View From The Bleachers

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Wednesday

15

January 2014

60

COMMENTS

Three Up / Three Down – Cubs Not a Finalist For Tanaka?

Written by , Posted in General

I’m trying a new format, which I may even extend to game notes this year. It’s called 3 Up 3 Down. We look at three notes that I deem as positive and three that would be as negative. Let’s get going.

THREE UP

  1. Cubs Reportedly NOT a finalist in the Tanaka bidding – There have been a number of people reporting that the finalists are the Yankees, the Dodgers, and the Angels. Take that with a grain of salt as rumors are what they are, but I’m happy to hear this. I’ve not felt good about a Tanaka signing. I’m not sure why other than the history of lack of success when it comes to Asian players and the Cubs franchise. I could be completely wrong, but I’m OK if the team doesn’t sign Tanaka.
  2. MLB Advanced Media Bringing Back RBI Baseball – I will always go on record stating that my all time favorite gaming console was the original NES, and one of my favorite games was RBI baseball. MLB Advanced media announced today that they are bringing RBI baseball back. There isn’t much news as to what the game will look like, but I’m excited to see it revived.
  3. Bud Selig “All In” on retiring. – There are a lot of people who will say Selig is one of the worst commissioners in the history of the game. I disagree completely and actually would argue the opposite. That said, it’s time for new blood in that role and I’m hoping the replacement will have new vision on how to make the game even more accessible and remove some of the silly blackouts.

THREE DOWN

  1. Cubs Saw 8 players file their arbitration numbers – You never want to see a team go to arbitration with a player but the system is what it is. I have no doubt that the majority, if not all, of these cases will be settled before the arbiter hears the case, but you hope there isn’t any hard feelings as the negotiations are taking place. The Cubs players who filed are: Jeff Samardzija. Travis Wood, Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena, Justin Ruggiano, Nate Schierholtz, Pedro Strop and James Russell.
  2. Cubs Adopt a New Mascot – If you didn’t see the mascot pictures, I’ll save you from them as I know you’ll see them soon enough. This doesn’t get placed in the three down section because it’s a dumb idea. I have no issue with it. What bothers me is the fact that in an off-season that has been riddled with criticism to the point that Jeff Passan ranked them so poorly from a franchise standpoint, the Cubs choose now to announce it. That seems like a better idea for the Cubs convention.
  3. Woman Messes up Her Ankle on Price is Right – Take a look at the video on Deadspin. She almost broke that sucker.

What’s On Joe’s iPod?

I ran this last year in the off-season and I wanted to bring it back. I will choose a song I enjoy listening to. Feel free to give me feedback on if you like or dislike the choice.

  • Noah_I

    On Tanaka, I’ve always said that I’ll be excited if the Cubs sign him because he’s likely to be the best pitcher to actually hit free agency in the next few years, but I won’t be bummed if the Cubs don’t get him because that big of a contract is a significant risk. However, I wouldn’t pay any attention to that report that Tanaka selected finalists. It came from a Google Translate (which is well known for being inaccurate, especially for long blocks of text) or one Japanese news source report. No other source has reported it, and it honestly doesn’t make any sense for Tanaka to limit his suitors from a dollars and cents standpoint.

    I’d be interested to see what RBI Baseball will be like. I’ll be curious if they’ll be looking for a deep game that would compete with “The Show”, or if they’ll be going for more of an old school, arcade like feel.

  • Doug S.

    -Agree on Tanaka
    -I think MLB is ready for a new commish. One that respects the history of the game and is savvy with the goings on in technology.
    -Clark the bear has sure generated a lot of internet negativity. Probably because of the lack of splashy moves in personnel. Interesting that SI gave the Cubs a C in their off-season report card.
    -Great song choice. STP has a way of combining melody with a hard rock edge often producing great results.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    3 articles in 3 days and all great. I am always happy when this site has activity.

    • PLCB3

      I’m starting to think that this blog operates along with the government. Last March, after the sequester kicked in, Friday posts were cut for a while. Then we only had a couple of posts during the government shutdown. During Congress’ winter recess no posts, now Congress has passed a budget, and the blog is back in business.

    • AC0000000

      I’m starting to think that this blog operates along with the government. Last March, after the sequester kicked in, Friday posts were cut for a while. Then we only had a couple of posts during the government shutdown. During Congress’ winter recess no posts, now Congress has passed a budget, and the blog is back in business.

