Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Maybe this bizarro Paxson will create bizarro results. Like 50 wins, or maybe even a decent run in the playoffs. Spooky.
Just a day before starting the playoffs, the Cubs picked up the option on Skipper Lou Piniella for the 2010 season.
Sure, all he did was bring back-to-back division titles to the Cubs immediately after the team went 66-96 in 2006.
It feels good to have Lou locked up for a couple more years after the turnaround he has overseen.
Plus, anyone who can deal with Carlos Zambrano on a regular basis deserves a reward.
Why the Cubs will win:
The Cubs have the pitching to win this series. You can dig into the numbers all you want, but since Lou had a chance to set the rotation, things fall in place well for Chicago. Dempster has been unreal at Wrigley this year and I think anyone would want Harden and Lilly as the two guys trying to steal wins on the road. Then you have Big Z. Call him unpredictable if you want, but everyone knows the Cubs will get all he has on the mound in game two.
This lineup is also more than capable of getting the job done against LA. The Dodgers have great pitching as well, but after last season's playoff performance, these guys have something to prove. With the improvement the Cubs showed in taking pitches this season, we'll be seeing a lot of the Dodger pen.
Add in the playoff experience for Chicago as another positive. Even though it was just three games, almost every player on the team has a taste of postseason ball. Against a lot of right handed pitching we'll be seeing a ton of Jim Edmonds this series. You don't get much more experienced in the playoffs than Edmonds.
The Dodgers don't strike fear in their opponents, especially not the Cubs coming in with the kind of season they have put together. They're a great team, don't get me wrong, but the intimidation factor is zero. Check that, the intimidation factor is Manny (more on that in a bit).
Why the Dodgers will win:
The Dodger's starting pitching has the best ERA in the NL. Sure, there is no Brad Penny, but Derek Lowe chucked a .59 ERA in September, while Billingsley and Koruda (the game two and three starters) were solid as well. If the Cubs pitching falters, the Dodgers have the firepower on the mound to take advantage.
Manny Manny Manny. Manny Ramirez is the most likely guy in the playoffs to carry his team to a series win.
I can't possibly go on in this half of the segment as long as the positives for the Cubs. Suffice it to say they have good starting pitching, Manny, a solid pen, and the experience of Joe Torre running the show.
What does it all mean?
Nothing really. It's postseason baseball. It's the Cubs. Anything can happen, but I think this one looks good for the Cubbies. Sure LA is good in some aspects of the game, but I think the Cubs are clearly better. The opening game of the series is gigantic tomorrow night, but the Cubs pitching just stacks up too well for them to drop this thing. Right? We'll see. Cubs in 4.
Ozzie of course is talking about the game, this time sticking to his description of Twins starter Nick Blackburn's last outing versus the Sox as "lucky," saying that if he pitches like that again, he likes Chicago's chances.
I don't know who you give the momentum to going into this game, but I'm going to say the Sox have it. Yeah, they were swept by Minnesota last weekend, but the Twins went on to struggle with the Royals and Ramirez's grand slam against Detroit was gigantic. That said, conventional wisdom and the Chicago White Sox have rarely agreed this season.
It's been mentioned over and over recently, but you have to love being a sports fan in this city right now. So turn on the TV (and turn down the volume) and watch the game. Cheer for the Sox, cheer against them, but take it in, because it's a one game playoff and there's only one October in September.
That's right. Hockey. Get used to it. The regular season opener for the Blackhawks is October 10th, so it's time to remind you that hockey really does still exist, and that the Hawks are going to be pretty damn good this year. As these words are hitting the e-paper, the Blackhawks front office is taking care of one of the team's glaring problems. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin seems to be on his way out of town.
Last season, Chicago would have made the playoffs if it weren't for an abissmal January that included an eight game losing streak and only four wins in the month. After adding youth in recent years, Hawks management hit the free agency pool with a vengeance this year, picking up all-star defenseman Brian Campbell and goaltender Cristobal Huet. Campbell will be great on the power-play and should team with Duncan Keith to form one of the league's best duos on the blue line. Huet comes into a great situation with Bulin leaving town. Youngster Corey Crawford should push Huet just a little, but Cristobal and his sweet name will be the #1 coming into the year.
Almost all of the excitement when it comes to the Blackhawks though focuses on the youth. Kane, Toews, and Sharp are names you will be hearing all season long. Sharp, at 26 is the oldest of the trio, and led the team with 36 goals last season. Kane, 19, led the Hawks in points and assists and just kept improving as the season went on. The 20-year-old Toews battled injury last season, but still managed a highlight or two.
Forwards Robert Lang and Jason Williams made their ways out of Chicago in the offseason, so the youngsters will have to carry even more of the load. A resurgence from Martin Havlat wouldn't hurt either. Havlat has not lived up to expectations in his short stint in Chicago and if he gets it together this season, watch out.
The defensemen look strong as well with the addition of Campbell. It should be Campbell and Keith going against teams' top lines, with Seabrook, Barker, Wisniewski, Hendry, and Byfuglien in the mix.
I couldn't go through a Blackhawks preview without mentioning the New Year's Day game at Wrigley Field against the Red Wings. Hockey fan or not, this is a must-see event between two franchises with amazing tradition.
