OV Podcast 21: The Dawn of the Victor Caratini Era

In by berselius563 Comments

In this episode Jeff and Myles discuss

  • Montero's DFA and the state of the clubhouse.
  • The Kris Bryant injury and revised win predictions.
  • Should the Cubs sell a few pieces?
  • Predicting Jake Arrieta's contract.
  • Being surprised by the Cubs relatively okay home run hitting/preventing capabilities.
  • Guess today's lineup, 2009 edition.

There are multiple references to a podcast that Sitrick and Berselius recorded on Sunday, which was scrapped due to technical problems.

 

Enjoy. Or don't. I can't tell you what to do.

 

 

 

 

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  1. dmick89

    Ryno,

    I don’t know. I think Rizzo The Rat mentioned awhile back that the last WS Champion to reach the playoffs was the Phillies so maybe there’s something to it. Then again, the champions since then have been the Giants (3 times), Yankees, Royals and I think the cardinals.

    I don’t think they should deviate from their plan. I just think that selling has to be something the team considers, but I’m not talking about selling valuable assets like Bryant or Rizzo. I’m only talking about selling assets that won’t be around either after this season or much longer. Guys like Arrieta, Lackey, Zobrist (the Cubs just don’t need him at this point), Davis, Uehara and possibly Rondon and maybe some others I’m not thinking of. Off limits (unless the offer was ridiculous) would be Rizzo, Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Almora, Baez, Lester and top prospects. That’s basically been their plan all along.

    It just might be that they have to keep to that plan in a year they thought they’d be really good. Shit happens and I think with all the injuries it’s fairly easy to see why this team has underperformed.

    Wade Davis is the big one. The Cubs, even if they reach the postseason, just aren’t all that good this year and a good closer can bring a whole in return. Whatever the Cubs can get for Davis is more valuable than the 15 or so innings he might pitch in the postseason if everything went smoothly. If things do go smoothly, it will probably be because the offense finally started to hit and the pitchers stopped giving up 425 foot fly balls. Davis will probably have only a small role in any success.

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  2. Perkins

    dmick89,

    I think the last WS champion to make the playoffs was the 2012 Cardinals (as a Wild Card), which is pretty surprising. The Phillies were the last WS Champion to get back to the WS the following year (2008-9). There have been a couple other instances of the WS loser making the WS the following year, though (2014-15 Royals, 2010-11 Rangers).

    I’m not sure what the “hangover effect” of winning the WS is, though I can’t imagine there’s a huge difference between winning and losing it in terms of next season performance since the teams would have played about the same number of games. But I could be totally missing something.

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  3. Ryno

    dmick89,

    That’s kind of what I think too. Seems like some regression should have been expected. Not this much, though, so use this opportunity (as you said) to sell off a few valuable chips you maybe didn’t think you’d want to sell. Like what the Yankees did last year (albeit without having a Chapman or Miller).

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  4. Ryno

    Perkins,

    I think of it as a focus issue. After 2015, the Cubs as a team likely felt they were really close to winning it all and prepared without much distraction.

    I imagine this offseason was MUCH different from the previous year’s, and that slight difference in preparation and focus can make a huge difference in performance.

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  5. Perkins

    In the Cubs’ case, I assume the pitching decline is related to both the volume and stress of the innings the past two years. The NLCS run in 2015 was preceded by an extremely tight race for the Central and the Wild Card. Arrieta threw a ton of innings, and Joe basically had to manage to win every game that year.

    Even with the effort to manage workload last year, the extra (and presumably high stress) innings in the postseason likely added to the fatigue. Arrieta threw about 470 innings between 2015 and 2016 (including the postseasons), so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that he’s gassed.

    What I’d be curious to see (and may research) is how much DL time players had on a season following a World Series championship. A lot of the Cubs’ offensive (and possibly defensive) woes appear to be related to injuries, though losing Fowler’s production has also hurt.

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  6. Perkins

    Ryno,

    That’s certainly fair. I imagine that winning a World Series with the Cubs is one of those “where do you go now?” moments for baseball people. To his credit, it seems like Heyward didn’t let that go to his head, but that’s probably because his 2016 was so awful.

