A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Wednesday Headlines: Ugh


June 08, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ted Lilly  pitched for 8 innings giving up 1 runs and 4 hits to the Milwaukee Brewers..Milwaukee Brewers won over the New York Mets 3-2..Mike McGinnis / CSM.



Last night the Cubs got good pitching and just enough situational hitting. Unfortunately, the bottom of the ninth didn't go as planned.

Marmol hit Weeks, and just when it looked like he'd get himself out of trouble, Marmol later gave up a game-winning 2-run single to former Cub Casey McGehee for a 3-2 Milwaukee victory Tuesday night.

McGehee's ball wasn't hit hard, but it got past Marmol and skittered off the second-base bag, scoring Weeks and Prince Fielder.


After two weeks of hemming and hawing, it looks like the Cubs are finally going to put Aramis Ramirez on the DL.

Ramirez did not start Tuesday's series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park after not starting Monday at Pittsburgh. He entered the game batting .168. If Ramirez goes on the DL, there's a good chance the Cubs will recall Chad Tracy from Class AAA Iowa, where he has been tearing it up.

"We want to ensure that he's OK," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "So we're going to explore some options with that. Let's not rule out any options. It bothers him from time to time, and I think regarding that situation rather than milking it along possibly getting it 100 percent well."

Don't look now, but Bob Howry has been good since the Cubs dragged him off the scrap heap.

But since Bob Howry's return May 21, the guy nobody on the outside expected to do much quietly has strung together seven scoreless outings and helped stabilize a young, shaky bullpen.

''It's getting better. We're getting more comfortable with it,'' manager Lou Piniella said of a bullpen that has been one of the better-performing relief groups in the league over the last three or four weeks. ''Everybody's in pretty close to set roles. Since they've been here now for a while together, except for the young kid [Andrew Cashner], we have a better understanding of how to use them.

''Having a veteran like Howry has helped settle things down there, too. He's been a help to our younger pitchers.''

And the bullpen's been good.

Since Carlos Zambrano's big eighth-inning meltdown as a reliever May 14, the bullpen has a 2.21 ERA -- and it's even better (2.18) since Howry joined it.


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102 Comments

abe frohman said:

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Ummmm . . . yeah.
I'd say "let's blow up this team and build for the future", but after the Cubs' ridiculous first-round pick this week, I don't know if that's such a good idea either.

Let's see . . what else? That Strasburg guy did okay last night, I guess. And, uh, let's go Blackhawks, I guess.

abe frohman said:

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And is it just me, or does it look like Lilly's jersey number is negative thirty (-30) in that pic?
That would be about right for the Cubs, actually. They should all have irrational numbers these days.

AndCounting said:

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Yeah, I wish I could have bought a square-root-of-negative-21 Milton Bradley jersey while he was still here.

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, so what happened with that first round pick?

abe frohman said:

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Well, it appears he's a Mulerider, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what that means.
Is being a Mulerider affiliated with a school, or is it more just a way of life?

Also, I'm sure CN is not going to allow html, so I'll post the link this way, too: http://muleriderathletics.com/mens-sports/baseball/

Umbra said:

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The Cubs were very high on this guy who was the Division 2 player of the year. He wasn't projected to go until maybe the 4th or 5th round, but the Cubs thought that another team wanted him, so they didn't want to take the risk.

He'll sign below slot, probably, but I don't think this was about money. The Cubs were high on him and thought another team was too. It's not about egotistical scouts, incompetent management, cutting down on salaries, or anything else.

Umbra said:

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Correction: Hayden Simpson was Division II Pitcher of the Year and I can't spell.

gravedigger said:

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There weren't better options? Another team was going to take him before their second round pick?

abe frohman said:

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Picking highschool pitchers is always a crapshoot. If I were in charge of Cubs scouting (I can't believe I'm *not*), I'd be picking all hitters. They're much easier to evaulate and project. Stockpile those and then trade for pitchers.
But, you know, whatever. Or, you could go Hendry's route and pick all middle infielders who can't hit or field (or pitch) but who are "scrappy" and "team players".
Ugh. This team.

gravedigger said:

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I hate it.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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But he's a college pitcher.

abe frohman said:

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Oh, SURE. You have to go and use "facts" and "statistics".
I prefer dealing in rumor, supposition, and blind accusation.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Don't forget hazy innuendo...

JulieDiCaro said:

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there was a WAY better option--Zack Cox, for one. He's a SS with a huge bat who is probably going to have to transition to 2B because of his defense. Too bad we don't know of any teams that could use a decent 2Bman.

