Sunday, August 31, 2003

Should Fans Be Required to Know Something

I sit at 6 in the morning, not being able to sleep. I have been thinking about this little story for about a week now and I had no clue what I really wanted to say. I have plenty of friends that are fans of their teams and they no little history to none. That is not a real problem, because everyone in the world can not be as die hard as the Cub Blog World. Not to say that I know everything, because I do not.

Growing up in Alabama, I did not really become a Cub fan until around 1989. I know I must have jumped on the Cub Train during a playoff year, but at the Time I was only 9 about to turn 10. So I really had not made up my mind, but that series is really my first Cub memory. I remember Will Clark just crushing the Cubs. Then my first Youth Director and bunch of the youth at my church were Cub Fans. So there lies my foundation as a Cub Fan. It is not a solid background, but hey everyone has to start with something.

My first Cub game was a Sunday in 1993 in July. It was standing room only for me that day, because my parents did not plan ahead. Needless to say that since then I take care of my tickets well ahead of time. It was a 10-4 win for the Cubs, but I do not remember much of the game. That was my first Major League Baseball game ever. Even tough I live only 3 hours away from Atlanta, my first game was in Chicago.

The First game I really remember is after the strike in 1995. Again the Cubs were facing the Dodgers(for some reason it seemed like I saw the Dodgers everywhere, later I saw them in my only game in Pittsburg). I was on the first row of the Upper Deck and as a weak protest of the strike, we painted this sign that read "We Paid Only To Hear Harry Sing." We ended up on WGN during the 7th inning, so that was real fun. It was the first time I was on TV, and it was not the last. If you watch any college basketball and if Alabama is home, then you will see my on the front row, but back to the story. Bottom of the 9th the score was 0-0 and we had a man on. Howard Johnson comes to the plate and hits a 2 Run Walk-Off HR to win the game. I still remeber it like yesterday. That was also the first walk off HR I had ever seen until I say Jeff Kent hit one this year against the Cardinals when I was in Houston.

So, after all that now on to my real reason of writing. This being a playoff contention year, there are always people trying to become fans. For the most part I am ok with this trend. As long as they do not become Brave-Like fans. The main problem I have is with people who already claim to be fans and think they know everything.

To explain, there is a guy in my class that claims to be a Cub fan, but I think he says it draw attention to himself. Because he roots for the Fighting Irish, Duke and IU Basketball. I think he tries to find every trendy team and latch on to them. That is not the real reason he bothers me. First off he is a journalism major also, and I swear if he gets a better job than me, I will go TP his house, by the way check out for a great TP story. He started throwing out crazy facts about the Cubs. Probably most of the time he gets away with these antics, because nobody is the wiser, but not today.

I was in class reading I believe The Cub Reporter, when he said the Cubs had 13 World Championships. I turned my chair and asked him to repeat that fact. He was sure that the Cubs had 13 titles. I was like you are crazy. He said that he was in Wrigley and saw where there were like 13 flags painted that say World Champions. He claimed we won a bunch before the World Series was created. He also said it was like since 1850, I knew he was nuts after that one. I admit that I do not know all the Cub facts I should. Not being around a baseball family, I have had to teach and research the facts. So, I head over to Baseball Reference to find out how bad he was off.

I knew we had 2 World Series Titles, but I had to find the other 11 he was claiming. The first thing I brought up was the Chicago White Stockings were created in 1876, I should have asked if he knew the name, but I dropped the ball. I clearly point out that the site says that the Cubs have only 2 Championships, but they do have 16 pennants if you count the White Stockings. The only thing I could find with his number is 13 playoff appearances as the Cubs. This is a fact that I already knew. He would not give up his claim, so I researched more about the History of the Baseball before the World Series. The Cubs/White Stockings/Orphans/Colts never won a championship in any of the post season ventures before the 1907 Series. He still did not believe me. I really think this may be a long a year. For all I know he is Estes backer. He probably thinks we need a lefty, just because he is one. I found some more stuff on the internet talking about pre-World Series stuff and plan to give it to him, but he will just brush it off because of what he thought he saw. Now if anyone can back his story, please tell me, because I do not want to be wrong. If the Cubs really have 13 flags painted under a World Champion Sign or something I may not know about it. I have been to Wrigley 8 Times and I do not remember the sign, but like I said I am not perfect. That is why I look things up.

I wish we could get rid of fans like that. It is better to know nothing and learn than to know wrong and teach wrong. I know some poor soul has taken his facts and is being laughed because he listened to a fan that knew too little.

