Can We Forgive Sammy?

Today in Mesa, Arizona, the Cubs will square off against the Texas Rangers in Cactus League action, which would normally pass by without much reason for the casual Cubs fan to pause. Today though will be a little different, today the Rangers bring with them a man that is as synonymous with the Cubs as the ivy planted in the outfield at Wrigley, a man who very much like Ernie, Fergie and Ryno, needs only a first name introduction - Sammy. The rise and fall of Sosa has been discussed and dissected; ad nauseum. What made him famous ending up making him infamous. The rumors repeated so often, they're essentially accepted as facts. Did he or didn't he? The definitive evidence will likely never be revealed to settle the case. But to be convicted in the court of public opinion, the burden of proof is far less stringent and the verdict was delivered long ago. The man abused and fans were not amused, a matter of fact, many felt used. And I imagine that's what has many a fan feeling scorned. They believed in Sammy, they believed he was one of the good guys, they put him up on that pedestal reserved for heroes but often occupied by the insecure. I imagine those same folks will find the news about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to be a bit of a shock as well. I won't break it here if you haven't heard yet. Professional athletes though are not heroes, or at least they should not be granted hero status just for being pro athletes. I'm sure some are worthy of such praise, but for the most part they're as mistake-prone as any other class of people. But what they are is entertainers who get paid millions because we pay millions to watch them. And there was no one more entertaining than Sammy. For better or worse, Sammy was the face of the franchise for the bulk of his thirteen seasons. He and Mark McGwire are often credited with saving the game from the aftermath of the 1994 strike with their historic chase of the home run record in 1998. The ensuing seasons until his departure from the Cubs were nothing less than some of the greatest baseball ever played by a single player in the history of the game. But this isn't about the numbers or their legitimacy, this is about what it meant to watch Sammy step up to the plate. Quite simply, I'm sure I'll never experience anything quite like it again. Everytime Sosa came up to bat, lives stopped. And I don't believe that's much of an exaggeration. Each and every at-bat was a chance to watch history, a chance to see something special, a chance that we'd be watching the next "Sandberg Game". The energy, the buzz, the anticipation, whatever you wish to call that wondrous feeling of Sosa striding up to the plate and taking a mighty whack. We were living history and we didn't dare miss a chance to see it. Even my wife, who to say the least she wasn't much of a baseball fan back then (although she's been converted to the Angelfan wife since) understood what it meant when I said, "Hold on, Sammy's up." It transcended baseball and it was the perfect example of how sports can bring a community together. Some of his at-bats were the JFK's of Cubs history, you knew where you were when it happened. But Sosa's days as a Cub have long been over and the break-up was too nasty to ever attempt a reconciliation. His return to the Rangers this season will be watched heavily on a national and local level. I hope he does well. Because if he does have a good season, I hope it eases some of the resentment that Cubs fans feel towards him. Maybe a few homers will knock that chip off our collective shoulders. And although I envision the ensuing discussion in the comments will focus on "did he or didn't he"... I'm here to say it doesn't matter, at least not for me. This isn't about his place in baseball history or his ticket to Cooperstown. This is about what he meant to us as Cubs fans during that time. I'm sure some disliked him from the get-go, too much showmanship, too much ego...I'm not one of those people. For all the knocks on his game, he came to play each and every day. He played hard and he played with a passion. He was the SOLE reason to watch the Cubs for many of those years. He does not need to be worshiped and deified, he doesn't even need to be liked. What needs to be done, is he needs to be remembered for what he gave us as Cubs fans. He gave us the memories and moments that bind us together, the shared experiences that define us as fans of a team. There will be plenty of non-Cubs fans(as well as some extremely grumpy Cubs fans) always ready to remind us of his faults, his mistakes, his problems. But who will be there to remind us of what he meant to the game, what he meant to Cubs fans over the years? When Sammy strolls up for his first at-bat today, it'll be like seeing an "ex" for the first time in years. You dated for years, life was great, this was the "one" and then it all quickly unraveled. And just like any break-up, we tend to just remember the tragic end, even if it's just a fraction of the joy and happiness we experienced throughout. But I'd like to believe that Cubs fans can put that aside and remember 1998, remember June of that year and his record-setting twenty homer jaunt through the majors. That we remember his four homer outburst in a weekend series versus the Brewers that year that put him over sixty homers and briefly in the lead over McGwire. May we all speak fondly of one of the greatest baseball seasons ever played in 2001 and let us re-live Game One of the 2003 NLCS. Down two in the bottom of the ninth, Sosa nails an Urbina offering deep into the night at Wrigley, the crowd(me included) erupts in a roar heard three states over. These are the memories we should be sharing, these are the moments that connect us as fans and these are the moments that Cubs fans should be applauding when he steps up to the plate today. Leave the booing for Albert Pujols....
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Comments

