Archive for April, 2009

Bring Out Your Dead

Monday, April 27th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

Cubs 10, St. Louis 3

Watching the game today, I felt like I was watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the dead cart was wheeled through the street with a driver calling out “Bring out your dead!!! Bring out your dead”. Bodies were piled up, including one guy who said he wasn’t dead yet. It made me laugh because between Lee going down and Soriano getting hit in the head with a pitch, the Cubs look like a bunch of not quite dead players on the dead cart. We’re a MASH unit right now. After the game, I pull up the Yahoo box score and laugh out loud. Derrek Lee is actually on the dead cart, but not actually dead. Take a look at the box score and you’ll see his name curiously absent in the lineup, despite the fact that he had an RBI double in the first. It’s listed in the scoring summary, but he’s not listed in the lineup and he’s not listed as having a double in the box score. Poor guy. I’ve included the box for your browsing pleasure. Just click on the image to view full screen. With all the injuries, I really want to see a move to DL Milton Bradley retroactive to his last game on the field. Call up Jake Fox from AAA to fill a need on the bench with Lee having neck spasms, Ramirez having a twisted testicle (oh wait, that was someone else), and Soriano suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from a combination of being hit in the head and hit in the third spot in the order. Fox can help this team and needs to be called up.

Soriano was back in the leadoff spot, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why Lou makes these switches for such a short period of time. If you’re going to try Soriano in that spot, I’m OK with it, but don’t do it for two games and then abandon it. That’s retarded. If he’s your leadoff man, then leave him there. For me, I want him at leadoff. Case closed.

Fukudome is my homie. He’s busting out in a big way. He had a good start to last year, but not this good. This is the player we hoped we would come close to getting when we signed him. If this is the real Fukudome, I’m psyched. Happy Birthday Kosuke. We head out to the desert tomorrow, which is one of my least favorite.

Quick side note….I’m tired of hearing all this crap about how it was a mistake to deal DeRosa. Last I checked, he wasn’t hitting with Cleveland. I listened to a caller on the Score and I have read the comments that are clamouring that DeRosa would help this team. Sometimes you have to deal a guy before he sours to get something for him.

Iowa 3, Nashville 0

  • No homerun for Jake Fox tonight, but he did continue to get on base with a walk and a single and scoring a run.
  • Christopher Robinson

    , who doesn’t have a best friend named Winnie the Pooh, had a nice night at the plate with three RBI from a three run home run (his first of the year).

  • Esmailin Caridad worked seven scoreless innings and combined with a pair of relievers (Kevin Hart and Chad Fox) on a three-hit shutout.
  • Nashville centerfielder Tony Gwynn (yes, he’s related) had his PCL-best 15-game hitting streak come to a close with an 0-for-4 afternoon.

Tennessee 4, Carolina 3 Paulie movie download

  • Ty Wright
    My Daughter’s Secret movie

    led the Smokies’ offense going 2-2 on the day and driving in the game-winning RBI.

  • Marcos Mateo made his 2009 Smokies debut on Sunday and lasted 3.2 innings, giving up only one hit. He struggled to find control on the mound, walking four and hitting one, before being lifted for James Russell, who would pick up the win.
  • Wait!!! What’s this?!!?! Tony Thomas didn’t get a hit? What’s wrong? Ah well, he still found a way to score a run out of the leadoff spot.

Daytona 5, Lakeland 3

  • Andrew Cashner

    , who many consider one of the top prospects in the system, made his debut for the Daytona squad after an oblique injury forced him into extended spring training, and pitched 2.2 innings as the starter, giving up one hit and one earned run. He’s got some worked to get stretched out. I see his primary role for the big league Cubs as one of a setup reliever, but the little league Cubs want him to work on developing all of his pitches and the best way to do that is in the starting role. My guess is as he advances in the system a little more, which hopefully shouldn’t take long considering many thought he’d be up last year after being picked out of college, you’ll start to see him getting experience in the role he’s more suited for.

