The kickball regular season ended last night, and the team remained undefeated (7-0-1). I went 2 for 3 with two RBI, which, by my rough count, put my season total at about 24 for 28. I bet you’d take an .857 OBP from your leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, the playoffs kick off next Wednesday, when I will be in Chicago. Hopefully they can survive without me…

  • Dale Sveum and Randy Wells both sounded quite displeased with Wells’ abbreviated start last night. “The bottom line is walks with him again,” Sveum said of Wells. “He can’t seem to maintain innings without walking anybody.” We’ve always known that to be true of Wells: without overwhelming stuff, he’s got to hit his spots, and not walk guys. Otherwise, last night happens. From Wells: “Four walks is just unacceptable. I won’t accept it. They shouldn’t accept it. I don’t know what’s going to come after that.”
  • And Dale Sveum doesn’t know what’s going to come after that, either. There will still be at least one more fill-in start to be had while Ryan Dempster is on the DL, but Sveum isn’t committed to giving it to Wells. “We got other people,” Sveum said. “The [Chris] Volstads and the [Chris] Rusins are down there. So we’ll weigh our options probably here in the next day to see where we’re at, what we want to do.” Not for nothing, but I think that kind of decision is going to come from the front office, based on whom they’d like other teams to see, and whom they think might have a chance of improving any (possibly non-existent) trade stock if he had success. It almost certainly isn’t going to be Rusin, who not only has been struggling of late at AAA, but also is not on the 40-man roster.
  • This three-game Cubs/Sox series was the least attended in the history of the series, which dates back to 1997. The paid attendance of 95,808 sunk the previous low by a mile – it had been 106,563, which came at the Cell last year. Ouch.
  • Some folks – including Alejandro De Aza – think De Aza was hit on purpose last night by Manny Corpas in response to Alex Rios trying to steal in the previous inning, with the White Sox up six. It certainly looked intentional to me, but if that was the reason – a stolen base attempt, up by six – then it was the lamest HBP ever. You’re telling me that the Cubs believe a six-run lead is insurmountable in the final few innings? No team should believe that. Eight, nine, ten runs? Maybe. But six? I say kudos to the White Sox for trying to add to their lead, and shame on the Cubs for crying foul.
  • Casey Coleman was ultimately fine after taking a broken bat to the arm.
  • Patrick Mooney takes a look at what the media circus might be like when Anthony Rizzo arrives. Just think about it: it’s going to be really, really hard for this kid to just focus on baseball, isn’t it?
  • The Cubs pretty much collectively shrugged at Jake Peavy’s comments yesterday about how the White Sox should be beating a team like the Cubs. That was pretty much our reaction, too.
  • SportsCenter was loving on Darwin Barney this morning. In a game the Cubs lost, a full 50% of the Cubs/Sox-related highlights in the episode featured adulation of Barney. First, on an attempted but failed diving catch (for which he drew heavy compliments), and second on a great play by Eduardo Escobar at third base, on which Barney was thrown out at first (for which he drew compliments for his speed).
  • At the Message Board, Drew calculated the positional-adjusted OPS+ for a number of the Cubs’ starters (i.e., what would your OPS+ be if it was compared only with other starters at your position?), and the results are really quite interesting. Among the notable conclusions, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro are well above average for their position, and Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano are slightly above average.
  • Vote for Wrigley Field in this ballpark competition, because ESPN loves them some bracket-style-not-actually-sports competitions. And because it would be really stupid to see Wrigley lose to AT&T Park, or, well, any other park.
  • Want a guaranteed way to appear in the Bullets? Get your mom a BN shirt, and have her pose for a picture in said shirt at a Cubs’ minor league game. Win, win, win, win, win, win, win, from BN’er Chris:

  • hansman1982

    Odds on Rizzo getting his opener at home? I think I would buy a lotto ticket before putting money on him starting on Monday in Chicago.

    • ETS

      My friend who is going to the Iowa game on monday sure is hoping rizzo isn’t called up yet. My stalling fantasy team is hoping rizzo is called up asap.

      • Jp

        ETS way to jinx the hell out of Rizzo before he can even put on his Cubs jersey!! You trying to get him to have a Nomar-like torn groin muscle in his last AAA game before the show? For the love of all that is wholly please drop Rizzo from your fantasy team!!!:-)

        • ETS

          Lol. It’s a 14 team league. Corner infielders are slim pickins. I have actually carried him on my bench all year (kind of as a joke).

