What's past is prologue. Cubs 5 Astros 4

What's past is prologue. Cubs 5 Astros 4

Note: My favorite graphic Novel ended with “the Tempest”. My Religion, Literature, and Philosophy Class, where I read close to 20,000 pages in a year, ended with “The Tempest” Even Shakespeare’s career ended with “The Tempest”. So when it came time to wrap up this incredibly tragic and somewhat comedic season….

There were two ways game 162 could have gone down for the Chicago Cubs and their fans. They could have won and given their fans a smile in a season with far too few of them. Or they could pass out in their food and been swept by the worst team in baseball and leave with one final kick to the rocks. Fortunately, Brian LaHair, Travis Wood and the rest chose the former, beating the Astros 5-4 in the 9th inning for their 61st win. LaHair drove in pinch runner Darwin Barney, who replaced Anthony Recker who led off the inning with a walk. Tony Campana would advance him to second by bunting for a base hit. Yes, in the 9th inning of game 162 Tony Campana realized his best option was to put the ball on the ground and run... Castro would work a walk until LaHair sent everyone home happy. It was fitting that LaHair end the scoring as he also started the Cubs onslaught with a second inning home run. The Cubs would add three more runs that inning when Travis Wood, who happened to pitch a hell of a game, drove in two runs with a line shot to left. So for the final time, Let us cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense.

 

YOUR TALE SIR WOULD CURE DEAFNESS.

 

Travis Wood ended his season on high note. 6 1/3rd innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 5 walks and 4 K’s. Yeah, the walks are a bit of an eyebrow raiser but for the most part he was in control (55 strikes out of 93 pitches). I still would rate Wood’s season as a skosh more miss than hit, but he showed enough that I’m eager to see how he improves. The hope is he starts 13 as the 5th starter. Jaye Chapman came in and closed the door in the 7th. Shawn Camp, who was the most reliable pitcher all year, picked an inopportune time to go brown in the 8th, and Marmol was fine in the 9th.

 

NOW I WILL BELIEVE THERE ARE UNICORNS

 

Good for Brian LaHair. The ride from “AAAA” player to all star, to outfielder, to bench guy, to forgotten, all in one year, must have been taxing. But the truth is he slugged through the minors for 10 years to earn a shot in the majors and he played the whole year and made the All Star team to boot. From his quotes earlier it sounds like he’s had some pretty “honest” talks with management, and he’s probably wearing an Indians jersey or a Chibe Latte Tigers jersey next year. But He surpassed everyone’s expectations and to see him swarmed after the game winner was good to see.

 

O BRAVE NEW WORLD THAT HAS SUCH PEOPLE IN’T

 

Twitter was all abuzz before the game from Cub beat writers about how sad the Cubs “B” lineup was. Here’s a question, why wasn’t this lineup written 4 or 5 more times this September? Frankly I enjoyed watching the kids battle as a team. And people who read me regularly know I love Sori, Kim Dejesus’ husband and Barney. But would a “Sunday” lineup such as this one have been just as productive, been just as “competitive”. This was Sveum’s first worthless September and most likely won’t be his last. Hopefully he saw some things in today’s game (as opposed to the previous two where the “A” team got shut out) and will be a little more active in letting the kids play come September.

 

So…. that’s that. Adopt some teams for the playoffs (Mighty Elephants of East Bay! Everyone do the Bernie Lean and support the A’s), get ready for a very interesting off-season and we’ll see you here next April. I can’t thank John Arguello and Tom Loxas enough for letting me do these wraps. This blog is a true oasis and I enjoy every visit, post and thought on it. I hope I added some dimension, and laughter and pulse, to the brains and passion that was already here. And I have to thank everyone who’s posted on my wraps. Cubstalk, SinisterUrge, Marcel, Hoosier Daddy, Caldwell and a list of others that’s too long to write here. Thank you. Even the people who posted to say I suck and even Emartinezjr and his constant wailing of Matt Garza not being traded. I’ve enjoyed every word. I’ll have one or two more posts I hope before Arguello takes away my key. But this has been great. I’ll let the Bard take us out…

 

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits and

Are melted into air, into thin air:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.”

 

Boxscore.

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  • I'm glad the bench players won the game. Who knows what future
    some on them have. Let's hope Theo and Co. rest before the
    real hard work starts again. Good luck.

  • nice to land the deuce pick, pitching help on the way. For the rest, tis new to thee...

  • Now that the Cubs season is over, I like to add some Post Season baseball book readings for the Cubs fans here.......

    Summer Sea Birds At Wrigley by Al Baltross

    Teach Me How To Steal Second Base by I. Wanna Know

    Are The Cubs Near to A World Series? by Miles Away

    Suffering of Cubs Nation by Grin & Barret

    Pulling For the Cubs All the Way by Eve Ho

    Cubs Win! By I. Lose

    Best Baseball Stadium Hot Dogs by Frank Furter

    Grave Trade Mistakes by Paul Bearer

    Minor League Bus Travel by Dusty Rhodes

    Keeping Home Plate Clean by Armand Hammer

    Scott Boras, Snake in the Out Field Grass by Ana Conda

    Baseball Diamond by Jewels Sparkle

    Ninety Feet to Home Plate by Willy Makeit & Betty Wont

  • Thanks for your wrap-ups Felzz. They've been entertaining and brought some levity to an often dark affair. I, for one, hope that you continue that role next season.

    I'm also in agreement about today's lineup. I really wish Sveum would have given some more at bats to some of those kids. While we can learn a little by watching, we learn mostly by doing.

    Also, a thought about this whole rebuild. I hope that we all remember (including the front office) that progress is not linear. It comes in fits and starts... two steps forward, one step back. You could see it really clearly with Jackson. His first game was good, then he really struggled, then he put it together for a few games, then he struggled again. I would have liked Sveum to let him work himself out of those struggles a bit more. You never know when a player might have a moment where something locks in... clicks in... it sometimes only takes one at-bat.

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    Thanks felzz for all you've done during the most dismal Cubs season I remember (diehard since 71). You made me smile when I knew there was no hope. This is by far, not only the best Cubs blog but the best blog I read. Look forward to John, Tom and you posting this off season. I've created a short cut for the blog ... all you need to type in your browser is cubs-den.com. Go Cubs and yes, Go Bears.

  • Great job Felzz on all of your wrap ups. I'm hoping Detroit makes a nice run in the playoffs. Since the Cubs were buried a long time ago, I got my thrills from watching the White Sux choke and collapse. I got used to rooting for Detroit so I'll just stick with it. Would't mind seeing the Reds make a run as well, Dusty deserves it...

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    You were awesome, felzz. In fact, you still are awesome. Thanks for the laughs.

  • Great win by the Cubs. Feels real good that the season ended on a high note...

    Now, I need to rant. No, not about the Cubs per se. I want to discuss in great detail how poor a writer Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune is. Oh, Phil Rogers is also brutal, but he isn't the beat writer who follows the Cubs everyday. I was reading the recap today about the Cubs win and this guy absolutely sounds like whiny, over-the-hill sourpuss. I will take some quotes from the article,

    "The Cubs celebrated the end of their season like a victory in a World Series game Wednesday, rushing out of the dugout to mob Bryan LaHair after his walk-off, RBI single in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory over the Astros.

    It was just another bizarre moment in a season full of hiccups, brain farts and losing streaks, seemingly whitewashing the previous 161 games in a blip to head off into the offseason on a high note.

    After a 10-month dismantling of former general manager Jim Hendry's handiwork, the new regime now has its fingerprints all over the Cubs organization. The million-dollar question is whether Cubs fans will be as patient with a sub-.400 winning percentage in 2013 as they were this year" (P. Sullivan, Chicago Tribune 2012).

    Okay, first off in year's past P. Sullivan has said in his responses in the Q&A mailbag sessions that Cubs' fans will never have the patience for a tear-down-and-rebuild approach (Wrong. Cubs fan are excited for the future and understand the need to rebuild correctly). He also knocks the team for making careless mistakes and brainfarts as he calls them (Wrong. This team probably made less careless mistakes in the field than I can recall in year's past. Yes, young players make mistakes but so did S. Sosa and M. Alou and A. Gonzalez and so on...) P. Sullivan also seems to dislike the respect fans have for Theo and his front office and what they're doing. It isn't clearly there in his writing, but you can tell he has some disdain towards Theo Epstein and the approach he is taking. I greatly dislike his slant that this season was a waste and a blemish on Theo & comp. He inherited this mess and couldn't be expected to rebuild while improving the team on the field.

    Ah, I'm sorry but I really dislike P. Sullivan and wish he covered some other team in Chicago that drew less people to their park than the Cubs, blew a huge lead in their division and folded like a good lawn chair in September, and has a bleak future without any really good young homegrown stars on the horizon...

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    I think it's a combination of things. First off, Hendry was clearly more media-friendly than the current regime, and didn't mind sending a few tidbits Sullivan's way. The second is that browser hits and the number of comments on the website probably help him and the Tribune out. Controversy sells. I got sick of it and stopped going to the Tribune site. If I can't get the information I need in a Cubs Den article, then I can get it from the well-informed readers who post here.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Well said. The reader comments are informed and I feel like we're family. Anybody can tear down, we show hope and class.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Couldn't be more right Sinister!! I've foregone ALL the dailies in Chicago and stick with the blogs!! The info is better, the links provide plenty of important "other" and the commenters, by and large, are fabulous.

