Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Reds BP at Wrigley
So the question is (and death is not an answer):
What bothers you more Cubs fans:
a) Rusch pitching 5 innings of BP (4 home runs)
b) One of those HR's was hit by Bronson Arroyo
c) Aramis Ramirez is damn near 0 for the season
d) There are still 156 nightmares possible
CIN 9 CUBS 0 mid 6th
Cubs Opening Weekend
Cubs Opening WeekendOkay, it was bloody *&^%$#@!! Cold - 40F air temp and 40 mph winds on Friday, just as cold on Saturday. So cold that the beer drinking was minimal. The new bleachers look great from the outside and the inside. Though I am a little dissapointed they are called ther "Bud Light Bleachers" it was to be exspected.
STL in town for opening weekend was a real treat. Maddux, who typically is lousy in in april pitched a masterful game to beat the Cards 5-1. Saturday, Zammy gave up two Unearned, but the pen got it done. (And Barret's pinch hit hr and Dlee going yard to win it.) Sunday night, Barret hits the slam to crush the Cards and ensure the sweep (1st in a long long time against the Cards.) Sean Marshall looked solid in his 1st start in the bigs for the Cubs - 4 ER's in 5 IP - against a strong STL battery.
The Cubs are scoring on the long ball, but the big difference is that small ball is putting more bodies on bases. I believe that as the offense begins to gel, these guys will score a ton of runs. Pitching has been solid so far - but I would be more optimistic if Prior was closer to ready. (I have all but written Wood off, even if he manages to come back, I think he is snake bit as a Cub.) The Pen has been real good early, and Dempster has been lights out.
It is early - only 5 games played - but there is reason for cautious optimism on the North side.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Mid Week Musings: Sox Ring Day & other Rants and Raves
So Brother Shin came up with two for yesterdays World Champion Chicago White Sox "ring ceremony" and game. I convinced my bud the Sox fan to blow off work ("there'll be beer, there'll be baseball, there'll be hot dogs, you can wear your new A.J. jersey, its not at all like working..." He caved in less time than it usually takes the Rockies.) Bright sunny shade with seats in the sun behind homeplate (upper deck box). The ceremony was cool, and it was great to cheer that team one more time. Many of the players who have moved on were present to get their rings. It was classy. And it reminds you how magically a World Series is - and how really hard it is to get there and win. Great first game of the year - sox behind Gracia got clobbered, but what a day. Have some snaps to post later.
Opening week is really a special time. I've been lucky to get to 25+ opening days in various places (Wrigley, Comiskey II, the Vet, Skydome, Yankee Stad, Shea, Pac Bell, 3 Rivers, the Jake, Busch) and it always strikes me as a gathering of the tribes. Each spring, we come out of hibernation and put on our colors. It may be the lucky old cap, or the new jersey you got for Christmas, or you may be buying new that day, hoping for some luck in the new threads. Everyone is in a good mood, all is filled with hope - even the team you know is all but alienated by week 3. Ballpark friends catch up, the first beers taste great. The field is so green, oh it will be greener, but that first game the field glows. The Sox opening day was a real treat. I can't wait for Friday at Wrigley.
So, how big is Juan Pierre? Since 2000, he has only stuck out 212 times. Remember Corey? 552 K's since 2000. Pierre: 48 triples 267 SB1040 H and 226 BB Corey 21 trips, 86 SB , 549 H and 111 walks. Juan is a for real lead off guy.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Fullcount Fearless Predictions - Mike
AL EAST : NYY
AL CENT: WSOX
AL WEST: LAA
AL WILD: CLE
HON Ment: BOS
NL EAST: ATL
NL CENT: STL
NL WEST: SFG
NL WILD: MIL
HON Ment: NYM, HOU, SDD
WS: WSOX over STL in 4 (or, altenatively WSOX over NL CHAMP in 4)
Wood & Prior
So Miss Adventure, (who will came up a Cardinals fan, and is married to me - so we know how good her judgement is) says to me "When are the *&^%$#@! Cubs gonna be done with Wood & Prior - are they ever going to be healthy."
Yeah - the Cubs have this bad habit of hanging on to players far too long (0 for Corey most recently). When Wood and Prior are on, they are the best in the game. But they haven't combined for a full season between them in the last three years. Prior has more upside, and I do believe his issues are more solvable. But the Cubs should get Wood healthy, and trade his ass. Yes, I said it. Trade Wood.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Opening Day 2006
It seems to me that from the last pitch of the world series to the first pitch of opening day is the longest period of time I know. I watched the 2005 World Series Film - staring the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox - again yesterday afternoon before the CLE-WSOX 1st nighter. The WSOX 11 game run in the playoffs was some of the best baseball I have ever watched. Dominate, wicked evil pitching. Clutch hitting. More twists, turns, bizzare situations and amazing plays than you could ask for. It is all so vivid still that I found it hard to believe there was an off season.
The WBC was all that and more - I really enjoyed watching it. Great meaningful ball in March, and seeing all that talent from parts of the world we only see the finished product from. The US not making the finals was great for the game - and the Latin semi and the Asain semi was an unintended stroke of dramtic genius. (I was big on Korea from the start, and was suprised by Venezual's early exit.) Japan vs Cuba for the final (and Japan winning) was a perfect ending. (You'll hear more on the impact of theWBC here in the coming weeks.)
The Cubs got Pierre and Howry and are counting on a bunch of rookies. Wood & Prior are already on th DL. (Suprise). I like the rebuild leaning to speed and moving the ball - and the power core. Defence should be good - Walker is the low d high o 2b - Nefi may be more balanced, and Harriston the best def - Peirre is a decent CF, but arm not great. Murton and Cedeno must ajust to beng every day players. Zambrano and Maddux will have to carry the staff and some others must step up. The Pen should be good. They will go as far as the starting staff will carry them. And without Prior and or Wood, it will be a long season on the Northside.
The Sox picked up Thome and Javier Vazquez and kept Paulie- and have some dings to Scotty Pods and Hermenson. Gave up Rowan. Other than a rook CF - pretty much the same feild. Big Skirt is gone in this years version of the prima donna awards. Picked up some decent upgrades on the bench.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Tuesday, February 01, 2005