Wednesday, December 12, 2007
While this is actually huge, it's just hard for me to get excited right now. Probably because it's the middle of December and the Bears are sucking. Talk to me again in March and I'll probably be bouncing off the walls about it.
Also, we essentially traded Jock Jones for a double-A pitcher the other week. At least Fukudome makes up for that mindboggling transaction.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Here's what I wanna know. What kind of voodoo magic did the Hawks work to get someone to leave a team that he's worked with for 24 years and is one of the most popular sports teams in the country to go work in the stinking pile of refuse that is the Blackhawks? We almost had a World Series John, and you played a big part in that. Why the hell would you want to leave?
"...the opportunity that Rocky presented to me -- and this came together rather quickly -- was something I was quite impressed with."
More impressive than the Cubs? Whatever. We don't need you John. Lou can be the manager and the president, and then that's one less last name that I have to double check to make sure I spelled right. Good riddance.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Baby Omar is a career .271 hitter who batted .264 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs in 2004. As much as I don't like Jacque Jones, and I rank him right up there with Neifi and Roberto Novoa, I would like to think we could have gotten a little more for an outfielder who managed to hit .285 last year. Sure his arm sucks, he whines a lot, he cries about the fans not loving him, and he couldn't hit a home run to save his life last year, but it seems like we got the raw end of the deal. Maybe we did it to save money, as Baby Omar only made $1.3 million last season compared to the $5.5 million Jones gets this year, but you don't spend $300 million one offseason and then start pinching pennies the next. Jim Hendry, you have disappointed me.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Ryan Dempster will no longer be the Cubs' closer.
This news isn't quite as amazing as it sounds, as the idea is that Lou will move the Harry Caray impersonator to the starting rotation. But he can't possibly be worse as a starter than he is as a closer, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.
This means that Sean Marshall and Jason Marquis would be competing for the final spot in the rotation, which basically means either Marquis gets the spot or we trade him and Marshall gets is. Of course the three other spots in the rotation go to Zambrano, Lilly, and Hill.
As for who has to fill the abnormally small shoes that Dempster is leaving behind, Carlos Marmol would be the obvious choice, considering he only gave up 11 runs in 59 appearances last year. Bob Howry is a solid pick too, as even though his ERA is considerably higher and he only converted 8 of 12 save opportunities last year, he was still the second best relief pitcher the Cubs had last year. His added experience in save situations might mean at least a platoon between him and Marmol.
And then there is the wild card, Kerry Wood. Coming in late in the season he posted a nearly identical ERA as Bob Howry and there is speculation that the Cubs could use the lure of a closer spot to convince him to re-sign with the team. That might sound appealing to a player that is used to a high profile spot in the starting rotation.
Whatever Lou decides, I just have one request. Please, please never let Dempster pitch a complete game. I don't care what kind of lead he has in the 9th, take him out. Heart attacks kill enough Americans every year as it is.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
I know this might be a bad time to ask, but did anyone get NLCS tickets? Because I didn't. And I still have a slight glimmer of hope that they will be of some use.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Alright that's it for me tonight. Go Cubs.
We've gotten a lot of traffic today from people who are searching for the Lou Piniella Aquafina commercial and whoever the guy was with the blinking Cubs light in the 9th inning. If you are one of those people, I am sorry but I do not have either of those for you. Yet. To anyone out there that does find the video for the commercial or whoever that guy was with the light, please let me know. For some reason I'm showing up high in the Google search results, and the people demand answers.
I'll be back late late tonight after the game with my thoughts for you all to read bright and early Friday morning. So until then, go Cubs.
EDIT: We have the video now. Look up.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
EDIT: Alright on second thought I take back what I said about Lou. He explained it well at the postgame conference, the bullpen has been solid and Zambrano is coming back on three days rest. Marmol has been lights-out all year so Lou was confident bringing him in. It's easy to second guess the decision now that we see how it turned out, but at the time it was probably a good choice. And we can't win games only scoring one run, it just isn't happening.
That's it for me tonight. I might be doing this again tomorrow, if I think I can handle the agony. All that excitement Cubs nation had about the playoffs? Gone.
11:38 -- "Help me Alfonso Soriano. You're our only hope."
11:33 -- There's a guy behind home plate with a flashing Cubs light. Yup, the umpire just caught him. At least someone is trying to win this game for us.
11:32 -- Wow, this is it. Ninth inning. We're screwed.
11:28 -- I vote that Bob Howry pitches every inning for the rest of these playoffs. You may think he doesn't have the stamina, but if people can run marathons I don't see why he can't pitch 36 innings in four days.
11:23 -- The superstitious part of me just gave in and I put on my Believe bracelet. Two of them actually. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
11:19 -- Why can't we get the ball over the wall? We've hit three balls to the warning track in recent memory, and they all fall short. The DBacks hit two fly balls and they go over the wall. I'm prepared to start making wild accusations about turning on the air conditioning to simulate wind blowing in at this point.
11:14 -- So the question on everyone's mind right now is, why the hell did Lou take out Zambrano? I know Marmol is supposed to be amazing and all that, but Big Z was on fire! If he was cramping up, give him a damn IV and tell him to drink some water, and if you're saving him for Game 4 then you are retarded Lou. We have to win a game before we even get a shot at a Game 4.
(I'm a little upset at this if you couldn't tell.)
11:09 -- This would be a really bad time for Marmol to tell everyone that he's not actually a wunderkid, he's just been getting really lucky all season. Now we're down by two. Lou, get a handle on your pitchers!
11:01 -- I'm considering stopping talking at this point. Carlos Marmol, you're fired.
10:59 -- It's Carlos time! Of the Marmol variety, that is. This kid is amazing, so much so that I kind of wish we were saving him for the closer role.
10:53 -- I guess Piniella is taking Zambrano out. Did no one remind him to drink water tonight? Seriously, how hard is that. You work hard, you get thirsty, you drink water. A two year old knows that.
