Archive for May, 2007

This Is Getting Ridiculous

Friday, May 25th, 2007

I hate trashing people that can’t really defend themselves because they’re dead, but this is getting out of hand. When MLB was notified that Josh Hancock had passed away in an auto accident, I felt bad for him and his family. It’s tough to lose someone you love, especially so suddenly. Then it was found that he had not only alcohol, but also drugs in his system while he was driving and talking on the cell phone. My sympathy level dropped a great deal, but I still felt bad for his family. Now, word comes out that they are suing not only the restaurant that served him the alcohol, but also the towing company who was assisting the broken down motorist on the highway.

The father of Josh Hancock filed suit Thursday, claiming a restaurant provided drinks to the St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher even though he was intoxicated prior to the crash that killed him.

The suit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court by Dean Hancock of Tupelo, Miss., does not specify damages. Mike Shannon’s Restaurant, owned by the longtime Cardinals broadcaster who starred on three World Series teams in the 1960s, is a defendant in the case along with Shannon’s daughter, Patricia Shannon Van Matre, the restaurant manager.
Other defendants include Eddie’s Towing, the company whose flatbed tow truck was struck by Hancock’s sport utility vehicle in the early hours of April 29; tow truck driver Jacob Edward Hargrove; and Justin Tolar, the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove.

The fact is, Josh Hancock was irresponsible in his actions, paid the price and people need to move on and quit trying to skirt the responsibility here. His father needs to quit being a complete jack ass and stop bringing people that did not make poor decisions into this mess. My sympathy for this guy and his family has now reached 0.

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Game 45 – I Hate the West Coast

Friday, May 25th, 2007


May 25th, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Chicago 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2   3 7 0
San Diego 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 5 0
W -  B. Howry (2-3)   L  - C. Meredith (1-2)  S – R. Dempster (10)
Homeruns: None

Box Score

It’s about time we win a game like this. As usual, I wasn’t able to make it through the entire game and was forced to catch the end on MLB.tv. I wish I had a lot to add to this one, but I don’t. Jason Marquis continues to look very sharp, but then again, I believe I had that on when we signed him. In December I put together a post called “What I Expect From The 2007 Chicago Cubs Starting Pitchers”.

Jason Marquis, who Cubs fans seem less than thrilled to have, should round out the rotation, assuming he doesn’t get booted by a healthy Mark Prior or a suddenly emergent farmhand like Angel Guzman, Sean Marshall, or Carlos Marmol. You can complain all you want on this one, but i’m not budging. I like this signing and I think Marquis is a lot better than the numbers he put up last season. Sometimes you have to play a hunch and that’s what Hendry’s done. When the Cardinals too a chance on Chris Carpenter, no one thought it would work out the way it has. Here are his numbers in Toronto.

2000: 10-12 with an ERA of 6.26
2001: 11-11 with an ERA of 4.09
2002: 4-5 with an ERA of 5.28

Suddenly, he goes to St. Louis and wins 15 games, posting an ERA of 3.46. The next year, he wins the Cy Young with an ERA of 2.83. Last year an ERA of 3.09 was coupled with 15 more wins. Sometimes guys just need a need start. The Cubs have given that to Marquis and I think we’ll see the benefits of it. Will we get Chris Carpenter type numbers? No, but at the number five spot, all I want is double digit wins.

In other news, Wade Miller is just about ready to “return”. He’s slated for another minor league rehab start and then the Cubs will need to make a decision on if they want to add him to the rotation. Sean Marshall looked good in his first start, so another good one would probably mean Miller will be on the outside looking in.

Last, but not least, be sure to check out our podcast. We talked yesterday about Roger Clemens, Elijah Dukes, and Jason Giambi. It was a good show. Here is the link to the episode.

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Game 45 – Open Thread

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
Jason Marquis – This may change and Marquis could be bumped up so the Cubs don’t have Rich Hill and Ted Lilly, two lefties, pitching on back-to-back days. Marquis is coming off a no-decision against the White Sox. He gave up five runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out four, and also hit his first home run of the year. The Cubs rallied to win, 11-6. It was the most runs off the right-hander this year. Against the Padres, Marquis is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA.