So where do the Blackhawks end up this year? The playoffs of course. Really.
Did Penn State prove me and the rest of the doubters wrong Saturday night against Illinois? Yeah, mostly. Illinois did keep the game close, trailing 31-24 with about 13 minutes left in the game. Illinois lost their second game of the year, but both losses came to teams who now sit in the top six in the nation. And both losses were largely a result of one playmaker tearing them apart. First it was Maclin and this week it was PSU's Derrick Williams catching a touchdown, running another, and taking a kickoff 94 yards for a third score. Sound familiar? A reporter actually asked Juice after the game if it was time to start thinking about basketball season for the Illini fans. Ridiculous.
Michigan had two weeks to get ready for Wisconsin after the Wolverines fumbled the Notre Dame game away, but the offense didn't skip a beat in the first half, turning the ball over five times to the Badgers. Then something happened in the second half. UM didn't find the endzone until the 2:22 mark in the third, but didn't waste much time after that. Another TD drive in the fourth was followed with an interception return for a score as Michigan put up 13 points in three seconds to take a 20-19 lead. After another Michigan score and UW fumble in the red zone, the Badgers made a gutsy drive that would have tied the game had Travis Beckum not lined up wrong on a successful 2-point try, but after the penalty the do-over failed and Rich Rodriguez got his first big win in Ann Arbor.
Northwestern made a 14 point comeback in Iowa City to beat the Hawkeyes Saturday and improve to 5-0. Barring a Mets-like collapse, someone owes me an apology for making fun of my bowl prediction for the Wildcats. C.J. Bacher was great Saturday throwing for 284 yards and three touchdowns, while leading Northwestern to its best start since 1962.
Michigan State beat Indiana, Ohio State topped Minnesota, and Purdue lost at Notre Dame 38-21.
- Alexei Ramirez hits a grand slam to take the lead and the Sox beat the Tigers 8-2 to force a one game playoff with the Twins.
- Sox want you to wear black to the Cell Tuesday. We'll see whose funeral you're attending.
- Order accordingly. Wrigleyville bar owners agree to cut off alcohol sales early for clinch games.
- DeRosa should be ready to go for the series opener Wednesday. Daaaa Rosa!
- Illinois still optimistic about its season, think the big win is coming this week.
- Will Leitch previews Cubs-Dodgers at Deadspin. Oh, the neutrality!
- Blackhawks waive Khabibulin. Thanks for all the suckitude!
Monday, September 29, 2008
There wasn't much in the office left for Ozzie Guillen to break after the latest humiliation Saturday.
He took care of that after the embarrassment he witnessed Friday.
It started with a few bottles.
Then it progressed to some of his pictures. That included the picture of his wife, Ibis. Poor Ibis, that picture never will be the same.
''My wife looks like she has black eyes,'' Guillen joked. ''I was so mad I hit a picture I'm not supposed to hit. I was so upset, I didn't know what to do.''
I hope the White Sox can stay alive and make the playoffs, because losing Ozzie's ridiculous quotes would leave me with at least 50% less material to write about. What's the reference to a few bottles? Was he drinking? I think maybe its time for some marriage counseling for those two.
- There's more White Sox baseball. After winning yesterday, they play the make-up game against Detroit, then a possible one game playoff against the Twins Tuesday.
- Bear Down, Chicago Bears! Bears win a tight one against Philly and finally execute in the 4th quarter. What a goal line stand on 4th down!
- Reasons for being a Cubs fan AND a Sox fan. I don't know about this one.
- Cubs lose and the Brewers make the playoffs. See you in California.
- Looks like BG is going to take the Qualifying Offer. At least it gave me Bulls news to care about all summer.
- Baseball playoff schedule (all times Eastern)
- The Illinois defense cannot stop anyone, Penn State included.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Chicago White Sox
- I don't want to be a dick about this, but the Sox completely shit the bed at the Metrodome this week. That is why the situation stands as it does and the Sox aren't preparing for the playoffs right now.
- The White Sox blew a huge opportunity Friday after Minnesota lost by losing 11-8.
- Needless to say, Danks did not look like the kind of big game pitcher he would need to be for the Sox to have any success in the Playoffs. He gave up 7 runs in 4+ innings.
- Griffey did hit 2 home runs in the Minnesota series.
- The Twins lost today, leaving them in a statistical dead heat with the Sox.
- As I am writing this, Javy Vasquez has been chased from the game after getting hammered. The Sox are down 7-1 in the 6th inning to the Indians.
- If the Sox lose, which appears likely, they will be a half game behind the Twins. (**UPDATE: Sox lost)
- IF the Sox lose tonight and tomorrow and the Twins win tomorrow, the Sox are eliminated. any other combination of Sox win/loss and Twins win/loss will cause the Sox to have to play the makeup game with Detroit. They then may have to play the Twinkies in a one-game playoff.
- Good news: Quentin looks to be recovering nicely and still remains hopeful to play in October.
- The playoff rotation has been set: Dempster, Zambrano, Harden, Lilly (if necessary)
- Their opponent is still up in the air. With the Phillies win today they clinch the division. Milwaukee is now in a tie with the Mets.
- If Milwaukee wins the WC, the Cubs will play the Dodgers in the first round. If the Mets win the WC, the Cubs will play the Mets in the first round.