Of course, the Cardinals snagged him in the 1st, about 7 picks AFTER we took the 4th rounder with the SIXTEENTH OVERALL PICK!!! #$@#%@$@$@!

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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But isn't Starlin Castro the 2B of the future once Hak Ju Lee comes up?

JulieDiCaro said:

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but then we found out that no team had him slated higher than the 3rd round, so the Cubs are basically just stupid.

Dmband said:

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That Cubs draft pick screams "Lets draft someone who we can sign for a minimal amount". If you draft a guy projected to go in the first round, you have to give him first round money. This guy they can pay whatever they want...

That being said, I will give the guy (who drafted him) the benefit of the doubt because his track record, so far, has been pretty good (Colivn, Cashner, Vitters, etc)

flyball said:

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I can be on board with that kind of reasoning, the big payroll thing hasn't exactly been working out

Umbra said:

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You don't reduce payroll by going below-slot. You do it by not signing free agents, or trading Ted Lilly for prospects. Indeed, going above-slot to get a better prospect might be a better return-on-investment if you wanted to reduce payroll.

Of course, I don't especially trust the front office to even know how to reduce payroll efficiently. They can even screw up losing.

flyball said:

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did you really want another mulit million dollar signing bonus ala Spellcheck?

it might not technically be payroll, but I think the overpayment of a few players eventually effects the whole organization, just one more way we're going to be watching crappy baseball for awhile

JulieDiCaro said:

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the best part was when Simpson said "I don't see a problem with me signing."

Ha--I also don't see a problem with ME signing.

gravedigger said:

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God, at least he didn't do the insufferable shift to the third person. Ie., "You don't foresee a problem signing." I *hate* that.

Umbra said:

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That's a shift to the second person.

Rickey Henderson talks about Rickey Henderson in the third person. This is why Rickey Henderson is a Hall of Famer. If only Ryan Theriot would shift to the third person, Ryan Theriot would be better at baseball.

gravedigger said:

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I'll show you the second person.

Yeah, I'm mildly retarded, in addition to being out of it today. But you know what I mean.

(That was an appropriate use of "you". Wouldn't be if I said "You're a little retarded, but you deal with it," referring to myself)

Edelweiss said:

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I would like to pull you out of your doldrums by showing you the Cubs Dickball video, but, alas, your heart-throbs, Baker and Theriot are not on it

Umbra said:

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You'll be happy to know, Simpson may not shift into the second person, but Cubs Scouting Director Tim Wilken sure does!

"This guy just made sense," Wilken said Monday. "They can say what they want to, the prognosticators. It was very, very simple, but you had to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, this is almost too good to be true.'"

abe frohman said:

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Great. We're pathetic enough to have made The Onion.
(actually, that's a pretty funny story. Kudos, Onion!)

thisyearcub said:

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Following hockey from a distance, but "chrissy pronger?" WoW.

AndCounting said:

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A fan makes that photoshop, it's one thing. For a newspaper to do it is pretty weak.

JulieDiCaro said:

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actually, the fan photoshops were WAY funnier.

Edelweiss said:

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I would like to see a photoshop of David Kaplan with Theriot's hair, and one of Theriot with David Kaplan's hairline.

flyball said:

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I know its petty, but I kinda have a problem with equating a girl skater as a wuss

I know of at least 1 female hockey player that would disagree with that, and has the hardware to back it up

JulieDiCaro said:

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i agree. I hate with when guys allude to someone being weak by comparing them to a girl. it's completely misogynistic and sexist. yet all the same guys who get upset about racism have no problem calling other guys "bitches, vaginas, ladies," etc.

i'd like to see any of these guys a) survive a girls' sporting event that gets really ugly (see e.g. the hair-puling soccer game) and b) child birth.

gravedigger said:

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You argue like a girl.

Edelweiss said:

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Jeff Baker pees like a girl.

Edelweiss said:

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When you say Ryan Theriot throws like a girl, you insult women everywhere.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's nothing compared to what the Trib did to Will Clark in 1989.

Dmband said:

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That was pretty low rent by the trib yesterday. (referring to the picture of Pronger in high heels..etc)...boo trib.

Dmband said:

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Steve Phillips (of former sexual addiction fame) had a pretty interesting take on Strasburg.

According to Phillips, Strasburg has the same "fatal flaw" in his delivery as Mark prior did. Something about an upside down W? I dont know and havent looked myself, but that was Phillips take.

AndCounting said:

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In my world, we call those M's. Fact is, for every Nolan Ryan able to throw 100 without ever getting seriously hurt, there are 100 other guys who blow out their arms. Pitching is an injurious endeavor.

