Friday, February 25, 2005

Can You Feel It?

The start of the season is just around the corner and I can only think of last year. At this point last year I was in Arizona for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, but of course on the day off I was at Spring Training. This year I will not be as lucky, but I have the next best thing for my job. I recently got one of the XM Radio's Delphi MyFi units and let me tell you it is great.
I was at my first high school game of the year and I finally tried it outside. And the sound is crystal clear. They have the all-new baseball channel. Even if the lineup is a little weak right now it is still nice to hear baseball all day now.

If you spend sometime outdoors, then run to your local store and pick one up. I can't wait to hear Ron and Pat start their broadcasts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Now Hear This

As many of you know, I am a sports writer at a small daily in Southern Arkansas. The high school baseball season started up here this week and I finally have a complaint about my job.
I guess the honeymoon period is over from me, but we had two teams to cover on Monday. The only problem was there as only one sports writer (Me) to do it. I went to the 5A opener (Largest Classification in Arkansas) over the 2A opener. To my surprise when I get to work yesterday there are all kinds of notes from the 2A schools parents and such.
We did not have anything in the paper because nobody called in.
I called one person and she wanted to know "Who is covering their team." I replied, "It is me, but I was at another game. It is up to the coach to call stuff in when the writers are not there."
Then the emails were exactly the same. "These kids need coverage, blah, blah, blah." You guys get the picture.
Even the people with coverage were complaining now. There was a play where a kid on a sac fly ran over the catcher. There is some rule that if you can slide you are supposed to, but the kid just knocked the catcher out cold. He was tossed from the game. It was a not a dirty play, but our photographer caught it on film as they hit each other.
Parents and fans called about the picture. They said we should not run stuff like that it shows their team in a bad light. As this point I was mad. We are not a PR department for the local high school. That is the one main problem I have about small town newspapers. They think we are in the business of promoting the teams, but I am a paid newspaper journalist. My job is to report the news and not make sure Johnny Boy looks good in the paper.
I am going to report the good and the bad, but some fans and parents I guess can't handle this.
I covered another game last night and when I go to the office there better be no notes or anything. I just don't think I can take two days in a row.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

We already new but for the record...and a preview of a team i dont like.