          • Jp

            I hear you ETS, we all pick up someone who we just want an excuse to watch your personal favorite team. I’m a tarheel native and I needed an excuse to go out of my way to watch my 2-14 Panthers so I picked up Cam Newton as a joke 3rd stringer in the last round of our draft and he ended up being a stud. Shamefully it wasn’t even my idea, my wife says on the last round of our draft “Honey you should pick that Cam Newton guy so you can cheer for your panthers”. I was a know-it-all and was like sure I’ll take the 2nd coming of Jamarcus Russell with a less than accurate arm but whatever baby…

    • Brett

      I’m not so sure about that. I could see him debuting during that Mets series (and, frankly, I hope he does – I’ll be there on Tues and Weds).

      • cjdubbya

        Brett, I’ll be there on Wednesday as well. No idea where I’m sitting, as I’m going on a bus trip w/ my Mom, sister and nephew. Would be awesome to meet you – I’ll be down by the Cubs’ dugout prior to the game trying to add to my autograph ball collection (15 & counting).

        • Brett

          Nice. I’ll be in the bleachers, but will be hanging out somewhere before and after game. Will be sure to update here and on Twitter.

          • cjdubbya

            Rockin’. Will keep my eyes peeled for that. Also – how much of a relief is it that the Cubs won’t be facing Dickey? Glad he’s going Sunday against the Yankees, though I’m sure w/ the knuckler he could probably roll back out there on two days’ rest.

            • Brett

              Sort of. But I kind of wanted to see him.

          • 100 Years of Tears

            I’ll be there Wednesday as well… bringing my 5 year old to his first game!

            • Brett


      • Jschroeder

        I wouldn’t mind seeing him debut Sat night in AZ considering I’ll be sitting 5 rows behind the Cubs dug out

  • King Jeff

    I wonder if they might wait for a bigger story to break before they bring up Rizzo. If they bring him up the day the potential Dempster deal goes down, the noise on Rizzo becomes a little more muted.

    • Brett

      Wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      How big is the noise in general Cub fandom?  We’ve been discussing it to death since the winter, but do Joe and Jane Cub Fan even know who Rizzo is?

      • cjdubbya

        Probably depends on the level of involvement, as you said. I can assure you that my wife, who works about 80 hours a week as a third-year resident, has no Earthly idea who Anthony Rizzo is, whereas those of us that hang out here (and on other Cubs-related sites, but make up probably a very small amount of the entire fanbase) are obsessed.

        I think that there’s been enough said between Muskat’s articles on and by Len & Bob on the TV broadcasts that there’s a general level of awareness that there’s a 1B prospect that’ll be called up sometime this year, and you know full well the Chicago media will look for anything positive for story ideas in this lost season, so it’ll be curious to see how that goes.

      • ETS

        Seems like WGN and CSN have pushed alot more “on the farm”-type updates this year. I would be surprised if most cub fans have at least heard the name.

      • rcleven

        Average fan knows there is a prospect in the minors coming up. Some might even know his name. Beyond Rizzo Cub fandom knows little of what is in MIBL systems.

  • Chris

    If you were Cubs why not try and trade Barney to the Phillies who have Utley hurt and Galvis just got suspended for 50 games?

    • Norm

      Maybe they are?
      But Barney is the type of player that you just won’t get a lot for in return and you’re better off holding on to him until he hits arbitration….like Theriot.

    • Brett

      Galvis was actually already out with a broken vertebrae in his back, so I’m sure the Phillies have already been looking for a while. But, if I’m the Cubs, I don’t trade Barney unless a team is willing to pay me like Barney is an above average overall shortstop, who is cost-controlled for four more years. Yes, I’d be asking for a whole lot. No reason not to at this point.

      • hansman1982

        While this may be the “sell-high” point on Barney I wouldn’t mind seeing what he can do over the rest of the season. If he proves to be a first half player I doubt he loses much trade value from where he stands now. If he can put up league average offensive numbers for the rest of the year then he will be a helluva guy to have for another 2-3 years.

  • Norm

    Cole Hamels hitting Bryce Harper is the lamest HBP ever.

    • Brett

      Ok, second lamest.

      (“Clown point, bro.”)

      • Norm


  • terencemann

    I don’t think the Phillies are going to do anything until after the All-Star Break. They could be sellers this year.

