Saturday, June 28, 2003

Today is my Last game until August 13th

That's right sports fans, I am going to Austria, Italy and Germany for the next 6 weeks. Do not fear though. We have interenet hookups in my dorm room at the college I am staying at, so there will be many new posts. I am going to get gameday audio, so I will listen to Santo and that should be enough. The last few days have just been ugly and that is enough said. I will be out next week as I prepare for my trip, but hopefully I will have something by Friday. More after today's game.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Cruz Up and Hill Down

Thought I would give a quick word. Juan Cruz is back up in Chicago and Bobby Hill is headed back down. My guess is that Wellemeyer or Cruz will be sent back down once Choi is back. My dream would be to cut Lenny Harris or Tom Goodwin, but that will never happen.

I was reading on a bunch of Cub Blogs where they could not get to their blogs, but I was prepared and made the switch weeks ago. So I was able to rant and rave about anything, but school is killing me right now.
Who Knew?

If you told me that Alou would a hit a two run bomb and Estes pitch lights out then the Cubs should have won. Who knew the bullpen went into self destruct mode on Wednesday. It was almost too much to watch as Wellemeyer got blasted in the 10th. Only Joe Borowski pitched well out of the pen. At least Estes turned the ship around today, but he can be back next week. The Cubs need for Prior to put a cap on this series and take the lead into the central against the Sox. I need to finish up a project for school this weekend, so there could be very few posts after Saturday. I head to camp for a week. I have been going to this camp for 12 years now.

Have no fear, there are plenty of good sites for you to visit on the left of the screen. I am also heading to Austria for 5 weeks starting July 5th. I will have internet access in my dorm room. I am taking some German classes as I really try to graduate this year. I will be back in the states on August 13th. I went to Europe two years ago and I remember reading the USA Today to find out that the Cubs traded for Mcgriff. Has anybody tried out the MLB.TV thing yet. I was thinking about buying a subscription so I can watch some games while I was in class. If you have drop me a line and tell me if it is worth it, if not I will get the MLB audio and listen to Santo the whole time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Cubs Play Home Run Derby

The Brewers are just what the Doctor ordered, a 9-1 beating. The Cubs hamered the Brew Crew for 6 HR's. Patterson and Sosa went back to back in the first. Then later Kerry Wood, Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez went back to back to back. The most important thing is that Sosa hit two on the night. He really is swinging the bat well and the Cubs need his bat. Ruben Quevedo lood really bad. His fastball was topping out at 84 MPH and Cubs were taking BP off him.

Wood really struggled to find his comand early, but in the 4-7 innings he was dominating. Nobody could touch him after he got some key double plays. The Brewers set the tone early with a huge baserunning mistake that led to a double play to end before the Jenkins HR. Wood improves to 7-5 and the Cubs bring Shawn Estes back to the mound. He needs a good outing after Friday's blowout against the Sox.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Sit Back and Take It All In

I have been writing this blog since the start of the season and I have felt pretty good about it. The start of the season was amazing. A big blow out win on Opening Day over Tom Glavine. It does not get any better. Then the Cubs play pretty good baseball and take over first in the Central. Again I am on top of the world. When the Cubs are in first life is grand. The problem is that like many other Cub fans I am quick to judge. Until this weekend the Cubs were in first and I should have been content, but I was not. I keep thinking back to years past and watching the Cubs slip away as the season progresses.

I was off reading message boards about the Cubs. I was looking for any info that may take place and it is a good place to catch up on things when you miss a few games for basketball camp. There are a lot of negative posts out there saying the Cubs need new this or that. For the most part I agree with the stuff that is said. If you read my blog you know I have no love for Lenny Harris as a starting 3B. I can bring the dirt with the best of them. I was shocked when the Cubs traded Bellhorn for Jose Hernadez. I wrote in that mornings post, "This could be the end." Now did I really mean it, well I hope not. Now the question I keep asking myself, "Why am I so quick to forget?" The Cubs are only .5 game back, but that is not good enough. Over the years the Cub fans no something bad will happen and it is only a matter of time before it does.

