Saturday, May 26, 2007

We've Been Plagiarized!

In the short, sad history of this blog (almost two whole months!), there hasn't been too terribly much to get excited about. The team hasn't been playing very well, and it's hard to get your foot solidly in the door when you're writing about a team that has hundreds of already established fan blogs. By far, the most exciting moment has been the writing of the Wade Miller Petition and being linked to from Deadspin for it. Easiest way to receive 1,000 instant hits from actual sports fans. It was a good day.

Earlier today, I was looking through our visitor statistics, and found that someone had found there way here from the phrase 'will ohman sucks'. This inspired me to find out where we stood on other interesting phrases. None of these searches use quotes.

From what I can tell, most of these results stem from my co-writer having the name right field sucks. You can search for the name of nearly anyone on the Cubs with sucks, and we'll show up there, mainly because more legitimate sports sites don't use the word sucks. We stick out our tongue and make farting noises at them. Let's look at some of the results that don't involve sucking.

What? This seems really low, so I tried to figure out why. First of all, there have been many petitions involving people named Wade, and/or Miller. Also, many of the sites in front of us are actually sites linking to our petition. But then I took a closer look at the first result, a profile from

Recognize any of that text? Hmmm, it looks exactly like what I wrote, but 5 hours after the fact. This date marks an exciting moment in my sports blogging career, the first date something I wrote was directly plagiarized! Nowhere in his "blog entry" does it mention my website, anything alluding to the fact that he didn't write it, and it doesn't even have the first letter of the first word. I don't know whether to feel honored or incensed.

What I find the most interesting in all of this is that he posted this before Deadspin actually linked to me, but after I emailed them with a link to it. This means either he is one of about 5 people who actually read this regularly, or he's actually Will Leitch going by a clever handle that includes neither Will nor Leitch. By the way, apparently his name is actually pronounced leech, like the blood sucking parasite. Anyways, I've told GameTrailers about this through their "Report" button, which required me to register and is now the reason that I will shortly be receiving spam from them. So hopefully it won't be up their much longer.

Ummm, most of that didn't have anything to do with baseball. Sorry about that. Go Cubs.

See? It's Not Just Us.

Much has been made of the repeated failures of the Cubs bullpen this year. Scott Eyre, Will Ohman, Bob Howry, and all the rest of them have been utter disappointments, with a few exceptions. But last night's game showed that we're not the only team with issues in that area, as the Dodgers bullpen gave up 7 runs in 7 innings. This allowed the Cubs to storm to a, 8-5 lead, which lasted for all of an inning. The Cubs would not be shown up, however, as the Howry-Ohman-Guzman trifecta handed the Dodgers 4 runs and the victory in the 9th. Howry and Ohman were responsible for all 4 of those runs will getting no outs. All those kids in AAA Iowa better start packing their bags for the bigs.

Today was a much better day. Carlos Zambrano decided to leave as little as possible to the bullpen, going 7 and 2/3's innings before Lou decided enough was enough. Ohman came in at that point and got the last out, leaving Dempster to pick up the easy save in the 9th. Cubs win 4-2. Also, Ramirez and DeRosa got the Cubs their first Back-to-Back Jacks of the season, which I'm sure made Ron Santo a happy man.

Tomorrow is the rubber game, with the struggling Rich Hill facing off against Randy Wolf, who would have an awesome and terrifying name if his first name wasn't Randy. That being said, I like our chances.

Friday, May 25, 2007

You Stay Classy, San Diego

San Diego is a pretty good team. Much better than we are at this point. This is why we dropped two out of three against them, which wasn't much of a surprise. On Wednesday night, Sean Marshall was absolutely stellar. Pitched 6 scoreless innings, and had one bad pitch in the 7th for a two run homer. Sadly, that was all the Padres needed as the Cubs decided that Marshall apparently doesn't deserve any run support. After all, that's the way it has always been, right? Len mentioned a statistic late in the game that I can't remember exactly, but I think it was that in Marshall's 10 major league losses, he has only received 10 runs of support from the offense. If he can hold the Padres to only two runs, we should win this game. No question.

Jason Marquis on Thursday gave up one run over 7 innings and still didn't get a win, though at least the Cubs did. This was due to a 9th inning rally that was started by DLee, and ended with the Cubs scoring 2 runs. Which is more than they scored all of the previous game. Sad. Howry was credited with the win in that one and Dempster received his 10th save of the season.

Tonight is a late late game, starting at 9:40 PM Central Time against the Dodgers. Ted Lilly is taking the mound for the Cubs, so we should have a decent shot at this. Just one question for everyone on the West Coast. Is it this bad for you when we have a 12:20 PM day game against a team like the Dodgers? Do you realize how hard it is to stay up until almost 1 in the AM to watch a baseball game. This one had better be exciting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rich Hill is Starting to Look Like, Well, Rich Hill

The Cubs are playing on the West Coast this week, meaning that their games will be ending somewhere in the vicinity of midnight, and I can do a write-up when I'm normally sitting at the computer anyways. Joy. Speaking of write-ups, there will be no more official Game Summary outline as their has been in the past. It was nice at first, but I got bored with it quickly and coming up with some of the items were a stretch. So I'm making an executive decision, the after game posts shall have no order at all. And I might even miss a few of them. Awesome.

