There is an old children’s joke that reminds me of this Cubs season.
“Why is six afraid of seven?”
“Because seven eight nine.”
As soon as we hit seven games back I felt that it was too much to overcome and that loss ate up any chances we had of winning this thing in ’09. Add to it the fact that the Rockies keep winning and the rest of the pack keeps losing and they are separating themselves even farther in this wild card race.
Both the Cubs and the Rockies are 5-5 over their last 10 games. However, the way those wins and losses fell, we’ve lost ground on the Rockies and are now eight games back in the wild card standings. I can’t believe publications and outlets like ESPN even include them on their NL Wild Card standings/contenders lists any longer. I mean, again, it would take a miracle. So why not list the realistic chances only. Anyone who hasn’t been mathematically eliminated would require a miracle to make it in, so in that case if you list the Cubs, might as well list everyone.
Our line up was sorely missing Lee as his return to the lineup included a couple of home runs and a victory against the Mets. Putting all of that pressure and urgency on Wells’ starts in September is just too much for a rookie to realistically come through with so it’s no great surprise that Wells is proving to be unable to carry his weight through September. Zambrano’s been touch and go, Demp hasn’t done anything special and there’s been no run support for Lilly or Wells. So in that case we have to keep hoping Wells, a rookie, figures out a way to win and it’s just been too much.
Another Cubs loss today and a Rockies win. An unfortunate pattern as of late. I think I had the Dodgers winning the West and the Giants taking the wild card before the season began so if not the Rockies or Cubs, I suppose for my own record, the Giants are welcome to win the WC.
The way this season is ending will raise lots of questions in the off-season. Another starter needed? A closer? A new manager? Use some of these class, talented youngsters to get a big name to win now with guys like Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and Bradley playing and getting up there in years? Trade any of those guys in a blockbuster trade and perhaps that will make a difference? I don’t know. But the off-season will provide a ton of questions, predictions, analysis and trade proposals. Hendry will have his work cut out for him in figuring out the last few moves necessary to mold this roster into a World Champion team.
Until then, we still have 27 games left. Eight games out. Has seven ate ’09? Probably. But if the math works in our favor, then history may as well. And if that’s the case, the off-season business may be a lot different, the chemistry may be okay and the language we hear will be something entirely unexpected. First of the 27: Lilly against the Pirates. We’ll always have Pittsburgh is a popular saying here at Prose and Ivy. Tomorrow, we’ll see if that’s still true and if so, whether it makes any difference or not in the standings. Go Cubs Go!
It happened. We’re seven games back.
I thought six games would be a lot to make up in a month…seven I think is going to be too much. Any result that puts us in the playoffs this year I’m afraid would be a miracle at this point. Harden pitching today against the Mets. Heading to see some family for the annual Labor Day weekend luau. Hope my cell phone has some good news for me later today. Full recap of my time at Citi last night for the Cubs/Mets game is listed in the post below this. Go Cubs Go!
Zambrano earned some clout. Soriano’s out. And Lee missed another game on paternity leave for the birth of his second child.
Congratulations D-Lee, hope baby Lee and Mama Lee are doing well! Adding one baby to your 2009 stat line after writing this, just because, why not!
Had fun at the Cubs game tonight at Citi Field…until about the eighth inning that is. Zambrano, who has struggled in the two games he had prior to this one since coming off the DL had a strong outing. His control seemed to be a bit off but he still got results. He gave up a solo shot to New York’s up and coming left fielder Cory Sullivan in the second inning but aside from that he was effective getting out of any self made jams and keeping the Mets off the board. From my seat in the second row of the front section of the upper deck behind home plate, I had a great view of pitches as they crossed home plate. The point of view up there (section 514 for the record) is amazing and makes it real easy to agree or disagree accurately with the ump’s balls and strikes calls. I think Zambrano got robbed a bunch, but then again, was the recipient of a few gifts as well. Parnell benefited the same for the Mets so all is fair in love and strike zones.
Parnell has had a rough go of it for the Mets but he was strong through his seven innings as well. Not as strong as Zambrano though. The Cubs managed to load the bases three times in the game and unfortunately only came away with a run during the eighth inning. Timely hits was not this team’s strong suit tonight and I’m sure it didn’t help having Soriano on the bench and Lee’s bat home by the crib.
Soriano is out indefinitely and I must say…I think we’re looking at 2010. I hate saying that before we are mathematically eliminated and I love our bench guys, I just don’t think we have enough to do what it takes this year. When I left Citi to the pumping fist of K-Rod and the smiling faces of Mets fans, the Rockies were up 2-0. Currently as I type this, the D-backs are up 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth. If the Rockies come back and win, putting us seven games out, I think that’s exactly what we’ll be, figuratively. Out. Seven is too much to over come without some ground-breaking miracle that MLB Network will talk about for ages. Without some kind of miraculous finish to the season, I think we’re done. I didn’t think that before I left today for the ballpark and I won’t think it until we are officially seven out. But if it comes to that, I believe we’re done.
I got to the stadium in time for batting practice. I don’t normally get to the stadium that early and it was great. I was standing right by the outfield wall where all of the Cubs pitchers (most) were stretching and warming up their arms. Marmol looked great (too bad we didn’t see him tonight). Lilly was there and I took the opp to shout some praises. Berg was having a blast with kids asking him for baseballs, you could just tell he was digging it. And Grabow was being harassed by two 10 year old kids for a baseball. The same baseball he was currently warming up with. Funny what kids don’t get. Even after he said to them point blank, “I’ll give it to you when I’m done with it”, they still pestered him for it, asked why he needed it, and then began harassing another pitcher for the ball at his feet that he wasn’t using. This guy was warming up right next to Grabow, the guy who promised them his ball. Ah, the New York City public school system.
One kid next to me during BP was pretty cool. Little Mets fan but clearly a baseball fan in general. He had asked me if I could help him point out where the Cubs were on the field during warm-ups that he had in his stack of baseball cards. Of course I could. He was very excited to see Ted Lilly in person and was hoping to get an autograph. I don’t know that that happened, but it was fun taking in BP with someone who still sees the game like an eleven year old kid. Baseball the way it should be.
Once again Cubs Nation turned out and there were more Cubs fans around me than Mets fans in my immediately portion of the section. One Cubs fan who had never been to Citi before was surprised that there aren’t any bleachers. ‘That’s just not right’, he said. Funny how bleachers are such a part of Cubs baseball. He was floored that the stadium had no bleachers. As if it made the game of baseball impossible to be played without them…like the Mets’ new ball field had no place for shortstop. Funny. Good guy to watch the game with. Unfortunately after we celebrated the Cubs tying it up in eighth, I was correct when I told him the Mets would take the lead again once Gregg came out to pitch in the bottom of the same inning. I really dislike Gregg. He needs to be off this team in 2010. He has done nothing but hurt this team in the greater picture and he needs to go.
Mets played great defense tonight aside from their couple of mishaps in the field. One easy pop up that should have been an out dropped in for Bradley and I believe it was Bradley again who benefited from an error at first. To make up for it all was Parnell who had bases loaded at one point and got out of it with two strike outs and then a brilliant defensive play on the mound when a shot up the middle fired at him and he was able to stop it and get the out at first. Unreal. Mets win 6-2…scoreboard watching time. Let’s hope we don’t let the GB mark reach seven.
Tomorrow’s another day at Citi and I believe Lee will be back. No Soriano, but we’ll see if Fuld can make something happen. And while Zambrano did his thing today, he deserved a win he didn’t get. That’s to the fault of the Cubs inability to score guy in position and keep the stranded total down. Hopefully that changes tomorrow and Marmol gets to show his stuff successfully in more than just the warm ups. Get the W tomorrow boys….Go Cubs Go!
Heading out to Citi Field in a little bit. Seats in the upper deck behind home plate, good seats to scoreboard watch from and root for the D’backs to beat the Rockies and the Cubs to beat the Mets. Hoping to catch Cubs batting practice. Not expecting a lot of home runs tonight with Citi’s horrible dimensions when it comes to the long ball. If it’s true that chicks dig the long ball, I doubt chicks dig Citi Field.
Let’s hope they keep Zambrano under control if he takes BP. Don’t need him pulling anything or adding to his back problems trying to yank one out of Citi when it doesn’t even count. Zambrano needs to have his first quality start since coming off the DL. Last time he faced the Mets he was extremely ineffective. Hopefully he’s worked out the mechanics issue he’s had of late and is back to his old self tonight. Mets will have Parnell on the mound. With a record of 1-4 after five starts and an ERA of 10.29, this is another guy looking to get on track so I guess it’s a race to see which pitcher can put it together the fastest. With the park dimensions, it’s going to take a lot of small ball to beat the Mets at their own game tonight. 81 degrees and partly cloudy at game time is the forecast. Should be a beautiful night for baseball. Expecting to see a lot of others at the game wearing Cub blue. You know how we do in turning out at road games. LET’S GO CUB-BIES! I’m sure to be matched by many LET’S GO METS cheers. Can’t wait. Go Cubs Go! Back later tonight with a recap!
We have no shot at making up ground in any race if we decide to match those above us win for win, loss for loss. The Cubs just wrapped up a pathetic 5-0 shutout effort against the crosstown Chicago White Sox. And the whole game was a horror to watch, aside from Dempster that is.