  • At the plate, Jovan Rosa provided most of the offense that the team needed with a 2-for-4 day that included a double, homerun, and three RBI. Rosa was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Lake City Community College

Peoria 8, Cedar Rapids 7

  • Justin Bristow made his 2009 debut and gave up two hits and two runs in two innings
  • Junior Lake was 3-for-4 with a double, two singles, a run scored and an RBI. It was hit first three hit game of the year.
  • Rebel Ridling now has a six game hit streak and leads the league with seven doubles
  • Cliff Andersen was injured in the leg when rounding first in the first inning and was replaced by Tony Campana
  • One of my favorite prospects in the system, Kyler Burke, is having a decent start to the season and picked up a pair of hits to raise his numbers to .317 / .391 / .537. In case you don’t remember, he was packaged with Rob Bowen from the Padres for Michael Barrett in 2007. He’s got a decent ceiling, but just hasn’t been able to put it together to rise through the system like the Padres had hoped.

Organizational Depth Chart – RF The Cake Eaters hd

How I Voted

Bleacher Nation is running a recurring poll on the top prospects in the system and they were kind enough to ask for my vote each month. In case you’re interested in taking a look at the first poll, here it is. I submitted my ballot for this month and it looked like this:

  1. Jeff Samardzija – P
  2. Josh Vitters – 3B
  3. Andrew Cashnew – P
  4. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  5. Tyler Colvin – OF
  6. Tony Thomas – 2B
  7. Jake Fox – 1B / OF
  8. Micah Hoffpauir – 1B / OF
  9. Jose Ascanio – P
  10. Wellington Castillo – C
  11. Kevin Hart – P
  12. Mitch Atkins – P
  13. Jay Jackson – P
  14. Jovan Rosa – 3B
  15. Esmailin Caridad – P
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Panick Is Setting In

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

Cubs 2, St. Louis 8

  • I wasn’t able to see this one due to MLB blackout rules, which is completely retarded considering I paid for MLB Extra Innings. It just seems illogical that MLB wouldn’t make every game available to be seen when someone has agreed to pay for it. Show me the Fox feed on Extra Innings for cryin’ out loud. Absolutely ridiculous.
  • Someone explain to me why we decided to designate Luis Vizcaino for assignment in favor of a kid like David Patton who was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft for a reason. I know Vizcaino isn’t the difference between a bad bullpen and a good pen, but he hadn’t allowed a run in his limited role. Why get rid of him?
  • I’m done with Derrek Lee. Say all you want about sample size and all the other garbage, but I’m done. There is a time to realize when a veteran has lost something on his game and that time is now. Is Micah Hoffpauir the answer? I don’t know, but he’s put his time in and deserves a shot to play more at 1B. If Lee wants to play, step up at the plate and produce. I’m in no way abandoning ship on this team. It’s just a tough stretch, but I’m also not going to keep my mouth shut in calling out guys that need to produce, especially when those guys hit in the 4th spot in the order.

Iowa 3, Nashville 6

  • Jake Fox is ridiculous. He hit his 9th homerun of the season and reached base three more times in four plate appearances at 1B. I don’t know what you need to do to get his bat in the lineup right now, especially for a big league team that has injury issues and can’t seem to score, but you have to find a way. If you’re going to have freakin’ Carlos Zambrano and Koyie Hill taking grounders at third base before Saturday’s game just in case it comes to that, you mean to tell me Jake Fox couldn’t get his hacks in and hold his own over there? Come on.
  • Jose Ascanio got another start and continues to stretch himself out after pitching exclusively out of the bullpen last year. He went four innings and tossed 68 pitches, 49 of which were strikes. He lowered his ERA to 0.54 in 16+ innings of work and wouldn’t be a bad addition to this big league pen if we decide to get bold and offer David Patton back to Colorado.
  • Bobby Scales went 1-for-4 and appears to be the leading call up candidate if Milton Bradley is placed on the DL with Ramirez hurting. I think that’s the wrong move, but what do I know?

