Rockets

So the other day a man from the University of Iowa came to our school to help explain his job, which is to build rockets, to take pictures of things in space, and to look at what the pictures contain. It was pretty interesting to learn about. Although I did not understand all of it entirely, simply because I have not been working with rockets for a long time now. So I apologize that it will be rather short and not very in depth as I did not get the little details very well. The topic itself was pretty interesting as they had to design and make multiple rockets and prototypes and the cameras as well. It had any steps in it so it was just pretty interesting to hear the little steps they have to go through and all of the little things that they have to do.

So for what I know they would design and build the rockets with parts of of military equipment that they managed to obtain in some way shape or form. Then they design the rocket. The goal is to have the rocket get launched out into space then come back down, that seemed like more of the not so important part as the main goal of it is to take picture of different things. These things are those that the naked eye can not see. This is why they have to use special cameras and design them in a certain way that they are able to capture different images and translate them into things that we can actually see. The pictures that he showed us were of stars that had exploding and things such as that and they were absolutely just beautiful and just filled with all sorts of colors and they were just absolutely amazing.

Roman Conquest of Cities

So the other day a guy from the University of Iowa came to our school to tell us about the Romans and how they took over cities and what they did after they were actually victorious. For starters they would get into the city and kill those who tried to appose them. This was not a very pretty sight as it was very chaotic, people were in panic, and people were being killed. After this was done and most of those who were left were just those who were hiding or those whop had been captured by the Romans. Then they “sacked” the city which was basically going in and raiding the houses one by one and killing or capturing those who were hiding, and then taking anything of value from their homes. This was mostly things like gold or silver. Then they would often set buildings aflame here and there, which ultimately resulted in a village or town burning completely. From there they would often dismantle and just completely destroy the walls that surround the town or village as protection. Thus insuring that the people who once called this place there home would no longer be able to move back in and just start over. This was especially common when the town or village be conquered had been an especially pesky thorn in the side of the Romans for a long time. The actual act of taking down the walls was especially vigorous work as they did it all entirely by hand, bit by bit, and piece by piece. It took days of terribly hard work just to get the wall down. Mind you this would be an entire army, just a large amount of people doing this in order to take down this wall.

As for the people that the Romans either captured or that were not killed. They may have been sold as slaves or let go to maybe go to a neighboring village seeking refuge. But all too often the Romans would separate the men from the women and children and kill them, making the women and children watch. Which obviously horrified them and possibly got them to go to the next village and tell them which would possibly force them to surrender when the Romans knocking on their door instead of being demolished. And as for the general of the force that was conquered, he was often times marched down the main road in the Roman capitol to show that he had been beaten.

My Apologies

For all of my readers. This would probably be a whole zero of you besides my professor who actually gives me a grade for doing these. But recently I realized that I kind of just blog about the Cubs even though my blog is supposed to be about baseball in general. And yes I know that I did make it aware that I am a Cubs fan, but my goal was not to just tell everyone about my favorite team, it was to inform everyone about baseball and things that were happening and how that affected the rest of the league or that particular team. But as it has been going recently, if it is to continue, I may as well just name my blog Cubs fan’s bog. As if I would not just be one of the thousands of blogs about the Cubs as I am sure there are in fact thousands of them as there are many Cubs fans around the country if not the globe. Especially with all of the hype that surrounds them at the moment as they are the World Series favorites I assume there are even more with band wagons everywhere. But I do not want to be just another one of those blogs. I want to have a blog that more than just Cubs fans want to read. If Cubs fans actually want to read it at all. So I do apologize for writing more about the Cubs than the rest of baseball in general. I plan on changing this in the future. Thanks for reading.

What does Signing Fowler mean?

