• Cubs Donut For Sale – The Cubs have announced that Dunkin Donuts is participating with the Cubs to create a donut to be sold for charity from now until April 9. If you’re curious about what it looks like, Carrie Muskat posted a picture on her blog. I am a Dunkin Donuts guy in a place that obsesses over Krispy Kreme, so I think this one looks really good. There is just something that gets me excited when I hear the words “blue drizzle”.
  • (Former) Cubs Prospect Gets Paid – The Tampa Bay Rays announced a press conference for Tuesday at 12pm. No other details were given, but when all was said and done, former Cubs top prospect, Chris Archer got himself a contract extension valued around $25 million total over six years. If you aren’t familiar with Archer, he went to high school about 6 minutes from my house and was traded to Tampa in a deal back in January of 2011. The trade was: Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer to the Rays for Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and Zac Rosscup. So far it appears that the Rays may have gotten the better of that deal, but then again that may not be the case when we factor in the production we got from Garza and the players we received in return when he was dealt. It still remains to be seen, but I’d probably make that trade again in hindsight.
  • Where Should I Sit? – Have you ever wondered what the best section would be to sit in when you go to a game at Wrigley? Don’t worry, the Chicago Tribune has you covered with a quick gallery of some of the best seats in the house.
  • Prospect Nuggets to Get Your Seeds Hot – Two highly respected sites came out with a couple of nice posts about various farm systems in baseball. Seeing that our system is now filled with guys that have us anxiously wanting to pull pages off our day by calendar by the handful, I figured these posts may get you excited. Baseball America has a post (Subscription Required) about organization talent rankings by organization and has the Cubs ranked # 4 overall. Fangraphs.com also did an interesting piece projecting the top 50 prospects based on projected WAR. This basically means a look at guys who are essentially ready to make an impact of some sort at the Major League level. Javier Baez came in ranked 13th with a 1.8 WAR projection.

Is there anything you enjoy more than a four and a half hour game of baseball? Of course….A six hour game. Do you sense my sarcasm? What is it about blogging that makes you jaded toward things? Let’s get right to the game notes.

  • I’m still a little confused about the lineups. I thought maybe it was just because we were facing a tough lefty on opening day, but the lineup in game two continued to confuse me. I don’t understand why Starlin Castro is hitting in the 3rd spot in the order. It doesn’t make sense. He’s not ready for that role yet. In fact, it was even more confusing when he was given the 3-0 green light in the 12th. It just doesn’t make sense.
  • Emilio Bonifacio needs to know how sorry I have for having said anything bad about him when we signed him. I didn’t mean it, man. It was all about ratings. Hopefully he understands.
  • Here is my feeling on a home plate umpire issuing a warning to both benches when someone is hit by a pitch. I’ll try to be as simple to understand as possible. “Stay the heck out of the ballgame and just call balls and strikes!!!!” Bob Davidson did not have a good night behind the plate (we’ll get to that in just a little bit), but why he felt the need to warn the benches after Anthony Rizzo was hit shortly after Starling Marte was hit is beyond me. It was fairly clear that neither was intentional. In fact, the only HBP that appeared somewhat intentional was later in the game when Rizzo was hit again with 1st base open in the top of the 8th. Bosio argued that Mark Melancon should have been ejected, but Davidson had to continue his consecutive streak of innings being a moron.
  • I am telling you, I really like this bullpen and what it’s made up of. I understand that we lost and it was partly to blame on the pen tonight, but we’ve got a ton of power arms in the pen. This pen will be top 5 in the NL when all is said and done. Can it happen any other way when Jesus is a member of your bullpen? Oh wait, we have Jose Veras. Scratch that. Honestly, I’ve seen enough already of him and I want Pedro Strop in there as the closer.

Grading the Umpire – Bob Davidson

This guy was awful all night, especially on the outside part of the plate to lefties / inside to righties. At one point in the 9th he called one a strike on Bonifacio that was so far outside it was humorous. His overall correct call rate for the night was a below average 85.8, but it felt a lot worse. Here is his correct call rate by zone.

We close out the series today with a look at Wandy Rodriguez. You might remember him from such teams as the Houston Astros. He’s not quite the pitcher he was in short stints a few years ago. Let’s see what the scouting report is on him.

The lefty’s convincing comeback from forearm tendinitis takes to the main stage, as he makes his first start since June 5. Rodriguez isn’t quite all the way back to his pre-injury form, but kept getting stronger with each spring outing. – MLB.com

OK, so hey, maybe we can actually score a run against the Pirates starters for once.

When he was scouted by the Astros in 1998, Rodriguez falsely stated his name was Eny Cabreja and that he was only 17 years old. He had convinced a friend to let him borrow his identity. The real Cabreja was born on August 18, 1981, while Wandy was born on January 18, 1979. Wandy lived under the name Eny Cabreja until 2002, when he admitted to the Astros that he was in fact Wandy Fulton Rodriguez and that he was not really 21 years of age but 23. – Wikipedia

I’m now dumber having read that.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. 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. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail