Bo Knows Cray-zee!!!

GAME 18 REVIEW
CUBS 6 MARLINS 3 W: David Aardsma (1-0) L: Josh Johnson (1-2) SV: Ryan Dempster (5) Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart| Photos
So much for stability from our boy Z, just as crazy as ever, accentuated by his Bo Jackson-like breaking of a bat over his knee after striking out. In the end, he kept us in the game long enough for Josh Johnson and some suspect defense to give the Cubs the victory. Another one of those not so pretty victories, but they all count the same. Ronny two-bounced a throw to home on a double in the corner that should have had Miguel Cabrera. Then, after making a nice scoop on a bad throw by Neifi at second base, unnecessarily rushed a throw to first that pulled Walker off the bag. No harm on that one though as Z got out of the inning. Walker butchered a pop fly in the infield and Barrett then 2 hopped a throw to second base on a stolen base attempt that should have erased Walker's miscue. Once again, no harm done though. It all led up to the bottom of the eight which started off with a double by Juan Pierre and then 2 walks to Cedeno and Walker, who had been robbed by 3 fine defensive gems up to that point. Ramirez hit a high chopper to Cabrera at third base who inexplicably threw home in an attempt to nail Pierre with the all important first run for the Cubs, despite the Marlins being up 3-0. Should have went for the sure out, Mr. Cabrera. Murton had another excellent at-bat, going with a pitch up and away to right center to tie the game and then Jacque Jones finished the comeback with an opposite field 3-run shot. The chic pick for next Cubs manager Joe Girardi just left poor Josh Johnson out there to suffer, despite obviously having no control over his pitches (like the 8 BB's in 8 IP wasn't enough of a sign). Cubs go for 3 in a row tomorrow with Sean Marshall on the mound. Let's see if he can survive past inning 5 this time.
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A few notes about the game.

1) Vargas allowed no hits into the fifth and left with a shutout in tact but the Cubs were teeing off of him. There were many balls that were hit hard or should have been hits that didn't fall in. It just felt like they had at least one offensive explosion in them tonight.

2) Zambrano was really fired up and looked great out there on the mound tonight. After a flat first inning, he rounded into form and only allowed one run the rest of the game. He went on a strikeout tear and was his old self.

3) Ryan Dempster may just be the best closer in the NL right now. He comes into the ballgame and it's good night Irene. One-Two-Three tonight and Miguel Cabrera is left waiting on the on deck circle.

i cant explain it myself, but i felt like we were going to erupt at some point as well. i followed along on the net as we went down time and again, but when we failed to click again in the 7th, for some reason i wasnt worried. it was odd. maybe carlos knew we were going to erupt too?

While D-Train shows up for tonight's game, that is the question. He's looked incredibly mortal of late, but he's capable of tossing a no-no just as easily. Let's hope he's a little wild in the first couple innings, and then you can get to him.

Sean Marshall has looked pretty good to me, would love to see another strong outing from him. Would take all the pressure off of Guzman if the Cubs have the first two games of the series already in the bag.

Matt Murton is good.

I agree there was something volcanic about this game. I was ready to explode after seeing the Cubs offensive just miss or continue to pop out. I actually had to stop watching and missed the rally because it was getting too aggravating. El Hombre Loco expressed my sentiments when he broke the bat. I love that guy.

Anyone else disgusted by the pitch calling for Aardsma in the 8th? When a young pitcher is throwing his fastball at 94 and locating it very well, and pitching to inferior batters who clearly can't catch up to it, why the constant call for his curveball? I think he could have been out of that inning 1-2-3 with a huge confidence boost, and learned a great lesson on the value of locating his pitches, if he hadn't thrown the curve so much.

Sayers: 3) Ryan Dempster may just be the best closer in the NL right now. He comes into the ballgame and it's good night Irene. One-Two-Three tonight and Miguel Cabrera is left waiting on the on deck circle.

