computer beachIn timing that is not the least bit unrelated to the craziness that is July, I will be taking my first ever vacation in my time at BN.

No, I won’t be completely absent (I just can’t do it), but unlike other times when I’ve cautioned you that I won’t be very available on a given day/week, only to find that I’m still here just as much as usual, this time I really mean it: I won’t be around as much as usual this week.

What does that mean for you? Well, the plan is that I’ll be doing one, catch-all post per day (plus the Minor League Daily will continue, because I’m Ebenezer Scrooge and I wouldn’t let Luke take a vacation (I kid, he’s just a beast)). That post should be up each morning, and, barring any seriously humongous breaking news or rumors, that’ll be it for the day.

I hope that you’ll keep the conversation going in the comments each day, filling each other in on whatever’s going on. If that isn’t your thing, you’ll just have to wait for the next morning.

This is the plan. It is subject to change. But, after each morning’s post, I’m going to do my best to unplug for the rest of the day. I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence.

Have a great week, friends. I plan to.

  • Soler Power

    Tony Sipp designated for assignment, sounds like a player who the Cubs could like. He has been good in the past and not terrible this year. Any chance the Cubs put in a claim?

  • RYAN

    Good god ransom is F-ing horrible!!!

    • notcubbiewubbie

      say that again

    • CubsFaninMS

      Our front office has given Sveum a wooden board (Ransom) and a plastic squirt gun (Val-no-bueno) to pick a lock (play third). Folly will most certainly ensue.

  • Deacon

    Thank heavens our Idiot Manager decided not to use his .200 hitting pinch runner to sacrifice the runners to 2nd and 3rd! We would have scored a run or two on Watkins’ hit!

  • Deacon

    And really great thinking to use Cole Gillespie with his spiffy .200 average as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded instead of, oh, Starlin Castro. I mean it’s definitely worth saving Castro for a more important part of the game.

    • BlameHendry

      You do realize Sveum is Quade with a different jersey on, right?

    • Leroy K.

      yeah I couldn’t figure out that move either. It would have been one thing if you didn’t use Castro at all, but you USED HIM LATER ON in the 9th inning with nobody on. Good job Sveum…how you still have a job is beyond me…

  • Cheryl

    Brett, enjoy the vacation. The cubs can wait.

  • mudge

    Well the Cubs have proved it. There is, indeed, no such thing as clutch hitting. Rizzo striking out on a HBP sums up the weekend.

    • Carew

      Clutch (ability to perform well under pressure) exists. There are just really no current cubs that really have that ability

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Arrieta too good to be down at AAA. 10 K’s in 4 innings today and should be up in Chicago. Let’s get him in the rotation now and put Rusin or Villanueva in the pen.

    • Arrieta’sUncle

      I agree!

  • Jason P

    Finally a good day from Olt – 2 knocks (both for extra bases) and 2 driven in. Ha’s heating up as well and has his average all the way up to .256 after a really slow start. Both performances against Tajuan Walker, which adds icing on the cake. Arrieta 11 K’s in in 5 innings.

  • SirCub

    I feel like you should have to ask us before you take off. But I guess it’s okay.

    Take care and enjoy it, man!

  • The Dude Abides

    1 – 7 RISP, more bad luck…

  • Cheese Chad

    So many hits again, so few runs. Ugh. Eventually we will start hitting these guys in, law of averages right?

  • sven-erik312

    Come on Brett, take a real break. Luke can cover for you for a week, you deserve it and your family does too. Let go,

  • Mick

    Chicago fans may have one final chance of seeing Alex Rodriguez as Girardi says he will play him Monday night. I know it may be enemy territory but be part of history and see this great athlete who has thrown it all away. He was so darn good without chemistry and now will grow old and be scorned.

    • mudge

      Never a desire to see Alex Rogriguez & now less than that. We’re all a part of history at the end of the day.

