Archive for May, 2004

So tired

Monday, May 24th, 2004

I am so sleepy, but I feel like I owe it to the readers to get something new cranked out each day. There is not much to say on an off day. As you all probably know by now, Wood is out for a few weeks. I say, no problem. The great Sergio Mitre will fill his space. Oh wait, he’s already filling in for Prior. Maybe this will be Jaun Cruz’s big chance. Oh wait, we traded him for crap. Well then, I guess we’ll have to deal with a rotation that includes Mitre and Glendon “I only date big booty hoes” Rusch. It’s funny how we get so spoiled now that we have a starting 5 for the ages. It will be nice when we can finally trot them all out there one after another. Those days are coming soon my friends.

I am pretty pumped about the game tonight on WGN. Not only do we face the Astros, but we have Zambrano, who has been our ACE this year against their opening day starter, Roy Oswalt. I predict a very low scoring game, despite the fact that the game is in a very good hitter’s park. I predict a hard fought Cub victory. Final Score: Cubs 4 Astros 3

Best Blog 2004 (Non-Cubs version)

Alright, last Thanksgiving, I ran a “competition” called The Best Blog 2003. Well, I have decided to do this again for non Cubs blogs. I think it’s always a good time to read what bloggers around baseball have to say about their team. No matter where you go, fans are passionate about their team. Even fans of such horrible teams like the poor Devil Rays and Tigers. This should be another fun time. Really, the whole point of this thing, in my opinion is to give some props to our writers who do a great time following their team. Right now, I am compiling a list of blogs from around the Major leagues who I feel are worthy to be in this competition. I would say that the competition should be starting in the next week or so. Also, in November, just like last year, The Cubs version will return. Will the Northside Lounge repeat as champions or will blogs like The Uncouth Sloth, Cubs Now, etc give them some competition?

R.I.P.

Finally, on a sad note, an authority on the business side of baseball, Doug Pappas passed away. Doug maintained a blog, which was read by 1500 people per day. Give it a look. Doug was a very smart man and will be missed. One of the coolest things on his site was some pictures from various major league ballparks he has visited. Check it out here.

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Ever do it on National TV?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2004

The Cubs have. I am referring to beating your arch rival to win a big series on National TV. I was pretty confident that the Cubs would win the game on Sunday with my boy pitching, and I am glad that everyone out there got to watch our boys beat the Cards to take two out of three.

I hate the fact that I had to suffer through listening to Jon Miller and Joe “I am a turd” Morgan. Those two are so boring and confused. They talked for like 10 minutes about what the rule is on when a game is official. Jon Miller didn’t seem to have a clue what the rule is on this. My God, even Chip Carey knows that. What is wrong with this guy and how did he get this job? What made it even worse was they were talking about the official game topic for no apparent reason. It’s not like it was raining or something like that. Just call the game and try to not sound like an idiot. As much as I hate to say it, I was really wishing we could have been listening to the announcing from the visiting Cardinal team. I love Joe Buck. He does such a great job.

No Pain, No Gain

Kerry Wood was supposed to have a simulated game today, but left after only 8 pitches when he felt some pain. Most bloggers are probably going to jump all over this and mark is as the sign that the team is going down. I am not even going to bother with commenting on this other than telling you it happened. I am not worried at all. I played softball the other night and when I threw to 1st trying to turn two, I felt some pain in my arm. Did my arm fall off? No!! Neither will Kerry Wood’s. He’ll be fine, just let him rest.

The View From The Bleachers Welcomes:

I have recently realized that I have missed a few quality Cubs blogs on my list of links. So, to make up for that, I have added them to the side. Please check out End The Drought, The Northside Report, and Redline to Addison. All of them are excellent and I feel bad for overlooking them. If there are others that I am missing, please let me know.

Enough is Enough

I am sick and tired of hearing people who follow the Cubs gripe and complain every time Baker brings in Borowski. All I ever hear or read, most recently on The Northside Report, is that they pray to the gods that Borowski doesn’t blow the save. I hate to break the news to all of you, but in case you haven’t been keeping up with it, Borowski currently has a consecutive games saved streak going. It is the longest, not only for his career, but in Cubs history. So before you sit there and complain that his fastball has lost something and that he makes you nervous, sit back and relish in that fact that we do not have Mitch Williams closing for us. We have a guy that has gotten the job done when he needs to. That’s all we can ask. Until then, shut up with it already!!!!

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Help Please

Saturday, May 22nd, 2004

Dave and I desperately want to move to Movable type. I have no clue how to switch over so if someone could lend some assistace, we would really apreciate it. I speak just for myself, but I am dumb with some of this stuff. Dave is a lot better than me, so he may have it all figured out soon. However, please e-mail him, and I stress the word HIM with the help.

