Hot dogs? Nachos? Funnel cakes? What exactly is the perfect ballpark food?

It should be something edible with one hand, something that tastes good even when slapped together by an overworked and stressed out employee on a blazing hot afternoon, and yet be something that won’t bum you out if it is knocked out of your hand by that drunk guy sitting next you as he hides from a foul ball that actually lands three sections away.

Pizza? Turkey legs? Boiled peanuts? (I’ve never tried boiled peanuts, personally).

Maybe we can coat some turkey hot dogs in funnel cake batter, fry them up in peanut oil, and douse the resulting blob in nacho cheese and pizza sauce. Coming soon to a ballpark near you!

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 18 – 25
When it rains in Chicago, it pours in Iowa. The I-Cubs are losing in the same fashion as the major league variety: surprisingly lousy pitching and a general lack of runs. They lost this particular game 8-2.

With both Travis Wood and Randy Wells having gone north, Jay Jackson returned to the starting rotation on Monday. It was a complete and utter disaster. In his three innings he allowed six runs, all earned, on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Two of those nine hits were of the home run variety. Considering that Jackson was coming off some encouraging performances in a relief role, this debacle was a quite disappointing.

And then Manny Corpas arrived and gave up a mere one hit in three innings of work. That is easily one of Corpas’s best games of the season. Scott Maine also worked a scoreless inning. Mike MacDougal and Ryan Rowland-Smith each allowed a single run to score in their innings.

Iowa had their chances to score all kinds of runs in this game. They amassed ten hits and ten walks, but thanks to their dismal 2 for 15 totals with runners in scoring position, most of those runners died on the base paths.

Alfredo Amezaga, Blake DeWitt, and Josh Vitters all doubled; those were the only extra base hits Iowa had. Anthony Rizzo was one for four with a walk while Brett Jackson struck out four times in five at bats. Amezaga finished with two hits and two walks. Even Vitters managed to draw a free pass in this game. I suspect that’s more to the discredit of the pitching than the aptitude of the offense, but there it is.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 20 – 25
Once again the Smokies were sunk by a big inning. This time it resulted in an 8-5 loss.

Dae-Eun Rhee gave up three runs on eight hit in his six innings of work and left in line for a win. Brian Schlitter pitched a scoreless seventh; the wheels completely fell off in the eighth. Schlitter was bailed out by Casey Harmon (who allowed two more hits himself), and before it was all over five runs had crossed the plate.

Justin Bour (with a double) and Rebel Ridling (with a home run) supplied all of Tennessee’s power. Junior Lake and Jae-Hoon Ha also had good games with two hits apiece. Lake added one walk; Ha gathered two.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 17 – 25
Daytona rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth and came away the winners, 4-3.

Matt Loosen pitched a great game. In six innings he gave up one run, on a solo homer, and virtually nothing else as he struck out eight. Unfortunately, Ty’relle Harris was not as good in relief. Harris gave up two runs on two walks and a hit, but the offense was able to make up the difference. Ryan Searle was the beneficiary of the ninth inning surge and gathered his first win of the season.

Matthew Szczur and John Andreoli each reached three times, in both cases thanks to two hits and a walk. Chad Noble and Arismendy Alcantara also had two hits. Andreoli topped off his night by stealing two bases in the game; he now has nine for the season.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 20 – 25
Late inning rallies were the hallmark of this game, but Peoria came up just short. They lost 5-4.

Michael Jensen pitched a pretty good game, as did Luis Liria in relief. Larry Suarez, however, had a very rough inning and took his first loss of the season.

Paul Hoilman was once again the star for the Chiefs as he collected two more hits, including a double. Anthony Giansanti also doubled. Oliver Zapata had a busy game, going one for two with three walks and two stolen bases. He also suffered his first error of the year.

  • Fishin Phil

    Brett Jackson is not making much of a push for Chicago.

    • ETS

      4 k’s is heart breaking. Why can no one in the Cubs system take a walk?

