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Friday

4

April 2014

38

COMMENTS

Morning News – The Ricketts Are Selling The Team

Written by , Posted in General

This morning I had an issue in the shower that made me wonder if I was the only person who experiences this. Usually I wash my body first and then wash my hair. Today, I washed my hair first and then my body. However, when I finished washing my body, I had a moment of panic as I couldn’t distinctly remember whether or not I had actually washed my hair. Because I did things out of order, I really didn’t feel good about if I washed my hair. At that point I was faced with a major dilemma. Do I trust that I washed my hair and get out, risking that I didn’t wash? Or, do I wash my hair again and waste time and soap? Am I the only on who has had this issue? Seriously, tell me I’m not. On to the news.

Interesting ownership nuggets were in the news today with two separate stories. First, Tom Ricketts was quoted as saying that the Cubs are comfortable taking legal action should the rooftop owners bring a lawsuit against them for blocking their view. It’s clear that this thing appears headed to court and appears headed for a dramatic showdown. Ultimately, I don’t see how the rooftop owners win. They can’t afford the legal expenses and will probably end things accepting a buyout of some kind. It’s just a little discouraging that it may have to come down to the two sides parting ways in a less than amicable way.

Also in the news is the note that the Ricketts family are considering selling minority shares in the ownership of the team in order to finance the renovation project. This one confuses me a little. They seem to have the money to eat the cost once the scoreboard is up and running the ads, so why sell equity in the team?

  • I have to admit, I didn’t expect much from Jason Hammel, but he looked really strong today. Overall, the pitching has been really really good. It makes me feel good that I actually look to have predicted something correct. There is an overall perception that Hammel is this year’s Scott Feldman, and that he’ll be gone by the trade deadline if he shows enough to make himself appealing. I’m OK with that, but if we’re going to do it, I want to do it like we did last year and move him late May or early June when the market is thin.
  • Pedro Strop got the save in the game, though my guess is that was a product of the fact that Jose Veras pitched way too much last night to be available. He did a great job after allowing a leadoff single to Neal Walker. The only issue was a collision between him and John Baker that could have turned really bad. I will continue to say it until we see it. Strop needs to be the closer.
  • Junior Lake wore the wrong uniform for the first inning.

It’s nice to get a win to avoid the sweep and go into Friday with a little momentum after two heartbreaking losses.

Opening day at Wrigley field, which means all the pomp and circumstance associated with Monday gets repeated, this time in the brutal cold. It appears that the rain will hold off enough to get the game in without delay, but it is certainly not where I’d want to be watching the game. As for me, I’ll be watching in my pajamas on Friday night on the DVR.

Get To Know Your Opposing Starting Pitcher
Roberto Hernandez

He was a regular part of the Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation for six years under the name of Fausto Carmona, which he had used to obtain a visa to pitch in the United States. After his true name and age were revealed (he had claimed to be three years younger than he is), he missed much of the 2012 season due to lack of a valid visa, followed by a suspension from MLB for identity fraud. He returned as a regular starting pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013.

He is known for his hard sinker and exhibiting good control of his pitches. He did not throw exceptionally hard when he debuted in the minor leagues at age 21, but has since developed a fastball that can reach 97 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup, but relies mostly on his hard sinker to get many ground ball outs. ~ Wikipedia

The Phillies signed Hernandez with the hopes he can enjoy more success leaving the American League for the more pitcher-friendly National League. Results were mixed in Spring Training, but the Phillies hope he can just be consistent. ~ MLB.com

Why the Phillies Will Win the Series

“The Phillies have the clear starting pitching advantage in the last two games of the series with Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett opposing Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Villanueva. The wild card is the first game, with Roberto Hernandez opposing Travis Wood. Winning the first game should guarantee at least 2 of 3 for the Phillies.” ~ Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley

  • Doug S.

    When in doubt, wash it again.

    The headline tease had me pissed off that we could be losing what I think is some stability at ownership. I’ll admit, you got me.

    Pretty sure I don’t know all the details, so from my uninformed position I don’t see how the rooftop owners have a leg to stand on. Maybe one of you could enlighten me. Thanks.

    Nice win yesterday!!! Will be watching today. Weather doesn’t look great.

  • Doug S.

    When in doubt, wash it again.

    The headline tease had me pissed off that we could be losing what I think is some stability at ownership. I’ll admit, you got me.

