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akron rubber ducksThe NBA is back, which means the Bulls are back, which means Derrick Rose is back. My understanding is that he looked healthy, but did not play well. My understanding is also that I don’t much care for the NBA.

  • The Akron Aeros are the Cleveland Indians’ AA team, and, following the rich tradition of clever and crazy minor league team names, they are the Aeros no more. Now, partly honoring the Rubber City in which they’re found, and partly honoring awesomeness, the Akron club is known as the Rubber Ducks. Silly? Yes. But fun and just crazy enough to work? Absolutely. Minor league baseball is full of great and silly team names, and I have to confess that it’s kind of a bummer that the Cubs’ organization is mostly full of staid, classic monikers – the Cubs, the Hawks, the Cougars, the Cubs, the Smokies, and the Cubs. I actually like “Cubs” name, and “Smokies” is at least a little out there. But where are the Boise Potatoes already? How about the Kane County Haberdashers? What say you, folks? Thoughts on any new names for any of the Cubs’ affiliates?
  • (On that Rubber Ducks logo: I hope it’s intended to be at least a little ironic (the ferocity and the tire mark). Because, come on, you can’t make a rubber duck into a ferocious beast.)
  • When Kris Bryant reaches a league in which the wins and losses matter, and the pitchers are evaluated on the basis of their results as much as their raw stuff, he’s going to start getting walked at a perverse clip. Why do I say that? Because right now, in a league in which the wins and losses don’t really matter and the pitchers are not really being evaluated on the basis of their results, he his homering at a perverse clip. That is all to say that Bryant homered again yesterday for the Mesa Solar Sox, giving him 6 homers in just 50 AFL at bats. In 12% of his at bats, he’s homered. Forgetting the small sample size, because it is fun to do so, that would project to about 70 or so homers over the course of a full season.
  • That homer, by the way, was Bryant’s only hit of the day. Albert Almora went 1-4 with a walk, and Jorge Soler went 0-4 with a couple strikeouts. Lendy Castillo struggled with control, walking three in just 0.1 innings of work, while Matt Loosen continued to pitch well, striking out three in two scoreless, walkless innings.
  • And speaking of Bryant, Jonathan Mayo pegs him as the best third base prospect in baseball – yes, in front of Miguel Sano (Jim Callis takes Sano, as I think most prospectors probably will, but he calls it the “slightest of edges”).
  • The San Diego State baseball team won Halloween by playing a game in costumes.
  • On The Farm

    I can’t wait to buy a hat that say’s Rubber ducks. AWESOME

    • Jono

      I’m thinking about getting a Mermen hat

      ….Anyone? Anyone?….

      • Jono

        Ok, people. If you don’t know who the Myrtle Beach Mermen are, do yourself a favor and look them up

        • RD

          Kenny Powers no longer plays for the Mermen (awesome team name). I am, however, a huge fan of the show, “Sports Sesh!”

          • Jono

            He’ll always be a mermen to me. And I bet he doesn’t last too long in sports sesh. That, or he takes over the show. The show isn’t big enough for both if them

            • RD

              Yeah talk about a couple huge ego’s… I say let Stevie run the show.

  • On The Farm

    “that would project to about 70 or so homers over the course of a full season.”

    I feel like Bryant’s college numbers projected a 70 HR season if he played a full MLB season’s worth of games too. His bat is insane. I am going to ignore the fact that Mayo was the one that took Bryant #1 at 3B and run with it.

    • terencemann

      Agreed. I can understand why Callis is hesitant to take Bryant over Sano, since Sano has had a lot more time in the minors to establish himself and it’s just hard to imagine a 3B prospectbetter than him. Bryant could very well be that player, though.

  • Cubbie Blues

    The Cougars don’t need to change their name, just their mascot.

    • Eric

      [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LpoBSM0GvWs/T3mQXRoSSGI/AAAAAAAAOYI/L1r-Sq60eTM/s1600/American+Reunion_2012-04-02_american_reunion_stiflers_mom.png[/img]

      • ssckelley

        ^ lmao, exactly!

  • Jono

    The Iowa Corn Rows?

  • Internet Random

    “The San Diego State baseball team won Halloween by playing a game in costumes.”

    Understatement.

    • mjhurdle

      agreed. They won Halloween with the game, and the Internet with the video.
      Nothing will top watching a Jamaican BobSled team take an AB then try to beat out the throw to first, or a a college man in a white skirt and blonde pigtails crack a HR to Left-Center.
      They win the Internet for 2013.