      • hansman1982

        Jim Hendry’s talent evaluation skills.

        • Luke

          You realize that Jim Hendry is not on an island with Brett Jackson.  Nearly every analyst has him rated as one of the Top 100 prospects in all baseball, and a large number of them place him in the Top 40.

          • hansman1982

            I agree, I wasn’t directing that at Brett Jackson in anyway but the systemic issue with batting eye. Hendry went more after contact skills than batting eye which means guys will be swinging and striking out more than taking and walking.

            Obviously Jackson is more of a taker than a giver but he is an outlier in the system. At this point, the K’s are starting to worry me that he will have a hard time even posting the “good for a CF, maybe a couple all-star games in his career” line that has been talked about. Going into the season I was very high on Jackson but now that stance is softening.

      • gratefulled

        What’s more disappointing are the pitches that he struck out on…and once with the bases loaded.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Walking is not a opposite of striking out.  Instead, putting the first or 2nd pitch into play is the opposite of walking (and K’ing).  Guys who draw lots of walks (like BJax) typically strike out more than average because they work deep into counts.  Of course, BJax strikes out way too much: but because of bad contact skills, not a bad batting eye.  He’s sort of the opposite of Vitters: one has great pitch recognition and lousy contact skills, the other has great contact skills and lousy pitch recognition.

        • Brandon

          Perfectly stated Doc. In AA last season, Vitters made a lot of contact on bad pitches which resulted in very easy outs. B-Jax saw a lot of pitches, and saw his share of strikeouts as a result.

          I really don’t believe that B-Jax is ever going to be the player that people expect him to be. Don’t get me wrong…..I expect him to be serviceable in the show. What I believe he needs to do is embrace the softer side of the game by becoming a fan favorite. What I mean, is if your numbrs are average but the fans love you, you’ll stick around. If your numbers are average, and you are not endearing to the fans, you’ll always be compared to what you SHOULD have been by virtue of where you were drafted. My advice to Brett is to start adding fan interaction as a tool in the toolbox. It could be the difference in his career moving forward, because I fear that the “baseball only tools” may not be enough.

          Just sayin’.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I think that BJax could be a Mark Reynolds type of player, but with better fielding.  That’s not what we wanted, but it’s better than what we have.

  • butlerdawgs

    Best minor league food is the cheeseburger served on Krispy Kreme donuts instead of a bun hands down.

    • mjhurdle

      Those are amazing. They have them at the Gateway Grizzlies games here in STL and i have to get one every time i go.

      • butlerdawgs

        Yep, that’s where I had mine. I worked for several summers for the Evansville Otters, and we took a road trip there one year for a weekend series.

    • Luke

      I’m from the Evansville area, and I’ve heard stories from Otters fans.  Legends of the 4000 calorie burger to beat all 4000 calorie burgers have not spread outside the Midwest, as far as I know, but it is only a matter of time.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Loved going to Otters games. VERY cheap tickets.

        • butlerdawgs

          Can’t beat paying $5 for a ticket and going on $1 beer night.

  • Hansman1982

    Wasn’t jay Jackson a bit of a prospect a couple years ago?

    • Brett

      Big-time. Had a great, great year climbing the ladder. But hitters caught up, and he really stalled out in AAA for a couple years. Would like to see what he could do in the bullpen long-term.

      • ETS

        I think bull pen is his future. Unless his secondary stuff grows by bounds in a hurry.

  • Blitzenjohn

    I’m thinking Lake may see Iowa (maybe Sept. call up in Chicago?) before the year is done. Good looking prospect.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Best food? Sneaking in Natty Ice’s and Southern Comfort and buying sunflower seeds inside the stadium. Can’t wait for Boise to travel up to Spokane so I can see the future in person. Javier Baez has been on fire. Let’s hope he doesn’t turn into Joan Baez.

    • Luke

      The biggest story in that link is that Reggie Golden had season ending knee surgery.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Just saw on the local news out of Spokane, 5 guys are walking across country with a goat named Wrigley. Their destination is Wrigley Field. The have walked 2,500 miles and raised 12K. Whatever it takes!

