Monday, April 10, 2006



I've kind of got some MacGuyver hair going on here. So, the way I see it, I have one of two options available to me. I could:

1) build a time machine, go back to 1989, and be declared TV's sexiest man or
2) get a hair cut.

I'm sort of torn. I don't really like getting my hair cut, but I definitely was not a big fan of 1989 (not my finest year). Maybe I'll go with Mystery Option #3 and guest star in an episode of Stargate SG1.

Anyway, as the title of the post suggests, the Cubs swept the lowly Cardinals (I have to say that while I can). Lots of great stuff on the sweep over at Goat Riders, including some from the ballpark recaps. I'll be at the game on Wednesday, which will be my first look at the new Wrigley.

Go Cubs.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Respect the Barrett!

No offense to Death's post on benching Barrett over at Goat Riders, but he makes a statement that is impossible to defend. Not to worry, he's not the first person to say this and he's in some good company (Andy from Desipio comes to mind). He quotes (indirectly) the Catcher's ERA stat that says that pitchers had an ERA of 3.5 when throwing the Blanco and 4.5 when throwing to Barrett. The implication, of course, is that Barrett has been so bad on defense that he is causing pitchers to give up an extra run a game.

Over the course of the season, that amounts to 162 runs. This is saying that Blanco is 162 defensive runs better than Barrett. Barrett has single-handedly cost the Cubs 162 runs. If we take a nice, even number and say that there are about 9 runs in a win (I'm being very conservative here since I'm not sure how WARP and such stats derive expected wins from runs) then that mean Blanco is 18 wins better than Barrett on defense. 18 wins. That means that the Cubs would have won 96 games last year with Blanco catching. Most MVP candidates contribute 8-10 wins to their team's success. Sooooo...Blanco for the HOF?

The point of this is to point out how ridiculous a stat Catcher's ERA is. It is possibly the most misleading stat in the game. Is Barrett a bad defensive catcher? Yeah, pretty much. He certainly isn't good. But all those runs he contributes on offense count and have to be weighed against the defensive runs he gives up. And let me tell you, folks, he doesn't give up enough defensive runs to make up for Blanco's enimic bat, especially if you figure that Blanco's unlikely to repeat last year's offensive performance. It's just not possible for one player to have that great a defensive impact.

And another thing, if Barrett calls such a bad game, don't blame him. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Larry Rothschild and Dusty Baker. Many, many teams call pitches from the dugout and there is no reason the Cubs can't do this. In everyone in the stadium knows that Barrett should call a waste pitch, then the folks in the dugout damn well should too and it is up to them to make sure it happens.

People should just be happy with what we have. An above average catcher heading sitting firmly in his prime.

Friday, April 07, 2006












Cubs' Home Opener!!

Baseball season's underway
Well you better get ready for a brand new day.

Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

They're singing ...
Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

They got the power, they got the speed
To be the best in the National League
Well this is the year and Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field

We're singing now ...
Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Baseball time is here again
You can catch it all on WGN
So stamp you feet and clap your hands
Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.

You're singing now ...
Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go
Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Let the trials begin!

I'm pretty excited about the coming steroid witch hunt.

One request? That we conduct the investigations in a manner that would make Arthur Miller proud.

"The spirit of Goody McGwire stuck a syringe in my ass! The spirit of Goody McGwire stuck a syringe in my ass!"



I get the feeling we'll be seeing that number a lot.

Why does one loss seem so bad? I mean, if we were 2-0 I'd be elated, but 1-1 makes it seem like the Cubs are screwed. I do realize it's a 162 game schedule, right? I'm such an idiot.

It's just that 1-1 can turn to 1-2 with a loss to the Cardinals, a not-unlikely event. And then if they lose again, they would be 1-3 and you start to feel like the Cubs will never see .500 again.

Seriously, there is something wrong with me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Is it wrong that this makes me happy?

Roger Clemens, after making an appearance at a Ranger's game, answered questions after the game.

blah blah want me to play...yadda yadda...want me out of the house...afraid I'm going to throw half a broken bat at them...

ha ha, just kidding. That wasn't libel, just good fun.

