Friday, April 29, 2005
For those of you watching the game on CSN
I don't know if he meant to or not, but he made the case for Blyleven in the Hall and a Cy Young for Randy Johnson last year. I have heard very little of the Cubs TV broadcast team, but I like what I here. Kasper is great and I have no problem with Brenly. Or have I missed Brenly saying many stupid things?
Oh, and this ump sucks.
(update 8:50) I'm not sure which in more shocking. That Burnitz is now just a triple away from the cycle or that Burnitz already has 2 triples this year. Regardless, 3-2 Cubs. Go Cubs!
...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand CUBS WIN!!! CUBS WIN!!!!!!!
Cubs at Astros
4/29 Maddux vs. Roger Clemens
This is the big one. The clash of the titans. Obi-Wan vs. Vader (crafty vet vs. evil big guy - get it?) Lonestar vs. Dark Helmet. I could go on, but I won't. Clemens has been unearthly this year and is currently sporting an 0.32 era in his four starts. So the Cubs can expect to score a third of a run should Clemens complete the game (their only hope is that the score ends up being 1/3-0 Cubs). Clemens is also averaging 7 innings a start, so he has not had to rely on the bullpen too often. When he has, it has not been great, to which his 1-0 record will attest. In general, the Astros are not a great team, but Clemens just keeps getting better and Maddux is going have to use the full power of the Schwartz to pull this one out (I have to believe Maddux has the upside of the Schwartz, so he should win in a head-to-head battle). Prediciton: Cubs win 3-2 in extra innings.
4/30 Wood vs. Backe
Brandon Backe was one of those infuriating pitchers that didn't look very impressive but still managed to shut down the Cubs last year (7 innings, 0 runs). This year he has struggled to a 6+ era. He doesn't have particularily good stuff and he comes off as sort of generic on the mound. Just another Red Shirt on the metaphorical Enterprise, and I predict the Cubs will get their revenge this year and he will meet the fate befitting of any Red Shirt (you guessed it, he gets a phaser to the chest while Dusty is making it with an oddly attractive purple alien). Oh, and Wood will be pitching again and hopefully not sucking it up too badly. Prediction: 7-5 Cubs win
5/1 Prior vs. Oswalt
The other big one. Oswalt is a pitching menace but Prior is Prior. We like Prior. Oswalt is coming in with a 3.25 era, but he has been much better than that since opening day when he gave up 6 runs in 6 innings. This game is just going to be a matter of who can scratch across a run. Prediction: 2-0 Cubs. Cubs sweep and are propelled on to a 17-3 run pulling themselves into a tie with St. Louis. At that point St. Louis pitching starts to break down at the same time that Wood, Maddux, and Zambrano pull it all together. The Cubs cruise to a division title with the best record in the NL and, although they struggle in the first two playoff series, still make it to the World Series and sweep. Ladies and Gentlemen, your World Champion Chicago Cubs.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
News and Notes
"Idol" fans shocked by rocker's ousting
Well, if they are so shocked, maybe they should have VOTED FOR HIM. Jeebus, if you don't want the guy voted off, maybe don't cast a vote for the other guy who sings Celine Dion. Wait, wait...I think that needs its own sentence. A guy sang a Celine Dion song. And not only was he not executed, but a bunch of idiot 13 year olds (and very sad 30 year olds) voted for him. Now, I've not seen either sing, and I'm sure they're both lovely, but nothing changes the fact that a man should not sing Celine Dion. Check that, a person should not sing Celine Dion. I'm going to go ahead and erase all memory of this and think about something happy (*thinks about Derrek Lee's .430 average*).
Nuclear Fusion created in lab
Nuclear fusion, the future of energy on earth (you know, other than drilling for more oil in Alaska), was successfully, um, fused in a lab at UCLA. Now, don't get too excited, because it still takes more energy to fuse the...stuff than one gets out from fusing the thingies, but it is still a great advance in fusion science. And the uses are nearly endless. I mean, sort of endless. That is...uh, it can be possibly used in the future for both drilling and inspecting luggage. But really, there is no question that the luggage inspection potential is there and shouldn't be ignored. Because there's a lot of luggage. And it has to be inspected. (*cough*) But no really, great break through. Kudos.
Bush plans prime time news conference
He is pretty sure he can fit it in between his trip to Texas and his afternoon nap.
Surrogate mother has quints
Which was quite a suprise for her as she was expecting babies. But seriously, that's kind of gross. Having an entire litter of squirming babies - newborns are usually pretty gross (they look like wet burritos) - is not my idea of a good time. I think if I was a surrogate mother (and I don't really see that happening anytime soon) I would set an upper limit on the number of babies I was willing to store in my uterus. Maybe three. There is no need to ever have more than three babies.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to report. No Cub game today, but if you want a baseball fix, head over to goatriders.org where the brilliant and handsome Famine has a report on all things Cubs (well, most things Cubs, anyway).
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Oh the Drama
But first off let me just point out for those that didn't notice, my site has changed a bit. The orange is now a redder shade of orange (so red that it is actually red, not orange) and there are touches of blue here and there. Classy, if I do say so myself (and I do). I'm fairly happy that my color scheme now lines up more closely with the Cubs than the Mets. I'd just like to thank Kurt Evans of Cub Fan Nation for designing me up a lovely banner and Byron of the Cubdom for helping with html.
now that that's done...
Who do you love?
Who else do you love?
