Part 2 of our Roundtable series discussing all sorts of things relevant to the Cubs Minor League system. Let's get into it, shall we?
Myles: Who do you guys think could breakout next year? I think there's a slam-dunk answer to breakout candidates, but I have a few I'd like to talk about. The one I'm most confident about is Shawon Dunston, Jr. He's been great when he hasn't been injured, and he's got plate discipline, with enough power to make pitchers worry. He's also a great defender in the outfield. He was well thought-of before injuries derailed him, and I think he'll take a step forward next year.
I also think that when Stephen Bruno comes back next year, he's got a chance to enter the prospect conversation. He had a nice season in 2012 but unfortunately lost essentially all of 2013. He probably isn't more than a supersub, but it's hard to deny a guy that crushed A- to the tune of 172 wRC+ in his first professional year, and was on the way to do the same at A+ until his injury.
My last guy is Paul Blackburn, who has a shot to be the best Cubs pitching prospect at the end of 2014 in my mind. He's still got to fill out, but I don't think he'll have a problem with it (unlike CJ Edwards). When he does fill out, he'll have a nice sinking fastball with good plane and good location. That's a pitch that you can build a MLB career around. Huge walk rates don't faze me in the minors unless it's really obvious something is going wrong.
Dmick: Funny, Shawon Dunston, Jr. was the guy I was going with. He had a great walk rate this year, but it was in a level he should be hitting quite well in. His ISO was disturbingly low, but I think we'll see that improve if he can stay healthy. Honestly though, this is a category that's so hard to pick and the easier topic to discuss is what prospects are likely to fall next season. I can go with any possible breakout. Trey Masek comes to mind. I know I've been low on Jeimer Candelario, but he's another guy who could take a few steps next year.
sitrick: I said so in my review, but I still believe in Gioskar Amaya. I think there was so much crap working against him this season, it was in hindsight a bit premature to be predicting huge things from him in Kane County. He's still got a quick bat, and reports on the defense are positive. I think he has a "putting it together" sort of season and ends 2014 with the Smokies. I think Yasiel Balaguert could find some helium in '14 too.
Dmick: I think Yasiel Balaguert is going to struggle just because I can't ever imagine having to write that name without thinking what the next letter should be. /dumbshit who hasn't taken Spanish since high school.
Myles: I like Jeimer, and not just because he follow me on twitter.
Dmick: Possible breakdowns? CJ Edwards and Kyle Hendricks, I think, are the obvious ones.
Myles: I think Kyle Hendricks is due for some regression, just like Nick Struck was (though hopefully not to that level). Sahadev Sharma says scouts don't think his slider plays in the majors, which he'd need to keep MLB talent off the hittable fastball. I can see that, but I also think Hendricks is an intelligent pitcher who at the very least keeps the ball in the park.
sitrick: Dillon Maples could wash out pretty quick if he doesn't find some success in full-season ball soon. I wouldn't be shocked to see Alcantara take a step back next season. This was a big year for him and he did wear down near the end of it. I think I need to see another year out of Edwards before I make any judgements. I wouldn't be surprised if he imploded, and I wouldn't be surprised if he took a step forward and jumped into the national top 25. I think we'll know more when he gets to a level where we can see pitch counts and really judge if his low innings are because of an innings limit/lack of efficiency or if he's just not capable of putting a 6+ inning start together.
Myles: Maples is probably the hardest prospect to pin down in the organization. He could be a Top 10 guy in the org next year, or be in Indy ball. I'm still an Edwards believer. I know that Parks thinks there's no way he adds weight to his frame, but he also liked his delivery and repeatable motion. When it's said and done, I think Edwards ends up as a very, very nice fireman/closer, which is a nice thing to have. And there's that 1-in-20 chance he adds 15 pounds of good weight, in which case he could be a #2 or #3 (probably #3 type). There's also the 1-in-3 chance his body just says "I can't handle this" and he gets Arodys Vizcaino disease. I'd REALLY like to see him start in person.
Myles: "Not rational" is becoming a running theme here.
sitrick: (dying laughing) I know it's mostly coming from me. I'm an optimist, sue me.
Anyone still watching Homeland? Holy shit, how bad can it get?
Still trying to catch up on things I actually like. Still have 3 or 4 episodes of Broadchurch left.
We’ve got all 8 of those episodes on the DVR and plan to watch them this winter. Heard it’s a great show. Have you seen Borgen? That’s on our agenda too.
As far as better than Homeland goes, just about any show is. Had I known Brody’s bit last night last for half the show, I’d have fast forwarded through it. Then I’d have fast forwarded through Carrie’s shit and been at the end of the episode. If Ozymandias was the best hour of tv this year, whatever last night was has to be the worst.
To top it off last night, they should have shown Dana freaking out and having sex. Would have been even more useless.
Haven’t heard of Borgen. Will look into it.
