View From The Bleachers

April 2, 2014

Morning News – How Do You Like Your Hotdog?

Filed under: Featured,General — Joe Aiello @ 6:00 am

No game yesterday, but it was April Fool’s day. I don’t generally participate in the foolishness, and I can say that my day went off without a hitch. I’m curious how the day went for all of you. Did you pull any pranks? Were you pranked? Tell us about it in the comment section. Now then, on to the news:

  • The Mets Lose Their Closer – You might be asking why this is the headline on the Cubs blog. The answer is simple. With the news that Bobby Parnell may be done for the year, it would be a great time for the Cubs to strike while the iron is hot and make a deal to ship Jose Veras to the Mets in exchange for pitching prospects. The Mets are loaded with pitching talent. While Veras may not be the main piece in the deal, why not give them a call and see if he would be a sweetener to move one of our positional prospects in return for one or two of their pitching prospects. I don’t know, maybe someone like Noah Syndergaard? Hey, a guy can dream, but seriously a deal between these two teams makes sense. You don’t normally see minor league guys swapping for minor league guys, but each team has what the other lacks. Let’s make it happen.
  • Fans Really Like Spring Training – For some ungodly reason, people actually enjoy spring training baseball. I can only imagine it’s different when it’s in person and that is evident this year by the fact that the Cubs set a Cactus league record for attendance with an impressive number of 203,105 fans passing through the turnstiles. Maybe you just have to be there. What I do know is that the new park looked really cool.
  • Cubs Turn Back The Clock Twice (Does That Mean They Turned It Forward?) – If you missed this, the Cubs are apparently celebrating the past decades by not only coming up with a decade by decade themed menu, but by also signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract. What better way to celebrate the past than to sign someone who should have retired long ago? Honestly, the Pineiro news I could care less about it. He’s a minor league fill in at this point with no risk. The decade menu, though, I’m intrigued by. The 1910’s Reuben dog sounds amazing.
  • Staying on the Food Train – Staying on the food train, if a Reuben dog doesn’t do it for you, or even if it does, why not get yourself a hotdog flavored cocktail? That’s right, Biz of Baseball has the details, including a picture of the idea.

Game 2 of the opening series with the Pirates pits Edwin Jackson against some dude named Charlie Morton. He’s made 108 starts in the majors and yet I’ve never heard of him. That’s my bad, I guess. Let’s take a look a little deeper at Morton and know what we can expect.

“The new anchor of the rotation begins to earn his three-year, $21 million contract against a Cubs team he has beaten only twice in nine career starts. Morton had a solid spring, putting up a 1.13 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts.”

OK, so apparently he’s good. That makes me feel even worse. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say in terms of his scouting report:

Morton’s repertoire consisted in 2013 of a four-seam fastball (93–95 mph), a sinker (92–94 mph), a curveball (78–80 mph), and a split-finger fastball (84–88 mph).Morton picked up the splitter in 2011, having previously thrown a changeup. He also has previously thrown a slider and a cutter.Morton’s sinker was his most common pitch, especially against right-handed hitters. His curveball was his most common pitch with 2 strikes.

Due to the changes in his delivery and the emphasis he has placed on the sinker, Morton has spawned comparisons to the Philadelphia Phillies’ two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.Pirates special assistant Jim Benedict had previously encouraged Morton to emulate Halladay’s delivery during spring training. Morton has featured his new sinker almost exclusively in his first starts of the 2011 season, resulting in an increased groundball rate but also more bases on balls. Pirates’ fans have christened him with the nickname “Ground Chuck.”

Well, that should make us feel a little better. We’re facing Halladay today and how do we counter? With Edwin freaking Jackson. Fantastic!!

Let’s get to three predictions for the game today.

  1. Anthony Rizzo rebounds and doesn’t strike out three times. – Hey, I picked the guy to finish in the top 10 for the MVP. He’s gotta start somewhere. There is nowhere to go but up from his opening day performance.
  2. Jackson will only suck a little bit. – We’ve been reading that he is poised for a rebound. Truth is, I don’t actually dislike him. I just don’t trust him like I did when I watched the Rays for a short period of time. I think he’ll give us 5-6 average innings.
  3. Morton doesn’t repeat the performance that his rotation-mate, Francisco Liriano did yesterday and looks hittable, but still gets the win.