Derrek Lee. Does anyone else feel like Lee is getting better? He is now officially the "Player of the Blog" from now until I change my mind. The Player of the Day was a good idea, but I'm far too lazy to change it every day and I just can't risk getting stuck with Hollandsworth staring back at me.
So, in summary: Cubs Win! Cubs Win!
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
So much to say, so much to say
Is there anyone out there that hasn't made the comment: "Another win, another injury." It's becoming a matter of clockwork around the Northside.
I don't know if anyone noticed (nobody noticed) but I was away for the last week and couple of days. Weird things happen when you are in Florida. Your mind starts to go; I think it is a matter of too much sun and too many old people that causes one's brain to dribble out of one's earhole. By the end of the trip I couldn't remember where I put anything. It was time to return to Chicago.
Apparently, weird things happen up north as well when I'm in Florida. Groins separate from bones. Elbows pop...many icky things. How about a quick rundown of the bedlam that breaks loose when I leave my Grace and Wayne roost.
Nomar unable to run in straight line
Mr. Mia Hamm will not be swinging the bat for awhile (wink wink) as he couldn't run 90 feet to first base without separating the groin muscle from the groin bone. heh heh. groin bone. But seriously, all joking aside, groin bone is a funny phrase. It was pretty sweet of Nomar to use the Vulcan Mind Meld to transfer his spirit into Neifi! before heading to the Disabled List. Neifi! has not wasted this fine gift as he has continued his Ted Williams impression into late April (and I'm not referring to that one time when Neifi! stuck his head in the freezer. That was awesome). It's funny because I still pretty much hate Neifi! and get totally annoyed each and every time he does something positive. I'm not sure what I hold against Neifi!. He has never been anything but excellent as a Cub. Maybe it is his ugly swing...probably not really worth analyzing.
It's raining arms
Elbows and shoulders are fleeing from the bodies they so recently occupied. And I don't suppose I can really blame them. Such abuse, such pain. Wood's "bursitis" (That's a type of slip-dress, right?) flared up again and he was pulled after 5 decent innings. Those are probably going to be the last decent innings we see for a couple of weeks as uncertainly has swarmed around Wood's health like a swarm of mutant locusts around an irresponsible scientist. I see a minimum of one missed start in Wood's future.
Chad Fox, the reason they invented the chiche "ticking time bomb", finally blew (in oh-so-many ways). It seemed a little odd that Fox was completely incapable of throwing a strike and couldn't quite surpass the 83 mph mark with his fastball. One might have considered those warning signs, but that is just hindsight I suppose. As often as Fox has been injured, one might also think that he would know that pitching through pain was a bad idea, but I guess he deserves props for trying. It might have cost him his career though. Too bad, I liked the fact that he looked like a cross between Chris Elliot and Paul Giamanti.
Shhhh! Be vewy vewy quite. I'm hunting kitty.
Madison. Hotbed of liberalism. And Den of Kitty-loathing. Evidence of a bizarre distaste of all things feline been an ill-kept secret for many years, ranging from the obvious (billboards read: Spell "cat" backwards, now spell "dog" backwards. Which do you think I like better? --God) to the sublime (WB Madison's most popular program? "Buffy the Kitten Slayer").
Now they are going to allow the hunting of cats. Poor little kittys. This violates my version of vegetarianism: only eat ugly animals. There are some pluses to this, however. Hunting cats means that there will be more rats available for...hunting. Dogs will certainly be happy about this, especially hunting dogs (sorry, that should read huntin' dogs). I worry that all this will tip the delicate cat/dog balance and we are going to face the bloody "Beagle Revolution" that has been in the offing for so many years.
The biggest benefit to all this will be the variety of cuisine available to the residents of Madison, WI. Because, after all...
wait for it...
wait for it...
There's more than one way to skin a cat.
Oh, and for an interesting (that's "interesting", actually) look at the Cubs offense through 20 games, take a look at goatriders.org.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
and choking (I'm looking at you, LaTroy).
There's hyperextended knees and torn groins...it's the first stanza of a country song. I know I've got the broken heart (but no dog and my wife hasn't left me...yet).
Is LaTroy out of the closers role? I sure hope so. I was always on his side, but I just can't watch him blow anymore 1 run leads.
Is Dusty still the manager? Sadly yes, but I know an angry mob that might have something to say about that.
Have I just discovered the"Return" key? No, it just seems that way.
Burnitz just hit a homer to give the Cubs a lead...maybe things are looking up. Although it is worth pointing out, Wood still has to take the mound a few more times today.
Lets just take this series. A Wood victory leaves it up to Prior, and that makes me happy.
(update 2:45) oops, I was too optimistic. Wood is already out of the game. What is it? What's torn? I'm sure the Cubs will say that it was just precautionary
Monday, April 18, 2005
Not dead yet
I'm learning lots of physics here in Florida and discovering something even more interesting:
Neifi and Garciaparra have switched bodies.
until Neifi turns back into Neifi, I will criticize him no more.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
So, seeing as we are at the all important 9/162nd point of the season, it is time to note that a few Cub players - often maligned but the witless bloggers out there (me) - are on pace for truly historic seasons. And, as you might have expected, all roads lead back to...
Neifi Perez - Perez is on pace to be the first man since Ted Williams to top the .400 mark. Neither Tony Gwynn nor Ichiro! have managed this feat and so I think it is shameful that this is being swept under the metaphorical rug. Go Neifi go!