    • Edwin

      I hope this is for a charity or something. Curses are silly and don’t exist. The only thing more silly than a curse is trying to break a curse, which just makes every party involved look stupid.

      Besides, the “goat curse” is pretty lame anyways. A guy tried to bring a goat into a sporting event. It’s a freaking goat. How does that sound like a good idea to anyone?

  • MichiganGoat

    Being in West Michigan I am lucky to be bear the ballpark that had one of the first ballpark Superfoods – the 5/3 Burger at 5/3 Bank Ballpark home of the West Michigan Whitecaps (low A Tigers). It’s a true monstrosity 5/3 pounds of meat covered in every single topping you can put on a burger. I’ve only had a quarter of it and it made me want to puke. Luckily the often have Founders on tap and on Tuesday $2 pints and $1 hotdogs. So I can get a box seat, plenty of beer and hot dogs for $25 dollars- that’s why the minor leagues ate great.

  • Adam

    Luke – do you see Raley moving up to AAA now with Wood and Wells in Chicago? Who is making up the current rotation now? I know Raley has been the most consistent starter at Tennessee and don’t know if there is much left for him to do there in terms of his performance.

    • Luke

      I think Iowa will get at least one arm from Tennessee, but I’m not sure who it will be.  Raley is a candidate, but so is Nick Struck, Eric Jokisch, or Dallas Beeler.  It may take a few days for those moves to happen, though, especially considering that Iowa just received Clevenger and Marmol for rehab assignments.

      • Ryno G

        Raley has already been called up to Iowa. I expect Jackson’s start today was just a fill in until they can get the rotation sorted out. PJ gets his first Daytona start this morning as well.

        • Brett

          I hope Raley gets plenty of starts in AAA (to adjust to the league), and isn’t bounced back down too quickly if the Cubs do more roster shuffling. Very interesting pitcher.

      • Luke

        Jeffry Antigua is apparently taking Raley’s spot in the rotation in Tennessee.  No word yet who shuffles in Peoria, but the Chiefs are not lacking for potential starters.

        • Ryan G

          I’d be really surprised if Jokish or Kirk isn’t called up to take that spot in AA in the next week or so. As for Peoria, I hope Wells takes over the starting role and Wang or Reed fill the piggyback role.

    • AB

      It seems the Cubs have essentially the same pedigree of pitcher in Rusin, Raley, and Kirk.

      • Brett

        Definitely some similarities between Rusin and Raley, but, until this year, Kirk was striking a bunch of guys out. Raley and Rusin aren’t really strikeout guys.

    • AB

      Apparently Francescon has moved up to Daytona

  • Andy

    Luke, not sure if you saw but Baez had a 2R HR and a grand slam yesterday in EXST. Arizona Phil at The Cub Reporter said both were 420+ foot bombs.

    • ShootTheGoat

      Speaking of Arizona Phils’ website. I have been checking it everyday, but yet I never see Dillon Maples name listed as pitching in a game. Does anyone know where he is?

      • Brett

        Still hurt, unfortunately. No one really has much information.

    • Luke

      That’s good, as far as it goes, but extended spring training stats are even less worthless than regular spring training stats.  That tells me that Baez is healthy, which is good news, and has the power and bat speed to send long home runs to dead center , which we already knew, but not much else.  Until these guys in ExST get into games that matter, I’m very reluctant to get super excited / bummed out over what they are doing.

  • Katie

    I can’t remember if I shared this before but at the Iowa Cubs game Friday night Scott Maine was approached by an elderly lady for an autograph for her grandson who has leukemia and was too weak to come to the game. Not only did Scott get her a ball and sign it for her, he took to ball around to all the players warming up and got them to sign it too and gave it to the lady. Just wanted to share that about Scott. He is a class act.