Tennessee 5, Carolina 0

  • Another game and another great performance by Tony Thomas out of the leadoff spot. A 2-for-4 night with a double and single at the plate. I wouldn’t rush him at this point, but if Fontenot and Miles continue to struggle, you have to begin asking the question of whether Thomas is ML ready.
  • Casey Lambert got the start for the Smokies and picked up his first win of the season. In six scoreless innings he allowed only three hits striking out two and zero walks, while also gathering his first career hit.
  • Tennessee’s victory moves them to 8-7, tied for first place with Huntsville.

Daytona 6, Lakeland 3

  • Marquez Smith hit a two run homerun over the scoreboard in the 6th inning.
  • Newly promoted right handed pitcher Andrew Cashner (last year’s first round pick) will make his return to Daytona, where the 2008 first round draft pick finished last season.
  • David Cales worked a scoreless ninth to earn his, and the Cubs, first save of 2009.

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Peoria 6, Cedar Rapids 5

  • Kyler Burke was 2 for 3 with a double, two RBI and a walk scored in the Chiefs win. Batting in the clean up spot for the first time this season, he gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead in the first and then added an insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth.
  • Rebel Ridling now has a five game hit streak and leads the league with seven doubles.
  • The Chiefs are now 3-0 in the first game in a series at home
  • It is the second time this season the Chiefs registered two out field assists in the same game

Minor League Roster Moves

  1. Marcos Mateo promoted to Tennessee
  2. Phantasm psp

    Andrew Cashner The Message dvdrip to Daytona from Extended Spring Training

    The Story of Us the movie

  3. Dan McDaniel placed on 7-Day DL retroactive to 4/23/09
  4. Jose Pina
    Driving Miss Daisy psp

    promoted to Daytona from Peoria

  5. Jayson Ruhlman was promoted from Tennessee to Iowa
  6. Justin Bristow added to Peoria

Organizational Depth ChartCF

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Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I didn’t see the game — for whatever reason it wasn’t showing on the plane; but when I landed I checked my phone and saw that we had a runner on third with one out in the eighth of a 3 -3 game and I thought “great — we should go up 4 – 3.” By the time I got to my car, Pujols had stolen second and was being singled home. It was 4 – 3 alright, but not in our favor. For some reason, I thought of a great Tommy LaSorda line from the past…when asked after a game what he thought of his team’s execution, he responded “I’m in favor of it.”

That’s not the topic of this post, which doesn’t really have a set topic, but 1.) not scoring in those situations hurts, and 2.) Pujols stealing? Come on. But I didn’t see it…so whatever…

Here’s my thought for the day:

Aaron Heilman is doing a great job. But I don’t think he should be a one inning everyday pitcher. The guy is a starter by definition — live arm and more than two pitches in his repertoire — so if he’s not starting for us, at least use him for what he is best suited. Why not let him go two or three innings twice a week? I am not saying that this is why we lost last night — who could know that Marmol wouldn’t get it done? I’m saying that if the game goes thirteen innings, who pitches? No one would be left in the bullpen in whom we can have any confidence. If Heilman pitches the seventh (as he did) and let’s say the eighth and ninth — even if both teams are still scoreless — he gives the Cubs a chance to take the lead and let Gregg or Marmol try to save it. This pitcher an inning thing is becoming a trend that could and will bite us in extras. I think Heilman once through any order is a decent bet — why not use him that way? The same could be said for Sean Marshall, but I prefer him as a starter (and I think given the ball every fourth or fifth day he’ll be a 12 – 15 game winner every year.)