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    I don't care for Sullivan either. I can not read his vile rants and have not been to the Trib site since forever. Having said that, I was a little puzzled with the excessive celebration at the end of todays game too.

  • In reply to I miss Ron Santo:

    Jim Hendry's HANDIWORK???? What a joke. Only if you call what I left in the toilet this morning "handiwork."

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    Nice article,the only problem I have here is I hope that somehow the Cubs will keep Brian LaHair.I think he is someone who can be very valuable to the team if he is utilized properly.I saw him play well on several occasions this year,and would like to see this continue in a Cubs uniform in 2013.

  • In reply to Gary Schaber:

    I don't think there's much chance they will keep LaHair. Good kid, but not much reason for us to have him at this point. He'll be better off elsewhere, maybe where he can platoon at 1st.

  • I feel like I should write something profound or touching to close out the season (and actually, I've tried and failed). Felzz, thanks for providing some good laughs and well-placed references in the wrap-ups. It honestly has helped to get me through the season.

  • Ever since Felzz started posting these recaps I stopped reading the beat reporters' game summaries and columns. There is no comparison- your recaps are way beyond what the mainstream guys pen. I just hope you're doing it again next year and for many after that- it's a huge asset to this great blog that John and Tom have. Thanks very much.

  • Thanks guys. I really appreciate the nice comments. I hope John let's me do this again next year. We'll probably have an organizational meeting or two soon and figure stuff out. Rumors about John trading me to Desipio for a half bottle of Johnny Walker Black have me a little nervous. But I understand it's a business. ...

    I will probably have a post in a week with my observations of everything. And I'll have a few ideas for posts to get us through the off season. Definitely want to keep the "monster" idea running. It's gonna be an interesting off-season. So i'm gonna chip in where I can.

    Nice to end on a win. Trivial as it was, still cool to see.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Nonsense, felzz. You're worth at least a whole bottle.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Wow... felzz got a pretty steep pricetag on him.
    He's like the Soriano of Bloggers.
    Untradeable!

  • Thanks for everything, Felzz. The recaps were a delightful daily read for me.

    Shakespeare's advice to all Cubs fans:

    "Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that
    And manage it against despairing thoughts."
    --Two Gentlemen of Verona

  • They wasted no time in firing Listach...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    They've been awfully quiet about the motivation. Anyone know (specifically) why? Is it just so Sveum can bring in his own guy since Listach was a holdover from the Quade days?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Rowson's next.

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    Great job, felzz! You put about as much fun into abysmal results as anyone could.
    I can honestly say that as a loyal reader/sometimes commenter, I've been on-board loyally for one year now and the different perspectives of John, Tom and yourself plus the great discussions here make this the best source for my Cub addiction.
    Hope you guys are all here to stay!

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    Hi fellz,
    Wanted to thank you for entertaining reads. I actually quit going to cubs.com or the tribune and really enjoyed your thoughts. Look forward to next year and especially watching the FO put together the pieces for next year.

  • Having tried for several years to follow and recap the Cubs day in, day out, even for clubs light years better than this one, I appreciate what a psychic burden that is. Big ups to you for being able to do it. You are a true fan!

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    Wow!

    Thanks Rob. That means a lot. I've been a longtime fan of the Goatriders. By the way, where the hell is Kurt?...anyway, getting a compliment from a Goatrider made my day.

  • Since the internet has become a common tool for people everywhere to access and filter information, the mainstram media has been in competition with sites like this for our attention and pocketbook.

    The genie is out of the bottle and has forever changed the role of media and its relationship to the consumer .

    As for the Cubs, I second the notion written elsewhere that the 2012 season has been the most difficult to watch, even though I knew going in that the team would be bad, as the depths of how short sighted Jim Hendry was a GM are now readily apparent. The Cubs will be bad again in 2013 and my focus will be attune to how the kids are performing at the various minor league levels, as I expect that the major league team will be hard to watch again.

  • Great stuff, felzz! Hope to read more of your recaps in 2013.

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    It's been a tough season, but I'm still sad to see it end. And thanks felzz for the fun reads. And especially for a little Bard to wrap things up.

  • Felzz ... let me join the chorus and say "Thank you!"

    John and Tom are fabulous ... you've brought a delightful bit of fresh air, fun and, well ... the recaps ought to come with a disclaimer: Do NOT read with coffee in your mouth!

    Tough season, great writing. Cub Nation is damn lucky to have so many great blogs to keep us informed!

    John ... I'm predicting Kane County is THE hottest ticket next year in ALL of baseball ... ML and minor leagues!!!

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