Monday, June 25, 2007

What I Was Going to Say Before they Won It...

A bad loss. Coming off the big sweep of the White Sox, this team had a big lead and then coughed it up...

Lou Pinella gets the blame for this loss. The six runs given up in the ninth were given up by 1) a guy who hasn't pitched in a big situation since crapping all over himself for most of the season, and who had been extended into his third inning, as he came into the game in the 7th; and b) another aging guy who has was pitching for the third day in a row after getting two one-inning saves after spending most of the season as a set up guy before being marginalized by Pinella, and I would bet he hasn't pitched three straight days all season (he hasn't, I looked it up).

It is also a mistake to have Koyie Hill pinch hitting as the final out of the game. I would even prefer Cliff Floyd against a leftie. Ok, he got a hit, but...

At least Comcast showed the moron who rushed Howry get "nuetralized" by security before realizing what they were doing.

And how's about Mike Fontenot! And a huge clutch hit by the National League Player of the Week.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Too Bad He's Dead: Rod Beck

He was real good for the Giants, but then saved a whopping 51 games for the Cubs in the magical year of 1998. He didnt seem to have any special pitch, and it was amazing he ever got anybody out.

For the Cubs, it was a one-year wonder, and he was gone by September of 1999. You can read elsewhere about him, and it is likely he died from something connected with substance abuse, but he was a real good closer for the Cubs for one year, a playoff year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Addition by Subtraction

Michael Barrett is gone. To the left is Big Z helping Barrett get his luggage to the airport.

The Cubs traded the reptilian free agent-to be catcher for a poor hitting backup catcher and a former first round pick outfielder who is currently hitting .211 for the Fort Wayne Wizards.

A great trade.

We here have been waiting for this day for a while, and Sox fans won't have him to kick around anymore...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Too Bad He's Dead: Terry Hoeppner

Indiana Football coach Terry Hoeppner died this morning at 59.

He may not have had the greatest record at Indiana, but he brought more enthusiasm to the job than anybody else in the job in my lifetime, other than Bill Mallory, who actually won.

I guess they will let interim coach Bill Lynch take this season, and if he doesn't get them to a bowl, they can go out and hire a new hot young coach.
But, let's hope they rise to the occasion and go to a bowl this season. Why couldn't have been Cam Cameron?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ernie Banks at the Ballpark

It was Ernie Banks #14 hat day at the ballpark last night, and he sang during the 7th inning stretch. You can see it here. Instead of wearing the hat that they were giving away in his honor, he wore this hat. Let's hope he got paid well for that, because it looked shabby.

He was his typical self during the interview, somewhat charming, but also showing a distinct lack of knowledge about the current team, or the talents of its players. He thought Cliff Floyd was 22. He called Ryne Sandberg "firey" when Len and Bob's point was that it was out of character for Ryno to be ejected 3 times already as a Class A manager.

In that conversation, he did refer to Dusty Baker as "always bitching..." about the trevails of a big league manager. Strong words from Mr. Cub, but he said them so nonchalantly, that you have to believe he was not looking to shame Dusty, just describing his tone. Dusty "bitching" to Ernie. Pathetic.

The other highlight of last night was the benching of Michael Barrett and Koyie Hill's two hits. And, of course, Sean Marshall pitched great.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

All I see are Barrett's Mistakes

Michael Barrett is not the only reason the Cubs lost, but he is part of the reason. He may be a fine offensive player, and may be working hard at his defense, but he is a terrible catcher. Terrible as a handler of pitchers, terrible at blocking pitches, and terrible at the the thinking part of the game.

He is like a reptile, never thinking, but only reacting. The Zambrano thing, the AJ thing, and his less remembered runins with Oswalt and Dave Roberts show that the pattern emerging is not about them, but about Barrett. This has been going on since 2005.

Agreed, you cannot trade Barrett without getting a decent catcher in return, but for this team to win, he must be replaced. Koyie Hill is a terrible hitter, but he has already shown he is more adept as a catcher than Barrett.

Unfortunately, Barrett seems to make his biggest mistakes when the game is most on the line. DH him next week in Texas and Comiskey, please.