Juan Cruz will take the mound today and I pray that he throws a perfect game or something. That way there is no way that Dusty can take him out of the rotation. I still think Estes will pitch on Thursday. The Cubs are 1.5 out and still have a good chance. If they can post a win maybe the Reds and Padres can help out and then it will be .5 heading into Labor Day.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Derek over at Let's Play Two tried to bring back the magic of the Estes pool today, but not even the great game could put Estes back together. Estes just can not get batters out. This is just another move in a long line of choices that Dusty has made this year that have me at a loss.

Shawn was rocked and has the worst ERA out of any starter in the league. If the Cubs are to contend down the stretch then Estes must go. There is no reason to throw a left hander out there if he will not make better. Knowing Dusty Estes will pitch on Thursday and the Cubs will get rocked by the Cards.

Since Lenny Harris is gone, it is time to turn all of our efforts towards Shawn, because he is number one player holding the Cubs back.

Yeah Estes in Top Form

Yarbage Cub Review

I am trying a new feature of the google toolbar. Estes got shelled again and the Cubs must get rid of him

Friday, August 29, 2003

Clement Lets the Bullpen Stay in the Pen

A huge preformance by Clement today. He gets a complete game 4-2 win over the hottest team in the NL. The Cubs pull within a game of the Wild Card and the central, so depending on tonights outcome in the other game. It was good to see Miller hit a HR that gave the Cubs some much needed support in the 8th inning.

Looking past today, now it is time for Estes to pitch again. He has been terrible of late and tomorrow he needs to win. If the Cubs can find a way, then I like the chances, but with a few double headers coming up I think he is not leaving the rotation anytime soon. This probably means he will pitch game 5 of the Cardinals series on Thursday.

A bigger look later.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Day the Bullpen Died

That was ugly. 4 Runs and a loss. I am still upset. After the third run scored I turned off the TV and went to bed. Again Carlos Zambrano has to save the Cubs. We really need a series win and it seems every game it falls to Carlos. Matt Morris gets his second start off the DL and he looked pretty good Saturday against the Philliies, but they are falling apart at this moment. Morris looked better towards the end of his start, so he could be in good form tonight.

My internet is up and running so I am now able to update more often. I am working on a big story for my Journalism class, so all you Cub bloggers should look for an email in the next coming couple of weeks. The story will focus on how the quality of writing is improving with online self publishers. More details on that later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Season Comes Down to 5 Weeks

With 5 weeks remaining in the season the Cubs are in the middle of a playoff hunt. It just never gets old saying that. Around the Cub Blog Warrios out there, there is some really good stuff being written.

First off check out and Another Thing! by Al Yellon. He has the breakdown of the remaining games by the 3 Central Contenders.

Also check out the Northside Lounge as Scott Lange takes a look at the week in review.

Tomorrow I will be at full strength for the first time in two months. That means I have internet access at my home and the Dish is working. I am looking foward to the game tonight. The only drawback is that I will most likely have to listen to Joe Buck call the game. I always hate how Directv makes you listen to the home teams call, except one time when the Yankees Yes Network was on instead of FSN. That made me real made, because those guys are terrible.

Not much to say about tonight. It is huge and everyone knows it. The Cubs will be lucky to take two of three because of the way they have played there in the past. There only win this year was because of the Mark Bellhorn pinch hit HR. Wow that seems like it happened a decade ago. The Cubs need to prove to themselves that they can win here to gain a little more conifedence heading into the 5 game series next week. We shall see what takes place. The game is on ESPN tomorrow night and WGN on Thursday.

In other news Brian Giles is now a Padre and the going out of business sale goes on for the Pirates. Maybe it will help my fantasy team which is going to the playoffs starting next week.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Fantasy Football Starts and The Cubs Win

It is tought being a 4 sport star. Ok, that is a reach, but really playing fantasy sports takes a lot of time and effort to find out what players to draft. Baseball is still going and I am in a playoff race right now, and of course I have to prepare for the Football draft that takes place in 30 minutes. There is never a moments rest when you are a star. I have won two championships, but never in my favorite sports of Baseball or Football. I have won Basketball and I hate the NBA and I won Golf this year.

More after my draft.
Paging Matt Clement

Which Matt Clement will show up tonight? Another huge game for the Cubs(I know I say that a lot, but really it is). The Cubs were helped by the Reds again yesterday and they try to sweep the Astros, so a Win by the Cubs today could prove pretty big. The Cubs head to the Cardinals next, so the season really heats up.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Just When You Think It Is Over

You can say whatever you want about Mark Prior being on Fire right now, but Carlos Zambrano is the Cub savior. After Wood gets shelled against the Astros the Cubs faced another must win. They had a chance to pull within a .5 game again as the Astros and Cardinals lost. Everything seemed to be against them. Schilling was on the mound coming off one of his best games of the season. Well, throw it all out. Carlos comes in and slams the door. If it were not for a bad call he could have walked away with a No-No. His stuff was great all night. You could tell in the 9th he was upset with the call, but he got the job down in under 100 pitches.

