Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I've been up since 4AM, so I came a few short today. Sorry.
61. I saw this headline: “Ward's return puts pressure on Edmonds” and thought they were seriously considering Ward in center. Worse, I was OK with it. I think that pretty much sums up my opinion on the Edmonds signing.
62. Sometimes I think “bunting directly back to the pitcher” is a drill that the Cubs actually practice.
63. Every time I see a shot of Fontenot standing next to D-Lee, thousands of short jokes run through my head. Then I remember he gets to play baseball for a living. Then I weep into my pillow.
64. I’m pretty sure that Google was invented just to help me find out answers to Aflac trivia questions.
65. If anyone wants to explain why WGN decided WGN America: TV You Can’t Ignore was a good idea, I’m all ears.
66. I think sending Aramis on a 3-2 pitch is Lou’s way of saying, “I don’t think this inning is going anywhere.”
67. Want a simple and effective way to announce to the world that you are a douche bag? Wear a White Sox jersey to Wrigley when the Sox are not the opponent. Does the trick every time.
68. If you are one of the first 10,000 fans to enter Wrigley and you DON’T have a child with you, I’m pretty sure you need to find better ways to occupy your time.
69. When ESPN decides to give us Chris Berman as the play-by-play man for a nationally televised Cubs game, I can’t help but wonder what we did to piss them off.
70. I think MLB teams are contractually obligated to post 11-8 scores on the bottom line followed by a stat showing a player who is 0-4 on the day.
71. I don’t care if this makes me sound old, but I remember fondly the good old days when I didn’t have to stand up for EVERY 2-strike count.
72. If you fill out the “paper work” at the ballpark just to get a Cubs towel, you are either too lazy to do laundry or you have no idea what the phrase “credit score” means.
73. You know the difference is between Hawk and Santo? Santo still does his job when the Cubs are losing.
74. I’m convinced that Z removes his cap when he points to the sky because he was told as a kid that it isn’t polite to point at Jesus with your hat on.
More to come later tonight!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
So what happened?
Well, they beat the snot out of the D-backs over the next 3 days, Soriano started hitting everything he saw out of the park and they proceeded to finish a 10-game home stand 8-2.
So much for the bag of poop analogy. Wow.
Then, as the same "experts" who wrote the Cubs off were now ranking them as the best team in baseball (I'm looking at you, Phil Rogers), the Cubs headed out on another road trip. Not good news since they hadn't won a road series since they beat the Pirates in April. After taking game one, they blew two leads in two days to Fat Elvis and the Astros. Ugh.
So after 47 games, they are now 19-8 at home and 9-11 on the road. 28-19. Pretty good by most standards. Not mine. Since I addressed some positive things this team had going for them last time, I thought I'd address the negatives today. Enjoy.
Two Things About the Cubs That Keep My Up At Night
1) Hitting is Contagious, Unless Your the Cubs
One of the most frustrating things about the Cubs last year was that they NEVER seemed hit as a team. If Aramis was hot, D-Lee was swinging like he had early dinner reservations. When Soriano remembered that actually putting the bat on the ball was key to getting a hit, Jacques Jones was...well, let's just forget about what J-squared was doing.
This year, especially on the road, they are doing the same thing. One or two guys appears to be a professional baseball player while the rest just run up to the plate, take three hacks at balls in the dirt and go sit down. It's possibly the most frustrating thing to watch night after night. Not as frustrating as say...Pinella's obsession with pitching Marmol in consecutive innings, but it's up there.
2) Centerfield Auditions Held Daily! .200 Hitters Preferred, But Not Required.
This is where I wish I could say, "What does (FILL IN BLANK) have to do to earn the everyday starting CF job!" I can't say that right now because the answer to that query is simple...hit the god durn ball!
So how did we get here?
In Jim "Do You Sell Pants With Elastic Waistband" Hendry's infinite wisdom, the Cubs realized coming out of spring training that Felix Pie wasn't the answer, so they got Reed Johnson to platoon with him. After it seemed apparent that Reed Johnson wasn't the answer, they sent the "can't miss" kid to the minors and signed asshat poster boy Jim Edmonds.
Sadly, even with all these roster moves, they still had no one who can play center AND hit the ball out of the infield. If the only requirement was to make highlight reel catches, all three would be in virtual dead heat. Unfortunately, fancy catches don't win ball games.
