The reason I was without a computer for a portion of the day yesterday is because I got a new one, and I was transferring my data/files/whateves from the old to the new. Some things are slightly different on this new one, so you’ll have to let me know if things start looking odd to you – formatting, pictures, and especially Enhanced Box Scores. Let me know if anything starts looking jacked up to you over the next few days.

  • To date, Dale Sveum has been a pretty even keeled manager. Sure, he’s argued a few calls and expressed disappointment at the Cubs’ struggles. But, generally-speaking, he doesn’t really get riled up in the way that Mike Quade or Lou Piniella did (Dusty Baker was a bit more like Sveum). Sveum actually once said, “I mean, golly!” as a way of expressing his frustration earlier this year. Not exactly what you expect from a dude with tats.
  • Well, Sveum blinked yesterday after the Cubs kicked the ball all over the field, and, in Starlin Castro’s case, on the base paths. “I’m a little upset today, yeah,” Sveum said, according to the Tribune. “There were a few things just taken for granted. Some things aren’t acceptable when you take things for granted. And it wasn’t just the baserunning blunder either …. I don’t attribute [the errors] to anything. We’ve been playing good defense all season long. Sometimes those kinds of things happen. Sometimes you take things for granted. There’s no rhyme or reason why they all happened in one day, and three in an inning and to five different guys.”
  • Sveum got the most heated when he started talking about Starlin Castro, specifically, who booted a ball, and got thrown out at third base after stealing second while Josh Vitters hit a single to right (Brandon Phillips faked like he was about to receive a throw as Castro arrived at second). “You steal a base five runs down, you better damn know where the ball is hit,” Sveum said. “The lack of concentration [from Castro] is still there on a consistent basis in situations where you can’t make a mistake like that at all.” Sveum said he’s going to think about benching Castro.
  • Lendy Castillo – remember him? – is expected to be activated this weekend and return to the bullpen after a long stint on the disabled list with a back inj … a leg inj … an arm thing? Hand? Elbow? Was it mono? Well, he’s been out with some kind of injury. And, hey, what do you know: by returning this weekend, assuming he stays active the rest of the year, Castillo will accumulate just enough time on the active roster this year for the Cubs to keep him (90 days) after taking him in the Rule 5 Draft last December. Good thing his lupus cleared up just in time!
  • (For those who desperately want to know, Castillo’s injury was apparently a “groin strain.”)
  • Doug Padilla takes an early look at who might comprise the Cubs’ September call-ups, but it isn’t too hard to figure it out – just peruse the 40-man roster, grab anyone who’s already been up this year, and then throw in someone like Junior Lake, who’s a maybe, and you’ve got the crew.
  • I guess Brett Jackson is ok after taking a Starlin Castro thigh/knee to the shoulder/neck on a windswept fly ball yesterday (it was one of those tweeners where nobody could call for it, two guys dive, and the ugly collision is inevitable). Jackson stayed down for a while, but stayed in the game.
  • oswego chris

    Was anybody else’s TV playing the Bad New Bears classical music while the Cubs were making all of those errors?…maybe it was just in my head….

    That throw by Castillo was quite comical…almost as funny as when AJ got drilled during the Sox game…bastards came back and won though…

    • baldtaxguy

      I was wondering who would get plunked after Cespedes took one almost behind him. I could not stop laughing as AJ did his bad-ass staredown at both McCarthy and the A’s bench. He needs another one today, hope Blackley puts him on his ass.

  • Fishin Phil

    Insert cheap groin joke here:

    • MightyBear

      There’s not such thing as a minor groin injury. – Dennis Miller

  • oswego chris

    Oh, and on the DH issue, baseball just needs to pick a lane…way too unfair against the NL right now…teams are constructed totally diferent…players union will never let the DH go, so I say bring it to the NL

    • Tommy

      You nailed it there, Chris. Having the 2 leagues not have the same rules has gone on far too long. I don’t agree with bringing the DH to the NL, though. I think that really waters down baseball. Sadly, I think you’re right about it never going away because of he player’s union.