    Pretty sure I don’t know all the details, so from my uninformed position I don’t see how the rooftop owners have a leg to stand on. Maybe one of you could enlighten me. Thanks.

    Nice win yesterday!!! Will be watching today. Weather doesn’t look great.

  • LVCubFan

    That sounds like a deleted scene from the Seinfeld episode ‘The Shower Head’.

  • LVCubFan

    That sounds like a deleted scene from the Seinfeld episode ‘The Shower Head’.

  • Well on a good note it’s not “brutally cold” here. Though it would probably count as brutal for you, Joe. It’s supposed to be almost 50 today which is practically a heat wave compared to what we have been getting. And also a heat wave compared to past opening days. Strong West winds this afternoon, though.

    Take heart, Joe, that shower thing happens to me often. And I don’t even switch up the routine. I wash my face then body then hair. Sometimes I can’t remember if I washed my body and I have to try to decipher how many suds are on the sponge and if they seem fresh. But sometimes immediately after I finish washing my hair I can’t remember if I did it. I like to pretend it’s because my mind is too busy thinking about important things. Really I’m just a goof.

  • Well on a good note it’s not “brutally cold” here. Though it would probably count as brutal for you, Joe. It’s supposed to be almost 50 today which is practically a heat wave compared to what we have been getting. And also a heat wave compared to past opening days. Strong West winds this afternoon, though.

    Take heart, Joe, that shower thing happens to me often. And I don’t even switch up the routine. I wash my face then body then hair. Sometimes I can’t remember if I washed my body and I have to try to decipher how many suds are on the sponge and if they seem fresh. But sometimes immediately after I finish washing my hair I can’t remember if I did it. I like to pretend it’s because my mind is too busy thinking about important things. Really I’m just a goof.

  • PLCB3

    This is the kind of headline I expect on ESPN and then it’s not what I am expecting. I knew that wasn’t the case because I saw CSN Sports Talk last night. This is just business as usual. If you remember when Sam Zell bought the Tribune Co., it was revealed that he had a stake in the trash. One of the guys who wanted to buy the Cubs, John Canning, had a stake in the Brewers. The only difference is Ricketts didn’t have any minority owners when he bought the team.

    Just let the rooftops sue. Even if they win, they’re out in 2023 when the contract expires.

    I have the same issue in the shower. Sometimes I can’t remember if I have shampooed my head or if I have cleaned my face with my acne wash. I’ve devised a system to make sure I did everything I need to in the shower, including brushing my teeth.

    Off to shower before heading to Opening Day. And then the Bulls game.

    • Joe Aiello

      The goal of the headlines is to peak interest and induce a click through since some measly follow on Twitter and only see the title.

      • PLCB3

        I’m not speaking for the masses. I am speaking for myself. If I hadn’t seen it on CSN last night, I would have thought like the masses.

  • AC0000000

    This is the kind of headline I expect on ESPN and then it’s not what I am expecting. I knew that wasn’t the case because I saw CSN Sports Talk last night. This is just business as usual. If you remember when Sam Zell bought the Tribune Co., it was revealed that he had a stake in the trash. One of the guys who wanted to buy the Cubs, John Canning, had a stake in the Brewers. The only difference is Ricketts didn’t have any minority owners when he bought the team.

    Just let the rooftops sue. Even if they win, they’re out in 2023 when the contract expires.

    I have the same issue in the shower. Sometimes I can’t remember if I have shampooed my head or if I have cleaned my face with my acne wash. I’ve devised a system to make sure I did everything I need to in the shower, including brushing my teeth.

    Off to shower before heading to Opening Day. And then the Bulls game.

    • Joe Aiello

      The goal of the headlines is to peak interest and induce a click through since some measly follow on Twitter and only see the title.

      • AC0000000

        I’m not speaking for the masses. I am speaking for myself. If I hadn’t seen it on CSN last night, I would have thought like the masses.

  • Eddie Von White

    Thanks for the word picture. My day can only get better from here.

  • Eddie Von White

    Thanks for the word picture. My day can only get better from here.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Is Olt’s shoulder still bothering him? Is this why he’s pretty much platooning so far?

    • Noah_I

      That is, at the least, what Renteria has been saying. There’s also the fact that the Cubs will be facing 3 LHPs in the first 5 games, so Olt only getting starts against LHPs will still have him playing in 60% of the first handful of games. I think another factor is that the two hottest bats in the lineup thus far have been Bonifacio and Valbuena. If you’re starting Bonifacio against RHPs, it’s either at 2B replacing Barney or in the outfield replacing Lake, and despite the fact that I’m fairly down on Lake compared to some other Cubs fans, his bar provides a lot more than Barney’s does. So if Bonifacio is playing at 2B, really the only place you can slot Valbuena is 3B.

