Keller is the hitting coordinator for the Cubs minor league program, he rotates among the different minor league teams and works with a number of different players. Lou decided to bring him up today to work with Felix Pie to try and figure out what he's doing wrong. Pie had a respectable .301 BA when he was in the minors and in his last year with AAA Iowa he was hitting .362, so Keller came up to try and help get him back in that groove. Instead of starting today Pie took extra batting practice with Keller present and watched video of his swing. Whatever Keller told him must have worked, as he came in to pinch-hit in the eighth inning and went yard for a three run homer, turning a tense Cubs-Mets game into a more relaxed affair. Whether Keller has already made a difference this soon or if Pie just got lucky remains to be seen, but at least it's nice to know that we can beat teams besides the Pirates. By the way, without those six games against Pittsburgh we'd only be 7-6 instead of 13-6. Scary, I know.
A few years back the Northside Baseball forums had a Q&A session with Keller, which you can find here. Some interesting stuff. I just hope he doesn't have to stick around for too long and Pie gets his groove back.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Also, because I was bored and thought it would be interesting, I've transcribed the conversation between these two old fogeys for easy dissection.
Some Old Guy: What is going on in right field? There's like 7 or 8 balls coming in here. Well I take that back, there's about 40 balls coming in here.
Your mastery of numbers here is astounding, old guy whose name I do not know. I'm sure from the booth 15 balls looks a lot like 40.
Marty Brennaman: Look at this. There are balls coming from all over the place. Left field, center field, right field.
Some Old Guy: Upper deck.
Brennaman: See this, this is the kind of thing quite honestly right now, that makes you want to see the Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans, and I can't atte-attest to the Yankees or the Red Sox because we don't see them with any degree of regularity unless it's interleague play, but far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league are those who follow this team right here. Throwing 15 or 18 balls onto the field there's absolutely no excuse for that and that is so typical of Chicago Cub fans. It's unbelievable.
Yes, I'm sure beating your team 12-3 must get really obnoxious after a while. And I'm curious as to how this is typical of Cubs fans, as it has never happened before. You can't compare this to throwing trash on the field, which is just gross and takes 15 minutes to clean up. This took about 1 minute and was funny. Get over it.
Some Old Guy: You know, I can understand throwing a ball back that's a home run ball. But you don't throw 18 balls out on the field that's stupid.
Brennaman: Oh no, You know, throwing the ball back that's great, and that's a Chicago Cub tradition that other people have copied around baseball and I think that's fine.
Thank you so very much sir for approving of one of our time honored traditions that have been created over the past 130 years this team has been in existence. I was worried that you might disapprove and we would have to stop.
Some Old Guy: But I mean there are people throwing balls on the field from left field, that ball went in the streets in right field.
Brennaman: Exactly. It's ridiculous, it really is. Here's Encarnacion and the first pitch is taken outside a ball. You simply root against them. You know I've said all winter they talk about this team winning the division and my comment is they won't win it because at the end of the day they still are the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up. Here's a foul ball back and the count is 1-1.
So...last year we weren't the Cubs at the end of the day? Cause I'm pretty sure last year there was no foot shooting going on, and we won the division. How did your team do last year? Only 72 wins you say? Did you guys shoot yourself in the pitching arm?
Some Old Guy: And then they'll no one to boo but themselves.
Brennaman: No they never blame themselves.
Ummm what? Where have you been over the past five years? We've been booing our own players ever since 2003 came and went and we realized that our $40 bleacher seats deserve to see some good baseball.
Some Old Guy: They blame that goat.
Brennaman: Blame that old billy goat.
Some Old Guy: I tell you what anybody blame a goat for that long of losing, that's silly.
Brennaman: Huh, you think so?
Some Old Guy: I know so.
I'm sure you do old man. Of course, I'm also sure that all of the 3 million plus fans that came to Cubs games last year blame us not winning the World Series on a story about a goat that came to be long before many of them were born. And I'm sure all of your 2 million or so fans who live in that hellhole we call Cincinnati have more sense than that. Yeah I went there. Step off this.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
At the time I thought "wow, that's a little racist", but I kept walking and soon forgot about it. Apparently many Cubs fans are not as forgetful as I am, as the tefam was "inundated with e-mails from offended fans" concerning the shirt. Once the team noticed that the shirt was using a trademarked Cubs logo, they contacted the vendor and he quickly complied with their demands by ceasing production of the shirt.
So I'm sure there's many of you out there right now wondering what you're going to wear to the Cubs game to show your support for Fukudome now that the Cubs won't let you laugh at asian stereotypes. I would suggest, completely without shame, one of our FU FIGHTERS shirts.
Get it? Like the band? Come on, you know that puns are the most intelligent form of humor. And by most intelligent I mean that they take little or no effort to think of, which is smart in a twisted, backwards kind of way. Also, we have Kosuke's number on the back, in case you're too drunk to remember what that is (Hint: It's 1). If that color isn't your style though, we've also got them in Cubby Blue with both red or white lettering. Or in red with white lettering. If you want even more colors, heck just e-mail me and I'll make those too. Whatever suits your fancy. Just click on either of the images above to go to our store and pick out what you like. It's that simple. You'll be supporting Fukudome and fighting racism at the same time, and who can say no to that?