    Also Jeff Beliveau was wearing the rookie girly backpack with the bullpen supplies in it. When I openly mocked him and snapped pictures he began laughing and posing. He also corrected me when I thought it was a Hannah Montana backpack but it was Selena Gomez. Okay so I’m clueless. He seems to be a great guy too.

    • hansman1982

      When I went to Opening Day I chatted with Beliveau for a few minutes, absolutely a great guy.

      • Katie

        He is really goofy. Seems like a nice kid. I will definitely be rooting for him even more.

        • Joe

          Thanks for the stories, Katie! Here’s hoping that Rizzo & BJax relax — maybe you caught ’em on a bad day. I understand staying focused on the game, but they gotta stay chill to play well, too, right?

          • Katie

            Exactly Joe! It’s still the minors after all.

            • bob

              I’ve been to several I-Cubs games over the years…Great place to see some good ball. Had real nice interactions a couple of years ago with Casey Coleman and Darwin Barney (making Barney my wife’s all-time favorite Cub!) You may have to give Jackson and Rizzo a bit of a break on the interaction point: when you are the best known prospect, as those two are, EVERYONE is screaming for your attention. It has to get a little tiring and distracting, as well as frustrating (you don’t have time to please everyone, so how do you choose who to please and who to tick off?) The lesser known guys, even though they are working for the same goal, can be more relaxed, and really seem to love the attention and interaction. If you can sit near the bullpen you can have a really great time. (Having a cute teenage girl with you can help too! These guys are human, after all.)

    • Brett

      HA! Awesome second story, and heart-warming first story.

      • Katie

        Just wanted to share some snippets from down on the farm. Maine interacts with fans a lot, especially kids which is cool to see. Same with Corpas. In contrast BJax and Rizzo are VERY aloof. They don’t even look at the fans or interact at all. I understand they are focused and all that but without fans there is no baseball. Without fans there’s no one to pay your ridiculous salary someday.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Ah, but if they do interact with fans before the games and then do no perform well, then it will be deemed evidence that they are not preparing properly to play.  After all, the fans are paying to see them perform well, not to sign autographs!

          • Katie

            Understood. Just wish they would at least wave to the crowd or something. They just look a little arrogant.

        • Spriggs

          That is very, very surprising to hear about B-Jax. I spent a lot of time at Fitch and Hohokam the last 2 springs and I’d say Jackson has been one of the friendliest on the whole roster. He signed more autographs and chatted casually with more fans than anyone I can think of… For sure right up there with Reed Johnson, DeWitt, Woody. Vitters will sign for anyone as well.

          • Katie

            Well I would imagine ST is a lot more relaxed and of course the young’uns are trying to impress everyone. Not saying they are total jerks, it’s just much different than some of the other guys.

  • Deer

    Is Junior Lake playing 3B everyday? If he can adequately field and continue to hit and draw walks, could we see him as a september call-up?

    • Brett

      Since he’s already on the 40-man, he’s a good bet to be a September call-up no matter what.

    • Luke

      He’s splitting time between third and short.

  • Pat P

    As a Stewart fan, he has become very hard to watch. It appears that Vitters has had a good year so far in Iowa. Any chance he gets a call to see what he can do at the big league level this year while they continue to struggle? I think we might as well take a look to see what we have in him as we plan for the future.

    That being said, I saw Baez in spring training this year and I think he is the real deal. I am confident he is our 3B of the future. He obviously believes so too because he has a sweet MLB logo tattoo on the back of his neck. It would be a waste if he never makes it to the show.

    • Luke

      Vitters is on the 40 man, so I think we’ll see him in September.  I very much doubt we see him before then, though.

    • Drew7

      The only other guy I’ve seen with a that tatooed in the same spot was a huge tool. Good ballplayer, but a huge tool.

      • djriz

        Well, the word on Baez is he’s a huge tool, also.

        And if he turns into a all-star and MVP candidate, who cares?

        • Drew7

          I dont think anyone should care. I was just commenting on the tatoo

    • Norm

      Vitters has most certainly NOT had a good year so far in Iowa.

      • Kyle

        I’m not prepared to call it a bad year, either, though.

