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ricky renteria speaksI woke up in the middle of the night last night – probably one of the kids stirring – and I immediately thought to myself that I had to come up with something to put in this space. It was a pretty odd impulse, given that I usually just open up a new document for the Bullets, and start typing. Strikingly little thought goes into what goes up here in the morning. But, for some reason, I was gripped by a feeling that I just had to think of something good. This was, like, 2am. Obviously I didn’t come up with anything, or I wouldn’t be recounting this bizarre meta layer. The end.

  • Jed Hoyer endorses the way Ricky Renteria has been managing his roster with respect to the starting lineup. “I think Ricky has done a nice job with Mike [Olt],” Hoyer told Carrie Muskat. “I get it — I think people are excited to see him and people love homers. It’s fun when he’s in the lineup. I want him to play, too, but I also think matching him up and finding the right matchups, you want to make sure there are days when [Luis] Valbuena is in the lineup. There are days you really want [Darwin] Barney in the lineup because he’s our best defender. There are a lot of factors at play. Frankly, I think it’s helped Mike in the long haul adjusting to the big leagues and getting comfortable here.” I would say it better if I could, but I cannot. That’s pretty much exactly what I believed to be happening, and fully support that approach. I suppose I’d add only this: Olt will play more and more (just as he has been) as the season goes on, and particularly as he demonstrates that he’s getting increasingly comfortable.
  • Hoyer offers this on the pitcher W/L stat (Cubs.com): “The wins thing to me is frustrating, because in general, it’s a stat that we’ve all moved away from.” In other words, Hoyer is telling folks to stop writing about the W/L stat because the W/L stat is stupid and nobody who actually works in baseball gives a hoot about it. I am so very glad I killed the win on this site before the season started. It was overdue by about 10 years.
  • Mark Gonzales asked Hoyer about pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, the polished Cuban lefty on whom the Cubs spent $6 million a couple years ago, but who almost immediately struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Hoyer offered some general thoughts about how well-thought-of he was at the time, and how he’s dealt with some injuries since then. Concepcion isn’t quite entirely back on the radar.
  • Jose Veras tells Cubs.com that he’s feeling refreshed and fully healthy. The Cubs activated Jose Veras from the disabled list last night, sending lefty reliever Zac Rosscup to the DL with shoulder soreness.
  • A fantastic piece on the draft and on scouting the mental side of the game from Vine Line.
  • BN’er Michigan Goat is fighting MS – in more ways than one – and he needs your support. Check out his story, and learn more about what he’s going through/trying to accomplish.
  • The Ricketts Family is getting political, with Cubs board member Pete Ricketts winning the Nebraska Republican gubernatorial primary yesterday, and board members Laura Ricketts and Todd Ricketts each heading up a SuperPAC. To them, individually, I say: go forth, God bless, do what makes you happy. As intelligent, passionate, affluent people, political involvement is something of an inevitability. But, because I care about the Cubs, I do think about how the organization could be impacted. As we saw with the original Wrigley funding/Obama attack ad flap, there can be very real consequences borne by the Cubs when the political efforts of its owners touch upon the team’s world. There is also the potential for bad optics/bad stories, with unscrupulous media tying the political actions of a Cubs owner to the Cubs, as an organization, and damaging the brand in that way (“Cubs Owner Vetoes Cheese Bill, But Team Still Serving Cheese”). Although I am smart enough – and I think that you, dear reader, are also smart enough – to understand that these are entirely separate issues, I just get nervous about the political interplay here, especially in a city as, eh hem, political as Chicago.
  • The marquee at Wrigley Field is green now (though it’ll be back to its usual red eventually) …

  • PejaO42

    I have no problem with owner’s of teams getting political (as a Bucks fan, Herb Kohl ownened the team while serving in the US Senate). The only issue is that some people are stupid and will overblow this. These people also believe W/L records indicate if a pitcher is good or not.

    • Edwin

      Agreed. There are enough non-baseball stories already with the Cubs, this is probably just going to add more.

  • CubChymyst

    I like the way the marquee looks. Hopefully they leave that way for a little while.

    • Smitty

      Agreed. The red is the best, but this isn’t bad at all.

  • Darth Ivy

    I wish the Cubs told us their plan about Olt earlier when he was playing less. That would’ve curbed much of the criticism or armchair QBing. At least Brett expressed the possibility of this game plan which did ease my mind even before they increased his playing time

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Even if they did tell us, I don’t think it would have mattered. With the team playing poorly, people look for anything and everything to bitch about.

