dale sveum haz a sadIt’s my fault for continuing to watch SportsCenter as though it offers anything more than an easy package of highlights and modest cultural relevance, but I’m getting pretty sick of seeing – for years – a ridiculous baseball catch at number two on the top ten list, only to see a completely standard dunk at number one. Which is more impressive: a diving backwards catch over a fence to rob a home run, or the statistically highest-percentage shot in basketball, which happens a dozen times every single game?

  • Dale Sveum sums up last night’s loss, per Cubs.com: “You’re going to have these kinds of losses. You’ve got to have a resilient team. We’ve been playing really good baseball and once again we beat them for seven innings and played really good. Walks are big. Especially if you have eight of them.” Nearly a walk per inning will basically always give you a loss. Hopefully the players can simply shrug and move on today. It was a blowout loss. It happens. At least now the Cubs’ run differential doesn’t offer any illusions …
  • Matt Garza and Travis Wood are trading spots in the rotation this week, which means that Garza will face the Angels in Anaheim, while Wood faces the Pirates in Chicago. The Cubs say it was about getting Wood a couple extra days of rest, but it’s fair to wonder: maybe they just wanted Wood’s bat in the lineup. Maybe they wanted to show Garza off to the Angels. Maybe it was just about the rest, and the other stuff was an added bonus.
  • Javier Baez had a ridiculous game yesterday, as did many of his Daytona teammates (14 runs, 20 hits). Baez was 5-6 with a homer, three doubles, and a single (and a strikeout, naturally). The singular game improved his season line from .260/.305/.480 (at which you’re thinking: decent in a pitching league for which he’s young, and at least he’s a shortstop) to .277/.319/.519 (at which you’re thinking: that’s pretty good so far for Baez, especially at his age in that league).
  • Junior Lake (rehabbing fractured rib) continues to tear up Extended Spring Training (as you’d hope he would), while playing third base and center field.
  • I’m scheduled to be on The Score this evening at 9pm CT with Nick Shepkowski. Tune in (or listen online) for what I can only assume will be gold in aural form.
  • fromthemitten

    I’m more upset with 80% of the air time being dedicated toTim Tebow/Terrell Owens/Red Sux/Stankees/Cowbutts and appealing to the lowest common denominator than the ordering of the top ten. that being said, I completely agree but I find basketball an incredibly boring sport

    • MichiganGoat

      Thankfully I have the MLB network (which isn’t great and has some annoying personalities) but it’s so much better than ESPN.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I definitely prefer MLBN for baseball stuff, but I still like to get a taste of the other sports to have a general sense of what’s going on.

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeah I give Sportscenter a chance every now and then but I always leave feeling really angry so I avoid it.

          • Oswego Chris

            MLB network, NFL network, NHL network, all nicely in order on my DTV, oh, and I think there is an NBA one…

            • Jp3

              If the Cubs aren’t playing my Uverse is constantly streaming NFL network… Can’t get enough of that channel, probably has something to do with host Nicole Zaloumis though…

    • Tim

      When was the last time you heard anything about Tebow or TO on Sportscenter? at least 6 months

      • Hansman1982

        Sports enter is a very fad orientated show. I bet Tebow was mentioned in the last month, for sure and if TO was mentioned in the last month, someone should just shoot ESPN and put it out of its misery.

        All of its shows are oriented for the dumb and I swear to god if I hear them say that team X had more heart and that’s why they won one more damn time, I’m gonna spew angry words.

        • Stinky Pete

          I agree with this completely. Everything seems so plastic and unnatural. Not like things real people would say.
          I am by no means any king of academia, but I feel like a Rhodes Scholar when I watch ESPN or pretty much any TV for an hour. I think to myself, “Why do they keep marketing things this way? Why do they keep this show on? Why does Joe Buck have such a prominent national broadcasting job?” And the answer is simple. Because more people buy it.
          I will look for Baseball Tonight in the absence of anything else to watch, but really, its just background filler to me. And too often, my guide says it’s on and it shows a college softball game or something.

          With that said, I do think there is one last redeeming quality of ESPN. I really enjoy the 30 for 30s. But yeah, they could be done independently.

          So yeah, Joe. Kill it. Kill it dead.

      • clay

        6 months??? Try less then 24 hours! They always have a little tidbit of “what’s next for Tim” or “Is Tebow done in the NFL”? Granted the segments are no longer 20 minutes long, but he’s unfortunatly still there.

    • Beardface

      Don’t forget Tiger Woods.

  • Drinkpbr

    So did they ever say why that high school catch was ruled an out from the top ten?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You mean a home run? No. Probably had something to do with the small fence, and where the kid’s feet left/landed. Who knows. They could have just blown the call. Either way, it was an insane catch, and 500% better than the lame, straight-forward dunk.

      • Beardface

        The Not Top Ten is the only good thing about SportsCenter.

  • Jp3

    Great to see Baez have a huge day but that other pitcher must have had the flu or something… His era wasn’t that bad going into it but in 2.1 innings he gave up 10 HITS AND all 10 were earned, with 3BB. That guy was throwing BP. Nice to see Soler go yard again too.

    • Believe in 2015

      Or maybe you can give our Daytona batters some credit.

      • Jp3

        Easy big guy I’m just saying to give up 12 hits in 2 innings is a lot for someone who probably had a sub 4 era before that start. I’m not taking anything away from them, that’s a hell of a 3-4-5 with Baez Soler and Geiger. Hell I don’t know, maybe it was like wrigley when the wind is blowing out and they were just roping balls into the jet stream

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Obviously, the batters still have to hit bad pitches, but when a team scores that much, then it means that the pitcher was wild in the strike zone. That’s why batters cannot “save hits for tomorrow”: tomorrow’s pitchers usually are not going to hang pitches so obligingly!

