Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Game Two Tonight and Hillenbrand

My buddy Dan Loflin emailed me today talking about the trade with the Red Rox. He is insulted to think that the Red Sox would make this trade just for Williamson. Dan is a huge Red Sox fan and he would not like to see this take place, but all I have to say is if Theo wants to move Hillenbrand, then what better place than Chicago.

I really do not think this trade will happen. I think at this point Hillenbrand is starting to shine in Boston and they are not getting enough in return for him. We will wait and see.

Now how about last night. It was nice to see Alou finally start to hit again. The Cubs need his bat to contend this year. Kerry Wood picked up the win even though again he did not have his best stuff. The difference this year is that Wood is now getting out of jams and not giving up big innings. I will have more later.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The Blogs are loose

Be sure you check out the blogs under my Cubs blog section. I recently added two more Dan's Cublog by Dan Sheetz and Out in the Bleachers by Mike Wilkinson are two more newcomers. Both of the sites are very good and you should add them to your daily reads.
Gammons on Diamond Notes

I just read Peter Gammons lastest Diamond notes and he points out a possible trade between the Reds, Cubs and Red Sox.

It reads:

Boston's bullpen problems are well-documented, worsened by Chad Fox's pulled oblique muscle. So look for the Red Sox to do something quickly. One immediate possibility is a three-way deal that would sent Shea Hillenbrand to the Cubs, closer Scott Williamson to the Red Sox and Juan Cruz to the Reds. GM Jim Bowden has been looking for a low-cost starter (he could move Danny Graves to the bullpen), and the Cubs have been scouting Hillenbrand.

This has the making of a major story. I hate to speculate, but hey what are blogs for if not for that.

1-Veres and Antonio Alfonseca are close to coming off the DL. That means two pitchers would have to be moved to AAA and clear waivers. Cruz is the only player with options left I believe and Alan Benes has been great in long relief. Now Estes could go on the DL and make to make room.

2-Stories have been around all week that Bellhorn is now in the danger zone. The Cubs bats need help and this might do it. Hillenbrand has not had much power. 18 HR's last year, and only 2 so far this year, but his RBI's keep going up. He have 49, 83 and already this year he has 25 RBI's.

3-Even though Cruz is very well liked for his talent. The one thing the Cubs have is a lot of pitching in the majors and minors.

Will this happen, who knows? I sure do not, but I think this could. We will see how the story unfolds.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Cubs struggle at Coors
Well, you know it is bad when the bats choose not to hit at Coors. The Cubs played well in the comeback, but Mark could not come up with a great play to keep the game close.

Like I said a couple of days ago, Shawn Estes is getting his back looked at today. I have a feeling that Estes will not make his next start, but it looks like Alan Benes will make the start and not Juan Cruz. The Cubs will make the choice later this week.

Mike Kiley and Paul Sullivan have both written articles saying that Bellhorn is on a short time at third. The next series will be big for the Horn.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Estes Continues to Struggle

Well, all I have to say is that Shawn Estes is heading downhill fast. For the second straight game he could not get anyone out and this time it was all him. He gave up hit after hit, and if it were not for Paul Bako it could have been worse.

It looks like Patterson is really coming around and Choi took a opo shoot to make the game close. Also in today's Tribune it seems like Baker is getting a little worried about Bellhorn. I do not know how much to make of this, but they made overtures that David Kelton could be the first to get the chance.

Carlos Zambrano goes to tomorrow vs. Darren Oliver. Oliver has been hit around in the last couple of starts. The Cubs will try to get the series win and improve to 15-10.

The Cubs are 3 games ahead of the Cards, but there are problems. Estes will have to get things turned around and start to prove he can pitch quality innings. If not the Cubs can not continue to place first place ball. Does that mean Juan Cruz will move in to the staff? Who knows, but Estes has pitched well in only one start and Cubs have to start being worried. Estes has not proven he can get anyone out. Estes has pitched 5 innings in the past 2 starts. Two weeks ago after his gem it looked like Estes would be a real find, but now that world is gone and I am back on the bandwagon to replace Estes.

The next start for Estes is going to be a big one. It could be his last. Maybe Estes needs to go on the 15 day DL and just see if he can find his control and see if Cruz can pitch in the starting role.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Bats Leave Town

What a difference a couple of days make. It seemed like a year ago when the Cubs were scoring at will. It is not time to worry, but the Cubs did see a few players get some feeling in thier game.

Eric hit the ball really well today, but failed to score a big wild pitch. Goodwin showed some pop and scored the only run today. This is going to be a year when our pitching is going to carry us and keep the Cubs in ballgames. Clement was not sharp, but he got out of many jams to keep the game tight.