Derrek Lee - On pace to top the single season record for RBI with a solid 198. That would put former Cub Hack Wilson, who only managed 190 RBI, on the back-burner (where he belongs...loser). The only real question this season is going to be if Lee can break the record in 154 games so as not to face the same controversy that dogged Ichiro! last year. Lee is also on pace for 162 walks which, while not a record, is certainly impressive. It is important to remember that Lee is generally a slow starter, so we could easily be seeing the first 200 RBI season.
Ryan Dempster - Is on pace for an impressive 46 losses, which (and I haven't done the research) has to be the most losses in a season in some time. While an 0-46 recond would be tough for Dempster to live down, it would still be mighty cool. This poor record will be nicely offset by the 46-0 record that Glendon Rusch is on his way towards. It seems like the MVP is going to be a pretty tight battle between Lee, Perez, and Rusch with Lee probably pulling it out.
So remember folks...things might seem bad at times, but you just have to look on the bright side of life. It could always be worse...you could, after all, be Jose Macias.
oh, and I think Mark Prior pitched yesterday. Anyone have any word on that?
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Oh, the pain
Thankfully I don't have to watch this, but it is bad enough listening to this debacle on the radio. As I post now, it is 4-0 Padres with the Cubs "offense" facing one of the best pitchers in the league. Not only is Wood incapable of throwing a strike (utterly incapable) but he can't even throw the ball to first! Geh.
Anyway, I really have to stop defending this guy. I don't care how hard he throws, he will always find a way to disappoint. I am now thoroughly depressed (*sad face*).
Well, time to look at the positive. Wood was not hit very hard (other than the homer) and did strike out two (the 8 and 9 hitters). That is a pretty serious reach for some positives, but when the Cubs are down 4-0 in the first, you have to do some serious reaching.
I'll update at event warrant.
(12:40) That was quick. 5-0 Padres on a Giles Homer. Here is where I submit my prediction for the final score: 8-0 Padres.
(12:50) Peavy is making very short work of the Cubs so far. The Cubs have been swinging at the second or third pitch from this guy every time. (*shakes head*)
(1:10) Hoo-Ha, and Patterson puts the Cubs on board. Hmm, I'm going to predict that the Cubs lose 8-1 and see if that gets them another run.
(1:15) um...the final score will be 8-2. yeah, that's it
(1:45) In case you're wondering, I hate Neifi Perez even more (if that's possible) with today's 3-3 performance. I'm not exactly super rational
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Now for the Optimism
While I think about something optimistic to say, let's just take a look at some of the other happenings in Cubs nation. Aramis Ramirez, should the Cubs play, will be getting the day off so as to avoid injuring himself on the wet field (source: Cub Reporter message boards. Their source? radio, I think). Should this come to pass, we are looking at an infield of Macias, Garciaparra, Perez, and Lee around the horn. Yikes, that's...yikes. And what with April Lee showing up and Garciaparra in a slump, that is one piss-poor infield.
Will Hairston ever make another appearance in the Cubs' starting lineup? I would put that at doubtful, given the comments he has made. I imagine that Baker will be more than pissed, and not want to start Hairston just to prove a point. I don't really think that Hairston said anything particularily inflamitory, but it is basically a direct criticism of Baker. The Quotes from the Sun Times:
"I'd be lying ... well, I'm a little disappointed,'' Hairston admitted. "But I'm happy for Neifi. He's a good guy and works hard and I'm happy for him.''
In truth, Hairston was anything but happy.
Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in the Sammy Sosa deal, Hairston, 28, is concerned he has been labeled a utility player, a perception he believes will hurt his chances to be an every-day second baseman.
Baker said he opted for Perez because of his experience against San Diego Padres starter Adam Eaton while Perez was with the Colorado Rockies.
"It'll be on matchups,'' Baker said. "It's Neifi today because he's more familiar with Eaton from being in the same division.''
The logic didn't make Hairston feel better.
"I never care who's pitching,'' he said. "To a ballplayer, there are no matchups. You just come to play every day.''
Hairston didn't speak to Baker about the situation.
"I've never been that type of guy,'' he said. "I've always been [accepting of] whatever the manager wants to do, you do it. I don't make the lineup.
"I'm getting to know Dusty, and I understand why guys love him. Whatever he decides, I'll do. There's a reason guys love playing for Dusty, and I see it. He's definitely a players' manager, and you want that. I feel I'm an established player, and when I get that opportunity [to play regularly], I'll relish that.''
The son of former White Sox outfielder Jerry Hairston also had no cross words for Perez.
"Neifi is a great player,'' Hairston said. "I played against him, and I know he's good and works hard. He's my teammate and I'm for him. I'll just come ready to play every day. I don't think I have to prove myself. What I've done when I'm healthy speaks for itself.''
The problem in Hairston's mind is the utility tag he got last season when he returned from a spring-training injury in May and was asked to play the outfield.
"I regret doing it now,'' he said. "Guys like Raffy [Palmeiro] and Miguel Tejada were in my corner, telling me, 'You don't want that tag.' I've learned it. The label says 'utility,' and I don't like it. I don't want that tag, but it's on me.''
Hairston played full seasons for the Orioles in 2001 and 2002 but was limited to 58 games in 2003 after breaking a bone in his right foot in late May. Last season, he played in 86 games after breaking a bone in his right knuckle in spring training, then breaking his left ankle in August when he crashed into the center-field wall attempting a catch.
"I remember last year there were teams interested in me [as a second baseman], and I begged the Orioles to unload me,'' he said. "Now that [utility] tag is on my back, and I have to shake it. It's not the worst thing in life, but it doesn't help.
