Archive for June, 2006

New Cubs slide hits four

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Today’s Tribune featured an article by Paul Sullivan which implied that Dusty had to “start winning now or face the possibility of losing his job.” The Cubs have won two of their last thirteen and are now on pace for a 60-102 season; during the last 27 innings they have scored just 1 run. It’s the timidity of this organization that concerns me the most; the decision-makers seem paralysed by the team’s predicament. It’s as though they are at a total loss as to what to do, they are on pace to commandeer the second-worst team in the history of a 131 year-old franchise and nothing is happening. Today’s game also resulted in the team’s eighth-straight home loss, the Cubs have also been swept twice consecutively at home. The club is presently 19 games below .500.

So that’s the bad news. The good news is that every loss now makes it more likely that the Dunce of Wrigley will be jettisoned soon. Hopefully Brenly will come down from the booth to lay down the law; I think he’ll turn this team around very quickly. He’ll also set some guys like Ramirez and Pierre straight – Aramis has totally let the team down this year with his lax production and I’d love to see him sent somewhere in a trade that involved a top 3B prospect such as Andy Marte or Shelly Duncan. When you look at Ramirez’ production the last few years it’s been decent but injuries or relaxed play always prevent him from being a superstar. “Hustle” is not this guy’s middle name. Now would be an excellent time for a blockbuster trade or two, what do we have to lose? This team needs new chemistry.

Dusty-o-Meter: 87 games left
Hendry-o-Meter: 411 games left

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Tickets Anyone?

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Recently, I added the Twix advertising on the left side of the site. In exchange, they slipped me a pair of Cub tickets in Houston on July 3rd. Unfortunately, Houston is a long way from North Carolina so I will not be able to go. I am looking to sell the tickets at face value if someone is interested. All I know is that they are row 24. I am waiting to hear back about what section they are in. So, if you’d like to take a chance on perhaps seeing Roger Clemens pitch, shoot me an e-mail and let me know you’re interested.

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Had enough yet?

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

If you care like I do, if you feel like I do, if you want the Cubs to change like I do bypass MacFail and his corrupt regime and contact the Tribune Company directly. If you own stock in the Tribune, contact their investor relations department at rmusil@tribune.com. Let Ruth know that you appreciate the $100 million that the Tribune has invested each year in payroll but that you don’t like the way it’s been squandered.

Otherwise contact Gary Weitman at gweitman@tribune.com, he’s the Trib’s man for media relations. Let him know you appreciate the money the Trib has put into the ballpark; tell him that you resent a management that ignores the fans and only pays lip service to results because they’re too busy protecting each other’s flanks.

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Who’s your favorite clown?

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

That’s right, ME! Dusty the Clown! As you know boys and girls, we must be totally fair in how we run the Cubs. Beginning tomorrow Ringmaster Hendry will be on hand for the first day of the Cubs’ Lineup Bucket Toss game. Aww, what’s wrong Todd, can’t play bucket toss? Who’s gonna bat second Cubs fans? That’s right, NEIFI! Come on Neifi, hit that last bucket!

And don’t you worry boys and girls, Ringmaster Hendry doesn’t listen to all those mean reporters. He doesn’t listen to anybody, this is his circus and he’s going to do as he pleases. And Cookie MacFail only listens to Ringmaster Hendry. Join us tomorrow in the Grand March to 100 Losses, Cubs fans. And who’s your favorite clown? That’s right, DUSTY!!!

Dusty-o-Meter: 88 games left
Hendry-o-Meter: 412 games left

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Question of the Day

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

If the Cubs fall below the Pirates AND the Royals records, does Dusty Baker get the axe?

On a side note, Yarbage Cub Review has been in attendance for this Twins series and has had a chance to stay at the same hotel as the Cubs. Visit his site

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Game 73: Post-game musings

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Dusty-o-Meter: T minus 89 games and counting
Hendry-o-Meter: T minus 413 games and counting

Recently the Cubs haven’t been playing so well and you can only bake the same cake so many times. So I’ve refrained from commenting much on the current state of the Cubs, unless of course it has been to let off some steam and “get it out.” But there’s a few things that I saw tonight that were noteworthy.

First of all, I was impressed by Prior’s performance. I’ve been watching him like a hawk because I’m still suspicious about that shoulder. Today he hit 94 on the gun (which is where he historically has topped out at) and I thought he pitched very effectively. He was very tuned-in during the fifth inning when he got in trouble and the pitch he got Pinto on was pure Powder River.

It was sad to see Womack carried off the field, I hope he gets well soon. The Cubs must DL him because they are playing with a 24 man roster, 12 of whom are pitchers. That leaves only 4 guys on the bench – the Cubs must make a roster move if Womack can’t play tomorrow. No If’s and’s or but’s.

Lee got to take some cuts for AAA Iowa, he’s scheduled to take some more tomorrow as Iowa’s DH. I’d like to see Lee rehab some more because Nevin is hitting well and Lee is going to need the practice. He also has to build up his flexibility and strength or he could hurt the joint and we sure don’t need that!