10:50 -- I'm very impressed right now about how well Zambrano pulled it back together after that solo home run. Something like that would usually rattle him, but I think he's pitched even better since that happened.
We're tied at 1 after six innings, so let's take a page out of Zambrano's book and imagine this as a new game. We're tied, Soriano is leading off, and we've got three innings. Let's make something happen, because I can't stay up all night watching baseball.
10:40 -- Zambrano needs to make better choices on when to get hits. That double he got earlier? Would have been great right now. I guess I can't complain too much, at least we're not losing anymore.
10:38 -- START THE RIOT!!
10:36 -- Webb is starting to lose it. This just got really interesting.
10:34 -- Wow. Two men on base. I guess miracles do happen.
10:30 -- Uhhhh, anyone know why Aramis didn't run to first base on that strikeout? He just kinda looked at the catcher and thought "Well I could run, but then I might start to sweat and the ladies don't love that".
10:25 -- Brandon Webb gets a taste of his own medicine, Zambrano is fired up, and the heart of the order is coming up to bat. We need something big right about now.
10:22 -- Augie Ojeda is like an electric blanket? Who needs an electric blanket in October? Pansies.
10:19 -- Beautiful play by DeRosa. Derrek Lee wasn't kidding when he said Mark could be considered for the team's MVP.
10:16 -- Five straight innings we have gotten a baserunner on, and five straight innings we have scored nothing. Would it kill us to get two hits in an inning?
10:12 -- So whoever lubed up Reynolds' hands during the commercial break, I would like to buy you a beer.
10:08 -- Alright everyone...I was just about to say something about us not panicking, but that Aquafina commercial just blew my mind. Holy Crap. Lou Piniella is pure comedy gold. Somebody please throw that up on YouTube and send me the link.
10:04 -- That was NOT what I meant when things had to change.
10:02 -- Webb has thrown just 49 pitches through 4 innings. At this rate he'll be pitching a complete game shutout. Something has to change.
9:59 -- Webb just hit MarkyMark. This means WAR!
9:57 -- So Aramis didn't get the home run, but at least we know someone on the offensive side of this game is awake other than the pitcher.
9:52 -- Alright Zambrano is starting to lock it down. I think the big guy deserves some run support this inning.
9:46 -- DLee just watched two beatiful pitches go by and he left Zambrano standing all alone at second base. Something is not right here.
9:40 -- Zambrano! This guy wants to win this game singlehandedly.
9:37 -- Theriot and DeRosa team up for a beautiful double play, and Zambrano survives through another inning. If he can tighten up his control a bit this could be a long, low scoring game for both teams. Still 0-0 at the end of two.
9:33 -- Yes Dane Cook, there IS only one October. And you're ruining mine. Go back to describing common uncomfortable situations with ridiculous sound effects and leave my baseball alone, please.
9:30 -- Well that part of the inning didn't go that well. It's alright though, Big Z gets to lead off the third. I think Lou should seriously consider using him in the clean up spot one of these days.
9:27 -- DeRosa pulls through with the first Cubbie hit. Expect to see a full recap of the at-bat on his blog early tomorrow.
9:22 -- Thank you so much for that strike call Mr. Umpire. I wasn't sure if Zambrano was getting out of that inning with his sanity intact. At the end of one, we're still at 0-0.
9:16 -- Blanco could have thrown him out. When Big Z doesn't have a good start, things get scary.
9:12 -- Lee and Ramirez go down without incident after a Jock Jones walk. Not the best start to a game, but I hear this Brandon Webb guy is pretty decent. No worries...yet.
9:07 -- Annnnnd we're underway, with a paltry Soriano groundout.
9:02 -- Dick Stockton and Ron Darling? Really? This is all you can pull together to announce a playoff game?
Also, Henry Blanco is apparently not on the playoff roster. Geovany Soto has some big shoes to fill.
8:57 -- The game hasn't even started yet and they have to bring up the Zambrano-Barrett fight. We got rid of Barrett, problem solved, I don't know how that's even relevant.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Ever wished that a Cubs player had a blog though? Well call me Robin Williams, because here you go.
"I'll be wearing my regular road pants. They've been sewn up [after getting ripped in the seat] and they'll be worn tomorrow and throughout the course of the postseason."
Ohhhh MarkyMark. Some things we just didn't really need to know. With all honesty though, it's a good read and I'm excited that he's writing it. And he's getting paid more than me, so more power to him.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Apparently Rally Monday is a tradition started by Major League Baseball in the past few years, and we just never knew about it because we haven't made the playoffs since 2003, and nobody cares about the White Sox. You can read the official account of the proceedings here, and I tried to find an unbiased view of the events but I couldn't find any Cubs bloggers that went and wrote about. Sorry.
The schedule for the first round of the playoffs finally came out yesterday and one thing is certainly clear: If you do not have cable or have to work in the morning, MLB does not wish you to watch playoff baseball.
|Gm 1||CHC @ ARI||Wed||Oct. 3||10 pm||TBS|
|Gm 2||CHC @ ARI||Thu||Oct. 4||10 pm||TBS|
|Gm 3||ARI @ CHC||Sat||Oct. 6||6 pm||TBS|
|Gm 4*||ARI @ CHC||Sun||Oct. 7||1 pm||TNT|
|Gm 5*||CHC @ ARI||Tue||Oct. 9||10 pm||TBS|
Sadly, my parents fall under both of these categories. I have not asked them their opinions yet, but my mom always liked Santo better anyways so I'm sure she'll cope. TBS does realize that the Braves didn't make it this year, right?
NLCS tickets go on sale Thursday morning at 10 AM. I will be online with at least 50 windows open, maybe 100 since 50 only got me one ticket for this series. So here's the deal: If you found out about tickets going on sale from here and you manage to get one, help me out. I'll do pretty much anything to go to an NLCS game, assuming we make it.
