Archive for September, 2006

Cubs pour it on

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Tonight the Cubs did almost everything right, defeating their northern rivals from Milwaukee by the score of 14-6. Sean Marshall was somewhat effective in six innings of work; his control was rather spotty and some of is pitches caught too much of the plate. He gave up three earned runs including one homerun and was lucky to escape with the line that he earned. My impression is that Marshall needs more seasoning at the minor league level – he’s still a solid prospect but he needs to learn more respect for the strike zone before being penciled into the starting rotation.

Henry Blanco started things off with a very timely two-out hit that drove in two; all told, Hank White finished with four hits and four RBIs. After that it was an onslaught; Dusty Baker proved most of us naysayers wrong with is decision to bat .205 hitting John Mabry fifth – Mabry responded by hitting a three run dinger. Murton also made solid contact with three hits, three runs scored and an RBI. Jacque Jones increased his value to the Cubs, hitting his 27th homerun and missing the cycle by a triple. Finally, the top of the order delivered as The Riot scored three runs and Juan Pierre provided two hits. I was surprised when Dusty Baker and the Cubs bench said nothing about Prince Fielder’s tendency to stand fifteen feet from the plate instead of staying in the on deck circle – Tony Larussa noticed this and did not hesitate to voice his objection. Dusty didn’t seem to mind Fielder timing his pitcher, I would have had speaks with the home plate umpire about that.

The Dusty-o-Meter now stands at four games. In other news, Juan Pierre was quoted today as saying that he wouldn’t mind playing for Ozzie Guillen and the ChiSox; Ozzie’s White Sox have just finished a disappointing season and one can rest assured that major changes will be made. One of them is likely to be center field – I can see Kenny Williams going after Pierre but my sense is that Sarge Junior would be a better fit. Now would not be a fun time to be one of the guys on the bench that Ozzie (pictured) is looking at, because heads are going to roll. Unlike the Cubs, those guys don’t play around.

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Scott Eyre a dud – again

Monday, September 25th, 2006

A poor team like the 2006 Chicago Cubs finds new and innovative ways to lose every day. I expect a pitcher like Scott Eyre to do his best and have personal pride, but for the second day in a row Eyre failed as the Cubs lost again to the Reds.

I really wonder if Eyre is another pitcher wanna-be like LaTroy – perhaps he’s given up on this team. Maybe he can’t deliver when the game is on the line. Show me the money baby – do your job and show some respect for the people that pay your paycheck and those who fill the stands.

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While others celebrate

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Dusty went to the well again with Dempster and blew yet another game with his poor decision-making. Ask anybody that’s ever been in a twelve step program what “stinkin’ thinkin'” is – they’ll tell you that it is when you keep making the same decisions expecting different results. We went through this with LaTroy, now we’re going through it with Dempster. Dusty is the kind of guy that makes his mind up and, when he does, the whole world is wrong and he is right and you’re just not going to change his mind. He is as immovable as the Rock of Gibraltar.

A lot of people interpret this as stupidity; although Dusty ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer it’s more a matter of obstinacy and a specific personal shortcoming – Dusty is incapable of adapting to a changing world. He’s caught in a time warp world where he feels that athletes are professionals and veterans are better than rookies. He feels a manager shouldn’t have to teach fundamentals and conditioning, professionals should already know those things. He doesn’t like teaching young ballplayers – when have you ever seen him out on the playing field working with a young rookie? If Dusty is a teacher then I’m a nuclear physicist.

So every year he bakes the same cake and every year players get hurt and every year his team falls short. The Dusty-o-Meter is down to six games, not that I’m counting mind you.

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Cubs win in convincing fashion

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Carlos Zambrano had his ‘moment’ tonight when the Cincinnatians knocked him around in the second. But Zambrano himself went yard and several other Cubs jumped on the offensive bandwagon as the Cubs bested the Reds 11-4 in today’s twilight rain delay. Juan Pierre, Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez (HR, 2 RBIs) each had two hits and Mabry had three as the Cubs pored it on, sending former Cub prospect Kyle Lohse to the shower after three and five other Reds’ relievers were required for mop-up. Dempster came in and gave Cubs fans a little hope, striking out two and giving up one hit in the final frame.

In other news, preliminary obits for the Dusty regime are appearing in the Tribune, Sun-Times and Jim Hendry has stated that he has “not necessarily” made his decision yet (is he waiting for divine intervention?) Dusty, however has expressed his hope that he will find out before October 1st, he has some things that must be packed up before they can be shipped back to California. Ibn al-Bakr (pictured at right) was quoted as saying: “They’ve been writing my obituary for months…if you’re looking for criticism of people, you can find themÖ I was criticized when I was winning.”

Did he say “winning” or “whining?”

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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.

Go to our Podcast Site to listen and be sure to subscribe via iTunes, even if you don’t have an iPod.

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