The Cubs recently nabbed outfielder  Dexter Fowler. This was not predicted as the Orioles in fact were about to sign his when the Cubs swooped in and stole him at the  last second when the deal fell through with the Orioles. This was a steal for the Cubs as Fowler was a big part of their offense last season, he scored a whopping 102 runs. That was tied for seventh in the entire MLB. That is outstanding. He is our lead off hitter which is a big plus to have back. He is an on base kind of guy, and along with Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist the Cubs pose to actually have a complete offense this season. Not Just rely on their sluggers to get them a home run every few innings to provide for all of their runs. This is actually pretty exciting to see as a Cubs fan as we are posed to make a run this season, to end the longest drought in sports history. They are also posed to put up huge offensive numbers. Most National League teams have soft spot towards they end of their lineups. Not the Cubs, in fact they resemble that of more of an American League lineup. With power threats and now more than one consistent on base threat. They are actually looking just down right scary on paper. Buy let us see what they will actually do in game this season. As for Fowler, he will have more than just an impact on the field, he will have an impact on the entire team as he brings a lot of teammate chemistry with him back to Chicago. This will help give that team a little bit of a boost. He also showed that he loves the team as he was one of the three guys who took less money just to play on the Cubs team. He may have gotten down to Arizona a little late for Spring training, but I do not expect that to have much of an effect on him.

Hittin’ Dingers

The home run is such a crucial part on the game. Though it is not something that all teams need to win, as the reigning World Series Champions the Kansas City Royals were merely 24th in the league last season with 139 home runs. Whereas the Baltimore Orioles who missed the playoffs entirely came in at 3rd with 217 home runs. Now a days there are advanced metrics and things that teams look at besides just the big swing. Such as WAR which is basically a showing of how good a player is defensively. Also teams don’t just want someone who can hit a dinger here and there they want players who can get on base. I personally don’t have a whole lot of power, none at all really. This is why I’m more of an on base guy, or at least have been in the past. There are a few guys I play with that are great hitters that can hit for power and contact, one example is my friend “Lepdog” as we call him. These are great for MLB teams as they are the best hitters in the game, these are the type of hitters that young players strive to be.

Kyle Schwarber hitting a home run in the postseason against the St. Louis Cardinals.

If you want to be like my pal Anthony. Also known as “Lepdog”. You need to visit my other pal’s (one of my two) blogs. The title is SwoleSchool at calsapblog.wordpress.com.

Jason Heyward

It happened. The Cubs signed the All-Star defender they needed to better their weak defensive outfield. And the best part is, we snagged him from the Cardinals just like we did John Lackey. This will help the team out so much as he is not only a force on the defensive side, but he isn’t that bad at the plate. Although he is only a slightly above average hitter. He and Ben Zobrist both are veteran bats that will help the Cubs out for years to come. Heyward fits in perfectly with the Cub’s young talent in Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber.

Letting Samardzija Go

I personally am a Jeff Samardzija fan and think that the Cubs could have offered more that 90 million over 5 years. As i do not see them going after a big name outfielder such as Jayson Heyward. He will bring a large price tag and I don’t think that the Cubs will go down that road as they have multiple upcoming outfield prospects so I think that they could have spent more on Samardzija and just have spent less on an outfielder. I believe that they wiull go for a guy like Denard Span or Austin Jackson. Therefore I think that they could have spent more to get another pitcher. With Arrieta and Lester at the top of the rotation followed by Lackey and Samrdzija, the Cubs would have been a power house that would have been simply unstoppable throughout the season.

Signing Lackey

John Lackey is a great pickup for the Cubs. He is a 37 year old veteran who posted a career low era of 2.77 last season. He will be a good number 3 guy for the Cubs for the next few seasons. He also happens to be a good friend of Cubs pitcher John Lester. I feel like this will give him a boost of morality when he joins the team for their first team exercises of the upcoming season. This also may have been a big reason for him coming to the Cubs in the first place with Lester being a good friend. His signing will help the Cubs a lot in the upcoming season, although they do need one more second tier starter in my opinion. But nonetheless this helps with rotation but it also allows the Cubs to focus a little more on acquiring an outfielder which the team is in need of. I personally think that we should pursue Jason Heyward as we already have Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks as good options for the bottom of the rotation and they could also add another starter through a trade. We will have to wait and see.

