Rambling about the Cubs While Dreaming of the Dog Days

Hello again, everybody. I know it sounds funny to be dreaming of the dog days of summer, but this Chicago winter wins. It wins more than any winter I can remember, and it wins more than the Yankees, the Cowboys, Duke and Notre Dame combined. That would be Notre Dame, pre-1990.

I don’t care what is happening in August with the Cubs, I just know my body won’t be frozen while I try to go about my life. Wearing a heavy winter coat to simply shiver less than normal is not the way anyone wants to start the spring.

But, alas, spring is upon us, we are ten days from the beginning of the season and two weeks from the home opener at Wrigley. We are on the backstretch so let’s get Rambling …

  • Mike Olt, Mike Olt, Mike Olt, wow are expectations going to be way, way too high.
  • My favorite part is that management is saying he still has a chance to make the Big-League roster. He is going to make the Big-League Roster.
  • I picked Dayton, Harvard and North Dakota State.
  • Also, if you want to hear about my fantasy teams, I can tell you about those as well. I know it is so intriguing.
  • Baseball writers are running out of words for Baez. And that is fun. We are down to “pitch selection” as one of the last things he needs to command. This could be so very fun.
  • Every time I read about Olt and Baez going back-to-back, I first think of Ronnie, and then I think how much fun this could actually be. And I get excited.
  • Then I remind myself how excited I was about Wood and Prior.
  • In all seriousness, you all know I am an avid consumer of Cubbie Kool-Aid, so I am just trying to check myself.
  • Prayers to Aroldis Chapman. Baseball has to do something about this. I pitched in 12-inch in Chicago and caught one flush on my nose. Had two surgeries. And that is 12-inch beer-league stuff. Not Major League Baseball. Noses are one thing, your brain, livelihood, and life are another.
  • I hope someone doesn’t die before things change. Ask Brandon McCarthy if you feel differently about it.
  • If the Tigers want Darwin Barney, cool. Go for it.
  • However, I would hold on to Schierholtz until the deadline. My gut says he will garner more in July than March. My gut doesn’t think that about Barney.
  • My gut is also brilliant. Do I need to bring up my brackets again? Or I can tell you how I once said Matt Murton would be an All-Star and beloved member of the Cubs for all history to come.
  • I can also tell you how I thought Ced Landrum was the next Vince Coleman.
  • But I digress … I will set the over/under on Edwin Jackson’s ERA at 4.75. Tell us below what you think. It was 4.98 last year.
  • In 2013, Chris Rusin started 13 games with a sub-4 ERA … he won 2 of them.
  • Then again, in 2013 Travis Wood started 32 games, pitched exactly 200 innings, had a 3.11 ERA and won … 9 games. That is so sad.
  • My hope for 2014, one of them, is that Anthony Rizzo can find who is was, and is, meant to be on a ball field. He has the skills. I thought that trade was a no-brainer in favor of the Cubs. This season will be quite the litmus test.
  • In things related to “Captain of the Obvious,” which is a title I am proud of, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters and Matt Szczur are nearing their collective last chance … Let’s hope one of them do it.
  • I will end the Ramblings like this … Jeff Samardzija will be a Cub for quite some time to come. The bright, brilliant gut just has that feeling.

Let’s have some fun with all of this. I hope everyone enjoys the first weekend of the spring, the first weekend of the tournament, and a weekend full of great things with family and friends.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better." - Jim Rohn

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s my ramblings in reply to yours, Brian:

    *You are right about Jeff Samardzija. He just isn’t pitching well enough to get traded. If he doesn’t right the ship when the season starts, he’s going to look like Edwin Jackson of 2013–4.98 ERA.

    *Baez: I listened to Steve Stone talk about him yesterday. Stone says he is an obvious MLB hitter with 40 HR potential, who is not a SS. His body is too big for SS and the Cubs’ would not be playing him at 2B if they thought he could play SS. Stone isn’t sure exactly what position will be his except that he doesn’t think SS is the place he will play.

    Brett Jackson, et al, and last chances. Yup. But remember, Jeff Samardzija made the club out of ST only because his options were up. They had to keep him on the ML roster or release him. Again, I say, call up Brett Jackson and let him start in CF. Call up Vitters and let him platoon in LF. The worst thing that can happen is that we lose 120–which is exactly what Theo wants, to get the #1 pick in the 2015 draft. After all, Theo will give every AAAA failed #1 pick on the planet a chance to play for the Cubs. Why not let our own play–sans Sveum–and see what happens.

