Blessed This Day

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W: Carloz Zambrano (1-2) L: Matt Cain (1-5)I didn't really catch much of the game, only the first few innings on XM radio. Jon Miller made it sound like the Cubs defense was a bit shaky(Jones error, Z didn't cover first base on a potential DP, Pierre let one over his head) but for once the bats were there to overcome. By all accounts Z looked good and we find out that when you go after Bonds, it is possible to get him out every so often. I thought Bonds was going to take his normal day off tomorrow as it's a day game following a night game but Alou said he'll play. It'll be up to Sean Marshall to try and win the series and keep Bonds from climbing a rung on the all-time home run ladder. Glad the losing streak is over, the dogs, AngelFan wife and kids are safe once again. Looking forward to starting a winning streak.


yea, blessed be this day indeed.
a RALLY at LAST! (if you call it that).
i can sleep easy at last, even if for just this night, knowing that the chicago cubs do win ballgames every once in a while.

btw, i heard the 2 run double by JJ in the 6th wasnt so much him than it was the fielder. is this true?

what the hell does that 'W' graphic mean?

is this a republican blog now?

Does that mean all those L's have stood for "Laura"?

Cubby re: #1 - JJ's double was a high chopper up the middle that carromed off the 2nd baseman's glove and died in CF -- it was definitely a hit even if the 2b comes up with it. Credit JJ with good baserunning/hustle on that one.

Also re: the Cub's defense in general -- Mabry's D saved the day, some really good picks at 1B (Big Z also made a hell of catch while covering the 1B bag on an errant toss from Mabry). Giant hitters played pepper with Mabry about the whole game (good to see Z using that sinker effectively)

Crunch:what the hell does that 'W' graphic mean?

is this a republican blog now?


I would like to add a comment about Hendry after this win. Until now I have been a Hendry supporter: I may have not agreed with all his moves but on the whole I think that he has been a great GM for the Cubs. However, I think right now is a critical point in his tenure, at least in how I view him. Derrek's Lee injury could actually be a blessing in disguise in the sense that it makes very evident that the Cubs need a righthanded platoon mate for Jacque Jones, who has been extremely good against righthanders and extremely bad against southpaws. I know most everybody here knew this before and commented on it and I agree that Hendry made a big mistake in not addressing this. He still has a chance to do it though. However, if he thinks that Conine or the like is the answer then I say he just doesn't get it. It's not time for a mediocre patch but for a splash. If he is looking to have a winning team that can win also in the playoffs he needs to understand that this is something the Cubs need to address, even if D-Lee never got injured. How he tackles this situation will be very telling in my book. Another dump&dump styletrade with the Orioles would certainly say a lot about him as a GM. We shall see.


A couple of comments. First, for me, the skills as a broadcaster that Jon Miller has are completely overshadowed by his Barry worship. For me, that takes away a lot of his credibility as a broadcast journalist. I realize that there is a large audience in San Francisco does not want to hear him bashing Barry for taking steroids. But Jon is down the other end of the spectrum, just plain worshipping Barry, which is wrong. Every now and then Miller ought to acknowledge that the process of going for 714 is tainted. I mean, come on Miller, take the blinders off at least occasionally.

As for signing another player to platoon with Jones, increasingly I think that is unlikely, at least this year. Look, the Trib already has basically completely sold Wrigley for the entire season. These guys are businessmen. They realize we basically have no chance of making it to the playoffs, even if we sign someone. So why would they spend more money this season when from a financial point of view they have absolutely nothing to gain?

Re: #2

Please tell me you're joking. :)

Pat Hughes after the Cubs scored 5 runs in the 6th inning last night: "We have now scored more runs in this one inning than in any of the previous eleven games."

I'm not surprised Bonds is playing today. It's clear they want him to tie/pass Ruth at home, otherwise he'll be booed mercilessly.

I've heard Jon Miller talk about Bonds and Roids in an unflattering manner several times, but I completely understand why he doesn't do it every day and every time he's up to bat. If I were a Giants fan listening to the broadcast, I'd jump out of a window if I had to hear that every single time he was up to bat. Since Giants fans are his primary audience, it's understandable that he takes it easy on Bonds. And after all, the Giants are paying his salary. I'm sure they don't want to hear it all the time either, if at all.

As about the only woman on this site, I think you guys are all missing the most important point. As long as we continue to sell out Wrigley and support the Cubs, we continue to get an inferior product. A two week boycott of all Cub games would shake up the Tribune and bring corrective messures in the form of replacement of the front office.

I know it won't happen but a girl can dream.

