Sunday, May 28

Check this out:

HR: E Renteria 2 (5, 1st inning off J Ryu 0 on, 1 Out; 6th inning off G Rusch 0 on, 0 Out); A Laroche 2 (8, 2nd inning off J Ryu 0 on, 0 Out; 6th inning off R Novoa 0 on, 1 Out); R Langerhans (4, 2nd inning off J Ryu 0 on, 1 Out); M Giles (2, 2nd inning off J Ryu 2 on, 1 Out); A Jones (12, 6th inning off G Rusch 0 on, 1 Out); B Pena (1, 7th inning off R Novoa 0 on, 0 Out)
RBI: E Renteria 3 (21), A LaRoche 2 (29), R Langerhans 2 (16), M Giles 4 (14), A Jones (47), B Pena (1)

8 HR's. I was right, Ryu did in fact get rocked.

Saturday, May 27

Two quotes.

The cubs dropped their 5th in a row today. No point in breaking it down. The Cubs managed 10 hits but only one run. What to say at this point...I don't have many words but I do have a couple of quotes.

The first is from T-Walk: "Fire the nine guys who have been out there stinking it up for three weeks. Fire me." Be careful what you wish for...weren't you almost canned in the off-season? Walker sounds ridiculously frustrated. I could easily see Hendry making this happen.



The second from our wise, learned, sage-like Dusty: "Reports are that he knows how to pitch." To quote the Sarce, "Ho-lee-shit." Did he really say that? This was in reference to JK Ryu starting tomorrow against the Braves.

You know, it takes a lot for something that comes out of Dusty's mouth to surprise me. Now I know Dusty doesn't buy into "statistics" or "analysis" but I thought he might be watching his players play the game. I guess not. I see two possible explanations for this quote: Dusty's imitating some shady informant-like character he saw in a recent thriller OR or he's LITERALLY phoning it in at this point. Either way, Ryu will likely get rocked tomorrow as ATL sweeps.

Friday, May 26

Liveblogging the disappearance of integrity [both ESPN's and my own]

I can't talk about the Cubs right now, because for obvious reasons, any such discussion would entail the rapid, repeated collision of my head against some sort of brick edifice. Instead, I felt compelled [as I seem to have an affinity for trainwrecks] to watch the entire gluttonous cross-promotional orgy that was today's Mike & Mike in the Morning, on which someone actually got married.


CP649048

Golic & Greenberg : Life-partners in crime.


I cannot even believe the concept of that, let alone the fact that The Worldwide Leader in Sports Flooding the Media Market finally seized their opportunity to erode the last piece of sacred ground that stood between them and non-ESPN culture. I daresay athlete cooking shows are right around the corner. I mean come on, watching Gary Sheffield put together a lemon souffle might not be so bad.


Without further adieu, my descent into incoherence, hastily chopped from IM, with pertinent additions from my good friend The Pope.
DISCLAIMER: This is why working at home is bad for you.


(9:06:51 AM): i'm seriously watching the live wedding on ESPN the dos
(9:07:02 AM): i feel so sad for the bride & groom
(9:07:11 AM): it looks like the shittiest wedding ever so far
(9:07:17 AM): and having the gin blossoms?!?!?!?
(9:07:26 AM): not the good-era gin blossoms, but the 2006 gin blossoms


gin blossoms
Yeahhhh, rock and roll!?!?!?! Ahem.


(9:08:13 AM): of course trey wingo is involved, that jerkoff
(9:08:52 AM): it's seriously being held in the NFL live studio, right in front of their giant ESPN screen
(9:09:13 AM): everyone sitting on plastic foldout chairs on the football field thing they have when sean salisbury is telling you how to be a bad QB
The Pope (9:09:27 AM): wow... i cant even believe this
(9:10:12 AM): they're cooking 1100 hamburgers on a grill in the parking lot at 9.10 am in the morning
The Pope (9:10:34 AM): i dont even know where to start
The Pope (9:10:38 AM): why get married on espn?
(9:10:40 AM): and they keep saying "this is the craziest most unique thing in the history of the worldwide leader in sports", like that exact phrase
The Pope (9:10:42 AM): why get married so early?
The Pope (9:10:54 AM): why do they need so many burgers?
(9:10:56 AM): because john kruk skipped breakfast?


jones

(9:10:57 AM): WOW
(9:11:00 AM): check this
(9:11:08 AM): they have video "best wishes" shit from athletes
(9:11:09 AM): so far:
(9:11:26 AM): eli manning, daunte culpepper, dale earnhardt jr, urban meyer, chipper jones
(9:11:31 AM): what a lineup
(9:11:47 AM): their wedding is gonna be at 9.45
(9:12:00 AM): "they're back and they're better than ever, ladies and gentlemen, the gin blossoms"
(9:12:13 AM): ooo it's an unplugged ballad, go figure
The Pope (9:12:52 AM): gin blossoms could ONLY be better
(9:13:00 AM): hahahaha
(9:13:12 AM): time heals all wounds, like the ones to our eardrums back in 1994?
(9:14:13 AM): fuck, i just realized they're playing that one big song they had that i hated first time around
(9:14:38 AM): you can tell several band members obviously have day jobs, considering they're on some obscure-ass record label subsidiary by now
(9:14:47 AM): mandolin solo! jamming it out!
(9:18:02 AM): i think mike golic is gonna be the priest for the ceremony
(9:18:07 AM): now THAT i would sign up for
(9:19:17 AM): they're even calling it "marriage madness"
(9:19:47 AM): and trey wingo wants to know how the groom "feels" right now
The Pope (9:19:52 AM): of course they are
(9:20:10 AM): wow
(9:20:19 AM): they have the florida gator dressed in a tux
(9:20:37 AM): the bride is standing by the staff elevators waiting to walk the aisle, i mean, corridor
(9:20:49 AM): and it's the bride's birthday today?? weird.
(9:21:04 AM): "a lot of guys would think this to be the ultimate wedding"
(9:21:14 AM): yeah, sounds like a fucken dream
(9:21:35 AM): maybe hootie and the blowfish could play my ESPN wedding while i stand next to peter gammons
(9:21:40 AM): oh, i can dream


darius rucker

Better than actually flipping the burgers, right?


(9:22:34 AM): aww and now an email message from billy donovan
(9:22:40 AM): email
(9:22:48 AM): the dude can't do better than an email
(9:25:30 AM): damn, the bride's mother is fucking hot
(9:25:56 AM): the groom's parents look like dick cheney and madeline albright
(9:26:03 AM): now a video message from lou holtz
(9:26:24 AM): it's hard to make fun of lou holtz
(9:26:30 AM): [....waiting for lou holtz to finish....]
(9:26:57 AM): the groom doesn't have a best man, there's no wedding party
(9:27:26 AM): oh wait there they are
(9:27:34 AM): oh this is fucking stupid
(9:27:51 AM): their son is part of the procession, being accompanied by albert the gator
(9:28:05 AM): and alberta gator is the flower girl
(9:28:13 AM): it has to suck being inside that suit right now
(9:28:42 AM): mike & mike are doing a wedding play-by-play
(9:29:13 AM): stuart scott and the schwab are sitting at the wedding! score!
(9:29:15 AM): booooo yah!


wuerf1
Don't playa hate, but also, if you want to keep being a great QB, don't graduate.


(9:29:56 AM): HAHAHA, danny wuerrfel [their favourite florida player] has a video message, and wuerffel's dad is the priest
(9:29:57 AM): fuck.
(9:30:32 AM): now that's synergy.
(9:32:16 AM): seriously though, they are a sweet couple, which helps
(9:35:08 AM): several sportscenter anchors had to sit through that
(9:35:12 AM): couldn't see everett though
(9:37:54 AM): interviewing the gin blossoms 101, by trey wingo
(9:38:01 AM): "what's it like to play a wedding on ESPN?"
(9:43:22 AM): dick vitale has a wedding message, baby


news4
Who wouldn't want 4 or 5 of these little guys running around? Fact: your grandparents would love that.


