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Catch-up

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

OK folks, I have returned from visiting USC, and other California locations, such as Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Pasadena, and LAX. While out in the golden state, I went hiking, built a sand castle, visited with family, and became estranged from the world of baseball.

I left the coast a few days ago, but am in a new apartment with out television, or internet, and so still haven't been able to watch a complete Cubs game in nearly 4 weeks! My Cubness is being challenged, and so I return with a vengeance for the final two months of the baseball season!

Around the league: Despite essentially missing a month of the season, not too much has changed since I left. The Cardinals still have the top record in baseball, and have a 14.5 game lead on us, which is only slightly larger than the 12 game lead they had at the beginning of the month. (They acquired Larry Walker while I was gone... and I'm not too happy about it, but not distraught either.)

In the NL West, the Dodgers continue to lead the Padres and Giants by about a 5 game margin. Despite some rumors I heard while out there, it doesnt appear that the Dodgers are going to falter enough to let the Padres or Giants back in the NL West race.

In the NL East, the Braves are running away with the division and will capture yet another pennant title. Its time for me (and the rest of the baseball world) to fess up, and say the following: John Schuerholz is the best general manager ever, and Bobby Cox could win a division title with the Curacao Little Leage team. That about wraps up the NL East for the last 12 or 13 years.

The NL wild card race stands about where it was when I left as well. Before starting tonight's game (which is in the 1st and the Cubs are down 0-4 right now), the Cubs had a .5 game lead in the race, with the Giants and the Padres right there.

Otherwise, another interesting note is that the Dodgers and the Braves have identical records. If the Braves end up winning more games than the Dodgers, and the Cubs manage to win the Wild-Card, then the Cubs will face the Braves in the first round of the playoffs, after a three game series to finish the season... resulting in a possible 8 consecutive games against the fighting Native Indians of Atlanta, Georgia.

In the AL, The Yanks, Twins, and A's lead their divisions with the BoSox leading the wild card race by 1.5 games over the Angels and 3 games over the Rangers. The AL West race remains tight.

A look back at the win/loss flags since I last updated them.


Finally, Our crack at the Expos.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Hammered by the Astros, missed a chance to put them away.

Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Swept the Brewers!.

Get out your Nimbus 2000's, Cubs sweep the Brewers!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Won 2 of 3 Over the Astros.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Won 2 of 3 Over the Brew Crew.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Trust me, losing isn't lovable

Dropped 2 of 3 to the Dodgers.

Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Posted by Byron at 6:19 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Hello from So-Cal!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Editors Note: I started writing this On August 21st, but it didn't get posted because I was on vacation, and didn't have time to finish the post.

I went to the Dodgers game last night, and am glad that I did. Adrian Beltre hit two home runs, and the Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves in 11 innings, with a walk-off homer.

Other than a quick moving game, that was a bit dull until the later innings, some of my impressions:

  • We'll start with this paragraph from Dodgers.com, "The 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium has parking for 16,000 automobiles on 21 terraced lots adjacent to the same elevations as the six different seating levels."
  • The Dodgers have got to be raking in the dough. The whole stadium is gated off, and you have to pay for parking to get up to the stadium. At $10 a car, and with at least 10,000 cars in the lot, it looks like the Dodgers are grabbing at least $100,000 per game in parking alone.
  • Dodger Stadium is really big, with a capacity of 56,000. However, the stadium didn't feel "too big" even though we were in the upper deck.
  • The Dodger fans sitting around me didn't seem too interested in the game. Most highlights of the evening included doing the wave, or guessing which hat the baseball was under in the hat game. However, I should say the fans cheered impressively when the Dodgers scored runs, and half the crowd managed an "M-V-P" chant after each of Beltre's homers.
  • The Concessions at Dodger Stadium are ridiculous. Beer was $7.00, Dodger Dogs (Beef) ran $4.50 a piece, and ice-cream in a plastic Dodgers helmet was $4.00. Also, the Dodger Dogs don't hold a candle to the Hebrew National hot dogs at Wrigley ($3.25 I think).
  • The post-game traffic getting out of Dodger stadium is worse than trying to catch the "L" when the trains stop running. It took us 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot, and then we had to get to the freeway in LA... where we found some traffic. If you are trying to take public transportation to get there, I didn't see any busses or trains, so good luck.

