2007-05-17T16:01:43.718-04:00I'm taking a week off from the Cubs. I cannot believe the flaming bag of hepatitis and horse cock that I just witnessed on TV. With a 4-run lead against the flaccid Mets lineup going into the final frame, what could go wrong? Only a handful of pathetic walks, several basehits and enough stinging heartbreak to fill a thousand Dawson's Creek episodes.
Aramis finds his bat and contributes 3 RBIs, Guzman pitches tidily for 5 innings, Ohman K's 4 in 1 2/3 innings, and then Dempster couldn't find the strikezone if it was a piece of pornstar pussy.
The measure of a good team is winning games out, closing out and finishing yr business when you've put in a hard day's work. But not us. For the Cubs, we constantly strive to find new and exciting ways to lose, causing me so much grief I bet I could stick my hand in a blender and I would feel no pain. Why? Because loving the Cubs has caused me to lose all ability to feel pain. I'm immune now to sadness, because watching this bunch of sadsacks traipse around a field for 3 hours has left me emotionally sterile.
We stagger into Shea for a difficult 4-game series, and acquit ourselves quite well. We commit Hari-Kiri on monday night, thanks to Wuertz's "Walk This Way" heroics, we bounce back well on Tuesday thanks to El Toro regaining some balls, Wednesday was a wash as we were unable to solve Jorge fucking Sosa, and then today, we collect timely hits against a weakened lineup, only to piss it away at the death.
Give me sweet release from this horseshit. Please.
Send bullets with my name on them to: JT, Port Chester, NY. They'll know what to do from there.
Responsible for 8 of our 10 wins. I'm impressed, and really did not see this happening at all. Of course it's still early, but who gives a fuck?
Rich Hill [3-1, 1.57 ERA]
Ted Lilly [2-2, 2.18 ERA]
The Marquis de Slop [3-1, 2.35 ERA]
Batting at a great clip, picking up where he left off in 2005 and his Triple Crown hunt [fuck you, Pujols]. No home run oomph, but still, 16 RBIs so far.
Not prolific just yet, but he's coming along nicely. His average and OBP need to improve a lot for a leadoff, but it's still early.
Beating the Cardinals a lot
I like this the most.
Goddamn. Why is he not in the permanent lineup? He can play multiple positions, and hits for average like a rotisserie leaguer's wet dream. More ABs, please.
Where did the Bull go? He's trying way too hard, getting shellacked, and his Latin fire needs to be channeled more effectively. Maybe he cannot relate to the crazy fire of Pinella.
Fuck off and die. You are dead to me, but real death might not be so bad. Fuck off and join the Orioles.
Losing a lot to the Pirates
I don't like this one bit, because I have several big bets with a die-hard Pirates fan that I really don't want to have to pay out on.
Our shitty shortstops
Izturis and Cedeno are currently the worst non-pitching hitters on the team. Weak bats, terrible D. I never thought I'd be pining for the Alex Gonzalez era.
Where are the homers?
No home run power from anyone so far. Aramis has the touch, Barrett has mysteriously found some power, and Mark DeRosa, our SECOND BASEMAN, is 2nd on the team in trips to dinger country. Carlos Zambrano has as many HRs as Derrek Lee, and Cliff Floyd. Ronny Cedeno has more HRs than Lee. Soriano has yet to hit one, and he's in a more HR-friendly park [how the fuck did he hit 46 at RFK Stadium?].
All singles and no bombs make JT go crazy.
Biggest Thumbs Down ever:
Us. We're lazy, and we suck. I need to get this outlet running again. Promise. Fuck. I hope I don't break that promise.
2006-12-15T12:26:49.816-05:00Alright, people, I swear we'll be back in 2007, like maybe the end of January? Things kinda died around here, much like the hopes and dreams and performance of our terrible franchise.
However, the future looks bright. We overspent for a bunch of players, we're trying to finagle a few trades, and at least we're trying. We have a new manager, a new lineup, a fresh-looking rotation [Jason Marquis? Christ, pass me the Tums], and fresh hope.
After writing all that, I think I need fresh underwear.
2006-08-06T15:07:24.046-04:00I don't think it's funny that I neglect to mention good things about the Cubs, simply because we all know what to expect from this website. Yes, it's been oddly dormant of late [my woes have been insanely well-documented], and while the other members have gone A.W.O.L., it is a proven fact that I am LB's resident old man pessimist, the guy whose cup will always be half-empty, whose opinions will always be knee-jerk, off-base and wholly incorrect, whose emotions will change like the hours on a clock and a man for whom the Cubs will always underachieve.
