Saturday, April 7, 2007

The way things should be

Today's game was how Cubs games are supposed to be. Zambrano pitches relatively well, Aramis hit a home run, game is done by 3. Just how I like it. Now I'm going to go watch some MLS games. Yeah, that's a joke. Sorry.

Game Summary for April 7th, 2007
  • Score: Cubs defeat the Brewers, 6-3
  • Player of the Game: Aramis Ramirez. His two run homer was the only real offensive highlight of the game, the offense was solid as a whole but no one really stood out. Zambrano and Blanco each had RBIs, which is interesting, but not enough to earn them this honor.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Jacque Jones. Not really sure why, but he's starting off with a poor April again. Better to get on his case early, so when he's still horrible a month from now I can say I told you so.
  • Comments: Zambrano was solid today, though not stellar. Three earned runs in seven innings, two walks, six K's. He still has a way to go until he gets into top form. The offense played well today, as everyone in the starting nine had a hit other than Blanco. He did have a sacrifice fly for an RBI though, so he did his part. Soriano needs to get hot soon, going 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts is not what we're paying him for.
  • Magic Number: 159.

DeRosa-Bonds HR Update

Marky Mark: 2
Barry: 1

The rivalry is heating up quick.

Friday, April 6, 2007

That's What I'm Talkin About

I was about half-way through this post and Firefox froze on me. Not cool Mozilla, I thought you were better than Microsoft. Now I see you're just living a lie.

Because of this I'm gonna keep this relatively short. Rich Hill was completely dominant, and that first inning of offense for the Cubs was all we needed. Now, on to the summary.

Game Summary for April 6th, 2007
  • Score: Cubs defeat the Brewers, 9-3
  • Player of the Game: Rich Hill. Best stuff any of the pitchers have had so far, 78 pitches, 58 strikes, 0 walks, one hit. I know I keep picking pitchers for this, but they've all been solid other than Zambrano. Shame on you Carlos.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Nobody. I don't think even Lou can be angry after a game like that. Everyone will sleep in peace tonight in Wrigleyville.
  • Comments: Like I said, Rich Hill was completely dominating tonight. The first inning saw some very solid offense, and Mark DeRosa got his second home run of the year, along with the second for the entire team. Ronny Cedeno was the next Cub to connect, and he now has more home runs than Soriano, DLee, and Aramis combined. Something is wrong there.
  • Magic Number: 160 and falling fast.

It's Like Easter, but the Cubs are rising from the dead instead of Jesus

If you're not watching the game right now, turn it on. WGN. Now. The Cubs are tearing the cover off the ball, it's the first inning, the Brewers already have a man warming up in the bullpen, DeRosa just hit his second home run of the year (he's still the only Cub with any), and we're up 6-0. So turn it on. I'll be back after the game with a giddy recap, assuming Hill can keep it together.

BP (April 6th, 2007)

RFS here with some extra thoughts in a little post that will from now on be titled Batting Practice.
  • Congrats to Marky Mark on being the first Cubs batter to knock one out this season. The DeRosa-Bonds Home Run Race has officially kicked off.
  • The Cubs have announced that the team will no longer wear their blue alternate jerseys. Carlos Zambrano, who as the starting pitcher often chooses the blue over the traditional uniform, has stated that he will not sign a new contract until the decision is reversed.
  • While other team members used Tuesday's day-off to shame the organization's name, Henry Blanco was in Key West after being subpoenaed in a court case involving one of his agents. We can now add "Fighting Injustice" to Henry's already impressive list of accomplishments (which include "Knocking Up Anna Nicole Smith" and "Sexiest Player on the Team").
  • Speaking of Blanco, here's hoping that Lou comes to his senses and gives him a start or two this weekend. Seeing as Barrett is 0 for 11 to start the season (not to mention a passed ball or two), I think it's time to put Henry in the 2-spot and let his career .225 average do the talking.
  • And finally, props to Jason Marquis for doing the number 21 proud in his first start. After hearing TigerLilly was shot down by management for asking to wear #31 (Greg Maddux and Fergie Jenkins), Jason decided #21 was a pretty safe choice, considering no Cub-great has ever worn it.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Cruel Irony

So for the second day in a row, the starting pitcher that I fully expected to bomb pitched very well. Except this time our bullpen, which is supposed to be awesome, failed miserably. Disappointing to say the least. That's all I have to say about that, I'm too depressed to elaborate.

