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  • I’m going to commit a cardinal statistical sin in service of a broader point. Travis Wood’s ERA since joining the Cubs is 3.96, placing him right around league average. That makes him a fine 4th/5th starter in almost any rotation. Great. But hasn’t he seemed a lot better than that? Well, if you take out two wind-aided blowout awful starts in July 2012 (in which Wood gave up 16 earned runs in just 9.2 innings), that Cubs ERA drops to just 3.34 in over 170 innings of work. That’s … pretty freaking awesome. Now, as I said in the first sentence in this Bullet, you can’t really take out a guy’s worst starts to make him look good – you could perform that operation with many players and make them seem better than they are. In this instance, however, I offer the information only as a reference to why you might be feeling that Wood has been better than his overall number suggest. And obviously he’s had great success so far this year: 4 starts, 26 innings, 2.08 ERA, 1.038 WHIP. We’ll see a regression in some of those numbers as they catch up with his meh K/BB rate and his luckily low hit and HR rates. But we could be looking at a really solid number four here, even when the Cubs are competitive.
  • As the lights flicker: if you’re looking to get best sports betting odds, check out Carbon Sports, because they have that.
  • It sounds like Michael Bowden is taking last night’s loss, in which he pitched a scoreless inning, and then gave up three runs in the next to lose the game, particularly hard. I can’t be too mad at him, though. In his second inning of work, he gave up a two-strike single on a nice piece of hitting, a bloop double that should have been a single or caught, a double to a great hitter in Jay Bruce, and then a single to Cesar Izturis. I can grouse about half of that. Maybe. All in all, I thought Bowden looked pretty good.
  • Dale Svuem confirmed that, when discussing players and demotions on Sunday, he wasn’t referencing Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, specifically, as news articles made it seem. Instead, he was speaking generically in response to a question that included Rizzo and Castro. “You guys asked me if those guys couldn’t get sent down. I said nobody was exempt [from] it,” Sveum told the media, per Paul Sullivan. “They’re not the only ones. You guys were pushing them [in the line of questioning].” Sveum isn’t always the most artful guy in his phrasing, but, like I said yesterday, if your choices are “Sveum is saying the Cubs might send Rizzo and Castro down to AAA soon,” and “Sveum is offering a platitude that no player is guaranteed a roster spot no matter what,” it sure makes sense to choose the latter when there’s a little bit of gray.
  • Here’s another hypothetical rendering of a 6,000 square foot JumboTron at Wrigley Field. I want the Cubs to get what they want, and I am also very much in favor of a large video board at Wrigley. But I’m starting to think that 6,000 square feet might be a touch too big. As always, it depends on how well it’s done and integrated, but it’s hard to see how something that big could be tastefully included in the otherwise quiet surroundings. Maybe 2/3 that size?
  • Speaking of the renovation, Dusty Baker says he’s glad it’s finally happening, noting the sub-par player facilities.
  • Brandon Phillips talks about his comments last year upon learning that he’d lost the Gold Glove to Darwin Barney. He still thinks that was the wrong call. (Brandon: U Mad? He Mad.)
  • Someone among you has been submitting BN links to Reddit from time to time. I just wanted to say thanks.
  • The “Fire Dale Sveum” petition is a thing that exists, because of course it is. I would sooner sign the “Build a Death Star” petition.
  • CM

    A Death Star done tastefully would actually be pretty cool…

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      I’d rather have a Death Star than a jumbotron in left field.

      By far.

      • hansman1982

        Can I run the controls? Blast any away team ball destined for the stands or bare dirt. Zap Cubs when their attention wanes.

        • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

          I think we’re on to something here.
          A Death Star could prove to be much more beneficial in influencing the outcome of games than a jumbotron.
          And you can have a turn at the controls, hansman, but it was my idea so I’m boss.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Both can be taken out by a 1-man starship.

        • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

          The odds of 2 lucky shots down a service tube are astronomical and statistically non-existant.

  • JulioZuleta

    They threw Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton in their pen, we had Michael Bowden and Kevin Gregg…and that’s Dale’s fault.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Like two Mercedes against two Ford Aspires.

    • RoughRiider

      Julio,

      Was there suppose to be a question mark at the end of that ?

