Archive for the ‘General’ Category

GirlieView (09/04/2014)

Thursday, September 4th, 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.


  • Whoever I pick for #1 will go on to have a HOF career if he is traded. That is my luck.
  • As much as all Cubs fans wanted him to be manager one of the best moves Theo made was not hiring him as manager.
  • I like a manager that plays the best player regardless of contract and or service time.
  • I flipped over to Len on the Cubs broadcast and learned that Michael Buble will be performing live on Dancing with the Stars.
  • I think that Michael Buble is dreamy. Maybe not Geo Soto dreamy, but dreamy nonetheless.
  • How do you think these injuries conversations go? So Edwin we think your side is hurting, how about a DL stint and rehab assignment?
  • Watching the same amount of Cubs games, which is every opportunity. It’s now the time of year when I get the “why?” from other baseball fans at the sports bar. Or maybe I’m wrong and that’s all year.
  • I also want to thank my teammates here at the VFTB who toss up some serious batting practice lunch meat to be knocked around the VFTB yard.
  • Tarpgate
  • groundscrew
  • I remember that for sure. I went by SB2 then, and my avatar was a picture of Seymour’s buttcrack next to another picture of Seymour’s buttcrack.
  • Len would like the Cubs to play them in Baltimore next time, since he hasn’t seen their new park yet.
  • There is nothing more exciting that watching a kid from the minors come up and get his first chance.
  • Word has it Soler batch cooks plantains.
  • It only makes sense, Doc. Young players like Soler are on the road, a lot. Factor in double headers and extra cuts in the cage…you are going to be wiped most nights. Batch cooking plantains on a rare day-off is definitely the way to go. You can scoop a bunch into your mitt on the way out the door.
  • Glass half full, this is the best thing for Baez to see how good the pitching is at this level. He knows he has to continue to get better.
  • From what I’ve seen, his two issues are very workable and very common: he’s susceptible to the high fastball with two strikes and generally susceptible to breaking pitches low and away.
  • I think 2015 will be an exciting year.
  • They both now enjoy sitcom celebrity status in Japan’s remake of The Odd Couple. LaHair plays the messy Oscar Madison and Fukudome is the metro sexual Felix Unger. Th episode where Fukudome gets lost in a pile of dirty laundry when walking into LaHair’s bedroom was classic. Fukudome had to be rescued by their friend Murray the cop played by Julio Zuleta.
  • Is that the one where LaHair keeps mistaking Kosuke’s cup for a miso soup bowl? Classic.
  • I thought Hee Seop Choi was the cop…
  • Hee Seop Choi and Micah Hoffpauir were the Pigeon sisters.
  • LaHair agreed to the part provided that he also get to play Quincy, M.E. in the Japanese remake of that, called “Yuso dead.”
  • We need to have every prospect debut in Cincy.
  • Johnson!
  • Ask and you shall receive…
    1. That Koyie Hill could sure hit!
    2. I love the way Dusty Baker handled the Cubs pitching staff.
    3. Junior Lake looks like a future All Star.
    4. I really miss Darwin Barney.
    5. The Cubs need to bunt more often.
  • 6. Len Kasper is an exciting baseball broadcaster.
  • 7. The Cubs should put James Russell back in the starting rotation.
  • Two different call-ups with three bombs in their first three games…and both had a multi-HR game. I feel bad for Kris Bryant. Anything less than instant dominance and he’s going to be “the other guy.”
  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • Has anyone ever been called up from Fantasy Camp? MLB should allow a 41 man roster and that 41st spot has to be a Fantasy Camper. The Camper would pay $100,000 to travel with the team and get a certain number of at bats and innings played on D during the month of September. Maybe the team could auction off the spot, think of the possible revenue a team could generate.
  • It’s been done. Remember AAAron Miles?


  • EJax on the 15 Day DL…Bruised ego.. I mean…strained right Lat.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Jedi and Kizzfastfists for their first 2014 in-season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for being here!


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

Top 10 of the 2014 Season (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. Dork
6. Doug S.
8. Chuck
9. Sean Powell
10. Mark From Toronto
10. Noah Eisner

Chit Chat

Who would you like to see the Cubs call up next?