Cubs playoff baseball is two days away. Can you feel it yet? Eamus Catuli.
Friday, September 28, 2007
This is the first time the team has gone to the playoffs twice in five years since sometime in the 1930's. Wow.
Everyone be sure to send a thank you note to Greg Maddux tomorrow, and one to Jim Hendry because it turns out he knew what he was doing all along.
Oh and then, buy a t-shirt to celebrate the moment. Come on, you know you want to.
We'll be ramping up the Cubs coverage here as the playoffs begin, because you only get a chance to cover something like this once every ten years or so. And by the next time we make it in, blogging may be out of style for all I know. So check back later and see what we've got going on.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Anyways, the Brewers miraculously lost to the Cardinals tonight. Pitching staff, get back on your horse. I want this thing wrapped up by Friday. That would make a pretty spectacular birthday present.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
ESPN reports that not only is it possible that Alex Rodriguez could play for the team next year, but he may receive an ownership stake as well in the potential contract. Read the full report here, and try not to wet yourself with excitement.
That's right everybody, the playoffs are rapidly approaching and with a 2.5 game lead this late in the season I am no longer afraid of jinxing the team. We will make the playoffs, and guess who's gonna be there. That's right, ME.
This is the part where I should try to drive up traffic by offering someone a ticket to go with me so everyone would compete for it, but there's a slight problem with that. First of all, it's 60 bucks a ticket and I don't know if I love you all that much. Secondly, I only got one ticket. I woke up at 8:30, got about 50 tabs open in Firefox, and by the time I got through all that was left was single seats for the first home game. I could have waited for standing room, but I just wanted to make sure I got into the game. So that's that. I'm going to the game alone, and I don't care. These opportunities only come by once every 5 years or so.
Looking at Craigslist I could probably get 300 bucks for my ticket, but what kind of fan would I be if I did that? If you think that's bad, you should see what people are charging on StubHub for the World Series. Anyone got $2,400 lying around?
I guess I can only pray that I get the opportunity to drain my bank account to see a Cubs World Series game. But let's take one step at a time here. Go Cubs.
EDIT: Looks like the gap will be 3.5 after today. Remind me to thank the next Braves fan I meet.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Ever since you first came to this historic ballclub in 2006 you've had some issues. First of all you called out the fans for booing you. I don't know where this idea came from that fans aren't supposed to care how well their team is playing and they should always cheer, even if their 50 bucks just went to waste to watch a crappy performance. I know you ended off the year well and you feel that your complaints were well-founded, but the fans weren't booing you at the end of the year. We were booing you when you were batting .219 through your first 21 games. And that was a vast improvement over the .091 you were sporting after your first 8. You were the first of the recent string of Cubs players who feel like the fans should happily accept someone getting paid millions who sucks at their job *cough* Big Z *cough*. And for that, I cannot like you.
And then there are nights like tonight. At first glance it looks like you had a good night, going 3-for-6 with a run. But you just can't pull through in the clutch. You're not the only one by far, the team left 15 men on base in this game and only scored 4 runs with 10 hits and 10 walks. But it seems like every time you come up to the plate when the game is on the line, I'm reaching for the OFF button on the remote before they throw you a pitch. Because I know what's going to happen. It is for this reason that my friends and I have dubbed you "The Human Rally Killer". And now, thanks to the magical powers of the internet and Wikipedia, the whole world shall know you by this name.
Hey, at least you'll be remembered for something. My best shot right now is "the guy who pretended that he got Wade Miller fired".
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Also, the Cubs players have all decided to start crying about the fans actually expecting decent baseball. More on this later when I've settled down and I have time to fully vent my well deserved frustrations.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a free Cubs game. If you haven't done this before, I highly recommend it. A friend of a friend had a ticket that he couldn't use, so he gave it to my friend who couldn't use it, and my friend gave it to me. It was the best seats and I didn't have anyone else I knew going, but none of that matters when you can be at a Cubs game for less than 20 bucks and watch them inch their way towards a division title. The rundown of what I spent for the game:
- Ticket for Aisle 224, Row 19, Seat 10: Free
- Upgrading to Row 13, Seat 1: Free
- Gas for the 75 mile round trip to where I parked: $9
- Parking: Free
- Riding the L to the stadium and back: $4
- Refilling my bottle of water at the drinking fountain by the bathrooms: Free
- Slice of pizza from Bacci's Pizzeria after the game: $4.39
- Total: $17.39
By the way, I highly recommend Bacci's Pizza. You get a slice of thin crust pizza the size of Montana and a pop for $4.39 after tax, and it's about 20 feet from the L stop. As you're leaving the stadium, you will see a cute college girl in a tank top trying to get you to go to a bar that has $3 jello shots. Right next to that bar is Bacci's. It's on the left, you can't miss it. Tell them I sent you.
All that being said though, I wish I had gone to today's game instead. I thought we didn't have a chance of winning, I was actually dozing off when Lee came through with the big homer. Not a great time to fall asleep. I just hope the team can get some kind of momentum going, because I'm not really comfortable with a 1.5 game lead on the Brewers. Let's get it to a 4 or a 5 game lead and maybe I'll be able to breathe again.
Friday, August 24, 2007
And from a blog that I had not read before yesterday and that puts a lot more thought into these matters than I do, Jacque Jones may have saved the Cubs season. And the collective cynics of the world say: huh?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
To quote the Giants color announcer, "He got the job done."