So there you go, those were my impressions of my visit to Dodger Stadium... pictures will be posted when they get developed (yes, I am still in the 20th century.)

Posted by Byron at 2:37 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Vacationing

Friday, August 13, 2004

I will be in LA for the next two weeks. (And yes, I will be visiting Chavez Ravine!) Sorry for the inconvenience. Check out The Cub Reporter in the mean time...


Trust me, losing isn't lovable

I got to go to this game, or most of it. I woke up early and drove in to Chicago from my parents and got standing room only tickets again. I then went and found a parking spot that was good through 5:00 p.m. figuring the game wouldn't take more than 3:40. Well, I was wrong. Two substantial rain delays later, I had to leave before the seventh so my car didn't get towed.

The game wasn't bad, although we lost 5-4 in 11. Clement couldn't throw a strike, and Sammy couldn't hit one. Corey Patterson continues to be awesome, getting on base 5 times and swiping two bases... almost had a third, but Nomar decided to try and hit a home run on a fat fastball down the middle. He fouled it off, but later atoned by hitting a two run shot that overcame the Padres' first lead of the day.

Anyhow, the loss should probably be pinned on the Bullpen. Both Farnsworth and Ryan Dempster blew leads... and thats a recipe for a loss.

All that said, I leave for LA with the Cubs up by one in the Wild Card race. I just hope thats the case (or a lot better) when I return... now for palm trees, ocean waves, and weather over 65 degrees. (Did I mention it was about 55 at the game?)

Go Cubs!

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Trust me, losing isn't lovable

Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
Trust me, losing isn't lovable
Posted by Byron at 1:08 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Make that a sweep!

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Get Out Your Nimbus 2000's! Cubs sweep the Rockies!
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Well Boston, we in Chicago know you are 'happy' to be rid of that clubhouse cancer, shell of himself, oft-injured shortstop... who blackmailed your organization with threats to go on the DL, or secret plans to demand a trade... but the Cubs are now 4-0 in the Nomar Garciappara (correctly spelled Garciaparra) era, and the only ones who still seem to care about what Nomar did or did not do are the sour-puss journalists, and CYA GM's and club Presidents based out of Boston.

The Cubs finished off the Rockies in Colorado and head back to San Francisco to face Barry Bonds and Dusty Baker's dog. Today's game was a fairly easy win, with Derrek Lee hitting his 22nd dinger of the year in the second inning, and Mark Prior throwing 6 scoreless innings.

The Cubs had a fairly close game going until Corey Patterson hit a solo shot in the sixth, and Paul Bako drove in two in the seventh. In the top of the ninth, Glendon Rusch poked in another run and looked set to complete the Cubs' 4th shutout of the year. However, a 9th inning double (that was scored as a triple) was turned into a run by Sammy Sosa booting the ball a couple of times in right field. The final score was 5-1.

Anyhow, the Cubs won, they swept the Rockies, and its on to San Francisco!

Posted by Byron at 4:35 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Mile High Win

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Make that 3-0 in the Nomar Garciappara (correctly spelled Garciaparra) era.

The Cubs won tonight over the Rockies by a score of 11-8, at Coors field. Carlos Zambrano got the start, going 6 innings, allowing 4 earned runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. When he left the game in the 6th, the Cubs were down 4-1, but Jared Wright left after 5.1 innings, and the Cubs offense went to work on the Rockies bullpen.

The Offense posted 4 runs in both the 7th and 8th innings, and another 2 runs in the ninth. The big blow was a 3 run home run from Sammy, which tied the game, and tied Sammy with Reggie Jackson on the all-time home run list with #563. Todd Walker, and Aramis Ramirez also hit home runs tonight, as Nomar went 2 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, and Derrek Lee went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.

In the long term, Corey Patterson's night just might be the big story. In his third game leading off, Corey seems to be adapting to the lead off role pretty well. He went 3 for 5 with a walk tonight, and scored a run. Two of his hits came off of bunts, and he stole second base (his 17th, and 2nd in 2 days)... you know, thats what you ask of your leadoff hitter... meriting a 'Cubdom Congrats' for C-Pat!