"I'll do whatever it takes to help us win. I'm expecting us to do great things, and I want to be part of that. But I'm a second baseman. My athleticism has gotten me into trouble. This will be the last year I do it [utility play].''
While I was copying and pasting this, I thought of a reason to be optimistic. Prior will be starting today...assuming that the rain lets him. But still, he might start, and that would be great. If not today, he will be starting tomorrow.
I don't even have the words
Neifi F. Perez, a player indicative of everything that is wrong with the world. Too strong you say? I say no. He is exactly the sort of talentless hack (no talent ass-clown, you might say) that is taking jobs from actual, talented players like (oh, I don't know) Jerry Hairston (you have no idea how hard that was to not use all caps). And now the Tribune is indicating that Perez will get the bulk of the playing time with Walker out. The actualy quote:
Though the Cubs have a capable defensive replacement for Walker in Neifi Perez, who will receive the bulk of the playing time at second, the injury was a blow that could damage the team's offense, at least for the short term.
Capable defensive replacement? Yeah, that is all Neifi is: a late inning defensive replacement. When Walker went down, I looked on the bright side. Hairston is a very capable replacement and his ability to hit leadoff would allow Patterson to hit down in the order a bit. Nothing wrong with that. But now we are going to see a month and a half of Neifi? Hitting second??? Absolutely unreal. It's like a bad dream.
I have always defended Dusty. Even though he kept Cruz in the bullpen in favor of Estes, even though he refused to play Choi, and even though he wouldn't start DuBois. But in those cases (except for Estes) at least he was playing a decent player rather than the player I liked. But Neifi is a festering black hole of athletic ability. He actually makes players worse by sucking them down to his level (I'm working on the proof of this, but you know it's true).
If Neifi was a character in an Ayn Rand novel, he would be James Taggart. And now he is going to run the Cubs into the ground and piss off actual good players like Jerry Hairston.
I am this close (*holds fingers a small distance apart*) to putting the Official Goatriders.org "Fire Dusty" banner on my site and that is very unlike me.
Come on, Dusty. Don't make me feel like this. Do the right thing and start Hairston. You can do it.
Monday, April 11, 2005
Not to be a Two-poster but
Why can't anyone throw a fastball faster than 100 mph?
First of all, they're talking about throwing well over 100 mph, not slightly over 100 mph. The reason for this is about what you would expect (lingament strength and all that). I'm not really interested in the science of biomechanic though, I'm interesting is playing a little game. Did I pull the following out of the above article, or Chapter 7 of the Kama Sutra:
"...generates momentum by rocking onto his back leg and thrusting forward. After that he rotates his pelvis and upper trunk, then his elbow, shoulder, and wrist."
or how about this
"...released from the longer lever will have more velocity. But as a lever becomes larger, it requires more torque to move. Randy's lever is larger; Wagner's moves more quickly."
Not as easy as you would have thought, eh? After all, Randy Johnson is the Big Unit (and that nickname is such overkill...did Randy Johnson really need a better porn name? Randy Johnson is already top 5, easy).
But, all joking aside, if anyone ever wanted to know why Billy Wagner's little lever is just as effect as Randy Johnson's big one, this is a very informative article.
And just to show that I can be serious, an important article was passed onto me by Scott....
World's "Oldest Thing ever" gets viewing
Keith Richards was unavailable for comment.
From the article:
Saturday's daylong celebration was capped with "The Rock Concert" by jazz musicians who composed music to try to answer the question: What does 4.4 billion years old sound like?
Unfortunately, they were only able to capture the feeling of a song lasting 4.4 billion years, much to the dismay of the throng that gathered to observe the really, really old...um, tiny piece of glass or something. Hey! It's yellow...ish.
"It's an amazing story. The whole thing is something that captures your imagination," said Nathanson, 53, a saxophonist who spent a year composing the performance.
Clearly this man was stoned. You know what really captures the imagination? A monkey! And he's dressed like a person!
How does one spell dirty?
With a dirty, striaght for the knees slide, Carlos Lee has thrust Hairston into a starting role. Walker has sprained his left knee, although how badly has yet to be revealed (sounds bad though). I say that Hairston will assume the starting role, but that may be a bit presumptuous of me. I mean, Macias bring a lot to the table too (he brings nothing to he table). And we can't underestimate the veteran leadership Neifi provides (I mean it is technically impossible to underestimate...that would indicate that Neifi was not at the lower bound of "bringing to the table." And he is. The very worst. ever. seriously).
Anyway, I really do think that Hariston will get the starts and hopefully we will see him start to take off. At this point, he has nowhere to go but up (because it's not possible to hold a negative batting average) and his defense should be an improvement over Walker's. I really like Walker though, so I hope he healthys up and gets back on the field.
Sosa. Sorry, I thought it was obvious. You know, based on context? No? Nevermind, the point is that Sammy is doing his best Neifi impression, and is hitting a whopping .200 with one extra-base hit and Zero homers. Maybe they should call him Sammy So-so! (I made that up myself). Meanwhile, his replacement Jeromy Burnitz, has been excellent so far in right while also filling the ugly void that Sammy left when he took his misshapen head off to Baltimore. Granted, Burnitz takes more of a creapy bug-eyed approach to ugly, but he is still well on the butt side of the ugly threshold.