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  7. Ryno

    Perkins,

    Exactly. Guys like Rizzo and Bryant contributed heavily to the Cubs winning the World Series. I mean, that’s kind of the ultimate in sports. As you said, Heyward was terrible and didn’t contribute as much, so I can see guys like him still having some motivation.

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  8. dmick89

    I can’t remember if the plugin has an automatic method to create a transcript of the podcast or not, but if it does I wouldn’t mind one. It’s not a big deal. I’m probably the only one who would prefer a transcript so if it’s too much work at all, ignore me.

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  9. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89:
    Ryno,

    I don’t know. I think Rizzo The Rat mentioned awhile back that the last WS Champion to reach the playoffs was the Phillies so maybe there’s something to it.

    I think I said they were the last world champion team to win the division the next year. I also don’t believe there’s a causal relationship; things just happen.

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  10. Perkins

    Bryant is saying he expects to avoid the DL. That would be pretty great.

    I still agree that the Cubs should trade Davis.

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  11. dmick89

    Perkins: Bryant is saying he expects to avoid the DL. That would be pretty great.

    If it’s anything like Heyward and Zobrist, Bryant will spend 10 days day to day and unavailable before the team puts him on the DL. The Cubs like to play shorthanded these days.

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  12. cerulean

    Ryno:
    dmick89,

    Like what the Yankees did last year (albeit without having a Chapman or Miller).

    Davis has been as effective as Chapman for as long as Miller has though. I don’t think that they can get what amounted to Starlin Castro and Gleyber Torres, but they might be able to come close if the Nats come calling.

    If I were to choose the top five relievers in the league, Davis is in the group. Chapman, Miller, Davis, Jansen, and Kimbrel. Injury made him fall off last year at the deadline, but he looks good this year without any lingering issues. Even after his recent terrible outing that raised his ERA by almost a run but actually lowered his FIP a tick (dying laughing).

    My brother-in-law who is a White Sox fan was raving about how good Davis was during the 2014 season, lamenting that nobody knew of him because he played in KC (in addition to having to see the Sox get dominated). He dominated the postseason twice. Seriously: 0.76 FIP in 2014 and 0.60 FIP in 2015 (25 combined innings). Make this deal with the Nationals already.

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  13. cerulean

    Myles:
    I’ll take Victor Robles and Erick Fedde for Wade Davis, please.

    Seconded. But I don’t think the Nats would do it. Maybe Uehara could sweeten the deal. He has also been great for the past many years.

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  14. uncle dave

    When this team scores in the top of the first it’s like piling dirt on top of the spot where you’re about to dig a hole.

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  15. Author
    berselius

    uncle dave:
    When this team scores in the top of the first it’s like piling dirt on top of the spot where you’re about to dig a hole.

    (dying laughing)
    (dying laughing)
    (dying laughing)

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  16. cerulean

    How bad can things get? raises a very dark question:

    Suppose a team’s plane crashes in the middle of the season. No survivors. Whole MLB roster and coaching staff, gone. How long before another game is played in the league and by the team?

    My guess is that it would be the same as after 9/11 for the league, but would probably be a couple weeks for the team. I can imagine a special draft for rule-5 eligible players for the misfortunate team and then the #1 overall and sandwich pick in addition to the normal draft picks plus extra cash in the foreign market.

    The team would still have to pay out the contracts I believe, but I am guessing that they would not count against the luxury tax.

    I wonder if the commissioner has planned for such a possibility.

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  17. dmick89

    cerulean: No survivors.

    Maybe baseball should just come up with some designated survivors. Maybe they could call Kiefer.

    In all seriousness, I’m guessing the team would call up the entire roster of the AAA team or maybe most of those guys and then some guys from AA. There would probably be a week off before play resumed and the team that lost all their players would probably be given the #1 overall pick for the next 3-5 seasons plus guaranteed picks in the top 10 after that. I’m guessing it would be a nice package. Some team wanting to rebuild quickly might try sabotaging the team plane.

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  18. Myles

    dmick89: Maybe baseball should just come up with some designated survivors. Maybe they could call Kiefer.

    In all seriousness, I’m guessing the team would call up the entire roster of the AAA team or maybe most of those guys and then some guys from AA. There would probably be a week off before play resumed and the team that lost all their players would probably be given the #1 overall pick for the next 3-5 seasons plus guaranteed picks in the top 10 after that. I’m guessing it would be a nice package. Some team wanting to rebuild quickly might try sabotaging team plane.