We had a nice week the other week. Sweeping the Cardinals in a series for the first time in 30-odd years was a refreshing change, as was the more-than-respectable efforts put forth in Shea Stadium against a cocky and talented Mets team. I was in attendance for that dour 1-0, extra-innings defeat, and Prior pitched superbly well.
Aramis has found his swing again, clubbing several big home runs in recent weeks.
Barrett is hitting like a man possessed.
Zambrano is pitching superbly well, compiling a tidy and effective July [6-0, 4.15 ERA].
I do notice these things, honestly I do. But it's the kind of shit that you can read anywhere, glowing reports and happy-go-lucky accounts of good things we've done. I can write in a more positive light sometimes, and maybe I should, but I like to think of my work here as the instant, spur-of-the-moment ramblings of a man who reacts to things as he sees them, not the home for polite, well-reasoned statistical analysis that the AP or SI.com can do every day without restraint. [Hence the copious amounts of swearing, profanity and insensitive comments about various Cubs players and personnel and their family members]
It definitely keeps things more interesting.
2006-08-03T13:08:17.123-04:00Fuck Kerry Wood. Pussy. You won't be a reliever for us, I fucking hope.
2006-08-01T13:19:53.190-04:00Well peoples, apologies. My laptop is getting fixed, inexplicably sent to Chicago when a ten-pound sledgehammer in my garden would probably have had the same effect, and as such, the site has slowed to an Aramis Ramirez-esque crawl. [He is slower than a pregnant woman running to first base sometimes, although hitting all those HRs lately solves that problem]
So there's my excuse, as for the others?
Hyposquasher -- probably buried with Hoffa somewhere, or scratching his ass at work.
The Hawk -- saving children from a burning building/lifting the earth on his shoulders/biking 7000 miles for no apparent reason/something else retardedly active and calorie-burning.
AdicaRoy -- trading spaces.
I will be back, hopefully within the week. There is so much to talk about, including:
- Derrek Lee back to the DL
- Why does Prior suck? Scientists consider DNA analysis
- Aramis Ramirez and the Home Run Continuum [aka where the fuck was this power in April and May?]
- Michael Barrett finally batting up the order
- Fuck Neifi
- So Long Maddux, I wish we'd been better for you
- Todd Walker grabs his surfboard and fucks off to the West Coast as well
- Who the fuck did we get in return?
- JT attends the 1-0 game at Shea last week
- We swept the Cardinals? And took 2 of 3 from the Mets? Are we in upside-down world?
- Please, someone shoot Dusty already. And that prick Hendry too.
Word is bond. Now get back to work.
2006-07-15T12:34:26.350-04:00Alright, so I signed on to be a contributor for this blog back in its gestation phase, and as time has told, I rarely to never contribute anything, much less anything worth reading. Which leads me to two points:
2006-06-28T23:12:47.356-04:00Forgive me the steady recent use of hyperbole, but what the fuck. Seriously. What on earth can be done to save or redeem this useless club, this wan outfit, this dead donkey, this heartless crew of ballplayers? Does anyone in the clubhouse care to fix things, besides idle quotes of disgust and false urgency? Is anyone actively trying to right the Cubs organization, aside from press releases and interviews where they claim to be "trying"? What is there to show for it?Naturally, being the knee-jerk supporter I am, I fear that several options are available, with the scant minority of them being either reasonable, logical or legal in the continental United States.One. Cut that Meat.My first desire would involve firing, DFAing, or trading several prominent players and building from scratch. At this point, it seems like the only thing that our front office staff could execute with even the faintest amount of capability. Get market value for the few big names we have, and offer to pay some of their salaries to ease the burden of their contracts, and be sure to receive quality prospects in return. [I should quickly point out that I'm not looking at any salary or contract restrictions while writing this, because I leave research like that to the better Cubs blogs out there, like the Cub Reporter and Bleed Cubbie Blue. Plus, it would really kill my angry buzz.]Guys like Derrek Lee, Ramirez, Dempster [well, maybe not him], Pierre, Jacque Jones should hit the trade market because right now, they have some sort of value. There are many teams desperate for a "name" outfielder, and who wouldn't want a corner infielder who can hit for power and has a reasonable decade of major league service ahead of them?In return, get AAA or major-league ready prospects