A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Thursday

Olympic and Paralympic Heroes Parade
London celebrates a Cubs victory

We're going to play update-as-you-go headlines today, so keep refreshing for more exciting Cubs news!

First up, the Cubs pretended they were last year's team Wednesday night, en route to a 7-1 victory over the Padres:

The offense finally busted loose against the Padres, with Aramis Ramirez homering and driving in three runs to help the Cubs earn their first victory in six games at Petco Park. Milton Bradley added a solo homer.

Harden (8-7) struck out eight and allowed only one hit as the Cubs ensured they wouldn't fall further behind the division-leading Cardinals, who were playing in Los Angeles.


And Paul Sullivan uses Julie's diary from yesterday as the second half of his column, but Derrek Lee and Julie disagree:

With all the problems they have experienced this season, is it possible the biggest reason for their disappointing record is they just haven't come together?

Derrek Lee shot down that theory, saying it's just an old baseball stereotype.

"It always happens," Lee said. "When teams are winning, they say everyone is getting along, and when you're not ... When you're in the batter's box, I guarantee you're not thinking about who you get along with and who you don't. We just have been consistent swinging the bats, and that's the bottom line."


Lou has an explanation for the Cubs inability to look like a Major League team when playing in the NL West, and it shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us.

''I don't think it's a coincidence that we haven't played well in Colorado and we haven't played well in Arizona and we haven't played well in this place,'' he said Wednesday before the Cubs tried to beat the San Diego Padres for the first time in six tries at Petco Park this season.

''These are all bigger ballparks. You've got to cover more ground. The infields are harder.

''Our team is built for more power, and when you go and play in these bigger ballparks, you also don't hit for as much power. And there's no coincidence why we struggle in some of these parks, believe me.''


But he refuses to blame Milty for the inside-the-parker the other night:


Piniella absolved Milton Bradley for making Kosuke Fukudome track down the deflection of Kyle Blanks' inside-the-park home run Tuesday night.

"I didn't see where if [Bradley] had gotten over there the outcome would be any different," Piniella said. "The ball took a flukish bounce and rolled on the dirt part, and I said: 'Oh boy, here we go.'

"We're not going to get to some of these balls that other teams do, plain and simple. Obviously if you played in bigger ballparks like this, you [wouldn't] put a team like ours together."


Many of us have blamed Jim Hendry for putting a team like this together, and Jim's willing to accept the blame:


''If things don't go well, certainly it's my responsibility,'' he said. ''That being said, we've got a real good team. We just haven't played up to our capabilities. It's kind of a mystery to all of us. We've got a lot of guys that have hit their whole lives who haven't hit. We've done a very, very poor job all year of hitting with men on base. So it's frustrating.

''I'm not one to blame injuries. Over the long haul you play 162 games, and the team that deserves to win in the end does. So I'll certainly be very disappointed if we don't make it.''



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53 Comments

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Lou said Uncle Milty was playing muppets with the fans after his home run.

Doc said:

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What the heck does that mean?

Doc said:

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Oh...I saw that during the game...I wasn't really paying too much attention so I figured that the crowd was giving him a hard time out there or something. And if 1500 people in the stands weren't giving him a hard time, then well, I don't know. I just wish he could do something without drawing extra attention to himself. Just circle the bases and sit down.

thisyearcub said:

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I think that if you dish it out, you should be able to take it just as much. That's all Milton was doing with his hand gestures, telling that guy "Keep yapping." It's kind of his go-to move, I saw him do it in Washington when I was in right field and this idiot fan was calling him a monkey.

gravedigger said:

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I wish he'd just ignore the stuff, but then again I find it quite amusing.

summerguy said:

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I don't consider it "playfully interacting" when you call someone a "fucking faggot." It didn't show it on that video... but if you watched for another 30 minutes it showed him shouting and pointing at that fan, and you could hear the fan shouting back cuz the mics were right there.

However, you could not hear Jenga's responses but you could definitely read his lips.

summerguy said:

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sorry. 30 seconds not minutes.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Chad Gaudin started for the Yankees last night.

Doc said:

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And pitched fairly well...a little while and a high pitch count...

But in the end, if a team like the Yankees has Gaudin as their fifth starter, then the true is, fifth starters a dime a dozen. No team should ever worry about who is their fifth starter in their rotation, because it doesn't matter unless your 1 thru 4 starters can't regularly pitch deep into games.

Doc said:

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In response to Hendry's comments:

Well Jim, it isn't a mystery to me...and it wasn't a mystery to a lot of other people before this season started. This team was not as good as the team last year. Instead of building upon the team you assembled in a safe and reasonable manor, you gambled on players (Bradley, Gregg, Miles, Vizcaino) that most other teams really didn't want and used them to replace key components from last year's team. If you are going to replace a key player from your team, with the money you had available (which was substantial), you really needed to select better replacements than you did. For once, did you ever ask yourself why Texas didn't want Bradley back? Did you ever ask why the Marlins traded away Gregg for basically nothing? Did you really Vizcaino would be a better pitcher than (gulp) Marquis? Did you ever wonder why the Cardinals were so anxious to find a player to replace Miles?

