A League of Her Own

Cubs Friday Headlines: Rudy, So Far

Rudy Jaramillo

Before we get to Chicago Cubs baseball, first thing's first this morning: I'm an aunt! My little brother Billy and his lovely wife Jen had Unnamed Baby Boy this morning at 4:28 am. Finally, a baby I can spoil without worrying about the consequences!

Wake up, Rudy. You're being accused of not doing your job!

PHILADELPHIA -- It's way too soon to make any judgments on hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo's effectiveness, but the Cubs' overall numbers haven't changed much from the second-half of 2009, when Von Joshua had the job after replacing Gerald Perry.

Jaramillo returns to Texas with the
Cubs on Friday, going back to the place where he became renowned as a "hitting guru."

But has the "guru" label fit him in Chicago?

Going into Thursday's game, the Cubs ranked fourth in the
National League with a .268 average, slightly better than the .264 average from the second half, which was seventh among NL teams. They're seventh in runs scored at 4.6 per game, after being sixth in the second half of '09 at 4.7. The Cubs are fifth in on-base percentage at .340, and were fifth in the second half last year at .342.

Well, okay, but I throw out there that, if Lee and Aramis hit like they should have thus far, our numbers are WAY better than last season. And I'm not sure how much impact a hitting coach can have with guys like that. What I do know is that Rudy got Soriano and Soto hitting, a feat that itself is probably worth the price of his contract.

Speaking of DLee, I'm getting increasingly aggravated with this season-starting slump he seems to go into every season. I'm even more annoyed with his seemingly-nonchalant, "I never hit in April" attitude towards it. You''re supposed to be a veteran leader on this team; hit the damn ball already.

And, as many of us suspected, Aramis has been playing hurt, though not with the injury (butt or shoulder) that we all thought he had:

PHILADELPHIA -- Aramis Ramirez was out of the starting lineup Thursday with a left thumb injury the third baseman has been playing with for a while.

"It's sore," Ramirez said after the game. "It has been like that for 10 days. I'll see how it is (Friday). It should be better."

And it looks like we can expect to see Badass Bob Howry in Texas tonight (and I don't care what you people say! He's better than Grabow and he's waaaaaaay hotter! I'm glad he's back!)

PHILADELPHIA -- Cubs insiders expect veteran reliever Bob Howry to join the team in Texas today to add a stabilizing influence to the bullpen -- in leadership, if not solid middle relief right away.

But how much can he do? And where do some of the roles go from here -- and again when Carlos Zambrano bumps somebody out of the rotation, possibly as soon as next week?

What's certain is that a flawed bullpen that opened the season on shaky ground remains the most fluid, shifting, handle-with-care part of the Cubs' efforts to get back to .500 in the National League Central, as seen again Thursday in a 5-4 late-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

While you're waiting for the games (go Hawks!) to kick off tonight, remember that both Julie & Alex's Excellent Sports Adventure and Wrigley Talk Friday are on today, at 12:00 pm CT and 1:00 pm CT, respectively.

And, because it's Friday, here are 5 random songs from my iPod:

  • Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (Happy 50th Birthday, Morrissey!)
  • Steady Romance: The Raconteurs/Lady Gaga
  • Papa  Was In The Rolling Stones: The Rolling Stones/The Temptations
  • Gray in LA: Louden Wainwright
  • The Weary Kind: Ryan Bingham

Ted Lilly goes tonight against Texas. Let's go Cubs!

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54 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Kenny and Dolly are singing "Islands in the Stream" on Oprah. I'm in heaven.

flyball said:

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congrats to the new parents, and to the new aunts and uncles, being an aunt is awesome

plamorte said:

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I've been listening to the new Black Keys album "Brothers" non-stop. So instead of my top 5 I just recommend that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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For a second, I read that as "the new Black Eyed Peas album."

plamorte said:

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you'd see me in a White Sox shirt before I'd ever write that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that is why i paused.

plamorte said:

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i can't live a lie any longer:

Imma be, imma be - imma imma imma be
Imma be, imma be - imma imma imma be
Imma be, imma be - imma imma imma be
Imma be be be be imma imma be
Imma be be be be imma imma be
Imma be be be be imma imma be!!!!!!

flyball said:

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I have no issue with the Black Eyed Peas as people, they are probably lovely individuals, but that song makes me want to cry with the severity of emotional pain it envokes

JulieDiCaro said:

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I feel like they make music for kids. I mean, like pre-teen kids. What adult listens to the Black Eyed Peas?

flyball said:

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I could probably think of at least one LOHOer

I do have to give them credit for using "l'chaim" in a song though

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay, i admit to having "Meet Me Halfway" on my iPod. But that's one song. I mean, what adults pays for the album and listens to it repeatedly?

Who drives around listening to "I Got A Feelin'?"

Doc said:

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Hey, Flyball...you just gave me a cool idea for a topic on my blog. Thanks.

flyball said:

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let me know when its up, I have no idea where you are going with this but I would like to see it

Karen said:

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Thanks...now that song is playing over and over in my head

cadarnell said:

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LWIII is one of my all time faves ... nice column !!

flyball said:

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interleague starts tonight, hmmm

JulieDiCaro said:

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this is the super-boring part of interleague. i don't care about the Rangers.