I was working basketball camp for the University of Alabama all weekend. Darron Boatright, Director of Basketball Operations for Alabama, helps our student group out over the years with tickets and stuff. The only problem with Boat is that fact he is a Cardinal Fan. He said something that rang true to me this weekend. He said the greatest thing about seeing the Cardinals second in the standins is the fact the Cubs were in first. He went on to say that it was only a matter of time before the Cubs exploded and they took over. Now I was quick to remind him that Houston was now in first and his statement held no water at the moment. I knew in the back of my mind it did.

As a Cub fan there are a few rules that we live by. It is like Murphey's Law. If the Cubs are first place then a 10 game losing streak cannot be far behind. If a pitcher has a +6.00 ERA, then he will pitch his best against the Cubs. If the Cubs are hitting and scoring runs, it soon will end. These are things that seem to happen all the time and even this year. My thoughts are "Should We Forget the Past?" I live in a state that worships the past. If the Alabama Fans could get some DNA and recreate "Bear" Bryant they would. Cub fans are similar, but there is not a lot of winning that is in the past. I used to count on one of my teams winning and now my Crimson Tide are in the dark ages also. It is time to forget the past. The Cubs longest losing streak of the year is 3 games. By this time last season the Cubs had realed off a 9 game and 5 game losing streak.

For all the negative writing and posting going on out in the world, people forget the Cubs lost 95 games last season. As I sit back and look I am happy with the season so far. We are contenders. Sure there are some needs and that need to filled, but hey it is June. Right now nobody is breaking away. The Cubs have good enough pitching so far that we have held close. Already this year the Cubs have 40 wins. Last season the Cubs did not pick up win number 40 until July 18th. The bullpen is solid. The rotation is stronger. The Cubs are just flat out better this season, but we cannot be content.

I am not trying to dog anyone here or say we are bad people, but there is something good brewing in Chicago. Sure I have my doubts everytime I see Dusty run out Lenny Harris to play third, or "Wavin" Wendal Kim sends the catcher home from 1st base. I really did not think this was our year. I thought we would be a year away because we still need more offense. If the Cubs only deal is Jose Hernadez than they are in trouble, but if in a few weeks the Cubs make a deal then just maybe this year.

This story is nice, but I no tomorrow if Lenny Harris or Tom Goodwin is starting I will be back to my old ways. For now lets just sit back and see where the Cubs take us.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Where Have I Gone

I have been working Basketball Camp all weekend and I have yet to see any of the games against the Sox. As far as I can see, I have not missed anything good. I wrote on Friday this could be the end, and it looks like I maybe be right. I am so sick of right now. I just do not want to write. 1/2 half games back right now and no good news in site, other than the Brewers.

Kim must go. There are more comments all over the Cub blog scene. I did not see the mistake, so go check out some other sites, but I agree with them that Kim has to change his style.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Go to Bed Early and Wake Up With Jose

I had a test today, so I wanted to get some much needed sleep. My brother called and said Mark Bellhorn was now a Rockie and Jose Hernadez was back with the Cubs. I have a few problems with this move.

1. Does this mean no real 3B to play this year? It would seem so sports fans. The Cubs have found the cheap way out. Just remember last week Jim said he could increase payroll to bring in some players. I would have passed if I had known it was Jose.

2. Jose is batting like .239. Way to go Jim! Trade one light hitting 3B for another.

3. We need more K's. Jose has been the K king the last two seasons. He is playing bad in offensive paradise of Coors and now he is back in Chicago. I always like Jose an extra player, but this is not going to be enough for the Cubs to contend.

4. At least if you do this, please Cut Lenny Harris. Harris is batting like .169 now and has no reason being on the roster. Come on Jim please give me some good news today.

The White Sox are in town and Cubs lead by a game. This could be the end.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Sosa Swings A Big Stick

You have to love a Cub win and a Sosa Homer, but maybe the best news of the night is Kerry Wood.

He was great last night. There was no way the Reds were going to beat. Now the Cubs need Mark Prior to finish off the Reds and take 3-1 Series win.

The starts at 11:35 CST and it looks like there will be no Tom Goodwin in the lineup.

There will be more after the game.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Go Read Somewhere Else

While I have not had anything good to say today, there have been a number of other Cub blog writers that have some fine things to say.

