A League of Her Own

You're Killing Me, Cubs

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I am hugely gourchy this morning.

We lost 2-3 to the lowly Astros and have now dropped 2 in a row to the lowly Mets.

Before this series started, Mets fans were all up in arms and calling for changes, much like we have been. Only now, they're feeling a lot better about their team. And if there's one thing I HATE, it's giving Mets fans a reason to feel good.

Bah.

If you were lucky enough to miss the game last night, allow me to include you in my nightmare:

The Mets extended the Cubs losing streak to four games Tuesday night with a 4-0 victory that dropped them to 5-9.

Mets starter
Mike Pelfrey pitched seven shutout innings, and the bullpen finished it off. The Cubs wound up with three hits, and are now 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the series.

"Tell me about it," manager
Lou Piniella said. "I don't think anybody is too pleased."

Carlos Zambrano was on his game for five of his six innings. Jose Reyes' two-out, two-run triple on a 3-1 pitch in the second, after Zambrano had walked Pelfrey, was his only big mistake.

What REALLY upsets me about all this is that we finally get a solid outing from Zambrano, and we only manage 3 hits. It's starting to look alarmingly like 2009, only we don't have the excuse of everyone being injured.

Before we launch into our daily Soriano-bashing, he had a few things to say about Bob Brenleys' very public critcism of his play:

Brenly said leaving Soriano in after the at-bat "sets a bad precedent ... and a bad message to the younger players." Soriano shrugged off Brenly's criticism.

"I don't listen to the radio, I don't read the papers, so whatever they say, it means nothing to me," he said. "Maybe to some other guys it means something, but (not) to me."

Asked about the "selfish" charge, Soriano said he didn't care.

"You know what? I don't pay attention because I know that's not me," he said. "... I'm not selfish. I'm working hard. I try to win. ... But in my heart, and to every one of these guys, if you ask that, they'll say I'm totally different than what he says."

Manager Lou Piniella called Soriano into his office Tuesday to talk about not running hard out of the box.

"I have talked to Alfonso about it," he said. "And you know what? At times, habits are hard to break."

Piniella said he told Soriano: " 'When you hit the ball, even if you might think it's a home run, leave the box, and when you recognize it is a home run for sure, then you can go into your trot."

And look kids, I was as ticked off as anyone by that hesitation in the box, but Soriano is not what's bringing this team down. Yes, I will maintain that he gave away at least 2 games this season with his horrible defense, but he's actually been decent at the plate. The fact is that this team isn't good enough defensively or in the pigpen to only score 2-3 runs a game and expect to win.

The team either starts hitting or this is going to be a long season.

But hey, it's not all doom and gloom, at least in the Cubs organization as a whole. Bruce Miles gives us a look at some of the young up-and-comers. I'm only going to include a few, so please go over to Bruce's blog to read about the rest:

With all the hand wringing, most of it justified, over the parent Cubs, the minor leagues are providing some reason for hope in the early going. Let's take a look at a few players:

OF Brett Jackson
Last year's No. 1 pick is off to a good start at Class A Daytona. The Cubs made a calculated decision with Jackson and their other prospects who were at Class A Peoria last year. They didn't rush them to Double-A. Instead, they sent them to Daytona and the Florida State League, which has a reputation as a pitchers league.

Jackson's line in 12 games: .340/.446/.426 for an OPS of .872. He's 16-for-47 with a pair of doubles, a triple, 9 walks and 6 strikeouts.

3B Josh Vitters
Also at Daytona, the No. 1 pick from 2007 has a line of .280/.321/.400 for an OPS of .721. In 12 games, he's 14-for-50. He's got 6 doubles, 6 RBI, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts.

SS Starlin Castro
He continues to make the case for himself at Class AA Tennessee. His line is .370/.388/.543 for an OPS of .931. In 10 games, he's 17-for-46 with 2 doubles and 3 triples. He has 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. I can see him up here this year. We'll keep an eye on the shortstop position at the major-league level.

RHP Andrew Cashner
The No. 1 pick of the Cubs in 2008 is off to a nice start. He's 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA and a WHIP of 0.63. He's pitched 17.1 innings, giving up 7 hits and 6 runs, 5 earned. He's walked 4 and struck out 25. Not bad: 4 walks and 25 strikeouts. Last night for Tennessee, he threw 86 pitches, 51 strikes, in 7 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 unearned run. I can see him up here this year, too. Pitch counts have been the concern with Cashner, but last night was pretty good.