Chris Young – Young allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings in his last start on Friday against Seattle as he allowed six hits and one walk to go with five strikeouts in winning his fifth game of the season. The right-hander was seldom in trouble, though the Mariners did manage to steal four bases against him.

View the Cubs career numbers vs. Chris Young – ESPN Splits


Notable Performances From Down On The Farm

Geovany Soto (AAA) 1-4, HR, 4RBI, R, (.293avg)
Mike Fontenot (AAA) 3-5, RBI, R, (.374avg)
Micah Hoffpauir (AAA) 3-4, R, (.295avg)
Issmael Salas (AA) 4-4, 2B, HR, 5RBI, 2R, (.271avg)
Casey McGehee (AA) 2-6, 2B, HR, 5RBI, R, (.278avg)
Carlos Rojas (AA) 3-5, 3R, BB, (.242avg)
Justin Berg (AA) 6IP, 3ER, 4H, 4BB, 2K, WIN (5.72ERA)
Scott Taylor (High-A) 6IP, 1ER, 4H, 1BB, 5K, LOSS (5.29ERA)

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Game 44 – More Missed Opportunities

Thursday, May 24th, 2007


May 23rd, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Chicago 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 7 0
San Diego 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 X   2 4 0
W -  D. Wells (2-2)   L  - S. Marshall (0-1)  S – T. Hoffman (13)
Homeruns: K. Kouzmanoff (3)

Box Score

It’s nearly June 1st, the Cubs are now four games below five hundred. Again. We got rid of the twin cancers of MacPhail and Dusty; Hendry spent over three hundred million during the offseason. But are we competitive? No sir, you can’t change a culture overnight. You don’t come to Wrigley to win championships, you come there to make big money, play a lot of day games and enjoy one of the finest ballparks in baseball. I think that’s what the players think, whether they’ll admit to it or not. It shows in their performance.

Either that or these guys don’t have the personal character it takes to win ballgames consistently. I truly don’t know how long it will take to turn things around but I’m starting to think that Mark Cuban might be the best owner for this team after all.

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Game 44 – Open Thread

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
Sean Marshall – Marshall was called up to fill the fifth starter spot, and will make his 2007 debut against the Padres. He was slowed this spring because of fatigue in his shoulder. Marshall made five starts at Class A Daytona and Triple-A Iowa, and was a combined 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.

David Wells – In what was clearly his best and longest start of the season Wells allowed one run over eight innings in a no-decision against the Reds on May 15. Wells pounded the strike zone, striking out five without issuing a walk. Better still, he was economical with his pitches, needing only 88 of them over his eight innings.

View the Cubs career numbers vs. David Wells – ESPN Splits


Notable Performances From Down On The Farm

Eric Patterson (AAA) 3-5, HR, 3RBI, R, (.333avg)
James Adduci (Low-A) 3-4, 2R, (.301avg)
Jose Pina (Low-A) 5IP, 3ER, 7H, 1BB, 1K, WIN (5.12ERA)


Notes From Around Baseball

  • Jason Giambi has failed a test for amphetamines within the past year – NY Daily News
  • Elijah Dukes is a killer? – ESPN
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  • Game 43 – Too many missed opportunities

    Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007


    May 22nd, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 8 0
    San Diego 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 X   5 6 1
    W -  J. Peavy (6-1)   L  - R. Hill (4-4)  S – T. Hoffman
    Homeruns: M. Cameron (2 & 3) A. Gonzalez (11) K. Kouzmanoff (2)

    Box Score

    Tonight Rich Hill gave up four solo homeruns and the Cubs stranded a plethora of baserunners as Jake Peavy and the Padres downed the Cubs 5-1. Hill looked shaky again – he doesn’t seem to be showing the same degree of control over his pitches as he did earlier in the year. There is also some speculation that he may be telegraphing his pitches.

