fruit stripe gumA fresh podcast episode is on the way this morning, though I wish the realities of production didn’t preclude us from being able to talk about last night’s game. We probably would have been cheerier.

  • Dale Sveum is missing Darwin Barney, who’s expected to play a few minor league games this weekend before returning early next week. Per the Sun-Times: “You miss that defense and the lack of striking out. That defense is the best in baseball …. There’s a calmness when he’s out there.” Ouch, Brent Lillibridge and Alberto Gonzalez. (I kid.)
  • Speaking of Lillibridge, he’s quite right that, when it comes to the numbers, there’s only so much you can control as a hitter. Per “The biggest thing is just do your work. That’s all you can control. There’s only so many things you can control in this game, and it’s preparation, your approach at the plate, swinging at good pitches, trying to hit the ball hard. And if the ball drops, the ball drops. It can be frustrating at times, and especially early on when the numbers are so glaring.” Lillibridge also talked about the step up at Wrigley from being in the visitor clubhouse previously.
  • Matt Garza, as noted yesterday, is a bit further off in his return, though he’s getting there. He threw off flat ground yesterday, and will do a couple more bullpen sessions before heading out on his rehab stint, which, for him, will essentially be the “games” part of Spring Training. The second or third week of May looks like a plausible return range, assuming no setbacks.
  • Minor league pitcher Pedro Silverio has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Silverio, 18, is on the Cubs’ DSL roster, and will presumably start serving his suspension when the DSL season starts later this year. To date, he had not been regarded as a big-time prospect.
  • Thanks to a marketing agreement with Wrigley 5 gum, Cubs relievers were told they should avoid chewing Double Bubble on camera, according to Paul Sullivan. At least one reliever was miffed, but I’m not sure why: Double Bubble is great for about 15 seconds (after you power through the firmness with which it begins), and then it loses its flavor. It’s not quite as bad as Fruit Stripe gum in that regard, but I’d be plenty happy to try something new. (Hooray, YouTube for low quality, hand-cam-recorded, apropos clips.)
  • Actually, Fruit Stripe gum is a nice metaphor for Chicago Cubs baseball of the last few years: exciting in theory, great for the first few seconds, suddenly disappointing, and ultimately leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Anthony Rizzo talks about the constant process of adjusting as pitchers adjust to a hitter’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The TOOTBLAN Tracker is getting serious: it now has a searchable database.
  • Like a bunch of you probably have, I used one of my fantasy contest roster spots on Anthony Rizzo (the price was right, and I think he’s undervalued right now). But I’ve been feverishly checking to make sure he’ll be facing a righty on Friday, given his struggles against lefties … and I’d actually started to waiver in my pick, given those struggles. But then he doubled off a lefty last night, and I was comforted again. Which reminds me: sign up for the free fantasy contest. You can win a share of $300. Full contest details here.
  • CubFan Paul

    Someone should get the bullpen dorks some Big Bol gum.

  • Joe

    Is Bubblelicious still in business? That would be the way to go. And you cannot go wrong with Fruit Stripe … reminds me of my youth (as does Clove and Black Jack).

  • TOOTBLAN Tracker

    Thank you (again)!

  • Boogens

    I used to love Bazooka until they messed with it. Like Brett said about Double Bubble, Bazooka now loses it’s flavor after just a few minutes and the texture of the gum is different now, making it harder to blow bubbles.

  • Webb

    I’ll look for the scathing tweet from Sullivan this morning berating you for stealing his ground-breaking bubble gum story. Directing traffic to his articles is the same as scooping ideas out of his brain like it’s peach yogurt, man.

  • EQ76

    big league chew.. they all need to stick with big league chew.

    • Jed

      I second that.

    • ReiCow



  • JulioZuleta

    My team for Friday looks pretty stellar. Also, you can’t rule out a move at the deadline if I feel like I need to improve team chemistry.

    • Brett


      • JulioZuleta

        I say that jokingly, but whenever I have a fantasy team that’s struggling I feel the need to make some moves. It makes me feel like I’m “shaking things up” and somehow that’s going to help my team. I may have some issues.