Great post. I came to Chicago to study at Northwestern in 1999, believing that baseball was just about the dumbest sport in the world (I'm Icelandic). However, Sammy Sosa (and the Cubs) somehow got me interested in the game.

For that I'm thankful. If it hadn't been for him, I might have ended up as a White Sox fan. :-)

I hate to see fans boo a guy who did so much for a team, a town, and the fans. While I agree that he is no hero, I have to say that he is no villain either. It was a little heart breaking to see the relationship he had with the Cubs diminish the way it did. I can't speak for everyone, but I wish him the best. Keep hopping Sammy!

Substitute "Pete Rose" for "Sammy" in this apologia, and do you have a similar case for PR in the HOF? If not, explain. You have twenty minutes. Begin.

Rob -- Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

Sammy was great for Cubs fans. Unfortunately, the nasty breakup is still fresh in our minds making it difficult to remember there were more good times than bad.

Questions about the HOF, steroids, etc. will have to wait for another day. There'll be time to digest Sammy's career as well as his shortcomings. For now, your post reminded me how much I enjoyed watching Slammin' Sammy. Thanks for the memories.

For a few years after Sammy left I was irritated with him and the situation. As time has passed I have allowed myself to simply remember the good times and enjoy those memories. I was there when he hit #61 & 62 in '98. I actually saw several multi-HR games of his. I remember those 60 HR run seasons, the hop, and the sprint out to RF. I remember watching a lot of bad Cubs teams growing up, where more often than not by August the only thing to watch for was whether or not Sammy would go deep. When he was playing with the Orioles I was still mad at him and to a certain extent enjoyed watching him struggle. I'm over it now and wish him the best of luck as I hope others on the North Side will..

Can't it be both? Can't I hate him, feel like he cheated and defiled his legacy and love the great years he gave us at the same time?

Sammy is a self absorbed, arrogant, cheating jerk who gave us a lot of entertainment and to whom we as Cub fans are indebted.

He's like the miserable scoundrel who beats his wife but stops to help your grandmother change her flat tire. Do you have to stop loathing his bad actions to appreciate his good ones?

Two points need to be made: Sammy is almost certainly free of steroids in 2007 and the Cubs had a chance to sign him, at least according to Sammy. True, Sammy burned the bridge, but the Cubs' owners have only themselves to blame if Sammy comes back and dings another 34 dingers this season.

Great post, Rob. I remember the day he was traded to the Orioles, I was legitimately bummed out. Not because we were losing one of the top 5 players of the previous 10 years, but because it signaled the end of my innocence as a baseball fan. I remember rushing home from school to flip on the game on the off-chance I'd get to catch one of Sammy's at-bats. Heck, I remember the intro music from a Saturday night game in June of '98 when Wood was still Kid K and Sammy had already blasted 18 homers. I miss that excitement of being a 13 year old kid. Sammy will forever be associated with my love for baseball and Cubdom. As badly as that bridge was burned, I still want to see him succeed and ultimately end up in the hall. Thanks for reminding me of that, Rob.