(9:51:23 AM): their honeymoon is a VIP trip to the indy 500, a trip to the ESPYs and a trip to some golf tournament in scottdale
(9:51:37 AM): plus they get 20 grand, ESPN mobile phones and an X-Box 360
(9:51:48 AM): oh, and a gallon of buster olney's semen
The Pope (9:53:00 AM): what a way to start off your family right
(9:53:09 AM): seriously
(9:53:34 AM): oh, not to mention that their honeymoon and gifts from ESPN sound like the shit you'd give to a spoiled teenager.... ESPN really keeping it classy
(9:55:57 AM): ahh, now that it's over, i can really begin my weekend

Tuesday, May 23

Pathetic

Holy Shit....still can't believe that happened. I got on with the intention of making an actual post, but then realized the Cubs absolutely blow and I'm tired, so fuck it. Losing to the Marlins in the 9th has to be a new low. I'm starting to believe there's not one person on this team with any heart or a shred of dignity. You make your breaks and anyone with any self respect would not be letting these things happen. RIP 2006 season, you are a bastard!!!

Monday, May 22

One More L ... Who's Still Counting?

Speculation has been swirling as to whether or not Barrett's fiasco provided the spark that the Cubs needed to get their act together. The answer came tonight and was a definitive, resounding NO.

The Cubs opened a stint in Florida tonight. Before this series, anyone with a shred of optimism left could have made a case that we could sweep the fish. After all, the Marlins are one of the worst teams in MLB sitting at the bottom of the NL East. Unfortunately, our pathetic team couldn't manage to even make a game out of this much less win. Final score was 9-1 and former cub prospect Nolasco owned us tonight going seven innings and allowing only four hits. Oh, he also went 2-3 at the plate driving in two.



Marshall finally pitching like the rookie he is.


Rather than recount how the Marlins punished Cubs' pitching all night, I'm just going to touch on a couple of things.


One: Why the hell is Murton batting in the bottom third of the order? He's one of the few Cubbies doing anything with the bat and he's still at the bottom (JT and I discussed this briefly).


Two: The Marlins fans, unlike Pittsburgh fans, should be respected. Pierre hit a double in the sixth and received an ovation. Ramirez was traded from Pittsburgh THREE years ago and still gets booed there. Yet another reason to hate the city of Pittsburgh and their fans.


Three: Why was Murton swapped out for Bynum? I guess Dusty likes to switch up who he screws over with the double switch.


Four: Marshall had his shortest outing of his career going just over three innings and giving up seven earned runs. It was bound to happen sooner or later. He's been amazing so far this year so I guess it was just a matter of time until he started acting like a typical 2006 Cubs starting pitcher.


Five: Ramirez hit another HR tonight (that's three in two games). Not sure how he's doing it but I'm sure it won't last.

If I sound deflated, I am. This team is terrible. Can the Cubs lose 100 this year?

One final thing: Joe Girardi should be Dusty's replacement.

Final Thoughts

Well, my comments in the previous post got too long, so I've made a new post here about it. Any additional comments, rebuttal, etc are welcome. Also, feel free to note, comment on, or point at the sky regarding our new Cub of the Week, in the right margin of this page.


Regarding Barrett's "FU hit" (the triple in yesterdays game):
It was definitely money... but Pierzynski had his own little FU hit, too...

I kind of liked Pierzynski before that play, but not anymore. I think we all agree that Barrett was out of line, but I think it is part of being a Cubs fan. It's as if Barrett was my kid out there playing ball and since he got in a fight with someone else I am immediately biased, and I immediately went from being a Pierzynski fan to hating him. Watching his smug effing attitude and his "I'm so hardcore for the good of the team" look on his his face as he pumped at the crowd and returned to the dugout after the brawl made me want to reach into the screen and grab his big fat head and clock him again.

Not to mention his mocking of Zambrano when he scored the next day. Going through the whole motion and pointing at the sky like Zambrano... that gets a big Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, in the words of TheHawk. Again, he might not have been mocking anyone, but after his shenanigans from the day before he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

All-in-all, this is the most pumped up I've been about the Cubs since Lee got hurt, so if the clubhouse feels the same way about things (the players IN the clubhouse, not the clubhouse itself, you poopheads), then eff it, let's go win some ballgames.


And if the clubhouse returns to its normal stagnant "we can't play baseball and don't care" attitude, then eff the White Sox just the same.

Saturday, May 20

FISTICUFFS!


The one solid hit the cubs had today.


The only memorable moment of today's game came after Pierzynski plowed into Barrett in the second. Pierzynski, being the cocky asshole he is, got in Barrett's face after scoring on a sac fly. Barrett didn't back down and gave Pierzynski a a nice little right hook. The benches and pens then cleared for a brief brawl. Once the dust settled, 4 players were ejected: Barrett, Mabry, Pierzynski and Anderson.

Barrett will probably be gone for 5-10 games but does it really matter? The cubs are in such a slide I don' think losing one more player isn't going to hurt anything.

Final score today was 7-0. Hill was horrible. He pitched through 4 innings, gave up all 7 earned runs and walked 5. Santo, in typical mr. obvious fashion, said it best after the game: "Rich Hill is not ready to be in the big leagues." Couldn't agree more. Who replaces him? No idea... It's similar to the Dusty situation, he needs to go but who's the replacement? No clue.

Friday, May 19

Striking fear in the hearts of many

white_sox_kiss

CHICAGO CUBS @ CHICAGO WHITE SOX, 4.05pm ET
-----
CHICAGO CUBS [17-23, Road 7-13]
-
Traded Three Decent Pitchers For Him, CF [.229]
Follicles of Legend, RF [.266]
Stubble = base hits?, 1B [.294]
Lazy Bastard Not Behind The Plate, DH [.299]
Fat Head, 3B [.218]
The Human Torch, LF [.278]
Pride of Venezuela, SS [.282]
The return of Paul Bako?, C [.062]
He Who Cannot Bunt, 2B [.197]
-----
CHICAGO WHITE SOX [26-14, Home 14-5]
-
Fast Asshole, LF [.295]
Japanese Asshole, 2B [.295]
Lazy Asshole, DH [.292]
Goateed Asshole, 1B [.315]
World Series MVP Asshole, RF [.317]
Fat Cheating Asshole, C [.339]
Nondescript Asshole, 3B [.307]
Utility Asshole, CF [.243]
Platooning Asshole, SS [.267]
-----
CHC - RHP Greg Maddux, P [5-2, 3.10 ERA]
CHW - LHP Mark Buehrle, P [4-2, 3.42 ERA]


Can anyone spot any differences between these two teams? Win-Loss records aside, the White Sox have 4 everyday players hitting over .300, and several more just short of that mark in the .290s. On the other hand, our club has quite a few "key" players batting close to the Mendoza Line. Add to that the chameleon-like figure of Maddux on the mound [which Greg will we get? The GM who started 5-0, or the GM who got shellacked by the Giants?] going against that burly Buehrle character, and we could well be in for another long afternoon.


What further irks me is Selig's regional "rivalry" organization for interleague play, whereby we get 6 games against baseball's champions while the Cardinals can sleepwalk through a sextet with the AA-Kansas City Royals.


One thing that does make me marginally happy is the common sense with which today's lineup was constructed. I won't get to say that very often, but today it's true, as Jock rides the pine thanks to his 1-for-27 career numbers against Mark Buehrle. Crazy as it sounds, but it really wouldn't have surprised me if his grinning, basepads-inept face greeted me in right field today, but I'll thank G-d for small blessings.


Let's go Cubbies, although if us winning 3 or more games this season against the White Sox ends up being a defining factor in Dusty Baker getting a contract extension, my enthusiasm will dampen, and the creation of my time machine will commence. In the meantime, grab a beer and let's watch a weekend series at the Cell.

Sigh.

57208689JD006_Washington_Na

Motherfucker. Goddamn it.

Thursday, May 18

Return of the Deadeye

KerryWood
So this is it, people. After a day of rest, the Cubs put up two CONSECUTIVE wins against one of the only weaker teams in the National League. With Zambrano and Marshall guiding us through two consecutive shut-outs [4-0 and 5-0], we are ready to welcome the organization's black sheep back into the fold : Kerry Wood.


Sure, we've all heard the stories emanating from Class-A Peoria, where Wood struck out 12 in his rehab outing, not to mention the loud chatter from Wood and Rothschild about how his arm, his mechanics and his mindset. But those tales are meaningless now, for he is to take the biggest, loudest, most difficult stage this afternoon.


I am full of mixed emotions as the hours count down to this epoch-defining event, the kind of frozen moment that could decide the future fortunes of several individuals within the Cubs franchise, the kind of dust-clearing image that will burn into my mind on mlb.tv in approximately 4 hours time. His success could well ensure the continued tenure of a certain D. Baker in the dugout, while his failure could put further pressure on what already promises to be an incredibly tense negotiation period.


