The Cubs can’t lose today! Or will they find a way?

  • Speaking of the Cubs’ now nine-game losing streak (their longest in a decade), Jeff Samardzija offers a simultaneously hopeful and sobering thought: “This is really going to show our team character here in the long run. The next team you play is not going to take it easy on you, and the team after that is not going to take it easy on you. You’ve got to fix it, and fix it quick.”
  • David DeJesus and Darwin Barney discuss the circumstances of their collision yesterday, which allowed two runs to score. It looked to me like it was one of those plays where it was a tough play for each player, neither is certain he can get there, so neither can call for it. Thus, they collide. And that’s pretty much what each guy said about the play after the game. Just bad luck.
  • Carlos Marmol looked so good in a simulated game yesterday that the Cubs might move up his return to game action by a day, letting him pitch for AAA Iowa on Friday. Marmol is recovering from a strained hamstring (and, let’s be honest, he’s also recovering from “terrible pitching”), and the Cubs haven’t said when he’ll return. He was DL’d back on May 12, so he could return any time on or after May 27.
  • Also on the injury front, Steve Clevenger caught yesterday’s Iowa Cubs game (for four innings, anyway), and seems to be continuing to recover well from an oblique strain/rib cartilage break.
  • Phil Rogers says big-time shortstop prospect Javier Baez is “close” to being assigned to A-ball Peoria. Baez, 19, has been killing the ball in extended Spring Training, but it was starting to look like he was going to have to wait until short season Boise starts its season in June before being assigned. It’s still possible he’ll play a few weeks in Peoria before then being “demoted” to Boise.
  • Kerry Wood’s single-batter finale, striking out Dayan Viciedo, wasn’t exactly how the Cubs had drawn up the plan for his final appearance. Wood was going to get more time, but after he struck out Viciedo, the game was still close, and the next batter (Alex Rios) had bad numbers against lefties. So Jamie Quirk, who was subbing for ejected Dale Sveum, made the switch.
  • Inspired by some brilliance in the comments, we’re going to have a #CubsHell party on Twitter this afternoon. If you’ve got an idea of what life is like in Cubs Hell, tweet it with the #CubsHell hash tag starting at 3pm (or whenever you feel like it – but I’m not committing to going full force until this afternoon). Also, follow Bleacher Nation on Twitter if you don’t already, so you can be in on the shenanigans. An example from BN’er Edwin: “In Cubs Hell, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg are the only two pitchers in the bullpen.” Outstanding.
  • A post on the Message Board offers a hilarious Tony Campana/Superman Venn Diagram, and this awesome gif of Campana’s diving slide:

  • http://none millhah

    i believe mel rojas is in that pen as well…

    • CubsFanBob

      Antonio Alfonseca is there I know it

  • Idaho Razorback

    Going old school, Calvin Schraldi is in the pen too!

  • Cedlandrum

    Clevenger looked good yesterday. He got out both times he was up, but he stung the ball both times. He looked pretty comfortable behind the plate as well.

    • Drew7

      I thought I saw in the box score he went 1-2?

      • Stan

        That was on Tuesday, where he DHd.

    • Cubs Dude

      Good to hear! Does anyone know what the scouting report on Clevenger defensively is? I wasn’t overly impressed with what I saw from him behind the plate for the Cubs. Will he be ok there?

      • Luke

        Clevenger’s manager in Tennessee last season, Brian Harper, had very high praise for him as a catcher both in terms of receiving the ball and and calling games.

  • dreese

    The saw on the game yesterday that The Score made an origianal song and music video for Tony, it was really funny.

  • BN Virgin

    In Cubs hell, the lineup consists of Koyie Hill, Rich Hill, and over-the-hill.

  • Brian

    Bobby can’t miss Hill!!

  • Drew7

    In Cubs hell, Turk Wendell steps on the baseline, everytime

    • Nick Nesler

      In cubs hell Jeff Gordon sings the stretch every day.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      In Cubs hell, Dusty Baker manages every game, and Bartman catches every foul ball.

  • RoughRiider

    After 50 plus years as a Cub fan, hell is the Cubs winning the World Series the day after I die.

    • MoneyBoy

      THIS !!!

  • bob

    LaTroy Hawkins and Rich Gossage are warming up in the bullpen…your best defensive substitutions are Keith Moreland and Dave Kingman…The wind is blowing out and Mike Bielecki is pitching…Hey, here’s a great idea…JEFF BLAUSER!

    • CubsFanBob

      i was at a game vs Philly back whenever LaTroy was closing. The Cub’s were up one run or tied I cant remember. All I recall as Derrick Lee either tied it or took the lead with a home run in the bottom of the 8th Latroy had a runners on with one out when the ball was smash to him. He caught it for the second out but when he threw it to 1st base to double up the runner the ball hit the runner in the helmet then bounced into the stands.

      The winning run scored off of this play. One of the worse experiences Ive ever felt /sadface

  • Edwin

    In Cubs hell, there is no next year. Only 1969.