Word is that Dusty’s soured on the idea of using Marmol as a starter – he prefers him as a long relief guy. My guess is that they’ll go with Guzman on Thursday against Milwaukee. I am not opposed to this; in fact the Cubs should plan on using Marmol AND Guzman every fifth day. If one gets in trouble, bring in the other, let’s let these two guys duel for the fifth spot. We don’t need to trade any more Ricky Nolascos, the Cubs need to use the rest of this off-year to make some decisions and develop young talent.

Speaking of “developing” I’d like to see Bob Brenly given the reins on this team a soon as possible – I’d like to see what Uncle Bob can do with this exact roster. This will give the Cubs a relatively unbiased view of what they’ve got and take management out of the equation. It will cost the Cubs roughly $1.7M to eat the rest of Dusty’s salary but they’re already under budget for the year.

It saddens me to say that that Cubs fans have a lot more to endure; given the Cubs current winning percentage of .378 the team is on pace to finish 61-101. The last team to equal that feat was the 1966 team.

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Time for a Realignment

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I was talking to Chris Yarbrough yesterday before the game and he mentioned that he felt the Cubs had a 1% chance of winning the game against J. Santana. I told him that I gave them a 0% chance and that it was time for us to realign with a new team. We both joked about it a little, but then joking turned to seriousness. I mentioned that I would never give up the Cubs because the second I did, they would win it all and I would feel sheepish. Instead, what I need is a backup team. An AL team that I can turn to in times of frustration and get some relief. So, with that being said, we have both decided to choose a new team to follow for the remainder of the season. My team is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. With that being said, I know there are a ton of questions flying through your mind so here is the FAQ for the new idea.

How could you abandon the Cubs? You’re a fair weather fan.

I’m not abandoning the team. I will still have the Cubs as my first love. I’ve just grown very jaded toward their management, style of play, and constant ignorant fans that continue to pack the park despite a crappy product on the field. I’m simply drinking a fresh batch of kool aid from another team. That’s all. As far as me being a fair weather fan, isn’t that when you turn to a team that is actually winning?

Why the Devil Rays? Going from losing to more losing?

I know it doesn’t seem logical, but there are a few reasons that I chose the Rays.
1) I couldn’t bring myself to choose and NL team and cheer against the Cubs
2) I couldn’t stay up to watch the AL west
3) I can’t cheer for the White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, or Royals
That left me with 6 teams to choose from so I chose Tampa due to the Durham Bulls being 45 min from the house and the great core of young players on their team. Plus, can you really go wrong with a manager that wears nerd glasses? I think not.

So, my hope is that I can follow some of the Bulls games and hopefully secure a press pass to interview some future rays like Delmon Young and B.J. Upton.

Will you blog about the Rays?

Yes, in fact, I set up a separate blog called Rays of Light just yesterday. I would love for you all to come with me on this journey for the rest of the season. The Devil Rays, while not a power house team are an exciting team to watch. They have some young players like Carl Crawford, Gomes, and Baldelli that are exciting to watch.

On a side note, if you don’t use a blog reader to keep up with blogs, you’re missing out. Go to Bloglines and set it up. It’s super easy and will save you a TON of clicking at sites that are not updated frequently.

Will you stop posting about the Cubs?

Nope, not at all. Since I have a great staff of writers here on the site, It allows me to focus on my son this summer and posting when I have something to say. I’ll still have plenty to criticize and comment on as this season wears down. With a Dusty Baker firing close at hand, it’s only just begun for me and my writing on this site.

So that’s it. Cubs, and now the Rays. Two seasons of losing but a whole lot of fun. Give the Rays a chance and head over to the new site. If nothing else, just give it a look and comment on the layout / color scheme, which i’m very happy with.

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Prior or Marmol on Friday?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I noticed earlier today that Mark Prior was listed on the Cubs’ website as the starter for Friday night’s game against the Twins and Santana. Tonight I went to the site and noticed that Carlos Marmol has replaced Prior. Perhaps it was an accident, but my guess is that the Cubs intended to skip Marmol’s spot in the rotation and pitch Prior on five day’s rest. Now they want to give Prior an extra day – was this an error or is there something we should be reading between the lines? It will be interesting to see who the Cubs start on Saturday…

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Ozzie Campanis?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

As most of you know, a little tete-a-tete has been brewing on the South Side. As we Northsiders are left to consider the incompetence of a manager who quietly chews toothpicks as his team’s season dwindles away, our South Side brethren are now being ‘faced’ by their erstwhile savior. While many of us respect the job that Guillen has done bringing the Sox to baseball excellence, we must also recognize the fact that Ozzie is rapidly becoming an embarrassment to the city of Chicago as well as the White Sox.

I remember watching as a young man when Ted Koppel interviewed Al Campanis. Koppel even called a break so that he could tell Campanis what he just did and give him a chance to salvage his career. Unfortunately, like Ozzie the beliefs were part of his core personality, to deny them would in effect be a denial of who he was as a man. He could not run away from them any more than Dusty Baker could run away from his beliefs that black men and Latinos are more predisposed to warm weather.

I hope that Reinsdorf and Williams will at the very least call Ozzie out on this one. Bring him in behind closed doors and pin his ears back. Then call a press conference where the team can denounce the kinds of behavior that are turning the Cell into a two-ring circus. As for Ozzie, we knew that was your son you kissed Oz. In my family men never kissed on the lips but we realize there are cultural differences. Perhaps you can learn to understand America’s sensitivities too.

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