Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Could the Cubs Be Chicago’s Premier Sports Team?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Everyone knows that, deep down, Chicago is a Bears town. Sure, north and south siders go at each others’ proverbial throats all spring and summer, but once fall hits we’re all friends again. Well, maybe only on Sundays until the baseball season is over, but the point remains. The NFL started with the Chicago Bears. Aside from Michael Jordan, the most sacrosanct figures in Chicago sports are Bears: Payton, Butkus, Ditka, Halas.

But go back to 1994 with me. A 13 year old kid really wants a Starter jacket because, for some insane reason, every teenager wanted a Starter jacket in 1994. Preferably a Chicago Bulls jacket. He’s at the store to pick up some winter clothes with his mom, and there are Bulls jackets and Bears jackets. The Bulls jackets are full priced, which is a vast overspend for a mediocre piece of outerwear. The Bears jackets are available on a big discount. The mom makes it clear that the full priced Bulls jackets are not an option. The boy settles for a Bears jacket. When the boy first starts wearing him to school, he isn’t teased per se, but he’s asked why the heck he’s wearing a Bears’ jacket. There are Bulls jackets all around him. He’s the only one in a Bears’ jacket.

In case you didn’t realize it, the boy was me. And no, I do not feel traumatized by not getting a Bulls starter jacket. However, a mere 20 years ago, the Bears were not Chicago’s first sports priority. The Bears were midway through a horrendously mediocre 1990s, while the Bulls were one of the best teams in basketball even during Michael Jordan’s first retirement, which would end about six months after the Bears jacket purchase. Chicago was a Bulls town. The Bears played second fiddle, at the least.

Again, it appears that the Bears are mired in a run of mediocrity. Having tied their next few years to Jay Cutler, a quarterback unlikely to ever win a meaningful game, Chicago is ripe for a new team to get behind. Sure, the Blackhawks have been and should continue to be awesome, but hockey is something of a niche sport throughout the US, even in Chicago. The Bulls are a good team, but will they ever get past Lebron? Even if they do, does Derrick Rose have it in him to be the media presence that Jordan was? Does he even want that?

Could the door be open for the Cubs to become Chicago’s number one sports team? The Cubs appear to be on the verge of their longest run of competitiveness… well… ever. When the Cubs win a World Series, whether it be this decade or some other, it will be the single biggest sports story of that decade in North America. Wrigley Field is being renovated. The Cubs have the best set of prospects either side of the city has seen in a long time. Some of them, along with Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta, have star potential. All reports I’ve seen indicate that Kris Bryant has the type of personality that, along with his prodigious power, could make him the biggest star in the game. And, quite frankly, I don’t believe that many young White Sox fans are so invested in their team that they wouldn’t flip to the Cubs if the Cubs are a consistent winner and the White Sox aren’t.

Sure, some things work against the Cubs reaching that level of prestige now that weren’t working against the 1990s Bulls. Fantasy football was a game for only the most intense of football fans and sports gamblers then. Now it is played by a huge proportion of sports fans, while fantasy baseball remains a game played by a small number of die hard baseball fans. The NFL and their partners have been more and more successful turning every NFL Sunday into a full day event.

But cities that are baseball towns first, football towns second, do exist, with Boston and St. Louis being the foremost among those. Could Chicago join them? For the first time in a long time, the answer to that question could be yes.

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Jake Peavy Headed to Chicago?

Monday, October 20th, 2014

I bet you all thought I died. Admit it, you know you did. I just get frustrated with losing and took a break, but I’m back now and ready for the off-season. Let’s get it going with some news and notes.

Jake Peavy in the rotation next year? – Paul Sullivan reported that Peavy still has interest in pitching in Wrigley Field. I think the Cubs will be major players this off-season in the starting pitching market and I believe they will land at least one arm. My guess is that it will be Jon Lester, though I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see them go Lester AND Max Scherzer. Assuming you only get one, it gives you a nice rotation of guys. I don’t think Peavy is needed at this point. I’d rather not take a shot on him and trust Theo and Jed to sign scrap heap starters for depth.

