Sunday, June 25, 2006

Game 2, We still suck

I did forget to bring up the fact that the Cubs are staying at the same hotel as me. Now that I am a writer, even at a small paper, I do hate to bother people during dinners and such. So, I didn't, but plenty of other people did.

This is the second time that I have stayed in the same hotel and this group seems to be a little better dealing with fans. The sightings started off slow on Friday as I only ran into Andy McPhail. I didn't have anything good to say at all, so why bother.

Saturday things picked up. When I went to the lobby on the way to the Mall of America I ran in Larry Rothschild on his way to the gym.

After the game, while sitting in the hotel lobby the players were coming and going in droves. I saw Dempster, Nevin, Marshall, Zambrano, Murton, Blanco and Prior.

All the Cubs singed stuff in the lobby, but nobody was bothered more than Todd Walker. He sat and ate with some friends at the bar, which I was at as well. At least 10 groups came up for pictures and autographs. He never said no, just smiled and did his part. Todd Walker continues to climb up on my list, but it is too bad he is probably gone this year. I would love to sit down and just chat with some of them. On a side note if some asked me was Walker a beer or wine man, I would have said beer. It could have just been the night, but he was a wine man on this night.

As for the game, I am now more positive more than ever that Dusty Baker is a main problem, but Jim Hendry and Andy McPhail should get equal blame. The more I think about it, how the hell gives Neifi Perez a 2-year 5 million dollar contract? His agent must have had to hold back the laughter after this offer.

When Womack went down with injury I was like okay, Walker will be brought in. Wrong, he lets Perez come in, give me a break. Also we are still doing stupid things on the basepaths. Like what was Bynum doing trying to steal third with Aramis up to bat?

At least we only have about three months left, then we can start to hope that 2007 is much better than 2006.

I might get a chance to post after Game 3, but we will see. Hell, who even cares anymore.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Game 1 Thoughts

So it has been two years since I saw the Cubs live and it looks like I should have waited a little longer after Friday night's 7-2 loss to the Twins.
Here are some random things going through my mind after tonight's game, which was my #17 Franchise to see in action on its home field.

1. Carlos Marmol is not ready for the majors. He has flashes of real good pitching, then things like the second and third innings. Some time in AAA will do him some real good.

2. Phil Nevin hit the ball hard in each of his at bats. I am pretty sure he and Told Walker will be the first out the door in the next few weeks. And yes after his home run, I let myself think we might win.

3. For the first time in quite some time I was actually 99.99999999% sure we would lose the game and I was right. I knew the 1 run would not be enough. Johan Santana is the real deal, he didn't have to strike many out, because Cubs hitters swing so early in the count.

4. That brings me to my Dusty bashing post. Why lord why is Neifi Perez #2. Ok you want to play him, but good lord our top two hitters were .250 and .220. Why not bat Walker No. 2? There is no question who is a better hitter, hell it might even give Juan Pierre more pitches to see. Neifi has to be black mailing the man, because he is the worst hitter I have ever seen. Got on a base in the 8th on an error and that is it. I could write a ton more, but we already know, but it still hurts.

5. The Metrodome is pretty bad, just like everybody said. It is not the worst place, but you can tell it is out of date. We sat directly behind home plate in the upper deck and I could see everything fine. Now I have pretty good eyes, but I could see somebody with bad eyes might struggle. Things feel too far away for a baseball game. It is the same feeling I get going to Shea, which is still the worst place I have caught a game that is still around, but the Dome is just one spot in front. With Pro Player rounding out the top 3.

6. Torri Hunter knows how to play Centerfield. I know everybody knows that, but Nevin's smash didn't put Hunter in a jog. While his bat is not the best anymore, his defense is unreal. That play would have given Juan Pierre fits, and why does Pierre play so shallow? He was almost burnt once and even with a good effort he was behind on the home run ball.

7. Back to Dusty bashing No. 2. Ok Marmol gets out of the fifth inning with around 100 pitches, I think it was exactly 97. Instead of going with a reliever to start the inning, he leaves the rook out there who has labored. Gets two quick outs and then it finally catches up with. Dusty goes to Ohman with runners and quickly ends the Cub's chances of winning. I knew after 2003 Dusty had no clue to manage pitchers, but it grows more evident now, because he doesn't have guys who can fight through days without their best stuff.

