Unrestricted View

"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 NL All Star Team

Well, in lieu of the Sweepers becoming the Sweepees over the weekend, I choose instead to focus on my picks for the 2008 National League All Star Team. Who wants to talk about Aramis getting pitched inside all series, going 0 for 14 (oops) and then going off to the DR to take care of serious family issues. He'll miss the San Fran series. Now Big Z, The Reedster, A-Ram and (the DL VIP) Scott Eyre are off the Cubbies squad. Yeah, let's just talk NLAS instead. At least until Cubs-Giants tonight.

Here's the 2008 Unrestricted View NL All Star Starting Lineup:
  1. Brandon Webb ~P~ (Sheets, Volquez, Lincecum, Haren), Brad Lidge, (Wagner, Wood, Capps, Roush)

  2. Geovany Soto ~C~ (McCann, Martin)
  3. Lance Berkman ~1B~ (Pujols, A.Gonzalez, D.Lee, Teixeira, Fielder)
  4. Chase Utley ~2B~ (Uggla, DeRosa)
  5. Chipper Jones ~3B~ (A.Ramirez, Wright)
  6. Hanley Ramirez ~SS~ (Reyes, Theriot, Guzman, Escobar)
  7. Pat Burrell ~LF~ (Holliday, Ludwick, Bay, Soriano, Braun, C.Lee)
  8. Nate McLouth ~CF~ (Beltran, Ankiel, Rowand)
  9. Kosuke Fukudome ~RF~ (Nady, Giles, Schumaker)
  10. ~DH~?? Take the 1B and LF list, make 1/2 play the field, and 1/2 just swing away. Start with Albert.

Pitcher, Starter
Brandon Webb. Any questions? Good. But, a lot of other guys are in the mix. Let's look at the ol' chart:


What can I say about the numbers? Look at the freeaakin' 3.45 Webby puts out there in ground ball to fly ball ratio. Wow. That'll get ya out of a jam now and again, eh?! Let's look at Volquez of Cincinatti and Lincecum of San Francisco. Yes, great numbers, but they lack the ability to go deep in games. Lots of pitches per inning, especially for Edinson, which can pretty much be linked directly to their BB/9 numbers. Why not Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano? As much as I want to put 'em in there, they just don't match up with those other guys. What happened to the strikeouts for Big Z? Demp walks too many. and doesn't strikeout as many as Lincecum, so he just isn't in the top tier yet. Comeback Player of the Year? Sure. And, while the Arizona Diamondbacks have Webb and Haren, the Chicago Cubs don't look so bad with Zambrano and Dempster.

Pitcher, Relief
A change of scenery will do you good. Never has that meant more than to Mr. Brad Lidge, the Albert Pujols Launching Pad. He got run out of Houston by 99.9% of the town, and he ends up in Philly, and shines on. Maybe even deserves Comeback Player of the Year more than our man Dempster. Did you see the smile on his face in his Philly Bio? You'd be smilin' too. And reminding the Astros how many games out of First they are. Everyday. On the hour.

How about Kerry Wood turning out the second best NL Closer line on the season so far? He and Dempster's body-switch thang is turning out quite well. While 0.86 WHIP is righteous, but it's hard to knock down a 19 for 19, as hard as some may try.

Lidge 19/19 1.06 0.84 2.80 11.81 4.22 1.00 16.03
Wood 20/24 0.86 2.43 5.67 11.29 1.99 0.84 14.73
Wagner 18/23 0.94 1.91 4.75 10.36 2.18 0.71 15.15
Rauch 16/21 0.92 2.55 6.50 8.29 1.28 0.61 15.05
Capps 17/21 1.04 2.97 5.60 6.41 1.14 0.64 13.93
Valverde 22/26 1.39 4.24 3.33 11.16 3.35 1.00 17.13
Wilson 22/24 1.42 4.26 2.31 10.52 4.55 1.35 19.17

Just want to point out how the Save stat is inflated without the other data. The Save Leaders in the NL are Valverde and Wilson, but they are inferior in comparison to the others when you look at their actual game effectiveness. Look at their ERA, BB/9 and P/IP, and you'll see why they probably won't be on top of the silly "Save" stat anyway.

On a side note: How does the Save stat take into effect the difference between a one-, two-, and three-run lead, and the outcome henceforth? Save. It's a nice little indicator when taken in reference to the save opportunities, but it can, obviously, be misleading when taken by itself.