      • dabynsky

        It isn’t just the players union that will push to keep the DH when the two leagues play under the same rules, and there is no way NL ball will last whenever it finally comes.

    • Ian Afterbirth

      That’s when I stop watching baseball.

      • hansman1982

        I wonder how many people said that in 1972 about their AL teams?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Lots. And then attendance went up. (So did both complete games and scoring.)

    • Carew

      I personally like the DH…I’m an NL guy all the way but it needs the DH. I understand having the pitcher hit brings strategy into play, but man it is painful to watch most of them

  • Gabriel

    I’m pretty sick of Svuem having a different standard/temper with regard to Castro than anyone else on the team. He is still, after a bazillion call-ups, THE YOUNGEST PLAYER ON THE TEAM! He’s also the BEST player on the team, and I for have seen him make incredible strides in defense, power, & leadership capabilities (esp. through his learning so much english this year).

    He needs to be given due credit for those things if he’s going to get called out by Svuem for everything he does wrong. Mistakes are made by everyone in baseball & life, especially young people and he’s the youngest person at the MLB level.

    It’s like everyone has forgotten this with him, and I just don’t freaking understand why Castro’s so hated on but someone like Rizzo is totally given a free pass. Not that he’s done anything significantly wrong, but he had a miserable baserunning blunder the other day and no one was bitching about it like this.

    • Turn Two

      Pretty simply, Castro has the most potential. You always push the ones you believe in the most. Plus your contradicting yourself- you’re saying he shouldn’t be given higher standards than everyone else, at the same time as your saying he is the one making the most improvements…maybe its working.

      • Gabriel

        Fair point re: most potential, and who knows maybe it is working. But I don’t see that as a contradiction in my statement, because I believe that his improvements have little to do with all of Dale’s public bashing of him – I believe they are most attributable to his increasing ability to harness his incredible talent.

    • ramon

      I was wondering why no one said anything about Rizzo either. The team is young and there’s going to be mistakes made both physical and mental. Let’s hope the mental ones are minimal.

    • Flashfire

      How many times has Rizzo made an error due to lack of concentration or forgetting the game situtation? One or two? If it becomes more consistent — and he has not had a good week — then he’ll get grief, too. For Castro, youngest or not, he’s been in the majors for 3 years now and this has been a consistent problem for him. This isn’t about anger, this is about what he has to change to reach his potential.

      • baldtaxguy

        Agree, Castro needs a behavior change and he keeps pulling back to old, lazy habits. He’ll get there but needs the reinforcement. He talks about how serious he takes his game, but his actions at times do not back that up.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    It’s never lupus…..

    • Featherstone

      Except when it’s lupus

      • Bric

        I think it’s Canus Lupus (Werewolf disease).

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Well, having a Cubs reliever turn into a werewolf actually wouldn’t the worst meltdown we’ve ever seen….

          • Bric

            Agreed. I can see Castillo pulling a Teen Wolf the first time Bozio and Clevenger go out to the mound to remind him to throw strikes.

  • Leon’s Gatorade soaked mitt

    Where was this frustration last week when the Rizz forgot how many outs there were. But he gets very upset with Castro.

    • hansman1982

      It is no different than fans getting riled up at a similar display of emotion by Zambrano and Dempster. One has a track record and the other doesn’t.

      • Gabriel

        I disagree here – Castro’s clearly on a much shorter leash not just because of his “track record.” Rizzo is the “golden boy” and Castro is the “raw” immature talent in Svuem’s eyes, and in many fan’s eyes.

        • Kurt

          Starlin year 3, Rizzo year 1/3rd.

  • Luke

    What kind of new computer did you go with, Brett?

    • Dave

      My money is on a Gateway.

      • hansman1982

        According to the pics in the Blogathon he uses an Apple so I am guessing an update which probably means a new OS therefore the different look and feel.

        • Brett

          This. And updated programs to work with the new OS (plus, it’s the new Macbook, which has a different display, so everything looks different to me in size from how it used to look).

          • hansman1982

            is that the Retina display?

