Rambling from the Bottom of the Barrel

The Cubs won a baseball game Wednesday afternoon. When this happened, I just figured my television was broken, and I wasn’t seeing accurate information. However, after combing the interwebs for information, I finally realized the prior information was true. The Cubs had, indeed, won a baseball game.

That paragraph perfectly sums up my view of the 2011 Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs play the Phillies this weekend, and the only saving grace is that they will not have to face Cole Hamels. But Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt are also on the same baseball team, so I expect it to be more of the same for this year’s installment of a professional baseball team from Chicago’s North Side.

With all of that fun and positive information out of the way, it is Friday, so we better start rambling and see what happens. It’s got to be better than this baseball team, right?

  • The Chicago Cubs are so bad that some fans are literally excited about the return of Jeff Baker from the DL. This is serious. I am on of them. Wow.
  • Some like it, some don’t, others love it, and a few hate it …
  • But count me as one who thoroughly enjoys the Cubs first-round selection of Javier Baez. He hit .771 this season. I don’t care what league he is in, that is crazy ridiculous, or as our younger female readers would say, it is tots defs ridic.
  • The Cubs’ second round pick is 5’11 and weighs 285, but that is like saying Prince Fielder weighs 285. I think it might be a bit more for both.
  • With that said, this kid needs a nickname. This idea comes to you from my friend, Ben. How about, “Deep Dish.” Because, well, I am guessing that he likes pizza and he goes “deep while at the dish.”
  • I am open to so many more ideas, please keep them coming in your comments below. I look forward to reading them.
  • What a story it will be if the Great One’s son can mirror his dad’s career, but do so on a baseball field.
  • Chances: A google to one.
  • If you are just realizing where the famous search company got its name, don’t feel bad. I had the same realization at one point as well.
  • If you didn’t, then don’t judge me.
  • I am not always a homer, but I hope Ricketts can prove those wrong that hate him. And for those that do, and I know there are a lot, I hope you want that to happen as well.
  • Shawon Jr. Nice. And just because I want to see the “Shawon O’Meter” again someday.
  • I find it very difficult to believe Hendry keeps his job. However, I guess I have come the point where I shouldn’t be surprised if it happens.
  • As I write this, it is the bottom of the first inning, and the Cubs already have an error.
  • Mark Prior has pitched three innings for the Tampa Yankees and has a 6.00 ERA. No matter what anyone thinks of him, I find it sad. So much promise.
  • Honestly, I am surprised Castro only has one homerun. I know he is young, but I thought he would sniff double-digits in that category this season.
  • Geovany Soto, please meet Jerome Walton. Mr. Walton, this is Geo Soto.
  • Tyler Colvin is batting .086 entering Thursday night’s game. Wow. Many are to blame, but I think he needs some help with his mental approach. He clearly has zero confidence.
  • There I go being the master of the obvious once again.
  • If you take a look at the Cubs pitching statistics, you might get sick.
  • Strike that, you WILL get sick.
  • Actually, if you look at most any of the Cubs statistics, you will get sick. It is just pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.
  • Carlos Pena is tied for the team lead in RBI’s. This is nothing short of a joke after the way he hit in April.
  • There is nothing that sums up the Cubs better than this: When things go wrong … they go really, really wrong.

I could go on and on and on. But I have started to make myself sick, so I will leave it at that. So, let’s discuss it all.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney
  • xaxinho

    Great! Tks for the article. Akward to celebrate my soccer team first national cup (not league title) and get angry with the Cubs. But hey! We won a game yesterday from we least expected.

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000706523521/ Richard Hood

    Good Ramble Brian.

     I hope that last nights win helps us get over the mental hump for Soto and Colvin.

    Good AB’s guys .Even the strike out by Soto in the 10th was a good AB he probably should not have taken the last pitch but it was close enough I understand why he passed on it. You got to keep it up Gio. We need you.

    Colvins emotions in the top of the 9th was great to see. The kid got robbed but he still came up big in a big spot. Build on it son. Prove the ones of us that say you are damaged for good wrong.

    This is one of those wins that can stick with you. Coming from behind in the 9th with 2 guys that have really been struggling. It can really be something to build on. I hope we do build on it now.