      I’d bet that you’ll see Olt average about 70% of the starts over the first couple of months, with him either jumping up to over 90% if he hits well, or down to strictly being a platoon guy against LHPs if he doesn’t.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Is Olt’s shoulder still bothering him? Is this why he’s pretty much platooning so far?

    • Noah_I

      That is, at the least, what Renteria has been saying. There’s also the fact that the Cubs will be facing 3 LHPs in the first 5 games, so Olt only getting starts against LHPs will still have him playing in 60% of the first handful of games. I think another factor is that the two hottest bats in the lineup thus far have been Bonifacio and Valbuena. If you’re starting Bonifacio against RHPs, it’s either at 2B replacing Barney or in the outfield replacing Lake, and despite the fact that I’m fairly down on Lake compared to some other Cubs fans, his bar provides a lot more than Barney’s does. So if Bonifacio is playing at 2B, really the only place you can slot Valbuena is 3B.

      I’d bet that you’ll see Olt average about 70% of the starts over the first couple of months, with him either jumping up to over 90% if he hits well, or down to strictly being a platoon guy against LHPs if he doesn’t.

  • Bill Fell

    I don’t even wash my hair, in 2 week the hair becomes naturally cleansed. I also am on track to be bald at age 26 (Ladies, I’m single ;)) and when I do wash my hair it is straight and thin as can be. With my hair being naturally cleaned it gives my hair more value an flexibility to do whatever.
    Also: how bout the power Olt showed on his home run? It was low (maybe too low for a ball? Not sure…) and hitting it Oppo. If he gets over this “swing and miss” thing every other at bat, then it can be really promising.
    Fantasy update: Pedro Strop got me a save, that is all.
    Happy Friday everyone!

    • Noah_I

      I’m not positive if the ball Olt hit is a home run most days, though. The wind was apparently howling out, at least early. With that said, a player should be aware of the weather conditions he’s playing in and know that if he can loft a ball to the opposite field in the air it has a good chance of carrying. Outside of that plate appearance, though, Olt is 0-6 with three strikeouts. It’s still very, very early, and too small of a sample size to make anything useful out of, but the strikeouts concern me more than the wind aided home run makes me hopeful.

      • Bill Fell

        Understood, maybe that’s why Ricky didn’t include Olt in the opening day line up against a righty.

      • Bill Fell

        Nevermind. That doesn’t make any sense….

    • Wash your hair, Bill.

      • ^ what he said.

      • PLCB3

        When I was on the swim team in high school I wouldn’t wash my hair during the season because the chlorine took care of it.

  • Bill Fell

    I don’t even wash my hair, in 2 week the hair becomes naturally cleansed. I also am on track to be bald at age 26 (Ladies, I’m single ;)) and when I do wash my hair it is straight and thin as can be. With my hair being naturally cleaned it gives my hair more value an flexibility to do whatever.
    Also: how bout the power Olt showed on his home run? It was low (maybe too low for a ball? Not sure…) and hitting it Oppo. If he gets over this “swing and miss” thing every other at bat, then it can be really promising.
    Fantasy update: Pedro Strop got me a save, that is all.
    Happy Friday everyone!

    • Noah_I

      I’m not positive if the ball Olt hit is a home run most days, though. The wind was apparently howling out, at least early. With that said, a player should be aware of the weather conditions he’s playing in and know that if he can loft a ball to the opposite field in the air it has a good chance of carrying. Outside of that plate appearance, though, Olt is 0-6 with three strikeouts. It’s still very, very early, and too small of a sample size to make anything useful out of, but the strikeouts concern me more than the wind aided home run makes me hopeful.

      • Bill Fell

        Understood, maybe that’s why Ricky didn’t include Olt in the opening day line up against a righty.

      • Bill Fell

        Nevermind. That doesn’t make any sense….

    • Wash your hair, Bill.

      • ^ what he said.

      • AC0000000

        When I was on the swim team in high school I wouldn’t wash my hair during the season because the chlorine took care of it.

  • Noah_I

    Just as a note, the Feldman trade didn’t actually occur until early July (although I agree that it felt like it was earlier in the season). Newly signed free agents have a full no trade clause until June 1, so the Cubs would likely be unable to trade Hammel before then, even if they wanted to.