      • Darth Ivy

        It obviously wouldn’t have completely prevented all the Olt criticisms. But it definitely would have limited it. I’ve been one of the most outspoken critics of his playing time, and I wouldn’t have said/written anything negative about it if I knew this was their plan.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Ha, but you also seem to be a rational human being, something that isn’t exactly a commonality among Cubs fans right now.

          • Darth Ivy

            Oh, so we’re gonna start name calling now? ;)

            • DarthHater

              Yea! You’re a nice guy, too. So there!

    • Bilbo161

      I don’t think there was ever a time when Olt was being held back. We just get a little anxious and react too quickly to things like daily lineup choices. ;)

      • Darth Ivy

        I guess it depends on your definition of “held back.” I think he was being held back, but for a good and logical reason. But then you put that winky face there, so I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not

        • Bilbo161

          No sarcasm meant. Its real easy to misunderstand huh.

          I’m just happy to see some progress from the guy. If Olt, Lake, and Arrietta were to figure some things out this year That would align very nicely with the new arrivals we will see over the next few years.

  • Jon

    [Ed. - I'm just not going to have the political talk today. There's a way to discuss this topic without actually getting into anything political.]

    • Jason P

      None of what is happening right now is “anti-Obama crap”. One family member is running as the Republican candidate to be Nebraska governor and 2 other siblings are supporting him.

      The anti-Obama ad campaign was the father Joe Ricketts’ thing back around the 2012 election. In other words, entirely independent of this.

      • Jon

        Little Todd took over the Super Pac his dad started.

        Btw, if you don’t want political talk, why even mentioned it in the bullets?

        This silly Super Pac nonsense and the Ricketts family involvement is what killed any hopes of public funding for the renovation of Wrigley Field.

        • Darth Ivy

          If the Cubs didn’t get funding because of Joe helping republicans, then that’s unbelievably stupid because Laura did just as much to help democrats.

        • Jason P

          That’s a problem with the Chicago political system, then. Living in America, it’s kind of their right to be politically active.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If you can’t appreciate the distinction between discussing the *fact of* political involvement and the interplay with the Cubs, and the actual substance of political beliefs/actions/agendas/etc., then I can’t help you. I can just wipe your comments.

          If you need help, just look up and see how I discussed it. Really not that tough.

        • Patrick W.

          You could always take your political views to the message boards. If by always I mean for the next 11 hour or so.

      • 5412

        Hi,

        I admire them for being politically involved; regardless of which side they take.

        When a mayor punishes a private business because they were “thinking” about investing some money supporting the other side, it’s time to speak out. Punishing your political opponents – which has the potential to negatively impact the people who hire you financially – is a huge abuse of power.

        You beat your opponent at the ballot box because the voters like your ideas better, not because you use your power to shut off the voice of dissent.
        Regards,
        5412

  • JCubs79

    [Ed. - That was a bit too far. Avoid the actual politics, please. And also avoid name-calling.]

  • Darth Ivy

    And about the politics stuff, Laura is a huge player among chicago democrats. At least they’re a balanced family in both parties.

  • Bilbo161

    Oops, didn’t see that “fine’ line.

  • Boogens

    “BN’er Michigan Goat is fighting MS …”

    Hey Goat, I made a contribution to help you reach your goal. No doubt that you’ll hit your goal with the generosity of your fellow BNers. Kick some ass on Saturday.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      Thank you so much I hope the rain doesn’t make the day nasty but it won’t matter because after the walk we are all going to Founders… so happiness is guarnetted, the only thing I worry about is being able to complete the walk without having to ride on a golf cart.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        sorry “guaranteed”

  • college_of_coaches

    [Ed. - college of coaches is a super cool dude, who chooses to keep his highly informed, and well-educated political opinions to himself when commenting on baseball.]

    Thanks Ed! I appreciate you as well.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This is humorous.

      • Funn Dave

        Quite.

    • Head and Heart

      [Ed. - Head and Heart is an idiot. No one should put any stock in what he says.]

      Harsh, but fair.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        You buttholes are going to make me change my administrative editing style, aren’t you?

        • Head and Heart

          I needed a laugh today. And buttholes makes me laugh. Every single time. So thank you.

        • college_of_coaches

          LOL! We love ya Brett, and the comments are precious to us as well.