  • josh ruiter

    My vote for the Boise sPuds. catcher mit/potato moniker? Thoughts?

  • Eric

    Here in Tennessee, the Smokies could easily change their name to the Knoxville Meth Labs and it would be entirely appropriate.

    • On The Farm

      Woah. Oelwein, Iowa is the former Meth capital of the world, and I have spoken with the Buchanan County drug officers, were Oelwein is located, and they told me (as of 5 years ago) Buchanan County is the Meth Capital of the world. TAKE THAT WALTER WHITE! WE ARE THE ONES WHO KNOCK! WE PUT YOUR PUNY ALBUQUERQUE TO SHAME!

      • ssckelley

        lmao, like anyone outside of Iowa know where the heck Oelwein is. Or how to pronounce it.

        You from around here?

        • On The Farm

          I went to high school pretty close to there. I actually worked with the Drug officers in Buchanan County doing Tobacco stings so that’s how I learned lots of fun stories about the coolest drug busts in the county history.

          • ssckelley

            It is sad really, it is so bad that the pharmacy I use in Oelwein refuses to sell cold medicine without a prescription.

          • cubs2003

            Just out of curiosity, what’s a tobacco sting?

            • ssckelley

              Around here they will hire underage teenagers to go into stores and attempt to purchase tobacco products.

            • On The Farm

              Yeah, it didn’t feel right being a snitch, but they pay was so good and I needed some money for Spring break. I actually almost got ‘fired’ because I tried convincing a store clerk to not sell to me and the cops heard me on the wire I was wearing.

        • On The Farm

          Also, I there is a semi-famous book, Methland, about Oelwein so I was hoping maybe someone out there might have recognized the name.

          • Tony_S

            I was born and raised in Dubuque, although been gone for 16 yrs, and I had definitely heard about the meth problem in Oelwein, but didn’t know there was a book…!

            • On The Farm

              Buchanan county has it’s ups and downs. While it may be the Meth capital of the world, it’s also the home of the World’s largest frying pan.

      • MightyBear

        Well then, how about the Iowa Heisenbergs? The Iowa Pinkmen?

        • On The Farm

          Every time they get a hit the crowd has to shout “Yeah, Bitch!”

          • Chicago4life

            Or, “I’m the one who knocks?”

  • Nick

    Perhaps the tire is in reference to the rubber, I.e. rubber tires? That could explain the logo somewhat….

  • Mike

    With the Cougars stadium being so close to Fermilab I’m wondering why they haven’t changed their name to something to do with that…Colliders, Accelerators, Neutrinos, Protons, Quarks. There is also a large buffalo herd on the Fermilab grounds so there’s that possibility. The Cougars might just be the worst logo/uni set in minor league baseball. It’s not only boring, but it is basically the same as it was in 1992 when the team first started playing. It’s time to update things. The Potatoes would be an awesome name…there are already the Hillsboro Hops (with the nice beer and baseball double meaning) so why not the Hot Potatoes? There are also the Montgomery Biscuits, another great minor league logo.

    • Jono

      Kane County Quarks

      I love it

    • cubbiesOHcubbies

      Kane county albino deer.

  • Professor Snarks

    “When Kris Bryant reaches a league in which the wins and losses matter, and the pitchers are evaluated on the basis of their results as much as their raw stuff, he’s going to start getting walked at a perverse clip.”

    Yes. Yes he will. I know this will get me in trouble, but hopefully the Cubs can get some protection behind him in the batting order. (this is the very reason his college coach moved him to leadoff).

    • ssckelley

      Heck Rizzo’s numbers should fly through the roof. All season people complained on here that was a reason why he struggled so much this season.

      • Professor Snarks

        If this is anywhere close to what Bryant is as a hitter, he’d have to bat 3rd, wouldn’t he?

        How about
        #2 Baez
        #3 Bryant
        #4 Rizzo
        #5 unknown dangerous rh power guy.

        • JB88

          Baez screams No. 5 hitter to me. Too strikeout prone to be a No. 2 hitter IMO.

          • Professor Snarks

            Possibly. What I’m worried about is, if Baez has no protection, he’ll NEVER see a fastball.

            • mjhurdle

              If Baez can’t hit breaking balls, he will NEVER see a fastball, regardless of who is hitting behind him.