Love Broadchurch, and I hear it only gets better as it goes on. First episode is pretty slow though.
Homeland and The Newsroom. Everyone in my twitter feed watches them, and everyone hates them. I don’t know why you guys do it.
Suburban kidQuote Reply
I quit watching The Newsroom after 3 episodes. I hated all of the characters. Actually, that’s not true, I don’t care about them enough to hate them. I don’t care when they fight with each other, I don’t care when they come together and deliver the news in such an outstanding way (using the benefit of hindsight since they are reporting on things that happened years ago).
I loved The West Wing. L-O-V-E-D it. It’s the only show I actually pop in my DVD player repeatedly to watch (I haven’t even done that with The Simpsons for a good 5 years). I loved the characters in The West Wing (even the relatively minor ones). I have a hard time deciding which one I love more and it usually depends on the episode. The Newsroom is the complete opposite.
I won’t watch Homeland anymore. Last night was it for me. I watched the first episode of The Newsroom and hated it. I agree with 424 here. I only watched because of The West Wing, but I didn’t love that one as much as he did. I thought it fell apart after about 3 or 4 seasons, but I know others who loved it all the way through too. Maybe it was just me then.
I thought West Wing dipped after Bartlett won re-election, was awful for awhile, then sorta picked up once Alda and Smits popped up.
I feel like I must watch the least television on the internet. The only show I watch regularly is Modern Family. I just got Netflix and only got through the first 2 episodes of Breaking Bad before my wife said “you can watch this, but I’m not watching this depressing crap.” Other than Modern Family, the Jeselnik Offensive, and a binge of Law and Order: SVU once every half of a year, I’m not sure I’ve seen more than one or two episodes of any show in the past 3 years or so. I used to watch House and the Office until it ended (I quit the Office early, it was just too awful).
You should watch a few episodes of Six Feet Under with your wife. She’ll beg you to continue watching Breaking Bad. It will seem like a happy go lucky sitcom compared to Six Feet Under.
West Wing definitely took a step back after Season 4, but that’s because Sorkin left. But the characters had beeen established and I still really enjoyed it. It took on a much more heavy tone after Sorkin left, where EVERYTHING was a threat to the United States’ well-being (Middle East bombing, government shutdown, potential war with China), or a characters’ actual life (Donna getting blowed up in a terrorist bombing, Toby leaking classified info and facing life in jail).
If it had started like that, I probably would have been bored with it, but it went 2 years like that and then they knew they were ending so they split between the Bartlet White House and Josh trying to get Santos elected and that added a bit of fun and newness to bring it to the end.
But I agree that Seasons 1-4 are the best with Season 2 probably being some of the most entertaining TV I’ve ever seen.
Also, Ainsley Hayes was probably my favorite minor character and I loved every single scene she was in.
The last 30 seconds or so of that second one is the best. Mean-spiritedly gleeful Toby and Josh were my favorite.
Maybe not. I’m still on season 2 of Friday Night Lights. But I did see all of House of Cards
Re 424 West Wing
Best show ever
Oh, you mean those two shows I’ve never seen?
Here, I’ll list the complete list of shows I’ve ever really given a shit about, in rough chronological order, starting at around 13.
Baseball Tonight when it was really good (in my mind, at least)
That 80s Show, because a girl I had a crush on at the time was “into the 80s”
Gilmore Girls, because my girlfriend at the time was really into that show
TILT, which was a garbage show but I was hardcore into poker
Human Target (don’t judge) (apparently I just like Chi McBride)
Top Gear (U.K.)
The Jeselnik Offensive
And that’s it. I watch random news occasionally, and if I want the TV on it is almost always at whatever random sports channel was on last.
I don’t like calling it the best show ever, because I’m sure there are plenty of shows out there that can make that argument. I haven’t seen anything but the first episode of Breaking Bad, but my understanding is that is a hell of a show.
I personally liked West Wing because it finished before it dragged too long and I got sick of it and because it was entertaining in addition to having compelling story lines. I loved ER when it first came out and I think the first 5-6 seasons were some of the best TV ever, but then it just became ridiculous. I think that happens to too many shows.
The Office was brilliant but about 3 years too long. Don’t even get me started on The Simpsons. I’m hearing Modern Family has now overstayed its welcome. Personally, I don’t know how a show can stay fresh beyond about 5-6 years without some serious luck. I hate to say Cheers got lucky because Coach died, but it allowed them to introduce Woody that allowed dynamics that never could have happened with Coach. Same thing when Shelley Long left and Kirstie Alley came in. Suddenly it wasn’t all about Sam & Diane will they/won’t they. The show got to re-invent itself a few times along the way without it feeling forced. I think that was a ton of luck coupled with good writing. But in most cases, a show is pretty much done after 5-6 years almost without fail.
