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June 2014

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Baseball Loses Another Legend, Kershaw Makes History & More!

Written by , Posted in General

For the second week this month, we have some terrible news to report. Fortunately, it wasn’t all bad, but this loss was a big one to take.

Gwynn Gone Too Soon 

After losing Don Zimmer a couple of weeks ago, baseball was rocked with yet another tragedy as 54-year old San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn passed away after a long bout with mouth cancer.

Over the course of his 20-year career (all for the Padres), he hit below .300 just once, and it was his rookie year where he hit a still impressive .289. That 19-year streak of hitting over .300 is one of the best in history, topped only by names like Ty Cobb.

His high level of baseball ability was matched only by his kindness and work off of the field. He was generally known as one of, if not the nicest man in baseball and he always did what he could to give back to the game. With Gwynn gone, baseball has truly lost one of its biggest legends.

The troubling part about his passing is that it seems as if it was relatively preventable, as chewing tobacco caused the mouth cancer he had. With this being known, are there any further steps that the MLB could take to prevent the use of chew?

Kershaw Throws First No-Hitter

If it weren’t already clear, Clayton Kershaw took the hill Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies and yet again established himself as the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. While he is normally dominant, he took it to a new level in this game.

Throwing 107 pitches (79 strikes), Kershaw struck out 15 of the 28 batters that he faced. The lone base runner for the Rockies was Chris Dickerson in the 7th inning, who reached on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez. With that, Kershaw threw the first no-hitter of his already storied career.

At 26 years old, Kershaw should have quite a future ahead of him. He’s as dominant as ever this season, and he should be on his way towards another Cy Young Award, or at least be in contention for it. His FIP of 1.59 shows that things might even improve for him this year, too, if that’s even possible.

Kershaw highlights this new era of the pitcher and it’s truly a joy to watch him take the mound (as long as he’s not pitching against your team). Is there any pitcher in the league that you would rather have than Kershaw? If so, who and why?

Samardzija Talks Heat Up

After strong performances in each of the last three seasons, Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija has really taken a step forward this year. While that can’t be seen in the win column, it’s safe to say that Theo Epstein & Co. have taken notice. In fact, they reportedly already threw a contract his way.

It was recently reported that Samardzija turned down a 5-year, $85 million contract from the Cubs and given the money that is hurled at pitchers every offseason on the open market that was probably the correct decision for him.

While he can’t yet be considered one of the elite pitchers in the game, he will certainly have quite a bit of value if the Cubs decide to trade him. His impressive work this year will certainly net the Cubs at least a top prospect, and probably more.

He will still be under team control until the 2016 offseason, so the team that eventually trades for him won’t have to worry about him bolting right away (which will also increase his trade value). As Cubs fans, how tired are you of hearing the constant rumors about Samardzija, and what do you hope the team does with him?

This Week’s MVP: J.D. Martinez (.444/.429/.963, 4 HR, 10 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 15 K, No-Hitter)

MINOR LEAGUE MONDAY

by Joe Aiello

Over the last three drafts, we’ve seen the Cubs draft hitting, despite being in need of pitching. Of those last three drafts, all three of the players selected, have become part of the core five guys in the system that our offense is waiting for. Usually a college bat is the safest pick you can make, and the Cubs have done that two out of the last three drafts, but let’s take a quick look at a college hitter selected just a little further back, whose stock has sunk and sunk fast.

Brett Jackson was the 1st round selection by the Cubs in the 2009 draft, selected 31st overall because the Cubs were actually good the year before. For the next several years not only did Jackson find himself on top whatever lists, he often found himself near the top of most of them. He even got a cup of coffee in the Majors in 2012. Since then, Jackson has done little to show he still even belongs in the system, let alone in the Majors.

So far this season, his third at AAA, Jackson is hitting .197 / .279 / .341. At what point do you stop giving him regular at bats and look elsewhere? I think the time is coming soon.