Anyway, there's nothing libelous enough that I could make up to compare with his self-indicting remarks. This quote gives me a warm feeling in my heart:

He felt fine after the World Baseball Classic and left the tournament impressed by the quality of the international teams -- and the devotion of the Japanese and South Korean fans.

Remembering back to a Japan-South Korea game in Anaheim, Calif., Clemens said he took clothes to a dry cleaners and was told he wouldn't get them back for nearly a week.

"They said, 'You've got no chance,' they told me," Clemens said. "I said, 'I'm going to get it tomorrow, right?' And then she goes, `No chance, we're going to the game.' So we couldn't get dry cleaning done out there, but I guess the neatest thing about them was there were about 50,000 of them at Anaheim Stadium, Korea and Japan.

I didn't catch the rest of the interview, but I'm guessing it went something like this:

*stunned silence*

Clemens: *looks around*


Just to pile on, how about we check in with his wife's product line.


Cubs Notes

The Wife and I were walking past Wrigley yesterday on the way to work and...hey! The fence was gone. Yes, folks, the new and improved [sic] Wrigley Field has been unveiled and looks great. The construction crew did a really fantastic job and, well, I'm just impressed.

And then we kept walking down Waveland and we were noting the really, really nice ironwork at the entrance to the bleachers when...WHAT THE HELL. That's what was shouted in my ear by my dear wife. Apparently, the Bud Light Bleachers are really the Bud Light Bleachers. I didn't realize that there was going to be an actual sign above the entrance labeling the bleachers as the Bud Light Bleachers, ruining an otherwise beautiful building. I had actually heard that there wouldn't be any signs. Apparently I heard wrong. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

Boo, I say, Booooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Now for some Bullet points:
Alright, kids, 11:35 game time. Go Cubs!

Monday, April 03, 2006


All freaked out

Okay, so, I'm running Linux on my laptop. I would sort of prefer to be running windows, but that isn't really an option right now. The problem is with Game Day Audio. I need gameday audio or I am going to miss opening day!!

So, when I click on gameday audio, it just opens up a flashplayer window trying to run windows media player. The problem is, I don't have windows media player. I have realplayer. I've tried to get mplayer, but it keeps asking for all these libraries, which I am trying to install, but they don't seem to be installing.

Realplayer should work with gameday audio, or so they say. But I can't get to any window that gives me the option of selecting Realplayer.

If anyone out there reading this message knows more than me about linux, either comment or send an e-mail. It would be greatly appreciated.

Update: I know you all were flying about the internet-o-sphere trying to solve my problem, so I wanted to relieve your angst. I solved the problem by buying the crappiest radio ever for 6 bucks. It was very appropriately priced.


Welcome to Opening Day

Cubs and Reds, 1:10 PM CT.

The Cubs are sending Big Z to the mound to take on Adam Harang. The lineups:

Pierre CF
Walker 2B
Lee 1B
Ramirez 3B
Jones RF
Barrett C
Murton LF
Cedeno SS
Zambrano P

Womack 2B
Lopez SS
Griffey CF
Dunn LF
Encarnacion 3B
Hatteberg 1B
Kearns RF
Valentin C
Harang P

Just taking this at face value, there is no reason that the Cubs should lose this game. The Reds, however, have been a major pain in the ass these last couple of years. Adam Harang, specifically, has thrown a couple of good games against the Cubs.

Let me just say, this is pretty close to optimal lineup construction of Baker's part. One could switch Walker and Murton, although I'm not sure that would be a good bet and one definitely could switch Barrett and Jones (or Murton and Jones), but whatev. This lineup is just as likely to generate runs as any others that I can come up with. A far cry from some of the logic-defying batting orders Dusty came up with last year.

Let's go, Cubs, make this the year!

(Along those lines, I've published the 2006 Official Guide to Hope over at Goat Riders.
If you are having trouble coming up with reasons to believe this year, go take a look. If nothing else, there's some pretty nifty photoshoping over there.)

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