For good or for bad, it promises to be something. Will that arm hold firm against the vagaries and strain of innings he has to chew through? Or, in yet another cruel chapter in Wood's legacy, will it buckle and snap once more, surely signifying the end of his major league career?


Find a way to watch this game, if you can. I don't give a fuck about our lineup [for once], for the only name that matters on that scoresheet will be the man in the 9-spot on the Cubs' side - Kerry Wood.


[Note: if something bad does happen this afternoon, be forewarned. I will be out for blood.]

Tuesday, May 16

Dear Diary

dusty515
Dear Diary,

I just don't know where to turn lately, dudes. Our fans are turning their backs, which drives me crazy. We sell out all the time, so somebody's gotta be coming to these games. That's just common sense.

The young kid Pierce is having trouble at the top of the order. He's pretty new to the league, so he has that thing young people have, you know, impatience. When I was hitting behind the great Henry Aaron, I was nervous at the plate too! I'd swing at anything that came near me, and boy did that make him mad. Pierson needs to calm down, get control of that energy. He's gotta a lot to learn, dudes, but here's hoping he picks it up soon.

Neifi's trying real hard in practice, with all that experience he has, and boy, soon it's gonna be a dogfight for that leadoff spot. Neifi's been around for a long time, and played for so many teams. You can tell he wants it, and pretty soon if John Pearce doesn't get hot, I might have to give it to him on desire alone! Being a manager is tough!

When we don't win, it gets tough to step in front of them in the clubhouse with a smile on my face. The one thing I've learned in this league is to always be positive. When I fish, I keep my eyes open and my heart full of love for that lake, because you never know when you're gonna hook a prize-winning fish. And that's the truth - one time I was stuck in such a hitless streak, it was driving me crazy. But I got out on the field and found out that my swing was a lot like the way I cast my line. Those hits started coming, and I even caught a snapper!

I wish I knew what to do with our pitching. Our starting dudes never seem to make it past the 5th inning. When they walk batters, it's hard to win because you give out so many free passes. A free pass is like a quarter of a run, and pretty soon, that guy's gonna cross home plate without earning it! In baseball, everything you get has to be earned, and our young guys gotta learn that. I never got anything for free, because I worked hard every day. Juan Peter and Matt Marsden could learn a thing or two if they were here with me right now although that would be weird as I'm in bed. The only guy who gets to be in my bed is me! Well, sometimes the dog too.

Okay dudes, I gotta go. Our big game with the Expos is starting soon and I need to work on this lineup. Tonight I might try Jerry Harden at the top of the order, although Jock is swinging a smoking stick lately. Either way, I need to make sure I have it set before the ump yells at me for being slow. In the league, slow's gotta go!

Love,

Dusty Baker.

A spot of baseball tonight?

dalai lama


NATIONALS @ CUBS, 8.05pm ET
-----
WASHINGTON NATIONALS [13-25, Road 10-15]
-
Alfonso Soriano, LF [.285]
Jose Vidro, 2B [.338]
Nick Johnson, 1B [.312]
Jose Guillen, RF [.227]
Ryan Church, CF [.250]
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B [.266]
Wiki Gonzalez, C [.444]
Royce Clayton, SS [.250]
Livan Hernandez, P [.300]
---
CHICAGO CUBS [15-22, Home 8-9]
-
Allergic to the bases, CF [.225]
Fire Scalp, LF [.278]
In stubble we trust, 2B [.284]
Awful at the plate, worse behind it, C [.281]
Never met a meal he didn't like, 3B [.214]
A free agent steal!, RF [.265]
"He's a real grinder", 1B [.217]
Young, dumb and full of OBP, SS [.288]
Latin Heat, P [.067]
---
WAS : RHP Livan Hernandez [1-4, 6.52 ERA]
CHC : RHP Carlos Zambrano [1-2, 3.88 ERA]


Two struggling greats on the hill tonight as we welcome one of the few teams with a worse record than us, and anything could happen. I don't think we can play much worse than we are at the moment, although even that could be proved wrong.

Livan is awful this season in the first inning, so starting quickly is paramount, and his slow pitching delivery leaves him vulnerable to a boatload of stolen bases. Are you listening Juan? Matt? Ronny? Blanco?

Here's hoping that our first rest day in 17 games has given us enough energy to lend El Toro some run support.

This Week in Dusty [on time!] : 5-10 to 5-16

57208602JD018_San_Diego_Pad
Hey dude, so.....can you pitch? We could use a guy like you who knows the strike zone.


"What we need is another bat until we get D-Lee back. Everybody's trying to get bats, but at this point they want you to give up half your Minor Leagues for a borrowed person."
- Hey, don't call John Mabry a "borrowed person" - 5/11


"He made some great plays and those are things that don't show up in the box score but show up in the win column. You know he's a grinder and those are the kind of guys you like to have around."
- Now that's a lot nicer, except I prefer plays that do show up in the box score, like runs - 5/11


"I remember Eddie Mathews turned over a food spread once. What good does that do? It gets your blood pressure up so you can have a heart attack? Eddie turned it over one time and the hot dogs [spilled]. We thought it was ridiculous and we washed the hot dogs off and ate them"
- Man, Dusty's a trooper. Nothing gets between him and his Hebrew Nationals - 5/11


"If you let the game dictate your anger and moods, how are you supposed to keep everybody out there constant and consistent? That's my job. At the same time, if this game controls your moods up and down -- during these eight games if I was a drinking man, I'd be an alcoholic. What does that do for your health? My job is to figure out a way out of this."
- Right.... so are you doing your job? - 5/11


"I don't have any problem firing myself up or the team up. You just don't look fired up when you're getting beat. I'm an emotional person. Under fire, I've always been the way I am. When things get real tough, I tend to hold more things inside, and maybe that's why I've been on hypertension medicine since I was 19-years-old. You've got to take care of your own health, too. I show emotion, big time."
- Dusty aims at the world record for most contradictions in a single soundbite - 5/13


"Unless you have a mega-team, you're going to miss the guy. What did Barry Bonds' absence last year mean to the Giants? What would Albert Pujols' absence do to the Cardinals?"
- Dusty brings up a good point about missing Derrek Lee, but I bet those teams wouldn't go 2-12 in May. I mean, we're the only MLB team built around one good player, aren't we? - 5/13


"It's great to see him in the locker room. He's a big part of this club. It feels good for all of us, but especially him."
- Dusty on Kerry Wood - 5/14

Monday, May 15

A touch of anger

For those of us not convinced that our management and front office has been mishandling our payroll, prospects and resources while trying to build this team, check out this interesting chart created by a man named Ben Fry. Using the simple comparison of salary vs. performance, it's pretty obvious that we're not getting our money's worth [Chicago Cubs : 25th best record in MLB, 7th highest payroll].

It's especially embarrassing when you consider that teams like Cincinnati [5th best record, 23rd highest payroll] and even St. Louis [3rd best record, 14th highest payroll] are crushing us in the NL Central right now. Sigh.

Sunday, May 14

Speaking of Bill Murray...

bill-murray03

... I think I've reached a new peak in meta-blogging. Before I begin this cut-and-paste odyssey, if any of you have seen this before, I apologize. It's late, I'm becoming repetitive in my sour anti-Cubs remarks of late, and I felt like some possibly more invigorating content.

I wrote this and posted this on my other blog, the music site Feed Me Good Tunes [original post here], so please, I'm not stealing as it's already mine. Also, any suggestions for a manager would be much appreciated. Without further ado...

[Idea borrowed from Rick Paulas on McSweeneys.net. Sorry Rick, I figured I'd try it out for size.]









ESSENTIAL CHOICES REGARDING A BASEBALL ROSTER COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF FICTIONAL CHARACTERS PLAYED BY BILL MURRAY


BATTING LINEUP
-----
1, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, SS, Where the Buffalo Roam
Experimenting with drugs is kinda like experimenting with the lead-off spot. It's dangerous, it doesn't last long, and you'll be seeing vultures overhead before long. I'll take his snappy impatience, batting mood swings, and his overwhelming speed. I'll also take his quaaludes, his coke, and methamphetamines still left in the trunk of the Cadillac. Maybe those will help me deal with his high strikeout totals and propensity for tearing off his clothes and trying to eat the face of the opposing pitcher during each at-bat.

2, Wallace Ritchie, 2B, The Man who Knew too Little
Sure, he may have a few flaws, ignorance, bemusement and idiocy being just three. However, there's precious little room elsewhere, so let's stick him in with the major leaguers and see if anyone notices.