    Seems close, probably. There might even be an expansion draft, where each team has to expose 3 or so contracts on the 40-man and that team could take them if they wanted.

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  19. dmick89

    Myles: There might even be an expansion draft, where each team has to expose 3 or so contracts on the 40-man and that team could take them if they wanted.

    Yeah, that would probably happen too. As far as immediate play goes, baseball kind of already has a built in system in case a disaster happens. They’d just call up guys from the minor leagues. The rookie league level may have to forfeit the season or something, but whatever.

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  20. uncle dave

    Myles: Seems close, probably. There might even be an expansion draft, where each team has to expose 3 or so contracts on the 40-man and that team could take them if they wanted.

    I suspect that they’d change the waiver rules to move the team to the front of the line as well. You could fill up a (bad) 25-man roster pretty quickly if that was allowed, I think.

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  21. Edwin

    Myles,

    I wonder what the most ground ball outs recorded by a starting pitcher in one game is. Basically, what the Kerry Wood Game of Groundballs (or KWGOG) would be.

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  22. dmick89

    Are the Cubs odds of winning this game greater or less than 5%? I want to say it’s greater than, but I think the odds are really 0% so I’m going less than.

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  23. Perkins

    Edwin:
    Lester doesn’t seem as bad at controlling the running game as people think.

    He’s pretty quick to the plate, and Willson (and Ross before) is quick to first and second. He gets a lot of press for having the yips to first, but he does well enough overall.

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  24. Rizzo the Rat

    Edwin,

    It was bad in 2015. He allowed 44 steals. But he’s gotten better, and I actually think Contreras is an improvement over Ross.

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  25. cerulean

    Myles: Seems close, probably. There might even be an expansion draft, where each team has to expose 3 or so contracts on the 40-man and that team could take them if they wanted.

    I do think something like this could happen, but with the team mandated to choose one of those three from every team. And the choices can’t all be on the DL. And from the 40-man as of the day of the disaster to prevent shenanigans—I’m lookin’ at you, Preller.

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  26. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    dmick89:
    I can’t remember if the plugin has an automatic method to create a transcript of the podcast or not, but if it does I wouldn’t mind one. It’s not a big deal. I’m probably the only one who would prefer a transcript so if it’s too much work at all, ignore me.

    +1 on the transcript

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  27. Perkins

    (dying laughing) (dying laughing) (dying laughing) (dying laughing) (dying laughing) (dying laughing)

    Nats failpen to the rescue!

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  28. cerulean

    Davis is worth Robles and Fedde. Take note Mike Rizzo. The Cubs had to do it last year. This is your chance.

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  29. Perkins

    Wade Davis showed the Nats exactly what they’re missibg. Here’s hoping the Cubs get them to pay far out the ass to acquire him.

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  30. Rizzo the Rat

    I just bought a yearly subscription to Mlb.tv for $10 (flash sale). With all the blackout restrictions I have to put up with, I’d say that’s about the right price.

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  31. Rizzo the Rat

    So, that pitch by Strop broke Trea Turner’s wrist. That sucks. (Candelario only had a contusion.)

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  32. cerulean

    Rizzo the Rat:
    So, that pitch by Strop broke Trea Turner’s wrist. That sucks. (Candelario only had a contusion.)

    I know Strop can be a bit wild, but it seems rather unbelievable that he hit both Turner and Candelario with the same pitch.

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  33. cerulean

    dmick89:
    cerulean,

    $5.50 for elderly students.

    They should allow students to watch for free and double the price for the elderly. That way, they get the good demographic while making money off the old folks who don’t buy anything.

    Elderly students, though—I think they should make it free and then double the price.

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  34. Perkins

    dmick89:
    Rizzo the Rat,

    That’s about how much Cubs season tickets are worth at this point.

    You’re not kidding. I’m taking a beating on resales this year. I’d expected demand to be through the roof, but the combination of colder than usual weather, increased prices, and an underperforming team have made it brutal.

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  35. cerulean

    My VPN works on my laptop to get the White Sox. I just saw Dustin Fowler destroy his knee in his first big league inning. You know how there are some movements that just aren’t right—like they are not human—he had that movement about him, like Gus Fring straightening his tie one last time.