  • Doc Raker

    We have a mascot now named Clark the Bear? Seriously? What a douche move. Is he going to drive the relief pitcher in on the bullpen golf cart decorated like a baseball like they did at the old cookie cutter multipurpose stadiums in Cinci, Philly and Pittsburgh? Is he going to dance on top of the dugouts and induce the crowd to make noise? Is he going to mock the 3rd base coach of the opposing team and get into a fight with him to amuse the crowd? Is he going to hand out tee shirts to young children and shake their hands while a security guard stands next to him so a drunken frat boy from DePaul doesn’t give him a playful whack upside his oversized head? Is he going to distract the fans at Wrigley away from the poor baseball being played on the field? Wrigley doesn’t need no stink’n mascot, we have green vines, sunshine, beer, coeds and now a jumbo tron. We have Murphy’s Bleachers, High Tops, the Cubbie Bear, Sluggers and much more in and around Wrigleyville. People come from all over the world to experience Wrigley and all it’s beauty, visitors don’t come to see some costumed clown that entertains the low baseball IQ ticket holder. We don’t need parking and we don’t need no stink’n Disneyfication of the fan base with some douche running around in a Bear costume.

  • Seymour Butt

    Worst Comish ever: Landis
    Screwed over shoeless Joe, and made sure no blacks allowed in MLB.

    • Noah_I

      I think you’d have to separate the commissioners into pre-MLBPA and post-MLBPA. I don’t know who any of the commissioners pre-MLBPA are aside from Landis. For Selig, he’s done some good things and some bad things, but a commissioner’s success largely is, and should be, based upon how the sport performed financially during his tenure. I don’t like that Selig is such a proponent of limiting teams’ abilities to spend on obtaining amateur players, but the sport is more profitable now than ever.

  • Noah_I

    As a note, ESPN’s Jayson Stark just tweeted that he talked to two people at the owner’s meetings today about Tanaka, and both said “beware the Cubs.”

  • Bryan

    Good pick on the iPod. That was a great, albeit brief age in music, specifically rock music. You know music is in a bad place when Maroon 5 is considered “one of the best current rock n’ roll bands.” Thanks Joe for giving me a little more faith in humanity.

    • Noah_I

      However, I would say one good thing about current music: it is easier than ever to find very good Indie music. Thank you, Internet!

      But yes, mainstream pop and rock is not good these days.

      • Eddie Von White

        I think most every generation looks on the one following it as being clueless musically.

      • Eddie Von White

        I think most every generation looks on the one following it as being clueless musically.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Joe, Selig is a laughingstock. The few improvements that have been instituted under his watch are hardly a credit to him alone–it’s not like he singlehandedly invented the wild card concept. He’s also stood in the way of other obvious changes that would make immediate improvements to the game. In fact, most of the changes he’s instituted have been somewhere between of embarrassing and downright failures. And when you figure that he’s been at the helm for what have been some of the most corrupt decades in the history of the sport–and that he played dumb through most of it–I don’t see how you can say his commisionership been anything more than a dumpster fire.

    I’ll grant you that he’s not as maniacal as Stern, he’s not as aggressively incompetent as Bettman, and he isn’t as two-faced as Goodell. But simply not being a super-villain does not a good commissioner make.

    • Eddie Von White

      Welcome back JJ. How have you been? And don’t forget the All-Star game fiasco Bud called a tie.

      • Jeremiah Johnson

        I’m doing well. Just very busy with work and my non-VFTB life. I got engaged a couple months ago and our wedding is in April, so I haven’t been paying too much attention to the Cubs this offseason (the creation of our own Poochie-esque mascot, notwithstanding).

        I try to keep up with what’s going on here, but it had been a while since I last checked in. And when I saw Joe defending, nay, celebrating the legacy of Bud Selig, I couldn’t keep silent any longer.

      • Jedi

        You got engaged? Always the last to know…

      • Letting you know was #4 on the to-do list. Number three was “take Joe to task.”

      • Eddie Von White

        Good to hear – congrats.

      • Doc Raker

        Congrats JJ. MLB was the first major sport to have a web site that offered audio and TV feeds of games. Selig also moved his team, the Brewers, from the AL to the NL for scheduling logistics purposes which was not necessarily in the Brewers best interest, that is leadership. The MLBPA is more culpable in the steroid corruption era than the commissioner. The unions primary purpose is to keep the players safe, the commissioners main propose is to keep the game viable. The union fails to keep the players safe when they stonewall testing and policy that prohibits the use of PED’s. Sure the owners and commissioner like the added fan revenue with 60+ home run hitters going at it but the players and the union like the inflated contracts it brings also and turns a blind eye to the health risks to their own players. When you look at the entities involved PLAYER, UNION, OWNER AND COMMISSIONER the responsibility to keep a player safe falls in that order. First the player needs to keep himself in good health by not abusing his body. Next the union needs to make sure no players is taking PED’s which would force other players to take PED’s in order to compete. The union should want a non PED competing environment for all its players safety and long term health. Next the owner has an interest in keeping players healthy but really has no interest in long term health. Finally the commissioner has an interest in keeping the integrity of the game which Selig has tried to do. The union refuses to allow blood testing under the guise of privacy but they should want blood testing under the guise of long term health for their players. Selig has been a pretty good commissioner under the circumstances of the era.