who we can plug immediately into the lineup. This season is essentially finished, I would argue, and there's tons of time left for experimentation and taking a motherfucking risk. It has always bothered me how the Cubs front office treats prospects with insane kid gloves, seemingly afraid to trade and seemingly nervous to put them into the MLB lineup card. That's another rant right there.Two. The Nucleus.We have several rookies and young-ish guys who could become franchise names if they continue to see regular playing time and proper coaching [both are things I fear they will never get while in Cubbie blue]. Cedeno, Marmol, Marshall, Novoa, Aardsma, Pie, Murton, Zambrano, Pagan. Keep El Toro [he'd be the grandpappy of the team, much like Willis is down in Florida] around to anchor the side, let the young pitching develop as Marmol and Marshall have shown they can do, work on guys like Guzman and Hill who have struggled with the Cubs thus far, and let these other guys who have begun to age in the major leagues keep growing as a unit. Bring up some AA guys to start building those middle-infield combinations and that team unity, and work on the speed element of our game. These guys, along with any and all prospects we can receive in trading away our big names [we'd be looking for SPs, IFs and corner outfield positions mainly], would then have time to grow as a unit and get that timing right. Not to mention the money we'd save!Three. It's Time to Let Go.Letting go of loved ones is hard to do, but if you can do it with some dignity, always take that high road. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood should be given a fair swansong [because we mustn't forget, they were good once] before being set free like Free Willy, or a wet fart at the family gathering.Whether it's free agency, the old DFA route [not advisable, no matter how hungry for blood the Cubs faithful gets], or an under-the-radar trade, let them go. Acknowledge that it's time for them to try and ply their trade elsewhere, much like we did in shoving Korey to the curb last off-season.Pick apart my insanely flawed logic all you want. Call me crazy, seriously[...]
If there's a better picture out there to symbolize and sum up our team right now, I have yet to see it. We scrape, battle, fight, gnash and stagger towards victory, only for it to elude us like a greasy groundball to third with runners on the bases. It slips from our grasp, and the manners and methods that seem to illustrate our defeats become all the more depressing with each passing day.
Tonight, it was the blown save again, Dempster's 4th of the season, and that was not the troubling part. Tonight, it was the fact that we had come back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to take the lead in the 8th inning, only to watch Brewers' baserunners score with the consummate ease of Wilt Chamberlain. As always, errors were a blown save's best friend, with 2 huge mistakes in that fateful 9th frame -- the first when Dempster fielded a sacrifice bunt [with runners on 1st and 2nd and 0 outs] and tried to throw out the runner at third, only to send the ball high into left field, allowing Koskie to trot home easily from second base. Then, again with 0 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, a hard-hit grounder to Cedeno somehow squeezed through his legs, allowing another run to score. Two sacrifice flies later, and the Cubs fall 8-5.
If I were Carlos Zambrano, I would demand a trade. After a recent article in ESPN: The Magazine, where they portrayed him as an unfortunate star who is a winning franchise away from a Cy Young, he once again strapped this feckless bunch to his back, pitching 8 strong innings [8 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K], and had played himself into contention for the win by also hitting a 2-run home run in the 5th inning.
What more can the guy do? Throw a CG every night of the week, hit in the 3 spot, catch for himself, call his own games, write the lineups, wash the jerseys? I bet that he would be willing.
To add further fuel to an already raging inferno, we have welcomed Derrek Lee back and promptly lost each of the 3 games he has played. While true that he has gone 3-13 since returning, at least we have our talisman back, the man set to strike fear into opposing pitchers once again. Our results do not reflect that.
Recent articles on Yahoo! Sports reflect the steadily rising ire of Cubs fans, not to mention the increasing heat under Dusty Baker's seat as the manager of this sullen group. After nights like this, it is almost certainly justified.
Inept, bereft, bad
The Cubs limp through the Central
Like old, drunk monkeys
Errors are fun, gah!
Blown saves are yet another
way to lose, we know
Do they like free cash?
