Archive for June, 2004

I don’t owe you anything: Are players accountable to the fans?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

The city of Chicago has had its share of drama in the closer role this season. Both teams, stricken with a question mark in the role, have suffered setbacks because of the problem. The Cubs have since replaced their “problem.” The White Sox are about ready to follow suit. All of the ineffectiveness, coupled with the recent comments by both players in response to media questions about the job they do got me to thinking about accountability.

After a horrible pitching performance recently, Koch had this to say:

“That’s a pathetic showing….I apologize to everyone out there. It’s not fair [for fans] to have to bite your nails down to a bloody stump watching me pitch.”

After switching roles from setup man supreme to closer, Latroy Hawkins faced a number of questions from the media his first day on the job. His response was like Koch’s, right? Wrong!!! He had this to say:

“Getting three outs is not easy at any point in the ballgame, but people put the spotlight on the ninth,…It doesn’t matter what happens in the ninth, as long as you don’t give up the lead. I don’t care who’s sitting on the edge of your seats. I’m not going to sit here and apologize for putting you on the edge of your seats like (Billy) Koch did (Sunday). I’m not going to apologize for that. Because I can do what you guys can do. You guys can’t do what I do….I don’t care if you guys bite your fingernails, or bite your hands and knuckles until they bleed, that’s not my problem.”

Koch immediately fired back at Hawkins’ claim that we can’t do what he can do by saying:

“What, I can’t set up and fail in the closers role? . . . He did it miserably a few years ago (in Minnesota).”

Pretty strong words out of both men, but which one is right? Are baseball players–or any sports figures, for that matter–accountable to the fans and the media? The answer is yes. While we don’t own the teams or players themselves, baseball and sports in general are, quite simply put, products that we purchase. We pay for the right to read about them, watch them live, watch them on TV, etc. Sure the owners actually own the team and thus the players are definitely accountable to them, but how many owners could afford to put their product out there without it selling? None, except for maybe Steinbrenner for a year. The result is one crazy and confusing circle of blame. The fans need the product the owners provide. The owners need the players to play well to make that product sellable. The players need the fans to like them so the owners will want to continue to employ them. It’s all really quite tangled.

The fact of the matter is, players ARE accountable to fans, but to what extent? When baseball went through the last strike, one that cancelled the World Series, all I heard from people is that they are done going to baseball games because they hate the players. They feel that they are not friendly enough and that they don’t take the time to make baseball fans feel special. Why should players have to go out of their way to make me feel special? I paid $30 to see them? Is that a good reason? No, it’s unrealistic. We didn’t pay for a meet and greet session, we paid to come see the players play. That’s what you paid for, nothing more. Anything the players do at the game that might have to do with direct contact with a fan, such as throw a baseball into the stands or sign an autograph is extra. It doesn’t come with the package. When you go see a movie, you don’t get to shake hands with the actor or expect them to be there for an autograph. It’s understood that you paid close to $10 to simply watch them do their job. The same should be said for baseball. We pay to watch, that’s it!!!

Paying to watch does, however, come with some accountability privileges. For instance, fans have every right to boo a poor performance. They are the audience. They paid for the right to do that. They also have the right to be upset if they did not get a performance worthy of what they paid for. Billy Koch responded to that fact:

“These people pay their hard-earned money–whatever the cost of a ticket is–to come out here and watch a game. We have the lead, and I blow it and screw it up for the team, screw it up for the city–then, yeah, I think I do have an [obligation] to apologize. I ruined it for them. Maybe I ruined their kid’s first baseball game who was a diehard Chicago White Sox fan.”