So anyways, about the game. Rich Hill in May has posted a 5.87 ERA with a 1-3 record. In May of last year he had a 9.31 ERA with a 0-4 record. At least he's improving. As for tonight, he gave up 5 earned runs in 6 innings, including 4 homers. Not a pretty game. The Cubs played ugly baseball on the offensive side as well, as a Cliff Floyd RBI in the first was all they had in them.

On the upside though, Angel Guzman and Ryan Dempster both pitched, and neither gave up a run! Exciting! Even more so when you realize that Dempster is grooming Guzman to be his replacement. Dempster seems to think this will happen when he is moved to the rotation. I'm thinking it will be when Lou throws him out the door. We'll see who's right fairly soon I imagine.

Tomorrow is another late one at 9:05 PM, when Sean Marshall will make his 2007 debut. He shouldn't have too rough of a time, as the opposing pitcher is David Wells, who is but a shell of his former self. Marshall is the 7th starting pitcher the Cubs have used this year, compared to 8 they had used last year at this point. These uncanny similarities are not a good thing. Do us all a favor Sean, and keep the starting job this time around. And whatever you do, just keep Wade Miller away. Please.

The Sexiest Man in Baseball has Retired, and No One Gives a Crap

That's right people, I'm talking about Todd Walker. We here at RTWF annointed him the sexiest man in baseball way back when (meaning almost a full two months ago). The Shreveport Times of all places has announced that, at least for the moment, Mr. Walker has hung up the cleats. The Shreveport Times??!? I know this guy wasn't exactly a legend, but he was a good ballplayer and a huge star in college. And I know you don't have to be a Cubs fan who is comfortable with his sexuality to realize that he was, in fact, the greatest Man's Man to ever play the game. Just look at this 5 o'clock beard he was always sporting.

Apparently there was an article out about 10 days ago saying that Walker wouldn't accept a minor league assignment and would probably just give it up if cut by the A's. But why wasn't I told when it happened? I didn't even hear about it until I read something over at Ladies..., which with all due respect to them is not where I expect to hear about one of the greats retiring. It's a shame that this hasn't gotten more attention.

Todd Walker was batting .271 when this atrocity occurred. I think the Cubs could use him to replace that Mark DeRosa fella, who's sitting pretty at .239. Come on Hendry. A man like this is exactly what this team needs to add some spark.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Marshall Law

Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Cubs have brought up Marshall to pitch tomorrow, moving Guzman to the pen.

Neal Cotts...SEE YA. Go down to Iowa and un-break yourself.

And Go Cubs.

Take THAT, Crack Dealers

Well it's Tuesday, and I think I've finally recovered to the point where I can let everyone know just how awesome this series was. The whole weekend was kind of a blur, so for both your sake and mine I'm going to try to split this up into the different games that took place. Please note: this will be heavily biased, so if for some strange reason one of you Sox fans show up here and want to give me crap about whatever I say in the following paragraphs, I don't care. Start your own blog and rip on my people all you want there.

Also, I forgot to get pics until the last game, and they're all shot with my crappy camera phone. My bad.

Game 1: Cubs Win 6-3

The game started at 1:20 and I had a non-missable class that ended at 12:50, so I didn't have high hopes for getting to the stadium on time. But somehow I managed to convince my professor that the Cubs were more important than anything and made it to the ballpark with minutes to spare. Being at Wrigley when at least a third of the fans are cheering for the other team is a strange experience. Someone is going to cheer after every play, so you really have to be paying attention to what is going on. For example, when Ted Lilly throws a pitch to Tadahito Iguchi on a full count and people start cheering, you better make sure it was called a strike before you stand up and clap. Otherwise, you will feel like a moron when it turns out it was a walk. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

The Sox fans seem to have this chip on their shoulder because people only love their team when they play well. Because of this, someone was constantly starting a "Let's Go White Sox" chant. This chant was repeatedly met with loud booing until the offender shut up. As an alternative, some people joined in with a "F*** the White Sox" chant. I enjoyed those people.

As for the game, it was fun to watch. The thing about baseball games is that when you're heavily invested in a team, your mood at the moment completely depends on how that team is doing. So through the sixth inning I wasn't very happy. It didn't help that the girl sitting next to me that I invited to the game was more of a Sox fan than a Cubs fan. But Mr. Oxymoron came through with the 7th inning rally and it was all happiness from me after that. When Dempster came out we all got nervous, but everything turned out alright. Oh and I forgot to mention, I stayed up all Thursday night so I'm still not sure how I managed to stay awake through all of this.

Game 2: Cubs Win 11-6

Most of the time when I go to Cubs games I sit in the bleachers. For this series we were stuck in the back of the Terrace Reserved section, but I wasn't about to complain as long as I got into the game. Being enclosed under the Upper Deck makes you realize just how loud the crowd can get during a normal game. And this was no normal game.