If it's a mystery to you, then you probably shouldn't be a GM anymore.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I'm pretty sure the Vizcaino/Marquis swap was made for purely financial reasons. The others I can't defend, though I still think the Bradley signing was a good one.

Doc said:

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You are right about the Marquis trade...and the truth is, none of us wanted Marquis on the team. In the end, he was too expensive as a #5 starter (see the Gaudin post above). Spending $7 million a season on a 5th starter is never a good idea.

gravedigger said:

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Sigh. I only said that 9 million times last year.

thisyearcub said:

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It is interesting that it looks like Colorado will be keeping the Marquis streak alive. Every team he's played for has made the playoffs that year.

millertime said:

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Is it that Texas didn't want him back, or was it that the Cubs offered him more money? Did the Brewers not want CC back?

Jim replaced Kerry Wood, Mark DeRosa, and Jim Edmonds. He replaced them with Kevin Gregg, Mike Fontenot, and Milton Bradley. I didn't think Gregg would be that good, but I counted on Marmol replacing Wood as closer. MB and Fontenot were both coming off seasons where they crushed the ball, and at the time, seemed like legitimate replacements to me. There is plenty of time for Bradley to turn out to be a good deal. About the only thing Hendry didn't do is sign Scarlett Johanson as ballgirl. If you want to fire the guy, that would be my main reason.

Ed Nickow said:

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Hendry: "If things don't go well, certainly it's my responsibility ... "

IF?

gravedigger said:

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Exactly. This season is a god damned failure.

thisyearcub said:

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I think we should put that on the official offseason T-shirt.

gravedigger said:

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Only if I get royalties. I'm copyrighting that shit.

Ed Nickow said:

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I think this group might do well with this exercise ...

Top Ten Chicago Sports has a post this morning about possible product endorsements for Chicago sports figures. I suggested Aaron Miles for the headache relief product Head On - both useless.

Add your ideas:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/top-ten-chicago-sports/2009/08/top-ten-products-that-should-be-endorsed-by-chicago-sports-figures-1.html

gravedigger said:

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I just threatened to murder my interns, so if I disappear for a few days, assume they took me seriously and I've been arrested.

millertime said:

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Or that you've actually murdered your interns and are now fleeing the country.

gravedigger said:

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Don't tell, please

millertime said:

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Hmmm, this is odd.

MB "waste of Money" : Games Played 99, OPS .795. After slumping horribly. Also leads the team in OBP, if I'm not mistaken.

Mark "to the rescue!" DeRosa: Games played 104, OPS

Milton Bradley should turn out to be a good deal. The man has OPSed almost 1.000 the past couple years, I fail to see how signing him was a risk. The biggest concern was his health, and he's played in just as many games as Iron Man DeRosa. The problem this year hasn't been the moves Hendry has made, it's been that Aramis, Soriano, Soto, Marmol, Harden, Dempster, Zambrano, and Fontenot have all been ineffective this year, whether by injury or by just plain slumping. Aaron Miles and Kevin Gregg haven't worked out, but that wouldn't have mattered if Marmol and Fontenot would have performed like they did last year. D-Lee just flat out told everyone that team chemistry is bunk.

Jim could have brought in Adam Dunn, Raul Ibanez, or Bobby Abreu to play right this season. The could have kept DeRosa and Wood. And then since the team would still be trailing the cardinals, people would criticize Jim for not signing someone else. Jim made the moves he had to make, it's not his fault that injuries and slumps killed this team this year. I fail to see any other specific move Jim could have made. Unless someone can prove that Mark DeRosa's presence stops players from slumping?

Of course, after last night, we're going to the world series anyways, so who cares?

thisyearcub said:

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Game, set, match, Mr. Millertime

JulieDiCaro said:

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If we had Adam Dunn, DeRosa, and Wood, we would never have even lost a GAME.

millertime said:

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You win again. You always do. Darn you and your untouchable logic of Mark DeRosa = Cubs go undefeated. I can't argue with that.

Doc said:

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The problem is...

Milton Bradley's stats...well...are identical to K-Fuks...

We didn't need a another K-Fuk...we needed a power hitter that drives in runs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't understand Lou's comment. Teams built for power are better in smaller ballparks? Should guys who can hit the ball farther do better in bigger parks?

thisyearcub said:

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Are you being sarcastic?

