I cannot believe that the Brewers are now a full game ahead of the Pirates.

  • On the heels of the news that the Peoria Chiefs are now officially no longer affiliated with the Cubs, the Cubs have officially renewed their player development contract with High-A Daytona, where they’ll keep funneling their prospects for another couple years. Daytona GM was pleased, per the Daytona Beach News-Journal: “We’re very excited to know we’ll begin a third decade of affiliation with the Chicago Cubs. Especially with the Cubs’ renewed emphasis on player development since [team president] Theo Epstein and [general manager] Jed Hoyer joined the organization.” The reason for the delay in the extension isn’t known, though that article notes that the Cubs’ brass expressed some concerns about the team improving its on-site weight training and fitness facilities. Maybe the Cubs were holding back on the extension a little to secure some concessions in that area? After all, the Daytona Cubs are set to improve their facilities to the tune of $1.25 million, assuming a vote in the city commission goes through today. It’s fair to guess that those things are no unrelated. All in all, good for everyone involved.
  • Brandon Phillips on Darwin Barney’s errorless streak at second base, which I assume he said with a smile on his face: “I’ve been too busy winning. I worry about myself and this team. If you don’t play for the Reds, I don’t worry about you.” Phillips added some humble pie: “Everybody knows I’m the best defensive second baseman. I say errors don’t mean you’re a good defensive second baseman, it just means you get to the balls you get to. If I didn’t have any range, I wouldn’t make any errors the whole year.” And, yes, he said he should win the Gold Glove over Barney. I suspect a lot of you really hate Phillips now, but I’m not sure he’s actually being a cocky jerk, as these comments make him sound – I think he’s just talking big for the fun of it. That’s just my sense of him. Remember, he’s the same guy that took time in Spring Training to talk to Barney about the transition to second base, and offer Barney some tips.
  • Folks, don’t be this guy. It might seem funny at first (especially if you’re drunk, and it’s 1:30 am), and it might even elicit a little chuckle or two. But long-term, do you really want to be remembered as “that guy who got kicked out of Wrigley because he was making obscene gestures behind home plate”? (h/t to BN’er Spencer, who was presumably not the guy.)
  • Did you watch NBC’s new “epic-type” drama, ‘Revolution’? (I did – it was good enough to get me to watch another episode, but don’t call it the next ‘LOST’; there is no next ‘LOST’.) If you did, and you saw promos for it earlier this year, you would have noticed that, when a band of folks walks by Wrigley Field, the marquee has been changed so that it no longer says “2012 World Series Champions” as it did in those promos. That, of course, wasn’t the most unbelievable thing about the promos, though – the fact that Wrigley Field stood proudly still intact while all of the surrounding Wrigleyville buildings had deteriorated into nothingness was. If anything in that neighborhood is going to fall apart in the next 15 years, it’s Wrigley Field (AMIRITE, Mayor Emanuel?).
  • David DeJesus is the Cubs’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee this year. The award recognizes players’ contributions on and off the field, including service in the community and sportsmanship. You can vote for David here.
  • BN’er 5412 offers his offseason thoughts/predictions over at the Message Board.
  • Dusty Baker just managed his 3000th game.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at the unfortunate situation in Toronto involving Yunel Escobar’s offending eye black.
  • We have the opportunity to play in a fantasy football contest this week – it’s easy, fun, and you can win money while supporting BN in the process. So sign up here. The full details are here.
  • Mike

    I’ve always thought he was a dbag with the cocked hat and all but now I KNOW Brandon Phillips is a dbag.

  • JR

    Phillips sounds like a pretty cocky dude. But he’s basically saying what most of us say about Castro and his range. If errors were the most important measure of a defender than Castro would be the worlds worst, and we all know thats not true. So B.P. actually has a good point..

  • Danny B

    I never thought Phillips was a great fielder. He makes easy plays look hard and is nowhere near Barney on range. I don’t know if he was just having fun or what but his response is a bit cocky, esp if he thinks he deserves a GG over Barney. Outside of this site, Barney isn’t getting a whole lot of love, it’s too bad.

