Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaIt would be nice to be able to focus on baseball and the home opener today, but the Wrigley renovation stuff casts a long shadow. Hopefully there’s some kind of official announcement, even if it isn’t the “a deal is done” announcement. That way, we can turn our attentions elsewhere.

  • Dale Sveum/Chris Bosio/Dioner Navarro are getting a little heat for not coming out to visit Jeff Samardzija yesterday in the fifth inning when it was clear that he’d gotten a bit of the hey-I’m-having-an-insanely-good-game yips. It’s tough to criticize that one, though, without knowing the interpersonal relationships. Mound visits are good for most pitchers, but there are some out there who actually respond very unfavorably to them – as in, they do more harm than good. So, unless you’re taking the guy out, don’t bother. I’m not saying Samardzija is one of those guys (I could see it, though), but that might be an explanation.
  • Speaking of his outing yesterday, Samardzija sounds like a veteran ace: “It’s a double-edged sword when you strike guys out like that,” Samardzija said, per Cubs.com. “Your pitch count gets up, you’re showing them a lot of pitches. It’s not a bad thing. I felt good, the pitches all felt good and a couple bad decisions there came back to haunt me.” That’s the delicate balance. Strikeouts are a great thing, but pitching economy is a good thing, too.
  • If you’re wondering whether Cubs pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua has arrived to the States following his visa delay … he has not. Ben Badler reports that Paniagua is still in the Dominican Republic, waiting on visa clearance. Badler says it’s likely to come eventually this season, but there’s no timetable. That really sucks.
  • Per the Tribune, Dale Sveum says that the renovations to Wrigley Field will help turn it into one of the most attractive destinations for free agents in baseball. Right now, when considering coming to the Cubs, a free agent has the following calculus (assuming the money is even): Chicago, good. Wrigley Field, good. History of losing, not so good. Hilariously bad player facilities, extremely not good.
  • The players sound on board with a Wrigley renovation, and not just the things that directly help them (clubhouse, batting cages, medical facilities, training facilities), but also the JumboTron. Darwin Barney even told the Sun-Times that the extra light might help the fielders.
  • hansman1982

    What, now Barney is making excuses for that September error? What’s next, excuses about day baseball? Excuses about excuses?

    • Wilbur

      Rather presumptive conclusion …

      • hansman1982

        What!?! That never happens on the internetz.

  • Patrick G

    Is Paniagua able to pitch in his country while waiting visa to keep in baseba shape?

    • Smitty

      I would imagine that if he is in the Dominican that he would be at the facilities we have down their getting work in. It would be better if he were pitching and facing hitters so we could see what we really have there, though.

  • Diamondrock

    So a JumboTron would make Darwin Barney an even *better* second baseman?

    I know he doesn’t provide a lot of offense, but I can’t wait for Barney to get back in the game. I can’t tell you many times over the last few days I’ve watched a ground ball skip past Gonzalez or Lillibridge and thought “yeaaah… Darwin Barney would’ve made that.” At the very least some spectacular catches could provide some of the entertainment our offense rarely produces…

  • YourResidentJag

    This just in: Theo’s a traditionalist and wants to keep the DH out of the National League. For proof, listen to the Score. Thanks Brett for the sort of incorrect reporting. :)

    • DarthHater

      As I recall, Brett’s previous article on Theo and the DH was based on direct quotes of statements Theo made to USA Today. Haven’t heard what Theo said on the Score, but if he is now saying something different, that’s hardly Brett’s fault. You’re just a blog commenter with an anti-Brett agenda, Lou. 😛

      • YourResidentJag

        So, you’ll admit that he has an agenda. Good, it’s a start. :)

        And yes, Theo stated that it was an innocuous discussion that got him thinking about the DH. He actually believes in the separation of leagues, because, well, why have them. You might as well just have EAST and WEST division like the NBA. Then, the Cubs and WSox can duke it out for who gets to play in the WEST 😉 Boy, that’s likely to go well, now isn’t it?

