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nut punch

(Pictured: Welington Castillo takes a foul ball to the groin, Cubs fans everywhere feel the collective cup check.)

  • Funn Dave

    Ouch!

  • another JP

    Classic. That pretty much sums up my entire life as a Cub fan… one shot to the pills after another.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Don’t forget who scouted and recommended Emilio to Theo-

    • DarthHater

      If you find him in there, please let us know…
      [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5525/10698153603_3e0a4339a1_m.jpg[/img]

      • Diehardthefirst

        You will have to get out first

  • ColoCubFan

    Been there, done that in High School. Don’t know if the extra velocity of a big league pitcher really makes a noticeable difference or not at that point. Very probably one of THE most embarrassing moments of my life, as I lay prone in front of the bleachers filled with people.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    A quote from Samardzija from Carrie Muskat’s blog. “These guys are working hard and we have their back 100%. The quicker we get them in the dugout , the better chance we have to score some runs”. It seems that he is refering to Baez and company, though he doesn’t specifically reference anybody by name. If so does that mean that he doesn’t feel that the bunch we have will ever get the job done?

  • Diehardthefirst

    No shame in losing to Bucs who are favored by some to make it to WS

    • another JP

      Right on the money Diehard. Our Cubbies fought hard today.

    • TommyK

      0-13 with runners in scoring position. There is at least some shame there.

      • another JP

        Seriously- against Liriano & a tough Bucs relief staff? Liriano is tough against everyone in Pittsburgh.

        Now if there’s any team feeling shame today it should be the Reds. They were shut out 1-0 at home against Wainright- a pitcher they normally rake. First time a Reds team has been shut out in an opener in 53 years.

        • Diehardthefirst

          And there is no shame in saving some comment scraps for the scrapping South side Sox who could be fun watching and to learn from

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The smokies open the season this Thursday with a five game set in Pensacola. The Iowa cubs also open on thursday against Memphis. Let’s hope we get some breakout performances down there so we can inject some offense at Wrigley soon.

    • CubbiesOHCubbies

      THANK GOD. No offense to Brett, (or from the Cubs), but I am much more excited for the return of Luke’s Minor league recaps than I am the EBS from this pitiful bunch.

      • ssckelley

        Unfortunately I agree with you, I looked forward to Lukes articles every day last season since the major league team was boring. Until we get some excitement at the major league level Lukes articles might be the best read on here again this season.

  • TommyK

    This game went exactly how I feared this season would go. Every single hitter in the Cubs lineup is bad at hitting. Rizzo included. There is not a player on the Cubs Major League roster that a contending team would feel comfortable with in their current role. If Rizzo were the Dodgers starting first baseman, the Dodger would be looking to upgrade that position. You can say the same at all 8 positions and throughout the rotation (our number 1 starter would be #3 on a contending team) and bullpen. This team is going to struggle to score runs all season, and it’s going to lose 100 games.

    Putting aside how you may feel about the plan or whether you fault the organization for the current state of the Major League franchise, everyone should be able to agree that the 2014 Cubs are a major embarrassment. This is the 5th straight season the team has been a major embarrassment. I have no idea why anyone would waste their time, let alone money, on this team. I listened to today’s game on the radio because I happened to be in the car. If I don’t hear or see another all season, I’d be fine with that. I get no enjoyment out of watching a team I love show such futility.

    To paraphrase the Simpsons, you say “It’s only one game” and I say “and it SUCKED.”

    • TWC

      [img]http://gifrific.gifrific.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Lenny-Listening-The-Simpsons.gif[/img]

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I don’t know why it is, but the culture of this site is severely lacking in GIFs. It’s not something we instinctively do enough in the comments.

        • TWC

          It’s time to shake things up, pops.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Loading issues could be part of the reason. 200+ comment pages loaded with GIFs could need some serious computing power to load.

          Maybe that’s why someone (the Cubs?) bought a super computer…

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I suppose if folks did it more regularly, I could play with the way comments load a little bit. I wonder how many GIFs would be enough to make one page a real problem – I know it can be a bitch on mobile. Maybe I shouldn’t encourage it after all …

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              I’m sure there are some folks around here would be happy to help you experiment.

            • blublud

              Curious, how do you post a gif.

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

                Same as a image

                • Picklenose

                  Anyone have more specific instructions on putting an image or gif from imgur into one of these posts? I managed to get a link in the second try, but the first try, which should have worked did not.

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

              The GIF thread gives my computer a workout.

              Then again, it was bargain basement 5 years ago.

              • Picklenose

                Your computer, or our outfield?
                [img][/img]

              • mjhurdle

                [img]http://s30.postimg.org/bzxx9s8kx/output_Js4_J3_W.gif[/img]

                • Picklenose

                  Thanks! Are you just pasting it in? I really don’t want to waste everyone’s space by trying several different things.

                  • mjhurdle

                    http://postimage.org/ is where i go to host the images. It has the ability to resize images for you. If you are throwing a gif up, don’t resize or it breaks the animation.
                    I’ll resize a gif here:
                    http://gifmaker.me/resizer/
                    it also will let you speed up or slow down the animation.

