darwin barney gold gloveAs I’ve mentioned before, The Wife is something of a runner. When it’s cold out, she likes to treat herself with Starbucks (hot chocolate) after a morning run. Because she’s kind, she always wants to bring me something, too. I’ve never really liked Starbucks (not a huge coffee guy), but I’m a sucker for anything “pumpkin.” Thus, she brings me a pumpkin spice latte on such mornings. We’ve had many such mornings over the past couple weeks, and so I’ve gotten a whole lot of pumpkin spice lattes. I fear I’m becoming hooked. She’s like my dealer.

  • The Cubs have two finalists for Gold Gloves – am I spacing, or is this “announcing finalists” thing a newer concoction? – in Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo. There was an argument to be made that Welington Castillo was the best defensive catcher in baseball this year, but somewhat limited playing time, weaker traditional numbers, and no “name” probably conspired to keep him off the list. Barney is up against Mark Ellis and, naturally, Brandon Phillips. Rizzo is up against Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Goldschmidt. If you dig into the advanced defensive metrics, Rizzo should probably win going away, while it’s a really tough race to peg at second base. Ellis leads Barney in defensive runs saved (12 to 11 (Phillips is at just 1)), but Barney leads in UZR/150 by a healthy margin, as well as fielding percentage and defensive WAR (FanGraphs). My unbiased vote would go to Barney, but it’s not a runaway like it was last year.
  • You can watch the Gold Glove presentations on Tuesday on ESPN2 at 6pm CT.
  • Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler pushed the Mesa Solar Sox to another win yesterday in the AFL. Bryant was 3-5 with two doubles and a triple, and Soler was 2-4 with a homer and a walk. Armando Rivero got in an inning of work, giving up an earned run on one hit and no walks. He struck out one.
  • With another solid game – that’s just two in a row – Soler’s line in the AFL is now up to .302/.318/.442. Among guys with more than 40 at bats, that’s the fourth best batting average in the league. Never forget the power of narratives, and the uselessness of “scouting” small sample size stats: had Soler’s AFL performance been discussed starting today, as opposed to five days ago, the story might have been something like, “Jorge Soler picks up where he left off despite missing three months of action with a stress fracture.”
  • Jesse Rogers on the state of the rebuilding process.
  • Ryan Dempster is still doing Ryan Dempster things.
  • The World Series gets back underway tonight at 6:30pm CT, as the 1-1 series heads to St. Louis. The Red Sox will move David Ortiz to first base, and Mike Napoli will head to the bench. Because the DH rule is smrt.
  • William

    The Red Sox might want to spike the Cardinals Gatorade with holy water.

  • BWA

    Am I the only person who doesn’t feel the Pence and Lincecum signings will set the market? I mean I think other teams will all agree they were overpays and refuse to let that set the market.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      We will se how real those new numbers are over the summer. I suppose the Cubs have already been in some talks w/ the media companies bidding on the contract, so they may have some idea if 13 million/year for Jackson was an overspend or just good anticipation.

  • TOOT

    The most Gold Gloves ever won by one player? That would be Greg Maddux. I believe an incredible 18.

  • cubmig

    This has nothing to do with this topic, but nothing else is available…..

    I am livid about the 3rd base ump “interference call” that allowed the deadbirds to win the 3rd WS game. I have watched the replay over and over and over and over, and …slowing down the action t see where the actual “interference” took place. The 3rd baseman’s “legs up” has been cited as the cause for the runner tripping and unable to score.

    Conclusion: There was none.

    The runner heading home tripped with his left foot on the low part of the 3rd baseman’s torso. The damn 3rd baseman fell to the ground reaching for a wide throw. He was on the ground, period. The runner (who had slid into 3rd) never, NEVER led with his right leg in righting himself to head home to score when he saw the wide throw miss the 3rd baseman. He led with his left. Had he led to take off for home with his right leg, the legs up would be interference, but that was not the case. So how could the legs up be interference when the legs up where never in the way of the runner’s move to score? Any visual read of the “legs up” would make the “interference”, call absurd.

    The umps should have called for a review of that play and the decision made. This is the WS. The game lay on the line. They do it for a questionable HR during the regular season. This play was just as critical—-if not more so, as it was the end game determiner in the WS.

    Dumb shit umps.

    The whole “win” was

    • TOOT

      I have not seen the play, I was working. I am sure going to take a look, though.

    • BWA

      I was mad a first as well because obviously middlebrooks did obstructed the runner after trying to make a play that he had every right to try to make, and they unintentially got in the way. Unfortunatly, the rule states this is still obstruction. see below.

      OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.
      Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.

      Baseball needs to take a look and edit this rule somehow.

      • TOOT

        This not how evreybody saw it apparently.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Craig is pushing Middlebrooks down with both hands, and Joyce us looking out in left field. Not obstruction. I predict the Red Sox win the next 3. They are pissed.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Not one of these so called professionals have mentioned craig gets up looks back at the ball an he starts to run toward the grass,not down the baseline….i know the rules but boston got shafted on a technicality…craig is inside the baseline..to bad good game ends like that..p.s. beltran didnt try to get out of the way an gets nickd on that giant body armor….boston got hosed….again

  • Patrick W.

    It was unequivocally the right call. The rule literally describes the situation as it played out. Middlebrooks obstructed Craig, probably unintentionally, and where Craig was does not matter (though he was by rule in the legal basepath) and it doesn’t matter that Craig steadied himself on the back of Middlebrooks. At the moment Middlebrooks missed the catch he is by definition obstructing Craig. You can be passed all you want that the Cardinals got another lucky break, but they won the game fairly.

    • TOOT

      Did you mean pissed? Yes Cards wo fairly. Again, the VooDoo magic.

      • Patrick W.

        Hah yes. Pissed.

    • Cedlandrum

      This is just like the tuck rule in the NFL. They called it right, but that is just a plainly stupid rule. Middlebrooks is laying a foot inside the bag. If Craig is in the baseline he doesn’t touch Middlebrooks. Just stupid and cost the Sox the game. It would have been better for Middlebrooks to have watched the ball go by with the way the rule worked against them.