    • Eugene Debs

      Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters do not belong on a major league field on any sort of regular basis.

      • Ripsnorter1

        When you are trying to lose, they make a great choice. If they don’t blossom like Samardzija did, then you benefit by the losing. And if they do blossom, you get twp unexpected assets. Either way you “win.”

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          We have a chance to win more games this year than in the past two. Theo doesn’t want to lose, he just accepts it when it accompanies the plan he has in place for the minors. With options like Kalish, Schierholtz (unless traded), Lake, Sweeney, you have to be kidding to think Brett Jackson deserves to start over any of them. Yes, I’d like to see him develop but I also think we finally have some things to be excited about this year and tanking on purpose just isn’t in the DNA. Ryan Kalish may be our MVP by the end of the season. Rizzo and Castro will be better. Baez will come up and help. Castillo will hit a bunch of doubles. Barney can’t be worse. Alcantra may be up along with possibly Bryant at some time. Mike Olt may win ROY. Bullpen will be amongst the best in the league.

          I just don’t get the “let’s tank the season,” attitude. Especially from people that have clamored for a few more wins in a non-playoff season. Now that potential is here and you’re saying to start Vitters and Jackson. Give me a break. Time to have some excitement and we’ve got some players to be excited about.

          • cubtex

            Rider. That is the plan. The fans didn’t make it. Do you think they want to draft 15th next year? Theo and co want another high pick next year and that is in line with the roster they put together.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            They prefer to draft higher than lower but who wouldn’t? It has absolutely no impact on the starting 8 players in Chicago. The FO is trying to put the best, and most ready, players in the starting lineup from what is available in our system. This year it appears those 8 players may end up being pretty decent.

          • Tony_H

            You are onto something, but they would love to draft 15th in 2015, IF it was done by the young guys coming up.

          • cubtex

            I love Samardzija’s quote from yesterday. Question… Do the Cubs need a player like Baez this year? Answer….The Cubs need 6 or 7 Baez’s.

            He tells it like it is. They have 6 positions that are questionable.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            He wasn’t saying it as a knock on others. Every team would love to have 6 or 7 Baez’s. He said what anybody on any team would say. It was no indictment of anyone inparticular.

            I’m sure Shark is excited about te potential of some of these guys this ear like many of us choose to be.

          • cubtex

            How was that not a shot at the other players? It most certainly was.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            AnyBidy would say that Derek Heter would say that. David Ortiz would say that.

          • JasonPen

            I thought it was too.

    • paulcatanese

      As far as where Baez plays, if he continues to
      hit, he can play wherever he wants to:) If not with the Cubs, plenty of other teams will let him,
      of course, on a team going for it.

    • cubtex

      100% agree with Baez and what Stone has said. He has a really thick base. He looks to me like a 2nd baseman and moves like one. Castro was asked if he thought Baez could play 2B…..His response ” Sure….2B is easy.” That is the response almost every SS would give. After watching Baez in the field this spring…I am convinced that they will not trade Castro this offseason and move Baez to SS.

      • Tony_H

        I see a 3B, not a 2B.

        • mutantbeast

          Agreed Tony. Baez has a little of the Ron Cey look in him.

    • mutantbeast

      I do happen to agree Baez will eventually not be a SS. Hes built like Jhonny Peralta(whom the Cards pitchers are going to hate defensivley) or Hanley Ramirez(who really should be playing 3b). My thoughts are that 3b will be Baezs eventual defensive home, he has the arm to play there and the quick reactions.

  • Brp921

    I will take the under on Jackson’s era. In regards to Rip’s post below my choice for where Baez should play has always been third base, but now if Olt can stick I would choose second base.

    • JasonPen

      Too bad they can’t teach him to play catcher…

  • cubtex

    Good ramblings. Expectations for Mike Olt are way way too high. It is due to the fact that the fans are starving for something to see NOW on the mlb roster for this year instead of hearing about how many prospects we have in the minors.

    • paulcatanese

      Not only too high, but has anyone seen in the past where one player has been given a position and is having to prove without a doubt that he cannot play there? He is coming North with the team, no matter what.

