Theo Epstein Thinks Matt Garza is the Cat’s Pajamas and Other Bullets

The Cubs didn’t lose yesterday! I kid. I’m not being pessimistic or cynical. Like any up-and-down Cubs fan, I’m genuinely excited about today’s game.

  • Speaking of today’s game, Theo Epstein is a fan of today’s starter, Matt Garza, which is no surprise. Back-handed compliment de jure: “I think he’s a smarter guy than you’d think from across the field,” Epstein said. “And I don’t mean that the wrong way. You watch him and how energetic and extroverted and fidgety he can be looking at him from across the field, you get a certain impression about him that maybe he’s not always thinking things through. But the reality is that he actually has a method to his madness. He knows himself really well, and he understands the game really well. He knows how to prepare, and I think there is a lot more going on upstairs than people give him credit for.” Epstein wouldn’t comment on the Cubs’ efforts to sign Garza to an extension (he’s a free agent after 2013), but his comments tell me that, even if the Cubs ultimately trade Garza, Epstein thinks Garza is the cat’s pajamas.
  • White Sox ticket prices dropped dramatically this year, primarily to combat flagging attendance, while Cubs tickets remained largely unchanged. That will remain the case until/unless the Cubs’ attendance falls precipitously, which doesn’t seem like an imminent threat (though, let’s check back in on this in August and September if the Cubs are as bad as some fear they’ll be).
  • The Cubs’ proprietary data solution, built together with Bloomberg Sports, isn’t quite yet operational, and might not be fully complete (to the Cubs’ specifications) for a couple years. Until then, they’ll continue using a variety of products, as well as some of what Bloomberg offers.
  • BN’er Hansman was at the Iowa Cubs’ home opener, and had a chance to chat with Brett Jackson, who offered this eye-opening quote: “Nothing against [former Cubs manager Mike] Quade, because he played – hell [Dale] Sveum played, too – but Sveum is a guy you would ride into battle with.” Sveum has been an outspoken fan of Jackson, too, so it’s fair to say that the two developed something of a bond at Spring Training.
  • Randy Wells, who picked up the win in that Iowa Cubs home opener, is trying to make the best of what is probably a frustrating situation for him. “It’s not the most ideal situation you were looking for when you went into camp, but I can’t sit here and say poor me, poor me,” he said. “I pitch for the Iowa Cubs now. I want to do good here, and if they need me in Chicago, I’ll be ready to go.”
  • No matter how much you hear about the wind at Wrigley Field, it’s hard to believe it until you’ve experienced it. Ian Stewart just learned that lesson on a ninth inning bomb that turned into a triple. “I watched it for a second because I thought I got it,” he admitted. “The next thing I know I’m running and I see [first-base coach] Dave McKay saying ‘Go, go, go …’ I knew I had to bust it out from there. When I saw it fall, I was just trying to get to third.”
  • Another BN’er bit, this from Josh and SweetJamesJones, who demonstrate a way to guarantee your face appears in lights on BN. Wear your Bleacher Nation shirt at Wrigley Field like Josh did, and I will give you the Internet equivalent of a gigantic hug:

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

31 responses to “Theo Epstein Thinks Matt Garza is the Cat’s Pajamas and Other Bullets”

  1. HR Trucker

    Its our day for a win lets go cubs

    1. Jay Anderson Jr

      Yeah, I think we’ll climb back to .500.

      1. JPlaceKVitbusts

        “cut anyone in our system that we have no money in, don’t care how talented they are, don’t care where we got em from. we are going to blow this thing up and start from scratch”

        What a tool

        1. ferrets_bueller

          …..what?

  2. JNasty

    I like the lineup against lefties slightly better than against righties. Maybe we can knock Gonzalez around for a couple runs.

  3. Sweetjamesjones

    Sweet. Internet hugs kick ass.

    1. 161 and 1

      It’s the bee’s knees

  4. ferrets_bueller

    I love Ian Stewart.

    1. DocPWimsey

      The Stones never were the same after they kicked him out….

  5. ichabod

    are you telling us that the cubs techno efforts were so poor that it is going to take up to 3 years to install a major league standard, presumably, info digestion gizmo.

    1. MichiganGoat

      I think it’s more about perfecting the system. I’m sure what they have is extremely deep and complex but this system will take sabermetrics and analysis to a level that would boggle the mind of the most informed fangraph reader. It will take a couple of years to build accurate data sets for Wrigley but when this is finished it will make Johnny 5, Hal, and Brainiac look pathetic.

    2. DocPWimsey

      Also, the Cubs prior sabremetric system only used one calculation: hits with runners in scoring position divided by ABs with runners in scoring position. That only required a slide-rule…..

      1. MichiganGoat

        Nah they just used chicken bones to make decisions

        1. DocPWimsey

          Poh-TAY-toes, Poh-tah-toes……

          (And the slide rule was made from chicken bones, too….)

  6. Andrewmoore4isu

    Hopefully gio Gonzalez is the hip Gonzalez that started bad early last season and walked a ton. Let’s go cubs

  7. Kyl-el

    Where’s my pre-gamin? :)

    The lineup today is
    Johnson RF
    Mather 3b
    Castro SS
    Soriano LF
    Baker 1b
    Soto C
    Byrd CF
    Barney 2b
    Garza p

    Most of these guys can do a decent impression of a major-league hitter against lefties, so I’m not too unhappy here. Other than my general problem with Reed Johnson’s existence on the roster.

    Looks like the wind is blowing out to left, too, which should help.

    1. Matt3

      If Johnson were to start, I bet he would have a better season in RF than Dejesus. He would be Jacque Jonesesqe; people would still complain about him even with a .280 average and 27 hrs.

      1. Kyl-el

        Well, sure, why wouldn’t a 36-year-old more than double his career high in home runs?

        He’s completely washed up. In a full season, he’d hit something like .230/290/380.

        1. DocPWimsey

          but… but…… he’s scrappy!

          1. TWC

            At 36, I think he’s more ‘grizzled’ than ‘scrappy’.

            1. MichiganGoat

              He’s Jerky Scrappy – tough to chew put will fill you up.

              1. DocPWimsey

                How about “fit to be scrapped?” That gets all of our key words or sentiments into the same line.

                1. Matt3

                  how bout a two run triple for the lead

  8. Caleb

    Ah, kids these days with their fancy t-shirts. I remember the days before we had t-shirts and had to craft homemade BN signs to schlep to the game with us. Times, they are a-changin’.