So as this giant hole in lineup continues to get bigger, Hendry can do one of two things. He can either stand pat and take his lumps with Pie and Johnson or he can make an ill-advised deadline deal to get a "veteran" in center. I wonder which he'll do....
I'd suggest preparing yourself now for this from Pat Hughes:
"And hitting 8th, in center, Coco Crisp."
I wish I was joking.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm by no means saying it's time to jump on the Edmonds bandwagon or anything, but it sure feels a lot nicer when he's doing this FOR you instead of TO you, don't you think?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Now that I've arisen from my work-related sabbatical, I figured I'd take a shot at helping Jason with his Top 100 list. Hopefully, I won't be the Michael Wuertz to his Ryan Dempster. So, here are #41-60.
41.The fact that when the Cubs get down a run in the third inning, I don't turn off the TV and say “game over” makes me uncomfortable. In such a good way.
42.Neon green relish is the best kind of relish.
43.Jason Marquis blows. Why hasn't this one made the list yet?
44.On a radio interview, Jim Hendry claimed that Reed Johnson is a great player because “we're 17-7 with him in the lineup,” which reminded me of this:
Homer Simpson: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa Simpson: hat’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work.
Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
BUT, I didn't drive my car off the road and into a telephone pole due to his sheer stupidity. I'm proud of myself.
45.I went to Thursday night's game, and no one in my section swore loudly, spilled a drink on someone, or generally made a complete ass of themselves. That might be the first time that's ever happened.
46.Only slightly less daunting than understanding molecular physics is understanding why, at Wrigley, 20 oz. Bud Light drafts are $5.75, but CANS of PBR are $6.
47.Jason Isringhausen just went on the DL because he lost a fight with a television, which reminds me how much I enjoy when bad things happen to stupid players who aren't on my team.
48.EVERY FLY BALL THE CUBS HIT IS NOT GOING OUT OF THE BALLPARK. Can we all come to grips with this and stop cheering for 230 ft. pop outs?
49.Mark Prior had yet another setback with the Padres this week. See #47.
50.If Paul Sullivan feels the need to whine about having to do a mailbag every fucking time he writes the column, maybe he should, I don't know, allow someone who actually likes baseball to do his job for him.
51.I figure I should take a moment to point out Jason's #18 in this list. Look at it, then come back here. See? It was worth the laugh.
52. The save is the dumbest stat in baseball next to the RBI. There, I said it.
53.So, does anyone else think that Kosuke Fukudome claiming that he gave his kid a name that means “The Wind” specifically in honor of Chicago is complete bullshit? I thought so too.
54.I'd like to start a campaign to give Daryle Ward the nickname “Stay Puft.”
55.I like Megan Fox. It has nothing to do with baseball. I don't care.
56.Any time Bob Howry wants to remember that he doesn't suck would be great.
57.If Ryan Theriot goes the whole season without remembering that he sucks, that would be great, too.
58.I'd be much happier if I felt like Cubs fans didn't want Jim Edmonds on the team because he sucks, and not because (a.) he was a Cardinal, or (b.) they think he's gay.
59.Bo Jackson broke a bat over his knee. It was cool. It really hasn't been cool since.
60.Jason Marquis still blows. It needed to be written twice.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin' there in your ghost manger, just lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors...
We were wondering if you could find time today to pay a quick visit to Jim "Where's the Buffet?" Hendry for us and try to convince him to reconsider signing Jim Edmonds when he clears waivers this afternoon. We know you have bigger problems, but we just hate him SO much and none of us sane folk want to see him in a Cubs uniform or worse (gagging) root for that washed up SOB for the next 4 months.
If you can't find it in your heart to change his mind outright, could you at least just whisper things like "What about Kenny Lofton?" or "You don't want to have to hire a body guard do you?" softly into his Dumbo-sized ears for us?
Cubs Fans (all the ones who aren't bat shit crazy at least)
PS. Also, if you could remove one of Edmonds patella tendons while you're at it, that would be super.
Monday, May 12, 2008
21. Former Cub Augie Ojeda (3 HR, 31 RBI from 2000-04) gets a standing ovation when he’s announced at Wrigley, while former Cub Jacques Jones (32 HR, 146 RBI from 2006-07) gets booed. I'm OK with that.
