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Friday

5

July 2013

58

COMMENTS

The Battle of Who Could Care Less

Written by , Posted in General

ABOUT LAST NIGHT – One of my favorite musical talents is Ben Folds. He has a song called Battle of Who Could Care Less. It immediately came to mind yesterday as I watched two teams put zero after zero on the board, inning after inning. It was a combination of two starting pitchers, both of which had decent stuff, but more a result of two offenses who, when you look at them from top to bottom, are kind of stinky. The A’s are hitting just .204 for the month of July as a team, and the Cubs, well we know how that story has gone this season. In the end, it came down to a rather non-conventional way to win as the A’s get the only run of the game on a passed ball by Wellington Castillo in the 7th. The Cubs had a chance to take the lead earlier on an Alfonso Soriano single, and if you go strictly by the first half of the Len Kasper call, you would have thought they did take the lead. Instead, Starlin Castro was thrown out at the plate fairly easily trying to score from second base (Watch the Play). I’m still not sure what went wrong on the play, if it was a bad send or a bad job of running by Castro or if the throw was just that good. In the end, it was the difference between a loss and a potential win. Travis Wood didn’t get the loss, but once again, he also did not get the win. I feel bad for the poor guy, because as much as the tally in the win stat column does not mean anything from a valuation standpoint, it matters from a $$ standpoint. The poor guy deserves a better showing than he’s received. Newcomers, Matt Guerrier and Pedro Strop made their Cub debuts. Guerrier looked and was fairly hittable. While it’s tough to make a call after one game, I suspect that yesterday was an indication of what the Dodgers have been seeing all year. I don’t expect him to stick around long. Strop looked decent. There have been comparisons to him and Carlos Marmol, who cleared waivers for the Dodgers and was sent to the minors to work on his stuff, but personally I didn’t see the same kind of grip it and rip it type of John Daly approach on the mound. Strop at least seemed to have some sort of clue where the ball was going, while Marmol, in the later stages of his tenure in Chicago, never seemed to know. I’d like to see more from Strop. Guerrier, not so much. It doesn’t get easier this weekend as the Pirates come to Chicago. They’re one of the hottest teams in baseball so the goal is to not get embarrassed.

NEWS AND NOTES

  • Fresh off the signing of the top international prospect, Eloy Jimenez, Phil Rogers notes that the Cubs may not be finished on the international market despite being over their slot cap. Theo and Jed believe that the talent in this class is head and shoulders above the names in next year’s market and as a result, will take the penalties next year in an effort to maximize talent this year.
  • At least a dozen scouts were on hand on to watch and evaluation Matt Garza’s last start. I don’t know how many starts are left as a Cub for Garza, but my guess is it’s not more than one or two at the most. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve seen his last start.
  • Brian Bogusevic left the game on Thursday in the third inning with a tight left hamstring, and is day to day. It caught even the announcers by surprise when they went to announce a fly ball to center and saw Julio Borbon.
  • Here is a summary of some of the reactions to the Scott Feldman trade.

AROUND THE MAJORS

  • An update on your Alex Rodriguez saga. He came out and stated that he refuses to quit on the Yankees. This comes despite the fact that the Yankees quit on him years ago.
  • Arizona and the Mets decided that they would torture their fans and monopolize their entire holiday with a 15 inning, 5 hour and 46 minute affair that saw runs scored in the 13th, 14th, and the 15th innings. (Box Score)
  • All Star rosters come out tomorrow and I’m sure there will be many that are waiting anxiously to see who the Cubs rep is, but as for me, I want to see Puigmania continue.
  • 1) What exactly do the Cubs accomplish in trading Feldman, other than the new bullpen arms?

    2) Said new bullpen arms do not impress me.

    • Joe Aiello

      Josephine, you’re not looking at the big picture. They accomplished quite a bit, actually.

      They got a return on a player who was signed as a stopgap with the intention of flipping if he showed anything. His career ERA, counting this year, is close to 5. He wasn’t a building block. In exchange, they got a reliever they believe they can fix, who was very good last year for the Orioles as well as a guy who they believe they can work with and develop, in Arrieta. More importantly than both of those two, though, was the international slot money that came from Baltimore. Theo and Jed have worked hard with international signings this year and have been successful doing it. To do so, they needed more money than they had and this deal aided in that goal.