Sammy Sosa came alive with two HR's last night and Aramis hit another HR. 4-1 is nice and now we look to Estes. He has not pitched well lately and was skipped in the rotation last week. If we win tonight and take the series, this would be huge as the Cubs head to St. Louis on Tuesday.

A win would also match the win total of last season. Batista goes today for the D-Backs. I thought we might be done after the Wood loss, but Carlos has giving me hope.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Tonight is the Night

With no internet and no TV until tomorrow I cannot see tonights rubber match. I will be without internet until next Wednesday as the Lovely people of Comcast have seen it fit to take 2 and 1/2 weeks to set up my new internet account. The Sat goes up tomorrow, so I will be ready for the Arizona series.

I did not get to see last night, but from what I read Prior was lights out. .5 behind heading into tonight, maybe we will leave in first.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Womack or Wotrouble?

That was a lame attempt at humor, I need better lines, but really do the Cubs need another washed up player that cannot hit. I will love to hear how Hendry explains this one. The front office is a joke. I was ok with the Lofton and Aramis deal, but the last few have been terrible. The only hope is that Womack is let go when Mark gets off the DL.

By now everyone knows the series against the Astros is huge, so lets just see what happens.

If Wood cannot go on Thursday then Estes will take his normal turn in the rotation.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Chicago Pirates?

With another trade between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs have acquired another left handed bat in Randall Simon. After the Dodgers evend the series 1-1 news came of the trade. This is the third Pirate that the Cubs have acquired this season. Since Hee Chop is not hitting well, hopefully this trade is the answer to another good bat.

Being a half game back we need a win tomorrow to make sure we can keep ground and hopefully be back in first by the end of the day. Zambrano is on the mound so maybe he'll keep up the magic he has been showing lately and we can win this series before we play St. Louis.

Thursday, August 14, 2003


The Cubs take 3 of 4. They now have a 3 game winning streak and now would be a good time to real off a few more wins in a row. This was the perfect game for my first game back in almost 2 months. With the LA win the Cubs are now only 2.5 games behind the Wild Card, but Philly still plays tonight. This is the kind of series you dream of. I really thought after losing the first game of the series the best the Cubs could have done was get a split, but the Cubs pulled it together. They scored 13 runs in the last 2 games and held the Astros to 7 runs the entire series. With 4 of those coming off Estes.

So where does this leave the Cubs? This is a prime spot to take the division. The schedule is still tough the rest of this month.

So lets look at what everybody has left.

Cubs (3, Houston 64-57)(3, Arizona 64-55)(6, Brewers 47-72)(8, Cardinals 64-57)(4, Expos 61-60)(3, NY Mets 50-69)(3, Reds 52-67)(7, Pirates 55-64)

Astros (3, Reds 52-67)(6, Dodgers 62-58)(6, Padres 47-74)(8, Brewers 47-72)(3, Rockies 61-62)(6, Cardinals 64-57)(3, Giants 73-46)(3, Cubs 63-57)

Cardinals (6, Phillies 65-54)(8, Cubs 63-57)(3, Pirates 55-64)(6, Reds 52-67)(6, Astros 64-57)(6, Brewers 47-72)(3, Rockies 61-62)

It should be fun, but I hate the fact that the Cubs play the Cardinals 8 times including the 5 game 4 day stretch in early September. That could really make or break the year.

Well, at least we are in the race.
Game Log #1

12:57 p.m.: I am ready 3 minutes until Cub Baseball. This is my first game to see since June 30th. If the Cubs can win then they will be .5 games out of first.

1:00 p.m.:Lead Off Man just started. Matt Clement vs. Jarod Fernadez. Steve Stone is interviewing Dusty Baker and he is saying the standard everygame is important and we want to keep ahead of the other team. That is an understatement. What's up with Darren Baker wearing the Road Cap, I a mean come on Dusty you are the skipper. Your son has to dress right.

1:23: First pitch is a ball. Nice to see Choi in the game. I think he is going to do some damage today. I am joining the Free Hee Seop group. Wow, the late call on the play to get Biggio. Looking at the replay it looks good.