The Cubs bullpen struggled a bit, although that is expected in Colorado. Kyle Farnsworth got the win, despite throwing 4 pitches, allowing two home runs, and lasting only a third of an inning. LaTroy Hawkins closed the game again tonight, although the Cubs had a 4 run lead. After a lead-off dinger granted to Todd Helton, Hawkins retired the next three batters in order.

Around the League: The Cardinals won tonight on a walk-off home run from Albert Pujols to triumph over the Expos. As a result, the Cubs did not pick up a game in the Central division and trail the Cards by 9.5 games. However, the wild-card fortunes are looking up with both the Padres and Giants losing in their games to the Phillies and Reds respectively. With the Padre's loss, the Cubs have a 1 game lead in the wild-card and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

Posted by Byron at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Swinging Sticks

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!
UPDATE: 10:13 PM Central Time

The Cubs run their record to 2-0 in the Nomar Garciappara (correctly spelled Garciaparra) era, with a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

In one of the more suprising turn of events since acquiring Nomar, neither team scored a run after the second inning AT COORS FIELD. This must be some kind of a record!

Despite allowing a 2-run home run in the first inning to Todd Helton, then walking Vinny Castilla and allowing a triple to Todd Walker, Kerry Wood kept the Rockies to only 3 runs through 8 innings. 6 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. In other recurring themes, Kerry kept the pitch count down, allowing him to go 8, while 'only' throwing 110 pitches.

LaTroy Hawkins got his 17th save of the season, and actually retired all three men he faced, without allowing a runner to reach base.

On the offensive side of things, Derrek Lee's 2 run homer in the 2nd inning got things going, and 3 runs later, he struck out with the bases jammed to end the inning. Suprisingly, Jeff Fassero shut down the Cubs offense the rest of the way finishing with 7 ip. Tim Harikkala (funny name and all) finished the game for Colorado.

The Wild-Card lead is down to .5 game, but San Diego is currently winning. Still, we have a 3 game series coming up against San Diego... and we swept them last time.


Its currently the second inning of Tonight's game being played at Coors. Both teams have already posted 3 runs on the scoreboard, and the inning is not over, (C Pat just stole his 16th base... he is running with increasing regularity.) NOMAR! A bloop and make that 4-3. Anyhow, with a completely healthy lineup, playing in Coors, I am just going to enjoy the outburst, and trust that the final score will be about 16-12. ALOUUUU!!!

On a personal note, the blog is going to be rather sporadic this month as I have 7 more days of an insane project to finish up, followed rather quickly by a trip to LA, where I will be getting my first peek at Chavez Ravine. SAMMYYYY!!!! Cubs 5, Rockies 3!

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Anyhow, not terribly much has changed in Cubdom after my last post. The Cubs won 6-3 on Sunday, Maddux' first shot at 300, and Nomar's Cubs debut. (Greg left the game after six innings, down a run, and got a no-decision. Frankly, in view of the fact that the Cubs won, I am glad that Greg didn't get #300 on Sunday because it wouldn't have been fair to have his special day completely overshadowed by Nomar's arrival... which it was.

The Cubs have closed the gap in the wild-card race to 1 game, and are still 10.5 back of the Cardinals, who don't really show any signs of slowing down.


Excerpt from: "Cubs hit home run; Yankees strike out
by Chris DeLuca - Chicago Sun-Times, 8/1/04

Though the Mariners reportedly were listening to trade offers, they weren't aggressive in shopping the former Minnesota Twins closer. Did Guardado ever consider pushing for a deal?

"No, that would be selfish," he said. "I'm not the only one on this team who wants to win; all of us want to win. It would be selfish for me to say, 'Get me out of here,' because we're losing."

Way to Go Everyday Eddie. Nothing turns my stomach quite so much as watching pro athletes who have held their teams hostage for untold millions of dollars refuse to stick out the tough times and demand trades. This isn't just a baseball thing, but basketball (Tracy McGrady, Shaq, and a few more), football (Terrell Owens), and other sports.

Posted by Byron at 8:35 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

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