First off I was about to come up with a good headline, but I am still thinking. The one I was going to use was in use at The Clark and Addison Chronicle.

Over at Let's Play Two, there are many good reasons to not get Neifi Perez.

Brian Carstens has reminders of 2001 and how they look like the 2003 Cubs.

Also Dennis Goodman is at the Reds series this week. So be sure to check out the Northside Lounge.

As for my own toughts. Bobby Hill should start tonight at third. Will it happen? No way because knowing my luck Lenny F. Harris will get the call to bat second just as I put a bite to eat in my mouth.

Thanks to all who have been reading and soon my brother will be adding content to the site. He is just as big of a Cub fan and has a deep hatred for the Atlanta Braves also. He went with me to Toronto this past weekend and I am sure he will have some good stuff to say. The only drawback is he is an Auburn Guy, but you cannot hold that against the family.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Back in the USA

I have made it back from Toronto, and hopefully the Cubs will leave Lenny Harris behind. That has not happened, but Bobby Hill is up and Francis Beltran makes a quick return to the minors.

I was hoping Hill would start tonight, but he is sitting. The good news is Lenny is also joining Hill on the bench.

Clement goes for his third straight win tonight. He has looked much better in recent games, but this will be a true test.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Cubs Split First Two Games

Right now I am sitting at the free High-Speed Internet computer at the Sky Dome Hotel.

I will have to say Toronto for the most part is a very nice city, but Sky Dome will not crack the top 10 in Stadiums I have visited. Now to the Games.

Friday Night

How ugly could a game get. The Cubs get the bases loaded in the first inning on 3 singles and get nothing out of it. The only positive was "Wavin" Kim did not run us out of the inning. I thought for sure he would send Alex home from 2B, but he held him up.

Kerry Wood was Solo Homered to Death. I heard a quote later that had him saying he would give up solo HR's all day and take his chances. I only caught a second of the interview on Candian TV, but I would have to say that he needs to keep the ball in the park.

The Offense was really bad. At one point the Cubs had 10 Hits and no runs, and It was not until the 9th that they got an extra base and finally scored a run. Kelvim Escobar was lights out after the 3rd inning. He got the K's when he needed.


What a difference a day makes. The Cubs came out in style today. Ramon walked after David Kelton struke out. Then Patterson singled to right. I thought it would be more of the same from Friday, but Alou wanted to stretch the legs for a Triple to clears the bases. He should of been out at Third, but the throw hit him in the back and he scored because of it. The Cubs got one more in the second, and never really got another good chance in the game to score.

More bad base running when Karros tried to leg a double, but it was played great by the LF.

Prior was lights out the first two innings. He struck out the first 5 he faced and did not allow an ER in the game. Two Runs came home on a Delgado HR after the Karros error at first base. The Bullpen was great in relief. Joe Borowski had me scared, but he pitched around Delgado and got the save. Prior now has 8 wins on the year.

I will be on the plane tomorrow as Estes faces Lidle in the rubber match. The Cubs need to win to get back to 9 games over .500 and remain in first alone.

That's right the Astros have dropped two straight and now the Cubs are up 1 game over them and 2 over the Cardinals. The Reds are 3.5 back and the Cubs head there Monday for a 4 game set.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Hello SARS

I am off to Toronto tomorrow to see the Cubs vs. Jays play Friday and Saturday. Little did I know that I would be putting my life in danger to see the Cubs play when I bought my tickets. I try to make one road series a year, because I would like to see a game in every ballpark. This will be #15 on the quest and it should be fun, considering I do not come down with SARS. I am happy to know that I drew Prior and Wood for my two games, and the Cubs are going to need it. Carlos Delgado is just a RBI machine. He is already over 70 RBI on the year and if you missed the highlights, last night he hit a ball off the center field glass.

I will try to post something before I leave on Friday and I am taking my laptop, so I may write something while I am in Toronto. I am staying at the Sky Dome Hotel, so that should be nice. Last year I actually by chance stayed at the team hotel and picked up some autographs. Most of the players were very nice, except Todd Hundley who had to take time to smoke.