      • Chuck

        I think they have turned two eminently disposable players into quite a bit of young talent. Win for the Theo team.

      • Jedi

        The two we got from the Orioles are 27 & 28.

      • Chuck

        I was thinking of the international slot money. I considered the the actual players as “my junk for your junk”.

      • Jedi

        Can’t see getting excited over 16-year-olds who’ve never lived in the US…there’s a 3 or 4 year journey ahead of them just to see if they can be named a prospect…the bigs is a long way off.

  • 1) What exactly do the Cubs accomplish in trading Feldman, other than the new bullpen arms?

    2) Said new bullpen arms do not impress me.

    • Joe Aiello

      Josephine, you’re not looking at the big picture. They accomplished quite a bit, actually.

      They got a return on a player who was signed as a stopgap with the intention of flipping if he showed anything. His career ERA, counting this year, is close to 5. He wasn’t a building block. In exchange, they got a reliever they believe they can fix, who was very good last year for the Orioles as well as a guy who they believe they can work with and develop, in Arrieta. More importantly than both of those two, though, was the international slot money that came from Baltimore. Theo and Jed have worked hard with international signings this year and have been successful doing it. To do so, they needed more money than they had and this deal aided in that goal.

      • Chuck

        I think they have turned two eminently disposable players into quite a bit of young talent. Win for the Theo team.

      • Jedi

        The two we got from the Orioles are 27 & 28.

      • Chuck

        I was thinking of the international slot money. I considered the the actual players as “my junk for your junk”.

      • Jedi

        Can’t see getting excited over 16-year-olds who’ve never lived in the US…there’s a 3 or 4 year journey ahead of them just to see if they can be named a prospect…the bigs is a long way off.

  • Doug S.

    I’m not the kind of guy to jump to conclusions, but Guermol did not look good out there.

  • Doug S.

    I’m not the kind of guy to jump to conclusions, but Guermol did not look good out there.

  • PLCB3

    Svuem should bench Castro for hot-dogging it there.

    • Joe Aiello

      Maybe you are watching a different highlight because the one I linked to showed no angle where you could determine what the cause of the out at the plate was.

      • PLCB3

        No I was watching what you posted. He was jogging from 2nd to 3rd, and only turned on the jets at the end. You can clearly see it in the video.

      • Joe Aiello

        My guess is that Castro did not think he’d be sent and then had to turn it on when he saw he was. Personally, I think the ball was hit too hard and too shallow to warrant a send in the first place. My guess is that Castro felt the same.

      • PLCB3

        I don’t care. You don’t jog like that into any base unless you’re on 3rd and going to score on a hit to the outfield.

      • Jedi

        You’re getting more preposterous with each post. Sometime tomorrow you’ll have it down as ‘Castro moonwalked into third’…

      • Jeremy Johnson

        How awesome would it be if he had moonwalked into 3rd?

      • Cap’n Obvious

        On the moon, Castro’s stride would be lengthened by the lack of gravity, hence making him 34% faster, so he’d have only been out by a foot on that play. If I’d actually seen it.

  • AC0000000

    Svuem should bench Castro for hot-dogging it there.

    • Joe Aiello

      Maybe you are watching a different highlight because the one I linked to showed no angle where you could determine what the cause of the out at the plate was.

      • AC0000000

        No I was watching what you posted. He was jogging from 2nd to 3rd, and only turned on the jets at the end. You can clearly see it in the video.

      • Joe Aiello

        My guess is that Castro did not think he’d be sent and then had to turn it on when he saw he was. Personally, I think the ball was hit too hard and too shallow to warrant a send in the first place. My guess is that Castro felt the same.

      • AC0000000

        I don’t care. You don’t jog like that into any base unless you’re on 3rd and going to score on a hit to the outfield.

      • Jedi

        You’re getting more preposterous with each post. Sometime tomorrow you’ll have it down as ‘Castro moonwalked into third’…

      • Eugene Debs

        How awesome would it be if he had moonwalked into 3rd?

      • Cap’n Obvious

        On the moon, Castro’s stride would be lengthened by the lack of gravity, hence making him 34% faster, so he’d have only been out by a foot on that play. If I’d actually seen it.

  • PLCB3

    These rules about international signings and draft signings suck. If MLB truly wanted to rein in costs, they would have an international draft and it would all be slotted.