That's how Henry rolls, ladies and gentleman. That's how this team rolls.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Carlos Zambrano is a good pitcher. A great pitcher even. When he is on his game, he is probably one of, if not the best pitcher in baseball. Apparently Jim Hendry is in some dreamlike state where Zambrano is always on his game, as he just handed Big Z the most lucrative contract for a pitcher in all of baseball. $91.5 million over 5 years is a lot of money. Did you ever stop to wonder how much that comes out to per game, or even per inning? Well we made a shirt so you don't have to:
These numbers were meticulously calculated assuming 32 games and 215 innings per season. If he gets injured the numbers go up a lot. You thought Kerry Wood earning $13 million for rehabbing all year was bad? Then pray to whatever god you wish that Zambrano doesn't spend too much time chatting online over the next 5 years.
Crap. Juan Encarnacion just made it 5-1 as I'm writing this. Is it too early to get a pitcher warming up in the bullpen?
All things considered though, I'm still amazed that we're 1st in the division after the horrible baseball we've been playing since Soriano was out. He can't come back soon enough.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
But please, for the love of all that is good and holy, read this (PDF file).
That link leads to a three page handwritten lawsuit filed by a Mr. Jonathan Lee Riches, an inmate in South Carolina. Riches is attempting to sue Michael Vick for 63,000,000,000.00 Billion Dollars. Yes, that's 63 BILLION Billion Dollars, or for the mathematically disinclined, 63 Quintillion Dollars. I don't think that amount of money even exists.
I know this isn't a football blog, but when someone accuses Michael Vick of joining Al-Quaeda, buying missiles from Iran with the money made from selling dogs on eBay, and hurting their feelings and dashing their hopes, that's newsworthy for all sports fans.
In other news: the Cubs are drowning without Soriano. Funeral arrangements are being decided on and will be announced sometime in September.
EDIT: Apparently this came out three weeks ago when everyone but me was paying attention. My bad.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
You may have the Derosa-Bonds HR Challenge all but wrapped up and be MLB's All-Time Home Run leader, but at the end of the day, you're still Barry Bonds and you still play for the Giants.
Stew on that.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
UPDATE: Yahoo Sports says 2-4 weeks. That sound you hear is the sound of millions of Cubs fans' hopes and dreams dying. With 52 games left in the season and the team being a single game out of the division lead, this couldn't really have come at a worse time.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
We all remember Neifi Perez. Mediocre utility infielder, terrible batter, and not exactly handsome. So when he was busted a month ago for stimulant use I thought he must have just been hanging out with the wrong crowd and had slipped up once, because there's no way that anything he was taking was enhancing his performance in any way. If you need drugs to put together a .172 batting average, you've got some issues.
As it turns out, you can add ridiculously dumb to that list of adjectives describing Neifi. Today Neifi became only the second player to be suspended for the use of stimulants, himself also being the first player to receive such a ban. This one is for 80 games, and picks up right where the last ban left off on Saturday.
I find it hard to believe that even Neifi would be dumb enough to keep taking stimulants after getting caught, so I came to the only logical conclusion: He was framed.
In order to right this terrible wrong I did what any self-respecting not-very-well-known sports blogger would do. I made a t-shirt. This shirt shows support for Neifi and his fight against injustice. By being suspended for the rest of the season the Tigers are able to avoid paying the last half of his $2.5 million contract, an enticing proposition considering his dismal stats. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that just maybe the manager slipped him a stimulant-infused smoothie. Three times. Also, I have a tendency to dislike anything Detroit related, so I simply want what's worst for them. In this case that would be having to pay Neifi the rest of his contract. Join me in this noble cause to clear Neifi's name and bring down the Tigers.
Cubs are a game back from the Brewers now. That was a lot shorter than I expected.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
When the half-inning ended, Estrada and Yost got into a heated dispute in the tunnel leading from the dugout to the clubhouse. Infielder Tony Graffanino stepped between them while pitcher Ben Sheets and pitching coach Mike Maddux stood in front of Estrada.
The next inning, Yost motioned with his finger for Estrada to come talk with him, and they disappeared out of sight down the tunnel.
Now as far as I know it did not come to fisticuffs, but especially with the manager directly involved this could light a fire under them just like the Zambrano-Barrett incident did.
On the other hand...never fear, Wood is here!
If you've been watching the Cubs all summer and you haven't really noticed this slogan, you're not alone. In an article today in the Tribune about our friend Brent Kowalowski, the writer mentions that the Cubs have kindly asked CSN and WGN to not show these signs during broadcasts of Cubs games. Are the Cubs just trying to keep the fans watching at home from getting their hopes up? Not exactly. This policy is due to the slogan creator's similar past to Kowalowski's.
In 1995, a Cubs fan named John Murray attacked reliever Randy Myers on the mound and was taken down by Myers. Murray was banned from Wrigley Field for one year, but now is trying to get publicity for his Cubs slogan, "It's Gonna Happen," which is printed on T-shirts, signs and wristbands.
The Cubs are aware of Murray's history and have asked Comcast SportsNet and WGN-Ch. 9 not to show Murray's signs during telecasts, according to team sources.
Now I know that incident happened 12 years ago and you're supposed to forgive and forget, but I don't really appreciate someone like that trying to profit off of the success of this team. So from this moment on I am shunning the use of the phrase "It's Gonna Happen" and I am calling upon you, the readers, to come up with something better. Leave any and all ideas in the comments, and maybe I can use my limited internet influence to make it stick.
UPDATE: The Sun-Times had a more in depth article on the topic about a week ago that I missed at the time. The article makes it seem like there's nothing wrong with the guy trying to make a quick buck, but I respectfully disagree. And here is a picture of what happened to Mr. Murray when he was dumb enough to charge a Major League baseball player 12 years ago.
Apparently umpiring has come a long way in the last 12 years. Back then you stopped a fight by sticking a baseball and a radio near the pitchers head.
Photo Courtesy of: Out of Right Field
Again, technically the Cubs still have a slight edge over the Brewers. But technically Carmen Electra has never told me she doesn't want to date me. A victory in both cases, yes, albeit a rather small one.