I think it's interesting, Demp's stuff isn't quite as good as someone like Lidge or Izzy, but he can still close a game because he doesn't get rattled from pitch to pitch. Also, it looks like Demp is throwing a splitter in place of his slider. He seems to have much more control of the splitter than he did the slider.

aardsma seems to be nibbling the plate without actually establishing the plate first.

he throws slightly off the plate a ton...it seems like he has an idea of what he wants to do with a pitch and where he wants it, but can only get it in the area rather than mixing it up on/off the plate.

there's not a lot you can sit on with aards and just drive if you wait it out, but he's not gonna get far working 25-30 pitch innings, even in blowout roles.

It seems odd to me that both Cedeno and Murton aren't rookies this year by the slimmest of margins. IIRC, each misses out on being considered a rookie this year by having one day too much of MLB service time last year.

If it was only one of them that this happened to, I would think of it as coincidence, but both? Is there some financial incentive that ROY's get that Hendry wouldn't want to pony up? If I was a forward thinking GM last year and it was that close, I certainly would have survived one more day without the youngsters to allow them a chance to compete for ROY this year.

I think Murton and Cedeno played a lot last year because the Cubs really sucked and they were needed. But conspiricies aree fun too.

hollandsworth/dubois/patterson + timely garciapara/aram back to back injuries had a lot to do with both of them getting a look last year.

cedeno was just getting settled in when he broke his hand.

murton is...wow...last year when he came up he didnt really have the inside plate and he looked timid in LF. this year he has the full plate and he plays LF with a seemingly calm comfort level.

1. This game is another reason why "wins" and "losses" are not the best tool for evaluating pitchers. The best news of the night was Zambrano got his strikeouts up and his walks down. A quality start through 7 innings that helps give the bullpen a break. Its the wear and tear on the bullpen that other 3 so-called starters in the rotation will continue to cause that is this team's achilles heel.

2. The Cubs offense, even with Derek Lee, was just average. Without him, and with lots more Nefi! in the line-up, it is going to be below avarage. Dusty's style of managing (showing confidence in vetaran players) is not the best when dealing with players with limited abilities. For instance, Jaques Jones could be a useful, if overpaid, player if used strictly in a platton role. But sending him out to bat against lefties like Mulder and Willis is like putting a second pitcher in the line-up (maybe worse since I think Zambrano, Prior, and Maddux can all hit lefties better than JJ can.)

3. Dusty must aesthetically like quick at bats. This is the only think I can think that explains his fondness for contact hackers who barely have the power to get the ball out the infield (Bynun is this year's Macias! and of course Nefi!)

4. I must admit I am so tired of the Cubs "Lucy" act with the fans and media regarding the injuries to Prior, Wood, and (now) Miller. You may still remember Peanuts where Lucy gulls Charlie Brown time after time with the promise to hold the football while he tries to kick it and then she pulls the ball away so he ends up flat on his back. For three years now we have hearing "he just needs a few days rest," "its just a little soreness," or "the surgery is minor, Wood will be ready to pitch by spring training." I surmise the reason for the spin is partly to sustain ticket sales and TV, radio, and Internet ratings and partly to sustain the morale of the players (in order that that they win enough to sustain ticket sales and TV, etc. ratings) without going to the expense and trouble of acquiring starting pitching this team so desperately needs.

Kerry Ligtenberg pitched last night in iowa...sorry if im late to the party on this one, but i didn't know he was even in the cubs system. when did he sign?

hell of a nice AAA gamble, imo.

This game was very frustrating for 7 innings. Great defense by the Marlins and some ugly plate discipline by the Cubs (as usual) but once they got Vargas out of the game you could tell that they were going to make some noise.

One thing about Girardi staying with Johnson, the Marlins have no lefties in their bullpen at all, so its not like he could call on his LOOGY to get Jones out.

If there are any Florida fans left, doubtful I'm sure this team has to be painful to watch.

We should see Hairston and not Neifi the next 2 days I would think.

We should see Hairston and not Neifi the next 2 days I would think.