        Nope. Not his fault but this commentary on why the DH needs to be in the NL, it’s quite pointless. Notice because Brett strongly believes in the DH in the NL, you don’t see Theo’s new comments on here. Though, now that I’ve stated this, maybe they’ll appear.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You are an incredibly good troll, because it’s very hard to ignore you.

          The reason Theo’s most recent comments are not yet up on the site are because they took place during a media blitz immediately before the game. I don’t usually make it a practice of writing up things like that during games. Of course I will write about it, and of course it has nothing to do with you.

          • YourResidentJag

            Who said it should have anything to do with me? Hmm…. But it’s nice to know writing timetable, though. 😉

            • YourResidentJag


            • DarthHater

              YourResidentBag wrote, “Though, now that I’ve stated this, maybe they’ll appear,” thereby implying that, if/when Brett wrote about Theo’s subsequent comments, it would be because of the statements by YourResidentBag. YourResidentBag should try reading YourResidentBag’s own comments.

              • YourResidentJag

                Me no comprehende.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              “Notice because Brett strongly believes in the DH in the NL, you don’t see Theo’s new comments on here. Though, now that I’ve stated this, maybe they’ll appear.”

              Did you just troll yourself?

              • YourResidentJag

                Ya know maybe I did. 😉

  • The Dude Abides

    “If you’re wondering whether Cubs pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua has arrived to the States following his visa delay … he has not”

    That’s all I can think about, please keep us posted.

  • Grant

    Regarding Bosio/Sveum/Navarro going out to have a chat with Samardzija yesterday, completely possible that Shark’s one of the guys who doesn’t respond well to that sort of thing, but at the same time, he certainly wasn’t responding well to not having someone come out and clear his head either. Also, I’d think it’s a bit different when your catcher does it vs. the pitching coach or manager. Shark was just inside his own head too much, I think. It’s just a shame that such a dominant start flew off the rails the way it did.

  • cedlandrum

    Whats up with Paul Sullivan’s douchebaggery Brett?

    • Patrick G

      Is he referring to the site in general or specific article. Pretty f’d up of Sullivan to just come out of nowhere with that nonsense

      • hansman1982


        “Remember to follow @BleacherNation for latest plagiarizing of Cubs beat writers’ reporting.” Is the tweet.

        Dispicable. Although Brett’s response is, pretty much, the classiest way to respond to such a trollish act.

        • JulioZuleta

          Looks like the frumpy hobbit woke up on the wrong side of Narnia (or wherever hobbits are from) this morning.

          • pete

            At least he did not say Brett plagiarizes his hair cut. Now that would be law suit worthy.

        • Werner

          Paul Sullivan is the old school type who equates cyncism with journalistic ethics.Not to worry, it’s not like newspapers are in trouble or anything….

          • FarmerTanColin

            Haha this is good.

        • Cooper

          Curious to know if Sullivan sent any additional reply or message to Brett. Pretty lame on Sullivan’s part. He lost at least one subscriber today. If only I subscribed to the Trib, I would cancel that one too…

          • hansman1982

            He lost me last year with his Anti-Social Media night. Granted, I’m not sure that he ever really “had” me.

            • Cooper

              Yeah, can’t say he was ever a favorite follow. Never been a fan of his mailbag crap in the Trib. Just had him followed as one more thing Cubby related. I am far happier just waiting for Brett to “plagerize” him…

          • Kyle

            He’s easily the dumbest of all the Cubs beat writers (non-Muskat division). I was only following for the entertainment that comes with that fact, but he earned himself a drop today.

            • DarthHater

              Handsome, intelligent, AND loyal! [swoon!] 😉

            • YourResidentJag

              Yeah, even YourResidentJag feels that comment while filled with jaggery was totally pointless.

        • Internet Random

          Remember to follow @PWSullivan for latest in likely actionable defamatory statements.

          • college_of_coaches

            It’s too bad that being a hack writer isn’t actionable.

          • JulioZuleta

            Be sure not to plagiarize the RTT of Torts when showing him the definition of defamation.

        • DarthHater

          Given the fluff answers in Sullivan’s Cubs mailbag, he’d be better off if he tried plagiarizing Brett.