  • EqDoc

    “Deep Dish”!  that is awesome, I don’t know if anyone can beat that!

  • Cloycub13

    Perfect day for a ramble…I had many many many thoughts last night as the game wore on…
    – Grabow’s stats really do suck! I am not a big stat guy but holy crap!
         27IP, 29H, 17R, 3HR, 11BB, 16K

    – James Russell is actually fairly decent when used properly…hear that Mike? When USED PROPERLY!

    – Congrats to Tyler for breaking out of it… I still believe in you. The emotion that you showed after that “Dinger” was refreshing! And to come back after that debacle and score the game winner… keep it up!!!

    -Regarding the dinger debacle, That was a HR. Clarify your damn rules Philly! Brenly was reading the bylines and it is “unclear”… his words.

    -Also, is it me or should Quade have gotten himself run there? Go out, flip out, go off etc??? Maybe me just being overly critical, but this teams needs a fire lit. 

    -When Grabow was pitching late, walking and balking, and facing a right hander..WHY was noone warming? Shark? Wood? Just curious.

    -Guys like Campana, Colvin, Snyder, Barney, Castro, Lemahieu, Russell all won under a certain managerial candidate that shall remain nameless. I have to think that planned or unplanned, 1/2 of our team being kids, there was a better choice to manage them… just sayin. And I think if this team had made said choice this team would be a whole hell of a lot more exciting.

    -Brian-The second round pick USED to weigh 280+, reportedly he has worked really hard this last year and is down to 240 ish, and is continuing to improve his conditioning. These are not bad things at all, but I do agree “Deep Dish” is a good name for him.

    -RE: The draft. Wilken seemed very un-wilken like during that process. I think he had a very strong week if, if, if, And a BIG IF, he can sign some of these guys. Other than the top 10… ROCK SHOULDERS should be a damn priority.

    I have a draft question…Is there a cap on the amount you can spend on the draft? If not… why is there signability questions for some of these guys. Pony up the damn dough. I know some of them have good chances at college and can improve their stock… But if we can give the shark 10 mil… we can sign some of these younger, higher upside requiring cash to get em guys. Get it Done Tommy boy… spend some money somewhere!!!!!

    Nice to have 2 wins in a row. Gotta enjoy them when we can get em.

    Go Cubs

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000706523521/ Richard Hood

       Good points Cloy. There was actually a story on why Wilkens went with so many HS guys in the draft. It talked about the idea the Ricketts was at Mesa during the draft telling everyone just draft the best player. You will get the money to sign them.

      The exact quote from Muskats blog is as follows:

      Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken said they did take more high
      school players than in the past and did so with Cubs chairman Tom
      Rickett’s endorsement. Ricketts was inMesa,Ariz., at the team’s Draft
      headquarters Monday and Tuesday.

      “Tom came out and told us we’ll be more active on the amateur
      side,” Wilken said Wednesday. “When you feel you have a shot to sign
      players, it changes the strategy in how you pick. It was like Christmas
      Day for scouts.”

      What Ricketts’ message meant was that Wilken and his scouts were
      able to select high school players that might not have been signable in
      the past. In Wilken’s five years with the Cubs, they have ranked 24th
      among Major League teams in bonus spending on the amateur side.

      The reason that it there is a signability problem with these HS prospect is because that MLB has a slot system that some teams follow and some do not. If it was a hard slot system like say the NBA we would not have had a shot at a lot of these guys. Because they would have been gone as soon as there potential hit the slot that they were pigeoned in at.

      I started laughing with my GF watching the game when Quade started giving the “stink eye” to the ump. He needed to get madder than hell at that call all the way up to “under protest”. If no other reason than to tell Colvin I got your back. Because that kid needs to know that someone is in his corner.

      • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000706523521/ Richard Hood

        The one point about the article that seems to scratch my attention is where was Craig Kenny during this conversation? Was he not in the room? It seems that a statement like that would be his domain and that the ownership would allow him to at least be in on the conversation about funding for the draft.

