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confused computerWell, it’s been an ugly stretch. After being informed that my usually-reliable host had suffered a “mild” power outage, an MRI revealed that the issue was far more serious than originally feared. That led to the herculean downtime you saw over the past 16 hours, for which I apologize profusely (not that there was anything I could have done about it). The site is currently on a throwing program, and should be ready to get back on the mound soon.

Unless it isn’t. If the site should go down again today, make sure to check for updates on Twitter and Facebook, since they would be the only places I could go. Let’s all cross our fingers it doesn’t come to that.

How about some Bullets? (Which don’t include Wrigley renovation talk, which is coming later this morning – there’s A LOT to discuss.)

  • In light of Ian Stewart starting the season on the disabled list, Dale Sveum has said that Brent Lillibridge is now effectively guaranteed a spot on the roster (which will require an opened 40-man spot).
  • ESPN’s David Schoenfield conducts a simplistic experiment to see if the Cubs have a home-field disadvantage (relative to other teams), and, based on his calculations  it looks like Wrigley Field costs the Cubs two to three wins per season, compared to other teams’ home-field advantages. While the experiment couldn’t say for sure, the “day game” problem is likely the prevailing issue, but I’ll try not to open that can of worms right now … (though it’s awfully convenient for someone like me, who buys the “day game” problem, that the Cubs are pushing for extra night games for financial reasons – then I can support more night games for that reason without raising the ire of folks who think I’m just making excuses for poor Cubs play).
  • You may have missed yesterday’s flurry of posts, because the site went down shortly thereafter, but the Cubs traded for a 21-year-old outfield prospect, Scott Baker has been shut down indefinitely, an international draft is probably on the way, and there was a new Lukewarm Stove.
  • Speaking of Baker being shut down, Theo Epstein said he’s hopeful that the five guys they presently have in the rotation – Samardzija, Jackson, Feldman, Wood, Villanueva – can stay healthy until Baker and Matt Garza return, but he’ll keep looking at possible options outside of the organization if needed. “That’s why you build up depth in the first place,” Epstein told the Sun-Times. “If we didn’t have the numbers that we had coming into camp, we’d be in dire straits right now.”
  • Sammy Sosa had kind words for the family of deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Which … yeah.
  • I wrote yesterday’s Spring Training Miscellany on a notepad while I patiently waited for the site to return. Now that a day has passed and an entire Miscellany post seems silly, I’ll just put it here in the Bullets so you can see what I would have said:

The Cubs, with their Opening Day lineup, took down the mighty Rangers today (also featuring regulars), which suggests to me that any Cactus League struggles to this point are merely a reflection of the fact that the Cubs weren’t trying.

Chris Rusin had his first rough outing of the Spring, although it wasn’t atrocious. He gave up four runs in his five innings on seven hits, but he didn’t walk anyone and struck out four. I’d think he’s still in line to be the Cubs’ emergency starter, and has a good shot at the bullpen right now.

Blake Parker got the 9th inning today – following Shawn Camp, Carlos Marmol, and James Russell (all regulars) – which is modestly interesting. He allowed one hit and nothing else (striking out one) in his inning of work. He’s at least as plausible an option for the pen as a Zach Putnam, Drew Carpenter, or Jaye Chapman. Which is to say it’s unlikely he makes the pen, but it’s possible.

Carlos Marmol: uneventful inning. That’s all I need to say.

Alfonso Soriano hit another homer today, and also had an outfield assist. He’s been having a fine Spring, which he often does.

Darwin Barney also went deep, which will almost certainly translate into increased power during the season. (Actually, his trajectory and build do have his power increasing slightly from year-to-year.)

  • BT

    Lay off the porn, maybe the site doesn’t shut down so much.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Merica.

      • Ryan

        This was the only acceptable response.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

    Cardinals released Ronny Cedeno yesterday, and I want. We need a RH utility infielder. I wanted him back before we just kind of decided Lillibridge was on our team for no good reason, and I super want him now that there’s another spot open after Liilibridge (that will go to like Bogusevic or Clevenger or something).

    • college_of_coaches

      Is there any inside word on why the Cardinals released him? I had read that this was a rather unexpected move, considering that he had a good spring and the Cards need depth in the infield. So I wonder what the deal is here.