Good trade Cubbies
We already new this but good job getting rid of Sammy. He is well past his prime and as I listen to Mike and Mike in the morning on the communist station that has become ESPN (man i hate the budweiser hot seat and that ultimate highlight real. Anyone else annoyed with the "I love" song...but I digress) anyway, as I listen to Mike and Mike in the Morning reports have come from Spring Training that Sammy arrived today in typical Sammy style. After getting off the plane he was asked to ride with one of the trainers to the field in the trainers personal vehicle. To which Sammy replied that he doesn't think so...are you ready for this...Sammy demanded that a Limo be sent to pick him up and he would be damned if he arrived in a pick up truck with a trainer.I mean come on! Your first day arriving to meet your new teammates and you tell the trainer you wont ride in their truck and demand a Limo! Nice one Sammy...
Burnitz is going to have a career year...oh wait...he played in Colorado right? Lets see, 13 HR in LA and 37 in Colorado...that equals out to about 22 HR in Chi Town...except this...He only had 230 at bats that year in LA so he should have hit about 30 there. Dont let the Colorado mystique fool you. Burnitz will put up 34 HR this year and over 100 RBI if Corey Patterson can quit striking out every other at bat and start taking some pitches...speaking of Patterson.
I understand this is not little league anymore but Dusty get off your but and tell the 3rd base coach to start taking control of Corey's plate appearances. Re-invent the "take" sign and start giving it to Patterson. This is a very simple strategy that I thought your Cubby genius Baker would think of on his own.
The Cubs should finish second in the Central this year to the Cards (Who I predict to make it right back to the series with the acquisition of Mulder) and be within a few games of the Wild Card. The Giants will be right there in the Wild Card race with you and I would love to see them win the west and play the Cubbies in the first round. Alou would come to Chi-Town to the chants of "Aloooouuuuuu Sucks!".
On the good side, I predict another career year for Derrick Lee the most underated player in the NL. He hits 35 this year and breaks the 100 RBI mark for the 1st time in his career. Nomar batted .371 three years ago before digressing slowly to his .305 last year. I think Nomar is comfortable now and after seeing some NL pitching is going to bring that up to about .338. This along with an impressive Rookie in Jason DuBois. I saw him play in Virginia and he is an excellent player. Scouts underestimate him. His time in Mexico during the off season should greatly improve his "eye" and expect high OBP from him as it is common for players to return from Mexico seeing the ball much better (maybe Patterson should try it out instead of spending the off season doing whatever it is bad hitters do) . Dubois is predicted to platoon with Hollandsworth but Dubois will bring his avg. up against lefties which is absolutely horrible right now and Hollandsworth bats .350 against them. and has an OBP of .390 against both lefties and righties so we will see. Hollandsworth is a good batter and if things go well with Dubois either guy could be good trade bait around Break time. Hairston strikes once for every BB and Patterson K's every 5 times for every BB. Im serious there. Hairston is the better player in my opinion but I come from the Moneyball school where OBP is much more important than SLG.
David Kelton and I played High School Baseball against each other for four years. I like the kid, but if Burnitz goes down I say you put Patterson in RF and Hairston in CF. Kelton has the potential but he is yet to show it and he has very bad shoulders that keep him on the DL.
This is obvious but I PROMISE Baker wont do it.....Do not Do NOT start Sergio Mitre..whoever he is...against the Cardinals. Lefties bat .408! against this kid. I dont care if I have to send Wood in on three days rest. Everytime Mitre takes the hill against the Cards you basically forfeit the game unless for some reason EVERY OTHER batter in the lineup takes the day off. That is all I got...
Sergio Mitre? You guys are kidding me right?
Oh yeah, and take it from a fantasy baseball nut....Borowski and Hawkins are not going to get the Cubs to the Series. Can you see Hawkins closing a game in a clutch situation? I didn't think so.

I'll out do myself yet

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It is Prediction Time

Scott Lange of The Northside Lounge has posted his second annual Cubs Blogger Prediction Contest at his site, but there are some changes this year as readers are now invited to join the contest. There will be two different divisions for readers and bloggers.

Here is the link to Scott's Contest

Cub Prediction Contest

I hope everyone enjoys the contest. Stay tuned for the 2005 Season Preview.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

Two weeks and two trades and the Cubs now have moved both Clubhouse Bady Boys from 2004. I have to admit I have always been a Farnsworth Fan, but that fan club is off to the Tigers. Are the Cubs better off? Well, only 2005 can tell that. Personally it looks like the Cubs have not really upgraded a team, but the distractions have been taken out. The question I ask is the new distraction no distractions? The players will be asked if they think the team is better off? The only way to dodge them is to win and everything winning makes things better. If the Cubs get off to good start, then everybody will forget the past, but if they struggle it will Dusty Baker that goes first, then other changes.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sosa a Burnitz

According to reports and the all knowing internet rumors, Jeremy Burntiz is goingt to become the Cubs new RF in 2005. All I have to say is.......Oh Come on this is terrible. We trade one stirke out king for another. Burnitz had a Coors .282 avg, 37 HR and 110 RBI in 2004. Burnitz has hit 30 or more HR's in six of the last seven years, but we could have kept Sosa for this. In 2003 he hit a combined .239 and taking the middle he might hit .260 this year. We need to go out and find the OBP machines, not the player that stikes out over 100 times a year.

It looks like right now the Cubs will start with the potent OF of Corey Patterson, Burnitz, Todd Hollinsworth, Jerry Hairston and Jason Dubois.

Not an OF that stikes fear in the hearts of pitchers, but I guess we have the infield that does.

Is this the end of the deals? I think so sports fans. I have a basketball game to cover tonight, so I will check in later.