            I am a PC guy, I love that for $300 I can get a brand new tower that does pretty much what I need it to do.

            • Brett

              Yeah, it is. I was a PC guy until my last computer (a MacAir), and I’m forever changed. They’re expensive, but they’re just so reliable and easy. And fast.

              • Dave

                I’m not ready to make the jump to a Mac laptop, but I’m loving my iPad. By the time I need a new laptop, I’ll probably be ready to make the leap.

            • Luke

              I’ll probably buy Apple for my next system and tri-boot with Windows Something and Ubuntu. Waiting on the iMacs to refresh first, though.

              • http://It'searly Mike F

                Went Mac in 05 and will never hopefully ever go back. If you’re in Chicago the Apple store on Michigan Avenue is Mecca.

                Mountain Lion is the best iteration yet of an operating system, beyond seamless.

  • FFP

    Castro needs to develop a baseball tic; (Like Nomar tapping his toes between every pitch.) Or he is going to keep getting caught observing the scenery.
    I don’t mind Dale calling him out. But, none of us should hear it happening. I would think that would make the little violin Castro hears in his head play louder.

  • Jackalope

    Not sure if this has been posted, but David Laurila gave an excellent interview with Rizzo over at FanGraphs.

  • art

    why didn’t Soriano run over the catcher? and he wants to teach the kids how to play? maybe next ST Dale should have a tournament on crashing into the catcher. IMO that was as bad as the Castro play.

  • Marc

    I think Castro just needs a little

  • Marc


  • THEOlogical

    Could there be a chance that if Castillo got hurt again, he would stay in the roster just so we could claim him from the rule 5 draft? Has that ever happened in baseball and can u actually do that?

  • THEOlogical

    Could there be a chance that if Castillo got hurt again, he would stay on the roster just so we could keep him? Has that ever happened in baseball and can u actually do that?

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Yeah Castro this season has been more focused as a whole then he was last season. Yes he still has his moments where there is a lack of focus but he is trying his defense has been better 7 errors in the 1st 3 weeks and only 11 in about 4 months of play since then which is a step in the right direction.

    They also need to fight a spot in the order and leave him there. If it’s the 5 spot right now cool. He has been juggled from 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th

    I think they are being harder on him because they see the potential if he stays focus most of the time and improve on his offensive and defensive numbers.

  • Jerry

    I don’t think that Sveum and Castro are on the same page. This makes me believe even stronger that the Cubs will trade Castro during the winter. I think Vitters may be gone as well. I am not sure you could give Jackson away at this point.

    I love the Cubs but don’t like what I am seeing on the field. I think Vitters should be playing everyday. He is a hitter and needs regular at bats to keep his timing. If he doesn’t get regular at bats he wont show the Cubs what he can due. That’s assuming he can do it at all. You have to give him a shot to prove it though. Valbuena certainly has proven that he can’t handle it everyday.

    • J R

      Well Castro has 100 times more value to the Cubs than Sveum does. So I hardly think that them not being on the same page means Castro is traded.. With that said, I think the FO will trade anyone if the right deal is there. As any smart Exec should do. Chances of another team give up enough to get Castro or slim to none though..

      • Flashfire

        Really, there’s a market of one: the Diamondbacks. They have both a desperate need for a shortstop and enough pitching in their system that they might be willing to trade some top guys. Still doesn’t mean its anything other than a long shot, though.

        • hansman1982

          Ya, I think this front office is smart enough to NOT move Castro, unless the Diamondbacks offer Cahill, Skaggs and Bauer.

          • Brett

            That’s the whole thing about trading Castro – the Cubs won’t move him short of a haul like that, and no team is going to PAY a haul like that. So how does he get traded?

            • Flashfire

              The Marlins just got Jacob Turner for Anibal Sanchez — who was clearly having a down year in the easier league — and Omar Infante. I’m pretty much done assuming other GMs are sane. :-)

            • hansman1982

              cause Sveum has been hard on him…I’m guessing they dump Castro and Vitters (due to the dislike factor) for Theriot and Colvin…

          • Flashfire

            I was thinking Upton, Bauer, and Skaggs, personally, but, either way, a package that would likely be too much for the Diamondbacks. They’re the only ones that might pay it though.