      • cubtex

        I know I got killed for saying what I said the other day about needing something to keep the fans patience during year 3 of this rebuild and I really think that has a ton to do with this Mike Olt saga.

        Note- I am not a spokesman for all Cubs fans and this opinion is strictly that of Cubtex and Cubtex alone. Any future posts are strictly mine as well.

        • paulcatanese

          I hope he makes it, just upset that it isn’t an even playing field for all prospects. When Olt was brought in, he came over with vision problems (seem to be cured) and now arm problems ( jury out on that one) and very limited playing time, all to develop and keep a position that he really hasn’t played this spring. He may be the next coming of a superstar, but then again I forget about Ian Stewart
          and what he was given, I hope this pans out better.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            He’s played 3rd base for years and is considered one of the best defensive 3rd baseman in all the minor leagues. He’s a natural at the position. Also, he’s 25 years old and has played a ton in the minors in general. Time for him to come up.

            I don’t think expectations are too high. I’m the only person I hear calling him a ROY candidate. Mostly, since he seems healthy, he is being given the benefit of the cdoubst that he is back to being the top 25 prospect a year ago. And given his ST so far and his apparent health I think that is a fair conclusion.

          • cubtex

            What is the difference between Olt and Brett Jackson? Both 25. BJax was a top 50 prospect as well. If he deserves to start after last year….so does BJax.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Have you watched the spring so far? No he doesn’t. That is laughable. There is a talent discrepancy right now. And BJax has nevr been as highly outed as Olt. Also Olt was hurt all year. BJax has been healthy and just not gotten it done.

            Quit acting like BJax belongs on the same field as Kalish and Olt right now. I have always thought you knew baseball a bit but those comments make me wonder.

          • cubtex

            see above. facts are facts.

          • cubtex

            If you are going by spring training..Ryan Sweeney anyone?

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            BJax hasn’t been a top prospect in years and at his best rankin he wasn’t where Olt has been. Go back and check.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            And BJax has been healthy. Olt had vertigo for 12 months. Man that comment takes the cake for you Ray. You’re better than that. Don’t let your hatred of Theo undermine your good sense.

          • cubtex

            So one has a free pass and one doesn’t? There rankings are not that different my friend. Look what I posted. BJax had more success in AAA than Olt has.
            Ryan Sweeney this spring. 3-32…all singles hitting under .100.
            I guess based on ST you can say BJax beat him out.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’d consider him over Sweeney. But also Theo’s regime wants guys that don’t swig and miss and BJax can’t get that corrected.

            It’s these comparisons acting like BJax belongs in the field just as much as Olt or Kalish right now that are crazy talks. It’s not even close the difference in how these guys look at present.

            And BJax had minor injuries last year. Cant compare it to the horror that Olt went through. We should all be removing our caps and applauding the young man after what he went through. Good mane go crazy or take their own lives suffering long term concussion symptoms. Nevr recover.

          • cubtex

            Theo’s regime wants guys that don’t swing and miss? What does 12 K’s in 34 ST at bats tell you about Olt? He will K a lot. BJax will always K a lot too….but even with his 24 ST AB’s and also 12 K’s do you know he had a .321 OBP. Do you realize Olt has a .265 and a .297 OBP. These players are who they are. both have some flaws.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            They do. If we were drafting to start a new team you could build around BJax and I could build around Olt. Be fun to see which has more sustained success.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Currently, both would be teams much like the Cubs are now: last place teams. These two players are not now, and probably never will be, difference makers.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I just don’t understand really comparing the two. But that said, Olt has always projected as a top MLB 3rd baseman. I believe he absolutely will be a difference maker, maybe not with the Cubs. But the guy will see all-star games.

          • cubtex

            it’s a very fair comparison using your criteria on why Olt deserves to start. Former top prospect. Bad year in the minors last year due to injury and other circumstances. Nobody of substance blocking them at the mlb level.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I van agree with part of that. As long as he doesn’t take at bats from Kalish or Ruggiano let him play. But then he’d have to take them from Lake and so far he has looked like a better MLb player. And we need to get value from Schierholtz first.

            So maybe I guess I take that back. BJax needs to play everyday. Ruggiano and Kalish may end up our two best players this season. I’m in record that both will excel.