Game Summary for April 5th, 2007
  • Score: Cubs lose to the Reds, 5-2
  • Player of the Game: Jason Marquis, for pitching completely the opposite of what his stats suggested. Runner-up goes to Mark DeRosa for hitting the Cubs' first and only home run of the year thus far.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: The entire bullpen. Most notably Will Ohman for his horrific display of pitching against Adam Dunn.
  • Comments: This game was completely awful from the 7th inning on. Bullpen was terrible and the offense had nothing. We left 14 men on base, completely unacceptable. And our leadoff man that we're paying $17 million for this year alone? One for five. Had a chance to get things going in the ninth, but he struck out. Soriano is the anti-clutch.
  • Magic Number: 162. Pittsburgh is 3-0?

You want me to wake up before noon? What?

I like a day game as much as the next guy, but today's game starts at 11:35. In the AM. That's just crazy talk.

Todays game features two pitchers who had very interesting years last year. Cincinnati's Kyle Lohse had a 5.83 ERA in 2006, while our pitcher Jason Marquis posted a whopping 6.02 ERA last year. This could be a fun game to watch. I'm predicting many home runs for both teams. Hopefully just our team, but I'm a realist.

Just read the preview on the Cubs' website and I noticed this great piece of writing.

Marquis got to work quickly this offseason. He met with Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild in Florida before the right-hander even signed with the team to go over mechanics. Marquis' former teammate Greg Maddux had encouraged the two to get together.

"I knew I wasn't far off," Marquis said when he signed with the team. "Knowing the knowledge Larry had, they said he would be a good guy to see. It was nothing more than to get my mind right and get in a positive frame of mind."

The problem was mechanics, and Marquis said he wasn't far off. But the tweaks that Rothschild made helped him. If he can get his sinker in sync, Marquis will have success.

Wow. Just stellar writing, Ms. Muskat. Maybe if I repeat myself a couple of times in every article I write someday I'll get to write for the Cubs too.

And here I thought the White Sox were the white trash team

Different people deal with disappointment in a lot of different ways. Some cry, some get angry, after the Opening Day game I tried to forget about it by watching the Ohio State game, and once they lost I had to turn to Grand Theft Auto to release my anger towards the whole day. The Cubs players, however had a different way of coping with their failure. They decided to go watch some fake sports so they could forget about the real one they were just dominated at. That's right people, they went to see Monday Night RAW.

Mr. Howry, your wife Dena would kindly ask you to remove your hand with
your wedding ring from Victoria's posterior region. Thank you.

Courtesy of Wrigleyville23.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Who the Hell is William Marovitz?

He used to be a state senator and now he's a real estate developer. He's loaded and he, along with some of his buddies, wants to buy the Cubs.

Most importantly, his wife is Christie Hefner. Yes, that Hefner. The one that is the Chief Executive Officer of Playboy and daughter of The Legend.

I just wanted to take a moment to speculate what his ownership could possibly mean for the team:

1) New Food Vendors. -- Think Hooters, but with popcorn, crackerjacks, and cotton candy.

2) 'Adults Only' sections at the winter Cubs Conventions. -- Take a picture with Alfonso Soriano your favorite centerfold.

3) Playboy photo shoots at Wrigley. -- Nothing is hotter than a babe wearing a Cubs shirt that was made for a toddler, nothing except for when that shirt comes off and she's suddenly tanning nude with two of her friends in the bleachers.

You get the idea.

I say if we can't have Mark Cuban, this Willaim Marovitz is our guy.


Just call me Skilling

Tom Skilling, that is. You know, the friendly, bald, brother of a corrupt Enron executive, meteoroligist for WGN? Me and Tom, we're alot alike. We both wear glasses (sometimes), we both talk about the weather alot (There's a 20° wind chill out right now. In April. Ridiculous), and we both make predictions based on trends that can be completely off at any time. The difference is, he gets paid good money for his predictions and never has to apologize. Me, well so far this a "just for fun" endeavor. And I'm willing to admit when I was wrong. So here goes.

Ted Lilly, I'm sorry for doubting you. I'm sorry I called you underachieving and overpaid, so far it looks like you're not an underachiever. One good game does not make you worth $10 million a year though, no matter how phenomenal it was. Keep it up and maybe I'll retract the overpaid tag too.

To the other new players I've been harassing, Cliff Floyd and Mark DeRosa, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe Jim Hendry does know a thing or two about baseball after all. In fact the only one of the new guys who sucked tonight was Soriano. Ouch.

Game Summary for April 4th, 2007
  • Score: Cubs defeat the Reds 4-1
  • Player of the Game: Ted Lilly. Amazing pitching, took a no hitter into the 5th inning, got 9 K's, started off the year with a 1.29 ERA, and even got himself an RBI.
  • Subject of Lou's wrath: Ryan Dempster. I didn't actually get to watch the game, but apparently he was all over the place and Lou was not happy. For a full transcript of that conversation, check out the post by RFS below this.
  • Comments: Again, my apologies to Lilly and DeRosa, both performed better than expected. Ramirez is staying strong too which is a nice change from last year. Lee is performing well as always, and the others.....well they need some work. But just remember, this was only the second game of the season. We'll have a better idea of how everyone's doing a couple of weeks in. Also, no home runs yet for the Cubs. Mildly disappointing given the power we have in the lineup, but a win is a win.
  • Magic Number: 162

Cubs Win!

Stuck should be along later to give the recap for those of you who missed out on this one, but I just wanted to congratulate the Cubbies on their first win of the season. Thank God it didn't take too long to get it.

TigerLilly sure looked worth the money tonight. I only hope for his sake that he keeps it up, cause we all saw how pissed Louie got with Dempster and his lack of control in the 9th.

Here's the transcript from that mound visit after Ryan's first pitch to Griffey missed by 3 feet:

Lou storms out of the dugout with the rage of a thousand Spartans.
Barrett (hiding a smile with his mitt): "Oh Sh*t."
Pinella steps to the mound (his head about to explode) : "Throw a f***ing strike!"
Dempster nods his head, cowering in fear.
Lou spins around and walks back.

Demp was lucky Lou didn't get back to the dugout in time to see his next ball.

But it all worked out, we got the win. And so we say:

"Raise the W Flag."


Today's Gameplan: Bean Bronson Arroyo. Repeatedly.

The Cubs face off against the Reds today for their second game of the season. Pitching for the Boys in Blue Gray is none other than the $40 million dollar man, Ted Lilly. If you've read any of the previous posts, you probably know how I feel about Ted Lilly. He's underachieving, overpaid, and the reigning symbol of the organization's excessive spending spree over the winter. Today, he has the opportunity to prove me wrong. The most effective way for him to do this would be to bean Bronson Arroyo, a pitcher I despise even more. Bronson has long, flowing, golden locks of hair, a painfully awkward windup, and a tendency to hit home runs against the Cubs, and only against the Cubs. If Lilly hits him twice in this game he will have earned his pay. If he can manage to convince the ump that both times were a mistake and pegs Arroyo a third time, the man deserves a bonus. I'm fully expecting him to pitch terribly though, and it will be up to the Cubs' bats to dig us out of the hole he will create. Today could be a tough game.

Bronson should have tried cheerleading in college.

On a side note, RTWF has hit the big time! Well not really, but considering we've only been at it for a week, I'm pretty happy with where we are. Today we were linked to by the good people over at Thunder Matt's Saloon, which is significant because it's a Cubs blog that I've actually read before. And they're linked to by View From the Bleachers, who is linked to by Bleed Cubbie Blue, which means we're practically famous. Or at least that's how I see it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

If he pitched for the Reds, we'd still be in the first inning

One of the highlights of yesterdays game, actually probably the only highlight other than Murton's diving catch, was the opening pitch thrown out by Cincinnati mayor, Mark Mallory. Found a video of it today, and an amusing description of it over at With Leather.

The sad thing is, he didn't look much worse than Carlos Zambrano yesterday.

Feel Good Moment of the Day

If there is any glimmer of light that we can take from such a disheartening day, it's the story of Red's reserve Josh Hamilton.

Originally the overall number 1 draft pick in 1999 by the D-Rays, Josh was actually picked up by the Cubs before being immediately sold off to the Reds.

But several early injuries forced Hamilton away from the game before he got really got going in the minors. And what happens when baseball players get bored?

They start drinking heavily and doing crack.

Yes, what is truly amazing about this story is the utter praise that the ESPN commentators had for the ex-drug addict and former alcoholic during today's game.

And so it was no surprise that when Hamilton was called on to pinch-hit in the eighth, ESPN decided not to go to commercial. Rather, they glorified this ex-junkie and his 3 minute standing-ovation, calling it a tremendous display of character and saying that he had overcome all odds.

Needless to say I was sick of all this bullshit. "Yay, lets all hear it for the rehabbed." No one ever gives Robert Downey Jr. (who touched so many hearts in The Shaggy Dog, with fellow abuser Tim Allen) a standing-o.

And as every heart in Cincinnati skipped a beat when Josh connected on a pitch from Will Ohman, one man -- one drug-free, self-respecting man -- finally put his foot down.

Matt Murton made a beeline for the liner, diving to rob Hamilton of his first Major League hit.

And that felt great.

Monday, April 2, 2007

In hindsight, I bet Big Z wishes he had already signed that extension

Today is not going to help Carlos Zambrano's case at all when they're negotiating over his contract extension. It was by far the worst display of baseball I have seen since last September. You might be thinking right now, "But they haven't played since September." Well you'd be wrong, they played in Spring Training. And I only watched one game. And they didn't suck nearly this much.

Every cloud has a silver lining though, and this game was really just one big, dark, gloomy, depressing storm cloud. So there has to be an upside to it. Take a look at the results of the past season openers the Cubs have had and how their seasons turned out:

  • Season Opener: Win against the Reds, 16-7
  • Season Results: 66-96, worse than the Pirates
  • Season Opener: Win against Arizona, 16-6
  • Season Results: 79-83, 21 games out of first
  • Season Opener: Win against the Reds, 7-4
  • Season Results: 89-73, actually a better record by one game than 2003 but the season was viewed as a disappointment because we missed the playoffs by two games
  • Season Opener: Win against the Mets, 15-2
  • Season Results: 88-74, almost made it to the World Series but we dropped the ball (literally and figuratively) in the NLCS. Biggest disappointment since the summer of '69.

So there you go. In the past four seasons we've always started things off very well, and everything spirals out of control from there. So this year we lost, so what? It can only get better from here. I have high hopes that this just means that this season is going to be completely different from the previous four.

Game Summary for April 2nd, 2007:
  • Score: Cubs lose to the Reds, 5-1
  • Player of the Game: Matt Murton. Scored the Cubs' only run and made a great diving catch late in the game.
  • Subject of Lou's wrath tonight: Carlos Zambrano. Absolutely terrible pitching, does not bode well for the rest of the season.
  • Comments: I've said all that needs to be said. Let's just get ready for the next game people. If we can take the series my hope will be fully restored.
  • Magic Number: Still 163

Opening Day Commentary

I can't believe I just sat through that. How painful.

Anyways, if you're looking for my running commentary from today's horrid game, it can be found here.


And there was much rejoicing.

After years of iron-fisted stinginess, most of us were just a little surprised when the Tribune Co. gave Jimmy the greenlight to break the bank. Well today, several months (and $300 Million) later, the truth behind all this finally comes to light.

They were never planning on paying for any of it.

Thats right, on this glorious day (Monday: April 2, 2007), the Tribune Company announced their intention to sell the Cubs after being bought out in what the newspaper giant called "an epic corporate struggle." Whatever that is...

Here at, the theory is that the Trib is betting on this team's stock (which is estimated to be upwards of $600 million) rising over the next few months. And considering all the new acquisitions, a good showing by the team this season would undoubtedly add a few more dollars to the team's value.

So here's wishing that the Cubs stock does rise, even if the Tribune banks off our impending success. This is perhaps the best Opening Day present any Cubs Fan could ask for (besides a nice pounding of the Reds later this afternoon).


The Day is Mine

Opening Day is finally here and the Cubs kick off their hopeful season in approximately three hours. We'll be doing something for the game, not sure exactly what yet but it will probably amount to writing a running commentary after each inning. Who knows, plans change. So stop on by after 1 PM and find out what we've got going on.

Breaking News: 'Big Z' Is Full Of It

Well I don't know if four hours after the fact is really "breaking news" but none of the newspapers have it yet right? The Cubs website is reporting that Carlos Zambrano has finally come to his senses and isn't going to spend the entire season hating everyone and telling the Cubs to shove it:

Zambrano and the Cubs are thought to be discussing a five-year deal worth about $80 million. The ace right-hander had previously stated that he did not want to negotiate past Monday's opener against the Reds.

"Our discussions have progressed to a point where we are extending the deadline for an indefinite period of time," Zambrano's agent, Barry Praver, said on Sunday.

It's good to know that our ace pitcher isn't some lunatic who sets threatening deadlines and refers to himself in the third person.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Told you

"the first pitch of the 2007 Major League Baseball season will be caught by a St. Louis Cardinal"

Low and inside. Yadier Molina. Cardinals lose.

F yeah.

When Your Expectations are This Low...

Cubs fans know a lot about low expectations. In 2003 when we made it to the NLCS the entire city of Chicago went crazy because we hadn't won a playoff series in decades. Back in '98 we were ecstatic to just make it to the playoffs. This is why the Cubs keep setting attendance records even though last year was the most God-awful display I've seen in my short life. Well it's probably also because going to Wrigley is the cool thing to do, but can you really blame us for being cool? No, you can't.

The bullpen in the past few years has kind of been like the Cubs in the past few decades. It's been so terrible that we just stop expecting it to be good. So when it finally has a decent year we get all excited and pretend like it's amazing. It didn't have to be this way though.

The list of Cubs closers in the past is actually pretty impressive. Joe Borowski, Flash Gordon, Rod Beck, LaTroy Hawkins, Antonio Alfonseca, and Rick Augilera, to name a few. And that's all in the past 10 years. Sure there were a few good years, Rod Beck had 51 saves in the glorious '98 Wild Card season, Borowski had some really good streaks in 2003 and pulled off 33 saves, but the rest were terrible. And most of them were good pitchers before they came here. I guess there's just something in the water.

Here's hoping that this years bullpen gives me something to talk about a few years down the road.

A face only a mother could love. Or thousands of high school girls.
Neal Cotts
  • Salary: $825,000
  • Key Stat: 1.94 ERA in 2005, 5.17 ERA in 2006
  • Comments: First things first, Neal is fresh from the Black Sox. So I should hate him. But he's got a couple things going for him. First of all, he had an amazing year in 2005 when the Sox won it all, which shows me he can pull through and he knows what it's like to play for a winner. Secondly, he's cheap. No extravagant spending tag for this guy. Plus, he makes the ladies swoon. Wait, that's a reason why I would hate him. And I hate him because he was horrible last year, and the Cubs seem to have a thing for picking up pitchers hoping they will return to their former greatness.

"Maybe I suck. But at least my name isn't Kerry Wood."
Angel Guzman
  • Salary: No idea. I'm guessing he's cheap.
  • Key Stat: 7.39 ERA
  • Comments: Guzman and Cotts are both basically failed starting pitchers. Both tried to get a spot on the rotation, both failed, and both are now sitting in the bullpen. But whereas Cotts is normally a reliever anyways and he doesn't suck, Guzman was bred to be a starter and well, he does suck. Badly. I have no faith in the kid.