            • Kevin

              Upton, Bauer, and Skaggs would definately get it done.

    • Carew

      I might take Upton, Cahill, and Bauer…

  • cubbie blue

    I think Theo just wants to get rid of everyone who was here before him so he can say he did it with his players. He doesn’t care if that means trading away great players. At this point I would ask for a trade if I was castro. I have never seen a kid play hard and yet be given a rougher time by both coaches and fans. You know rizzo got thrown out at third just a couple games ago but that is ok because it is rizzo. Jackson is just a strikeout machine but that is ok. Castro makes a couple of little mistakes and he is the worest player. No one talks about the clutch two out hits he has come up with the last couple of games. I hate see the cubs run this way it just makes me sick

    • Cheryl

      There may be some truth to what you say about Theo wanting his owm guys. That’s what worries me about someone like Vogelbach, although he may be three years away from the majors. As for Castro, he shouldn’t be judged any differently than anyone else. Yes he’s an exceptional talent. But call him or anyone else, including Rizzo, on mistakes. Otherwise you risk being given the label – he plays favorites. Again, back to Castro, I think he needs a few days off to recharge his batteries.

      • Jared

        i would normally agree with the day or 2 off but he just had a good game at the plate and i think we should see if he can keep it up first

      • Kevin

        I agree, don’t be surprised if some non-Theo drafted players are traded in the off season.

        • baldtaxguy

          Not too much out on the limb there, since Theo-drafted players are what? Total of 40 in number within the system?

          • nkniacc13

            There will be a few minor leaguers traded tis offseson im sure that weren’t drafted by Theo/Jed. Part of the reaso Castro gets a bad rap is becaue of such a talent he is and the uncalled for stupid mistakes he makes. It also doen’t hel wen you have some of the older/veteran players saying he needs to focus more

    • Flashfire

      What evidence is there, in his past behavior, that he thinks this way?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Theo and Jed have types of players that they like, and I think that they like any of those type that happen to be in the Cubs system. The problem is Hendry did not value the same type of player. So, the Cubs system is filled with a lot of guys that Jed & Theo would not have drafted.

        I would not worry about what they think of Castro. Jed & Theo understand the WAR concept: it’s not just the raw numbers, but where you can slot those numbers. Even a below-average Castro (and all players are below average half the time!) is going to create more runs than Joe SS. Would they prefer a SS with a better batting eye? Sure: but there simply are not very many of them out there. Would they prefer a SS with more pop? Sure: but Castro is only 22, and historically players of his body-type have increased power considerably as they’ve gotten older.

        So, do not look to them to give up Castro lightly. If they do, then it will be a blockbuster that nets the Cubs another young player who is equally talented relative to other players of his position.

  • Jonski

    Im so over Castro he gave the Cubs a black eye with his off the field shit and I don’t care if your 22 or not your at the highest level and even if your making league average your making more then the average fan that pays your contract.What good is upside if you live up to it and keep making the same stupid mistakes.Welcome to the 21 century its not just him its most athletes.I long for the day that I know longer care about the teams I follow !

    • Mysterious4th

      Oh so you’re believing some random woman that CLAIMED the crap against castro and yet the police and DA found nothing. Damn, that’s how the courts work. Totally missed that in 5yrs of college for a criminal justice degree.

      • Jonski

        Not sayin that at all sir,but it doesn’t look good and look at how he acts and tell me it’s not Hanly x 3.I have a si book with him on the cover and at 1 time loved him he ruined it with me.Im hard on my 22 year old why wouldn’t I have the same standards for Castro.everything doesn’t have to be a arguement

        • Jared

          damn i feel bad for your 22 year old…. i hope for his sake that hes perfect

          • Jonski

            I grew up the hard way no breaks earning everything and that is what Ive tried to pass on with love .Im not perfect ,but in the sports world were your getting top dollar then I would like to see that on the field.So say Castro is making 500k a year that’s a pretty good amount of change for most people.Cub fans are getting robbed and in the end does it matter generations of people destroying not fixing its coming to a end.No matter what a persons’s faith is!