Looks like Geovany Soto got what he deserved and landed behind the plate to start his first All Star Game in his rookie year. The man's had a good year. Well, half a year, but here's to the second half! (Cheers!) Nice half to McCann and Russell Martin too. Nice half. wtf... Anyway, that's what the ASG is all about! That, and the home field advantage for some little thing called the World Series. OK, back on track, could you argue for Brian McCann instead? Sure. But this Cub Fan will point out Soto's 39.4% caught stealing rate and suggest that's enough of a difference.

Soto .284 .371 .517 13 47 1.79 39.4%
McCann .295 .365 .536 14 45 1.36 32.7%
Martin .307 .405 .443 8 37 0.87 26.8%
B.Molina .308 .333 .440 6 49 1.64 45.2%
Y.Molina .295 .352 .384 4 26 0.57 47.8%

First Base
Sorry Derrek, but this year it's either Berkman or Pujols, and it's got to be The Puma this time around (and D.Lee is presently in fourth, in my calculation). Can you even argue with .364/.444/.690, 21 HR and 67 RBI ?!?! In a word? No. Nyet. Nao. Nein. Not even Albert and his .356/.483/.640, 17 HR and 45 RBI can. OK, maybe just him. But, it takes a lot for this Cub Fan to put a Redbird on top, and I'm giving this one to Lancealot. Ya know, tie goes to the switch-hitter. But if we look at the top six, would you be sad with Adrian Gonzalez, Derrek Lee, Mark Teixeira or Prince Fielder? This is seriously the deepest category of the list (e.g. Votto, Howard, C.Jackson), but in '08, it's a two horse race, and Berkman gets the prize at the halfway point. Hopefully he can keep his shoes on.


Can you believe Pujols and his 0.45 K/BB?!?!

Second Base
This should really be a bumper sticker: "Uggla or Utley?". Even though in the voting, some guy named Mark DeRosa is between Chase Utley and Dan Uggla. Now, I love me some Mark DeRosa. Seriously, the man is probably the Cubs MVP right now. But his stats aren't even in the same league with Chase and Dan, and (as impressive as it is at the MLB level) Mark plays five positions. These other two guys are fixed, super-glue like, at the two-bag (OK, Utley played two games at first, but it was an emergency, not a tendency). Let's look at the comparison:


So, yes, DeRosa is out (although his numbers are great, although obviously lacking some pop). And, you can't really lose with Utley or Uggla. But ya gotta pick someone, so this year, it's Chase Utley and his far superior 1.42 K/BB ratio (i.e. 40 less K's on the year).

Third Base
Yeah, we Cub Fans want to scream Aramis Ramirez and tell the Baseball World how great his year has been, but it's Chipper Jones all the way. If you have to ask, ya just don't know.


Is there anything else needed to be said? Yeah, Aramis has more RBI!! And David Wright deserved mention too (.285/.378/.497, 15 HR, 64 RBI). Umm, OK then, on to...


Hanley Ramirez is the man. Yeah, Boston could still have him, but they got some guys named Beckett and Lowell, so they're doing just fine. His power puts him head and shoulders above the rest of the shortstops (heheh). His D is good, his play is good, his team is doing amazingly well. Just show the man out to Derek's spot in Yankee Stadium already. Kudos to Reyes and our own man The Riot for showing a decent #2 and #3. Here's the evidence:

H.Ramirez .294 .384 .528 18 35 1.74 4.27 .965 20
Reyes .296 .358 .485 9 34 1.29 4.04 .966 28
Theriot .314 .390 .372 1 22 0.72 4.18 .968 13
Guzman .313 .341 .435 5 26 1.86 4.21 .980 3
Escobar .296 .372 .398 6 30 1.11 4.92 .980 2
Tejada .287 .343 .448 10 43 2.67 4.22 .979 6

Lookin' at a 40/40 season pace for H.R. Now that's a Leadoff Hitter (paging the Fonz...).