NL Pitcher of the Month Zambrano takes the mound against the Mighty Mets, one of the few teams in the NL that worries me. Zambrano had a 5-1 record in July with a 1.83 ERA, which is pretty incredible. Then you realize that Ted Lilly, who I until recently may or may not have hated, also pulled off a 5-1 record with a slightly worse 2.52 ERA in that same month. With pitchers like these, I'm kind of disappointed we're not actually ahead of the Brewers.
Yes, technically the Cubs and Brewers are both 8 games over .500 at this point, but we've played two less games. This gives us an all important .001 lead in winning percentage, which places us squarely at the top of the standings.
The team had a lot of help getting there tonight, with Thunder Matt's heads-up baserunning and Brett Myers control problems at the end helping secure the W and the Mets taking care of the Brewers for us. I don't need to spell it out for you though: this team is hot. I think I'm perfectly justified in getting overly excited about today considering this is the best position we've been in since 2004.
And in case you were wondering, Minnesota was hot and dry this past week, contrary to popular belief that there is always snow on the ground. It's nice to be back to a place where I can watch the Cubbies every day. Here's hoping Marshall can lock it up for tomorrow and we can start to increase this lead.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Well actually, it's because I've been working all day every day, which makes me tired at the end of the day. This translates into laziness.
Anyways, since the last time I popped my head in here, the Cubs have been tearing it up. People are finally starting to notice that we've got a real good team here, and the Brewers have been sweating like crazy as we inch closer to that elusive division lead.
There was an article in the most recent Sports Illustrated that I can't seem to find online about the slogan that has been attached to this team recently: "It's Gonna Happen".
People seem to assume that "it" is winning the World Series, but no one knows for sure what the original holder of the sign meant. Perhaps someone on the other side of the stadium called him and asked if it was going to rain anytime soon. And then the person's cell phone died. So maybe this "it" is actually rain, and not a World Series win. Far fetched, yes, but I'd be a little more comfortable if people didn't start making postseason declarations this early in the game. We've had enough jinxes over the years as it is.
I'm leaving for the cold, desolate plains of Minnesota tomorrow, for the sole reason that I know people there who are related to me. Seeing as my grandparents live on a farm, updates will be unlikely unless I can find a Panera somewhere. At least this time I'll have a good excuse. Normal operations will hopefully resume on Wednesday.
EDIT: Found the slogan article.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
In other news, Bonds claims that people with knee injuries are wussies and people with incredibly large heads look funny.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I'll take that and sleep well tonight. Granted, the DeRosa-Bonds HR rivalry is becoming more and more one-sided. But at least he didn't break any records against us.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Oh yeah, and we won't hit a single home run during this massacre. Those are overrated anyways.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I believe that we're going to win it this year, so it won't be magic when we win it next year with Cuban.
I also believe that regardless of his fan affiliations growing up, Mr. Cuban is an exciting prospect for owner compared to some of the ho-hums that have turned in their papers. He has a personal flare that is hard to find in a land full of Bud Selig wannabes. He has proven that he is dedicated to greatness in all that he has got involved in (just ask Dirk) and I think that his is a face that would be a welcomed addition to this already fine organization.
And I don't even care that he probably would secretly root for the Pirates. They suck, and I fully expect them to continue doing so for at least the next decade.
After all of this bull that the Cubs won't have the wherewithal to increase payroll for a serious run at the pennant, there they were Monday, making a midsummer pitch to a catcher who makes about $13 million a year.
And after all of this bull that they need Cuban to buy this team and show them how things should be done, the Cubs have added a high-priced star to a roster that already is being paid hundreds of millions of dollars.
Yes, that same Mark Cuban who once said it killed him to sing "root, root, root for the Cubbies" at Wrigley Field and wished he could sing "Pirates" instead. That's the guy you want to own this team?
He goes on to explain his thoughts even more, but that's not important. What really matters is that someone who spent four years in college learning how to write and actually makes a living watching sports and writing about them agrees with little old me. In fact, he feels so strongly about it that he's willing to use a dirty word like "bull" to make his point. Before you know it, he'll be moving on to "bull-poo".
Also: Barry Bonds is still a huge pansy.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I considered compiling a list of things I hate about Barry Bonds, but I realized he is not deserving of the amount of effort that would take. Maybe I'll come up with something later if he actually plays and I have a lot of free time.
On a wholly unrelated note, Erin Andrews was at Wrigley tonight, reporting from the street where I stand in line to wait for good bleacher seats. All I need now is a red Ferrari to take to the game and a ticket for me and Ms. Andrews, and then my personal genie can retire in peace.
Bowen was traded to the A's along with minor league pitcher Jerry Blevins for catcher Jason Kendall. You probably remember Kendall as the former catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he was very, very good. A career .298 hitter, Kendall has had a few extremely good seasons when it comes to batting average, including .325 and .319 in '03 and '04. To put that in perspective, remember when people thought Michael Barrett would have a shot at the batting title, except that he didn't have enough at bats? That was last year, when he ended up with a measly .307. Pansy.
Essentially what this all boils down to is that somehow Hendry traded Michael Barrett straight up for Jason Kendall, because the Cubs received a minor leaguer along with Bowen in the trade for the Padres. Even without taking into consideration Barrett's considerable temper...wow. Look at those stats and tell me that wasn't an incredible deal. Not only does Kendall have a high average, he gets on base enough that he is usually used as a leadoff hitter and he averages about 150 games played a year. Even if he's having a crappy year so far, I give a tip of my hat to Mr. Hendry for finagling this deal.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
And for all the people saying Derrek Lee is doing something wrong because he isn't hitting home runs, how about these numbers today. Lee went 3-for-3 with a 3-run homer in that 2nd inning. The man is batting .335 and people are complaining that he isn't hitting enough home runs? I think he just likes to save up his homers for when the team really needs it, there's no need to embarrass other teams every game when usually a double will suffice.