          • JulioZuleta

            Oh Darth, you somehow manage to make me chuckle at least once a day.

            • JulioZuleta

              Meant to reply to the “asshat” comment below.

        • beerhelps

          Sullivan is the only guy to ever block me on Twitter, just because I referred to him as an “asshat”. I would love to call him several other things than that in person if I ever got the chance. I guess life would be awful if you spent your day writing about a team that you absolutely loathe that play a sport you know very little about.

          • DarthHater

            What an asshat thing to do. 😉

        • ncsujuri

          Was there something specific he thought was plagerized?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            No. I’ll be writing about this soon.

            • Coop

              Good Brett! Not that you needed reminding, but it’s pretty clear that folks here have your back.

              • John (the other one)

                How dare you provide links to Sullivan’s content. Seriously, I did a site-search and most of your references to Sullivan are just what they should be–short clips making your audience aware of them. If we didn’t know any better, we might click them. One day, someone should explain to Mr. Sullivan how the internet works. Sounds like sour grapes to me, Brett.

                • DarthHater

                  Brett’s attorney will be contacting you to testify as a witness. 😉

        • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

          Wow, what a D.

  • DCF

    I fail to see how Shark’s comments show that he “understands”.
    It’s just the generic blablah you’d expect from a guy after the game.
    The bad ending to his evening had nothing to do with pitch economy or whatever, he just lost his head and messed it up.

    • FarmerTanColin

      Understanding the difference between striking out everyone and conserving pitches is like…the major step most young players have to make before becoming legitimate pitchers. Very far from generic blabah which would go more like “Yeah I made a mistake but we’ll go get back at it tomorrow”

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Especially after a game like that where the focus was the strikeouts the entire time the game was playing out.

        • hansman1982

          Samardjiza’s response is pretty much the boiler plate, blah blah blah, response that you want to hear from someone after the game.

      • DCF

        Maybe I am just stupid but I cannot see any connection and/or contradiction between “saving pitches” and racking up Ks. It’s not like the pitcher could deliberately choose between a one-pitch flyout and a three-pitch K. And besides, his issue weren’t too many K’s, his problem that he lost his head.

  • Kyle

    On average, strikeouts don’t really hurt your pitch economy. If those 13 Ks are balls in play, the at-bats end earlier but 3-5 of them become hits and force you to face more batters. It turns out to be about a wash, historically.

    • Edwin

      Great point.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I would take it a step further and state that what should be obvious: what hurts pitch economy is throwing non-strikes. Fergie and Maddux were extreme examples: they pounded the strike zone and got deep into games on few pitches while wracking up a lot of K’s and few BB’s. Now, obviously, they both had better raw stuff and better command than Joe MLB Pitcher (and Fergie was working with a much bigger K zone): but Joe MLB Pitcher could probably maximize his potential by trying to emulate that & not trying to get batters to “chase” bad pitches as often as so many of them do.

      (I have read many times that aluminum bats contribute a lot to this: it’s much more important to miss aluminum bats than it is to miss wooden ones, and that sets the tone for trying to get guys to fish.)

      • Edwin
        • DocPeterWimsey

          No “might”: I did enjoy it! (I think that you posted the link earlier: I saw it first from someone here.)

          Here is one obvious example that they do not discuss and of close interest to us: “bullpen by committee.” Game Theory describes how this *should* be done: and once you get past the jargon, then it should make a lot of sense in terms of maximizing the probabilities of favorable outcomes over a stretch of batters: and of probable pinch-hitters, too.

  • dash

    I found Barney’s comment very interesting. Is there a lighting problem at Wrigley? At least on TV, it does seem very dark compared to other parks.

  • Gergő

    I’m not a big fan of catcher’s mound visit when the pitcher is dealing but what the hell was Navarro doing yesterday? Samardzija had clearly lost his composure in the 5th and there was no visit from the then on. Not saying it would have solved anything hovewer i found it very strange.

    • Jeff

      That’s called a lousy manager, it’s not the catchers job to manage the game or the players.

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