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Oh, and by “bad” I meant “bad from the pitcher’s perspective: hung breaking balls in the strike zone, “get me over” fastballs, etc..

  • David

    So lookin forward to Thursday’s draft. We’re gonna get a stud at #2, regardless of who we get. Hopefully we’ll get 3 or 4 more studs ready to play soon. Let’s get this draft over with, continue to win games, make a few trades, sign a few guys (Sin Soo Choo!!!) and have a great 2004!!! I’m ready to contend.

    • nkniacc13

      With this draft I wonder if the Cubs will go as heavy pitching as they did last year in first 10 rds

    • john

      yay 2004!!!!!

    • Anonnifan

      Yeah, I’m really looking forward to 2004 as well. I hope Prior and Wood can stay healthy, and we all know that Big Z is a workhorse. Its nice to have Madddux back, but I’m a little worried about Borowski as closer. Maybe Remlinger or Dempster can step into that role and provide some stability. Lineup looks good if Garciapara can stay healthy, and D-Lee is looking like an awesome pickup. With a little luck, we’ll make the playoffs.

  • Tim

    Just wanted to share a comment with everyone.. I work for a company that park districts hire to teach their sports classes to younger kids and on Saturdays I help out with a tball league. Pj mainvilles son, who is the cubs head athletic trainer, is in the class and I had an interesting conversation with him yesterday morning. According to him, dale, theo, and jed are brilliant people and you can tell by just talking to them. He went on to say that there is just a fantastic group of guys in the clubhouse and there is not 1 bad apple in the bunch. The whole team has a winning attitude and never have their heads down. It was very cool to meet and speak with him.

  • Kyle

    We’ve had so many frustrating close losses, a good-ol’ fashioned curb stomping almost feels better.

    • Beardface

      We took that one American History X style. Thanks Marmol. Haha

  • Rcleven

    Marmol sucked yes. Russell was the real loser with the walk and the double. Not a word of the offense getting only three hits, two in the first and the third not till the seventh. This was a total team loss.

  • Bob Johnson

    Happy about Wood going Friday, a game I ‘m attending. My last two games at Wrigley, he homered.

  • Mike

    I stopped watching sportscenter a long time ago and haven’t looked back. Quick Pitch on the MLB Network is pretty pretty pretty good.

  • http://deleted bubbleshargrave

    no brett. losses like this don’t just happen. they happen when a team uses their worst pitcher in close situations and then leave him in after he gives up bases loaded hits. you and sveum like to trivialize that fact. that loss was on marmol. after he came in the team lost spirit.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Shrug. Any time a team gets blown out, someone screwed up, and it is highly likely to be someone who has screwed up before. This is just something that happens. It’s not like I’m defending Marmol’s performance or the fact that he’s still being used in high leverage situations (though Sveum’s options are limited).

      • Kyle

        If we take it for granted that Gregg is a legit closer now (which we shouldn’t, but it’s fun to pretend), then we have three useful pitchers in the pen right now. That should be enough to handle all the high-leverage innings.

        • SirCub

          They used Russel earlier in what was also a high-leverage spot. Was saving Gregg for later. Villenueva probably should’ve stayed in to pitch the 8th. But, whatever. It still isn’t like there’s a plethora of great options to choose from, and Marmol had actually looked quite good his last few times out.

          • BubblesHargrave

            Sorry but that’s crazy. Haven’t you noticed a trend? When Marmol comes in, the team loses heart. For some reason some of us want to use a few recent performances as reason why he should be used in these close games again. He should never be used again, and his continued use has led to my total disgust with the coaching staff on this team. Cubs fans many times really are lovable losers. It’s like you ignore the reasons why they lose and you actually prefer losing.

            • JoeyCollins

              Yep heart, that’s the problem. Before the Schierholtz solo shot we had all of two hits in the game, and they came in the first inning. Marmol sucked, but his entering the game didn’t cause the team to loose heart. We were lucky to be in the game at all.

          • Kyle

            Which should be a lesson about believing in really bad pitchers because they have a few decent outings. Every pitcher will have a few decent outings in a row sometimes.

            It’s not too many options, to be sure, but it’s just enough. Russell for the 7th, Villanueva for the 8th (or the end of the 7th too if you want to slave over L/R matchups), Gregg in the ninth. It was set up perfectly last night, but the bench screwed it up six ways from Sunday.

            • wvcubsfan

              If Russell doesn’t give up the lead then it might have worked that way. I still don’t understand not letting Villanueva pitch more either, but assuming there was a reason we couldn’t throw more than 3 pitches not sure what other option was left. Parker maybe?

              • Kyle

                Russell probably wouldn’t have given up the lead if he’d started with a clean inning, rather than insanely sending Samardzija out for the 7th when he was clearly and thoroughly gassed.

                • wvcubsfan

                  Don’t disagree with any of this.

                • SirCub

                  Totally with you. I wanted it turned over to the pen to start the 7th. And I think it was a waste to only use Villanueva for one hitter.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Not every single day. A successful bullpen has more than three (out of seven) effective, reliable, consistent options.

          Not that I’m complaining – injuries have hurt, and the bullpen was a potential weak spot from the get-go.

          • mudge

            All the more reason to use what you have intelligently.

          • Kyle

            You’re going to have to use some awful pitchers in the medium leverage innings, but you can probably the really important ones (like 8th inning, tie game), you should be able to get the vast majority of those to your top 3.

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh bubbly you bring sunshine to dreary day.

  • Diesel

    I was thinking the same thing as to why a standard lay up in a wnba game made the top ten list the other day. I want to see sports on espn not garbage they try to shove down our throats. That is why I have pretty much stopped watching that channel.