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Stat of the Week: Instant Replay

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Before 2014, instant replays in baseball were restricted to disputed home runs, fair vs. foul, fan interference, and wall border calls. This season, the scope of replay expanded greatly with the introduction of a challenge system similar to the one in the NFL. Now, it’s possible for managers to challenge practically everything short of ball-and-strike calls, and they have taken advantage.

Between 2008 and 2013, the six years of the original replay system, only 384 replays were used and only 129 plays were overturned according to data collected by Baseball Info Solutions. With still a month to go this season, 1,056 replays have been used and 495 plays overturned. We are on pace for about 600 corrected calls that would previously have been missed.

Overall, replays are overturning calls at a higher rate than the previous system, but not all types of challenges have been equally successful.

Replay Type Total Overturned Rate
Tag Play 431 180 42%
Force Play 430 237 55%
Boundary Call (Over Fence) 67 18 27%
Hit by Pitch 43 21 49%
Fair or Foul 42 14 33%
Trap or Catch 26 21 81%
Record Keeping 10 2 20%
Missed Base 6 2 33%
Passed Runner 1 0 0%
Total 1,056 495 47%

More than 80 percent all of replays have been on either disputed tags or force outs, and they have collectively been close to a 50/50 proposition. Replay has overturned 417 of those 861 calls (48 percent).

Other types of replays have been far less common, but, even with limited sample sizes, a pattern emerges. For example, 21 of the 26 replays on trap or catch plays have been overturned (81 percent). In contrast, only 18 of the 67 boundary call situations—which include potential home runs, potential ground-rule doubles and fan interference plays—were overturned, only 27 percent.

The Instant Replay section of the Bill James Handbook 2015 will be expanded from last year’s edition to capture the increase in scope of replays. The book is available for pre-order here.

“Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week®,”

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4 Reasons Why Teams Do Not Call Up Everyone On September 1st

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

On Monday, we saw the addition of Blake Parker to the Cubs roster, putting them at 26. As you know as of September 1st, teams are allowed to recall their full 40 man roster if they would like, but no one does. Why? Let’s talk about that.

Let me begin by saying that I think the expanded roster rule is stupid and should be done away with. Now that my feelings on that are out of the way, why don’t teams call up their full allotment of players? There are a few reasons why.

1. Injuries – If you look at the current Cubs 40 man roster, you’ll see that Edwin Jackson is on the DL (thank God), as is Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney. Because they were placed on the 15 day DL, they still have a spot on the 40 man roster, which means the Cubs would not be able to field a full 40 guys just yet. Any player with a big league contract must be on the 40 man roster unless he was designated for assignment and cleared irrevocable waivers for the purpose of being removed. At that point, he can be moved to the minors, assuming he doesn’t refuse the assignment.

2. Service Time – We hear this one a lot, especially when it comes to early season call ups. In fact, we’ll probably see it come into play at the beginning of the season in 2015 with Kris Bryant. The way the current salary structure works, players are under a team’s control for the first six years of their Major League career, with a service year considered to be 172 days. When a player is recalled, it starts that clock and given that teams are so concerned about paying out big deals before they have to, there are a lot of games that are played. To get a player up in September just for the sake of a few at bats is a waste of service time.

3. Playing Time – With that many guys on the roster, it’s near impossible to give everyone enough playing time, which is related to service time. If you’re going to call a guy up and have the meter running for service time, you want to be able to play him, especially if he’s part of your future. When you call up someone like Javier Baez or Jorge Soler, you want to make sure you have the ability to get them the playing time they need. The same goes for the middle of the season. If you call someone up to play, someone has to sit. You want to make sure guys have at bats or innings available to them or you’re just wasting time.

4. Per Diem Costs - This is a reason that often goes over looked. In baseball, players receive a per diem stipend in addition to their usual salary. This is designed for meals and things like that when the team is on the road. When you call a guy up, he gets that money. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s an added costs for a team in addition to the travel expenses that are pointless for a guy to get 5-10 plate appearances. They can simply cut that cost and use one of the other reasons as the explanation.

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Late Trades, Ice Cream Related Suspensions & More!

Monday, September 1st, 2014

We’re finally into September, which means that the time for trades to be completed has passed. Although there weren’t too many big names on the move, they are some players that could definitely impact a game or two down the road. Let’s get to that, and more with “The Week That Was”.

