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edwin jackson cubsDid you “spring forward” today? It’s funny, with two little kids, the concept of “losing” an hour of sleep is no longer a thing. Either the kids keep sleeping and so do we, or they get up and we get up. I don’t give a hoot whether it’s technically 5am or 6am. If they decided they wanted to sleep until noon, I’d jump on that train.

  • Rick Renteria is going to talk to Edwin Jackson about his fastball-only performance on Friday, which apparently wasn’t necessarily what the Cubs had laid out for him that game. (CSN) It’s hard to gauge whether RR was bothered by Jackson’s decision to throw 50 fastballs in 50 pitches, and I can certainly understand the coaching staff wanting to be in on that kind of thing. But I also am thinking … what’s the big deal here? Spring Training is about preparing for the season, and if a veteran like Jackson wants to use a game to work on his fastball command, don’t you want him to be able to do that? My guess is that this isn’t a big deal, and is just a matter of new folks working out their communication with each other.
  • James Russell threw off the mound again yesterday, and the lefty reliever could pitch in a Cactus League game this coming week. (Cubs.com) Russell thinks part of the reason for his dead arm was the particularly nasty winter, which prevented him from throwing as much as he would have liked to.
  • Rick Renteria says that, so far/for now, Kris Bryant looks the part at third base, able to move well and get down when necessary. (Tribune)
  • Patrick Mooney on the constant buzzing sound that follows Javier Baez and Kris Bryant this Spring. Which is to say, there’s a lot of buzz about them.
  • For folks looking for the qualifying offer process to change in advance of the next CBA, it doesn’t sound like it’s a big enough concern among the bargainers to re-open the CBA before the current iteration expires after 2016. If true, that means at least two more offseasons with some free agents potentially slipping well into March, as guys like Ervin Santana, Kendrys Morales, and Stephen Drew have this year. Of course, what we could see next year is an increase in players willing to accept qualifying offers (or an anticipation of the same by teams, and thus less qualifying offers to fringy players). This means, by the way, and just for example, that this system will probably still be in place by the time Jeff Samardzija reaches free agency. Does it recast his demands on an extension? Probably not, but his team – whatever team has him when extension talks take place – is likely to remind him of a potentially devastating impact of a qualifying offer in this market for guys who haven’t truly established themselves as elite.
  • Speaking of those free agents, it sounds like Ervin Santana is deciding between a one-year deal with the Blue Jays or a one-year deal with the Orioles. If and when he signs, I’ll have more thoughts on the implications.
  • ssckelley

    The qualifying offer process should be an advantage for the Cubs if they end up with another protected pick next off season.

  • baldtaxguy

    Odd that Jackson does not share his “plan” on a ST start. Unless you did not want to hear otherwise, there is no real reason not to share what you will be working on ahead of time. Your coach is big on communication, EJ should oblige.

    • CubFan Paul

      So big on communication that nothing was said during the game.

      • baldtaxguy

        True, that too is odd. Why would he then make it a media item? Strange on both sides.

        • CubFan Paul

          EJax’s problem last year was fastball command. Strange that him working on fastball command is a problem

          • Funn Dave

            Working on fastball command is not the problem. If there’s a problem, it’s that he chose to do so in a game environment & without communicating his intentions to his coaches or teammates. He’s got plenty of time outside of games to focus on polishing his fastball command. During the game, I’d think he’d want to take advantage of the competitive environment & focus on performing under ST’s modest pressure.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Jackson didn’t do it in a game environment: he did it in Spring Training. One of the reasons why ST performance has so little bearing on regular season performance is because ST games are just exhibition tuneups, not real games.

              (This is another reason why batting stats in particular mean nothing, too: although Jackson’s example is a little extreme, batters are not getting anything like real pitching in ST.)

              • Funn Dave

                See my post below. Like it or not, spring training games are, in fact, games. There are fans watching. There are teams watching. And, most importantly, your teammates are watching. And they want to win. They are not ignoring the score. So to focus only on one pitch, in a game environment, without any regard for your teammates, seems a very prima donna (sp?) thing to do. Especially when he expects those same teammates to give him run support and good defense during the regular season.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Well, you need to tell the players that. They’ve been pointing out for years that these aren’t real games, and that the real adrenaline and game-mentality doesn’t start until opening day. Fans being present doesn’t make it a “game.” Your teammates are doing the same thing in different ways, so that doesn’t make it a “game.” What makes it a “game” is that it affects your chances of making post-season.