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Summertime and the livin’s easy

Friday, May 21st, 2004

This summer was supposed to be an opportunity to catch my breath in between college semesters. I’d only be working 30 hours a week with no classload, instead of 30 and a full load. Instead, my wife and I are buying a house, so the expected blade-of-grass-and-rocking-chair summer I expected has turned into Gilligan running in fast forward into the lagoon, his pants aflame.

All the same, there’s nothing for me to do about the house this weekend. Our bid has been accepted and my wife is handling the mortgage stuff while I’m at work. All of my weekly tasks are done at work, so I’m just killing the next two hours.

So my mind is racing, and moments like this are great times to fill the blog with random thoughts.

1) Is Dusty The Great Motivator or Phil Jackson? Did he arrive at the time when the fruits of the farm system and Hendry’s work were ripening, or was it his nurturing hand working the orchard that have brought the 1.25 seasons of unexpected success? The answer has to be equal parts of each. Imagine Lefebvre or Essian or Riggleman at the helm; wouldn’t they have had a tougher time keeping the troops believing through all the injuries and possible conflicts (Grudz/Walker playing time, Sosa vs. anyone else getting attention, etc.)? Imagine if you took away Zambrano and Wood (Prior would still be injured), leaving us with a rotation of Clement, Mitre, and 3 league-average starters. Would Baker win with those guys?

2) This Cardinals series has got me nervous. If the Cubs win one of three with Clement, Rusch, and Mitre, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief. If they sweep I’ll start going back to church. Okay, not really, but maybe I’ll be kinder to my fellow man and stop coveting my neighbor’s wife so much.

3) Numerically, Baker and Matthews ended up with eerily similar careers.

The differences between the two are as follows:

Games Played: 6

At-Bats: 30

Runs: 119

Hits: 30

2b: 1

3b: 28

hr: 8

rbi: 35

sb: 46

cs: 1

bb: 178

SO: 199

ba: .003

obp: .017

slg: .007

tb: 61

With the exception of runs scored, BB, SO, and OBP, the statical differences in their career lines are negligible. I doubt there are any manager/hitting coach combinations in baseball history whose careers ended up with numbers so similar.

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Friday Five Preview

Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Last week we introduced a new feature here. That feature is the Friday five. Each week, Dave and I will come up with our top 5 for various topics ranging from Cubs baseball to celebrities. Last week, I gave my top five favorite current major league baseball players. This was not meant to be a “Top 5 Baseball players” list in terms of skill, but rather who I enjoy watching.

This week, the topic of the Friday five is our picks for hottest female celebs. This was harder than it sounds. We have rounded up pictures of the ladies and will be posting our lists and pictures on the site. They will be ready for you to see on Friday morning. If you want to have a little fun with this, leave your predictions now and see how many our on our lists. Also, please leave a comment about a topic you would like to see on future Friday Five’s

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Cubs catch a break

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

I am pretty confident that if Barry Bonds, who I hate with a passion, would have been playing in that game tonight the Cubs would have lost. Luckily we caught the Giants at a good time and probably won’t have to face him tomorrow. As I was watching the game in the late innings with my wife, I said to her when Corey Patterson was up and ahead 2-0 in the count, “He will strike out. I promise you that.” What did he do? Strike out of course. Everywhere I read or listen to now is starting to lower their bar a little for Corey Patterson. For the longest time, all I used to read is that Corey Patterson is going to be this unbelievable ballplayer. When is it going to happen? All I see is a kid with a horrible sense of the strike zone. Here are my “bold predictions for Corey Patterson.”

Corey Patterson will never do the following:

  • Hit 30 HR’s in a season
  • Hit .300 in a season
  • Draw 100 walks in a season
  • Strike out less than 100 times in a 550 AB season
  • Win a World Series

As most of you know, I personally HATE Corey Patterson. I have never liked him for some reason, even when he was a highly touted prospect. Something about him has always bugged me. So there you have my list of things he will never do. You may have noticed that the last one was win a World Series. If the Cubs win it this year, Patterson will not be on the team. You watch and see. Give me my props when it happens.

On a more cheerful note, one of the new things that Dave and I have decided to do instead of posting the Player of the Game’s stats for the night, is to post a made up funny quote by them. Hopefully it will be something you enjoy.

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That’s all we get?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

Since the Cubs couldn’t seem to hit the ball tonight, I’m not writing about them. Instead, I’m going to write about the comeback of the ages. I’m am positive not one of you saw this game either, which makes it even more important that I share it with you.

