the Cubs drafted and signed a prospect, developed him, watched him attain a high-level of success, and packaged him as part of a deal that brought in a new high level prospect. That, to me, is a success story. It was really enjoyable, Shark - best of success in Oakland!

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