Their salaries are big and
they don't work for them
Lose, lose, lose some more
Cubbie blue is painful, how
irate they make us
Wood is a large pain
in our collective asses
pitching, then aching
Carlos deserves more
than this weak-ass offense we
seem to bring each start
Aramis fails us
batting weakly, swings meekly
av'rage not his friend
scrubs might fare better
give young'uns a chance, and cut
the old fat fast, please
Dusty? Fuck Baker
his time with us should soon end
for his record sucks
The Trib, such damp squibs
our hopes die in their pages
2006-06-20T15:56:50.956-04:00CUBS 12, INDIANS 8W - S. Marshall [4-5, 4.97]L - J. Johnson [3-8, 5.96]There's nothing better in this "business" of blogging [the trade needs a catchier name, and a paycheck wouldn't hurt either] than being absolutely wrong about something.From one day to another, I make all sorts of guesses, half-hearted predictions and assumptions about our much-maligned and weary team, only to be left incorrect once the dust settles.I imagine a similar fate awaits Jay Mariotti each and every time he heads into work, as he sits down at his desk or cubicle [which I envision to be in a dank, cold part of the office far from the editorial staff and people of importance] only to contradict his strong "beliefs" from the previous column that seemingly change like the winds blowing in off Lake Michigan.In this particular instant, I foretold of doom and gloom against the Tribe, and after the first game in the series, I have been pleasantly surprised. It's satisfying when your errors and mistakes result in a win for the Cubs. And last night, we began a streak. A winning streak. A streak of one.Aside from being wrong, there is great satisfaction is missing something amid all the statistics and predictions in baseball. Henry Blanco, who once sported some of the ugliest and most depressing offensive statistics on the Cubs' roster, has now decided to strap the team to his stubborn, defiant Sherpa-like back, providing more offense in his last 7 games than he did almost all of last season. Allow me to illustrate:First 14 games:.051 BA [2-for-39], 2 RBILast 7 games:.542 BA [13-for-24], 3 HR, 11 RBI2005 Season [just for perspective]:.242 BA [39-for-161], 6 HR, 25 RBIAnd so, yet another of those bizarre phenomena in life emerges. With Barrett's suspension officially beginning last night, Blanco's presence in the lineup for the next 9 games might not be so bad. After all, it cannot get much worse. It's also worth noting that Blanco's enjoyed batting in Jacobs Field over his career, hitting .436 [17-for-39] there in his lifetime.Another thing I got wrong was the Tribe's pitching staff. I noted yesterday that their starters for this series might be able to outduel our lads, and while that might still be partially true, I had completely forgotten how awful their bullpen was. After we chased Jason Johnson from the game after 5 innings [5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K], our lineup managed to tack on 6 runs to their relievers. As Cleveland crumbled, we held on until Dempster's outing [you know, because he's had no save opportunities in what seems like months] when the Indians put 4 runs on the board.While it didn't cost us the match, his lack of 9th inning composure is becoming a little troubling - in his last 10 outings, his ERA has risen from 3.32 to 4.45, with 2 blown saves in the mix, and he should have fared better yesterday than his line might show [IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB].But let's not be concerned by such trifling matters. Just know that lately, guys like Jacque Jones and Aramis Ramirez are beginning to find their feet, Sean Marshall's pitching well above expectations after jumping from AA, and Zambrano is finding his Latin fire once more. Forget Wood, forget Prior, and pay no mind to the continued absence of Derrek Lee.As of today, Henry Blanco is here.[...]
Tonight, 7.05pm ET
CHC - LHP Sean Marshall [3-5, 4.82 ERA]
CLE - RHP Jason Johnson [3-7, 6.00 ERA]
Tuesday, 7.05pm ET
CHC - RHP Greg Maddux [7-6, 4.82]
CLE - LHP Cliff Lee [5-5, 5.04]
Wednesday, 7.05pm ET
CHC - RHP Carlos Zambrano [5-3, 2.82]
CLE - LHP C.C. Sabathia [5-3, 3.08]
Once again, I think we'll drop two of three in this department, although the matchups are extremely favourable for a Cubs sweep, in all honesty. Marshall can outmatch Johnson, but like in all three games, the lineup the Cubs have to pitch against is vastly more threatening that that which the Indians will have to contend with. So, despite my optimism for a Cubs sweep, I think we'll drop tonight, beat Clifford Lee tomorrow and Zambrano will get no decision vs. Sabathia on Wednesday.