              • JB88

                Baez hit quite a few breaking balls a very, very long way this past summer …

                • mjhurdle

                  I agree. Im not saying that he can’t. My point is that who bats behind him will have very little impact on his chance to see a fastball.
                  IF he comes up and murders fastballs, and struggles against breaking balls, then he will get a steady diet of breaking balls even if Miguel Cabrera is hitting behind him.

            • JB88

              Assuming that each of Almora, Baez, Bryant, and Soler makes it, I think the lineup probably looks like this:

              1 – TBD
              2 – Almora (CF)
              3 – Rizzo (1B)
              4 – Bryant (3B/LF/RF)
              5 – Baez (2B/3B/LF)
              6 – Castro (SS)
              7 – Soler (RF/LF)
              8 – Castillo (C)
              P – TBD

              Most likely though, we are probably looking at least two or three of this lineup changing at some point so that you can add some lefthandedness to the lineup and because at least one or more of the Big 4 won’t make it or will be traded.

        • kscubfan

          Think the dangerous RH power guy would be Baez. Need a LH OBP person at 2, Watkins? with maybe Lake leading off as a power/speed guy that will do the un-predictable.

          • Professor Snarks

            I forgot…how about OLT as that rh power guy. Alcantara instead of Watkins.

            Choo, Alcantara…then the power dudes.

            • kscubfan

              I was trying not to use FA and forget about Alcantara. But Choo with Alcantara would be a fun lead into Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and Olt.

        • ssckelley

          In today’s lineup he would need to bat in between Rizzo and Schierholtz to break up the lefties. With Baez in the lineup I would still have to put Rizzo in the 3 slot if Baez bats second to break up the righties. But I still hold out hope that the Cubs acquire a right handed slugger for the outfield.

          The thoughts of both Baez and Bryant in the Cubs lineup next year makes me drool.

          • Professor Snarks

            “The thoughts of both Baez and Bryant in the Cubs lineup next year makes me drool.”

            During a HOT summer with the wind blowing out.

            Kid, if you gonna dream…dream BIG…

      • hansman

        While he had power hitters Soriano and Schierholtz hitting behind him…

        Can anyone who believes in lineup protection find me any evidence it exists outside of the ramblings of managers, announcers and players (it’s odd you never hear pitchers say they pitched around Player X all season because he had noone hitting behind him)?

        • jh03

          I’ve never understood the logic behind lineup protection. Wouldn’t you think that a pitcher has a specific gameplan on what works best to get a hitter out, and they would follow that gameplan regardless of the situation? You always want to get the hitter out. Your way of attacking him shouldn’t change if you already have a gameplan.

          • Professor Snarks

            So:

            Bottom of the 9th, tie game. Bases loaded. Soriano up.
            Your game plan is to throw sliders that start off the outside edge of the plate and break in the dirt.

            A miracle occurs, and Soriano works the count to 3-2….do you risk following your game plan?

            I’m not saying it matters in every at bat, but I’d bet there are times players a pitched differently depending on who follows them in the lineup.

            • jh03

              You’re assuming that the gameplan is to throw a 3-2 ball in the dirt. We don’t know that.

              Follow your gameplan, no matter the situation. That increases your odds of winning.

            • ssckelley

              With Soriano yes, that seem to get him out quite a bit. I cannot remember him taking to many walks with the bases loaded and the game on the line.

              But with Rizzo you do not change the game plan on how you pitch to him no matter who is hitting behind him. He struggled so poorly against left handed pitching that if the game is on the line you simply bring in a lefty to shut him down.

            • hansman

              So you would throw Soriano a pitch that has a lower likelihood of him getting out?

        • Professor Snarks

          Just curious…..would pitchers pitch differently to Miguel Cabrera if he was followed by Barney instead of Fielder?

          Would pitchers talk about it?

        • ssckelley

          Come on hansman, this has been debated before. Don’t you have statistical evidence to prove that it does not make a difference?

          • hansman

            I like watching them not answer my question.

            • DarthHater

              I’m sure lineup protection sometimes matters, but only in situations that are defined so subjectively as not to be statistically testable. So, nyahhh! :-P

            • ssckelley

              DAMN YOU!!!

              [img]http://cdn.broscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/geek-nerd-girl-6.jpg[/img]

          • TWC

            “Don’t you have statistical evidence to prove that it does not make a difference?”

            Yeah, come ON, Hansman! Why can’t you prove that negative?!

            Larf.

      • Cubbiesblue

        Hey are you the same ssckelley from hawkeye nation and if so man those hawkeye cubs connections run deep.