I attended last nights game vs the Giants and below are my rambling thoughts:

Z had no command in the 1st inning, and was very close to letting the Giants take the momentum. The pivotal inning was the 2nd after he walked Frandsen and gave up the 2B to Matheny. He was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run to score and had a nice 3rd inning, follows by a shaky 4th. However, from the 5th onward, he looked like the Z of old.

Mabry did nothing with the bat, but played an excellent 1st base and may have been the difference maker when Z was on the ropes, as I don't know if Walker would have made those plays at 1st last night.

The Cubs made the most of their chances, but it didn't feel like they scored 8 runs, as Cain pitched extremely well (he was throwing strikes, vs Z who struggled with his command until the 5th), and only seemed to lose his focus after Pierre's ball hit him in the 6th.

There is a form of hero worship that is going on with Barry at home. Each of his plate appearances required one to stand, if you wanted to follow the action. With each pitch, there were a sea of flashbulbs.

Lots of Cub fans in SF last night, although we were fairly quiet as a group (from where I was sitting in the CF bleachers)

Even with the win, let's not kid ourselves, as this is not a good team as it is currently configured. I expect that we will continue to struggle scoring runs.

Team Audit Statistics: Chicago Cubs Hitters
Player...........PA AVG OBP SLG SB CS VORP
Michael Barrett..99 .287 .357 .529 0 0 8.5
Derrek Lee.......58 .318 .448 .614 5 2 7.7
Ronny Cedeno....126 .308 .331 .436 5 3 6.0
Todd Walker.....121 .302 .375 .415 0 0 5.7
Matt Murton.....122 .280 .369 .393 2 1 2.8
Jacque Jones....101 .269 .310 .505 0 1 1.2
Mike Restovich...13 .167 .231 .250 0 0 -1.2
Juan Pierre.....146 .239 .282 .306 11 1 -1.3
Aramis Ramirez..126 .216 .302 .432 1 1 -1.4
Angel Pagan......19 .263 .263 .316 0 1 -1.9
Jerry Hairston...56 .231 .273 .250 2 0 -2.2
Freddie Bynum....30 .172 .200 .241 2 0 -2.8
John Mabry.......38 .216 .237 .297 0 0 -3.0
Henry Blanco.....32 .074 .219 .074 0 0 -4.9
Neifi Perez......55 .189 .218 .226 0 0 -5.2

Sweet Suzy:

We've heard that sentiment numerous times before. But it wouldn't make a difference because the tickets are already sold. Let's say the tomorrow's game starts and there's literally 0 fans in the stands. The attendance for the game would be about 30,000 or so because those tickets were sold the day tickets went on sale, also all the season ticket holders. Cubs fans talk about boycotting Wrigley- I call bullshit on that. Every year, the day the tickets go on sale they pretty much sell 2.5 million tickets (if you include season ticket holders). Very few tickets are ever sold day of game- they're either sold by brokers (who already bought them on day one) or scalped by TribCo to begin with.

Even if Cubs fans could somehow make such a tactic have an impact, we don't bitch about it until May or June, or September when things are going downhill. If such a tactic was to work, it would have to be the day tickets go on sale. We sing the same song EVERY FRICKIN' YEAR- "don't buy tickets to send a message to TribCo"- bullshit. Don't pull that weak shit in May or July- do it the day tickets go on sale. But we won't- we don't have the balls.

So let me get this straight. First, Dusty Baker is the biggest problem with the Cubs. Second, Jim Hendry is provided $95 million payroll dollars to play with and our roster includes the likes of Jerry Hairston, Neifi Perez, John Mabry, Jacque Jones, Henry Blanco, Glendon Rusch, a lousy defensive infielder and clubhouse cancer(Todd Walker) and a brutal defensively catcher who is poor at working with pitchers (Michael Barrett). Meanwhile the Cub minor league system constructed and operated by Hendry continues to greatly disappoint.

Ah, OK.

a brutal defensively catcher who is poor at working with pitchers (Michael Barrett).

Barrett is not a brutal defensive catcher, though he is not good either. He is simply average.

And what evidence do you have to show that he is poor working with pitchers?

Hey, I don't expect Jon Miller, the Giants' broadcaster to mention the steroids every time Barry comes up to bat. I am just saying he is a long, long way from doing that. For example, the other night, Sunday night, when Bonds hit a homer at Philly, Joe Morgan repeated at least two or three times that, hey, look, everyone is on their feet and giving Barry a standing ovation. That was not it at all. Just because people are standing does not mean they are cheering. Lots and lots of the people standing after the home run were booing Bonds. Perhaps in a situation like that Miller might just jump in and point out that actually a lot of the Philly fans who were standing were booing. He does not even need to mention the steroids. Just bring a dose of reality to the proceedings. I mean, I felt like I was watching Alice in Wonderland. It was just ridiculous.