  • PLCB3

    I’m tired of the Sanardzidja trade rumors as I am the NBA free agent rumors. I feel like unleashing a primal scream every time I hear it or read an article about it in the MSM. Because 98.67% of the time, the media is reporting something because they need a story. An example, a few months ago, ESPN reported the NBA salary cap for next season was going to be 5M more than projected. So I’m thinking, $68M. I read the article, cap is projected at $63M, where it’s been at for several months. Stupid ESPN.

    • Doc Raker

      Stop watching/listening/reading/blogging ESPN. If you haven’t figured it out they contrive controversy to make news. I think the MLB Network reports on news if they have solid sources confirming the story, the MLB Netwrok seems to respect the game it is reporting on much better than ESPN and radio sport shock jocks. Grow up CAPS, you ain’t delivering pizza’s anymore so stop watching ESPN.

      • PLCB3

        You’re right I should stop reading and watching ESPN CNN NYT Fox News etc

      • PLCB3

        I have decided that from now until Carmelo Anthony signs a new contract, I will not consume a single minute of ESPN, sans games. And then at that point, college football will be less than 2 months away, which means ESPN will have become ESecPN.

      • VFTB is an ESPN affiliate. Nice knowing ya!

      • PLCB3

        Affiliates don’t count, and this blog doesn’t discuss Melo, so I don’t have to worry about hearing stories about him.

      • Seymour Butts

        Dreamer

      • Dashed.

      • VFTB is an ESPN affiliate. Nice knowing ya!

      • AC0000000

        Affiliates don’t count, and this blog doesn’t discuss Melo, so I don’t have to worry about hearing stories about him. I was referring to ESPN.com and ESPN channels. And even if I was to leave this blog, it would only be until July 10.

      • Seymour Butts

        Dreamer

      • Dashed.

  • AC0000000

    I’m tired of the Sanardzidja trade rumors as I am the NBA free agent rumors. I feel like unleashing a primal scream every time I hear it or read an article about it in the MSM. Because 98.67% of the time, the media is reporting something because they need a story. An example, a few months ago, ESPN reported the NBA salary cap for next season was going to be 5M more than projected. So I’m thinking, $68M. I read the article, cap is projected at $63M, where it’s been at for several months. Stupid ESPN.

    • Doc Raker

      Stop watching/listening/reading/blogging ESPN. If you haven’t figured it out they contrive controversy to make news. I think the MLB Network reports on news if they have solid sources confirming the story, the MLB Netwrok seems to respect the game it is reporting on much better than ESPN and radio sport shock jocks. Grow up CAPS, you ain’t delivering pizza’s anymore so stop watching ESPN.

      • AC0000000

        You’re right I should stop reading and watching ESPN CNN NYT Fox News etc

  • Doc Raker

    Someone told me that the Karshaw no hitter was the sec on most dominant pitched game in MLB history behind Kerry Wood’s 20K game in May of 1998.

    I don’t pay attention to the trade rumor mill, it is news filler for ESPN and other quasi networks that bring us ‘news’. When a trade is made I am sure I will hear about it.

    • Dork

      like you said I don’t pay attention to the speculation of who trade partners might be and what the deal might look like, just wild speculation, and a waste of time. I would be ok either way if the cubs trade or sign him. I will be interested to see what the cubs can get for a return, I think we need outfield help as much as pitching. or as I have stated before if they do somehow sign him (unlikely) I do think it makes a statement that the cubs are ready to compete, and no longer need to tank.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I’d definitely say Kershaw’s performance was up there with the best of all time. He just had everything going.

  • Doc Raker

    Someone told me that the Karshaw no hitter was the sec on most dominant pitched game in MLB history behind Kerry Wood’s 20K game in May of 1998.

    I don’t pay attention to the trade rumor mill, it is news filler for ESPN and other quasi networks that bring us ‘news’. When a trade is made I am sure I will hear about it.