                  So, again, this wasn’t a game environment, and no amount of pretending by a fan is going to make it so.

                  • Funn Dave

                    No, fans being present doesn’t make it a game. It is a baseball game. That’s just a fact. There are rules. There are officials. There is a score. This score is not imaginary. It gets reported in publications everywhere. It is right there at the stadium. If you think the players aren’t aware of it & wanting to win, you are delusional. Whether or not it gets them to the postseason has no bearing on whether or not it is a game. If I’m playing a baseball game in a league in which there is no postseason–or even just a backyard game–are you telling me it’s not a game? All the teams playing baseball around the world, they aren’t playing baseball games because winning won’t get them to the World Series?

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      It’s a scrimmage, they know it, we should know it. A scrimmage might have some competitive nature to because they are athletes BUT they are professionals athletes and understand that these games are meaningless and all they need to do is get prepared for the season and finish ST healthy. What MLB and other sports realized is that there is money in spring training and market for fans to enjoy, but don’t convince yourself that professional athletes care about anything related to the outcomes and stats of these games. They have goals and plans I ST that have nothing to do with the goals of the regular season- when game outcomes matter. The same is true with the All-Star game but Bud turned a meaningless game that means way too much.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Yes, it’s a ballgame. NO, it is NOT a “real” game. Real games affect magic numbers (hard as they are to calculate in April.)

                      If you think that players really care about ST, then you have not been paying attention. For many years, many of them have complained that it is too long, and that it’s hard to take it seriously. (The reason why ST is so long is because you need all that time to take semi-professional athletes and work off 3-4 months of flab; it’s never been adjusted to take into account that these guys have been full-time athletes since the 1970′s.)

                      And you will see this at the end of the season: every year, we read about how hard it is for players on eliminated teams to “get up” for ballgames that no longer matter. They try to play up being spoilers, etc.: but the fact is, once there is no hope of making post-season, then part of the adrenaline turns off for most of these guys.

                      There not only is no significant correlation between ST performance and regular season performance, but actually a weak *negative* one. If players took ST seriously, then we should not see that.

                    • Funn Dave

                      Whether players care about ST has no relation to whether a spring training game is a game or not. In a sense, Goat’s right that the games are scrimmages. And a scrimmage is a game. A game does not have to affect regular-season standings to be a game. It does not have to somehow predict the regular season to be a game. Whether a player like Edwin Jackson or another major leaguer you may have seen in an interview professes to care about ST has no impact on whether its games are real games. The fact is, for some of these kids playing, this is their only chance to play baseball games with an MLB club, and against other MLB clubs. Why should Edwin take away from that? Because he’s an established starting pitcher, he gets to change the nature of his innings of that game on a whim? What about AAA games and AA games? Should we ignore them because they don’t affect the MLB standings? Just because I know a AA championship won’t lead to an MLB championship, does not mean it’s not something I or the players can get excited about.

                    • FFP

                      Funn Dave, sounds like you believe that ST games are games. You say, “It’s just a fact.”
                      But is it a scienntific fact?

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Funn Dave: here is the key problem with your entire line of reasoning: “Just because I know a AA championship won’t lead to an MLB championship, does not mean it’s not something I or the players can get excited about.”

                      1) ST is not AA: AA players are playing to: A) win AA championships, and B) get promoted to MLB.

                      2) You are demanding that other people share your feelings. YOU can get excited about ST games. Therefore, OTHER people must. Well, guess what: they don’t. It’s a scrimmage. This is like asking musicians to show the same energy during rehearsals that they show in performance: or even when playing scales.

                      The Cubs will play 162 games this year, and Jackson probably will pitch in 32 or 33 of them. He’ll be in game situations those 33 games (or more if miracles happen and the Cubs make post-season). He’s been in zero so far this year: and no amount of pretending that scrimmages have the same meaning as regular games or projecting your own values onto other people is going to change that.

                    • DarthHater

                      Sorry, Doc & MG, but every opportunity to win a ST game is sacred. :-P

                  • Funn Dave

                    “and no amount of pretending that scrimmages have the same meaning as regular games or projecting your own values onto other people is going to change that.”