In the end, baseball players ARE accountable to the fans, but there is a fine line that is crossed all too often by both the fans and the players. Latroy Hawkins, Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, etc. have all crossed it by boycotting the media, but fans have also crossed it by expecting too much from players and Major League Baseball. In the words of the great philosopher Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

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All in the Family

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
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Well, I have again added another writer to The View From the Bleachers. We are all one big happy family. I am very excited about where this site is headed and I hope the readers are as well. Please feel free to let us know about what you think of all the changes here. This new writer will be writing a feature column that will be posted each Monday. I will have a link to the newest column on the sidebar that will be changed to always reflect the latest edition. The new columnist is Keenan Laraway. I think the column name will be The Thoughts From Waveland. I think you will all really enjoy it. I will even post the first installment. So, please check back every Monday for the latest edition. Also, please e-mail Keenen with topics for Articles, because he is very excited about this and would like to know what people wanna hear.

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Strange Visions

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Last night, with the fog settling over the corn fields of Pennsylvania, I lay my head down to sleep. The struggles of my beloved Chicago Cubs were, as usual, on my mind, but I was gripped with a greater fear — the looming job interview in the coming morn. Perhaps my concern over the Cubs grew jealous on that night, for when I closed my eyes and my consciousness released my mind to unfettered wanderings, it brought me this vision:

Deep into the seventh inning, the Cubs were losing by a score of Four to Nil. Aramis Ramirez was up to bat and he, like all of his teammates, were hitless on the day. The determined expression his face wore in previous at-bats was gone, replaced by a look of resignation. He was beaten before his back foot even dug into the growing pit near the back of the batter’s box.

The Cardinal pitcher was unrecognizable as a man; my mind’s eye saw him–it–as a fire-eyed demon, its long, heavily muscled right arm covered in barbs and slick with some sort of hellish oily secretion. It delivered the first pitch, which sped directly toward the overmatched batter’s skull. He hit the deck like a war veteran upon hearing a car’s backfire, but though his head was out of harm’s way, his bat was suspended in mid-air. The ball, oval-shaped as though struggling to retain its shape against such velocity, struck the bat at an odd angle and it hurtled into the stands.

A man dressed all in white, sitting alone in the fourth row down the third base side, reached out a bony hand and caught the sizzling projectile. The wide brim of his white hat obscured his face, but the demon in a Cardinals uniform standing on the pitcher’s mound recoiled when he saw who caught the ball. Though the pale-handed spectator’s face remained hidden, the Cubs could sense a smile as his wrist snapped and the ball was thrown back on to the field.

The crowd was silent.

The home plate umpire’s hippopotamic mass lumbered over to the ball and picked it up. Curiously, after a brief inspection, he tossed it back to the pitcher, who seethed and bared its fangs at the umpire.

“Play Ball!” shouted the umpire, and his voice cut through the silence of the crowd, breaking the spell. They began to cheer, unsteadily at first, then louder.

Ramirez looked up into the stands before digging in. The man in white was gone. He shook his head and dug in, but the look of desperation was washed away by the noise of the crowd. The demon on the mound appeared smaller, more frail suddenly.

The next pitch sailed over everyone’s heads and against the net, then rolled back toward the umpire’s feet. The crowd roared. With a grunt, the umpire picked it up, inspected it, then threw it back to the pitcher.

The demonic Cardinal threw another pitch. The ball seemed to glow as it slowed before Ramirez’s eyes. He swung his bat and felt a surge of energy; the ball sailed over the fence and settled into the crowd, where a pale-handed man in a wide hat caught it and threw it back. It rolled to the umpire’s feet just as Ramirez crossed the plate.

The crowd was in hysterics; they sensed the change. Derrek Lee was next, and he too homered; the demonic Cardinal players shrank a little bit more. In the right field bleachers, a bony, pale hand caught the ball and threw it back. The umpire put the ball in play again. The Demon LaRussa was paralyzed; he could make no move despite the pitcher’s pleading looks toward the dugout. Barrett, then Ramon Martinez, followed; each homered, and each time the man in white caught the ball and threw it back.

And so it went all the way through the lineup, with even weak-hitting pitcher Matt Clement swatting the enchanted ball into the stands. The score stood at 7 to 4 in favor of the Cubs when Moises Alou stepped in. Once more the enfeebled pitcher delivered the ball, and once more the ball sailed high into the sky. This time it left the park and went halfway down the street.