    • PLCB3

      Stern might be maniacal, but he isn’t a regressive backwards-thinking stuck in his ways old fart like Bud Selig is. He also isn’t like Brett Favre. Selig first said he was going to retire 10 years ago.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Joe, Selig is a laughingstock. The few improvements that have been instituted under his watch are hardly a credit to him alone–it’s not like he singlehandedly invented the wild card concept. He’s also stood in the way of other obvious changes that would make immediate improvements to the game. In fact, most of the changes he’s instituted have been somewhere between of embarrassing and downright failures. And when you figure that he’s been at the helm for what have been some of the most corrupt decades in the history of the sport–and that he played dumb through most of it–I don’t see how you can say his commisionership been anything more than a dumpster fire.

    I’ll grant you that he’s not as maniacal as Stern, he’s not as aggressively incompetent as Bettman, and he isn’t as two-faced as Goodell. But simply not being a super-villain does not a good commissioner make.

    • Eddie Von White

      Welcome back JJ. How have you been? And don’t forget the All-Star game fiasco Bud called a tie.

      • Jeremiah Johnson

        I’m doing well. Just very busy with work and my non-VFTB life. I got engaged a couple months ago and our wedding is in April, so I haven’t been paying too much attention to the Cubs this offseason (the creation of our own Poochie-esque mascot, notwithstanding).

        I try to keep up with what’s going on here, but it had been a while since I last checked in. And when I saw Joe defending, nay, celebrating the legacy of Bud Selig, I couldn’t keep silent any longer.

      • Jedi

        You got engaged? Always the last to know…

      • Letting you know was #4 on the to-do list. Number three was “take Joe to task.”

      • Eddie Von White

        Good to hear – congrats.

      • Doc Raker

        Congrats JJ. MLB was the first major sport to have a web site that offered audio and TV feeds of games. Selig also moved his team, the Brewers, from the AL to the NL for scheduling logistics purposes which was not necessarily in the Brewers best interest, that is leadership. The MLBPA is more culpable in the steroid corruption era than the commissioner. The unions primary purpose is to keep the players safe, the commissioners main propose is to keep the game viable. The union fails to keep the players safe when they stonewall testing and policy that prohibits the use of PED’s. Sure the owners and commissioner like the added fan revenue with 60+ home run hitters going at it but the players and the union like the inflated contracts it brings also and turns a blind eye to the health risks to their own players. When you look at the entities involved PLAYER, UNION, OWNER AND COMMISSIONER the responsibility to keep a player safe falls in that order. First the player needs to keep himself in good health by not abusing his body. Next the union needs to make sure no players is taking PED’s which would force other players to take PED’s in order to compete. The union should want a non PED competing environment for all its players safety and long term health. Next the owner has an interest in keeping players healthy but really has no interest in long term health. Finally the commissioner has an interest in keeping the integrity of the game which Selig has tried to do. The union refuses to allow blood testing under the guise of privacy but they should want blood testing under the guise of long term health for their players. Selig has been a pretty good commissioner under the circumstances of the era.

    • AC0000000

      Stern might be maniacal, but he isn’t a regressive backwards-thinking stuck in his ways old fart like Bud Selig is. He also isn’t like Brett Favre. Selig first said he was going to retire 10 years ago.

  • Jedi
    • PLCB3

      I don’t think the New York Yankees have spent as wildly as the Los Angeles Yankees are spending. They gave a quarter billion to Either and Kemp, they took a quarter billion from the Red Sox, they gave 200M to Grienke and Ryu (contract plus posting bid), now more than 200M to Kershaw. On top of paying $2.15B to purchase the team, and not to mention they still need to buy out McCourt, and renovate the stadium. I get they have a $7 billion TV deal, but that’s for 25 years, and this is more than $3 billion in spending.

      • Jedi

        10 guys, any one of which would be the Cubs best player. I get that you don’t want to spend money…this idea that we’re somehow going to hatch 10 star players through our farm system is comically worse than spending tons of money though. Someday, at some point, (and probably soon) the Cubs are going to have to pony up for someone. And I don’t mean $52mil for Edwin Jackson…or $80mil for Anibal Sanchez. They’re going to have multiple $100mil contract guys at some point…or they’re just not going to win, ever.

