Archive for September, 2006

Doin’ The Podcast Thang

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

It looks like the White Sox are out of it, or are they? Will Ozzie Guillen be a marked man if the Sox really don’t make it? And where were all the manager firings at this year? We also discuss how important a good defensive catcher is to a team, and how it affects the pitchers.

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Churning the pot

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Everybody saw the story today in the Sun Sentinel about Girardi getting canned after the regular season – my guess is that the Cubs and Marlins have already talked about this eventuality. That is, the Cubs have offered Loria assurances that they will offer Girardi a better contract to come home – although Joe could ride out his Marlins contract sitting by the pool in sunny Florida, he’s just cutting his teeth as a manager so he needs another job. Quickly.

My guess is that Dusty will walk away from his Cubs experience the day after the season ends and Girardi will be signed within a week. Dusty will go on to Philadelphia to learn what real booing is all about and Fredi Gonzalez or the Mets’ Latino coach will end up in Florida.

It remains to be seen how effective Girardi will be in Chicago – word is that his relationships with both the Florida GM and owner were strained at best. But in his defense, the Cubs need discipline, they need conditioning and I’d also have problems with a GM that gave me a payroll of $15 million!

BTW the Dusty-o-Meter is down to 8 games, also Cesar Izturis is finished due to yet another hamstring pull. I feel so comfortable knowing that the Cubs will be wasting $4.35 million dollars next year on a player who will miss at least 50 games due to various injuries and give us a .295 on base percentage. Way to go Jim Hendry, we’re counting on yet another injury-prone player!

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Plenty ado about nuthin’

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

6-2 Phils, the Cubs were simply beaten by a better ballclub. Nine games left, it will be a great relief when this season is over. I’m told that Dusty is going to have a show after the ballgame to make excuses as to why he was a dud in Chicago for four years. Lots of work to do between now and spring training, this club has so many needs.

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New Stuff & Prize Opportunity

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

I finally had some time tonight to sit down and work on a few things for the site. Here are the new additions:

1) Instead of e-mail addresses for each writer, which caused massive spam problems, we have instituted a contact us form that will be sent to my e-mail and get forwarded to the appropriate author.

2) To assure that we are bringing you the kind of content you want, I have set up a reader survey form. Please, if you are reading this, go their right now and flood my inbox with survey results. Let me know what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. I’d really appreciate it. I am offering a prize for the most insightful reader who completes the survey by September 30th, 2006.

3) I have set up the option to receive the site via e-mail courtesy of feedburner. It’s located in the syndication section on the right.

Let me know your thoughts.

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Cubs score early and often

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Tonight’s game was deja vu all over again as the Cubs and Phils locked horns in another high-scoring game. The Phils and the Cubs have a history of knockdown-dragouts and tonight’s game was no exception; the two teams combined for seventeen runs and twenty-three hits in a game that would have had young Ron Santo clicking his heels with joy.

Aramis Ramirez led the charge for the Cubs, hitting two three-run homeruns and accumulating a personal-best 7 RBIs. Ramirez has an unusual contract, it obligates the Cubs but he is free to walk away after eleven more games. With 35 homeruns and 110 RBIs he should be highly sought after if he decides to test free agency. Way to go Hendry! We either let Ramirez walk or his raise will be money that will not be spent on free agents. Pick yer poison.

Shawn Marshall did something that makes me wonder whether or not he is really ready for the bigs – he threw Jose Hernandez a 3-2 fastball with the bases loaded. Who in baseball doesn’t know that Hernandez is a dead fastball hitter? I had just commented to someone that I’d rather see Marshall walk Hernandez when he served up his gopherball, putting Philly back into the game 8-6. What in the world was he thinking?

Fortunately the Cubs held on and the bullpen shut the door. Wuertz got the win since Marshall did not pitch the required five innings – the Cubs added three runs and won 11-6. Wade Miller takes the hill tomorrow in a 6:05 PM game; the Cubs have won six out of their last eight in what could be Dusty’s last hurrah.

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What Really Matters

Monday, September 18th, 2006

“You break your wrist and you think that’s a big deal. Then something like this happens and it kind of slaps you in the face of what really matters.” Derrek Lee

Our thoughts and prayers for your family at this time, Derrek.
Everyone at View From the Bleachers.