Contenders Make Late Moves

For those teams out there that decided their roster wasn’t yet how they wanted it to be, the second of the two trade deadlines provided them with the opportunity to do some last minute fine-tuning.

It started out in Chicago, where the White Sox shipped out outfielder Alejandro De Aza to the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles in return for two pitching prospects. Along with De Aza, the O’s also picked up Kelly Johnson from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for prospects. This completes the tour of the AL East for Johnson, as he’s now played on all 5 teams in the division (in just over 3 years).

The White Sox weren’t Dunn making moves either, as they traded heavy-hitting designated hitter Adam Dunn to the Oakland Athletics for a pitching prospect. With this trade, Dunn has a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in his extended career. Along with the news of this move, he also announced that he’d be retiring at year’s end, which will end his chase for 500 home runs (currently at 460).

Last, but not least, the NL Central had some movement, too, with the Cincinnati Reds sending Jonathan Broxton off to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later. Broxton has been lights out this season and will likely pitch in a set-up role to Francisco Rodriguez, unless K-Rod continues to falter. Which one of these players do you think will have the biggest impact on their new club?

Montero Suspended For Season

To say the New York Yankees/Seattle Mariners swap of Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda has not worked out would be an understatement. In what was expected to be a trade of highly touted young players, neither side can be very happy with their return.

While Pineda has pitched really well for the Bronx Bombers, he’s also missed around a year and a half’s worth of games. For the Mariners, though, they surely have to be regretting it. First, Montero was suspended for PED use last year and now his new suspension is just downright comical.

The details of the story have not all come to light as of yet, but the gist of it is that while Montero was in A-ball for rehab, he got into it with a scout from the Mariners. One thing led to another and he wound up throwing an ice cream sandwich at him.

When I first heard it, I thought that people had been quoting a story from The Onion, but this is something that somehow actually happened. I have to hope that Montero gets his career going, but I’m just not sure that it’ll ever work out for him in Seattle. What are some other crazy suspension stories that you know?

Branyan Signs With Indians 

A couple of weeks back, I wrote in a section of this article that Brad Penny had won a game for the Marlins. While that was certainly a flashback, it looks like we’ve stepped into the Delorian yet again for this latest signing by the Cleveland Indians.

Russell Branyan, who was originally drafted by the team in 1994, has signed with them yet again 20 years later. The 38-year old slugger hasn’t appeared in a big league game since 2011, but the power in his bat is still there as evidenced by his time in Mexico this past year.

With nearly 200 career home runs in just around 1000 games, Branyan could wind up getting called up to the big club if they decide they need some pop off of the bench. With a somewhat power-lacking squad, this move could happen sooner rather than later.

This, along with the last section, truly adds more weight to the phrase “you can’t predict baseball.” I personally hope that Branyan is able to make it to the majors yet again, solely because of the great story that it would be. Do all-or-nothing power guys like Branyan still have a place in the league?

This Week’s MVP: Jacoby Ellsbury (.522/.500/1.130, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB)

This Week’s Cy Young: Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.69 ERA, 19 K)

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Potential September Callups

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

As the calendar continues to grow closer to the end of the “dog days”, the Cubs will not be competing for a playoff spot, obviously. An interesting scenario is about to arise as the schedule turns to September 1st, the roster expansion. By rule, any player on the 40 man roster is eligible to be called up to the majors. Kris Bryant will not be on this list and will not be called up in September, but there are some interesting players that could be fighting for a closer look in spring training next spring.