- Micah Hoffpauir has looked good AND bad (boneheaded base running). Will he make the playoff roster?
- Soto was not back in the lineup after a "minor" injury to his left hand.
- I almost forgot, the reason Milwaukee is in a tie is because the Cubs beat them. Cubs won 7-3 today, though they did lose 5-1 yesterday.
- In terms of who makes the 25-man playoff roster, rumor has it the Cubs will only carry 11 pitchers. A BCB fanpost has a decent list of who they think will make it. Pitching-wise I agree except that I think Marquis and Gaudin are not sure things and Marshall may make it. For bats, I agree and I would add Ward and Hoffpauir. (***UPDATE: The Trib is reporting Samardzija was named to the Cubs postseason roster while Gaudin was left off it)
Friday, September 26, 2008
This story comes from Rumors and Rants about how great it is to live in the South. Especially this time of year, a lot of us like to use casual Fridays to support our favorite teams. We break out our Payton jersey, our old student section football tee, or Fukudome jersey tee.
Well, don't even think about bringing that foul language to work in Oklahoma.
And she would occasionally celebrate her casualness by wearing a Kosuke Fukudome t-shirt to work. That is until a couple weeks ago, when an edict came from down from the mountain declaring that the shirt was not appropriate for the workplace. And no, we’re not talking about one of those "Horry Cow" shirts. This is a regular “Fukudome 1″ jersey.
Wow. Good for Oklahoma, cracking down on the smut. If you're a sports fan there, you had better be careful. Maybe your favorite sports gear isn't allowed on casual Friday. For example:
- Your South Carolina Gamecocks shirt.
- Your Rudy Gay jersey.
- Don't even talk about the Oregon State - USC game.
- Your Dick Trickle Nascar stuff is okay. They get it.
- No materials relating to anyone on this list.
Conference play has finally started in the Big Ten! Well, not until Saturday but still...!!! Two big games this weekend with Big Ten Championship implications.
The premier game of the weekend in the Big Ten is Illinois at Penn State. This is a night game in Beaver Stadium, so it won't be easy for Illinois to go in there and come out with a win. But the Illini showed last season that they can win big games on the road when they won in the toilet seat in Columbus. Last I saw, the line on this game had Penn State giving about 15 points. I've said before I think Penn State is overrated based on its cupcake schedule so far. Look for Illinois to keep this one close by putting a lot of points on the board, then pull off the upset in the end.
Wisconsin, the highest rated team in the Big Ten, travels to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines. In the last 17 games played at Michigan Stadium, Michigan is 16-1. The times they are a changing though, and Wisconsin comes in as about a touchdown favorite, sporting a 3-0 record and a top-ten ranking nationally. Michigan has a top five defense in the country against the run this year, but sack yardage accounts for most of the success. Stopping P.J. Hill and company behind Wisconsin's line of athletic Manginos will be the key to the game. For Wisconsin, the key will be slowing down the spread offense, which the Badgers have struggled with in the past, and forcing turnovers to set up a short field for the offense.
Purdue travels to Notre Dame in the Irish's third straight match-up with the Big Ten. Notre Dame looked awful last weekend against MSU, with an offense consisting of runs for little to no gains, followed by prayers lobbed up to receivers downfield by Jimmy Clausen. The only time ND was productive was with short, quick passes. Those quick strikes hurt Purdue last weekend against CMU, so if Notre Dame comes out with a good gameplan, they have a good chance. But hey, it's Weis. Purdue wins.
Northwestern travels to Iowa, the Buckeyes will host Minnesota, and Michigan State plays at Indiana. Picks?
- Illinois- 38 Penn State- 34
- Wisconsin- 27 Michigan- 21
- Purdue- 30 Notre Dame- 16
- Northwestern- 20 Iowa- 27
- Ohio State- 42 Minnesota- 17
- Michigan State- 38 Indiana- 14
- Reverend Meeks protested funding disparity in schools by pulling thousands of kids out of school and making them go to Winnetka. Now he's suggesting the same thing except this time 6,000 kids to surround Wrigley Field during the first playoff game? Come on guy, give it a rest.
- Cubs lost, but Harden looked solid and Hoffpauir is hitting his way onto the playoff roster.
- Hugging Harold Reynolds discusses the current Zambrano situation. He hasn't looked great since that no-no 2 years ago, or wait, I guess it was 2 weeks ago. Sure seems like longer.
- Why did the Phillies blow up a package of hot dogs? I'm still not sure.
- Tie Break scenarios for MLB playoffs.
- Benson will not be indicted for all that messiness. Who cares I guess.
- Mr. Cub is a dad? At age 77? Interesting...
- This is how you shit the bed. Sox lose and get swept out of Minnesota. Ugly.
- Should the Bears be limiting Forte's carries? Take a look at the first comment, it lists the max carries by a rookie the last ten years.
- Illini star Martez Wilson wants to be in the NFL...no wait, my bad, he wants to open a convenience store chain?
- Lion's new management has one goal--beat the Bears. I know its tough times in Detroit, but shouldn't they dream a little bigger?
- Remember the Bears number 1 pick Chris Williams? Well it looks like he's back out on the practice field.
