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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why the Cubs and Yankees Should Swap Tyler Chatwood and Sonny Gray

The biggest reason this perfectly reasonable idea wouldn’t happen is that Chatwood is guaranteed more money, but I like the idea behind it, at least:

Gray is still getting decent or better swinging-strike rates on his primary pitches. His velocity is pretty stable this year — and might actually be up a tick over last year — so there’s no obvious explanation for Gray’s struggles except for the change in approach he adopted when he came to New York. As for Chatwood, we knows he’s pitched poorly — and the pitch-value data suggests he’s struggled with his four-seamer and sinker more than other pitch by far. Yet those pitches also account for close to 60% of his offerings, with his changeup and curveball both in the single digits. The latter two pitches are actually above average on a rate basis, though. The whiff numbers on Chatwood’s secondaries are strong and, interestingly, Statcast suggests that Chatwood’s biggest control problems are on his four-seamer and sinker. He has better command, it seems, of his cutter, changeup, and curve.

Gray, in other words, would benefit by moving away from his secondary pitches, Chatwood by embracing them. Per Pitch Info, those two pitchers are on the worst teams for making those specific changes.

Cubs pitchers are throwing fewer secondaries than any other staff in the majors, the Yankees more of them. At some level, these figures are reliant on the actual personnel employed by the clubs. When the numbers are so divergent across an entire roster, however, it at least suggests the possibility of an organizational philosophy at work. By these numbers, Gray might benefit most from a move to Chicago, Chatwood from a move to New York.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See

A bit late, I admit, but something that I think will be of interest in several regards.

Inside the cool, hushed second-floor lounge of Dubai’s grandest hotel, a waiter carefully prepares a shallow glass of 12-year Macallan. A familiar figure smiles, observing the meticulous way that his drink—nearly $100 for a double portion—is prepared. Three ice cubes, so symmetrical they could have been laser cut, gleam as they’re tongued into the scotch without a splash or even a clink.

He leans back, arms wide, into a plush sofa trimmed in blue leather. A crisp blue suit clings to his shoulders and chest, still broad from 500 push-ups each day, even as he’s set to turn 50 in November. His golden eyeglasses are stamped MAYBACH across each temple. A monogram peeks from under the left sleeve of his jacket: S.S. He gazes up into the majestic atrium of the 56-story Burj Al Arab Jumeriah, self-billed as “the Most Luxurious Hotel in the World” and famously shaped like a sail swelling above the azure waters of the Persian Gulf. “Now,” he says, “you see why it’s seven stars.”

Twenty summers after he and Mark McGwire chased the ghost of Roger Maris—and saved a sport, as they both contend—this is the life of Sammy Sosa. Or at least the one he wants you to see. His are the curated days of an Instagram influencer, even if Sosa isn’t much for social media. “I never watch Facebook, Instagram, some of that B.S. s—-,” he says. “I don’t have time for that.”

QLE Posted: July 10, 2018 at 08:59 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dubai, sammy sosa, where are they now

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Cubs Prospect Oscar De La Cruz Receives 80-Game Suspension

Cubs prospect Oscar De La Cruz has been hit with an eighty-game suspension, per a league announcement. He tested positive for the same banned masking agent/diuretic, furosemide, that led to the recent suspension of Robinson Cano.

Entering the season, De La Cruz was seen as a prospect to watch, with an intriguing combination of size, stuff, and command. MLB.com rated him third among Cubs farmhands, in fact, after seeing him turn in a dozen solid starts at the High-A level in 2017. Though he didn’t carry forward the gaudy strikeout numbers he showed in the prior season, and missed a lot of time with arm issues, De La Cruz had worked to a strong 3.46 ERA in 54 2/3 innings with 7.7 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9.

John DiFool2 Posted: July 08, 2018 at 06:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, peds

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Cubs hero Jason Heyward’s walk-off slam latest sign of new life in bat since DL

But Heyward really has seemed to be a different hitter since hitting his head on the outfield wall May 6 in St. Louis and spending close to two weeks on the concussion disabled list.

Heyward called the ordeal scary and said he was thankful when he was able to return to baseball activities about halfway through the time he was sidelined.

But while he’s able to joke now about the fact he’s hitting .340 in 13 starts since hitting his head, an actual benefit was the work on his mechanics he did leading up to his return.

‘‘Just use my hands and try to be whippy with the bat,’’ he said, describing the emphasis he adopted. ‘‘Have lag instead of trying to hit the ball with my arms and body.

‘‘That’s what the time away kind of allowed me to do, just making sure to do anything I could before I got back. And since I’ve gotten back, to work on that every day.’’

