Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Kerry Wood is hurt? That's un-possible!

"My work here is done, thank you very much..."
After 3 innings and 66 pitches, Kerry Wood was taken out of the game tonight with "shoulder stiffness." No official word will be announced until after Kerry is examined tomorrow morning by the Reds team physician.

The Cubs staff is trying to downplay the situation right now, claiming that the trainers took him out early as a precautionary measure.

"[This is] similar to what he had in Spring Training, a little bit of what we were dealing with back after that Houston game [on April 30]," O'Neal said.

Precautionary? The way I remember it, the problems in spring training and after that Houston game were followed by trips to the DL.

This never gets old.
Maybe he'll make another imperceptible change in mechanics.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Streaking

The Cubs are streaking. After loosing 8 straight games, and driving many fans to the ledge, the Cubs have won 9 of their last ten games and are right back in the thick of things and stringing us fans along with just enough good baseball to keep hoping (we are suckers for hope.) Now we shouldn't get too cocky after beating Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, but a win is a win. 9 out of 10 wins can change your attitude just as much as 8 losses in a row. Really it just brings us back to where we started: mediocrity. But the cubs have too much talent and too many resources to be medicore. Hopefully we can build from here.
As the Cubs continue to prove themselves to be serious wild card contenders, Jim Hendry is in a better position to make a pickup, that will make the team better now, not just in the future.
The 3 holes in the team are lead off hitter/center field, left field, and set up guy.
With the deadline less than two weeks away, lots of names are being tossed around that are fun to get excited about. Names like Juan Pierre, Adam Dunn, Aubrey Huff make us salivate, and I wouldn't be too suprised if Hendry gets us one of those guys, but I don't expect it. I do expect something significant, weather it's Austin Kearns, or MacDougal, or someone who hasn't even been mentioned in rumors yet, Hendry will make a move and the Cubs will be a better team on August 1st.

Things are starting to click for the offense, mostly because the top of the order isn't a disgrace to humanity. Nobody knows why it took Dusty 1/2 of a season to put Hairston and Walker in the 1-2 spots, and favored the morbid combination of Neifi Perez and Corey Patterson, but finally he did it (with a little not-so-subtle help from Hendry). The lineup is functional, the roles are clear and you can see a difference.
With Derrek Lee, the best hitter in the world batting third, and Aramis Ramirez one of the best hitters in the NL in the 4th/5th spot, the Cubs really shouldn't be having so much trouble scoring runs. Taking a walk every once in a while should also help.


DL Watch:
Former Red Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Scott Williamson (the secret weapon) could join the roster sooner than expected. Williamson could be ready as soon as 2 weeks from now. They could potentially solve a lot of issues, giving the offense the boost it needs and the bullpen the depth it needs, but this is very uncertain, and still not soon enough.

The Competiton
Assuming the Braves (who now have Chipper Jones, and over half of their rotation back from the DL) will win the NL East for the 245th year in a row, the cubs have 3 main teams to worry about, The Astros, and the Marlins and the Phillies. I don't think the Mets or Nationals are good enough to stay in the race much longer. The Cubs certainly are capable of winning the wild card, but they have to step it up a notch.
They have to stay healthy and Dusty Baker can't be a hindrance.
It's going to come down to who can stay healthy, and who makes the best moves at the trading deadline.
Will the Cubs make the wild card?
It's not likely, but it's only slightly unlikely.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stray Dialogue: Joe Morgan at Home Run Derby

BERMAN: So Joe, who do you think is going to win it?
JOE MORGAN: "Well, If I had to make a prediction, I would say that it's going to be to Bobby Abreu, and Carlos Lee, and David Ortiz... and... Pudge Rodriguez... or Mark Teixiera, ... and... um, Andruw Jones... that's my pick... who do you pick?"
BERMAN: Um, well... you didn't really leave anybody----
JOE: [interrupting] Did I mention I'm in the Hall of Fame?
BERMAN: [under his breath] Dumbass...
JOE: What?
BERMAN: Oh-sorry I said Jason Bay
JOE: Oooh, yikes...I wouldn't have picked him...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

For Mom


Adam Greenberg gets beaned in the head on the first pitch in his first major league at bat. Carlos Zambrano is the pinch runner. Cubs win 8-2.
Old timers Greg Maddux and Al Leiter match up today at noon for the series finale.
Here you go Mom, I'm acknowleging that the Cubs won.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sucktacular. RSWN


After an 8 game loosing streak, morale is the lowest it's been all season. It's too depressing for me to write much right now, but there's lots of news to address, so I'll try a new format for today called RSWN, which stands for rapid spewing (with numbers).