The Cubs are 25-12 since June 3rd, best record in baseball over that time. I'm predicting we take the division two weeks from today.
During today's FOX intro for the Cubs lineup, Rich Hill went with a solid imitation of the character Kip Dynamite from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. At first, when I had no idea what was going on, I thought maybe he had been stung by a bee on his tongue. It was that good, and definitely gave Ryan Dempster and his Harry Caray impression a run for his money. I can't find any video of the intro right now, but if I do it'll be up here faster than you can say quesadilla.
(I didn't like that movie, by the way. Supposedly it gets funnier the more you watch it, but by the time I did see it I had already heard all the jokes. And why would I watch it again if it sucked the first time?)
EDIT: Here's another video of Dempster's Harry Caray impression, still can't find the one he did for FOX though. If you find a link to the FOX videos for either Hill or Dempster, I'll send you a dollar. For real. Do it.
EDIT x2: Brilliant reader skr found the video and gave it to me for free! How thoughtful.
Via Texas Gal's baseball blog Center Field
Friday, July 13, 2007
I know SITI here might not think this is great news, but I do so I'm posting with great hopes to see him in charge by next season.
After seeing what he did with the Mavericks, I think he obviously knows what he's doing when it comes to running a sports organization -- at least more than some of the other potential buyers that view this team as simply an investment.
More on this later. Go Cubs.
Friday, July 6, 2007
That's right, Dusty's Golden Boy was banned for 25 games for testing positive for a banned stimulant. I'm surprised they even bother to test people with a .172 batting average. That's like testing a Mormon for alcohol, or Mike Tyson for sanity. You just figure you're not gonna find any, so why bother?
Sunday, July 1, 2007
But Billy didn't even have time to unpack his bags when he got to Iowa, as Cherry was placed on the DL today with a "right lat strain". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but as long as it's not his groin he should be alright. Either way, losing Rocky Cherry is never a good thing, as the guy has worked his way to a 2.38 ERA in the bigs, despite only being able to pull off a 6.75 ERA at Iowa.
EDIT: Turns out Billy didn't even make it back to Iowa. He drove home to Morris, IL, which is about an hour and a half from Wrigley, and was still there when he got the call. At least he's saving the Cubs some money on airfare.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
When the Cubs first came up to bat in today's game, Dempster had the task of introducing the Cubs batting order for FOX. He did so in a near-perfect imitation of Will Ferrell's Harry Caray skit from Saturday Night Live. I'm not a big fan of the original skit because it shows Harry as a delusional old man who loves Budweiser, even if that may not be too far from the truth.
Apparently this is not the first time Dempster has done this impression, as I found this video from Mesa in 2005 where he does a short rendition of it. I'll try to find video of today's introduction, as it will probably be the best part of the game with the Cubs down 9-2 in the 3rd at the moment.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the deal was complete and signed off on by the commissioner's office, and was going as planned until Mr. Zell, who is also a part owner of the White Sox whom the Cubs just swept, stepped in and vetoed the cash transaction that was included as part of the deal.
According to a high-ranking baseball official with direct knowledge of the talks, they even had a commitment from the Cubs' front office to cover roughly $6.6 million of the $7.2 million remaining on Jones' contract through next season.
The deal collapsed, however, when incoming Cubs owner Sam Zell – who is in the process of purchasing a controlling interest in the Tribune Co., which publishes the Sun-Sentinel – vetoed the hefty cash exchange.
The Sun-Sentinel also mentions that it was Zell who personally decided that the talks for Zambrano's long term deal should be delayed until "a later date".
I'm assuming that Mr. Zell is making decisions solely based on profit margins, but I don't see how having Jacque Jones and not having Zambrano locked up could possibly increase the value of your team. Whichever person or company this team gets sold to, it needs to be one that won't interfere with doing what will help us win. And it definitely can't be a Sox fan.
FINALLY TRADED JACQUE JONES!
While there is nothing official that I can find at the moment, it sounds like we sent him to the Marlins and pretty much got nothing for him. I'll be back later when I dig up something solid.
Found something decently solid.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
In all seriousness though, we extend our sincerest condolences to Rod's family. The big guy will be missed.
Oh yeah, and we SWEPT the White Sox. At the Cell. Booyah.
We've got Jason Marquis up against the Rockies tomorrow. Let's see if we can keep some momentum going for once.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The dominance that is Sean Marshall takes the mound tomorrow against Jose Contreras. Given the White Sox's dismal record against lefties this should get interesting. I'm refusing to say the 'S' word though, because a jinx is the last thing this team needs.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Today also marked the triumphant return of Aramis Ramirez, who hit one of those solo shots to send a clear message to anyone who doubts the strength of his left knee. Never mind that almost no running or use of the knees is in any way involved in swinging a bat.
Sean Gallagher was sent back down to Iowa, and most Cubs fans probably won't notice a difference. Sean had a 9+ ERA in 5 and a 1/3 innings this season.
Rich Hill gets the call tomorrow against Javier Vasquez at noon. A month ago, I would have put the easy money on Hill, but nowadays I'm not so sure. Prove me wrong buddy.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So here's a list of things I missed while I was napping:
- Derrek Lee was handed a 5-game suspension. Personally, this is slightly lower than I thought considering the 10-game one Barrett got last year. On the other hand, directly charging the mound is only 3 games, and Young did approach Lee on the basepath for some reason. Next time he'll stay on the mound if he knows what's good for him. Lee is of course appealing the decision, which should keep him around long enough to hit another grand slam off the Sox.
- A large number of people have been doing a Google search for the phrase Zambrano Belt. Well the truth came out shortly after the fight, his belt was off because he was in the middle of changing in the clubhouse when the fight started, not because he wanted to whip somebody. Sometimes the truth is funnier than fiction.
