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The Chicago Cubs’ bunt tournament is going on right now. The event, which started out as a small diversion for the players is taking on something of mythic proportions. Whether it’s the 64-member, seeded brackets on the heels of March Madness, or everyone’s feverish desire for SOME kind of baseball action, everyone wants to know who is facing whom, who’s winning, etc. The event is kind of absurd, and the attention even moreso. But it’s also kind of captivating.

Unfortunately, the event is not being televised – an omission I expect the Cubs to correct for the second annual bunt tourney. The beat writers are doing a good job of keeping things updated on Twitter (and I’m trying to gather their Tweets with the hash tag #CubsBuntTourney – UPDATE: the official Twitter for the Cubs has picked up the hash tag, so that should help streamline things), so that’s a good place to follow. The picture to the right comes from the always excellent Bruce Miles, and features Trey McNutt squaring up.

For now, we can follow here in the comments, and as long as it’s interesting, I’ll keep this post updated with the results. There’s no guarantee we’ll keep getting match-up-by-match-up results, though. So, enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose.

In the first round in the pitcher’s bracket (half of the tourney features pitchers, half features positional players):

Reliever Jeff Beliveau took down follow reliever Alberto Cabrera.

In another reliever battle, Lendy Castillo (Rule 5 Pick) beat Casey Weathers.

Top pitching prospect Trey McNutt beat reliever Marco Carillo.

Bullpen candidate Rafael Dolis beat Jay Jackson.

Pitching prospect Dae Eun Rhee beat lefty reliever John Gaub, who’s been battling back spasm. Unfair fight.

Chris Rusin beat strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss (“Bussy”), so Rusin can officially sleep tonight.

Lefty bullpen hopeful Scott Maine takes down reliever Blake Parker.

Casey Coleman beats reliever Marcos Mateo, who must have finally recovered from last year’s arm injury (I only sort of kid – he got hurt mid-season, and then vanished from all news reports).

And apparently that’s it for the day. Check out the #CubsBuntTourney hashtag on Twitter to see some pictures and other random commentary. I’m trying to pin down when the next quarter of the first round goes.

  • Spencer

    Maine over Parker.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Radio coverage, TV coverage… something!

    If NBA can get summer league games broadcast on the internet, the Cubs can get the bunt tourney broadcast!  Someone get Pat Hughes a microphone and make this happen!

  • Brian

    Looks like McNutt’s toes over line. Think judges need to take closer look at this “won”!

    • necusfan

      Mark it zero dude.

      • DannyBallgame

        This isn’t ‘Nam, there are rules

  • Spencer

    Looks like only the upper left portion of the bracket is going today; Coleman beating Mateo was the finale for today.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Anyone have Bud Selig’s phone number?  I think this could be a companion event to the Home Run Derby.  A field of 30, one from each team (returning champs get a first round bye), in a single elimination format… it’d be awesome!

    • King Jeff

      I’d watch it. I’d definitely rather watch this than the Pro Bowl or the All Star game in any sport.

    • Joe

      This would be SO cool. And safer than the Derby, right? Harder to injure yourself when bunting than when reaching for the stands, I would think.

  • Jonski

    So who is the favorite to win.I picked Campy ,but thats a longshot lol!

    • Leroy Kleimola

      campy and wood are favored

  • Cubbies4Life

    So… the folks at ESPN have been known to broadcast “contests” in “sports” that no one in the free world has heard of, but they can’t cover the Bunt Tourney? Unbelievable…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Exactly!  Who watches the lumberjack competitions (other than me) anyway?  Give us our bunt tourney!

      • Cedlandrum

        oh I love the lumberjack competition. I always am hopeful that someone cuts their arm off or something.

  • So Ill Cub Fan

    Now Who bunts first, What bunts second, I Don’t Know bunts third…

  • ferrets_bueller

    Wish we could see what the scoring grid is.

    • mjhurdle

      If you mean what boxes are worth what, then the ESPN Cubs blog has a picture of the third base line showing what the boxes are worth. The only thing missing is the 5 pt triangle in front of the Pitchers mound, and the two 100 point circles on either side of the mound.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs

      It is about halfway down the page, past the Bunt bracketology.

  • Leroy Kleimola

    rusin beating bussey is hilarious…

  • Josh Z

    I would love to watch this.