    • Joe Aiello

      I don’t like the idea of an international draft. Some teams value international talent higher than other. To force some teams to draft them is silly. I think the system now where signing bonus is based on record is a good system.

      • PLCB3

        Well I don’t like the new rules at all. Let teams spend what they want on international players. I meant to say a worldwide draft, international players are subject to a draft just as Americans and Canadians are.

        What I especially don’t like is the new rules regarding draft picks. Let a team who trades for an impending FA mid-season get the draft picks. The onus is on the team trading the player away to get value. Such as when Billy Beane acquired Ray Durham from the trash in 2002. He didn’t need the guy, but he was like I’m going to get better value with the draft picks than what I am giving the trash.

        Or like when the Twins claimed Hardin off waivers in 2009 and Hendry pulled it back because he felt he would get better value with the draft picks. Draft picks he never got because he never offered arbitration due to fears that Hardin would accept. If you feel he will accept, then why didn’t you trade him when the Twins made a waiver claim?

      • Chuck

        The whole compensation pick idea is stupid. You should get your pick in the draft inversely relational to your win total (or use some sort of lottery) and you can’t lose it unless you trade it (they should be tradable just like any other asset). No sandwich picks. No type A free agent nonsense.

      • Joe Aiello

        A worldwide draft will not work because leagues in Japan, for example, have a posting system.

      • PLCB3

        Make it worldwide minus the Japanese posting system and Japanese FAs then.

      • Joe Aiello

        How does that improve the current system? That would mean you would have to change the age requirements for either the international talent to make them have to be older or allow sophmores in HS to be drafted. The system needs to be separate.

    • Chuck

      I am unsure of the legality of such a system.

  • AC0000000

    These rules about international signings and draft signings suck. If MLB truly wanted to rein in costs, they would have an international draft and it would all be slotted.

    • Joe Aiello

      I don’t like the idea of an international draft. Some teams value international talent higher than other. To force some teams to draft them is silly. I think the system now where signing bonus is based on record is a good system.

      • AC0000000

        Well I don’t like the new rules at all. Let teams spend what they want on international players. I meant to say a worldwide draft, international players are subject to a draft just as Americans and Canadians are.

        What I especially don’t like is the new rules regarding draft picks. Let a team who trades for an impending FA mid-season get the draft picks. The onus is on the team trading the player away to get value. Such as when Billy Beane acquired Ray Durham from the trash in 2002. He didn’t need the guy, but he was like I’m going to get better value with the draft picks than what I am giving the trash.

        Or like when the Twins claimed Hardin off waivers in 2009 and Hendry pulled it back because he felt he would get better value with the draft picks. Draft picks he never got because he never offered arbitration due to fears that Hardin would accept. If you feel he will accept, then why didn’t you trade him when the Twins made a waiver claim?

      • Chuck

        The whole compensation pick idea is stupid. You should get your pick in the draft inversely relational to your win total (or use some sort of lottery) and you can’t lose it unless you trade it (they should be tradable just like any other asset). No sandwich picks. No type A free agent nonsense.

      • Joe Aiello

        A worldwide draft will not work because leagues in Japan, for example, have a posting system.

      • AC0000000

        Make it worldwide minus the Japanese posting system and Japanese FAs then.

      • Joe Aiello

        How does that improve the current system? That would mean you would have to change the age requirements for either the international talent to make them have to be older or allow sophmores in HS to be drafted. The system needs to be separate.

    • Chuck

      I am unsure of the legality of such a system.

  • Sherm

    this offense wouldn’t strike fear into the heart of a batting tee

    • Chuck

      I don’t know. This offense would miss the ball on the tee a lot and hit the tee. They do swing hard. It could hurt the tee.

      • B Tee

        Chuck right, me so scared.

      • Eddie Von White

        You sound like Chuck himself.

  • Sherm

    this offense wouldn’t strike fear into the heart of a batting tee

    • Chuck

      I don’t know. This offense would miss the ball on the tee a lot and hit the tee. They do swing hard. It could hurt the tee.

      • B Tee

        Chuck right, me so scared.

      • Eddie Von White

        You sound like Chuck himself.

  • PLCB3
  • AC0000000
  • Jedi

    As for the Cubs All-Star rep – doesn’t it have to be Travis Wood?

  • Jedi

    As for the Cubs All-Star rep – doesn’t it have to be Travis Wood?