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edwin jackson cubsThe family and I went to a pumpkin farm/apple orchard yesterday, the personal mission of which was to get one of these caramel apples they make with mini M&Ms. Unfortunately, the apple fell victim to the hype monster. After a year of waiting for the apples to come back, they’d been so built up in my mind that, when I finally got a bite, I wasn’t as blown away as I’d remembered.

  • Edwin Jackson left yesterday’s start with some lat discomfort, which would be more concerning if (1) it wasn’t the last start of the year, and/or (2) he didn’t say it was basically nothing. Jackson was getting slapped around – which could have been due to the discomfort – so pulling him made sense anyway. He’ll rest up, and I doubt it’s any kind of lingering issue going into next year.
  • Jackson summed up his own season (and inadvertently the Cubs’ season as a whole) thusly: “It was a shitty year.” It isn’t quite “we stinks,” but it’ll do. For Jackson, he had a bit of bad luck, both in BABIP and sequencing, but it wasn’t his best performance, either. Without anything to back it up other than probably biased memory, I feel like a lot of guys come to a new city on a big new contract and underperform the first year. Maybe it’s the combination of complacency that comes with the first big score combined with the desire to perform well for a new team (i.e., so you come into the season a little less prepared than usual, and then you put a bunch of pressure on yourself throughout the year). To be clear, I’m not saying this is Jackson, specifically, it’s just something I wonder about situations like this. I could see Jackson rebounding nicely next year for a variety of reasons.
  • Jesse Rogers takes a look at the coaching staff to break down who might be coming back and who might not be. It’s a worthwhile read for background on the coaches (and Rogers’ take pretty much aligns with my own, in terms of who has ostensibly succeeded – pitching coach Chris Bosio and first base/outfield coach Dave McKay are the two most obvious), but it’s a tough game to play when we don’t know what’s happening with the manager. As we saw with Rudy Jaramillo, sometimes an organization wants to retain a well-thought-of coach, but he just didn’t end up clicking with the new manager. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let a manager bring in the staff he wants, even if it means losing quality coaches. Heck, sometimes that’s part of the negotiations.
  • If you want to get a sense (if you didn’t have it already) of what a class guy Theo Epstein is as a boss, read this Mark Gonzales piece with an eye toward his explanation of why he answered questions about Dale Sveum a little over a week ago the way he did. Epstein simply decided he had to be honest, and there wasn’t an easy answer to questions about the evaluation of Sveum, and what happens next.
  • Theo Epstein offers compliments to Mariano Rivera, a man he apparently once tried to poach from the Yankees (in part to see the reaction in New York).
  • Internet Random

    “The family and I went to a pumpkin farm/apple orchard yesterday . . . .”

    Same. I went with my family, of course, not yours. You probably would have noticed.

    • MichiganGoat

      The Goats are going today but we have to decide which of the 30 orchards in a 15 mile radius we want to attend. Michigan apples and later Michigan beer… the perfect day.

      • Internet Random

        That does sound perfect.

  • Deacon

    Dave McKay for Manager with Bosio as his pitching coach!! Managerial “Fossil Ball” is working elsewhere in the league!

  • Brains

    And if things continue status quo, which Theo has said repeatedly they will, “it’s going to be a shitty future”.

  • Soda Popinski

    “There must have been moments even that afternoon when [the caramel apple] tumbled short of his dreams–not through [its] own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond [the apple], beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion.”

    • cubfanincardinalland

      I think Hemingway is safe.

    • Internet Random

      How do such crappy movies get made from such a great novel?

      • MichiganGoat

        Because people keep allowing Baz Luhrmann to make movies out of amazing literature. Why he though Nick needed to be a mental patient is unforgivable, now all my students think he’s a crazy person. He did the same to Romeo & Juliet by changing lines and having Romeo tripping balls when he first meets Juliet. He just wants every movie to be Moulin Rouge. Oh and if got his hands on Hemingway I might just have to Hemingway myself.

        • miggy80

          What I don’t get: why can’t anyone make a good Three Musketeers movie?,

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

      Wait – did I actually guess right that that was Fitzgerald???
      Holy crap!

      • MichiganGoat

        100 Internet Bucks for you Ian

      • Soda Popinski

        Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.
        I couldn’t bring myself to watch the movie. The trailer was enough for me.

        • MichiganGoat

          It was bad they but Nick in an asylum and the story was told from his therapy sessions. Horrible and unnecessary plot device.

        • Soda Popinski

          I wonder what made Baz think that he was of the stature to tinker with THE American Novel? Also, when I read that Jay-Z and Beyonce did the soundtrack, I got this awful vision of Daisy grabbing a few of her friends and dancing to “All the Single Ladies” at one of Gatsby’s parties. *Shudder*

          • MichiganGoat

            That’s what Baz does he tinkers with great literature, he moved lines of Romeo & Juliet around and added unnecessary elements. Why he had to turn Queen Mab into a ecstasy tablet, change the speakers of the first dialogue if the play, and take out Romeo’s murder of Paris was beyond me. And yeah the soundtrack really takes away from the flapper/ragtime feel if the novel.

