dodgers sign all the playersToday’s 10-year anniversary is worse than yesterday’s, right? Today is the 10-year anniversary of the day the Cubs could have made yesterday’s 10-year anniversary little more than a footnote. The Cubs took a 5-3 lead into the 5th inning in Game Seven of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins, and that was the last time they were even remotely close to a World Series appearance.

  • The Dodgers broke through against the Cardinals last night in this year’s edition of the NLCS, winning 3-0 to make the series 2-1 in favor of the Cardinals. Hyun-Jin Ryu – perhaps the one big-timer of the past two years on whom it’s fair to say the front office whiffed – held the Cardinals without a hit until the fifth inning, and scoreless over seven innings. But if you’re thinking Ryu pitched well or the Dodgers had timely, productive at-bats, think again. “It wasn’t very characteristic of how we played all season,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told after the loss. “We’re a better club than this.” You don’t beat the Cardinals. They choose to lose to you.
  • Yasiel Puig is still trying to out-flip Luis Valbuena, which is unfair, because Puig has a playoffs’-worth of extra at bats in which to strut. You will rarely see a guy celebrate so ostentatiously at the beginning and end of a triple.
  • The Mesa Solar Sox were back in action yesterday in the AFL, and Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, and Matt Loosen saw action. Although the Solar Sox won again to stay undefeated, it was the first of the team’s wins that wasn’t really thanks primarily to Cubs prospects. Bryant was 1-4 with an RBI and a run, and Loosen gave up a couple earned in his 2.1 innings of work (no walks, though). Soler once again went 1-5  with a double and a couple strikeouts. The rust may be showing, as Soler saw just one ball the entire game – otherwise it was strikes looking, foul balls, or whiffs. Having not played in a game since early June, it was going to take a little time to get comfortable again.
  • CSN digs into the state of first base in the Cubs’ system, primarily with looks at Anthony Rizzo and Dan Vogelbach. Dustin Geiger probably could have been mentioned, but that’s about all she wrote for the Cubs and first baseman. Of course, that’s partly because many of the best first baseman are only moved there when it becomes necessary.
  • FanGraphs looks at Welington Castillo as a fantasy prospect next year, which is interesting for the stat projection if nothing else. It turns out that his elevated career BABIP isn’t completely unreasonable, despite his lack of speed.
  • Baseball Prospectus’s Jason Parks knows prospects. He also knows performance art, as tied to a San Diego Padres podcast. Of relevance here, Parks is chatting at noon CT today at BP, and you can submit questions in advance if you’d like.
  • This has nothing to do with the Cubs, baseball, or sports. But sometimes the Internet tosses you something that must be consumed by as many people as possible, and it is my sworn duty to share. Chinese Food.
  • Brains

    Just for the record, “sign all the players” works a hell of a lot better than “sign none of the players for many many years”.

    • Edwin

      It works if you sign the right players, at the right time.

      • BWA

        It works if you have $300 Million laying around and $250 million in TV revenue each year, Which the Cubs do not. If we pulled a dodgers and signed Cano, Choo, Tanaka, McCann, etc all at once we would have no money for years. However, sign some of the players is probably a good strategy.

  • Greg

    You’ve got a “their” where you need a “there” in the first base bullet, Brett.

    • Brett

      Ew. Gross. Apologies.

      • Edwin

        This blog was way better when that Ace guy was in charge, before Brett took over.

        • Brett

          Heh. I imagine that’s true in a variety of ways.

          • TWC

            Duffman 4EVA.

  • Cubman

    The Tigers actually have less home grown players than the Dodgers, but nobody talks about them buying a contender.

    • Brett

      I talk about them buying up the big names frequently – because they’re in the AL, I haven’t had as much occasion to write about it. But I was actually just talking about it this weekend with a gent I met from Michigan.

      • JB88

        Detroit may buy up big names, but I think they’ve been mainly built through very smart trades. I’d be more than okay with that model, eventually—so long as the farm system is constantly in good shape.

        • bbmoney

          They have acquired a lot of their pieces via trade. Off the top of my head: Cabrera, Fister, Scherzer, A. Jackson, Infante, A. Sanchez.

          They’ve then extended or re-signed some of those guys after they reached free agency (some of them for huge $$’s). But yeah, they’ve used their farm system to acquire talent via trade more so than produce on the field talent for them directly.

        • On The Farm

          Yeah, Detroit seems to be pretty down on top 100 talent. Not that having top 100 prospects is the end all be all, but I think Castellanos is the only one and he is definitely ready to graduate. Their first round pick this year, Jon Crawford from Florida, looks like he will be a pretty good pitcher, but I don’t think he will be a top 100 guy until he has more professional experience. They could get a boost if they trade Scherzer.

