Archive for September, 2004

It’s about time

Friday, September 24th, 2004

For the last few days, I had been wondering what what wrong with the Houston Astros. I was counting on them to come into the series with San Francisco strong and win 2 out of 3. Instead, up until last night they simply rolled over and died. One fan, Michael Hurta, has even given up on them completely in his blog. When I came home yesterday afternoon I had planned on watching a Cubs loss. I just had a feeling. This team never seems to put teams away so why start now? Instead, I was treated to a sweep of the lowly buccos. It didn’t really impress me though because of how hot the Giants had been. Before bed, I checked the score and saw the Giants were winning 2-0. So much for making up ground today. Instead, I wake up to see that the Astros had decided enough is enough and brought out the bats for the rest of the game. So now here we are. The magic number is 11. We control our own destiny. A sweep of the Mets could all but clinch this Wild Card for us. With the Dodgers and Giants set to tear into each other this weekend, a sweep in unlikely by either team. It should be a great weekend for Cub fans.

Jay Mariotti Says

I usually cannot stand Jay Mariotti’s opinions but for once I agree with his article in the Sun Times. I didn’t mention this topic after it happened, but now that he wrote about it, I may as well take the chance to say I agree. The other day, when Sosa hit a double that according to his hippity hop routine was thought to be a homerun, he was thrown out at second base. Mariotti points out that “The new angle on our aging future Hall of Famer is that He’s dissolving into a bitter man” I agree. This guy has gone from fan favorite to the source of most Cub fan’s anger in a season and a half. Look at some of the things that have happened.

  • Sosa misses 25 games in 2003 due to injuries and cork bat

  • Accusations of steroids
  • Angry at Rick Reilly ~ Read the Article Here
  • Horrible injuries this year due to violent sneezes
  • Very low statistics prompting a drop in the batting order

I can’t blame him for being bitter, except for the fact that all of these things were brought on by himself. Nothing was brought on unfairly. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for someone who wants the world handed to him on a platter and then cries when it’s not given to him. If Sosa wants our praise, he needs to show us something these last 2 weeks and into the playoffs. Be a leader and lead this team. If not, get out of the way and let A-Ram lead us.

Survivor Update

Last night was the second week of Survivor Vanuatu. Last week I had made a fearless prediction of Scout being the next to be voted off the island. I was wrong, as I usually am with my predictions. Want proof? Look back and see how bad my MLB picks were for this season. I was disappointed last night because my pick to win it all, mainly because she was a cutie, was voted off. Dolly simply talked to too many people when discussing who to vote off and made people angry. Poor little farm girl just doesn’t understand how the game is played. You can’t tell two different groups that you’re voting with them this early in the game. Friendships have not been made yet. Until you know who’s with who, you just can’t do that. We’ll see who gets voted off next week. It will be one from each tribe.

Fearless Prediction for Week 3 Vote Offs

Guys Tribe – Rory
Girls Tribe – Eliza

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Who’s at Short?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

There’s an old comedy routine by Abbott and Costello called Who’s on First. If you’ve never heard it, I would first ask where you have lived the past 50 yrs, and then tell you to follow that think and at least read the transcript. In the routine, the ballclub has, no pun intended, a bunch of nobodies in their starting lineup. It’s so bad that the reporter asking the manager can’t even get the players names in the right spot on the field. Growing up a Cubs fan in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I was naive. I was content with coming into each spring training asking the question “Who’s on first?” It never seemed to bother me that we had scrubs like Steve Buchele, Ozzie Timmons, and Anthony Young on our 25 man roster. I simply waited to see what the team looked like on opening day and got to know the players from there. As I have matured, so has my knowledge and expectations of Chicago Cubs. I am no longer content with simply waiting till opening day to find out who our starters are. Instead, like other serious baseball fans, I spend my winter roaming from website to website looking for any rumor or nugget of information concerning who the team is actively pursuing for the next year. In the past, names uttered in those rumors were great names such as Jaime Navarro, Mickey Morandini, and the great Todd Hundley. We never heard names like Griffey, Clemens and McGwire, and for some reason I was fine with that.