    • Aaron

      I agree with everything you just said, including Vogelbach’s weight. If you look at scouting video from about a year ago, he looked completely undraftable given how out of shape he looked. 

      But then you see the recent video, and hear the stories of how committed he is, and how much he enjoys the game, and you can’t help but root for the guy. I read an article that talked about how he wants to get down to the 230 range, and I think that’d be a good number.

      As for everything else…

      I’ll believe it when I see it with the Cubs spending money in the draft.

      They need an overhaul, and it’d be nice to see some of the draftees rise up fast through the system.

  • paulcatanese

    Good post Brian, as for the draftee with the appitite, I choose
    from Sienfeld,per Elaine

  • John_CC

    Even if there were a lot of 18 year old female readers here, no grow man should say, or write, “tots defs ridic”.  Please don’t….

  • John_CC

    Fangraphs conversation with Barney:


    I wonder how an infield of Castro, Barney, LeMahieu (3B, SS, 2B) would do?

    • paulcatanese

      John,that would be a start. I really don’t have that much visual information on LeMahieu except what I have seen when he appears on TV. Can’t comment on him either way except what I have read. But the move of Barney to SS and Castro to 3b would definatly be one that I would be in favor of. 

  • paulcatanese

    I believe Castro will star sooner than later to hit the long ball,he has missed a few by a narrow margin. As he becomes more selective with pitches it will come. When he starts getting more walks( as he has missed quite a few because of an aggresive approach) that will be a great indicater of him becoming selective and in turn produce more long balls.

  • paulcatanese

    Baker has his place on this team,so does Campana,DeWitt,and maybe Colvin,who I suspect has or will turn the corner mentaly after last night. Therin lies the problem with the musical chair pitching staff. I dont know exactly how the roster is comprised but it seems that pitching takes the greater role with their numbers.
    Quade will have to do a better job of monerting the roster,ie burned a player last night,used Campana as ph when he could have used him as a pinch runner.
    I am talking about this team not after trades releases or next year,now with what we have.

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000706523521/ Richard Hood

      After a rain delay like it was and having to go to your bullpen early and often you can’t really question his using of pinch hitters. I wish we still had one more for the Dempster spot or to run for Pena the inning before but it just didn’t work out that way. I can not believe he did not ask Z to bat. LOL that would have really gotten some of the guys going today.

      • paulcatanese

        Have to agree Richard and was wodering the same thing about Z as I saw him pacing around in the dugout near Quade, I am sure he was making himself visualy available and was chomping at the bit to get in there. Any later in the game I would have thought he would use him as the only position player left was Hill and he had to keep him in reserve for an emergency.

        • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000706523521/ Richard Hood

          Which pitcher was it last year that seemed like was the designated runner in extra innings? I remember there was one but can’t seem to remember who it was. Dang CRS is killing me today.

          • paulcatanese

            Think it was Coleman.

  • BillyFinT

    Two ramblings in a week! Like mana off the sky! Let’s shout…

    NOt really. Here’s an excerpt of that fangraphs interview with Barney:

    “…The thing with Zambrano is that he’s been pitching for a long time and
    knows what he’s trying to do with each guy. A lot of times he’ll look at
    me and kind of move me one way or the other, and he’s not too worried
    about the spray charts. He’s worried about what he thinks that guy is
    going to do in this particular at bat.”

    Interesting. I’m still not sure what to think of it.

    • paulcatanese

      Z,or what he can do with a certain pitch and what the the hitter is going to do wih it. I agree Z should know what he can do to minimize damage from a hitther. What I like about Barney, is he aware of every edge he can get and
      has enough faith to lean one way or another with Z’s tips. After being around awhile Barney will pick that up from the catchers signals and where he sets up. I think he does that already,but trusts Z enough to do it.

    • paulcatanese

      Even though this after the fact, and the game is just over, I watche Z tonight and he was moving Barney over with his hand. Also in the dugout he was having a conversation with quade about not bunting. and just walked away from him. Now I’m the one not sure what to think about it. Looks like Z is on
      his own and making his own decisions. Don’t know,it was strange.

  • paulcatanese

    On Peter Gammons, and his comment, I would say it “takes a dumper to know a dump”.