    • King Jeff

      And here I just assumed that Lillibridge had earned his spot by playing pretty solid defense at several positions and tearing the cover off the ball this spring. ( I know small sample size, but he’s done what he was supposed to do in spring training for a guy fighting for a roster spot)

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        Lillibridge earned his spot by being buddies with Sveum and Epstein mysteriously failing to provide any real alternatives. There was never a competition.

        • BT

          I will fully admit Lillibridge sucks, and you might convince me Cedeno is a better option, but are you seriously suggesting that Epstein not only handed him the job, but purposefully failed to pursue better options, because he is “buddies” with him? You’ve got to be kidding me.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            Yes. I imagine it pretty much went like this.

            Theo: “Well, I guess we need some sort of utility infielder on the roster. I don’t care how bad they are, just as long as they’ll play for cheap and I can save the money for some terrible Cuban pitcher because rebuildingprospectsplan.”

            Dale: “How about Lillibridge? He’s a gamer and we worked together in the past, so I trust me.”

            Theo: “Whatever, that’s fine.”

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              cont’d:

              Jed: Don’t I get a say in this?

              Theo: No. Dammit, Jed, I left Boston because I got sick of people telling me what to do and how to do it. Don’t you start.

              Jed: Yes, sir.

              • BT

                So where’s the “mystery”?

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                  The mystery is why the Theo Epstein that led baseball’s biggest arms race against the Yankees is scared to take on the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates.

                  • bbmoney

                    I’m sure he’s shaking in his boots.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    ? Have any of those teams signed anybody of any note in the last 16 months?

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      Just signings? Not that many that I can think of. Ludwick, Burnett, Furcal.

    • CubFan Paul

      Lillibridge could be kind of studly versus LHP. We kind of need that.

      Minus last year, I’d take Lillibridge over Cedeno. He’s no Mather.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        Cedeno is a better defender, and he out-OPSed Lillibridge in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

        Lillibridge is about as Mathery as it is possible to get without actually being Joe Mather. He should be nicknamed Matherbridge.

        • King Jeff

          Plus Cedeno’s a right handed bench bat that can play everywhere in the infield and some emergency outfield. As much as I have bad memories of Cedeno and his time with the Cubs, he is someone the team should be looking at adding.

          • CubFan Paul

            ‘Plus Cedeno’s a right handed bench bat that can play everywhere in the infield and some emergency outfield’

            Lillibridge is a right handed bench bat that can play everywhere in the infield and he’s better than an emergency OFer.

            The Cubs have three ‘suck vs. LHP’ lefties (DeJesus, Schierholtz, & Valbuena). Lillilbridge is welcomed addition in my opinion, because there’s more to him than just his down 2012 year.

            Going small sample sizes versus Mather doesn’t add up either. Mather wishes he mashed LHP like Lillibridge.

        • Dale’s Ear

          LMAO @ “Matherbridge”

    • DarthHater

      I thought Cedeno was supposed to be part of the solution to the Cardinals’ ss problem, yet now they just release him? Gotta wonder why.

  • ETS

    I had a dream last night I met Brett on a beach in Florida while fishing for shark. Not sure why I’m sharing this other than to say I must think about BN almost as much as I think about the cubs (or sharks). Good job!

    • Dr. Freud

      Clearly, you are in love with Jeff Samardzija (the shark) and see your father (here represented by Brett) as a romantic rival.

      • ETS

        Was oedipus the only bit of greek methology that Freud ever read?

      • cubmig

        “Clearly, you are in love with Jeff Samardzija (the shark) and see your father (here represented by Brett) as a romantic rival.”

        THAT”S IT! ……..You’ve convinced me that you are truly the “real” Dr. Freud!!!!!
        LOL

      • Stinky Pete

        How’s it goin’, Freud Dude?

  • Diggs

    Who will be bounced from the 40-man to make room for Lillibridge?

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Baker and Vizcaino will be put on the 60-day DL when it opens up next week. That’ll give us two open spots on the 40-man.

    • King Jeff

      Any of the minor league guys who won’t be getting called up. Probably Matt Sczcur.

    • cubchymyst

      Likely no one initially, Vizciano and Baker will likely be moved to the 60 day DL and open a spot that way.

  • Headscratchin

    Time to move your hosting service out of South Korea??

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Or Los Angeles, but same thing.

      • Internet Random

        Racist.

