Saturday, July 31, 2010

So long Ted. And thanks for all the fish.

So Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot are off to the land of swimming pools and movie stars. In return we get....wait for it....a middle infielder. Oh for the love of crap. And an underachieving middle infielder, only his name's not Theriot.

Still, Blake DeWitt could be interesting. By all accounts he has a decent swing, just not the ability to actually make contact. Maybe Rudy can help out? God willing. Baker turned out to not suck too bad last year. To be perfectly honest, DeWitt will be hard rpessed to be worse than Shitty-ot.

This isn't quite Hundley for Karros/Grudz, but I'll take it. So long Ted. It's been fun watching you. I'll hate to hate you, but I already do you f*cking Dodger. Theriot - don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Actually, scratch that. Let it hit you. Hard. Preferably to left field.

We might suck today, but...

So, after last night's "What the hell just happened" moment (which I fortunately slept through) in which we learned that nothing good happens when you bring in Sean Marshall any more often than is necessary (because his arm is going to fall off), I decided to throw out there two fun facts that I've picked up listening to Pat and, reluctantly Ron, over the last couple of years. Neither of these is verified with anything that any reasonable person would call a "source" because frnakly, I'm not sure where to goto verify these, but for what it's worth, here you go -

The Cubs have the longest active streak of years without being no hit since Sandy Koufax's perfect game on 9/9/65 (45 years, this September). The longest streak of years w/o being no hit is held by the Phillies at 57 years.

The Cubs won their very first two games ever, and have not been under .500 ever since. They are the only team to be able to claim that. They are currently 10211-9658 (.514).

So there ya go Cubs fans. Feel free to toss that in Sox fans or Cardinals fans' faces. Just be sure to walk away before they mention 2005 or 2006.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This is why I cannot be a GM

So the economics of baseball confuse me. Two teams have arguably left the "Contender" building this year - The Cubs and the Astros. So what do we do? We dump. get rid of whatever we have to rebuild. Save some bucks. But then I see these tweets -

@mlbtraderumors: RT @Ken_Rosenthal: Source: Deal is 3-for-1. Happ in. Astros would pay "very significant" part of Oswalt's remaining salary.


@mlbtraderumors: Stark: Cubs willing to take on some of Lilly's remaining $4.43MM.

to which I responded with:

@oneminutecubs: Why the hell would we do that? RT @mlbtraderumors: Stark: Cubs willing to take on some of Lilly's remaining $4.43MM.

I got one response:

@harrypav: @oneminutecubs to upgrade the prospects that come back #orsoihope

Ok, I kinda get that. If you can't draft 'em, buy 'em. But still this to me seems stupid. The Ricketts have made no secret of the fact that payroll is staying the same or going down next year. And until Tyler Colvin, Rookie of the Year, Starlin Castro, or Geo Soto show up, they're still just prospects. You know who else were prospects? Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Eric Patterson, Bobby Hill, blah blah blah blah. They're just prospects. Maybe they'll pan out, but in the meantime, it just seems like teams on the sellers list are accepting of the fact that they're going to get screwed like a Vegas weekend and pay for the privilege.

Butt what do I know?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Lou going ni-ni.

So I guess I'm a Cubs blogger, so I better write aobut this. It's just that. I just don't care. Talk about records and legends and yadda yadda, he's just another guy that didn't get the job done. Was it his fault? Not entirely, but I won't say his hands were completely tied either. I'm not going to spend this post going over his mistakes (left handed bat), just like I won't go over his career accomplishments (1990), just like I won't speculate who is next in line (Girardi). What I will say is, Lou was entertaining at times, frustrating at others, and pretty much was as ineffecive a manager as you can get.

Did Lou win back-to-back pennants? Sure. But the 140+ million dollar payroll helped too. Soto having a ROY season, Soriano not being hurt, and Lee having a career year helped too. So, whatever. Happy retirement Lou. I won't miss you. I won't cry over your departure. I probably will cry if they hire Ryne Sandberg in your stead, but that's another story...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Could it happen?

Many Cubs fans look to our southside neighbors and their ridiculous record of 26-5 over their last 31 games as inspiration that our guys can do it too. Well, let's take a look. Bear in mind, I'm not TOO familiar with the Sox so much.

Starting rotation
With a solid rotation on both sides of town including a reliable lefty (Lilly/Buehrle), a very good, but not quite Ace (Danks/Dempster), a retread exceeding expectations (Silva/Garcia), a FNG (Wells/Hudson) and well, another lefty (Gorzelanny/Floyd). Add in the other two would be aces - Zambrano and Peavy - both of which have an equal chance of being a starter for the respective teams again this year - and honestly the rotatinos are a push. Advantage none.

Lee beats Konerko in terms of defense, youth and speed/base running, however Konerko dominates with his bat. If Derrek can have a monster second half to make up for his average, watch out. - Advantage Konerko for now, but stay tuned.

Rookies - Beckham vs Castro - Beckham has been slow all year, but is picking it up recently. Castro is a hot shot with slick fielding, but not much power. He is, however, hitting the ball, so advantage Castro

Ramirez vs. Theriot. Umm..yeah. Advantage Ramirez.

Ramirez vs. Vizquel. Assuming Ramirez is back, and many indications say he is, advantage Ramirez.