The ballhawks ran after the coveted ball, but from an alley a man in a white hat and suit reached out his pale, bony hand and caught the ball on the third bounce.

The umpire threw in a new ball and the rest of the game passed uneventfully. The Cubs emerged victorious by an eight to four score, and the man in white was never seen again.

I awoke feeling refreshed and peaceful. The job interview went very smoothly, and though I have been awake and fully aware all day, there is a part of my mind that has not left the dream.

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Things that make you go “HUH?!?!?!”

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Well, the draft has begun. The Cubs are now the proud owners of not 1, but 2 Pattersons. Can my day get any worse? What I noticed though was from the article on the Cubs Site. When referring to the younger of the two evils, the article read as follows:

“Eric Patterson is a solid second base prospect and a contact hitter like his older brother.”


HUH?!?!?!?!?

Last time I checked, Corey Patterson doesn’t make too much contact. If that’s the kind of hitter Eric is, can we send him back?

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Cubs/Cards Game 1 Recap: Inning by Inning Commentary

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Top 1st

No Pujols!!!! Thank God!!! Todd Walker made a great play to start the ballgame. Who said he can’t field his position very well. He’s done a great job as far as I’m concerned. I love how fast Glendon Rusch works. I remember when I used to watch the Cubs game and Steve “Human Rain Delay” Traschel was pitching. It went something like this when he got someone on base. Look in, throw to first. Look in, throw to first. Look in, throw to first. Look in, throw to first. Pitch. Sometimes worse.

Glendon Rusch starts out well. 3 cards up, 3 cards down. Lets try and come out swinging today. It’s a big series so lets make them pay.

Bottom 1st

Michael Barret hitting 2nd in the lineup? I like it!!! He’s been hitting well, so maybe it will work out well. The Cubs go down in order. Alou is up there hackin. What else is new?

~Side Note~ For some reason, I always want to poke Tony Gwynn in the belly to see if he does the doughboy giggle.

Top 2nd

No problems for Rusch. Why didn’t we bring him up instead of Mitre when Prior was hurt? I have been nothing but impressed with this guy, and he’s a lefty, which we need in the starting rotation. The Cubs really need to start getting there starters some run support before they go insane. I think Lee is gonna continue his hot hitting tonight. Maybe it will start in the 2nd.

Bottom 2nd

6 up, 6 down. It is really getting crazy. Why is this team not able to get any hits? I can understand not getting runs consistently, but we’re not even getting baserunners. It’s nuts!!!

Top 3rd

I finally figured out who Rusch reminds me of, Barry Zito. The way he throws his curveball, it looks just like Zito’s. Both have that big sweeping curveball that goes 12-6. I think those are so cool, because they just freeze the hitter.

Bottom 3rd

Why isn’t this man smiling? After all, he worked the count, hit a homerun, and actually had the crowd cheer for him. Poor Corey Patterson. Maybe he’s depressed. Nonetheless, the Cubs jump on top for once. Now Rusch just needs to pitch perfect for the rest of the game. He can’t expect too much more help from the offense.

Top 4th

Uh oh!!! Is it possible that we can get 4 runs? I certainly hope so, or else this one is in the books. Sutcliff said that “you would expect both offenses to be able to get more than this on this kind of night, with the wind blowing out.” Yes Rick, you would expect that, but have you been watching our offense lately. I expect 4 hits and 1 run.

Bottom 4th

2 outs, runners on second and third, and down 2. Corey Patterson has a shot to tie it up. Oh wait, I just said Corey Patterson. My grandma might has well have been up. Way to come through in the clutch Corey. I’m proud you’re a Cub. At least Derrek Lee managed to get one of the runs in for us.

Top 5th

Good to see Rusch settle down in the 5th inning. I did notice one thing that worries me about him though. His fastball is topping out in the high 80′s – low 90′s, but isn’t moving at all. It’s like its moving through a tube it’s so straight. I could be wrong, but a fastball that isn’t fast and doesn’t move doesn’t make for a low ERA. I haven’t seen him pitch much this year, so hopefully it’s just tonight that his fastball isn’t looking very good.