Anybody visited Toronto? The only reason I go on these trips is to see the ballparks. If you have any suggestions on where I should go eat or visit, just drop me a line or leave something in the comment box.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Cubs Season High 9 Games Over .500

I thought that was the case, but I just looked through the season numbers. The Cubs go for 10 over tomorrow.
Mother Nature Strikes and No Lenny Yeah!!!

The Cubs are up 7-6 right now and then the rain hit. Joe Borowski has looked a little rough his last few outings, but tonight he got the job done. His strike out before the Ump called for the tarp was huge. I was starting to think that Joe should make way, but he pulls this out of his hat.

If you did not get enough Lenny Bashing today, be sure and check out Brain Carstens' The [Untitled] Cubs Page. He gives you even more reason to just to say no to Lenny.

How about tonight David Kelton picks up a couple of hits, but misplays a ball that cost the Cubs 2 runs. He was really flying down the line on a few plays.

The best news of the night. No Lenny!! Tom Goodwin is just as bad, but even the sun shines are some people everyday. He played well tonight, but I still think he needs to go.

Lets see if the rain stops, but I would be fine with a called game at this point.

UPDATE 11:02 P.M.

Cubs win and they now have a 4 game winning streak. I though Joe would not come out for the 9th, but I was wrong. He was very sharp. He almost picked off Melvin Mora to end the game tonight. I think he could stay the closer for at least a couple more weeks. I thought the game would be called, but the Umps waited and they finished.

Tomorrow night has Carlos Zambrano and Rick Helling go to the mound. The Cubs are looking for the first sweep since the Brewers. One other note the cubs are now 18-12 on the road. They seem to like the road this year, which is a very good sign.

How about the Houston Astros. A combined 6 pitcher no hit game against the Yanks. I bet the Boss is steaming mad after this game. Only one ball really had a shot for a hit and Berkman came up with a great play. The Cubs keep pace with the Astros and they are % points up in the standings.
Cubs Shutout O's and for the Love of God Stop Playing Lenny '#@#$%^* Harris

This was a big game for the Cubs. They are about to be without Sosa for about a week, so they really needed to win game one. They took care of the O's 4-0 on the strength of Shawn Estes. His curveball was just wicked. It looks like Estes is going to be a force this season when the curve is working.

Sosa is hitting the ball hard and he may want to stop the hop until a ball goes over the wall. He has been early on a few hops in the past two weeks.

Eric Karros looked good today and I believe that having quality backups is huge in the majors today, but the Cubs also have some non-quality players.
That brings me to my rant of the night.

Lenny Harris started again tonight for the Cubs. Again he did nothing to keep himself in the lineup. I know he is a team guy, but please Dusty can't you see he is through.

He is now 2 for his last 26 AB's. He has driven in 1 run during that time. His averages are just plain bad.

Harris- .181 Avg 1 HR 6 RBI .253 OBP .241 SLG .494 OPS
Bellhorn .215 Avg 2 HR 22 RBI .346 OBP .323 SLG .669 OPS
Martinez .287 Avg 3 HR 16 RBI .364 OBP .447 SLG .811 OPS

Harris has 2 extra base hits, while Bellhorn and Martinez both have 9. If you go by just hitting then Ramon should be the starting third baseman. Harris is lacking in every stat. Ramon's OPS is far better than either of them, mainly because of his average.

How about the Sac Fly. Maybe Harris has done something there.

Bellhorn 4(leads team)
Martinez 3(2nd Team)
Harris 0

I keep looking up things just to find a reason, but none can be found. I thought at first Dusty wanted him to get his 1,000 hit, but after that he keeps putting him out in the field. The only thing Harris has is that fact he has not struck out as much as Bellhorn and he only has 1 error, but he has limited range.

I am just sick of seeing Harris on the field. There is no excuse. My roomate just laughs as he hears me cruse the screen when I find out that Baker has let Harris start.

Mike Lowell, Matt Williams or lets just grab a guy from the stands, but Lenny Harris has to be stopped. Mark my words, the Cubs will not win even the Wild Card if Harris gets 15 more starts. This is huge month for the Cubs and somehow they have got by with Lenny Harris, now lets go get someone that actually should be starting at 3B. The numbers do not lie. The Cubs are about to be without Sosa, they are already without Choi, so they need a bat to contend. The Bluejays score runs like crazy and then the Cubs have the Reds in the Great American Smallpark.