RHP Jay Jackson
He had a good go of it at Class AAA Iowa last night, working 8 innings of 2-hit shutout ball. He's 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP. In 18 innings, he's given up 9 hits and 4 runs while walking three and striking out 12. He ran into a disciplinary problem last year, but that's over and done with.

Love to hear that Castro has an OPS of almost 1.000. I'm gonna head over to Bruce's blog and ask him about Castro's defense. If he responds, I'll post it here. God knows we need something to feel happy about.

Speaking of being happy, nothing cures a good case of the Cubbie-induced blues like a couple of rounds with your friends from LOHO. Don't forget to snag a bleacher ticket for the June 19 (Saturday) game, and then keep checking back here for information about our pre-and-post game meetups. I can't promise the Cubs will win that day, but I promise we (and the drinks) will keep you laughing.

 The Cubs are back at it tonight with our ace, Carlos Silva (AAAAHHHHH! It's true! It's TRUE!!!!) taking on Oliver Perez. 

And, just to remind you on this hump day that there are worse things in life than the Cubs, please enjoy this video from Hall & Oates: 


 

Okay, actually that was better than I remember it.*

Time for an internet scavenger hunt: Find something worse than the Cubs and post it in the comments below.

*Hall & Oates was the first concernt I ever went to (during the 'Maneater' tour). I think I was in second grade and my mom took me. After that, I was obsessed with that album for a good year and a half. I hear H&O is back on tour this summer, and I am DYING to see them. Remember. . . . trust tree.

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129 Comments

Cubs Psychologist said:

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It looks like two of our largest investments (Rudy J & Grab-azz)have not been doing their job!! I have yet to see a victory on TV this season. I think it's time for me to quit watching and maybe they will start winning. Nice Hall & Oates video. Today, my Hall & Oates song would be "I Can't Go For That," because that is exactly how I feel about these Cubbies.

GeekToMe said:

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This trailer is worse than the Cubs...but not by much. And just like the Cubs, once you see it, you can't UN-SEE it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yISIXp-FK-Y

You have been warned.

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay, i'm warning you guys, don't watch that.

it's not only terrible, it's pretty sickening as well.

GeekToMe said:

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Heh-heh. Much like the Cubs play recently.

But seriously, sorry if I dumped a giant stinkin' turd in your comment section. Just be careful what you ask for. ;)

JulieDiCaro said:

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that was seriously wrong. who green-lighted making that piece of sh*t?

secdelahc said:

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My favorite part is the credits page. At the bottom, it says "100% medically inaccurate." Ha!

Cubs Psychologist said:

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What the hell???

Little Bear said:

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You know I have to watch it after I have been warned not to, but now I wish I hadn't. What would possess someone to make a movie like that?

JulieDiCaro said:

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mental illness is my guess.

gravedigger said:

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The web filter at work is preventing me from seeing this, but the way you guys are talking it up, I can't wait to watch when I go home.

Little Bear said:

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I think you will be disappointed

Little Bear said:

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I think you will be disappointed

Eric From The Dugs said:

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I've just been told about The Room, which is being heralded as the worst film of the decade.

Check out some of the acting here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISXiFJS9D5A&NR=1

And the full trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCj8sPCWfUw

But I'll do my best to come up with something else that is worse than the Cubs before the day is through.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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^^^
Oops I should note that there's a couple of bra scenes for a couple of seconds in the full trailer.

Nothing R Rated, but bad if a supervisor is walking by.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm afraid to click on any more trailers after the last one.

LostinFla said:

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The warning wasn't strong enough. Ugh. It looks like torture porn, but I'm not even sure that gets close enough to the depths of depravity that "film" appears to plumb.

Can't they just take out the torture and leave the porn?

Aisle424 said:

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I can't believe someone stole my idea for a movie. First Gigli and now this.

JulieDiCaro said:

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UGH.

I really wished I hadn't watched it.

DON'T WATCH IT.

GeekToMe said:

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I soooooooo regret posting this trailer. You hate me now, don't you Julie.

Admit it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I've got a weak stomach for toture flicks.

our hall & oates date is now in question . . .

JulieDiCaro said:

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Why do people take such pride in telling everyone they don't read newspapers or watch tv? These would be negatives, in my book.

Doc said:

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Well, I read newspapers...but I don't watch TV...so what does that make me?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i don't want to say it.

Doc said:

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that really isn't helping my frame of mind right now as my birthday quickly approaches.

Thanks. Booooo!!!

gravedigger said:

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2-3 runs and expect to win? they're having enough trouble getting 2-3 hits.