- Dempster is the Game 1 starter.
- Wait, wait, wait, Lou didn't mean he was quitting exactly.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Honestly, I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me as to what in the name of Pinella you are thinking. Let's stop the sale of alcohol from the end of the seventh inning until the end of the game at bars around the stadium. Why? What what will this accomplish?
If you want to stop alcohol related incidents, banning the sale of alcohol for an hour won't win the day. You'll succeed in doing a few things:
- Pissing people off.
- Being an asshole.
- Hurting business around Wrigley
- Creating a shitstorm right after the game when thousands of people are all trying to buy a drink at once. Think about that one.
- Did I mention being an asshole?
There you go. That is what is accomplished. You'll fail at the following:
- Stopping people from getting drunk.
- Avoiding alcohol related incidents.
Is this even a legal move? I guess that is a question for another time. I always thought the seventh inning last call was to help people sober up before they piled out of the stadium and drove home. Crack down on drunk driving, put some extra cops on the street; these are sensible solutions that may have the added benefit of you know, working.
I realize it is only for clinching games, but it's the principle of the matter. Plus, what the hell are you doing trying to jinx the Cubs, planning for clinching games in the playoffs. Now that you've opened that door though, what if the Cubs are in a clinching game five of a series and down 11-2 in the seventh? Do we really have to go without a cold drink to help us through the end?
So here's to you Daley! We all raise our warm beers that we had to stock up on in the seventh inning to you.
WASHINGTON - Federal officials confirmed late Wednesday that the Occupation Safety & Health Administration is launching an investigation into a Milwaukee-area employer - believed to be the Milwaukee Brewers - for "willful disregard for employees' health and safety."According to the guys at Wrigleyville23, the anonymous Department of Labor people told them this story. Interesting. I wouldn't want to work for an organization that did those things, whether OSHA is investigating or not. Good luck tonight Yovanni, though I would recommend seeing your own doctor next time.
OSHA did not disclose the name of the company, but two sources at the Department of Labor who spoke on the condition their names not be used said the employer under investigation is the Milwaukee Brewers.
"We have received repeated complaints from employees about unsafe working conditions," one source said. "I don't want to pre-judge the case, but it's pretty clear there are some issues with this employer."
One of the employees at the center of the probe is believed to be Yovanni Gallardo, who was involved in a violent collision at a facility in Chicago in early May. Mr. Gallardo was clearly injured but was forced to continue to work that afternoon by his supervisor, according to the incident report. Mr. Gallardo later had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Mr. Gallardo reports being "surprised" to learn he is being asked to report to work Thursday, less than five months after the incident in Chicago. He told local media that he is trying to make the best of it.
"After I saw the doctor and we had a conversation with Dale (Sveum), like I said earlier, wherever they want to use me, whatever the opportunity is. If they want me to start, I'll be able to start. If they want me to come out of the bullpen, whatever it might be," he said Wednesday.
Mr. Gallardo's difficulties are far from the only only incidents involving the Milwaukee Brewers. Three ironworkers were killed during construction of the company's headquarters in 1999, a leaky roof repeatedly created unsafe working conditions in 2002, and a malfunctioning fryer at a concession stand outside Section 427 burned three employees earlier this season.
Additionally, the investigation also will focus on the handling of CC Sabathia, an overweight employee who has been asked to work extremely long working hours in recent months - leading to fatigue and diminished effectiveness. Mr. Sabathia's former supervisor, Ned Yost, was fired last week. It is not known if the dismissal was related to the pending investigation.
The Department of Labor officials said the investigation likely would take several months.
A Brewers spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
- Is Dusty Baker's daughter sleeping with Corey Patterson? Why else would Dusty have a guy that can't bat his weight leading off? Oh right, because he is an idiot.
- "Air" McNabb will be throwing all night next Sunday against the Bears, especially with Westbrook on the shelf.
- Is this Lou's last year managing? Whether he wins or loses he may be considering retirement.
- Some good Ozzie quotes. Also, is "Big-Game" Floyd ready to pitch the most important game of the season? Also Orlando Cabrera rips his team.
- Top ten Millen disasters. There were so many candidates for this list, it must have been difficult to pare it down to 10.
- I should not even be posting these, and you would never see them on NQTC until the Cubs actually make it, but here's what Cubs World Series tickets look like.
- Benny the Bull takes out one of the Sausages in the infamous Sausage Race...on ice.
- Cubs win to help Brewers move into a tie for the Wild Card. Personally I would rather play the tired Brewers than the Mets, but that's just me. Unfortunately Z did not perform that well.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Bar owners reacted angrily, arguing that customers who don’t get served will get up and leave and never come back.We didn't hear anything about this when the White Sox were making their run. There are some things I like about Mayor Daley, and then there are some I don't. Guess which one this is?
Daley was not sympathetic.
"Then I’ll have someone buy their place tomorrow. It’s not gonna cost ’em any business. They made enough money all year. I’m sorry. We’re just talking about common sense. That’s all this is. Because I’ll tell you one thing — if that community sees something they don’t like, they will not have a bar. They will not have a liquor license. They will vote it completely dry," the mayor said.
I don't think we should let CC Sabathia pitch anymore guys. He's really throwing way to many pitches. I mean...it's just not that nice. You guys should really think about his future...I mean...we are MAIMING him. The Brewers should be ashamed of themselves.If I was a Brewers fan I would want to throw him out there too, but that doesn't mean its not dangerous and foolish.
So in his best interests...we should give him a box of popsicles, and tell him to sit down the rest of the year. We don't need him. We'll thank him for all he's done, and we'll throw Mark DeFilice out there instead.
Because throwing those extra 120 or perhaps 210 pitches to help Milwaukee get to the Playoffs just doesn't seem right. We're overusing him guys. Really. We should be more sympathetic to the big fella. Can you imagine the emotional and physical strain being put on him right now to succeed? I mean...these next couple of starts could make the difference between him getting a guaranteed 136 Million next year instead of just a paltry 122 million.
So for the sake of him...and the sake of his Mother (who I'm sure is thinking her little boy is pitching too much), no more CC Sabathia this year.
After presiding over one of the most embarrassing and futile eras in professional sports, Fox Sports is reporting that Detroit Lions President/GM Matt Millen is out in Motown.
Since Millen was hired in 2001, the Lions limped to a 31-84 record and I don't think more than one or two of those wins were on the road. Millen was a model of suck and did a good job ruining the organization through a myriad of bad picks in the draft, in free agency, and in coaching. Did you know the Lions are one of the four oldest teams in the NFL in terms of their players' ages?
For a generation of Lions fans that have seen one playoff win, this is probably their greatest day as Lions fans since, well, ever.
What does it mean for the rest of the division? Nothing, as far as the near future is concerned. But Millen's contract wasn't due to expire until 2010 and most just assumed he wouldn't be fired until then, because I mean, if he wasn't fired already...
So there is hope for a Lions resurgence, but come on, it's the Detroit Lions.
- Thanks to Deez Nuts for this list of pitchers with the highest pitch counts on the year. This was from September 11, and apparently C.C. is up to 3471 now. The guys with the most pitches from last year were invariably hurt this year...
- The Marcus Bradley Era in Chicago ends quietly. This guy seemed to have so much potential.
- "Vazquez comes up small in big game for the White Sox". Ship this guy out of town, he really sucks. Division race tightens to 1.5 games.
- How the Sox and Twins reached this point.
- I'm not sure what all this is about, but the Cubs used to play at the West Side Grounds by UIC and it looks like UIC officials have removed the sign denoting where the games were played.
- Cubs lose, but it looks like Marshall earned a spot in the pen for the postseason with his solid outing.
- Another Ben Gordon analysis/update. Sort of supporting BG's position, though questioning whether its the right move.
- Chicago asking Wrigleyville to cut off liquor sales during playoffs? There's no way that will happen.
- I love these "God Explains the Week" stories from KSK.
- Looks like Tyrell Sutton will get the start for NU Saturday.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Well some discussion in the War Room of late has been about whether the Brewers use of C.C. Sabathia this year has been ethical. They are purposely making him pitch extremely high pitch counts in their push for the playoffs, at the possible expense of his future career and health, because they know they will not be able to re-sign him next year. Some stupid shitty Brewers fan (goes by "Deez Nuts" or "Real Stadiums Have Roofs", really clever names jackass) thinks that it is not unethical because "Bob Gibson used to pitch 275 innings a year" back in 1963. Not to say that this is a different era (it is), but that comparison is extremely flawed. On top of that, there is further proof that the Brewers do not give two shits about their players health in their push for a chance to be swept in the first round of the playoffs; from Wrigleyville23:
The Milwaukee Brewers, fresh off working to maim CC Sabathia, have activated Yovani Gallardo. This comes less than five months after he had what was thought to be season-ending knee surgery, which came after being sent back out to pitch by Ned Yost with a torn ACL at Wrigley Field.There you have it. Now they are rushing Gallardo back. Bring on the rebuttal Mr. Stadiums Have Roofs. On the other hand, maybe you should wait. You will have a lot of time to think about your response in October while the rest of us are watching playoff baseball.
Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash says Gallardo is cleared to pitch and there is speculation he could start one of the team's upcoming games. But Gallardo doesn't sound so sure. For example, Brewers.com notes:
Gallardo said his status would hinge on a visit with a team doctor Tuesday evening, but (Ash) said Gallardo was cleared to pitch.
In other words, "Get out there, dammit."
"It's not up to me," Gallardo said. "I just want to be here and help the team out any way that I can. It's going to depend on what the doctor and the trainer say [Tuesday]. ... I haven't swung the bat, I haven't ran the bases, so starting is kind of 'out there.' We'll see. I just hopefully want to go out there and hopefully get a couple innings and help them out."
In other words, "Um, are you sure about this? Did you see what happened to my knee? Maybe we should wait until next year. I'd like to get paid some day."
"As far as pitching, my arm is in shape, so I guess that's pretty good," Gallardo said. "Fielding your position, covering first base, that's the way that [the injury] happened, so that was going to be a little bit of a challenge for me to get over it. I feel confident. It was a main focus to take more [fielding practice] and cover first base."
In other words, "Um, REALLY, ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS???!?? WTF!?? I'D REALLY LIKE TO WAIT!!! THIS FREAKIN' HURTS!!! Really. Ouch."
We'll leave it to Ned Lite to get the last word:
"[Gallardo] is built up enough to do whatever we want from him," Sveum said. "We'll make those decisions as the next few days unfold.
In other words, "Get out there, dammit."
***UPDATE: Read the comments from Brewers fans on this story about whether they should pitch C.C. on three days rest twice this week. Here's a little taste:
"Pitch CC twice to finish you have to do it, no quesito what do we care if his arm falls off."
"Run CC in to the ground. If the Brewers make the playoffs, anything can happen. Seriously, 2 CC starts, 2 Bush starts, 1 Gallardo start, and 1 McClung start with the expectation of a bunch of guys throwing 2 innings."
I consider myself a huge Cubs fan but I have never heard of "Merkle's Boner". Apparently in 1908, some guy named Merkle dicked up a September game for the Giants which led to the Cubs winning the World Series:
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the controversial play that landed Merkle on the short list of baseball's all-time goats. The beneficiaries were the Cubs, who without "Merkle's Boner" almost surely would not have gone on to win the 1908 World Series.The actual story of the greatest boner in Cubs history is an interesting one, so feel free to click the link and read the whole thing. Who's boner will save us this year? My guess is Zambrano has the biggest, but DeRosa, Edmonds, and Soto have got to be in the running.
If not for the young New York Giants infielder, the Cubs' last title would have come in 1907, and their century of futility would have been acknowledged, if not exactly celebrated, last year. Instead they have played the 2008 season against the backdrop of a century without a championship, which attaches a certain urgency to the playoff campaign that gets under way next week.
- Sex Cannon's sister robbed at gunpoint in Lincoln Park. Any ideas who might have been trying to hurt the Sex Cannon (or his sister?)
- Some crazy Carl Lewis music video he made from the 80s. His voice isn't bad, but I think he's gay. Who knows, the 80s were a weird time.
- Top ten Cubs games of 2008 from Bleed Cubbie Blue. Not to brag, but I was at 4 of them. Unbelievable season.
- A three game sweep would clinch it for the White Sox, but 2 or even 1 might be enough to set up the clinch this coming weekend.
- Rashied Davis is pissed at himself for that dropped pass. So am I.
- Cubs are setting their rotation. Looks like Lou is setting it up to be Dempster, Harden, Z, Lilly and Dempster for a possible Game 5.
- Guillen says Vazquez chokes in the clutch. I'm not saying he's wrong, I'm just saying he's an asshole.
- The Cubs finally let that 104 year old guy throw out the first pitch Saturday. Good, we don't want any bad karma.
- The good, the bad and the ugly from the Bears-Bucs game this week.
- Cursory look at who the Cubs might be playing in the playoffs.
- Cubs win on Marquis' granny. Sweet.
Monday, September 22, 2008
She's a looker. Way to go Fonzy.
The coach must be feared in the NFL. Players have to know that one dumb, costly, selfish mistake can mean the loss of a starting job or a chunk of their paycheck or public humiliation. Fear is a wonderful deterrent. And the time has come for Bears coach Lovie Smith to put some fear into his team and punish cornerback Charles Tillman, whose absurd personal foul in overtime Sunday effectively cost the Bears a game.
Yeah! Lets suspend him or chop off his hand or something. That will show him not to stand up for his teammates anymore!
- Cubs clinch. Back-to-back division titles. They have a long way to go though. What do they do about Theriot's slump? Fukudome? How is Lou going to set the rotation?
- The Bears look like a legitimate team in the NFC, but why do they keep blowing it in the fourth quarter? Mike Brown thinks its "disgusting".
- Bears quotes from after the game.
- Top ten reasons the Sox must sweep in Minny.
- David Thorpe of ESPN thinks that Derrick Rose's weakness is his ability to exploit screens set for him.
- US wins Ryder Cup. Finally. Screw Europe.
- Houston players are still crying and bitching about the game they played on a "neutral" site.
- Ozzie wants his team to maintain their intensity.
- It's true Big Z followed up his no-no with a bad outing. But did you hear why? He had to fly down to Venezuela and back for his grandmother's funeral. It's tough to pitch on no sleep with that on your mind.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"Yes, Rex Grossman gave me heart palpitations during his brief tenure as the starting quarterback. Yes, he really did not do anything to set the world on fire in the preseason. However, and I've said this all along to anyone who would listen: Grossman can make throws Orton can't.
Case in point- Orton missing Wide Receiver Marty Booker late in the game. I'll put myself out on the limb and say the Rexy doesn't miss that throw. He may throw 2 into double coverage earlier in the game, but he makes that throw.Remember Rex hitting Rashied Davis in overtime to set up Robbie Gould's game winning Field Goal in overtime against the Seahawks in the playoffs? Those are the kind of plays that ultimately sealed Grossman's fate, due to the simple fact that they were not readily duplicated enough to offset the terrible interceptions he threw.
Orton doesn't have it. For all the accolades of being a great game manager, Orton simply doesn't posess the skills to produce quick scores. Jim Miller was a good game manager. Brian Griese (ironically the Bucs starter this week) was a good game manager. How many playoff games did they win?
For all his shortcomings, all Rex Grossman did was take a team to the Super Bowl.
When did that stop being enough?"
