Unrestricted View

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Different Dog Same Fleas

Today the Sox decided to get more power in the lineup. They acquired Griffey Jr. from the Reds for next to nothing, Massett – who was just about to get sent down to the minors and Richar, who no longer had a spot to come up. With Cabrera at SS this year our 1st round draft pick on Beckham from UGA, Ramirez at 2nd with the over priced Uribe as a backup. Richar was the odd man out.
I question what Kenny is doing to get a declining player such as Jr. which the Sox are only paying for $2.4M of his salary this year. We are fine in the OF with All Star Quentin LF, MVP Dye in RF, and Mr. Lunchbox Swisher in Center.
If they plan to platoon Konerko at 1st with Swisher you loose defense in both spots. Jr. no longer can track down balls, like he used to.
How often do you really need to rest a DH, since it gets tiring only participating in half the game? Yes I understand that it is tough to stay mentally when you don’t play the field since I was a DH myself back in the day. But you should be able to go out and hit.
Maybe they are thinking that Jr. can play first. I know it sounds weird, and Jr. might not have played 1B since Tee ball or Babe Ruth. But it might be worth it. Have him invest a new round glove and put him at first.
This sure does seem like it fits on the team. This team sure is getting old and it is turning back to the South Side Hitmen, Bashing Balls, roll out the keg for Softball league. Or just prior to they won the World Series, with el Caballo Lee in RF, Ordonez in RF, Konerko at 1B, Big Hurt DH.
The Sox have proven that this doesn’t work. I believe that they should go back to fundamentals and play small ball, manufacturing runs. Chics may dig the long ball but I believe real baseball fans would rather see runs truly produced.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As 8/8/08 comes closer for the start of the summer Olympics, do people really care about the Olympics for the main stream events? I enjoy the watching the games that I don’t get to see much of or get over hyped, such as your Track and Field, swimming, wrestling, weight lifting, and other. However I really don’t give a rats butt on watching some of the main stream events. Here is a list of games that I feel that the USA fan really won’t watch.

Basketball – This is like watching the summer basketball for the rookies. Sure there is a lot of talent there but do you really care if you missed watching it
Soccer – The EURO and World Cup are the bigger venues then the Olympics
Boxing – All too often this is just a glorified Golden Gloves. If people want to watch fighting they should watch MMA or bring cage fighting to the Olympics.
Baseball – This is right in the middle of the MLB season. There are so many international players that are in MLB that are not going so that should tell you how important the players even think it is.

People should tune into the Olympics. However, I for one will want to follow the smaller sports and look for that underdog that we can grasp on to and truly lift up as a champion.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bears Show Urlacher The Money


Brian Urlacher got what he was looking for: Contract Restructuring. He gets six million off the bat in "signing bonus" and a one million boost each year over the next four years. Good. The inept Chicago Bears Front Office finally did something smart, and assured the best player on their squad stays happy and keeps crushing guys on the other side of the ball. Unfortunately, their offense still sucks.

But, let's focus on the positives for a moment. No more singing for the man, no more, "sure, we'll get to it"/"check is in the mail" crap. They paid him what he's worth, and he'll go out there and play like he always does. It's just a bonus that it'll be in a Bears uniform.

And enough stupid stories about him having to go earn it. He's done that ever since he's first stepped on Soldier Field. So, if you read this story, remember to send some hate mail in about how stupid Haugh is. Thanks. Actually, don't even read it. What's the use.

However, there's a hilarious idea of trading Urlacher for Favre from Mike "I was bored today, so I wrote a column" Downey. Yeah. Brilliant. Let's see, what comes to mind exactly... oh yeah... STFU. Compared to Downey, Haugh is a genius. Mike Downey is the only guy I can think of that would make W the smartest man in the room.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brewers Acquire Ray Durham

The Milwaukee Brewers just made a move to up their offense (even while they're beating on TimLin 5-0) and traded for veteran second baseman Ray Durham. They gave up two Minor Leaguers, outfielder Darren Ford, and pitcher Steve Hammond.

Gotta give it to the Brew Crew Management, they're giving it all they have for the one year shot at the prize. Seems weird to count out Rickie Weeks, but perhaps the .218 BA has something to do with it. Ya think?

Well, I don't think the Cubs are going to make anymore big moves, but an addition to the bullpen is still possible.

In the meantime, let's get the right-handed swingers ready for Mr. Randy Johnson.

Go Cubs!!

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Cubs Lost Offense Found in Baggage Claim

Well, after two nights of No Offense Whatsoever, the guys got off their asses and supported a fantastic outing from Ryan Dempster to wipe out the Astros on getaway day to the tune of 9-0. The Cardinals are down 3-2 as I type and are looking at bases loaded of Padres with two out in the top of the eighth. On a side note, man, where'd they get these tools who broadcast Padres games? Actually, I don't want to know.

Eight strong (well, seven, the loading the bases thing and all) innings from Demp, followed up by a 1-2-3 ninth from Marmol, is exactly what the Cubs needed. Nice to see only one walk from Ryan, not until the eighth, along with the seven K's. Add that with the bats actually showing up today, and the ship's once again pointed in the right direction.

Theriot continues his hit streak, now at 12, with a multi-hit, multi-RBI game. Fontenot had a awesome day as well, with a single, double and homer. Hell, even Fukudome decided to get involved with a couple of hits. Edmonds and Lee too. Let's keep this train rolling along with Harden against the Unit tomorrow night.