~Side Note~ TV announcers just said that Pujols will be out for this whole series. What great news for us. Maybe Cincinatti’s whole lineup will get hurt too.

Bottom 5th

Glendon Rusch hits a Homerun? That’s it, hit him in the cleanup spot for us. We need his offense. I wish I was at this game so I could have seen if Jose Macias took off on his own on Jim Edmonds or if wavin Wendell sent him. Either way, that was by far the worst decision I have ever seen. Edmonds is a great CF and he had all his momentum coming in. Macias was literally half way to home when the catcher caught the ball. Ridiculous!!!!!

Top 6th

I’m proud of Rusch. If I were on the mound and gave up 4 runs on back to back HR’s with the way my offense had been of late, I think I would have packed it in. Rusch has battled back and has a chance to win this game if the Cubs keep chipping away. Another run or two in the bottom of the inning and we’re in good shape.

~Side Note~ Rick Sutcliff made me say “What!?!?!?!?!?!” just now. He said that he thinks that deep down, if the Cubs don’t win, most Cubs fans want the Cardinals to win it all, and vice versa. Rick didn’t you pitch in Chicago? When did you become clueless about a great rivalry?

Bottom 6th

Cubs go down in order. You got another good inning in you Glendon? Otherwise you aren’t getting a win tonight.

Top 7th

Jose Macias made a great catch in this inning. Maybe it will be a Web Gem on baseball tonight. Rusch does what he needs to do and gets another scoreless inning. Come on now offense. Get the kid 2 runs and let him win this. The 7th and 8th innings have been good to us these past two days so hopefully it continues.

Bottom 7th

I am so glad we signed Todd Hollandsworth. This guy has been a great pinch hitter, great baserunner, and a great all around surprise for us. Unfortunately his good baserunning to stretch a single to a double goes for nothing. Sorry Glendon, no win for you.

Top 8th

For some reason, Mike Remlinger makes me nervous. I’m not really sure why, because he always seems to have good year after good year. Maybe it’s because in all the video games I have ever had, he has always gotten shelled each year. Video games can really mess with your impressions of players. Does this happen for anyone else? In one of my games, I had Rich Amaral on my team. He did great, and I have always liked him since. I think I have issues. Either that or I play too many games. I can’t help it. It’s fun playing GM. I always seem to go trade crazy. Oh, by the way. The Cubs get out of the inning 3 up 3 down. On to the bottom half.

Bottom 8th

Well, we have got one last chance now. Hawkins will probably pitch the ninth and then it’s hit or get em tomorrow.

Top 9th

Good Farnsworth inning. Now it’s time to step out and win this.

Bottom 9th

I hate COREY PATTERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ball bounces in the dirt and Corey swings. What is going on in his stupid head when he is seeing these pitches? Game over. Cubs Lose!!!

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Inning by Inning Recap

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Top 1st

The wind is blowing out. That could mean an early exit if Maddux isn’t careful. He looked good in the first inning, getting the Pirates 1,2,3. Hopefully we see the Maddux we paid for and not the one we have gotten in about 40% of the starts this year.

Bottom 1st

Why is Rey Ordonez hitting 2nd? His first At Bat is evidence as to why this shouldn’t be. He swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded out. I really wish we still had Kenny Lofton to lead off so that we could have Todd Walker hitting second. If only Corey Patterson could hit leadoff. Who knows, maybe someday he’ll come around, when he’s in Kansas City playing centerfield. It was nice to see Alou take a 2 out walk. He normally swings at the first pitch he sees. However, we’re facing Vogelsong and he has been getting hammered. We need to see a few pitches so we can hammer him too. Ramirez promptly flies out to center and the inning ends.

