I’m still stewing about Tony La Russa’s crap from last night.

  • As has been in the works for some time, interleague rivalry series – like the Cubs and White Sox, for example – will be reduced to a four game set (two each, home and home) starting in 2013, except for the years in which the teams’ respective divisions are already playing each other in interleague play. In those years, the series will be six games. What will become of the BP Cup? I’m sure it sticks around. I like the six game series, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m just glad it will be 67% preserved in most years.
  • Bryan LaHair on why he’s here in the US this year, rather than Japan (where, you’ll recall, he almost went), from Bruce Levine: “I was on my way to play in Japan this year. Theo basically eliminated me going to Japan by his conviction that I had a place in their plans …. My agent and I decided that when we talked to Theo if there was any doubt in his mind or any hesitation that I would be a part of it we were going to take an offer from Japan. [Theo] told us he was excited about me getting an opportunity and showing I could play for the Cubs every day so we were convinced.” Does that include trading LaHair, if the right deal came up after he’d established himself with the Cubs? I’m thinking yes, that would be OK.
  • LaHair and Starlin Castro were very gracious about their appearances in the All-Star Game last night, as you’d expect them to be. But how could they not be a little annoyed that La Russa held them out so long with no legitimate excuse? Good on them for saying all the right things. There are a lot of nice thoughts and memories from the duo in that article.
  • Doug Padilla offers 10 things we learned about the Cubs in the first half.
  • BN’er Spriggs updates us on Dillon Maples’ progress in Arizona, and it sounds like the Cubs’ most promising young pitcher could finally get started this year as soon as next week. Although hopes are high for the kid in the long term, you *must* keep your expectations in check for the 2012 season. It’ll be his first professional experience, and he’s overcoming some injury issues (I know, you’re flashing on Hayden Simpson).
  • MLBullets at BCB look at a variety of things, including the Indians putting reliever Will Hagadone on the disqualified list after he hurt his hand in anger following a crappy outing. Players have done that kind of thing for years, and teams have just kind of accepted it as a cost of doing business. The Indians may be bucking that trend, and I’m sure the union will give them a fight.
  • Wilbur

    La Russa was an ass, is an ass, and will always be an ass …

    • RoughRiider

      Is that anyway to talk ?


    • RoughRiider

      Trying to be funny. Messed it up.

  • Steve

    I was SO excited when we signed Maples, and I’m still kinda stoked…but damnit, if he doesn’t pan out, i might just jump out of my office window.
    Seriously…Dillon, my life is in your hands…

  • Cheryl

    I tend to agree with the thoughts on LaRussa. He lowered himself even more in my thoughts. But as bad as he is let’s not carry it over to all of the Cardinals – just certain ones like the guy who tried to spike Castro.

  • Cedlandrum

    Cubs haven’t had great luck so far with a couple of their high upside pitchers from last year. Maples and Austin Urban, neither one has thrown a pitch yet. Need to see those guys and what they offer.

  • BD

    Not worried about young pitchers yet, since we don’t need them for a couple years. Hopefully they get their issues out of the way now, instead of during a pennant run.

  • https://www.facebook.com/chris.siuty Chris84

    I’m actually kind of glad they’re cutting back the series. It tends to bring out and highlight the worst of both fan bases.

  • Assman22

    Dodgers after LaHair, Baker, Dempster, and Garza. LA doesn’t have what it’d take to get Garza imo….

  • SouthernCub

    La Russa is a alcoholic douche bag who beats his wife

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Whoa. That’s probably a bit much, regardless of what stories are out there.

      • Ash

        Brett’s mostly right, I’m not aware of Tony ever beating his wife.

        • beerhelps

          Why in God’s name would someone marry him?

          • Richard Nose

            yes, she’s at fault.

    • Richard Nose

      Is this a David Stern impression? Or is there a legitimate story behind this?

  • MightyBear

    I’m glad Maples is getting going. He’s the one pitcher from the Hendry era that I think has a chance to be a No. 1 starter. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’m glad to see him pitching.