                • mjhurdle

                  i don’t know how other people do it, but I use a couple websites to resize.
                  The images/gifs i want to use are usually a bit too big. so i find a image or pic, and resize it, then throw it on post image to host it online and get the URL

                • mjhurdle

                  and when im done im all like

                  [img]http://s24.postimg.org/p9bzq7tpx/output_YZc5_Mm.gif[/img]

                  • Picklenose

                    Thanks, info and a laugh. Hard to top that!

  • another JP

    “This game went exactly how I feared this season would go.”

    Perfect analysis after one stinking game. What a Cub fan you are.

    • arta

      Ditto!

    • Head and Heart

      Personally I think there are some encouraging things to watch this season. (And I don’t think judging Rizzo based on one game against a lefty who kills lefties is the way to go)

      But even if I was sure the Cubs would only win 1 game all season I’d watch as often as I could to see that one win. I love baseball and I love the Cubs. I’d rather watch the Cubs be bad at baseball than just about any other form of entertainment I can find.

      • mjhurdle

        “I’d rather watch the Cubs be bad at baseball than just about any other form of entertainment I can find.”

        +1000

        well said sir.

        • Head and Heart

          Plus and this is just personal for me, I’m not trying to judge other fans or how they interact with the team as there is no right o wrong way, but personally I wouldn’t enjoy the good times as much if I hadn’t tried my best to “enjoy” the bad times.

      • hawkinright

        Listen, I. Not giving up on Rizzo but my concerns with him stem for much more then just today. Quite honestly including his time in San Diego he has had trouble hitting much more than he hasn’t. If we are going to be completely honest with ourselves I think we’d take a due over on the Cashner/Rizzo trade.

        • Head and Heart

          Maybe. But his BB% and ISO went up last year from 2012 but his BABIP went down 52 points. He plays gold glove defense and is a leader. I have no problem with them going out and getting Rizzo and I think it will be a great move in the long run. I think they thought Cashner was a reliever. It looks like they were wrong. So maybe they’d like to do that trade again with a different arm.

          • hawkinright

            I understand his metrics would show he should get more hits but that doesn’t always translate. I really feel like he is always going to struggle consistently hitting well. I think he has a certain value but not a player that is any better than your average MLB everyday 1st baseman IMO.

            • Head and Heart

              I was just looking at WAR by first basemen. He’s pretty far down. Interestingly he had a better walk rate and ISO than Prince Fielder. But his BABIP is way lower and his WAR was .6 less than Prince.

              Rizzo was 17th last season in WAR (fangraphs) and only Edwin Encarnacion had a worse BABIP of those above him in those WAR standings.

  • cubbcard

    great game, one more bunt on a squeeze play when castro was up may have won the game. i like renterias attitude in scrapping to win. they will be just fine pittsburg is no machine we will split the series with them this year

  • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    I’ve missed baseball, but not all the moronic Cubs fans griping about losing to a clearly superior team in one game by one run in extra innings. I understand frustration, but some people really need to be realistic…and also realize that it was the first game of the season.

  • SenorGato

    http://www.oneworldsports.com/blogs/shintaro-fujinami-npbs-next-star-pitcher/

    The answer is yes.

    OTOH, this is what I’ve been reduced to as a baseball fan. I’m more excited about the Hanshin Tiger’s 4th game (tomorrow) than I was today’s opening game. I’m more interested in Daytona-Iowa’s first game more than Opening Day.

    It’s cool THO, all part of the plan.

  • Blackhawks1963

    My guess and hope is that Ricky blends up the lineup card each game. He’s going to have to. We simply aren’t going to score a whole lot. And we might sadly lead the league in strikeouts too. Even before Baez arrives.

    I like Rizzo a great deal, but he really needs to sit against most lefties for now.

    • SenorGato

      No to Rizzo sittting against lefties.

  • Picklenose

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/4r5TOYI.jpg?1[/img]

  • Picklenose

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/4r5TOYIs.jpg?2[/img]

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    I support the idea of instant replay in baseball. But the execution is far worse than I feared. It was absolutely asinine watching those challenges. The jogging. The special equipment. The standing around. The banal color commentary during the ritual. It’s absurd! And then for everyone to effectively agree that close pkays at first won’t get overturned? Type telling me they can’t slow that down and blow it up better tham we van at home? If you can’t get a “bang bang” play overturned, what’s the point? Would they have let Galarraga’s perfect game left imperfect? I just don’t understand why they’re doing this this way. Am I crazy or do others feel the same way?

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Sorry for the fat finger typos. I think it’s understandable.

    • roz

      Really? I thought it was done fairly well today. Didn’t seem to take too much time, and they got the calls right. I was fine with it.

    • Spriggs

      I turned on the baseball shows last night to sheepishly find out if ANY of the teams I hate lost (it’s what I have been reduced to as a Cubs fan)… but instead, all the baseball talking heads were discussing replays and how to interpret them. I don’t know how much of this I can take this year. Watching the Cubs and listening to Lenny talk about replays is going to be bad enough.

  • johnnyp

    Serious question here… .188 batting average for the day and a .000 average with 11 chances with risp.