        He went 2-for-5 with a double today, and I don’t have his exact line, but it’s within a few points of 253/302/403 or something like that. For one of the youngest hitters in AAA, I’m willing to call it a year worth keeping an eye on so far.

  • mark

    I don’t see how the Cubs can keep running Brett Jackson out there every day to be totally dominated by AAA pitchers. I don’t care who you are, that has to play havoc with your mind and confidence. The kid is sinking like a stone and they have to do something to try to get him back on track, even if it’s a demotion.

    Interesting to compare Lake and Vitters. Lake, who was supposed to be incurably undisciplined at the plate is so far (53 ABs) showing exemplary discipline, both in drawing walks and in avoiding excessive SOs. If Lake can learn, maybe Vitters can, too.

    • Chris S

      Re: Jackson, makes me wonder if he sees all the talk about Rizzo being called up and is pressing a little bit to try to stake his case too.. I know it I was talked about as much as Rizzo and Jackson were at the beginning of the year and then started to hear less and less of my name, I’d start pressing.

      • Bud Selig

        I know he’s still very young.. But I’m starting to get a little feeling that Jackson may be a flopper and not pan out how we want him too…

    • Drew7

      I guess don’t see him as “getting dominated” and “sinking like a stone”; Hes still showing great discipline and getting his XBH’s, (singles are actually the least frequent way he has reached base, then XBH, then BB) and we’re only a 1/4 of the way through the season.

      I would agree that he’s not quite ready, and the K’s def need to come down, but I still think he’ll be fine. What does worry me a bit is that, even though he raked in AAA last year, he still K’d a ton then too.

      • ari gold

        BJax is right where he should be, with his batting average and OBP. His BABIP is around .333 which I believe is about average, maybe slightly above. If his K rate doesn’t improve he should be a .230 hitter with a .330 OBP. No quite what we hoped for, so hopefully he improves the k rate a little. Wouldn’t be shocking if he doesn’t though.

      • mark

        His last 10 games exhibit a snowballing downward trend that’s been going on for several weeks–all his stats are heading south.

        Still getting XBHs? In fact, that’s mostly ALL he’s getting. Of his 6 hits in the last 10 games (in which he’s hitting .146), 4 have been XBHs. That suggests that he may be swinging for the fences every time–not a good thing for a guy who’s in a prolonged slump. I’d be more reassured if he were getting more total hits, even singles–maybe especially singles.

        Ks? Overall, he’s been SOing at a 36% clip. But in his last ten games (41 ABs) he’s struck out 18 times (43%) and walked only 3 times (7%). That imbalance is totally uncharacteristic of his history, and suggests a number of things–none of them good. One is that, while he may be getting a handful of XBHs by overswinging, opposing pitchers no longer fear him and are confident that they can induce him to swing and miss. That also helps explain the drastic drop in BBs. He clearly needs to rethink what he’s doing at the plate, and could just as clearly use some help from experienced people.

        Overall, things have gotten to the point that I have to believe the Cubs need to do some sort of intervention to protect their investment. Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that the only truly advanced prospect the Cubs have among position players is Rizzo–and of course that remains to be seen.

        • mark

          Jackson’s season line is:

          .228 .324 .430 .755

          Last ten games is:

          .146 .205 .341 .546

          But the downward spiral has been going on for weeks.

        • Drew7

          “Still getting XBHs?  In fact, that’s mostly ALL he’s getting.  Of his 6 hits in the last 10 games (in which he’s hitting .146), 4 have been XBHs.  That suggests that he may be swinging for the fences every time”

          -That doesnt imply that at all. Its not as though this guy hardly ever struck out before, and its not like he didnt get his XBH before. It COULD mean his doing that, but its far from the only possiblilty (and yes, I say hes STILL getting XBH; hes only played in 40 games).

          “Overall, he’s been SOing at a 36% clip”

          -58 in 182 PA’s = 31.8% (unless I’m using different data). As I said before, its still too high, but not 36%.