That's what Dusty has said, supposedly. I would have also thought that Jones would have gotten a day off this series since he struggles so mightily against lefties. However, after his shot last night, I'd be surprised if Dusty sat him today even though D-Train will most likely give him fits. I just hope we don't see someone like Murton or Walker benched in favor of giving Restovich a start.

First, a grammar note. Not to pick on Rob G., but I've been seeing a lot of this lately. "Could of" and "should of" are not proper expressions. You are thinking of "could've" and "should've" which are of course short for "could have" and "should have." It's an easy mistake to make.

The Cubs offense, even with Derek Lee, was just average.

The Cubs, to date, have scored 5 runs a game. That kind of average I can take.

Granted, the Cubs have gotten a bit lucky. They're not likely to remain tops in the NL in hitting with runners in scoring position. But if I told you at the end of last year that at this point in the season, Prior, Wood, and Zambrano would have zero victories between them and that Lee would be injured, what record would you have predicted? 5-13? Instead, we're 11-7. This team seems resilient and has a good attitude. The Cubs will only get stronger as the season goes on. With luck, as the bats cool off the pitching will return.

We should see Hairston and not Neifi the next 2 days I would think.

That's what Dusty has said, supposedly. I would have also thought that Jones would have gotten a day off this series since he struggles so mightily against lefties. However, after his shot last night, I'd be surprised if Dusty sat him today even though D-Train will most likely give him fits. I just hope we don't see someone like Murton or Walker benched in favor of giving Restovich a start.

Great to win but Z remains a head case. Breaking his bat over his leg and wandering about the mound raising both arms over his head after Miguel tagged him. Someone above mentioned a feeling that the Cubs were gonna explode last night for some runs. As I began to read the comment, I expected it to end with the feeling that Z was going to explode at any moment, emotionally, that is. Sure, it is great that he got the strike outs and had relatively few walks. But he still give up some key walks that could have killed us. Yes, sure, this time they did not. But I still think we are a long way from Z having the composure that he needs to really establish himself as a premier pitcher.

Some of the talking heads doing the game last night can talk all they want about Z being the guy the Cubs are gonna ride until our two other pitchers come back, sorry I have forgotten their names at this point, but Maddux clearly is the ace of this staff, at least this year. Greg has established it by now. He is 4-0 with an era below one. Z cannot touch that. Sure, he has all the promise but he is not delivering like Maddux is.

Someone above mentioned that Aardsma was nibbling too much before he showed command of the strike zone. Could not the same thing be said about Z? One of the talking heads commented that Z seemed to want to approach hitters as though he has the control of a Greg Maddux. Well, Z does not have that kind of control. Z is not, at least not yet, the master that Maddux is. I just hope Z can reign himself in more and more and that one day we won't have to hear the comments from the talking heads every game about Z's emotions and Dusty's thoughts on Z's emotions and Z's thoughts on his dad's emotions etc etc etc. Enough already.

That's what Dusty has said, supposedly.

Don't you mean, "supposeably"? ;)

Any thoughts on Jones's irritation with the fans' booing? (See today's Trib.) Kinda stung to read. I'm starting to get into a mindset where I like the team more than the fans.

Some fun stuff:

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cubs Manager Dusty Baker has lobbied for the team to extend Greg Maddux's contract. ... Finding a replacement for the injured Derrek Lee remains a high priority for the Cubs, with several sources reporting Arizona's Tony Clark could wind up in Chicago. Kansas City's Mike Sweeney is another name that has surfaced, although the Daily Herald and Chicago Sun Times say the Royals are not willing to part with the veteran.

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/MLB_SC-RUMOR

And I'm sure everyone's read this one by now:

Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are both expected to face hitters on Wednesday as the two Cubs pitchers continue their rehab from shoulder injuries.

Wood is not having any lingering problems from tightness he experienced under his right arm during a session on Friday...

Prior, who was slowed this spring by a strained muscle in his right shoulder, threw a bullpen session on Monday, and was scheduled to face hitters Wednesday. Both pitchers are rehabbing in Mesa, Ariz., at the team's extended spring facility.

http://cubs.com
"Notes: Walker moves his act to first"

From what I understand, the Wednesday session will be facing live hitters, but is not considered a rehab start. The wait on Prior & Wood is always agonizing.