Top 2nd

Man oh Man, Brian Runge is calling strikes if it is anywhere near the plate. It simply needs to be in the ballpark and not bounce for him to motion called strike. Maddux benefited from that benevolence by striking out the first batter he saw in the 2nd. Perfect through 2 inning. Good start so far for Mad Dog. Now we need to get some runs and knock Vogelsong around a little.

Bottom 2nd

Derrek Lee starts off the game with the Cubs first hit. After hitting a long homerun yesterday, maybe he is finally starting to see the ball a little better. Now we just need to get Corey to see some pitches and start getting that average to where it was last year. It’s time this offense starts putting us the numbers that it is capable of putting up.

Top 3rd

Well, the Pirates strike first. Seems like that has been the trend lately. Kendall comes through in the clutch with a 2 out hit. The Pirates played fundamental baseball and it yielded them a run. The Cubs are going to need to start playing smallball if they can’t start pounding out runs. It works for the Pirates.

Bottom 3rd

What happened to Maddux being a good hitting pitcher. 1 for 25 is not that impressive to me. That is a rocking .040 batting average. Yes Greg, Chicks do dig the longball, but fans would dig a few singles. 3 innings in the books and the Cubs have 1 hit on a day where the wind is blowing out.

Top 4th

The professor gets em easy in the 4th. This offense NEEDS to get their act in gear. Our starting staff deserves better than this. I’m sick and tired of great starts going to waste. For crying out loud. Just get them 3 or 4 for a change so they don’t have to pitch so carefully.

Bottom 4th

Hollandsworth gets a 2 out single and steals 2nd base. Do the Cubs get him in? Heck no, they never do. We are completely retarded when it comes to driving in runners in scoring position for the last few weeks. Come on guys, get the job done.

Top 5th

Maddux makes a play showing his awesome/sometimes lucky fielding ability. It saved him a run. That was a huge play to keep the Cubs in this game. How can I say “Keep them in the game.”, when we’re only down 1 run? Well, because we’re down 1 run, which is like 10 the way this offense has been doing.

~ Side Note~ Something I have been noticing lately that has been annoying me about Steve Stone. Is anyone else worried about the fact that he has begun to refer to Chip Carey as “Chippy”? Please stop Steve. It’s making us all sick.

Bottom 5th

Something crazy happened in this inning. Corey Patterson struck out on a pitch at his eyes. Oh wait, that’s business as usual. Also, the Cubs failed to score a run. Oh wait, that is ALSO business as usual. God it’s frustrating.

Top 6th

Steve Stone said at the beginning of this half inning that it could prove to be a huge inning for Maddux. He had to hold the Pirates at bay with the top of their lineup coming to the plate. Did he come through? Of course he did. Will the Cubs go down in order in the bottom half of the inning? Of course they will.

~ Side Note ~ I am not really sure why people hate Paul Bako so much. He is our BACKUP catcher, plays great defense, and gets an occasional hit. He’s not our everyday guy, so don’t worry so much about him.

Bottom 6th

There was a fan in the bleachers holding a sign that said “Alou, hit it here” Kid, at this point, this offense just needs to hit it anywhere. The Cubs go down in order again and have managed 2 hits through 6. Down 1-0. I’m starting to wonder if I am watching the game I taped yesterday on TiVo and not the real game. It’s eerily similar. Hopefully it has the same result that begins to unravel in the 7th.

Top 7th

3 up, 3 down. Great day today Greg. Hopefully we can get you some runs for you to win this game.

~ Side Note ~ My boys, the Fighting Illini Mens basketball team sang the seventh inning stretch. I can’t wait for basketball season to start again. I miss it already.

Bottom 7th

See that, what did I tell you? Aramis Ramirez gets a weird homerun that falls through the bottom of the basket and almost goes the Pirates way. Luckily the umps get it right. All of a sudden, the bats come out again. Todd Hollandsworth singles, Derrek Lee gets hit by a pitch, and Vogelsong is out, leaving two runs on base and no outs. Does Corey Patterson keep it going? Nope. Did I even need to ask that question? Dusty made a good move with runners on 1st and 3rd by pulling Bako for Barrett. Barrett has been very good with the bat this year and Bako hasn’t. The move works as Barrett gets a sac fly RBI to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Bring on the 8th inning. Farnsworth, and The Hawk and it’s game over.