          Additionally, even though I think its rediculous to use the last 10 games someone played in to point out statistical trend, 7 of those 18 K’s you mentioned have came in the last 2 games, so that stretch of 10 games becomes even less telling.

          I’m not saying you are wrong about him, but drawing such drastic conclusions from his last 10 games is silly. The guy has over 1500 PA’s in the minors, during which he has proved pretty consistant regarding the rates you mention. Again, he may not be a superstar, but I’m gonna give him a couple more months before I even start thinking about him not panning out.

          • mark

            What’s particularly troubling about his trends is this: that while his SO rate has gone up sharply–from an already excessive level–his BB rate has declined drastically from his historical level. I think that a review of his career stats will show that there has been a negative trend in most categories as he has tried to transform himself into a slugger, but that that trend has accelerated this year as AAA pitchers have come to know him better.

            I DON’T say that he won’t pan out, but I do strongly suspect that if he makes it in MLB it won’t be as a slugger. And that’s unfortunate, because the Cubs are desperate for more offensive production from their corner positions. But for Jackson’s own future and to protect their investment, I think the Cubs need to seriously rethink Jackson’s development–primarily his approach at the plate. He obviously has sufficient power to hit home runs, but on a more selective basis than he’s attempting to do it.

            • mark

              Here’s a link to a somewhat more detailed than usual scouting report re Jackson, strengths and weaknesses. It’s relatively easy to see how some of these things may be playing out this year:


            • DocPeterWimsey

              Challenge accepted!  With one possible exception, the trends you posit do not exist.  BJax’s walk rate (which, incidentally, is positively correlated with slugging across all ballplayers) increased in each of his first three seasons.  It has not “plummeted” this year: given BJax’s rates over those first 3 seasons, we expect him to have 24+/- 4 walks by now (in 50% of 182 PA sequences): and he has 21.

              BJax’s XBH rate, which is the best measure of how well a guy his hitting the ball when he makes contact without actual scouting data, has gone up in each of his first three seasons and has increased this year.  That being written, he does not really deviate from a single rate for his career.  (He has 19 XBH, we expect 15+/3 in 50% of such sequences.)

              BJax’s singles rate fluxed randomly in his first 3 years (as does everybody’s) and it’s at an all-time low: but that only means that he’s been unlucky on the balls that he didn’t hit so well. (See Stewart, Ian & Soto, Geo.).  Eris does not love everyone all the time!

              The closest thing to such a trend is his K rate.  That did fluctuate randomly for his first three seasons, never deviating significantly from 24%.  At 58 K’s in 182 PAs, he’s sticking out: we expect only one player in about 50 do this poorly by chance alone.  But, then, guess what: there are a lot more than 50 players out there!

              All in all, I’d say that this is just BJax being BJax.  Nothing says “stochastic” quite like baseball….


              • mark

                Let’s see…

                2009 Minors .318 .418 .488 .906
                2010 Minors .297 .395 .493 .888
                2011 Minors .274 .379 .490 .869
                2012 Minors .228 .324 .430 .755

                I think I’m seeing some trends here. The exception–until this year–is SLG, but that fits into my supposition that he’s trying to become a slugger and hit a wall this year. None of these trends were terribly worrying, until this year when his performance imploded–to this point. The only reason his numbers to date this year are at all acceptable is because he’s been getting the statistical benefit of a fast start.

                Re his walk rate this year and in general. As I stated, the drastic drop in walks occurred in the last few weeks and was especially drastic in his last 10 games. As I further noted, that is highly uncharacteristic for him–usually he has had a high BB rate to go with the high SO rate. Of course, he may turn that around this year and return to his norm, but that will require some adjustments at this point.

                Re his XBH rate, yes it has trended upward, and is reflected in a relatively stable SLG–until this year. Again, my supposition is that he has hit some sort of wall: either he has changed his approach or pitchers have caught on or a combo of the two.

