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Posts tagged "Starlin Castro"

Anarchists Brunch - The Never Ending Season

From the winter of 2002-2003, until about somewhere in 2010, feels like one constant baseball season to me. There wasn't an offseason and a regular season, it was all just one continuous din of noise. That winter, when I was a senior in college (yep, that old) is when the Cubs hired Dusty Baker. Back then, we didn't know he was a complete idiot and basically a health hazard to the Cubs' young pitchers or that he would manage the big moments with either both hands around his own neck or with a blindfold on or both. All we knew is that the Cubs were serious about winning, had a team that looked like it could compete, and enough youth in the rotation at least that they might be able to do so for more than one year. And it never stopped from there. As soon as one season ended began the furor over what the Cubs would do over the winter to be better the next season and then anticipation for spring training when those moves were made. The Cubs were seemingly never out of focus. They really only had one season completely out of it in that stretch, which was 2006, and that was followed by Dusty being whacked, the team put up for sale, the hiring of Lou, and the free agent binge to end all free agent binges. Our anticipation and angst never stopped. The World Series that went on without us was merely an obstacle until free agency and the winter meetings began. Something to be gotten out of the way. And we're there again...

Anarchists Brunch - The Small Moments

Anarchists Brunch - The Small Moments
I was talking with a friend the other day, and I've written about this before, about how to try and feel about the MLB playoffs. It's clear to everyone now, after a while without it, just how different it is from the regular season. It's like the 10 teams graduated from the regular season to participate in a different competition, one that resembles baseball as we know it but isn't quite. It's like Champions League soccer, where sometimes a loss is enough but that would never work in a league season. I thought about this again last night as I trudged back home after Game 1. 162 times, or maybe less, I wouldn't be so focused on tiny moments from one baseball game. I wouldn't focus on Starlin taking a half-moment to stare at his liner, costing him third base and eventually the Cubs run (I'm more focused on that than I am Gary Jones's send on Baez's single. Amazing how these dominoes fall, no?) One two-strike pitch to Curtis Granderson wouldn't be bouncing around my skull in June. Montero behind the plate instead of in front of it (A word on this: I wonder if with the new rules about a path to the plate if this isn't how catchers are going to do it more often, to avoid having to reach to the back of the plate. They don't have to be four feet behind it like Montero was, but maybe this is where catchers are going to decide they have to be to reach more runners. I've heard it talked about)...

Anarchists Brunch - This Is It, Depending On What "It" Is

Anarchists Brunch - This Is It, Depending On What "It" Is
Most times, I arrive here on Sunday morning and no matter how bleary eyed I am (usually quite) I have some idea of what I want to write here. Sometimes I don't, and I just start and see where it goes. This is one of those times. Because there really isn't anything I can add at this point. There is nothing I can say that I haven't thought before, such as it were. There is some confusion on this last day of the season. Sure, the Cubs have something to play for, but I don't get the impression Cubs fans, at least those not guaranteed to attend Wednesday, really care where that game is played. We'll throw out Jake Arrieta anywhere and feel pretty confident. It's just the inherent looniness that 162 games is going to come down to just one more...
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Anarchists Brunch - Halfway There And All Along I've Been A Traveler

Anarchists Brunch - Halfway There And All Along I've Been A Traveler
We passed the actual halfway point this week, and find ourselves on the mythical one that is the All-Star Break (and there's no week I hate more than the All-Star break. Just what am I supposed to do for four days? I seriously threw something when I found out the union added a fourth day to the break. Three I could almost handle, but four?) Sadly for us, the Cubs aren't exactly storming into the break. This 10-game homestand felt like it could be the gear change after the Cubs pretty much survived the toughest part of their schedule. And what's upsetting, bordering on infuriating, is it's just about inches from being the homestand we all hoped for. That one run loss to the Marlins. The loss in the middle of the week we won't mention by name. Ending four consecutive innings on double plays. The Cubs are just a breath away from being what... 7-2 so far on this one...

I Don't Know About You But I Feel Like A Stick Of Double Spearmint Gum - Sox 1 - Cubs 0

I Don't Know About You But I Feel Like A Stick Of Double Spearmint Gum - Sox 1 - Cubs 0
Well that was new for this year. While the Cubs have found all sorts of infuriating ways with the bats to come up short in games this year, ending the first four innings on double plays was a card they hadn't turned over yet. Certainly unique, and I for one am impressed that they were able to show the variety that they did in doing it. Once they knocked that out they let the home plate ump Dan Belino to basically snow the Cubs under in the rest of the innings. And if that wasn't enough, then rotten luck reared its ugly head. All made for a lovely afternoon, didn't it? Let's get through this in no particular order, shall we...

