View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



June 2005



Back from the East Coast

Written by , Posted in General

The past weekend in Chicago boasted several big events in the City, not the least of which were The Taste of Chicago and the Cubs/White Sox series, so naturally, I was away in Winchester, VA for a friend’s wedding, where I learned a couple of things about Indian weddings:
1. They’re very long.
2. Nobody who’s not actively involved in the ceremony pays any attention.
Luckily, I was able to survive 2 and a half hours of wearing a suit in 90 degree weather (ceremony was outside) and was thus able to partake in the eating, drinking and dancing that followed. And if my friend is reading this, congratulations again, we had a great time, and what are you doing on the internet? YOU’RE ON YOUR HONEYMOON!

Anyway, I was able to get home in time to catch Mark Prior’s first start since he was injured by a line drive to the elbow, and I guess the only way it could have gone better was if he hadn’t given up that one hit. Prior was dominating, and managed to get through 6 innings on 71 pitches, a fairly manageable total for Mark. Carlos Zambrano will be back on the hill and Tuesday, and I think most of us will be watching closely. Carlos has now had 3 straight bad outings, including the worst of his career against the Brewers, who will be back in town, sending Doug Davis to the hill. Let’s hope the results are vastly different this time, as Rich Hill will not be here to pick up the slack.

I used to scoff when the announcers brought up the high grass at Wrigley Field and what an advantage it is for a ground ball pitcher, but after seeing Sergio Mitre pitch at home and on the road, I’m starting to think there’s something to it. He’s still getting the ground balls, but on the road they seem to get through for hits more often.

All of the sudden, Mark Kotsay to the Cubs rumors have started to pop up everywhere, from Ken Rosenthal to Peter Gammons to Joe Aiello. I’d definitely be on board with a trade that brought Kotsay to the Cubs. He’s a very good defensive centerfielder and a good leadoff man. His stats are down a bit this year, but he’s definitely better than what Dusty is currently using at the top of the order. The only question is what exactly Billy Beane would want in exchange (I don’t see him asking for Corey Patterson and his .285 OPB), but with most sources reporting that the Cubs and Yankees are the main suitors for Kotsay, I like the Cubs chances since Oakland will want quality minor leaguers (read: cheap talent) which the Cubs definitely have more of than the Yankees.

Finally, I wanted to weigh in on the Lou Pinella thing. While I think that Lou is a better manager than Dusty, there’s just something that irks me about his whole situation in Tampa. He was the one who greased the skids for his exit from Seattle (from a very good situation at the time). Lou’s first choice was the Mets, but when Seattle refused to let that happen, he was happy to take the money and be traded to Tampa Bay, where he believed the promises from Tampa management that while they never spent any money before, they would definitely start spending it now, since they now possessed a manager who would fill the stadium with fans thanks to his baseball genius. Now Lou wants out of Tampa, which would be fine, all he has to do is resign. But that would mean giving up the remainder of the money on his contract, so he’s angling for a buyout from management. I’m not sure what makes Pinella think that a team that won’t pay players to play for them would be willing to pay a manager NOT to manage for them, but he seems to think it’ll work out. So, despite the fact that he’s a superior manager, Lou’s behavior in the last few years has turned me off to him. When the going gets tough, I don’t want my manager looking for the fastest way out of town…pass on Lou Pinella.