    • bbmoney

      I think Phillips is or at least historically was a pretty good defensive 2b. But his range comment is curious, since I’m pretty sure Barney leads the league in range factor for 2b and is third in total chances (a few less games than the guys ahead of him) whilst making 1 error.

      Phillips is middle of the pack in each. I’m sure he’s not taking the time to check these things, but the numbers just don’t back that part of his comment up.

  • TWC

    …there is no next ‘LOST’.


    • SirCub

      Trolling Lost fans is so much more fun.

      • TWC

        It never ceases to amuse me.

  • cjdubbya

    Isn’t Barney’s range factor markedly better than Phyllis’ anyway? (Yes, that’s intentional, no autocorrect, except in my mind, where the Reds’ 2B shall now be named Brandon Phyllis).

    • Cubbie Blues

      Metrics for 2B
      UZR UZR/150 RngR
      Barney 11.8 1st 15.4 1st 7.7 2nd
      Phillips 3.6 7th 3.9 7th 2.3 7th

      The rest are pretty much the same.

  • CubFan Paul

    That video link with the blowjob guy is the best ever. Hilarious

    • DarthHater

      Now there’s a big surprise…

  • cubchymyst

    How are range factors calculated; Is it based off of all the plays made by a player over a season? I’m just curious because of all of the shifting Sveum has used this year might inflate Barney’s range factor by spreading out his starting location more.

    • SirCub

      Yea, it basically is determined by how many balls a player is able to get to that are hit into his vicinity, and how hard those balls are to get to normally. Totes could be influenced by defensive shifting.

    • bbmoney

      I’m no expert, but I think basic range factor is general calculated by taking innings played / 9 to get the number of full games you’ve played in the field (although I think some sites just use games played instead of taking this extra step). Then take the number of total defensive chances you have and divide that by the first number you calculated. For Barney it would be 1163 innings / 9 = 129.23. 682 TC / 129.23 = approx 5.2. Using that same calc phillips is a ways behind.

      I have heard a few analysts say while they think Barney is a good defender, they think the shifting has a lot to do with how many chances he’s getting. It’s hard to prove one way or the other, and all I know is he gets to a lot of balls and he’s only booted 1. So he’s pretty good, even if some of it is positioning.

      • cubchymyst

        Thanks for the info. I agree barney has been a great defender this year and the fact he has made zero errors at second says a lot about him. I just wanted to know how it was calculated because his increase range factor is a good reflection on Sveum ability to put players in the best position to make plays.

    • Danny B

      Not sure if this is dated by now, but I always like this article on UZR:


      The key here is that the zones are arbitrarily assigned. Tends to maintain my latent distrust of defensive metrics- I’m just not sure they are completely reliable yet, especially when compared to the progress with calculating and applying offensive metrics.I still mostly judge defense by watching it live.

  • BD

    How much of his supposed Gold Glove victory would be based on his offense?

    *Reminder to Voters: This is a defensive award.

  • Curt

    Brandon Phillips=just another dousche nozzle and not worth anymore any more chat than that.

  • Richard Nose

    I can’t help but like Phillips. Can’t argue with his attitude or confidence. I want him to beat the shit out of Yadier as well. I’m not sure about range factors between Barney and Phillips, but his point is dead on. Derek Jeter couldnt hold Omar or Alcides Escobar’s jock. I

  • TWC

    I want [Phillips] to beat the shit out of Yadier as well.

    Yeah, like, preferably with his bat.

  • Sinnycal

    Reminds me of Votto refusing to shake Byrd’s hand at the all-star game. The Reds organization must instill that attitude in their players, even if just as an act.

    He does have a valid point about errors coming on balls other players might not even get to, in a general sense. But I’m not sure he has a valid point about it applying in this situation. Barney has had a better range factor. He’s made plenty of great, athletic, rangey plays. He looks how you hope a natural SS playing 2B should look. His runs saved are at a historic level this season, and then obviously you have the errorless streak record as a cherry on top. He’s been the best defensive 2B this season pretty much any way you look at it.

    • DarthHater

      The Reds organization must instill that attitude in their players, even if just as an act.

