Tuesday, July 08, 2008

OH MY GOD ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

DID WE NOT LEARN OUR LESSON WHEN HIS NAME WAS MARK PRIOR?????

Furious. FURIOUS.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Holy shit! Hi, internet!

So, it seems that actually having time to watch 500 games this year (conservative estimate - yes, it's part of my job) doesn't really leave time for blogging. But, um...wow? 2000 hits in a day? Thanks, Jonah Keri! (Aside: I still find your articles a bit boring. However, I am really enjoying Baseball Between The Numbers, so let's call it a wash.)

Observations:

Mark Prior: 0 IP, 0-0 W-L, 0 K, (undefined) ERA, (undefined) WHIP. Again, I have successfully predicted a player's stats EXACTLY prior to the season. We were wrong on Lilly, though.

Every Cub on the offensive side of the ball: Ranging from "okay, I guess, but there were better guys" (DeRosa), to "pretty disappointing" (Soriano), to "please put this guy in more games" (Murton), to "what the shit?" (Jones). It's pretty amazing that we've come this far.

Carlos Zambrano: Apart from being the first and middle names of my future firstborn, I have a feeling that he's going to be a hell of a force in the playoffs if the boys can get there.

My fantasy team: After sneaking into the last playoff spot by 0.01 of ERA thanks to a Matt Chico spot start, the Pedroiaphiles have advanced to the championship match despite a complete lack of Cubs.

Gada Qafisheh Akbar, everyone! Let's get some runs!

P.S.: Sarah Poontong, I'm off the market now. Missed your chance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Return of THS.

The Cubs stopped sawing at the umbilical cord that had kept them attached to Mark Prior long enough to realize that they were fraying instead his rotator cuff, labrum, and ..."shoulder capsule." This comes as no surprise to anyone that saw the 80-87 mph fastball he brought to spring training. It does, however, mean that I have won a gentleman's wager with the A-Train, who was convinced that Prior's inability to pitch after being overloaded by Baker in 2003 had more to do with a "low tolerance for pain" and "being a girl," and while the A-Train was not the only sports blogger who felt that it was a matter of genitalia, it must be noted that however married public opinion might be to the belief that women are less tolerant of pain, there is no empirical evidence to support this, and plenty to the contrary.

Anyway, it's April and the Cubs are off to an 8-13 start. Soriano has been an essentially ineffective addition to this team, and while he's sure to heat up...with the weather...I guess -- is anyone else tired of hearing this--he's not going to just start driving in anyone other than himself when he does, because the Cubs, like an unbelievable majority of disillusioned baseball fans, feel that he belongs at the top of the order, batting after Cesar Izturis and pitchers not named Carlos Zambrano (who should bat before Izturis).

On top of that, and this is important, if you take out last year, his AVG and OBP are essentially identical to his career averages. He'll slug more, but he's only on pace to play 140 games and score 70 runs--a lot less than you'd like out of your leadoff hitter, even if you give him twenty extra runs for the homers he might have over every other leadoff hitter. Not very reassuring.

At least, in wake of Soriano's hamstring injury last week, the Cubs had the good sense to call up Real Center Fielder, Felix Pie. He had absolutely torn up AAA so far at .444/.543/.583, with nine walks and only five Ks in 39 AB. However, the Cubs outfield is already crowded, with Floyd, Murtron, Jones, and now Pie fighting for two positions and only Soriano guaranteed to play every day. Trading Jones would make the most sense, as he has a small enough contract that even a small market team could afford him, but veteran outfielders like Floyd and Jones tend to go more toward the trading deadline and at this pace the Cubs won't need to worry about competing this year.

We'll try to get back into the swing of things this week, as I'll be taking a non-baseball-related trip to Philadelphia that will give me the time to provide a few updates and dust off a few of the things we've been working on, including pieces on Carlos Marmol, Jerome Williams, Matt Murton, the Weak Sisters, and my first trip to Wrigley Field this year (Wednesday vs. Milwaukee), as well as A-Train and I arguing about Soriano's effectiveness leading off.

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Michael Barrett is Okay

Can't say the same for the Bulls' Kirk Hinrich (story).

CHICAGO -- Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich missed the Bulls' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night because of a groin injury.

Hinrich, averaging 14.5 points and 5.8 assists, left late in the third quarter of Friday's 107-97 victory at Toronto after he aggravated a condition that had been nagging him for a week when he tried to stop T.J. Ford's penetration.

We've just about recovered from the drinking we did after the Cubs finalized their deal with Jason Marquis and even though we can't recognize ourselves for the grit and beards now covering our faces, we never fail to see a good neutering/castration/man-being-raped joke.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Like Any Other Cubs Fan.

This isn't related to the Cubs at all, but funny. Today Daisuke Matsuzaka flew to Boston to undergo a physical examination before signing a six year, $60 million contract (less per year than Ted Lilly, mind you). Many Boston fans showed up at the airport to make Matsuzaka feel welcome. Among them:

Mark Fairweather, a fan from Lincoln, had his 8-year-old son, Nick, on his shoulders.

"We thought we'd just come out here to take a look at him," the elder Fairweather said. "I'm glad they're getting some good pitching."


I bet he'll be the first to give up on Matsuzaka when he fails to live up to expectations.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jason Marquis = Mayonegg

This guy is in front of Mark Prior and Rich Hill in the Cubs' starting rotation.

I'm going back to sleep.

Update: Okay I woke up and ESPN is still telling me that the Cubs signed Marquis, either for three years and $20 million (bad), or three years and $28 million (Rey Ordonez being on your roster bad). Either way he's probably going to make more than Zambrano does.