Another strong pitching outing by a Cubs starter thrown away by the team’s hitting and defense. Like Lilly as of late, Dempster controlled the Sox for a majority of the game until a couple errors put the Sox up 3-0, all three runs unearned. No run support for Demp and no quality defense either. One error on Soriano was ridiculous. He slipped running over to catch a fly ball. We all know what was coming next…the hop. Now is the hop the reason for the slip? I don’t know. The Heckler recently had a headline about the Cubs initiated a prayer section in left to help out Soriano’s defense. Wouldn’t be a bad idea honestly. Yesterday I applauded the decision to replace Soriano with Fuld as a defensive replacement and that should’ve happened today. I believe Sori should only be playing through seven innings. Give him his at bats to see what kind of damage he can do with the bat, then, late in the game, prevent him from doing damage with his glove in the field. I like having him on the team, he’s a vital cog to the Cubs success. Unfortunately lately he’s also a huge reason why we get the L’s that we do…whether it’s his slump, his hop or his glove…we can’t afford anything but perfection right now. Oh, and honestly, if this cortisone thing isn’t working out, pull him all together. He may be in so much pain right now it’s effecting his play. Anyone else notice how pathetic those three swings were when Sori struck out to end the game? It’s like he wasn’t even trying and just wanted to get it over with. If he’s not able to do the job, sit him. The few games we have left are too valuable to take a chance on a guy who may or not be feeling good enough to do what it takes. Especially when there are no signs that he is healthy enough to do so. Think Lou, be smart when putting that lineup card together man. If he can’t go, put in someone else. (sigh)
The Rockies are currently down against the Mets in the seventh inning 6-2. Chances are they will lose. The Cardinals are losing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. As we all know, with the Cards this year, anything is possible. But if they lose, yet again we’ve successfully combined our outcome with the Rockies and Cards and matched them result for result. Forget the division, no threepeat, I get it. But the Wild Card is not impossible. Not if we win and they lose. Will they lose? Yes. SO…WE HAVE TO WIN. A pathetic 5-5 showing in the homestand and now off to New York to take on the Mets. The Mets, who could only potentially take one of three against the Rockies, not helping the Cubs at all. The Mets, who could possibly find a way to turn it on against the Cubs this weekend and do some more black cat voo-doo by sweeping the series while the Rockies blow up, not guaranteed or likely, but it wouldn’t be surprising the way things are going.
And to the Sox! Vomit. I said yesterday, no one better to play spoiler against than your crosstown rival. Unfortunately the Cubs ended up on the wrong side of the final score and the fans in black left Wrigley happy today. With the Rockies losing we lose a chance to make up ground but at least if the Mets hold and close this thing out, we won’t lose any ground. Just such a shame to see the scoreboard and see the Rockies losing and know that we blew a chance to make up valuable ground in the WC race. Have to take advantage of these opportunities. The match game won’t do us any good at all.
Heading to Citi tomorrow to watch Zambrano take on the Mets. Let’s hope the bananas and fluids are on the menu this evening and the mechanics come out to shine. Need Z to dominate tomorrow and for the first time this season, Go Arizona (they’ll be playing the Rockies). Tick tock boys. Let’s get some runs and make up some ground! Go Cubs Go!
When my brother was about seven years old or so, he got a toy called Teddy Ruxpin. This robotic creature was a cross between a teddy bear and a boom box. It had everything. Cassette deck in the back to play the storylines, storytelling ability, soft exterior making it an attractive soft teddy bear best friend and a mechanical inside making the whole thing work. Wasn’t a whole lot this little guy couldn’t do. Was the go to toy that year and was easily the most popular kid’s entertainment around at the time. Had a best friend named Grubby who was a fatter, sloppier version of Teddy Ruxpin, yet still had the same mechanical make up, great for entertainment, just not as sharp on the outside and not the number 1 guy in toy sales that year.
This year, Ted Lilly is the Cubs Teddy Ruxpin. Sounds ridiculous I know. But this guy is the man this year and there isn’t much he doesn’t offer. Eight solid innings today giving up only four hits shut down the Astros and gave the Cubs a much needed series win. Like I said yesterday after the night cap W, currently quoted on the MLB.com home page (at the time of posting anyway….September is the season for scoreboard watching. And now after Lilly did his thing, we have to sit and wait.
But Lilly was the man today. Eight innings, base hit…trying to generate and manufacture runs by attempting to even steal second base. Unsuccessfully of course, but still the fire and desire was there. Aside from Lee’s going yard for 2 runs, today was all Lilly. Can’t blame him. All quality starts since the break and just one win to show for it. The Cubs offense hasn’t shown up to support his brilliant pitching so of course he was out there trying to grind in the runs himself. Whatever he can do to get the W because the Cubs need them now more than ever. Hardly any season left and it’s on every Cub to give it all the way Lilly did today. Go a little further. Push a little harder. Do the extra things that help the team end up victorious at the end of the day.
Lilly’s effort, heart and desire today is what we need day in and day out. Clearly the wild card victory is Colorado’s to lose, but let’s keep winning and keep the pressure on them to win or else give up ground to us DAILY. No time to waste. Our lone all-star stepped up and set the standard that all other Cubs should look to live up to and surpass if possible. Lee is finally healthy and he’s inching closer to a potential .300 30HR 100RBI season and it couldn’t come at a better time. Bradley prides himself on the fact that the media was wrong to harp on ‘can he stay healthy’ considering he’s hardly missed all that many games. Ok, great. But you need to produce in these games Bradley. Stay hot and produce. Support great pitching performances like the one Lilly put in today. And don’t stop putting the pressure on those above us.
Colorado has the Mets, hopefully the Mets can pull their JV team together and upset the Rockies tonight. If so, we’ll pickup a full game in the standings. Atlanta beat Florida last night. Best thing that can happen tonight is for Florida to beat Atlanta. Let them share the beating and games lost in the standings during their intra-wild card standing series this week. If that were to happen and the Giants lose as well. We could be looking at five teams within five games of each other with a month left to play. Gotta love it.
Going to Friday night’s game at Citi Field against the Mets. Zambrano will be starting for the Cubs. He would be the Grubby to Ted Lilly’s Teddy Ruxpin. When Lilly pitches, those games are absolutely must-wins. Same with Wells and also Zambrano. Lilly is the unofficial ace of the staff this year with his all-star status and Wells has high expectations to live up to with a stellar rookie campaign as he and Lilly share the team lead in wins at 10. But Zambrano needs to step up and deliver the great story with the mechanical side of him and not continue to simply produce the sloppy, fiery, entertaining outside of Zambrano. He is the official ace of this ballclub and we need to be able to count on him. His games are must-wins as well, so come Friday, that’s exactly what he needs to come away with.
Tomorrow we get the White Sox and those games are always interesting. If any one team is going to play spoiler to another, can’t think of any other team better to do so against than your crosstown rival. Let’s hope the pitches keep finding their places and the bats stay hot. First thing’s first though. We did our part today in getting the win. Now, once again, something we’ll be getting real used to over the course of September…time to sit back, stress out…and keep a real close eye on that scoreboard. Thanks MLBlogs for showcasing Prose and Ivy on the MLB.com home page today. I’m sure it helped attract a whole new batch of MLBlog readers, perhaps some Cubs fans, and hopefully some return readers over the course of the final month of the regular season. Feel free to comment regarding anything Cubs/MLB related in the blogs or in the chat section to the right…and enjoy the rest of the season. This one is getting REALLY interesting….Go Cubs Go!
(And just for fun, for those of you unfamiliar with Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby, take a look at this):
Cubs win tonight over the Astros 4-1 at Wrigley with a strong outing by Wells (the kind of outing I expected last week when I bet on the Cubs to beat the Nationals in Vegas) and a dominant performance by Marmol. Timely hits didn’t hurt the cause either and now it’s time to see what the other NL wild card hunters do this evening. Here’s how the NL Wild Card standings look right now:
This doesn’t take into account the fact that the Cubs won though the Giants loss is reflected. Currently the Rockies are up on the Mets 8-3 in the 7th inning with the bases loaded. Not good. Atlanta and Florida have an NL East rivalry showdown series going so that will be convenient watching them beat each other up as long as the Cubs continue to win. Four teams to catch. We’re in this position due to inconsistency throughout the year along with a number of other reasons. It is what it is. September is the season for W’s and scoreboard watching. Let the season begin! Way to go today boys. Great game Wells and Marmol. And was it me, or did Lee and Ramirez actually look like they were having a good time? Love having Baker out there. Feel like when he plays we win. Same kind of feeling I get when Wells pitches. Also enjoyed the late Fuld for Soriano defensive replacement. This is all part of what I mentioned earlier today regarding what the Cubs need to do in my opinion to claim the wild card…a position that has repeatedly resulted in teams making appearances in, and at times even winning, the World Series.
This was the big news yesterday in Cub land. We’re keeping Harden and Heilman. Apparently we had received some interest in a few players but these were the only two that we came close to losing. I have a hard time feeling sad about the thought of potentially losing Heilman. I don’t really think he’s good for much more than a stop inning here and there, nothing special, nothing more nothing less. If we were to lose Heilman, I don’t think it’d affect our chances down the stretch very much at all.
So I believe that’s why all the focus in the media ends up being on Harden. And I agree. If the Cubs were to let Harden get away, despite how Wells is pitching this year, it would signal that the organization thinks ’09 is a lost cause. We all know it’s not. We all know it doesn’t look good. But we all know we’re not out of it. Not yet.
Many teams have used September to make the playoff push a success and woke up in October as contenders. Recent years included teams like the Astros, the Rockies going on a tear down the stretch and surprising everyone…that NL Wild Card seems to be up for grabs every year and this year is no different. Sitting six games back after losing yesterday with the top two teams in the wild card race idle is not a good place to be, for sure. However the Cubs have about 30 games left. Six games to make up and we play A LOT of sub-par teams within those thirty left to play. We’re keeping our guys and we’re making the push. And that’s all we can ask for as fans.
I’ve expected nothing this year except just that out of this team. No exact result did I expect…just simply a fighting attitude from a group of talented guys and a no-quit approach from a team that on paper stacks up as one of the best in the bigs.
I love the game of baseball but clearly I follow the Cubs closer than any other team out there so I guess that’s why their inconsistent play stands out to me. Injuries we hear about everyday, regarding every team on MLB.com and other news sources. However, when you watch, read about and write about a team day in and day out, you see the little things that make the difference. The things that make the difference between a stellar rookie season and a stumbling sophomore campaign. That make the difference between back-to-back-to-back division titles and being 10.5 games behind the division leading Cards. The things that make the difference between controlling your own destiny and having to closely participate in scoreboard watching to see how four or five other teams are doing on any given day because your post-season hopes depend on it.
