Archive for April, 2008

That's It….The Season's Over

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

First Star The Flying Scotsman dvd – Mike Fontenot (.218)
Second Star – Mike Cameron (.210)
Third Star – Ryan Braun (.186)
Top Play – 5th inning – Bill Hall singled to center (Liner). Corey Hart scored. Bill Hall advanced to 2B on error. Error by Derrek Lee. (+.141)

Another loss, so it must be time to panic. After all, the Cubs are on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. Then again, we could having the issues that the Yankees are having, with A-Rod and Posada going to the DL. Instead I offer up some questions and thoughts from what I saw before falling asleep after it was 10-4. No need to panic.

  • Tonight was a cold night, so in response to a recent diary by lizzie, the pitchers were allowed to blow on their hands by the home plate umpire. I’ve always wondered if they use that permission and turn it into a way to add moisture to the ball. Think about it, how hard would it be to have saliva enter the cupped hand when you’re blowing. Not hard.
  • Geo singled up the middle on the first pitch he saw. Think he was anxious after two solid days off after striking out like it was going out of style? He finished 2-for-4, which is much improved.
  • Contrary to what some may think, the tag on Pie in the 2nd was not a dirty play.
  • Derrek Lee tied the all time Cub record for HR in April with 8. 8? Seriously? That’s all?
  • It was refreshing to see a power guy like Ryan Braun lay down a bunt in the fifth for a hit. How cool for it be to see Fatty lay one down and chug down to first?

    Let’s put this one in the archives, forget about it, and get a good rebound win tonight with Dempster on the mound.

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    Smokies Roster Moves

    Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

    From the Smokie Media Dept.

    Sevierville, Tennessee — The Tennessee Smokies Professional Baseball Club, the Class AA Southern League Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, announced several roster moves today. RHP Chad Fox and LHP James Russell have been added to the active roster and will join the team on their trip to Jacksonville. RHP Justin Berg has been called up to Class AAA Iowa, and RHP Juan Mateo will rejoin Class A Daytona.

    In other news, LHP Scott Eyre from the Chicago Cubs roster will join the Smokies in Jacksonville for a rehabilitation start scheduled for Wednesday April 30th. Eyre has pitched with the Cubs organization during the last two seasons, posting a 2-1 record with a 4.13 in 55 game with the Cubs in 2007.

    Fox is a 37-year-old is a native of Spring, TX. He is in his sixteenth season of professional baseball. The Chicago Cubs acquired Nannini as a minor league agent in January 2008. Fox has pitched at the Major League level since the 1997 season, but has not appeared in a game over the last two seasons due to a injured right elbow.

    Russell hails from Colleyville, TX and is a 22-year old left-hander. James is in just his second season of professional baseball after being acquired in the 14th round of the 2007 draft. Russell attended the University of Texas after graduating from Navarro (TX) Junior College in 2006.

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    Game 26 Probables & Farm Report

    Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
    Series Tale of the Tape

    Scouting Report on Today’s Starting Pitchers

    Jason Marquis had another strong start Thursday, earning a no-decision in Colorado in a game the Cubs went on to lose. For the first six innings, he neatly matched his previous outing against the Pirates, giving up one run on six hits. He added two more hits and another run in the seventh, however, yielding a solo homer to Chris Iannetta on a sinker meant to go down and away that came back over the plate. He threw 98 pitches over seven innings for his longest start of the season, striking out four while walking two.

    Ben Sheets is slated to return to the rotation after missing his last turn with soreness in his right triceps. He exited a start against the Reds after five innings with the ailment, which he said began back on April 12 in New York. The Brewers need a healthy Sheets back in action because he’s off to a great start: he leads the NL in WHIP at 0.64 and opponents are hitting only .146 against him. He allowed two hits in no runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Opening Day and will get a boost in this game by the return of center fielder Mike Cameron from a suspension.

    • With a fastball that can reach the upper-90’s, he keeps hitters off-balance by mixing in a hard breaking curve. Has tremendous control and can work inside.
    • Has a wealth of injury and durability issues that continue to wreak havoc with his career. Hitters also have a lot of success on his first pitch.
    • An ace starter when healthy.

    View the stat preview from Baseball Reference here

    All Scouting Information taken from and

    Tracked Player Results

    • Matt Camp was 3-for-4

    Got a player you’d like to see added to the player tracker? Drop us a line in the comments The Flying Scotsman dvdrip

    Organizational Roundup

    (AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Lost vs. Fresno (3-11)

    (AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Won vs. West Tenn (8-6)

    (High A) – Daytona Cubs – Lost vs. Juniper (1-2)

    (A) – Peoria Chiefs – No Game

    (SS) – Boise Hawks open their season June 17th

    (RK) – Arizona Cubs open their season June 22nd

    View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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    No such thing as a stupid question …

    Sunday, April 27th, 2008

    I’ve been told many times that there’s no such thing as a stupid question other than one that is not asked, or something like that … I hope some kind soul here will pacify me and answer some of my … well … silly little questions … things I always wanted to know but was afraid to ask. And, maybe others have questions they were afraid to ask too!