Ahhh... No tranq's needed tonight. Let's hope the Giants can help the Cubs out with a W as well tonight, although the Brew Crew already but two on the board in the 2nd off of TimLin.

I'm getting another glass of Iced Tea, puttin' the feet up, and enjoying the rest of the Baseball packed day.

Go Cubs!!!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cubs Fall Out The Gate

What? Great. Cubs 0-2, Cards 3-0, Brewers 2-0 since Break. Cubs lose two to the (used to be) cellar dweller. F_ckin' Skippy. Lilly loses and the Ace, Z, loses (and gives up six walks). WTF?!?!?!?!?

If this team doesn't learn how to play on the road soon enough, especially a "offensively good", right-handed dominated team, at the Band Boxes of ALL Band Boxes, Enron/Astros/Minute Maid Park, what the hell do they have to look forward to?

I'll tell ya. 1969. Well, except that year, they had the dignity to collapse a lot later.

OK, I know. Doombringer Extraordinaire. So sue me. F_ckin' Bullsh_t watchin' these Cubs roll over for the first two out the gate in the second half.

If they aren't crushing the loser Astros by the third inning tomorrow, cue the Lou Pinella Tirade.

Bet the Ranch on it.

I only hope it works. Again.

And, if anyone even suggests the can't get on base, can't steal, strike out fool who, yes, can hit home runs, but why the f_ck is he a leadoff hitter, Fonzie, I'll...


(Zoloft anyone?)

At least Ryan Theriot acts like he cares. Great 3-4 game, Kid. But, if the team can't take out the 'stros, I hate to see what the Cards and Brewers do. Especially when they keep on winnin'.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dan Uggla: Wanna Get Away?

Ding! The long, long, long, All-Star Game last night was fun at times, sad at times, but a wonder to watch overall. What did we learn? The American League still has better players and obviously had the better Manager last night, but, also, we learned this game can actually mean something.

However, one person absolutely wanted to find a hole and hide, and that was Dan Uggla. Credited with three errors, he actually made a few other questionable plays as well. He also K'd with the bases loaded once and also ended the threat in the 10th by grounding into an easy 4-6-3. So, I'm assuming y'all know that 0-4 with three strikeouts (the most on either squad), six LOB (again, the most), three errors (yep, the most) and a GIDP probably cost the game. I'm sure Dan's well aware of that too. Maybe he just wasn't used to, as a Florida Marlin, playing in front of more than 10,000 people. Perhaps he stayed up all night with one of NYC's finest ladies of the night. He certainly didn't help his value on the trade market, which we know is what the Marlins are all about. Dan's not the Man, last night for sure. Of course, he'll just hit some more slam dunks, oh, I mean home runs, and get all over ESPN again anyway. Right Corey Hart? A two-hopper to the plate from shallow right field (and not even on target)?! Way to go Jacque Jones, Jr.

He's not the only one who had a hard day at the game. What was Clint Hurdle thinking getting Brad Lidge up SIX times in the pen? Lidge was tabulated as throwing over 100 warmup pitches before he ever got into the game, sometime past 1:00 am EDT. Seriously, I'd expect this from a High School coach (just ask Kerry Wood), maybe, but a Big Leaguer? Embarrassing, stupid, foolish and just plain sad. How'd this doofus ever get to the World Series? Oh yeah, roll of all rolls and a collapse ahead of him. Great.

The NL did get lucky though, with every one and their mother stealing on Soto and Martin. The LA catcher can hit and is one of the best fielders behind the plate, but Francona pretty much showed everybody that the man just can't throw out baserunners (not that Soto got anyone either).

Finally, I think they should add another pitcher per team, perhaps two players and let them decide if they want position players or pitchers. This way, more people get on the team, more fans are happy, more players are happy (more get bonuses too), and the Managers don't have to worry as much about the late game attrition (although why Francona only got 9 pitches out of Halladay can easily be criticized after the fact).

Good News? This comes from the "sort of" department, but at least Zambrano, Dempster and Marmol all looked good. However, I'd rather they all have more time off if the NL didn't win anyway. Especially Carlos Marmol. Oh well, at least they showed the AL they can take 'em out, on the big stage, if need be. Ya gotta think Ryan felt pretty hopped up about the three K's he threw down in the ninth. And Big Z, where's that pickoff move been all year? Loved the pitch to Manny too. Fun times.

Is it Friday yet?

Go Cubs!!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Home Run Derby is a Joke

The purpose of this is not to take away from what Josh Hamilton was able to accomplish last night. The problem I have, and many others, is of what he was not allowed to accomplish: The Actual Victory.

Yes, he "won the hearts of baseball fans across America" and blah blah blah. Great that Disney Sports, oh, I'm sorry, ESPN, got to tout Christianity and Don't Do Drugs messages all night (Happy Happy Joy Joy). Fact is, the structure of the Home Run Derby is fatally flawed. It is so irritating that I will never watch another one of these again, until they change up the way it is so the guy who hits the most home runs actually wins (I'll just watch the highlights and keep those three and a half hours of my life, thank you). What a concept, eh? I mean it is (supposedly) a frickin' Home Run Derby contest, right? Then why are hitting more home runs seemingly unimportant?