No, I cannot forgive Sam-ME Steroid. The guy was a roided-up one man carnival act that was more of an embarassment versus star of the Cubs. Good baseball fans in other cities always snickered at the Cubs for having Mr. Hop, Mr. Blow Kisses, Mr. Run Out to the Outfield Like a Prima Dona.

Too bad Kerry Wood didn't whack Sam-me directly in the head, as opposed to just his boom box.

And never ever in a million years shall Skammy be allowed into the Hall of Fame.

If Sammy comes back and plays well this season with the Rangers, there should be absolutely no outcry from Cubdom; while it's true that the Cubs could've brought him back as a good-faith gesture, they wouldn't have done so because of the bridges he burned in the clubhouse, with the fans and with management. The environment he would've come back into just wouldn't have been as open and conducive to a resurgence as it is in Texas, where they have no real history with Sammy (his moonlighting as George Bush's worst trade notwithstanding). I believe that if the Cubs brought him back, he would've been derided and booed at the first sign of struggle and at the first turn of a clubhouse boombox volume dial, and any goodwill upon his comeback would've vanished, and he would've struggled on the field as well.

That being said, I will be happy to see Sammy play well this year; if he truly is clean from whatever may or may not have been in his system, he deserves to get another shot in the bigs. This is a man who, as other posters above have already said, brought so much joy to the hearts of Cubs fans in the 1990s when there was otherwise not cause for it, and I will always consider myself lucky to say I was able to see him play in person.

Shammy won't be in the major leagues as of June 1st. The scouting report on him in Rangers camp is that he's hitting fastballs, period. He's got himself jacked up in the batter's box to hit the fat fastball. Just as soon as the season starts, real major league pitchers will throw him a steady diet of breaking stuff and this latest scam will be all over quickly.

"G": Nicely done here. I certainly can appreciate both sides of the argument. In either case, I shall never forget the awesome HR's he hit in the NLCS: one that just about hit the CF camera tower, the other to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th in Game 1 (which I believe Guthrire summarily blew in the 10th)

To our Icelandic friend: BJORK rules!

"He’s like the miserable scoundrel who beats his wife but stops to help your grandmother change her flat tire. Do you have to stop loathing his bad actions to appreciate his good ones?"

The priorities evident in that statement seem like they are shared by a lot of cubs fans and they are severely misguided. You were all so led around by the nose by a professional PR department so they could justify trading him and dumping his salary. The excellent job they did is still obvious today.

Forgive Sammy - for what? Sammy was the greatest Cub everyday player that I have seen in my lifetime. Thats right, better than Sandberg, Santo, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Dave Kingman, Bill Madlock better than any Cub. I wasn't around to see Ernie in his prime. All I hear is this $#@! about forgiving him there is nothing to forgive he made Cub baseball exciting. The people that I blame was Cubs management for creating this BS and getting rid of Sammy the way they did.

Was I pissed that Sammy was a selfish player, showed that after so many years that his skills were in a decline, that he struck out way too much, used a corked bat. Yes, to all the above but asking whether I forgive him is not really neccesary. I give that man a standing ovation and thank him for all of the wonderful Cub seasons. I can only imagine what life as a Cub fan would have been like if he was not in a Cubs uniform. Sort of like reliving the 70's Cubs teams!

It is 100% crystal clear that Sam-me was on steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. This fact completely wipes out his career accomplishments. And the guy was a selfish, one man carnival act more concerned about his public persona versus being a quality teammate and contributor to a winning baseball team. The guy remains a cartoon figure. And a sham.

FUCK SAMMY.

That Game 1 home run ... I can still see the look on Kenny Lofton's face like it was yesterday. I never cared for the fact that it seemed he preferred strikeouts to singles with RISP, but he was nonetheless fun to watch.

And who knows how close he would be to Bonds if not for the Salomon Torres pitch. I believe that changed him as a hitter.

