Darwin Barney Wonders What Fans View as Success in 2013 and Other Bullets

darwin barney smileIt’s podcast day, and a fresh episode is on the way later this morning. It includes a musical joke! So, yeah. Stay tuned for that.

  • Darwin Barney on fan expectations, per Paul Sullivan: “Well, .500 is not good enough. That’s not our goal. I don’t know what the Cubs fans are looking for. Maybe they’d be happy with that. But as an athlete and a player for this club, I don’t think that’s what we’re shooting for. Obviously the goal is to make the postseason, and that’s what we’re shooting for going into this season.” Speaking on behalf of all Cubs fans, I can say with authority that we’re looking for the postseason as well. We’re just probably less optimistic about it than you are. If, at the end of the year, the Cubs wind up at .500 without having done any harm to the rebuilding process, then I think you’d find many fans would be content. It’s not what we want, and it’s not what we’re hoping happens (we hope for magic, obviously). But if that’s the way it plays out, well, there would be some positives to be taken from it, I’d expect.
  • Kerry Wood is in camp again this year, but this time as an instructor. It’s gotta be nice for the young pitchers to have a familiar presence around – someone who’s been through it, knows a lot about pitching, and isn’t the manager or pitching coach (so you don’t feel like you have to try and impress him at every turn).
  • Casey Coleman, who was derostered after being shut down late in the year with a shoulder issue, has been rehabbing and is now coming back as a relief pitcher only. That was a transition he probably needed to make at some point anyway, and I’m interested to see if he’s got anything in the tank in relief. There were flashes of a guy who could pump it up to the 93/94 mph range in short bursts, and was in the process of developing a nice slider … maybe that’s the guy he can be in relief.
  • Edwin Jackson will fight you. Well, not really, but if there’s a team scuffle, he’s likely to be right in the middle of it, as he was last year during the Nationals/Cubs dust-up (you know, the one after Lendy Castillo threw at Bryce Harper while the Nationals were absolutely obliterating the Cubs during a four-game set).
  • Sahadev writes for Vine Line, too, and you can see a snippet of his Spring Training Preview for the magazine here.
  • Jesse Rogers writes about the competition at the back of the Cubs’ rotation, and Scott Baker offers the well-aren’t-you-a-trooper quote of the day: “My best interests is their best interests. I’m Cubs property so I’m going to listen to what they have to say and follow orders.”
  • Dan Vogelbach gets the Vine Line prospect preview treatment.
  • Paul Sullivan noted on Twitter yesterday that, as he observed the first pitcher fielding practice of the Spring, Matt Garza’s first throw to first base … was a success!

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

78 responses to “Darwin Barney Wonders What Fans View as Success in 2013 and Other Bullets”

  1. Jim

    Sadly, Garza was trying to throw to third on the attempt.

    1. mjhurdle

      well played Jim, well played.

    2. WGNstatic

      So does that make it a balk?

  2. Katie

    Very nice, Jim.

    How does Sully still have a job? So cranky and so very lazy. He just seems like the “get off my lawn” type of old fart to me.

    1. RoughRider

      Because he is a cranky “get off my lawn” type of old fart.

      1. Fishin Phil

        You say that as if it is a bad thing.

        1. RoughRider

          I’m a sometimes cranky “get off my lawn” type of aged bialbial fricative. ( in the Carlin sense)

  3. Idaho Razorback

    C’mon podcast! I work nites, off last nite and have been waiting for it. Plus I’m on Natty Ice #10 and have had 1 24 oz Bud Lite Lime Margarita.

    1. CubFan Paul

      “and have had 1 24 oz Bud Lite Lime Margarita”

      Man Card Violation.

      1. Seth

        Don’t knock it til you try it. Those are actually pretty tasty.

        1. TWC

          ::glares at Seth::

          1. Seth

            :: winks back at TWC ::

        2. CubFan Paul

          I don’t drink Kangaroo piss :) …I’m a dark/import kinda guy

          1. TWC

            Kangaroo piss? You mean Fosters?