This team has been inconsistent all year long. If you follow the Cubs you know this and it messes with your head, your emotions and it’s hard to not be frustrated by it daily. It’s now time for this ballclub to get it together. We kept Harden for the push. He needs to get his stuff under control and fast. Wells needs to step up and finish the season strong. His off-speed pitches need to come back and dominate, separating themselves from his fastball. It’s a lot to ask of a rook but if you’re out there, we need you to perform. Hill needs to continue his successful ’09 as Soto’s backup with hot numbers as the starter throughout September. Zambrano needs to step up and finally be our ace this year. His inconsistency and injuries are a big part of why we are where we are. Piniella needs to figure out who gives us the best chance to win and play those guys into the ground right down to the final out of the regular season. Soriano’s cortisone shots need to be as effective as his bat, and Bradley’s as well. His bat was to be the difference that puts us into the NLCS, not leave us on the outside looking in come October. Lee needs to keep it up heading towards a .300, 30HR, 100 RBI season and continue to hush Cubs fans thoughts, comments and feelings of perhaps its time to look to Hoffpauir as we all were discussing earlier in the season.
Now is the time for everyone to shut up and play. Play every fly ball, ground ball, pop up and bunt laid down like its their last. Look at every ball close to the strike zone and hustle on every ball put in play like they never have before. Run out ground balls. Turn double plays. Focus on defense and the basics. Make your pitches. Do your job scouting the opponent and beat the teams you’re supposed to beat.
We do all of that and I like our odds. Chances are, we’ll continue to be inconsistent and come up just short. Point is though, that as of today we still have a shot at this thing. Let’s settle in, pile up the W’s and take control of the Wild Card. That’s our way in this year. Let’s do what we need to do to accomplish that and then turn up the heat even further in October.
Can’t wait to see how this all plays out. Happy to see Harden and Heilman are still with the club. Happy to see that wherever Hendry keeps his towels, that’s exactly right where they have stayed. No towels being thrown in on ’09 just yet. Not yet. Little time left. But what’s left in extremely valuable. Cubs v. Astros this evening. Wells on the mound. Let’s get this push off to a great start tonight. Go Cubs Go!
Why the absence? Why the ‘back in a bit’ title in the last post? Why the Muppet wedding video last week? Because last Saturday I got married. York Beach, Maine…and it was beautiful.
Hurricane Bill threatened to make the entire weekend a washout and weather reports were rampant with updates filled with potentially bad news come the wedding day. However after all was said and done, we only saw rain for 10 minutes Friday night and for 10 minutes a couple hours before the ceremony on Saturday. PHEW!
The reception afterwards was incredible. Sasha and her mother did such an amazing job putting every small detail together that it added up to an amazing day that no one that attended will forget. It was so much fun to dance the day away and look around and see all your family and friends smiling and enjoying themselves as well. We had a blast, so while I don’t think my new in-laws read this blog, in case they do THANK YOU!!! : )
After the wedding it was off to the honeymoon on Sunday….to LAS VEGAS!!! Or as the locals call it, Lost Wages. We did well to not lose too much money. We’d win a little and then lose a lot but it evened out to a very responsible/reasonable amount come Friday when it was time to go home.
All the palm trees you see were part of the outside pool area. Three pools throughout, connected by waterslides. NICE. Then you can see how you can basically see for miles and miles to the mountains of the dessert. It was 100-110 degrees and sunny everyday. What a crazy experience to fly into Boston Friday night and have it be raining and 50 out. Bizarre change of elements. A lot of heat and a lot of hydrating being done throughout the week like this moment here:
That’s right. Three. And that wasn’t the end of it. We’re talking buffet desserts here, not strikes. Eventually found myself some cotton candy. I highly recommend the Treasure Island casino buffet if for no other reason than the desserts. Awesome. (Currently watching the Mets/Cubs game. Z got hammered. Marshall isn’t doing much better and Pagan must be enjoying beating up on the Cubs. Hopefully we pull this one out but currently down 4-1)
Hit every single casino on the strip from the Encore to Circus Circus. Had a blast. While I was there, I figured, hey, we bet slots and tables. Time to bet sports book? Absolutely! Wednesday morning I decided to bet on the Cubs vs. Nationals game. The Nationals are a joke as every knows. Then again, our bullpen hasn’t faired much better this season. Here I am making my first Cubs bet of the week. That’s right. “First”.
I decided that because the bullpen has been having issues, I would give Harden the benefit of the doubt against the Nationals and bet what they call the fifth inning proposition. I’m not a sports better generally so this was all knew to me. I could’ve bet on how many runs they’d score, who would win overall, through the 5th inning etc. So I decided to bet that the Cubs would lead at the end of five innings avoiding a bullpen collapse altogether. This was a tough call though knowing how many walk offs and late inning wins there are in baseball…did I want to bet all 9? Nope, go with Harden and that’s that. So I watched the five innings (to my new wife’s displeasure since it was our honeymoon) and I couldn’t believe it. The Nats we
re up 1-0 for a while, into the 4th. The Bradley hit a two run shot in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. What a great position to be in right? Just have to hold them through the top of the 4th and then I win! My $10 (ten in honor of Ron Santo) bet would pay out about 3.75 and I’d make a few bucks while cheering on the Cubs! Into the top of the 4th we go.
Harden looks great. Then a guy gets on first. Passed ball…guy to second. Uh-oh. Base hit with two outs and wouldn’t you know it….one out away and I lose my bet. 2-2 at the end of five innings. As usual…one out away…lose.
I placed that bet at New York, New York Hotel and Casino. After a long day of kicking myself for not betting the whole game (the Cubs ended up winning the ballgame which I was happy about. I’d rather them win and me lose than the other way around) we ended up at Paris, another casino on the strip. Here we got a souvenir, yard tall eiffel tower shaped strawberry daquiri shown here:
Now, I am not a drinker. So by the time I was done with this drink, I was pretty buzzed. It was then that I decided the next morning I would bet on the Cubs again. They’d be playing the Nationals and what are the odds they’d lose to the Nationals. I mean, they already beat them once, why not again? And with Wells pitching? This year they win ALL THE TIME when Wells pitches (not really, but it feels that way). And because I was buzzed, I decided tomorrow morning I’ll place another bet on the Cubs, this time for nine innings and for $30 dollars. That way, I can make my money back that I lost the day before. (Dangerous way of thinking in Vegas). And so I did. That morning I knew it was not a great strategy, but I was in Vegas on my honeymoon living it up, so why not do like Ernie said and:
Actually, no. Nothing is guaranteed in Vegas. No sure things. Cubs lose. Wells gets rocked early, down 5-0 early the Cubs could only battle back to 5-4 and I may have been robbed on a play at the plate where it looked like Lee was called out even though his hand appeared to hit the plate before the tag. So there I was. $40 lost on the Cubs. Done? Nope. Still a 2:00pm game on Friday before I flew out…let’s make it a three game series for me the Cubs and the sports book! Why not?
And then wait a second. I started thinking….I wasn’t losing at the end of five innings on Wednesday’s bet. At the end of five, the game was tied at 2-2. Tie goes to the runner, right? Shouldn’t tie in this case go to the gambler? So I asked the sportsbook at the Flamingo what happens in the case of a tie and they said……..you get your money back!!!!! What?!? I get my money back!!!!?!?!?! Sweet! Only thing was in order to get my money back I had to walk all the way back down the strip to get it at NY, NY! Worth it to me! SO…I placed my third bet of the week, this time on the Cubs to win, complete game against the Mets. Lilly pitching at home against the NY Mess (injuries have ripped them apart this year)? How could I miss? So, $20 down on the Mets. I let my 10 ride plus another ten. Here is a picture of the third bet ticket:
Not a big drinker…and look at that smile after keeping $10. Not a big gambler either. You’d think I just won a couple hundred bucks. This was cashed in at NY, NY so of course they had the Mets/Cubs game on in the sports area. I went to check it out to see how my third bet was doing, a $20 spot on Lilly at home. Here’s a shot of Bradley on the big screen there:
At this time the score was 1-1. Time to go to the airport…I’d have to check in later on my phone to see how it turned out. And as it turned out…Soriano goes deep with a three run shot in the eighth inning to give the Cubs the win 5-2!!! I win!!! So I had a tie, a loss and a win in my Cubs betting in Vegas. A great, great time and it was fun making the Cubs a part of it. Have to send my winning ticket into the Flamingo for my winnings, doing that this week. Here is a picture of me at the airport when I realized my third bet was a winner:
I don’t know that it came down from Mitch and Murray, maybe just Hendry…but finally Piniella took a stand and made the switch to Marmol as the Cubs’ closer. Grabow and Guzman were considered but this round goes to Marmol. Just like anything else, I’m sure it could play out to a situation by situation component of the Cubs pitching staff. Lou was quoted as saying that Grabow and Guzman will get opportunities to close games as well and that there is no timetable for how long Marmol closes.
But now what. How will Marmol respond? Will he step up and be the guy I’ve seen him as in the closer role in my mind? Or will he let the pressure go to his head as he’s had some mental toughness issues this year? 29 opportunities and six blown saves by Gregg. Finally Lou admitted it was time to go after these close ballgames different and secure some tough wins as opposed to constantly sweating tough losses. The Cards are real strong right now and are considering bringing on Smoltz. Out of the bullpen that will only make them stronger. Why the Cubs didn’t make another pitching move to bolster their own pitching (you can never have enough) I don’t know. At least if the pieces don’t change, we can rearrange and maybe finally figure out how to successfully put his puzzle together.
It’s good too to hear Lou admit they’ve been headed in the wrong direction with Gregg. A lot of admittance going on in the Cubs clubhouse with Lou speaking up and Z finally admitting that perhaps he’s not exactly the spokesperson for 7 minute abs. Now if only we can get him to admit he’s not paid to hit home runs during batting practice. That would be a real accomplishment.