3, Herman Blume, LF, Rushmore
Cold, ruthless, arrogant: it's as if Barry Bonds had never left. Let the fireworks fly from the 3-spot, as Blume makes light work of the RBI chances and any opportunities to fuck the ump's girlfriend.

4, Grimm, CF, Quick Change
No-one took this guy seriously, not even when he was robbing banks with Geena Davis. However, what he lacks in aesthetics, he makes up for in sheer power, comic relief, and doubles off the left-field wall. But beware: if you ask him for a balloon, he will shoot you.

5, Polonius, 1B, Hamlet
The ideal place to stick an aging, neurotic first-baseman. It worked for Richie Sexson, it worked for Lyle Overbay, it worked for Jim Thome, Jason Giambi, Ryan Klesko and Tony Clark. Wait, not Clark. Definitely not Clark. But with Polonius, you'll be sure to get snippets of wisdom commingled with trips to the opposite field.

6, Bob Harris, 3B, Lost in Translation
He's publicly suave but privately struggling, old, listless, spiritually unsatisfied. Occasionally finds success with the bat, but mostly in the team for lack of anyone else to use. Mike Lowell's new best friend in a baseball uniform.

7, Francis Xavier Cross, C, Scrooged
A little behind the times [still thinks Larkin patrols his infield], but has the ruthlessness and propensity to throw out base-runners in a bloodbath of Christmas glory. Knows when to steal, and when to save. Solid at the plate, although it will catch up to him.

8, Raleigh St. Clair, RF, The Royal Tenenbaums
Baseball's equivalent of Phil Jackson: winsome, bearded, sensitive and calm. Calculating and observant, this light bat rarely misses a fly-ball, and has a flair for the detached feel of the bottom of the order.


PITCHING STAFF
-----
Carl Spackler, SP, Caddyshack
Drunk, loud, dirty -- this man makes David Wells look like Curt Schilling. His passion will win him games, his odor will win him even more. Always had an eye for the spotlight, the big game, and a pair of beer-soaked galoshes. Meeting with the Dalai Lama only serves to further his enigmatic status as the jewel of the rotation.

Steve Zissou, SP, The Life Aquatic
A more understated version of the great Spackler, Zissou is still full of the ego that greeted his first trip to a major league mound. He is not, however, still full of the young muscles and land-bound mentality that makes good pitchers great. Occasionally wanders through self-reflective territory, but his hunger for attention will pull the squad through 6 innings of scurvy-soused theatrics.

Bob Wiley, SP, What about Bob?
Throw out the textbook, Peter Gammons. One look at this wackadoo and you'd think of Therapy Tim Worrell. However, look past his infuriating persistency and bullish blend of narcissism and manipulation and you'll find an excellent pitcher: part-Hideo Nomo, part-Mark Prior, part-Denver the last Dinosaur, Bob will paint the corners with his screwball and change-ups that'll have you sprinting for the hills.

Dr. Peter Venkman, RP, Ghostbusters
Unhinged, passionate, charismatic: look out J.C. Romero, step aside Tom Gordon, leave us alone Scot Shields. His unique breed of insanity and jumpsuit puts batters in their place: the New York Public Library.

Phil Connors, CP, Groundhog Day
The ability to adapt and repeat, repeat, repeat leaves the 9th inning firmly in Team Murray's sights. Steady with the ball, kills the lineup with consistency. His location might not be stellar yet, but he can out-patience anyone at the plate.

Cubs Lose 9-0 and I give you 9 Celebrity Cubs Fans

Rather than talk about the shit show that was today's game I'm just going to list some famous people who like to associate themselves with the Cubs. I've picked nine, one for each run the friars put on the board today:



John Cusack -- Diehard cubbie fan even though he tried to see the Sox (and was dissed) last year. Is it a coincidence that he alwasy looks stressed/strung out and he's a cub fan? I don't think so.







Bill Murray -- Venkman, Raleigh St. Clair, Ernie McCraken, Phil Connors, Carl Spackler, Steve Zissou...the list goes on. Personally, my favorite celebrity cubs fan. He recently made news when playfully assaulting "for-mer cub-bie" Mark Bellhorn in the San Diego clubhouse. I'm gonna go watch The Man Who Knew Too Little now...






Eddie Vedder -- Had no idea until about six innings into today's mess that he wasn't from Seattle. Oh well, good one for the list.


Dennis Franz -- Sipowicz! Come on, it's Sipowicz!! Maybe he should get back in character and make an appearance in the club house to try to add a spark to our lifeless club. Short sleeves, a tie and that classic Sipowicz "WTF are you looking at" glare:




Steve Bartman -- Most on this list are famous for things outside of Wrigley. Not Bart-man. No need to re-count his heart-wrenching claim to fame.


Billy Corgan -- Another 'grunge' rocker. Unlike Vedder, he's been off the radar this century.


Jeff Garlin -- The "fat fuck" from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I've seen Garlin make a couple of appearances sporting Cubbie gear including this one in the '78 road jersey:




Jeremy Piven -- Pretentious asshole who's career peaked with PCU but I'll cut him some slack because he's a fan.




Al Capone -- The only deceased member of the list. I tried to dig up the photo of Capone with Hack Wilson but could only come up with this one: Cubbie hall of famer Gabby Hartnett chatting with Capone:


Apparently after this photo was published there was a ban on players speaking with people in the crowd.


Honorable mention:
Vince Vaughn
John Belushi
Pat Sadjak
Gary Sinise
William Petersen
William Sianis
Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers

Nice Guys Finish second to last in the NL Central

capt.55be5a019b8f454eb4365ec587de14ee.padres_cubs_baseball_cxc109


PADRES @ CUBS, 2.20pm
-----
SAN DIEGO PADRES [21-16, Road 11-4]
-
Eric Young, LF [.209]
Mike Cameron, CF [.269]
Brian Giles, RF [.276]
Mike Piazza, C [.253]
Khalil Greene, SS [.217]
Vinny Castilla, 3B [.241]
Josh Barfield, 2B [.269]
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B [.230]
Clay Hensley, P [.111]
---
CHICAGO CUBS [15-21, Home 8-8]
-
Baserunning Sprite [if he gets on base], CF [.231]
The Venezuelan, SS [.297]
Grizzly One, 1B [.286]
Please start slugging, 3B [.220]
Jeromy Burnitz v 2.0, RF [.273]
"Breakout season", C [.280]
Stepchild, LF [.286]
Why, Lord, Why, 2B [.210]
Lives and dies by the curveball, P [.000]


Starting Pitchers
SDP : RHP Clay Hensley [1-2, 4.73 ERA]
CHC : LHP Rich Hill [0-2, 9.00 ERA]


Of the three matchups in this series, this should be the one we win. I mean, we should have one yesterday if it wasn't for one off-target pitch to a guy who hasn't had a good season since 2002. That being said, Rich Hill, a young guy who's growing up real quick in the big leagues, has a fondness for leaving that curveball right over the plate, so it's anyone's guess.


As of this morning, we have no players batting over .300, and the Padres' team ERA is a whole run lower than our staff. I have my antacids ready.

The 2006 Chicago Cubs to Date

capt.6ac7e15b6f7c46559324ee1492a33764.padres_cubs_baseball_cxc110BATTING
-----
Catchers
M. Barrett [.280 BA/.352 OBP/.858 OPS, 5 HR, 10 RBI]
H. Blanco [.063/.184/.247, 2 RBI]
-
Infielders
R. Cedeno [.297/.318/.732, 9 RBI, 5 SB]
J. Hairston Jr. [.267/.313/.317, 4 RBI, 3 SB]
N. Perez [.210/.231/.274, 6 RBI]
A. Ramirez [.220/.302/.725, 6 HR, 15 RBI]
R. Theriot [0-3]
T. Walker [.286/.359/.752, 2 HR, 15 RBI]
-
Outfielders
F. Bynum [.188/.212/.525, 2 RBI, 2 SB]
J. Jones [.273/.311/.806, 6 HR, 17 RBI]
J. Mabry [.222/.255/.544, HR, 3 RBI]
M. Murton [.286/.375/.768, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB]
J. Pierre [.231/.276/.575, 12 SB, 20 R]