(Enter 2003 Season)

Now as Cubs fans we’re hungry. We have felt the joy of being so close, the pain of being thrown back to a cruel reality, and we want more of the former. This past off-season, Cub fans expected a lot of activity. We’ve set the expectations high and the Tribune company heard our cries. Names like Maddux, Lee, Nomar, and Hawkins all have been uttered in Cub rumors this year. The Tribune has gotten the job done but the players have not delivered to this point. So, before it sounds as if I am giving up and looking to 2005, let me clarify. While I think we still have a shot at this year if we can put it all together, it’s always smart to look to the future as well. The Cubs have a decision to make for this coming season. Nomar came here in the final year of his contract. The Cubs have to make the choice of whether or not they want to offer him a long term deal. Let me give you my reasoning for the move I would make.

(Wrigley PA announcer on opening day 2005)- “Now playing SS for the Chicago Cubs, number 3, Edgar Renteria”

If I were at the helm, I would let Nomar walk this off season. Let him sign with a west coast team. We can’t afford to invest past this year in a player that may not play 50% of the games he is being paid for. Not with this team as close as it is. We need a guy in the prime of his career to man that post. What better that Edgar Renteria?

  • He will be 29 yrs old at opening day 200
  • He hits for average.
  • Has a little speed (34 sb in 2003 & 16 so far in 2004)
  • Plays for the Cards, so we could steal from the enemy

Those are just a few reasons. If you wanna take a look at the stats, click here
He’s my pick for 2005. What’s yours?

Radio Show Appearance Tonight

For those interested in listening to my insights live via the world wide web, go to Sports Talk Cleveland at 7:20pm est tonight and click listen now. I will be on from 7:30 – 8:00 pm talking Cubs and whatever else they ask me. If you get a chance and listen, drop me an e-mail or a comment on the site and let me know what you thought. If you can’t be online to listen, the appearance will be archived on our site.

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Cy Young 2004

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

I don’t really follow the American League enough to make any sort of judgement as to who deserves the Cy Young there, but in the National League, to me, it’s a no brainer: Randy Johnson. Remember him? just posted an article about how Johnson has been overlooked for the Cy Young, and it highlighted some of the points that have been floating around in my head the past few days. He leads baseball in ERA, strikeouts, and opponent’s batting average. He owns the single best pitching performance of the year, his perfect game against the Atlanta Braves, which he earned earlier in the year. Put Randy on the Cardinals or the Giants or any other team with some decent run production, and he’s a 20-plus game winner this year. He leads the majors in so-called “tough losses” — games in which he’s pitched a quality start and got tacked with the loss — in fact, he’s been stuck with ten of them. Turn just half of his tough losses into wins, and he leads the league in wins.

All the broadcasters I’ve heard over the past several weeks have tossed around names like Clemens, Schmidt, and Pavano with reckless abandon, but not one of them has mentioned Randy; I think that’s just a shame. Wins are such an overrated statistic, and the fact that Johnson can have such a phenomenal season but come up short in the win column just highlights that fact.

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Crazy Ramblings

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you have a lot to say and not a lot of time to say it. However, the problem I often am faced with is having a lot of little things to say and TOO MUCH time or space with which to say them. As a result, it comes across as an insane man rambling on incoherently about too many different topics to follow. So, I will try to just break it down into sections and ramble about a couple of things on my mind.

The Cubs

Again, I was unable to watch the Cubs on WGN. I long for the days when I was growing up and the games were all on WGN. I’m sure my wife doesn’t long for those days though. She already feels like I watch way too much baseball. I was able to catch the last inning or so on the Internet. When the Cubs were in the early stages of them game, Anthony told me it was 4-1. I was relieved, because I had a horrible feeling that the Cubs were going to come into this series and collapse. Somehow, we always have a habit of playing down to our competition. Instead, they take a nice lead with Wood on the mound. The only problem was that Hawkins is still the man in the 9th, which leads to fears and uncertainty. I just knew he was going to blow that game for us. When he blew the save, everything in me wanted to just shut the game off. If it weren’t for the fact that we had the top of the order up in the 10th, I would have gave up. Even the 10th was disappointing though. Yes, we scored and won the game, but we almost didn’t score. When Patterson hits a leadoff double, I see no point in wasting an out trying to get him to third. He has enough speed that he could score from 2nd on a single. Why waste an out? Let Neifi swing away and try for a single. If nothing else, have him show bunt a few times to draw the infield in and then try to slap one past them. If it weren’t for a wild pitch, the Cubs do not score in that inning, and that is pathetic.

