darwin barney gold gloveSo, I didn’t do so well in the first DraftStreet contest yesterday. The Tampa Bay/Boston rainout cost me Evan Longoria, Anthony Rizzo laid an egg, and so did Adam Jones. Starlin Castro and Andrew McCutchen had nice days for me, but that was about it. The winner, twildman6 with 84.5 points bested me by more than 50 points. Oof. The rest of the top ten were jakoch1, RonSantosLegs, kygavin, mrqball, cublove9, gaglam1, TDcool, ChiHoffman, and Fin With DeJesus. Even the next 15 people won $10, and I hope it was fun even for those of you who didn’t win. There are more of these to come this season, so stay tuned.

  • Darwin Barney received his Gold Glove yesterday, shortly before he headed out on a rehab stint at Iowa that will see him back with the Cubs early next week. Dale Sveum made Barney’s teammates watch him get the award, and congratulate him afterward. In honor of his award, the Cubs are giving out replica Gold Glove awards to the first 10,000 folks at the game today:

  • It’s actually a pretty sturdy, spot-on replica (though I’m not sure that the Rawlings Gold Glove is co-sponsored by D’Agostino’s Pizza, but, hey, I’ve never won one). While the Cubs honor Barney with a replica trophy for the fans, I honor him by recalling Brandon Phillips’ disappointment at losing the Gold Glove to Barney:

barney phillips gold glove

  • There isn’t too much to add about Kyuji Fujikawa’s ugly outing yesterday, trying to close out the win for the Cubs. He couldn’t locate his fastball, and he couldn’t then play his splitter off of the fastball. The fastball also didn’t have much life or movement. Yeah, it was just bad all around. He looked uncomfortable on the mound, and I wonder if he’s struggling to adjust to the cold. In a cold, ugly-weather appearance against the Brewers earlier in the week, I noticed halfway through his stint that he’d completely given up on throwing anything but his fastball. To me, it seemed clearly weather-related. Yesterday’s didn’t seem like it was weather-related, but with the previous outing in the back of my head, I now wonder. Then again, Fujikawa got blasted in Atlanta last week, and there were no weather issues there. It’s still early, I suppose, but his grip on the closer’s job is less than firm.
  • Carlos Villanueva, who didn’t get the “W” because of the blown save (Fujikawa got the “W” – anyone want to keep defending W/L as a useful, meaningful stat?), had this to say about his start, per Cubs.com: “As you can tell, the radar gun doesn’t light up when I’m out there. Having a game plan and not really executing, I’ll have those days, I know. But days like today, when I can go in and out, up, down and mix it up, you have guys on the other team saying, ‘We should’ve killed that guy, we should’ve scored a million runs today.’ But the end result isn’t the way they want, it makes me feel a lot more better.” If Villanueva can keep being the kind of guy who frustrates the hell out of opponents, that’d be just fine.
  • By the way: make sure Dioner Navarro gets some love for yesterday’s win. Coming off the bench and hitting a homer off of Sergio Romo ain’t easy, and Navarro’s run counted just as much as the one Starlin Castro drove in.
  • If you were wondering when and where second base prospect Ronald Torreyes would finally debut, it was yesterday and AA Tennessee. He needed a little extra time to get ready for the season after arriving late to Spring Training, and now the 20-year-old is the man at second base in Tennessee. Given his ridiculous ability to hit and his very young age, he remains a prospect to watch. He’ll never be a big, powerful guy, but the big leagues are definitely a possibility in his future, even as a starter.
  • fortyonenorth

    Regrading Fujikawa: Do they use the same sized ball in Japan? I know when we were talking about the Korean kid during the off season, someone mentioned they used a slightly smaller ball.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie


    • Troy

      Here’s what I found on a Japanese baseball article online
      In short:
      The ball must be made of cork, cow hide, and other materials.
      The ball must be between 141.7 and 148.8 grams.
      The ball must be between 22.9 to 23.5 cm in circumference.
      Apparently they are a little smaller

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Without checking, my memory is telling me that it’s definitely a *different* ball, but I’m not sure that it’s a different size.

      • Troy

        The ny times wrote an article about the differences in the Japanese balls made by Muzuno and American baseballs made by Rawlings and concluded the major difference was the core of the ball has no rubber center making it lighter with more movement. Several Japanese pictures who have pitched in both country’s concluded the Muzuno ball had more movement making it easier to miss the sweet spot of the bat.
        I hope this helps.

        • fortyonenorth

          It helps me, but apparently not Fujikawa. It will be interesting to see how his season evolves.

          Speaking of Japan, it looks like LaHair is a regular for Softbank and it hitting .265 early in the year–with at least a few home runs (and more than a few Ks) as well.

    • OCCubFan

      My memory is that the Japanese ball used to be slightly smaller than the ML baseball, but they changed it to be the same size a couple or few years ago.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I’m late to the party, but you are correct. The baseball used to be smaller in Japan, but now they use the same ball as MLB.

  • fortyonenorth


  • MichiganGoat

    Why is the trophy upside down

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


      • Brian

        The picture of the trophy in the article is upside down. Is this on purpose?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Which one … they all show right-side up to me. This is crazy!

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Ha. Let me guess – iPhones?

            That’s so weird. Shows the right way on desktop.

            • MichiganGoat


              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Fixed it. That’s so bizarre – showed the right orientation everywhere else you look, including the site used to upload. I took the picture with my iPhone, so there’s an explanation in there somewhere (of course, even on my iPhone, the picture, itself, is right-side up).

          • MichiganGoat

            The trophy on my iPhone is upside down

        • MichiganGoat


  • bobo justis

    It’s been snowing lightly near Wrigley this morning, but now the sun is out. Temp 35 degrees.

    • Die hard

      Which is why the regular season should be May 15-Sept 1 and WS done by Sept 30

  • Idaho Razorback

    Gold Glove trophies are really neat. I once owned Curt Floods 1964 Gold Glove. I purchased it from a woman who was an ex-girlfriend of Floods. I paid $2500.00 for it and sold it a few years later for $8000.00.

    • Internet Random

      “I paid $2500.00 for it and sold it a few years later for $8000.00.”

      On Pawn Stars I hope.

  • Diesel

    Got to look at Darwin’s trophy. It is a beautiful sight to see

  • Idaho Razorback

    No. I sold it to a former major leaguer.

  • The Dude Abides

    I doubt Phillips is worrying too much any longer, he is in the middle of a pennant race.

  • Die hard

    How about Barney to Blue Jays who lost Reyes?

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