The Cubs will be a part of some very special ceremonies this weekend as the team travels to New York for the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. It’s quite an honor, and was assuredly not a coincidence when the schedule was being put together.

  • For nostalgia’s sake, here’s a selection of videos of Sammy Sosa carrying the US flag. I still get chills. The link also recounts the story of Sammy’s plan to circle the bases with a flag after hitting a home run when the Cubs played their first game at home after 9/11.
  • Phil Rogers says Baseball America will name Eric Jokisch the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year (I’m not sure if he’s guessing or has heard – he refers to the Cubs’ affiliate in Peoria as the organization’s “low-A” team, so I’m not sure how well he understands the whole “minor league” thing). Jokisch, 22, was the Cubs’ 11 rounder out of Northwestern last year. He split time between A-ball Peoria and AA Tennessee, and finished the year with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.216 WHIP in 136 IP. Jokisch, a lefty, doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but is a control-type guy. He did manage to strike out almost eight per nine, though. He’ll probably open the year still in Tennessee next year, and, if he continues developing, could emerge as an option for the Cubs in the second half next year.
  • A very cool interview with the Cubs’ Manager of Statistical Analysis, Ari Kaplan, conducted by IBM. The interview is largely from the perspective of a statistical analyst (as opposed to, for example, a Cubs fan), so it’s an interestingly different take on what Kaplan does. Perhaps the most interesting response came to a question about what Kaplan does on a day-to-day basis. “Being in the Baseball Operations, I have had the opportunity to get involved in many areas,” Kaplan said. “There is the long-term development of our analytics and baseball-related technology to position us to be consistent champions on and off the field. On a day-to-day basis I help prepare information for the coaches for games, do special projects for the General Manager and other baseball management, and try to stay one step ahead looking for ways for us to improve. There is a rhythm to the baseball season – Spring Training, the MLB season, the Minor Leagues, the draft, signings, trade deadlines, organizational meetings, Winter Meetings. These events set the pulse of what we focus on month to month.”
  • An architecture student at Notre Dame (naturally named Marty Sandberg) has taken it upon himself to design his vision for the Triangle Building. If you were ever trying to picture what it might look like, there you go. I like both the vision and the initiative. More pictures of the design here. The only thing I don’t see are improved baseball training facilities. There’s an area for an improved and expanded sports medicine area (needed), but what about additional batting cages and team exercise facilities? Get on that, Marty. Actually… get on that, Cubs.
  • Another keeping-Oneri-Fleita-was-the-right-move take, this from David Haugh.
  • The Hardball Times notes the 25th anniversary of Rafael Palmeiro’s debut with the Cubs – in a season that also saw the debuts of Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer.
  • Reader Michigan Goat with a writeup on the Cubs’ first base possibilities in 2012.

    Regardless of what happened later, when Palmeiro debuted in Peoria, the ball just jumped off his bat.  Obviously not on juice then, it was easy to see that his bat was special.

    • chris margetis

      I agree with Larry, I remeber seeing a lineup in Peoria once that included, Palmeiro, Grace, Maddux, and Dwight Smith. Besides Maddux being 10-0 at the break, I always remeber that year because Palmeiro and Grace were 3 or 4 for 5 literally every night. You could tell they were big league hitters.

  • EQ76

    How do you pronounce Jokisch?  Because when I read it, it sounds like Jock Itch.

    • Toosh

      If you’ve got an isch, scratch it.

    • Steve

      It’s pronounced Yōkish. I faced him several times in high school and summer ball. He’s a really good kid.

  • amoo22

    still get goose bumps when i watch sammy round the bases with the flag

  • Ron

    The ‘pictures’ of the triangle building.  I like the gnome dragging the bag in picture 18 of 24.

  • TWC

    Ah, architecture school.  That fine time in a young man’s life where the bounds of reality (read: budgets and engineering) need not apply.  They were good times, my friends.  Good times.

  • CubFan Paul

    i added the MG Rambler to my Favorites

    Brett, have you heard any of the Cincy talk of a possible j.Votto trade because of the emergence of Alonso? I had to watch the Cincy broadcast the other day (damn WCIU) and the broadcasters brought up the subject multiple times, as if the Cincy GM is actually considering this (if it were me i’d move Votto to 3rd for defensively inept Alonso and trade Rolen)

    Votto does get a little more expensive next year & beyond and Alonso is dirt cheap, practically free and B.Phillips wants an extension, not his option picked up so i can see why this would have legs…

    • MichiganGoat

      Thx Phil :)

  • Luke

    Not sure I can fault Rogers for calling Peoria ‘Low-A’, as opposed to ‘High-A’ Daytona and ‘Short-Season A’ Boise. Those are fairly standard designations in a lot of baseball circles, if not exactly accurate. The technical designations are Class A Advanced, Class A, and Class A Short-Season, but High-A, Low-A, and Short-Season A just flow off the keyboard more smoothly.

    Really, though, why do we need three different, distinct levels all classified as A? That never has made any sense to me. At least drop the -A from Short Season leagues and just insert a Short-Season category between Rookie and A (Low A that is).

    • Brett

      Low A = Short season = Boise

      A = Peoria

      High A = Daytona

      At least in my book, it’s always been that way. I don’t know anyone who refers to Peoria as anything but A. Maybe I’m wrong.

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