Books Can Talk

Sorry everyone, this point isn’t about baseball but it is a bout something school related. So the other day we had a speaker come into school to talk about books. Not something that I personally really had any interest in. Then my teacher told me that their would be a reward for going so it became a lot more interesting. I walked in thinking it was going to be a pretty boring half an hour. I was wrong. It was not only not boring but it was actually interesting, and informative. I learned that books are more than just a cover and some pages in between. They contain a lot of hidden information within them, even beyond the text that they contain. They can tell you all sorts of things from where they came from, where they have been, who wrote them, and obviously what why are about. You simply have to know what you are looking for. Such as water marks which can tell the location and place in which it was made. Signatures or markings relating it to where the book was stored or by whom it was stored. Also the condition of the book can actually help you out with how old it is.

Books weren’t always what they are today. they actually started out as clay tablets. Then the Egyptians used papyrus to write on and saved them as scrolls. Then came the Roman wax tablets. Then the first books were made as people folded papyrus and stuck them together. Then people used parchment, which is animal skin. Everything was handwritten until around 1450 when the printing press with the little letters was invented. Shortly after that came paper like we know it today.

After she had given us her whole interesting presentation about how you could learn tons of things from the book without actually reading the text she left us with a question. That question was if books are now being read through a screen on a tablet then how will they be able to talk to us like the old ones? This is a great question. How will people be able to tell when where and why a book was originally printed if you are just looking at the text through a screen and not the actually book itself? Will this change how people in the future look at books? I guess we are going to have to wait and find out.

Baez, Castro, or Soler?

The Chicago Cubs are in need of starting pitchers, and they have a surplus on middle infielder so trade for one, they also have an outfielder that has been involved  in the talks. They have three guys that have been most involved in trade rumors so far this off season.

One of them is Javier Baez. He is a 23 year old up coming infielder who has a lot of power in his swing. That has been what has awed scouts but at the same time given them reason to worry. He has struck out a lot through his minor league career. He did cut his strikeout percentage down a bit this year. He has a lot  of potential at the plate to be a serious power threat in the big leagues as we have seen spurts of this when he has come up to the major league level towards the end of the past two seasons. He even has some playoff experience. He is great on defense also. He has good fielding ability and a great arm. I do not think that the Cubs should trade him because he has tremendous upside. He has the ability to be one the Cubs starting middle infielders as it is. Why would you trade away that much talent away. I personally do not think that trading away Baez is a good idea.

Another middle infielder that could potentially be traded for the Cubs in order to acquire a starting pitcher is Starlin Castro. He has the ability to start for any team in the league when he is at his best. He  is only 26 years old  and he has been in 3 All Star games already. He should continue to be a name in the big leagues for many years to come. His resume shows that he is a good player, but he does have his down side. That would be that he can be a liability in the field at times as he had the fifth most errors by a shortstop in the league. He cut down on these later in the year when he switched to second base as Addison Russel moved to short. He  also can be a streaky hitter as well. He had a much better end to the season that to start it. This also seemed to be helped by the move to second base as he saw his batting average go up after the switch. I think he is the guy that  the Cubs should trade even though he seemed like a better and much different player in the second half. They won’t get quite the same return for him as they will for the other two but if they threw in a young prospect still in the minors maybe they could get more than a second tier ace.

The last out of the three main Cubs that has been involved in trade rumors is Jorge Soler. Our 23 year old right fielder who is coming off of a down year because of injuries. He didn’t play a whole lot during the regular season because of his injuries and his numbers were down because he wasn’t ever really at 100 percent until almost the end of the season. This wasn’t so bad as he put up great numbers in the Cubs post season games. He is under team control for  6 more years and at a pretty cheap price for a player who has the potential to be an All Star next season if he is healthy. He has a strong arm and he is a reliable defender in right. At the plate he has great power and if he can become a little better at getting on base more often he is going to be one the best hitters in the league in years to come. In my mind he is the least likely choice to be traded as the Cubs are in need of an outfielder to replace Dexter Fowler, so why would they trade away a starting outfielder who is under team control for multiple years at a relatively cheap cost? That just simply wouldn’t make any sense. The Cubs have a better chance for a successful season if they acquire a starting pitcher or starting pitchers through free agency or by trading Castro and a young prospect like first baseman Dan Vogelbach who is blocked off at the AAA level because of Anthony Rizzo’s presence in the big leagues.