            • Jay Gatsby

              Now, now, gentlemen, I thought the movie was stupendous!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Dig it, by the way.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    So the Cubs head into next season with an 18 game loser who struggled all season to keep his ERA under 5.00. As their #3 starter. Lets state the obvious. If he was making 3 million dollars a year, he would be in the bullpen, or at best a candidate for the rotation right now.
    Shades of days of Hendry, where salaries determined who got the playing time, certainly not always performance.
    If Jackson continues at this level of success next April, at what point does the manager and front office man up to this disaster, and quit throwing games away by starting him?

    • X The Cubs Fan

      He hasn’t even been all that bad. I rather have him in the rotation than Germano and Brookes Raley.

  • Rich H

    I think with our starting pitching staff we have to consider two important positives.

    One is they have been remarkably healthy this year. I can not remember one pitcher getting a start pushed back and other than Garza/Baker at the start of the year not one starter has been on the DL.

    The other is that for the most part till these last couple weeks we were never really out of a game before going to the pen. I think all in all we have to be pretty pleased with our starters.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Most definitely. Let’s just hope that our pitching and offense can collaborate on more victories next year!

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Remember, thought, that the starts have to face everyone, and are not brought in with generally more favorable match-ups. He should be better next year, but I would agree he doesn’t seem worthy of the contract he got (so far).

  • Stevie B

    Jackson isn’t an ace, but dang people, he had an off year…his FIRST year, of a biggish contract.
    Put the pitchforks down…and let’s regroup, stay the course, and see what happens next year

    Now, let me get back to my half full glass of bloody mary.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I agree with both of you. The Cubs have some really nice young arms, both on the major league team and in the minors. Give them a shot, and quit sending a guy out there every five days, just because you owe him a bunch of foolishly spent money.
    Did anybody really think Jackson was going to pitch well in the game yesterday? Vegas had the Cardinals a 3-1 favorite in the game, that’s what the smart money thinks of Easy Ed.

    • Pat

      The Cubs do not have 5 pitchers that can be expected to put up better starting numbers going forward than Edwin Jackson. Hell, people wanted him replaced by June. Just how many free agents do you think are going to sign with a team that demotes people less than halfway through their contracts?

      • cubfanincardinalland

        He should have been removed in June if it was based on performance. Look at Jake Westbrook who is pitching for the Cardinals today. He started out great, then started pitching pretty much like Jackson has all season. And was removed from the rotation for a rookie, Joe Kelly, who pitched tremendous.
        Did the Cardinals say, we owe Westbrook 9 million bucks this season, so we have to keep sending him out there? Negative. They made a move based on performance on the diamond. Not contracts and years past performance.

        • Rich H

          A difference is that Westbrook was injured. Said so publicly and THEN the Cards shut him down for a while.

          Jackson always claimed to be fine.
          Jackson actually had a few starts there in June and July where he ok. Then the sell off happened and he struggled again. We probably should have shut him down in August but hindsite and all that.

        • Canadian Cubs Fan

          THANK YOU!

      • Voice of Reason

        Pat,

        Do you really think no free agents will come here because if they pitch really really bad that they will be demoted?

        Got news for you, free agents go where they get the most money period

        • Hansman1982

          I bet te marlins had a hard time getting free agents avens to come their way for similar money.

        • Pat

          If they pitch poorly for one eighth of their contract? Yes, people aren’t going to sign up for that. I guess they should be finding a bench spot for Castro then, since he sucked much worse than Jackson did this year.

          • Voice of Reason

            One eighth of their contract?

            The season is over today and he will not pitch again. He had an absolutely pathetic, worthless, terrible season.

            Where do you get one eighth of his contract?

            • Pat

              We were discussing people wanting him removed from the rotation mid season. One half season of a four year contract is one eighth of the contract. Now it would be one quarter into it. You still don’t demote a guy that quickly.

              • Voice of Reason

                It just depends on the team.

                The cubs always suck so it didn’t matter how well Jackson pitched.

                If Jackson was on a team in contention you can bet your ass that he would have been sent to the bullpen halfway thru the year. He was absolutely worthless.

                He would have single handedly killed any team that was trying to make the playoffs.

  • jon

    Breaking Bad ends tonight. Tough to see a great show end.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    Any predictions as to what is announced tomorrow? I’m not saying Sveum is a bad manager. I just don’t think he is an extension candidate at this point. With that and the possible availabilty of Girardi, I have this gut feeling that Sveum is gone.

  • Jason P

    Nice to see Dale Sveum finally putting our best hitter Logan Watkins in the 2-hole to close out the season.

    [Just kidding. No need to flip over your computer desk.]

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