I'm starting to get into a mindset where I like the team more than the fans.

Yeah, we had the whole "to boo or not to boo" thin here a few weeks ago, but I agree with you wholeheartably.

Yes, re-sign Greg now if he is willing to consider it now. Also, if we sign a first baseman, hopefully Walker will be our regular second baseman, rather than a platoon arrangement. Walker can flat out hit. He showed last night that he can hit pretty well off a southpaw, getting robbed several times. Walker is one of our players that has really stepped up this year, along with Cedeno and also Murton and Barrett, at least at times. Walker is goofy at times but he has passion for the game, not the kind that causes him to lose focus. And we are paying him next to nothing. Thank goodness we did not trade him.

I guess the thing that's different now from the boo debate we had before is the lashing out from Jones. He compared us unfavorably to the fans in MN, and basically brought to relief all the theoretical stuff we've debated. (Will booing a player hurt the chances he'll break out of the slump, etc.)

Seems like when a player breaks out of a slump during which he's been the recipient of fan hostility, there's often a sense of happiness, like we're having a player/fan reconciliation. But from Jones, he's pissed. I want the players to enjoy being here.

I really, really like Greg Maddux. He has been my favorite player in baseball since he came up with the Cubs. I want nothing more than for him to pitch well this year.

That said, I'd think long and hard before re-signing him. The Cubs have lots of young arms that need to make the leap to MLB level. Guzman, Hill, Marshall. They may not all make it, but they deserve a shot. Add to that Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Miller, Rusch and you have too many arms.

My advice is to at least wait until the end of the season and the Cubs can see how some of these players perform, whether the injured guys come back, how the rookies perform while they're out, etc.

A few comments.

A) The Cubs have shown this year they are a solid team top to bottom offensively. Even without Lee they are doing a generally good job of scoring runs. I think the key is the offensive production out of Ronny Cedeno. They do need to draw more walks. I chuckled when someone wrote that they had trouble with plate discipline last night. Six walks, was it? I'll take that any time.

B) Zambrano looked fantastic last night. I don't get too upset over his volatile personality because it doesn't seem to effect (affect?) him that much. Last night, after the HR, he settled down, allowed only one more run the rest of the night and went on a strikeout tear. Those that are upset about his performance last night probably got mad in 1908 because the Cubs didn't sweep the World Series.

C) We're 11-7 folks. It's early but this team is winning. I'd love to see a solid 6-2 or 5-3 and homestand before we move to the west coast. They can do it.

I was out last night and caught the Cubs batting in the 8th. That was all the highlights I needed!

It was also nice to hear someone other than mundane Morgan announce the game for ESPN.

I would not be surprised to see ARam get a night off, as it will be cold and possibly wet at Wrigley tonight. Is another start of Neif! worth the insurance of keeping ARam out?

I definitely don't want to get into the boo debate that we had about a week ago. But, I don't think it was the booing that really got to him. I guess the guys out in right field were heckling him a bit. I just think the guy is pressing b/c he is a new situation, and really wants to do well. I think they should lay off the guy a bit.

On the same note, I don't think he should be going at the fans, b/c no player every wins a war of words with the fans. I really don't want him to get on the wrong side of the fans at Wrigely. I could see them heckling him unmercifully, which we would be bad for his production, and bad for the team as a whole.

If Jones has a 4 game streak were he heats up, we can expect this story to disappear.

I definitely don't want to get into the boo debate that we had about a week ago.

You're right - I should think twice before I stir it up again. Sorry.

I think you're right on your other points too.

"Should have" not "should of." If you're trying to bust some ba**s, I'm sorry and will try to get a sense of humor.

MARCV,
I agree about enjoying an ESPN game without morgan and miller. in fact, i REALLY enjoyed sutcliffe. did the cubs ever make any push to get him in the booth instead of brenly? i loved his stories at the cubs convention - sutty can tell stories all day and i wouldnt mind.