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  36. cerulean

    dmick89:
    cerulean,

    Why didn’t they put him in CF? That was an ugly injury that wouldn’t have happened if he was playing his natural position.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    He has accomplished less at the MLB level than Adam Greenberg.

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  37. cerulean

    For the record, feline cubs are more popular in an image search than ursine cubs. This team should update its branding. Bears are so 20th century.

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  38. Author
    berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    Jay RF
    Happ 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Contreras LF
    Russell SS
    Caratini C
    Baez 3B
    Almora CF
    Montgomery SP

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  39. cerulean

    dmick89,

    That is a blatantly slanderous portrayal of the most eloquent and stately man to ever grace the White House. Luke Skywalker is now working for the evil empire.

    Dare I quote His Eminence in Chief?

    Sad.

    His hands, so strong and virile, are the only thing keeping this once great nation together.

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  40. Rizzo the Rat

    Runner: I’m going with the pitch!
    Batter: I’ll hit it right to second so they can turn two anyway!

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  41. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    cerulean:
    The Cubs should never have traded such an elite pitcher.

    Who knows even who they got for him.

    Spellcheck was right. Fire Theo.

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  42. SK

    should i “live” “blog” this game? that’s seems unlikely. what’s the over under on number of batters or innings i last?

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  43. SK

    If they didn’t have the “stars” trim I’d like both of these unis very much. Cubs’ looks like 70s road jerseys. Reds have a dark logo patch. is that black in the middle?

    Nice hit Rizz

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  44. SK

    I hate over patriotic stuff like stars all over the uniform for no reason

    but I do like the american flag socks some of the guys are wearing

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  45. Rizzo the Rat

    Bad news. I just found out that if the Cubs get swept by the Reds, they have to forfeit their World Series title. It seems a little unfair, but rules are rules.

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  46. Rizzo the Rat

    It’s hard to come back from a deficit when there’s a relief pitcher leading off the inning, but whatever.

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  47. EnricoPallazzo

    Sounds like schwarber has been seriously abusing some baseballs in iowa. Heyward is starting a rehab assignment. If those two come back strong, I can see this offense really start to gel in the second half.

    That’s said, I still think I want to see the team be sellers. The pitching staff just looks totally lost. I think I’d be pretty pissed if they traded eloy for a rental pitcher, which I kind of think is what’s going to happen.

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  48. dmick89

    dmick89:
    Happ might be the best player on this team.

    He’s obviously not the best player on the team, but I’m thrilled that he’s come up and played so well. I was worried the team would trade him at the deadline and now I don’t think there’s any chance of that. Now I’m more worried they’ll trade Eloy, which I don’t think is going to happen. It didn’t sound like Theo had any intention of trading for players based on how the team has played so far, which I was glad to hear.

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  49. Myles

    Vimael Machin crushed a 3-R HR in the first inning and had another good AB, but he also had a really ugly looking AB. Also, Bo Bichette looked like the real deal for Lansing (Toronto’s affiliate). He’s going to play in the majors one day.

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  50. Myles

    Bichette went 0-5 yesterday and was the most impressive hitter on the field (and Jason Heyward was rehabbing). Crushed the ball to left-center twice (good play by the CF both times), worked good counts, was also strong at SS.

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  51. cerulean

    Myles:
    Of my heart?

    Is this the first eclipse of your heart that others can safely view in the contiguous US without protection in forty years?

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  52. cerulean

    berselius:
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-americans-order-their-steak/

    I feel like a stranger in my own country

    That’s what makes you feel like a stranger here!? (dying laughing)

    However, I think the food and diet industrial complex are more responsible for this than the abundant lack of American taste, which is astonishing in tackiness—I mean, McMansions, Reality TV, and Donald Trump. The shitty quality of American meat combined with fear of food poisoning really pushes people to choose burnt and consistent (think Starbucks) over bloody and variable. I can’t really blame them—for that, at least.

    I used to work in a restaurant where the owner was the cook, and the tirade he would go on when people would ask for well done. He didn’t want their business. (dying laughing)

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  53. dmick89

    cerulean:
    dmick89,

    If Eloy is traded, it’ll be for a long term pitcher like Sonny Gray or someone else, probably from an AL team.

    If they trade for Archer before tomorrow’s game, they have a small chance of winning the game.