JulieDiCaro said:

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No, I'm not. Just purely from a hitting standpoint, shouldn't guys with more power hit the ball father than other guys, hence being better in a big ballpark? If the sluggers can't get the ball out of there, what chance to the little guys have? Everything that doesn't go out is a pop-up or a base hit. There's no reason why sluggers wouldn't get as many base hits as other guys, assuming they have decent ABs. If you can hit a ball out of the park, you should also be able to hit a double. It's not like it's either/or. Unless Lou is implying that we're swinging for the fences every time up.

Besides, he doesn't address the issue of all the strikeouts in San Diego and Colorado. If we were hitting balls to the warning track every AB, he might have a decent argument.

millertime said:

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I thought of it as with bigger parks there is more room for the ball not to go out of the park. So a team with fast rangy outfielders can get to a lot of flyballs, including some flyballs that might have gone for HR at a smaller park. Also, a team with Power Bats is generally thought of as being big slow guys, who don't have good range. In a park like Sand Diego's, poor range in the outfield will kill you.

thisyearcub said:

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Yeah, this is what I was thinking. Pretty sure he was just saying some of those balls hit in that series would have been home runs at Wrigley or other parks. (I saw at least two, but I only caught one game and half of another)

Of course, it cuts both ways so the same can be said about S.D.'s hitters.

millertime said:

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I will say this, it was nice being able to enjoy last night not caring if we won or lost. I wish we were in it, but watching baseball is more fun/relaxing when you don't have as much at stake. I hope the Cubs don't ruin this feeling of good will by winning enough games to stay in things.

Stop winning assholes!

gravedigger said:

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I kind of agree. If they just string off 8 or 10 losses in a row I'd feel a lot more comfortable.

gravedigger said:

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Well, I have no illusions about them doing anything this season, even if they were to reel off 8 or 10 wins.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Wow--

Some chick just called in on the radio show Obama is on and said that she doesn't think "the 20 and 30-somethings, who spend all their money on electronics and SUVs" should be eligible for government health insurance.

LOL.

I guess that would be all of us.

Ed Nickow said:

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"20 and 30-somethings?" Not all of us ... ...

Ah, kids ... spending all their money on electronics and SUVs while we're spending all of our money on ... our kids!

Happily, mind you ... I'm just sayin' ...

gravedigger said:

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I don't buy electronics and SUVs. I wish I did. But there's no money leftover after the liquor purchases and bar tabs.

Ed Nickow said:

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Actually, with two grown children and the third leaving for college in 2 weeks, a big chunk of what I spend on my kids (tuition aside) is taking them to Cubs games.

The misery brings us closer.

gravedigger said:

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You should try it my way and give them liquor.

JulieDiCaro said:

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too bad.

no health insurance for you.

gravedigger said:

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except that i have a govt job, so i get the health insurance that senators get :P

gravedigger said:

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Someone say something.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I have no idea what to put up for a mid-day diary. Anyone have anything interesting to say?

millertime said:

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1. What level of competitiveness should the Cubs have? I don't want to like New York or boston fans where if my team doesn't win every year I expect heads to roll and something drastic to be done. On the other hand I don't want to turn into the Brewers where I bitch about payroll and big market teams and never have any expectations for my team ever.

2. Swine Flu. Can you actually get it from pigs?

3. Which movie is worse, Transformers 2 or G.I. Joe?

4. What Pink Floyd album is best?

5.

6. Maybe a diary looking ahead to next off-season in regards of prospects and free agents we might aquire?

7. Cake wrecks?

8. http://www.speech-topics-help.com/a-list-of-interesting-speech-topics.html

millertime said:

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Or maybe people could compare death pools?

gravedigger said:

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I like this idea. I'm officially ont he board with Novak croaking.

gravedigger said:

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I have a lot of interesting things to say, but when I say them, I get angry emails from you.

Dmband said:

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The Floyd discussion would be pretty brief...I mean it has to be dark side right?

I like the prospects/free agents discussion....here's one: If we are still out of this, does Cashner make an appearance in Sept?

thisyearcub said:

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4. is a stellar question. And very hard to answer. I've always gone with "Wish You Were Here"

jtbwriter said:

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Yes (Afternoon all...)

1. Monty Python couldn't write anything funnier then the screaming meemies at the Town Hall meets on health care. .....Unless the Minister of Silly Walks was the moderator.

2. The only people against affordable health care are those who have it.

3. Who else thinks Barry Manilow, John Denver, Neil Diamond and Dan Fogelberg were the best things ever in the 1970-80's?

4. The Hall of Fame isn't a Hall of Fame without Coach.

5. Vin Scully deserves a medal for having pushed for 1st base/3rd Base Coaches to have to wear
helmets. Larry Bowa nearly got it the other night with a screaming liner.....and he was the most
vocal "old school" guy against them.

6. Old dragons Rule!

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