    I understand it’s an extremely small sample size, but is that a significant difference?

    I’m half in on saber metrics, but I don’t think I can be convinced, given the cubs problems the last several years, that there is no such thing as clutch hitting.

    • roz

      I think it’s possible to actually look at whether someone can be clutch. Define what it means to be clutch—say with runners in scoring position in a close game, late innings, etc.—and then look at their production in those situations. Then look at their production in all other situations that you have deemed to be low-pressure/non-clutch situations, and try to draw some sort of conclusion from it.

      It could be tough though, because you have to figure out if they just suck at hitting in clutch situations, or they just suck in general. For example, the Cubs yesterday. If you hit .000 with RISP, that doesn’t seem very clutch. But in reality, if you hit .188 overall, it might just be because you couldn’t hit at all, not just in clutch situations.

      • Unlucky 13

        I think of clutch as simply the ability to hit or pitch well in big moments. It doesn’t mean that the player plays better than he otherwise would, it means that he does better than the league average in that spot.

        The Cubs of 2013 and yesterday are clearly NOT clutch. Time will tell if a few of them can at least hit in other situations.

    • Sandberg

      If you view clutch as the absence of choking, then I can get behind it. Because people definitely choke.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Randon question: What is the correct pronunciation of Arismendy’s last name? “al-KON-TRUH” or “al-kin-TAR-uh”? Someone said their wife’s maiden name was also Alcantara so I was just curious. I’ve heard the pronouncers say both. When they say “al-KON-TRUH”… it almost reminds me of when the newscaster call Qatar “CUTT-er”. Doesn’t sound right.

    • Jason P

      It’s al-KON-truh

      • Soda Popinski

        This isn’t right. There is no diacritic over the CAN part of his name so there is no reason for that to be stressed. Also, with Spanish phonetics, the vowels never change pronunciation. So, using the first A as an example in “AL,” all of the other As in his last name make the exact same sound [a]. The first A (with Al) in English is the most similar sounding to the Spanish A. It’s Al-cahn-TAR-ah.

        • ssckelley

          Cubs broadcasters were pronouncing it the way Jason P did.

          • Soda Popinski

            You know, I’ve done a little more research on this, and a few Dominican sites have it spelled Alcántara. Some others didn’t. If it does have that mark over the A then it’s pronounced like Jason said (more or less). When I first searched his name, baseball-reference, fan graphs, espn, yahoo, and the other sites didn’t have a diacritic accent. Baseball-reference is particularly good about having those accent marks where they’re needed, so that’s why I assumed it was al-cahn-TAR-ah. Now I’d say it’s like Jason said since the name originates from Alcántara, Spain.

            • ssckelley

              There was a debate over this when spring first started.

              • Soda Popinski

                It just depends on who has the spelling right (most likely the Dominicans).
                http://elnacional.com.do/alcantara-quiere-aprovechar-juego-con-licey/

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  According to Mick Gillespie who spoke directly to alcantara, the pronunciation is al-KON-truh. Apparently early in his career people were pronouncing it wrong but he didn’t want to say anything. Mick sat down and actually asked him, and that was the pronunciation alcantara gave him

                  • ssckelley

                    Right, I tend to believe the guy who called all the AA games last season.

                  • King Jeff

                    So, we can give the nickname Contra??? Time for the spray bat Arismendy!
                    [img]http://images.rapgenius.com/42q5bexdo9kksy2nlvbwbwz8p.1000x625x1.png[/img]

                    • King Jeff

                      [img]http://cdn.wikimg.net/strategywiki/images/b/b0/Contra_ARC_player_spread.png[/img]

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        When they stop saying her-nan-dez with about 5 mispronounciations it will be a small miracle.

    • Spriggs

      I had a program in hand during a spring training workout and some guy walked up to me and asked what number is “Al Kantra”… Of course it didn’t register in my mind who he meant, I couldn’t find it, so I looked over and and asked, “Is that with a K or a C”? He said he didn’t know.

      • TWC

        He’s got the same number that Al Fonseca used to wear.

  • CubsFaninMS

    *announcers prounouncing lol

  • http://www.draftday.com udbrky

    Looks like we released Nick Struck and Reggie Golden.

  • farmerjon

    I didn’t realize HOW bad Castillo was at framing pitches… he’s not even close!!!

  • ssckelley

    Evidently Nick Struck has been released, I called that a couple days ago. From minor league Pitcher of The Year to the scrap heap just 2 years later. Shows how far the minors has come along, there was no place to put him.

    • TWC

      Looks like Struck didn’t stick…

      /Diehard

      • King Jeff

        So, we shouldn’t count on Dunston being up by June?

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

      Dang, Struck didn’t stick at all…

  • ssckelley

    That amazon ad got me excited for a minute. I thought the Insinkerator was pouring itself a beer at first, nope it was tea. Dammit!

  • Darth Ivy
  • Satch

    Rizzo striking out doesn’t necessarily disturb me too much…but, striking out swinging at a pitch in the dirt, like all of last year, is rather galling. The book is out on Rizzo – if you get ahead in the count 0-2 or 1-2 throw it in the dirt and he’ll swing.

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