    • Jono

      Im still numbed that bonds had the day off when I saw the giants play I wrigley

      • Jono

        Numbed = bummed

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Boise Cubs Rookie league pitchers are putting up some terrific K/BB ratio statistics thus far at almost 4 to 1. Those are unheard of numbers in pro ball. This shows some signs of excellent scouting and coaching by the new FO team.

    • Mick

      Lou-Boise is not rookie league. Mesa is rookie league and they play 6 games a week at Hohokam. Pitching is fairly good here too.

      • ssckelley

        I consider Boise a rookie team, it is more advanced than Arizona but still full of players that were recently drafted.

      • Kyle

        It’s both.

        Technically, “rookie ball” only refers to the Arizona League and the Gulf Coast League. But a lot of people call Short-season A ball “rookie ball” as well.

        • Luke

          There is a sizeable difference between Short Season A and the Rookie Leagues. Lumping the two together is misleading at best.

          But then I don’t like that three leagues share the single A moniker (SS-A, Low A, and High A) for similar reasons. That similarity in naming implies a similarity between the leagues that just isn’t there.

          That said, I think SS-A is closer in competition level to Low A than Rookie.

          • Chris

            Thanks Lou. Dunston and others who took a year of rookie league to earn the promotion to Low A ball appreciate the above. Nothing like the last day of extended s.t. when the guys find out that they get promoted to Boise–lots of yelling and celebrating. We do not even use the term rookie ball around here–either rookie league or above. Of course we have two Dominican professional rookie league teams so those youngsters may have 2 yrs. of pro ball before our Mesa Rookie league takes them. Lumping the two together is very very misleading.

            • Chris

              I meant Luke. Enjoy your columns. Look me up at Fitch or HoHo–fall ball and instructs not far off.

          • Kyle

            The competition is closer from SSA to A+, but rookie and SSA share the shorter season format, so they sometimes get lumped together.

            • Mick

              No such thing as a plus. It is o.k., most fans are not aware of league differences or extended spring games or instructional league games etc. We all have to learn and at least you are trying. Most Cub fans care less. Example: The jump from Low A to High A is huge for a player.

              • Kyle

                OK. I’m not sure how far back I need to go here. There’s this thing called “language” and within it, there’s an idea called a “Colloquialism.” It’s where people use a term that is not formally correct but still widely understood. In this case “A+” is a shorthand that many baseball fans use to describe the higher classification within A ball.

                And, amusingly, despite your condescension, you got it wrong. The official term is not “High A.” It is “Class A-Advanced.”

                • Mick

                  Wrong Kyle. Nobody around organization used that shorthand term period, not even once. High A is used all the time. I did not mean to be condescending. Luke is a better communicator than I am and he understands the minors and its structure and its language and probably would not upset you as I might.

                  • DarthHater

                    I just checked Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, and Baseball Prospectus. All three of them abbreviate the two levels of A ball as A+ and A-. So, aside from the fact that this is a pretty silly thing to be arguing about, it’s quite clear that Kyle is entirely correct.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t know what “around organization” means, but it’s entirely possible that people within baseball don’t use the terms the same way fans do.

                      He’s absolutely right that in the literal sense, Short Season A isn’t rookie ball. But many fans and pundits will lump it in with rookie ball because it resembles true rookie ball in that it has a shorter season and is frequently where draftees make their pro debut. Some teams don’t even have a short-season A affiliate, instead preferring to have two “rookie” level affiliates, with the second one being in one of the “advance” rookie ball leagues.

                      We have this argument at least twice a year, I think.

                  • Coop

                    You hath been smited by the logic hammer!

                    P.S. Kyle is right…

  • LEO R.


    Have a good vacation. You deserve it after a great blogathon.

  • Jono

    Ok, I realize that im addicted to this website. I know there’s nothing new, but I still find myself coming here for no reason.

    • Cheese Chad

      Ha, me too. Plenty of quality people that will post whatever news is out there though. This site seems to attract funny, intelligent folks and I enjoy it.

  • Anna

    Brett leaves town just when Cubs are in middle of pennant chase.

  • Leroy K.

