Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Thursday Morning Odds and Ends, Long Time No See Edition

Some quick notes.

Ted Lilly got a quality start tonight, which probably would have warmed the heart of Jerome Holtzman, who invented the stat. Holtzman, a long-time fixture in the Chicago baseball press, died over the weekend. Bruce Miles has a touching tribute.

Wood could go onto the DL soon, and his replacement might bee Jeff Samardzija. Shark’s on a very odd developmental path right now:

Year   Team G W L IP TBF H 2B 3B HR R ER BB K ERA
2006 A- Boise 5 1 1 19.0 84 18 1 1 1 5 5 6 13 2.37
2006 A Peoria 2 0 1 11.0 43 6 2 0 1 5 4 6 4 3.27
2007 A+ Daytona 24 3 8 107.1 479 142 22 4 8 69 59 35 45 4.95
2007 AA Tennessee 6 3 3 34.1 145 33 7 0 8 15 13 9 20 3.41
2008 AA Tennessee 16 3 5 76.0 332 71 14 1 6 43 41 42 44 4.86
2008 AAA Iowa 6 4 1 37.1 152 32 6 0 5 13 13 16 40 3.13

Yeah, a lot of guys raise their strikeout rate and cut their walk rate when they get promoted to AAA. Happens ALL the time.

An interesting thing happened on the way to buying the Cubs:

A group led by John Canning, chairman of Chicago private-equity firm Madison Dearborn, valued the Cubs, Wrigley and the team's stake in Comcast SportsNet at far less than the $1 billion or more that the four or five groups team owner Tribune Co. deemed satisfactory to continue, a source with knowledge of the process said.

But Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune, appeared to be serving notice in shooting down the lowball offer. The source indicated that the most important figures connected with any offer will be the ones with dollar signs, in order to maintain the integrity of the process and the media concern's fiduciary responsibilities.

Of the five to 10 offers fielded for just Wrigley Field, the source said three were deemed promising enough to be asked to continue in the process.

Expect to hear more on this in the coming days. Meanwhile, MLB doesn’t seem to be happy with the Cubs’ draft:

The Cubs' fine for violations related to the June draft of first-year players was a whopping $500,000, SI.com has learned. Major League Baseball ruled that the Cubs violated a couple of baseball rules, including failing to report a signing to MLB's New York offices and putting the player on the field before receiving approval for the signing from MLB offices. The Cubs were said by people familiar with the case to have exacerbated the situation by how they responded to MLB's concerns.

This is the sort of thing that just wouldn’t have happened under the watch of Andy MacPhail, who came from a long line of distinguished baseball statesmen and who played ball with the commissioner. I personally am comforted by the thought of a front office who cares more about what’s best for the team and less about what’s best for the league.

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