8. Raise your hand if thought Aramis was striking out with runners on? That is why Santana is one of the best pitchers of the game. He picked up strike two on a nasty 81 MPH pitch that Aramis has still not seen. Then he came back with high heat and Ramirez was still stunned he didn't hit it.

9. Hopefully things get better tomorrow. This is probably the 5th time I have seen Prior pitch in person, and maybe he will be better in game 2.

Off to Minnesota

"I made Minnesota my home tonight. It is not not the like the picture in my mind"
This is the first line of the song Minnesota. Do you know the band? First one to answer in the comments section correctly will get their name in lights, well at least in bold.

Well, I am actually leaving for Minnesota for in about three hours to catch the weekend series. You might ask yourself why this series? Who would watch this team?
My brother and I made the trip back in April, when things look better. Still I support the team, even I don't agree with them.

This also my marks my first game in two years after taking the job I have now. It is funny that I became a sports writer and no longer see the teams I care about.

This is also ball park No. 17 on my quest to attend a game in every major league park. It is the first new park since Game Four of the 2003 NLCS in Florida.

I count the organization and not the stadium. If I didn't I might never complete the whole thing. Gmaes with (*) are games i saw the Cubs play against the team. The names are actually the ones when I attended, because I can't keep up with all the changes. Here is the rundown:

1. Wrigley Field - Cubs *
2. Fulton County, Ted Turner - Braves *
3. Old Busch - Cardinals *
4. Bank One - Diamondbacks *
5. Three Rivers - Pirates
6. Veterans Stadium - Phillies
7. Comisky Field - White Sox
8. Safeco Field - Mariners *
9. Skydome - Blue Jays *
10. Camden Yards - Orioles
11. Yankee Stadium - Yankees
12. Shea Stadium - Mets
13. Fenway Park - Red Sox
14. Minute Maid - Astros *
15. Ballpark in Arlington - Rangers
16. Pro Player - Marlins *

Only 14 more to see, well 13 after tonight. Johan Santana is on the mound tonight and he is really the highlight of the whole trip. The Cubs are coming off a series where they beat another team that looks like it gave up. Maybe for a weekend they will play well and this trip won't hurt so much.

I will try and post on the trip with thoughts of the Metrodome. This is actually the first baseball game I have seen in a true dome. I have been to Arizona, Houston and Seattle, but they both can be outdoor parks. So, I am not sure what to think.

"I feel alright, it is a Minnesota night."

Go Cubs

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Poem of Rusch

While I wait for the U.S. to take on Italy today, I thought I might try something new. While this isn't quite A Sad Lexicon it is meant to showcase my terrible poetry. I am sorry you are reading this.

Rusch to Judgment

When things are going bad
You don't have to be so sad
Even when you are in a Rusch
Even when your fastball is mush

Just remember a few things
Even the Royals will sing
When he takes the mound
All the people hear the sound

The people boo and hiss
Even when hitters miss
Rusch comes and goes
But everything he throws goes

0-2, 2-0 it doesn't matter
It is all the same to the batter
Rusch can work with lead
But trust me it will leave

There are 5 million reasons
To end this season
When will the madness end
Hopefully with a win

Till that days comes to pass
All we can do is look to the past
How do we start this thing over
A guy named Rusch must move over

98 years have come and go
Maybe we need a summer snow
A world series win
That would be a fitting end

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Who didn't expect this?

Chicago Cubs' Aramis Ramirez follows through on his grand slam in the forth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in their baseball game Saturday, June 3, 2006, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

I asked in the headline who didn't expect this? Well, I think I figured out why I hate this team so much. Last week we were the worst team in baseball hands down. All of the sudden, the Cubs take 2 of 3 from the Reds and have a chance to sweep the Cardinals for the second time this year.
I just don't understand this and this can only bring more trouble.
I was talking to Scott Lange, fellow Cubs blogger, and memtioned now is about time for Jim Hendry to annouce Dusty Bakers brand new two year contract. I can feel it now, just a kick in the guy to go along with this already down year. We had a true chance to get rid of a manager that we all hate, but it looks like we are stuck with Dusty.

As for today's game I did not get to see it. I hate Fox's coverage of Saturday baseball, it makes no sense and I am shocked they get away with it. Well, here is hoping the Cubs keep winning or lose enough to fire Dusty, but nowhere in the middle.