Pitchers: Felix Doubront, Dan Straily, Dallas Beeler, Arodys Vizcaino

Aside from the obvious candidates like Blake Parker, Brian Schlitter, and Chris Rusin, these guys could be interesting new names to the mix. The Cubs have said that they will tinker with the starting staff once the calendar turns to September. With Jacob Turner making a start yesterday, he will stick in the rotation. A few guys I listed (Doubront, Beeler, and Straily) will also make starts when they are called up. Doubront is currently on the 15-day DL and has made rehab starts in AA Tennessee. An acquisition from the Red Sox in July, the left hander could make his Cubs debut as early as this week. As for Beeler and Straily, they have both made starts in Chicago this season. With Iowa looking like they will not make the playoffs, don’t be surprised to see these two guys back up with the big club. Straily, an acquisition from the A’s in that block-buster deal, has pitched better since being traded. In nine starts with the Cubs AAA club, the right hander posted a 3.42 ERA in 50 innings while nearly striking a batter out per inning. As for Beeler, he has been even better in Iowa. Throughout the season, the 25 year old right hander has started 19 games for the I-Cubs, posting a 3.61 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 117.1 innings pitched. The dark horse to be called up is one of the Cubs top prospects, Arodys Vizcaino. Acquired for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson in 2011 from Atlanta, the 23 year old right hander missed over two years with Tommy John surgery and complications from the surgery. Vizcaino came back in 2014 ready to roll, as he has posted a 3.60 ERA through 40 innings spanning three levels of the Cubs system (now in Iowa). In those 40 innings, the righty has held opponents to a .245 batting average and only 1.35 walks and hits per inning. Vizcaino has been on the 40 man since being acquired, and that could lead to his promotion in September.

Position players: Mike Olt, Josh Vitters, Junior Lake

With Logan Watkins, Jorge Soler, and Matt Szczur up in the big leagues already, a trio of players with something to prove will be called up in September. The first of which is Mike Olt. The third baseman started the year with the Cubs and really struggled to make contact consistently, only hitting .139 with a .575 OPS in 187 at bats with the Cubs before being demoted to Iowa in late July. The one big problem Olt had was the strikeouts. The 26 year old struck out in 36.9% of his plate appearances with the Cubs. Since being demoted, however, Olt has turned it around. The third baseman, who has switched to playing first base because of Kris Bryant, is hitting .302 with a .933 OPS in 115 plate appearances and has lowered his strikeout rate to 29%. If Olt can come up and secure the third baseman job in Chicago, that would cause the Cubs to move Bryant to the outfield or could be a useful trade piece. Another player who started with the Cubs this year and has been demoted is Junior Lake. The outfielder played in 98 games with the big league club, hitting .216 with and OPS of .608 over 305 plate appearance. Lake struck out in 33.4% of his plate appearances and was sent down to work on his contact issues, much like Olt. Since being sent down, the 24 year old is hitting .318 with a .862 OPS and only a 23.4% strike out rate. Lake is trying to hang on the big league roster as a backup outfielder. The third and final player that will be called up is a guy who is, essentially, on his last chance with the Cubs, and that is Josh Vitters. The third baseman turned outfielder was, at one time, the big prospect in the Cubs system. After being called up and hitting under .200 with a 33% strike out rate in his only MLB experience in 2012, Vitters has hit a wall in AAA after a very good 2013 season. In 2014, the former first round pick has hit .213 with a .607 OPS in 404 plate appearances, while striking out 26.5% of the time. This is Vitters’ last shot with the Cubs. His spot on the 40 man roster could expire after this season with the influx of young talent coming up. This could spell the end for the 25 year old with the Cubs.

When the Cubs reach September, there are very interesting pieces that could come up and play a significant role. With the Cubs looking to be competitive in 2015, the players coming up this next month have some time to audition to be on the team when the Cubs are doing damage around the league soon.

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2008 Cubs: Great team or overachievers?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

I remember the last time I looked at the Cubs as a winning ball club.  It was 2008, what a summer! The Brewers were second in the NL Central with 90 wins.  The Cubs division title was no cheap feat as they won it by 7.5 games!  They had the most wins in the regular season of any National League team with 97.

I remember thinking Ryan Theriot and his .307 BA were the answer at shortstop.  Mike Fontenot was growing on me quickly along with a gutty Reed Johnson.  It was Geo’s first full season with the Cubs and in my opinion his best.  I didn’t think we would need a catcher for quite some time.

Then the playoffs happened…..

The Dodgers crushed any hopes Cub fans had of a post-season run to the series by a 20-6 margin over three straight games.  The headlines during the series and after the third game read like this….

