Cubs 2008 Tentative Schedule

October 7th, 2007

This is the Cubs 2008 tentative schedule from what I was able to piece together as other teams begin to release their schedules.

March 31 - Brewers
April 02 - Brewers
April 03 - Brewers

April 22 - @ Rockies
April 23 - @ Rockies

April 29 - Brewers
April 30 - Brewers
May 01 - Brewers

May 05 - @ Reds
May 06 - @ Reds
May 07 - @ Reds

May 19 - @ Astros
May 20 - @ Astros
May 21 - @ Astros

May 26 - Dodgers
May 27 - Dodgers
May 28 - Dodgers

June 05 - @ Dodgers
June 06 - @ Dodgers
June 07 - @ Dodgers
June 08 - @ Dodgers

June 13 - @ Blue Jays
June 14 - @ Blue Jays
June 15 - @ Blue Jays

June 27 - @ White Sox
June 28 - @ White Sox
June 29 - @ White Sox
June 30 - @ Giants
July 01 - @ Giants
July 02 - @ Giants
July 03 - @ Giants

July 18 - @ Astros
July 19 - @ Astros
July 20 - @ Astros
July 21 - @ DBacks
July 22 - @ DBacks
July 23 - @ DBacks

July 28 - @ Brewers
July 29 - @ Brewers
July 30 - @ Brewers
July 31 - @ Brewers

Aug 15 - @ Marlins
Aug 16 - @ Marlins
Aug 17 - @ Marlins

Sept 05 - @ Reds
Sept 06 - @ Reds
Sept 07 - @ Reds

Sept 12 - @ Astros
Sept 13 - @ Astros
Sept 14 - @ Astros

Sept 16 - Brewers
Sept 17 - Brewers
Sept 18 - Brewers

Sept 26 - @ Brewers
Sept 27 - @ Brewers
Sept 28 - @ Brewers

They Died As They Lived

October 7th, 2007

The Cubs season ended they way it began, with “the best free agent on the market” making an out.

At least this year, the Cubs ended their post-season quickly and in a whole unsurprising manner. There was no ball randomly dribbling between someone legs or some bizarre fan interference that ruins some poor kids life. No, this year, how the Cubs lost in a three game sweep to the Diamondbacks because of the same issues they have dealt with all season - inconsistent pitching and the inability to get “clutch” hits with runners in scoring position. You only have to look as far back as last week to have seen this coming. The Cubs were swept by the Marlins this season, and were outscored 17-40 by a 71-91 team.

The only true surprise came from Zambrano and Lilly, as they seemed to completely switch roles. If I had told you that one starter would give up only 4 hits and 1 run with 1BB/8K over 6 innings while the other would only go 3 1/3 with 7 hits, 6 runs, and 4BB/4K AND came a bit unglued on the mound after giving up a 3 run homer, you would have guessed wrong about which line ultimately belonged to which pitcher. I have to imagine that this played into Pinella’s thinking too when he pulled Carlos despite the fact that he was having one of his most effective starts of the season. At least Big Z will now be completely rested for his first start in spring training.

Arizona won the series because they came in loose and energetic compared to the Cubs who seemed to be tight and lacking and confidence, both in themselves and in each other. Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez went a combined 6-38. The Cubs as a whole batted .194/.307/.255 with one home run from the PCL player of the year who rode the bench for the final game of the season.

So right now, the Cubs are cleaning out their lockers and heading home. They won division title so the organization can prop another flag up on the awning, but I doubt that will be little consolation to anyone. Also, it is impossible to really start speculating what the team will be like next year thanks to the pending ownership drama that will beset us for the next few months. It’s probably safe to bet that Floyd, Kenndal, and sadly even Wood will not return next season. Outside of that, who the hell knows what is going to happen.

Was this a disappointing season? I don’t know that I would say so. It was a disappointing end, to be sure, but these Cubs created a great turnaround about a third of the way through, shaking off the pathetic ending of the Dusty Baker era as Lou dragged them into first place through kicked-up clouds of dirt. There is no question that this team finished where they did thanks to it’s manager and his belief his players. Will the Cubs be a better team next year? I’d like to think that they will but until a new owner is crowned by Pope Selig, we really have no way of knowing what the hell is going to happen. At least we’ll all have something to talk about.

Let’s Play 3!

October 6th, 2007

So who has contributed more to the team during the post-season so far?

The guy who showed up for game 3 in a cab…
Soto

or in a Cubbie blue Hummer?
Soriano

The Cubs should be able to knock around Hernandez today. Let’s hope Rich can pitch a complete game shutout. Either way, let’s go get ‘em!!
Sign

Wow. Just Wow…

October 1st, 2007

Tim Kurkijihskfkjfjnn, immediately following the end of the Padres-Rockies game on Sportscenter.