I don't know who will end up winning us more games in the long run, but its just too painful to watch Rexy throw into triple coverage so often.
Prediction: Bears 17 Bucs 13
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Just in case Bud Selig doesn’t know he’s a despised figure to the Astros, a few of the players and even one coach wore black T-shirts on Thursday expressing their feelings about the commissioner’s order to play the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee’s Miller Park a day after Hurricane Ike hit Houston.
“We survived Ike,” the back of the shirt read in red lettering atop a drawing of the radar impression of the eye of the storm.
On the front, it read: “Bud killed us,” over a red drawing of the commissioner’s bust.
The Astros were upset at Selig’s decision to force them to play the Cubs at Miller Park on Sunday and Monday while their friends and family dealt with Ike’s aftermath.
LaTroy Hawkins is a whiny baby, but this is a very strange way of trying to show it. I'm sure Bud Selig is sitting in his mansion sipping champagne and thinking, "boy those t-shirts are right, I really was a dick to the Astros".
On another note, LaTroy Hawkins still plays baseball? Since when is he on the Astros? That guy sucks.
Friday, September 19, 2008
***UPDATE: Apparently this video is unavailable now. Some sort of copyright deal. Sorry to those that didn't get to see it. It was truly amazing. George Brett shits his pants a lot, but you'll just have to take my word for it from now on.
The only thing missing from this is Woody's 4 year 44 million dollar deal. Oh and the fact the Wood became a dominant closer. Will Sheets follow suit and sign a huge contract, then bust, then come back as a closer? We'll see.
Keep in mind that Sheets is currently in his eighth year, while Wood is
in his 10th
-Wood’s career record is 76-61. Sheets is 86-82.
-Wood has 11 career complete games and 5 shutouts. Sheets has 18 complete games and 4 shutouts (3 of which have come this year).
-Wood’s career ERA is 3.66. Sheets’ is 3.71.
-Wood’s career WHIP is 1.25. Sheets comes in at 1.20.
-Wood’s highest single-season strikeout total was 266 in 2003. Sheets’s
best mark was 264 in 2004.
-Sheets has allowed 159 career home runs. Wood has given up 131.
-Wood is clearly the less hittable of the two, as batters hit just .215 off him, as compared to .255 for Sheets. But Wood has also issued 576walks, compared to just 311 for Sheets.
-And Sheets, in two fewer seasons has run up a total of 1,425.2 innings pitched, compared to 1,214 for Wood.
-After Wood’s fifth season (2003) he has not topped 200 innings. Since Sheets’ fourth season (2004), he has not logged more than 200 innings either. He was on pace to do so this year (196) but now it seems unclear as to whether or not he’ll get that chance.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
- 7 Ballsiest sports cheats ever. A lot of retards pretending to be normal and men pretending to be women.
- Eddie Vedder writes a crappy song about the Cubs. Really really crappy.
- I would definitely buy this sweet Bears shirt.
- Cubs win in dramatic fashion. Geovanny Soto is freaking sweet. Magic Number: 2
- Yankees pound White Sox. The division lead is down to 1.5.
- Reinsdorf seems to think Ben is hanging around. He may be in a Bulls uniform, but its not going to be pretty.
- These Michael Beasley character issues are starting to add up. I'm glad we took Rose for a number of reasons, and so far he's had his head on straight.
- Quentin is going to test his wrist, but they say they won't rush him back.
- Cubs are getting nervous with all the premature playoff talk. I'm nervous too. Everyone shut up, including me.
- McGowan out for the season. That's annoying.
- Hester is hurt too. But how hurt is he? The questions persist.
- I'm just going to copy the headline. You can read it if you want: Topless Midget Wrestling Controversy Rocks Sleepy Illinois Community.
- Thursday Dick Joke Jamboroo. Always a good read.
- I guess they offered that 104 year old Cubs fan tickets. Just let the man throw out the first pitch already. He doesn't have much left.
47. "We better not be doing the Bulls this year. Man, they suck! Bunch of high school kids with $70 million contracts. Damn! I hate my mother for having me too soon."Honestly please read the whole list on the link. It's worth it.
39. "Every time I think about changing a diaper, I run a little bit harder
and a little bit faster to make sure I can afford a nanny until my daughter's
old enough to take care of that herself."
12. I'd never buy my girl a watch... she's already got a clock over the
1. After an Olympic Dream Team victory over Angola, in which they won
116-48, Charles got into a physical altercation with a member of Angola towards
the end of the game, afterwards he says: "Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit him
back. Even if it does look like he hasn't eaten in a couple weeks. I thought he
was going to pull a spear on me."
- Top ten Chicago sports movie moments. This list is hilarious. Personally I think the Blue Chips scene on the South Side should be first.
- Northwestern is deep at multiple positions. I don't think they will win more than 2 Big Ten games, but we'll see.
- While we are doing lists, might as well throw this in there. Ty Cobb definitely deserves the award for most legendary baseball asshole.
- Cubs lost last night to keep the magic number at 4. It sort of feels like no big deal, considering any combination of 2 Cubs wins and 2 Brewers losses clinches for the Cubbies.
- If the playoffs started today, the Brewers would actually NOT be in them. The wheels have really come off in Wrigleyville North.
