What We Knew About Mark Prior, Doing Good, and Other Cubs Bullets

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What We Knew About Mark Prior, Doing Good, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The nerds really did it. After years of “release the Snyder cut!”, they’re actually making that thing. It might be the most eye-popping fan-driven production change I can remember.

… and since I don’t care about ‘Justice League,’ it gets me thinking about some magical day when our cries about the absolute desecration of ‘Game of Thrones’ in the final two seasons could be heard and answered. I’ll even relent and say that you can keep the broad strokes of the story the same, much as I think there were magnificent failings even at that level, but just retell the damn story with some care, attention, pacing, and sophistication beyond a hacky middle school production. It cannot be stated often enough, in my opinion, how two unspeakably terrible seasons to conclude the show wrecked everything that came before, and makes the entire series un-rewatchable. And I *love* rewatching series. Heck, before the final two seasons, I’d rewatched the first six seasons of ‘GOT’ upwards of six or seven times!

•   When the Cubs had the second pick in the 2001 draft, I was extremely pissed. You see, the 2000 season had been an unmitigated disaster for the Cubs, landing them the worst record in baseball, at 65-97 (tied with the Phillies, but the Cubs had the tiebreaker). But thanks to the way the top pick was doled out back in those days, the worst team in the American League was going to get the top spot in the 2001 draft, even though that team, the Twins, had won four more games than the Cubs in 2000. Why was I pissed about that, though? Because everyone knew the 2001 draft featured the most elite, most sure thing pitching prospect we’ve seen in a very long time. Everyone knew that Mark Prior was going to be a stud.

•   That’s not to say that there weren’t other fantastic prospects available at the top of the draft, including Joe Mauer and Mark Teixeira, among others. It’s just that Prior was THE guy. The confidence in his ability succeed in the big leagues was far beyond your usual “college pitching stud.” I desperately wanted the Cubs to land him. So when it came out that the Twins were seriously considering the local guy in Mauer, I could not believe the Cubs’ good fortunes. They were actually going to luck into the the best amateur pitching prospect in a decade or more. Thanks, Twins!

•   Obviously time has borne out that the Twins were quite right in their selection, but I will point out that the prognostications on Prior were also quite right. He was ready in less than a year, and immediately showed he was a big league stud:

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

•   We can’t know what would have happened to Prior’s career if not for the injuries that derailed him. But for that first year and a half, he was every bit the guy pundits were so sure he was gonna be. His 2003 season, including the postseason, is probably the only Cubs season in the last 70 years that rivals Jake Arrieta’s 2015 campaign:

(via FanGraphs)

•   Mark Prior highlights:

•   Ian Happ has indeed been everywhere during this layoff:

•   New Cubs reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who may or may not ever get to throw a pitch with the team, is doing some good down in Arizona:

•   Just a reminder of how things might look to minor league baseball players right now:

•   Get that Cubs placard up to the top:

•   Preschool toys, mini fridges, the Magic Bullet, and much more are on sale today at Amazon. #ad

•   A little late, yes, but that’s still quite a cut:

•   Luke Hagerty is still working, and he comes prepared:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.