“Well, I’m not a replay guy in baseball. Let’s assume for a second that they’ll replay this and we’ve got an entire stadium in Colorado exploding around everyone. I mean, they haven’t been to the playoffs since 1995 and then they say, “Now wait a minute we gotta go go into a booth for ten minutes and decide if you are still allowed to celebrate.” I’m sorry, the spontaneity of the game is much more important than getting something like this right. I’m not saying that he is right or wrong, I’m saying, through replay you might not be even be able to tell weather or not he touched the plate. I just like it that human beings are still running the game.”

Normally, I like listening to Timmy’s little factoids and history nuggets about the game but that is the most idiotic statement that I have ever heard come out of anyone’s mouth on ESPN. Kurkijannfhgsnn comes off as the hugest MLB tool and apologist on the planet. This wasn’t some meaningless game in April between the Royals and the Devil Rays - this was a one-game playoff game where one team gets a shot at a World Series and the other gets to make their ten am tee-time on Wednesday.

By Kurkhiohsfhnss’ rational, it would have been easier to go to a replay system if the game had been played in San Diego. Seriously, I would love to see the reaction if this had happened in Fenway between the Yankees and Red Sox.

What. A. F-ing. Moron.икони

Poetic?

October 1st, 2007

Despite the fact that it is incredibly obvious that Matt Holliday did not touch home plate, the only thing that would make the Padres getting booted from the playoffs because Barrett dropped the ball more poetic for Cubs fans is if Chris Young was the losing pitcher (though I suppose it being the season and possible career capper for the guy who bumped Lee Smith to #2 on the all-time saves list this year will do).

Hey Chicago, What Do Ya Say!!

September 28th, 2007

Division Champs

00

The Wrigley Experience

August 29th, 2007

I went to the Cubs game last night with someone who had never been to Wrigley Field before. It was interesting to see a grown man so giddy about being somewhere new, his inner child was really soaking it all in. It made the experience almost new for me as I had the opportunity to point out a lot of the unique things about the 93 year old park. I was able to really go back and remember what it was like the first times I came to the park when I was a child and how little Wrigley really has changed in that time.

An odd thing went on with the 7th inning stretch last night. We were sitting in 430, upper deck close to first base. When Bob Ueker came out to sing, it sounded like the entire crowd around us was booing the entire stretch. I couldn’t hear the song at all and was wondering if it was even being sung. I could tell by looking at certain sections of the crowd that it indeed was as they were going through the “3 strikes you’re out” motions, but we couldn’t hear anything. After the Ueker sat down, the crowd went ahead and sang it’s own version of the song, with “Cubbies” shouted so loud I think they could hear us in Evanston.

It reminded me of a few of the away games I have been to that had a large contingent of Cub fans present. Since the 7th inning stretch is always sung before the Cubs take the field in the 7th, I have heard the song sung a few times before the top of the 7th. This happened once in Anaheim during interleage, once in Pittsburgh and a few times in San Diego. While I admit, doing that seems a little goofy, it is nice to be apart of such a passionate fanbase that wants to bring the “Wrigley experience” along with them wherever they go to see their team play.

Concepcion Goes For A Spin In Wrigley

August 25th, 2007

I’ve heard of baseball players being superstitious and doing strange things to try and readjust their mojo, but sometimes they just seem like idiotic 20-something boys. Case in point, I give you David Ismael Concepcion.

It was 1976. The Reds were in Chicago in April playing the Cubs, and the only thing colder than the weather was Concepcion’s bat.

“Oh-for-28 or something,” he recalled Friday. “I said, I need to get hot. So I got in the dryer. Somebody closed the door.”

Pitcher Pat Zachry.

“Pat Zachry. He closed the door and he hit the wall and the dryer started running. I spin three times. They didn’t know how to stop it. I burned the hair on my arms,” Concepcion said.

Did it help?

“I had three hits that day,” Concepcion said. “They wanted me to get in again the next day.”

It actually appears to be this game on May 8th, 1976. Concepcion went 3-6 with 2 doubles, raising his average to .179.

Somebody throw Derrek Lee in a dryer.

Wrigleyville Storm Destruction

August 25th, 2007

Pic6

On August 23rd, 2007, Chicagoland was hit hard by a fast moving storm that laid waste to certain parts of the city and suburbs. Trees were uprooted, windows were blown out and basements were flooded. Many people were left without power for days. The area surrounding Wrigley Field had it’s share of desvestation, including damage to the storage building right next to Wrigley that the Cubs used as a bike-check for fans on game days. Half the roof of the building was torn off and slammed into a condo building across Waveland. Instead of repairing the structure, the Cubs decided to just tear the whole thing down.