Karen said:

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I'm being laid off on the 30th, so how about applying for the perfect job at your favorite sports team in Chicago...only to be told that I am way over-qualified and would have to take a 50% pay cut. Can't they take some of Sori's cash and throw it my way? I want to work for the Cubs!!

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Damn, that sucks. I hate being told that I am "over-qualified." Just say, we can't afford you. The Cubs are used to overpaying players, so they should give you a job!! I guarantee you will at least perform better than they are now. Sorry about the looming lay off.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh, that sucks. I'm sorry!

Doc said:

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I"m sorry to hear that. :(

The Great Geno said:

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I think a ("a", implying there are a few) major problem is the Cub's reliance on the homerun. The Cubs did alright when Milwaukee came to town and wind was not a factor, but we stunk it up in the big Cinci ballpark, sucked it up when the wind was blowing in hard against Houston, and are now sucking it up in the big NY park. The Cubs have scored 53 runs, and have 16 homeruns. So a third of our runs have come, not just on homeruns, but from the guys who hit them. Not good.

A little more timely hitting and we should be okay. But I'm not confident that's going to be a thoroughly reachable goal this year.

Karen said:

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At least I got a call back from them (used a contact I have at the Tribune to get my foot in the door). They will keep me in mind if they upgrade the position, or need a manager, because I am honestly a perfect fit for what they need, just 10 years too senior.

baturkey said:

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I think the Astros transferred their lack of offense to the Cubs.

summerguy said:

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Was the "AHHH ITS TRUE" thing from Young Frankinstein?

secdelahc said:

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Yup, that's my state.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay, my contribution.

Something worse than the Cubs = An Understanding of Geoolgy in Iran

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/20/iran.promiscuity.earthquakes/index.html?iref=allsearch

secdelahc said:

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If only I had known sooner that all the earthquakes were my fault...

Teebob2000 said:

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Your "fault"... Funny!

Alex Quigley said:

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worse than the Cubs: Scott Baio's Twitter

flyball said:

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ok, I admit, I'm curious, I know I will only wish that time back, but I feel I am powerless to stop

Karen said:

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secdelahc's entry made me sad, but happy that I don't live in MI. CJ's entry made me LOL so bad that someone from down the hall came in to see what was so funny.

gravedigger said:

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btw, julie, what is "gourchy?"

JulieDiCaro said:

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So a couple of different blogs are reporting that, when Lilly comes back, the Cubs are keeping Gorzelanny in the rotation and moving one of our "good" starters to the pigpen.

Z? Dempster? Wells?

Ugh--seriously. I give up.

gravedigger said:

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The only official thing I saw was Lou throwing that out there as a possibility, nothing confirmed. Probably much ado about nothing, but I do encourage giving up nevertheless.

Doc said:

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Let's see...

if Dempster is moved to the pen (the most logical choice) then the Cubs would replace a $3.5 million left hander that blows games in the 8th inning with a $12.5 million right hander that will blow games in the 8th inning.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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What do you think about the Looper news?

Doc said:

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JulieDiCaro said:

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what IS the Looper news?

Doc said:

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Looper is sitting out in free agency right now after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason. One source (can't find it right now) said the Cubs are interested.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that sounds about right.

plamorte said:

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when it's all said and done, i think Sloth to the 'pen and Silva stays at 5

JulieDiCaro said:

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i agree. i can't see them moving any of the top 3 starters to the pen.

Doc said:

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That mean Russell goes to the minor leagues...otherwise too many lefties in the pen. That doesn't really benefit anyone.

If Dempster or Silva move to the pen, then Samardzija gets demoted.

That's the reality right now.

AndCounting said:

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I love the way people are pretending that the quandary of which high-performing starter to bump from the rotation is the biggest problem facing the Cubs right now. I don't see how Gorzelanny would stay in the rotation, other than the fact that the bullpen is very lefty-heavy right now (although I'm having my doubts as to whether Grabow is truly throwing with his strong arm or is about to surprise us Princess-Bride style with an "I am not left handed!").

For some crazy reason (i.e. I'm crazy) I'm not panicked at all about any phase of this team. I just think it's all going to come around. I am worried it will come around when they're playing teams that are actually good, but I still think it will all come around.

JulieDiCaro said:

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See, normally I would agree with you. But all last season, Maddog and Umbra and Millertime kept telling me they weren't panicked, the Cubs were a good team, and they'd get it together and turn it around.

I think we all know how that ended.

gravedigger said:

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And I think I was the one in Sprint Training saying they'd lose 100 games. I was also wrong, but closer to right.