          • cubtex

            Trade Schierholtz and Sweeney. They don’t need either.

          • cubtex

            I would prefer to have Kalish Lake BJax and Ruggiano playing in the OF this year. You can always call up a Darnell McDonald/Casper Wells/Vitters/Ha/Szcur or whoever if 2 of these guys fail. Wouldn’t an outfield of Lake BJax and Kalish with Ruggiano platooning for either BJax and Kalish be more entertaining than Sweeney Lake and Schierholtz?

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I can totally agree with that. Except with Ruggiano starting. I think he’s going to have a breakout season, even better than his 2012. And thus brings us back to the problem that BJax has to play everyday.

            Also, we have to get value for Schierholtz and so he’ll have to play until traded. I like Sweeney but they can get a bag of balls for all I care for him. But really, if BJax isn’t going to play everyday in MLB then he might as well go to AAA and then it’s better to have Sweeney as a back-up in MLB.

            Ruggiano may just end up our best player this season. I want him batting everyday with less pressure and the chance to work in and out of slumps. Look how Schierholtz benefited from it last year. And I think Schierholtz will be even better this year, though hopefully it’s in another uniform with us getting some more prospects in return. Ruggiano needs that chance Schierholtz got because I believe he is a better player overall with more potential than Schierholtz. Not saying Ruggiano will be our long term answer but he will do very well and be a viable trade candidate at some point for a contender.

          • mutantbeast

            Board, I wouldnt be surprised at all if Ruugliano at least duplicates what Nate S did last year. Not spectatcular, but solid, likley better than what Hairston did last year.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think he’ll be much better than Schierholtz. I predict about 25-30 HR, .280 or higher average and 100 RBI.

          • cubtex

            wow! go big or go home!

          • Tony_H

            Board – turn down the drip on the kool-aide….just a little please.

            Even if Ruggiano hits enough to be able to get to those numbers, he will be traded in June or July.

          • cubtex

            Those are Soriano numbers. lol A little lower average but 30 and 100

          • Tony_H

            Yes sir, 2 of the last 8 and 4 of his 15 total years, he hit those benchmarks.

          • cubtex

            yep. 2 out of the last 2 he has done it. He’s on a roll

          • Tony_H

            LOL, yes sir the Yankees are talking a 5 year extensoin!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Maybe a bit ambitious. But I do think he’s going to have a great year. Let’s call his final line…

            .277 avg
            .344 OBP
            24 HR
            90 RBI

          • cubtex

            hahaha. I love it Rider!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’m going off his 2012 numbers and extrapolating over an entire season.

            I didn’t realize how old he is? 32? I thought he was like 27 or 28. He definitely needs to start hot and be gone at the break.

            I may have to temper my enthusiasm a bit. I thought he was 5 years younger.

          • cubtex

            You love those former Aggies. Loux,Ruggiano,Raley.

          • Tony_H

            I’m assuming we are talking Ruggiano.

            If he plays 80+% of the time, he can hit those marks. I would run to Vegas though and place a bet on it.

          • cubtex

            I will book that right now and give you 5 to 1. Rider or Tony???

          • Tony_H

            I said he can hit those marks, but not to run to Vegas.

            That is not what I am predicting from Ruggiano.

          • cubtex

            you said run. sorry

          • Tony_H

            LOL! Fingers not keeping up with the mind sometimes. meant “wouldn’t”

          • cubtex

            speaking about the Yanks. I like what I have seen from Nova and Pineda this spring. The starting staff could be a lot better. Now Ellsbury is another story. He is as fragile as a china doll.

          • BigJonLilJon

            Shouldn’t we realize that ST stats can be misleading? For example, A good deal of Olt’s K’ were in the first half of ST, when pitchers are clearly ahead of hitters. Olt has proven over a longer period of time that he is a better player than BJax. BJax has not proven anything yet. Maybe he does. I hope so, but I don’t believe he will. He was a highly ranked prospect for a team with very little talent in the pipeline. Pick me and ten 7 year old kids, and I bet Id be the top rated prospect!!!

          • cubtex

            More excuses. I have never seen as many excuses for one player in recent times. And BigJon. Those rankings for BJax were national rankings…not team. He was ranked #38 and #32 against all the prospects in baseball.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Ryan Sweeney as the Cubs All-Star representative!