      • JulioZuleta

        No. I’m saying it’s ridiculous that people are criticizing him for stuff he can’t control. He doesn’t have the horses to win the race. Sure, he’s made some questionable calls, but every manager does.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Why on earth do people want to stir the “send down Castro and Rizzo” pot. It’s ignorant. A demotion to Castro would be disastrous at this point on a 5-13 club going no where fast. Should have never been an issue.

    You took the outliers out for Wood; old ones that do not reflect his more recent doings – since July last year. No problem, as long as you don’t take every 4-5th start out he does bad. Then it’s just rigging the game. Which the Cubs need about now.

  • cubzforlife

    I really like Wood as a four or five. All the the haters on the trade are quiet now. I’m not looking forward to Theo blowing things up again at the trade deadline. Haven’t sold one game yet on stub hub. In ten years this has never happened before. And my flooded basement ruined my Cubs, Blackhawks and Bulls season and playoff tickets. I know I’m a dumbass for having them where five feet of water could reach them.

  • CM

    Coincidentally, I attended the Angels/Rangers game last night. The only thing I can say is, at least we had low expectations coming into the season. The Angels bullpen is equally as laughable, which actually make them worse.

  • Jay

    As much as I get annoyed with some of the stupid things he says and his inexplicable man-crush on Valbuena, firing Dale solves nothing. It’s not his fault his team sucks and the boys upstairs know this. No one else really wanted the job during these rebuilding years (except Sandberg who should praise Allah he didn’t get it) and this is why. You knew you were going to be managing a losing team and likely wouldn’t be around when the winning started (if it ever does).

    • JulioZuleta

      I wouldn’t say he has a man crush on Valbuena, he just doesn’t have any other options.

  • Kyle

    Getting singled and bloop doubled to death is the risk you take when you have an 89 MPH fastball with no out pitch.

    • jt

      Yes!

  • Paul

    Why was Wood pulled after only 88 pitches when he gives up a solo home run and an infield hit? Oh wait…….. it’s much more fun to go skipping through our minefield of a bullpen.

  • hansman1982

    “As always, it depends on how well it’s done and integrated, but it’s hard to see how something that big could be tastefully included in the otherwise quiet surroundings.”

    I’ve seen a lot of rederings and this one has to be about the worst. The dimensions (based on the other ones) appear to be right side to side but the height seems too big and then they add the relish that is a giant ad sign on top.

    6,000′ will probably also include some fixed ads on the side and the overal board will probably be made much shorter than (just a rough estimate of this would put the height of that board around 75′ (Google Maps puts the width of that at 115′ which would give you over 8’000 sq ft)) AND THEN the writer put the Hancock sign on top.

    That article was intended to get people riled up against the video board and the picture is, at best, someone who was too lazy to go to Google Maps and do some math.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Agreed. It the writer definitely was wanting the reader to come away with a ewww JumboTrons suck.

    • King Jeff

      I was thinking the same thing, and by my math, that board was over 6000 sq. ft. without the extra stuff on top. This one is a lot more accurate.
      [img]http://www.chicagomag.com/whet/wrigley-jumbotron-2.jpg[/img]

      • hansman1982

        That’s much closer, add in a more reasonable picture, some ad boards on the side to shrink the actual board down and it wouldn’t be too bad.

        The problem is, there really isn’t anywhere to seamlessly integrate a video board unless you replace the old scoreboard and regardless of how you do it, the trolls in the media will moan and complain about it being an eyesore.

      • JulioZuleta

        Yeah, one the inevitable side banner ads get put on, it won’t be as bad. I’ll take Jeff’s word for it because I have no way to tell otherwise, but this one appears to be about equal in width, but considerably shorter (top is just below the top of the scoreboard while it’s quite a bit higher than the scoreboard in the other one.

        • JulioZuleta

          once*

    • Cub Fan Dan

      A lot of these renderings have the jumbotron sitting on top of the chain link fence like its on the shoulders on the fans standing in the last row in the bleachers. If they do plan on moving the outfield walls back 20-30 feet into the Waveland right of way, I would assume that it would be placed behind the extended concourse?

      It’s probably best wait to see professional plans from the Cubs rather than base opinions off of a photoshop image.