      Yes, the Dark Side of the Force is strong in them. Excellent…

  • bob

    My opinion of Phillips changed earlier this year. On one of Wrigley’s windiest days, the Reds had a rookie in the outfield, and he misplayed a wind-blown ball into a triple, completely losing it and not even coming close to the ball. After the play, the camera showed Phillips yelling at the outfielder, laughing his head off and mimicking the lost way the fielder went after the ball. Simple, good-natured teasing in the middle of an important (for the Reds, at least) game, all designed to take the sting out of an embarrassing situation for the young man. In at least that case, Phillips showed good leadership and “team-mate-ship”. That, coupled with the help he gave DB leads me to believe he’s a good guy who probably had his tongue firmly in cheek when talking about the Gold Glove stuff.

  • LWeb23

    I love Brandon Phillips. He is a great fielder, he is a great hitter, he is a great player, and I love his attitude towards the game. Call him douchey, okay, I won’t really argue it, I like it. But Barney is the better defender this year.

  • Dustin S

    As a side-note, the Cardinals affiliation in Peoria is coming from the Quad-Cities who is now left without any affiliation for the time being. The move is a bit surprising to leave what is generally rated as one of the top (at least top 3) ballparks in all of minor league baseball in Modern Woodmen Park. It sounds like there were some issues between the local group and the Cardinals over the fact that they hadn’t sent any major league players there on a rehab assignment in over 5 years. That doesn’t bode well for Peoria seeing any big league players on rehab assignments any time soon. Peoria is only about an hour closer to St. Louis, so I don’t think distance is a factor.

    Also, on another note…I’ve been on-hold for over 2 hours now waiting on Sheraton reservations for the Cubs Convention and am highly frustrated. Not a good first sign for how they’ll handle it. My reservations for the Hilton last year took 5 minutes.

    • hansman1982

      wait…you’re making reservations over the phone? Are you doing that on a rotary phone?

  • Dougy D

    Just out: Dusty Baker not only manages his 3000th game, but destroys the arm of yet another promising young pitcher in Aroldis Chapman.

    Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be true for Chapman’s sake.

  • Patrick W.

    Ummm, nice of you to mention Dusty managing his 3,000th game, but you failed to point out his 425,000th pitching change.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s because he didn’t make many pitching changes when he managed the Cubs …

      • bbmoney

        Yeah I thought you’d have highlighted that he’s now reached his dozenth promising young pitcher ruined through over and inappropriate use.

        But that’d probably just be bitter and unfair…..I mean most managers run 22 year olds out there for 115 pitches a game every 5 days. Of course Prior should have gotten a Cy Young from it….but I digress.

  • MightyBear

    Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and all the Reds suck.

  • rich

    you an bet that phillips is pissed that barney a relative unknown up to now could beat him out ! ha! ha !

  • Sandberg

    I crotch chopped and 1986 World Series Mets Lady Hand-rolled last year against the Brewers when I got those seats for dirt cheap. Getting texts from your friends daring you to do shit on tv? It’s really fun.

    Can’t blame the guy at all, especially since it’s 1am. 😉

  • cubzfan23

    Excuse my language everyone… Fuck that goof phillips… I m to busy winning, Instead of being sportsman like and saying “yea Barney is having a terrific defensive season” he says some lame ass shit. Barney actually kind of gave him a little credit earlier saying he got tips from lame ass phillips. I hope he breaks a leg running the bases.

  • gutshot5820

    According to BBC, 4 out of 5 recent GM’s have already voted Barney for the Gold Glove and the fifth was undecided. i think it’s a foregone conclusion that Barney will win the Gold Golve this year.

  • bob

    One thing that may come around to help Barney is that several times this season Phillips has been caught not running out his at-bats, as on the DeJesus error last night. Even though it has been on offense, not defense, this may change his reputation in some voters’ eyes and swing the vote to Barney.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, he would have been standing on 3rd base had he been running hard. With the wind blowing the way it was you take nothing for granted when you hit one in the air.

  • terencem

    I’m a little late to the party, but it should be noted that Phillips is an Ayn Rand objectivist and therefore believes he is right about everything and is gifted beyond the rest of our mere mortal comprehension.

    • terenceman

      Oops, that’s Orlando Cabrera I was thinking of. Sorry, BP.

  • DatDudeBP

    It’s obvious that people here have not listened to interviews with Brandon nor do they know the actual type of person he is.