Archive for April, 2005

Welcome Back

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

I suppose it’s about time for me to get something written before I lose all of my readers. My apologies go out to all that have stopped by only to be greeted by the same post leftover from Tuesday. It’s been a busy week at school as we prepare the kids to take the EOG’s next week. I’ll be extremely glad when those things are over and done with. In the meantime, I’ve been able to watch all the games, but just haven’t had the energy or desire to put my thoughts in the world of cyberspace, Until Now.

  • Maddux – It was good to see the Cubs pull out the game for Maddux last night. He’s been hard up this year to get a win. I did not have much confidence coming into the game against Clemens, but the Cubs did the right thing and got on the board early. Against pitchers like Clemens, you have to get them early otherwise they settle in and are usually untouchable. I am beginning to think that this will be the year that Maddux does not reach the 15 win mark. I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but his April win mark, coupled with his increasing age and hitability leads me to believe that this may be the year it ends. No matter what happens, Maddux continues to be a fiery competitor in the right way. I wish he would work hard with Carlos Zambrano to help him harness some of his emotions. When Maddux was not getting the calls he felt he should, he simply adjusted the gameplan and pitched well. Carlos, when put in that same situation seems implode Jose Lima style each time. At the beginning of the year, I said that was my biggest fear about Carlos Zambrano. He’s at a crossroads in his young career. He can go the path of Maddux or can go the path of Lima. I hope to God that the he enrolls in the professor Maddux class entitled Controlling your emotions 101.

  • The King – He has reclaimed the throne from Mr. Sly, whose reign was somewhat abbreviated. His return was triumphant as he pitched a 1,2,3 ninth inning with relative ease. Long Live The King!!!!
  • Willy Tavares – Man that guy is fast. He stole 2nd easily on a pitchout. Granted it was Maddux, who does not regard the runners with much attention, that was on the mound. Either way, he was in well ahead of Barrett’s throw.
  • Kerry Wood – This is my favorite Cub and I will stick by him. He needs to step it up tonight and get the Cubs their first 3 game win streak of the year. We’ve had a couple of opportunities this year and have not been able to make it happen. With Woody and Prior closing out the series, there is no reason the Cubs can’t sweep the struggling Astros in their own park. I feel like Wood and Prior will both pitch quality starts, which is all you can ask of your starters, and the Cubs will sweep the series.
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Stupid Night Games

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

I was so tired last night after the game that I just went to bed. So now I have 5 minutes before I have to leave for work to put my thoughts on the site. So, here they are in abbreviated form.

  • Macias was in the lineup (always a bad thing)
  • Neifi Perez was hitting .727 before the game in his last 3 games. Who needs Nomar?
  • It seemed to me that Paul Wilson balked about 30 times. He would a runner on and would not come to a full 1 second pause before throwing. I was always taught that doing that was a balk. Maybe i’m crazy.

  • My MLB hitting streak ended at 7 with Ramirez going 0-4. I knew I should have picked Neifi!!!!
  • Prior = AWESOME
  • Mr. Sly = NOT AWESOME

There are a few more thoughts I wanted to talk about but I’ll add them tonight after what I hope is another win.

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The Debut of Mr. Sly

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

I am not happy with the series against the Pirates. This was a series that the Cubs could have easily won. Instead, we get a rainout, a blown save and a win. Before the game, Dusty was asked about the closer role and had this to say.

It’s time to make some changes. At least until whatever is happening stops happening and we get it straight. Right now, we have to make some changes. It’s not very pleasant on us, or him, or Cubs fans, or anybody.

Here are the thoughts from todays game:

  • Kerry Wood was less than dominant today, despite only giving up 2 runs. He allowed walks to start each of the first three innings to start the game. Only one of the three came back to hurt him, but on a normal day, that ratio would be higher. He came out of the game early because he arm just wasn’t feeling perfect. The cold weather was affecting him. I was impressed with his performance after I heard that he was not feeling well. It wasn’t the best performance, but we’ll take it. At least he toughed it out and didn’t leave the team high and dry after 2 innings.
  • Michael Barrett has continued to gun down runners with remarkable improvement. If he can keep this up for another month or so, people may just stop running as much on him. He’s not the kind of catcher that can put an end to a teams running plans, but if he can keep this up, you certainly have to believe teams will begin to think twice before running.
  • After Michael Wuertz came in during the 8th, I began to get worried about who Dusty was planning on using in the 9th. I started to get angry at the TV just thinking of Remlinger or The King coming in to pitch. In the end, Dusty brought in Mr. Sly to get the job done. He looked fine to me. I’m really not picky about the closer role. I tend to follow the Bill James philosophy that says there are times other than the 9th inning where you should use your “Closer”. The ninth inning should be treated as any other inning. If you have the meat of the order coming up in the 8th, bring in the best guy in the pen during THAT inning instead.
  • My hitting streak in the MLB Beat The Streak game has increased as a result of Ramirez getting a hit in todays game. If you’d like to play, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.
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God Dang Cubs