  • Jp3

    Build a Death Star petition. Awesome😃. I assume said petition was started by one of Bleacher Nation’s own?
    Last night Barney’s BF% shot up to 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  • baseballet

    The Jumbotron is a big mistake. The view within the stadium of the neighborhood rooftops is a significant part of what makes the experience of being in Wrigley exquisite; that feeling of being in the middle of a great old neighborhood in America’s greatest city while watching major league baseball is priceless.
    Blocking that view with massive electronic ads is a horrible decision. The Cubs should be creative and find other ways to raise the $25M in annual revenue that the JT will provide. Taking a jumbo bite out of Wrigley’s unique ambiance is crass and short sighted.

    • King Jeff

      Aren’t most of the rooftops behind the right field bleachers? It also looks like the jumbotron is going to be built in the gap in left-center, which would minimize any blockage.

    • Tom A.

      The rooftops are absolutely tacky ! What other skyline allows or has bleachers on top of roofs ?!?!?! Tear down the bleachers and I would agree with you. But, we both know the greed of those people that steal views into the stadium is too great to return those buildings to an attractive state. A video experience inside of Wrigley Field may change the look, but it may even be for the better if it blocks those ugly rooftops.

  • JulioZuleta

    DeJesus is really heating up, he could have some real value to a team. That being said, I think we would be pretty disappointed in what he brings back. I’m starting to wonder if he’ll go along with someone else as part of a bigger deal.

    • CubFan Paul

      Reed Johnson and Maholm brought us Vizcaino. DeJesus and Villanueva could bring back a Top 100 stud for sure.

      • JulioZuleta

        Yeah, something like that is what I’m thinking.

  • Rich

    any viewers outside of Chicago get forced to listen to Thom B. ?
    I always liked him and his broadcasting, but the crap talk about the Cubs and
    Bartman, was really annoying..

    • JulioZuleta

      He’s safely in Harrelson-McCarver zone of listenability for me. Terrible.

    • Brian

      All the Reds broadcasters have gone to the extreme homer side. I live in Dayton and hear them a lot on the radio. I grew up listening to Marty and Joe Nuxhall, but even Marty has gone a little more overboard in recent years. Jeff Brantley is horrible (you’d think he was a HOF pitcher to hear him talk about himself) and Thom is way worse than his dad.
      I often wonder if Reds management “asks” them to deal in more hyperbole about the team. This is a team that has trouble filling the seats even when they’re good. It almost seems like they’re trying to be car salesman on the air.

      • BT

        Marty is a crank and a nutbag. He’s referred to Cub fans as the worst in baseball. The whole lot of them can get bent, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Brian

          Marty’s always been jealous of the Cubs because they fill the seats even when they’re bad. He hates Cincy fans for now showing at games. Even last year I went to 2 games when the Cubs were in town and it was no worse than 50/50 Cubs & Reds fans. That drives him apeshit when that happens.

          • Brian

            Sorry, should read “for not showing”

  • Rich

    oh gosh just saw that pic of a jumbotron at Wrigley….HATE IT….

  • Kramden

    Agree about nixing the Jumbotron…. It’s a monstrosity that’s completely out of scale with the rest of the ballpark and risks destroying the aesthetics of Wrigley itself.

    • hansman1982

      If you are looking at the picture in the Chicago Side article, don’t pay attention to it. It is entirely too large for what the Ricketts have “approval” to do. There is much better artwork on it elsewhere using Google Maps and Earth.

  • Rich

    I understand the economics of it, but could you not have some sore of retractable video board that was up before the game flashing ads, like during batting practice and players info…

    for some income generating dollars vs. a 6000 ft2 board..

  • rbreeze

    Wrigley is a quaint little park. I agree that it could use a Jumbotron of some sort but that is just huge. Add that monstrosity and it starts to look like what the park district did to Soldier Field. it dwarfs what is the center field scoreboard that everyone loves. Smaller is better in this case.
    I like T Wood. He is a capable arm for any rotation. We need hitters period!!! And we need to field the ball!!! Sveum jinxed this team when they came out of spring training. He said he was confident that they would field the ball. Ain’t happening.
    And it doesn’t matter who manages this team right now. Its a lost cause until the better players come be it through the system or free agency. Only guys like Leyland or Bobby Cox or Sparky Anderson might get a couple more wins out of this lot.

  • MSG T

    I’d be fine with them building a roof made of 1,000,000sf of Jumbotron if it helps them win the World Series. I couldn’t care less about the views the roof tops have or the view of the rooftops from the grandstand. I want them to freaking win, period.