  • Jackalope

    While Castro takes a lot of heat for his lack of baseball maturity, former management has to take significant responsibility for the way he was developed. While Castro has a lot of talent, he was thrown into the big leagues after only 57 games at AA, never seeing AAA. Perhaps we would be seeing a much more mature player if he was given the chance to have a full year at AA and AAA like the current management seems to favor.

  • Crazyhorse

    Can anyone name a player that was drfted 1st overall that is a current Hall of Famer?

    • Flashfire

      Bit of an unfair question since the draft started in ’65, so essentially one generation of players have been eligible. None made it. But Griffey, Chipper Jones, and A-Rod are all locks. Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Hamilton both have a chance.

      But that’s really not the way to look at it. If you look at the list, the number who become well above average major league players is really remarkable.

    • Drew7

      Flash is right – the pick hasnt technically produced any yet, but thevalue of that pick dwarfs any other, due to a great number of them being very solid players

  • True(ly) Blue

    Re: Castro and concentration. Does anyone else wonder how chewing and spitting out sunflower seeds while swinging at a 95 mph pitch helps his concentration? I used to chew lots of gum but I didn’t blow bubbles while swinging. I had enough trouble w/o blowing bubbles. To me, chewing sunflower seeds belongs in the dugout! (FLASH—Are they sunflower seeds or peyote seeds?)

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  • Barbara Berg

    I took great exception to Sveum’s first public berating of Castro, comparing him to his high school son who has more focus than Castro. How’d you like to be Sveum’s son? I have a son who was signed, and I’m guessing Castro grew up in a much more relaxed, loving family and was always the best and always had fun. Len or Bob were confused on the base running play; said Castro was looking at the first base coach, who waved him to run. Saying publicly he’s considering benching him is inappropriate. Put up or shut up!

    • Pat

      Im sure Sveum has had plenty of private talks with Castro. Sometimes if that doesn’t work you need to call someone out more publicly. Note that Quade did the same thing last year. I guarantee you that for every public comment there have been a hundred private ones.

  • Mike S

    Garza and Castro


    Upton, Cahill, Bauer, Skaags

    • Jonski

      Im not a doctor,a lawyer,a rocket scientist,former ball player, and I spell bad but,why in gods name would somebody want Cahill …he was in a team friendly ballpark in Oakland and look at his stats now he is another Volstad.Castro,Brett Jackson,Garza for Upton,Bradley,Skaggs,Bauer,Corbin in the end if you have to throw Junior Lake to them do it!

  • someday…2015?

    Starlin has a slightly more closed stance this game. Good to see an adjustment. A few more of them and his bat will be back.

  • die hard

    If Sveum is just noticing that Castro plays in a fog half the time then Cubs have bigger problems than Castro…going all the way upstairs to owner

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I think this whole thread illustrates how utterly problematic turning a player into something he isn’t can be. Somehow people have to be more realistic about Castro. He isn’t a clown he’s a young player who has a lot of adjustments to make and lacks some focus, fundamental knowledge and maturity. He is a very good player with talent who will require patience. At the same time, it’s wholly unrealistic to suggest to he’s a HOF player and a franchise player. It leads to a lot of this disappointment and comparisons as many made to Jeter are really ridiculous. As the season has played out, I do believe he’s made some progress. Is that enough? Obviously with some of the same inconsistency he has show with dumb errors, no he’s not where he needs to be. I don’t think its fair to criticize Sveum for growing frustrated with Castro. Ultimately Starlin Castro has to change this dynamic if he has any chance of being a great player and getting the most of his talent.

    • baldtaxguy

      Most fans don’t “fan” with realism or fairness.

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Sveum is an idiot IMO. “I’m going to think about benching him”. Either do it or not. My child did something wrong, I’m going to think about punishment. My subordinate did something wrong, I’m going to think about reprimanding him.

    End of rant.