Fan Graphs Top 31 Prospect List – They had a really nice piece that includes videos. It really gets you excited about the future. It’s funny, coming into the season, the player I was least worried about was Javier Baez and the player I thought had the most bust potential was Jorge Soler. After seeing August and September baseball, I’ve done a complete 180 on those feelings for both players. That said, here is the top 31 list.

Albert Almora Can’t Walk? – Also on Fan Graphs was an article focusing on Almora’s plate discipline that is worth your time. I think Almora will be good, but it will take a little time. He’s young, but everything I read is that he has the polish and poise to be a face of a franchise.

What Say You?

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World Series Matchup Carved Out, Ishikawa A Hero & More!

Monday, October 20th, 2014

We’ve nearly reached the end of the line. With the League Championship Series’ behind us and the World Series set to commence, let’s take a look at what happened in the last week to get here.

Friedman Hired By Dodgers

Before we get to the games, there was some action in the management front last week. Aside from the Texas Rangers hiring a new manager (Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Bannister), the big news was a personnel move by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were eliminated in the NLDS.

Looking for the extra push that was needed to get their team in World Series contention, the Dodgers turned to Tampa Bay Rays General Manager/Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman to be their new President of Baseball Operations.

Friedman, who had been in his position with the Rays for the past 8 years, is one of the best minds in baseball, to say the least. He has consistently been able to keep the Rays in playoff contention year-in and year-out despite a shoestring budget. The situation that he’ll be walking into is almost a polar opposite.

The Dodgers, who sport the highest payroll of any of the four major professional sports teams, offer much more freedom financially, which could be scary given Friedman’s eye for talent. The team’s heavy spending on any and every big name player that hits the market may have come to an end, but I expect their decisions to be much more wise with Friedman at the helm. What do you think of this move? Who do you think the best General Manager in baseball is?

Ishikawa Catapults The Giants To The World Series

You could find an example of it every week, but the phrase “You can’t predict baseball,” has never rang more true for the finale of Game 5 of the NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

To give a bit of background, Travis Ishikawa, a natural first baseman, was playing left field for the Giants (a position he had never played prior to this year). Earlier in the game, he had misjudged a fly ball in the outfield, which allowed a run to score. Luckily for him, however, he would have a chance to rectify his mistake.

With Michael Wacha on the mound and two men on base, the 31-year old journeyman turned on a 2-0 pitch and drilled it over the wall in right field to send the Giants to their third World Series in 5 years. Fittingly, it was the first home run of his postseason career.

It’s great to see someone like Ishikawa, a player who has been up and down from the minor leagues throughout his career, make a play on a big stage like that. It’s certainly a moment that he, his family or Giants fans will never forget. What are some of your favorite examples of surprising players who make a big impact?

World Series Matchup Set

Coming into this season, the odds on the Giants facing off with the Kansas City Royals in the World Series were 38,000 to 1. Looking back, I wish I had thrown the entirety of my bank account at that one. The series is set, but the favorite is far from clear.

The Giants come into this one riding the high of the previously mentioned Ishikawa walk-off home run to close off the Cardinals. The pitching is certainly there, with Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson manning the rotation. The question is if they’ll have enough hitting, but that problem has not arisen at any point throughout these playoffs.

The Royals, on the other side of things, have all the momentum in the world coming into this matchup. They have not lost a game thus far throughout the postseason and they’ve also done that on the backs of some solid pitching performances, namely a lights out bullpen.

While this doesn’t feature any big name, high spending teams, this has the makings of one of the better World Series’ in recent memory. I wouldn’t bet on either of these teams given that it should be such a toss-up, but if I had to I think that I would lean towards the Royals in 6 or 7 games. Who’s your pick to win the World Series?

This Week’s MVP: Lorenzo Cain (.533/.588/.667, 1 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Wade Davis (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K)

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GirlieView (10/16/2014)

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2014 Offeason = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • Drinks on me!
  • sweet………..crashed the top 25! Gives me something to aim for next year, the top 10
  • Congrats to Jswan on the season ending leading Lizzie board dude! Congrats to me for being second place ahead of Seymour’s butt, that’s one place you don’t want to be is behind Seymour’s butt.
  • Whew. Glad I’ve got Joe and Eddie between me and Seymour’s butt.
  • I am in a sad, sad state of affairs. I’m afraid to look up.
  • Well, I am glad Jedi slipped in right in front of me, because I would not want a Johnson behind me.
  • 7th not bad for a rook, even more impressive for a Dork
  • All those spreadsheets paid off, and your wife said you were waisting your time. Ha to her.
  • Good choice for the Lizard, even though I did not say it. The fact that it is true is what makes VFTB must read material (sorry saber geeks).
  • Greetings from Iowa. Somebody sold something we don’t really make, so off to this place to figure out how to make said something. I missed the corn, but saw some corn mazes from a few thousand feet. These guys and their corn.
  • Say hello to Kris Bryant.
  • Say hello to Chuck.
  • Don’t say hello to anyone (unless you want to lose an hour listening to a stranger’s life story).
  • Ortiz could be an interesting guy to have in the mix for a LHP reliever spot next season.
  • Interesting how? As a pitcher or does he know a lot of trivia which makes interesting conversation? Is Ortiz someone that Seymour would want to dine with at Subway? Ortiz is one step away from fantasy camp.
  • He is familiar with a few bands from his hometown.
  • Are new acquisitions in the bullpen automatically relegated to carrying the my little pony back pack of snacks, or does MLB time served count? This I find interesting about Ortiz.
  • I think time served counts. I can’t see a veteran carrying the pink back pack into the bullpen. What’s in the back pack could be interesting.
  • This is what I get for posting something and not checking back for a day.
  • I know little of his musical preferences and how they line up with Len Kasper’s.
  • Aw, and I was waiting on Jswan’s discussion on what could possibly be in the bullpen backpack.
  • Seeds, gum, and one of Darwin Barney’s old purses.
  • Who is Darwin Barney? Will he be paying to attend Randy’s camp this January?
  • The Cardinals are cock a roches.
  • I’m guessing we’re all Giants fans today…we should get some shirts made up.
  • I am hoping the Giants every other year thing continues.
  • I am rooting for a Giants vs Royals WS, I really like the way the Royals play the game. The Royals play an exciting brand of baseball, I find Royals baseball very interesting.
  • Good thing there’s football tonight or I’d really have to do something weird like talk to my girlfriend or something.
  • Spin her tall tales of doctors who eat sandwiches and docs who sell Ray Bans.
  • What does Dick Allen, Dom DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, Darrell Porter, Chris Sabo, Kyle Farnsworth and “Deacon” Danny MacFayden all have in common?
  • They are all has beens?
  • They all had better eyes than Dale Scott?
  • They all once killed a man just to watch him die?
  • The metric for this is the: Big Hits for Non Studs- BHNS- the average BHNS is calculated on a per game basis. The BHNS regular season median for 2014 was 1.8. The Royals are running a 3.2 BHNS in the playoffs. The Cubs had a 0.7 BHNS the first half of 2014 and a 1.4 BHNS the second half of 2014.
  • so what you are saying is that the Royals in the playoffs have nice BHNS
  • So Adam is Done?
  • If you talk to Sox fans he was actually done a few years back.
  • Maybe we’ll get lucky and Edwin Jackson will retire.

Lizard

  • Did you hear Joe got DFA’d? They said they weren’t getting enough production out of him.

Shout Outs

  • It’s the first offseason Lizzie for everyone who got a Lizzie this time. Shout outs to all!!!!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Doc Raker, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go Doc!

Top 10 of the 2014 Offseason (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Doc Raker
2. Eddie Von White
3. Jerry in Wisconsin
3. jswanson
5. Seymour Butts
6. Noah Eisner
7. Dork
7. Doug S.
8. Jedi
8. SBardo
8. SouthKakalakiCubsFan

Chit Chat

  • What will you do for entertainment once the World Series is over? Football? Hockey? Talk to your girlfriend? ;-)
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The Post-Season Concoction

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

If you were constructing a playoff team what would your recipe look like?  Would you litter the starting lineup with OBP and power?  Would you stock up on a stable full of studs for your rotation?  How about the bullpen, is good enough actually enough? What about fielding and baserunning, are these critical to the post-season equation?  Do managers matter…ever?