22. I would have given one of my testicles to spend a season hanging out with Mark Grace during the “slump-buster” years.
23. I think I’ve finally cracked the code as to what makes a Cubs player “hot” according to my wife. Two words: Chin Stubble.
24. The difference between good and bad seats at Wrigley is directly related to your distance from the bleachers.
25. Steve Stone is flying up the rankings of Chicago Cubs I would most like to kick in the ear.
26. I’m confident enough in my manhood that I can freely admit I’ve gotten stage fright trying to use one of those men’s room troughs. There’s just something unsettling about accidental eye contact when I’m trying to pee.
27. Does anyone even know what a River Rat is? Or why a Cardinal fan would be offended if you call him that? Me either. So stop it.
28. If you ask someone to list their favorite Cubs and Sosa makes the list but not Maddux, you are allowed to elbow them in eye.
29. Does anyone else think Fontenot is getting grooming tips from Mickey Morandini?
30. Dear Fox, we’re all aware that Dempster does a great Harry Caray impersonation. That doesn’t mean we want to see it EVERY time you broadcast a Cubs game. Just thought you should know.
31. They should rename “70’s Night” at Wrigley “Night I Give Away My Tickets.”
32. Daryl Ward’s permanent ear-to-ear grin is proof that there are still good guys playing this game.
33. I assume someone on the Cubs is teaching Fukudome new English words. I just hope that person is Carlos Zambrano.
34. Maybe Soriano wouldn’t strike out so much if he stopped trying to hit the ball with the actual trunk of a redwood tree.
35. I find myself praying “please don’t be corked” every time ANY Cubs player shatters his bat now. I’m pretty sure that’s unhealthy.
36. When the hot dog vendor asks you if you would like condiments, what he’s really asking is, “Would you like to ruin the shirt you're wearing?”
37. If Randy Johnson doesn’t pitch after it rains, how come the Cubs haven't pulled the “rain out trick” from Bull Durham before? This isn’t rocket science people.
38. Many things look better in HD, Lou Pinella is not one of them.
39. You know what the opposite of The Rally Monkey is? Felix Pie.
40. Nothing ruins a good start to the season faster than these two words: Jim Edmonds.
21-60 Coming Soon!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
In honor of this festive occasion, we've decided to do a list (I know, we're nothing if not original).
100 Random Observations About the Cubs (Mostly): Part 1
1. I’ve never listened to Len and Bob’s Podcast and I’m OK with that.
2. I wish I could time my craps like Pat Hughes. You could set your watch to that man's BMs.
3. Geovany Soto is the second coming of…man, we’ve had a lot of shitty catchers over the years.
4. Someone needs to kick Ronnie Woo Woo in the throat (yes, the anger management classes are working, thanks for asking).
5. “If you hate him so much, why do you continue to read his stuff?” is the question the logical part of my brain asks me each time I finish reading a Mariotti column. I wish I had an answer.
6. There’s hell, there’s the 7th circle of hell and then there’s listening to the another worthless guest conductor during the seventh inning stretch. For the love of God, make it stop.
7. I want a championship for Ron Santo so bad it actually hurts.
8. “That ball’s got a chance…gone!” is quickly becoming my favorite home run call.
9. God Damn it Fontenot, get in front of the damn ball! Don't give me this o'lay bullshit.
10. It’s not officially summer until you hear: “Ladies and gentleman, here to sing ‘Take Me Out to The Ballgame’…the Illinois class 2A Girls Field Hockey Champions!”
11. Every time I’m flipping channels and I come across Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet, I die a little inside. (I know, let’s put GIANT pictures of the sports page behind us! That will really class up this broadcast!)
12. I can’t explain it, but I really get a kick out of Pat Hughes describing the uniforms. It’s so old-timey!
13. You know what the difference is between a good Cubs game and a bad one? Rich Hill. (Zing!)
14. I found out recently that there’s a drinking game where you do a shot ever time Zambrano adjusts himself on the mound. How has no one died playing this yet?
15. I wish I could have been in the meeting when the Comcast execs came up with the “Let’s have a bulldog as a mascot!” idea. If that was the big winner, how bad where the rest of the ideas?