Left Field
Ahh, remember way up there when I said First Base was the deepest category? Well, perhaps I just pissed off a lot of Left Fielders, because this field is deep. And they Go Deep. Pat Burrell gets the nod from me this season, over Holliday, Ludwick and Bay. Let's check out the graph:

Burrell .271 .410 .571 19 49 1.05 1.70 1.000 0
Holliday .333 .415 .543 10 39 1.47 1.72 .991 8
Ludwick .285 .362 .574 16 56 2.06 2.34 .993 4
Bay .284 .387 .531 16 43 1.30 1.81 .993 6
Soriano .283 .332 .547 15 40 2.67 1.90 .978 7
Braun .287 .322 .552 20 58 4.25 1.95 1.000 8
C.Lee .278 .324 .528 18 62 1.59 1.83 .992 4

Burrell's SLG is the best, OBP and HR's second on this list. Add in the lowest K/BB and the zero errors, and you see why Burrell edges out Holliday and Ludwick in a tough race.

What about Alfonso Soriano, you ask? Well, he's at the top of the second tier, in my opinion. His low BA to OBP differential, the high 2.67 K/BB, and being the poorest fielder (by far) on the list makes that so. Sorry Fonzy, you're Fifth, at best. At least you probably make more than all of them combined.

Center Field
Well, now were we're definitely not talkin' Cubs here, although Jimmy's been back in stride since getting picked up by the Boys in Blue. And here's a new name for lot's of y'all: Nate McLouth. We Cub fans know him, cause he's a Cub Killer Extraordinaire. Nate, welcome to the ASG, my man (Damnit). Here's the rest of the field:

McLouth .280 .359 .522 15 52 1.41 2.60 1.000 9
Beltran .271 .374 .479 12 54 1.04 2.71 .995 11
Rowand .297 .360 .463 8 44 2.81 3.04 .991 1
Ankiel .259 .334 .506 15 38 2.03 2.41 .975 1

I think you could pay McLouth 50 times for what they're payin' Carlos.

Right Field
Fu-Ku-Do-Me!!!! Even though he's on a slide lately, Kosuke is the best in National League in Right. The RF power is significantly lower out of this group, with Dunn's BA keeping him off the list. Nice first MLB season for Fukudome, but it'd be nice if he had a little more Jack in his swing. One thing for sure, it sure beats Jacque Jones... But so does any random outfielder from the CWS.

OK, now that I've got the Blue Kool-Aid out of the system, Xavier Nady deserves lots of attention. Would I hold my breath and stomp my feet if you said Nady should get the start? No, but I might give you the silent treatment for a bit.

Fukudome .297 .405 .434 6 33 1.04 2.15 .994 7
Nady .315 .378 .514 10 49 2.00 2.62 .988 1
Giles .300 .399 .438 5 28 0.67 2.09 .982 1
Schumaker .300 .364 .439 6 30 1.25 2.56 .988 6

How about Giles 0.67 K/BB? And where'd this Schumaker come from and why did he have to end up in St. Louis?!

As far as the DH, after Pujols, really, just grab a 1B or LF.

Wow, that was a lot of work. I'm off to watch the rest of The Ted Lilly - Mark DeRosa Show!!!!

Go Cubs!!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Inner City Sweep

Aramis Ramirez took the handle of the broom himself and swept the White Sox out of Wrigley Field with their tails properly positioned between their little legs. I know this inner city series is pretty much even. All the better to see the '05 Champs leave the North Side without a win. Aramis was MVP of this three game series (with an undercard of Jimmy Edmonds), knocking the ol' horsehide around 6 for 13, including 4 HR and 8 RBI (yeah, he knocked in 36.4% of the Cubbies runs). I'd say he's on a tear, and it's a helluva time to show it.

Although, within the Friendly Confines, Aramis has been hot all year. He's rippin' it for a .336/.479/.603 in Wrigley, with 8 HR and 28 RBI, while "only" strokin' it for .263/.320/.460 on the road, with 6 HR and 25 RBI. Guess that means he's getting timely ribbies away from Chicago. He's so much more patient at home (159 pt. diff. in OBP!!), it leans toward not concentrating enough until he gets an runner in scoring position when he's on the road.

You can see the different approach at the plate for A-Ram in '08. He swings heavy until he gets two strikes, and then he chokes up (mentally) and makes sure to put that ball in the right place. It might not always be for a hit, but it'll at least be a productive out (hear that from the DL, Fonz?!). Which accounts for the RBI totals. Deeper analysis though, shows that at home he is A LOT more patient, with a 25/32 K/BB at home and a 24/9 on the road. That's 32 BB in 131 homies and 9 BB in 137 roadies (ya know, AB's). I'd say that's statistically significant (for those that didn't get it at +159 OBP). And then some.