Okay, we get it.

*tosses bone*

I'd probably boo, but after reading Rob's article I'd probably boo and feel real bad about boo'ing.

JonH:
"You were all so led around by the nose by a professional PR department so they could justify trading him and dumping his salary. The excellent job they did is still obvious today."

What????

Firstly, it wasn't too good of a PR job as they all but had ZERO leverage to trade him (as every team knew he had to be traded), thus you saw Hendry couldn't get anything in return for him and in fact had to pay a huge chunk of his salary, not dump it like you say. Hendry and the front office made a bad decision blowing up the Sosa leaving early fiasco.

Secondly, Sosa left early without permission and lied about it, only to be called out after the Cubs revealed they had videotape proof. Also he cheated by using a corked bat. Even if you believe his story or don't think corked bats help, he still broke the rules.

Please don't make this out to be a "poor Sammy" thing where the Cubs made up stuff to make him look bad. Sosa did more than enough to take care of that.

ST:
"It is 100% crystal clear that Sam-me was on steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. This fact completely wipes out his career accomplishments."

Besides your keen eye, do you have any sort of proof to support you idea that it is a fact that Sammy used steroids and performance-enhancing drugs? If you don't, it is only YOUR opinion, not a fact.

All that being said, I would not boo him, but I wouldn't stand up and cheer either. But I would just sit back and find it amusing as to how he and everyone else reacts.

Silent Towel it is 100% clear that you are on some form of illegal drug that is effecting your perfomance. Therefore all of your previous and forthcoming posts can be completely wiped out.

Substitute “Pete Rose” for “Sammy” in this apologia, and do you have a similar case for PR in the HOF? If not, explain. You have twenty minutes. Begin.

In both cases, I advocate waiting until they are dead to make a final decision.

*Forgive Sammy - for what? Sammy was the greatest Cub everyday player that I have seen in my lifetime. Thats right, better than Sandberg, Santo, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Dave Kingman, Bill Madlock better than any Cub.*

Certainly not a better hitter than Madlock nor a better defender than Sandberg. If not for 'roids Sammy would have been remembered as a guy who once could run & pop a few whose defense left him in his twilight years.

That said, if taking a year off to sit around and soak in the Caribbean will turn a long-ago productive player back into one, I advise Wood & Prior to go down there. See ya in '08, schmucks.

Sammy is as guilty of being on steroids as O.J. Simpson is guity of murdering his wife and friend.

MANNY: "...thus you saw Hendry couldn’t get anything in return for him."

WHAT?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!!

What about Jerry Hairs...Oh. I forgot. He's not on the team...

never mind.

Silent, you're upset about the steroid thing. You better get upset at way more than half of baseball, then. You just don't get it do you? You're being a hypocrite when you single out just Sosa and apparently Mark Prior.

It's not just the witch hunt that's on after Bonds, Sosa, and McGuire. But since you don't know anything about baseball and make stupid predictions based on that, you'll have that from time to time.

On another note, I really hated Sammy for a long time. Not about the steroids. Not about the cork. That happens all the time in the big leagues. About the way he left the team.

I think the comparsion to an ex is an excellent one. I hated that jerk for so long. I really did. I used to love that dude. He's the reason that I quit sitting down the 3B line and moved out to the bleachers in right. Sitting out there when Sammy would run out there in 2003 was one of my greatest baseball memories ever. I still sit over there today. Sat over there and we had to give a group apology to JJ last year during the first Cardinals series when he went deep for the first time (Also the Barrett grand slam game).

Your post did a lot of convincing, at least for me, Rob. Very well done, indeed.

Silent Towel, I think you need a long walk in the park and some camomile tea. Heck have a long bath if it helps, but let's get some perspective.

I hope Sammy hits 20 runs this year. The Rangers could certainly use some power.

we get it ST, you hate Sammy and think he should rot in a hell. I appreciate that and we're all entitled to our opinions. Yours has been made clear as day.