    • Dork

      like you said I don’t pay attention to the speculation of who trade partners might be and what the deal might look like, just wild speculation, and a waste of time. I would be ok either way if the cubs trade or sign him. I will be interested to see what the cubs can get for a return, I think we need outfield help as much as pitching. or as I have stated before if they do somehow sign him (unlikely) I do think it makes a statement that the cubs are ready to compete, and no longer need to tank.

    • Brian Rzeppa

      I’d definitely say Kershaw’s performance was up there with the best of all time. He just had everything going.

  • PLCB3

    98.48% of all news is garbage

  • AC0000000

    98.48% of all news is garbage

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    I wouldn’t really say I’m tired of the Samardzija trade rumors, or even the talk surrounding Jason Hamel. That said I am curious what will happen with the two of them and more importantly what the Cubs will get in return.
    As for Brett Jackson, based on his poor performance with the big club and his dreadful numbers at AAA this season, I think it’s time the Cubs bid adieu to BJ.

    • PLCB3

      I agree with this. His time is done.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    I wouldn’t really say I’m tired of the Samardzija trade rumors, or even the talk surrounding Jason Hamel. That said I am curious what will happen with the two of them and more importantly what the Cubs will get in return.
    As for Brett Jackson, based on his poor performance with the big club and his dreadful numbers at AAA this season, I think it’s time the Cubs bid adieu to BJ.

    • AC0000000

      I agree with this. His time is done.

  • Dusty_Baylor

    I am tired of the trade talk. I’d love the Cubs to keep Samardzija…but not for more than what they’ve offered. He might be the Cubs “Ace,” but he is not an Ace. He had a great April and May….and a pedestrian June. Let someone else overpay him. He’s never put a full season together, and to over pay him is not the smart move. I hope he goes on to be that Ace pitcher, but I wouldn’t bet that kind of money on it.

    • PLCB3

      How about Homer Bailey money?

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Just because someone else overspent on a decent pitcher, doesn’t mean the Cubs should follow suit. That, and Bailey was better in 2012-2013, and is 2 years younger.

      • I’ll have you know Samardzija played football in college.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Well, you’ve got me there for sure!

      • PLCB3

        Would you give Samardzidja 5/85?

      • Dusty_Baylor

        No…but the Cubs already have offered that apparently. 4/$60 million

      • PLCB3

        Fair enough. He might be worthy of 4/60, but the market is going to dictate 5/85. I don’t know if I want to keep him at that money, but I’m afraid the way contracts are going, the Cubs are going to have to do it.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        That could be…but if they offered 5/$85, as is reported, and were turned down…then trade him and hope to get close to the Garza haul.

      • PLCB3

        I was unaware that he was offered 5/85 and refused. If that is the case, then I agree to trade him.

    • Dusty you hit the nail on the head here.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Once or twice a year, I do. =) Ty Ty Lizzie!

  • Dusty_Baylor

    I am tired of the trade talk. I’d love the Cubs to keep Samardzija…but not for more than what they’ve offered. He might be the Cubs “Ace,” but he is not an Ace. He had a great April and May….and a pedestrian June. Let someone else overpay him. He’s never put a full season together, and to over pay him is not the smart move. I hope he goes on to be that Ace pitcher, but I wouldn’t bet that kind of money on it.

    • AC0000000

      How about Homer Bailey money?

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Just because someone else overspent on a decent pitcher, doesn’t mean the Cubs should follow suit. That, and Bailey was better in 2012-2013, and is 2 years younger.

      • I’ll have you know Samardzija played football in college.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Well, you’ve got me there for sure!

      • AC0000000

        Would you give Samardzidja 5/85?

      • Dusty_Baylor

        No…but the Cubs already have offered that apparently. 4/$60 million

      • AC0000000

        Fair enough. He might be worthy of 4/60, but the market is going to dictate 5/85. I don’t know if I want to keep him at that money, but I’m afraid the way contracts are going, the Cubs are going to have to do it.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        That could be…but if they offered 5/$85, as is reported, and were turned down…then trade him and hope to get close to the Garza haul.

      • AC0000000

        I was unaware that he was offered 5/85 and refused. If that is the case, then I agree to trade him.