PITCHING
-----
Rotation
C. Zambrano [8 GS, 1-2, 3.88 ERA, 1.54 WHIP]
G. Maddux [8 GS, 5-2, 3.10 ERA, 1.11 WHIP]
S. Marshall [7 GS, 2-1, 4.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP]
R. Hill [2 GS, 0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.90 WHIP]
-
Bullpen
R. Dempster [0-1, 7 SV, 3.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP]
S. Eyre [0-0, 3 HLD, 1.89 ERA, 1.21 WHIP]
B. Howry [2-1, 4 HLD, 2.65 ERA, 0.94 WHIP]
R. Novoa [0-0, 3.07 ERA, 1.43 WHIP]
W. Ohman [1-1, 7.20 ERA, 1.53 WHIP]
G. Rusch [5 GS, 1-5, 7.89 ERA, 1.62 WHIP]
J. Ryu [NR]
S. Williamson [2-2, 1 HLD, 3.31 ERA, 1.29 WHIP]


SADLY DEMOTED & DEPARTED
D. Aardsma [RP, 1-0, 10.50 ERA, 2.67 WHIP]
A. Guzman [SP, 4 GS, 0-2, 7.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP]
M. Restovich [OF, 2-12, RBI, 5 K]
J. Williams [RP, 0-2, 7.30 ERA, 2.11 WHIP]
M. Wuertz [RP, 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 2.25 WHIP]


INJURED
D. Lee [Fractured right wrist, .318, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 SB]
A. Pagan [Left hamstring tear, 5-19, RBI]


YET TO PLAY
W. Miller, SP [Recovery from right shoulder surgery]
K. Wood, SP [Recovery from right shoulder arthroscopy]
M. Prior, SP [Right subscapularis strain]

Saturday, May 13

Take me out at the ballgame

dusty phonecall
PADRES 4, CUBS 3
---
W - C. Meredith [1-0]
L - R. Dempster [0-1]
S - T. Hoffman [7]


Watching the Cubs right now
is like watching Friday the 13th :
it scares the shit out of you at the time
even though you know the ending.
Only we can throw away these games, and this was the worst one yet.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to call my therapist.





Hello, Marquis? Marquis Grissom? Just wanted to see how you were, I've got an everyday spot opening up in left field if you're interested, dude.

Friday, May 12

The Chicago Cubs : Fuzzy Math Edition

cosby
The Cubs make me cuuuuurious Theo!!!!!!!!! I want to explore Dusty's lineups, Ruuuudy!!!!!!


PADRES 10, CUBS 5
----
W - B. Sweeney [2-0]
L - G. Rusch [1-5]


Angel Guzman [87 pitches in 3 IP] +
3 errors in 1 inning [Cedeno, Perez, Murton] +
Mike Piazza [4-5, 2B, 2 RBI] -
"Help" from the Cubs bullpen [6 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K] =
ANOTHER CUBS LOSS.


57208602JD017_San_Diego_Pad
Just make sure when you cut, you slice a little bit of the tendon. Anything to get out of this uniform!

dusty yawn

Don't we love farce?
My fault I fear.
The Cubs thought that's what we'd want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer,
Losing their skills this early
In the year?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.


57208600SW003_Chicago_Cubs_

Thursday, May 11

Enter the Hyperbole Dragon

capt.7475b37fdc904f5c97a2dd24deb0eb99.cubs_giants_baseball__fxpb122
Jacque Jones, Matt Murton and El Toro = BFF

When it comes to the Cubs and their recent fondness of playing like shit, I have developed the mind of a goldfish. I don't care that we have bad loss after bad loss, I am ambivalent about our crippling injuries, and I am ignorant to the constant pain of slipping into the kind of win-loss territory normally reserved for the Pittsburgh Pirates.


And now, with one seemingly unimportant, late-night victory on the West Coast, I am overjoyed. We can still win the occasional game! The law of averages and probability really does work! Carlos Zambrano can still pitch like the fiery, burrito-gnashing bull that he is! And we can stifle the gigantic head [and ego] of Barry Bonds by rendering him homer-less in the series so far!


It's a glorious thing to watch Pedro Gomez have nothing to talk about. That catch by Pierre two days ago was a sight to behold, because if Bonds had tied the Babe against our Cubs, that may have been the straw to break the camel's back. Granted, we're not out of the woods yet, but to add that to an already massive laundry list of "things that went wrong in 2006" might be a bit much.


But I'll worry about that baloney tonight. For right now, we've started a new streak. A winning streak. A streak of one.

Motherf*cker, I forgot again aka This Week In Dusty, 5/3 to 5/10

BigCity-DustyBakerLenWechsler


"If we're not scoring runs, and you're not hitting the ball out of the ballpark, you might as well see if we can run."
- You might as well see if we can win too - 5/05


I sense some guys feeling bad about their performances. I don't know if that's called down or not. But it's certainly not the top of the world."
- Miss Dusty, psychic hotline - 5/06


"Guys are squeezing bats so tight and trying to do it all themselves."
- Yeah, I had a girlfriend who said that about me once - 5/06


"Just be yourself. [Do that] no matter whether people like you or not. You're not here to satisfy anybody, really. I'm tough to satisfy. You're not going to satisfy me. I tell them, you have to satisfy God, family and yourself. Those are the three entities you can't fool. You know if you're doing the job."
- You're not going to fool us either - 5/06


"It'd be a big plus to get Woody back. There's a chance we could get him back sharper than when he left. Who knows -- his career could take off. A whole lot of positives could come out of this."
- Christmas could be coming early! - 5/08


"I've been in a position where I was on deck when I saw Hank Aaron hit 714, 715, and a whole bunch of other sevens. Now, I'm in a position where I could be with Barry when he hits 714 and maybe 715. It's ironic. It's ironic to be in this situation in my baseball career and life. There aren't many people who can say that. The only other thing that would be more ironic than this is if I was there when Babe [Ruth] hit his."
- Dusty joins the long, illustrious list of people who don't understand the word irony - 5/09


"There's a lot of speculation and it seems like it's grown and grown and grown, and it's definitely grown a life of its own,"
- Dusty finally breaks the silence on the size of Barry Bonds' head - 5/09


"Barry's a complex guy -- I've said that before. It's neither good or bad. It's complex."
- Figuring out what Dusty means is complex, too - 5/09


"They're seeing how this young man is doing. They're looking for his weaknesses and his kryptonite."
- Dusty on Matt Murton. It's worth mentioning that making sense is Dusty's personal kryptonite - 5/10


"It was good to get that skunk off the boat because it was getting ridiculous."
- Dusty on winning. Can he ever talk without making a fishing reference? - 5/11

For Jacque

Dear Jacque,

We at Lingering Bursitis have had no problem putting you down this season. After all, you've been horrible at the plate, lazy in the OF and you've insulted the cubbie fan base. But tonight was your night. You went 3-3 at the plate and drove in half of the cubs' runs. For that, we present you with this: the LB super terrific fun basket. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 10

Bottom 5: Some Perspective



Considering the cubs just dropped their eighth straight tonight, I figured I'd post some of the records of the worst cubs teams of all time. I've limited this to 162 game seasons. Here we go, starting with the depressing all the way down to the suicidal.

5. The 1999 Chicago Cubs. Grace, Sosa (in his prime), Johnson (OK, I'm reaching). No matter, they finished the season 67-95 (.414).

4. The 1974 Chicago Cubs. A bit before my time but what would you expect from a roster with Rick Monday, Pete LaCock and Steve Stone? How about a record of 66 - 96? That's a .414 winning percentage. That sounds about right.



3. The 2000 Chicago Cubs. Another one in recent memory. This was a terrible year for the cubs as a team. They barely stayed above .400 with a 65 - 97 record.

2. The 1980 Chicago Cubs. Bill Buckner was on this roster but wasn't all that famous just yet. Good to see he was consistently a loser. This was one of the few years the cubs didn't top .400: 64 - 98 on the year.

1. We've got a tie for #1: The 1966 and 1962 Chicago Cubs. Both teams went 59 - 103 (.364). I knew Mr. Cub was on some horrible cubs squads but didn't realize he was on both teams that managed to drop 100+ in a season. Lou Brock was also on the '62 team (Jim: you still around? Here's a chance to lament that loss...).



Bonus stat: The 1943 Cubs not only lost 9 in a row in May of that year but also went on to drop 11(!) in a row in September. Can the '06 cubs beat that May streak? Can they beat both streaks?? I guess we'll find out in September if anyone is still paying attention.

Tuesday, May 9

Quick Wager

How much would you be willing to bet that Barry Bonds ties Ruth [or ties Ruth and then hits #715] against our Chicago Cubs?