        • ssckelley

          Yep, there are plenty of us HNer’s spamming both sites. My name is more obvious since I use the same one for both places. I have been spamming here more frequently since Jon has been a little grumpy lately (not wanting the ban hammer). :D

  • Edwin

    That duck mascot looks a lot like Negaduck.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I would have preferred Howard the Duck.

      • Dan Foote

        I agree. Howard the Duck with the theme song and all! Let’s start a petition………only Quacks can sign it

  • ssckelley

    Akron should have hit up the Trojan company for sponsorship, the Rubber Trojans.

    • Dan Foote

      Small, medium or large………..sponsorship fees that is

      • ssckelley

        Do they even make small sizes?

  • Dan Foote

    Here in El Paso, we’re getting the Triple A affiliate of the Padres starting next year. The name they chose is the El Paso Chihuahuas. NOT my favorite, but I guess it could be worse (not sure how, but I’m sure someone will tell me). I LOVE the Rubber Ducks name. Makes me think I need to start getting SOMETHING with the logos of some of these fun names/teams.

    • cavemencubbie

      Hi neighbor! I wonder if the moniker ’6 guns’ is being used. The El paso 6 guns! Probably not politically correct. I’m stuck with the ‘Dukes’ an a Dodger (UGH) affiliate.

      • Dan Foote

        Hey, at least you’ve HAD and we’re getting Triple A – in the PCL – so we can see the Iowa Cubs some time! And I’d rather have the Dodgers (a winning team, darn it) over the Padres (have they ever won?)……..

        • cavemencubbie

          Dan;
          Yeah I should be thankful for small blessings but I have hated the Dodgers before they moved to LA., when they had the nickname Bums. Though not a wining team, the Padres have a certain nostalgia for me. My granduncle would take me to see the Padres play when they were a PCL team. I loved that old man!

          • Dan Foote

            That’s a cool memory. Unfortunately, I do not remember the Dodgers being anywhere but Cali. However, my earliest memory IS a baseball one. We were up high, under the metal roof at the OLD Tiger Stadium and I was cheering Willie Mays. Wish I could remember the game and his play……

            I’ve been “up there” to see the Isotopes play against the Iowa Cubs and was there a couple years ago when the Triple A National Champioship game was there. Y’all got a nice place to watch baseball there. We had a good time. In fact, we’re planning a trip there next season.

            • cavemencubbie

              Dan

              Don’t know why I used ‘Dukes’ instead of Isotopes in my first post. Old age I guess. For my own information did the PCL lose a team or did they expand? Thanks.

              • Dan Foote

                They’re staying the same size. The Tuscon team is moving here. Our division will be Albuquerque, Vegas, El Paso and Salt Lake City.

  • Jono

    Sorry for the comment overload. The oil inventory report just came out so I had nothing to do for a while

  • TheRiot2

    The Iowa I 35′s,people can’t wait to leave Iowa,they don’t even have a beauty queen,nobody qualifies.

  • Frank

    Boise Potatoes Peelers

  • Frank

    I meant –Boise Potato Peelers

  • Norm

    I have the same concern with Bryant as with Baez.

    Bryant’s 29% K rate in the AFL would = about 179 strikeouts over a full season.
    Against minor leaguers.

    • On The Farm

      Way too small of a Bryant sample

    • ssckelley

      If he is hitting 35+ home runs and has an OPS over .900 do we care?

      Bryants swing looks so fluid that I do not have the same concerns with his SO rate as I do Baez. I think Bryant SO rate will improve as he gets more accustomed to using wooden bats and sees more breaking pitches. If you watch videos of Bryants swing it is easy to see why scouts are not concerned about Bryants SO rate.

    • Professor Snarks

      Yes, the k rates aren’t ideal. They would prevent either of these guys from me Cabrera-like, but Stanton and Chris davis have had pretty good production while striking out 29% of the time.

      • Professor Snarks

        from *being* Cabrera-like

        sorry….

    • Buford T. Justice

      The type of hitter that Bryant is suggests he will be a 150 strikeout plus guy in the bigs. That is what comes with the whole package…not terribly different then other prolific power hitters in the game, and of course Bryant will need to get 800 to 1000 major league at bats under his belt in order to “settle in.”

      The bigger concern regarding strikeouts is Baez. He’s a grip it and rip it sort of hitter. Probably the sort of player who goes on profound hot and cold streaks. Again, he will need the liberty to get 800 to 1000 major league at bats on his resume before we truly understand what he is all about.