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:38 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Braves fans flooded MLB’s Twitter after controversial replay ruling erased a run

The Atlanta Braves were on the wrong side of two controversial calls in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Tuesday. Most of all, it included an apparent missed call after a replay review.

Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: May 16, 2018 at 03:16 PM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, replay

Monday, May 14, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Chicago Cubs

We just passed the halfway mark in this endeavor. Yet like the baseball season itself, the second half won’t take quite as many days to complete.

Just as College Week gives Jeopardy host Alex Trebek a younger group of contestants to insult, and Fleet Week depletes the stock of antibiotics on our nation’s maritime vessels, By Acclimation Week is going to speed up the Taking Back the Ballparks project.

If my assumptions are correct, each day this week we’ll check off another team, a ballclub whose park has no need for a new name, and any suggestions otherwise will be greeted with responses ranging from huh to legitimate anger.

The first is the most obvious of all: Wrigley Field. While not the true corporate name we think of today, it’s probably not a coincidence that the park’s moniker is shared with the name of the chewing gum company one-time owner Phil Wrigley ran. In some ways, Wrigley was the original Busch. Or, perhaps, the original Trump, a comparison that likely pleases the Ricketts, if no one else in Chicago.

Obviously, Wrigley isn’t going anywhere. Hell, the neighborhood around it has assumed the name of the ballpark. And if there’s a greater justification for keeping a ballpark’s name for eternity than that, I can’t think of what it would be.

Feel free to use the space below to talk about what a good name for the ballpark would be if it wasn’t called Wrigley, your favorite moments there, or, if McCoy drops by to nakedly highjack the thread, the little-discussed intricacies of the Crimean War.

Tomorrow: Evil’s Residence

Ballpark History

Built: 1914

Capacity: 41,649

Name: Wrigley Field, 1926-present; Cubs Park 1920-26; Weeghman Park 1914-1920.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: 23rd Street Grounds 1876-77; Lakefront Park I 1878-1882; Lakefront Park II 1883-84; West Side Park I 1885-1891; South Side Park 1891-1893; West Side Park II 1893-1915.

Distinctive Features: The ivy; the neighborhood; the rooftops onlookers; the overhanging second deck; the manual scoreboard; the continued dominance of day baseball; the marquee; the troughs, the chads and trixies. 


Ballpark Highlights:

With darkness falling, Gabby Hartnett deposited an 0-2 pitch from Mace Brown over the left-centerfield bleachers, giving the Cubs a 6-5 win over Pittsburgh, a victory that propelled them to an NL pennant. The Homer in the Gloamin’ was arguably baseball’s first famous walk-off dinger, and it remains the sport’s best named (sorry Bobby).

On July 1, 1943, night baseball came to Wrigley when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League held its All-Star game under temporary lights.

In 1945, a dumbass brought a goat to a game and somehow thought that was OK.

Just a little over 25 years ago, in his fifth big league start, Kerry Wood turned in perhaps the single-most impressive pitching performances in big league history. Wood fanned 20, walked none and yielded just two baserunners – one when HBP magnet Craig Biggio took a curve off the shoulder and a questionable hit by Ricky Gutierrez that bounced off the glove of Kevin Orie. He managed this against the winningest team in Astros history, which was led by the NL’s best offense.

In 2003, the Cubs were within five outs of their first World Series visit in 58 years when all hell broke loose, almost none of it having to do with a foul ball into the stands.

On Oct. 22, 2016, Kyle Hendricks outdueled Clayton Kershaw to lead the Cubs to a 5-0 victory and a triumph in the National League Championship Series. Two weeks later, in Jacobs Field, the Cubs would claim their first World Series title in 108 years.

Selections to Date
San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field


Miami Marlins - Fish Tank


Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

 

SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:42 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, stadium names

Friday, May 04, 2018

20 years later, Wood and Astros hitters recall 20-strikeout game

Wood’s fifth career start put him on the Major League map and flummoxed a Houston lineup that consisted of multiple All-Stars and two future Hall of Famers, all of whom later lifted the Astros to a club-record 102 wins while leading the NL with 874 runs scored.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest performances in Major League history, here’s a look back, as told by those who lived it….

An oral history of the 20-K game.


The history of MLB rocking the blues

Powder blues picked up steam throughout the rest of the 1970s and hit their high-water mark in 1980 and ‘81, when there were 11 blue-clad teams. Two of them—the Phillies and the Royals—faced each other in the 1980 World Series, marking the first time powder blues had appeared in the Fall Classic.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Cubs Activate Ben Zobrist, Option David Bote; Bryant Back In Lineup

Ben Zobrist has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and will bat seventh today against the Brewers, Bruce Levine of 760thescore.com reports. Kris Bryant will also make his return to the lineup after sitting out for a few days following a hit-by-pitch injury.

