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Monday, July 28, 2014

Barney + cash to Dodgers for PTBNL

The PTBNL better be alive!

Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:41 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dinosaurs, dodgers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Blaze: Chicago Cubs File Suit Over Fake Mascot — You’ll Understand Why After Watching Punch He Allegedly Throws in Windy City Bar Brawl

I wonder if this guy also pulls these stunts at the zoo.

CHICAGO (TheBlaze/AP) — The Chicago Cubs have filed a lawsuit against several people whom the team accuses of being behind a fake mascot that has been engaging in bad behavior near Wrigley Field — including getting into a bar fight that was captured on video and posted online.

According to the suit, the fake mascot — “Billy Cub” — was at Windy City bar John Barleycorn in April, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, when another man took off his bear head:

This apparently angered the man dressed as “Billy Cub,” because the clip shows him punching the joker in the face:

According to the individual who posted the video to YouTube, the recipient of the roundhouse right “tried to trip the mascot three times and then threw himself into the mascot in an attempt to start a fight. The mascot ignored all of this until he got his head pulled off. After the guy was punched in the face and his friend was thrown to the ground, the guy knocked the mascots tip jar out of his hands.”

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: July 20, 2014 at 05:17 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: alcohol, brawl, cubs, mascots

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SB Nation: The Many Crimes of Mel Hall

So if you thought the Chad Curtis story wasn’t creepy enough, there is the Mel Hall story.

“Mel Hall loved sex. Sex is what drove him,” said McMillan. According to a high school teammate, Hall impregnated two girls by the time he was a high school senior. The best guess of Texas authorities for the number of children he eventually sired is eight.

McMillan added, “He was a young guy who made a lot of money real fast, and he wanted to buy his way through life.”

So that was Mel Hall: a disappointment as a player, a tall tale, a caricature of a narcissistic athlete untethered from reality by sudden fame and fortune, a guy who did everything in excess. No, he probably wasn’t someone you wanted to be close with, but he filled up column space and kept things interesting over 162 games.

So when Hall started showing up to the ballpark with 15-year-old Jennifer Diaz, the most common reaction was one of amused curiosity.

The tabloid news show “A Current Affair” did a story on the odd couple. When Jennifer sat in the family section with players’ wives 10 and 20 years older than her, his teammates teased him for picking up his fiancée at Toys “R” Us. The organization, in a portion of their 1991 team yearbook devoted to players and their significant others, even included a picture of Mel and Jennifer at a school prom. No one blinked, at least publicly. It was all part of Mel Hall being Mel Hall….

The first time Hall had sex with Jennifer, her father was asleep on the sofa several feet away. After it was over, the 15-year-old cried. Decades later, she testified that Hall told her it was OK because he would marry her once she turned 18.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 360 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, indians, mel hall, sexual assault, statutory rape, yankees

Monday, July 14, 2014

Knobler: Inside MLB’s Cuban Pipeline: It’s High-Risk, High-Reward

Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba.

Eventually, the players who leave the island establish residency in another country and are declared free agents. Workouts are scheduled, sometimes attracting 200 scouts and executives if the player is a big enough star.

Sometimes, a player may work out for a specific team, as Abreu did for the Reds when they wanted to see if he could play third base or left field (he couldn’t, at least not to their satisfaction, and with Joey Votto set at first base, they reluctantly dropped out of the bidding).

Eventually, a player signs pending a physical exam, which can be something of an adventure in itself. The Dodgers had to have someone drive Puig 1.5 hours across Mexico City to find an MRI machine. When the Reds recently signed pitcher Raisel Iglesias, scheduling the physical was almost a bigger obstacle than negotiating the contract.

“We were working on a tight deadline, and the kid couldn’t get a visa yet to come to the Dominican Republic or the U.S.,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty explained. “We finally brought a doctor from the Dominican, and a Spanish-speaking doctor we work with in Cincinnati, to see the kid in Haiti. But then they had to find an MRI machine in Haiti.”