I'm trying hard not to over-analyze it [hard to believe considering that last sentence], but this was rough. Wood at least got one reasonably good start out before his shoulder started acting up again, while Prior enjoyed simple rehab outings and when it came time to face the big boys, those talents were strangely absent. His pitches weren't falling, and with that power-pitcher mentality, Prior tried to muscle past the lineup and got nowhere.
I feel that if he is to find himself pitching in the majors for a long period of time, he needs to drastically readjust his mentality on the mound, along with his mechanics, because those days of power pitching seem to be coming to an end.
It's also worth mentioning that we've lost six in a row at home [3 to Houston, 3 to Detroit], and with Cleveland next up on the menu, there's seemingly no end in sight.
FINAL -- TIGERS 5, CUBS 3
W - N. Robertson [7-3]
L - G. Rusch [2-7]
S - T. Jones 
Not surprisingly, we couldn't pull it out. Todd Jones pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save of the season [not bad for a man with a 7.00 ERA], and the Cubs lose again. F*ck.
Bottom 8th - Cubs 3, Detroit 5
A brief lifeline comes in the form of a Ramirez solo shot deep to center field, but Nevin and Murton throw away their outs to close the frame. One shot left in the 9th...
Bottom 7th - Cubs 2, Detroit 5
Christ, I fell asleep and missed nothing. Even the Mexico/Angola game is locked up at 0-0 with only 10 minutes left. Blanco hit a solo HR [I have no idea how], which was canceled out in the next inning by a Polanco RBI single. Robertson looks mean on the mound, and Guzman has acquitted himself perfectly, and should perhaps steal Rusch's spot in the rotation.
DET - Robertson 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
CHC - Guzman 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K
Top 4th - Detroit 4, Cubs 1
Angel Guzman has 5 K in 2 1/3 IP. That's impressive.
Bottom 3rd - Cubs 1, Detroit 4
Another snoozefest from the Cubbies. Single, pop out, fly out, ground out. It's so bad I might go out.
Top 3rd - Detroit 4, Cubs 1
Holy f-ck. A 1-2-3 inning. Guzman slams the door on Pudge, Magglio and Guillen, something Rusch couldn't do if they were asleep.
Bottom 2nd - Cubs 1, Detroit 4
And with that, our offense roars alive, to the tune of a leadoff double by JJ, a groundout by Cedeno getting the runner over, and a soft, soft single by Henry "I hit so badly because I'm scared of my own power" Blanco to bring him home.
Top 2nd - Detroit 4, Cubs 0
Of course, Rusch is already out of the game. The Tigers feasted on him again in this inning, having made him throw 30 pitches just to escape the 1st. What did it this time? A solo home run by Thames, a double by Shelton, and an RBI triple by Granderson. Guzman then strikes out Polanco to end it, showing Rusch that throwing strikes will always bail you out. F*ck.
Bottom 1st - Cubs 0, Detroit 2
Yawn. Pierre gets plunked, and then makes it to second on a throwing error by Robertson. Nothing comes of it though, and the Cubs leave him in scoring position.
Top 1st - Detroit 2, Cubs 0
As predicted, an early shellacking for Rusch. The Tigers open the inning with back-to-back doubles, before scoring on a sac fly and an RBI single. The Cubs work out of the jam nicely, finishing the frame with a neat strikeout/caught stealing double play. Don't see those too often.
Cubs 2, Astros 3
W - D. Borkowski [1-0]
L - B. Howry [2-2]
S - B. Lidge 
Well, over the last six weeks we've seen all sorts of innovation from the Cubs, particularly in the difficult art of finding new ways to lose. A superb outing by Zambrano was absolutely wasted -- his performance [7 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K] deserved so much more than it received, which in the end was a no-decision.
Howry's entrance into the game in the 8th inning suddenly sparked a toothless Astros offense, slapping back-to-back singles to open the frame. Preston Wilson grounded into the fielder's choice, but Walker's throwing error gave them the gift of two runners in scoring position and only one out. It didn't take long [aka the next batter] for the dam to burst, as Ausmus' single to right scored both runs and gave the Astros a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
If there is such a thing as a "statement" game, this would be a worthy candidate. It symbolizes so much about our season so far -- earnest effort ruined by unspeakable lapses and mistakes. You can say what you want about injuries, but I hope the chatter about the monumental loss of Derrek Lee to our offense will die in light of a certain Pujols' injury for the Cardinals. His contribution to their team's offense is perhaps greater than what Lee provided for us, and yet we flounded time and time again.