  • Tennessee Cub

    The jumbotron will not matter one bit when it comes to ball park experience. It will enhance everything about it and add REVENUE. This will make the ball park experience better because hopefully the Cubs can put a winner on the field. It is a sport, a competition and not matter where it is played you should try to win, not try to keep hings the same. I often wonder how some places ever got paved roads, if it were up to some people I guess we would still drive a buggy with horse down a dirt road. It is called progression, get used to it!

  • BD

    Completely agree about the Jumbotron… I’ve thought all along, Wrigley wouldn’t look right with that large of a screen. If that rendering is fairly accurate, the screen needs to be smaller.

  • waffle

    I think the jumbotron looks vulgar and out of place

    It’s like putting a WALMART sticky sign on the side of a Bentley.

  • waffle

    but probably inevitable. Oh well. Yes, I understand, revenue revenue revenue

  • TWC

    “I would sooner sign the “Build a Death Star” petition.”

    You mean, you haven’t?!

  • Rich

    A paved road vs. a jumbotron is a not comparable. We are not talking about winning. We are talked about how that looks at the ballpark. I want to win too. I think it can be accomplished without a large jumbotron. That is not my call of course. I dont believe that the Cubs saying that 60% approve for a jumbotron.

    The Cubs can increase advertising with out a jumbotron and also realize that at least WGN TV contract can be increased in a season or two which can bring in more revenue.

    The Cubs are not a small market team. Obviously when it shows up and more revenue comes in, then I am excited to win too.

    • Cubbie Blues

      “The Cubs can increase advertising with out a jumbotron” True, but that wouldn’t be maximizing their revenue. They are going to be increaseing other advertising as well as installing the video board. Why leave out A in favor of having B when you can have A+B?

  • Rich

    what do you think of a jumbotron replacing the scoreboard, but have it be a digital version of the scoreboard now,…then between innings have the ads and things?

    • hansman1982

      A lot of the video boards value will be having ads that display in game so the TV cameras can catch them.

  • Rich

    Cubbies…I here ya…I am not in the know when it comes to the Cubs finances..It almost seems that as baseball salaries continue to escalate ( at a silly pace ) that a jumbo tron is going to be NECESSARY vs. just another added revenue source.

    thanks guys for the feedback

    • Jp3

      I agree with its going to be necessary. I wish everything could be historic and classy looking but there is no way to keep up with the spending of the Dodgers, yanks, and Red Sox without maximizing every source of revenue. If it would create enough revenue I’d be all for making the uniforms like soccer jerseys… Have a big SAMSUNG logo right across the middle of Robinson Cano’s chest, if it would pay his salary.

  • jt

    OPS 0.787 to 0.771; OPS+ 116 to 108
    Valbuena has the higher numbers, Rizzo the lower.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if, at season’s end, Valbuena will be at 0.725 and Rizzo will be at 0.825 but….. as of now Valbuena has not been the problem.

  • gocatsgo2003

    I tend to think the Jumbotron as proposed would be shorter and wider than in the most recent depiction.

    A shorter and wider board would more gracefully blend in with the stadium and there really isn’t much between center and left field in terms of rooftops — though there are obviously about a million ways to get to 6,000 square feet by messing with dimensions.

    • Whiteflag

      The 6,000 square feet doesn’t mean all of that will be covered by a video screen, does it? I was thinking a video board with adds an other surrounds similar to PNC’s.

      • Cubbie Blues

        No, there will be ads on either side of the video board. 6,000sft is the overall dimension of the allotted space.

  • jt

    Wood has either pitched very very good or very very bad though out his young career. The good has happened a lot more than the bad but those poorly pitched games have happened more than acceptable for a front line pitcher (pretty good for a 4th best starter though).
    Again, it has been a career of a front line pitcher so…..?

  • Kramden

    I’d love to know how a Jumbotron equates to a winning team and not having a Jumbotron equates to a losing team.

    Wouldn’t just about everyone agree that with all the concessions the Cubs won, without even factoring in Jumbotron revenue, there’s enough new revenue that will be coming in for Theo to still be able to do his thing?

    • Cubbie Blues

      More revenue = more money available for player contracts.
      more money available for player contracts = better players
      better players = more wins
      more wins = more playoffs
      more playoffs = more heartaches.

      To answer your 2nd paragraph, No. See reasoning above.

      • BluBlud

        more playoffs = more heartaches.

        Very true. But if one of those heartbreaking years turns into a World Series, then it’s all well worth the heartbreak.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Agreed.

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