    • Dusty you hit the nail on the head here.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Once or twice a year, I do. =) Ty Ty Lizzie!

  • Dork

    The cubs have a way of making the pirates look good. Another team under 500 with a worse run differential than the cubs. Just think what their record and run differential be without the 9-4 record against the cubs.

    • PLCB3

      This is the opposite of 2003 when they made us real good, and helped us big time by giving us Lofton, Ramirez, and Simon, and then trading away Brian Giles when we had 6 games left with the Pirates, and the team he was traded to, San Diego, had 6 games left with Houston. It’s likely we don’t make the playoffs without that trade. Giles was a notorious Cubs killer.

  • Dork

    The cubs have a way of making the pirates look good. Another team under 500 with a worse run differential than the cubs. Just think what their record and run differential be without the 9-4 record against the cubs.

    • AC0000000

      This is the opposite of 2003 when they made us real good, and helped us big time by giving us Lofton, Ramirez, and Simon, and then trading away Brian Giles when we had 6 games left with the Pirates, and the team he was traded to, San Diego, had 6 games left with Houston. It’s likely we don’t make the playoffs without that trade. Giles was a notorious Cubs killer.

  • Dork

    Do you give up on Jackson or move him down to tenn. I do think there is no reason to protect him on the 40 man roster.

    • PLCB3

      Try to get something for him, otherwise give up on him.

      • I read the first part and still wondered what would happen if we didn’t get something for him, then read the rest of your comment and you covered that scenario. Thank you.

      • PLCB3

        *Buzz Lightyear voice*: you’re mocking me aren’t you?

      • Seymour Butts

        It’s most effective when the target can’t tell.

      • Doc Raker

        You just now figuring that out?

      • PLCB3

        This blog needs a sarcasm detector

  • Dork

    Do you give up on Jackson or move him down to tenn. I do think there is no reason to protect him on the 40 man roster.

    • AC0000000

      Try to get something for him, otherwise give up on him.

      • I read the first part and still wondered what would happen if we didn’t get something for him, then read the rest of your comment and you covered that scenario. Thank you.

      • AC0000000

        *Buzz Lightyear voice*: you’re mocking me aren’t you?

      • Seymour Butts

        It’s most effective when the target can’t tell.

      • Doc Raker

        You just now figuring that out?

      • AC0000000

        This blog needs a sarcasm detector

  • PLCB3

    Happy 30th anniversary of The Sandberg Game.

    • Seymour Butts

      Oh Shit, that means it’s also somebody’s birthday. Never can remember if it’s Raker or Alex Berg.

      • Doc Raker

        Berg- 52

      • PLCB3

        My birthday is Ron Santo’s MLB debut and Rizzo’s Cubs debut.

      • Seymour Butts

        My birthday is during the baseball season.
        Did you detect the sarcasm?

      • PLCB3
      • Seymour Butts

        Now I am understanding that you don’t realize the difference between sarcasm and fibbing.
        That is the reason that teachers do not deserve automatic tenure.

      • PLCB3

        I am not a teacher, and I agree with you that they shouldn’t have tenure.

  • AC0000000

    Happy 30th anniversary of The Sandberg Game.

    • Seymour Butts

      Oh Shit, that means it’s also somebody’s birthday. Never can remember if it’s Raker or Alex Berg.

      • Doc Raker

        Berg- 52

      • AC0000000

        My birthday is Ron Santo’s MLB debut and Rizzo’s Cubs debut.

      • Seymour Butts

        My birthday is during the baseball season.
        Did you detect the sarcasm?

      • AC0000000

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA3Et3-unNg

        Baseball season is only 6 months, so there is a 50% chance you are telling the truth, 50% chance you are lying.

      • Seymour Butts

        Now I am understanding that you don’t realize the difference between sarcasm and fibbing.
        That is the reason that teachers do not deserve automatic tenure.

      • AC0000000

        I am not a teacher, and I agree with you that they shouldn’t have tenure.