            Cut him now and let Brett Jackson play!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I see Kalish and Ruggiano as our all-star reps.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Brett Jackson has had shoulder problems. Crashing into a wall. Twice. You know…..he’s been injured as well as Olt.

          • cubtex

            are you surprised BJax’s ranking was very similar to Olt’s? Why doesn’t BJax get a free pass. They messed with his entire swing last year. That was a lost year just like Olt with the vertigo. No hatred. One gets a free pass ond one didn’t. Olt has played 1 game at 3rd and didn’t make a play yet he will win the job. Did he prove last year was a fluke and he deserves to start after 30 AB’s in ST? Did he check off ALL the boxes(as Theo says) Obviously he hasn’t since he hasn’t played 3rd and he is K ing at the rate of 1 K every 3 AB’s.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I guess that’s where stats can mislead. I’m just going off what I see. A screen door and a glass door are both made to keep out the elements but you can’t tell me there isn’t a difference.

          • cubtex

            It is the want to see some future and some hope. We all want that. The last 2 years have sucked and we want to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But after laying it out…many of the reasons you are saying Olt should start are prospect rankings and “known” to have a good glove. Bjax had prospect rankings and is “known” to have a good glove. The desire to see a “new” prospect outweighs the desire to see our “own” prospect. That is what it comes down to.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            For me it’s the desire to see a guy that has looked good this spring, was a top prospect before a horrific injury. I could care less how long he’s been in our system.

            And personally, I’d like to see BJax have success but I’ve just gown weary of him. He is who he is is in my opinion. A guy with a lot of hype that has just never, ever come close to living up to it. I’ve pretty much given up on him, which may be early but I’m ready to cut my losses and not let him break my heart anymore. I’ll give Olt his chance now to break my heart.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            In 2012 Jonathan Mayo of MLB has Olt at 16 an BJax at 66. BJax has never ha a sniff of top 20 in anybody’s rankings

          • cubtex

            hahaha. #38 and #32 is not bad. There isn’t a hell of a difference Rider.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I said 16 and 66, that’s a helluva difference. But hey different rankings are all over the place and some have them right together. I just think Olt has played better more recently when he wasn’t suffering from vertigo. An now e is auing better. Olt looks like he belongs on a MLB roster. I haven’t seen that from BJax in this spring training.

          • mutantbeast

            Have to disagree, CT. BJax has always had swing/miss issues. There attempts last year mad a bad K rate into an alarming one. But Olt at least has shown consistent power #s, even last year with vertigo he still hit 15hrs.

          • cubtex

            yes he has. no arguing that….but so has Olt. Even after being called up in 2012(pre concussion) He had 13 K’s in 40 PA or again….1 in 3 PA’s.

          • cubtex

            If you are going to give players a start because of prospect rankings.

            BJax
            Pre 2011 #38 in baseball
            Pre 2012 #32

            Olt
            Pre 2012 #43 in baseball
            Pre 2013 #22

            If you are going to write off 2013 then both players should start. BJax was hurt last year as well.
            2012 .in AAA for BJax
            2012 in AA for Olt

            BJax hit .256 with a .338 OBP with 15HR’s and 27 SB’s and is a very good defensive outfielder. Who is blocking him? Sweeney? Did Sweeney beat him out this spring training? No…Same thing.

          • JasonPen

            I like Bjax too. I enjoyed watching him when he was called up a couple of years ago. I still remember that awesome catch he made when he hurt himself robbing Andrew McCutchen of an extra base hit.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXGNLeoqkiA

          • paulcatanese

            I’m not going to argue the point, I did say, I hope he makes it.
            What I also said was he is being handed a spot and if you call him healthy, that’s still out, and one game at third base is not a test. He as well as the Cubs have indicated arm problems.
            There are a few games left before the team breaks from camp and starts to head north,
            now would you say that playing in all of the games on defense is a fair test? I think at least, and if the arm still doesn’t come up to standards, well, then all willd know.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I don’t know if arm fatigue can he considered ill health. Lots of guys go through it. It’s a minor annoyance and they get back to playing. If it was regular season he probably wouldn’t have missed a game but dice it’s spring training they have the luxury. Shoot James Russell, a pitcher, went through similar problems last year and only missed a few games. For a pitcher! That tells you the seriousness or lack thereof of a dead arm. Olt will probably be the first to tell you e should have played more long toss in the off season.