The Fun starts tomorrow when the Cubs head to Coors. If there is one place where the Cubs can get back on track it is Coors. Prior goes tomorrow and I will update tomorrow during the day.
If one good thing comes out of this series, it is the fact we still remain 2.5 games up on the Central. In other good news Bud Selig is stepping down as commish of Baseball, but not until 2006 when his contract ends.
You Can't Win Them All

The Cubs fell today 2-0. This was the first time all year that they were shut out. Over at I found out that the Cubs were shut out in game #21 to the Dodgers last season for a bit of useless info.

The Cubs blew a great chance in the 4th when Bellhorn and Miller both struck out with the bases loaded.

Clement goes to the hill tomorrow to try to win the series and improve to 14-8. The Braves and Mets helped the Cubs tonight with beating the Cards and Astros.

It is way to early to get excited, but you may not win titles in April, but they sure can be lost. The Cubs were 8-16 last April and they did not have a winning month all season.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


Cubs took game one tonight from the Padres 7-2 on 4 hits, and all I have to say is Damien Miller. He now has 12 RBI's and I feel like I am in heaven.

Corey finally went yard for the first time since opening day. Zambrano lowered his ERA to 1.85 and improved to (3-1). On an interesting note he threw 122 pitches and Christian Ruzich is now tracking the pitcher abuse of the Cubs as the starters continue to throw a lot of pitches. So go over to the Cub Reporter to check it out.

Brian Lawerence became the 19th pitcher to hit three men in an inning. I am sure Sosa would rather of not been hit for the 2nd straight game though. The Cubs send Kerry Wood to the mound tomorrow to try to win another series. Adam Eaton pitches for the Padres. He has pitched well for the Padres, but they have lost all four games that he pitched in.

Monday, April 21, 2003

The Wave Protest gaining Steam

I have always hated the wave, but kept my feelings to myself. I recently went to an Astros game against the Cards and the wave started. Of course join Brian Carstens is leading the charge and Jason Steffens is also taking the cause up and his personal crusade to stop the guest conducting of the 7th Inning Stretch.

I join them "DOWN WITH THE WAVE."

Cubs Win Series

The Cubs took 2 of 3 against the Pirates, but there were a few things that stood out. Prior was dominent on Saturday and Cubs pulled out a victory in 10 innings.

Sunday's game was disapointing. I was at my family Easter gathering and I kept running to the back room to check the game to only find out that Estes was back to his old form. Estes had no control. Granted many of the plays should have been made in the 2nd inning, but still Estes could not find the plate. When he did the the Pirates kept dumping singles into the outfield. The Cubs improved to 12-7 overall and are sill in first place. An interesting note, if the Cubs can win 5 more games in April then they can break the club record of 16 wins. Personally I had no clue the Cubs have never won more the 16 in April.

Coming up tomorrow the Cubs will face the Padres in another night game.

Saturday, April 19, 2003


I did not get to see the game, because I went home to visit my parents for Easter weekend, but a 7-2 win looked dominating on the Baseball Tonight Highlights.
If Mark and Alex keep getting on base at the top of the lineup then the sky is the limit for this team. Clement just looked nasty on the Highlights. 10 K's and he looked in control.

Kris Benson has pitched great for the Pirates this season, but he would rather not see the Cubs again. The Cubs have scored the only 6 runs against Benson in his first 4 starts.

I love the fact that Choi is hitting well. He went 2/4 with 2 RBI's. The more he plays the better I like him. He is really making an early run at rookie of the year, if he can continue to play at this level. 11-6 and the Cubs send Prior to the hill in game two.

Prior will look to rebound from the start on Monday. Prior will face off against Kip Wells who pitched well in a loss to the Cubs earlier this season. The Cubs have now scored 44 runs in four games. The bats are just alive.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Hundley is Alive and Well

I do not know if anybody was watching the Dodger game last night, but Todd Hundley was the hero. He hit a pinch hit HR in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead. Still, I think the Cubs got the better end of the trade.

Also today in the Sun Times, Mike Kiley says that the cries to get a third baseman have died down since Bellhorn is showing more at the plate. He goes on to say that this will not stop Hendry from looking for another 3B, because he believes Bellhorn would be a better utility players. The one question I have is who would go if we bring in a 2B?
Haynes to the DL

Well, after starting 0-4 Jimmy Haynes was put on the DL after today's loss to the Cubs.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

The Hits Just Keep on Coming

Holy cow, a 16-3 win today makes it three straight games with 10 runs or more. If you head over to the Cub Reporter you will see that this is not a common site for the Cubs to win three straight like this.

