People mistakes, and umpires are people, but when an umpire makes a mistake it usually on TV everyone to see it. That was the case yesterday in Colorado when Tim Welke took center stage. It was top of the 6th inning, and Jerry Harriston just hit a ground ball to third. Chris Nelson of the Rockies made a great play but his throw pulled Helton off the bag. Here is a screen grab via Deadspin.
He was called out.
Process that for a second. I know umpires usually get caught up in the moment and when there is a great play in the field they usually give the benefit of the doubt to the defensive team on a bang-bang play. This was not one of those times. Insert Bob Brenly rant about instant replay here. Like I said, they make mistakes, and sometimes it’s so bad that it’s comical, but this could have been avoided. Umpires are stubborn, they can never be wrong on a play, Welke could have easily got some help from the other umpires, but that wouldn’t be “right” but calling Harriston out was?
In one of his last auditions to make the Cubs rotation, Jeff Samardzija struggled through four innings against the Rockies on Friday. The Cubs bullpen was able to right the ship, and the Cubs offense was ready and willing to take the game over. The Cubs scored three runs in three different innings erasing defecits of 5-3 and 7-6 in route to a 10-8 slugfest victory
The Cubs offense continued it’s torrid pace Tuesday afternoon against the Rockies, pounding out 14 hits and scoring 11 runs. The Cubs have double digit hits in all three games this spring, and have scored 28 runs. These gaudy numbers have only yielded one win, but Cubs fans have to like what they see. Alfonso Soriano got things started today by blasting a 450ft home run, his first of two bombs on the day, to pull the Cubs within one, and the bats never looked back after that. Later in the inning, Cubs top prospect Brett Jackson hit a big 3-run homer to put the Cubs up for good 4-2. Anthony Rizz also had a productive day at the plate getting two hits, and driving in two runs.
Lost in the hoopla surrounding the Cubs since the end of the season was the little matter of deciding Mike Quade’s future. Even if we, and most Cub fans knew that Mike Quade was not Major League manager material, the Cubs brass
needed to make that official. Shortly after the Cubs front office was completely re energized, the no brainer decision to let Mike Quade pursue other opportunities, most likely in the minors or outside of baseball was made. We will give Epstein some credit here with the way he handled the process of letting Quade go, very professional. He made multiple trips to meet with Quade, and had a number of conversations with him and others in the organization to see if he would be a good fit, not based on what he had done it the past, but where he thought, and wanted this team to go in the future. Clearly, Quade’s idea’s did mesh with the idea’s of the new regime that was now in place, and he was let go from his two year deal that had one year remaining on it. Epstein and company didn’t have to go far to find the 52nd manager of the Chicago Cubs, just a short trip up I-94 to Milwaukee to find Dale Sveum. Sveum, serving as the third base coach in 2004 with the Red Sox, won a World Series title with Epstein. Since 2006, Sveum was on the Brewers coaching staff with titles ranging from third base coach, to bench coach, and to most recently hitting coach. Sveum did get a crack at the managerial position albeit a short one in 2008 when he took over for Ned Yost and led the Brewers to a 7-5 record down the stretch and a NL Wild Card berth. Along with Sveum, the following coaches will be joining the Cubs this season...