Remember back in '99, when Mark McGwire won the Home Run Derby in Fenway Park? Oh yeah, he didn't win (Griffey did, but no one cares to remember that, cause he shouldn't have), even though he trounced the competition and hit some of the most memorable home runs ever in this faux "competition". They changed it in '06 (wow, in only took six more years of crap?) so that Round 1 and 2 added up together. Good idea, they got rid of the stupid Wipe The Slate Clean thing. But, they didn't. They just saved it for the last round for when the two "sluggers" (Justin Morneau? Luis Gonzalez?) are so tired they can barely lift their arms. F_cking Ridiculous.

And that's not the only year the guy with the most dingers lost. Last year, Rios hit two more that Vlad, but lost. In '05, David Ortiz got hosed when his first round of 17 got wiped and he didn't even make it out of the second round. In 2003, Garrett Anderson won even though he actually hit the third most home runs (Pujols and Giambi hit more). Wow, fun times for morons. Giambi got screwed in '01 too, when he hit 20 but "lost" to Luis Gonzales (16) and Sammy "Say It Ain't" Sosa (13). Yep, Jason didn't even make the finals that year.

If you're thinking about the strategy and how endurance is a factor, and you aren't a Twins fan, then go out back and shoot yourself now. Really, I'll wait...

OK, for the rest of us, let's work on revamping this sorry, sorry display of Suits jacking up an otherwise decent idea. We're at the point where people don't even want to be in it. Sure, some people think they'll screw up their swing, but that's garbage (sorry, Abreu, it was time on earth that caught up with you, not hacking a few BP's over the fence). It's the same problem as the Slam Dunk Contest. The best person doesn't always win (right Dwight Howard?).

What should be done? I've been thinking about this for a while. Yesterday, I suggested an inning by inning format like they did in the old TV show, but that wouldn't solve the fatigue factor, and may, actually, intensify it. My Suggestion version 2.0 is to eliminate the third round, and invite only the HR leaders at the time of the break.

Here's how'd my idea would work. Currently, there are three rounds, starting with eight, and involving 14 sets of 10 "outs" to (wrongly) determine the winner. I say, invite the top five HR hitters from each league, and going down the list to cover injuries and "no thank you"'s until you get the ten peeps.

OK, now that we have ten contestants (who can actually hit 'em), let them each take their hacks in Round One, 10 outs if ya want, although isn't nine a better baseball number? Unless we've finally moved to the Metric System or something. Anyway, that argument being rather silly, take the best four guys, move them to the final round, let them slug it out, and take the combined numbers from Round 1 and Round 2 to determine the winner. In case of a tie, you could up the drama and go swing for swing Sudden Death to establish the Champ.

Ya see? Still 14 rounds, still same TV time, still same Ad Rev (although I'd argue it'd be better). And this way, the person who hits the most home runs actually wins. Also, the contestants won't get so tired, so the final round would actually be worth watching, instead of feeling like a spotter asking for "just one more".

What a concept.

I'll take a 5% cut off the top, and may even take less if you get rid of that stupid Call the Shot thing. What gives with that anyway? How about giving $10,000 from each player to the charity of their choice, then give $50,000 to the winner's charity and $25,000 to the runner-up. Hell, have the Prez's of each charity there and get all the Smile-aren't-we-great TV time that you could ever hope for. You could even do a minute or two on each charity, and really up the ante.

Someone get on this, will ya? Thanks.

Tonight, more exhibition. Well, "it counts" for the AL home field advantage (seemingly) every year, since the inception of this Selig gem. Great. Please, please, please, No Cubs Get Hurt. That's the mission. Otherwise, maybe the only other big deal could be an Aramis Ramirez late inning HR or something, cause that'd make for a good highlight. Maybe I should wait to bitch about the ASG until tomorrow.

Better for the stress levels, ya know?

Go Cubs!!

two more days 'til Real Baseball again... (sigh)

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Objects are Closer Then They Appear

Any one that has been down on their luck only has to look as far as Josh Hamilton. We all have made wrong decisions in our lives but it is how we all learn and want to better ourselves. Josh could have been one of those guys that decided my life is crap and given up. But he has overcome it all, at least in this chapter in his life. I had no idea who this kid was. I didn’t know he was the first player taken and a five tool player. My first memory of Josh was on the show Flip this House, “The Real Deal” with Richard Davis and Trademark Realty on TLC. The story was, that Josh was a kid that had some problems, and he played some ball. Richard hired him to work on some of his home make overs to sell homes quickly. Richard is one that seems very straight forward and is one that will give people a break. But, they will have to work for it. If you don’t then you would be out. Josh showed that he was one that would put the time in and work hard. If my memory serves me correctly Richard helped to get Josh a chance in A-Ball then it seemed like Josh took off from there. Almost like a Disney movie script for this kid was made. The next thing, Josh is playing for the Reds. Then this year for the Rangers, making a run at the triple crown, hitting 28 in the first round of the HR Derby. However he ran out of gas and couldn’t get enough out. They need to have the derby be a total. As they stated no one will remember Justin, only Josh’s performance will be remembered for HR Derby of 2008.

I sure get to hear a lot about him being in Big D but the story is one for the books and he isn’t a flash in the pan. Watch out Angels, things in the mirror are closer then they appear.

Get in, get out, go home

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Ryan Braun on Queer Eye?

Has anyone else noticed how much Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun looks like Jai Rodriguez from Queer Eye? Not that there's anything that resembles fashion sense within 100 miles of Milwaukee, WI.