            1. CubFan Paul

              Fosters is dirty pleasure. But mostly all yellow beer is what i call Kangaroo Piss. “Life is Too Short For Domestic” -the late Sgt. Gerald Joseph Cassidy …RIP

              1. Internet Random

                There are many, many American craft beers that are as good as any beer on the planet.

              2. Mick

                Fosters, Australian for bitter.

                PS, Why pay more for less with the dark/imports? Find yourself some New Holland Dargon’s Milk, good night.

              3. Cubbie Blues

                I only drink domestic. Their are many very good craft beers being made now. I have two within a couple of miles from me (Upland and BBC).

              4. Bilbo161

                Dont limit yourself to imported darks. There are soooo many craft beers available these days. My personal favorite is from North Coast
                Brewing called Old Rasputin, Russian Imperial Stout. My wife even gave up lite beer for it. Go figure. If you’re really a fanatic try making your own. There is a recipe called Positively Porter floating around the Zymurgy buffs on the net. mmmmmmmmmmm. Great Lakes Brewing also has some reall good ones.

                1. TWC

                  You want a knock out stout? Try Old Rasputin XV (barrel-aged)… oh, maaaaan.


                  1. Cubbie Blues

                    That is a very nice pub. I had never had any of theirs before going and found the Rasputin. It’s a very good stout. I probably can’t find the XV in the mid-west though.

                    1. Cubbie Blues

                      Me either, B-Town Indiana here.

                  2. JB88

                    Right now Goose Island has a Bourbon County Stout that it is selling in celebration of their anniversary. At 15% alcohol, it will figuratively knock your socks off.

                    I also really, really like the Old Rasputin stout. Other craft breweries that I am absolutely loving is Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewery, Two Brothers, Dogfish Head, and Left Hand Brewers.

                    It is awesome how much the craft beer industry has developed. No need to ever drink mass produced swill anymore. It is GURRRREAT!

                    1. TWC

                      “No need to ever drink mass produced swill anymore.”

                      Unless it’s High Life on a hot summer day, of course. It’s the champagne of beers!

                    2. ETS

                      Are you in Iowa per chance?

                    3. TWC

                      Me? ME? in Ioway?

                      Heavens no.

                    4. Cubbie Blues

                      Me either, B-Town Indiana here.

                2. Internet Random


                  If you like stouts, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is not to be missed. It’s another California stout, and jee dee is it ever tasty.

                  1. TWC

                    And the brewery is well worth a visit, located in one of the more spectacular parts of Northern California (Anderson Valley). Nice disc golf course on site, too!

                    1. Internet Random

                      Their Hop Ottin’ Ale ain’t half bad either.

                    2. TWC

                      True. True.

                      They’ve got a nice summer seasonal, a creme ale (Cerveza Crèma), that’s quite refreshing. Not sure if their seasonals get national distribution though.

                    3. Internet Random

                      That I don’t know. But I’ll be on the lookout now.

                  2. bbmoney

                    Where’s Michigan Goat and his standard Founder’s pumping?

                    1. Internet Random

                      Don’t know, but I’m worried.

                      (They do make some fine, fine beer.)

            2. TonyS

              As an Australian, I couldnt agree more. Nobody drinks Fosters over here. For those interested in imported beer, look for a Coopers Sparkling Ale. Great stuff.

        3. JulioZuleta

          Their probably more palatable after ruining your tastebuds with 10 Natty Ice’s.

          Wait, why are you ten beers deep at 9 am on a Wednesday in February?

          1. JulioZuleta

            Oh my god, I used to wrong “They’re.” Ew.

            1. DarthHater

              They’re they’re. No need to feel bad. ;-)

          2. hansman1982


          3. Seth

            He said he works “nites”. Must have been one long night.

  4. Rick

    Hey, Hey. That “Scuffle” made the Cubs hot afterwords. I believe they won like there next 6/7 games after that. Lol

  5. Jim

    I am not sure what you expect Darwin to say … If he came out and said that we would be very happy with a .500 season this year, he would get crucified. Every player has to have the mentality to win every game and push for the playoffs. I like Darwin and expect better offense from him this year to go along with that gold glove defense.

    1. CubFan Paul

      “I like Darwin and expect better offense from him this year…”

      Why? And how?

      1. Jim

        Well he went from 2 homeruns in 2011 to 7 homeruns in 2012. I’d be happy with a .265+ batting average with maybe 9 homeruns this year. He is a decent #8 hitter in the lineup and still young enough to start showing offensive improvements.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          It is pretty rare for 27 year olds to get too much better than they are: and it probably is more common for them to get worse! Barney will never have a batting eye, and he’ll never have much power. Those are two of the most basic hit tools right there!

          1. hansman1982

            NONSENSE! We learned just yesterday that Campana just needs another season or two to figure out how to get a better jump on the ball and take better routes…

            If they didn’t do it in the last 15 years of their lives…they just need 1 more offseason, or a full-season of playing time…

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              I missed that lesson. Did they teach us how to turn lead into gold, too?

              1. hansman1982

                Well, duh…the Philosopher’s Stone?

                Where have you been…some “Doc” you are.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  I thought that Warner Brother’s changed that to Sorcerer’s Stone…..

                  1. hansman1982

                    That’s the brand name stone. Wal-Mart sells the Philosopher’s Stone for half the price

                  2. DarthHater

                    It wasn’t Warner Bros. that did that. It was Rowling’s US book publisher. Guess they figured that Americans wouldn’t know what a “philosopher” is.

              2. Cubbie Blues

                Step 1. Read up on Alchemy
                Step 2. Realize it’s a fools errand
                Step 3. Find said fool
                Step 4. Sell your profound knowledge of Alchemy to the Cardinal fan you found.

                1. DarthHater

                  You’re a Scorpio, aren’t you? ;-)

                  1. Cubbie Blues

                    Why, yes I am.

        2. Marc N.

          Don’t forget he improved his BB rate as well.

          Optimistically, like higher than the 50% “I just looked at his past three years” stuff, I could see Barney throwing up a .275/.320/.400 line during his 27-29 years (hopefully this year, his last pre-arb).

  6. arta

    agree, as a player you think that way.

  7. Jim

    Off topic, but I was playing poker with my buddies Monday night and my friend Rafael mentions that the biggest douche athlete he ever met was Ryne Sandberg. Of course that piqued my interest being a huge Ryno fan, so of course I said “What?”.

    I guess he was working at restaurant or something and Ryne called him over and said “Do you know who I am?!”. Rafael said “No”. Ryne said “I am Ryne Sandberg, 2nd baseman of the Chicago Cubs”. Rafael said “Nice to meet you, I am Rafael”. Without acknowledging who Rafael was, Ryne said “No, I am Ryne Sanberg!”. Rafael said “We have established that, how can I help you?”. Ryne said “I don’t want anyone coming over here and bothering me!”. Rafael said “Well no one is bothering you now, but I will let people know that you are here and not to bother you”.

    I guess he was really rubbed the wrong way. Just a little story I thought I would share. And … I am still a big Ryno fan!

    1. CubFan Paul

      “Just do your damn job and keep the fanboys away from my table”

      Is what he should of said…no need for Rafael to be butt hurt.

      1. Jim

        I think if you are working around “celebrities” on a consistent basis, you quickly learn who treats you like a human being, and who treats you like dog sh@t. For Rafael, who has worked among a lot of “celebrities”, Ryne stuck out as the worst. I don’t know when this happened. It could be that he was going through a divorce with his ho bag wife at the time. Not sure.