R.S.W.N.
  1. Corey Patterson sent down to AAA: a little shocking, but obviously necessary, odds of his next big league appearance in a Cub Uniform=60/40
  2. Dubois sent down: I have no reaction to this. Fine, whatever, give him more at bats, he has power, but he's not a valuable big league hitter, and his defense is, well, awful
  3. Matt Murton called up: whoever he is, he made a hell of a debut.
  4. Adam Greenberg called up: Finally one of the chosen people is chosen by the Cubs.
  5. Preston Wilson already traded: Cubs must not have wanted him to badly
  6. Mark Kotsay signed 3 year extension with the A's: ...ok. so, who's left? So much for my poll....
  7. Here come the Astros: deja vu...
  8. Are the Cubs sellers? No, but they are no longer in the market for a rent-a-vet signing like Moises Alou etc. They are now looking for an addition that can help the team now, and the next few years.
  9. Just how bad is it right now?...probably not as bad as it looks... Is that supposed to be comforting?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

@
  • Mon. July 4th, 7:05 ET: Kerry Wood - Kyle Daives

In honor of the 4th of July, Kerry Wood was lit up in the first inning by the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs ZERO runs were not enough to make a comeback.
  • Tues. July 5th, 7:35 ET: Greg Maddux - Roman Colon
The worst game ever:
Heres a summary of 3 hours of my life, I'll never have back again. At least I cleaned my room.
  1. Derrek Lee leaves the game early with a vague shoulder injury
  2. Neifi Perez is batting lead off.
  3. A 90 minute rain delay
  4. Another no-name pitcher shuts down the cubs.
  5. During the Rain Delay forced to watch women's softball in the league where all players are required to be overweight, with bad teeth, mullets, and wear tight sweatpants.
  6. Todd Hollandsworth is best hitter on the team.
  7. Cubs fall 2 games under .500 into a tie with the Houston Astros.
  • Wed. July 6th, 7:05 ET: Mark Prior - John Smoltz
OK, so maybe things are not as bad as they look, but they are not good. The Cubs have just lost 6 straight and are below .500 at the halfway point of the season. Here's what Steve Stone had to say ''You're not as good as you look when you're streaking, and you're not as bad as you look when you're on a losing streak. Somewhere in the middle, which is right now critically mediocre, are the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, it's going to take some sort of big move to put them over the top.''
The 2005 Cubs are good enough to be in the wild card race in the NL...for now, but not for much longer.
Like Stoney said, for them to make the post season, the Cubs are going to need to make some sort of a trade, and if anyone can do it it's Jim Hendry. He has the money and the prospects, and the skills to pull it off.
The problem is, if the Cubs continue with this spectacularly flaccid offense, they are going to make it tough for Hendry to justify being a buyer. It would be nice if the Cubs could at least try to take themselves seriously as we approach the trading deadline. Prior usually rises to the occasion. Let's hope he can break the skid tonight.
--------------------------------------------------------
This game was canceled due to rain. Apparently even God himself was mortified at the sight of the starting lineup that almost disgraced the field for the Cubs.

1. Neifi Perez - SS
2. Jose Macias - 2B...(should I go on?)
3. Todd Walker - 1B
4. Aramis Ramirez - 3B
5. Todd Hollandsworth - LF
6. Jeromy Burnitz - RF
7. Michael Barrett - C
8. Corey Patterson - CF
9. Mark Prior - SP

If anyone can remember a more horrific Cub lineup in recenet history, let me know.
  • Thur. July 7th, Double header:
    • Mark Prior-Horacio Ramirez
    • Jerome Williams - John Smoltz
This was agonizing, embarassing, depressing, and irritating...expect many fans to go to the proverbial ledge tonight.