Do ME a favor for the rest of the day and shut up it about it unless you have something new or constructive to add to the conversation. Much obliged...

What "perspective" would you like me and others to have?!? A "perspective" that ignores the fact that Sammy was on illegal performance enhancing drugs, was caught with a corked bat, acted like a one-man carnival act much to the chagrin of his teammates, demanded a separate set of rules versus the other 24 players on the roster?!?

And to anybody who wants to question my baseball "acumen," well I just don't know what to say. I've been following baseball for 31 years. I actually played the game directly through my sophomore year in college too. I'm as "qualified" as anybody on this board to provide "opinion," even more so than the jokers and pretenders who stare at the back of their bubblegum cards and still live the basement of their mother's home.

ST:
"Sammy is as guilty of being on steroids as O.J. Simpson is guity of murdering his wife and friend."

Ex-Wife...OJ and Nicole were divorced when she was killed.

There's no way you have followed baseball for 31 years. That's just not possible. There's no way you are 31 years old. I've pegged you as not a day over 15.

Rob - Is there an ignore feature that MVN can build?

E-Man:
"WHAT?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!!"

Yeah, let me retract that, we did get David Crouthers in the deal. Oh wait, he retired instead of playing for the Cubs.

Can’t it be both? Can’t I hate him, feel like he cheated and defiled his legacy and love the great years he gave us at the same time?

Well of course, we can do whatever we wish and I imagine your feelings are shared by many. I had this idea stuck in my craw for quite awhile though that Cubs fans just can't seem to enjoy the Sammy years, that somehow the end of his reign invalidated his entire career.

This isn't Barry Bonds, a guy who certainly abused but on top of that plays the game with as much joy as a death row inmate. Sammy gave us his best, every day and I'm happy that he did.

And more than anything I just hope the fans don't boo today, which I'm sure they will. It seems unjust and horribly misplaced.

But of course, Cubs fans boo their minor leaguers now in spring trainng and free agents who haven't even been on the team for more than a week, so I shouldn't expect much out of them.

Only losers live with their mothers!

43 years old.

Sammy is almost certainly free of steroids in 2007 and the Cubs had a chance to sign him, at least according to Sammy.

Sadly, even if Sammy hits 40 this year, they'll just whisper that he's on HGH or something else. Once marked with the scarlet letter, forever marked.

But Hendry seems to hate him as much as anybody and the circus would have been too much to bring him back.

Yeah, let me retract that, we did get David Crouthers in the deal. Oh wait, he retired instead of playing for the Cubs.

of course it was Jerry Jr., Crouthers (who did retire) and Mike Fontentot.

Word was when we sent Corey over there for Perez and Spears, that something in the deal made up for losing Crouthers. I imagine us not having to pay any of Corey's salary.

Well, at least we have our sixteen inch softball league to break up the misery of our parent's bubblegum-card filled basements.

I don't even have a basement. Woe is me.

I have no idea whether or not the guy was on drugs - but if you compare photos of him when he first came over from the WS, to only a few years later, he looked about 20 - 30 pounds bigger than previously, and most of that weight gain looked like muscle.

I'm not a doctor nor a chemist, but even with the sophisticated training and nutritional programs available today, that would appear to be an unusual physical transformation for an athlete that was already moving past his peak years of testosterone production. If anyone has a similar example of a baseball player that accomplished this type of muscular growth without the aid of some type of performance - enhancing substance, I'd be glad to consider the alternative explanation.

I thought of Carlton Fisk adding muscle during the late stages of his career, but he didn't look anything like Sosa did at roughly the same age when he was still with the Cubs.