I'm thinking that headline alone should establish me as a lock for the Headline Writers HOF, should one exist. I mean, what a play on words! WOW! Anyway, that is neither here nor there. The point is that Prior is "committing" (get it?) to pitch on tuesday unless something crazy comes up that no one could predict (like the desire to not pitch). Hopefully Prior won't pull a Dempster like he did against the Isotopes (the beasts of New Mexico), because we could really use another series win this week. If nothing else, just so this writer can relax a bit.
Nomar swinging at the first pitch?
Okay, this one is tricky, but when you read "Nomar," just try to remember that it sounds like N0-more. Ahhh, now you are seeing the genius of my play on words. It works on two levels, because while I want Nomar to stop swinging at the first pitch, it is also true that Nomar is swinging at the first pitch. Always. And while I think it's great and all, he might want to try and swing at first pitch fastballs, rather than (I don't know) EVERYTHING. And while I totally love all that Nomar brings to the plate, he might want to edge that batting average up above his playing weight. But that is up to him and I don't want to put any pressure on him (I really do).
Hollandsworth needs haircut
I don't really have an article or anything to back this up...I just think he needs a haircut.
Alright, the Cubs play today at 1:20. Dempster is going for the Cubs, so keep one eye on the sky should you be walking down Waveland, lest you take a Padres longball to the head. Going for the Padres is Adam Eaton, who was 11-14 last year with a shaky 4.60 era last year. The Cubs handled him pretty well last year, and hopefully we will see more of the same today.
This weekend's games are discussed over at GROTA. Take a look (have you not added that to your daily read yet? Shame on you, it's much better than this site. They actually grasp basic grammar over there).
Oh, one more thing. I'm predicting Dempster will raise his ERA from 17.18 to 19.08, thereby breaking the curse and propelling the Cubs to their first championship since...1908. This will reveal Dempster to be the chosen one and he will have his head chopped off and mounted next to the goat at The Billygoat Tavern. You can take that to the bank.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
What a frustrating game (frustrating game, but still a great day). I don't understand what it is about lefties that gives the Cubs so much trouble. I mean, our lineup is stacked with righties (and righties with platoon splits). What's the problem here?
I'm not sure why Hairston is doing his best Sammy Sosa impression (sucking). I'm not sure why 2-strike 2-out LaTroy can't finish a game (Latroy...the nineth is just like the eighth, only one more). There is a lot that I don't understand, but I don't like to dwell on the negative. So, how about dwelling on the positive...
Dubois got the start (!) in left, and had an excellent game. After Capuano walked the bases loaded, Dubois drove the first (or maybe second) pitch into left for a couple RBIs. That was pretty sweet. The Cubs took plenty of walks...that was also pretty sweet. So, you know, a couple things were pretty sweet yesterday. Churros are sweet too, but I didn't eat a churro yesterday (I did eat a hot dog...but hot dogs aren't sweet. Sweet relish is sweet...I'm the most boring person alive).
Alright, I'm going to free my readers from the prison that is this blog entry (metaphorically speaking). Just one more quick thing...if Dusty ever double switches Nomar out for Neifi again...well, I'll just be filled with rage (grrrr).
If anyone needs something uplifting, there is a picture of a kitten (scroll down) that might interest you...
Friday, April 08, 2005
Today's game with mark the oneth consecutive home opener this Cub fan will have attended, and it is going to be a great one (The Gretzky of Opening Days). Temps in the high 50's and sunny (although not where I will be sitting), breakfast at Ann Sathers (with the appropriate bloody mary), and then on to the festivities (Bernies, I imagine). It just doesn't get any better than this. I was honestly not this excited for Christmas.
My optimism has reached an all time high right now and I am at a 95% Confidence Level that the Cubs are going to win 37-0 with Wood striking out 27 batters (I'm keeping that extra 5% in reserve should the Cubs fail to score that elusive 37th run).
While my day-to-day faith in the Cubs is only as strong as their last game, my overall confidence that this is the year is unwavering. I am predicting a Cubs' sweep of the Brew Crew (Dempster doesn't pitch) which will propel the cubs to a 5 game winning streak, which will put them at 6-2 (a great start).
Lets Go Cubs and Get those Brewers. Game Time 1:20! Win time ~4:00!
And go a little something to get you in the mood...
A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request
By the shore's of old Lake Michigan
Where the "hawk wind" blows so cold
An old Cub fan lay dying
In his midnight hour that tolled
Round his bed, his friends had all gathered
They knew his time was short
And on his head they put this bright blue cap
From his all-time favorite sport
He told them, "Its late and its getting dark in here"
And I know its time to go
But before I leave the line-up
Boys, there's just one thing I'd like to know
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League
Told his friends "You know the law of averages says:
Anything will happen that can"
That's what it says
"But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan"
The Cubs made me a criminal
Sent me down a wayward path
They stole my youth from me
(that's the truth)
I'd forsake my teachers
To go sit in the bleachers
In flagrant truancy
and then one thing led to another
and soon I'd discovered alcohol, gambling, dope
football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis
But what do you expect,
When you raise up a young boy's hopes
And then just crush 'em like so many paper beer cups.
Year after year after year
after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
'Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
for the pigeons beneath the 'L' tracks to eat
He said, "You know I'll never see Wrigley Field, anymore before my eternal rest
So if you have your pencils and your score cards ready,
and I'll read you my last request
He said, "Give me a double header funeral in Wrigley Field
On some sunny weekend day (no lights)
Have the organ play the "National Anthem"
and then a little 'na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye'
Make six bullpen pitchers, carry my coffin
and six ground keepers clear my path
Have the umpires bark me out at every base
In all their holy wrath
Its a beautiful day for a funeral, Hey Ernie lets play two!
Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
and conduct just one more interview
Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
And I'll be ready to die
Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Sluggers baseball bats,
And toss my coffin in
Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow
From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind
When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall
Will bid the bleacher bums adíeu
And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue
The dying man's friends told him to cut it out
They said stop it that's an awful shame
He whispered, "Don't Cry, we'll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame
He said, "I've got season's tickets to watch the Angels now,
So its just what I'm going to do
He said, "but you the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs,
So its me that feels sorry for you!"
And he said, "Ahh Play, play that lonesome losers tune,
That's the one I like the best"
And he closed his eyes, and slipped away
What we got is the Dying Cub Fan's Last Request
And here it is
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Today, I will write about baseball
(what I'm trying to imply here is that I will conquer the world, not that I will write about the world. I can see how that might be confusing)
An adoring public has made it clear that I cannot cease in my quest to provide the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and questionable Cubs' news in the blogosphere. So with that, I will put on my reporter hat and...
I don't really have anything to say that I didn't already say over at GROTA. How about a picture of a kitten?
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Just a mini-post
that is all
A bit more news
Saddam sees Iraq democracy on TV from cell
...and bursts into wave after wave of uncontrollable laughter.
And hey, why the hell does this guy get a TV in his cell. Half of Iraq doesn't even have power and this guy gets to keep up with "Gilmore Girls"? That just doesn't seem right. I'm of the opinion that Saddam should have ended up a lot more like Hitler. Either committing suicide in a bunker while bombs rained down or sunning himself on the beaches of Argentina (nobody knows which, and therein lies the magic).
Oh, one more thing. Don't you think they could have elected someone not named Talabani? Sounds a bit too much like Taliban, thinks me. I just know there is going to be some sort of wacky mixup in the West Wing that is going to end with a Bush apology (just kidding. Bush would never apologize. That would requiring admitting that he is failable).
O.J. Simpson at Johnnie Cochrane funeral
Overheard: (defensive tone) No, I didn't kill him. (warily) Why? What have you heard?
Fossils make case for human ancestor
This is news? I have several ancestors and as far as I can tell, they are all human. CNN has been slipping recently
And for those who have been wondering (nobody's been wondering) what ever happened with my opening day tickets, I would just like to assure you all that they have arrived. Two weeks ago (maybe three).
I had been quite concerned because it was pretty big news that I was able to secure opening day tix for the fam (translation: tickets for the family). But then day after day passed, and I had found nothing in the mail (well, no tickets anyway. There were bills, but I just throw those out). So finally, about a 10 days before opening day, I call Ticketmaster. I wait on hold for a bit (and they were very sorry for making me wait, which they mentioned once a minute) and then spoke to a delightful representative (no, seriously) who told me that they were coming in an unmarked envelope from Concord, CA and should be there shortly. Well, day after day passed (about 5 days) and no envelope in the mail. It was getting about time to cancel the tickets and get new ones sent, and I was going to do it, but fate shone down upon the Corner of Grace and Wayne.
Let me back up (oh god, there's more to this?)...the father-in-law is freeing of himself of his earthly possesions in preparation for flight from Des Plaines (City of Destiny!) for bluer pastures. Well, his daughter (that would be my wife) got first dibs, and we snagged his stereo right quick. We brought it home and the only task left was to set it up.
We settled on the bookshelf as the only logical place for it (our living room is roughly the size of a postage stamp (the big kind), so options were limited) . However, in clearing off the shelf to set up with stereo, what did we find? You guessed it (I certainly hope), an envelope from Concord, CA. Nobody knows how long that envelope lay there, but one thing is certain: we need to clean up more often.
So, mercifully, this story comes to an end. It wasn't a good story, or an interesting story, but you obviously read it to the end so the jokes on you, loser. Ha ha, just kidding, I don't really think you are a loser (I do).
The point of all this? The hope is that if I ramble on long enough with poor enough punctuation most of you will stop reading and not have to notice that Ryan Dempster is going for the Cubs today, game time 9:05. The season rests on this game, so we'd better win.
The bumper stiker I do understand is the "In case of Rapture, this vehicle will be unoccupied." You see, that sticker is for my benifit, not God's and I'm pretty damn sure that, should the Rapture be upon us, I'll still be firmly in my car while the Four Horsemen (goatmen?) buzz around outside my window.
Speaking of the Apocalypse, don't forget to check out the Goat Riders. Predictions are posted and a place for readers to submit their own predictions. Rapturous fun for the whole family (the ones that can read anyway).
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
News and Notes
As I'm sure is only apparent to the truly observant, this blog has begun its slow redesign (I thought "redesign" was a kinder word than "decline"). This site is going to drift away from being an exclusively Cubs site and will cover a bit broader topic: everything. Of course, those same observant folks that noticed the evolution in action probably have already noted that this site was never exclusively Cubs. Changes to note:
- New section (below Cubs Blog Army) for political blogs/sites
- The slow accumulation of blogs that are sports, but not cubs
- And the addition of a few really good sites in the "Nifty Links" section: New York Intern (much funnier than this site, check it out), jamierieger.com (also funnier than this site, but in a historical sense), and Zach Braf's blog (actually I haven't added that, but I plan to)
Someday you will come to this site and see a fancy new banner and a new color scheme and you will probably just pee your pants. I know I will. Actually, go ahead and reload, maybe I've made the changes already...