- Bears-Tampa preview. The teams look very evenly matched to me. Hopefully the home crowd gives the Bears an edge.
- I'm not sure why Richard got the start, but it was the bullpen that actually blew it for the Sox last night.
- Wait wait wait. I thought Quentin's wrist thing was career-threatening, but apparently he may be back in time for the post-season THIS year.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Mariotti and Tribune "talked about television, about the Internet, about the newspaper,'' he said. Mariotti said that discussions about working for Tribune Co.'s Chicago Tribune newspaper became a stumbling block. "The Sun-Times' lawyer threatened me with a lawsuit in 64-point type. Things sort of stalled,'' he added.GOOD RIDDANCE! Please stop trying to come back. We all hate you Gay Mariotti.
"At one point last week, there were lawyers on both sides looking into this,'' Mariotti said. "It's daunting to put together a deal. This [lawyer's letter] got thrown out in the middle of everything. We both decided that we can't do what we wanted to do.''
Sources at Tribune Co. confirmed conversations with Mariotti had been held, but Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern would only say late Tuesday that "we have no plans to hire Jay Mariotti.''
- Kosuke has been relegated to defensive replacement. He wasn't even in the lefty heavy lineup on Monday.
- Top ten Chicago baseball surprises. This is a great top ten list. Also top ten Chicago no-hitters. That one is a little obscure for most of the list, but still interesting.
- Cubs win. Magic number is down to 4. "We are on the cusp of history every single night". A little dramatic, but it is an exciting time to be a Cubs fan. Oh, and C.C. Sabathia takes his first loss in the NL. Boo-hoo.
- So how badly is Hester injured? Will he play next week? In two weeks? Ever? We'll find out at the press conference today.
- Do some Cubs want to have a new ballpark? It was a good time at Miller, that's for sure.
- Konerko's return was a huge boost for the White Sox. This guy is great. White Sox won by the way.
- More Bears post-game notes. Kevin Payne had a great game.
- Pinella and Hendry in line for extensions? They definitely look like they've earned it right now.
- As Ron Santo always says in those Cubs commercials: "This is the year!!". Could it be the year for him to get into the Hall of Fame? Statistically he is better than half of the third basemen that are already in. We'll see.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Well Sam Zell is at it again. This time the real estate mogul is being sued by shareholders from the Chicago Tribune. The complaint alleges that:
"...since completing his takeover of the Tribune Company last December, Zell’s actions and public statements have damaged the reputation and business of the company. According to the complaint, through both the structure of his takeover and his subsequent conduct, Zell has diminished the value of the employee-owned company to benefit himself and his fellow board members."A bad businessman and a dick? Sounds like a real American hero. It's hard to stay mad at this guy considering how the Cubs are doing. On the other hand, he has nothing to do with the current incarnation of this team. According to sources he is even trying to bring NQTC favorite Jay Mariotti on board at the Tribune. Gross. What a douche this guy is. Thanks to Ethan for the link.
Let's just say this plays right into the theory over at Cuban and The Cubs that Zell is not exactly an angel. They really hate this guy, by the way.
- Five reasons fantasy football is evil. Some crappy comedian talks about it or something. Roid Ree made me post this. It's ok.
- Ted Lilly takes a no-no into the 7th. Wow. The Cubs flipped the switch back on. Now let's just throw the switch out and not touch it anymore.
- I almost forgot the Bears lost. Dammnit. Here's some post-game quotes from players and coaches.
- Sox swept the doubleheader! They are turning it on at just the right time. Too bad they blew the game yesterday.
- White Sox clean out Crede's locker? Apparently Boras pissed them off and he isn't going to be playing any more games for the White Sox.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The roar you heard from
After going 20-7 in August and starting September with a 5 ½ game lead in the wild card, Yost who just so happens to share three letters of his last name with ‘lost,’ flubbed and tinkered with lineups and relievers until the Brewers’ miserable 3-11 start to September completely erased their sizeable wild card lead. This September debacle comes on the heels of a similar collapse last year, when the Brewers blew an 8 ½ game division lead and finished two games in back of the Cubs.
While there is plenty of blame to be passed around, see e.g., Ben Sheets and his injury which is seemingly obvious to everyone but him and Yost, Hall’s and Weeks’ inability to hit and field, Doug Melvin inking Jeff Suppan’s fat contract, Craig Counsell’s roster spot, and mostly Prince Fielder’s failure to maintain a decent weight or field his position resulting in losing Gallardo for the season as well as the former MVP’s inability to hit with men in scoring position, as the manager of a young and indisputably talented team that folded down the stretch in what could be two consecutive seasons, Yost deserves the lion share of the blame. Whether it was leaving relievers in too long, pitching Brian Shouse against Pat Burrell, pitching Gagne at all, promoting Craig Counsell from batboy to everyday player, or batting the best hitter in the league in the five hole, Yost often refuses to put his team in the best position to win games and that becomes especially apparent when they need wins the most.
The only non-bright spot from Yost’s firing is that he didn’t take Doug Melvin with him. Whether this move is enough for the Brewers to turn their September around and make the playoffs remains to be seen, the firing does, however, virtually guarantee six wins against the Cubs down the stretch and makes the Crew National League front-runners for years to come.