As October baseball once again washes over me, and as a fan of a developing Cubs team, I am left wondering what it takes to not only make it to October baseball, but what does a team need to advance through the bonus month?

After watching the Tigers, Dodgers, and Angels get eaten alive in the opening round I began to wonder, what did the Orioles, Royals and Giants have that those teams did not?

My hunch throughout the playoffs was that the Royals success lies somewhere in there fielding and pitching.  Sure enough, a quick look at Fangraphs and you will see that the Orioles and Royals both place in the top third in most defensive categories.  They are not far off that mark where pitching is concerned either.  Meanwhile, the Tigers for instance, have a dominant starting staff and massive offensive numbers, but a bullpen that probably would have trouble getting out of an inning with the Mudhens.  Let’s not even start with their defensive liabilities that litter the diamond.  There weaknesses showed up tenfold the second the competition heated up.

All this being said, what about the Royals, Orioles, Giants and Cardinals?  Surely their weaknesses will haunt them? One thing I found prominent in each teams success is that sixth tool…..luck.  Okay, call it timing, clutch, mojo, whatever floats your boat, it’s all the same.  The Royals are defying the regular season stats and have found some offense in the post-season.  All of the sudden Mike Moustakas. who was sent down for a spell at the start of the season, is Mr. October.  Couple that with the surging Eric Hosmer, who hit well in the regular season but not .400 well, and you have the makings of a magic run.

The playoffs have a way of sorting out those weaknesses and showing them in full light at the most inopportune times.  My bet is the Royals real offense shows up.  My bet is, if they grab this third game from the Orioles, those weaknesses will prevail in the World Series.  Those hitting stats from the regular season are bound turn their ugly head, or at least come down from their otherworldy perch and make winning a much more difficult task.

But I digress, I wanted to know what you thought was the right mix for a post-season birth and then a run.  What makes the Cardinals, the Cardinals? (I can’t wait to see these comments) What makes the Giants appear so beatable in the regular season and then turn them into a juggernaut in the post-season?  Where did the powerhouse Dodgers fall short? What’s your post-season concoction?

During this post-season, when I start to think the Cubs are getting close, I look at these teams and compare.  Depending on the team I compare them too, they can look real far away from the ultimate goal…or really close.

 

 

 

 

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Royals Keep Rolling, Big Name Retires and More!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Wow! What a week of baseball. For those that say, “baseball is boring” I would instruct you to watch any game from this postseason and see if that argument holds up. We’re in the middle of LCS’s, but let’s take a look at the past week.

Royals Take Commanding Lead

After missing out on the postseason for nearly three consecutive decades, the Kansas City Royals are sure making up for lost time. They won their play-in game against the Oakland Athletics and followed that up with a sweep over the Los Angeles Angels (who were the top American League team this year).

There success has carried on into the ALCS, where they’ve taken a commanding 2-0 lead over the Baltimore Orioles. This feat is impressive on it’s own, but what makes it even more surprising is that both games were in Baltimore. They’ll head home on Monday where they hope to finish off the series and be on their way to the World Series.

This team has really come out of nowhere to be a playoff force and their reliance on small-ball is a throwback of sorts. They’re never going to outslug you (aside from Game 2 of the ALCS), but they have an endless amount of speed as a team, their starters are solid and their bullpen has been lights out throughout the entire season (Wade Davis and Greg Holland, especially).

The whole country (aside from Baltimore, San Francisco and St. Louis) appears to be rooting for these underdog Royals. With their scrappy style of play and prior playoff drought, I can definitely see why. I doubted their ability going into the playoffs, but it’s clear that this team has a very good chance of going all the way. Are you rooting for the Royals currently? If not, which team are you supporting (if any)?

