A Hundred Next Years

This is a blog about the Chicago Cubs written by a guy who walks around with a 1970 Don Kessinger card in his briefcase. That pretty much says it all.

Maybe he knew something

As I learned from reading Steve Rushin’s “The 34-Ton Bat,” before Colonel Jacob Ruppert purchased the Yankees and eventually the contract of Babe Ruth, he twice turned down opportunities to buy the Cubs.

Would Braves bite on Kosuke?

The now, (thankfully) seldom-used Cubs outfielder was mentioned today in Jay Jaffe’s “Hit & Run” column at Baseball Prospectus (subscription required).

In the piece, which focuses on replacement-level players holding down jobs for contenders, Jaffe identifies Fukudome as an expensive, though viable, center field option for the Braves, who could use an improvement over Nate McLouth.

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“I told him, ‘You were just out by so much, I didn’t know what to say.’”

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Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins explaining why he failed to direct teammate Brian Schneider where to slide as Schneider attempted to score the tying run on Placido Polanco’s two-out, ninth-inning single Saturday at Wrigley Field. Schneider was safe at home when Geovany Soto dropped Tyler Colvin’s throw from left field, and the Phillies proceeded to score three more runs en route to a 4-1 win over the Cubs.

Losing pitcher Carlos Marmol walked five Phillies in two-thirds of an inning, making him the first Cub pitcher to walk five men in less than an inning since 1920.

“Wood, at 5-foot-11 and 163 pounds, looks like a left-handed version of fellow rookie Mike Leake. Wood also has long, curly hair and a goatee. Also like Leake, Wood works quickly and keeps the ball down.”

—   From Cincinnati Enquirer's story on the Reds’ 3-2, ten-inning win over the Cubs, Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Reds starter Travis Wood, 23, held the home team to two runs and two hits over seven innings in his Major League debut. The performance was comparable to that of Wood’s 22-year-old teammate, Mike Leake, who made his debut against the Cubs back in April, when he throttled the Cubs—one run allowed on just four hits over 6 2/3 innings—in a 3-1 Cincy win.

2010 National League Standings from a parallel, Pirate-free universe

In a world without the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs would be only four games, rather than ten, below .500, and they would be 5 1/2 games, rather than 9 1/2, behind the division leaders.

Would that it were so. (Though I bet it would still turn my stomach to see Parallel Universe Lou Piniella starting Kosuke Fukudome and Koyie Hill over Tyler Colvin and Geovany Soto.)

Shown: Current NL standings minus the Pittsburgh Pirates and all wins and losses in games involving them.

“Len Kasper surmised that this was probably the game’s defining moment. Then Ronny Cedeno stepped into the batter’s box.”

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From my mini game review of Tuesday night’s Cubs win posted at The Cub Reporter. Funny how the very things that frustrate you about watching a certain player can become sources of immeasurable joy as soon as said player is wearing somebody else’s uniform.

This is bad news for certain teams. For example, teams that desperately need to be disassembled; teams with brand-name veterans who have ceased to be productive or even interesting to watch; teams that repeatedly lose to the likes of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Triggering a Don Young flashback

Carlos Zambrano’s dugout tantrum at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday afternoon was sickening for most Cub fans to watch, and it was prominent in the baseball headlines yesterday and today. Still, it’s not like the Chicago Cubs don’t have a history with this sort of thing.

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“The Sean Penn of baseball? (Carlos) Zambrano wears his temper on his sleeve. When he allows a big hit or doesn’t get a key call, he stalks around the mound like an undermedicated sociopath. At the same time, Zambrano is the best kind of hothead, a repentant one… Also, he pitches better in a state of high, frazzled emotion. He’s a hell of a lot more fun than humorless lunatics like Kyle Farnsworth.”

—   From an article on MLB’s most ill-tempered individuals, written on June 4th of last year, nearly 13 months before the Cubs’ erstwhile staff ace embarrassed himself and his team in front of a packed house at U.S. Cellular Field. Zambrano pitched just one inning in Friday’s 6-0 loss to the White Sox, the shortest outing in 247 Major League games Zambrano has started dating back to 2001.

The Cubs may be a joke, but the country’s soccer team is one of the last 16 left standing.

Thank you, Mr. Donovan.