“Curses (and Reverses) Distracting”

“Cubs thumped by Dodgers again, on cusp of heartbreak”

“For Cubs, it’s a tale of two seasons”

The first one is unique and I enjoyed reading it, which is why I gave the link.  It brought back all the Cubbiness of that 2003-2008 stretch.  I had almost forgotten about the amount of “Curse” talk and mystical hubbub that surrounds this club when they start winning.  I had no idea the team hired a Greek Orthodox Priest to perform an exorcism in order to vanquish the curse of the Billy Goat!!! Holy Hell, for real?   Apparently it was the chairman’s idea (whoever played that roll back then), the players and Piniella were unaware until they saw it on TV.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh yah, the last time I viewed the Cubs as a winner was six years ago.  The question I keep asking myself is, How good were they? Were they really that good, or did they overachieve?

As I type this the Cubs are finishing off a win against the Reds…their fourth in a row.  Something feels different about this team and the team we may see over the coming year.  I get excited to see Rizzo, Baez, and Mendy hit.  I caught myself running to the TV to watch Rizzo tonight…..rewarded with a homerun (his 30th).  I haven’t run to the TV to watch a Cub hitter since 2012 and it was Rizzo then too.  Prior to that it was 2008 and it may have been situational and not a specific player, I don’t remember it was so long ago.  My point is, this team is exciting again.  They may not be the refined version of what they are to be, but it’s a start.

Now we get Soler who, if healthy, will put on a show at some point.  That’s five hitters including Castro that make the Cubs worth watching again.  Some people think the tipping point for this team happened weeks ago with the call up of Baez.  That could be true but we may start tipping a little faster tonight against the Reds with new Cub Jacob turner on the mound and Soler in the lineup.  Now, Turner could get racked pretty badly and my whole thesis is blown, but we are getting real close to the future here.  We now have five very talented bats in this lineup and I have not even mentioned the rentals we signed to fill gaps that have played above and beyond this season.

We will probably win ourselves out of a draft pick in the top 5 over the next few weeks, but I could care less and I think the management is starting to feel the same way.  At some point it’s time to start winning.  It’s good for the soul.

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Sox Acquire Another Cuban Outfielder, AL East Star Out For Season & More!

Monday, August 25th, 2014

We’re really getting into the nitty-gritty of the MLB playoff races and teams are still adjusting their rosters in order to one-up the competition. With all of this movement, as well as some other big news, there’s more than enough to talk about this week. Let’s get to it!

Red Sox Sign Castillo

After months and months of speculation, the bidding for star Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo finally came to an end this week, with the Boston Red Sox coming to terms with him on a 7-year, $72 million contract that will run through his 34th birthday.

This has to be seen as redemption of sorts for the Red Sox, who lost out on heavy-hitting Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu last year. Abreu has been tearing up the league and will wind up running away with the AL Rookie of the Year this year, so it’s clear Boston didn’t want to let this guy slip through their fingers.

As for what Castillo brings to the table, he’s been described as a smaller version of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig. He’s known to have above average speed, as well as solid contact and power skills. In the field, he’s capable of playing both center field and right field.

I’m definitely a fan of this move for the Red Sox. At just around $10 million per year, the investment in him isn’t so great that it’ll hinder the team’s flexibility in the future, and if his game translates as well to the MLB as Abreu, Puig and fellow Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has to this point, it could be seen as a bonafide steal. Do you wish the Cubs had upped their offer for Castillo?

Tigers Tumbling 

With a hot start to their season back in April, the Detroit Tigers looked like they were solid contenders to make a World Series run. With 3 aces at the top of their rotation and Miguel Cabrera in their lineup, it looked like this year could be the season that the team finally broke through and won the title.

Over the past couple of months (and the past week especially), it’s looked like the Tigers will be lucky just to even make it into the playoffs. Even the acquisition of David Price hasn’t been able to offset the struggles of the team and it really doesn’t look too bright for them right now.

After getting embarrassed by the Minnesota Twins in a 20-6 thrashing, the team followed that up with yet another loss. They turned things around yesterday, but consistency has been a problem for them all year long.

With a payroll sitting around $170 million (good for third in all of baseball) it would have to be seen as a colossal disappointment if they somehow managed to miss the playoffs. It’s definitely not too late for them to turn it around, but they’re going to have to start winning games sooner or later. Do you think the Tigers will end up topping the Royals in the AL Central?

Orioles Get Bad News; Make Changes

Back to the AL East, as the division-leading Baltimore Orioles are going to have to overcome a major loss in their lineup. After tearing a ligament in his left knee to end last season early, Manny Machado has done it yet again, tearing the same ligament, just this time in his right knee. Yet again, he’ll be done for the season.