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  54. dmick89

    berselius,

    I didn’t read this article, but if it’s about preferred temperature, I’ve always assumed there are three main reasons why someone orders it the way they do. Older people like things more done. I think this is partly because of how they were raised (cook meats more thoroughly and a lot of older people think some pink means medium or less than). People also tend to order meats how their parents did. They’re first exposed to this when going out to dinner and so when they do it later in life, they tend to order it the same way. The third reason is that it’s more regional. I almost never got an order for a well done steak when I lived outside of the Midwest, but it wasn’t at all uncommon in this part of the country.

    Anyway, the best piece of steak is no steak. I’m not so much a vegetarian these days, but steak makes me sick. Literally, it makes me sick. The sight of cooked red meat almost makes me want to throw up. The smell of it too. I think it’s as disgusting as rat shit.

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  55. Edwin

    I like a good steak now and then, but I find it’s normally over priced. Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorite meats to grill. Versatile, tender, and costs a fraction of it’s beef equivalent.

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  56. Edwin

    Good point from the article about buying a meat/cooking thermometer. Cook to temperature, not time. Having a solid instant read thermometer has really helped me step up my grilling/roasting/cooking game.

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  57. Perkins

    dmick89,

    And apparently the Tigers want a big return without eating salary.

    In other news, I would like billions of dollars and some Manhattan real estate.

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  58. Rizzo the Rat

    I’m really tired of the Cubs leaving huge holes in the infield when there’s a pitcher in a bunt situation.

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  59. dmick89

    I’m not a fan of meat thermometers, but if you’re going to get one, just buy one of the cheaper ones and make sure it’s reading 32 degrees in a glass of ice water. As long as it’s doing that, you’re good to go and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than some of the more expensive meat thermometers.

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  60. Author
    berselius

    dmick89:
    I’m not a fan of meat thermometers, but if you’re going to get one, just buy one of the cheaper ones and make sure it’s reading 32 degrees in a glass of ice water. As long as it’s doing that, you’re good to go and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than some of the more expensive meat thermometers.

    Don’t conditionally tell me what to do.

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  61. Edwin

    EnricoPallazzo: Got one you recommend? I’ve been meaning to pick one up.

    The one I use is from Weber. I think I got it for around $20. If you want the best, Thermapen is the brand to go with. Maverick DT-09GG is another good for just $20, and if you buy it on Amazon you can get it bundled with a really nice refrigerator magnet from Amazingribs.com which shows cooking temps for all types of meats. I highly recommend that Amazingribs site in general. They have a lot of great techniques, and reviews of grills, smokers, accessories, and kitchen gadgets.

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  62. Ryno

    There’s a digital one at academy that works great. I leave the probe in the flat of a brisket, close my smoker and stick the reader to the door (there’s a magnet on it). I think it cost $20.

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  63. Rizzo the Rat

    Not sure what is more infuriating, these line drives right at fielders or the warning track fly balls.

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  64. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    I assumed they’d put Happ on, bring in a righty and face Almora. I’m not sure how important Happ as a runner is there. By the time he’d come around to score you’d already have a very small chance of coming back at 5-3. I’d have put Happ on and brought in a righty.

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  65. cerulean

    The-answer-to-the-ultimate-question-of-life-the universe-and-everything wins and the-answer-to-the-ultimate-question-of-life-the universe-and-everything losses. Who knew the answer was a zero-sum game?

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  66. SK

    cerulean:
    The-answer-to-the-ultimate-question-of-life-the universe-and-everything wins and the-answer-to-the-ultimate-question-of-life-the universe-and-everything losses. Who knew the answer was a zero-sum game?

    Just on the off chance that you might ask, the answer is that answers are not the answer, in fact, more often than not, they’re the problem.

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  67. Rizzo the Rat

    In all honesty, I wonder how many starting pitchers are going on the DL in the few days leading up to the All-Star break.

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  68. cerulean

    Rizzo the Rat:
    In all honesty, I wonder how many starting pitchers are going on the DL in the few days leading up to the All-Star break.

    They should change the name from the Disabled List to the Reserve List. The DL could be just the 60-day with 40-man roster implications. Let teams place guys on the Reserve List regardless of “injury”.