Speaking of Coming Out Parties, I'm just distracted until the "signature talent" free 2008 Home Run Derby starts tonight. Tonight, the party seems already scripted for Josh Hamilton. It's the ol' Hey, Look, He USED to Do Drugs, but Now He's Like Us and Awesome, thang. I can barely stomach the trash, but I'm looking forward to a few Yankee Stadium meteor shots tonight.

In fact, who's going to beat Josh?

That's what I thought. And thanks for the Josh Hamilton successful rehab story. We'll be waiting for the next round of stories that cut him back down. Predictable patterns of the media for the morons, and all.

They need to revamp this thing. Will anything beat McGwire's Fenway park display anyway? EVER? How about the old TV show setup with inning by inning matchups, winners move through in a head to head tourney bracket. It's simple. Get the top four HR guys from each league, seed them 1-8 (flip for AL/NL first, then go 1v8, 2v7, etc.) and go inning by inning, until the final round (only three rounds this way) and then you might get some "ninth" inning heroics people can talk about. One out per inning, nine outs total, each hitter taking turns, inning by inning scorekeeping, fans are in it, and TV drama is created (ya know it'll go down to the last "inning" often enough). And make some $ go to the winner's Fave Charity. Hell, give the runner up a charity donation plug too.

And, come to think of it, get rid of the "wipe the slate clean" idiocy. For instance, McGwire didn't even with that year ('99 in Fenway), cause lil' Griffey "won" it later. Why wipe 'em clean? Those homers didn't count? This isn't a frickin' Home Run Derby? Why watch a Home Run Derby where the person who hits the most home run doesn't win? STUPID is quite the understatement.

Someone should stop thinking "spectacle" and start going with "exciting", "fun" or even "at least peeps didn't get ripped off" as HRD ideas (now that I think about it, where does all this ASG cash go anyway? To the Account de Selig? MLB coffers? Hank Steinbrenner's Future Fines Fund?).

Go Cubs!!

(Well, no Cubs tonight, but that's a good thing, if ya ask me. Do ya want Aramis taking 100 uppercut, all-out swings tonight? Me either)

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back In The Saddle

The Chicago Cubs had themselves a good day. It started off good at least. Rich Harden comes in and pitches a great game. Got that first start under his belt, and it was a quality one. Check it off the to-do list. "It's an awesome feeling," Harden said in his ESPN Hotline (cellphone) interview. Peachy Keen.

Later, Carlos Marmol comes in and does his best version of the Ninth Inning Meltdown yet this season, giving up five runs (yes, FIVE) in the ninth inning, and surrendering the 7-2 lead. Are you serious?!? Just frickin' skippy.

Luckily, in the bottom of the eleventh, our man Reed Johnson poked a single through through the infield to right that (barely) scored Mark DeRosa from second base. Cubs win 8-7. Calls of scrappy hit were heard across the land. And loved by many. Cue the music and raise that W.

Harden went 5.1 IP, without surrendering a run, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out a whopping ten. He outshined the CC outing, and made a great statement for the new ballclub. Something like "how's that?" with confident, knowing overtones. So far, so good. Let's revisit this a few more starts from now.

What's up with Carlos? Maybe he's just a tired, tired young man. Aren't you glad he's not on the All Star squad now?! Let's hope he gets his head out of his ass sooner than later, because I'd rather put the looking in the rearview mirror burner on low. I think the break is just what we're looking for. It'd better be or I'll need to refill the Valium scrip. Again.

Of course, ya always gotta dig the Cards and Brewers losing, which they were kind enough to do today. Jason Michaels: Cubs Hero of the Day. Thanks, buddy. I knew you could do it. Way to finish up that comeback victory. That man better not have a tab tonight. Meanwhile, the Cubs are up five and a half on the Redbirds and six on the Crew. Back with the best record in Baseball and the biggest lead as well. Lovin' it. Let's do this again tomorrow, shall we? Cool.

Well, like the Cubs Fans aren't worn out enough, here comes the final chapter with BC Red vs. TimLin. I think Dempster can hang, of course, but no one in '08 wants to break out the measuring tape vs. Lincecum. Get your popcorn ready.

Go Cubs!!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Another Giant Performance From Marquis

We now know Jason Marquis likes to pitch against the San Francisco Giants. Either that, or he's a brand new man. Let's hope it's more the latter, but I'm sure the Chicago Cubs will take it nonetheless. Marquis went out there and threw a gem of a 7.0 IP shutout, giving up only three hits, walking two, and striking out four in the 3-1 win. His ERA vs. San Fran this year is now 1.29. Maybe he knows his job is on the line. Maybe he just likes throwing against the Giants. Maybe July is his month. Whatever it is, can we please keep this JM Version 2.0-SF in play for a while?


How about Aramis Ramirez sending that three run, eighth inning bomb onto Waveland? Yeah, suckers, intentionally walk D Lee again. Take that shit. Loved it (almost as much as he did). Nice interview after the game too, A-Ram. Instead of talking smack and going the "me, me, Me" route, he simply stated that Bruce Bochy was obviously trying to induce a double play, and "it just didn't work out this time". I'd say.

Let's also congratulate Ryan Theriot for another 2-4 day, and starting off the three run inning with a single to left (nice sac by Fontenot to push him over and cause the IBB). And throw a 'grat in there for Howry for actually not giving up a hit, much less a run, today. Thanks for showing up today, Bobby, and keeping that ERA below five for the guys. Here's a win for ya.

