Saturday, June 16, 2007

And in This Corner, Weighing in at 245 Pounds...

Today should have been about Carlos Zambrano. The headlines should tell about a heartbreaking loss, where Big Z flirted with a no-hitter but ended up losing while pitching a 2-hit complete game. It should have been about the stellar defensive plays that were made, and how many times the Cubs infield pulled off double plays to get him out of a jam.

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.

Sosa Watch

Sammy hit home run 499 today for the Rangers. Why do I feel like he is saving 500 for us next week?

Multiple Bartman Sightings In Cubs Win

What a wacky game today. It's hard to believe, but Cubs fans (not the bullpen) almost blew it for the boys today.

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

Cesar Izuseless is....Useful

Picture this scenario. I'm relaxing on the couch watching a Cubs game. We're losing by one run, which is not surprising in the least. So naturally, I dozed off. I awoke to the sounds of my mother yelling at me that the Cubs scored and they were winning. When I opened my eyes I found this to be true. But then she told me that Cesar Izturis hit a two-run double to take the lead. This left me no choice but to call her a bold-faced liar and denounce her as my mother. Oops.

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

About this Clay Fella

There isn't much information available on Clay Rapada as far as I can see. I was able to dig up this photo however, and by dig up I mean it was the first thing that came up on Google Image Search:

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]

Thunder Matt Gets on the Bus to Iowa

Well, you knew something had to happen soon. The Cubs outfield was way too overcrowded and with the emergence of Felix Pie as the everyday center fielder there was only right field open each game, with four players looking for playing time. They either had to send down Pagan or Murton, and it looks like the fiery redhead chose the short straw.

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 Was a Good Day

Tonight the Cubs won a one-run game, Sean Marshall pitched extremely well, Ryan Dempster didn't blow a save, and Michael Barrett didn't get into a fight with a pitcher. I am pleasantly surprised. Keep it up boys.

More Trade Talk

NOTE: This is pure speculation by the staff here at RTWF.

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.

Go Cubs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bases Loaded

Maybe it's just me, but lately (ala the last week or so) I've been more nervous when we've had the the sacks juiced than in any other situation. Even runners on 2nd and 3rd gets my heart pounding.

Only the Cubs can figure out how to get everyone on (most of the time with no outs) and fail do drive them in.


Koyie Hill? Really?

The Cubs just lost in the 13th inning. This doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that Lou used Koyie Hill as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and the game on the line. I understand that it was a long game and we had already gone through 19 players, but this was a poor decision. We still had Sean Marshall, Ted Lilly, Scott Eyre, Michael Wuertz, and Jason Marquis available to hit. Of those 5, Lilly is batting .115 and Marquis is hitting an impressive .188. You may not think that is impressive, but you will once you consider that Koyie Hill was batting .067 before today. Now it's down to .063. Lou, come on, using your grandma would be a better choice than using Koyie. Marquis would have gotten the job done.

Trade talk

I'm not really sure there is any, so let's start up some rumors.

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.

Watch your back Izturis.

If you haven't been keeping up with the team lately, then you haven't heard about the newest double-play combo this season.

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

Write In Game

Big Z is finally starting to pitch up to his Cy Young predictions, thank goodness. AND he and Mickey shared a heartfelt hug in the dugout after his homerun (sniff sniff).

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.

So About This Braves Series...

So what I missed yesterday was the big picture of how everything went down. But now that I have collected all the facts, this is what actually happened.

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

Questions for Ryan Dempster

What are you doing pitching in the 8th inning? Did you ever think that maybe wild pitches are bad for you? Have you ever seen yourself in the mirror and broken down crying because even you hate Ryan Dempster? You can send your answers to these questions to the e-mail on the right. Thank you.

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.