I’d grown accustomed to using this preamble space in the Bullets for a discussion of the growing Cubs losing streak. Now what do I do? How about that one-game winning streak, eh? Theo and Jed spoke to the media yesterday, and I’ll have more on that later this morning. Until then, Bullets…

  • Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Andrew Cashner is now a hard-throwing setup man for the San Diego Padres, after an offseason trade dealt him (and a prospect) for Anthony Rizzo (and Zach Cates). Yesterday marked his first return to Chicago, so you’d think there would be a fun, smoke-blowing interview on tap. But instead, Cashner was coarse and, I don’t know, overly sensitive? After explaining that he understood that he was traded because he was “a Jim Hendry guy” and not a Theo/Jed guy, Cashner was innocuously asked about his shoulder, which cost him almost all of 2011. Since Cashner’s throwing 100mph now, you can understand the question, and it’s light-hearted nature. But Cashner didn’t take it that way. He scoffed that the media would even ask him that question, and then stormed off. Odd reaction to a legitimate question. Best of luck, Andrew.
  • Ian Stewart, who had a good offensive day yesterday, like everyone not named Joe Mather or Blake Lalli, is pleased to have the Cubs’ losing streak behind him. “It’s hard to describe what a losing streak like that feels like,” Stewart said. “To an extent you just feel like you are going to lose and it is tough. Today was a big day for us and a lot of guys broke out. Hopefully that continues.” Not all “narratives” and ethereal crap about sports is legit. But I truly believe that, when a team loses enough, and starts expecting to lose, it impacts their performance negatively. In that regard, Stewart is saying the same thing, and it’s good that the Cubs finally got off the schneid.
  • Travis Wood, to his credit, isn’t willing to blame his poor outing yesterday on the wind. “Don’t blame it all on the conditions,” Wood said. “I missed some pitches and stuff. Maybe some of them don’t get out but a lot of them were hit hard. It was just one of those games.” If the wind were neutral yesterday, Wood probably goes six, and gives up just a few runs. That’s not to excuse his performance, it’s simply to highlight something we’ll have to get used to with Wood (if he’s to stick in the rotation for a while): when the wind is blowing out, Wood could easily struggle. He’s always been a fly ball pitcher, and, while he can work on that some, he’s got to do what works for him. If that means he’s relatively less effective than a typical pitcher when the wind is blowing out, that’s just the way it’s going to be.
  • The full text of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (2012-16 Basic Agreement) is finally available. We already know the gist of the many, many changes, but there’s always some nitty-gritty that we might find interesting. The Agreement is 311 pages long, though, so … get to work, I guess.
  • Former big league pitcher Bobby Ojeda wrote a touching, funny, illuminating piece for the New York Times about his experience growing up as a pitcher, and then doing what it took to stick in the big leagues. It’s a pretty frightening tale, actually, and makes you wonder what pitchers might be dealing with on a daily basis. (h/t Obstructed View)
  • Remember that play a few nights ago, when third base coach Pat Listach sent Blake Lalli with just one out even though it looked like even a mediocre throw would get him? Well, the Pirates made a couple good throws, and this is what happened (thanks to BN’er Kevin S for the hilarious pictorial):

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    “The Agreement is 311 pages long, though, so … get to work, I guess.”

    —Hey…aren’t YOU the lawyer? 😉 Hehe.

    Re: the Lalli TOOTBLAN, I thought that with Barajas on the ground he should have tried to somersault over to avoid the tag. Sliding right into it was just giving up. He should have taken a cue from Campana the other day, you’re sooooo out because of stupidity…but wait! Can’t touch me!

    • Fishin Phil

      A cartwheel over him would have been mighty impressive.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        I guess Lalli is not that gymnastically proficient.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Former lawyer. If I tried to review and interpret the CBA, I think some goons might come after me.

  • HoustonTransplant

    Good (albeit wind-aided) win yesterday. Let’s have another!

    Odd to see Cashner act that way…maybe he’s bitter that he’s on the Padres? I know I’d be grumpy if I were on that club. They’re almost as bad as the Cu — oh, wait. I equate it to some form of sour grapes.

  • hansman1982


    That is not a mile. More like 10′.


  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm


  • OlderStyle

    One of the announcers, I think it was Brenly, was defending Listach’s decision saying it would’ve take two perfect throws to get him on a bang-bang, etc.
    I thought really? Did my eyes deceive? Seeing this pic confirms my suspicion that it was just a bad call. You have to make allowance for the speed (or lack thereof) of the baserunner, the distance of the throws and the quality of the arms in the outfield. That was just dumb.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    You can almost see the thought bubble above Lalli’s head: “Aw, shi….”

  • @cubsfantroy

    I’m actually surprised that Cashner is that upset. Usually, you don’t hear stuff like that when a guy gets traded. They usually go on about how they are in a better situation etc…

    • dob2812

      Right and he is in a better situation. As far as parks go at least, it’s a lot better for his career to pitch in Petco instead of Wrigley.

      I’d love to know where he got the “Hendry’s guy” stuff from. Who’s telling him that? What’s Samardzija? What’s Garza? They’re not Hendry’s guys?

      It’s kinda weird when a grown man sounds this much like a baby.

      • @cubsfantroy

        90 percent of that team is “Hendry” guys, So that should be a non issue.