Well, I don't live in the basement of my mother's home - i live in London - but when I lived in Chicago, Sammy's at bats were a massive draw. I say, if Sammy is pulling people into the game - like Einar and myself- that can only be good. Take it from a cricketer who once thought baseball was its poor relative and now reads this site everyday. Sammy was a big reason for watching baseball.

firstly ST, it wasn't Kerry Wood who caved in Sosa's stupid boombox, it was Girardi...and that has to be the biggest non-story ever. Personally I never really liked Sosa, he was more tolerable in his early years '92-'96 with the Cubs but when he started to become the Incredible Hulk circa 1997 thus began the cycle....the idiotic hop out of the box, the rolling up of the sleeves to show us his juiced up biceps...the myopic czar complex in the clubhouse, swinging for the fences in any count in every game etc. I was hoping he'd get dealt to the Yanks in 2000 at the deadline, then we all could've had better memories of his tenure with the Cubs. We would have avoided the cork, the majority of the steroids cloud, Sosa refusing to move down in the order, his spats with Baylor, the back crippling sneezing, taking an off day on the final game of 2004 et al.

The saddest part of this is unlike the situation with Bonds, where we pretty much know the cutoff between his legit stats 86-98, and the juiced up Barroid 99-present, we'll likely never know if the early version(mid 90s) of the 30/30 era Sosa is actually legit or if he always was part of that Texas Ranger Canseco/Palmeroid/I-rod/JuanGone all juiced up team that began in the early to mid 90's. I'm not a booer, I'd just show indifference...the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

What was Joe Girardi doing with the Cubs in 2004?

excellent comment otherwise.....

I think most people speculate that Kerry smashed the boombox.

Manny:

"What????

Firstly, it wasn’t too good of a PR job as they all but had ZERO leverage to trade him (as every team knew he had to be traded), thus you saw Hendry couldn’t get anything in return for him and in fact had to pay a huge chunk of his salary, not dump it like you say. Hendry and the front office made a bad decision blowing up the Sosa leaving early fiasco."

You are assuming that the cubs PR department's main goal here was/is to win baseball games. Their goal is to make money and they have done that just fine for a long time without winning. They wanted to be able to trade the most beloved cubs player since Ernie Banks without a fan uproar and they succeeded amazingly.

I'm talking about 2003...Girardi smashed one after the final playoff game of 2003 vs the Marlins...if Wood smashed one, I didn't hear about it...sorry. I've heard M.Grace took one out too after Sosa pushed him out of town in 2000.

What was GIrardi doing with the Cubs in 2003? He played from 2000-2002 with the Cubs,

Man, was this like an annual charity even for Cubs players? Smash Sosa's boombox for Cancer or something?

just teasing, but yeah, the prevalent story is that Kerry Wood lead the charge in 2004 at that final game when he left early.

Wow. Call me naive, but I don't understand most of the hate being thrown at Sammy here. Many other posters have noted the many highlights of Sammy's time here. I always loved the guy, even before '98. I remember watching a game on TV in '95 or '96 when he hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth that broke a window across the street from Wrigley and won the game. I was hooked at that moment & have rooted for him ever since. I agree with Rob- I never had any reason to believe that he gave any less than his best effort every day. That's what I'll remember from Sosa's time here.

Girardi was not on the Cubs roster in 2004. 2003 was his final year as a player.

Quality baseball people in Kerry Wood, Mark Grace and Joe Girardi all despised Sam-me Steroid. Add that log to the fire of steroids, cork, the embarassing carnival act and the separate set of rules versus the other 24 guys in the clubhouse.

He was a Cardinal in 2003 for 16 short games according to BR.com, maybe he was a coach and I don't remember, but I thought he went right to the Yanks.

i haven't read the word "carnival" enough times today. can someone help me out?

Re: Sosa. Excellent article Rob. I wouldn't boo. I wouldn't cheer like a maniac. I'd raise my beer and say "thanks for the memories..."