Here are Marquis' HR/9 and K/9 over the last four years

2003: 0.66, 4.20
2004: 1.26, 6.17
2005: 1.26, 4.35
2006: 1.62, 4.45

Career WHIP of 1.43 and ERA+ of 94. Baseball Reference's similar pitchers: Gil Meche (4), Adam Eaton (6), Ted Lilly (9). Last year Jason Marquis was unquestionablyarguably the worst full-time starter in the majors (Joel Piniero was worse but spent some time in the bullpen). Opposing batters hit .289/.364/.509(!) against him, and only Jeff Weaver and Carlos Silva allowed worse OPS averages.

The Cubs have given a pitcher regularly mentioned in the same breath as Jeff Weaver and Carlos Silva $9+ million a year.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Jim Hendry: Still Moving

I mean still making moves.

Anyway, today is a good day, because today marks the first time in the four-plus months of our existence that I am able to apply anything I learned while wasting my time at college. Finally! Our first post on karoshi!

Gary Hughes, special assistant to Jim Hendry, on Hendry's eventful week:

His priorities were skewed.

Ted Lilly at four years and $40 million. Can't argue with Hughes there.

I wonder how his family feels about everything.

His brother and his sister-in-law are doctors.

Oh, good. I'm sure Jim could use a doctor's advice and reassurance about now.

Neither one of them are coming down.

If my brother gave $40 million to Ted Lilly and it wasn't for punching John Gibbons, I wouldn't visit him, either.

The rest of the article alternates between evidencing the seriousness of Hendry's situation and how effortlessly he is handling it.


The [Lilly] deal was finalized while Hendry was in the hospital, and O'Brien said the general manager "was hooked up to the EKG machine and we got it done."

followed by:

"Ted had no idea where [Hendry] was -- it was business as usual."

and

Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams recommended Hendry be hospitalized after experiencing some discomfort during the day while at the Winter Meetings.

leads to:

Hughes wasn't surprised that Hendry didn't let a little chest pain stop him.

and

We had a doctor see him here, an internist here, and [the doctor] said, 'I'm not leaving until you're leaving with me.

is followed by Hendry's self-diagnosis:

"Bad shrimp -- I don't know," Hughes said.

and these two:

Asked if Hendry was still working on possible deals, Hughes quipped, "When did he stop?"

When can Hendry get back to work? "He's working now," Hughes said.

Nothing can keep this man from doing his job poorly. The Cubs just signed Daryle Ward.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Aw, crap.

Ted Lilly. You paid TED LILLY 40 million dollars over four years. Does anyone think Jim Hendry's hospitalization is only coincidence? The guy's consistently crappy, because he's not able to keep the ball down. He can't eat innings (over 6 IP/start once in his career, and that was 6.15 in 2004, his BEST SEASON EVER), he walks everybody ("Did he walk Frank Thomas?" "He walked everybody." "Did he walk David Ortiz?" "He walked EVERYBODY." "Did he walk Lou Merloni?" "HE WALKED EVERYBODY!" - but seriously, Simpsons paraphrasing aside, over 4 BB/9 in each of the last three years is NOT gonna cut it), he's VERY longball-prone (1.38 HR/9 career, never below 1.17 in a season), and he doesn't translate particularly well to Wrigley. Picture Rich Hill, without the things that make Rich Hill special. On the good side: He is a hell of a competitor, and putting him and Piniella together means we're going to get at least one entertaining blowup this year. Overall signing grade: D.

In other news, Pandrew is no longer the most famous asthmatic to come out of NIU! This is actually the most bullshit of the drug suspensions the NFL has put out, mainly because the guy NEEDS TO TAKE STEROIDS TO LIVE. On another level, it's fair, though - cortisteroids are legitimately steroids, and they do strengthen the cardiopulmonary system. The question here is: "Would a player who was not asthmatic derive benefit from taking this medication?" - and the answer is "yes". Still not sure how I feel about suspending him, though - the Saints are my favorite non-Bears team, and I'd love to see them do well.

While we're on the subject of football, I'd like somebody to help me figure out a parallel for this: In the Arizona game, Rex Grossman set the record for worst QB rating in history by a QB whose team won the game, with a 10.4. This past weekend, he obliterated his own record, with a 1.3. What does that equate to in ANY OTHER WALK OF LIFE? I'm at a total loss - can someone help? Best answer wins some free shit, I promise. (And I'm a man of my word - you get what you pay for. Expect an autographed [by me, no less] matchbook or some shit.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Chicago Cubs Ruined Baseball

At least indirectly. From the Wikipedia page on agent Scott Boras:

Scott Boras was a second baseman and center fielder who played in the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals organizations. After four years in the minor leagues, during which he never made it above Class AA, he retired due to three knee surgeries. The Cubs paid Boras' tuition to attend law school at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cubs Make Offer to Mediocre Flyball Pitcher

The Cubs have reportedly offered "Jarrod Washburn money" to Ted Lilly. Here's his agent:

Lilly has a career record of 59-58 with a 4.60 ERA, but O'Brian thinks that in today's market, Washburn-type money is very possible. "I've always pointed to that contract as something that I thought would be something that we should be able to achieve," O'Brien told MLB.com. "With what Chicago has offered us, and some other conversations that we're having with a few other clubs, I think that number is definitely achievable. Who knows, it might get richer than that."

Ted Lilly:
1) Is a flyball pitcher.
2) Is prone to giving up "Eric Milton" home runs at "Eric Milton" rates.
3) Has never thrown 200 innings in a season.
4) Has thrown 192.2 fewer innings than Kerry Wood in the same number of seasons (Kerry Wood missed almost two entire seasons.)
5) Doesn't get along with management (though, to be fair, we're talking about John Gibbons.)
6) Has done nothing to convince anyone that his 4.31 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 0.83 G/F ratio will ever change.

Smells like Shawn Estes!