One player who has been helped the most is Mark Bellhorn. He just crushed Reds pitching(well everyone did), but he needed it the most. He raised his average over .100 points during this series to .217 and now has 1 HR, 14 RBI's. The bottom half of the Cubs lineup is jus flat out killing the ball. Corey has 13 RBI's and the catchers have 16. Not to mention that Hee Seop Choi now leads rookis in the NL with 4 HR's and 15 walks. Big Choi continues to impress, and as long as Eric Karros looks out of sink Choi should continue to get the AB's.

Everything was on for the Cubs today. Wood seemed to have some control problems in the game, but when you hit a 2 run homer I guess it is ok. Total the Cubs walked 6 more men today. The Reds are just not hitting the ball well, but other teams might feast on these walks. Kerry's biggest mistake came in the form of Adam Dunn. Dunn hamered a pitch for a 2 run homer that landed in the right field bleechers.

Alan Benes picked up his first action of the season and got a save. Benes looked pretty good, but did walk three batters. It is more likely he will not see three innings at a time tough. This was an impressive homestand that ended 7-3 to bring the Cubs to 10-6 overall and still in first in the Central. The Cubs go to Pittsburgh for a quick three game series before coming home to face the Padres.
The Brave Arguement

I have just started this page and already it is time to bash a Braves fan. As some of you may know I am a Journalism student at the University of Alabama. I love the south, but the Braves just drive me crazy and many of thier fans. I will have to say that I know many Brave fans that were loyal during the 80's and I can take them, but the fans that joined the bandwagon in the 90's are just plain spoiled.

A few days ago I was in my Public Affairs class and I had a heated disagreement with a fellow student. He told me he no longer rooted for the Braves, because of the Ownership and the GM. Needless to say I was dumbfounded. He went on to say, they had traded all their good players and were doing nothing. I waited a minute and then after hearing him say that Robin Venture was one of the top third basemen this year ahead of Chavez and Gluas, I could hold back no longer.

He did not seem to care that the Braves had won 11 straight Division crowns and 4 NL crowns. Plus of course the 1 World Series. Now granted this guy does not know much about baseball, but still if I was a fan of the Braves I would be in heaven. Now they should have another World Series title(maybe), but still 11 straight playoff appearences and this guy was jumping off the bandwagon.

Personally I think the Braves are a stroke of genious. They seem to always get the players they need in trades with players that are going to downhill.

David Justice
1995- He played in 120 games and hit 24 HR's while batting .253
1996- He played in 30 games and hit 6 HR's while batting .321 Last season with Braves
Now Justice had many good productive years left, but he got much relief moving to the American League where he could DH. After 1995 only one year did Justice play in over 100 games in the field.

Ron Gant
1993- 36 HR's 117 RBI's .274 avg. After he broke his leg. He only hit over 30 HR's in a season again. Last seaon with Braves.
1196- 30 HR's 82 RBI's .248 avg. with the Cards.

This is just a couple of players, but the guy said getting rid of Steve Avery was a bad move. I plulled up his stats and looked after 1993 he never had an ERA under 3 and never pitched over 200 innings again. This is not to say that the Braves are perfect. I am sure they would like to have Ryan Klesko's bat in the lineup. The last two years he has become a much more complete hitter.

I never got through to this guy, and even though i just touched the surface of the players(I am about to walk into a Tennessee Williams Lit Course). I would be tempted to sell my soul for 11 straight division crowns, but what can I say I live in Brave Country.

I will have more after the game.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Ok, the comment bar should be working. More later.
I am trying to add a comment bar, so stayed tuned.

Today's game was not as complete as yesterday's game, but the Cubs continued to play well and score runs. Carlos was not as in control as Estes was yesteday, but he got outs when they were needed. MIller let two past balls by that led to two runs, but Carlos pitched 6 innings and got the win.

The Cubs best news of the day had to be Sammy Sosa. For a few days it looked like Sosa was finally getting into a grove and today he continued it. The first inning 3 run blast staked the Cubs to an early 3-0 lead and then two batters later Choi lined a HR right about the basket in right center. The Cubs scored back to back 10 run games and the offense continues to produce runs.

I have to give a hand to Damian Miller. He hit his third HR of the season and looks really good at the plate. Miller's career high in HR's is 13. That happened two years ago in Arizona. I doubt Miller will keep this pace up on HR's, but he could break the 20 HR mark this season. The one mark that may fall for him is 47 RBI's. He has done that twice once in 1999 and the other in 2001.
The only thing that takes away from his day was the two past balls, but as long he is hitting the ocasional past ball is ok. The Cub catching core now has 16 RBI's on the season. Todd Hundley is just a bad memory now.

The one concern from today's game had to be Mike Remlinger. In only 5 innings of work Mike has 7 walks. Last season he only walked 28 men all year. The bullpen can not be effective if they continue to walk men.