Matt - I believe that they did indeed try very hard to get Sutcliffe after Stone left, but he didn't want to commit to the full schedule, whereas his ESPN gig lets him work just a couple of games/week. Money was not the issue, apparently.

Anyone else disgusted by the pitch calling for Aardsma in the 8th? When a young pitcher is throwing his fastball at 94 and locating it very well, and pitching to inferior batters who clearly can't catch up to it, why the constant call for his curveball?

Ummm...no! Nice fastball, very hittable (think Billy Koch). He needs to mix it up to be effective.

I am puzzled and at times annoyed by CZ's antics too. But I really think we have to recognize that for the most part, the craziness comes as part of the whole package -- in other words, the zany behavior is a byproduct of the same characteristics that cause a lot of his success (adrenaline, drive, obsession with succeeding/winning, hating the opposition, hating losing, etc.).

We would all like to remove the negative byproducts of these traits and keep the positive ones, but it ain't that easy. To Dusty's credit, he seems to understand that. If you try to calm a guy down in order to remove the negative byproducts, you run the risk of accidentally stripping or muting the actual characteristics that are causing lots of good things. And you can wind up with a lesser pitcher.

So, I'm saying that we need to learn to live with the loco rather than hoping he will change. There are several examples of athletes/coaches who succeeded in part because of some of the characteristics that CZ seems to have and who had similar behavioral issues. Charles Barkley comes to mind, Bobby Knight too. John MacEnroe. Jordan seemed to channel his insane competitive instinct pretty well in the sporting realm (although his teammates may have some stories), but it clearly spread over and impacted other parts of his life.

Terrell Owens is an extreme example of an insecure guy who is an asshole; remove the insecurity in order to remove the assholishness, and I bet you have a lesser receiver. There are lots of guys who have the talent that TO has, but not the drive.

Just a theory, but I think we need to learn to take the good with the bad as long as CZ's not hurting the team or anyone else.

Sayers, I guess you comment about the 1908 world series was directed at me. Look, I am not "upset" over Z's performance last night. I am just concerned that he remains a volcano waiting to erupt. If you watched the game last night, did concern ever, ever cross your mind for even a moment during the game, especially in the early going, that Z was going to start visibly showing his displeasure with balls and strikes call to the ump? I can tell you that the concern was in my mind, and not just the back of my mind, at least several times. Maybe not for you but it sure was there for me. To his credit, he held off yesterday. But I get the feeling it is still a very fine line that Z is walking with his emotions. I just do not see many "star" pitchers who have problems with composure the way Z does. What does that tell you? Hmm, I suspect that guys who have trouble staying composed do not get to be, or do not remain, top level pitchers. I hope Z can get a grip on things. It is just that the jury definitely still is out as far as I am concerned.

Maddux will not consider re-signing now and Dusty
should NOT have mentioned it. Seriously it was like
Dusty's silly comment last year about Maddux retiring
Maddux HATES for this crap to be mentioned. Exactly
as with the retiriment he has the media constantly asking
him about "next year" and he really only thinks about this year
Trust me Maddux is NOT going to re-sign with the Cubs
UNLESS he thinks they are contenders and with all due
respect anyone who thinks they have too many arms
around to think of re-signing him should take a deep
look at the current "rotation" and imagine it
WITHOUT Maddux. He will wait to the end of the
season and weigh his options The best thing in the
Cubs favor is that A. He hates to move around.
B. he will ONLY consider NL contending teams with
takes it down to about 5 teams ( won't go to Mets).C
He won't leave over money.
Keep your fingers crossed that he WANTS to stay

It seems odd to me that both Cedeno and Murton aren't rookies this year by the slimmest of margins. IIRC, each misses out on being considered a rookie this year by having one day too much of MLB service time last year.

Murton had 140 AB's, I believe the cutoff is 130. Cedeno had too much service time but he may have qualified for the AB's too if he did break his wrist.

Meaningless award anyway...