(there are no changes)
In other news
Delivery Man stuck in elevator for 3 days
It was a sad story. The man, abandoned in the closed, confined elevator. No one to talk to, no way to get his package delivered. His only friend: a volleyball with a bloody handprint. Oh wait, no, that's not right.
It was actually a Chinese Food delivery man. He was found 3 days later after reporting late for work. When he discovered he could not escape from his elevatory tomb, he did what any one of us would have done: He ate the food. Unfortunately, it was little use, as he was just hungry again an hour later.
(I'd just like to point out that this story was on CNN. National news. It is as if the rest of the world is honoring the Pope's passing by DOING NOTHING)
Librarian loses "pretty girl" suit
The Judge ruled that she was not discriminated against by the Harvard Library who, she claimed, thought she was just a "pretty girl." Turns out, she just wasn't that pretty. Sorry babe, next case. But hey, before you leave, could you grab me a cup of coffee, sweet thang. That's a good girl.
Ancient Mayan Saltworks discovered
They included: Pretzels, Fritos, and the ever ellusive Saltwater Taffy.
The man who knows "Sith's" secrets
Meet Matthew Woodring Stover. He's a outdoorsey type with a dog and a Chet moustache that makes him look a bit like Major Dad. It seems to me he would be better off spending his time beating up nerd-boys rather than having to endure their worship. But looks can be deceiving, as this man is a respected (strictly within the genre, we can safely assume) Fantasy writer and a member of the "Nerdly Ones."
He's been commisioned to write the novelization of Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. He's the lucky guy that gets to take Lucas' brilliant script, strip it of all those glitzy special effects, and throw it down onto plain, white paper. If he can make this script look good, I will put him right up there with Karl Rove in terms of ability to turn a steaming bucket of poo into a success.
Stover can be easily found around town...just look for the throng of 30 year old virgins swarming around him wearing "Jar Jar sucks" tee-shirts.
16 23 0
What a game. The kind of game I love to watch (in theory). I'm going to use the observations as noted in the Baseball Think Factory game chatter to pretend that I have any idea what happened after the first three innings and am not the sort of pathetic loser that plays volleyball instead of listening the all of opening day (I hate losers like that). But if you just close your eyes, you won't be able to tell the difference between my writing and someone who actually watched the game. (No, wait, open them. I forgot you have to have your eyes open to read. Carry on)
Zambrano was absolutely getting hosed by the ump in the fifth. Honestly, it was like an "Oz" (the HBO show, not the one with the flying monkeys) marathon, with Zambrano getting the standard prison treatment from the home plate ump. It was not entirely shocking that Zambrano did not take it well and was asked to leave the game by the ump. Such is life with Zambrano on the mound.
With the offense, where to start? Patterson? How about 3-5 with a walk. Garciaparra? two hits, 2 RBIs. I could go on (and I will). Ramirez? 3-4 with 4 ribbies. And you know what, none of those were the best. That honor goes to one Derrek Lee with a 4-6 night, including a monster bomb and 5 RBIs. Lee can go ahead and sit out the rest of April, as he's just equaled a career's worth of April production. The best part of all this? I haven't even mentioned Walker or Burnitz, each with 3 hits on the night. The kind of box score that keeps you up all night.
So remember back when I mentioned that the pennant was won? That wasn't just bluster, my friends. I have proof. I have numbers (numbers!). Every time the Cubs have made the playoffs, dating all the way back to 1945, the Cubs have won the season opener. 2003? 6-1 Cubs win. 1998? 6-2 Cubs win. You can't argue with facts folks, and I've got a whole bucket full.
Shut the barn and milk the cows, the Cubs are comin' home. Home to the playoffs, that is.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Chicago Cubs are on the air!!!!
I'm only going to catch the first hour+ of the game, but after today, I will be on the ball for the rest of the games.
We're getting ready to start here. Lets Go Cubs!!!!!
Oh baby, Paterson starts it off with a single. That's it, the Cubs are going to win the pennant.
(4:45 pm) Blogger failed me for a bit, but I'm back on the air now. Cubs are up 3-0 (woo hoo!) and looking great. I can already smell the pennant. Oh doctor, 4-0 Cubs!
(4:57 pm) Wow, blogger is really buggy. Since blogger was last down (at least to me) the Cubs scored 3 more runs and are up 7-0. They are making it really easy for me to miss the last 2/3 of the game.
(5:20 pm) Alright, I've got to go bump-set-spike pretty soon here. Don't let the Cubs lose on me. Also, pull Zambrano after 100 pitches...don't let Dusty work him up for 130 (you know he wants to).
I'm dying here
And did you ever notice how close California is to Russia? They practically touch! I bet the west coast is 50% russian spies and we all know they are all communists over there anyway. They think they're so clever with their high average temperatures and mild winters. Well, Lefty McCommunist, here in Chicago we take our 9 degree winter days and love them. And you know what else, Pinko, our summers are hot too. And none of that dry heat crap, or heat is wet and we like it.
But you know, now that I think about it, it occurs to me that Arizona isn't on the west coast. Hmm...well, nevermind then.
Arizona touches Texas, right? That's enough for me right there. Consider the whole state written off. Bah, Arizona.