Some guy named Rich Harden is throwing in a early start tomorrow. Alright, J.R., daytime game in the Friendly Confines. Baseball in the sunshine in Wrigley Field in front of 41,160 Cub Fans. You're on a first place team looking to end a 63 year old curse, and a century from the winners circle. This is what dreams are made of.

Alright, calm down, it's just the regular season. Have fun out there and do what you do. And hope the Cubs score runs before the eighth this time.

Let's go up 2-0, and then see what Ryan Dempster can do against the Ace of the National League on Sunday afternoon.

Go Cubs!!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Hey, ya can't win everyday. Just ask the Patriots. Ya had to figure that after the great couple of days there, something might happen, probability and all. Although I could've done without giving up seven long balls, including Dunn's meteor shot onto or perhaps over Sheffield Ave. (and what gives giving their catcher Ross his second and third on the year?!). Yesterday Milwaukee and St. Louis lost while the Cubs won big and all the Cubs Minor League teams won as well, although the Iowa Cubs lost the first game of their doubleheader (Jason Dubois, however, did hit three homers in the game two win, and Jeff Samardzija had a great outing, 7 K, zero BB, 7 IP complete game). And the Cards got beat again today, so all is certainly not lost (as I conveniently don't mention Milwaukee's ten run win).

The Cubs lost today 12-7, but still won the series in Chicago over Dusty's Reds two games to one. I'll take that. Last I checked .667's a decent WP. Although the manner of which Lilly was booted makes me anxious to see how he rebounds from this. I figure he'll turn it around. He's got the chops. Plus, he's been around the block a few times.

The guys looked decent at the plate. The LSU Connection and Soto all got two hits. Hell, Fontenot's two were a jack and a two-bagger, and he accounted for three runs and two RBI. Nice.

I'm worried about the way Fukudome's been looking. He seems to be bailing too much and too soon. The opposing pitchers are picking on him tailing low and away. I figure he'll adapt, but it's a bit painful to watch right now. Maybe not as painful as seeing Lieber and Gaudin and Cotts all give up dingers to the first batter they saw, but I'm trying to let go...

Now it's three with San Fran and the long break, well, for all but seven Northsiders. All three games are day games. First we get a little Marquis. Yikes, but let's see if he can put another start like the last one together and get some mojo workin'. Can't be any worse than Lilly's 6 ER in 2.2 IP today. Not what the doctor ordered. And if so, someone take the doc out back for a few. Take your time.

So, Z good (ya think?). Lilly, oops. Marquis? We'll find out tomorrow afternoon. Harden on Saturday. I think a few people might be paying attention to that one. If they don't show this game on Fox Saturday Baseball, I think there might be some assassinations of top Fox Sports personnel by sundown. Maybe by two-thirty. The Finale on Sunday showcases Dempster and Lincecum. That's Must See TV, in the sun, at Wrigley Field. Can it get any better than that?

In July, at least?

Go Cubs!!

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Double Down Loss

I use to like Elton Brand, but now he has abandoned his second team. I guess he wanted to go to a conference where any team can make the playoffs compared to the West. Even the Knicks might be able to get in this coming season. Brand did the same thing with the Bulls. You can say that the Bulls traded him, but if my memory servers me correctly he wanted out of Chicago for more money. Just like this time. He is going to be known as a 20/20 guy with no rings, with his face pressed against the glass of the HOF looking like a starving person outside the Chicago Chop House selling Street Wise.

I feel for B Davis. Yes he is getting paid by the Clippers, but I would have thought he wanted to play with someone like Brand, and now he will get several more years of lottery bound. Watch in the upcoming weeks The Clippers will lose even more of their free agent players that want out of Dodge and play for someone out East.

Sixers are doubling down with a 13 showing for this 20/20 guy, and I hope they bust and they will see what he will do for that city. Just like all the promise that he had in LA and Chi-Town.

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Which Way Did He Go?

The Sox don’t have the best talent in the league, but when Konerko came off the DL, my beloved Sox designated Pablo Ozuna for assignment. The player that they should have sent out is Uribe. He has been a player that hasn’t seen much time since the Cuban missile Ramirez has blew up. At the beginning of the year they were going to dump him since they traded for Cabrera (a rent a player that will not be resigned). Ozuna is more valuable to the team. His utility player status allows him to play 2nd, 3rd, and OF while hitting .281. Compared to buster Uribe who really plays 2nd and SS hitting a meager .206
How does this kid stay on the team? He must have good pictures of someone in the organization to keep his job. Not to mention that he also have a larger salary. The only real difference between the two is that Uribe has more pop in his bat. I would have kept the quicker player that can put down bunts and play small ball since you have enough of the other types of players that can ‘Put it on the Board…YES’

Today we placed Jenks on the DL. Again if you are going to let someone go wouldn’t you have made placed Jenks on the DL on the same day that you bring Konerko back? No roster space would have had to been made at that point. Jenks has been hurt ever since the last series with the Cubs on June 29th. He is such a big part of the team and they should have shelved him earlier, let him not worry, and get healthy, since we need him after the break.

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Harden at Home

"I don't think I could be going to any better situation than with the Chicago Cubs." - Rich Harden.