                    I never said a spring training game has the same meaning as a regular season game. Nor did I try to project my opinions onto anyone. No one is saying that a baseball game during the spring is the same as a baseball game during the summer. It is, however, by definition, a game. You keep trying to act like I’m making arguments that I’m not making & trying to prove those arguments wrong. Also:

                    “YOU can get excited about ST games. Therefore, OTHER people must. Well, guess what: they don’t.”

                    I don’t get very excited about ST games, except at the beginning, because it’s baseball, and it’s fun. But you have got to be blind if you think other people don’t. Go look at the recap of today’s game. You don’t see people getting excited about things like BJax’s 2-run hit?

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        Unless it really isn’t as big of a deal as you think it is.

        • CubFan Paul

          I never claimed that it was

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            Exactly.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      …more importantly, there is no reason for them (Bosio and Jackson) to not have a plan in each ST start. Hope this was simply communication problem…and then disappointed if they could have such communication problem.

    • Ivy Walls

      This is a “command & control” ego issue between a player being paid at the highest on the team but possibly not respected as the best player on the team, (IIRC $8M signing bonus
      13:$11M, 14:$11M, 15:$11M, 16:$11M, where the deal does not include any no-trade protection, the last part is key), understand the bonus is paid already so the Cubs paid $19M for a pitcher 8-18 with a 2.0 WAR!

      Is Jackson sending a signal that he wants to be traded—-I say yes. He might like the $$ and that was then, he now wants to be treated as the opening day pitcher. He was establishing himself to the the new regime. This bit of authority drama will have some scenes to play out.

      • Funn Dave

        That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Definitely not a certaintly, or even the most likely scenario. It’s not like Jackson doesn’t know that he hasn’t lived up to his contract. No way does he expect to be treated as the opening day pitcher, IMO.

      • Drew7

        Man, you’ve got this armchair psychology thing down.

    • itzscott

      If Happy and Bosio noticed it as Jackson was pitching, why didn’t one if them pull Jackson aside and ask what’s up between innings?

      • Funn Dave

        Yeah, it does seem a little fishy. I wonder if they didn’t even notice what he was doing until they read about it in the media.

  • TimBeam

    This winter is ruining everything. Spring needs to get here soon or I’m moving

  • Cubsin

    Santana’s going to look a little foolish when he decides to sign with Baltimore, only to fail his physical. I hope he has a Plan D in mind.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      +10.

    • BlueCatuli

      FAIL… To be clear, this happened twice. Colvin wasn’t able to get a major league deal, and Balfour failed his physical due to his knee and hip, NOT his shoulder as he said. Really sad this became a thing.

      • TWC

        Cool story, bro.

        • BlueCatuli

          You do love yourself some hyperbole…

  • waittilthisyear

    i think Jackson’s “veteran” status only affords him a little leeway if he has experienced more success than he has

  • Funn Dave

    I don’t understand how this even happens. I mean, why didn’t RR talk to him between innings or visit the mound? Didn’t anyone notice Edwin shaking off the catcher’s signs, or was the catcher in on it? Wouldn’t the batters catch on? Very, very strange.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Edwin Jackson religiously takes the ball every 5th day and gives his team a reliability in the rotation. But he has sadly shown why he played for 7 teams in 7 seasons or whatever the well traveled pattern was. It is what it is. All I know is that if he is our 3rd starter then we have a dubious starting rotation at best.

    • Lukas

      This logic is hilarious. This is Bonifacio’s 6th team, I suppose that means he’s got a bad attitude too. Whoa and DeRosa played for 7 teams! No wonder the Cubs lost in 2008!

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Yes, it is an example of both bad logic (affirming the consequent: if bad attitude, then many teams in many years; many teams in many years; ergo, bat attitude)) and unsound premises (if bad attitude, then many teams in many years). We have gazillions of examples of guys with “bad attitudes” (however nebulously defined) sticking with teams for quite a while. That pretty much falsifies the premise. (We also have innumerable examples of guys perceived to have good and bad attitudes by different people, which calls into question the reality of “attitude” in the first place.) And, of course, there are a lot of reasons why teams do not re-sign guys who they had on 1-year contracts that have nothing to do with attitude and even surprisingly little to do with performance.

    • Voice of Reason

      If I was renteria I would have yanked Jackson out of the game. My starting pitcher has a game plan and as manager I want to know it. Bosio should take some heat from renteria too.

      Jackson always has been “more than a handful” and I know there are reasons some players play with so many different teams, but in Jacksons case he is, well, a handful.