1:28 Chip and Steve give pitching 101 with the talk of 2 and 4 seem fastballs. Clement K's Kent and the first is over.

1:44 Lofton leads off with a single, Gonzo walks. Sosa and Alou both get out. I said it once before as Choi his a gapping double to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

1:55 The TV vs. Radio war continues as Chip and Steve take more shots at Santo. Aramis makes a good grab to end the inning.

2:07 Augie goes to 0-15. Bako gets picked off and Clement k's on the ugliest swing I have seen in years.

2:11 1-2-3 still 2-0

2:20 Bottom of the third. Gonzo singles up the middle, he is starting to show real signs of getting a decent swing. Holy Crap, Biggio makes his first Error in center all year on a ball off the bat of Sosa. Alou was walked to load the bases, but Choi and Aramis cannot get the job done. Well, I cannot be always right as Choi does not come through here.

2:45 Augie may have not got a hit, but he was HBP, then Bako gets a lucky bounce. Clement is by far the worst hitting Cub pitcher. Sac Fly from Kenny Lofton 3-0, then Gonzo doubles on and "Wavin" Kim takes a gamble that pays off as Bako scores from 1st. After 4 Cubs up 4-0.

3:00 Clement puts 2 on and nobody out. Then he gets Colin Porter and Biggio to strike out. Then Merced grounds out to 2nd.

3:20 Alou is hit by a pitch and then Aramis is also. Choi also walked in this inning. It was a perfect chance for Augie to get his first hit, but he k's. Bako then gets a RBI as he is walked. Cubs 5-0

3:45 Clement gets in trouble and is taken down after he walks in a run. Clement is again unable to field his position. He leaves with 8 K's and 4 Walks. A good outing, but I would like to see more control. Veres gets the final out. After 5 and 1/2 Cubs 5 - Astros 1.

3:55 Bagwell misses a HR by just an inch. Veres is looking good today. If it were not for the wild pitch it would be a perfect piece of relief. He gets Kent to fly out. Cubs 5-1 going into the stretch. 7th inning stretch guest is the WGN morning news crew, it is about to retire this guest conductor thing. It is starting to get tired. They should just bring Bill Murray back all the time. The Cubs are 2 innings away, and can the bullpen hold it for 2 days straight.

4:03 NY is in the Dark as major power outages hit. The Cubs go quietly in the 7th. Choi had a nice try at a bunt, but he was thrown out. Also more pointless chatter in the booth during the 7th inning interview.

4:09 Guthrie comes on and K's Berkman who is now 1-14 in the series. Then gives up a bloop double to Greg Zahn. Farnsworth is coming on right now.

4:20 First off, why have I not read about Farnsworth's new fassion statement. He now has turned into Mr. Shaggy with the growth on the beard and his hair is growing out. He looks totally different then the old Klye, now back to the game. Kyle walks one, but K's Hidalgo to end the inning with a 98 MPH fastball. Cubs 5-1

4:40 Gonzo gets permission to buzz the tower as the Cubs add 2 in the bottom half of the 8th inning. He goes 3/4 with 3 RBI 2 Runs and 1 HR. It looks like he has found his stroke. It was all possible because of the Lofton walk to keep the inning alive. The Cubs head to the 9th up 7-1. The scene in the Cub dugout as the plane flew overhead was priceless. I think Hee Seop thought someone was about to land on Wrigley. It looks like Clement will improve to 10-10 and the Cubs will be .5 behind the Astros and Cardinals.

4:51 Joe Borowski gives up a hit and walk with 1 out and then gets Kent to fly out and Strikes out Berkman. Cubs Win 7-1. Thoughts on what this means a little later. This was fun, so maybe I will do this again on a later date.


Not a very great title, but it does the job. I arrived today in Alabama at 5:00 p.m. CST and was not able to see any of Estes getting bailed out, but I was just happy to see us win a game he pitched.

I love watching ESPN. I caught the highlights and it looked like Alou's HR was electric. I get to watch my first game today in 44 days. I tried to stay off the jet lag, but my body woke up this morning at a 4:45 a.m.(11:45 a.m. in Europe), so I could be up for a while.

I am going to do an inning by inning log tomorrow, but I will not post it until after the game. My parents do not have the computer close to a TV where I can see it and type. I know other bloggers have done this in the past, but I need to write about how much I have missed baseball. Europe is great, but not for 39 days. So more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

One and One

After two games with the Astros the Cubs have a 1-1 split. With two games left the Cubs need to prove that they are a great team this year and end this series with a 3-1 record in their favor. That would put us a half game behind the Astros and hopefully the Cardinels will lose a couple so we will be ahead of them, if not we'll pass them when we play them. Go Cubs and prove to the league that this year is the year.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Does The Whole Season Come Down To This?