It all got done, and now the Reds will hope Iglesias does as well for them as Chapman has. He was nearly as expensive, costing the Reds $27 million for a seven-year contract, even though he wasn’t as highly touted as Chapman (who got $30.25 million for six years in January 2010).

The prices keep going up, which only makes the decisions tougher.

“The gut feel has to be there,” said Don Welke, a top Rangers scout who has been to many Cuban showcases and was involved in the signing of outfielder Leonys Martin. “It’s huge risk, huge reward. As it’s turned out recently, whoever has taken the risk has gotten the reward.

“But some scout had to stick his neck out for every one of these guys. And you’d better darn well be right, because your owner is asking you why you want to spend so much on a guy you only saw in two workouts.”


Arguello: Would you rather be the Cubs or the Yankees right now?

Ensign Cottrell...reporting for double-duty.

For those that may say you never know how prospects are going to pan out, the Yankees have shown that spending money is no guarantee either.  Even when they turn out reasonably well, as it has with the Yankees, it doesn’t necessarily tranlsate to more wins overall.  Some fans want to see the Cubs sign a star player they can identify with, but be honest here.  Would you really be more willing to go to a ballgame to watch Brian McCann or even Jacoby Ellsbury?  Not to mention previous big draws like CC Sabathia and Mark Texeira, two players that are on the decline yet making a lot of money for very little production above replacement level?

So the Cubs are (probably) going to lose big this year.  So what?  And maybe they won’t overtake the Yankees in 2015, but I wouldn’t bet on that.

But that it isn’t even the main reason you should rather be a Cubs fan right now.  The main reason is that one team’s arrow is pointed upward and the other is pointed downward.  No two players symbolize the direction of the teams than their respective shortstops.  The Yankees have Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter retiring with nobody to replace him while the Cubs have a 24 year old Starlin Castro is having an all-star season—and two of the top 4 SS prospects in all of baseball right behind him.

The Yankees will have to hope for bounce back seasons from past prime players and once again add through free agency to improve next year. The Cubs will build around Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Arismendy Alcantara, Javy Baez, and Kris Bryant to go with a rising Jake Arrieta and one of the better young bullpens in baseball in 2015.

I’d trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history in a heartbeat.  But the future?  Give me the Cubs—and it starts with 2015.

Repoz Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:42 AM | 168 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, yankees

Friday, July 11, 2014

CCB: Cubs Wind Landmarks OK for Wrigley Redo

The team finally got the news they’ve been aiming to hear for years.

Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 11, 2014 at 01:39 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sale, Rizzo Win 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote

I assume Keuchel got 0.0 votes.

The creative campaigns are over. Twitter voting ended in a furious rally. And at the end of the four-day online voting program, it is Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs who were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Sale and Rizzo earned the final two AL and NL All-Star Team roster spots through online voting on MLB.com, the individual Club sites and Twitter, where designated player hashtags counted during the final six hours of voting.

On the NL ballot, Rizzo passed Justin Morneau (Colorado) on Wednesday night and ultimately held off both Morneau and the leading Twitter vote-getter, Justin Upton (Atlanta). Rizzo received 8.8 million votes and became the first Cubs player to win the All-Star MLB.com Final Vote. The top three were followed by Anthony Rendon (Washington) and Casey McGehee (Miami)...

Sale held off a late charge from Garrett Richards, who trailed only Upton in Twitter voting. Fellow AL starting pitchers Rick Porcello (Detroit), Corey Kluber (Cleveland) and Dallas Keuchel (Houston) followed Sale and Richards.

This year’s All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian concluded with an incredible sustained average of 65,000 votes per minute across the multiple balloting platforms over the final six hours today, including a dramatic final 10 minutes before the 4:00 p.m. (ET) deadline when Twitter voting accounted for nearly one-quarter of all votes cast.

As noted above, the top two leading Twitter vote-getters were #VoteJUp and #VoteGRich, followed by #VoteKluber, #VoteMorneau and #VoteRizzo in the top five. All of the leading contenders had their hashtags trending in the U.S., worldwide and in their respective local markets, ultimately leading to 52.5 million votes cast.