Bumgarner Blanks Cards 

If the country wasn’t aware of who Madison Bumgarner was prior to the playoffs, they are now. The 25-year old has been under the radar for a majority of his career, as many haven’t noticed that he took the reigns as the ace of the Giants as opposed to Matt Cain, but this postseason has changed that.

He was shaky as a 23-year old in the 2012 postseason (other than a phenomenal start over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series), but he’s turned that around in a big way this year. After blanking the Pittsburgh Pirates over 9 innings in the one game play-in, Bumgarner stepped up against the red-hot Cardinals and silenced their bats over 7.2 innings, which sent his name into the record books.

With his playoff dominance, Bumgarner has set the record for most consecutive postseason shutout innings on the road with 24, which dates all the way back to the 2010 playoffs. He’s been impressive all season long, but it feels as if he’s pitching his best when it matters most.

We’ve seen many players collapse under the pressure of the postseason, but its clear Bumgarner is not one of those guys. Every time he steps on the mound you know you’re in for a performance and I can’t wait until the next time he’s on the rubber. Has he been the best pitcher from this postseason? Historically, what’s the best pitching performance over the course of a postseason that you can remember?

Beckett, Dempster Call It A Career

The retirements in baseball keep mounting. We knew at the start of the season that this was Derek Jeter and Paul Konerko’s last season, but we’ve had Adam Dunn surprisingly announce that he was finished and just this week we added another two names to that list.

First was Ryan Dempster, who decided to hang up the cleats after sitting out all of this season. He was owed $13.25 million from the Boston Red Sox, but he had nagging health issues that he didn’t want to, or couldn’t, play through. He spent his time as an analyst with MLB Network, so he won’t be far from the game.

Josh Beckett, another former Red Sox player, turned a few heads with his decision to call it quits, too. He had thrown a no-hitter this past season and was still capable of quality starts, but at 34 he had had enough. He retired with 138 wins over 14 years and has 2 championship rings to his name.

With the season a few weeks from coming to a close (I don’t want to think about it, either), we’ll probably see even more retirement announcements. For the sake of entertainment, let’s hope 43-year old Jason Giambi is not one of those names. Are there any other players you could see retiring at the end of this season?

This Week’s MVP: Lorenzo Cain (.750/.800/1.000, 1 RBI, 1 SB)

This Week’s Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K)

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Cubs Claim LHP, Joseph Ortiz, Off Waivers From Texas

Monday, October 6th, 2014

From the Cubs Media Relations Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today claimed left-handed pitcher Joseph Ortiz off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  The club’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

Ortiz, 24, went 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA (21 ER/44.2 IP) in 32 relief appearances for the Rangers in 2013 before being limited to only 15 minor league appearances last season due to a fractured left foot.  The southpaw began the 2014 season on the 60-day disabled list and made two rehab appearances with the organization’s rookie-league club in Arizona in July before completing his campaign with 13 relief outings with Double-A Frisco (0-2, one save, 4.50 ERA).

A native of Venezuela, Ortiz originally signed with Texas as a non-drafted free agent on August 28, 2006.  He is 18-15 with 31 saves and a 2.44 ERA (87 ER/320.2 IP) in 217 relief appearances covering eight minor league seasons.

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Playoffs Are Underway, Coaches Get Axed & More!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

We’re now into October, believe it or not. All of the regular season records can get thrown out the window because postseason baseball is its own animal (Clayton Kershaw can attest to that fact). Let’s see what the last week has brought us!

Playoffs Are Underway

If you would’ve told me at the start of the season that we could be looking at a Kansas City Royals/Baltimore Orioles showdown in the ALCS, I would’ve immediately called you crazy. Sure, the Royals were expected to be improved and the Orioles had playoff aspirations, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

In Los Angeles, the Royals took two from the Angels in a pair of thrilling games that both went beyond nine innings. That, coupled with their huge comeback victory over the Athletics, has shown many that they might be the hottest team in baseball at the moment.