- Lee has not yet apologized for swing at Young's pretty face, which I find interesting. Normally people apologize profusely after a fight to show remorse and try to reduce the coming suspension, but Lee is doing no such thing. Young must have said something along the lines of "Next time I'll get your eye, natch."
- The Cubs lost the series to the Padres, unsurprisingly, and have gone 1-4 ever since Lee flipped out.
- Sammy Sosa took a short break from amassing strikeouts and hit number 600 off of Marquis on Wednesday. There was a big sign in the outfield showing his home run tally, and it had a star in front of the number 600. Looked an awful lot like an asterisk at first glance.
- I won't lie to you, I used to like Sammy Sosa. That feeling faded right around 2000. When you walk out on the team, I will walk out on.....your mom. And then I'll take her out to a nice seafood dinner, and never call her again. Then I will proceed to despise you for the rest of my days.
- We lost the series to the Rangers in boring fashion.
- Barrett got traded, which is probably the biggest news of the week. Some people were unhappy with that, but here's how I see it: A catcher is supposed to catch, and well. Rob Bowen works very well with pitchers, doesn't allow many passed balls, and can throw base-runners out. Barrett...well he doesn't do much of anything well, except hit. But Bowen is hitting better than him this year anyways. As long as someone not named Koyie Hill is the main catcher, I'll be happy.
That was a busy 5 days. The Cubs-Sox series on the dirty side of town starts tomorrow, and this time I won't be going to every game. I won't even be able to make it to one game unless you, our intrepid yet sporadic readers, happen to have some extra tickets. rfs and myself would love to hit up Sunday's game, but I can take Saturday too. Heck I'd probably skip work tomorrow if I got tickets. So if anyone out there would like to sit with a couple of struggling bloggers at the game, or if you just need some extra protection from the rabid White Sox fans, hit us up at the e-mail on the right. I promise not to disappoint.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The craziest part of all this is that he hit it off Marq, who now wears the 21 that Sammy made famous.
I hate to say it, but congrats...you stupid motherf***er.
...We better win this game.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
But no. Today's game was all about Derrek Lee taking offense at something that Chris Young said, and then taking a swing at the 6'10" behemoth. It was about something that Jake Peavy said yesterday regarding Soriano watching his home run sail over the wall. It was about Peavy, Young, and Lee all getting ejected after the rumble.
And this isn't the end of it. There will be repercussions. There will be suspensions. Greg Maddux is pitching tomorrow, and he's old school enough that I would expect retaliation if it wasn't for the history he has with this Cubs team. Tomorrow's game just got very interesting.
All I have to say right now is that Chris Young must be a huge douchebag to get DLee that riled up. Lee knows what's up, he's a good guy and he doesn't start throwing hands for no good reason. After getting beaned in what was almost the face, Lee said something to Young which I couldn't make out. Young's response looks like it must have been completely out of line as Lee's reaction was instant, stopping dead in his tracks. "What?". And then everything exploded. In the midst of the ensuing fight, somehow Zambrano's belt came off. I like to think he was planning on beating someone with it.
I'll probably be back tonight with more thoughts on the topic. Until then if you need more details, every sports show in the country will have them.
With two balls "interfered" with due to leaning over the baskets, I was starting to get nightmarish flashbacks to the Bartman game. After that second one, Floyd pulled an "Alou" and I truly felt like he was going to rip that guy's head off.
Luckily, we didn't bend over after the altercations and got the Win.
Funny thing: I'm almost positive I personally know the guy that messed with D-Lee's double. I think I met him in the bleachers a few weeks back and talked with him -- pretty sure he has nothing more to do with his life than wear camo pants and chase fly balls that leave the field of play. So I obviously had a good laugh when I saw his mug on the TV today.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
That's right, Izturis came through in the clutch to put the Cubs ahead, and they actually won a series. Against an AL team. With a winning record. I know, I find it hard to believe too.
Also, Koyie Hill got another hit, raising his average up to .182, or 6 points higher than Jason Marquis. At least now I will almost feel comfortable about the Cubs using him as a pinch hitter.
But of course, when the Cubs finally win 2 in a row, so do the Brewers. We're still 5.5 games back.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
That's right. He throws sidearm, and he's a lefty. Apparently that's a rare combination. Let's just hope the Mariners aren't used to it tomorrow.
[Image courtesty of a 3 year old article from The State News]
We were expecting this move to happen once Aramis rejoined the lineup, but with the recent sub-2 inning starts by Lilly and Marquis, it looks like Lou decided he needed another arm in the 'pen, and quickly. So the Cubs called up left-hander Clay Rapada, a reliever that I've never heard of. Hopefully he can help us keep the momentum that the team has had over the past week or so.
So with this development, new questions arise. Does Clay stay when Aramis gets back, or do we just send him right back to Iowa? How hard will it be to dump off Jacque Jones on an unsuspecting team? Any chance we can get Farnsworth back so he can get in a fight with Barrett and put him out of commission? Hopefully we'll get most of these answered soon enough, and if we could manage to trade Jones straight up for Farnsie that would answer all three. Brilliant.
If you wish to pay your respects to the memory of Matt Murton in the Majors, head on over to Thunder Matt's Saloon. They're acting tough about all of this, but I'm sure they could use some comforting.
Today on ESPN's Around the Horn the panel discussed Michael Barrett's place on the current team. A few points against his behalf were brought up.
EDIT: The Pardon the Interruption guys think that there is either a 65% (Tony) or 0% (Wilbon) chance that Barrett will back next season. Hard to believe we're making this much news on a Red Sox/Yankee heavy network.
1) The Zambrano Fight: Both guys claim to have put this behind them, but there is speculation that bad blood still could be lingering. This is fueled by the fact that he hasn't caught Carlos since the altercation.