  • Polar Bear

    Thanks,Brett. I watched the Chinese Food video. That’s 3 minutes of my life that I can never get back!!!

    • Brett

      Unless you thought there would be a surprise twist at the end, you have only yourself to blame for the final 2:45.

  • Dave

    I watched that Chinese Food video last night and cringed so hard that I think I pulled a muscle. I’ve been sending it to all of my co-workers this morning.

  • CubFan Paul

    I think Parks used his own music in that piece. Hilarious.

    I forgot that he was a boot wearin Texan hipster.

  • Frank

    We have 120 pounds of rice and 3 woks, so does that qualify us as loving Chinese food?

  • Cubman

    I agree the Tigers have made some really smart trades and have used their system in those trades. A little different from the Dodgers. I hope we can utilize a bit of their approach. Even though they had terrible records for a few years, I don’t belive they had a top minor league system. I could be wrong, I’m going from memory. The Cabrera and Sanchez trades were totally using their system.

    • Brains

      The Tigers look great and spent a lot of money to do it. Spending money is also an *opportunity if you can find a top player. The Dodgers look great, and spent a lot of money. Toronto, not so great, though it can be blamed somewhat on injuries, for which they had many. The same goes for the Phillies, who put together a perennial contender powerhouse until injuries sapped almost every major player on the team. But those are the chances. It’s a 50/50 to win if you invest heavily, which I see as much better than 0/100, which is the Cubs’ chosen approach. These teams are rich, they have the money, it’s just a matter of the decency of the owner.

      • bbmoney

        I think you’re looking at too narrow a time frame for the Cubs, you could have said the same about the Tigers 8 years ago. I still think they’ll get to that point. But only time will tell for sure.

        Interesting side note I’ve been discussing with some Tiger’s fans. How many years until they turn into the 2013 Phillies? My money is on 2015 or maybe 2016. None of which will matter if their owner brings home a WS, but I think their window is pretty short. To which many I’m sure think….at least they have a window.

        • On The Farm

          How they handle the Scherzer situation will, in my mind at least, be the deciding factor. They could trade him for a nice prospect package which could really replenish that farm system. They already know they won’t have enough money for Verlander, Fielder, Cabrera, and another big contract on top of that. If Fister and Sanchez can pick up some of the slack, it doesn’t look like the Twins or White Sox are going to be competing in the AL Central, so they just need to beat the Indians to get back in. I know its not that easy, but I think they are heading for the Phillies too and a Scherzer trade could help.

          • cub2014

            when you are talking about prospects
            its all a gamble. Look at Cabrera’s numbers
            in the minors: 4yrs .286avg and 28 total
            home runs, 17% k rate.

            • cub2014

              baez after 3 years his stats were
              better than cabrera’s first 3 years.

              cabrera PA 1294 .268 .318 hr-18 k-17%
              baez PA 916 .286 .342 hr-53 k-24%

              its that pesky K rate

              • On The Farm

                Cabrera was also a Rookie at age 20, while Baez was in AA, so there is that to consider when comparing the two.

                • Kyle

                  Cabrera started his age-20 season at AA, iirc.

                  Baez’s minor league line to me looks a *lot* like Stanton’s except 10 months behind.

                  • On The Farm


                    In the season both started at A+ and moved to AA
                    Stanton had a 13.1/9.1% BB%, and 21/29 K%. Baez’s 6.2/8.1 BB%, 23/28 K%. Also, coming off the previous season in A ball Stanton had a 10% BB. To me it looks like Stanton has always walked more than Baez, and Baez had a career best BB% in AA to post an 8% BB. Another thing is Stanton posted a better wOBA in A+. I guess we will see how Baez does in AAA, because Stanton’s second stint in AA he posted a 18 BB%, 22 K% and .494 wOBA.

                    I am still being picky because a lot of people can have similar K%, but Stanton’s BB% have always been better than Baez’s career best.

    • On The Farm

      They traded Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller for Willis and Miggy that turned into a huge win for them, even with Willis becoming a non-factor. Miller never really reached his potential and he is a RP now, and Maybin plays for the Pads now days.

      As far as the Sanchez trade they sent Turner (who has had a .6 WAR over the last two seasons combined), Brian Flynn who made it to the majors this season and posted a -.3 WAR. The other player they sent was Catcher Rob Brantly, who has played about 90 games for Florida and has a -.2 WAR. Looks like another one sided trade for Detroit.

      • bbmoney

        It depends on how much of Anibal’s success after 2012 you credit to the trade and Turner still could be something, he’s only a kid.