I actually thought we were in decent shape last night until we were defeated by of all things, an inside the park home run. Is there any other way to lose a ball game that we haven’t seen already this year? Have we seen them all? Anyone else notice that whomever is at the plate, whichever team it may be, always scores or does something positive when MLB Network checks in on a game? It says it’s live, but I feel like any time I’ve seen them check in on a game, like last night’s Cubs game for instance…they score. I was watching MLB and they checked in on the Cubs game. Soriano was up, Cubs down 3-2. And it kind of took the drama away because I just knew they were going to tie it up with the way the check-in’s work. Sure enough, bloop single by Soriano, RBI, tie game. Just saying…anyone else notice this?
Good to see Dempster putting up 10 K’s. Would be better to see him get the W as well. A lot of that of course comes down to the bullpen taking better care of leads. Let’s hope Marmol and the newly organized bullpen do just that. Second place may be a set of steak knives, but as Gregg found out…third place is you’re fired.
On a more amusing note…I’ve never been to San Diego. However, if ever there were a time I wished I was, it would be seeing Piniella get stopped for jaywalking. How he restrained himself from firing his hat down and kicking dirt on the traffic cops shoes would have been a hilarious sight to see.
Harden up tonight. Here’s to him getting over the .500 mark. Go Cubs Go!
Did I know much about Gregg before the Cubs signed him? Not really. I knew he looked like a goon. I knew he pitched for the Marlins. I knew that he was coming in to replace a Cubs favorite. I knew he’d be challenging Marmol for the closer job. I knew he was the wrong choice. I thought I knew Lou knew what he was doing.
And now here we are. 29 opportunities and six blown saves later, the goon who is not Wood nor Marmol is blowing are shot at ’09. Killed me to wake up and see that the Cards beat the Dodgers last night. Unbelievable. Pujols is having an unreal year, the Cards are soaring and here we are, doing our best to simply keep up. We do pretty well, he hand it over to our closer in the toughest sitch a closer can be in…the one run lead.
Goon gets to one strike away. Boom. Blown save. Boom. 3 run walkoff for the Padres. The same Padres who hurt us by not beating the Cards in their previous series have shown up once again to hurt us by beating us directly. The same Padres franchise that crushed us in ’84. I hate the Padres. Especially right now. More so though, I hate Gregg.
Lou, enough already. Borrow Gregg’s goon goggles if you have to. Please see that he is not the guy for the ninth. It’s amazing that fans have been saying it all year yet here we are, in August, and you’ve still got that goon blowing saves. I know, I know. After last night you FINALLY said maybe you’ll make a switch as to how you handle the late innings. That would be great and about time. You finally made some changes in the lineup and we did marginally better. Make the change to Marmol, sit Gregg altogether if you have to and move Guzman to the eighth. At least if you decide to throw Gregg in the seventh we have a shot at making up the runs he gives up. I swear, nothing upsets me more than seeing L – Gregg in the pitching results. L – Gregg? So wait….we were up and that goon blew it AGAIN!?! Drives me nuts.
The Cardinals are no joke this year. The Cubs aren’t a joke, but we’re grasping at straws here. Our line up can’t hit when it matters. Our starting pitchers can’t stay healthy. Our closer can’t close. And our fans can’t hold on to their beer. Enough already.
I feel like I need to put this clip up for Gregg. No coffee for you Gregg. Coffee’s for closers.
Unbelievable. Come on Lou. Enough already. Gregg doesn’t deserve these leads.
I suppose it could go the other way as well. We could lose a 1/2 game today.
Which we just did. 2 run home run in the bottom of the ninth by Colby Rasmus, St. Louis wins 7-5. Gain a half game on the Cubs in their lead in the Central. So much for possibilities of the previous the post.
Zambrano pitching A ball. The guy threw a no-hitter against the MLB Houston Astros about a year ago and yet I’ll bet that won’t happen in the innings Z gets in A ball. Isn’t that bizarre? Same guy who can no-hit an MLB team could potentially struggle in an A ball game. Sure, he’s there to rehab, but still. When you’re the Cubs’ staff ace, you’ve started five straight opening days and you’ve no-hit the Astros, you should destroy in A ball. He won’t though and most don’t. Bizarre.
I’m just looking forward to having him back and healthy. Anyone else tired of Gregg’s dramatic turn this year? Anyone else feel like giving Guzman the eighth and Marmol the ninth? I certainly wouldn’t mind and it would be fine if they didn’t sooner rather than later considering now is crunch time. Which makes me wonder who is going to step up this last month and half to make up the 4.5 games we need to pick up to grab a share of the division lead. Sori? Bradley? Lee? Will Soto ever wake up? Will Fontenot start again at second base or has Baker stolen the starting spot from co-Mr. LSU double play combo Fontenot? Did Felix Pie’s hitting for the cycle make anyone miss him? Probably not. Is Lou really on the hot seat or are sports writers just trying to sell papers? Probably the latter.
Just some thoughts on a rainy PPD of a day. That and of course, let’s keep the heckling of the opposing players to simply that. And of course, on-line in blogs such as this one. Ballpark beer is too expensive to waste on a bum like Victorino and doesn’t put Cubs fans in a very good light. Glad the guy apologized and stepped up in taking responsibility for his actions. Throwing anything at an opponent is uncalled for. Especially a cup of $8.00 beer. Anyway, take advantage of the PPD and spend the time you would’ve spent watching the game checking out the rest of the site and requesting your very own Prosecard. For more info on what that is, read the next couple posts. Go Cubs Go!
Enjoy reading Prose and Ivy and following your favorite team all year long? Be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured here as the showcased Cubs fan in the new feature “Prosecards from Cubs Nation”! It takes next to no time at all and is Cubtastic. Also, way cooler than that last sentence.
Awesome game today, Cubs keeping the wins coming against the Pirates. Have to win the games we’re expected to win and these are those games. Gorzelanny had to feel good bring the W against his former mates, especially in being responsible for one of the RBI’s on the Cubs side. Still not sure where all this is headed this year…hopefully the Cards lose tonight to San Diego and we can pick up a full game today.
Go Cubs Go!
Once again, following a strong one run win by the Cubs, they follow it up with being on the wrong end of a blow out. I think Wells has been great for this team this year but today the Rockies proved to be too much for him. The amount of wins he’s collected for us and the recent innings he’s eaten up have made him one of our most valuable Cubs this year. And now with Zambrano out with spasms, who knows how much more we’ll need to get out of him. We might have to keep asking for too much from the youngster in order to keep up the W’s while the L’s seem to keep chugging along aside them.
Two games behind the Cards now as neither team has really been able to take advantage of the other’s mediocrity. I have to feel like the Cardinals are a little closer to having it together though and the Cubs need to find a way to be more consistent. Ironically, that’s been the one constant through the entire season. There’s a reason why when people say ‘at least I’m consistent’ after they make another mistake they are joking and making light of a bad situation. Unfortunately the numbers don’t lie and it’s going to be hard for the Cubs to make light of a situation that could end up with them quickly falling to the middle of the pack in the Central if the Cardinals do prove to be the team closer to having it together in upcoming weeks.
I feel like this team has been kept together by duct tape, gauze and bandages all season long. It still blows my mind that we’re two games back even without having all our guys on the field most of the year. It’s been this weird game of watching the 15 day DL rotate throughout the year and a stressful one at that. I need to research and find out how many games each of the guys have missed this year. Hard to wonder where we’d be had we been able to stay healthy. I’ve thought losing DeRosa has had a big impact on this team this year, but DeRo or no DeRo, he’d have no influence on guys staying healthy.
The latest lineups have been entertaining though and I like that Piniella isn’t afraid to try new things and look for the fix. Fukudome’s been fairly consistent no matter where in the line up and I like what he’s doing with Soriano. Lee has turned it around and is pushing towards having another 30 HR 100 RBI season. Having Rami out with a sore shoulder is scary as we saw what a force he was for the Cubs run production when he returned to the lineup.
Hopefully Piniella and the staff are wise in how they use everyone going forward. Need guys as healthy as possible going into September which is exactly what we’ll be heading into come the end of Zambrano’s stay on the DL. And hopefully that will translate into more consistency and less of a see-saw performance from the team to round out the year. Two games back. Time to tighten it up.
Bradley’s game saving catch followed by the stare down of the Rockies crowd and a thump of his chest on the way back to the dugout. That sequence was fun to watch tonight. Not only because it preserved the Cubs’ lead, but it showed some fire this team has been lacking this year. The Cubbie Swagger. I realize winning brings swagger but sometimes the fake it til you make it swagger can bring wins as well, I believe. And Bradley’s attitude after that play is exactly the kind of swagger this team needs to keep momentum in the NL Central.
I enjoyed watching the replay of Lee heading back to the dugout after a strike out and telling teammate Fukudome about a breaking pitch he had just gone down on. Fukudome, you could tell, regardless of language barrier understood what Lee was telling him about the pitch and what he was warning him to look out for. Why? Because it must not be an English/Japanese thing with these guys at this point. After playing together so long, I’m sure they’ve figured out a way to simply communicate by speaking baseball. Whatever it was Lee said sure did do the trick. Fukudome stepped into the box and sent the first pitch he saw (fastball) straight out to the seats in right field. Cub fan got a souvenir, Fukudome got his ninth of the year and the Cubs got the win.
Marmol was dominant once again in the eighth. I watched the game on the MLB Network so it was the Rockies broadcast. Interesting to hear even their broadcast team talk about how the Cubs have the guy with the nastiest stuff pitching the eighth instead of the ninth. That’s always been my argument for having Marmol pitch the ninth, but I guess the ninth doesn’t matter with a lead….so….I don’t know. But Marmol was dominant in striking out the side. The broadcaster’s point about Marmol falling hard to the first base side when he pitches was interesting too. I’m sure it doesn’t help in painting the corner against a lefty or coming inside accurately to a righty. In fact, I could see it making so much sense that I bet if we had a total of hit batsmen by Marmol, it would favor righties for a number of reasons, but mainly that one.
Then Gregg came in in the ninth and did his thing. Couple balls hit really well but the Cubs had the field covered perfectly and Gregg added a save and the Cubs put one more up in the W column. Interesting to see the Cubs are 55-15 when they score 3 or more runs. 70 games with at least 3 runs. For as much as this team has struggled and missed having their whole lineup this year, I don’t think I would’ve guessed that they would’ve hit 70 at this point.