Sosa and Prior get the job down on Sunday, and now the Cubs turn to Houston for a huge 4 game series.

This could very well decide the Cubs fate. A spilt does nothing, but just prolong the questions. The Cubs need to make a statement and take 3 of 4. I will be home Wednesday, so lets see what happens.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Kicking it in Amsterdam

I am in the Netherlands this weekend. The trip is almost over and I will be home on Wednesday. I have not heard a game since Sunday and will not get to hear another one until the series ender against the Astros. These next 6 games will have a lot of bearing on what the Cubs do the rest of the season.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Dusty Gets Away With Murder Again

A couple of weeks ago, Dusty gambled and left Carlos in a game instead of pinch hitting. Today he did the same thing, but this time Matt Clement went down swinging. This was crazy, because Matt is the worst hitting pitcher on the team. Sammy Sosa won the game later on a two run HR. Then Mark Guthrie and Dave Veres closed down the 9th for the win.

This makes three straight series that the Cubs have won, heading into a 6 game road trip before the big series against the Astros. If it were not for Joe yesterday the Cubs would have had the sweep, but now the Cubs sit at 56-54. They are 3.5 games behind the Astros and 1.5 the Cardinals. The Wild Card is 5.5 games. The Cubs could use a big streak, but we shall see.

I am off to Germany as the big group was left and I am on my own for the next 9 days. I will visit my Uncle and then on to the Netherlands for a couple days, before I take off for Home on Aug 13th. I am looking foward to more every day. More on Tuesday because I will be on train for 12 hours tomorrow. Real Fun!!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

No More Bashing Lenny Harris

Well the day has finally come. As I got back from dinner in Vienna, I get the best news in a while. Lenny Harris is gone. It almost fells sad, that I now have nothing to bash day to day. Sergio Mitre has been called up, but I guess he will be gone on Tuesday when Prior comes off the DL.

As least Harris goes out on a good note, but it does not make up for everything else that has gone on.

Hell Is Freezing Over Right Now

Last night an Ice storm started down in hot places. First Lenny F. Harris gets a single off Schilling and scores on a Sac Fly to shallow right field. Then later the Cubs give up 2 runs in the 11th, only to Troy O'Leary drive in runs to tie the game. I missed the last part of the game because of the rain delay, but I have to say I was shocked to read about it. I wrote a few weeks ago that the Cubs were headed down the bad path, but it looks like they have turned the corner.

Shawn Estes heads to the mound today. Juan Cruz proved his worth last night and Estes needs to match it today. It would be nice to see a sweep by the Cubs, but with Estes you never know what will take place. It has also been anounced that Mark Prior will start Tuesday and that will mean the Cubs will have to make a move. So it could come down to tonights move.

It is getting a little chilly outside, wait it could be snow. There are some odd things brewing in Chicago.

Also if you like disturbing Cartoons, please go check out Happy Tree Friends. You will not regret it. This is not for the light hearted it.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Bright Future

Well, I'm still at the beach so I have not been able to watch much that has been going on. The Cubs seem to want to win this year and are showing it a little bit by the trades they have made. Now 3.5 games back and still plenty of games left to gain ground and pass the rest of the division. I am looking forward to getting back home so I can watch more games and keep up with the exciting race going on. Well got to go. Go CUBS!!!
Vienna Waits For You

Sorry I could not help quote one of my favorite Billy Joel tunes, as I head to Vienna. It is August 1st and the Cubs are 3.5 games out of first again. A few notes, no last second trades, this means O'Leary and Harris are here to stay and that makes me sick. The Cubs just 4 of 6 from Two of the Division leaders in the NL. What does this mean? Who knows, the Cubs are so up and down and they never seem to get on that big role. The Central is there for the taking, but I could not tell you who will win.

The Cards and Astros did nothing yesterday either, so that helps the Cubs chances. Today's game is big. Schilling vs. Cruz, if the Cubs can take this one, I like the chances this weekend. The Astros head to Florida, so the Cubs could make up more ground.

It will be hard for me to post over the next week or so, because I will be running around Europe until my flight on the 13th. I took my German final yesterday and on the 4th I am headed somewhere in Europe. This trip has been a lot of fun, but I am tired and miss the States. My brother should be back this week with his comments after a week at the beach.

So have fun and I will be back soon. Also I have added a few links to the side so check them out. I have been real behind do this, but you are probably already reading them, but just in case.