~ Side Note ~ Albert Pujols pulled a hamstring in the Cards game today. This could be huge news for us. Maybe will be fortunate enough to not have to see him at all in this next series.

Top 8th

Ok, so we had a quick look at Remlinger before we saw Farnsworth. I’m not really sure why Dusty went with that, but as long as it worked, I won’t complain. I really don’t have any preference when anyone pitches, as long as they do the job. Borowski closing? Fine, if it gets it done. Farnsworth closing? Fine if he gets it done. Steve Stone closing? Fine if he gets the job done.

Bottom 8th

It’s amazing how similar this game is to yesterday’s. I am just glad it has turned out the same. BRING ON LATROY!!!!

Top 9th

Well, bullpen/closer by committee day 1 is in the books. Grade for the day: B+. Remlinger got his man, Farnsworth got his men, and Latroy pitches a scoreless, somewhat nervous 9th inning to save the game for Greg Maddux. 6 more wins till 300 for the Professor.

Now that we’ve seen Hawkins save one, but allow some baserunners, what do you think? Are you still ok with him closing? I still would like to see Farnsworth in that role, but like I said, I am fine with whoever is gonna get the job done. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know who you want to close.

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New Closer?: Dusty May Have Just Tipped His Hand.

Saturday, June 5th, 2004

The Cubs get a much needed win today, courtesy of an inept Pittsburgh defense. For the second straight day, the Cubs offense decided that they need to make their starting pitcher nervous due to a lack of run support. Yesterday it cost Mark Prior a win. Today it could have cost Carlos Zambrano a win. He gave the Cubs seven strong, and was all but out of the game down 1-0, until Pittsburgh makes a costly error that opened the floodgates to a three run 7th inning. Until that inning, the Cubs offense could only manage a pathetic 2 hits. I’m sorry, but this is the Pirates pitching staff, not an all-star staff. We should be able to consistently manage at least 4-5 runs against this staff.

June is the toughest month in terms of schedule that the Cubs will face all year. Scoring a minimal amount of runs in that stretch could kill us. To compound that potential problem, the Cubs are also facing the current problem of what will happen in close, late game situations. There have been many fans and writers who have been calling for Joe Borowski’s head on a platter. Dusty, however, has been patient, seeing his closer’s ERA balloon to over 8. It seems though that the hammer, delivering Borowski’s sentence may finally be dropping. In today’s Chicago Tribune, Paul Sullivan talks about the fact that Baker may be considering a change in the closer’s role.

“Baker declined to give Borowski his usual vote of confidence after the game. ‘I’ll think about it and make a decision,’ Baker said.”

In today’s game, fresh off that interview, with the Cubs up 3-1, going into the bottom of the 8th, a peak into the bullpen revealed not Average Joe, but Latroy Hawkins. Thankfully, no closer was necessarily, as the Cubs put up 3 additional runs to seal the victory. In the end, Francis Beltran, who has been a very nice addition to the pen this year, closed the game out in the ninth.

The hand Dusty holds may have been tipped, however. He may have showed the fans, and the team who is new closer is going to be. Borrowski’s blown save yesterday to lose a game for Prior may have sealed his fate.

“Nobody ever said baseball is an easy game. Whatever [Baker] decides is whatever he decides. I’m not going to worry about what might happen or what can happen or anything like that. I can’t worry about things I can’t control. Whatever is best for this team at this time is fine. Dusty is the manager, and he has the right to do whatever he wants. I’ll respect what he does. Hopefully he’ll have that belief in me and stick me out there next time.”

Borowski never moved from his seat in the bullpen today, not even to stretch out his arm in the event that he may have been used today. Was Dusty simply resting Average Joe, or is he finally at the end of his patience? One thing is certain, the Cubs season is going to depend on what they do this month. Dusty knows that. Hopefully he also knows when enough is enough. We’ll just have to wait, see, and hope.