As for the boycott, I have said the same thing many times, it won't make any difference to the Tribune because the tickets are sold. And no matter what happens this year, even if the Cubs take last place, 30 games out, which is possible, people will clammer to get tickets on the day they go on sale next year, as though they are the golden tickets to get into Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. I agree with those who have said that, until the Trib sells the Cubs and the new owner fires McPhail and fires Hendry, we are gonna get more of the same from this team.

It is statistical fact that Cub pitchers have performed better with either Paul Bako or Henry Blanco behind the plate during Michael Barrett's three seasons in Chicago. It is also statistical fact that Expo pitchers performed better when Brian Schneider or anybody else was behind the plate instead of Barrett during his tenure in Montreal. On top of his lousy work with pitchers, he also doesn't block the plate well and can't throw out baserunners. People are too hung up with his bat. I love Barrett's offense too, but the point is if we are a team supposedly built around pitching, then we better have a solid catcher behind the plate. The Cubs don't.

P.S. Note who was behind the plate during Carlos Zambrano's excellent performance. Answer is Henry Blanco, not Michael Barrett.

It is statistical fact that Cub pitchers have performed better with either Paul Bako or Henry Blanco behind the plate during Michael Barrett's three seasons in Chicago.

Show me the stats. And not CERA, but a breakdown of CERA per pitcher. And I could care less about Barrett's numbers in Montreal. Anyone you talk to will say that Barrett has significantly improved his defense since then.

Note who was behind the plate during Carlos Zambrano's excellent performance.

Excellent performance? With five walks? Sure, I was happy with the result, and thought he pitched fairly well. But any time you walk five guys you dont have an excellent performance. And that is a meaningless fact anyway. Blanco almost always catches Zambrano. And who caught Z during his "excellent" performance against the Dodgers a couple of weeks ago? The answer is Barrett.

And if you really want to play that game - who caught Marshall in his last two excellent starts? Answer is Michael Barrett, not Henry Blanco. Selective anticdotes prove little.

Don't get me wrong. Barrett is not a great defensive catcher. But he is not "brutal" either. And CERA is a BS stat that shows little. Any stat like that needs to be broken down by pitcher and opponent, otherwise they are worthless. On top of that, to place the blame on a catcher for a pitcher making mistakes is foolish. Was it Barrett's fault that Maddux got hit hard in San Diego? And was Barrett responsibly for Maddux's success in his first few starts?

The key of last night's game way the way that Mabry played defense. He looked like a hockey goalie last night, and it was awesome.

If you suck with the bat (Dougie Mencavevich) you'd better learn to play stellar D, and sure Mabry didn't get a hit last night, but he certainly played more than well enough to make up for it on the field.

Jon Miller is a baseball broadcaster. He is not a "broadcast journalist". Learn the difference.

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  • rizzo #32...ties career high.

    crunch 13 min 51 sec ago view
  • The team, farm and scouting system were barren when they arrive.
    They punted two seasons, third season 73 wins which is what happened about 75% of the time in last 50 years

    jacos 19 min 8 sec ago view

    crunch 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • there was more than one way to get there


    Rob G. 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • supposedly jed "who?" hoyer, too

    crunch 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • same...i just happen to not like sitting through shit sandwich meals for multiple years. baseball is kinda boring when you're punting on 1st down for a slew of years in a row.

    i fully understand why it was done, but i didn't enjoy it. there was more than one way to get competitive and this was the chosen way.

    crunch 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • fwiw, apparently McLeod signed extension as well after he didn't get Twins gig.

    Rob G. 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • I am once again reminded why I am happy that Theo is running the organization.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • if not they can just intentionally tank the team for 3-4 years and rebuild.




    crunch 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Hopefully after the Cubs complete their sevenpeat :)

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • They're the best in the business and have been for 12 years running now. The only question is when they'll get bored of it.

    Rob G. 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • I was right here. I don't require my GM's to be perfect, but I would like them to understand what wins baseball games (IMO controlling the strike zone and creating/avoiding outs), and knowing where the organization is in the success cycle.

    Theo and company have made and will make plenty of mistakes, but they seem to understand those two items pretty well.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • Now we're all Theo-believers, where were you when he signed Edwin Jackson? Or how about trading away DJ Lemehaiu? And not signing Samardzija to an extension? Or not pursuing Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols? Or signing Lester? Or trading away Cashner, Dempster, Feldman, etc?...I think I'm losing the narrative here.

    So his deal runs through 2021? Which pretty much coincides when all these guys are due to hit free agency.

    Rob G. 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • Great news.

    "Terms of the deal were not disclosed."

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • Theo inks five year extension

    PC tonite at PNC

    jacos 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.

    billybucks 4 hours 11 min ago view