Soto vs. Pierzynski - Depends - which Soto are we talking about? Both are adequate on defense, and when he's on Soto blows away AJ. But when he's off, not so much. Still going to go with Advantage Cubs.

Soriano is on a hot stretch for another week or so, and Marlon Byrd has been a great bat all year, but Rios and Quentin far out power and speed them. Colvin and Pierre are meh compared to their outfield mates. Advantage White Sox.

Bench/Bullpen - With Bob Howry and Kosuke Fukudome (et al) going up against JJ Putz and Andruw Jones. No contest - Advantage White Sox, except when it comes to closer. Marmol rules.

So, what does this all mean? Do the Cubs have it in them to put together a run? If we were in Houston 7 years ago, I'd say sure. For now there's been no evidence that they can with any consistency. I think they'll play better in the second half, but the NL Central will come down to a 2 horse race, with the Cubs being the nag left behind.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Here we go - round 2.

Prepare yourselves to get the crap beaten out of us again. Fortunately, the second half will be over sooner than the first half.

Marlon Byrd fukken Represented at the All Star Game. The Phrase "key walk" never really meant much to me until Byrd stepped to the plate on Tuesday. And the slick defensive play, gunning down Ortiz from right, well that was all sorts of yummy.

So now we have the Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukudome, death watch. Their days wearing a Cubs uniform are numbered. Except probably Fukudone because nobody int he right mind would take him without (as Brian Hanley put it this morning) sending a Brinks truck along with him. If Jimmy can't swing anything for him by the deadline, then fine, cut him next May 1. He can slink back to Japan where apparently they're more forgiving.

I'd suggest for the rest of this year, we take the W off and just fly the White Flag after every game, win or lose.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reflections on the First Half

Things we know
- It's not gonna happen. Not in 2010 anyway
- Marlon Byrd has been a wonderful surprise, but he's not an All-Star
- Carlos Marmol is every bit the heart attack Kevin Gregg was, but with the bonus that we suspect he can get himself out of trouble as easily as he can get into it.

Things we suspect
- Predictions are bullsh*t
- Sure he Sox can make a run and get right back in the race. The Cubs can't
- This will be Lou Piniella's last year with the Cubs

So the first half of the season comes mercifully to a close. The team is a measly 11 games under .500. There have been some recent signs of life from the offense - Derrek Le not hitting into Double plays. Aramis hitting 4 hr in the last 6 games. But overall, getting 2-hit by the Vinny Pad pretty much sums up the first half of this season.

Two big cogs in the wheel of crappiness contributed to why Cubs are where they are:
A. Aramis and Derrek forgetting how to hit
B. Lou Piniella's staunch refusal to move them in the order to where they'll do less harm.

I'm all for patience and "letting them hit out of it" but when Derrek Lee didn't turn the corner at the end of May like he always does and Aramis didn't hit the piss out of the ball like he always does, it was time to move them down and put your best hitter (Byrd) and best power hitter (sigh...Soriano) at 3 and 4.

Would that move make this a .500 team? No. But at elast then you can honestly say you've done everything you can do.

Strap in Cubs fans, it's going to be a long 2 1/2 months, and an even longer century....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reflections on My Vacation

So I went on vacation this week, from last Friday until yesterday. Let's reflect on what we've learned:

Things we know:
- The Reds are a first-place team.
- The Cubs and Diamondbacks are not.
- The Cubs have become so irrelevant, I missed a game, and had no idea.
- Diamondbacks pitching sucks so bad, even the weak-hitting Cubs can average 8 runs per game. That's pretty fukken bad.

Things we suspect
- Maybe Aramis is starting to get it.
- The Cubs are still sellers.
- Ted Lilly is not long for this team
- Marlon Byrd is only an All-Star because he's sucked the least of all of them - and because Bud says everyone has to play.

The Cubs spent this last week crushing their fans hopes and then lifting them up again, undoubtedly so they can crush them again with a 34 game set in LA. While seeing Aramis Ramirez trot around the bases as opposed to back to the dugout was a nice change, we can't count on him to be "Back" until he does it for a few weeks, not jsut one series against the crappier-than-the-Cubs Diamondbacks. Time will tell, but this year's a wash. Carlos Silva, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukudome - Don't forget to pack your toothbrush. And in some cases, the ridiculous wad of cash it'll take to move you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hockey Disclaimer

This is a standard disclaimer which needs to be attached to any and all statements both written and oral that I may amke about hockey or the Blackhawks.

I know d*ck about hockey. I have a basic understanding of the rules and can describe what what icing is - kinda, and I watched most of the Blackhawks games last year. It is there that my hockey expertise ends. I can tell you why the Cubs have been scuffling to score runs, using terms like "RISP", "Ramirez", and "Suck" all with a deep understanding of the game and a tangible line of thinking. When it comes to hockey, I can tell you who shot a goal and that it went into the net. Beyond that, I got nothin' Sometimes, I don't even know it went in the net. So, what this all leads to is this -

Whenever I say anything about hockey, you have to mentally assume I'm attaching "or so I've heard" at the end, unless what I'm saying is so outrageously stupid it defies logic in which case you can assume it's my own.

Thank you.