Umbra said:

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Does no one remember 'Calfzilla'? Mark Prior, at the beginning of his career, was renowned for having excellent pitching mechanics. Then he got hurt and was plagued by injuries. Then people ret-conned in the fact that maybe he his mechanics were bad all along.

April, 2001
His motion is smooth and almost effortless.

May 23, 2002
Unanimous decision ; Scouts say Prior has mechanics, poise to thrive

October 2003:
Cubs' Prior Has the Ideal Delivery

AndCounting said:

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That's just it, a lot of people thought he had the perfect delivery, but I had heard from a friend who is an athletic trainer whose colleagues all thought he was doomed from the beginning. I'm sure there's a lot a pitcher can do to improve his efficiency, but there's no guaranteed way to avoid injury.

And I agree, too, that the Giles collision and Hawpe line drive probably were more responsible than anything for his injuries. After a pitcher takes a hit like that or does develop an injury, the pitching process, I would guess, becomes even more risky. When a guy's whole body is perfectly healthy, injury is a risk. When you develop a small, nagging injury, throwing in the upper 90s is very likely to cause further complications.

AndCounting said:

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By the way, that last link is painful to read. Not only the part about Prior's delivery, but also the caption telling us that the Cubs have a chance to close out the NLCS vs. Florida in Wrigley Field.

Umbra said:

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Yes, that was published October 14, 2003, mere hours before this happened.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Let's all remember that, of the 14 Ks Strasburg posted yesterday, at least two of them were against Ronny Cedeno. Adjust downward.

Dmband said:

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hahahaha. M's....Didnt even think of that....I was listening on the radio, and thats how it was described. I dont even know what that means.

I agree completely that referring to someone in sports as a girl is sexist.

I used to play pick up basketball games in the gym at DePaul...even once in a while, the girls team would come up and a couple of players would play with the guys. I cant tell you how many hard ass guys got completely owned by the girls. One of my best friends got "crossed over" by a girl and fell down. It was awesome.

That was when I learned to respect girls sports players...

JulieDiCaro said:

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My generation of girls and everye one after me are the daughters of title IX, we grew up playing rough and tumble sports just like the boys did.

In fact, my high school had an honors gym class, you had to pass the Presidential Physical Fitness thingy to get in. So it was me, two other girls, and like 30 guys. For some reason, we started off the semester playing "King of the Mountain" on this giant hill outside our school (our gym teacher was slightly sadistic but totally awesome), and the girls were absolutely brutal. Then we went on to play "flag football," which turned into tackle football in a short period of time, where the guys learned that, when someone slams into your stomach at top speed, their gender doesn't really matter.

After that, the girls were always the first ones picked for teams.

gravedigger said:

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Haha

Edelweiss said:

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Back in 1960, I was one of the first women to ski for Italy; they didn't like women in sports. Had I been Italian, I wouldn't have wanted to compete, but, being one of the Austrian minority, our culture encouraged women to be competitive. I was living in Chicago, having come here in 1954, and there were no competutive sports for girls, except for intramurals.
By 1964, I was a US citizen, and competed for Team USA. Even then, women's skiing took a backseat to mens, but in practice runs, I could beat the men.

Umbra said:

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Julie, could you approve my comment touting Mark Prior's mechanics? To this day I still blame high pitch counts, his collision with Marcus Giles, and that comebacker from Brad Hawpe.

JulieDiCaro said:

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something just occured to me. you know all the times people have complained that CN ate their comments? I wonder if they were just waiting for me to approve them and I didn't know it?

Umbra said:

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I think it's because I included three or more links. You don't want spam-bots linking all over to virus-y places.

Anyway, I was given a popup that said "your comment is awaiting approval from the administrator". There have been other times that things have been eaten and I've gotten no such popup.

abe frohman said:

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we all crave your approval, CJ.

Teebob2000 said:

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Well, I don't!! Right, CJ?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I think it's fairly obvious that no one here really cares what I think.

(what do i have to do to get the bobblehead?)

Edelweiss said:

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Maybe the NRA or AFLAC will make a life-size bobblehead of Mike Fontenot wearing camo, with a rifle longer than he is tall, shooting ducks.

gravedigger said:

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This is like a fucking joke or something. I just posted something like this:

For me it usually happens when it says I am logged in, but I type a long comment, and then it tells me to log in and erases my comment.

And guess what happened?

Umbra said:

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Who knows what comments Julie has been censoring this whole time? Why, I doubt she will even approve this comment because it starts to unravel the thread of lies ChicagoNow has painstak-----

Leave a comment...

JulieDiCaro said:

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I only censor the ones that speak well of Mike Fontenot.