    • Cubs Dude

      In Cubs hell, next years top 3 pick has Prior’s durability.

  • Spriggs

    I’m in Cubs hell right now.

    • http://bleachernation Allen

      In cubs hell every cubs baserunner has soriano’s legs and every outfielder uses the old soriano hop

  • this old cub 2

    Saw the I-Cubs yesterday and Clevenger looked ok.
    Blake Dewitt looked awful in the field. You never would have guessed that he was the experienced one out there.
    Cool thing got to see Rizzo hit one out. Nice stroke and really is a fine first baseman.
    Brooks Raley just up from AA, couldnt get strike one very often and said that is something he has to do to be successful. Mgr says he has great stuff tho.

  • mark

    I’m sure DeJesus and Barney don’t want to be pointing fingers at each other in public, but from what I saw the play was DeJesus’s all the way–although the ball was tailing to the sidelines the play was still basically in front of him, and he caught the ball before Barney ran into him. It was pretty deep in the outfield and Barney should have been aware that that play was for the RF if he’s in the vicinity. I’m sure fan noise could have been a problem, but DeJesus should have been calling for the ball and Barney should have been more aware and backed off.

    Jamie Quirk said. “If *they* make the play it’s an outstanding play.”

    “They?” WTF? To see two guys catch the same ball would certainly have been amazing! Can we settle for ONE guy making the play, or is this just the Cubs Way?

  • Ivy Walls

    Rizzo speculation: Kaplan had a good piece on his blog about the financial mechanics of Rizzo and when the line crosses and the Cubs lose an arbitration year. In short he said June 23rd is the magic day for days in service where Rizzo would not earn a year of service from last year’s stint with SD.

    Coupled with published reports on possibly bringing him up for American League away games and the possibility of using either Soriano or LaHair in a DH role (is this a form of showcasing LaHair either in LF or as a DH? for different audiences. The thing is there are only six away games (3 in Minn and 3 at ChiSox), so will they pinball him up and down the level, if so than earning those six games puts back his permanent call up to around July 1st.

    As far as earning a Super Two Kap (as I have said) that is immaterial in that arbitration is not linear, if he is Ruthian by his sixth year he will be getting what the market is.

    • Brett

      Super Two is incredibly relevant, and I don’t really understand why people keep saying it isn’t. It’s highly unlikely the Cubs can keep Rizzo down long enough to avoid Super Two, but it makes a huge financial difference if they somehow could.

      Non-Super Two Very Good Player (approximations):

      Year One: $500k
      Year Two: $500k
      Year Three: $500k
      Year Four (first arbitration year): $4 million
      Year Five (second arb year): $7 million
      Year Six (third and final arb year): $11 million

      Super Two Very Good Player (approximations):

      Year One: $500k
      Year Two: $500k
      Year Three (first arbitration year): $3 million (with less service time, the first year arb isn’t quite as high)
      Year Four (second arb year): $6 million
      Year Five (third arb year): $10 million
      Year Six (fourth and final arb year): $14 million

      So, for essentially the same amount of big league control (in the Super Two setup, you get a few more weeks of his playing in the bigs), Super Two costs the team a whole lot more.

      It’s really that simple. Doing this in Rizzo’s case would mean they’d have to hold him down well into August. I just don’t see that happening, and I’m fine with that. But there’s a huge financial difference between Super Two and non-Super Two.

      • CubFan Paul

        Ivy should thank you for the education

      • MoneyBoy

        August?  Because of his service time with SD?

      • fivetoolmike

        Heeeeyyyy…I think you’re a little heavy on the estimates there, both for Rizzo’s salary and performance. The arb RECORD for a 3rd-arbitration-year player going year-to-year is Alfonso Soriano with $10m in 2006. I know it’s hard to remember, but Alfonso Soriano was REALLY good in his pre-FA years. There were reasons that Hendry gave him a 7-yr deal (and reasons the non-baseball people added an 8th year). I don’t think that Rizzo’s going to be as good as Soriano was, but given inflation he could get to that arbitration $ if he lives up the hype. Even if we stick to your estimations, it’s only a difference of $10m over four years ($2.5m per, less than a year of John Grabow!). If he does what he’s supposed to, the Cubs can afford his arbitration. If he exceeds it, they’ll be happy to pay his arbitration. If he falls short, the extra year of service is worthless anyway.

        • Kyle

          Of course they’d be “happy” to. But that’s the fallacy of equivocation.

          They’d also be happy to have him be awesome and pay him less. And just because they’d be “happy” with either situation doesn’t mean the two situations are of equal value.

          • fivetoolmike

            The fallacy is much moreso in the claim that his arbitration figures are really a consideration at all. They’ll probably keep him down long enough to get another year of MLB control, but he’s more than likely not staying down until late August (to avoid Super-2). The few millions of his salary either way will be significantly more dictated by Rizzo’s performance, and the Cubs should most be concerned about his performance from 2014-2018.