Part two:

This speaks to management, but when you have players with a propensity for minor injuries, like Aramis Ramirez, shouldn’t you build your team with some contingency for that? He always has a few things during the year that happen to him, hammies, whatever, that cause him to miss a few stretches of games. I’m not criticizing him for it — it is what it is and he’s been a very solid player for us — but knowing that, why don’t we have a player who can backup for third base. Fontenot is not the guy. As Joe noted, Fontenot may not even be the guy for second base. Yes, the DeRosa trade is looking worse and worse — but that’s not my point with this. Trading DeRosa for whatever reason is fine; why wasn’t the need for an Aramis backup addressed? We have a load of outfielders and guys who can play second base — why not a utility guy who can play third? I think that was an oversight by management. In fact, I think this team was “oddly” constructed — almost without considering certain possibilities in order to become more left handed and “faster.” We have Jumpin’ Joey and AAron — neither of whom we REALLY NEEDED — and no real third base backup, no real right handed bat off the bench to PH, and the middle of that bullpen? Never mind that.

Despite last year’s playoff debacle, It appeared that the team had good chemistry. This year, I’m not seeing it yet. Maybe later. Or not.


Darkness Falls the movie

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The Story of Us rip Snakes on a Plane on dvd

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A New Era Begins?

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

What Happened Yesterday

St. Louis 4, Chi Cubs 3

  • Alfonso Soriano mentioned at the beginning of  the season that whatever spot he was placed in the lineup, he wanted to stay there all season. Lou put him in the lineup in the leadoff spot and then moved him yesterday to the third spot. I don’t know how it made him feel, but I would imagine it’s not his ideal idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t work last night as Ryan Theriot went 0-for-5. All that being said, I decided on what my ideal lineup would be, but I want to post it during the week so I have some time to expand on it. I’ll give you a hint, though, it doesn’t involve Theriot in the one spot.
  • At what point do we begin to worry about the second-base position with Mike Fontenot struggling at the plate. Aaron Miles needs to get in the lineup a little more to take some pressure off Fontenot, who is struggling big time at the plate. I know a lot of people feel like Miles is better suited for AA, but right now he’s the only other option we’ve got on the roster so we need to see what he can bring to the game.
  • Another game and another run given up by this bullpen. If it doesn’t get better soon, this bullpen will be the death of us.

Iowa 7, Albuquerque 5

  • Jason Dubois hit a walk-off three run HR to win the game in regulation for the Cubs.
  • I continue to campaign wildly for the promotion of Jake Fox to this roster. With Aramis Ramirez leaving the game with a strain and Milton Bradley possibly going on the DL, what better time than to call up Fox to be available at a bunch of positions (OF, 1B, C, 3B in a pinch) off the bench. The kid is killing the ball and continued to do so yesterday with a 3-for-4 day that featured his 8th HR to tie the game early and a single that started the winning rally late. CALL HIM UP!!!
  • On the pitching end, Mitch Atkins got the start and went six innings. He was average as the starter, which allowed Chad Fox to sew his arm on in the bullpen and come in to get a win.

West Tenn 9, Tennessee 2

  • The Diamond Jaxx score runs in six of eight innings to blast the Smokies
  • I was looking forward to see how Jay Jackson fared, as he’s struggled early this season, but his issues continued. He managed 4.1 IP with 6 ER on 2 HR. Hopefully his struggles get cleared up because I’ve got some decent hopes for this kid.
  • Smokies manager Ryne Sandberg was ejected arguing with home plate umpire Tripp Gipson in the bottom of the third. Sandberg visited the mound after two walks sandwiched in between a base hit loaded the bags with no outs. Gibson head to break up the conference when he and Sandberg got into a heated discussion.

Daytona 1, Lakeland 5

  • Rafael Dolis struck out three, walked none and allowed just one hit in four innings of work before the righty lost command of his fastball and was out after five. The end result was 5 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, 5 K, 0 BB, 2 HBP
  • No one in the lineup was able to manufacture any success at the plate except the leadoff man, Marwin Gonzalez and 9th hitter Starlin Castro The Brothers Solomon full who both had a pair of hits in the loss.