I'd also be willing to take bets on which pitcher [if any] would cough up a Bonds dinger. This is surely the way BB wants it : he's back in San Francisco, he's got a struggling team in town [with plenty of v. young pitchers]. It seems almost a racing certainty.

My money would be on Scott Williamson as the unlucky recipient of Bonds' 714th HR. And you?

Top 5 Worst Teams in Baseball [aka the "Ouch Papi" All-Stars]

bears


You can argue a million times as to who are the best and the worst franchises in baseball. Thankfully, I'm not going to argue that much, because this is my list. Make yer own in the comments. Also, no ranting if teams like the Devil Rays don't make this list, because this list is based on the time-honoured tradition of "expectation vs. reality". Teams who were bad to begin with will not make this list. Teams with some desire of success shall populate it all season long.


5. Atlanta Braves [13-18, Home 6-5, Road 6-10]
cox1110
The perennial pennant winners have hit the skids a little bit this season, getting schooled in their own division a number of times already. Losing two series to the Mets and playing unconvincingly against the Phillies [1-4 vs. PHI in 2006], several big stars are misfiring and their pitching staff is feeling the loss of Leo Mazzone.


While there is still plenty of time [and an 8-game deficit to make up] in the year for Atlanta to be Atlanta, they need a much better output from young superstars like OF Jeff Francoeur [.231, 6 HR, 22 RBI], 2B Marcus Giles [.211, 25 K], and 1B Adam LaRoche [.200, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 32 K]. Better pitching from ace Tim Hudson [2-3, 5.09 ERA] wouldn't hurt either.


4. Minnesota Twins [13-19, 5-12 vs. AL Central]
Twins_cropped
Even though everyone picked them to finish 3rd in the division, they've always been crafty and scrappy enough to stick around until late in the game. Ruled by excellent pitching and good defense, the star-starved Twins relied heavily on guys like Johan Santana, but even his presence might not be enough this time.


Having been swept by Cleveland, the White Sox AND Detroit already in this short season, they're on the ropes and will continue to be. Boy Wonder 1B Justin Morneau is having a horrendous season thus far [.206, 26 K], and their normally-reliable rotation is equally bedwetting to date [Team ERA : 5.77]. With three veteran starters having ERAs north of 7.50, the Twins are an ugly team to watch. They also employ 3B Tony "He's still playing?" Batista, which can never be a good thing.


3. Seattle Mariners [14-20, Home 8-12, Road 6-8]
everett
To Everett, or not to Everett? That is the question. Having this fire-charged asshole in the dugout will only get uglier as their losing ways continue. Where's Ichiro [.277 BA, .342 OBP]? Without his almost daily multi-hit games, the Ms will keep finding runs hard to come by.


The rotation is shakier than a meth-filled Keith Richards, as young phenom Felix Hernandez struggles [1-4, 5.40 ERA] to live up to the hype, and veterans like Jarrod Washburn [2-5, 3.61 ERA] pitch well but don't get the run support or the magic W.


2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Disneyland, Santa Ana and Fullerton [14-19, Last 10 2-8]
ANGELS YANKEES
Fuck. After gleefully watching them dispatch the Yankees from another postseason in 2005, I am shocked to watch the worst ineptitude on an area of grass since my IM soccer team in college [Guys, I kid. Agent Orange were the shit! Hoo-Haah!]. They're just plain bad, although having a blown Colon on the DL [man, couldn't resist] will always set you back some. It's not everyday that Cy Young winners and All-Stars can sit on the unable list without it effecting your fortunes [heck, ask my #1 team in just a minute], but man, the Angels still can't get it done.


Vladimir Guerrero is doing his best [.320 BA, 8 HR, 28 RBI], but with a Team BA of .247 and a laughable absence of runners on the basepads [Team OBP : .294], and the lack of a true #1 pitcher in the rotation [Kelvim Escobar will not pitch this well all season : 4-2, 2.78 ERA] all mean heartache and heartbreak for the geographically ambiguous Seraphims.


1. Chicago Cubs [14-17, 7-Game Losing Streak, Last 10 1-9]
glendon
Boo hoo hoo, yes, wakka wakka, we all saw this coming, didn't we? A veritable smorgasbord of tasty free agents and contract extensions in the off-season, and what does it all add up to? 3 All-Stars on the DL for a significant period of time [don't give me bullshit about Prior, I reckon he won't be back until after the All-Star break], the most troubling drop-off in run production in recorded history since Derrek Lee went down [we've all seen the gory stats : 1.25 runs per game in our last 8 games], and there's no real sign of any upturn.


When we're collectively doing the rain dance and praying for salvation at the creaky elbow altar of Kerry Wood, armageddon must surely be close at hand. It's fucking laughable - our rotation includes a tired Maddux working his ass off, and three rookies with constant edge-of-your-seat efforts on the mound, not to mention the insanely weak lineup that regularly includes the power and fury of Neifi Perez, Jerry Hairston Jr and Jacque Jones [sometimes all 3 at once!] -- dark days loom large for this Wrigley summer.


The bright spot comes in the form of Murton and Cedeno, both of whom have truly proved that they belong in an everyday major league lineup, but if Aramis Ramirez [.223 BA, 6 HR, 13 RBI] doesn't get his act together, heads like Dusty Baker's might surely roll.

Top 5 San Diego Broadcasters' Quotes

Hypo suggested this general idea and I like it better than Sarce's idea of looking for a cubs messiah. Here we go:

5. "Do you think Rusch is rushing a bit?" -- Does Sarce work for the Padres?

4. "And the hits just keep a-comin', real hard holdin' back the smiles tonight" -- assholes

3. "Mabry is there to make the Franklin Stubbs-ian like catch!" -- I like obscure references

2. "Greg Maddux's average fastball is 84.3 MPH" -- acceptable when it's got movement, unlike tonight

1. "8-3 is a lot better than 7-3, you never know when an offense is about to break out" -- This was said with a serious tone but I fell out of my chair laughing

Ladies and Gentleman, We Are the Royals

Not a long post tonight, just thought I'd take a break from my gamecast to point out the obvious. With Maddux stuggling, and by struggle I mean give up 7 runs on 9 hits in 3.5 innings, for the second game in a row it seems we have lost what little we have going for us. It's a sad day in Mudville right now and something needs to be done. The answer my friends, accept the good lord jesus as your saviour.

Ok, maybe not, but as the admirable, but ultimately dimwitted Hawk pointed out, Wood looked good (and I ryhme all the time. So here's a dime, and if the Cubs could win it would be sublime. I just saw a Mime). I know we've done this to ourselves several times over the past few seasons, but maybe Kerry, with some divine intervention has been sent down to save us. We can only hope he can hit as well as pitch, because no one else on the team can. In Kerry we trust, thou must not forsake us.

Monday, May 8

It's a Sad Day When...

...I'm hoping Kerry Wood will be the spark the cubbies need to get their act together. This story was posted late on cubs.com yesterday.


Is this what we need?


Here's the first line of the story: "Class A batters were outclassed by Kerry Wood on Sunday night at O'Brien Field." I would effing hope so. Wood, a major league veteran, better be able to "out class" guys in A ball.

I've been somewhat vocal about my thoughts on Wood. If you missed it, here it is again: trade him. With the shit Prior's been pulling this year (sore shoulder, food poisioning, inflammed vag), and the fact that Wood is steadily rehabing, I've been rethinking this position. I'm actually starting to look forward to Wood's return. So there it is, I'm officially flip flopping. Let's just hope I don't have to change my position again when Wood comes back.

Sunday, May 7

Top x! Volume 1.

Well, I've been tossing some things around in my head, and as I watch the Padres hang another 3 on the Cubs today (a game that TheHawk is at, by the way), it occurs to me that we as Cub fans have a couple choices. This thought process was begun in a phone conversation late last night with JT during the Cubs game, and the culmination has just come to me now, after truly letting Sarce's most recent post sink in.


We need something to do.


Since the Cubs are as abysmal as they seem to be recently, we need some sort of entertainment to keep us going. Sure we'll keep up with the regular posts we usually do with our opinions on the most recent game and the who-did-whats and our Cub of the Week and all, but we need something to replace the one thing we all used to have in common: hope.


Since our collective hope has been removed we are nothing but sniveling old ladies, griping about the kids from two houses down who play ball in the street, because they make so much noise and one day may break one of our windows by accident. Heck, Lazlo hasn't even posted a comment in days, and the silence is deafening. Come back, Lazlo, I have a new activity to replace the common hope we all used to share!


