Saturday, June 2, 2007

Lou Piniella is Who We Thought He Was

As you've probably already heard, Lou finally went overboard today. I didn't watch the ejection as it happened, but luckily for all of us the Cubs have a video of it up on their website.

As you can see in the video, Angel Pagan was thrown out at third base and Lou was not happy with that call. So he went through all the usual motions, throwing his hat to the ground, kicking dirt on the umpire's shoes, kicking more dirt on the umpire's shoes, screaming in his face while shaking his head back and forth in a silly way, more dirt, kicking the hat, more dirt, lather, rinse, repeat. It made it a lot funnier that the umpire was about half a foot shorter than he was.

But kicking dirt on an umpire's shoes is a very serious offense, as crew chief Bruce Froemming pointed out:

"He made physical contact with the third-base umpire," Froemming told a pool reporter. "He made physical contact with his foot, and he kicked dirt on [Wegner] several times, and the rest was show-and-tell.

"The whole world saw what he did," Froemming said. "It was a terrible display of disrespect and [the MLB office in] New York will be called immediately, and we'll take it from there."

*gasp*. Go ahead and call New York then. People in NY understand the difference between kicking an umpire and kicking towards the umpire. If "physical contact" is all that needs to be made to get someone in trouble, then I am violating my couch right now. Go ahead and call New York about that, ya pansy.

Obviously Lou just needed to release some of his pent up rage about managing one of the most embarrassing teams in baseball. We've had much worse calls this year that he didn't even talk to the umpires for. He was just trying to show the team that he cares about winning as much as Big Z, hoping they would put together a decent effort. Not happening. Therefore I propose a plan. Piniella gets himself ejected every game until we win three games in a row. He gets some stress relief, the fans will love it, and the umpires can complain some more to get their names in the paper. Everybody wins!

It just keeps getting worse

6 in a row isn't bad...wait...yes it is.

Congrats to Lou on his first ejection as a Cub. Hopefully there's more where that came from.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Oh My Blanco!

Look what happens when Henry leaves. After Lou announced that Blanco was to be Big Z's personal catcher, the stud catcher used incredible foresight and got himself onto the 15-day DL before the altercation today.

It is clear that for Carlos' own safety, Henry the Wise chose to avoid an imminent confrontation with Zambrano, knowing full well that he would have beat the snot out of the ace pitcher had he been behind the plate for todays game.

Obviously, Henry Blanco is the glue that holds this team together, the fabric that weaves Cubs Nation into its glorious being. Let us all hope for his speedy recovery.

Barrett Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine

The one thing that has really irked me so far this year about the Cubs is that no one on the team seems to give a crap about how well we do. Lou Piniella is notorious for his managerial tirades, and so far he's hardly better than Dusty Baker in the showing emotion department. He even admits that the art of the ejection can be used effectively to prove a point. The point he needs to make now is that he's emotionally invested in this team, and I have yet to see that.

Enter Carlos Zambrano, one of the most emotional people in baseball. Things weren't going his way today, and he desperately needed to take out his rage on something. Most people would choose a punching bag. He chose Michael Barrett. I completely approve.

The ironic thing about all this is that the Cubs are trying their hardest to get everything together. A couple days ago they held a team meeting, that night they lost 9-0 to the Marlins. Today was Michael Barrett's first day back from a "mental health break", and he gets socked by Big Z. This probably happened because Barrett can't speak Spanish like Hank White, who's out with a herniated disk in his neck. Our team is doomed.

Oh and in the midst of all this, the Cubs lost 8-5 while giving up 20 hits. That's almost half as many as Michael Barrett has all year. I just hope that these rumbles in the dugout will make the season more exciting.