AndCounting said:

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There's no reason to agree with me other than the simple yet comforting fact that stupidity is an extremely effective coping mechanism that is serving me quite well.

gravedigger said:

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If he does, I expect Gorzebloney to say "I have a surprise for you... I am not left handed either!"

JulieDiCaro said:

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Also, everyone is tweeting that Hendry is about to make a "big" deal to help the Cubs. $500 says he brings in Jermaine Dye. BLAH.

Doc said:

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And where exactly is Dye supposed to play? I didn't know he could play shortstop.

plamorte said:

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$500 or $50, make up your mind!

gravedigger said:

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Kaplan is saying he's exploring a trade and that it would involve pitching coming back.

Doc said:

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Castro for Mariano Rivera. Maybe?

AndCounting said:

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Can we arrange for the incoming pitchers to pitch to the Cubs?

LostinFla said:

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My guess is that he's ordering the combo lunch at Hardee's.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Here's something worse than the Cubs:

@CincinnatiReds: Reds have 4:30 press conferene to introduce Hall of Famer Joe Morgan as special advisor to baseball operations.

Doc said:

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Does that mean he's off of ESPN? Please? Pretty Please? With a cherry on top?

gravedigger said:

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OMG seriously, that would be a dream come true.

gravedigger said:

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Big Bad Ben suspended 4 to 6 games, depending on his behavior.

Doc said:

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Um...that doesn't sound like much of a deterrent for him not to do this crap again.

gravedigger said:

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The Chicago Cubs have apparently taken a close look at Braden Looper(notes). The team apparently had a workout with the hurler, according to FOXSports.

Free agent Looper is still unsigned due to the horrendous year he had last year with the Milwaukee Brewers in which he gave up 39 home runs in 194.2 innings, the entire league's worst.

Doc said:

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Well, he couldn't start for the Cubs...but if anyone thinks he would be effective as a reliever is being an idiot. Low K rate...high homer rate...yeah...perfect fit.

LostinFla said:

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Looper is like Dempster-lite: good against RHBs and bad (very bad) against lefties. And this was in his prime. Not sure how a pitcher with such skewed splits could be effectively used by the managing giant Lou is, and, if he were, the Cubs would probably be overpaying.

Teebob2000 said:

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OT but hugely hilarious, the Cubs' Baltimore-based reject system strikes again...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100421&content_id=9463076&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Doc said:

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wow...that's the second time they've picked up Korie...amazing.

Doc said:

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Oops...Korey!

secdelahc said:

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the interesting note in this is that Pie ruptured a muscle in his back.

secdelahc said:

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What's also mentioned is that Pie ruptured some random back muscle

secdelahc said:

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Yep, it was so important that it needed to be said twice.

Doc said:

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ChicagoNow has been really cranky the last week or so.

gravedigger said:

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Well, they were down for 12 hours running a patch that fixed everything.

Oh, wait.

Doc said:

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Things worked better when the site was down.

gravedigger said:

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The nice thing about this article is that it mentioned BOTH Patterson and Pie.

Teebob2000 said:

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Lemme mark this on the calendar: April 21 - CJ uses "ace" and "Silva" in the same sentence. Grounds for a national holiday, I think!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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or involuntary committment to a mental institution.

Teebob2000 said:

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LOL No, I commend you for coming over to the dark side. I maintained after the trade that if he gives us 5 QS's this season, it's a positive return on the investment. We're getting there.

DustyBaylor said:

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..or a plea to stop binge drinking with Natural Light and Skol vodka?

secdelahc said:

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Another thing worse than the Cubs? My IT Management class. Today's pearl of wisdom: A low-cost provider chooses a differentiation strategy based on low prices.

This is my tuition $$ at work.

Doc said:

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Another thing worse than the Cubs? Being stuck living in Wisconsin for 15 years.

(let the flaming begin)

Teebob2000 said:

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Boy, reading all these comments you'd think you stumbled onto a suicide encouragement blog.

Doc said:

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Yeah...I've been on phone with the suicide help line most of the morning because of this blog.

secdelahc said:

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Yeah, I was his counselor there and he can up with some really creative ideas for how to off himself.

Doc said:

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It didn't help when you kept saying, "Hey, that's a good idea, I'll need to try that."

secdelahc said:

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I couldn't help but keep a list for future callers. I could say something like, "you know, maybe THIS would be a better way to go about it."

gravedigger said:

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I really kind of hope we can change our motto to "A suicide encouragement blog"

flyball said:

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JulieDiCaro said:

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why should we kill ourselves? if anyone is going to go, it should be the Cubs.

Doc said:

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What kinda of life is this...following this team all the time...it's like we aren't even alive to start with. We are just empty shells of humans.