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:27 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, anthony rizzo, chris sale, cubs, white sox

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Tom Veryzer, shortstop for Tigers and Indians, dies at 61

Former Tigers and Indians shortstop Tom Veryzer, who played in the big leages for 12 years, died Thursday at the age of 61, according to The Oakland Press.

Veryzer was drafted by the Tigers with the No. 11 overall pick in the 1971 MLB Draft and was the team’s starting shortstop from 1975 to 1977. Detroit traded him to the Indians that offseason to make room for Alan Trammell. He played for Cleveland until 1981 before ending his career with stints with the Mets (1982) and Cubs (1983-84).

He hit .241/.283/.294 with 14 homers in 996 MLB games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, mets, obituaries, tigers, tom veryzer

Monday, July 07, 2014

Keith Hernandez: Starlin Castro ‘too unreliable’

You know I am only teasing. I love you slackers out there—always have!

With the Chicago Cubs now flush with shortstops, count Keith Hernandez among those not in favor of the Mets attempting to acquire incumbent Starlin Castro.

Castro, 24, is hitting .287 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs in 342 at-bats for Chicago this season.

...“We’ve seen enough of Castro to know that he’s just too unreliable, too loose,” Hernandez said during Sunday’s Mets-Rangers telecast on SNY.

When partner Gary Cohen noted that Castro also does not exactly subscribe to the Mets’ hitting philosophy, Hernandez added: “That aside, he’s too lackadaisical in the field for my liking. I want the Mets to get guys that are hard-nosed, come to the ball yard every day and put their 100 percent in. And I don’t think Castro does that. I’ve seen enough of him.”

Repoz Posted: July 07, 2014 at 01:25 PM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mets

Friday, July 04, 2014

A’s acquire Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel from Cubs for Addison Russell

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal is done and that the A’s will get both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, giving up top shortstop prospect Addison Russell in return. He adds that other players and teams may be involved.

Repoz Posted: July 04, 2014 at 10:56 PM | 186 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, oakland

Manny Ramirez, now player-coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, encourages prospects to ‘follow the rules’ | cleveland.com

Manny not being Manny.

“Manny gave me as many problems as he gave anyone, probably besides (former Red Sox manager Terry Francona) in his time in Boston. He’s responsible for most of the gray hairs on my head. So it’s not something that we entered into lightly,” Epstein said.

I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. “But people do change. I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy… he’s grown for the better. He’s open and honest about all the mistakes he’s made in the past and he wants to fix that by being a positive influence on young players,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2014 at 08:52 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, manny ramirez, red sox, terry francona, theo epstein

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Posnanski: Epstein’s building an offensive juggernaut

Its gargantuan ferocity a threat to the NL…to MLB itself!

“Yeah,” Epstein says, “we’re trying to build a behemoth of position players.”

“Are you there?” I ask him. He smiles.

“Getting there,” he says. “Obviously we’re a long way off. But that’s the plan. … Ideally, we are trying to build the type of lineup that can change the way opposing teams think when entering series. We had that in Boston, where teams always had an extra pitcher in the pen. If we got 60 pitches deep in the first two innings of a series, I knew we had a pretty good chance to win the series.”

So that’s the idea. Epstein sees the way the game is going, the way pitchers are dominating the game. As of this moment, the Philadelphia Phillies have a 3.86 ERA. In 2006, that would have been good enough to lead the National League. In 2014, it’s only good for No. 13 in the league. We are in a cycle where pitching reigns, which makes hitting so much more valuable. Anyway, that’s Epstein’s bet.

“I would say true offense is a great commodity right now,” he says. “I’d love to be swimming in bats.” He smiles again; he seems to believe the Cubs are just about swimming in bats.

...Epstein says the same thing. No shortcuts. But he also adds that he does see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s reasonable to expect Baez and Bryant and perhaps Alcantara to be a big part of the 2015 team. It’s reasonable to expect the Cubs to pick up some talent in trades and free agency as well.

“When those young players are up here and everyone sees how good they are, that is when it gets fun,” Epstein says. And he smiles again.

“And that is also when we will ask our fans to be patient with these young players. But I think that patience will be easier to find. … People have waited a long time for this. I can’t wait until we give them a really exciting product. I can’t wait until they’re rewarded for all their suffering.”

But, for now, he will wait. It’s what the Cubs do. Wait and hope that this time it’s for real.

Repoz Posted: July 03, 2014 at 04:48 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Manny Ramirez vows to mentor Cub prospects

Just Manny being ... mature?

“Everybody makes mistakes, you, me, and everybody that’s in this room,” Ramirez said Monday while speaking to the media for the first time since signing a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. “But that’s it, you just have to grow and move on.” ....

“Theo (Epstein) was really honest,” Ramirez said of the Cubs’ president. “He said, ‘Hey, we don’t got a chance for you in the big leagues, but we got some young guys that we want you to help,’ and then I took it.”

Walt Davis Posted: July 01, 2014 at 01:09 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, manny ramirez

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sherman: Garrison Keillor figures out Cubs problem: It’s a Lutheran thing

Or: The Junior Lake Wobegon Effect (106 OPS+ last year - 88 OPS+ this year).

Keillor, 71, still has his fastball. He played to the Chicago audience by giving his version of why the Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. It makes about as much sense as anything else.

If you want to listen to the audio, the Cubs segment occurs at the 1:11 mark of the show.

Keillor said:

It’s the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field in Chicago, which was built in 1914 on the site of the old Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. And right there is the key to the story of the Chicago Cubs. This team is the living embodiment of Lutheran theology, which if I need remind you is not about winning. It’s not about being No. 1. It is about taking the back seat and being of service to others.

The Cubs have been of service to so many other teams. They have pulled other teams out of losing streaks. Batters who were in painful slumps have recovered their confidence against the Cubs.

It’s a good Lutheran team you’ve got there on the North Side of Chicago.

...Keillor then honored the Cubs with a song.

We can accept dropped flyballs, wild pitches and flubs,

Within these sacred ivy walls, we commune with the Chicago Cubs.

The race is not always to the swift, so blessed are the meek.

We thank the Lord for any gift, and always turn the other cheek.

Trying to discern the way, theologians got invites.

For years, we only played by day, and then reluctantly put on the lights.

We do not ask to come in first; We never will be gifted.

We accept that we are cursed, and prayer has failed to lift it.

We live by faith and we give thanks, and know someday in heaven,

We’ll play the Series with the Yanks, and win the best of seven.

AAAA-Men.

Repoz Posted: June 24, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ESPN: CHICAGO: Kyle Schwarber moves up quickly

It took all of five games for Kyle Schwarber, the Chicago Cubs’ 2014 first-round pick, to get a promotion. Schwarber dominated Northwest League pitching, racking up four home runs and 10 RBIs to go along with a .600 batting average.

While last year’s top pick, Kris Bryant, spent 18 games with short season Class-A Boise, Schwarber is headed to Low-A baseball in Kane County much quicker. The difference is Schwarber was playing college baseball up until a couple of weeks ago and signed quickly with the Cubs after the draft. After seeing him for a few days—the plan had been to give him a few more games—the Cubs decided he wasn’t rusty and gave him the promotion. Bryant didn’t sign with the Cubs until mid-July so he had been away from competitive baseball for a while and needed more time. He eventually skipped Kane County and went right to High-A Daytona.

Kris Bryant was promoted to AAA.  Also where the heck do these guys play if they make it.

Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: June 19, 2014 at 04:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: 2014 draft, cubs, indiana, prospects

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Giancarlo Stanton opposite-field home run challenges laws of physics

“I’ve never seen a home run like that. That thing took two seconds to get out of the ballpark. I thought it would be a foul ball and hit the base of the wall or something.

“It was a line drive — I just didn’t think it had 400 feet of carry on it. He’s a strong boy.”

 

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:35 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, feats of strength, giancarlo stanton, marlins

Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel trade talks well underway - Chicago Sun-Times

The Cubs are angling for the #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:48 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason hammel, jeff samardzija

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jim Bunning: Cubs’ sale at odds with MLB antitrust exemption

Jim Bunning: “You can’t fool the people that long.” Sweet fuctwa! Bunning’s been winning elections since 1977!

If anyone in the U.S. House or Senate decides to bring another challenge to Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption, the Cubs’ sale to the Ricketts family could become part of the case, former lawmaker Jim Bunning said.

Bunning, the baseball Hall of Famer who later led multiple threats and challenges to MLB’s exemption as a seven-term congressman and two-term senator, isn’t convinced there’s anyone left in Washington willing to take up that issue.

...“That’s where you could get something,” Bunning, who was in Philadelphia for a throwback weekend, said of a challenge to the exemption. “If somebody like Mark Cuban wants to buy a team and offers something like $2 billion, and they tell him he can’t. If they made an exception for a specific sale, it would be against the antitrust laws [and spirit of the exemption].”

Multiple sources confirm the open secret when it comes to Cuban and baseball: MLB wants no part of an outspoken, deep-pockets owner who might drive up player salaries and challenge the establishment.

The impact on the Cubs was a highly leveraged partnership purchase by a secondary bidder that has crippled the team’s short-term spending ability because of the biggest debt burden in the game, along with spending restrictions through related bank covenants.

...However, the actual business practices of the team — which include sacrificing seasons to stock the farm system while charging the third-highest ticket prices in the game — don’t rise to actionable levels, Bunning said.

“If you want to buy tickets to a baseball game and go to Wrigley Field and see a Double-A or Triple-A team, that’s your choice,” he said.

But the fact that skyrocketing media-rights deals allow some teams to ignore fans and make winning a secondary concern — because attendance is no longer the top-line revenue source — has the potential to stir outrage if it becomes a trend, Bunning suggested. Especially for an industry that expects to cross the $9 billion mark in revenues this year.

“That’s bad for the Cubs, it’s bad for baseball, it’s bad for the league as a whole,” Bunning said.

Outrage often has been the catalyst for lawmakers to examine ways to threaten a 92-year-old exemption that was the dubious result of a lawsuit by the defunct Federal League and has survived only through MLB’s acquiescence when challenged by the likes of Bunning.

It was the hammer lawmakers used to push for steroid-testing reform in baseball a decade ago.

“I’m not sure there’s anyone in the Senate or Congress left who knows baseball has an exemption,” Bunning cracked.

Much less outrage over what’s going on in places such as Chicago.

“You can’t fool the people that long,” he said. “If the Cubs don’t become competitive, they might as well close the doors.”

Repoz Posted: June 16, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It was 50 years ago today Cards got Lou Brock from Cubs

As my old Cubs pal Ellsworthless Dick used to say: “You can’t spell I Go Boner Rile! without Ernie Broglio!”

On June 15, 1964, with his team enjoying an off day, Cubs second baseman Joey Amalfitano heard a knock on the door of his apartment.

Old pal Ernie Broglio was there with a suitcase and a smile, which baffled Amalfitano because his former minor league roommate pitched for the Cardinals and the Phillies were next on the Cubs’ schedule.

“I said, ‘What in the world are you doing here?’ Ernie said, ‘I just got traded to the Cubs for Lou Brock,”” Amalfitano recalled. “It was a huge surprise. I couldn’t believe it.”

Fifty years later, the shock has worn off in Chicago but some people still struggle believing the Cubs traded a future Hall of Famer for a veteran pitcher who only won seven games in three injury-plagued seasons on the North Side. Considered one of the worst baseball deals ever, Brock-for-Broglio shares a chapter in Cubs lore with tortured tales of the Billy Goat and Bartman. The standard by which all bad trades are measured remains a touchy topic for die-hards — but not for the man whose name still can make a Cubs fan cringe.

“It’s always nice to talk about that trade,” Broglio, 78, said with a chuckle from his home in San Jose, Calif. “I don’t mind. At least they remember who I am.”

...Nobody ever will know whether the Cardinals knew the extent of damage to Broglio’s elbow; none of the executives involved are alive. But Broglio suspects the injury occurred late in the 1963 season and he required cortisone shots between starts in ‘64, though he kept the pain private. His 3-5 record in early June suggested something was wrong.