But, we must look forward. We welcome Detroit for a 3-game series that could be equally frightening, considering the depth of their lineup and their fearsome pitching rotation [a fact that is compounded by our sending two rookies to the mound this weekend]. Sure, I'll tune in now and again, but the World Cup has got me by the scruff of the neck lately. Who would turn down Mexico vs. Angola?
BITCHING PITCHING MATCHUPS
Today, 2.20pm ET
DET -- LHP Nate Robertson [6-3, 3.50 ERA]
CHI -- LHP Glendon Rusch [2-6, 7.29 ERA]
Saturday, 2.05pm ET
DET -- RHP Justin Verlander [7-4, 3.32]
CHC -- RHP Carlos Marmol [1-0, 0.90]
Sunday, 12.20pm ET
DET -- LHP Kenny Rogers [9-3, 3.25]
CHC -- LHP Sean Marshall [3-5, 4.82]
I have no grounds for this, but I see us losing two of three this weekend, with our biggest chance for a win coming against the occasionally-wild Kenny Rogers. He's due for a blowup outing, the kind where his line reads 3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER or something. I will do my best to watch the dynamic Verlander tomorrow, but we'll see. Some things are bigger than baseball. [Sometimes.]
Congratulations! Dusty Baker, 57 years old!!!!!!!! Looking good, dude!!!!!
[Also, may you not get a gift-wrapped contract extension just because it's your birthday.]
2006-06-13T16:11:00.613-04:00I haven't seen much Cubs action since the beginning of June, for various reasons. I've been drunk a few times, which is normal, not to mention the Aurora Borealis-like appearance of the World Cup on my horizon. Being a limey, it's encoded deep in my DNA that I must pay attention and watch virtually every minute, a pact that I have almost delivered on so far [except for missing the 2nd half of Poland/Ecuador, and the 1st half of Argentina/Ivory Coast].That being said, the Cubs have "picked up their shit" lately, and I've been largely absent for most of it. I can't help but think that there is a correlation there, and so amid reasonably-spaced, breezy Cubs information, a whole heaping shitload of World Cup deliciousness will be foisted on you unfortunate lot for its duration. It's bigger than the Cubs, it's bigger than you or I, and frankly, it's bigger than the US of A. But, since June 1, I've missed some stuff. For example:- The Cubs winning some games and playing consistently.Since June 1, the Cubs have gone 6-4, and generally have played a lot better baseball. Outscoring opponents by the narrow margin of 42-37, our pitching has performed admirably, and several bats have been swinging in unison.- The appearance of Carlos Marmol.I fear the day when our seemingly endless lake of servicable, spot-starting AA-calibre pitchers will run dry, but in the interim, yet another has caught my eye. Carlos Marmol, a man from the Dominican Republic who is 4 months younger than I am [thus strengthening my depression about not making something of my life yet], has looked sensational to date, putting up the numbers we wish we'd see from Kerry or Mark -- 1-0, 10 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 13 K, .80 WHIP, .147 BAA, 0.90 ERA. Of course these figures will not last, but his command of three quality pitches might make him a key member of the ramshackle Cubs if we are to challenge for anything yet this season.- The disappearance of Kerry Wood.I have to wonder if his career at this level is over, as he visits the DL yet again this past week, and once again, with no classifiable injury other than "shoulder soreness". It's horribly vague, and will only serve to put Kerry Wood in that horribly vague category of players with incredible talent who faded into obscurity. His pitching was holding together [just about] over his 4 season starts in 2006 [1-2, 4.12 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, .253 BAA, 8 BB, 13 K], and yet his shoulder ultimately was not. He's a far, sad cry from the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year, and I question whether we'll see him again for any prolonged period of time in 2006. I just don't see it happening.- Welcome, Phil Nevin.About 5 weeks too late, the Cubs trade away Hairy Jerry and receive the wan-faced listless Phil Nevin, whose reasonable MLB career became a bit of a ping-pong ball. To clarify -- since playing 147 games for San Diego in 2004, Nevin has been traded from Texas back to San Diego in 2005 after 29 games, played 73 games for San Diego, only to be traded back to Texas in the 2005/06 offseason where he figured in 46 mediocre games [losing his spot in the TEX lineup to a rookie because Nevin couldn't hit Right-Handed Pitching!] before landing in Chicago on May 31. That, my friends, is a drama unto itself. In 7 games for the Cubbie blue, Nevin's hit two big home runs and batted .238 [5-for-21, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB, 4 K] so far. With latest news that Derrek Lee might start swinging a bat "as early as next week", Nevin will provide a little more pop off the bench in August and September, although you have to wonder what could have been if the Cubs hadn't tried to roll up their shirtsleeves and make do with limited reso[...]