  • Jp3

    So does Ian Stewart starting the year on the DL mean he’s made the team??? If so he’s brilliant, his strategy was to not play much in ST then the Cubs would have to keep him because he hasn’t been able to let him down on the field yet.

    • willis

      How about not playing at all? Man, he played the cubs good. Isn’t that hard when upper management has a absurd crush on you.

  • Grant

    Just don’t start the site on a towel drill…we all know what happens after that.

  • hansman1982

    “…folks who think I’m just making excuses for poor Cubs play). ”

    At some point, you’d think the chorus of people who say that the number of day games hurts the Cubs would convince people it’s not an excuse.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Or Los Angeles, but same thing.
    Racist comment? Of course not. I don’t know what racisim is. I live in North Idaho. The last time I saw a negro in person was when I went into downtown Spokane years ago.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m not aware of a racist connection, but the server is located in Los Angeles, which is not the same place as South Korea. That was my sarcasm.

      • Headscratchin

        My reference was to the news this morning that North Korea has unleashed a cyber attack on South Korea. Racism? Crawl back under your rock.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I explicitly said I didn’t see the race connection.

          • Headscratchin

            Sorry Brett, my comment was directed at Idaho – looks like I hit reply on the wrong comment.

        • DarthHater

          Gotta make those references clearer, man. Folks around here only read baseball news.

    • Internet Random

      Don’t guess I read far enough before my last comment… which was a joke… I see no racism.

  • Morken

    In related news: Doug Dascenzo offers his condolences to the family of Joseph Stalin; Damon Berryhill extends his sympathies to the family of Che Guevara; and Hector Villanueva offers up well wishes to the family of Adolf Hitler.

  • CubsFanBob

    Surprise Parker isnt getting more consideration since he has looked great this spring.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Awesome Morken, awesome!

  • DarthHater

    Brett, clearly God wants you to stop mocking Him in your headlines… ;-)

  • Idaho Razorback

    I know Brett. You do a helluva job! Keep up the great work, BN is my 1st source for breaking Cubs news. By the way, I had no problam getting on BN last nite and I was on it frequently as last nite was my Saturday.

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    Ronnie Cedeno had no baseball sense when he was a Cub. He made more mental errors than any Cub I can remember.

    Stay far, far away.

    • Rcleven

      Bingo.

    • http://bleachernation thisoldcubfan

      I couldn’t agree more. I remember some reporter saying that Cedeno had a “low baseball IQ”, and it showed.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Given that most baseball reporters have a baseball IQ in negative numbers, I would put no stock in that.

        • hansman1982

          It takes one to know one…

          • Internet Random

            This is not true. I’m not a women, but I know many.

            • Internet Random

              “a women”

              Heh.

  • Korean Goat

    I am looking forward to more night games this year and the chicago cubs surprises and scandals part two

  • MightyBear

    Bleacher Nation is back baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jono

    I believe Kerry wood when he says that day games are a significant contribution to the cubs losing history. Day games are fun, but night games have their own majestic element

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Schoenfield’s test does not address the right question. The issue is not whether the Cubs play worse at Wrigley than other teams do at their parks. The issue is whether the Cubs play worse at home and on the road (especially after August) because of their inconsistent schedule. That’s easily tested: just look at how more worse Cubs teams do in September than expected given their April – August records. (It should be a 50:50 split of “better/worse”: but as of a few years ago, it was not very close.)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Of course even that one is subject to the problem of teams that “sell off,” and suck for that reason, too.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        True, but the pattern extends (or at least it did as of the middle of last decade) to how individual players did. I think those correlations excluded guys who played only part of the year for the Cubs, although I might be wrong.

        That said, the Cubs have not had many big sell-offs over the years. Prior to last year, I don’t recall the last time that that Cubs sent multiple main-players away midseason. (There was a bit of one in 1987, but I’m drawing blanks on the 25 years in between.)

  • Lokanna

    Clearly, as Cub fans, the solution to the day/night debate is simple! If the Cubs are at a competitive disadvantage due to more day games than other MLB teams, make the OTHER teams play more day games! Problem solved!

    You’re welcome, MLB. I accept tokens of gratitude in the forms of cash, money, and whatever “dolla dolla bills” are.

  • Jacob

    Imagine if BN’s host effed up like it did during the trade deadline blog-a-thon…

    • King Jeff

      We wouldn’t miss much. I don’t think that they made any moves during the first one.

  • Die hard

    Blame N Korea

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