In light of releases such as High Fidelity and The Daily Show (when Craig Kilborne was still hosting), it seems to me that a cultural trend has reared its head in recent years: the trend of Countdowns. Well, without further adieu, I unveil to you... Top x!


That's right, Lingering Bursitis' very own list of the best somethings. They can be anything; anything Cub-related that is. It doesn't even have to be the same number every time, such as Top Five or Top Ten!!! By eliminating something so limiting as a specific integer and ingeniously replacing it with a much more flexible variable x, we can achieve new heights of entertainment! Our new subscription to the same organism that has yielded such sweet fruits as "I Love the 80's" on MTV and "Most Shocking Moments in Celebrity Hair" (or whatever it was called) on the E network will fill our respective rooms with smiles and laughter once again.



And today? We kick off Top x! with Volume 1: Things To Do Until Next Year (or the Cubs are good again)
5) Try-out for a reality TV show. Heck, I've always wanted to...
4) Think of new ways to get guys around the bases to score runs in the sport of baseball. Then we can put our findings in a book, and try to sell the book to the Cubs for lots of money, because the traditional "scoring by way of getting hits" just isn't working for them.
3) Each of us should learn to play at least one position in baseball. If the Cubs keep playing at their current level, there is a good chance that at least one of us will have an opportunity to make the squad at some point in the future. Then we can get the money. Then we get the khakis, then we get the chicks.
2) Learn to craft cute and shiny jewelry. Selling our jewelry at malls and bingo nights around the country, we should be able to save plenty of money so that when the Cubs are good again we can all travel to a couple games and watch them play!
1) Organized "Cub Night" once a week to learn organized cheers with each other. This way when the Cubs are good again and we are spending our book, baseball, or jewelry money at the Cubs games, we will be the most sophisticated and sychronized group of people in the crowd.


Yaaaaaay, I feel so much better!!! Give me some laughs by posting your thoughts and we'll see if they make the Top x!

Statistical Nightmares with Benson!

robert guillaume bw crop


- The Cubs are batting .208 in the last 7 days.
- Until Aramis Ramirez hit a home run in the 4th inning last night, the Cubs had gone 26 1/3 innings without scoring a run.
- Aramis Ramirez is batting .152 with runners in scoring position.
- The Cubs are batting .149 with runners in scoring position and 2 outs this season.
- The Cubs have an 9.27 team ERA with runners in scoring position.
- Dating back to May 29 [8 games, Cubs 1-7], the Cubs have left 64 men on base.
- During that same span, the Cubs have surrendered 19 runs with 2 outs.

I Stayed Up Til 3am Watching the Cubs and All I Got Was This Lousy Loss

Holy Shit.....it's time. I've been holding off on posting an angry, disgruntled blog; but I just stayed up watching the game on TiVo and holy fuck am I pissed off.


I don't even know where to begin. The Cubs are absolutely pathetic right now. Who's to blame you ask?!?!?! Everyone who's name isn't Ronnie Cedeno or Sean Marshall.


Let's go through tonight's order, shall we? Good thing we filled that lead-off hole with Juan Pierre, here sure is hitting up a storm. I mean what team wouldn't want a lead off man who's batting .254 with an on base percentage of .303? You know what Juan, FUCK YOU. Start getting some goddamn hits. The really sad thing is that the bottom of the order keeps getting on base, and then Juan comes up and hits into a double play.


Now the 2 spot. Ronnie, thank you for being a shining star in the black hole that is the Cubs lineup. I think Ronnie was 3 for 5 tonight, or something close to that, with 3 stolen bases. A very solid performance with some well placed hits. Continue my friend, you are an inspiration to us all.


The 3 spot. Hot Rod Todd, who is personally my favorite Cubby, has cooled a little from the beggining of the season but is still performing well. We're going to need a little more but Todd gets off easy because next we have the cleanup spot.


Dusty, you stupid shit!!!!! Why don't you do us all a favor and swallow that fucking toothpick you're always chewing on and die. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY...would you ever put that completely worthless, piece of shit, cocksucking, assfucking (guys' asses of course), moronic, I wish I was french but am actually from California (San Diego in fact) Jacque Jones in the cleanup spot. I don't give a shit if you're trying to put a "spark" in the lineup. It is incredibly clear that Jacque is not it. The piece of shit struck out 4 times tonight. 4 TIMES!!!!!!! Keep in mind he didn't just make an out, the fucker STRUCK OUT.........4 GODDAMN TIMES!!!!! There were people on base, mainly Cedeno, and all we needed was a deep fly ball. Hell, contact with the ball. SOMETHING. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ok, this is getting long, so I'm going to finish with Aramis. Nice home run tonight, but I can't help feeling that it was more luck than talent because you weren't even looking at the ball when you hit it. Other than that all you did was hit foul pop-ups all game which has become your staple this season. You better get your shit together as you're the one who's supposed to be leading this team. I mean, you've had your cleanup spot taken by Jacque Jones, you should probably just kill yourself, I actually can't believe you haven't yet. I saw an ad on Cubs.com this week asking for votes for our friend A-RAM and I almost shit myself. I mean, how could you vote for someone who's batting .204 and barely has more HR's that Bronson Arroyo?


Sean Marshall, you continue to amaze me. That curve ball is NASTY. Barrett, nice triple, but next time just go for the inside the park HR because you bat at the bottom of the order and either Hairston, the pitcher, or Pierre is up after you, and we all know that none of them will be getting any hits.

Saturday, May 6

Cubs Rumors -- cooked up by ESPN

Quick weekend rumour: According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs are in the process of working a trade with the Orioles for either 1B/OF utilityman Jeff Conine or 1B Kevin Millar. I shudder to think what we'd need to give up [because let's be honest, this Todd Walker at 1B and Neifi/Hairston/Bynum shit at 2B ain't going to work for 2-3 months] because the entire league knows we're desperate, but hey, might this be a reasonable idea? I mean, it's not like there are a lot of good 1Bs to spare.


From Dusty's mouth:
"There's some action. Yeah, there's some action. ... It's a difficult time of the year [to trade]. I can't say when, but I'm optimistic."


There is also speculation about out-of-favour Yankees 1B Carlos Pena, who has been languishing unhappily at AAA-Columbus. He is now third on the depth chart, and although he didn't opt out of his minor league contract, he has another "walk away" date [date he could opt out] coming up soon. This all according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Another one to watch.


Also, building on Hypo's observation just hours/minutes ago, the Cubs are currently doing this:


- lost 6 of their last 7.
- been outscored 46-5 during that span.
- been shut out 4 times in our last 6 games.


Fuck. We have possibly the least threatening lineup in the league right now.


NOTE -- Those rumours are brought to you by ESPN Insider.
ESPN Insider: finding the inconsequential minutiae so you don't have to.

Hmm.

When is the last time the Cubs scored a run?

Cubs Pads Round 1: A Pitching Showcase


Why do I suck?


So I come home from work/the bar around 10 PST and I'm expecting to see another depressing effort from our beloved cubbies. To my surprise, the game was still going and was 0-0 in the 10th. Z looks to have had his best outing yet. He went 7, struck out 10 and only walked 3. The sad thing is that Chan Ho Park had even better night going a full 9. None of that really matters since neither team did jack with the bat all night.

The padres threatened in the 10th getting a runner into scoring position but Willimason some how managed to strike out the side and push this one to 11. Bynum lead off the 11th with a strike out. It's painful to watch this guy at the plate. For some reason, he seems to think his wheel house includes pitches at helmet level. After his abysmal AB, T-Walk had a freakish ground rule double. When's the last time you saw a ground rule that ended up in the stands on the third base side? Well, hot rod did it. A-Ram continued to suck with yet another SO. Barret, who did have one hit tonight, was doing his best Freddie Bynum impression chasing a pitch up around his eyebrows to end the top of the 11th.

The Padres had yet another chance to win this one with some walk-off-ish theatrics in the bottom of the 11th. Willimason did his best to help with a lead off walk to Khalil Greene. Greene stole second and I'm sure most can guess what followed. Barfield lined one up the middle for a base hit. We all know Pierre doesn't have any power at the plate but I was unsure about his arm strength from center. A toddler would have had a better chance at getting Green at the plate. Juan's throw trickled threw the infield as Greene crossed the plate to score the winning run. Pierre might have speed but that's it. He can't hit the ball out of the infield and his best effort to heave the ball from center to the plate arrives with no less than six hops.

This loss puts the cubs at .500. I'm sure they're headed well below that in the coming weeks. They've lost 6 out of the last 7. They've scored one run, which was walked in, in the last 3.