“Even with our own doctors, Ernie wouldn’t say anything because you played through it,” Shannon said. “That’s just how it was back then. Ernie was a real good pitcher.”

The Cubs never saw that pitcher. The team shut down Broglio in August after the elbow issues had become intolerable. Three months later, Broglio had his ulnar nerve reset in a procedure similar to what today is known as Tommy John surgery.

“I spent three weeks in the hospital and was throwing at spring training in February because that’s the way it was those days,” Broglio said. “I’m sure that cut my career short.”

Repoz Posted: June 15, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cards, cubs, history

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Chicago Cubs leaving WGN radio

Holy cow!

After 90 years and no World Series victories, the Chicago Cubs and WGN radio are going their separate ways.

The Cubs will announce a new, seven-year deal to broadcast games on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM on Thursday, according to media reports. The deal starts next season.

After 197 losses in two seasons, WGN used an opt-out clause in its contract due to declining ratings and revenue last fall, and couldn’t come to terms with the Cubs on a new deal.

“We’re very proud of our long-time association with the Cubs, but it has to make good business sense and the current arrangement does not,” WGN radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro said Wednesday morning on 87.7 The Game.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, media, radio, wgn

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mock Draft: Astros might take Prep pitcher Aiken No. 1 | MLB.com: News

Jim Callis’ latest mock draft. I would think it would be difficult for the Cubs not to take one of the big arms if Jackson goes ahead of them.

1. Astros: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego)
Houston likely will choose between the top three pitchers and Jackson, and is believed to prefer the two left-handers. The Astros may save money versus the $7,922,100 assigned pick value to spend later in the Draft but won’t compromise on talent at No. 1.

2. Marlins: Alex Jackson, C/OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego)
Miami is looking at the same players as Houston, with talk that ownership could dictate a Rodon selection. Recent word has senior club officials enamored with Jackson, the best bat and position player available.

3. White Sox: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Chicago almost certainly will take a pitcher, with a preference for college arms and Rodon No. 1 on its list. If Rodon is gone, the White Sox could pass on Aiken and Kolek and opt for Louisiana State right-hander Aaron Nola.

4. Cubs: Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS (Orlando, Fla.)
Though Chicago needs and wants pitching, it could spend a top-10 choice on a position player for the fourth straight year. If Aiken and Rodon aren’t available, there’s a growing sense that the Cubs would pass on Kolek in favor of Gordon or Jackson. A healthy Hoffman would have been the obvious choice here, and if Chicago doesn’t see an obvious fit, it could cut a deal with Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost and save money to spend elsewhere.

5. Twins: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd (Texas) HS
Minnesota may just see which of the top five prospects remains on the board at No. 5. If the Twins go outside that group, it likely would be for a college starter such as left-handers Kyle Freeland (Evansville) or Sean Newcomb (Hartford). If they want a money-saver, the pick could be Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West High outfielder Monte Harrison.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, draft

David Ortiz believes Manny Ramirez will make good mentor - The Boston Globe

Who is Manny being now?

“It’s a different guy. He’s been doing different things for the past couple of years,” Ortiz said after an 8-6 victory against the Braves. “I’ve been talking to him a lot on the phone and sometimes I get confused because I don’t know if I’m talking to him or not. This is legit.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david ortiz, manny ramirez, red sox

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cubs sign Manny Ramirez to be player-coach at Triple-A Iowa | MLB.com

Oh that Manny!!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Morning Edition: Wrigley Field, the Much-Imitated, Never Duplicated Ballpark.

SCOTT SIMON: Speaking of ancient times, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since Roosevelt was president, Theodore Roosevelt, in 1908. We’re outside of the park in front of the marquee, and you know, when my mother did last summer, the Cubs were kind enough to put her name up here. My grandfather, my father, my stepfather, my mother died without ever seeing the Cubs win a World Series here. And you know what, now they’re coming for me.

Includes a chat with Ernie Banks. Let’s play two.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: May 25, 2014 at 09:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: audio, cubs, history

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