Doc said:

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Response #2 to that would be, "so you are saying that Jeff Samardzija should commit suicide?"...but that would be over the top, right?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Check out Tim's latest. Hilarious: http://networkedblogs.com/37YjM

His take on Braeden Looper:

"The problem is a 1.49 WHIP looks absolutely fantastic next to Jeff Samardzija's numbers so far. That is how bad the Cubs' bullpen is. If they acquire one of last year's shittiest pitchers, it would be an improvement over what they currently have."

Aisle424 said:

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I've been told it's too mean.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't think we've ever thought anything was too mean.

Okay, Dave Dravecky might have been a little bit over the line, but I honestly think Dravecky would be better than Spellcheck. . .so it's honest.

thisyearcub said:

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Over the line would be suggesting a trade of Samardzija for Cory Lidle and/or Darryl Kile.

Doc said:

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Darryl Kile might not be over the line since he was a Cardinal.

Oh...wait, he was a Cardinal, so that alone would put it over the line.

Teebob2000 said:

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Compared to Dravecky?? Oh, snap!!!

Oops -- too soon?

Doc said:

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I have only had to ban one person ever from my site after he (I'm assuming it was a 'he') got a way out of hand on my criticism of the whole Samardzija thing way back in February.

The problem is, Samardzija has done nothing but fan the flame that had started a while ago.

flyball said:

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who else saw this coming when they made his picking baseball over football and dragged him out at convention as the next great Cubs pitcher before he even threw a pitch?

please Cubs, its called minimizing expectations, look into it

Aisle424 said:

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I did check to make sure Dravecky was still alive before including him. And, yeah, I think he'd be better.

"This guy here is dead."

"Cross him off then."

secdelahc said:

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Well done, sir!

flyball said:

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sigh, someone remind me again why I put time and energy into watching this team?

Doc said:

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because you have a mental disorder.

flyball said:

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well, thats true enough

Doc said:

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Kevin Millar signs with MLB network...according to paul sullivan.

I guess they need some new prime time program where he dresses up like a clown and scares small children.

flyball said:

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they needed him for studio chemistry

Doc said:

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Well, duh...Mitch Williams is such a cancer in the studio.

JulieDiCaro said:

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ChicagoNow is going down again tonight at 9:00 CT to prepare for a big overhaul/upgrade next week.

I'll be around tonight to post a live chat if the game isn't over by then.

Doc said:

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I can't wait for the upgrade. I'm sure it will go great...no problems at all.

Julie, you should probably have some contingencies for next week when this place goes all to hell.

MillsChC said:

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Yeah... do you still have access to the old URL, I suggest a throwback week next week.

plamorte said:

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BIG Z TO THE PIGPEN

Doc said:

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He's going to fit right in.

flyball said:

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um, I thought that was a joke, and then I thought "I should check that out before I start laughing" and saw it was true

now I don't know what to do

plamorte said:

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Taken from a Rotowire article:

"What if I told you the pitcher with the second highest strikeout rate (12.1/9) in all of baseball also has a 7.45 ERA and 1.86 WHIP? That pitcher is Carlos Zambrano(notes), and while he hasn’t been a help in WHIP since 2005 since he always walks too many batters, this is someone who shouldn’t be written off, despite the mileage on his arm, some recent signs of real decline over the past couple of years and an outing earlier this season in which he surrendered eight runs over 1.1 innings. Zambrano has probably been the unluckiest pitcher in MLB so far in 2010 (.437 BABIP, 58 LOB%, 28.6% HR/FB). That high BABIP number is especially worth pointing out, since Zambrano is one of the rare pitchers in baseball who has consistently kept that number below the league average (.281 career). Better control would obviously help, but his fastball velocity has remained constant over the past four years, and his huge spike in K rate dates back to last season, when he fanned 9.4/9 after the All-Star break. Zambrano’s xFIP currently sits at 3.68, which is a huge discrepancy compared to his ERA. He’s once again an interesting fantasy property."

Doc said:

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I'm currently recovering from a stroke.

The Cubs just can't pop news like that...Zambrano to the bullpen...geez.

FrankS said:

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How often will Z get to bat when he is only pitching 1 inning per game?

Teebob2000 said:

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Yeah but it gives Lou more bench flexibility I'm thinking. If they have the pitcher's spot up in their half inning, they can put in Z to hit in that spot, and have him take the mound to pitch. Or they can still do a double-switch like they might normally do.

He could still get a half-dozen or more at-bats per week this way.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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I think I actually found a picture of Lou breaking it to Zambrano.

http://bit.ly/4qRfSw

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