                Here’s from that link above. Note that the report also thinks he’s concentrating too heavily on XBH and that pitchers will pick up on that–as they may have done this year:

                His swing is fast through the zone allowing him extra time to recognize pitches and their locations. The swing is smooth and level through the zone as well. Jackson has an excellent knowledge of the strike zone, and is very selective with the pitches that he will swing at. He will let early strikes go if he doesn’t think he can hit them for extra bases. His bat speed allows him to spoil good pitches when he is down in the count. Jackson rarely swings at balls, but strikeouts have plagued his career. He is so selective at the plate that he falls behind in counts if he is not careful. He also has shown a bit of knack for swinging at pitches low and in on him. Despite the quick bat speed, Jackson struggles to make contact at times.

                His tools are major league ready, but his approach at the plate needs some slight tweaks. He needs to be more aggressive at the plate, not swinging at balls, but swinging at hittable pitches earlier in the count rather than waiting for the perfect pitch. Pitchers will know to live on the edge of the zone against him and it will end poorly for Brett if he can’t make the adjustment.

                • Brett

                  So no one else is pleased by Jackson’s IsoP and IsoD?

                  (Semi-joke, but semi-serious: he’s sustained them quite well.)

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    I didn’t phrase it as such, but those numbers are in line with his usual ones.  Jackson is K’ing more often than usual and Eris does not smile on the balls that he hits.  However, he’s walking at the same rate and he’s getting extra base hits at the same rate.

                  • mark

                    I make no claims to being a sabermetrician. To me, the fact that his ISoP (International Society of Pharmacovigilance? International School of Poznan? International Society of Protistologists?) has held up demonstrates the limitations of statistics.

                    Put it this way: Do you want to bet which numbers would get Jackson to the Majors faster, last year’s or this year’s? His BA is currently hovering near the Mendoza line. I’m willing to bet that the numbers he’s currently putting up will keep him in the minors indefinitely. What say you?

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  You might think that you see a trend, but as I noted, the raw numbers all fit the same distributions.  Occam says, you have no justification to explain things!

                  Regarding the scouting report that says BJax is  concentrating too much on XBH, I’d just chuck that out: the scout is trying to fit the game into a discredited paradigm of the sort that Hendry used.  To people like Theo, there is no such thing as swinging for singles or trying for extra base hits.  There is trying to drive the ball.  If you “let up” just to make contact, then you get a lot of soft outs: and that is to be avoided.  If Theo runs the Cubs like he ran the Sox, then all the emphasis will be on selectively driving the ball.  That means lots of walks, lots of K’s and lots of extra base hits.

                  • mark

                    Whatever. I say Theo is no different than Hendry when it comes to the Mendoza line and what it means for promoting or demoting players.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          To follow up on Drew’s point, if a guy is still getting XBH’s at the same rate but his singles dry up, then that just means that Eris is not smiling upon him this week.  (As Mr. LaHair about her fickle love….)

          • mark

            Tell that to Sveum. His comments clearly suggest that he thinks LaHair is trying to carry the team, rather than trusting his “neighbors,” i.e., his teammates behind him in the lineup to come through for him. Specifically, Sveum noted problems with LaHair’s mechanics–trying to “speed his bat up”–and with his approach–seeming to “feel like the only way you have a chance is to hit the first pitch and if you don’t the at-bat is over.”

            20 ABs is a small sample size, but it’s enough to get Sveum to react. Maybe he’s dumb and doesn’t understand these things, but maybe not …

  • TWC

    Luke, I’m not sure what the picture that accompanies this article is supposed to be, but if it bears any relation to the first two words of the article, I suspect this is the picture you’re looking for:

    This.  This is a hot dog.

    • Brett

      I chose the picture, and it’s just generic stadium food. Punk.

      • TWC

        So then we agree that the pic you chose isn’t a hot dog.  That’s cool.

        • hansman1982

          upon further review of the two items, the picture you posted is in fact a salad contained within a hot dog bun.

          • TWC

            There are Chicago-style hot dogs, and there are pig lips and assholes encased in hog intestine.  There is no middle ground.