        • On The Farm

          Right, I guess I should have said right now the Sanchez trade looks like a Tiger win. I just haven’t been too impressed with Turner, but he does have a lot of time to turn it around. I will put it this way, I am glad that a Garza-Turner trade didn’t go down.

          • bbmoney

            Fair enough and I agree I like the deal the Cubs pulled with Garza more too.

  • RD

    I live in STL and everyone here is all pissy about Puig’s bat flip on his tripple. I suppose it would rub me the wrong way if he did it against the Cubs but since it was against the Cardinals, I couldn’t have loved it more.

    • On The Farm

      Obviously I have the anit-Card bias here, but he is a 22(?) year old player who finally got a big hit against a team whose pitching had been dominating them. Obviously he was probably excited, and you can’t tell him that in that situation that he needs to ‘act like he has been there before’ because he never has.

      • Awakeape

        It didn’t bother me. Good if it bothered the cards the only people he should care about it affecting is his own team and they all seam to support him by saying he is not trying to be disrespectful he is just excited. It’s fun to see someone enjoy what they do. Who would of thunk baseball is fun! Here’s hoping soler can be half as good and exciting!

    • Jono

      what a bunch of cry babies.

    • Aaron

      If it would have been anyone other than the cards I would have loved to have seen the dodgers lose by one. Had Puig taken off out of the box like he should have, an inside the park HR would not have been out of the question.

    • cubmig

      I think what the deadbirds’ fans should be worried about (instead of pissed) is Puig’s turning his “look-see-wait” at the plate into a triple! Can you imagine that if he had taken off like a bat-out-of-hell at the sound of the bat where he’d be standing at the end? Shit, he’d be looking at the relay throw home with Molina! That damn guy can motor!

  • notcubbiewubbie

    baseball has always respected a certain set of rules.act like a major leaguer like you might have gotten a big hit before. this puig hot dog is lucky guys like marichal, drysdale and gibson aren’t around he would get what he deserves a high hard one at his coconut.sad to see MLB turning into the NBA or NFL all about me mentality. nough said.

    • Edwin

      I don’t know. Guys like Drysdale never stopped Ron Santo from acting like a hot dog, so I doubt it would do much for Puig.

      Puig’s still young, he’ll grow out of it. Eventually, the game humbles everyone.

      • Mike Feeney

        Plus Puig is like 6’4 250 pounds. Other than Drysdale not many pitchers of that era would have wanted any piece of a guy that big.

        To call guys hot dogs or get mad when they celebrate because they did something worth celebrating? It baffles me. Always has and always will. I think fans just want a reason to dislike a certain player or team and they will find ways to get a hate on. Were Cub fans complaining when Sosa blew kisses to the camera after every home run? I doubt it. But shouldn’t they have said that he should have “acted like he’s hit a homer before”???? It’s all BS as far as I am concerned.

        Personally, I think sports are supposed to be fun. I like fun. I have never understood this idea that sports needs to be so restrained. Respect the game? Sure. Show up on time. Work hard. Don’t intentionally try to hurt someone. But have fun and entertain and let’s all lighten the fuc kup.

        • mjhurdle

          i agree. As long as someone is not deliberately attempting to taunt the other team, i really have no problem with celebrations.
          My only problem with it, if Puig was a Cub, was what Aaron mentioned above. If Puig had run out of the box, there would have been a chance at a inside the park HR. If he possibly costs the team a run, then i would be upset. not about any celebration he did.

          • Mike Feeney

            How many guys bust hard out of the box when they hit the ball hard? Probably only a handful. I agree though that lack of hustle is annoying and frustrating and shouldn’t happen. But it is pretty prevalent.

          • cubmig

            mj: you picked up on what I saw and thought…….I should have kept reading before I posted my reply up above some. Too—–It comes to me after having read more on Puig’s “hot dogging” that I wish that whole thing had happened at the deadbirds’ home turf. I’m for rubbing it in on “that team” as totally as things allow. End of story.

        • The Dude

          Completely agree, Feeney. Puig is an exciting player to watch and sometimes it gets the best of him, but I never read his celebration as “in your face” stuff. Last night, he thought he had a homerun, realized it wasn’t, and then busted ass for a stand-up triple. Crowd was going nuts, his teammates were going nuts, hell, I was going nuts. Sports should be fun, and Yasiel Puig is fun to watch. I’m a fan.

    • Jon

      The Puig hate on this board is laughable.

      • Jon

        He’s a great player, wish Theo had the balls to get him.

        • Mike Feeney

          I think it would take more than some balls to get Puig in a trade. Generally only bad players get traded for a bucket of balls. Or that’s my understanding anyway.

        • cub2014

          after Puig’s hot start what did he hit .230?
          cespedes anyone.