Can ya bottle some of that and take it on the road? Might even want to carry that on, ya know what I mean? Cool.

Go Go Ryan Dempster. Wow. The man has quietly become the best starter on the staff. At least the most consistent. I mean, Big Z is still The Man, but the DempTruck is backing up to a mound near you. Although, like Ramirez, he's a homebody. And everybody knows it. Well, except for Ryan himself.

Yeah, yeah, at home he's an undefeated 9-0 in ten starts (and 0-2 in six starts on the road). Awesome, but we know that already. What ya may not know is that his ERA on the road is a stellar 2.48 (a very respectable 2.71 at home) and six of the runs scored against him on the road are unearned. Even the other stats look better on the road:

Home Road
WHIP 1.15 1.05
K/BB 2.15 2.42
GO/AO 1.66 1.26
Opp BA .294 .260

Looks like it just might be easier to pitch on the road after all (depending on the wind at 1060 W. Addison). So, Graham, you might ask, why the no wins on the road? Well, the obvious "boys ain't hittin' on the road" comments aside, perhaps the Opp SLG of .343 on the road (.295 at home) might show the higher percentage of dingers he's giving up away from the Ivy.

Hey, pobody's nerfect.

Bring on the Orioles!!

Go Cubs!!

Oh, on a side note I hear Murton is trade bait, with aim at a Starting Pitcher or a CF. Easier said than done, but I hear Coco Crisp's name an awful lot. I'd say I like Murton+Edmonds+The Reedster, but the future idea of the young man Crisp in Cubbie Blue is nice (especially being that lefty thang Sweet Lou likes so much). I doubt the Red Sox would part with him without a big time deal involving one of our young arms, so we'll just see about that. Until then, Jimmy don't look so bad out there as far as I'm concerned. Neither does that spark plug Reed Johnson. Great, I just wasted a whole frickin' paragraph. At least I shrunk the type.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Murton Gets The Call

'Nuff Said.

(back to the game. nice to hear so many Cub fans in Tampa)

Go Cubs!!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hit For The Sweep

Reed Johnson, of our beloved Chicago Cubs, gets the classic of all classics today, the walk-off HBP, and tops off the sweep of the Atlanta Braves to the tune of 3-2. Add this one to the comeback file, with the Cubs coming back from a 2-0 deficit created by a bleacher blast in the 2nd by Jeff Francoeur. Oh yeah, also put it in the sub-file "Extra-Innings", cause this baby happened in the bottom of the 11th. The Cubs are now 6-4 in extra frames.

Oh yeah, man. This one feels good. Let us not forget that with one out, in the bottom of the ninth, Jim Edmonds helped further the (evil, evil) post-Redbirds thoughts in many fans noggins this afternoon as well, tying up the game at two apiece with a solo shot in the left field basket. Len Kasper had a great call on this homer as well, giving a well placed "Hey Hey" tribute to the legendary Jack Brickhouse, as the cameraman quickly panned in and out, in true WGN Turn Back The Clocks fashion.

Jimmy has raised his numbers up to .268/.311/.482 with 11 RBI in 19 games as a Cub. Against righthanders, he's poppin' for a .306/.352/.551. Guess that's why the Reedster plays when the southpaws show up on the hill.

When I noticed the Cubbies pulled up EP and Hoffpauir instead of my man Matt Murton, I wondered quietly, or perhaps aloud (it gets confusing sometimes), WTF?! Then, realizing it's Sweet Lou we're talkin' about here I did a Woody Paige and checked the schedule. TBJ pitchers Burnett, Halladay and Litsch are all righties, so Lou, being, well, Lou, brought up two lefties replace Soriano and Hart. It's so nice to have an actual manager on the North Side.

I'm seriously unconvinced that Patterson can hit at the Major League level, but, it could be much, much worse, as bobbyd at Fire Dusty Baker stated.

Now it's on to that other country to the north, well, to the east of Detroit at least, to see how Sean Gallagher can do for openers. Don't forget your passports! (hear that Eric?)

Go Cubs!!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Soriano Out Six Weeks

(umm, obviously not an actual picture of Soriano's left hand)

Alfonso Soriano was hit by a pitch from Atlanta Braves pitcher Jeff Bennett in the bottom of the second, today in Wrigley. A few hours later, the trip to the hospital revealed a broken left ring finger. Ouch. Six weeks or more on the DL. And how will he be when he does pick the bat up again?