  • Jeff

    Saw Rizzo last night with I-Cubs @ Round Rock Express. Oh for 3 with a walk…looked bad on two strikeouts. Wonder if hearing about himself getting called up ‘any day’ is getting to him?

    • rcleven

      Kids is not stupid. I am sure he had Saturday circled on his calendar since spring trade.

  • Ben

    I have started caring way more about the future members of the team producing rather than the Win/Loss result…..I would never want the Cubs to lose a game but the money for that #1 pick spending pool would not hurt the efforts to restock the farm….I hope Cubs start playing better but the importance of things like Travis Wood having success and about 10 other similar situations with current players along with the returns from whatever trades are made are definitely the most important things left from this season……I hope Rizzo doesn’t stress at the expectations and it would be nice to see B Jax get it turned around…..I would also like to see some pitchers that figure into future plans get a shot whenever possible over anyone that is definitely not going to be a Cub after 1 or 2 more seasons…..if lots of that did not make sense it is because I had to type it in a hurry while working

    • ColoCubFan

      I’m looking at the future also. I hate to see someone like Barney get traded for a couple of “upside maybes” when he’s just getting his own act together. I hated seeing Marshall go, but knew it was bound to happen given Theo’s plan.

      I’m all for trading “last year or two of overpaid contract” players, guys nearing free agency, that type of thing. But I’d like to see them hang on to guys that are under control for a few more years and are just reaching potential. That’s why I kind of hate seeing Garza get traded. I would insist on “can’t miss” players in return. I know, there’s no such thing as a “can’t miss player, but definately don’t want one of those 5 for 1 deals where none of the 5 have a prayer of seeing the majors.

  • SouthernCub

    Then let Coleman take the start or me even, i DO NOT want to see Wells or Volstad in a MLB Cub uniform anymore this yr

    • Leroy K

      I don’t know how Wells still has a job with this team. It obviously is my imagination but it seems this guy has been with the Cubs for the last 10 years and is one of the most shakiest pitchers I know. Oh wait…That’s Bob Howry!!!!

  • Ari Gold

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve already told him what day he’s coming up.

    • Brett

      It would surprise me if they haven’t.

  • elizarudi15

    Is Frankie DeLaCruz in the mix for a starter at all? He’s posted some good #’s for Iowa.

    • Brett

      He’s relieving down there, though, no?

      • elizarudi15

        He was relieving at the beginning of the season but has been starting for at least the past month.

        • Ced landrum

          Just came off dl. Very unlikely he would get a shot

  • Patrick G

    Wow Wrigley and AT&T tied 50/50. Going to be tough to beat Fenway if it advances

    • Beer Baron

      Wow – how is Wrigley a 6-seed in that stupid poll? Typical ESPN east-coast bias. I’m curious to hear if others who have been to Fenway think the same as I do – that its nice, but pales to Wrigley. Seats are very close together. Even more obstructed views. The concourse is even more dungeonous feeling than Wrigley. And despite all the hype for “Yawkey Way” there’s really not much around the park (at least in comparison to Wrigleyville). If some people like a new park like PNC or AT&T more, that’s one thing. But of the old-parks, Fenway is a distant 2nd.

      • cjdubbya

        Good call. I freakin’ LOVE PNC Park. Love it. LOVE IT. It’s beautiful. And you can get Primanti Brothers or Quaker Steak & Lube wings in the park. (Seriously, fries & coleslaw on your sandwich? That’s America.)

        But it’s not Wrigley. If you’re ranking on amenities & modern conveniences, I’m not sure that Wrigley even deserves to be in that poll. But if you’re ranking on awesomeness, how the EFF is it a six seed?

        • Patrick G

          Yes I agree. And thu have Target Field #5 and Wrigley #6. Ridiculous. I love PNC too it’s beautiful, think it should end up Wrigley and PNC and not just saying that cause I’m a cub fan

      • hansman1982

        this is why I avoid all things ESPN

    • LWeb23

      Of the 8 parks left, the only 3 I haven’t been to are BAL, SF, and SEA. I’ve been to Wrigley about 40 times, Miller about 4, PNC 2 times, Fenway 2 times, and Target 1. I’m sry folks, but my favorite park is Fenway.

      1. Fenway
      2. Wrigley
      3. PNC
      4. Miller
      5. Target

      1 and 2 are close, but 3 and 4 are closer. I could easily switch PNC with Miller.