This is a major blow for the Fightin’ Showalters, who are trying to clinch their first AL East title in 17 years. Along with this stroke of bad luck, the team also decided to replace one of their big free agent acquisitions from last offseason in the starting rotation.

Ubaldo Jimenez, who signed a contract worth $50 million towards the end of the offseason, wasn’t putting anyone’s doubts to rest this season. Those who saw his post All-Star break numbers from last year as a fluke may be proven correct, as they’ve replaced him in the rotation with Miguel Gonzalez.

Overall, I still think the Orioles have what it takes to wind up taking home the divisional crown, but the loss of Machado will really hurt any chances they had for a deep postseason run. Looking towards the future, yet another knee injury to their young third baseman can’t look all that great, either. Do you think the Orioles will win the AL East?

This Week’s MVP: Marcell Ozuna (.478/.480/.957, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

This Week’s Cy Young: Jake Arrieta (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14 K)

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The Cubs’ Weird Week

Friday, August 22nd, 2014


A lot of strange things happened in Cubland this week. Let’s recap.

1. Tarpgate

There was a LONG rain delay Tuesday night as the Cubs’ groundscrew had some issues with the tarp once rain hit. It was only about a 10-minute shower, but it dumped enough water on the field to make the surface unplayable. The grounds crew took a ton of flak for this (and they were no doubt embarrassed), but this really seems like a freak occurrence. There was no rain in the forecast – and no rain visible on the radar – so the morning crew was cut from 20 to 17 (a standard procedure). There were also reports that the tarp was put away improperly the previous time, but you have to believe that a full crew would have been able to handle it. Bruce Levine has the full story here.

In any case, after about a 4 1/2 hour delay, the game was called – and since 4.5 innings had been played, and the home team was in the lead, the game was deemed official, and the Cubs were awarded a win. The Giants were understandably upset and filed a protest. Amazingly, against every pundit’s prediction, the protest was honored and the game resumed on Thursday (after another rain delay!). It seems like a dangerous precedent to set – after all, it’s in the rules that a game is official if called after 5 innings (or 4 1/2 if the home team has the lead). To their credit, the Cubs’ did apparently offer to resume the game the next day. It all didn’t matter in the end in this particular case, as the Cubs held on to win 2-1.

2. Starlin Castro takes bereavement leave.

Starlin Castro’s cousin and three close friends were killed in an auto accident in the Dominican Republic, and Castro has taken bereavement leave. We wish Starlin and his family all the best as they try to get through this difficult time.

3. Edwin Jackson goes on the DL with a “lat injury.”

Edwin Jackson has not been good at throwing baseballs this season. His stuff is still there, but he seems to have no command or confidence. Although he’s long denied that he was hurt, he finally went on the DL with a “lat injury” this week. Call me cynical, but I think this is simply a phantom injury that accomplishes a couple of things: 1) It gives Edwin an excuse to take a breather and get his head on straight and 2) it gives the Cubs a chance to get some starts for their new pitchers Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront, and Dan Straily (and maybe others). If Jackson comes back this season, I predict he’ll pitch out of the pen. Who knows? Maybe he’ll have some value down the road as a reliever. To his credit, Jackson is making no excuses and stated that he has a lot to prove to the team and the fans. Let’s hope he finds his way back into a productive role.

4. Some rooftops sue city, but not Cubs

They’re challenging the Landmark Commission’s decision to allow for the outfield signage that blocks their views, claiming that the view of the rooftops from Wrigley is part of what makes it unique, and thus a landmark. Seems like a stretch.

5. Matt Szczur, Logan Watkins, Zac Rosscup called up

Not weird, but notable. Logan Watkins was once an exciting, fast-rising prospect, but his bat has really cooled off over the last couple of years, and Arismendy Alcantara has surpassed him as the super-sub of the future.

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GirlieView (08/21/2014)

Thursday, August 21st, 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.


