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cacti mesaWe’re two days away from the start of the World Series, which begins on Wednesday. Cardinals, Red Sox. Adjust your attitude accordingly.

  • The brief Instructional League in Mesa is over, with the Cubs having played just 12 games (it comes at the end of the regular season, and these are young/injured players, so a short league is required). As he does each year and with each league playing in Arizona, TCR’s Arizona Phil has compiled unofficial Instructional League stats. They’re fun to look at, and I’d encourage you to do so … as long as you don’t put any stock in them. The sample size is minuscule, the competition is thin, and the “games” are only barely games. Trey Martin, Shawon Dunston, Jr., and Gioskar Amaya were among the offensive stars, while 2013 draftees Tyler Skulina, Rob Zastryzny, and Trevor Clifton were among the top pitchers.
  • Some of the players in the Instructional League – hopefully Arodys Vizcaino, for example – will participate in international Winter Leagues next, but most will either head home for some rest, or continue to work in Mesa.
  • Next stop on CSN Chicago’s tour of the Cubs organization? Shortstop. That means Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Among the many interesting quotes in the piece? This one, from VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod: “Do I think [Baez] can come up here and you’d want him to be the shortstop catching groundballs [at Wrigley Field right now]? I can’t sit here and [pound] the table today. [But] I think he will be that guy, [or] could be that guy, for sure.”
  • As folks digest the White Sox’s Jose Abreu signing (6 years, $68 million), a consensus reaction has pretty much been established (this Baseball Prospectus piece  and this FanGraphs piece sum it up well): kudos to the White Sox for going boldly after the one potential difference-maker at first base on the market this offseason, but there’s a whole lot of risk in spending that much money on a bat-only player who has never played in the States.
  • Best fans in baseball! Still! Credit to the Cardinals fans who recognize that this angle is not only wholly played out, but has become a vicious cycle of annoying.
  • Boogens

    Can this whole World Series end just like the All Star game in Milwaukke a few years back? No need to explain why I hate the Cardinals but I still think the Red Sox are a bunch of DBs (especially the front office). I can’t root for either team.

  • Joker

    You mean baseball is still being played? I had no idea.

  • Joker

    Oh and with the news of Jim Leyland stepping down, let’s cue up the trolls…3…2…1…

    (Not that I don’t think he’s a good manager, but he’s just not what the Cubs need in 2014)

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    What do you think it takes to get CarGo and Willin Rosario?

    Castillo, Samardzija, Barney, Szczur?

    Not enough?

    • Voice of Reason

      Why would you trade all of that for an outfielder who has never stayed healthy for an entire season?

      The guy makes a ton of money. $20 million dollars in the final year of his deal.

      And, his numbers are inflated because he plays half his games in the thin Colorado air.

      Take a pass on Cargo. There is better!

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Taking that into account, I think I agree.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Know* I agree

    • On The Farm

      I would rather keep Castillo than get Rosario. Not sure I would trade Shark for an OF who hasn’t really played a full healthy season, and looking at the last three years of his career is a much better home hitter than away hitter (this year seems to be the only flip in that trend).

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        I certainly questioned Shark and CarGo’s inability to stay healthy.

    • jt

      I over value Castillo. I know that. Still I’d be reluctant to trade him even for Cargo.
      If they trade Shark I’d hope they’d include him in a package him to get an over the top young close to ready TOR SP’er.

    • cub2014

      i woudnt trade Castillo he looks like
      he is coming into his own. Game caller,
      throws out runners and at the end of
      year started to put some loft on the ball.
      Still young will be a big time piece of
      the rebuild. Good “catchers” are hard to
      come by.

  • mjhurdle

    speaking of wonderful STL media, on my drive in this morning, i heard that the Cardinals should be the hands-down favorite because the Red Sox only got to the World Series because the Tigers collapsed. They said that the Red Sox haven’t seen pitching like the Cards have, and when someone mentioned that the Tigers had Sanchez, Schezer (sp?), and Verlander; the analyst’s response was that the Red Sox’s bats only got to them because those pitchers weren’t ready for the big stage and they self-imploded.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Best. Fans. Ever.

    • DarthHater

      Sanchez, Scherzer, and Verlander had a combined ERA in that series of 2.16. Some implosion. I’m impressed at how knowledgeable these STL folks are.

    • hansman

      Translated from crap-speak:

      Everyone else’s success is because someone else choked. Cards success is the only true success there is and there can be only one.

      Friday night I had the great displeasure of listening to the Cards pre-game show and GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY their self-righteous homerism was insane. The Cards ate toxic sludge and pooped rainbows and kittens while the Dodgers were a team of has-beens and never-weres and drowned baby kittens in the river.