Over in Baltimore, the O’s have used huge 8th innings (and some crucial mistakes by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus) to take a commanding lead in the series. Just a little ways away in Washington, the Nationals have dropped their first two games to the Giants and are on the verge of elimination.

There is one series that did not go 2-0, which is the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals matchup. From the way that those games have been decided, I fully expect that this will go the full 5 games. As we’ve been able to see, I’m pretty terrible at predicting how each series is going to go. If things hold up in the series that are 2-0, I will be 0-3 with my picks; Yikes. How are your predictions going, and what have you thought about the playoffs thus far?

Giants/Nationals Go 18 Innings

As noted in the previous section, the San Francisco Giants managed to steal two games on the road in the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. In these two games, however, they’ve managed to play enough innings for three full games.

That’s because on Saturday night, the teams went punch-for-punch in a pitcher’s duel that lasted an astounding 18 innings, and qualified itself as the longest postseason game in MLB history (not a great game to watch for those who complain about the length of games).

It was a 1-1 game all throughout extra innings, until Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who had been 0-6 leading up to his final at-bat, took Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark out of the park for the team’s second run of the game. Hunter Strickland, who was brought in to close out the game in the bottom half of the 18th, certainly made things interesting (needing 29 pitches to end it) but he wound up getting the job done.

I had personally tuned into the game right around the 3rd inning, but eventually ended up leaving my house in the 7th. I came back (assuming the game was over) and started watching football, when, to my surprise, I saw on the bottom ticker that the game was in the 16th inning. I was incredibly pleased with my decision, as every pitch had you on the edge of your seat. Did you watch any of the game?

Teams Make Managerial Decisions

One of the best managers that this generation of baseball fans has seen is now on the open market, as the Minnesota Twins decided to let go of their longtime skipper Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire, who had been with the team for 13 years, is surely at the top of many team’s wish lists.

Along with Gardenhire, Kirk Gibson was let go in Arizona. He got off to a hot start his first year in the desert, leading the team to the playoffs as well as being named Manager of the Year, but things went south pretty quickly. He went 81-81 the next two years and finally bottom out this year at 64-98.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Houston Astros announced their new manager. A.J. Hinch, also a former manager of the Diamondbacks, was signed on to lead the slowly improving team. His stint in Arizona left a lot to be desired, but he should be able to follow the plan that management sets in place for him.

We’ve just begun October, which means there will certainly be more moves to be made in the coaching world. The Atlanta Braves announced that Fredi Gonzalez would be back, so whom do you think will be the next manager to get fired?

This Week’s MVP: A.J. Ellis (.625/.667/1.125, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 1.04 ERA, 6 K)