Anyone else thoroughly enjoy Theriot’s stop and toss to second? One of the guys I truly enjoy watching day in and day out. Why did we see Fuld and Baker late in the game again? Are they that great of an upgrade defensively over the guys they replaced? I don’t think so but the ninth worked out, so perhaps? Anyone else impressed with how many Cubs fans were at the game? Felt like every other person in the stadium had Cubbie blue on. Along with the other details of tonight’s game….good to see!
Getting married in two weeks from today. In two weeks from today I will have been married for nearly seven hours. Wow. Funny when I can feel it set in a little deeper. Talking about it of course quite a bit lately but every now and then, you can just feel it set in a little deeper. Tell you all about it in a few weeks…honeymoon in Vegas the week after. Vegas baby. : )
Three and half games back at the break. Could be a lot worse considering how often we’ve had our starting lineup in there. Regardless…it’s really not that bad of a place to be at the break so regarding what to focus on, how about: congratulations again Ted Lilly for being selected to represent the Chicago Cubs in the All-Star game tomorrow night. As usual nowadays, home field advantage in the Series is on the line and really, the American league has won far too many of these games lately. Let’s go National League, let’s get that W tomorrow night!
No, it’s not a McDonald’s advertisement. Simply my response to Game one of today’s doubleheader against the Cards. Z threw a gem and even hit a home run. Talk about the talent out weighing the crazy!
Tribune Co. and the Ricketts family have allegedly reached an agreement on terms that would allow the Tribune Co. to sell the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25% share of ComCast SportsNet Chicago to the Ricketts. This of course pending approval by MLB and a court of law considering Tribune has filed for Chapter 11.
Mark DeRosa will come back to haunt the Chicago Cubs. No doubt about it. Having him shipped out and sent to the American League is one thing. Having him in the division rival’s line-up is another. Happy for Mark that he’s no longer in the basement of the AL Central. Interested to see how this plays out in the NL Central come the end of the season.
Go Cubs Go!
I want to know if your team gives you enough bang for your buck. And by ‘buck’ I mean it in a number of different ways. The financial investments: tickets, merchandise and maybe some of you like myself with the Cubs, a way to watch the games like MLB.tv. The emotional investment: the time spent watching games, the energy put into rooting for your team, the mental effort put into analyzing the decisions your manager or general manager make with your club and the amount of heart put into celebrating your team’s victories/agonizing over defeats/arguing with fans of other teams, especially rivals over whose team is better.
Zambrano notched his 100th win yesterday in his first game back from serving a six game suspension. In the game he earned the suspension, he went off reality-tv-star style on the umpire, bumped the umpire, threw a ball into left field (maybe to see if Soriano was paying attention?) and proceeded to enter the dugout and destroy the Gatorade machine. Reporters were calling him crazy. A headcase. Out of control.
The Cubs are working on their 8 game losing streak as I write this. Let me rephrase that, hopefully they’re working on ending this 8 game losing streak. Sitting five games back right now and have recently decided that they’ll lose to the Pirates too. As my girlfriend just said: “They should stop sucking.” They should.
Today on Twitter I put it out there that the Cubs would sweep this series from the Cardinals. So much for that.
Three weeks since my last post. No excuses. I started a new job on April 6th and I’ve never learned so much or felt like my brain had been squashed and fried to a level mush as I have in the past three weeks. I get home and all I can do is ‘tweet’ and watch the game. Statistical analysis and even witty retorts when I get home regarding the Cubs and the Majors are hard to come by when you feel like 90% of your brain isn’t working. You’ve heard the term ‘leave it all out on the field’? That’s how I feel like my brain capacity has been performing. I get home at night and I feel like I have 10% left. That’s basically enough for me to remember how to put the key in the door, eat dinner and log on to MLB.TV and watch the game. A few nights I didn’t even get out of the office until 11:00pm. I was able to log in at the office and watch the game because no one else was around but man my brain could use a little performance enhancing drugs lately.
My dad and stepmom came to visit this weekend. They hadn’t come to visit for about eight years and it was great to have them here. My dad especially always thinks the city is going to be too hot, too cold, too crowded, too…something. Lately it’s been beautiful outside. 60’s. Upper 70’s. Spring. Baseball weather. Beautiful.
And then came Sunday. 90 degrees beating down on the NYC pavement…and of course, the one day in nearly the past decade that my dad chose to visit. Figures.
We had a great time regardless. He and my stepmom had never been to Central Park so we took a long walk. Beat the heat with some ice cream and waters bought at those carts you find in parks across the country. I only just recently decided to eat hot dogs sold from a cart. A baseball hot dog is a wonderful thing. Something about buying a hot dog from a baseball vendor or at a concession stand at a stadium just feels right. Buying a hot dog from a weird man with a dirty cart filled with old hot water…not quite the same appeal. However, they are $2 and sometimes, especially lately, a two dollar lunch is just what the checking account ordered.
There were kids all over the Alice in Wonderland statue. People driving remote controlled boats at the boat pond. A Greek parade pouring down Fifth Avenue. Lots of people out sunbathing and people walking their dogs everywhere. A great Summertime scene in 90 degree weather smack in the middle of Spring.
We went out to eat for every meal which something I really only do when company is in town visiting. My stepmom was talking about the Yankees/Red Sox games she caught over the weekend and how exciting they were. Great games sure, but on top of that, the Red Sox won. She’s one of those fans who have recently come back around to baseball. She’s in her early 60’s and after the 1994 strike, she had had enough. Too much focus on money and greed for her to respect the game she once loved. Enough years passed though and she’s come around again. Rooting for the Red Sox like she always has. Of course for a while there it was because she liked to go sit in the outfield and check out Dwight Evans booty. Now though, it’s simply for love the Sox and having something in common with her grandchildren who live in CT.
We had tickets to see ‘Chicago’ on Broadway Sunday night and she kidded about skipping it to watch the Sox/Yanks on Sunday night baseball. She decided she could hang in there though (of course) and enjoy the show based on the movie she’s loved since she saw it. I hadn’t seen the movie so I didn’t know what to expect. Let me tell you…this show (and I’m sure film) does not paint a very pretty picture of Chicago. Murders, crimes, lies, etc…I understand the city has a reputation for crooked politicians…but they sure didn’t try to shine a light on anything positive with regards to Chicago, that’s for sure. I mean come on, throw a baseball fan a bone and mention Wrigley or something, ya know? Of course with the way this show was going, if there had been a baseball reference, it surely would’ve been about the Black Sox scandal.
Anyway, the show was great. Not one of my favorites of all the shows I’ve seen in New York, but up there among one of the better performances…especially when it comes to less is more. They do a lot with hardly any set or stage frills and you’re entertained the whole time. Which really, is a lot like the Cubs now that I think about it. Wrigley Field. Barebones. Old school. No real frills. No cookie cutter park. Bare essentials. Few thrills or real ‘characters’ when it comes to our lineup. Just hardnosed baseball that entertains you the whole time you’re at the park or following the season. Pretty cool in that respect considering the show is called ‘Chicago’.
Some of the songs in the show remind me of some of the Cubs roster though. Just for fun (considering we’re a few games in back of the Cards right now…not exactly the April I had hoped for) here are some of the songs that made me think of Cubs players and the players that match up:
“I Can’t Do It Alone” – Carlos Zambrano. Ace of the staff. No-hitter last year. We know he’s going to bring it every time he takes the mound. But he is not going to be able to do this thing alone. Demp, Lilly, Harden and Marshall are all going to have to step their games up if we want to repeat in the Central again this year.
“My Own Best Friend” – Aramis Ramirez. Pretty much our only quality at third base. Without a true backup, he’s basically his own best friend on the hot corner. Aramis goes down and we’re pretty screwed at third. We need his glove and bat all season long. Injuries will come and go…let’s hope Ramirez isn’t effected too often in ’09.
“Mister Cellophane” – Micah Hoffpauir. This really applied stronger during Spring Training. Lately Micah has been getting his share of at bats and his talent is no longer see through to Lou. He’s giving him a chance to shine in the regular season like he did in Spring Training. Not ready to give up on Lee by any means, but like DeRosa was great to have as a quality anywhere kind of guy, Micah is the closest thing we have to that right now on the ballclub and it’s good to see he’s finally getting noticed.
“All I Care About” – Chicago Cubs fans. While the character that sings this in the show is rather sarcastic in singing that all he cares about is love…I think Cubs fans would be genuine. Sure we want the trophy after all these years…but there has to be a reason we come back year in and year out. For love the Cubs, we wouldn’t come back if it was all we really cared about. Championships are nice and a World Series title would be insane, but be honest, you’ll keep coming back regardless.
All in all it was a great weekend. Took my dachshund to the dachshund festival on Saturday and it was hilarious. Dad and stepmom came in on Sunday and we had a blast in the big city, can’t wait for them to come back again. The show was a great time and a real treat for them to take us. Chicago needs to do something to change that rep though, it really doesn’t come off all that great in the show. Maybe something big is needed to make people think about it differently…like I don’t know…a Cubs championship perhaps?
Couldn’t hurt. Go Cubs Go!
Below is the podcast recording of my guest appearance on the United Cardinal Bloggers Hour Wednesday night. The hosts were real welcoming, knowledgable and great to have a conversation with regarding Cubs and Cardinals baseball. With the series coming up this weekend it was a great opportunity to pick each other’s brains about the respective opponent. They said they’d keep things civil in enemy territory more or less and they did. I had a blast and would look forward to appearing on the show again if invited back in the future. Some of the highlighted topics of the conversation, among others:
- AC000000 – please explain for Cards fans what that’s all about
- The DeRosa trade
- Expectations of the 2009 Cubs
- ’07-’08 Playoffs
- Injuries and other Potential challenges to the Cubs in 2009
- (and from Tom @ CardinalsGM.com) What’s your perception of how Cubs fans feel about D-Lee? Are they ready to sit him and bring in Hoffpauir to start at first?
I’m going in.