  • pfk

    I bet someone is videoing this and we’ll get to see it someplace. I love this! Next year its sponsored by Budweiser.

  • ty

    A darn good payday for the winner!

  • TeddyBallGame17

    On the surface, it seems somewhat childish. However, this is an annual drill that players don’t like at all, so to be able to make a fun and competitive game out of it is great. This is the kinda stuff that makes me feel more and more comfortable that we have the right people in place…down to business!!!

    • pfk

      I echo that.

    • Freshness21

      I agree 100%. It’s a great team-building exercise and adds some fun to the monotomy of Spring Training. Let’s just hope it doens’t take away from defensive drills

  • ty

    Bunting a 40 mph lobbed ball is not the same as facing some wild throwing pitcher in a real game. That* where the Dempsters etc. man up. Last year we had guys make poor attempts at moving the runner and then laugh about it in front of Quade!

    • DocWimsey

      Last year the Cubs #7 & #8 hitters combined for the 2nd lowest OBP in the NL.  If the pitchers were laughing, then it was at the peculiarity of being at the plate with men on base…..

    • DocWimsey

      Actually, are success rates on sacrifice bunts easily obtained?  Bill James has his annual “flat bat” award, but no Cubs (including Dempster) were on it.  I’m curious as to whether any of the Cubs actually had a higher success rate than any of the others.

      • Joe

        Good question. Would like to know.

        That said, is bunting considered a valuable skill in “advanced metrics” land?

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          You have to go case by case.
          The #2 hitter laying down a bunt to advance the leadoff man to 2nd? No.
          The leadoff man dragging a bunt for an easy infield single? Sure.
          Basically, giving up an out = not valuable

  • ty

    Doc–lets see if the pitchers or anybody else makes a half-ass bunt attempt and walks back laughing in fron of SVEUM-who by the way has the nickname (nutts).

    • DocWimsey

      All missed bunts look half-assed, so that cannot count for anything.  When a guy gets the bunt down, you stop watching him and you start watching the ball.  When a guy misses, you just watch him: and the follow through for a bunt when you don’t run to first looks half-assed.  (It’s identical to what happens when the pitcher actually bunts it fair but stands there thinking that he fouled it off.)

      And I doubt that there ever was any laughing even if you believe that you saw it.

      • Joe

        I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Reed put down a bunt in a half-assed way.

  • ty

    doc. My two season seats are right by the dugout and when I am home I use them. Several of the guys nervously grin or laugh at their attempts and surely somebody besides me has noticed this lackadasical approach to the game last year. Not all missed bunt attempts look half-assed by the way.

    • Katie

      At Wrigley? Let me know if you’re interested in selling those seats for games you’re not attending. I’m sure you already do, but I’m interested!

  • BD

    Lendy Castillo is a converted position player right? I would think that would give him a good shot at this.

    Also, I think they should have had the PITCHING coach bunt with the PITCHERS, instead of the strength guy.

  • TeddyBallGame

    I like Bussy bein in there. He’s basically one of the guys, he’s been there a long time and a few Spring Training’s ago Kerry Wood and a few other players bought him a new car because he’d been drivin a beater for so long. Plus, Bosio doesn’t want to come across as trying to fit in too fast. Believe it or not, that can backfire under the “Quade” act..

  • ty

    Teddy=hit the nail on the head==to know Tmmy B is to love him==gives his all to the guys whether at Fitch all winter or Wrigley. Could you imagine Rothschild participating–a line not to be crossed usually.

  • ty

    Brett==the infield picture you are using–look straight from the pitchers mound and that is my home. Any BN is welcome to walk over and have a cola. The picture elongates but it is only a couple hundred feet away. Zambrano still has his house nearby also and some players are using it this spring. You are all welcome!

  • David

    On a happy note,MLB has announced that next year’s tourney will be televised. Unfortunately, it will be blacked out. Everywhere.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha.

  • R.I.P. Santo

    Thank God it wasn’t called 1st annual bunt tourney nothing is more annoying I caught your proper verbage of 2nd annual

  • TongueInCheek

    R.I.P. Santo – “I Thank God it wasn’t called 1st annual bunt tourney nothing is more annoying I caught your proper verbage of 2nd annual”
    l am an English major and I was at one time more than annoyed at errors in grammar, spelling, etc. but have lightened up because life is too short!

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