    Question #1. What exactly is a first base coach’s job? I know they pat a lot of butts and hold a lot of batting gloves and elbow protectors, but what does Sinatro actually do over there?

    Question #2. Had some nice front row seats at Wrigley on the 18th right between home plate and the Cubs dugout and watched them beat the Pirates. Stuck around awhile afterwards since I just didn’t want to leave those seats (plus I like watching the groundskeepers fix up the field). Soon enough I spotted a few Pirates heading over to the Cubs dugout. They were sort of half out of their uniforms and didn’t appear to have showered yet. What were they going over there for? Do the Cubs have better digs than their visitors? Or maybe they were just going to hang out?

    Question #3. While watching the Nationals games, I heard Len and Bob several times mention they took the Metra train after the games. That seemed odd to me. Wouldn’t they ride a team bus or something? Seemed odd that they were on their own.

    These are the silly little things I like to know. I have more, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Thanks in advance to anyone who will spend time answering. :smile:The Flying Scotsman move

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    Rompin In Washington

    Saturday, April 26th, 2008

    First Star – Carlos Zambrano (.217)
    Second Star – Derrek Lee (.145)
    Third Star – Mark DeRosa (.091)
    Top Play – Mark Derosa’s single in the 1st (+.103)

    AP Photo – Pablo Martinez Monsivais

    Reed Johnson – I’m going on record now, and I know it means I’m changing my tune, that I am fine with Reed Johnson as the every day center fielder for this team. He’s shown me enough over the first month of the season for me to send Pie down yet again for every day at bats. I am almost to the point where I am considering the idea that moving Pie might be the best option for this team. It’s obvious they’re doing everything in their power to not give him a chance so why not try to get something for him while his stock is still high? I’m not quite sold on the idea just yet, but I’m slowly moving there.

    Reed continued to show his talent today with a pair of singles on 10 pitches seen. I throw that number in there just to make Matt smile. He’s got to stay in that leadoff spot when Soriano comes back. I don’t know how Lou can do anything else. Soriano is not the answer in that spot, especially now that his legs are recovering.

    Ryan Theriot – He seems to have taken the 2nd spot in the order and made the most of it. He had a good game today, going the other way and taking what the pitcher gave him. He’s had some goofy things the past two days with the choice to try for a steal of third with less than two outs and the power guys up in game one and the error tonight on an easy ball. I’ve been pleased with Theriot this year. I think he’s come ready to play and knows that there is a hot hitting Ronny Cedeno that is making the case for the job. We mentioned it yesterday that Ronny hasn’t taken the job yet from Theriot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens. Ronny is younger and has more upside. If he can take the job, more power to him.

    The Platinum Sombrero – Geo needs a day off. He is getting killed at the plate this series. In his 8 at bats this series, he has 8 strikeouts. That’s got to be tough for a rookie to deal with, especially when you have all the other responsibilities of a catcher with handling a pitching staff. My guess is that with a day game tomorrow, he’ll have two days off with Monday being an off day. Hopefully that will help him recharge and get those K’s out of his head.

    Carlos Zambrano – Man, he was a little wild today and struggled to keep that pitch count down. Thankfully, the Nats couldn’t counter with a run all game on him. They had their chances, getting runners on each inning, but Z did just enough to get out of it each time. I was a little disappointed to see Lou run him out there in the 7th, but my guess is that Zambrano had a say in that decision. He finished the game with 114 pitches, which isn’t terribly high, but could have been limited because of the lead. Why not let Zambrano go six and then let Jon Lieber, who hasn’t pitched since the 23rd coming for an inning or two of work? I’d like to save Zambrano as much as possible, when possible. On the hitting front, I’m beginning to wonder why it is Carlos is a switch hitter. It seems to me like he would be more successful at the plate if he focused on one side of the plate and stuck with that.

    Don Sutton – For the last two games, I’ve watched the Nats feed on MASN and have been confused on some of the logic by Nats color guy, Don Sutton. He’s a hall of famer, but some of the things he mentioned over the past things had me scratching my head. For example, he marveled over Ryan Dempster moving his glove when pitching from the wind up. He couldn’t figure out what that was all about. I understand the confusion, but to keep mentioning it throughout the broadcast just accents the fact that he had no idea what was going on. In case you’re wondering, Demp does the glove movement to keep from tipping his pitches. He starts with the ball in the splitfinger grip, which is one of the harder grips and then moves that glove around to conceal when he’s changing grips. It’s actually quite clever. Tonight, Sutton said he disagreed with the signing of Zambrano long term because Z has emotional issues. That would be the least of the reasons I would worry about the contract. For me, I worried because of injuries. Z plays all out and has the habit of doing dumb things. He breaks his bat over his knee. He reaches for line drives with his pitching hand. He pitches late into the game. He’s just asking for an injury, but to say that he shouldn’t get the contract because of emotions is dumb. As he matures, he will continue to grow up and learn how to handle things like that. Let’s remember how young he still is.

    I’m off to see game three in person tomorrow with Tom C, aka pepi. I should have some pictures for you and some notes on my experience in the new park on Monday.

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