      Of the parks around the league I want to visit most (that I haven’t yet)… Camden, AT&T, Minute Maid, Yankee, and Turner

  • Patrick G

    And Chris archer pitched well yeterday

  • Mike Foster

    HBP? Did someone say HBP? Maybe Sveum is telling people he’s not timid like Quade.

  • Spencer


    • TWC

      Step away from the ledge, son.

  • David

    I’d have no problem with it if Wrigley lost to AT&T. AT&T is awesome too.

  • Patrick G

    Hey Brett/Luke,

    Do you think Rizzo will be up during the series vs the Mets in early July. I’m going to that game and would love to have something to really look forward to watch

    • Luke

      Very good chance of it.

      • Patrick G

        Great thanks

    • David

      There is no series vs. the Mets in early July. The series with the Mets begins on Monday and, yes, as Luke said, very good chance he’ll be up.

  • Boogens

    Randy Wells: “Four walks is just unacceptable. I won’t accept it.”

    Great. Take a voluntary demotion to Iowa, you knucklehead. The two walks to lead off the 3rd inning sealed the deal for me on this guy. He’s dead to me (said in a Tony Soprano voice). He’s just a knucklehead meatball and he’ll never be more than he is. Simple as that.

    So what the heck does it mean that he won’t accept it? That stuff happens with him all the time, even when he pitches in the minors. They’re just hollow words that mean absolutely nothing.

    • cubmig

      Randy Wells, Randy Wells, Randy Wells…….How anyone ever thought his 2009 merited anything but a “Well done.” acknowledgement is beyond me. I’m not a stat guy, nor argue with them in-hand as many here are able to, but Randy Wells as a reliable rotation arm? No. He hasn’t shown he can deliver with consistent good pitching. Every outing afforded is a risk one shouldn’t have to take (esp. if you’re the manager). For whatever reason, Randy Wells was kept around. The faith in him was probably seen as still “money-in-the-bank” as the shine of 2009 must not have completely worn off. Last night it did. It’s past time for Wells to be sent back to Iowa or find a new home.

      • Brett

        I thought Wells was a very good number 3 pitcher in both 2009 and 2010, and I won’t apologize for it. The problem is, he was that guy because he could almost always hit his spots. Since then, he hasn’t been able to do it anymore, and he’s struggled badly.

        • Jack Weiland

          You thought that because he was a very good #3 both of those years. I loved the guy. In hindsight, it appears he was walking a real tightrope with his strikeout and walk rates, and a modest dip in the wrong direction on both sides has made him more or less useless.

        • cubmig

          Randy Wells was brought into relief for what?—one inning? before he came on as the starter for Dempster. To his credit , he did the job he was brought in to do. It wasn’t enough of a pitching stretch to make any judgment on what might be, but he looked good. It would have been great to see he was showing he turned the corner as a control pitcher. We now know how that turned out. I wish him well whatever his fate.

  • North Side Irish

    How about they let Wells start, pitch to one batter and then bring in Jay Jackson. Dude can’t start, but he’s been great out of the pen.

  • Kevin

    PNC Park is a must see! You have to see it in person to believe how beautiful it is.

    • 100 Years of Tears

      Yeah, PNC is my favorite by far. There are a lot of nice ballparks around, but that one is just awesome. How about the Ricketts build one just like it about 20 miles west of Wrigley… where it’s easy to get to and has loads of parking!!!

  • Njriv

    Oh Randy Wells, he never really got back to his 2009 form.

  • Njriv

    Have the Nationals been involved with Dempster at all? They seem like they will need a rental pitcher if they are still in first place and Strasburg is shut down. Thoughts?

    • Brett

      You know, I actually had the same thought this morning. But, no, I haven’t really heard them as involved. They’ve actually been more focused on trading away a pitcher (Lannan) than trying to pick one up. But you never know.

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    Brett: my mom and i wanna say thanks for the posting of the picture from Boise last night! She had a great time and for what it’s worth thought Xavier Batista “looked like a player”. Also i enjoy tweeting when watching cubs games and if you’re a BN’r on twitter hit me up at @offaironpoint.

    thanks again Brett

    • Brett

      Right on, Chris. And a big thanks to you and your mom again.

  • ferrets_bueller

    The best thing for Rizzo would be to bring him up right after a big move, as soon as the Cubs hit the road. Let him get in some games on the road, then deal with the idiots here.