Even in Iowa, Ohman was a stud.
Will Ohman
  • Salary: $900,000
  • Key Stat: 2.91 ERA in 2005
  • Comments: I like Will Ohman for some reason. His career has been rough, he missed a solid three years in the majors due to a couple of elbow surgeries but followed that up with a stellar 2005. And last year he had stretches of greatness, mixed in with some horrible games. So I have high hopes for him this year.

"Wow it's hard to pitch when you're constipated."
Michael Wuertz
  • Salary: $380,000
  • Key Stat: 2.66 ERA in 2006
  • Comments: Wuertz is the workhorse of the bullpen. All through last year, he was the reliable reliever, the one you bring in when the bases are loaded and you need that last out. Which is why I don't understand how he only pitched 40 and 2/3 innings last year. But that does help explain why we fired Dusty Baker.

"I have a tie. And a goatee. Therefore, I'm cooler than you."
Scott Eyre
  • Salary: $3.5 million
  • Key Stat: Has only allowed 18.5% of inherited runners to score since 2002 (lowest in the majors)
  • Comments: Eyre is one of the two quality setup men that we picked up before the 2006 season. He's probably one of the more consistent pitchers we have, which is especially rare to come by with this organization. Probably one of the best setup men in baseball, which would be really great if we had a decent closer than could finish off the games.

Why does everyone have to be from the White Sux?
Bob Howry
  • Salary: $4 million
  • Key Stat: 2.82 ERA over the past three seasons
  • Comments: Howry is the other quality setup man that we picked up before the 2006 season, and he's an anomaly because he was actually pitching well the year before we picked him up, and not five years before. Likely our best reliever, I honestly believe we could fix a lot of problems if we put him at closer, used Wuertz and Eyre as setup men, and sent Dempster down to AA ball. That's right, it's West Tennessee for you buddy. Which brings us to the man himself.

...I cannot describe this with words.
Ryan Dempster
  • Salary: $5 million
  • Key Stat: A paltry 24 saves last year
  • Comments: I feel bad for Dempster. A former starting pitcher with decent stats, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery and had the unfortunate luck of having the Cubs take a chance on him. I'll give credit where credit is due though, in 2005 he was solid. Last year though, he was 24-33 in save opportunities. That's 72%. Basically one in every four games where the Cubs were ahead by three or less going into the ninth, he would blow it. I understand he wasn't working with the best team last year, but come on. A 4.80 ERA? Are you throwing the other team wiffle balls?
So there you have it, a review of the entire 25-man roster, spread out over three laborious posts. All that's left then is to review the coaching staff, and I don't know if I have the heart to do that. All you need to know is that if Lou doesn't return to old form and pulls a Dusty Baker, it's going to be a long year. All I want for Christmas (Opening Day) is to see him punt first base. Please?

"Soy Dannielynn's Padre"

(Las Vegas)

That's right, late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning), Henry Blanco came clean as to his rumored involvement with the late Anna Nicole Smith.

Wobbling out of a Las Vegas strip club around 2am after paying for the lap dances of youngsters Rich Hill and Ronny Cedeneo, Blanco drunkenly proclaimed that he could no longer live a lie.

"Si, si. It is mi. Soy el padre!"

This news comes out of months of speculation after Henry and Anna were seen together leaving a Los Angeles Chili's in December of 2005, which up until now coincidently coincided with the September 7th birth of the child.

"Mi love their quesadilla's."

Blanco went on to say that after seeing a white woman with the "culo of Mother Mary herself" (Anna Nicole) walk into the same Chili's that day, he knew she would be his.

Why Anna was in LA at the time is still unknown, but it is believed that Henry was in town visiting Paris;

his girlfriend of 12 years.

"I hope mi mamasita no find out."