That's the kind of thing you like to hear when players come in. Not like he's going to say "Shit, where am I going?" or "Do they know I'm allergic to ivy?". But, point being, I like to hear people come here with the intention of staying and having the reverence expected for a first place ballclub who asks for your services.

Dan Haren, Harden's teammate in Oakland for a few seasons, says Rich is going to like coming here and essentially just wants to be in a place where he is wanted. He wants a home. So, I say, let's go out and find this man a home!

Why would you want to play anywhere else but Wrigley Field? (someone tell Rich the wind blows in half the time. you did already? cool.)

Harden's ESPN interview reiterated his desire to belong. He states he's excited to get out there and get it started. OK, Rich, you've said the right things, you've acted the right way. Now, can you go out there and perform on the Big Stage?

Tune in this weekend to find out. Get the edge of your seat ready now.

Carlos Zambrano will take the hill tonight with every intention to show the world who the Alpha Male is on the Northside. Will he shine or meltdown? I vote Shine. How about eight innings of one run ball? (Cheers!)

And will we see Gaudin in there soon? Nice bullpen pitcher for the Cubs and great backup plan in case another starter becomes necessary. I'm ready for some baseball.

Go Cubs!!

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Dusty the Destroyer

Dusty Baker is still up to his old tricks. Mike D. at Hire Jim Essian has a great post about it here.

Seriously, go check it out.

Scary how he was on the Northside just a few years ago. I mean, I knew Lou was good and all, but by comparison, it's like swapping out Rex Grossman for Brett Favre.

Big Z's going to shut the Reds down for the second day in a row. It's not a good day to be a Redlegger.

Go Cubs!!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cubs Acquire Rich Harden

Well, here comes the other foot. The Cubs picked up top-dollar arm Rich Harden, as reported by ESPN. The Network reports it's for Gallagher, Murton and little Patterson (and minor league catcher Josh Donaldson). Let's see what the deal is like before I comment further that this:


And, please don't get hurt.

So now the rotation is:
  1. Zambrano
  2. Dempster
  3. Harden
  4. Lilly
  5. Marshall
  6. some guy in the RF bleachers
  7. Marquis
Not too shabby, I'd say. And long reliever/spot starter Chad Gaudin is coming to Chicago with Mr. Harden. Two MLB ready guys for three guys the Cubs didn't use in the "starting" capacity (although, I believe all three will slide right into the A's starting lineups). Nice for the Ivory Tower to tell us that "We're For Real" or they're trying really hard, or something. Essentially, the word is: Don't worry Cub Fans, we're goin' for it.

And I like it. However, I'll like it a lot more if/when they sign Harden to a deal.

Ya know, I'm happy for Matt Murton too. Oakland and Beane's love for OBP was made for the redhead. The fans are going to love him there. EP? We have enough of that type of guy already, maybe not lefties, but hey, we're talking Top Tier pitcher here, so, thanks, Eric. Enjoy the weather! Besides, he's going to start for the A's, it seems. Sean Gallagher? He's the biggest loss of the deal for the Cubs, and will likely jump into Oakland's starting rotation, but Harden for Gallagher is a win for the Chicago Cubs, that's for sure.

Wonder when the first start is pencilled in? (no pressure)

Go Cubs!!

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You Harang?

With the Cubs-Reds game about an hour away, what's a guy to do? Well, besides being happy the Bro came in with a post (what up, kid. Yeah, he bashed Soriano a little hard, but hey, so do I sometimes. Those South Side fans are so sensitive), I was trying to kill some time on the Cubs website and came across Carrie's Mailbag, or whatever. I started thinking, what if I were answering the questions?

Do you think Alfonso Soriano will be back before the All-Star break, because that's what people are saying. Or do you think he'll be out the whole six weeks?
-- Beth G., St. Louis, Mo.

Uh, yeah, I don't answer questions from St. Louis. Next!

With the All-Star Game being played at Yankee Stadium, will the National League team have a DH? If so, will it be Aramis Ramirez or somebody else?
-- Jeremy Z., Davenport, Iowa

Yeah... JZ, they sure will, partner. Ya see, in the American League (yes, it's American, like cheese), they have this thing called a Designated Hitter and... [slap!]

And to answer part two, I'm not a Fortune Teller, so I can't tell you who it will be, but I think it should start off being Albert Pujols (so that'd be "or somebody else").

Is it just me, or does anybody else think Kosuke Fukudome has scuffled in the leadoff role? I could be wrong, but he doesn't seem to be his normal self ever since he was put in that role. Maybe it's just bad timing or a coincidence.
-- Jake R., Springfield, Ill.

Is it just me, or is everyone using this word scuffle for struggle? Whatever. Try him "not being his normal self" away from Wrigley Field. See this post, read it, take two of these, and relax. Don't you know by now Kosuke (for now) struggles at the plate on the road? It doesn't matter what place in the order he is.

The Fonz cries and stomps his feet if he doesn't get to lead off, so you won't have to worry in a little less than two weeks. Until then, the guy with the best OBP on the team is going to be just fine breaking up the righthanded swingers in the two-slot. And never use excuses like bad timing or coincidences. Those are for wussies. And railbirds.

There is no Try. Only Do. ~

Do you think Jim Hendry will pull the trigger and acquire a starting pitcher like [C.C.] Sabathia, [Freddy] Garcia or even Greg Maddux? Rich Hill is going through the Rick Ankiel situation, and the Cubs could use some help.
-- Jack E., Iowa City, Iowa

Do you ever watch the f_cking news? How did you get on the internet? Did you steal your uncle's library card or are you taking a little time off in between self pleasure episodes while your Mom's at work (again)?