I am puzzled and at times annoyed by CZ's antics too. But I really think we have to recognize that for the most part, the craziness comes as part of the whole package -- in other words, the zany behavior is a byproduct of the same characteristics that cause a lot of his success (adrenaline, drive, obsession with succeeding/winning, hating the opposition, hating losing, etc.).

Could not agree more. His nickname should be "Diz Z". He's unique. Wouldn't change a thing except his won-loss record.

Meaningless award anyway...

Come on Rob - I still remember Jerome Walton (and yes, I mentioned him in the previous thread also).

And the Dodgers ROY streak turned out so well for their team! :)

Great for the guy who wins it and all, but half the time it just goes to some guy who finally got his chance for the majors and is 28 years old or Japanese player in his 30's. It's not some great measure of future stardom or anything, at least not anymore.

ROY "debate"--

See: Todd Hollandsworth

ROY "debate" -

See Chris Sabo

Two things:
1) I'm all for Jacque Jones platooning, but who is supposed to be the RH part of this platoon? And if the answer is Michael Restovich, you might as well play Jones.

2) I don't see where the Cubs have played "Lucy" when it comes to the injured pitchers. Nobody on the Cubs has mentioned a possible return date for any of the three. The media has and posters on numerous web sites have, but I don't recall anyone on the Cubs doing that over the winter, in spring training or now.

1) I'm all for Jacque Jones platooning, but who is supposed to be the RH part of this platoon? And if the answer is Michael Restovich, you might as well play Jones.

Good point, but I'd probably still play Restovich just so Jones doesn't embarrass himself further against lefties. Plus, against Dtrain the Cubbies will need to take some pitches and get into the bullpen. Restovich would be more likely to take some pitches.

Hey, Rob. G --

Thanks for the recap. Just to nit-pick, though, it's "should have," not "should of." You were 0-for-2 on that in your post. One more strike and you're out. You will be forced to return to the bench and read the Strunk and White manual on English grammar.

2 comments:
- If the Cubs lost 3-0 yesterday I think the tone of this thread would be VERY different in terms of Z's antics. I personally think he has to grow up, and grow up quickly. The game starts in the first inning, and he needs to come in with his head on and into the game from the first pitch. IT puts too much pressure on our offense when we go down early because of lack of consentration and then we start popping it up all the time. I think through the 6th inning we had something like 3 ground outs and 13 fly outs. We got lucky yesterday, and the win is the win...but I still want someone to shake Zambrano and tell him to get his head into it from pitch 1.

When I first read Jones' comments in the paper about being angry at the fans, my initial thought was "Shut up, these fans pay your salary"...but now in thinking about it more, I hope it's a good wake up call to our fans. When we started booing Patterson, it didn't make him play better...if anything it made him try to force things. Hawkins certainly didn't pitch better once we started booing him, same with Alfonseca, Hundley, sosa (to a point) etc.

Maybe it's good to have an outsider come in and tell us we kinda suck as fans sometimes.

But ultimately, fans do pay the salaries, and if they aren't doing their jobs, fans have a right to boo. I just think we need to be a bit better about it.

Thanks Zoot Zoot for the catch, if you look at the time of the post, you'll understand why I butchered the grammar :)

Although I'm quite capable of butchering grammar during normal business hours

First off, Zambrano is an IDIOT! Any ball player, especially a PITCHER for God's sake, who breaks a bat over his knee after striking out deserves to be on the DL! How do you explain that one to your team mates and fans, Einstein?!

Second, Murton is the secret weapon. I could tell that BEFORE they sent him down last year! NINE Cubs played left field at least once last year and he was the only one I thought could follow Alou. So...they sent him down?! Welcome back, kid!

Re crazy pitchers, Clemens was a total nutcase for most of his career. Very similar to CZ. I mean, who can forget his throwing the bathead at Piazza? Pedro is also a bit off his rocker.

Can anyone remember a PITCHER breaking a bat over his knee?!