    I also am not wholly on board with trading players before the market develops, because that applies to buyers as well as sellers. Let’s take a fringy team that potentially could contend, but isn’t really expected to like the Padres (have a ton of young talent) or the White Sox (what if everything breaks right for them?) If they’re in the hunt in May, they’ll probably play wait and see at that point. If they’re in the hunt in July, they’ll be much more likely in looking to add pieces.

    One more note: Hammel actually does have a history of some significant success. In his first two seasons with the Rockies (2009 and 2010), he posted a combined 7.5 fWAR, although the ERA did not look great, likely due to making half his starts at Coors. 2011 was a down season where his K rate tanked, but he was quite good in about 2/3 of a season in Baltimore in 2012 (all three of ERA, FIP and xFIP were between 3.29 and 3.46) against the AL East before struggling again last season. I believe he was dealing with some injuries last season, though. He’s a guy who could barely be a back of the rotation starter, but he’s also someone who could be the best starter on the team (as could Samardzija, Jackson or Wood). It may just be a question of health for Hammel, as he certainly has the stuff to succeed (92-93 MPH fastball, average to slightly above average GB rate, and typically hasn’t killed himself with walks). While my first guess if he succeeds is that the Cubs will trade him, I’d be less surprised if the Cubs extended him for a couple of extra seasons than I would have been if the Cubs had done the same with Feldman.

  • Noah_I

    Just as a note, the Feldman trade didn’t actually occur until early July (although I agree that it felt like it was earlier in the season). Newly signed free agents have a full no trade clause until June 1, so the Cubs would likely be unable to trade Hammel before then, even if they wanted to.

    I also am not wholly on board with trading players before the market develops, because that applies to buyers as well as sellers. Let’s take a fringy team that potentially could contend, but isn’t really expected to like the Padres (have a ton of young talent) or the White Sox (what if everything breaks right for them?) If they’re in the hunt in May, they’ll probably play wait and see at that point. If they’re in the hunt in July, they’ll be much more likely in looking to add pieces.

    One more note: Hammel actually does have a history of some significant success. In his first two seasons with the Rockies (2009 and 2010), he posted a combined 7.5 fWAR, although the ERA did not look great, likely due to making half his starts at Coors. 2011 was a down season where his K rate tanked, but he was quite good in about 2/3 of a season in Baltimore in 2012 (all three of ERA, FIP and xFIP were between 3.29 and 3.46) against the AL East before struggling again last season. I believe he was dealing with some injuries last season, though. He’s a guy who could barely be a back of the rotation starter, but he’s also someone who could be the best starter on the team (as could Samardzija, Jackson or Wood). It may just be a question of health for Hammel, as he certainly has the stuff to succeed (92-93 MPH fastball, average to slightly above average GB rate, and typically hasn’t killed himself with walks). While my first guess if he succeeds is that the Cubs will trade him, I’d be less surprised if the Cubs extended him for a couple of extra seasons than I would have been if the Cubs had done the same with Feldman.

  • Seymour Butts

    You likely have some component of OCD. It is perfectly acceptable to wash more than once. In fact if you read the fine print, most shampoo bottles say “wash, rinse, repeat”.
    A word of warning, multiple vigorous scrubbings of some areas of the body can lead to addiction.

  • Seymour Butts

    You likely have some component of OCD. It is perfectly acceptable to wash more than once. In fact if you read the fine print, most shampoo bottles say “wash, rinse, repeat”.
    A word of warning, multiple vigorous scrubbings of some areas of the body can lead to addiction.

  • Doc Raker

    We are 1-3 but we could easily be 3-1. Three very competitive games in Pittsburgh. I thought after we went up 2-0 today we had a good shot at winning since it seemed like a difficult day to score runs……….the Phillies proved me wrong, it wasn’t so tough to score runs off the Cubs today.

    Ricketts is selling, let’s take up a collection and buy the Cubs. Anyone got a billion sitting around?

  • Doc Raker

    We are 1-3 but we could easily be 3-1. Three very competitive games in Pittsburgh. I thought after we went up 2-0 today we had a good shot at winning since it seemed like a difficult day to score runs……….the Phillies proved me wrong, it wasn’t so tough to score runs off the Cubs today.

    Ricketts is selling, let’s take up a collection and buy the Cubs. Anyone got a billion sitting around?