16. It’s the worst feeling in the world when you notice that they haven't put up a new number on one of the games on the out-of-town scoreboard in long time and then you suddenly realize you’ve got the pitcher on your fantasy team. Ruins my day every time.
17. I always see the foam claw vendor, but I never actually see any foam claws in the stands. Does that strike anyone else as odd?
18. Finding out that Corey Patterson was the worst lead off hitter in the majors this year made me smile. Then I thought, how could he be worse than Soriano? Then I cried.
19. In my opinion, the jersey t-shirt may be the greatest invention since squeezable ketchup bottles. If only they had been around when I thought it was a wise investment to spend 90 bucks on a f*#king Corey Patterson jersey.
20. I haven’t heard a lot of “F#*k You Dome” jokes so far this year. Maybe that’s because I haven’t sat in the bleachers yet.
21-40 Coming Soon!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
So, after a "game" against Dusty Baker's Reds on Wednesday where the Cubs got beaten like a red-headed, freckled, bedazzled jean jacket-wearing step child, the gods of scheduling thankfully gave them an off day today. And boy do they need it.
On April 24th, they were 15-6 and coming off an exciting extra innings victory in the great state of Colorado. 13 games and one poorly timed Live Blog later, they are now 19-15. Eek. Experts, reports, bloggers, regular fans and whatever category Mariotti falls under (my vote is for "nincompoop") are losing their minds. Since I have already addressed the "Chicken Little" Syndrome" that seems to plague Cubs fans and HJE took these same fans behind the woodshed a few days ago, I feel my time is better served with some positive refection about this team. So, as the Cubs lick their wounds and prepare for the "best team in baseball" this weekend, let's take a tour of HappyCubstown, USA (pop. 4ish).
1) Carlos Zambrano Might, In Fact, Be Good At This Pitching Thing
Don't believe me? Want stats? Here you go:
After 8 starts last year, Carlos was rocking these numbers:
Not exactly Cy Young-esque
Now, here are his stats for 2008 after the same amount of starts:
So basically, he is significantly better in EVERY category except for K's. Wow. Also remember, that he gets better as it gets warmer. If nothing else, it's gonna be a blast watching him pitch every 5th day. That and he's a borderline loon so...BONUS!
2) Rich Hill Can't Hurt You Anymore
I have always felt like the one sane person in a land of nut jobs when it came to Rich. I have been screaming myself hoarse over the years saying:
Rich Hill Sucks Donkey Testicles (and not in a good way)!
But does anyone listen? No. They pencil him in as the #3 starter, drool over the 15+ games he's gonna win, "ooh and ahh" when he throws one of those stupid 15 MPH sweeping curve balls that fools no one AND dance the jig when he falls to them in their fantasy draft.
Then what happens?
He is worse than anyone could have every imagined. Like, say, pulled after only recording 2 outs in the first inning worse, as an example.
I've seen this moron struggle with fielding drills that an 8 year old fresh off exploratory brain surgery could master and yet he's our golden boy? Huh? Wha?
At least Lou has seen the light and sent his ass packing. Good riddance.
NOTE: The first person who comes up to me in the next few weeks talking about how Hill has "found it" in the minors and rattles off the "awesome" strikeout numbers he is putting up on the farm, is going to get beat with his or her own shoe. Don't say I didn't warn you.
3) A Youth Movement With Absolutely Zero Ties to LSU
That's right. With Soto, Marmol and even Cedeno, the Cubs actually have some promising young talent that is not, in fact, "scrappy." Without going to overboard, there's a pretty good chance that two of these guys could become regular all-stars AND the third (that's you Ronnie) has a new "Oh, you want me to hit the ball OUT of the infield, now I get it!" approach which makes him valuable. Translation? More starts for Cedeno which means less at-bats for the "Bayou Boys." So, apparently there is a God and he hates gumbo. Good to know.
4) There's Only 6 Years Left In Soriano's Contract
I kid. I kid.
It's like 5.5 years.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I really love my cell phone. It's borderline unhealthy to be honest.
Anyways, now that I've got that off my chest, it's time to get excited people (Jeff and Mom)! I have added a new feature to the blog so that you can get the same overly sarcastic and mildly amusing thoughts on the Cubs that you crave even if my laptop is MIA. The new feature is over to the right.
Should be funny at times. Mostly not that funny, but whatever.