Block, exactly when was Sosa booed? I don't think ever. (While in uniform)

I just read the article with Jones' comments about the booing and think this may be a case where we don't necessarily know the context. It doesn't seem like he sought out a reporter so he could blast the fans, rather it appears that reporters asked him whether he was surprised by the booing and how it affected him and he gave an honest answer. Maybe he shouldn't have said it, but it sounds like an honest answer to a legitimate question.

Also, I am unaware of any player actually hurting himself while trying to snap a bad. They're pretty thin at the handle. But I could be way off on this. Otherwise, who F cares if Z tries to bust his B over his K?

I am unaware of any player actually hurting himself while trying to snap a bat

There is the risk of injury and given the Cubs' luck on injuries we can't afford to tempt fate even when the risk is relatively low. But I think the broader point is that there are countless examples of athletes getting injured by breaking/punching/kicking/etc. things out of frustration and it's just a matter of time before that happens to Z if he doesn't change.

There's no way Z was gonna injure himself. His thigh was about five times as thick as the skinny part of the bat he broke.

Dammit, I can't resist. I'll just say one thing.

You hear a lot of fans say it's their right to boo. They paid for their tickets after all! And I suppose that's true. But the debate isn't over whether fans CAN boo, it's whether they SHOULD boo.

There's a big difference between CAN and SHOULD. You CAN cheat on your wife, and you CAN teach your kids to hate people because of the color of their skin. You have the right to do these things in this country; they aren't illegal. But that doesn't mean you SHOULD do them.

I'm still waiting for a compelling argument as to why we SHOULD boo Jones (or anyone else) other than for a clear lack of effort.

Cubs fan (at least those at the park, not the fine upstanding gentleman that patrol TCR) are becoming despicable....

They seem to boo at anyone having a bad day, churns my stomach.

"There is the risk of injury and given the Cubs' luck on injuries we can't afford to tempt fate even when the risk is relatively low." - Bluedog
----

I don't fear for Z breaking a bone or anything. But a freak accident like a splinter lodging in his brain would be about in line with Cub "luck".

Personally, I thought the crowd's reaction to Z's feat of strength was the audio highlight of the game. ESPN had a great replay with the background ballpark audio cranked up. Z struck out, busted the bat, and after a brief pause while his action sunk in, the crowd let out what I can only describe as a frenzied bellow of amazement and anticipation.

It was like wrestling when Hulk Hogan was getting his ass kicked and looked finished. All of the sudden he would get this look on his face and you knew he was about to start whoopin' ass. Or, for another 80's classic, it was like the A-Team getting its butt kicked and holing up in a warehouse with a bunch of spare automotive parts and welder. The bad guy's demise was only minutes away.

The crowd could tell that Z was going to go off, but wasn't quite sure if it would be good or bad. Turns out it was good. Very good.

Question: When did this happen:Kerry Ligtenberg is an Iowa Cub. I missed this signing. Anyyone else?

scooter

>when was Sosa booed? I don't think ever. (While in uniform)

I thought he got booed a couple times towards the end of his tenure as a Cub, specifically a couple night games with men in scoring position and K'ing on three pitches. BTW- I go to a LOT of games (75 a year) and it seems to me booing is worse during night games. Anyone else notice that?

> who F cares if Z tries to bust his B over his K?

I pay a LOT of money to see him WIN GAMES, not act like a 2-year-old. Forgotten Kyle Farnsworth already?!

>But a freak accident like a splinter lodging in his brain would be about in line with Cub "luck".

You make it sound like a bad thing! OK, I'm kidding. Re: booing, I missed the original discussion, but I don't think I've ever booed any CUB! Left early when I saw Hawkins or Rojas, perhaps, but not booed! Why boo? Will it help the home team? Now, the opponents are FAIR GAME! Try to remember who's side your on! BTW- I woulda kept Burnitz for less money! And Alou got FIVE RBI's last night, but who's counting?