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Baseball artistry

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

The last time Hill pitched I commented that we were watching a young pitcher mature before our very eyes. Well it’s getting to the point where Rich Hill is going to start being a gate draw – remember how excited we felt in Prior’s early days? I’m starting to feel it again. Hill’s mastery of the Reds today was something I wished I could have seen – just reading his line gets me all excited.

Rich has two more starts to lock down a starting spot for next year, if he looks decent the next two times out I’m ready to pencil him in. Rich might want to take a month off or so off and then pitch a few starts down in the Venezuelan, DR or Puerto Rican leagues so that he hits the ground running in spring training. I’m starting to hope for a rotation that would possibly have Zambrano, Jason Schmidt, Rich Hill, Sean Marshall/free agent (Maddux?) and Mateo/Prior/Harben (yes, Mark Prior should have to compete for a spot.)

Dig these numbers. Since Colorado, Rich has had 6 starts, throwing 44 innings. During that timeframe he has struck out 44 and walked 10; he has given up 24 hits, 3 homeruns and has compiled an ERA of 1.23. I doubt there is any pitcher in baseball that can boast those kinds of numbers in their last six starts; when you have a WHIP of 0.77 you are dealing.

Update:

In today’s Chicago Tribune, Dusty commented that one day he will write a book about his baseball career. According to the Tribune: “The Cub years…will merit only a chapter.” Well, the Dusty years will only merit a single page in the Cubs’ history. Mastrick says: Good riddance, chump. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Dusty-o-Meter: 13 games and counting

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It’s all in how you look at it.

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

It is clear that the Cubs do not have the best player at any position. Their best position players are dwarfed by Poo Holes, Howard, Cabrera, Wright, Rolen, Mauer, McCann, Posada and so on.
It is clear that the Cubs’ only standout pitcher this year, Z, will not win the Cy Young.
The Cubs’ record sucks. Today’s slaparound puts them at 59-89, 2 games better than the Kansas City Royals (and in a worse division).

BUT

Look at it this way:
Carlos Zambrano is, by far, the BEST Zambrano in the major leagues.
We have the league’s best Barrett, Theriot, Cedeno, Murton, and Pierre.
Our Ramirez is in the top 3 in the league among Ramirezes.
Our Lee is top 3 as well! Our Izturis is top 2!
Our Jones still sucks, but he’s on the list!
We have the best Marshall, Hill, Eyre, Dempster, Howry, Aardsma, Ohman, Mabry, Bynum, Coats, and Pagan.
We have the second-best Jose Reyes in MLB!
We have the market cornered on Walronds and Marmols!

Best of all, our All-DL team could kick any major league team’s butt! Prior, Wood, and Lee alone would smack anyone else down.

So hold your heads up. Isolated by last name, the Cubs are league leaders!

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Cubs lose 4-0, Mateo leaves early

Friday, September 15th, 2006

The Cubs were shutout yet again and, as the offense continues to prove that it needs major overhaul the team had yet another injury. Some of you may recall at the beginning of the season I expressed hope that the Cubs would take action to stop all these muscle pulls and strains that seem to happen every year with alarming consistency. There is nothing one can do to prevent accidents like the ones that happened to Derrek Lee, Michael Baker and Glendon Rusch. But it’s a proven fact that a good conditioning program will add flexibility, muscle strength and prevent a lot of strains and pulls.

In the business world failure means being let go. Accordingly I call on Tribune Broadcasting and the Cubs management to fire the current trainers and so-called strength and conditioning coordinator, i.e. Mark O’Neil, Ed Halbur and Tim Buss. We need a bonafide trainer and at least three physical therapy assistants. Each player should have a strength and conditioning regimen and their progress (or lack thereof) should be monitored; corrective action should be taken against backsliders.

The players owe it to themselves, the management and the fans to keep in good playing shape; guys like Maddux never get hurt because they work a program. Since the Cubs players cannot keep fit by themselves it is time to do what all high school and college athletic coaches do, preach and practice good physical conditioning.

Dusty-o-Meter: 14 games left

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