When I was listening to Theo Epstein give his talk at the Cubs Convention, Theo talked for a bit about Jeff Beliveau.
It was obvious that he liked the guy, and said all he did was strike people out.
He's a lefty, 25, 6'1" and weighs 190 and drafted in the 18th round in the June Amateur Draft of 2008.
His senior year in high school he went 10-0 with a 0.71 era.
Okay so that was in Rhode Island but still, he musta been the big jock on campus, right?
And last year he was named the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
(Bryan LaHair was the non pitcher Player of the Year.)
In an article at Our Sports Central from last year, it says he "...combined to go 6-2 with five saves and a 1.57 ERA (13 ER/74.1 IP) in 53 relief appearances between Single-A Daytona and Tennessee, his first-career stop at the Double-A level. The lefthander combined to strike out 89 batters and issue only 19 walks in 74.1 innings, an average of 10.8 strikeouts and only 2.3 walks per nine innings, and limited opponents to a .192 batting average against.
(He) began the season with Daytona, where he went 0-1 with two saves and a 0.52 ERA (1 ER/17.1 IP) in 12 relief outings to earn the promotion to Double-A. Beliveau went 6-1 with three saves and a 1.89 ERA (12 ER/57.0 IP) in 41 relief appearances to help the Smokies to the Southern League championship round. With Tennessee, Beliveau limited opponents to a .183 batting average, including a .169 mark by lefties and a .191 by righties."
Okay so that's all well and good, but just the fact that Theo actually liked a pitcher somewhere in the Cubs' system is pretty amazing and borders on shocking.
I'd be feeling pretty good if I were you, young Jeff Beliveau.
I heard on the radio that pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, but on the MLB "important dates" page it says it's Sunday the 19th.
Whatever it is, I'M SO HAPPY BASEBALL IS ABOUT TO START FOR REAL!
Not that talking about Theo and Jed and Dale hasn't been fun, I'd just like to see players.
And just for the hell of it, here's a little story that's got nothin to do with nothin.
Our basement has a mud room leading to a hallway leading to the main room leading to the art area, which is kind of a squared off cul-de-sac.
My little corner of the art area faces the wall, and I can't really see into the main room.
So I'm painting.
Suddenly, the kids are making crazy noise in the main room.
"Shut up you kids." says Dad (me).
It doesn't stop, which isn't unusual.
But finally I'm like, OKAY!
I put down my brush and peek around the corner and in the middle of the main room is a squirrel looking at me.
They're so cute and funny out in the park, running their little squirrel behinds up their little squirrel trees.
But in the basement?
Well, it's a wild animal with big knifey claws and teeth and it's so much faster than me that I realize I am scared to death.
Because it's running straight at me.
Of course I scream the scream I pray later that no other man heard.
It runs by me, into where all the various art stuff is, and I run into the main room and yell up the stairs.
My wife is on the phone to Animal Control and now that the kids are peeking down I'm all Dad like saying, "Do NOT come down here. This thing may have RABIES!"
I can hear Mr. Squirrel in the art room, destroying art and knocking stuff off shelves.
I open the back door.
And luckily, I'd been cleaning some stuff out of the art room and laying on the floor is one of those 3 foot square masonite drawing boards - it's got the little clip up top so you can clip paper to it and draw? You know the thing I'm talking about?
Anyway, I used it as a shield and ran into the art room yelling a more manly yell.
Mr. Squirrel comes around a table at a hundred MPH, stops for one sickening moment when I thought he'd use me for a tree, then scampered by all the way down the hall and out the door.
And for some reason I just turned and looked in the heater room.
Behind the boiler on the wall is a tiny painted-over latched door, about 10" square, and it's wide open.
I don't know jack about houses, but my wife said that's how everything is vented - into this shaft that leads to a chimney up on the roof.
I go, "We have a chimney?"
Anyway, the theory is Mr. Squirrel made like Santa all the way down to the basement.
And now, since it's in the hidden heater room anyway, is a nice giant silver duct tape X on the wall over that little door since I don't trust it's little lock.