          • Dave H

            No my friend, dat is a hot dawg. The only way a dawg should be made… without ketchup or catsup also. DA CUBS

            • TWC

              • hansman1982

                You see, my understanding of a hot dog is that it is supposed to be unhealthy. Your “hot dog” contains items I would find on a normal salad, as such; it is healthy. In order for that thing to become a hot dog please add bacon, sauerkraut and/or glops of lard.

                • TWC

                  The hot dog I show is a hot dog.  There is no other definition.  Now there certainly are, as I mentioned above, numerous other pork products that take the form of a hot dog (bratwurst, polish or italian sausage, cocktail wieners, etc.).  Some even approximate a hot dog, as Ace’s picture above shows.  Many are indeed quite tasty, and rather unhealthy.  But they are not hot dogs.  Sky is blue.  Grass is green.  And THAT is a hot dog.

              • hardtop

                if my kid is still putting ketchup on hot dogs when she’s 17, im kicking her out of the house. i can barely stand it now. i have to look away when she eats one. my wife watches me closely so she can catch me before i yell things like “i cant believe you are my daughter, who’s child are you?” (shes 4)
                grown men that put ketchup on a hot dog usually eat my fist for desert. there are some things that society just cannot accommodate. i should punch them in the ball bag, so they cant reproduce.

                • Katie

                  My son does it too and it’s difficult to watch. I just sigh and he smiles. He enjoys working my last nerve. He is truly me at age 8 in male form.

                  The kicking in the ball bag portion made me laugh. A lot.

                • Brett

                  I put only ketchup on my hot dogs. I’m glad we didn’t have any at the ballpark.

                  • hardtop

                    its a good thing for you that you’ve already reproduced buddy. ball bag strike coming your way when next we meet.

                    i can make an exception for you i guess…

                    • Mrp

                      Wait, I thought you were a dude? :)

                  • Dave H

                    A small part of has died because of this news…..sigh


    • Luke

      You see, not being a Chicago native myself, I’d have to take your word for what is, in fact, a hot dog in the truest most noble sense of the word.  My taste buds have never been so favored as to receive the sublime indulgence of that paragon of… of… hot dog-iness.

      Actually, Brett handles the pictures.  I’m surprised he came up with one that features both a hot dog like object and peanuts.

      I’m fairly impressed with the pictures in general.  He has no idea what I’m writing until the morning it is published, and yet he manages to match the picture up pretty well.  I don’t think I’ve completely stumped him yet.

      Not that I’d ever try to do that.  Of course not.

      • Brett

        It’s the only thing I do well.

        (Actually, finding/making pictures is one of my favorite things.)

  • Jesse

    If any of you have not ever been to a Chiefs game I would suggest going. Not only is it cool to see the prospects but they do have amazing food.

    • Luke

      I second this on both fronts.  It’s a great stadium as well.

  • lou brock lives

    Luke- How come Phil Rogers is telling me about Robert Whitenack coming back from Tommy John surgery in Sunday’s Trib & I’ve seen nothing from you in your minor league role ? This guy is probably our best young starting pitcher & we get no updates here.

    • Spriggs

      Whitenack’s been doing great in EXST and is throwing the ball well. I expect he will be reassigned soon if he hasn’t already. (sidenote: I watched him strike out Manny Ramirez on 3 pitches – the last one looking… though I don’t think Manny cared).

      Also, a lot of talk about Baez being a “tool” here. We need more “tools” like him in the system. Cocky? Yes… but after you see him bat – you’ll be on board. I’ve never seen anything like him – the sweetest swing since Billy. Just hope he can become a little more selective at some point.

  • JulioZuleta

    Real good start by Francescon in his Daytona debut.

  • Andrew Denny

    “Maybe we can coat some turkey hot dogs in funnel cake batter, fry them up in peanut oil, and douse the resulting blob in nacho cheese and pizza sauce. Coming soon to a ballpark near you!”

    I just salivated…. a lot.