Umbra said:

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I wish you would. If I have to hear about dickball, lighting farts on fire, or how he's a 'Good Luck Charm' one more time I am going to do something rash.

gravedigger said:

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OMG I hope someone posts the dickball video

Edelweiss said:

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I don't have it in my possession. The guy who has it, took it with his smart phone, and , as far as I know, has not made any uplicate memory cards. He has come up to my apartment a few times when I have some of my old lady friends for coffee, and he sticks the memory card in my Blu Ray player. You might be disappointed because Baker, Theriot, and Lilly are not on it. Only the well-endowed can play.

JulieDiCaro said:

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am i the only one who thinks that possibly proggy in disguise?

Edelweiss said:

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Fontenot had nothing to do with the fart-lighting.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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Balls balls balls balls ballsy balls balls balls.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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Was wondering if that'd get censored or not.

jtbwriter said:

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And here in coolish So Cal I thought it was just me...guess I'm in good company! I just had 2 comments about Theriot eaten....lol!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh seriously? Comments are STILL being eaten?

BLARG.

gravedigger said:

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Are you kidding? Happens to me all the time. And I really doubt it is even on CN's radar anymore.

flyball said:

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thats so funny because I think its only happened to me twice, and that was ages ago

gravedigger said:

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Happens to me almost daily. I think because I leave a window open all day and the cookie times out. Or something.

abe frohman said:

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mmmmmmm. cookies.

plamorte said:

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ditto here. LOHO blog would be better off at geocities

Umbra said:

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We could have it blast a MIDI version of 'Go Cubs Go' as soon as you load the page.

JulieDiCaro said:

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plus, we could have dancing jesus in a cubs hat as our mascot.

gravedigger said:

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I've offered...

Edelweiss said:

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I promise, if I ever get my hands on that video, I will post it on You Tube, and let you know I have. You would be surprised at who is on it. The one silly thing about it is that most "swings" are misses, and the guys are mostly soft.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i didn't even know it was still going on.

sigh.

Doc said:

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I have had a hell of a time posting here this week...so, yes...it appears there are still problems with the commenting system.

Edelweiss said:

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On the Cubs website, you can't read any of the comments to the articles. Sometimes you can sign in and comment, but you can't read even your own comments.

Edelweiss said:

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Hendry can't censor this blog, so go ahead and diss Theriot.

Doc said:

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There was a time I loved looking at potential houses to buy...until last night. I missed most of Ted Lilly's fabulous performance last night look look at 5 dumps someone mistakenly labeled as houses.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i thought you were going to look down here? or do an apartment?

Doc said:

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we have had some things that have happened that have made that a little more difficult in the short term...

but the truth is, after seen what is available in our price range right now, we might have little choice but to move into an apartment and struggle through that initial plan.

I don't know...after yesterday, my head is just spinning...it's either that or the fact I have a cold.

JulieDiCaro said:

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:(

wish i could make you feel better. oh--i know! let's watch the Cubs together!

Doc said:

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sounds like a very good idea.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Thanks to Evan Longoria, "Throwing Like a Girl" now has an "explicit" tag on its Blog Talk Radio page.

Doc said:

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It should have had the tag a long time ago.

JulieDiCaro said:

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nunh-uh. we didn't say anything like that until the wang-gate happened.

Doc said:

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Girls talking about sports...that's some very dangerous stuff.

Doc said:

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Seriously, I'm surprised the Republicans haven't been running campaigns against this sort of thing.

Edelweiss said:

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I am 65 , and stand 4' 11", but I bet I could beat your young, handsome self at just about anything. Neither of my husbands ever wanted to challenge me. And, yes, I am a sweet little old lady.

Edelweiss said:

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Oh, wait, I am 66. Yesterday was my birthday.

baturkey said:

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Scandalous!

abe frohman said:

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Looks like the glowing Toyota sign at Wrigley will be up in time for the Sox series this weekend: Trib Story

Doc said:

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yep...I think the Cubs should get a Prius that drives relief pitchers to the mound from the bullpen now.

JulieDiCaro said:

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between Toyota and BP, the Cubs are getting sponsors with great PR. BLAH.

baturkey said:

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They want to grab a part of the Cubs' winning reputation, obviously.

Edelweiss said:

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Large pitchers named Carlos should carry little infielders to their positions.

cubby23(eric) said:

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Go Hawks! and uh...Go Cubs, too!

baturkey said:

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Yeah, I'm going to be headed out to a Cubs bar tonight to watch the Blackhawks. Sorry, Z.

Doc said:

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oh...the Cubs are playing tonight?

why?

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