        • DarthHater

          .
          This is going to be interesting… [img]http://www.sonsofivy.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/popcorn.gif[/img]

      • DarthHater

        The “Head and Heart” editorial comment seemed so spot-on, it took me a while to realize the joke. :-P

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      [Ed. - recommends everyone visit TeamFUMS.org, click on the Green MS Walk logo on the right side, and donate money]

      Ed it as an awesome guy that has committed to fight MS.

      • auggie

        Goat, so sorry to hear of your condition. I made a small donation. Best of luck.

  • Spencer

    Hey Brett, how do you feel about a pitcher’s W/L record?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Generally disapprove, but I could go either way.

      (RAGE FACE)

      • Edwin

        You can’t kill the win stat brett. For every dumb stat you take down, two more shall try to rise up and take it’s place.

        • SirCub

          Hail Hydra.

          • Darth Ivy

            superman would’ve just thrown those ships into the sun after like 20 minutes into the movie

            • SirCub

              Marvel > DC

              • Darth Ivy

                The X-Men are my jam

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          NERDS!
          [img]http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view2/2077743/ogre-screaming-nerds-o.gif[/img]

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          [img]http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view2/2077743/ogre-screaming-nerds-o.gif[/img]

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          [img]http://www.hobbeslives.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/nerds-ogre.gif[/img]

          • DarthHater

            Somebody left a can of spam in the goat pen again…

      • Edwin

        Never underestimate the power of idiots. We’re everywhere, we have thoughts, we have keyboards, and we have internets.

        • Danny Ballgame

          *intrawebs

      • DarthHater

        “(RAGE FACE)” [img]http://www.sonsofivy.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/furious.gif[/img]

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yeah. That.

  • bigCEE

    Unrelated….

    but am I the only one who would like to see Emilio Bonifacio signed to an extension…like maybe a 3-year deal??

    Even if he hit 260-270 he has so much value. Speed, defensive versatility, batting average, takes walks, etc…plus he seems like a good teammate, the other guys seem to like him…he doesn’t seem disgruntled, he’s perfect for the NL and this young team IMO.

    • Edwin

      His career BB% is only 7.9. His career OBP is just .324, so it’s not like he gets on base that much. He’s a player who’s a nice deal only because he was basically picked up for nothing. He’s basically the postion player equivalent of Carlos Villanueva. I’d pass on any type of extention.

    • Norm

      Yes, you are the only one.

      • Brocktoon

        I don’t know, Emilio might be in favor of it.

        • DarthHater

          And his family.

    • bbmoney

      To me, he’s not the kind of player your rush to sign to a 3 year deal. I think he’s still playing over his head and don’t think his end of season line will approach where he’s at now and looks a lot more like his career line.

      But I hope he proves me wrong and makes me look silly for not wanting to extend him.

      • bigCEE

        Yeah you guys are probably right…I think my love for Emilio is hard to justify…I just see guys like Ryan Sweeney get a two-year deal…or DeJesus getting a two-year deal and wonder why a guy like Emilio can’t stay with a team for an extended period of time…3 years is probably a bit much…

        but could anyone see him getting a two-year?

        • bbmoney

          This off-season I could see him getting a 2 year deal somewhere, even if his performance drops off to more normal, for him, levels. I’d be surprised if anything extensionwise is done in season.

        • Edwin

          Again, not really. For most of his career, he’s played at an extremely replacable level. If he plays well, the Cubs might sign him to an extention for the 2015 season, but I think it’s more likely they try and flip him to a contending team looking for speed and versatility from their 25th man for a playoff run.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            If he is extremely cheap, yes. If he is overpriced, no…by the way, this thinking can be applied to just about every other player!

    • Jon

      with a no trade clause.

  • college_of_coaches

    I have to say that I really liked Hoyer’s comments on the use of Olt. Premium third-basemen are not easy to come by.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Premium third-basemen are not easy to come by.”

      THIS.

      smh@trading Olt because 3B is a organizational position of strength

      • Chad

        Agreed CFP. At least wait until someone is actually pushing him out the door, like Baez just making it impossible to keep in AAA (might be longer than most would like) and Alcantara makes it impossible to not have him at 2B so someone has to go. That is the only way I’m trading Olt.

        Not to worry, I doubt the cubs would trade Olt right now anyway. They’re just riding the gamble for now.

        • Chad

          This is off topic, but a trade was proposed yesterday in a post I can’t find now about trading Shark, Vogelbach, and someone else to the orioles for a package with Machado.