        • BT

          It’s got NOTHING to do with “balls”. Your obsession with Puig is laughable. The Dodgers took a huge unsubstantiated risk, and so far it’s worked out better than they possibly could have dreamed. There was NO book on Puig. No one had seen him for any length of time. The Dodgers took a flier on him because they had money spilling out of their pockets. Here are the reactions Baseball America collected at the time of the signing:

          “What are the Dodgers thinking?”

          “I don’t know what’s going on in Dodger land. They must have seen something.”

          “Those who have seen Puig seem lukewarm on his talent.”

          “He is an interesting prospect with raw talent, but for several teams, he wouldn’t have even been a first-round pick if he were in the draft.”

          It goes on from there. Stop pretending the Cubs blew it by not signing Puig. He wasn’t an obvious talent. The Dodgers bought a lottery ticket, and so far, it’s paid off huge.

    • jt

      why do today’s pitchers get to show emotions after a K?

      • Mike Feeney

        Excellent jt. Anibal Sanchez went apeshit the other night after a big K. Didn’t hear boo about it.

      • mjhurdle

        Jim Edmonds was on the radio here in STL this morning, and he didn’t have a problem with it. The other host mentioned that Chris Carpenter would have not taken too kindly too it, and Edmonds said exactly that point. He said that Carpenter did plenty of celebrating after big pitches, and there were probably other players that didn’t appreciate that, but that didn’t make it wrong.
        Players celebrate big plays, it happens.

      • Cizzle

        I think the difference is Puig’s celebration and that of a pitcher after a strike out is that Puig’s was while the play was going on. I have no problem with celebrating on 3rd, but when you’re celebrating while the ball’s in the air, you should probably be running instead.

    • bbmoney

      “he deserves a high hard one at his coconut”

      No one deserves a baseball being thrown at their head……ever. Certainly not for violating some unwritten rule.

      The bat flip and stare was a bad baseball play, but I for one like the emotion he showed once he got to third.

    • Chris C

      Baseball and unwritten rules go together like Chinese food and chocolate pudding. I love Chinese food. Especially lo-mo-mo-mo-mein.

  • Jamie Weiss

    I can’t remember seeing a team celebrate a base hit quite like the Dodgers. What’s with this ridiculous exploding hands thing they do? They look like idiots. Puig 0-9 with 6 k’s in the series, and that’s how he pimps a ball off the base of the wall?

    I remember one time Barry Sanders was asked why he didnt celebrate touchdowns like other players, simply handing the ball to the ref. He said “My dad told me to act like I’d been there before and have respect for the game.” Amen.

    As much as I dislike the Cardinals, they play the game the right way, and I hope they dispatch these pukes with ease.

    Matheny was right about the way they played last night. Outfielders letting balls drop between them, getting doubled off second with the play in front of them. Very uncharacteristic.

    • Edwin

      Maybe the exploding hands thing helps them create team chemistry which helps them to win.

    • hansman

      “they play the game the right way, and I hope they dispatch these pukes with ease.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. If whining and being pissy about any perceived slight is playing the game the right way, I give up.

      • Jono

        Whining and being pissy doesn’t have anythng to do with hitting cutoff men

    • jh03

      Every single team, at every single level of baseball, does a hand thing for extra base hits. The Dodgers do the exploding hands, the Pirates did the ‘S’ looking thing. Our high school team does one too. It’s a cool way to celebrate an XBH with your teammates and it’s gets everyone’s juices flowing.

      Ya know, this is a sport… you’re supposed to have fun with it, Mr. McCann.

      Oh, and their defense not having any range isn’t uncharacteristic. It’s just a matter of the balls the opposition hits finding the holes in the Cardinal defense.. because they’ve been there all year.

  • North Side Irish

    Ben Badler ‏@BenBadler 8m
    Recommended read of the day: The back story of Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards is incredible

  • Cubbies4Life

    Your comment was right on the money, Hansman! The Cardinals are experts at whining. Hope they go back to St. Loo with their panties in a 3-2 twist.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Poor Cardinals. You can’t get any more sportsmanlike than that Chris Carpenter was!
    Did you see that Wainwright said Gonzalez was doing Mickey Mouse stuff.
    Gonzalez when told said, yeah, Mickey is only about 100 miles from here, I could take him over and introduce him. I love it.
    Looks to me like the Cardinals smell the “curse of Albert” year 2 kicking in.

  • Jim

    That Chinese Food thing is, just, speechless.

  • waittilthisyear

    i hope when i am an old man i am not all pissy about how the young kids are acting

    • notcubbiewubbie

      thats why the world is so screwed up because it is cool to act like a fool. thank god my kids know how to act. i was always taught to be a good loser ;you should also know how to act when you win.