Cardinals/Cubs series this weekend Thursday-Sunday at Wrigley. The Cubs will have home-field on their side…I won’t be so lucky come this evening.
If you get a chance tonight, listen in to the United Cardinals Bloggers Radio Hour (link here) and hear me guest as we chat about all things baseball, including this weekend’s Cubs/Cards series. Not so sure that there will be any other Cub fans included as guests so Cubs fans should feel free to call in and back me up! (Actually, the guys mentioned that they’d keep it civil…but you never know when it comes to this rivalry! I’m definitely looking forward to it so if you get a chance, dial it up on-line. Also on tonight as a guest is fellow MLBLogger Redbird Chatter. Should be a great time and an even better series this weekend!
Had a chance to watch today’s game on-line and man…does it hurt to get beat by Marquis! Losing at Wrigley is always a horrible feeling…but having a cast-off and lay down the beating? Not cool. And Marquis and his stuff? Please. That was pathetic.
Opening Day on the other hand was awesome. Cubs have opened the first week of the season up strong going 5-3, currently in second place behind the Cardinals. Lilly was amazing through seven delivering the goods no one is to speak of until it’s over (you know what I’m saying) and it’s great to see him come out strong. Not concerned at all about Zambrano, can’t wait to see him this weekend. I feel bad for teams who don’t have that ace that makes you believe every five starts you are going to win. Great fun in having that with Zambrano…wish I could make the Apr 21 game against the Reds to get the Zambrano no-hitter statue. That thing is pretty cool and a great symbol of an amazing pitching performance. Love Dempster and expect great things from him this year. Harden got roughed up today but again, it’s early, not concerned.
Soriano is having one of his best Aprils so far ever, especially in the past few seasons and Fukudome seems to be in his April zone like last year. With Bradley injured with a bum groin (surprise) it’s going to be important he performs like he’s capable of. I love the balance in the lineup Bradley brings, but this injury is a great opportunity to see Reed play a whole lot more. Nothing wrong with that.
Hopefully Soto comes around. Sore shoulders and catchers? Not a good mix. If Soto is healthy I don’t foresee a sophomore slump so hopefully his body holds it together. Same with Ramirez and Gregg actually. Injuries could be a huge problem for this team this year, something that could ruin plans we’d all love to make come October. Ramirez’s bat and glove don’t have the back up Gregg does. Marmol can step up and close I feel without a real problem…backing up Ramirez? That’s much tougher. Miles at 2B and Fontenot at 3B isn’t exactly the ideal.
Lee on the other hand. Aside from today’s solo shot, it’s been a slow start and really the only weak link in the healthy part of the Cubs lineup right now. I’m kind of hard on Lee because I expect a lot from him. He needs to step it up and be his a Cardinal killer this weekend. Any time we get the Cards at Wrigley, we have to take advantage of it. Playing in St. Louis is never easy…need to get these four games this weekend while we’re inside the Friendly Confines.
We’ll see how friendly the podcast/radio hour confines are this evening. Can’t wait to talk Cubs baseball with hard-core baseball fans. Again, call in if you get a chance and say hey. Come back soon for a new post recapping the experience!
Go Cubs Go!
Spend any time lately thinking perhaps dealing DeRosa is going to come back and bite the Cubs in the behind this season? Time will tell. But hearing the Sox announcers mention it today, as well as reading this article in the New York Times about DeRosa’s value to Team USA got me thinking again, you know what…maybe it will…check it out.
Alright Cub fans, let me hear from you…your best argument to all other baseball fans as to why THIS YEAR is THE year that we finally claim another championship, our first since 1908!! Fans of other teams…feel free to tell us why we’re crazy to think so…again.
One City. New York City. The city that never sleeps.
I can attest that while the city never sleeps, I for one am again looking forward to doing so this evening. The new job is seriously a TON of stuff to learn: procedures, issues, tactics, strategies, training staff, outreach in the freezing cold, planning meetings and on and on. It’s one of the most fascinating ways to spend 60 hours a week though I must say. I really do feel like I’m making a difference and doing something that truly matters, which is a cool feeling. I’d love to be in front of the computer all day to watch Cubs games on-line, or listening to games on the radio. A lot of these Spring Training games are obviously during the day so I’ve been checking out box scores, watching highlights and reading up on all the latest news and updates. I can’t wait for the city to warm up and regular season games to back again. I already have it marked down when the Cubs come to town to play the Mets at Citi Field and am hoping to check out an exhibition game at the new Yankee Stadium when the Cubs are in town as well. That would be awesome.
Within this massive city however, depending on where you live, hang out, frequent, the baseball population is strongly divided between the Yankees and Mets. It’s rare to find a fan who roots for both teams as it is extremely looked down upon and hardly anyone takes you seriously if you claim to do so. Much like trying to sell someone in Chicago that you are both a White Sox and Cubs fan. Yeah, right.
Now every now and then you come across a Red Sox fan. Many have joined the bandwagon for sure since their recent success starting in 2004 but considering we’re on the East coast, it’s really not surprising. People move (like a lot of the transplanted fans with blogs in this community), people rebel against family, friends and ex’s to be different, people get attached to players that lead them to root for certain teams regardless of their zip code and again others simply climb aboard the band wagon. A lot Sox fans populate New York as well and it’s hard to tell who the Yankee fans hate more. I’m guessing it’s the Sox, but a crosstown rivalry is exactly that and there’s a lot to be said for it. Considering the Sox have the upper-hand as of late though, you don’t hear a lot of trash talking (or as much anyway) between Yankee fans and Sox fans, although they still enjoy picking on Mets fans. Calling them the JV team, saying their old stadium was a dumpster or simply enjoying watching their fans get amped up over projected success just to see their hopes crushed with two consecutive seasons of late season meltdown. This is essentially the baseball landscape in New York. A few Sox fans scattered throughout…but mainly a hard, loyal divide between Yankee fans and Mets fans. I’m sure it’s no surprise that those two teams get the most attention considering they both play here, but still, between the two of them I don’t really envy either. The ones I look at with a bit of green under the collar and for no reason related to my new job, are the Red Sox fans.
Red Sox fans walk among Yankee fans and Mets fans, nowadays, with their heads held high. Between years of AL East beatings and Buckner, both sides had something to say to them to give them a hard time if spotted walking down the street displaying their team loyalty be it a cap or jacket, t-shirt, etc. This is no longer a problem for them. Now, they basically walk around and get the same response as Cubs fans.
There aren’t a whole lot of us in comparison to the Yankee and Mets fans understandably. However, there are more than you’d expect. I’d say on average, at least once a day I see someone walking around with a Cubs hat on. Like Jeep drivers are known for honking at a fellow Jeep driver on the road to salute the car they have in common, so do Cubs fans acknowledge each other as we pass on the streets of New York. We have to. We’re all in this together and in a foreign land at that. I’ve walked down the street wearing my Cubs gear and constantly here it from construction workers who want to talk about last night’s game. From kids who love the Cubs and shout out “Go Cubs” as their parent proudly smiles and waves as they go by. From baseball fans at gatherings (bars, ESPN sports zone, etc) with just the utmost respect for the dedication we show as Cubs fans, or the most absolute confusion that we’ve hung in there for so long. Some laugh at the belief that every year is THE year and others completely respect it as they know there’s no other reason to be a ‘fan’. From the word fanatic, as a fanatic, you have to belief, simply by definition if for no other reason.
And it’s that respect that Cubs fans are shown in New York City. Abracadabra, a loyal reader of this blog asked me what it was like being a Cubs fan in New York recently and I decided I would post about it. This is pretty much what it’s like. Surrounded in one of the biggest cities in the world by millions who root for one of two other teams, with the occasional yet more frequent than expected encounter of a fellow Cubs fan with similar, friendly, Cubs logo-bearing fan gear who also can’t wait to see how the Cubs do this year, believe this is the year and tune in however we can (on-line mostly, or the occasional ESPN game) to follow every moment of the season. I recently joined a Cubs meetup group in the city and I can’t wait to experience ’09 with the Cubs fans I’ll meet as a result. Always fun to meet fellow Cubs fans and enjoy the season together, especially when we’re all in this together. And we might as well be together, we’re outnumbered for sure…and one day, when the sign reads AC000000, the disbelief and rare teasing will cease to exist from New York baseball fans. They will all look at us with the respect that a championship ballclub’s fans deserve, the same way they now look at Red Sox fans. Aside from being in Chicago, I honestly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the country experiencing Cubs baseball and enjoying the baseball community as diverse, fun, exciting, humiliating, frustrating and fascinating as it is in New York. Not sure if that was detailed enough, but that’s basically what it’s like being a Cubs fan in New York. In a word? I’d say it’s actually pretty ‘awesome’.
Today’s game was amazing. Three home runs by the Cubs…Soriano, Fox, and Ramirez going deep. Always great to see the bats warming up during the Spring, getting ready for the pitches to count come Opening Day. Marshall had a great day with three perfect innings and Gregg looked great too. Piniella says Marmol pitching in the WBC won’t effect the closer competition. I hope he’s right. Gregg was great and I’d love him in the set up role, but I’m still a big fan of having Marmol as our closer. Time will tell, but it was great checking the box score and seeing the three of them going yard and having Marshall and Gregg step up with outstanding performances.
Hope everyone in New York, Chicago, Boston and really everywhere else is enjoying the excitement of Spring Training. I know I am…I just can’t wait for these games to count for real! Go Cubs Go!
Arguably the Cubs MVP of last season, Ryan Dempster takes the mound today against San Diego and coveted starting Padres pitcher, Jake Peavy. Talk about a game that has something for everyone. Padres fans get to see how their team is doing and shaping up, Cubs fans get to see how their ballclub looks as they hope to extend their Spring winning streak to five and baseball fans get to see presumably two innings of Spring pitchers’ duel between two of the strongest starting pitchers in the NL Central.
Watching what Dempster offers up is always fun to watch and it will be interesting to see Peavy up close and personal. The guy many of us Cubs fans were hoping would be added to the starting rotation by Opening Day, displaying why we hope the young pitching we obtained in trades for Pie and DeRosa magically morph into ‘Peavy’ on the Opening Day roster. Chances of that trade happening are slim at this point, but still it will be fun to check out.