    I was at the game today. I am back in the states from England for a couple weeks on leave myself. There was no point in today’s game where i thought, “hey, we got this.” And we had more hits and LOB than the Dodgers did. What a brutal game today. They just look like they are going through the motions. My son got to run the bases today. He touched home plate more than the Cubs have in the last 48 hours.

  • Chris

    Enjoy your leave Leroy. The game today was typical of most–over and over and over.

  • ruby2626

    In a nutshell the Cubs are just so BORING to watch. Half their lineup should be in the minors. Rizzo again so frustrating, just when it looks like he’s turning things around he has a last 3 games like this.

    • Jerry

      I do not watch the stats much but our hitters are having terrible yrs. Other teams have fired hitting coaches recently but ours continue to sip beers with Sveum and survive. Laura Ricketts needs to have a serious talk with Theo about this

      • Jason P

        Huh? This offense has no talent. Not much a hitting coach can do. Jaramillo couldn’t fix us last year, Rowson can’t this year.

        And to fix this, you want someone who’s not even the owner to override the president of bsaeball operations and fire people because of a beer sipping problem that doesn’t exist?

        • Jerry

          I want Laura who pays Theo huge salary to address the poor performance of these coaches. The fans are fed up with no run support for our very good pitchers. Sveum is no longer a rookie manager yet his decisions stink. I am very impressed with Laura leadership skills.

          • Frank

            When you have someone like Barney who’s average has gone down the last three years, you have to wonder about the hitting coaches. I don’t believe the crap about Castro having problems everybody goes through. They talked about getting more power out of him last year and look what happened.

            They changed everything he was doing in year one and two and what is he hitting, 245? I think it’s time to get some coaches that know what their doing.

  • rick

    Its good to unplug! Its amazing how noisy our world has become from all the electronic devices!

    Have Fun Brett!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kenny


    I think that we have a lineup full of minor leaguers and the FO needs to let some of the players in the minors come up and give a spark. I think Rizzo will start to play better when others around him pushes him to that level. Until then he will be average. But look how well Rizzo performed last year when he was called up. He did so because there were others around him pushing him.

  • Jason P

    Sveum (when asked about third base options going forward with Olt and Ransom struggling, Luis V on the DL): “Well, were running out of options so we’ll see what happens with Murphy and… pause… uh… really that’s our only option.

    Pretty bad when your only third base option is a guy whose bat can’t even carry him at short.

  • DarthHater

    Can I have the banhammer while you’re away, Brett? Can I? Huh? Please? πŸ˜€πŸ”«

  • Frank

    While I’m feeling pissy, hanley ramirez leaned into that pitch. Is it my imagination or are the dodgers acting like their privileged?

  • Michael

    Going to my first cubs game any advise on where to sit? Probably won’t make another cubs game for another year so wanna make this one great! Live in Ohio so quite the trip to make for cubs game any advise helps thanks! (18 years old no Budweiser bleachers lol)

    • Vulcan

      The bleachers are always a good spot to take in a ballgame at Wrigley (preferably left side) Can’t go wrong there!

  • Josh t

    Michael: groupon is having a sale on wrigley rooftop. $99 for all you can eat and drink at August 18th (Sunday cubs vs cards). Great deal 52% off. If your will to spend a little extra it’s a good deal. I’ll be there wearing my BN shirt

    • Josh t

      PS: It kills me to support/buy the rooftops products but they really do provide a great service and its a great deal I couldn’t pass

      • gutshot5820

        I hardly see the great value in paying a hundred dollars a person to watch a baseball game with binoculars. If I wanted a good atmosphere with great food and drinks, I would just invite friends over for a barbecue and watch the Cubs on tv. But thats just my opinion. If I want to actually watch a Cubs game, it would be at Wrigley, so I can have a memorable experience. And it reeks that you would support the rooftops and have the nerve to come on here to adverise their services on BN while at the same time claiming you are not. But hey what do I know.

      • baldtaxguy

        “If your will[ing] to spend a little extra it’s a good deal.”


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