EDIT: Found a video over at Wrigleyville23.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

You Don't Know What You Got 'Til It's Gone

Once upon a time, way back in 2005, the Cubs had Sergio Mitre. He wasn't very good, but he was a promising prospect. So of course before the 2006 season the Cubs traded him to the Marlins for a Juan Pierre. As things stand at the moment, the Cubs have neither Mitre nor Pierre, something that was painfully apparent last night when Mitre shredded the Cubs during 4 innings before leaving with cramps. But no matter who was pitching, the Cubs couldn't score anything en route to a 9-0 loss. I guess this just goes to show that meetings are a waste of time.

The Cubs have the day off today, which will hopefully give them time to find out where their talent and confidence is hiding. My guess is Larry Rothschild is sitting on it.

I guess it could be worse. Todd Wellemeyer could be your starting pitcher.

Friday's debacle starts at 1:20. See, I'm not even calling them games anymore, cause I know what they'll end up being. I'm psychic like that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've Almost Quit Caring

The Cubs lost their last two games to the Dodgers, 5-3 and 9-4. But you expected that to happen, and if you didn't, you need to wake up to reality. I keep thinking it's too early on to start declaring that the team is doomed, but then I realize that we just played our 50th game. That's almost a third of the way through the season people, and we're 5.5 behind the Brewers. Start worrying.

I don't feel like talking about the games, go read the summaries on ESPN if you really want to know what happened. But there are some other things that have caught my attention recently.

The first round of All-Star voting is in, and The $136 million man is in third place for outfield voting, proving that yes, it's just a glorified popularity contest. If you think Soriano is having a better year than Griffey, or Dunn, or even Geoff Jenkins, you are sadly mistaken. All Soriano has going for him right now is a .295 AVG. Then you add to that how Mets players have four of the positions locked up and there's some serious issues there. If you try to tell me with a straight face that David Wright is having a better year than Aramis Ramirez I will punch you right in the mouth. No joke.

Ever heard of Chuck Wasserstrom? What about Peter Chase? Me neither. Those two are the illustrious characters that the Cubs have chosen to be the faces of the organization for the First- Year Player Draft. Sending your Manager of Baseball Information doesn't seem like the best strategy, since that baseball information could be put to a better use teaching our bullpen how to throw strikes.

And in other breaking news, the Cubs need to work on their fundamentals. Wonder when they figured that out.

Tonight's game against the Marlins is at 7:05. Ted Lilly tries to continue his non-losing streak, which is apparently all our pitchers strive for now, against the suprisingly good Sergio Mitre. It seems like they always get better once they leave, doesn't it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Consistency is Not Our Strongest Area

Rich Hill got the May monkey off his back and finally pitched a good game in this, the most dismal of months. He went 6 innings yesterday, giving up zero runs and returning to April form. But of course the Cubs relievers couldn't hold the Dodgers scoreless in their three innings of work, so a solo home run was given up in 8th inning to Andre Ethier after the Cubs scored a run of their own. This brought the game to the 11th inning, where we kept the Dodgers hitless, but gave up three walks and then beaned Juan Pierre in the leg. Great way to give away a ball game.

I just have a few questions.
  • Why was Rich Hill taken out after 66 pitches Lou? I know he's not one of your ever so loved veterans, but come on! The kid finishes off the 6th inning with no runs and only 66 pitches, and the first thought that comes to your mind is 'Let's go to the bullpen'??
  • Scott Eyre? He hasn't pitched since May 20th, and there's a good reason for that. So why do you put him in during a tie game? And Lou, why didn't you punch him in the face once he got back to the dugout?
  • And finally, why do the Cubs always suck just enough to lose? Even Derrek Lee knows what I'm talking about.

"We need to be more consistent. It seems like every day, when we score eight runs, we give up nine, or when we score one, we give up two. We have to find a way to get over the hump. I don't have the answers. It's odd almost. We just come up short every day. We have to find a way to be the ones coming out on top."

My thoughts exactly Mr. Lee.

At the moment the Cubs are on their way to losing to the Florida Marlins, for whom it's been only about 3 years since they've completed dismantled and rebuilt their team. Here's some advice: completely forget the Cubs are even playing today, and go enjoy your Memorial Day. You'll thank me later.