Apparently there is another pitcher on the Cubs’ radar that could be a much more likely solution when it comes to the fifth spot in the rotation this year. That recent development? Curt Schilling.
Mr. Clutch. Mr. Literal Red Sox. Mr. Need a Championship? I’m Your Guy, Curt Schilling.
Is it still possible for him to deliver as he has in the past after missing last season? Who knows. Would I prefer Peavy? Of course. But if Peavy isn’t coming…who would you rather? Heilman, Marshall…or take a chance on Schilling? I’d take my chances on Schilling. Reports have it that if he were to join the team, he’d probably be ready to contribute come mid-season on out, no sooner. He wouldn’t cost too much either…which combined with his resume and playoff experience sounds like a bargain to me. Tampa Bay is the other team Schilling is considering offering his services to if said team were to be interested. They haven’t won the big one either, but come on. If you’re going to make a last ditch statement in your already Hall of Fame credential career by helping a team end their championship drought, where better to do it than in Chicago with the Cubs? Nowhere. Chicago Cubs is the no-brainer choice between the two.
Now it’s just a matter of whether Hendry and company feel like he’s worth a chance. I know I think he is. Until then, looking forward to enjoying another Spring outing by Dempster and seeing what may still be in a Cubs uniform this season in Jake Peavy.
Curt Schilling…possibly in a Cubs uniform this season, huh? Didn’t see that coming…you?
Do your thing today Demp…Go Cubs Go!
CHI WHITE SOX (0) AT CHICAGO CUBS (13) CHI WHITE SOX AB R H BI CHICAGO CUBS AB R H BI B Lillibridge 2b- 4 0 0 0 A Soriano lf 2 0 0 0 A Pierzynski c 3 0 1 0 D Deeds lf 2 1 1 0 C Armstrong c 1 0 0 0 A Miles ss 2 1 1 0 C Quentin lf 3 0 0 0 A Blanco ss 2 1 1 2 B Myrow 1b 1 0 0 0 D Barney pr-ss 0 0 0 0 J Thome dh 3 0 1 0 D Lee 1b 3 1 1 0 G Beckham ph-dh 1 0 0 0 J Fox 1b 2 1 0 0 J Dye rf 3 0 1 0 M Hoffpauir dh 4 1 2 1 M Restovich rf 1 0 0 0 S Clevenger ph-dh 1 0 0 0 A Ramirez ss 2 0 0 0 A Ramirez 3b 3 0 0 1 J Nix 2b 1 0 0 0 L Rivas pr-3b 1 1 0 0 J Kroeger 1b-lf 4 0 0 0 M Fontenot 2b 2 1 1 0 J Fields 3b 2 0 0 0 B Scales 2b 2 1 2 3 J Castillo 3b 1 0 1 0 B Snyder rf 5 2 2 4 D Wise cf 4 0 2 0 K Hill c 3 0 1 2 W Castillo c 1 1 0 0 J Gathright cf 3 0 0 0 S Fuld cf 2 1 2 0 TOTALS 34 0 6 0 TOTALS 40 13 14 13 CHI WHITE SOX 000 000 000 -- 0 CHICAGO CUBS 000 220 90x -- 13 E--E Caridad, L Rivas, B Lillibridge, J Kroeger. LOB--CHI WHITE SOX 9, CHICAGO CUBS 11. 2B--K Hill, J Thome, D Wise. HR--B Snyder 1 (1) (off A Russell). CS--J Fields. IP H R ER BB SO HR CHI WHITE SOX J Marquez 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 M Thornton 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 E Wassermann (L,0-1) 1 3 2 2 0 1 0 O Dotel 1 3 2 2 1 2 0 R Williams 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 A Russell 0 5 8 6 1 0 1 B Salmon 1 2 1 1 1 1 0 J Nunez 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 CHICAGO CUBS A Heilman 2 1 0 0 0 4 0 K Gregg 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 N Cotts (W,1-0) 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 D Patton 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 K Kadokura 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 J Waddell 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 E Caridad 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 WP--O Dotel. HBP--A Blanco by J Nunez, J Fox by A Russell. SO--CHW: B Lillibridge 3, A Ramirez 2, J Thome 2, D Wise, J Kroeger. CHC: A Soriano 2, J Gathright, B Snyder, S Clevenger, D Deeds, J Fox, W Castillo, M Fontenot, M Hoffpauir. BB--CHW: J Fields, A Ramirez. CHC: A Miles, A Soriano, W Castillo, M Fontenot, D Deeds, L Rivas. T--2:56. A--13,010.
Three games into Spring Training and the Cubs are 3-0. Sweet. Hoffpauir has looked great at the plate in both power stats and patience. I kind of feel bad for guys like Hoffpauir and Fox though because it seems like every Spring these guys deliver unbelievably consistent stats, yet we simply have no room for them on the 25 man roster. It’s a shame too. It must drive these guys crazy. Hopefully one of them breaks through this year somehow, especially if their Spring is as impressive as Springs past. Hoffpauir’s the DH today so he’ll have another chance to shine this afternoon.
What’s up Lilly! I’m happy to hear that you have the Cubs’ best interests in mind when it comes to your pitch count in the WBC. Everytime I hear that, it feels like a boxing championship someone is trying to win. Anyway, I always enjoy hearing that organizations have prevented their key players from playing in this tournament. I know it’s a great thing for the game and a fun exhibition of the world’s greatest sport. However, when you’re investing millions in guys to come through when it counts during the regular season, it’s too scary of a possibility that the guy goes down to injury in an exhibition competition. Big Z, Lilly, Harden, Dempster and Marshall. Ok, fine. But if we were to lose any of those top four it would make us extremely vulnerable and a much less powerhouse in the National League. The Cubs are definitely the on-paper favorites to repeat in the Central but a huge part of that is pitching. We can’t lose Lilly to something stupid so I’m glad he has the team’s best interests at heart. Have a great time Lilly, but come back healthy for sure.
Speaking of staying healthy…what’s up with the quad Milt? We definitely need that to be a precautionary measure in pulling himself from the game the other day. Milton Bradley makes this team so much better, especially when you figure his power in the middle of the order allows for us to keep Soriano up top leading off and not constantly questioning if we should be using his power later on in the order. Not sure that he’ll end up leading off yet having not seen much from Theriot or Miles as of yet this Spring…but more than likely that’s where Piniella will start him come Opening Day.
I know it’s been a little while since his signing and I’m not even sure he’ll make the roster, but I like the signing of Taguchi. From what I’ve seen of the guy he can be pretty clutch late in games when you need a big hit. If he sticks, his bat may be a great option off the bat here and there throughout the season. The Cubs are in a great situation with how deep they are, a great problem to have. Tons of people to look at and consider this Spring. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Piniella’s office throughout S.T. and the regular season. That would be fascinating. The flying ability would be cool too.
Today the Cubs and the White Sox take their crosstown rivalry across the country to battle in exhibition. Heilman will get the start for the Cubs. Living in New York, I’ve seen quite a bit of Heilman over the years. He’s a guy that would surprise me if he were to take the fifth starter spot in the rotation. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the couple innings he gets today, as well as how Rami looks at third. Always good to get those cuts in, work out the kinks from the winter months. It came up in the chat box I have set up here in the right hand column the other day as to who should back up Ramirez at third. Any Cubs fans out there have a preference? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
The Cubs have outscored their opponents 22-11 so far this season. 11 runs given up in 27 innings. Not too shabby, but could definitely be better. 22 runs in three games. Looking good. Good start to the Spring.
Here’s to a good ol’ fashion walloping of the Sox today. Go Cubs Go!
CUBS BASEBALL IS BACK!!!!
And Hoffpauir is awesome. His grand slam put the Cubs in front of the Dodgers for good today. 25 man roster here he comes? Only time will tell. Below is the box score from today’s game. Great to get back in the swing of things.
Wow…blog puns can really be horrible.
So yes, obviously, pun intended. Every year the Cubs gear up an ad campaign to get the fans excited about the team and the upcoming season. This year, it’s based around the world famous Wrigley Field marquee. The images below are of the ads and tag lines they’ve come up with this year. Personally, I only like the winter and heaven’s ballpark ones. How do you guys feel about them? Anyone else see them as subtle reminders that new ownership means VERY LIKELYchanges to the stadium’s name and marquee? That was the first thing I thought of when I saw them.
And yet, you don’t surprise me.
MLB can do nothing about evidence showing that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. That is a shame.
It is a shame that we as fans are expected to root for cheaters. Nearly 101 years of Cubs baseball without a World Championship. Were we victims of cats, over zealous fans and straight up chokes…or an entire league filled with cheaters giving them the advantage over us. Sosa would be the first Cub people would come up with as far as a player who may have used and they’d suggest that we too had our fair share of players that have used performance enhancing substances throughout the steroid era. Cork has been proven, but that’s about it on Sosa. No other Cub has really come up in these talks over the past few years yet I wouldn’t be surprised if some names turn up over time. Of course Palmiero came up time and again and he spent some years as a Cub and I can’t say I’m positive no other Cub has ever used. I just hope that the whole steroids-in-baseball-thing ends here with A-Rod. And of course, anyone that hasn’t already been mentioned that may be listed among the other 103 players included in this, up until now, confidential testing from 2003.
Wouldn’t that be great. Wouldn’t it be great if we’ve heard all the names, or at least have all the names, and we could put an end to doubting what we see before us. To be able to believe in the purity of the achievements we see day in and day out on the field, throughout this season and every seasons that follows. To know that whatever amazing stats are posted, were earned and achieved on pure physical ability and never doubted otherwise. To know that once the Cubs hoist the trophy in the middle of Chicago in a World Series parade, that no Cub on the team cheated and the team earned it fair and square. That would be a great thing.