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  69. Author
    berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Jay
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    2B Happ
    LF Schwarber
    C Contreras
    RF Heyward
    SS Baez
    P Monty

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  70. dmick89

    I feel like someone should have told the Cubs they’d probably have a better chance of winning games if they didn’t dig themselves so many holes early in the game. I thought this stuff was taught at AAA.

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  71. Edwin

    He’s actually throwing to some decent locations per Gameday, but he’s getting no calls on any of his borderline pitches.

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  72. KenricoPallazzo

    dmick89:
    I feel like someone should have told the Cubs they’d probably have a better chance of winning games if they didn’t dig themselves so many holes early in the game. I thought this stuff was taught at AAA.

    you moneyball assholes are blind to the fact that players always play better when they are in a hole. it’s called motivation/grit/scrappiness and it’s an excellent strategy.

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  73. dmick89

    The Brewers have a better record than the Cubs.
    The Brewers lead the Cubs by almost 5 games and it’s not even the all star break.
    The Brewers are actually a better and more talented team than the Cubs.

    I expected none of those sentences to be true this decade. Each of them is true and the Cubs won the World Series last year and were supposed to be the best team in the division for a long time.

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  74. dmick89

    It’s actually a good thing the Cubs have pretty much eliminated themselves this early. It’s reminiscent of all the other years I’ve been a fan and who doesn’t like reminiscing? It also gives me the rest of the summer off and I don’t have to worry at all about baseball until 2018 at the earliest.

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  75. KenricoPallazzo

    dmick89: the Cubs won the World Series last year and were supposed to be the best team in the division for a long time.

    yeah but neither of these ^^^ things were supposed to be true either so it’s a wash

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  76. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I know I’m not the math guy, or the optimist, but the Cubs have a clearly established W-L-W-L thing going on. I don’t want to be pattern guy though, I prefer not to be boxed in to one specific role.

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  77. Edwin

    There’s no way the Cubs trade for Verlander, right? He’s owed too much money, he’s not good anymore, I don’t feel like I even need to list a third thing.

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  78. cerulean

    Well, I saw Dylan Cease. It was probably his worst outing of the year. He didn’t miss as many bats as I would have hoped in addition to pissing off the BABIP gods. But hey, if the Cubs aren’t disappointing this year, what are they?

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  79. cerulean

    I was thinking that these SB Cubs were a bit too much like their major league counterpart, but scoring an 8-spot in the sixth is decidedly un-Cubs-like. (dying laughing)

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  80. Rizzo the Rat

    cerulean:
    But hey, if the Cubs aren’t disappointing this year, what are they?

    They have the third-highest winning percentage of any Cubs team this decade.

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  81. cerulean

    Crazy that I got to see both Cease and Paulino. The later looked good, the former looked mediocre. In other words, the opposite of what they have done this year. Both pitchers got a ton of ground balls, but neither missed many bats…so, they will fit right in.

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  82. cerulean

    So that 10-spot they put up—not a single extra-base hit. Singles and walks and groundouts. Strange game.

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  83. cerulean

    The Cubs should totally sell Davis and maybe Almora Jr for Robles and Fedde and then some. Let Uehara and Edwards Jr and Strop finish games. 2015 was a surprise good year—this is a surprise bad year. Take the lumps and shore up the outfield defense and rotation for the future.

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  84. KenricoPallazzo

    Edwin: I don’t want to be pattern guy though, I prefer not to be boxed in to one specific role.

    you’re now boxed in as the guy that prefers not to be boxed in to one specific role.

    cerulean: Take the lumps and shore up the outfield defense and rotation for the future.

    yes please. i would be fine with an every-other-year policy. considerably better than an every-108-years policy.

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  85. dmick89

    KenricoPallazzo: you’re now boxed in as the guy that prefers not to be boxed in to one specific role.

    He’s the not a pattern guy and prefers not to be boxed into one role guy. He’s in two boxes and that seems life threatening.

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  86. dmick89

    KenricoPallazzo: yes please. i would be fine with an every-other-year policy. considerably better than an every-108-years policy.

    I think the Cubs will be good next year, but it’s going to require the team spend some money to fix their holes and by holes, I mean the majority of their rotation. They’d also be wise to deal Almora because you can’t really afford to have two guys who suck against righties (Baez and Almora).