The Cubs are opening two things today
I'm finding it a little hard to contain myself today, as all the off-season preparation has finally come to fruition (fru-ition, is that spelled right?) and the season is upon us (Did I even use fruition correctly in that sentence? Someone fetch me a dictionary). I don't have a lot to say at this point, but I'm sure I will throughout the day. For right now I will just throw out a few ideas in the form of bullet-points, which will allow me to quickly fill up some space without requiring me to think coherently.
- Aramis is still not signed, which makes me sad. I really hope this happens in these last few hours available before the season starts, as I will be pi-hissed if they Cubs lose Aramis this off-season. (**update** 2:00pm: unconfirmed word from Al over at Bleed Cubbie Blue that the Cubs have signed Aramis to a 4 year, 44 mill contract. Hope it's true.)
- Why is it so hard to pass a simple, little law that makes Opening Day a national holiday. It is a travesty (travesty I say!) that I have to miss the game today because of stupid, stupid work. Well, Pat and Ronnie will just have to paint me a picture and hopefully that will suffice.
- Wood was "dazzling" (the SunTimes' word) against the Angels' minor league team, and looks to be wicked sharp for the season opener against Milwaukee. And let's be honest, Milwaukee is just a glorified AAA team anyway.
NL Central Preview
Alright, that's all for now. I'm sure there will be updates throughout the day.
And don't forget to check out Goat Riders of the
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Up around these part we are going to be seeing some changes. I've been invited to write for one of the better Cub sites in the blogosphere, the Goat Rides of the Apocolypse (hmm, that's hard to spell. I'm never writing that again). I will be one of four authors on that blog as I will be assuming the role of Famine (joining Death, Pestilence, and Bob). I am going to be channeling most of my Cub efforts (yes, even pithy little posts like mine require effort) over to that site, and this site will remain the more diverse site that it is already becoming. Let's be honest, it was getting to the point where this was a Cubs' site in name only. So, I wouldn't expect too dramatic of changes. They will be largely superficial. They are pros over at that site, and I will be drawing on their experience to improve the lookitude of my site. But don't worry, I'm not going to try and upgrade the quality of my writing.
Today was the day of the Shamrock Shuffle, an 8 k race around downtown. When my wife and I signed up for it, we didn't know that it was a big deal. Well, as it turns out, it was. 22,500 people signed up to participate in this little run.
It was pretty freaking awesome to look ahead and see so many people running down the streets of downtown Chicago (oh course, that also means there were thousands of people ahead of me, but let's not dwell on that). We were looking to pace 8 minute miles (which is really fast for us) but instead we managed ~7:40 miles. So we were pretty happy about that, all things considered.
The Cubs have finalized their 25 man roster. Out is Dave Kelton (who also passed through waivers) as well as Mitre (optioned to AAA) and still in it is Wellemeyer. Prior was put on the 15 day dl and should be avaiable to pitch on the 12 of April, should he feel up to it.
Of course, the Cubs play tomorrow, which may be of interest to some. Game time, 4:10 pm CT.
Friday, April 01, 2005
I like big Blogs and I cannot lie
(link to my season predictions)
(link to my Cub predictions)
From the files of "really, really awesome things that happened yesterday":
Pat Buchanon doused in salad dressing, Jason pees a drop after hearing of this
Pat Buchanon, the giant human ass, was no doubt giving his famous speech "Mexicans are bad, and let me tell you why" when some wacky liberal hurled what appears to be (judging from the picture) Ranch Dressing (but god help us all if that was Caesar dressing).
This coming on the heals of noted conservative William "don't call me Billy" Kristol taking a pie in the face while giving a speech to a bunch of Quakers. Okay, so let's recap and see what we can learn. Arch-conservative media hounds are booked at small colleges; liberal youths coat conservatives with food products. It seems that Democrats have finally mastered some useful debate skills. Republicans have long been the masters of juvenile debate tactics (name calling, interrupting, condecending smirks) and Democrats have always tried to appeal to the intellectual side of the voters (I think we can all agree that's a bad idea). Now that the left has decided to come down to the level of their Republican counter-parts, I think they have a chance of winning in '08.
Turning to less happy news...
Pontifs and Nose Tubes (never thought you would read that, did you?)
Not to be glib, but it is possible that there were some alterior motives in the Pope declaring feeding tube removal immoral, as his has one up his nose right now keeping him alive.
The Pope is in very poor condition. His blood pressure is wavering more than Judas's voice when confronted by Jesus after he sold Christ out to Ciaiphas (hmm, that joke killed in 42 AD) and his fever is reading "brimstone" on the thermometer.
The Pope has receive last rights and is reaching the end of his time on this mortal coil.
NL CY: Carlos Zambrano (CHI)
AL CY: Randy Johnson (NYY)
NL ROY: Garrett Adkins (COL)
AL ROY: Case Kotchman (LAA)
Manger of the Year
AL: Mike Scoscia (LAA)
NL: Bobby Cox (ATL)
AL: Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Twins
NL: Atlanta, Cubs, Cardinals, Padres
W.S. - Cubs over Red Sox in 6
BA - Ichiro! (.358) (SEA)
HR - Vlad Guerrero (43) (LAA)
RBI - Vlad Guerrero (143) (LAA)
Wins - Randy Johnson (21) (NYY)
ERA - Johnson (2.68) (NYY)
Saves - Mariano Rivera (44) (NYY)
BA - Todd Helton (.342) (COL)
HR - Adam Dunn (40) (CIN)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (139) (FLA)
Wins - Carlos Zambrano (22) (CHI)
ERA - Carlos (2.41) (CHI)
Saves - Eric Gagne (41) (Dodgers)