If I even start to comment on your Rich Hill/Rick Ankiel thing, I'm going to... hold on... brb...

And then, the addition of another Rich Hill question that caused thoughts of violence so evil and wicked that I had to chain myself to the radiator myself this time. I'd better skip anymore questions.

C'mon, Cubbies. Beat on this fool Harang (3-10, 4.47 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .484 Opp.SLG, please, Mum, can I have some more?) for the third time this season, and let's start the homestand off on the right note. Ryan Dempster's going to show 'em what he's got tonight. Derrek Lee's going to keep up his hot streak, and the Cubs aren't even going to need the closer tonight, baby!

(swigs the rest of the pint glass of the tasty Blue stuff)

Go Cubs!!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Backdoor Open?

The Sox have one of the best records in Baseball and again in the small market of the Southside, we get snubbed. Jermaine Dye should be in the American League Squad. With a down year for Ichiro, and with Manny putting up less numbers then Jermaine, why isn’t he there.


He is a much fielder then Manny. Boy at times I really hate the vote. If the All Star game really means something the vote should no longer be on the fans and it should be on the players and sports reporters. At least you wouldn’t get a bum like Soriano, who it seems hasn’t finished a game in this year without getting hurt. Which the Cubs really miss (yeah right) in the field.

This is going to be hypercritical but in order to get Dye at the game we need people to vote.

Vote often


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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Derrek Lee in ASG?

With the eye injury to Lance Berkman, will Derrek Lee get a his deserved nod on the National League All Star roster? Or, will Berkman still start? I know the Chicago Cubs already have seven players on the team, but who would jump Derrek Lee? Mark Teixeira? Prince Fielder? I just don't see it. Well, I see it, but I don't agree with it.

As I posted with my choices for starters for the All-Star Game, I see Lee as ahead of Tex and Prince, but will MLB pick one of those guys to validate their team's season? With the C.C. hype centering around Milwaukee, and Selig's ties there, have any effect on the choice to be made to replace Lancelot? Truth be told, it'll be hard for Pinella to pass up on his prize 1B if the chance is to be made, and if he has any say in the matter with the Colorado staff. And, it counts, right? Best to get the guys you know in there to try and win it for the underdog NL.

We'll see what happens. If Sweet Lou does make the call for Lee, will people freak out that the NL Coaches picked another Cub? I say, Who Cares. Do what's right. It's not his fault the stupid fans voted in Soriano over Pat Burrell (who didn't make the squad, yet) and Matt Holliday anyway.

Go Cubs!!

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Cubs Win On the Road

Not only to the Cubs win on the road, but they beat their I-55 rivals the Cardinals. How sweet it is. Great outing by Marshall to close out a trio of good efforts by Sean, Z and Marquis. If it weren't for the Kerry Wood meltdown in the ninth last night, the Cubbies would be singing about The Sweep.

Let's not get too greedy here. Two out of three to send the Cards to third place in the Division is beautiful. Take that, Buschies!! Maybe that will answer the press a bit about their game away from Wrigley. Ya gotta think the Cubs players are tired of hearing about the road woes as well. Now, they can sit back, enjoy the interviews, enjoy the day off, and get ready for six at home before the break.

Derrek Lee had a fantastic series. He posted an 8-14, showing up when team leaders are supposed to show up. Ryan Theriot had a great series too, putting up a 6 for 14 and just getting on base for the big bats behind him. This is what Big Teams do. Aramis Ramirez had himself something to talk about too, knocking in five runs and scoring a couple himself, including a homer. How about the youngster Geovany Soto, going 5 for 11 with a dinger? And let's not forget our man The Rose, Mark DeRosa, who posted up four hits, two RBI and two runs scored.

How about Carlos Zambrano getting right back out there and shutting the Redbirds down? And Carlos (E-Ticket) Marmol got his groove back, shutting the Cards down in Game 2 and 3. Wood? Well, let's not go there. His teammates picked him up. Save a couple the next few, and it'll be all hugs and kisses, I'm sure.

Alright, time to check out some Baseball news and get ready for tonight's BoSox and Yanks game. How will A-Rod perform while his marriage is going down the tubes? I'm sure a lot of ladies will say he's doing just fine (paging Ms. Ciccone). Let the Back Page talk about that stuff, though. We'll focus on the Northsiders winnin' ballgames.

Go Cubs!!!

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Cub Fan Blahs

With the Cubs losing seven of their last ten, and coming off another tough toss where Carlos Marmol gives up a big dinger to essentially turn out the lights, the view from the Cub Fan has been rather depressing of late. If that isn't enough of a kick in the pants for us Cub Fans, Kosuke Fukudome has been in a funk, posting a pedestrian .238/.319/.333 over that stretch with a staggering 12 K's.

That many strikeouts for a guy like Kosuke has "readjustment time" written all over it. Maybe the low and outside target is having an effect, considering his bailing out/running towards first approach. Or, it could be that Kosuke just doesn't have the hittin' mojo when he's on the road (the last seven games have been bag-packers). He's knockin' for an impressive .373/.476/.563 within Wrigley Field, but on the road he's barely registering a .213/.319/.284. Does this man need his personal chef to travel with him or something? I mean, who's not making the trip? He isn't feeling "at home" on the road, as stupid as that sounds. He still needs to transition into the new country, new language, etc., and it's affecting his play. I suppose that makes him a normal human being after all. Well, I hope he can break out of it and get some good vibe going. It'd sure be nice to see the road performance come closer to matching his Friendly Confines output. Not that we're unhappy with Fukudome by any stretch, but you have to figure it'll come around eventually.