This is in regards to the few posts that mentioned our "lucky" win last night. I wanted to ask them why it was so lucky? I understand that we didn't pick up our hits until late, but does that constitute luck. If we had that production in the first inning would it not have been "lucky"? I think that it showed a lot of character for this team and I would not write it off to luck. I would have to argue that we put some hits together and had a big inning and then Dempster closed the game and it was awesome. Give the team some credit for coming together despite the injured staff and Lee, and quit writing their efforts off to "luck".

I'm still waiting for a compelling argument as to why we SHOULD boo Jones (or anyone else) other than for a clear lack of effort.

Since the Jones signing made me say "screw it, I'm caring about this team 30% as much as I used to from now on", I wanted to see how this booing thing was playing out in Cubdom. As someone remarked in either this thread or one before, Jim Hendry does not make appearances in the pregame intros, or come to the plate: there's no "Batting seventh, Jim Hendry signs Jacque Jones to an excessive contract." I'd boo that if I could, but that option isn't available. Booing Jones is the only way to express my dissatisfaction with his presence on the team, and frankly, a couple well-placed home runs aside, he's done nothing but deserve it so far. Those around me at the park have tended to not appreciate it; thankfully, last night was the first time he made me look silly.

If Jones learns to get on base, take a pitch after the batter in front of him walks on four straight, not say things like "I won't let them [walk me]," or, in general, demonstrates ability to make a corner-OF-worthy contribution to the offense on a consistent basis*, then I'll stop booing. Otherwise, Jones and the good people of 529 have a looong 17 months ahead of them; on the other hand, if the booing remains warranted and persists, perhaps the club will be more motivated to dump him in the offseason and try the whole productive-RFer thing again.

*i.e., plays like he did in 2002 for the first time since 2002.

So, Ron, let me get this straight. You are frustrated with this player's performance 18 games into the 486 games that he signed to play for the Cubs. You don't like the GM who signed him, nor do you like his pitch selection or patience (despite the fact that he has made defining contributions to two of the team's 11 victories).

Therefore, you have initiated a campaign of targeted booing in order to motivate the GM to trade this player. You also hope that this player, after hearing you boo him, gets the message that you disapprove of his performance. So, you will boo for as long as it takes -- perhaps three years?.

If this was supposed to be a compelling pro-boo argument, you'll have to try again.

Actually, all it has done is cause me to doubt your mental health.

So, Ron, let me get this straight. You are frustrated with this player's performance 18 games into the 486 games that he signed to play for the Cubs. You don't like the GM who signed him, nor do you like his pitch selection or patience (despite the fact that he has made defining contributions to two of the team's 11 victories).

I'm not nearly as concerned with his first 18 games for the Cubs as with his last 293 games for the Twins. At the 252/317/435ish he'll hit over the next 486 (or, praise God, fewer) games, he's not going to make many defining contributions at all relative to almost every other right fielder in Major League Baseball.

You also hope that this player, after hearing you boo him, gets the message that you disapprove of his performance.

I'm not booing to send Jones a message; I'm booing because the Cubs' chances of winning 95 games, getting to the playoffs and thereby putting a smile on my face and money in my pocket were not improved by adding this guy to the team, and I'm not happy about it, because money and smiles are good and 315 OBPs (Jones'll get there eventually... right?) are bad.

So, you will boo for as long as it takes -- perhaps three years?.

Jones *does* have the option of performing acceptably over an extended period of time; again, should he manage this feat, I'll stop booing. (I fully expect to get hoarse first.)

I didn't intend this to be pro-boo argument per se, just an explanation of why I do it. I certainly am not about to encourage anybody to go around booing Jacque, or anybody else. I just want to make clear that I'm not booing because the guy's had a bad month. I'm booing because he's not going to have many good ones.

Instead of booing, how 'bout just NOT CHEERING?
Not anyone here specifically, but I have seen many a dim wit (again, NO ONE here!) with a mentality of monkey see, monkey boo. Usually drunk yuppies who think it's the cool thing to do. Then, off they go to Murphy's in the 7th and ask who won the game!

Are the fans that boo the same ones who frantically scream over every routine fly ball to medium center?

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