House was great for like 3 seasons, than it was good for like 2 seasons, than it was bad but I was pot-committed so I finished it anyways. No show should be on for more than about 4 years, which is still too many for many shows.
I enjoyed House for awhile.
Network shows have it more difficult because they’re pumping out 22 episodes per year as opposed to the 12-13 that cable channels are offering. As far as comedies go, you have to compare them to one another and not to dramas. They’re just too different.
I think for network shows about 3 to 4 seasons is about the point where they start to drag on. That’s 66 to 88 episodes. Breaking Bad ran for 5 seasons (final season spread out over two years in 8 installments) and had a total of 62 episodes. They had only 7 in their first season due to the writer’s strike.
I don’t know what the best show ever is. it’s subjective. I’d take Breaking Bad, but barely above The Wire and The Sopranos (the latter of which ran too long). A case can be made for any number of shows, including The West Wing, ER, St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, Mad Men and so on. It would be difficult to make a case for Falcon Crest.
It would be difficult to compare many of those shows to one another. The Wire and Breaking Bad are almost as different as Breaking Bad and Cheers (my pick for best sitcom). Those two will be compared to one another for a long time. The debates have already begun and probably won’t end for 20 years or more. They’re pointless. Both are great shows and considerably different from one another. Want a show grounded in reality? The Wire. Want heart-pounding tension? Breaking Bad.
What The Wire did really well wasn’t even of concern to Vince Gilligan.
One advantage that Mad Men and Breaking Bad have had (along with some others) is that the showrunner had complete control. AMC was just getting into the tv show business and for those two shows the creator has complete control. There’s no such thing as that for network shows. You’ve got studios, networks and stars all involved and they can become ridiculous even if there are good parts to them.
I liked the first season of Human Target. I watched the second season and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good.
The Cubs should get all their managerial candidates in the same room and just have a rock paper scissors tournament to figure out who the unlucky fuck is that’s going to get fired in a couple years.
I think something of this importance should be decided by a process that is not so trivial as Rock Paper Scissors. While we tend to trivialize the importance of a manager, I think Jed & Theo would agree that a more complex process is needed to determine the correct path. That process is obviously Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.
I was thinking of that same thing, but couldn’t remember what Sheldon called it. That episode was on the other day when I turned the TV on. It had been on TBS (baseball) and that was on when I turned it on. I had to watch.
Well whaddaya know. Someone referenced an episode from a current show that I’ve actually seen.
Suburban kidQuote Reply
Dude. This is a putative sports blog. Hyperbole de rigueur! (dying laughing)
You’re right about Cheers. Same thing for MASH, which probably really was the best show ever. The turnover in characters kept it fresh. Henry Blake always kind of annoyed me, but I liked Col. Potter. Radar played a larger role as the seasons went on, then left, leaving Klinger a larger role. Hawkeye knitted the thing together through time, like Sam Malone. Of course, except the last few seasons, I only saw them as reruns.
Newhart! Best finale ever. Also a good show.
I think a show can run far longer than 5 years and be good, but not if the characters don’t change. I’d say ER was good for longer than 5 years, but they turned over a lot of people. They had clearly run out of gas by the end. Probably that’s why I like Friday Night Lights too, and they had a natural way to turn over characters by graduating high schoolers. Glee should do that too, but they won’t let the kids go (see Gilmore Girls, below).
Dunno Myles, we might both be the Koyie Hill’s of pop culture. Of the shows you listed, I’ve only seen BB Tonight and Gilmore Girls (same reason, except I married her, but the show’s dialogue was pretty funny). Half of them I’ve never heard of. But now that I’m back in the USA, maybe I’ll see a few more.
where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day?
Suburban kidQuote Reply
Don’t even talk about the “best finale ever” until you’ve seen Blackadder. That is all. (I agree Newhart’s was great, though.)
Rizzo the RatQuote Reply
Best I’ve ever seen. Only drama to come close is one I already mentioned in this thread: Six Feet Under. Agreed that Newhart was also a good show. I watched the first two seasons a couple years ago and it still felt fresh. Great stuff.
All this talk about quality TV. Sure would be nice to have a historical perspective. Like a run down on the best Jack Benny seasons ever, or something like that.
Friday Night Lights is a very good show, but its second season was pretty bad. It’s only last 5 years and at least two of the seasons were only 13 episodes.
I think the list of shows, especially dramas, that were good and had more than 5 or 6 seasons is pretty small. This assumes you judge the series in its entirety. As great as The Wire was, it wasn’t great every season. I enjoyed The Sopranos throughout, but the first few seasons were definitely better than the last few.
It’s just hard. Even harder for network shows.
Suburban kid wrote:
Low boil, BBQ, shrimpngrits, and oysters on the half shell.
I don’t care who wins either LCS, but I really hope the Dodgers win tonight. I’d at least like it to be an interesting series.
new shit: http://obstructedview.net/news-and-rumors/10-years-ago-today-2.html