Hey cable subscribers, good news, iN Demand says they are going to match DirecTV's deal for the MLB Extra Innings package.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

I personally hope that Sammy has a great season. His last year here only showed how lousy Baker was as a manager. You can't blame a player for having seperate rules in the clubhouse, becuase it is the managaer that allows that to happen. Remember Baker saying that those rules were in place when he got to Chicago? Then why not do something about it. The end of the Sosa era in Chicago should be seen as the beginning of the end of Baker.

I don't know how it went, I just know I heard an interview with Wood about a year ago where he claimed Girardi smashed in his box in 2003...was he with FOX at that time doing games? I can't remember...maybe Wood was just joking around and trying to put the blame on Girardi for him destroying his box. I've heard Grace admit to it though, he's not shy about voicing his disdain for Sosa though it seems recently he's been a little more diplomatic.

Go Cable...Manny smiles.

Although I found this might be a sticking point....

As part of the offer, iN Demand also said it would carry The Baseball Channel when it launches in 2009 to at least the same number of subscribers who will get the channel on DirecTV.

Seems like a bit of gamesmanship by the cable companies, yeah we'll offer the basic cable channel to a few cities to match DirecTV's membership number, but not everybody.

I don't think this has been settled quite yet...

Could someone please tell me when Sammy was caught using any banned substance? How about any credible source that has specific evidence? I am glad at least someone mentioned the fact that IF Sammy used he used with a lot of company (I mean, Sammy's not the sharpest tool in the shed so I doubt that he would be more adept at secrets). The fact that Sammy was not well liked by a lot of teammates and media makes it LESS likely he did a lot of illegal juicing.

I mean McGuire had teammates shoot him up (allegedly!). Bonds testified to trafficking the stuff.

Anyway, the refreshing jolt of hypocrisy from some corners (Rob's post was great so I am sorry for derailing this train further) is quite invigorating. Lance Armstrong, public hero, Sportsman of the Year, apparently just won some kids poll for favorite athlete--he only has about half dozen credible witnesses who were willing to publicly state his use of illegal stuff and his samples were filled with EPO (before EPO was specifically tested for of course).

Not to get all Chad on you but it's McGwire folks....

Talk about being late to the party.

I think you all know that I am still the A numero uno Sammy Sosa fanboy at this board. And for you guys to rip his is so wrong. I sure you were all booing as he hit 66 home runs right? The guy gave 100% everyday. I can't understand the hatred. But whatever. It's all revisionist history now.

God bless you Sammy Sosa and may you hit 50 homers this year (not going to happen)

And yes, i still believe that Sammy Sosa did not use steroids.

I never really liked Sammy. His hop annoyed me so much. (This is also the only problem I have with Aramis - I hate to see him stop and stare at his homeruns. I like Aramis, though, so I can't explain that) Anyway, I never liked Sammy, but I'll always appreciate him. I hope he does well in Texas...and I'll certainly never boo him, I'll probably even cheer for him.

Great Piece Rob.

The ex-girlfriend is a very good comparison. Its a real damn shame that the Cubs and Sammy had to have such a nasty break-up, but when a relationship ends in a media frenzy, its almost never a good thing.

Lets not forget that Sammy wasn't alone in burning this bridge either. Sosa certainly paved the way for his own exit, but the Cubs also made sure that the bridge won't soon be rebuilt.

Its just kind of a shame all around.

I dont feel like there is a need to forgive Slammin' Sammy Sosa. If anything he deserves a thank you for the gr8 years he spent on the north side. I wished Sammy the best of luck in Baltimore and I will do the same with the Rangers. If we need to forgive anyone it is Dusty Baker for his attitude with Sammy Sosa. If any of you guys who are slammin Sammy in this blog are really Cubs fans I am sure all of you were rootin for Sammy up until the time he left Chicago. I hope to see the Cubs do gr8 this year, but if Slammin' Sammy Sosa is playin with the Rangers then I hope he hits 6 HR in that series and he leads the Rangers to a 3-game sweep.

to TheJoe
the only reason you dont hate Aramis is that he hasnt gotten ripped off by Cubs nation and sent to another team for a player that you have never even heard of.