Doc said:

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I hate interleague play...

hate it...

I hate it more than I hate terrorists or cheese on Italian beef sandwiches.

Hate it.

And the Rangers are in first place.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I was just about to ask where you've been lately.

Doc said:

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I don't know...I'm just in one of those moods where I didn't feel very sociable.

JulieDiCaro said:

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me either, but i have all you people to deal with.

Teebob2000 said:

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Awwww. We love you, too.

Karen said:

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So did I miss who is going down to make room for Howry?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm not sure we know yet. Do we know? I don't think he's officially signed yet.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I want to see "Million Dollar Quartet."

plamorte said:

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Colby Lewis going for the Rangers tonight, good year with lots of K's after spending some time in Japan, we all know how Cubs do against pitchers they haven't faced before and I am not saying that bc Lewis is on my fantasy team...

Eric From The Dugs said:

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I have no problems with Rudy.

I think Marlon Byrd and Soriano are the guys that have had him before, and look at what they're up to. Soriano looks 1000% better than the beginning of the season, and from what he was doing last year. He looks like he actually recognizes a curveball as a legal pitch you can throw at the major league level.

I don't know what Lee's story is.

Ramirez claims he's "his own hitting coach."

(http://chicago.comcastsportsnet.com/05/11/10/Ramirez-I-am-my-own-hitting-coach/landing.html?blockID=233053&feedID=661)

So, take that as you will.

flyball said:

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I wish I hadn't seen this today, because now all I want to do is play pac man, but a playable google banner? awesome! http://www.google.com/

MillsChC said:

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I can't stand any website that on its own, starts playing any kind of sounds without me starting it.

secdelahc said:

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That is completely awesome, FB. Google comes up with some really creative banners!

Doc said:

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songs:

Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
Worse Comes to Worst - Billy Joel
Candle of Life - Moody Blues
Not Dead Yet - Styx
The Spirit of Radio - Rush

Doc said:

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My list looks the same almost every week. I'm a predictable dork.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Again with the Styx

Doc said:

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I must always have a Styx song.

Teebob2000 said:

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Predictable dork is predictable.

plamorte said:

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It's official, The Cubs signed Howry and designated David Patton for assignment

JulieDiCaro said:

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Cubs sign Howry, designate David Patton for assignment

Doc said:

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I hope someone picks up Patton...because I never want to see him in a Cubs uniform again.

Edelweiss said:

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Why? He would make an excellent Bubble Farter, and coulld challenge Fontenot.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Wrigley Talk Friday starts in 10 minutes: http://tobtr.com/s/1067276

Dmband said:

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One really encouraging thing I have noticed was regarding Castro. In two instances (I believe his 8th and 9th RBI) prior to yesterdays game, he had two really solid AB's, in which he understood the game situation and also understand that he just needed to put the ball in play. He wasnt trying to crush the ball or any, just stick the bat out there and make contact.

God thats encouraging to see from the kid...

Doc said:

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He's still quite young.

That gives him a lot of time to greatly disappoint us.

plamorte said:

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Classy White Sox fans http://bit.ly/c7FvtI

MillsChC said:

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Haha... I could watch that guy with the 'fro get clocked all day long.

Doc said:

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Somebody lock Jim Hendry in a cage before he re-signs this guy too...

Chad Gaudin...released by the A's

sloan peterson said:

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Yesterday was the annual Office Clean-Up Day,so here is the 5 I shuffled:

1."Holiday Road"- Lindsey Buckingham

2."California Man"-Cheap Trick

3. "Stronger"- Britney Spears(bring on the jeers! That would be my lip-sync song if I was ever forced to lip-sync for my life)

4. "Take Care of Yourslef"-Journey

5. "Same Old Situation"-Motley Crue

I hope Gaudin goes to the Dodgers.....

Doc said:

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Holiday Road...love that song!

sloan peterson said:

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I know it's "yourself"-I'm STILL tired....

JulieDiCaro said:

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Mother of the Year over here forgot to pick my kids up from school.

Doc said:

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It is probably better for them if they just stay there.

Dmband said:

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Doc-

This is true. However, I put a lot of stock in approach at the plate, and so far Castro's been extremely impressive in that regard. That being said, lets see what happens when the league makes adjustments

Doc said:

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Yes...that's always the thing to watch for. One thing that is good for Castro is that Jaramillo can work with him...and he's young enough that he will probably listen to what Rudy has to say.

MillsChC said:

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Memo to MLB Network: Don't put Phil Rogers on the air anymore. He just presented his Dempster-headed-to-the-bullpen claim to a nationwide audience.

C'mon MLBN.. let him keep his crazy fantasies to whatever local Chicago TV shows are dumb enough to have him on.

Doc said:

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People can say what ever they want about Z being our best pitcher...but for the last 2 years that title can only go to Ryan Dempster...hands down. And putting him in the pen makes even less sense than Z being put there. Dempster allows fewer runs, and more importantly, goes much deeper into games than Z does.

Dempster just wouldn't be a big cry baby about the move if it were to happen.

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