Last thing, what is up with Kim with his waving people home. My brother called me and was like "this has to stop." The Cubs cannot be giving up outs because Kim thinks that the throw must be perfect. The two times last night were not even close. Ok, I am spent. Clement will try tomorrow to give back to back good starts. He will face Omar Daal.

Cheer up the Cubs are back in 1st Place.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Cubs Take Down Evil Empire

It was a game that the Cubs wanted to give away, but Joe nailed down the save after giving up two runs. The Cubs got a win they really needed.

They finish 6-6 on the Homestand to improve to 34-27. They are one game behind the Astros, but are tied with 27 L's. The Cubs now become big Yankee fans as the Cards and Astros make trips to New York this week. Also both teams play the hot hitting Red Sox. The Cubs get the O's and Blue Jays.

I am head to Toronto on Friday to knock out ballpark #15. This marks the halfway point of my life long quest. Now I just have to avoid SARS, but more on the weekend series closer to the end of the week.

The Cubs go to Baltimore this week and it is time to give a shout out to Justin Ladner. He is a lifelong Orioles fan and I am sure the trash talking will start between us. He is still mad about me not voting for Cal Ripken in his last year for the All Star game, and I stand by my vote. I have always thought the All-Star game should be about this year and not past years. Even tough Cal won the MVP, I still think he was not having the year that deserved a All-Star selection. I think it was great for baseball, but that is my personal opinion.

I will have to say that Ladner is as big of an Oriole fan, as I am a Cub fan. I have mutal respect for his love of the O's. The best story I have was in the playoffs in 97. I was watching the Indians vs. O's with him as Armando Benitez gave up a HR that cost the O's the game and the series. He still cruses Benitez's name when he gets the chance. I will give him to chance to write something on this site this week if he wants. He was at all of Cal Ripken's important games and hopefully he will have a story for this site.

This brings up a topic, are you a hometown voter, or do you put time into your ballot? Personally I believe that baseball fans should put a little effort into their ballot.
A quick quote from Giambi about Remlinger

Dennis Goodman over at the Northside Lounge had a great line about Mike Remlinger:

I don't ever remember Remlinger getting pumped up and gyrating after big outs in Atlanta, but he has done it a couple of times for the Cubs. He might have the biggest set of family jewels in the world to drop a 3-2 changeup on Giambi. What a pitch.

Then I went looking for something from Giambi and found this at by Carrie Muskat:

"He threw a 3-2 changeup. You tip your cap," Giambi said. "That's big [guts] with the bases juiced. He made a great pitch. I tried to foul it off, but he put it in a good spot. It was too close to take, and I wasn't able to foul it off."

Just a great game Saturday.

Kelton to get the Call

It looks like David Kelton will be call up for Choi. Paul Sullivan writes:

With first baseman Hee Seop Choi expected to miss up to 10 days with a concussion from his collision with Kerry Wood, the Cubs likely will recall David Kelton from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the roster.

The article goes and says that Kelton will be used as a DH. So if Sosa is out, then the Cubs will look something like this.

1B-Eric Karros
2B-Mark Grudzielanek
SS-Alex Gonzalez
3B-Lenny Harris, Mark Bellhorn or Ramon Martinez
C- Damian Miller
RF-Moises Alou
CF-Corey Patterson
RF-Troy O'Leary or Tom Goodwin
DH-David Kelton

It really looks like that Todd Hundley trade is paying off. I was starting to think that it might be Bobby Hill called up and Mark would move to 3B, but maybe Hill is close to being traded. If the Cubs can grab Mike Lowell, then this would be a great time. Of course now, a roster move would have to take place, but logic would say Bellhorn or Harris would go if that took place.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Cubs win as Karros Hits for Choi

On a very somber day at Wrigley Field, the Cubs played some of their best baseball of the Season.

Kerry Wood was very sharp his first 4 innings. He was just blowing Yankees away.
The big news of the day has to be Big Choi. He went down hard in the 3rd and was taken away. Word is that his is in serious condition, but lets hope he is ok and out soon.