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GirlieView (10/02/2014)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2014 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • A researched, well though out piece he has time for. But answering our burning questions of frivolity has to wait…priorities, man.
  • 16-5 final, I could have won $0.98 on the Edwin Jackson verses Clayton Kershaw sure thing. Does anyone know of any other event that was a more secure sure thing than this game?
  • This is a major let-down. All that anticipation on Joe’s wise answers and this is what we get?
  • Agreed…that was sort of anticlimactic. Life is way to short to maintain a Dorito purist mindset.
  • I always figured Joe for a Mrs. Howell kinda guy – glad I was wrong.
  • Mrs. Howell would be the ticket to owning the Cubs.
  • I bet the Professor could break down Baez approach to the plate and he would be hitting coconuts off the island in no time.
  • Good for Kansas City and their playoff push. It is always good to see young players develop into winners. There is hope for our Cubs!
  • While listening to the Dodger radio broadcast since it features no Len Kasper, Rick Monday and Kevin Kennedy were talking about what an easy out Baez is for a good pitcher. “Sure he has a great swing but he is so aggressive I would imagine he will be an easy out for the better pitchers in the league.” I agree Rick and thanks for not being Len Kasper.
  • On the flip side of that, you’re left with no idea of where Oingo Boingo is playing this weekend.
  • While I’m not necessarily concerned about the current length of games, I think there is some merit in trying to shorten games. Do batters really need to adjust their batting gloves after every pitch? Do pitchers have to take off and readjust their hat between every pitch?
  • My wood bat league hasn’t banned me from horsing around with my cup between pitches. Thankfully.
  • If WGN drops the Cubs their network ratings will drop across the board.
  • Not only WGN but cable and satellite TV will lose money as well. I upgraded my satellite in order to get WGN. Now I don’t care so I will downgrade and save a couple dollars a month. I’ve seen enough Funniest Home Videos reruns for a while.
  • My favorite AFV is the one where the kid was confused and said something funny. Classic.
  • Yeah – or that one where that guy fell down.
  • Or the one where the animal had on clothes.
  • What about the one where the dad gets hit in the balls while not paying attention to his kid…that one hits home for me.
  • The AFV with Matt Murton setting Bryan LaHair’s shoe on fire was hilarious. If you look closely you can see Javier Baez in the background laughing. Baez is negotiating with the Japanese AFV but is losing leverage with every strike out.
  • Did you see the one where Joe saw Matt Murton naked just before the whiffle ball hit him in the go-nads? I laughed and laughed…
  • Why haven’t the playoff odds been updated since July 26th?
  • I’d guess that must have been the last date there was even the slightest bit of hope.
  • I actually Like Len Kasper, but I also once owned a Slipknot CD so I guess that eliminates my opinions from counting.
  • This no-hitter was undoubtedly one of the biggest moments of Zimmermann’s now 5-year career and it goes to show the unbelievable depth that the Nationals have behind Stephen Strasburg in the starting rotation. Do the Nationals have the best rotation out of the playoff teams?
  • Random question: I heard JD say Rizzo was going to do some postseason TV…any idea what station he will be with or will it just be local?
  • I think they meant he’d be on TV for declining autographs, pushing the elderly and disabled into oncoming traffic, and swearing at kids.
  • Cameo with Murton and LaHair actually. The fellas try to get Rizzo’s autograph at the Tokyo baseball expo, but Matt brings an ebi roll instead of a sharpie. Clasic Murton…
  • Getting a straight answer on this blog is harder than getting a quality start from Edwin
  • If you wanted an answer, you should’ve asked it of Joe on his Ask Joe Anything day. Though I would suggest that you call it a random thought – not a random question. And maybe don’t count on an answer then either…
  • There wasn’t a person that was hired after Hendry left who was been willing to commit to a specific accomplishment that is aimed to be achieved in a specific year. It’s always been a generic “we want to get better” kind of thing.
  • Yeah, I think there were some implications that they were looking at a time frame where competing was, at earliest, 2014, and, at latest, 2016, but there was definitely nothing explicit.

Lizard

  • Well these guys will do anything to get a Lizzie.

Shout Outs

  • No one submitted their first 2014 in-season Lizzie this time around so let’s just give a big end-of-season shout out for everyone! Thanks for being here! Please stick around for the off-season, we usually have a lot of laughs (and we need all the help we can get!)

MVL

  • Congratulations to jswanson, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go jswan!

2014 Season Final Standings (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. jswanson
2. Doc Raker
3. Seymour Butts
4. Eddie Von White
5. Joe Aiello
6. Doug S.
7. Dork
8. Chuck
9. Mark From Toronto
10. Jedi
10. Jerry in Wisconsin
10. Noah Eisner
10. Sean Powell
14. Dusty Baylor
14. Sherm
16. Buddy
17. cap’n obvious
17. Chet West
19. Bryan
20. Darlin Starlin
21. Brian Rzeppa
21. Kac
21. LVCubFan
21. SouthKakalakiCubsFan
25. Chris Neitzel
25. Josh Cornwall
25. Katie
28. Jim Jones
28. Kizzfastfists
28. Let’s Get in the 21st Century
28. Luke Jett
28. Michael Rice
28. Rob Willer
28. Ryno
28. Timo

Chit Chat

Next time we’ll start fresh with cleared Lizzie standings since we usually have a more concentrated audience during the off-season. Everyone starts off even again. I’ll see you in two weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy the playoffs and may anyone but the Cardinals win it all!

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