Playoff Tickets

I got my playoff tickets on Monday. No, not to Wrigley, but to Turner field for game 2. Here’s hoping the Cubs will be in Atlanta for me to watch. If not, I may have to just sell the tickets to Scott Lange over at the Northside Lounge. If you would like to see what my view is going to be from the bleachers (catch the pun?), then Click here and click section 135 in the RF bleachers.

Life’s a Pitch

For those of you have never listened, there is a link in the best of section of this site from an appearance I made on a sports talk radio show from Cleveland, Ohio near the beginning of the season. They have been kind enough to welcome me back for an encore appearance this Thursday night. So, if you would like to listen live, and god only knows why you would, then I will be posting a link to click tomorrow morning. The show will be on at 7:30pm est on Thursday night. Here’s hoping I don’t get asked any crazy questions that catch me off guard.

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I can’t lie

Sunday, September 19th, 2004

I would love to say that I watched the game yesterday and then proceed to break it down for you. However, I was unable to see the game. It wasn’t on WGN, so I didn’t get it. Instead, I spent my afternoon listening the to the Bears win against the hated Packers (sorry Andy). At one point, I pulled the score up on CBS Sportsline and saw we were down 1-0 in the late innings. We hadn’t hit all day and I was feelin a little grim. It would be horrible to drop 2 in a row against a team that we are capable of sweeping. I think it would have sent us into a tailspin with the double header tomorrow. Then, I checked a little later and see we put up 5 runs and win the game. Not bad. Maybe I shouldn’t watch anymore!!! Tomorrow, it’s very important to at least win 1. Most double headers are split, so anything less than that is unacceptable. With Prior pitching against Pavano in the first game, I think the game to win would be the second game. Matt Clement vs David Weathers to me sounds a little more appetizing. We’ll just have to wait and see. No matter what, I am beginning to get a little confidence in this team.

Fan Mail Part II

I love me some E-mail from the readers. I love to hear peoples questions, opinions, requests, praise, and criticism. This weekend, I was privileged to hear from fellow Cubs fan, Dan Kummer

Greetings I just discovered your blog recently and have been checking it daily…along with numerous other baseball resources. I’ve been a cubs fan my entire life despite growing up on the Southside. Thanks for giving me that added Cubs fix.

Wanted to bring a topic up and get your reaction to it. Last night I’m hanging out with a couple Sox fans. Why is it that sox fans go out of their way and put so much energy into hating the cubs? I know a ton of fan for both the sox and the cubs and it seems like a very 1 sided rivalry. Of course a lot of the cubs fans don’t like the sox and like to see them make fools of themselves… but they just don’t seem to go to the extent that the sox fans do to wish evil on their cross-town rival. I agree that there’s nothing like a good rivalry to fuel more excitement into a ballgame, but is there some deeper animosity that sox fans have for the cubs? It’s like, If you ask a Cubs fan what they think of the sox the answer seems to be “who cares” But if you ask a Sox fan their feelings of the cubs the answer is a long and violent spewage of obscenities that continues long into the evening. It’s even gone to the point of Sox fans buying tickets to Wrigley just to cheer on their opposition. What would make a person go to so much trouble and spend top dollar (hottest ticket in town) just to radiate negative energy?

I do have some theory’s on this behavior, but I’d really like to hear your thoughts..

age 29

This is a great thing to bring up down the stretch as the Cubs are again in the thick of the hunt for October and the White Sox have yet again fallen short. Personally, I fall into the belief that White Sox fans are bitter at the Cubs and their fans for some reason. I can’t figure out why though. It’s not as if we win World Series after World Series and they are stuck with nothing. These two teams never win the World Series, they play in different leagues, and have two completely different areas in which they play. If anything, the two teams and their fans should get along. It would be nice to root for two baseball teams in Chicago. After all, right now, we have a 1 in 30 chance of winning each year. If we had 2 teams, our chance would be 1 in 15.

I think the reason for all the hostility from Sox fans is because of the attention that the Cubs receive from the city and the nation. Sox fans know that the Cubs are no better than they are and yet they have a big TV deal, national attention, and fans that pack the ballpark from far and wide. The Sox have essentially the same product over the years, but do not get the attention the Cubs do. To use an example, think of it as a kid who gets a new brother or sister. Now, he is stuck playing second fiddle to someone that doesn’t bring anything more to the table. The baby gets all the attention and the older brother or sister is reduced to complaining. That is the only thing I can think of to explain it. I have to admit though, Sox fans annoy the crap out of me.

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