    The Cubs had ample chances to score – the biggest disappointment was in the seventh when they loaded up the bases after two outs, only to suffer a groundout by Theriot. In the following inning the Cubs also had an excellent chance, only to have Jones leave men on first and third. In all, the Cubs left runners in scoring position six times when they had two outs. That’s just not getting ‘er done.

    I can’t say that I am real disappointed about this loss – the Cubs generally have done well this year at getting runs home and our starting pitching has not been the problem. I’m more disappointed by the fact that Piniella can’t make his mind up about his lineup card and what he wants to do about the bullpen. I awaited today with baited breath because of his pronouncement that major changes in the bullpen were to be made, only to find out that it was “plenty ado about nothing.”

    The Cubs hope to tie up the series tomorrow; Sean Marshall will get the start against David Wells so look for Angel Pagan in center and Murton in right. Wade Miller is reportedly “with the team” in San Diego but no roster move has been announced.

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    Huh?

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

    Last week Lou Piniella intimated that there would be changes by Tuesday – well Tuesday is here. Thusfar this is what we’ve learned:

    Ryan Dempster is going to get stretched out, ostensibly to be made the team’s fifth starter at some point in the future. Angel Guzman’s going to the pen, he apparently suffered cramps in his last start and is considered to be a more natural bullpenner.

    Neil Cotts (who had a minor league option left) was demoted to Iowa and Sean Marshall was recalled and will start Wednesday night’s game. Marshall performed superbly during his minor league rehab stint.

    Wade Miller is supposed to rejoin the Cubs staff today after performing terribly during his minor league rehab. I assume that Carlos Marmol will be sent down to make room for Miller.

    So, assuming all of this takes place, the Cubs will have a bullpen that consists of Ryan Dempster, Scott Eyre, Bob Howry, Will Ohman, Michael Wuertz, Angel Guzman and Wade Miller. Now how am I supposed to feel “better off” with those moves Misters Hendry and Piniella?

    Here’s what needs to happen from my standpoint: First designate Scott Eyre and Wade Miller for assignment. DFA is a five day process – during the time that we attempt to get real relievers for our castoffs. The Cubs should use Marmol and Cherry out of the pen. If both players clear waviers, send Eyre to Iowa and release Miller.

    Have a “Jim Hendry Moving Sale;” trade all of the minor league guys that Hendry has obtained in trades during the past three years (excluding Murton) for two real relief pitchers. If no team will take these Cubs castoffs then we might actually have to part with some “real talent.” Baseball Prospectus reports that the Cubs are dangling Matt Murton for a reliever; I do not like this trade. Rather, trade all of the other ones instead.

    But for crissakes DO SOMETHING HENDRY! And quit trying to put lipstick on a pig, it doesn’t work.

    In unrelated news, Cubs 2005 first round draft pick Mark Pawelek has fallen off the face of the earth. The Peoria Chiefs’ website shows that Pawelek was sent to Mesa in April but he hasn’t pitched a single inning down there. How do these guys always seem to get hurt but nobody hears anything about it?

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    Game 43 – Open Thread

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Rich Hill – Hill is coming off a tough loss to the Mets. He gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks over six innings in the game, while striking out six. He hasn’t been as sharp in May, posting a 1-2 record and 5.29 ERA in three starts. In April, he was 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in five games. The Cubs were working on his delivery in an effort to speed him up. Teams are running at will on the lefty, who is very deliberate.