I made a photo page documenting the demolition and some of the destruction in the surrounding neighborhood.

MLBs Wiki-edits

August 21st, 2007

With all of the interesting corporate Wikipedia edits being exposed thanks to the Wikiscanner, I thought it would be interesting to check out what, if anything, was being edited by the powers that be in Major League Baseball.

I first checked out what the Tribune Company had been up to on the interwebs. Starting in January of 2004, employes of TribCo (or at least someone with access to their network) made 1663 edits. Most of these have nothing to do with baseball and pretty random, with a few that are outright vandalism. Someone with a TribCo IP even vandalized Wikipedia’s own entry, deleateing the whole thing and replacing it with “wikipedia is untrustworthy. and it is proven. do not trust this organization. it is backed by terrorist groups.” Nice.

The first baseball related edit to come out of TribCo was on the List of Major League Baseball Owner’s page where someone added how much the Trib bought the Cubs for 1981 and how much Carl Pohlad paid for the Twins in 1984.

On September 29, 2005, someone (Paul Sullivan perhaps) was reading through Wikipedia’s entries on Slugging Average, OPS, OBP, and Batting Average, making a bunch of grammatical corrections.

On June 16, 2006, a TribCo IP vandalized the pages of Mike Piazza, Juan González, and Randy Johnson. Piazza’s and González’ edits centered around homosexual slurs about Piazza and Johnson’s included a set of off-color NYPost-style headlines about his troubles when he was with the Yankees.

In April of 2007, a series of bizarre edits to the pages of Bert Blyleven, Jeromy Burnitz, David Wells, and Kent Hrbeck. Someone from the Tribune’s network added to each person’s page that they are starting a career in mixed martial arts and have posted a record of 7-3-1 in the UFC.

Some interesting Wikiedits also came from the Major League Baseball Players Association. In April of 2006, someone on MLBPA’s network edited the organization’s page on Wikipedia, altering passages about the lack of salary cap, eligibility of players who broke the picket lines in 1994, and their handling of the steroid testing issues. Also changed was MLBPA president Donald Fehr’s page and wording about how he was dealing with the steroid testing debate.

I looked up changes to Wikipedia that came from IP addresses belonging to baseball’s front office in New York and was surprised to find that some of the edits amounted to vandalism. I’m guessing that they were probably done by bored staffers who didn’t realize this would be traced back to their employer.

In 2004, someone tried to add a passage to the page about Fordham University trumpeting “Team Shame: 2004 Intramural Softball Champions”. In 2005, a line was added to the White House’s page about a secret bunker under the East Wing. In 2006, President of New York University, John Sexton, had this passage added to his bio - “Sexton is a huge baseball fan and season ticket holder of the New York Yankees. He even teaches a seminar at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study named “Baseball as a Road to God”.”

On June 23, 2005 someone added to Joe Lieberman’s page “Lieberman bares a striking resemblance to Emperor Palpatine of the Gallactic Empire in the “Star Wars” cinema franchise. This has led to speculation that Lieberman may in fact be a Syth Lord.” (sic, so obviously not done by an IT geek)

On June 1st, 2006, the page of Major League Baseball’s VP in charge of discipline and VP of rules and on-field operations, Bob Watson had his page altered twice. It originally read “As general manager of the Yankees in the 1990s, he was largely responsible for changing the organization’s approach to team-building, putting together the 1996 team that won the World Series.” That was changed to “He served as the GM of the New York Yankees from 10/23/95 to 2/2/98, and put together the final pieces for the 1996 team that won the World Series.” Two minutes later, it was changed again “He served as GM for the New York Yankees from 10/23/95 to 2/2/98. The 1996 team won the World Series, the first Yankee team to do so since 1978.” Since this was done from MLB’s front office where I assume Watson works, I wonder if he had a hand in changing his entry.

On March 21, 2007, someone at the front office went to town on the page “Logos and uniforms of the New York Giants”. They started small, changing “1968 marked the first major change for the uniform, as the gray pants were retired in favor of white ones.” to “1968 marked the first major change for the uniform, as the gay pants were retired in favor of white ones.” Then, entire sections about the history of the New York Football Giants were cut out and replaced with “‘I LOVE BOOBS!!!” and “I go crazy for Boobs!” Classy.

My favorite change from MLB’s New York front office was a subtle edit on July 11, 2007 to Bud Selig’s page. “Selig is a resident of Milwaukee and owned used car dealerships before entering baseball.” became “Selig is a resident of Milwaukee. Before entering baseball, he worked for his father who owned a car leasing business in Milwaukee.” Uh huh.