      The other thing I would say is this…be very, very careful in extrapolating AFL offensive production. The pitching down in Arizona is mostly Triple A vagabound types.

      • ssckelley

        Explain “grip it and rip it”, have you actually seen his swing or did you get this off a scouting report?

        I keep hearing about how the AFL pitching, some make it sound like BP. That AAA “vagabound” pitcher (Merrill Kelly) that Bryant hit the home run off of yesterday actually pitched very well in AAA this season.

        • Eternal pessemist

          Baez’ swing does look awfully wild to me too. He looks so strong and has such great bat speed that he may be able to compensate a little better. He also can start his swing a little later so hopefully this will lead to improving contact rates.

        • Spriggs

          If you’ve seen Baez’s swing and don’t like it, then you’re just way too hard to please. It might be the sweetest swing and the quickest Cubs bat I’ve ever seen. He sometimes gets overly aggressive and over swings.

          I think people tend to over-estimate the hitter friendliness of the AFL. Sure, the top talent assigned to the league is the hitters, and the balls carry, but there is some outstanding pitching talent here too. Starters usually only go 3 or 4 innings, and then it’s usually a different pitcher every inning or so from that point. Most of those guys have good stuff, but have command issues. Hitters rarely get that 2nd and 3rd AB off the same pitcher – so you see a lot of uncomfortable ABs. And remember too, that hitters usually get more off days than they are comfortable with. It’s hard for them to maintain a groove. So everything isn’t ideal for the hitters by any stretch.

          • ssckelley

            I never said I don’t, but I like Bryants better at least from what I’ve seen. I love Bryants balance in the batters box. He has a wide stance but his swings look natural (fluid). He is a good hitter that drives the ball out of the ballpark because of his power, without the power he looks like he could still hit above .300. Baez has probably the best hand to eye coordination I have ever seen, his swing is sweet as well but it does look like he is trying to jack the ball out of the ball park every time he swings. But I have not gotten to watch either live, all I have seen is the highlight reels posted on here and on youtube. So I have not seen how either look when they strike out.

  • MichiganCubbie

    I miss the Lansing Lugnuts. I saw so many future Cubs with them. I have a Felix Pie Lugnuts bobblehead on my desk right now.

  • North Side Irish

    Ben Badler ‏@BenBadler 4m
    New Scout’s View at Baseball America breaks down Cubs 3B Kris Bryant: http://bit.ly/1htJPUf

    If you’re a BA subscriber, they breakdown Bryant’s future grades…

  • fresno cub fan

    I was so bummed when the Cubs dropped their affiliation with the Lansing Lugnuts!
    What a great logo that is!

  • fresno cub fan

    [img]https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash2/c10.10.160.160/422881_10151514767026066_1159721968_a.jpg[/img]

  • Kevin

    Swingin’ Swedes – Geneva (where the Cougars play) historically has a had a sizable Swedish population and a week long Swedish festival.

  • #23

    Boise SPUDS

  • CubbieBubba

    here’s to hoping that they have one of those fake “retro” jerseys where the logo is just a simple yellow bath toy.

  • Nick

    I live in Tennessee right next to the smokies, and although I love their name it’d be fun to go with something new. Last year the owners of the smokies bought the Cleveland browns and joked it was going to be renamed the Tennessee browns. I love that we play a team called the biscuits though.

  • North Side Irish

    MLB radio has the Mesa game from the AFL today. No Bryant, Soler, or Almora, but Dallas Beeler is starting and Darvill is playing 3B.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/y2010/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_30_msswin_scowin_1&mode=preview

  • Tony_S

    All this talk about logos and mascots, has anyone heard any more rumblings on logo/design changes for the big club heading into 2014? I don’t want to speculate but I’m fearful that those ‘creative’ moves might be on hold with the renovation, maybe the org is going to wait until reno unveiling to maximize the psychological effect of the team ‘face lift’….?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If there are any changes on that stuff – and it was only ever a possibility – that seems like the kind of thing that would be announced at CubsCon.

  • josh ruiter

    Iowa Channel Cats or Iowa Catfish. Iowa Raccoons. Iowa Finches. Iowa Bison. Or my personal favorite: the Iowa Grouse[img]http://justournature.blogspot.com/2012/04/walden-and-greater-sage-grouse.html[/img]
    it’s pic 3/8

    • josh ruiter

      [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ldI9GHl-Z4/T6GQtp-H1ZI/AAAAAAAAVb0/Q_nb-ajEB8g/s640/_L4C2460.jpg[/img]

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