When told of Blanco's comments, Manager Lou Pinella -- who's Cubs were in town for their spring-training finale against the Mariners-- just shook his head, "Thank God we have a day off on Sunday."

A voicemail left with Anna Nicole's camp was not returned.

Can't We Just Clone Zambrano Four Times?

Ok, so you've looked over the batting order for opening day and you're thinking to yourself "Wow, I'm impressed." As well you should be, the Cubs brought in some nice talent and resigned some key players over the offseason to make our lineup one of the most fearsome in baseball. But the Cubs have never really had problems scoring runs (last year doesn't count in my mind). Where we do usually have problems though, is with our pitching. Usually it's the bullpen that causes the headaches, but this year the rotation is taking the lead role in increasing aspirin sales. Let's have a look-see, shall we?

Carlos Zambrano
  • Salary: $12.4 million
  • Key Stat: Every stat he has is impressive.
  • Comments: Zambrano is the star of this team, Mark Prior be damned. The man is a workhorse, he piles on the innings, racks up the pitch counts, actually shows some emotion out there on the mound, and never gets injured. All of this is even more impressive when you realize that he plays for the Cubs. There were some tensions between him and the team this offseason, there still are, but he deserves every penny he makes. I'm not saying he deserves $18 million a year, but he definitely deserves at least as much as Zito is making. Zito is just overpaid.

"Wow I suck..."
Ted Lilly
  • Salary: $9 million (includes $4 million signing bonus)
  • Key Stat: Career 4.60 ERA, 59-58 W-L
  • Comments: Come again? Our second starter is a career .500 pitcher with a 4.6 ERA? And we're paying him $40 million over 4 years? I'll have some of what Jim Hendry is smoking please. This is what Zambrano should have been using in his negotiations. "You only want to pay me $11 million this year and you're giving this puta $9 mil? ¿Estás loco?"

"Wow Ted Lilly sucks"
Jason Marquis
  • Salary: $4.75 million
  • Key Stat: Career 4.55 ERA, 56-52 W-L
  • Comments: This makes two people that should be pissed off at how much Ted Lilly is making. Basically identical stats, Jason actually has the edge, and Lilly is raking in the dough. Lilly is averaging $3 million more a year over the length of his contract, and that's ridiculous. I know Marquis used to be a Cardinal, so by nature we start things off hating him, but that's in the past. He's a Cub now, and he deserves to be treated like one. Or maybe that has to wait until his initiation (when he breaks something).

"I look like I'm 14. WEEEEEE!!!"
Rich Hill
  • Salary: $380,000
  • Key Stat: 3-1 W-L with a 1.93 ERA in his last 6 starts last season
  • Comments: Rich hill had a rocky start last year, let's be honest. But I'm all about giving people second chances. He tore up the mound in September, the guy was amazing. Made us forget all about the money we had sunk into Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Why Lou feels like he deserves to be stuck in the fourth starting spot is beyond me. I have much more faith in this kid than in Lilly and Marquis combined.

"'re drunk. Gimme your keys."
Wade Miller
  • Salary: $1.5 million (with lots of performance bonuses)
  • Combined 31-12 record with a 3.45 ERA in 2001 and 2002
  • Comments: If Wade Miller manages to start in at least 30 games and pitch 200 innings, he stands to make a cool $5.8 million instead of that 1.5 number. Kinda wish all pitching contracts were written like that, don't you? He's been very shaky the past three years and has spent a good portion of time rehabbing his right shoulder, but he's looked strong in spring training and we know he can be great. He just needs to bring the greatness back. I hope working for an extra $4.3 million will help him do that.
So there's the rotation, as initially set by Captain of the Sinking Ship Lou Piniella. It has its flaws, no doubt about that. If Mark Prior can toughen up a bit and somehow make it back, all we need is for Ted Lilly to suffer a Prior-esque injury and I think we'll be set. I still can't figure out why we're paying him that much.

Sometime tomorrow I'll discuss the bullpen, to be honest I haven't even looked at who Lou has chosen yet. It could get interesting. See you then.