Archive for August, 2006


Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

“I have found it!” Now I’m not as good a mathematician as ol’ Archimedes was but I can put together a few numbers every now and then. Going into tonight’s game the Cubs continued to be dead last in major league baseball in runs scored. Why would that be? Well a big reason has to be the fact that they are 29th in the league in on base percentage. Yet the team is 16th in batting average! How could they be second to last in runners on base when they’re in the middle of the pack in terms of hitting the ball safely? The answer is that they don’t walk – at 2.4 bases on balls per game they are the worst team in the league at taking a free pass.

Now granted, the Cubs are 23rd in homeruns and 27th in doubles so they’re not exactly tearing it up when it comes to hitting for power. But what good are those big hits if there’s nobody on base to score when you hit ’em? This team’s offense reminds me of the hitting approach that was used by it’s manager. I remember Dusty as a Dodger, he was a free swinger, a dead first ball/fastball hitter. The problem with Dusty’s offense that he has a bunch of free-swingers. He encourages his batters to be “aggressive,” which means that they swing at a lot of pitcher’s pitches early in the count. Consequently the opponent’s starter tends to go late into the game because our team doesn’t work the pitch counts.

As a result, the Cubs don’t get to see a lot of relievers except for the eighth inning guys and closers. A lot of people will blame the loss of D Lee for this year’s offense but how much of a difference can one man really make? Barring 60+ steroid-enhanced homeruns that is. Funny how nobody’s hit near that many homeruns recently, must be the baseballs…

Oh, by the way the Cubbies lost their fourth straight. Angel Guzman pitched well, giving up one run on a homerun to Ryan Howard. The Cubs only had five baserunners including one walk. Interesting how that works.

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More of the same

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Tonight the Cubs lost again in convincing fashion as they were spanked by former Cub Jamie Moyer and the Phils of Philadelphia. Ryan O’Malley was removed from the game early on with what was described as a “strained left elbow.” In Cubs parlance that means he’ll probably require Tommy John surgery and be back in the beginning of 2008. Prior to the game it was announced that Cesar Izturis was moved to the 15 day DL with a hamstring pull and the Cubs called up Buck Coats from AAA. Glendon Rusch showed us that he’s still the biggest booby prize in the league, giving up three runs in two-thirds of an inning. His ERA is now an impressive 7.80 and major league hitters have averaged .311 against Rusch in 2006.

What is it with the Cubs’ fascination with damaged goods? This makes Izturis’ third hamstring injury in less than two years and he’s also lost time due to TJ surgery and back trouble during 2005 and 2006. Does Hendry think that the Cubs have the best medical staff in baseball and that’s why he’s stockpiling all these injured castoffs? I also question the methods the Cubs use to condition their athletes. Do they ever stretch or use the weight machines? Methinks not.

In unrelated news both Tyler Colvin and Mark Pawelek are finishing their seasons in Boise on upswings. Pawelek has got his ERA down to 2.54 and Jeremy Papelbon is having an outstanding first year for the Hawks, going 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA. Sam Fuld has a .378 OBP for Daytona now and Chris Walker has 40 stolen bases for West Tenn. Consequently the Cubs now have bonafide centerfield prospects at the AAA, AA, High A and Short Season A levels.

****** UPDATE ******

Apparently Dusty isn’t the only one on crack. Jim Leyland is now a suspected user? Want to know why?

Find the reason in this link.

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

This week we are joined by the Red Hot Mama, who covers the Cincinnati Reds. Her blog can be found at We talked about a good array of topics, including: Boston getting swept by the Yankees, the Tom Glavine injury and Detroit’s attempt to replace Polanco with Neifi Perez.

As you would expect, we talked Reds baseball and played a little word association to close it out at the end.

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Instead of leaving a really long comment (Parting Shots), I decided to make this a separate post. I’ve had some time to do a little soul searching about what I wrote and what you all said in response..

Go ahead and throw out all of the miniscule samples I gave in the post below . Newman is right about the RISP, I inadvertantly looked at the line above. Mea culpa.

What bothered me the most I guess is the piling on of Neifi and not at Baker. Some did say he was misused but in more than one instance then went on and had a smart-ass crack about Neifi.

I grew up a Cubs fan for many reasons but one of those is that I always root for the underdog and Neifi certainly fit that role. When I see piling on it makes me get in that guy’s corner that much more. Maybe it’s a reflection of growing up as the short, fat kid in school. I was the underdog and a couple people stuck up for me.

When I had to run the mile in gym class, I could barely walk it. About 10 minutes into the stroll, sides aching, with another 1/3 mile to go, I saw two kids from class coming towards me. One on my right, the other on my left, they had finished their run and came back to go the distance with me.

There were kids in our school who we were cruel to, did horrible things to. I was too much of a coward then to come to their defense. I am ashamed of that.

Neifi Perez is a decent player when used correctly. So, say that. Blame the manager for batting him second in the order (tho his career splits aren’t any worse in that place than furthur down.) When Nomar went down last year Neifi stepped in and stepped up. How quickly we forget.

I remember writing a post last year entitled “That’s Corey With a “C”. I received similar response for that post as well. That’s OK. I will probably keep on keeping on til Joe throws me off the blog. Call me illogical, unreasonable, unrealistic, stupid, oversensitive, sentimental and naive, I don’t give a rat’s behind because this is who I am and I’m not apologizing for it.

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Stiff competition for “new Neifi” role

Monday, August 21st, 2006

The Cubs have lost three out of the last four games and are back to eighteen games below .500. As the last ember of hope for Dusty’s career in Chicago begins to flicker and darken, Chicago fans are now vexed with a new enigma – who will be the new manager’s favorite that fans will love to hate? Here are some of the prime candidates:

Glendon Rusch: Glendon might possibly be the easiest pitcher to hit in all of baseball. Opposing batters hit .302 last year against Glendon and Cubs GM Jim Hendry rewarded him with a two year contract that will cost the Cubs $3.25 million next year. This year his ERA of 7.44 and WHIP of 1.70 might qualify him as baseball’s worst pitcher. Rusch was reactivated prior to today’s game.

Cesar Izturis: Cubs fans will rapidly grow tired of this guy and his anemic bat. Izturis is a natural rally-killer and has frequent injuries – in the past few years he’s had numerous hamstring pulls, back spasms and his recent Tommy John surgery made him a “must get” for Hendry. Izturis is currently suffering another bout with a bad hammy and will cost the Cubs $4.15 million next year.

John Mabry: I was hoping this guy would be a potent bat off the Cubs bench this year – instead he’s been a semi-frequent starter who can’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. His .223 batting average underwhelms even the likes of Neifi and Jose Macias; look for Mabry to play next year for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters or the Rakkuten Golden Eagles.

Will Ohman: Here’s the guy you go to when you want to blow a lead and get trash thrown on the warning track in front of the bleachers. His 4.88 ERA doesn’t really tell the story because Ohman specializes in letting inherited baserunners score. Will has seized opportunity by the forelock – he took the uniform number “13” the day after Neifi left. If he comes back to the Cubs next year it’s because he has something on somebody in the Cubs management.

Ryan Dempster: Ryan’s a good guy but his 1-5 record and six blown saves just ain’t gonna cut it for a closer. That’s one out of every five opportunities and we all know there have been some games where he nearly gave the faithful heart attacks before earning a save.

Well that’s my list, feel free to cast your vote in the comments!

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