Well, I've bitched my share about Soriano and the whole "their ain't no 'D' in Alfonso Soriano" thing and/or the Captain Free-Swinger thing, but to see him out of the lineup for six or so weeks, and I'm a bit nervous of what to expect. I mean, besides DeRosa in left and maybe some more Reed Johnson. And less jacks into the seats. Also the Louisiana Twins get to play up the middle again. We'll see if Fontenot can produce or not over the next month and a half.

Channel some of that good LSU Championship magic.

Back to the issues "at hand", it just occurred to me that this might mean the return of Matt Murton! Sweet. Could be a lot worse. We'll miss the dingers, but at least we'll get someone who can actually hit the other way to move runners up, takes a pitch now and then, and can play a little (perhaps stressing the word "little") D, which is much more than we can say about the Fonz. Insert your favorite Staying Positive, Believe, or Blue Kool-Aid comment here_____.

As Good News goes, Ryan Dempster is the man. Especially at Wrigley. He improves his record in the Friendly Confines to 8-0 with a gem of an outing. We're talking Complete Game, kid. Eleven K's and ZERO walks. Seriously, En Fuego. He was pretty much one pitch away from a Shutout, but Corky Miller, part-time Kiddie Clown and part-time Braves backup catcher, came off the bench and ripped one into the bleachers in the seventh. Hey, the complete game and overall performance of Dempster may make it the best to date for the Northsiders so far this season. Sorry fact is it's the first complete game for the Cubs this season. Better Nate than Lever.

Fukudome went deep in the top of the first today with 2 on and 2 out, his fifth of the year for the Chicago National League Ballclub. DeRosa and Aramis went 2-4, and Theriot went 2-5. A good day for anyone who doesn't hop before he catches a lazy fly ball.

OK, Zambrano, can you top Dempster and go for the shutout? How 'bout a no-hitter? OK, OK, let's not get greedy here. Let's just hope Big Z rebounds from his Gatorade Cooler performance and closes out the sweep for the Cubbies.

Go Cubs!!

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mark DeRosa Day

Mark DeRosa took to the two spot really well today. But, then again, who wouldn't like the luxury of batting between Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee? Mark went 3 for 5, including a solo shot (line shot to left in the top of the first) and a RBI single. Those two RBI's put him only eight back of Aramis Ramirez, who had a RBI double today in the two run top of the fifth. He also scored two of the runs in the 3-1 defeat of the Dodgers by the Cubs to avoid the sweep and to avoid their first three game losing streak of the season.

The even more amazing part was the 6.1 IP, 3 H, ZERO ER, 1 BB outing from Jason Marquis. It does make this his fifth consecutive start giving up three ER or less. Nice to see when Jason gets strike one across the plate early, that he can hold a team to one (unearned, Soto throwing error in the first) and last well into the game. Yep, he made it to the seventh. Whoa.

Carlos Marmol looked a little shaky for a sec, but he reeled it in just in time for Kerry Wood to come in for a no hit, two strikeout bottom of the ninth. Nice. Woody leads the NL with 18 saves.

Brad Penny looked pretty good, but the Cubbies got to him for 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 H (one HR) over 6.0 IP. Park and Saito only gave up a hit a piece, with Saito striking out three of the four he faced.

So, back home again on the Northside. Ahhh... Let's hope it translates into some W's, cause the road games this month are interesting (3 @ Toronto, 3 @ Tampa, 3 on the Southside), and the Cubs could use all the room from those boys down I-55 they can get.

But first, it's three in Chicago with Hotlanta. Let's do it. First game, 7:05p CDT on 'GN, Tuesday Night. Tommy Glavine (2-2, 4.47 ERA, 1.17 K/BB) up against the Tedster (5-5, 5.23 ERA, 3.0 K/BB).

Go Cubs!!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Zambrano Doesn't Like Gatorade

Score: Dodgers 7, Cubs 3, Carlos Zambrano 2 (Gatorade Buckets). Sure, Matt Kemp put the game away with two out in the seventh with a three run shot that triggered the Big Z Rampage, but the real winner were those coolers, still working after all that abuse. Gatorade needs to buy that footage for commercials on how tough their products are. Sign Carlos too. "We don't put our name on it, unless it's tough." -- Next Gatorade Ad (you heard it here first).