I've been watching MLB.tv Mosaic the last few days, and it's been scarily dragging me in, watching baseball all day and feeling dreary-eyed and bewildered around midnight when the West Coast games come to an end. Sweet.

Anyway, who's hot and who's not on the Cubs? We know the Cubs are not, considering losing seven of ten, but how about...

Hot (over last 10 games)?
  • Geovany Soto - .343/.425/.514, a HR, 7 RBI.
  • Mike Fontenot - .321/.367/.750(!!!), with 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI. Move him to cleanup!
  • Daryle Ward - .368/.429/.444. 'bout time we see some out of Mr. Ward.
  • and some guy named Derrek Lee - .308/.386/.436 with 4 RBI.
Not (over last 10, duh)?
  • Carlos Marmol - 11.74 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, two losses, and three HR allowed the last three outings. Ouch. Nervous yet? I'm there. But I'm often there. Ya know, the Cub Fan in me.
  • Ronny Cedeno - .214/.290/.250. Nice Web Gem in the ChiSox series, but the bat is ice cold.
  • Kosuke Fukudome - Yikes. .213/.319/.333, 12 K's. Umm, yeah, not good. Got to get back to Wrigley to resuscitate our Homey.
Guess I could have mentioned Aramis and Jimmy each have 4 HR over the last ten games as well, but their other stats just weren't Hot worthy. Hey, deal with it.

Tonight. The Return of Big Z. In the Cardinals Opener. Did someone say "does it get any bigger than this?" Well, maybe not in the MLB on the Fourth of July. This is a statement game. I hope Carlos keeps it reeled in tonight. Don't want to see that Zambrano Meltdown Four or Five run inning thing happen tonight. Well, that's actually on the list of "Things I'd Rather Never See" in between Aunt Nelly naked and A.J. hittin' a homer.

Go Cubs!!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Jason, Are You Worthy?

Jason Marquis takes the hill tonight at SBC/PacBell/AT&T/Candlestick/The House That Barry Juiced Park tonight and a question instantly pops in my groggy little mind: Is Jason Marquis worthy of being a #3 starter on a MLB playoff team? And, quickly, as I attempt to comb through the cobwebs, an answer swims to the surface: No.

Of course, we could just look Marquis' '08 stats vs. that of the #3 starters of the Cardinals (Looper), Brewers (Parra), Phillies (Moyer), Marlins (Olsen) and Diamondbacks (Davis). But that'd be too easy. OK, what the hell. I'll even throw in John Maine from the Mets.

Olsen 4-4 3.47 1.25 1.45 4.91 3.39 0.73 106.1 6.0 15.05
Maine 8-6 3.86 1.36 1.90 7.35 3.86 0.76 98.0 5.2 17.92
Parra 8-2 3.95 1.55 1.48 7.06 4.78 1.38 86.2 5.1 17.49
Moyer 7-6 4.13 1.40 2.14 5.56 2.60 1.34 100.1 5.2 16.29
Looper 9-5 4.26 1.40 1.69 3.99 2.36 1.37 99.1 5.2 16.45
Marquis 6-4 4.96 1.52 1.29 4.64 3.59 1.26 85.1 5.2 15.89

Parra's BB/9 is going to catch up with him eventually, but that won't change what he's put up before July 1st. Good thing Manny walks so many, because then Marquis would have the worst ERA and WHIP of the bunch. (Oooo, do I get a trophy for that? No, Jason, go away). And that high near 18 P/IP for Maine can't be good for the Mets bullpen. That's 90 pitches after five innings. Every Time. Of course having the stalwart arms of Johan and Pedro ahead of him could help jut a bit. Although Pedro is pretty tender lately. Alas, I digress...

Serious bummer that it ended up being in order of ERA, but that's how I see'em, in order.
  1. Florida Marlins (Scott Olsen)
  2. NY Mets (John Maine)
  3. Milwaukee Brewers (Manny Parra)
  4. Philadelphia Phillies (Jamie Moyer)
  5. St. Louis Cardinals (Braden Looper)
  6. Chicago Cubs (Jason Marquis)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that going into the 2nd half of the season with the this low a #3, as compared to the rest of your competition, is not a winning philosophy. You won't find the idea on p. 187 of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War".

So, Peter Gammons rumor of the Cubs looking for another arm may just be the understatement of the League so far. Well, that, and ol' "the Cardinals and Brewers ain't going away" thing.

With the impending sale hanging over the heads of the team, can the Cubs make any moves that will matter? Seems worrisome to me. OK, seems more like "Oh Shit". Especially when you think about Big Z on the DL, and the question of how good will he be when he comes back.

Oy. Let's just hope the Northsiders roll over the Giants again tonight and Marquis puts up and shuts me up.

Good luck with that. Road Warrior? Sheeesh! OK, just make it six with two ER or less, and maybe I'll be nicer next time. Hell, if he only gave up three in six, it'd be better than his season and career average. Great. Better score some runs tonight, boys.

Go Cubs!!

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