    Jake Peavy – Peavy saw his streak of four consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts end in a no-decision against the Reds on Wednesday. He struck out five in seven innings and recovered well after allowing two first-inning runs when his command wasn’t as sharp as it has been recently. Still, he kept the Padres close in a game they eventually won, 3-2, when Kevin Kouzmanoff walked with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Jake Peavy – ESPN Splits


    Notable Performances From Down On The Farm

    Wade Miller (AAA) 6IP, 4ER, 6H, 3BB, 3K, LOSS (6.00ERA)
    Sean Gallagher (AA) 5IP, 2ER, 4H, 3BB, 1K, WIN (3.51ERA)
    Ryan Norwood (High-A) 3-4, 2R, (.220avg)
    Jake Muyco (High-A) 3-4, R, (.214avg)
    Jeff Samardzija (High-A) 1.2IP, 7ER, 9H, 1BB, LOSS (5.18ERA)
    Russ Canzler (Low-A) 3-5, RBI, (.267avg)
    James Adduci (Low-A) 3-5, (.275avg)

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    Game 42 – I’m Done With Zambrano

    Sunday, May 20th, 2007


    May 20th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    South Side 0 2 1 0 0 0 7 0 0   10 11 0
    North Side 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0   6 7 0
    W -  N. Masset (2-1)   L  - C. Zambrano (4-4)  S – None
    Homeruns: A. Pierzynski (8) J.Dye (9) A. Ramirez (11)

    Box Score

    I want it on the record right now. I want everyone to hear it now so I can refer to it the rest of the season. I am off the “re-sign Carlos” bandwagon. From this point on, I am referring to him as Jose Lima Jr., because that’s what I think he’s going to amount to this year. He is our so called Ace of the staff and yet has not pitched like it this season. I’m done with Carlos Zambrano. From this point on, I’m going into his starts expecting a loss because i’m sick of being disappointed. I put this loss on Zambrano. He went into this game against an opponent that should have been an easy one to hit. Instead, Zambrano was the easy one to hit and lost this game.

    I started to think about what I expect from various points in this rotation. From Rich Hill, Ted Lilly and Jose Lima, I expect 7 innings of work and no more than 3 runs given up. It’s basically a step up from a quality start and it should be happening from all three of these guys. From the bottom two, if we can get 6 innings from our 4 and 5 starters with no more than 4 runs given up, i’m happy. Marquis has been very good so far, but the 5th starter appears to be headed for the revolving door. Wade Miller didn’t work. Angel Guzman is dealing with PMS craps, forcing him to the bullpen and Lou is considering a move of Ryan Dempster into the role. We’ll have to wait and see on that approach.

    Our Rivals are Retarded

    I don’t like to let a rivalry series go by without talking a little trash, and this weekend is no exception. Here are two things I found that prove the White Sox fans are white trash and that the Brewers fans are just drunken weirdos.

  • White Sox Host “Mullet Night” – And they wonder why we look down on their fans?
    Mullet Night and Fireworks

    Got Mullet? Celebrate a classic American hairstyle – the Mullet!

    PREGAME:
    Gate 3:
    Rock your mullet to the beat of the band Back Stage Pass.

    Gate 4:
    Let your mullet loose and jam with Posin, a touring tribute act to the 80s band Poison.

    Gate 5:
    Join the dance party with “Kung Fu Grip.”

    Don’t have a mullet? Have a stylist at one of four Great Clips haircut stations located throughout the ballpark trim one up for you. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Ronald McDonald House and Chicago White Sox Charities.

    MULLET MARCH
    Then, march your mullet over to Gate 1 by 6:30 p.m., where the first 500 mulleted men and women will be invited to parade their classic cuts around the warning track. Wigged mullets will be accepted. Mulleted marchers will get a free White Sox Mullet Night T-shirt!
    Sponsored by Great Clips

  • Pee Your Pants for the Brewers? – What the heck? Now that’s the way to get baseball to take your team seriously.
    I have never seen a full Brewers season where they make the playoffs. Born in July 1982, I missed that amazing World Series run. It’s been a long 24 years- the longest playoff drought in baseball. With a young team of quality stars and shrewd management, we’re boldly making our move. I get so excited thinking about the Brewers now, a little pee comes out. In fact,

    When the Brewers
    make the playoffs
    I will pee my pants.

    I hope those small pieces of information help you laugh off a loss and prepare for a day off of Cubs baseball. Look on the bright side. We won the series.

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