  • Ok, I’ll bite. What is a walk tool?
  • I’m trying the saber thing where you say a baseball word and then “tool.” Then you say a number that doesn’t really mean anything.
  • Excellent! One thing I often think of when reading about advanced metrics is what great tools they must be.
  • Wax cup toast, bud. Not as definitive as a glass glass, but the ice does make some noise when it bumps around in the Mountain Dew.
  • Nate Schierholtz was DFFC, designated for fantasy camp. Nate will now be free to roam the fantasy camp locker rooms and dine with Seymour. What will it be, Italian baked with provolone, turkey and swiss or tuna melt on squaw?
  • I wonder what type of Sun Chips Nate will go for. I’m thinking Garden Salsa.
  • I’d like to thank the lowest common denominator, the source of all good grade school humor.
  • I’m not so sure this team will make the playoffs next season, but I do think they will be a definite improvement over this year (it really can’t get any worse than 0.0% playoff odds).
  • In years past the Cubs have took a lot of losses after the trade deadline. This year they seem to be getting better after the trade deadline.
  • It’s been fun to follow these prospects in the minors the last few years, but I am looking forward to shifting my attention to the big league club.
  • All Cub fans are welcome on the bandwagon, genius fans and ignorant fans……………why argue over who is who…..
  • You guys are starting to get that late season chippyness. Where’s the April love on VFTB?
  • My guess is one or two guys will not vote Jeter in the first year. Then they might get interviewed to explain.
  • The differences in talent between this group and the current one is fully understood, but it does show why we shouldn’t worry about a logjam of players at one spot.
  • My sweat factor is way down with this years pen compared to last year.
  • Amen. I have cut my Rolaids bill down by nearly 50%!
  • There is no money going into the curse jar.
  • Do you believe man can control the climate?
  • More importantly, I know it’s possible for a man to control the climate in his bedroom. It’s very easy to make that a very cold place, so be careful.
  • Will you be my friend?
  • Do you have chocolate?
  • Yes. Come over and have some with me.
  • At which exhibit at the National Zoo would you feel most comfortable naked?
  • Definitely the monkey / ape house. I’m a hairy dude.
  • Monkeys are known to throw some pretty unpleasant things,
  • it’s true, but they have good aim, and usually target cardiologists and optometrists….
  • What happened to the prom dress link?
  • Unfortunately, the demand for prom dresses appears to have decreased as more and more girls are skipping the prom and just going right to the hotel with their date. No need to spend the money on a fancy dress.
  • When you dine with Seymour do you bring reading material so you are not bored?
  • I have only had the privilege of dining with capn obvious (he paid), Tom C (he always pays), and Chet (comped meal). In the event that Seymour would like to visit, I’d be glad to let him pay and I would be facinated to know how he took the photo at that angle for his avatar.
  • Len Kasper was intrigued by The Pumpkin Eaters new release “Banana Jack”. He said he couldn’t wait to see them live in October. DeShaie’s was busy breaking down the quality starts delivered by Kyle Hendricks and that Wada guy. Len thought Wada was a hip hop artist.
  • I’ll always have a spot for Jackson in my Cubs history books, but unfortunately a good thing can’t last forever. Goodbye, Brett.
  • Now if only the Cubs could find someone to take the other Jackson off our hands.
  • 2 Johnsons are missing, maybe it’ll be 2 Jacksons next.
  • As Met’s broadcaster said, “The Cubs have always lived and died, mostly died, with free swinging teams. Sure there have been exceptions like Mark Grace and Bill Buckner but this free swinging team are easy outs for guys with good sink or good sliders like Familia (the Mets reliever at the time). Len was heard commenting on the Beatles show at Shea Stadium back in the day and how he wished he could have been there. “Maybe the Beatle tribute band Fab Four will play at Citi Field soon, that would be fun. Strike 3, that’s 14 K’s for Met’s pitchers today. It’s really hard to tell the difference between the Fab Four and the real Beatles sometimes”
  • Len said the ball landed in what will be back stage seats for the upcoming Night Ranger concert next weekend at Citifield. Sister Christian will be the warm up band for the show, Len is stoked.


  • I think the Cubs are getting better with every call up and trade and it has been a long time since the Cubs finished a season stronger than they started.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Bryan, and Michael Rice for their first 2014 in-season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for being here!


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

Top 10 of the 2014 Season (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. Noah Eisner
10. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

Are you watching/listening to more, less, or the same amount of Cubs baseball as you were before the All-Star break? And how much is that?

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