      • mjhurdle

        if i ever have to watch a fox sports midwest presentation of a Cardinal game, i do it with the mute on. It is insane how homer they are.
        And i expect every team’s announcer’s to be homers, just not to the lengths that Cardinal announcers do.
        Also, no mention of the Dodgers having a hurt Either, a hurt Ramirez, and no Kemp. That played NO role whatsoever in the Cardinal victory. They earned every ounce of their wins, but the Red Sox just got lucky.

        • hansman

          Precisely!

          I like how Pat does it. You can tell he is rooting for the Cubs but I’m not sure I have ever heard him say “we” when he talks about the Cubs.

      • Cubbie Blues

        [img]https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/575902464/hE5CBED50/[/img]

    • On The Farm

      HAHA….. riiiiiiiiight. Um Verlander was damn near dominate and made one mistake against Napoli. Yeah Boston got help from two Grand slams in the playoffs, but they went through Tampa and Tigers to get to the WS. I think those rotations are much better than the Pirates and Dodgers. But of course this is all irrelevant to Cardinal fans.

    • Stinky Pete

      You mean like the big stage they were on last year?

      I think that’s why sports appeal to so many. Any joker with a voicebox or keyboard can rationalize why their team is the best. Even Cubs fans.

  • Jono

    did you guys hear? Jono is the best Cubs fan. Why? Because I say so. Bless your hearts for trying. It’s cute that you guys think you’re baseball fans. You may go to games and watch on tv. But just be aware that I am superior to you all.

    I mean, no offense

    –End sarcasm–

    • http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3819/9178812260_228dcbbb11_o.jpg DarthHater

      Great! You get to wear the Rabid Rally Squirrelmonster suit:

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3819/9178812260_228dcbbb11_o.jpg[/img]

      • Jono

        I take it back

        • DarthHater

          Too late. It’s one of those cursed suits that you can never take off. :-P

    • hansman

      Not douchey enough.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I always think back to a Wednesday afternoon game at Busch Stadium I went to on August 24th, 2011. Watched the Dodgers sweep the Cardinals in the series, knocked the Cardinals to a 67-63 record, something like 10 games out of the playoffs.
    Although the paid crowd was listed at 32,000, in the 6th inning on of that game, their were maybe 1,500 people in the crowd. It was a little more the day before, but not much. Less than two months later, they were playing in the World Series, and all the front running best fans in baseball were back. Cardinal fans can not hold a candle to the best fans in sports, those of the Chicago Cubs.

  • cavemencubbie

    Ah, I’ve had my daily 6 shots of Mescal for breakfast. I’ll wear it. :)

  • JM

    I live in Indiana where nearly everyone roots for the Cubs, with a lesser contingent of Reds fans. Some years ago workers from a St. Louis plant were transfered here. They are arrogant, cocky, self-righteous… and so on…

    It dawned on me that they spend as much time bashing the Cubs as they do supporting their team.

    I suppose there is a bit of jealousy on my part, but I pray I don’t act like they do when the Cubs begin winning.

    • Jono

      that describes every cardinals fan I’ve ever known, too

    • themusicbox

      “If” the Cubs begin winning…

    • Cub Lew

      You must live in Northern Indiana. I thought the state was mosty Cubs fans til I went to school in Southern Indiana. In my experience, most of the people south of Indy claim to be Cards “fans”.

      Funny how they don’t show up in full force til October…

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Actually the Cubs drive Cardinal fans crazy. They are obsessed with the Cubs. Want to know why?
    Because every Cardinals fan knows, that they could be in the World Series for 10 years in a row, but it would be nothing compared to when the Cubs finally make it to the World Series. Because that will be the sports event of the century, and if the Cubs finally win the World Series, it will be talked about for centuries.
    This is a Cardinals fan’s worst nightmare, they wake up in cold sweats dreading when this day comes.

    • Jono

      they are obsessed with the Cubs. The difference between Cubs fans hating the cardinals and vice-versa is that we (or “I”. Not all Cubs fans mention the cardinals as much as me)only obsess with the cards when they make it deep into the playoffs. How many cardinals-hating comments were around here during the regular season? Hadly any. But cardinals fans are obsessed with the Cubs 24/7.

  • DarthHater

    “if the Cubs finally win the World Series, it will be talked about for centuries.”

    i.e. until the next time the Cubs win the Series. :-P

    • hansman

      I really hope it’s not talked about centuries for the same reason their 1908 WS has been talked about for a century.

  • Eternal pessemist

    Oh…has it been that long?

  • Song Cycle

    Does anyone see the irony in posters on an obsessive Cubs fan site ranting about obsessive Cardinals fans.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m not so sure it’s ironic as it is definitional.

      • Jim

        +1

      • Jono

        I don’t even know what that means, but I like it

  • college_of_coaches

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this yet, but there’s a nice interview of Kris Bryant by Jessie Rogers…

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/20384/kris-bryant-q-and-a

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