2) Catching Big Z: Probably the more relevant reason for Barrett's absence when Z is on the mound is the fact that Carlos simply has better stats when Hill or the illustrious Henry Blanco catches him. Much better. I can't determine if this is pure coincidence or deeper than that.
3) Rich Hill: Though small, Barrett and the young Hill had sharp words for each other in last night's game. This begs the question as to what Mikey is doing to piss off all his pitchers? People might argue that the catcher-pitcher relationship is a huge part of the game of baseball, I have no idea...but it makes sense.
4) Terrible Defense: Everyone knows Mike is an offensive catcher, and as long as he is scoring more runs than his terrible defense is giving up, I think no one should give a flying ****. However, right now that is not the case. He is struggling and his defense is staying constant at horrible. I've been screaming for Henry Blanco to get more playing time, hopefully he will get some after he gets back.
So there you go, I'm not sure where I stand on this whole thing right now. I love Mikey, but I love the Cubs more. As much as it hurts me to say it, if he can't do the job, maybe we should move him while he still has some good value. I dunno.
Hit us up with a comment if you've got a view point on this.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Only the Cubs can figure out how to get everyone on (most of the time with no outs) and fail do drive them in.
The casual observer would figure that the Cubs need to bolster their bullpen if they aim to make a run at the post-season. I concur. As much as I love every player on this team, nothing gets the heart beating faster than when Lou makes the call to the boys down the foul line.
To rectify this, I naturally look to the one area where the Cubs seem to have plenty of help: the outfield.
J. Jones (aka Mr. Rally Killer), could hold some value when it comes to picking up an extra arm in the bullpen. He has really yet to play up to his contract, so we'd probably have to take a net loss in getting rid of him, but with Floyd begging for (and deserving) more playing time, this seems like a logical choice.
I still consider Matt Murton a prospect at this point, because even though he's been playing with us for a while, he still plays like a AAA call-up. Dropping flies is just unacceptable, not to mention he isn't getting enough at-bats to get into a groove. I for one wouldn't lose sleep if we moved him.
That's all I have for now. Comments, as always, are welcome for discussion.
If you bother to read the link, you'll figure out that Fontenot and Theriot have quite a bit in common (including silent "t's" at the end of their names).
Here's to more of what they achieved last night (a couple of nice double plays and half of the Cubs scoring). It's going to be tough for Lou to break this duo up when Aramis finally is ready to go. And I hope he doesn't,
Monday, June 11, 2007
I'm sick of everyone sticking a fork in this team. With so much time left, and the Brewers tanking, I'll take the Cubbies any day of the week.
AND With Ichiro coming to town tomorrow, I like our chances at gaining a few more games on the central lead this week.
So yeah. Go Cubs.
On Thursday, Rich Hill tore the Braves apart with his pitching. This did not make Bobby Cox happy.
On Friday, Soriano hit three home runs. That's more than you, me, and everyone I personally know will hit in a lifetime. That is a big deal.
Saturday started off with Soriano getting beaned with the first pitch of the game by Hudson. Both benches were warned. A few innings later, Sean Gallagher was beaned by Peter Moylan. The umpires did nothing.
Sunday, Ted Lilly got the first two batters out, then beaned Edgar Renteria. The benches emptied, nothing major happened, and Ted Lilly was thrown out of the game. Wait, what? The umpire tossed Ted Lilly with no warnings in the first inning? Then Edgar Renteria stole second and clotheslined Mike Fontenot.
There's a few things I notice about that picture. First of all, he's sliding and his leg is past the bag at this point. I'm sorry Mr. Renteria, I'm sure you're extremely stupid, but I don't believe that you're that bad at sliding into a base. Secondly, one of your arms is around Mike's neck, and the other is behind your back grabbing his glove. Either you are practicing your contortionist routine, or you are an enormous douchebag and I hate you. I now wish you to lay in a deep, dark hole and die, Mr. Renteria. Thank you.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Alright so maybe that's a little extreme. I know it's still a early to be freaking out, and we're making progress and all that, but what the heck? Two straight come from ahead losses against the Braves? What is wrong with you people?
If we can't take the one game series from the Astros tomorrow I'm gonna have to start throwing things.
Friday, June 8, 2007
And on that day, the 8th of June in the year 610398 AC, in this the 59th game of the season, there shall arise one amongst you who shall do great things. Three times he shall step up to the plate, and three times he shall launch a ball over the wall. There will be much rejoicing amongst my chosen people, and much gnashing of teeth amongst the Atlantean hordes. This will be a sign to you. You shall find him in left field, wearing the number 12, and you shall call him Soriano.
Then last year some shady deals were made to disband the Chief Illiniwek mascot at the University of Illinois. Many alumni pledged to withhold donations as a result of this decision. This hit close to home for me, not because I go to that school but because I live in the state. It's about three hours away from me, so literally it's fairly close. Not that I would give any money to my alma mater either way, I've already given them enough.
Personally, I think that removing a mascot because it offends an imaginary tribe is silly. And who said a warrior has to refer to an Indian warrior? If we're going to go this far, then I say everyone from Greece needs to protest the Michigan State Spartans, because they're no longer around to defend themselves (stupid Persians). And comic book fans from across the world should be knocking at Michigan's door to protest the Wolverines (I'm not a big fan of the state of Michigan, if you can't tell).
This political correctness has not made its way to the professional sports world yet, which is where Rich Hill comes in. Hill has obviously noticed how politically incorrect it is for the Atlanta Braves to exist, and for their fans to wave their tomahawks about. If no one else is going to do something about this, he will.
Over four starts against the Braves in 2006 and 2007, Hill has pitched 28 and 2/3's innings, giving up only 3 earned runs and compiling a 3-0 record. That's a 0.94 ERA over 4 starts. Now all the Cubs have to do is convince him that calling a team the Cardinals is an insult to the peacefulness of the state bird of Illinois and getting to the playoffs should be a breeze.