In the eighth inning with the bases loaded, Lou decides to make a gutsy call and replace Daryle Ward with Derrek Lee. As soon as he steps out of the dugout, the crowd goes nuts. Apparently he wasn't supposed to come back until Tuesday (today). The time he swung was really awkward looking, and I was worried. Maybe it was too soon for him. The count worked its way to 3-1, and one of the guys I was with said "This is it, the 3-1 count". David Aardsma, the man we traded away for Neal Cotts, delivered the pitch. Lee connected. The crowd completely exploded. Loudest I have ever heard Wrigley in my relatively young life. I turned around looking for more people to high-five and came face to face with an unhappy Sox fan. I laughed inside, not knowing the carnage that was to come on Sunday.

Game 3: Cubs Lose 10-6

All of us Cubs fans were cocky for this one. People were in line to get in to the park holding up brooms, one guy even had a little one stuck in the back of his Cubs hat. But alas, it was not to be. On the way there the guy I had brought with who is almost as big of a Sox fan as I am a Cubs fan informed me that in the last four Sox games he had been to, the Sox hit a grand slam. I told him it wasn't happening today. I also bet him 5 bucks that both teams were .500 before the game. Looks like I was wrong on a lot of things.

The game wasn't so bad at one point. My friend commented to me about how "Wrigley is the World's largest gay bar". I responded with "Comiskey is the World's largest crack dealership". He then told me he makes good money selling that crack. At least they're proud of who they are.

I was sure we were going to win, we were facing a horrible relief pitcher in Masset and we had the new and improved Zambrano. The one that went 8 innings last game while only giving up one run. But now he's the one that amassed 7 earned runs in just less then seven innings. When Lou brought in Cotts and he served up that grand slam on a silver platter, I died a little on the inside.

Then the rain came down. As part of their "we really need to make money" program, the Cubs have put a logo in the middle of their tarp. I was not impressed.

Most of my group left at this point, but me and my Sox friend remained. We refuse to let a little water ruin our experience. While we were hiding in the warmer walkways behind all the seats, we found a window. Behind this window lies what I have good reason to believe is Lou Piniella's office. And by good reason I mean there are posters of him all over the walls. Note the blown-up cover of SI on the right.

Eventually the rain stopped and we moved up to the pricey seats. I would guess at this point there were maybe 3,000 people left. Pansies. We had a great view of the action, which turned out to be Cliff Floyd getting tossed from the game. We were screaming for Lou to go crazy, but he kept his cool and stayed in. That was thoroughly disappointing.

Something else I noticed was that Sox fans are very angry drunks. There were two separate people I saw that were starting fights for absolutely no reason, calling Cubs fans sore losers for leaving the game early and dropping F-bombs in front of 8 year olds. All of this anger came after the Pierzynski home run and while they were enjoying a comfortable lead. I couldn't understand what their problem was.

Overall, these were some of the best baseball games I've ever been to. I can only hope to be lucky enough to get tickets next year. Hopefully by then enough people will read this that one of them will have tickets and be kind enough to offer me one. But at the rate we're going I'll just have to find a friend that's a ticket scalper.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What the Floyd?

2007 Ejections: 1 - nil, Cliff Floyd leads Lou.

Suck the White Fox (Part 3)

It's OK Carlos, two out of three isn't too bad.

And we still have three more games to get our point across: The White Sox blow.


I have just one question for Stuck (our reporter in the field): Where the deuce are the game summaries?

Go Cubs.

STB: Crosstown Classic Edition

Wow. This has been an amazing series so far. I decided it would be slightly pointless to go over the first to games in one post and then do the third in a final post, so I'm saving it all for tomorrow after the game. Might be in a different format too, what I'm doing right now is boring me. Here's my random thoughts thus far and some linkage.

  • Baseball advertisers are terrible. The White Sox have laughably stupid billboards all over, and their team website proclaims "We Are CHICAGO Baseball". Umm, Mister Chicago Baseball, Derrek Lee would like a word with you.
  • Carrie Muskat is a boring, untalented writer.
  • Wrigley Field gets very loud when good things happen.
  • Grand slams are FUN!!
  • Tomorrow the Sox are starting Nick Masset instead of having Contreras go on 3 days rest. Massett has a 6.61 ERA as a reliever this year. Contreras must be a huge pansy.
  • Terrace Reserved seats aren't that bad, but they're no bleachers.
  • Don't sell your extra tickets to some guy who is just gonna turn around and sell them for more. You will get gypped.
  • It is possible to enjoy a game of baseball after pulling an all-nighter, yet slightly more difficult.
  • The Cubs sent down Fontenot for Carlos Marmol, meaning essentially we brought up Marmol for Rocky Cherry. One question for Lou: why?

That's all of got. Not so much links as random thoughts, many of which I will elaborate on tomorrow night. For now, time to rest up for the wrath of Carlos Zambrano coming down upon the White Sox tomorrow.

Suck the White Fox (Part 2)

Welcome back Derrek.