Wisconsin 5, Peoria 3

  • The Chiefs have not played a game that was decided by more than three runs all season, and Peoria  has lost 12 different leads on this seven-game road trip.
  • Michael Brenly put up a 0-for-5 night with two K’s as his father sat in the stands of Miller Park. Poor kid, I wonder if he was nervous.
  • Ryan Flaherty was the player of the game for the Chiefs with a 2-for-3 night at the plate with two doubles and two walks.

Organizational Depth Chart – LF

Flash of Genius ipod

Max Manus movie

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GirlieView (04/24/2009)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

No, GirlieView has nothing to do with Gordon’s pornographic potential third role! There seems to only be a handful of women around here so in hopes of attracting more readers of my gender I thought a girl’s point of view might be interesting. Maybe only to me! Nevertheless, this new Friday feature will combine some weekly highlights from Cubdom and VFTB for anyone who’s been too busy to follow along game-by-game or post-by-post, plus some other stuff. The “some other stuff” … well … that’s what keeps the mystery alive. Ha. It may (((gasp))) not always be baseball related. So let’s get to it.

Fri 17/Sat 18/Sun 19 – After a tough loss on Thursday (recapped here) which included Milton Bradley’s ejection and launched a lot of VFTB discussion (here, here

Flash of Genius psp Suburban Girl video

, here and my personal favorite, here), Friday’s game was an exciting win, series tied

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The Haunted Mansion hd

. Another exciting Saturday win ultimately ended up being the difference in the series due to Sunday’s rain out. (Monday (20th) off day.)

Tue 21/Wed 22 – I missed Tuesday’s game and everyone else must have also, there was no chit chat about it. Y’all must have been watching Dancing with the Stars. Rich Harden, Aram and Hoffpauir did well in the Cubs’ 7-2 win. The most amusing thing about Tuesday (in hindsight) is how reported that Samardzija won’t be called up anytime soon. (That is, until Wednesday night.) Wednesday’s somewhat disappointing loss (recapped here) evened the series. During Wednesday’s loss, Lilly made a fielding error which resulted in a run scoring. Some discussion ensued about the definition of an earned vs. unearned run in that situation, since the pitcher was the one who committed the error. Good explanation, Rick Beato, thank you! But this leads me to the ………..

Question of the Week –  (To save face, I could say that the only reason I ask these questions is to encourage conversation and/or to benefit some novice readers who don’t understand all the ins and outs of the game. But in most cases I’d be lying. I don’t really know the answers, I just sometimes pretend I do.) Let’s say instead of the pitcher making that error, let’s say it was … ummm … Soriano. I know, it’s a stretch. Anyway let’s say he made an error causing one unearned run and that was the only run of the game. The pitcher still gets the loss, right? So am I missing something or does that kind of suck for the pitcher?

Thur 23 – Thursday indeed brought Samardzija with Luis Vizcaino designated for assignment to make room. Samardzija is from NW Indiana (where I am). We all love him here and are happy to see him back with the big boys even though his initial outing was unimpressive. In fact, Thursday’s whole game was unimpressive. I only caught bits and pieces, but every bit and piece reminded me of the Keystone Cops. Let’s move on to St. Louis.

Some other stuff – So, Wednesday was Earth Day. Are you still using your grocery store’s plastic bags or are you carrying in your own re-usable sacks? I use my own, but I have a confession to make. The decision wasn’t entirely in support of waste reduction. A big secondary benefit was that the baggers would no longer lick their fingers in order to separate the plastic bags before packing my food. I was seriously tired of toting home someone else’s spit with my dozen eggs. Got any bag lickers where you live, or am I just lucky like that? I can’t imagine this will become a hot topic of conversation here at VFTB but I bet you’ll notice from now on. You can thank me later.

On a more serious Earth Day note (not that I don’t take having my bags licked seriously) … I found a show that has become my new morning indulgence. Sunrise Earth .. check it out. It’s peaceful, relaxing, captivating and beautiful. Kinda like you guys. xxoo

Have a great week!Equus on dvd

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