        • Werner

          Your issue is that you’re damn funny.

          Also, seriously, you don’t think your fantasy players are aware, on some cosmic level, of your moves. My Magic-8 Ball says yes. My tin-foil hat agrees.

  • Ash

    Cain’er (the other one) is going on Friday. Sooo… at least it’s a righty facing Rizzo!

  • hansman1982

    Big League Chew

    Nothing screams great childhood like pretending to chew tobacco.

    • EQ76

      you “Bretted” me hansman1982.. plagerized my big league chew thought 7 comments ago.. :)

      • hansman1982

        I prefer to say you’ve been Taylor’ed

        • EQ76

          nice.. i guess that’s more professional… I almost went with “Aced”

          • hansman1982


    • Thom

      I just spit out my coffee laughing at this! Thanks 😉

  • ETS

    Ouch, your metaphor was pretty cold brent :D.

    I have no qualms losing the pitcher that got busted with PEDs but it’s disconcerting that anyone in any part of our system got “caught juicing”. I am hoping that it’s just an isolated incident.

  • The Dude Abides

    Brett – anything coming on the >4.5 million international money the Cubs have for 2013/14? Did they spend all of the 2012/2013 money?

    • Brett

      Post coming later this morning on that.

      • Jp3

        You had to be snickering knowing this was his big story of the day

  • Jeff

    “Thanks to a marketing agreement with Wrigley 5 gum, Cubs relievers were told they should avoid chewing Double Bubble on camera, according to Paul Sullivan.”

    I hope Bubble Gum is not the straw that breaks the Plagiarism back, have we seen any tweets from Sully yet?

    Love that in depth serious reporting from the Tribune….another great article that I’m not missing anything important by not following over @tribune/sports/cubs

  • Jp3

    This bubble gum (brought to you by wrigley 5 and paul sullivan) story is awesome in that it shows you how much you miss out on by not having media credentials and not being able to break mysteries like this

  • DarthHater

    There you again, Bert. Stealing Sullivan’s big gum story as your headline for the day. Disgraceful! 😛

    • DarthHater

      I’m sure you’ll also be hearing soon from Fruit Stripe’s product libel attorneys… 😉

      • hansman1982

        trademark, copyright, patent infringement.

        Basically, BN is toast.

        • Jeff

          Ace better be worried, I mean, Sullivan if he wasn’t a journalist could go do anything else, but Ace here….I mean what would he go do if he wasn’t a blogger “stealing” others work to post on his site…..I mean, It’s not like he could go be a lawyer or anything like that…


  • Curt

    have the cubs moved yet jk , wht does the silence mean good or bad ?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I just don’t remember.

  • Kev

    I’m somewhat surprised that you don’t have “according to Paul Sullivan” written in all caps above–just so he’d notice.

  • Spencer

    I haz question about DL moves. Barney was placed on the DL retroactive to 3/31. If you count that day starting as one, and then count 14 more days, he’s eligible to come off on 4/14. Is that how the calculation is done? Or do you start counting the day after he was placed on the DL, 4/1?

  • True(ly) Blue

    Paul Sullivan strikes (out) again. In his story about yesterday’s game he called Castro’s third inning throw to first base after a great pickup behind second base “lazy”. I saw the play and I was awed by the pickup and a rather remarkable throw as Castro was running full speed toward right center field. Does Sullivan watch the same game as the rest of us or is he a columnist who hates all things Cubs rather than a beat writer?

  • cys_av8r


    The Fruit Stripe Gum metaphor is PRICELESS…just stole it from you for my FB status….though gave you full credit.

  • North Side Irish

    Sean Marshall to the DL with should issues. In the Twitter Era, that means the Cubs won that trade.

    • hansman1982


      My fantasy bullpen is in shambles.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      They had already won the trade. A 25 year old left handed cost controlled #3 or #4 starter for a 6 million a year set up man.

  • cb

    So the Cubs aren’t like Fruit Stripes in that it contains a tattoo? I thought we got free tats for going to games.