  • Turn Two

    Just to play devil’s avocate. It was David Wright not Freese who Larussa was showing deference too. He wanted to get Freese and Lahair in the game and he didn’t want to take Wright out. Therefore he put them both at first. Each got an at bat and each got an inning or 2 in the field. If we are being logical Lahair and Freese were equally worthy of getting the first base nod. Neither is a first baseman. I understand Lahair got votedin by his teammates, but they both made the team and both got playing time.

    Castro is harder to understand, he certainly deserved to play at least half the game, but look on the bright side. Dale Sveum wanted Castro to sit and watch a game, he got to sit and watch the best. Who knows maybe Dave McKay asked Larussa to let him watch.

    • cubchymyst

      At least we didn’t end up like the White Sox, Dunn and Peavy never even got into the game. i’ll give LaRussa credit for trying to get everyone in the game.

      • White Sox Nation

        Dunn was going to be put in but he told Washington to let Butler stay in seeing he was in front of his home crowd. Pretty classy move by Dunn I think. Peavy not getting in heck the game was 8-0 why put him out there .

  • Edwin

    The Cubs have almost no pitching in their system right now. It’s pretty depressing.

    • Assman22

      Give them 20 more days or less of your patience. Cubs are only after pitching from Dodgers, haven’t asked for one position player. Preferably 1-2 pitchers, rather than 4-5. Quality over quantity…

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        The Cubs have plenty of 4-5 pitching prospects already. If they can had 3 to 5 more potential front of the rotation guys, they’ll be in pretty decent shape.

        • Edwin

          I don’t even see that many “4-5” back of the rotation type players in the system. Brooks Raley is the best performing prospect in AAA, and he’s barely above average for the league.

          Chris Rusin is a below average AAA pitcher. Casey Coleman has already shown he isn’t starting pitcher material. Nick Struck is the only decent AA pitching prospect right now, and he’s still a below average pitcher for AA.

          Even if the Cubs did add 3-5 decent pitching prospects at the trade deadline, they’d still be a below average system when it comes to pitching.

      • cubchymyst

        Quality pitching is what the cubs need, we got to see what quantity without much quality equals already.

  • Richard Nose

    Brett, can you make a ‘hate poll’, maybe in the MB,
    Cards v. White Sox. (who do you hate more)
    I’m having a hard time coping with this right now. For years it was Cards, no doubt, now that LaRusa and Carpenter are dying, Matheny’s hard to hate, and Hawk and Stone are trying to take over the giant douche award, my feelings of White Sox rage are boiling over even considering I despise Ozzie and he’s gone.

  • wsillis

    I think there is pitching depth. Just swing guys or back end guys mostly. Lots of guys in the lower levels (AA and below) are having decent years. Maples and Johnson should give us hope, as well as Underwood. Johnson more so than anyone because of his age and experience, he could rocket through the system and give the Cubs a 3-4 rotation spot for years.

    It ain’t great, but it’s not just terrible. And getting better.

    Oh and I agree with all who think McNutt is going to be a back end reliever rather than a starter in the bigs.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    As far as LaRussa goes… well he is kind of a jerk but he did what most managers do when they win the world series and get to manage the all star game. He plays his boys first and longest because he thinks he has earned that right. I don’t agree with that but it is what it is. He is long gone now. His being a Cub hater I didn’t expect anything less from LaRussa.
    I’m sure our guys knew what the steeze was going into it.

    Glad to see Maples is ready to move along. Robert Whitenack is another pitcher who is supposed to take off. I read that he will move quickly through the org once he gets back to 100%.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I think the Dodgers have some minor league pitching depth that we could use. I don’t know how the pull Garza from us. I can see Dempster. We are one team that isn’t interested in their cash so that doesn’t give the Dodgers an upper hand with Theo. If they want Garza it’s going to have to be a multi-team deal to pull it off. I’m just waiting to see what happens. I don’t know where these guys will roll too but I won’t be surprised if it’s not where everyone is thinking and isn’t bringing back players that are always mentioned. I think Theo is a pretty creative guy so I look for a lot of creativity and outside the box maneuvers.