Anarchists Brunch: Oh, That Feeling

Anarchists Brunch: Oh, That Feeling
I feel like I've spent a great deal of time, both here and in my own forums, writing about there are a lot of firsts (or return to things after a long hiatus) this season. Or preparing for firsts, or trying to remember how things go when your team is actually competitive again and trying to head things off before they happen. And so it is again this week. We knew with a team this young that there would be bumps and stretches where they looked like utter garbage. That's what young, incomplete teams do. It's rather amazing that it took this long, which is probably why most of us are so bummed. That it took place in yet another trip into hell down I-55 makes it particularly sting...
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Let's Get Greedy: Dodgers 0 - Cubs 1

Yep, totally supposed to do this last night. But as the faithful readers of my hockey blog know, sometimes things just get away from me at night. Especially when I attend the event, and especially as fascinating of one as last night was. Yes, a 1-0 game might not interest most, but Jason Hammel staring down what might be the NL's best pitcher so far this year certainly holds the attention of most of us. When this week started, looking the most brutal week of what's been the hardest part of the Cubs schedule, seeing Kershaw and Greinke at the top probably had most Cubs fans in a bargaining state. Let's maybe get one of these, or just split the series with wins on the back half of it, and if we finish the week 3-4 that really won't be the worst thing in the world when things get easier in July. Well, the Cubs beat both of them, and now have a chance to kickstart this season into a frenzy. Yeah, I know, baseball doesn't work that way, but you know how you'll feel if the Cubs come out of this week 5-2 or something. Let's get to the minutiae, shall we...

Anarchists Brunch: There's A Starlin Waiting In The Sky

Anarchists Brunch: There's A Starlin Waiting In The Sky
Every year, we have the Starlin Castro debate. It's surely become tiresome for every Cubs fan, just because we've all heard it so much. For the first time though, it feels like there's a clear delineation between logic and heart. I am a Castro fan. Mostly because I don't buy into the garbage that flows around him. Starlin has never played a meaningful baseball game in five years. He had to sift through the 2010 and 2011  teams, before Anthony Rizzo even arrived, when there wasn't even a glimpse of what was coming. And I do think Starlin cares a lot. I do think he wants to be here and see it all make those years worth it. It doesn't feel like that sometimes, when he apparently doesn't learn old lessons in the field or at the plate. And if you're like me, your heart wants Starlin to shove it up all those who have seemingly made a living out of hammering him (rhymes with "Menly" and "Haplan")...

Anarchists Brunch: The Search For Legitimacy

Anarchists Brunch: The Search For Legitimacy
There are no big series in May. We all know this. Nothing will be decided in the season's fifth week. And yet you feel this upcoming four game set with the Cardinals... well, it has just a touch more spice than it might normally, and certainly more than any have had in the past five or six years. Full disclosure, my irrational and borderline psychotic hatred of all things St. Louis probably colors this is a bit. So know that at the top. But this is the first time the Cubs have bought an actual, real life baseball team to West East St. Louis since at least 2009. And while we love to talk about "THE RIVALRY," it isn't much of one when one team is competing for World Series berths and the other is having trouble not peeing down its leg. Certainly from our side, getting laughed at isn't all that pleasurable...
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Anarchists Brunch: Pulled Down Under

Anarchists Brunch: Pulled Down Under
I was talking to some hockey friends Jay Zawaski of The Score 670 and James Neveau of NBCChicago.com on Monday as we were in the Score studios (boy if you're going to go the name-dropper route you should probably go a whole lot bigger than this, huh?). Both of them are big Cubs fans as well. We were watching the beginning of the game against the Reds that night, you may remember it as this season's Soler Game (of which there will be many because I said so). And we were talking about how just slightly more than a week into the season we were already pulled in to the Cubs just like we were in 2008. We couldn't miss an inning. We're reacting to every AB. It no longer was just background noise to the spring and summer. I tried to assure them that iwas just the excitement over the new season, and once the rhythm of summer hit it wouldn't quite be so bad until August or so if the Cubs are in contention. And I bet, for maybe a second there, I actually believed that...