          • mutantbeast

            What would you consider a good year for Olt?

        • Tony_H

          It has nothing to do with it. Olt is not even in all the prospect list this year.

      • Bryan

        I find it interesting that the Blackhawks just announced that they are bringing up their top forward prospect, who is just 19 years old. For the Cubs, it’s all about how many at-bats, how many reps, how many innings pitched etc before even considering a call up. Somehow this model needs to be accelerated a bit (or at least shown some exception cases). All it takes is one injury in the minors, one hit by pitch, etc, and the grand-scheme model gets sidetracked.

        • Tony_H

          I do not follow hockey, but isn’t it pretty common for the higher prospects to move fast in hockey, due to the fact that it is easier to break in players because of the different shifts that alternate? Can’t they ease in a player with the 3rd line?

          Where in baseball, you want the prospect to play everyday and the only break is the bench for the game.

          Like I said, I don’t follow hockey and I am sure it is obvious.

          • Bryan

            Tony…..your comment is valid regarding hockey…there is a bit of an ease-in process, but still high pressure to perform. Back to baseball, my only concern is a Baez or Bryant taking an errant pitch on the wrist from a mediocre minor league pitcher, and now all of a sudden you have a significant setback. If a Baez is close to ready I’d almost prefer to complete the readiness at the major league level v. risking things (with nothing else to provide) in the minors.

          • Tony_H

            If that is your only concern that is fine, but I think for a young guy like Baez, he needs to go to AAA for the first time and play against AAAA pitchers. I hope he dominates to the point they can’t wait out Super 2 status.

        • paulcatanese

          Almost saw what you are talking about two days ago, Baez colliding with the left fielder on a pop up.
          You are correct, it would be a shame to have Bryant or Baez injured before being brought up.
          They are as ready as some of the players that are up now, and maybe more ready.

    • Tony_H

      230-260 AVG
      320-340 OBP
      25 HR range
      80+ RBI’s
      Above average defense at 3B.

  • Roll

    I am still shocked at how fans still talk about and embrace tanking. I love what Noah said about tanking following the Deng trade. I don’t blame the players or Theo for the current state or the organization, I blame Ricketts after agreeing to a horrendous deal with Zell. Hypothetically they could have put together a WS caliber team without draft compensation and I think if Ricketts didn’t handcuff Theo with payroll restrictions due to the debt repayment, they would be spending (sort of )like drunken sailors on leave and still replenish the farm. A 1.3 billion dollar organization with a 80-90 million payroll and very little stadium improvement to show of after 5 years of ownership. I have had two older relatives who were huge Cub fans for over 70years pass this year who could not even watch Cub games these last two years.
    We all agree that a strong farm is a must but not at the expense of the major league club. I hope the Almoras, Bryants, Baez, and Olts learn quickly. And as far as this years draft, Pitching, Pitching and more Pitching.
    Thank you for letting me ramble and vent.

  • Steve Baier

    Question: What is the proper pronunciation of Matt Szczur’s last name? He has way, way too many consonants.

    • Bredstik

      I believe it’s pronounced “Caesar”, like in Julius Caesar.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You are correct and thank you for posting it.

      • Steve Baier

        Cool, thanks. I’d only read his name before, never heard anyone say it aloud.

      • BillyFinT

        Just so you know, when I was learning Latin, my professor from Rome discarded what German scholars said about their variation of pronouncing, as explained in the Oxford dictionary. That variation has the nickname of Gaius Julius Caesar pronounced “Kay-sir,” with the heavy K, heavy E, and the light A. You can imagine that I had the only dissent by bringing that up in the class.

        Hence, Matt Cay Sir.

  • John G

    I have assume you also picked Mercer.

    • cubtex

      Love it! Bye Bye Duke!

      • John G

        Here’s hoping he also picked Kansas St. and Providence.

        • cubtex

          great tournament so far. love the upsets. Horns pulled it out last night. Would like to see Bruce Weber get a W as well. Good guy

          • John G

            Looks like another one. UMass about to go down.

    • Steve Baier

      I picked Mercer in my ESPN bracket… not that I believed I’d be right on that one.