Friday, July 8

Thanks for calling the Corey Hotline

One of Corey's 73 hits on the season (73-314, .232)

Hi, you've reached the Corey Hotline. $4.95 a minute. Here are some words that rhyme with Corey?

Gory.... story.... allegory.... Montessori....

.... Purgatory? Well, it's finally happened. Tonight, something happened that I wanted to happen for a long time. I know I've been vocal about getting some trade action on the table, and outfield was always the place I felt help would be needed most (although bullpen wouldn't hurt, I'll get to that dugout of shite in a moment), and what do the Cubs do? Drop two outfielders down to the minor leagues.

Also, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying I was psychic here. But given the guys we've called up, both of whom I doubt will get much serious time (given that we're still technically in the hunt for some kind of post-season activity aside from golf, and we're not pulling a Colorado Rockies just yet and playing all our prospects for the last 81 games), there has to be some buying action.

So let's review, before I get all vitriolic on my internet soapbox (which, I assure you, I will).

Corey Patterson, goodbye.
Jason Dubois, goodbye.

It had gone on too long, and the slumping Corey "My brother is better" Patterson will spend some time getting his groove back at AAA-Iowa. His groove, it seems, is a long way away --
Season: .232, 11 HR, 24 RBI
June: .157, HR, 5 RBI
July: 3-for-18 (6 games)

Painful to look at, painful to read, painful to watch. I'm sure one day Corey will look back at this travesty as a turning point in his career, and that one day he might well fulfill all of his potential, but right now, I don't think I'm alone in saying that I've had enough. He was awful, not to put to fine a point on it, over the last 5 weeks (aside from a handful of good defensive plays), and it was about time. Heck, the Mariners cut Bret Boone for less (.231, 7 HR, 34 RBI, .299 OBP, better than CP's .270 OBP).

Dubois was the victim of bad timing and a rare Hollandsworth hot run. Given the bacon-like streakiness of Todd "The LF God" Hollandsworth, and the fact that it won't last, one might well see Dubois back again soon or a TRADE. Unless Derrek Lee has figured out how to clone himself. Or unless one of these AA-West Tenn chaps can look the part in Wrigley Field.

This, my friends, is the death rattle of a team perhaps not wanting to dish prospects at the hope of getting short-term help in the outfield. It's a last shot, it's a hopeful transaction, and perhaps shows that the organization would like to solve this problem over the next couple of years, bringing up their prospects slowly-but-surely to fill in the holes, and not acting Yankee-like and trading them all for guys who were good 2 or 3 years ago. This is not to say they haven't done this before, but for the most part, Hendry's trading has been looking long-term to say the least. What surely doesn't help is that guys on nun-frigid cold streaks don't often look good unless he's packaged with 10 other ballplayers to make the trade. So that might be a problem, although there's still some 20 days of shopping to be done.

The part I don't understand is Dusty. His quotes or reasons for sending them down involve them trying to find their stroke again, obviously. However, they're being sent to specifically train with the MINOR LEAGUE hitting coach in AZ before joining the team in Iowa. Why the Minor League guy? The major league man not good enough?

But enough of this madness. Corey's gone, and I honestly couldn't be happier. Jerry "Air Jordan" Hairston Jr will get the PT in CF, and with "Slipshod" Todd in left, I'm sure the team will go on to sweep any and all future opponents after this minor shuffle.

So who do we have in the major league club now?

Give a big warm hand to ex-Diamond Jaxx who will surely soon make an impression:

adam greenberg
Hitting .278 this season with 4 HR, 9 2B, 7 3B, 28 RBI. That all means he's fast, not to mention incredibly focused. I think he was an extra in "Varsity Blues" or something.

matt murton
.342, 8 HR, 17 2B, 46 RBI this year. Well done Smiles! That means he's powerful.

I'm still trying to find information on them that will make any sense on the major league stage. All that I can say is that one appears to be fast and the other hits well -- we may well glue them together at some point. Although, when you think about it, it's kinda cute that they were both called up at the same time. Now even if the dugout is tough, at least they have each other. Who knows, maybe they'll embark on some wild teen-summer-movie roadtrip from Tennesse to Chicago, watching each other's backs, getting in bar fights over hard-to-get girls, and generally having the July of their lives.

It'll be great, two close friends in the clubhouse. On an unrelated note, f-ck West Tenn, as we've now taken two of their starting outfield. Don't worry, the Carolina Mudcats may bark, but they cannot bite.

I'll sign off with a few touching quotes from the lips of Jim "I just took compassion classes" Hendry:

"There's a fine line when you have Corey's talent. You want him to be able to find it," Hendry said. "When it goes through a period like here, you can see in his face he's trying too hard. It's hard to fix it in the middle of the game.

"I think it'll be good for him," Hendry said. "There's been a lot of outstanding players in the past who have gone down and gotten ironed out and been good the rest of their career, and hopefully it'll happen to him."

Actually, I'm not done yet. Tonight's game was shite again, as was today's. Horacio Ramirez pitched his first-ever shutout (Career: 55-54, 4.01 ERA), and Prior got chased in the 5th with a Julio "AARP" Franco 3-run HR. Great.

In the night-crap, things were looking a little better after 6 solid innings from King Rib Williams (8 H, 3 ER, 3 K), and Aramis "Beer Chin" Ramirez did his part with 3 RBIs. And then the 8th Inning happened. Spare the words, here's the numbers:

Novoa -- 0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, HR (3 batters faced, 12 pitches)
Rusch -- 0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, HR (3 batters faced, 12 pitches)
Dempster -- IP, H, BB, K (5 batters faced, 23 pitches)

Well done J Francoeur, for the Cubs gave you yr first Major League HR. Enjoy it.

Tomorrow's Migraine-Worthy pitching matchup: Zambrano vs. Dontrelle Willis.

I need a hug. And a back rub. And a Keith Richards-sized portion of Jack Daniels. Any offers?


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