          How about this one:

          Shark + Baez for Bundy+ Machado

          Can add other pieces to it, but I think that is a relatively fair trade since Bundy is injured and Machado has not come back to his prime since his injury. That could account for the fact that Shark has only 1.5 years left.

          I don’t know just something I thought might be interesting and an extremely huge deal for both teams. I know it will never happen, but what do you think?

          • CubFan Paul

            2 injured guys for our 2 healthiest impact guys?

            • Chad

              Yes, a lot of years of control on those two guys and Machado proved at one point he could perform at the ML level while Baez still working on AAA. Shark only 1.5 years. To me, that’s the only way you would get either of those two from the Orioles and I think it would be a relatively equal trade. Still a lot of risk for both teams though.

              • CubFan Paul

                ” that’s the only way you would get either of those two from the Orioles”

                I doubt that, but if so then i’m quite sure Theo&Co would find another trade partner for their number 1 (Shark) and possibly number 2 assets.

                • Chad

                  What do you think it would take the cubs to get either one of them, and then both of them at the same time? I think it would take a lot, and I think you are over valuing Shark with only 1.5 years of control and Baez a bit. Perhaps I’m over valuing Bundy and Machado as well, but I still think it is an pretty even swap of potential.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    “What do you think”

                    If I were running the Show, I wouldn’t do that trade at all. I’d have no interest in trading core pieces during a rebuild for shakier, injured pieces, unless they came at a steep discount that accounted for my loss of top assets and risk involved.

                    “I think you are over valuing Shark with only 1.5 years of control and Baez a bit”

                    Proven pitchers with control left are worth a lot more than your proposal. And cost controlled young SS/3B with elite bat potential can bring back an impressive package without adding anyone else

                    • Chad

                      For me I think Machado > Baez. I think his bat when healthy, though not as much power, plays better than Baez’s bat will.

                      For Shark, I don’t agree, he is worth more than just Bundy or Gausman if you preferred the non injured route, but since I think Machado is more valuable than Baez that is where the gap for me is made up.

                      As someone else said, they don’t see anyway to get Machado, so to me this gives up more immediately for the cubs with those two guys I think you can build an even better foundation than with Shark and Baez. (Assumes Shark leaves after 1.5 remaining years of course)

                    • Norm

                      Machado is more valuable than Baez, though.

                      So, you get an upgrade on Baez, and you trade 1.5 years of Shark for 5-6 years of Bundy.

                      I’d do it.

          • bbmoney

            I don’t see any way the orioles are trading Machado.

      • college_of_coaches

        I know the high K % is genuine concern, but if they come down even slightly and he can manage a .230 clip while drawing walks at a rate a bit higher than 10% AND hit 30+ homers, then we’re looking at an .800 OPS hitter playing plus-grade defense at 3rd.

  • terencemann

    It’s funny that the W/L stat is used only in certain circles. Almost all of the front offices in baseball don’t really care about it other than seeing it as a reflection of the teams’ W-L record (unless you’re Ruben Amaro, jr) and scouts don’t care about it because they’re there to watch the pitcher’s mechanics and try to predict how he is performing and what to expect from him going forward.

    I feel like it’s only being used by fans and media members who haven’t moved on from it?

    • Travis

      I’m just tired of the stories along the lines of “Samardzija: when will he get a win?”, mainly on ESPN.

  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

    Thank you Ace for all the support for TeamFUMS.org

    • DarthHater

      Good luck, MG. I Force-pushed one of my human slaves into making a donation. :-P

  • Aaron

    It would be nice if the Ricketts’ would pony up a few dollars to replace the burnt out lights in the marquee. Then they could say they’ve officially started the renovation!

    • ChrisFChi

      Rooftops might sue if they do.

  • ChrisFChi

    Oh man, we will get nothing for shark. No wins, he must suck! 😁

  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

    [img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bnrj4iOCMAEET9s.png[/img]

    • SirCub

      How convenient for you that you had all those signs made up already, MG. Nice bandanna, btw.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Yeah I’ve been preparing my panhandler look and signs for years.

  • Caleb

    Brett, that was perhaps the best meta-bullets-intro you’ve ever written.

    Looks like your 2AM calling worked out. #irony

  • HislersHero

    Hey guys, lets talk politics.

    Did you hear about Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton? I couldn’t believe it when I heard it.

  • http://tootblan.tumblr.com wv23

    OMG my eyes! My eyes!

    Good looking site, boy.

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