Great, Ludwick just put the Redbirds up 7-0 with a three run shot in the top of the second in Houston. Hmmm...

And now we get to ponder the wonders of Jason Marquis (3-3, 5.02 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 34/27 (1.26) K/BB, 1.26 GO/AO) going up against Brad Penny (5-7, 5.45 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 41/32 (1.28) KK/BB, 1.74 GO/AO) tomorrow, 7:05p CDT. Maybe it'll be a slugfest, and the Cubs can come out on top. Lefties can get to Penny (6.61 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 3.11 GO/AO!!), so it's all about Fukudome and Edmonds. Too bad that's all the lefties the Cubbies have. Screw it, the Cubs aren't getting swept tomorrow night!! I mean, righties are clipping 1cent to the tune of 4.57 ERA, but only a 1.13 WHIP, and 1.22 GO/AO.

At least three in Wrigley are on the horizon, even if Mr. 400's coming to town.

Go Cubs!!

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Hiroki Kuroda went to the mound for the Dodgers in LA and wore out the Cubs for a complete game, 4 hit, 11 K, ZERO walk, absolute gem of a performance. Wow. Ummm..., yeah. Someone turn out the lights, will ya?

Nuff Said.

C'mon Big Z!!
(2:55 CST, Sat @LA).

Go Cubs!

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Are We Watching The Same Game?

Kosuke Fukudome was just robbed at first so badly Vin Scully went to the commercial break laughing his ass off. Nice. Great job, Blue.

More like, Blew.

Back to the game.

Ok, Ok, I know, it was on the tail end of a double play call, but get the call right. It wasn't even close to being close.

Go Cubs!!

crap... Bases Loaded with SoCal's.

2-0, Bums...

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Aramis' New Approach

It's called Patience (yes, Dusty, look it up. No, not by not pulling out the starting pitcher, and, no, not by leading off Juan Pierre come Hell, the Mendoza Line or high water, and, no, not by... well, you get it). Some say he picked it up from Kosuke. I, for one, don't buy it (he had Derrek Lee's patience to watch all this time, for one, and I'd bet the ranch that Gerald Perry and Sweet Lou are the real reason), but I don't care either. It's just nice to say that Aramis Ramirez, yes, the Chicago Cubs Third Baseman, is a Disciplined Hitter. Wow...

Hear that Alfonso?!!?!! (yes, I realize he's on an AMAZING tear right now, but it sure isn't because reason has suddenly possessed one of the free-swinginest swingers of all swingers. I think he's even got a cameo on that new show on CBS).

Speaking of Swinging, A-Ram is hangin' it all out with a fat line of .312/.423/.532. As of 7:22pm CST, that's the #18 Batting Average in Major League Baseball, the # 4, yes, FOUR, On Base %, and the #22 Slugging %. He's also tied for 17th with 40 RBI. Nice.

It this the same Aramis that's a career .284/.340/.501? I know, the BA and SLG aren't far off, but the whole point of this post (wait, there's a point?) is to highlight the whole .340 versus .423 part of that equation. He already has 34 walks in 205 AB's. His career high in walks was 50 in '06, in a whopping 594 AB's. And, since Fukudome is still working on English, let's give Gerald Perry some props. And congrats to Aramis to listening to someone.

OK, Kosuke has 37 walks and we all know about his pitch count per AB ratio, so maybe there's some combination of factors there. Whatever it is, don't change a thing.

Random Thought: What about putting The Flyball Adventurer Soriano back to 2B and let DeRosa flag a few in LF for a while? I guess maybe the whole don't fuck with the best record in MLB thing applies here, but still, why not? Oh, the record thing. And the "Can Fonzy still hack it at the two-bag?" thing. And the "He's So Sensitive" thing. Great. Let's just act like I didn't mention it.

And that, folks, is how I treat a guy that hit for .345/.386/.672 in the month of May, with 10 HR and 29 RBI. I am, truly, a pissed-off, rockin' chair on the porch rollin', yellin' the car window drivin', crusty old Cub Fan.

OK, I don't own a rocking chair. Yet.

See, I didn't even mention Alfonso's 23/8, K/BB ratio that month either!

Time to watch the rest of the Rays-Red Sox and Astros-Pirates games. With a few peeks at the Nationals-Cardinals to boot (even though it looks like a sure doubleheader split).

Go Cubs!!

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