      • MichaelD

        Super 2 status is a big deal. However, I think Super-2 status is not going to be particularly important for Rizzo because of his already accrued service time. Essentially you can have the player under control for up to 6.5 years paying three arbitration years or up to just under 7 years paying four arbitration years. So for a just starting player you end up bringing up the players in June getting the half year this year, the next three years really cheap and then three arbitration years. However, since Rizzo already has some service time, the Super 2 date is so late in the year that you essentially would be giving up on getting him at all for this year to wait.

        • Ivy Walls

          furthermore I think the Cubs approach Rizzo fairly early and lock up a long term contract provided he performs at a level that is expected or desired (see Castro),

          By that time Cubs should have divested most of their liabilities from the Hendry regime and Rizzo better had fit into plans.

          And remember the Cubs have another 1B protege working through the system from last year’s draft, so Rizzo will have pressure.

  • cublubber

    In Cubs hell, Shawon Dunston strikes out swinging at a pickoff throw to first base.

    • TWC

      I’m fairly certain that the pitcher warming up in the opponent’s bullpen struck Dunston out once or twice.

  • Assman22

    Hearing the Soler signing is imminent.  Also the Cubs are in fact targeting Almora with their first pick. In the youtube videos I’ve seen he seems to have a Garciaparra like feel at the plate. Lean, athletic line drive stroke with developing power. I don’t watch college or HS baseball so my opinion is mute

    • Brett

      For those wondering, I haven’t heard anything new on Soler lately, but obviously I’m always open to folks’ comments.

      • hansman1982

        Wow, this extends the Soler discussion streak to 67 days, crushing the old record.

    • terencem

      Since Soler is not a free agent yet, the Cubs are not even allowed to negotiate with him officially yet.

  • HotStoveCubbies


    Are you pulling our leg on Soler? I have not heard anything on that.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The actual report was about solar flares; as those are a little less common than “Soler signs with Cubs,” it causes confusion if you just skim headlines.

  • Assman22

    Legit source.  Nailed last year’s draft signings and a few other signings as well

  • Drew7

    Every time your buddy tosses you a beer, it breaks like a Marmol slider from ’09

  • Chris

    in cubs hell, every fan at wrigley is steve bartman.

  • Brett

    Is Twitter broken for anyone else right now? I can only get it to load occasionally, and can’t tweet. Perfect freaking timing.

    • N8theGr8

      In Cubs Hell Twitter breaks every time you organize something to take our minds off the fact that the Cubs suck so bad…

  • Jp

    Glad to see someone is at least thinking of moving Baez along. His last game he had a 2-run homer as well as a grand slam. What’s he have left to prove in extended spring training? Time to move him up to Peoria to see if he can do “whatever he f*%<+:g wants" in a better pitching league.

  • N8theGr8

    In Cubs Hell the entire team has to share Nomar’s batting gloves and can’t stop fidgeting with them long enough to even swing the bat…0-162 for the season with all losses being no-hitters, if not perfect games.

  • Brett

    #CubsHell is blowing up on Twitter. All due credit to Max, Edwin, and others here for sparking it, and for everyone participating on Twitter. It’s hilarious.

    • Sweetjamesjones

      It certainly is VERY entertaining. Great idea!

    • Brett

      It’s also now the number one trending topic in Chicago. Nicely done, folks.

      • Edwin


        If you deem any of mine worthy, feel free to tweet them. Thanks.

        • Brett

          Already did. :)

    • Edwin

      Will there be recaps tomorrow? My favorite so far was Soriano being replaced defensively for Brant Brown.

      • Brett

        That was definitely the plan, and I’m still going to try. The problem? There are thousands of them to go through. It almost blew up TOO big.

    • MaxM1908

      Hey Hey! I get some credit for the #CubsHell trend? I missed most of the game thread after the 5th inning or so and wondered if there was any connection to my Hill rant.

      • Brett

        That’s where it all began. Edwin ran with it, then others, then me.

  • Edwin

    I don’t have twitter, so I don’t know where else to post.

    In Cubs hell, the Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals all win the World Series in back to back to back years. Wait a sec…

    In Cubs Hell, all hotdogs are served with ketchup.

    In Cubs Hell, the Wave never stops

    In Cubs Hell, Pat Hughes is replaced by Die Hard.

    • MaxM1908

      No no. Epstein is replaced by Die Hard.

  • rcleven

    Ketchup on a hot dog? Really?

    • Edwin

      Welcome to #CubsHell.

  • Cheryl

    In Cubs hell Sveum decides to bring back Quade as a coach for the rookies.

  • Edwin

    In Cubs Hell Jerry Sandusky sits in the Family section.

    • Cubs Dude

      please dont bring that dirty bastard up in anything cubs related… I am a peaceful dude. I am a Cubs dude. But I would beat the living hell out of Sandusky if i came across him.

  • N8theGr8

    Since Sveum doesn’t tweet, maybe you could send him a list of the best….wait, nevermind. Dale’s literally in Cubs Hell; it is his job.