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

I am so frustrated with the team. I never thought I would say this, but I am officially Anti Baker. He has no business being the Cubs manager anymore. I’m tired of his crazy pinch hitting decisions. I’m tired of his bullpen decisions. I’m tired of his pathetic excuse for managing. The time has come to make a change. It’s time to get a guy with some fire that will challenge his guys to meet their expectations. As much as I hate to say it, the guy over on the Southside is doing just what we need. Take this for example:

“He’s a [bleep], that’s what he is,” Guillen continued. “He’s another Venezuelan [bleep]. [Bleep] him.”He has an enemy. Now he has a big one. He knows I can [bleep] him a lot of different ways. He better shut the [bleep] up and play for the Detroit Tigers.”

Guillen on Mags Ordonez

I don’t know what this team needs to do to start winning, but having a guy like Dusty obviously is not the answer. His flaws have been exposed big time since coming to a big market and I don’t like what I see anymore. It’s like a horrible carnival ride that is getting you sick, but just doesn’t seem to end. Stop the ride, I wanna get off.

I’d like to introduce you to my pick for the next manager of the Chicago National League Ballclub.

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That’s a winner

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

One of my least favorite things about baseball is the rain delay. I turned on the TV tonight ready to watch some baseball only to find that it was raining in St. Louis. Once the game got started, I began my new routine of jotting down my thoughts as it played out in front of me. Here are the observations from last night.

  • Be Honest, were you worried when it was 2 outs and the king trotted out of the bullpen to close it? Like I said before, “All Hail The King”
  • I had planned on bashing Nomar’s poor fielding and hitting in this post, but I guess that would be kind of unclassy of me seeing that Nomar was cursing in pain after what seemed to be a gruesome injury. Anytime you injure yourself near the manhood, you have got to receive a night off from the criticism of Cubs bloggers. I have not heard what happened to him as of yet, but I would assume he tore his groin and will be headed for the DL tomorrow or the next day. I would not be surprised to see Ronnie Cedeno get called up to replace Nomar should he need to hit the shelf for awhile. Cedeno has a slick glove and is hitting the ball well at AAA Iowa. A prospect report had this to say:
    “Cedeno easily has the best glove in the system…Still, he doesn’t draw a ton of walks, and his slugging percentage is buoyed only by occasional doubles.”

    Smith & Stroh Report
  • St. Louis looked awful on the defensive side of the ball, which was surprising. At times, I had to ask myself if I was actually watching the Cardinals. Whenever you have guys like Eckstein, Rolen, and Edmonds in your defense, you expect perfection. St. Louis was anything but perfect, especially Diaz, the young catcher, who was absolutely brutal behind the plate.
  • Why is it that every time Zambrano is pitching, he feels the need to try to knock line drives down with his bare pitching hand? Does he not know that he uses that hand to win games? If it were me, I get my hand as far away from a line drive as I possibly can to avoid having it knocked off my wrist by a Pujols line drive. Maybe once he grows up a little, or gets shelled in the wrist, he’ll wise up. Let’s hope it’s the former and not the latter.
  • Are you as annoyed by fans who reach into the field of play to try to catch baseballs that are IN PLAY. This annoys the crap out of me. Are these people not watching the game? Did you not just see the ump signal fair? I think that any fan reaching into the field of play and affecting a ball that is currently in play should immediately be ejected from the stadium. I know it’s harsh, but their actions could and often does affect the outcome of a baseball. I don’t think a real life example is needed here, right? Fans need to stop acting like idiots over a $5 baseball. If you want a ball that bad, come to my house and I’ll give you a whole box of them. Until then, quit sticking your hands where they don’t belong.
  • Last but not least, I was very excited to be able to listen to my favorite baseball announcer. I know Joe Buck is a Cardinals guy, but I can’t help but love him. I spent a year at Western Illinois University and when I was working, I would listen to the Cardinals games on the radio in the van. I loved listening to Joe and Jack Buck call the games. It actually made me look forward to Cardinal games because of how good the two of them really did. What I would give to hear a 3 game series broadcast by the following: Harry Caray, Jack Buck, and Pat Hughes. One per game. That would be heaven.
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