2006-06-12T10:50:51.870-04:00"We got one of our main men back. Anytime you get one of your main men back, that's a tremendous lift. We'll get another main man back [with Prior] and another main man back [with Wade Miller] and then the main man back in [Derrek Lee]. When those main men are here, you have a great chance to win, even before the game starts. That adds a whole bunch of confidence to the team."- New team name: The Chicago Main Men - 5/17"He said he felt as if he'd been hit by a truck. He's sore everywhere, which is understandable. He had a lot more adrenaline going than he did down there in Arizona [pitching in rehab games]. He said it's a good, general soreness."- Yeah, but then Wood went on the DL anyway - 5/19"These things happen, whether it's the White Sox or Kansas City or whoever's in the league. I can't say our relationship is that tense with the White Sox or theirs with us. We're just playing baseball. These things happen. It's unfortunate. You don't like it; it's not something you teach your kids to do. These are grown men playing a young man's game."- And you're an old man coaching a young man's game - 5/20"I saw them talking. It'd be tough for me to talk to somebody after they clocked me like that. Perhaps they did. I wouldn't have been in a conversational mood."- Maybe you should get clocked more often then - 5/21"The best way to get out of this is basically to pitch your way out of it. We need success of deep, deep games [by the starting pitcher]. You fall behind early and it ties your hands as to what you can do offensively, especially if you don't have a bunch of three-run homer guys. The main thing we have to do is pitch better, take our walks when they give them to us and stay out of double plays. We've got to cut these walks down. Look at the stats here and we've got a ton of walks. That equals a lot of runs."- Does any team have "a bunch of three-run homer guys"? - 5/23"That's my job. During tough times, you've got to be tough. I don't allow any finger pointing. If you're pointing your fingers, there's a good chance you should be pointing at yourself, too."- Dusty has a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" moment - 5/26"Reports are that he knows how to pitch. He has three real good pitches that he can control. The whole thing is, can he transfer that to the big leagues with the same relaxed mode that he showed us and pitch the same way he did down there?"- The answer regarding Jae Kuk Ryu? No - 5/27"I drive around town, going home, walk around town, and I see people with Cub hats on and Cub T-shirts on. I feel terrible. I feel like we're letting them down. I know our guys are busting their butts. You feel badly not only for the people here in Chicago, but we're kind of like a world team. We're broadcast all over the country. I get letters from all over the world about the Cubs. I really appreciate them, and I've come to enjoy coming to a packed house every day. All in all, they've been very supportive. I don't blame them for being upset and disgruntled, because I probably would be if I was a fan, too. We really appreciate their belief and support. People tell me we still have a chance. This is what I believe. I always believe that. I believe that in the bottom of my heart. I'd love to come back, all the way back, and give the whole town and world an injection of faith."- Some people want to give you an injection too, of the lethal variety - 5/28"It's tough. You have to get a lot of hits. That ball was jumping [on Sunday]. I wanted to suit up."- If you do, we could use you at second base - 5/29"I like football players as baseball players. They tend to be tougher. I've alway[...]
2006-06-12T09:13:03.190-04:00W - Carlos Marmol [1-0]
After Wood hit the DL and missed his start on the sabbath, Carlos Marmol stepped in from AA-West Tennessee to pitch a superb game, throwing 6 innings of 2-hit, 1-run baseball to help the Cubs overcome a stubborn Reds team.
The game went scoreless into the 5th inning, when Cedeno and Neifi drove in a couple of runs in a game dominated by the long ball -- 9 of the 12 runs in the game came off home runs. Cedeno, Nevin, and Perez all went deep for the Cubbies en route to victory.