    2. Norm

      Mine was Rafael Palmeiro when he was with the Cubs. He was doing an autograph show. I missed it, but saw him walking. Asked him for his autograph, and he asked my 10 year old ass if I had 10 bucks.

      1. Seth

        I asked Kyle Farnsworth for an autograph and then he punched me in the face.

        Just kidding. He was a really cool guy and chatted with me for a bit. My 13 year old self was quite giddy.

        1. Miggy80

          Kent Hrbek was an absolute d-bag when, my 12yr self, meet him with a friend and two other kids younger than us. He was waiting to get into the Metro dome and while he was waiting for the door to be unlocked we asked for his autograph he said no and we all waited there quitely until someone came to unlock the door.

          The same day I got to meet Sandberg. Everybody rushed to his cab and I happened to be one of the first to ask for his autograph. He looked down at his hands, which were full, with his bag in one hand he handed me his coffee. Then proceeded to walk toward the gate while signing autographs. When we reached the gate he signed my card and I handed him back his coffee. When I noticed that my friend didn’t get his autograph. I mentioned it to Sandberg as I handed him his coffee and the last autograph he signed was my friends card. That’s the Ryne Sandberg I know.

          1. Jim

            That is great! That is how I assume Ryne would be, but I had never met him. I am glad there are good stories out there about as well!

    3. DarthHater

      And the lesson we’re supposed to draw from this tale is that SANDBERG was the douche in the encounter?

      1. Jim

        The tale was tale. Draw your own conclusions.

        1. scorecardpaul

          These are people folks, they have good days, and bad days. Unless you have never had a bad day then you shouldn’t judge a person on one instance.
          Ryne Sandberg is a class guy. When he was in Peoria he made himself very aproachable. He was always friendly, and always seemed willing to sign anything at any time. I have collected autographs as an adult, and I must admit that sometimes I feel a litle bit like a tool. Who says that they owe me an autograph just because of who they are?? I would think that they would get very tired of all of the autograph crap. What I have found from most of them is that they truely enjoy signing autographs, and talking with their fans. The one who stands above the rest in time for fans, has to be Ron Santo. I have been fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to meet him several times. He would spend hours (yes multiple hours) just signing and talking to fans at the drop of a hat.

      2. Drew7

        ^This. Raffy comes out of this smelling of vinegar as well.

        1. TWC

          I haven’t cared for Rafi since he put $7 worth of Hoobastank on the jukebox.

      3. Pat

        “do you know who I am?” = douche. It just does. Saying it several times = giant douche.

    4. JB88

      Is your friend’s last name Palmiero? If so, I can understand why Ryne might have acted that way toward him …

    5. Marc N.

      That story is hilarious. Celebs who not-so-secretly want to be more famous than they are are the best.

  8. Frank F.

    It’s very hard to get an idea of what to expect. On the surface, I’d expect a respectable team hovering around .500. However, the team is full if X Factors:

    Ian Stewart: if he recovers and becomes a shell of what he was once expected to be, it will be huge.
    Alfonso Soriano: can he build off of his big 2012 rebound?
    Samardzjia/Rizzo: was 2012 what we should expect from them going forward?
    Can Castro add to his growing power and improve upon his weak 2012 OBP?
    Wellington Castillo and Brett Jackson: big ?s
    Will Garza be healthy?
    Will Feldman and Baker work out as reclamations?
    The CF/RF mix if Schierholtz/Hairston/DeJesus/Sappelt/Jackson.
    The revamped bullpen.

    This could be anywhere from. 70-85 win team depending in how much goes right or wrong. Remember, the 2012 team didn’t start off as a 100 loss team. They just opted to back up the truck rather early. We didn’t have anything remotely resembling a big league rotation once Garza was injured and Shark shut down.

  9. JR

    If the Cubs aren’t going to make the playoffs being a .500 team would be worst case scenario. That would suck to pick between 10-20 next year in the draft.

  10. Internet Random

    “Edwin Jackson will fight you” for food or money.