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Pain in the Rector

Saturday, June 5th, 2004

The time has come. I am now declaring Charles Rector, TEMPORARY writer for The Reds Roundup, Public Enemy # 1 to The View From The Bleachers & The Cubbies Corner. In case you’re not familiar with some of his work, please, be sure to check them out. Since taking over at the Reds Roundup, all he has done is bash the Cubs. I can understand where he is coming from. Really, I can. Myself, Dave, and every other member of the Cubs Blog Army have also been bashing them all year. We bash Corey, Sosa, Borowski, and every other person on this team that is under performing. However, there is one subtle, actually glaring difference between our writing and ole’ Charlie boy’s. We actually have some clue what we’re talking about.

Recently, I had the good fortune of being enlightened by the latest Rector words. I have to say, they were as clueless as ever. I like his consistency with making me say to myself “What an idiot!!!” Now, before you go and write me e-mails to tell me that it’s not nice to put people down, let me explain to you my reasoning.

First of all, he presents the news about Mark Prior’s incident with an autograph session gone mad from one side. He does not link to his source, giving the reader the chance to see the nice things people said about Prior. As a service to you, here is the Article in the Daily Herald. Sorry your author wasn’t man enough to present both sides. To defend Prior, he was lied to. He was told that there were to be 300 autographs and was never told anything about pictures. Because of that, he counted pictures as part of the autograph agreement and fulfilled the 300 he promised.

This is not really what bothered me most about his post though. It was the closing paragraph or so that made me just shake my head and wonder where he comes up with this stuff. His words must have a block quote. They are just too priceless and should be encased in the “Huh?” hall of fame.

“And in today’s game, Prior revealed even more of his true lack of character when he opted to maximize the number of strikeouts he could get instead of trying to keep his pitch count low. This lead to the bullpen taking over and as we all know, the Cubs bullpen is the Cubs bullpen. And so, the Cubs lost 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

Ok, where to begin? First, how can you say that Prior was not trying to keep his pitch count low? He went 6 full innings and only was given 85 pitches. How many pitches per inning do you want him to throw? 3? I’m sorry, but averaging a little over 14 pitches per inning, is very effective pitching for a first start back from an injury. It’s effective for any start for that matter. Maybe he just doesn’t understand what a quality performance is.

Also, what does it mean to maximize the number of strikeouts? So because he struck out 8 batters, that’s a bad thing? It just doesn’t make any sense. What other way is there to keep the pitch count low, other than to throw strikes? Is it Prior’s fault that people can’t hit the strikes he throws? The fact of the matter is, Charles Rector is a White Sox fan that can’t stand the Cubs. The Reds are his opportunity to bash the Cubs. I hope he enjoys it while it lasts, because having a blog about a team and writing about that team maybe 25% of the time, while using the rest of the time to bash the Cubs simply shows a lack of knowledge about the team you’re covering as well as what good writing involves. Period!!!!

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The tide is turning

Friday, June 4th, 2004

As much as I hate to say it, I think I am finally coming over to the dark side when it comes to Joe Borowski’s fan club. In an earlier post, I said that we needed to stick with Joe because he hadn’t blown a save all year. Well since then, he has looked beyond horrible. I don’t know that I am officially giving up as Borowski as our closer forever, but I am offering this solution for now.

My opinion is that we need to tell Kyle Farnsworth that this is his shot at the closer’s job. This is his chance. Take it or forget it. Time to rise to the occasion, because your team needs you. If he excels at the job, AWESOME, if not, then explain to Borowski that he can have a 2nd chance if he gets his ERA down and starts to show some consistency out of the middle relief role. It used to be his role, so he shouldn’t have a problem going back to it. He’s a fighter, and I think he would rise to the occasion. Farnsworth might also rise to the occasion seeing it as his only shot. In the end, good all around.

Take a good look at that baseball Joe, because the way you’re going, soon you may not be seeing it come the 9th inning anymore!!!

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