2006-06-09T00:34:26.006-04:00[Arroyo [8-2] beat the Cubs for the third time this season, giving up five hits, including Tony Womack's first homer, in seven innings. The lanky, long-haired pitcher has yet to lose at Great American Ball Park, where he's 4-0 in six starts....Chicago's Glendon Rusch [2-6] had a breakthrough of sorts. Heading into the game, the left-hander had already faced Arroyo twice this season and lost both times. Worse, Arroyo had homered off of him in both games.Rusch struck out Arroyo twice on Thursday, ending that part of their head-to-head domination. But Rusch fell to 0-3 in their matchups because he couldn't handle the guys who batted right before him. ]Do You RememberWhen We Fell In LoveWe Were YoungAnd Had Control Problems ThenDo You RememberHow It All BeganMy Wins Just Seemed Like heavenSo Why Did It End?Do You RememberBack In AprilWe were TogetherAll Day LongDo You RememberUs PitchingAt Each Other's TeamsWe'd Stare[Tell Me]Do You Remember The TimeWhen We Fell In LoveDo You Remember The TimeWhen We First MetDo You RememberBack In The SpringEvery Morning Adam Dunn Would SingDo You RememberThose Special TimesThey'll Just Go On And OnIn The Back Of My MindRemember The TimesOohRemember The TimesDo You Remember GlendonRemember The TimesOn The Phone You And MeRemember The TimesTill Dawn, Two Or ThreeWhat About Us Glendon[...]
2006-06-08T10:03:28.930-04:00Rusch vs. Arroyo
Wouldn't surprise me if today has a similar outcome. That is all.
We've been pretty quiet over the last week or so (who wants to write about loss after loss?) but the cubs haven't. They've won three out of the last four and dominated the 'stros in the series opener tonight. Let me re-phrase: Z completely dominated the 'stros. Z had a career night. Not only was he six batters from a no-no but he had four RBI's. Yes, four: a three run bomb to right center in the second then a sac fly in the fourth. Good Stuff Los.
Other highlights tonight included Barrett and Jones (now batting .310, how the hell did that happen?) homering, Cedeno extending his hit streak to 10 and JP hitting the ball out of the infield.
As for the Astros, I'm not sure what's going on there. I guess they're waiting for Clemens, trying to repeat last year's late season run or both. Whatever they're doing, if they keep it up, tomorrow night could be a good confidence builder for Wood.
The Cubbies have nine more straight against division opponents. If they're gonna pick a stretch to their shit together, this is a good time. Nevin and Womack have already exceeded my expectations and hopefully they can keep it up. We now have four players batting above .300 and are consistently out hitting our opponents.
I know it's extremely wishful thinking but if we can win our next few series (maybe sweep the reds? now I'm dreaming...), .500 would be within reach for DLee's return. What the hell am I talking about...I'm sure we'll still be 10 under 500 by the time Detroit rolls into town.
HR: E Renteria 2 (5, 1st inning off J Ryu 0 on, 1 Out; 6th inning off G Rusch 0 on, 0 Out); A Laroche 2 (8, 2nd inning off J Ryu 0 on, 0 Out; 6th inning off R Novoa 0 on, 1 Out); R Langerhans (4, 2nd inning off J Ryu 0 on, 1 Out); M Giles (2, 2nd inning off J Ryu 2 on, 1 Out); A Jones (12, 6th inning off G Rusch 0 on, 1 Out); B Pena (1, 7th inning off R Novoa 0 on, 0 Out)
RBI: E Renteria 3 (21), A LaRoche 2 (29), R Langerhans 2 (16), M Giles 4 (14), A Jones (47), B Pena (1)
8 HR's. I was right, Ryu did in fact get rocked.
The cubs dropped their 5th in a row today. No point in breaking it down. The Cubs managed 10 hits but only one run. What to say at this point...I don't have many words but I do have a couple of quotes.
The first is from T-Walk: "Fire the nine guys who have been out there stinking it up for three weeks. Fire me." Be careful what you wish for...weren't you almost canned in the off-season? Walker sounds ridiculously frustrated. I could easily see Hendry making this happen.
The second from our wise, learned, sage-like Dusty: "Reports are that he knows how to pitch." To quote the Sarce, "Ho-lee-shit." Did he really say that? This was in reference to JK Ryu starting tomorrow against the Braves.
You know, it takes a lot for something that comes out of Dusty's mouth to surprise me. Now I know Dusty doesn't buy into "statistics" or "analysis" but I thought he might be watching his players play the game. I guess not. I see two possible explanations for this quote: Dusty's imitating some shady informant-like character he saw in a recent thriller OR or he's LITERALLY phoning it in at this point. Either way, Ryu will likely get rocked tomorrow as ATL sweeps.