I'm headed to San Diego in the morning. Statistics tell me I should see at least one cubs win over the next two but reality tells me it's not likely. I'll be back sunday night to post a recap of my san diego experience. Let's hope I have something positive to say.

Friday, May 5

Quick Link before sundown in San Diego

Here's a funny article [written by someone other than me] about Mark Prior, our poor, poor hard-up starting pitcher.

Enjoy this, and we'll be back later for a Negra Modelo-soaked viewing of the Baja Brutes vs. our Cubbies on the ol' MLBtv.

Let's Recap...


What the hell is going on?



Tonight was another miserable one in AZ. We dropped our second in a row to the snakes and we've lost five out of our last six. I'll focus on our mini-series in the desert though, as it is particularly despressing.

First of all, we were outscored 11-1 in these two games. Our inability to bring runners home was taken to a new extreme in this series. In all, we left 22 (twenty-two!!) on base. Our only run was WALKED IN. Who drew the walk? Maddux. I don't get it either...guess it was some kind of fluke or mecry run. Anyway, I cannot remember a time that our offense has struggled like this. Arguably, our two most productive players at the plate are rookies. Probably the biggest disappointment is Ramirez. No longer can we blame the strained ass muscle (you thought I forgot didn't you?). He's not seeing the ball (tonight he literally struck out w/o swinging the bat once), he looks uncomfortable and it doesn't matter if you have him hit 3rd or 8th, he's in a deep funk. Then there's Juan. Granted, he did go 3-4 tonight. Let's take away one of those hits because got picked off. Maybe I should take two since the catcher picked him. Anyway, he's batting a paltry .250 with an OBP under .300. Great lead off guy. I'll admit that when we signed him I was giddy. I thought we finally had locked up a solid lead off guy and that was at least one spot in the line up where we wouldn't have to worry. Wrong, as optimistic cub fans almost always are.

How about our pitching over the past two? Well, Maddux picked up his first loss of the season and Hill's debut start lasted all of four innings. The bullpen managed to put up a few scoreless innings including Ohman and Rusch throwing two each. What's up with those two? They can't hold it down when we have a lead or if it's a close game? But if there's a 4-5 deficit then they have no problem putting up goose eggs? Too much pressure? Regardless, I could do without either of them.

Enough, we're out of AZ for the year and heading into San Diego for the weekend. I already have tickets for saturday and sunday and I'm ready to see one of two trends break. The Padres have been horrible at home this year (4-11) and the cubs have looked horrible over the past few games. Hopefully the latter will change and the Padres can roll to a 4-15 home record.

Thursday, May 4

Cubs @ Diamondbacks, 9.40pm

chicago-cubs-1

CHICAGO CUBS [14-12, Road 6-6]
-
Juan Pierre [CF, .250]
Ronny Cedeno [SS, .322]
Aramis Ramirez [3B, .205]
Todd Walker [1B, .342]
Matt Murton [LF, .287]
Jacque Jones [RF, .239]
Freddie Bynum [2B, .222]
Henry Blanco [C, .095]
Rich Hill [P, .000]


ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS [15-13, Home 7-6]
-
Eric Byrnes [CF, .294]
Orlando Hudson [2B, .222]
Chad Tracy [3B, .309]
Conor Jackson [1B, .286]
Shawn Green [RF, .326]
Damion Easley [SS, .256]
Johnny Estrada [C, .299]
Andy Green [LF, .250]
Juan Cruz [P, .000]


STARTING PITCHERS
-
CHI: LHP Rich Hill [NR]
ARI: RHP Juan Cruz [0-0, 2.65 ERA]


- If anyone cares to still weigh in on the previous posts [aka LB contributors], go for it. I want to know who you think we should forcibly remove.
- Holy shit, I guess we'll try anything. Note Aramis is batting 3rd in the lineup, although what that might do for his average remains to be seen. I will be using this quote again in next week's TWID, but it's maybe an explanation [or excuse?] for A-Ram's troubles.


"Your average isn't always indicative of how you're hitting the ball, because he's hitting balls hard."


What?
- MLB.tv tonight! [Although I do have the sleeping pills close by. I'm scared.]



EDIT: Oh great, I forgot. Juan Cruz used to pitch for us Cubs. I love these little reunion get-togethers.

Rescue Mission

Lane-Burning-copy


Imagine for a second, as far-reaching and hard-to-imagine as this might be, that the Cubs organization were some kind of burning vessel at sea, struggling to remain afloat due to significant structural damage to its antiquated wooden core. A sinking ship, if you will.


Imagine further that the players and front office staff were members of the crew, each with their own skills and talents, some perhaps more useful than others. Continue imagining, say, that the liferafts contained on this ship were substantially smaller than perhaps they should be, and that their relative buoyancy would be compromised if it carried too many people. This dilemma means that less crew members can be saved, and some element of choice needs to be made when deciding who lives and who dies.


Everyone still following?


So, at this ridiculously early junction in the season [a month], perhaps so much so that this sort of thing shouldn't be done until much later [say, another month's time], who would you choose to save, and whose useless bodies would you leave to char on the swab deck?


TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN
- Jim Hendry
- Dusty Baker


BATTING MEN
- Todd Walker
- Ronny Cedeno
- Juan Pierre
- Jerry Hairston Jr
- Jacque Jones
- Aramis Ramirez
- Michael Barrett
- Matt Murton
- Neifi Perez
- John Mabry
- Freddie Bynum
- Henry Blanco
- Michael Restovich


PITCHING PEOPLE
- Greg Maddux
- Glendon Rusch
- Rich Hill
- Sean Marshall
- Angel Guzman
- Carlos Zambrano
- Ryan Dempster
- Scott Eyre
- Bob Howry
- Scott Williamson
- Will Ohman
- Roberto Novoa


INJURED INJUNS
- Angel Pagan
- Derrek Lee
- Mark Prior
- Kerry Wood
- Wade Miller


Give me your Top 5 people who should be left on the smouldering starboard side.

Sick as a Dog

capt.0b49aa915afb467f84bbee0529806535.cubs_diamondbacks_baseball_pnc106
Yeah, in case you're wondering, Craig Counsell still completed the double-play.


I am queasy, ladies and gentlemen. I am ill, nauseous, morose, and of course, over-dramatic. Watching this current team play is akin to eating at the Olive Garden : it looks like the real thing, it acts like the real thing, and yet when you're finished with it, you not only feel ashamed and guilty, but you have the unstoppable urge to shit it violently from your system after contact.


It's unfortunate as we did begin the season with a lot of promise, but to watch the Cubbies sleepwalk through unexciting defeats like last night, you wonder just what this team is playing for...


Pride? Ask Aramis Ramirez and his pathetic .205 batting average.


Gold Gloves? Ask Michael Barrett, his 2 throwing errors and the 3 Diamondback stolen bases.


Personal Success? Ask Todd Walker, whose ineptitude with the bat [0-5, 7 LOB] was mirrored by the rest of the team, and our 11 men left on base.



This may all come across as harsh, but it's justified. It doesn't help matters that the Arizona Diamondbacks have OWNED us in recent memory:
- The Cubs are 6-20 vs. the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
- The Cubs have been outscored 168-88 during that time.
- Greg Maddux is 322-181 in the majors, but 1-9 vs. Arizona and 0-5 in Arizona.


Let's hope tonight's game is not more of the same.

Wednesday, May 3

Time for Desert

6998


The odyssey continues tonight in balmy Arizona, where Maddux will try and continue his success where so many before him have failed. The Cubs' pitching rotation is shambolic, to a point -- our vet is unbeaten, our youngest pitcher is unbeaten, and the three between him have yet to muster a win between them. Zambrano is pitching like a drunken bullfighter, Guzman is having difficulty finding the major league strike zone, and Rich Hill gets his first start of 2006 tomorrow night.


But enough of all that. Tonight is Greg's night, as he pushes for career win #324 to tie for 13th on the All-Time Wins list. Here's hoping the offense can bag some runs after yesterday's shutout.


EXTRA BASES
-
1. Diamondbacks' OF Luis Gonzalez is .316 lifetime against Maddux [31-for-98], including 10 home runs and 20 RBIs. The 10 home runs represents the most by any player off Maddux's pitching in his career.
2. Aramis Ramirez is .091 lifetime against Miguel Batista.
3. Diamondbacks' OF Shawn Green is .429 lifetime against Maddux [12-for-28], with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs.