Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Someone Buy That Homeplate Umpire a Drink

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Cardinals 3 @ Cubs 4 (Box Score / Condensed Game)

That walk, on a bad call by the home plate umpire, sealed the win and the Cubs now own a 10 game winning streak and a 13 game lead in the NL Central. Suddenly, my bet with that Cards fan that the Cubs will win the division by 15+ isn’t looking that out of reach. It’s still going to be tough, but I’m not as worried as I was when it was down to the seven game lead.

Before the game, we got the results of the MRI on Pedro Strop and it looks like a meniscus tear that will put him on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, unless he channels his inner Derrek Rose, in which case he’ll never be right again. In his absence, the Cubs pen did a good job, including Aroldis Chapman, who got out of his inning with just three pitches.

Right now there isn’t a lot to talk about. This team is just doing it’s job and winning games every day. Even guys like David Ross, who had a clutch two out bunt to drive in a run, or Chris Coghlan, who called for time and didn’t get it, but got the hit anyway on a last minute reaction to drive in two.

Things are clicking and it’s fun to watch.

TODAY’S PROBABLESAdam Wainwright vs Jake Arrieta

Wainwright took his first loss since June on Sunday after allowing six runs in a start for the fourth time this season. Wainwright, who had posted a 1.77 ERA in July, did rebound to close his last outing with four scoreless innings. Arrieta has split two games against the Cardinals this season, lasting five innings in each one. He is 4-3 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 starts at Wrigley Field, and is coming off a win against the A’s in which he threw eight shutout innings. (

Click the scores to bring up full box score

Pelicans [A+] Won 3 to 2

SP – Preston Morrison – 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K

SS – Andrew Ely – 2 for 3, RBI

Cubs [A] Won 7 to 4

SP – Oscar De La Cruz – 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

SS – Andrew Monastero – 2 for 4, 2 RBI

Emeralds [SS] Won 7 to 4

SP – Dylan Cease – 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K

3B – Wladimir Galindo – 2 for 4, 2 2B, RBI

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An Eight Game Streak, but the Cubs Have a Problem

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Angels 1 @ Cubs 5 (Box Score / Condensed Game)

THE WINNING CONTINUES – I watched most of the game last night, but when I felt it was clear that the Angels aren’t really a good team and it was doubtful that they were going to mount a comeback, I turned it off. Turns out I didn’t miss anything of note in the last three innings. Now, had it been a save situation for those last three innings, I would have kept the game on. There is something special about watching guys from the pen shut it down like the Royals have had in the last few years. When you can shorten the game like that, it’s devastating for the other team and I believe the Cubs have that in Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman. In the end, they weren’t needed as Kris Bryant hit a bomb and John Lackey went eight strong. There is video of Lackey and Bryant that the whore, MLB, was kind enough to allow to be embedded, so here it is. Side note before you watch, you’ll notice a link to the condensed game above. Take a minute to watch that if you didn’t see the game. You’ll get caught up on the whole game in a matter of minutes.

THE LA STELLA PROBLEM – News came out before the game about the status of Tommy La Stella. He was optioned to AAA on July 28th when the Cubs activated Chris Coghlan from the DL. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it, but as the days ticked by and he hadn’t reported, you began to hear things to the effect that he was being given personal time and no other information was being disclosed. I genuinely thought he had a serious issue going on, but it turns out that he’s not happy about the demotion and is not planning to report to Iowa. Considering that Joe Maddon has said that in order to come back, he must report, we’re now in a pissing contest. I see La Stella’s side of it. When you’ve been in the Majors and have played well enough to stay there, which he has, then you have a right to be upset when you’re optioned. However, when the CBA is collectively bargained by the union and the owners, which means you have player reps at the table, you have to succumb to the system that is in place, and for La Stella, that means reporting to Iowa. At this point, it’s three weeks and then you can come back when rosters expand. Why not stop pouting, put the time in, and then be part of something special this season. I believe he would be on this playoff roster, so it’s time to man up.

TEBOW TIME – News came out yesterday the Tim Tebow was going to try to make a comeback, but this time on the baseball field. I was excited to see Tebow trending on Twitter and seeing the word comeback, but disappointed to see it was for baseball. At his age, there really isn’t a point. I wish him the best. Sports need more role models like him, but I just can’t see him, at his age, being able to do enough to even come close. Think Michael Jordan without the gambling addiction.

TODAY’S PROBABLES Ricky Nolasco vs Jason Hammel

Nolasco struggled in his debut against the A’s on Thursday, giving up five runs on six hits (three of them homers) in six innings, striking out four. Formerly of the Marlins, Nolasco has logged 27 innings at Wrigley Field, posting a 3.00 ERA. Hammel has given up one or zero runs in 10 of his 21 starts, and he threw six scoreless innings in his last outing against the Marlins, when he picked up his career-high 11th win. He’s 6-1 with a 2.24 ERA at Wrigley Field. (

Click the scores to bring up full box score

Cubs [AAA] Lost 6 to 0

SP – Jordan Pries – 4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

3B – Jeimer Candelario – 1 for 3, BB (Only hit of the ballgame for the Iowa Cubs)

Smokies [AA] Won 7 to 0

SP – Zach Hedges – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K

C – Victor Caratini – 3 for 5, 2B, 2 R

Pelicans [A+] Won 7 to 4

SP – Jake Stinnett – 6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K

DH – Ian Rice – 2 for 4, RBI

Cubs [A] Won 4 to 1

SP – Ryan Kellogg – 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K

DH – Tyler Alamo – 2 for 3, 3 RBI

Emeralds [SS] Won 11 to 5

SP – Erling Moreno – 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

3B – Wladimir Galindo – 4 for 6, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI

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The Best Baseball Apps For Android Devices

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Baseball is one of the most cherished games in the world. It has just the right amount of physical exertion, excitement and camaraderie to keep anyone interested. Baseball lovers don’t always have the time or money to go to games, and players don’t always have a team. A good baseball Android app is always the next best thing to participating in person. The following are a few of the best Android apps for baseball. Fans can have them on their phones within minutes.

Best App for News: ESPN

The ESPN app is a free app that can put a baseball fan in direct connection with scores, trading news and other information. Baseball enthusiasts can also listen to podcasts on this application. Furthermore, app users can get access to the latest games live. It’s the perfect app for a baseball fanatic to have right by his or her side.

Best App for Stats: Gamechanger Baseball Scorekeeping

Gamechanger Baseball Scorekeeping is excellent for people who are just starting to watch scorekeeping. Not only is it free, but it also supplies the user with a systematic tutorial that shows the person how to keep score, manage a lineup and do other things. It can be a good tool for coaches, players and enthusiasts.

Best App for Fantasy Baseball

ESPN Fantasy Baseball is an excellent application for people who create their own teams and watch them prosper. Players can get a team, create a league or perform a mock draft.

Best App for Fun: Homerun Battle & Homerun Battle 3D

Players who just want to have fun can download one of the two Homerun Battle games. The free version is not a 3D game, and the player’s game is slightly limited once the score reaches 5,000. The 3D version is  $.99, and it provides the player with unlimited possibilities and a 3D experience. Both games allow the players to pit themselves against friends, family members and random players in a match of smashing homeruns. The players have the option of either playing for cash or just playing for fun. They do not have to become members to play, as they have the guest options. The game has a lot going for it in that it has reviewed an award for best app and a nomination for IMGA’s best game. consumers have rated both versions of the game with more than four stars.

Tap Sports Baseball 2016

Tap Sports Baseball 2016 is another fun game that focuses on the swing. Players can have hours of fun hitting balls out of the park and watching them fly. Players love the games because they are short, and they can play them anywhere they desire. The best part of it is that the player can create his or her team with the top major league players.

An interested person can choose from any of the above-mentioned games and download them today to enhance the baseball collection. Hundreds of apps are available, but the aforementioned applications are some of the best in the market.

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An Off Day Serious Note – Important Read

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Cubs – Off Day

WELCOME BACK – The Cubs announced that Brian Matusz, since being designated for assignment, had cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Iowa. He could have elected to go to free agency, but at this point his odds of getting a job would probably be slim. The Cubs are probably his last stop unless he shows enough. He’ll pitch in Iowa and will probably be used in the rotation to add to depth in case one of our Major League guys go down, similar to what they are doing with Trevor Cahill. The problem is that I hate the thought of either of those guys ever taking the mound in a meaningful game for this team. Makes me shudder.

TONIGHT’S PROBABLES – It’s John Lackey taking the mound for the Cubs against his old team. For the Angels, Jared Weaver takes the bump.

Lackey will face his former team in an Interleague game at Wrigley Field. He pitched for the Angels from 2002-09. Lackey is settling in well at Wrigley Field, where he has a 2.83 ERA in 11 starts. Weaver gave up four runs (three earned) while taking a no-decision against the A’s on Wednesday, giving up nine hits, walking none and striking out one. His next start comes against John Lackey, his former teammate and mentor with the Angels. (

A SERIOUS NOTE – If you’ve never read Cubs Den, you should. John Arguello does a great job over there as part of Chicago Now. His recent post talked about how he has been fighting a battle with cancer. It’s a good read, and here is a snip.

“My first thought was that from a physical standpoint, cancer cannot truly win.  It can only fight me to a tie because if I go down, it has no choice but to do down with me.” ~ Cubs Den – 8/8/16)

We’ve all been affected by cancer in some way. For my family, my mother in law spent the last months of her life in our house battling pancreatic cancer to a tie. It sounds like John is winning, but I’m sure he could use some encouragement, so let’s take this party over there and wish him well from VFTB.

Click the scores to bring up full box score

Cubs [AAA] Won 3 to 2

SP – Drew Rucinski – 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K

C – Tim Federowicz – 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI

Smokies [AA] Lost 5 to 3

SP – Brad Markey – 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 3 K

SS – Carlos Penalver – 3 for 4, R

Cubs [A] Won 3 to 1

SP – Jose Paulino – 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K

1B – Tyler Alamo – 2 for 3, 2B

Emeralds [SS] Won 4 to 3

SP – Bryan Hudson – 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5, K

2B – Yeiler Peguero – 3 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI

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A Busy Sunday Recap

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Cubs 3 @ Athletics 1 (Box Score)

This is starting to get fun again to watch Cubs baseball. It’s been so fun that I’ve actually skipped the Olympics the last couple days to watch Cubs. It was a busy Sunday, so let’s hit on the highlights.

SWEEP OF THE A’s – This is the way a good team needs to play. They need to pounce on a bad team whenever they have the chance. There were still missed opportunities that we could have taken advantage of this weekend, but the end result was still a sweep and I’m happy about that.

WHERE’S HENDRICKS? Kyle Hendricks pitched 7+ innings of strong baseball and now has his ERA down to 2.17, which is 2nd in the NL behind Clayton Kershaw, who will fall off the list soon due to lack of innings. So, my question to you then becomes twofold.

  1. Where does Hendricks slot into your playoff rotation if you’re the manager of this team?
  2. When do we start discussing his ability to be in consideration for the Cy Young?

DID YOU MISS HIM?Jason Heyward was not in the lineup yesterday against a lefty, and I can honestly say that I didn’t even notice. I had to think about it later and realized I hadn’t seen him all game. To be honest, I didn’t miss him at all. I don’t know what’s been wrong with him this season, but I hope it’s a case of just trying too hard in the first year of a big contract. If not, we have a big problem because that joker would most certainly opt into the rest of his deal when his option year comes up.

BIG RETIREMENTS – This weekend both Mark Teixeira (on his own accord) and Alex Rodriguez (somewhat forced) announced their retirements. For A-Rod, his will come at the end of this week due to how utterly bad his play has been since August of last year. I know there is a lot of hate toward him and other PED users, but I would have liked to see him go out with 700 HR’s. It would have been good to see him join that group, considering he’s just four away. Teixeira has chosen to go out before his play drops to A-Rod territory, and for that I have to commend him. He’s been one of those guys that sort of fits in the background, but puts up great stats. He’ll probably not make the hall of fame, nor should he, but he’s better than the fandom he’s gotten.

THE BIG 3000Ichiro Suzuki hit his 3000th hit on Sunday afternoon and he did it in style with a triple. I’m glad for Ichiro, who many consider one of the smartest players in the game, but I would have liked to see what he could have done had he played his entire career in the Majors instead of some in Japan.

Click the scores to bring up full box score

Cubs [AAA] Won 6 to 4

SP – Rob Zastryzny – 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

CF – Albert Almora – 3 for 4, 2 R

Smokies [AA] Lost 7 to 5

SP – Michael Wagner – 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 5 K

DH – David Freitas – 3 for 6, 2B

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