      • hardtop

        and boo-f’n-hoo, you have to live in san diego. jesus, what a whiny bitch. i, initially, wasnt happy about losing cashner (though i was glad to receive rizzo), but suddenly, it doesn’t bother me as much. surfs up, cry baby.

        • King Jeff

          Ex-Cub: Check, Acts like an asshole now: check, Me not rooting for Cashner to succeed anymore: check.

  • dob2812

    I don’t know. I mean at least the play, even if it was a non-play, at the plate is more diverting than watching the guy get stranded at third.

    When you’re bad, you might as well try to be excitingly bad. Is excitingly even a word? Never mind, I’m just going to keep running.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


  • rcleven

    Still can’t figure out how Lalli was thrown out on that play.

    • john

      Because he is the slowest runner the Cubs have had since Barry Foote.

  • Ash

    At what point should Lalli realize that if he just stands there motionless Barajas may not be able to see him and will be less likely to maul him?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Awesome.

    • Danny B


  • Brian

    Do you remember that see-saw high scoring game against the Phillies, I believe, in Philly when the Cubs had around 3 guys thrown out at the plate? It was 2007, Lou’s first year as manager, and Quade was at third. The outfield was Victorino, Werth, and Pat the Bat, all of whom had good arms and were in a small outfield. I think each of them might have had a PO at the plate. The Cubs came roaring back around the 6th inning and Howry was off to his usual slow start and blew it, and I think the Cubs came back to tie it again and might have won if not for all the idiotic sends by Quade. He never really got off my shitlist after that game.

  • rcleven

    Getting a little tired of Chicago sport writers whining when they can’t get their quote. Started with Sullivan interview with Wood. Cashner has the right to feel any way he wants. With all the stupid questions how do you expect the player to react. Now you have an issue that is a non issue. Surprised the players give interviews at all any more.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      But this was a perfectly legit question.

  • Danny B

    I was also shocked that Brenly defended that send to to home. It didn’t take two perfect throws, b/c the throw to home wasn’t the best. I mean, the catcher fell down and got back up and then prepared himself to tag Lalli. I definitely was yelling at the TV as he rounded third.

    The news on Cashner is a bit surprising. Could be anything though- bad day, not the type to talk to the media, etc etc. I try my best not to judge the ballplayers personally unless I actually meet them in person. I still wish him success, just not over the next two days.

  • ClydeR

    A perfectly legit question in media’s eyes. Cashner was making the point that Rizzo was a new regime guy & he was a Hendry guy, way to spin it. I didn’t like the trade for Rizzo and still don’t! Cashner has the possibility of stretching out in a couple of years and being a top of the rotation starter. I would reverse that trade if I could. Just my perspective.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I was referring to the injury question being perfectly legit.

    • djriz

      really, you wouldn’t trade a 26 year old pitcher with injury problems for a 22 year old power hitter you had confidence in? It’s a risk you have to take when your organization has NO power.

      Even if Cashner maximizes his potential as a starter, you may get 5-7 years. If Rizzo maximizes his potential as a hitter, you might get 15 years.

    • Cubs Dude

      Man Clyde, everyone is titled to their opinion. But you are the only one I have heard from that doesn’t think the Cubs completely stole from the Padres. No doubt Cashner throws really really hard. But he has serious injury concerns and hasn’t shown in anyway that he could be a durable starter in the mlb.

  • willis

    Easy to say you would reverse it now with all the pen problems, but really? If Cashner was destined in managment’s eyes to be a back of the pen arm and not a starter, Rizzo holds more value. Also, at the time of the trade…Marmol wasn’t pooping himself on a nightly/daily basis, Wood was about to be re-upped and thought to be a reliable 8th inning guy, Carpenter had not been traded to the Sox yet AND no one could have predicted Shark going bananas in Spring as a starter and killing it thus far. It was a fair trade.

    Now, if Cashner becomes a dominant starter than we can sit here and kind of wonder wtf…but sometimes you have to take that risk to get a player as talented as Rizzo. They did. Sucks now, but it will pay dividends soon.

  • jstraw

    Am I the only one that thinks Listach is the greatest third base coach since Wavin’ Wendall?

    • Brian

      Oh god, I had kind of blocked that out. The guy who got the DWI and is with Dusty in Cincinnati, Spier?, was the only one I felt did a consistently good job at third.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sounds about right.

  • Alex K

    Can u believe Andrew Cashner, maybe this has a bit to do with why we were willing to trade such a fireballer. This guy is dead set on being a loser, or at least looking like one.

    I hope Listach plays third base coach better than that highlighted moment earlier. Good god, you can see lalli’s hopelessness written across his face practically. thanks coach! lol

    You have to wonder if the clubhouse is celebrating 1 out of 13. i bet they all went to dave and buster’s for pizza and skee-ball.

    • Brian

      I think Cashner is going to be a very good reliever. He could turn into a starter, but I think Theo and Jed looked at him as a potentially elite reliever. You’ll trade that for someone you think is a first division or really good second division starter anytime. They impact a team a lot more. And the Cubbies really, really need young patient lefties with power.

  • Eric

    Just sounds like Cashner really still wants to be a Cub. Most players understand trades, it’s a business. Very few like Cashner unfortunately take it a little too personally. Cash the only reason we were able to get Rizzo is because you are really talented, understand that, grow up, and move on.