I found this pretty, pink logo so I have to use it now. This will be a regular feature where we get a look not necessarily at what songs are actually on my iPod, though some are, but rather songs that I am listening to currently. Enjoy!!! Today’s selection is by P.O.D..

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • BBCG: 105 Reasons

    Man I have my Roto-draft on Saturday and I don’t know much about Charlie Morton…better look him up…

  • PLCB3

    None of those decade foods sounds appetizing. What they ought to do to go full retro is sell them at retro prices (adjusted for inflation). I’ll stick to my bratwurst and polish. And now that they have Giordano’s, that too.

  • LVCubFan

    Hopefully this will go our way and we’ll explode for 10 runs, much like the Casey Coleman – Greg Maddux comparisons turned out.

  • Eddie Von White

    You can tell baseball season has started because Joe is in such a good mood. Great piece.

  • Noah_I

    Just as a note on Veras, he has a complete no trade clause (as all new free agent signees do) until June 1. He’d have to sign off on any trade.

    Aside from that, I don’t think any trade between the Mets and Cubs is likely right now for a couple of reasons. First, the Mets are still at least a year away from legitimate competitiveness, so I think it’s unlikely Sandy Alderson will give up a meaningful prospect. I think the Cubs will get a better return if they wait for a contender to need a closer in a few months. Second, I don’t think the Cubs will be looking to move their closer and raise a waiving the white flag this early discussion in the media, especially since I think they’ll do just as well or better on return for Veras later in the season.

  • Noah_I

    Any time any young pitcher is compared to one of the best pitchers in a generation (Halladay was arguably the best pitcher over an 11 year span from 2001 to 2011, Maddux is in the argument for best pitcher of all time), the comparison is dubious at best, asinine at worst. Morton has good control, but not Halladay amazingly good control, and his K rates aren’t as good as Halladay’s. Morton’s also not exactly young, at 30 years old. Maybe he’s a late bloomer, but as of right now he’s a 30 year old starter who posted his best season in 116 innings at age 29. But as of right now he’s a 30 year old with 4.1 career fWAR. At the same age Halladay had 31.9 fWAR.

  • jswanson

    I like my hotdog between two buns.

  • Doc Raker

    The Frank Collins, the hot dog flavored cocktail has to be an April fools joke. Who in their right mind would drink a cold cocktail with a warm greasy hot dog dropped into it. I don’t even think Seymour would be up for that if it was free.

    Joe- don’t confuse ‘Fans really like spring training’ as ‘fans really like spring training baseball’. Like I have said here many times, a visit to spring training is awesome, but the baseball is not awesome. But the weather, the complexes, the access into the complexes and into minor league workouts and games, the resorts and dinning are all reasons to love spring training. Plus, the Cubs are always in contention in March. Big league spring training games are nice in that big leaguers are playing in minor league sized parks but essentially a big league spring training game is a crowded tourist trap but I certainly still love my weekend at spring training for all those other reasons.

    Maybe next year the VFTB crowd should all meet in PHX for some spring training fun and a nice dinner at Don and Charlies.

  • Doug S.

    Frank consommé?…..right…..and the guy making this is not wearing a shirt……and his name is…………please, no youtube videos.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I am just curious does anyone else find Jesse Rogers as anoying as I do. He comes across like a know it all who has a little bit of info.

  • Doc Raker

    Is that CAPS real name, Jesse Rogers?

  • Seymour Butts

    And again we ask “Where are the Johnsons”

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    It might be, but I was reffering to the idiot who does the Cubs reporting for ESPN Chicago.

  • PLCB3

    You know what my real name is. I’ve written a couple of guest posts.

  • Doc Raker

    ESPN is full of idiots. I am convinced that ESPN thrives on reporting controversy and made up controversy. I rarely watch the network or listen to their radio network. How about that show where they have 4 sports ‘writers’ scream and yell at each other over contrived topics. I would expect a higher level of discourse from White Sox fans in the holding cell at the Cell.

  • Doc Raker

    Yes I do, it was a joke, a funny. I laughed, I amused myself.

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