What game am I talking about you ask? Well, it was my church softball game tonight. Our season started last Tuesday and we lost that game. We were missing a lot of players and had to play with 9 instead of 10 last week. We ended up losing 16-6 in a slaughter rule shortened game. I sucked at the plate. I went 0-2 with a pop out, foul out, and a base on balls. I played a flawless first base however.

Tonight we had two games on the schedule. Both games were against really tough teams. In the first game, we only managed 4 runs and lost 13-4. I went 1-3 at the plate with a single. I got doubled off of first base though. It was a tough little bloop that I didn’t know if it would drop or be caught. I made a choice and it was the wrong one. What can you do? In the field, an errorless game at 2b with a putout on a fielder’s choice to 2b.

So you might be saying, “Where is this comeback of the ages?” Well, in game two, the bats continued to sleep. Sounds a little similar to the Cubs. We were down 9-1 going into the top of the 6th. We managed to score 4 runs that inning, one of them knocked in by me on a sac fly to center. We held them in the bottom half of the inning and then came up with top of the order in the 7th and final inning. Game over right? Heck no, we went up with a mission. Single after single came off our bats. The bats just lit up. With 2 men on and down 2 runs, we got a double that scored 2. Tie game. Then the guy before me, who is our coach and doesn’t play due to “old age” came up. 2 men out and he hits a triple. Now we’re winning by one and I come up with 2 down and a man on third. I lace the first pitch I see straight through the SS and 3b. Up by two. In the bottom half of the inning we get them 1,2,3. Game over. Scott’s Creek Baptist Church 11 vs Ocre Hill – 9. For the day in the two games, I went 4-6 with 2 RBI’s. Not bad. On the year, I am 4-8 .500 BA with 1 BB, 2 RBI’s. I will update on the next game this Thursday night.

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George Steinbrenner – Love him or Hate him

Monday, May 17th, 2004

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated a few sports teams. Those teams are the White Sox, Cardinals, Packers, Mets, and the Evil Empire that is the Yankees. Each are hated for different reasons. The Yankees have always been hated not only because of their propensity for winning, but for their free-spending owner who absolutely refuses to lose gracefully.

Growing up, Steinbrenner’s disregard for the cost of payroll and spur of the moment deals always frustrated me, not because it was “bad for baseball” but because our team never made those types of deals. Each year I knew and still know that the Yankees will do whatever it takes to make the team better and get to the post-season. Our organization, up until just recently have always seemed to do the bare minimum that it would take, not to make the playoffs, but to generate enough “excitement” amongst the fans to get them into the park. So really, my hatred toward the organization and Steinbrenner was kind of unfair. Now there are people that will argue that the free spending is not good for baseball. I disagree with that. The Yankees are the most popular and storied franchises in all of sports. I think that if the Yankees are doing crazy spending and making headlines by getting A-Rod, “Great!!!”. It markets the sport. It’s good baseball. It generated interest in a sport that is still trying to recover from a few work stoppages.

The mastermind behind this team is who a lot of people hate. Recently I read an article in Sports Illustrated about Mr. Evil Empire. This article painted Steinbrenner in a different light. I had never realized how giving and caring he was. He has donated huge sums of money for so many causes that no one ever really hears about. Everything I read about ole Georgie boy is that he is quite the humanitarian. I would be proud to shake his hand and tell him thank you for doing great things for baseball.

All that being said, I STILL HATE THE YANKEES, just not Mr. Steinbrenner.

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That makes Dusty Snow White and Tony LaRussa the wicked witch

Monday, May 17th, 2004

From the Chicago Tribune:

When Mark Grudzielanek was with the Cubs in St. Louis two weeks ago, some clubhouse jokers removed his name from his locker and inserted the word “Grumpy.” Now that the Cubs have a “Sneezy” and a “Grumpy,” the remaining players to be named are “Doc,” “Happy,” “Bashful,” “Sleepy” and “Dopey.”

That leaves a window open for bloggers to assign the missing dwarf names to current Cubs. The challenge has been issued!

Sneezy: Samuel Peralta Sosa (formerly “Corky.”)

Grumpy: Mark Grudzielanek

Doc: Prior (for his surgical precision on the mound)

Happy: Tom Goodwin (happy just to have a job)

Bashful: Greg Maddux

Sleepy: Paul Bako (at least he plays as if he were asleep)

Dopey: Corey Patterson

These three dwarfs can be distant cousins of the Anointed Seven, a la Shemp with the Three Stooges:

Sweaty: Joe Borowski

Leaky: Moises Alou

Grungy: Matt Clement

More, anyone?

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