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  87. Edwin

    Are we still in the Dawn of the Victor Caratini era, or is it more like the Mid-Morning of the Victor Caratini era by now?

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  88. dmick89

    This new Spider-Man movie looks pretty good and I find Marvel’s movies about as boring as watching 50 episodes of CSI or spending a weekend watching rom-coms. Only thing is, I’m afraid they’ll reboot the franchise by the time I leave the theater. That and I lost interest in Spider-Man after the second one all the way back in the year 2004. Since then they completed the trilogy, rebooted it and made a couple movies and are rebooting it now. The pace of rebooting seems to be increasing so there’s a 50/50 chance if I go to it that I leave the theater to breaking news of Spider-Man being rebooted.

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  89. Author
    berselius

    Edwin:
    Are we still in the Dawn of the Victor Caratini era, or is it more like the Mid-Morning of the Victor Caratini era by now?

    With how little sleep I’ve had lately, it feels like dawn at every moment of the day.

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  90. uncle dave

    dmick89: He’s the not a pattern guy and prefers not to be boxed into one role guy. He’s in two boxes and that seems life threatening.

    Life-threatening, like a magician is gonna saw him in half or something?

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  91. Rizzo the Rat

    Says Maddon: "We got our butts kicked, and there's a way to get your butts kicked properly, and we did that yesterday." #Cubs

    — Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 7, 2017

    This is a relief. I was worried they got their butts kicked improperly, but that appears not to be the case.

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  92. Author
    berselius

    Edwin:
    What if they were little boxes?Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky?

    Goddamn you, that is going to be stuck in my head all weekend now.

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  93. Author
    berselius

    If they Cubes it up here, these two teams might as well go for the combined LOB record (dying laughing).

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  94. Author
    berselius

    Rizzo the Rat:
    This is once of the uglier minor league games I’ve seen.

    If it’s still 0-0 after nine innings, they should break the tie with a dizzy bat race.

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  95. Author
    berselius

    This reminds me of one of the mailbag questions on EW this week – if you had a closer who had a RA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 3.00, how long would he last in the role?

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  96. dmick89

    OK, so we know the Cubs aren’t good, but it might be time to consider the possibility that they could be bad. I had just assumed for the last few weeks they were about average, but I’m starting to think I gave them too much credit.

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  97. dmick89

    I think Williams and Butler made a pre-game bet. First to 80 pitches wins. Butler is going to have to kick it up a notch if he wants a free dinner tonight.

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  98. KenricoPallazzo

    berselius:
    This reminds me of one of the mailbag questions on EW this week – if you had a closer who had a RA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 3.00, how long would he last in the role?

    i don’t know, how long did it take Good Carlos Marmol (RA 0.00, WHIP 3.00) to turn into Bad Carlos Marmol (RA 214.0, WHIP 3.00)?

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  99. cerulean

    Edwin:
    I’m happy for the Cubs win.Guess they’ll lose tomorrow though.

    Given Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, we don’t know which of the next two games they will lose, but we do know that they will lose one of them with a high degree of certainty.

    #misapplicationOfQuantumMechanics

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  100. Edwin

    What if this is the Brewer’s version of 2015? Looking at their roster, it’s not entirely impossible that the Brewers really are this good. Shaw, Thames, Santana, and Braun are all solid hitters. Arcia and Broxton aren’t great hitters but both play solid enough defense to be valuable. Some of their bench players are likely over performing, but they also have some nice young prospects that could come up and give the team a boost. Pitching is obviously the team’s biggest hurdle, but Jimmy Nelson has actually been pitching like an ace, and before his injury Chase Anderson was doing well. Josh Hader looks like an above average future MLB starter and could be an impact bullpen arm this year. Brewers have the farm system to add a piece at the deadline too.

    Also, while I don’t normally subscribed much to the mental state of a team’s lockerroom, the Brewers have to be feeling pretty great right now. In a season where nobody expected them to compete, they’re sitting in first, and just crushed the Cubs at home and went into Yankee Stadium and took a game against the Yankees on the road.

    I’m more worried now than I was a couple weeks ago.

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  101. dmick89

    Edwin,

    Another advantage the Brewers will have is that they’re likely to make improvements by the end of the month. They have the farm system to add an impact player and then some. Theo has pretty much said the Cubs only improvements will come from within the clubhouse (them figuring their shit out). So the Brewers team that leads the Cubs by almost 5 games is going to get better while the Cubs won’t.