      • PLCB3

        I never said they shouldn’t spend money. I would gladly have Gonzalez, Grienke, Ryu, Kershaw, Tanaka, and Puig. Some of those contracts are terrible like Kemp, Eithier, Crawford, and Beckett. I would love it if the Cubs had multiple 9 figure contracts to pay out

      • Jedi

        Show me the front-office that hits on 100% of their deals. You realize it was THEO who is responsible for the Crawford and Beckett deals, right?

      • PLCB3

        And is Theo the one who then traded for them?

      • Jedi

        So he’s been since absolved of responsibility by virtue of a subsequent trade? You live in a very contradictory world.

      • PLCB3

        All I’m doing is making a commentary on the Dodgers spending that if they get Tanaka they’ll have spent $1.1 billion on 10 players.

      • Jedi

        And at least 6 of those are guys that you want. So what is the problem?

        You do realize that the Cubs WILL absolutely have another “bad” contract – and probably sooner rather than later. It’s the cost of doing business in the deep end of the free agent pool.

  • Jedi
    • AC0000000

      I don’t think the New York Yankees have spent as wildly as the Los Angeles Yankees are spending. They gave a quarter billion to Either and Kemp, they took a quarter billion from the Red Sox, they gave 200M to Grienke and Ryu (contract plus posting bid), now more than 200M to Kershaw. On top of paying $2.15B to purchase the team, and not to mention they still need to buy out McCourt, and renovate the stadium. I get they have a $7 billion TV deal, but that’s for 25 years, and this is more than $3 billion in spending. Plus if they get Tanaka, that’s another 160M. And let’s not forget Puig’s contract either. $1.1B on 10 players (Either, Kemp, Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez, Grienke, Ryu, Kershaw, Tanaka, and Puig.

      • Jedi

        10 guys, any one of which would be the Cubs best player. I get that you don’t want to spend money…this idea that we’re somehow going to hatch 10 star players through our farm system is comically worse than spending tons of money though. Someday, at some point, (and probably soon) the Cubs are going to have to pony up for someone. And I don’t mean $52mil for Edwin Jackson…or $80mil for Anibal Sanchez. They’re going to have multiple $100mil contract guys at some point…or they’re just not going to win, ever.

      • AC0000000

        I never said they shouldn’t spend money. I would gladly have Gonzalez, Grienke, Ryu, Kershaw, Tanaka, and Puig. Some of those contracts are terrible like Kemp, Eithier, Crawford, and Beckett. I would love it if the Cubs had multiple 9 figure contracts to pay out

      • Jedi

        Show me the front-office that hits on 100% of their deals. You realize it was THEO who is responsible for the Crawford and Beckett deals, right?

      • AC0000000

        And is Theo the one who then traded for them?

      • Jedi

        So he’s been since absolved of responsibility by virtue of a subsequent trade? You live in a very contradictory world.

      • AC0000000

        All I’m doing is making a commentary on the Dodgers spending that if they get Tanaka they’ll have spent $1.1 billion on 10 players.

      • Jedi

        And at least 6 of those are guys that you want. So what is the problem?

        You do realize that the Cubs WILL absolutely have another “bad” contract – and probably sooner rather than later. It’s the cost of doing business in the deep end of the free agent pool.

  • PLCB3

    Re Arbitration: Not really news. This is routine. 146 players filed
    Re Price is Right: Drew Carry looks much trimmer than he used to
    Re Mascot: What’s the issue with announcing it now? The convention is this weekend. When the Sawks introduced Wally, people hated it, but now everyone loves him in Boston. It’s something to get the kids in. If you can get them in as kids, you’ve got them in for life.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      The announcement should have been made with the introduction of the annual Cubs Caravan or the convention. To make the announcement like they did without making any substantial on the field move looks like all the Cubs care about is getting money out of the fans pockets without putting a good product on the field.

  • AC0000000

    Re Arbitration: Not really news. This is routine. 146 players filed
    Re Price is Right: Drew Carry looks much trimmer than he used to
    Re Mascot: What’s the issue with announcing it now? The convention is this weekend. When the Sawks introduced Wally, people hated it, but now everyone loves him in Boston. It’s something to get the kids in. If you can get them in as kids, you’ve got them in for life.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      The announcement should have been made with the introduction of the annual Cubs Caravan or the convention. To make the announcement like they did without making any substantial on the field move looks like all the Cubs care about is getting money out of the fans pockets without putting a good product on the field.