One last note on the bullpen. Joe Borowski is just on top of his game. The bases are loaded and Borowski just comes in slams the door with a strikeout. If Alfonseca falters at all when he comes back to the team, Borowski will be called on. He is proving without a doubt that last season was no fluke. He know has 10 K's in 8.2 innings of work and walked none. He has only allowed 2 hits all season. Those two hits came in the first two games of the season. Borowski has been perfect in his last 7 outings.

The Cubs are still in first, but the whole Central is very tight right now. 9-6 is a very good start and the Cubs go for the series win tomorrow as Kerry Wood takes on Jimmy Haynes.

If you missed it as of last night after the Astros loss the Cubs are now alone in first place. It may be only a 1/2 game lead, but a lead non the less. It is always nice to go to bed with happy thoughts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Fantasy Notes

I will post some fantasy notes from time to time on the Cubs. I am big fantasy player, so might as will try to share some incite on the Cubs

Shawn Estes- I am still not sold on the lefty. I would only use him in spot starts if you are in a NL-Only league. His stuff looked good today and we will have to see if he can continue after this gem of a game.


Sosa- He finally looks like he is coming around. Sammy got his 2nd HR of the season and looked very good at the plate.
Bellhorn- After a terrible start, Mark is coming around. A lot of people may have dropped Bellhorn, because of the cold start, but with being able to use him at 2B I would hold on to him.
Alex Gonazlez- His hot start has worn off. I dropped him today in my league after another 0 for 5. He is a streaky player that is just not hitting off spead stuff. I recomend dropping him unless you are just really desperate.

Well that is it for tonight. I will try to post something tomorrow after or before the game.

What a difference a day makes. Like I said yesterday, Shawn Estes had to have a good game. Well, who would have thought one run in 8 innings good. This was a very complete game for the Cubs. The hitting came around today and also no mistakes in the field( Even though Corey was about a step away from a major blunder). The Cubs scored 11 runs with home runs from Sosa, Choi and "The Horn".

Bellhorn finally looks like he is out of his slump. He is 4 for 7 with 5 rbi's in his last four games. If he can continue to hit like this the Cubs will be much better off. Also Paul Bako added another RBI and that makes 15 for the Cub catching core. It seems to me like Hundley did not hit 15 RBI's in his two seasons with the Cubs.

Carlos heads to the hill tomorrow. This game is very important. For one it would give the Cubs the chance to win the series and two it would mean the bottom half of the pitching staff could have back to back wins with Wood and Clement coming up.
While in Class

I hate Tuesdays. I have to wait until 3:15 to watch the cubs play. I always tape the game with my Tivo where I can watch the game, but the hardest thing is not to find out what is going on before I get to sit down to see the game. Like right now I am waiting for my next class to start and I am on the internet, but I will be strong and not turn on the gamecast, because if Shawn Estes is getting hamered, I do not want to know about it. Well, that is all for now. I will be back later tonight with post game reactions and comments. Do not forget to check out the links to the left. These are blogs I read daily and they are a very good source for people looking to get a little more thoughts on the Cubs.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Prior Loses to Reds

Well the 11-3 beating was not the way to start this series. The Cubs had some very disturbing moments in the game. Every pitcher has a bad night all around and Prior had that tonight. He had a couple of questionable throws to first base. Also this game looked like the Cubs of old. Leaving men on base at every turn it seemed. The biggest blow came in the 6th when the Cubs had 2nd and 3rd with no men out after a few runs had scored. The Cubs failed to plate any runs and then Cruz came in and did not look sharp.

Should the we start to worry? Not yet, the Cubs are still 7-6 and Bellhorn is starting to show signs that he is getting out of his slump. The double in the 6th was the best hit he has had all season. His average is now up to .139 after a 2 for 3 night.

Shawn Estes goes tomorrow and this is a big start for him and the Cubs. I love the fact we have a lefty in the starting rotation, but Estes has looked pretty bad this season. The Cubs need to even up the series with Carlos and Kerry still to pitch later this week.
Welcome to the my own blog. I will talk about the Cubs mostly, because frankly you never can enough thoughts on the Cubs. I'm sure the site will change as I get more invovled. I will try to write as much as possible. I will also even give some fantasy info for the Cub players.

Yesterday's game was great for a few reasons. It looks like Corey is staring to find a groove and Mark "The Horn" Bellhorn(I will go with the Horn as long as Chip and Steve do) has had back to back singles in the last two games.

Matt Clement even without his best stuff still pitched really well. The double to Aramis Ramirez was early(But it did help my fantasy team) and the error in the Top of the 7th should have never happend. Choi said later he should have not thrown the ball overhand.

7-5 is a good start. Any time you are over the .500 mark is nice. We will see if that stands by the end of the month. Prior goes tonight in the first of four games with the Reds. A 3-1 clip against the Reds would give the Cubs some great Momentum.