Feel free to comment in the chat if you want. No hard feelings. Yet.
Monday, May 5, 2008
- Aramis' quote is "I need to get out of this slump...any ideals?" (my emphasis added) Well, aside from my general love of a fully participatory democracy and maybe my belief that all would be well in the world if I got to eat more Inn-n-Out burgers, I'm fresh out of ideals. Stupid cynicism.
- The sheer amount of stupidity in the comments section is mesmerizing. I was a huge fan of the "Calvin pissing on _________" pictures until I realized this wasn't 1991 and I don't live in a trailer.
- Best example of the type of person who actually thinks that Aramis Ramirez would have the time or inclination to keep a myspace page:
May 3 2008 6:17 PM
man it sucks that u r hert well good job toughing it out to run the bases
Filing for unemployment benefits, apparently.
Tigers designate OF Jacque Jones for assignment
DETROIT (AP) — Jacque Jones was cut Monday by the Detroit Tigers, who had promised a lineup shakeup going into a homestand against the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Jones hit just .165 with a homer and five RBIs in 24 games for the Tigers, who acquired him during a busy offseason from the Chicago Cubs.Two things about this stand out.
1) Can you really call cutting J-squared a shake-up?
2) You've got to have some huge cajones to cut a player with those kind of numbers. He's on pace for 5 HR, 25 RBI and 50 runs for God's sake! Hopefully, some team who is desperate to hit into more double plays will quickly snatch him up. Keep your fingers crossed.
Here is the full text:
"Right now everyone in Chicago is making lineups -- 'Call up this guy, call up that guy.' ... If we had 50 people allowed on the roster, we could do that. That's what ticks me off about Chicago fans and Chicago media: They forget pretty quickly. A couple of days ago we were the [bleeping] best [stuff] in town. Now we're [bleep]."
"We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep]," Guillen said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "The Cubs haven't won in  years, and they're the [bleeping] best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win.
"We are the [bleep] of Chicago. We're the Chicago [bleep]. We have the worst owner [Jerry Reinsdorf]. The guy's got seven [bleeping] rings, and he's the [bleeping] horse[bleep] owner."
"How about the Cubs celebrating that Lee Elia bull[bleep]? How many times do I curse people out? I will make a lot of money with my [stuff]. I have to keep going because in the future Ozzie will need money, and I can say, 'Here, give me money, here's the 10-year anniversary of my time I called [Jay] Mariotti stuff and the time I went on the radio and cursed out Mike North,' " Guillen said.
"People are panicking," Guillen said. "Did we play a real bad week? Yes, we did, we stunk. But it wasn't too long ago that we were 'the biggest surprise in baseball, wow, look at the White Sox.' "
Well put, sir.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Sometimes, I am embarrassed to be a Cubs fan. Yeah, I said it. ONE DAY after the Cubs hung 19 runs on the Brewers, they blew a 3-1 lead in the 9th...in May. It sucked. I was pissed. But apparently not as pissed as all the "fresh out of the nut house" people who called in to WGN radio after the game.
Let me set the stage for you. My wife, god bless her, drives home from work listening to WGN. She either gets the tail end of a Cubs game or the afternoon guy: Dave Kaplan.
Well, on this day apparently it's not going well, because I get a text:
My show is scary today.
To which I had a couple of queries, 1) Can you call it your show? 2) And more improtantly, how so?
She answered the second by quoting a number of insane callers...
Lou is a terrible manager!
Again, not to continue to beat a obviously dead horse, but this is a team that finished with the most April wins in the HISTORY of the organization. This is the team that was in first place (by percentage points, I know, Jeff) entering play today. This was the team who going into the day was first in BA and SECOND in walks.
I get the fact that Soriano flubbed a ball. I get the fact that Wood was a tad rusty, but to flip out to a point where you need to rant and rave on a call-in show seems to be a tad excessive.
My wife summed it up best by relaying to me one of the craziest callers (I know, it's like being the world's tallest midget/little person).
Caller: Lou is awful!
Dave: I honestly think he's a great manager. Other than the "Rays," he's been a winner everywhere he's been.
Caller: Yeah, but here's my thing...(NO LONGER PARAPHRASING) Jack Nicklaus used to be a great golfer...and now he's not.
Dave: That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Let that one settle for a bit.