The gang’s all back together for the weekend.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2018 at 11:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ben zobrist, cubs, kris bryant

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kyle Schwarber hits 2 homers in Cubs’ win

He’s been crushing it.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2018 at 06:19 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

VIDEO: Rockies Announcers Sound Like Complete Idiots Talking About Javier Baez

The Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 9-7 to win the weekend series on the road and it was quite an interesting finale on Sunday afternoon. Several weird events transpired, including Javier Baez trying to block DJ LeMahieu’s view at second base that drew the ire of the Rockies broadcast team.

Javy is fun.

Meatwad Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:28 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javy baez, rockies, sign stealing

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A cautionary note about spring statistics, and other thoughts - Chicago Tribune

Unfortunately for Happ, this is the first April of his major-league career, so he doesn’t have a full season under his belt to prove it’s an anomaly. After a couple of hits Friday, Happ was asked if having five hits in eight 8 at-bats over three games was encouraging after his rough start, despite the small sample size.

“That’s a small sample size,” he said of his 41 at-bats. “Just wait until the end of the year.”

Manager Joe Maddon is not likely to give up on Happ, at least not yet, and generally speaking said it’s common for fans to get nervous this time of year.

“There is a lot of overreacting in the beginning part of the season,” Maddon said. “Early in the season a lot of times adrenalin plays (a role), and (even) after the first two or three weeks, you still have to be patient working through April.”

Just ask “Ryno.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:32 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Bonkers Game That Probably Shouldn’t Have Been

In the end, we saw the Braves jump out to a 10-2 lead and feature a 99.4% chance of winning the game as late as the seventh inning. Despite adding a few runs, the Cubs’ win probability was still just 2.0% in the eighth after Efren Navarro whiffed to record the inning’s second out. Nine two-out runs later, Chicago’s probability of losing was just 2.6%.

Bored Posted: April 16, 2018 at 12:49 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cubs place 1B Rizzo on DL with back tightness

CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago Cubs are taking the safe route with Anthony Rizzo, placing the first baseman on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with lower back tightness.

Rizzo said he is feeling better and hopes to be ready when he is eligible to come off the DL on Monday. The move was made retroactive to Friday.


Monday, March 05, 2018

Jon Lester using new approach on throws to 1B | MLB.com

The Cubs’ Jon Lester is trying a new Chicago Bulls-themed approach to deal with his struggles to throw to first base.

“In the words of [coach Brian Butterfield], we’re going to use the Jordan-to-Pippen bounce,” Lester said Sunday, referring to Bulls legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. “I don’t care what it looks like, I don’t care if it bounces 72 times over there, an out’s an out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2018 at 09:08 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yu Darvish signs with Cubs | MLB.com

Darvish turns 32 in August.

Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to $150 million, though Darvish would have to win multiple Cy Young Awards to reach that figure. The contract includes an opt-out clause and no-trade protection, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, yu darvish

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Cubs need to score runs to win!

What else is there to talk about? I’ll note that in scoring, the Cubs were #2 NL in 2nd half 2016, #2 for all of 2017 (Colorado) and #1 (by a lot) for 2nd half 2017. I’d love even more but more of the same is fine with me.

Walt Davis Posted: February 08, 2018 at 08:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the unbearable lightness of the 2017-18 offseason

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oscar Gamble Passes Away

Oscar Gamble, a lefty-swinging hitter popularly known for the large Afro hairstyle he wore in the 1970s, died Wednesday at age 68.

His death was confirmed by Andrew Levy, Gamble’s agent. The cause of death was not reported.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mooney: The Cubs set their sights on Yu Darvish – The Athletic

With the amount of talent they have assembled, it’s really tough to ignore The Athletic.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy and pro scouting director Kyle Evans met with Darvish and his Wasserman representatives last month at a Four Seasons resort in the Dallas area.

Run prevention coordinator?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
...

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.

...

Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

G. Bostock Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cubs installing 70-foot digital scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Pitch count of 3,665?  Dusty is back??

From CSNChicago.com’s Jake Flannigan comes the below mockup of a 70-foot LED scoreboard that will be installed in right field at baseball’s second-oldest stadium. Construction will be completed this spring.

Above the new scoreboard you’ll see something called the “Budweiser Patio.” It will contain 150 all-inclusive seats (not bleachers), and is also going in before the start of the season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Cubs Agree To Contract With Kerry Wood

Wood: “I Feel Like Playing”

The Cubs and veteran reliever Kerry Wood have agreed to a one-year contract that also includes an option for 2013.  The contract will pay Wood $3MM next season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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