    What if the Brewers really are this good? I think they’re pretty close and by the end of the month will be even better than they’ve played so far. What if the Cubs really are this average? I think in terms of talent level they should probably be about where the Brewers are. It’s a huge step down from the last couple seasons and they don’t have the greatest farm system. Whatever talent they have down there they kind of need to keep. The Brewers are going to be good and cheap and the Cubs are going to have to spend a lot of money to keep pace. Reminds me of the Cubs after 2008 (this year being similar to 2009). The years after 2009 did not go well.

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  102. Edwin

    dmick89,

    I was just thinking this season felt a lot like that 2009 season. High expectations going into the year, and then everyone shit the bed.

    On paper I still like the Cubs over the Brewers, but at this point the Brewers are playing well enough that with a little luck and a few trades they could reach 90 wins. That spells trouble for the Cubs.

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  103. Edwin

    The other wildcard factor is the Cardinals. They’re 6.5 back in the division, but they might look at Wainwright and Molina and decide that they really only have this year and 2018 with that window. They could try and go after someone like Josh Donaldson, or some other player to try and give them a decent shot for 2017 and 2018. It’d be another decent team for the Cubs to worry about.

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  104. KenricoPallazzo

    if, come november/december, i look back on a season where:
    – the cubs gave up no prospects
    – the cubs in fact gained a decent prospect or two by traading wade davis/others
    – the cubs finish at .500, thus missing the playoffs by 4 games
    – the cubs FO has stated the ability/desire to go out and acquire off-season talent

    …then i will consider the sum of the 2016/2017 seasons to have been more wildly successful than i ever thought possible for this franchise and be extremely optimistic for the 2018 team.

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  105. KenricoPallazzo

    dmick89: Reminds me of the Cubs after 2008 (this year being similar to 2009). The years after 2009 did not go well.

    disagree. i vaguely recall 2009 being such a colossal letdown because it was obvious that there were some dark days ahead and thus there was an added sense of dread/hysteria when the team played below expectations. maybe i’m just still feeling zen from the WS title, but i do not feel that dread at all with this team (or maybe more importantly this FO).

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  106. dmick89

    KenricoPallazzo,

    There are definitely some differences. That team was much older, but the Cubs could still have continued to contend by spending money. This group’s core is younger, but they need more talent around them as we’ve seen from this season and that means more money will need to be spent. If the Cubs want to continue to contend after this year while making no trades for prospects the payroll is going to get higher and higher from this point forward. I’d much rather be where this team is than where the 2009 team was, but there are definitely some similarities, especially financially.

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  107. Rizzo the Rat

    The average age of the Cubs hitters in 2008/2009 was 30. The average age of Cubs hitters in 2016/2017 is 27.

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  108. dmick89

    Edwin,

    The Cardinals also always seem to end up doing better than everyone expects so I still think they’ll get hot and finish at least at .500 or so. If, as you say, they go for it this year, they can definitely catch the Brewers and the Cubs job for this year and next got a lot harder.

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  109. cerulean

    Rizzo the Rat:
    The average age of the Cubs hitters in 2008/2009 was 30. The average age of Cubs hitters in 2016/2017 is 27.

    I think they might be the youngest team in baseball, still.

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  110. Berselius is too lazy to login

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    Zobrist
    Bryant
    Rizzo
    Happ
    Warm Beer
    Contreras
    Heyward
    Baez
    Arrieta

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  111. cerulean

    dmick89,

    Pretty sure that is just the average age of the roster and so not weighted by innings played. The older players have not gotten a lot of playing time.

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  112. dmick89

    cerulean,

    I’m sure that would help out, but the point is that this team is older than most people have acknowledged. They were young a couple years ago, but I think if them as more about average this year.

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  113. berselius is too lazy to write a new post

    There is speculation on the radio broadcast that Chad Kuhl is starting this game instead of Taillon.

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  114. berselius is too lazy to write a new post

    (dying laughing), this is just comical at this point

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  115. berselius is too lazy to write a new post

    Only four runs were earned though!! (dying laughing)

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  116. berselius is too lazy to write a new post

    That first inning was a play about pieces of feces

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  117. Perkins