I would like to thank Todd Hundley. If it were not for the trade the Cubs would not have Eric Karros, who really has played well this season, other than a few Double Plays. His 3 run bomb in the 7th was the best I have felt in a week.

Some interesting news over at the Cub Reporter about the possible Mike Lowell Trade. So be sure and check it out. I say with Sosa about sit out a week, they need another bat bad, but they needed one way before the cork popped.

I was watching the game the D-Rays, and Steve was like the Cubs will be fine with the DH in the AL. Does anybody else think this may hurt us, with our weak hitting, this only brings more weak bats to the plate. Now that Choi could be out a few days, it really could hurt.

Prior goes tomorrow for a big win and the Series victory.
Our Hearts and Prayers with Big Choi

Choi went down hard in the third inning. This game has changed tones and lets hope he is ok.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Sosa gets 8 and don't forget the Yankees

Not that any would forget the big series this weekend, but it seems like everything is much less because of Sammy. Maybe that is a good thing. The Cubs really need to focus on this series. They need to take 2 of 3 to keep pace with the soaring Astros and Cards.

I meant to write something yesterday, but Comcast went out on me, so I had to wait until now. Lenny Harris should never lead off. I about went crazy when I saw it. I do not care if he did get a hit, but really are the Cubs turning into the laughing stock of the league. First Sammy, and now Lenny batting first.

Carlos vs Boomer today. It should be a great matchup, but I just do not think the Cubs can score enough runs this weekend. Maybe they will prove me wrong. More after the game.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Paging All Bats

I will not spend any time on this sight on Corkgate, other than to say you can read about every where else. Now on to more important matters.

The Cubs must do something about thier hitting. The Cubs have made the Devil Rays look like one of the elite pitching staffs of the American League. if it were not for much luck on Tuesday the Cubs would have dropped that game. The Cubs pitching has kept them in some games, but there is no way to contend with not scoring more runs. I may be beating a dead horse, but as I was watching the game last night I was almost amazed that it took the Cubs until the 9th to make any sort of move. If the D-Rays looked good this series, just think about how good Wells, Clemens and Pettitte come to town this weekend.

The Cubs are now tied for the lead in the Central. It has that kind of feeling like it might slip away. Unless there are some moves to help the hitting, then I am sad to say that the June Swoon is upon us. Matt Clement goes to the hill tomorrow, wouldn't be nice to see a lot of runs on the board for the first time in weeks.

Do not sign Matt Williams, and Trade for Mike Lowell. That should be the cry around the clubhouse. Something has got to give.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Sammy's Out and Draft Picks by The Cub Reporter

The Big News of the night is Sammy Sosa, but before we get into that for the next few days be sure to check out Christian Ruzich's site for all the lastest draft nes at The Cub Reporter. He is doing a great job of keeping track of the all draft picks.
Cubs Rework Staff

Mark Prior was pushed up today mainly because Clement's struggles have continued and the Cubs want Prior to face the Yankees. This weekends series will have Carlos, Kerry and Mark going. Clement will face the D-Rays on Thursday.

This is probably a good move by the Cubs. A very important series starts tonight against the D-Rays. The Cubs could really use a sweep this series and hope the AL beats up on the rest of the Central.

From what I have read Matt Williams may just calling it quits. He did not want to move in the off season to Denver, so I would say 70-30 that he just retires.

This is from a ESPN article from the draft:

Ryan Harvey, an outfielder from Dunedin High School in Florida, was selected with the sixth pick by the Chicago Cubs. He missed the first part of the season recovering from a knee injury in November, but still hit .400 and is regarded as a five-tools player

Here is a little more on the Cubs first round pick from ESPN:

A tools monster, Harvey is projected to go among the top-five picks, with an outside chance of being the first player chosen. He has everything: power, speed, arm strength, good personality and work ethic. A knee injury from last winter is fully healed. His swing might be a little long, and I'm concerned about his contact/plate discipline at higher levels, but I'm notoriously paranoid about such things, and they are very hard to project/predict at this level.

A tools monster. I like the sound of that. It looks like he fell to the Cubs and they could not pass on this kind of talent. After the last few seasons of drafting mainly pitching, maybe its time to find some hitting talent.

Lets get ready for the D-Rays.