      • gocatsgo2003

        If this were a regular season game, I’m sure he would have. In spring training, I don’t think it was viewed as a big deal — more of a learning/communication experience.

        • Voice of Reason

          If I’m renteria I’m sending a message to the entire team. I’m the coach and there is no bullshit. If Jackson gets away with it then others think they can too.

          Have to be a professional whether spring training, game #20 or #162.

          • ThatCubsGuy

            Wow…sending a message over a simple miscommunication. Thank goodness you are not Renteria. I get talking to him but to do something like that is egregious and a pretentious tactic.

            • Voice of Reason

              That’s not miscommunication on Jacksons part. That’s doing what he wants. The coaches didn’t tell him to throw all fastballs did they? This was Jackson taking it upon himself to do it. There are young kids seeing Jackson get away with it so they think its ok to do what they want.

              It wasn’t miscommunication. It was no communication on Jackson and he was doing what he wanted. If I’m manager that doesn’t go down.

              • Rebuilding

                Something similar last year likely had a hand in getting Sveum fired. Sorry, you don’t yank major league players in the middle of innings unless there is a clear lack of hustle. Showing up your players in that fashion is a quick way to lose the clubhouse

                • Voice of Reason

                  You lose the clubhouse by not taking control

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Off topic, but I wonder who the mystery NL team is that are in on the Santana situation. I read something yesterday that the Jays had put an offer on the table that would expire today at 5:00 p.m. So does that mean that the O’s or the mystery NL team haven’t made offers? It seems like at this time and place he would just take the Toronto offer and try FA again over the winter when he has no draft pick compensation hindering teams. Could that mystery team be the Cubs? The only scenario that I could see would be if the Cubs were going to deal Shark to say the Blue Jays, and they picked up Santana to fill that void. The pressure is on Anthopoulos to do something about the pitching situation. And the final question is, just how much is Santana asking for a one year deal? The rumor is that the Jays have a 15 million offer on the table. Does he realistically think he is going to get more than that? Or it it a situation where he wants to sign with a team that will contend like the O’s?

  • Fastball

    If Theo could trade Sharkmtomthe Blue Jays and get the pitching prospects discussed so many times on BN he should do it. Sign Santana and then flip him at the deadline for more,pitching prospects. These two moves could potentially net somewhere between 4 and 6 new pitching prospects into the system. This would improve upon a significant weakness. Then if they can work a trade of a few prospects for a solid catcher prospect it would be a really positive step,forward for the system as a whole.

  • Fastball

    Possibly Jackson didn’t fully intend to throw only fastballs. He may have felt like he was struggling with his location and needed to work on it. STmstarts are about this sort of thing and just getting to a pitch count and build up toward an endurance goal. Some things don’t translate from a bullpen mound to the field mound with live batters. There is game situations and a different adrenaline as well as windup vs the stretch, runners on the bases in different situations. I don’t think this is a big deal at all.

  • Chet Masterson

    I, for one, look forward to this being the start of a columnist/talk radio narrative for 2014. Phil Rogers is likely already hammering out a couple template columns waiting for the season to start.

    “Jackson was unhappy when getting pulled in the 4th after surrendering 7 runs. HAS RENTERIA LOST THE TEAM ALREADY?”

    “Barney not told he wasn’t playing Sunday until Sunday morning, DOES RENTERIA EVER COMMUNICATE?”

  • http://BN Sacko

    Hard to determine by the readings if EJ was being a jerk about his pith selections as to why is the news he admits not saying anything about it and now RR wants to talk to him.
    Weren’t there 2 games that day and which one was Bosio at?

    • http://BN Sacko

      Different times so both?

  • Diehardthefirst

    Shark to the Braves for cash, draft choice and Terdoslavich as they may have to DL a starter?

    • ssckelley

      You should not be allowed to post while drinking.

      • Diehardthefirst

        You mean some on this board are sober? Can’t tell

      • Diehardthefirst

        Terdoslavich is no turd- check his AAA stats before talking thru ur other hole

        • mjhurdle

          not sure we really need to trade Shark for yet another 5th OF with brief stints of success in an otherwise mediocre minor league career.

        • ssckelley

          Omg, the dude is a stud! You sure Shark could get him? We might have to throw in another player.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2873/12908841474_b7f4f165cf_n.jpg[/img]

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