As of now, I feel like these fluke occurrences (Bartman) and supernatural oddities (goat, cat) weren’t the only things that have provided Cub fans with heartache. It’s these cheaters, like A-Rod. Those who succumbed to the pressure of performing at a certain level that their bodies couldn’t deliver. Those who felt the need to live up to contract deals that their overall ability could never justify. Nearly 101 years of no titles for the Cubs, because of people like A-Rod. Disgusting. And MLB says they can’t do anything about it.
What a shame.
You know what though, on the other hand, so what. We all know Bonds cheated and his records are forever tarnished. Now, A-Rod, the guy that was supposed to pass Bonds and clear the top of the lists in the record books of asterisks comes with one giant, glaring one of his own. MLB doesn’t have to do anything to A-Rod. We already know he cheated and from now on, he’ll just be another cheater in baseball fans’ eyes.
To say steroids is a part of baseball is possibly a true statement, but it is a shame. I suppose it’s also human nature to cheat and try to achieve as much as you can whether you have earned it or not. You know what though, human nature also allows for those of us who are better than that, to decide to not go down that road and rise above it. We can all think of things that would progress us further and faster in our own careers. That doesn’t mean we have to do it. You can be the top paid guy on the totem pole (maybe not $252 million) and still not give in to cheating. It’s too bad all we have to play the game are imperfect human beings. The game deserves better than that. We as fans deserve better than that. And MLB, as one of your biggest fans, right now I hope you realize that your response is as disgusting as A-Rod’s actions. No action is not good enough. You need to be better than that.
With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, Spring is on the way. Hill and Wuertz have been sent away. The team is nearly officially sold to the Ricketts family and naming rights, Peavy and the team’s official roster are still up in the air. I have plenty to talk about regarding all of these things. For today though, as a fan, baseball’s let me down again. And for now, that’s all I really feel like saying.
So, this headline would be more amusing if Pie had been traded to Toronto. Sadly, he was not. However, Pie will now be locking down left field for the Baltimore Orioles. A great defensive outfielder, along with Jones and Markakis, the O’s will have a strong outfield to grab all of those line drives that batters will be hitting off their horrible pitching.
I admire and respect the history of the Orioles, loved Ripken and Murray as a baseball fan growing up and still have the goal of making it to Camden to catch a game asap. I will be keeping tabs on Pie throughout the season in a new section called ‘Still Have to Pie’ for two reasons. 1) I’m a big fan and still see amazing potential. I’ll be curious to see how his career comes about in Baltimore. 2) There aren’t enough bloggers in this community to cover it all. Seriously, I clicked on the team tag on the MLBlog home page and while some bloggers with sites dedicated to other teams have posted articles about the O’s and are listed there, there are very few Orioles sites. I’m not sure why that is. I counted about eight of them and only a few of those had anything added to the pages since last Spring or Summer. There’s one that I liked a lot that was something about ‘the tough life of an orioles fan’ or something like that (I’ll get the title asap and link to it here for you to check out…it’s really a great read).
Ok, I just got distracted by watching Fallon on Leno. Looking forward to checking out his new late night talk show. Anyway…my point is, Pie is gone, I look forward to seeing how he does in Baltimore and will keep a section of Prose and Ivy dedicated to checking in on his career there and there should be more Orioles blogs in the MLBlogs community. Simple observation and opinion. If anyone knows of one I may have missed, let me know here and I’ll check them out.
Note to self: stop blogging at midnight and if the best headline you can come up with is ‘I Have to Pie’, just go to bed.
Grace, Dawson and Smith. All left saying ‘wait until next year’.
Ok, not Grace. He didn’t get enough votes to stay on the ballot.
Congratulations to Rickey and Jim though! I always enjoyed watching Rickey play (really enjoyed watching Rickey run) and I met Jim Rice one time at a minor-league ball game in New Britain, CT. Rice signed an autograph for me without a blink of an eye. Classy guy, happy for his accomplishment.
Rickey and Jim were just on Letterman with a hilarious top 10 list of the Top Ten Highlights of my Career. Oddly enough, it was Rice who led things off with number 10. The absolute highlight of the list of highlights: Rickey with #3: “Sleeping with Madonna”. Jim with #2: “Sleeping with Madonna (shakes Rickey’s hand)”. Hilarious. All in good fun, yet, I don’t doubt it.
Dawson is definitely deserving and will eventually get in, in my opinion. Same goes for Smith. Salma Hayek is now on with Dave. Time to go!
Monday is the day we find out whether Andre Dawson joins fellow Cub great Ryne Sandberg in the Baseball Hall of Fame. While I believe this IS the year of the Hawk, many consider him to be on the fence in terms of qualifications. I generally use Prose and Ivy for strictly observation and evaluation. Tonight, however, in honor of The Hawk and what Monday could mean for him, I’ll use the space for celebration. Celebration of my favorite Cub of all-time, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.
As we are only about five hours away from flipping our baseball calendars to a whole new year and being that the MLB Network launches tomorrow in millions of fans’ homes across America (which could only bring more attention to the MLBlogs community), for any new visitors to MLBlogs.com or Prose and Ivy, I would like to wish you a happy new year!
DeRosa for three no-names??? What?!
I get Cubs updates sent to my phone. No big deal…not bragging…just saying. Today’s headline read Cubs Sign Miles, Acquire Three pitchers.
Scroll down a little further…
…they got the three pitchers in a separate deal with Cleveland, which included MARK DEROSA!!! What?! No Peavy? And still next year, NO DEROSA!?! Why? Who is this Miles guy? Nobody special that I can tell, at least not special enough to send away DeRosa for. Derosa is extremely valuable, perhaps the most valuable player on the Cubs team last year. His versatility is a key component to the Cubs success year in and year out, and yet we deal him for three young pitchers.
Congratulations Cleveland fans. You now have yourself two of the key players in last year’s division title. A first year closer who earned over 30 saves and probably has a decent couple years left (which is all you signed him for anyway) and a versatile, do-whatever-it-takes everyday player in DeRosa. Enjoy. You’re about to see why DeRosa meant so much to Cubs fans.
As I write this, I thought of his nickname, The Pulse, given his erratic heartbeat condition from earlier in the year. Hopefully this isn’t a case of Cubs doctors knowing something the rest of us don’t. I don’t like the thought of DeRosa in another team’s uniform, but I really don’t want to find out he’s another Cuttino Mobley, yet nobody’s speaking up that something’s seriously wrong. The physical exam is up next of course and I’m sure Cleveland’s doctors will make sure they’re not getting damaged goods. Here’s to DeRosa having a healthy and successful 2009 in Cleveland.
As for these new guys? Give me a break. Looking forward to Spring to see if any of them are worth anything near what DeRosa can bring. And Fontenot? Looks like your time as a daily starting Cub is now. Looking forward to seeing you in the Spring too.
This is so disappointing. And if it doesn’t somehow result in Peavy in a Cubs uniform next year, SOMEHOW, it will be unbelievably disappointing. Figures it happens on the last day of 2008. This year bit it hard in more ways than one. What a fitting ending to 2008. 5 hours, 28 minutes and counting 2008. I won’t miss you when you’re gone.
Happy New Year everyone! Go Cubs Go in 2009!
Anyone else finding it difficult to be fiscally responsible this holiday season? I am doing this year on a strict budget like never before and it has been tough to not go over budget on anyone on my list, and of course, hard not to ask for expensive things when others ask what may be on my list…especially since I don’t really make lists anymore. Not like I used to anyway.
I find so many things on-line that I think would be cool to own. Sandberg something here, Banks something there. Fukudome here, Cubs jacket there. But most are so expensive, I don’t even suggest them when people ask if there’s anything I’d like for Christmas this year. I know everyone is in the same boat with the economy and unless they won’t take no for an answer, I’ve decided to not ask for anything this year. That is a hard thing to do! To simply grow up and understand that ’tis the season, but not for being greedy and asking for things you can’t afford yourself, mainly because chances are others can’t afford them either. Ahh, to be a kid again.
I remember growing up and the big event that putting together ‘The List’ was. Video games, jerseys, caps, entire sets of Topps baseball cards, dvd’s, autographed memorabilia, more video games. I was game and wise to the whole Santa thing (looking forward to seeing what he puts in my stocking this year though) and I don’t think I ever really appreciated how much it took for my parents to have gifts under the tree. I sure do now though. Especially from my Mom those few Christmases when it was just she and my brother and I. This economy we’re in now is making it amazingly complicated when it comes to shopping for people and affording nice things you know they’d like. Probably not unlike what it is for a single parent to deliver a great Christmas for her two kids. Only difference is, at that time I didn’t ‘get it’. My list still included video games, jerseys, caps, entire sets of Topps baseball cards, dvd’s, autographed memorabilia, and more video games. Many years later, I get it. I haven’t asked for anything from anyone this year. Some people just won’t take no for an answer though and nyone who demanded to get a couple ideas from me so they could make sure they got me something I like (even though I said no worries about 10 times), okay, sure, those things were Cubs things. I’m only human and they were being really adamant about the whole thing. Really the only thing I’m looking forward to this year is seeing my family, including my new born nephew enjoy his first Christmas. Hard to believe my brother has a kid. Soon he’ll be the one trying to figure out how to get those video games, jerseys, baseball card sets, etc. under the tree for his kid. Good times.
All that being said…I’m not so concerned about St. Hendry’s pocketbook this holiday season. And I’m not going to ask for anything/anyone. I’ve always found the best Christmas presents are either the one thing you wanted all year (that number one thing on your list growing up) or when someone gets really creative and delivers something you may have never even thought of and it makes your whole holiday. I’m not giving a list to GM Hendry. Time to get creative Jim. We’re all going to go to bed knowing the economy is tough Christmas Eve, but we all hope you get creative and come through with the team that will provide the greatest gift of all. (Hint: the organization has had 100 years to figure out what that would be).
One more day of editing this week and then its off to see the family. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, no matter what it is you may be celebrating! Happy holidays to you all! And of course, Go Cubs Go!
When it comes to Felix Pie’s potential and what he can on the major league level, fans are split with how much he could ever do for the ballclub. What if I told you Pie could be the guy that gives the Cubs an end of the 2009 season stat line that looks like this?