IM Slacker:
"Hey cable subscribers, good news, iN Demand says they are going to match DirecTV’s deal for the MLB Extra Innings package."

That would be very good news!!!! Thanks for the link...

Hope it goes through, as it was good to see MLB cave in and the cable companies match DirectTv.

>>I never had any reason to believe that he gave any less than his best effort every day. That’s what I’ll remember from Sosa’s time here.
________________________________________

Well for the same reason I would actually stand and give Pete Rose an ovation, if I'm ever in his company...call me old school. Sammy, meh.

>>I’d raise my beer and say “thanks for the memories…”

_____________________________
well put KJK, me too.

How did MLB "cave"?

Rob G.:
"Go Cable…Manny smiles."

BIG Smile....:)

Bleeding Blue, didn't you think there was no way the cable companies where going to match?

Rob G.:
"How did MLB “cave”?"

Originally they were going to make it an "exclusive" deal with DirectTv only, but then after all the complaints, they let inDemand and Dish have a chance to match.

They were only going with the exclusive deal because the cable companies weren't matching the offer. They didn't cave at all; they got exactly what they wanted.

RE#43 D-Mac
" have no idea whether or not the guy was on drugs - but if you compare photos of him when he first came over from the WS, to only a few years later, he looked about 20 - 30 pounds bigger than previously, and most of that weight gain looked like muscle."

That is a good point. I will not argue that Sammy never took any PEDs.. BUT:
He came over to the Cubs at age 22. Take a look at yourself physically from 22 to 26. You are entering your physical prime. It is natural to broaden in the shoulders, chest, and hips. Working out will iincreas that effect.

Of course, just working out will not make you blow up like a cartoon super hero....

so MLB gets more upfront money and a wider audience for their baseball channel and they "caved" (assuming everything goes through). Okay....

Anyway, I'm happy for you and those it affected if it goes through. MLB seems to be getting what they want and so are the fans. Win...win.

Daniel B. : "to TheJoe
the only reason you dont hate Aramis is that he hasnt gotten ripped off by Cubs nation and sent to another team for a player that you have never even heard of."

Thank you so much for explaining this to me. I certainly needed an external witness to explain the inner workings of my heart.

Now. Apparently you didn't actually pay attention to what I said. I 'never' liked Sammy. I watched him and was happy for production that he gave, but he always bugged me. I'm not someone loved him, then turned on him during his downfall.

Now that I think about it, the most likely difference is that, while Sammy seemed so self-absorbed, you never hear anything from Aramis. He might be self-absorbed (who knows?) but I can ignore his HR stares, because he generally lets his performance do all the talking (I don't buy that no-hustle nonsense either). Plus, he's got a really cool name.

Apparently, ST is missing the point. Baseball is for our entertainment. Sammy was one of the best entertainers we ever had in blue pinstripes and in baseball over the last 20 years. This isn't war, or my 401k, or the health of my family and friends. It's entertainment, and i honestly can say Sammy entertained me and most every Cub fan i know for over a decade. If you're bitter about the alleged juicing of almost every all-star, then you might as well wipe the decade of the 90's out of your bleek memory.

whatever with the PEDS, there' s no proof, certainly nothing compared to what they've got on Bonds and Giambi. That being said, if Sosa's on 60 minutes this week saying he took PEDS, let's say my jaw wouldn't drop.

Vorare:
"They were only going with the exclusive deal because the cable companies weren’t matching the offer."

That is not accurate. Bud Selig was on Mike and Mike one morning a couple weeks (I was listening to the interview) before the deal was announced and said it was going to be an exclusive deal with tDirectTV, nothing to do with teh cable companies. That also was widely reported in NY Times and many other spots too. Then a couple weeks later after fans were complaining, the deal was announced and it gave the cable companies a chance to match the offer. So, Selig changed his mind for whatever reason. IMO he caved to the fans and media who were blasting him about the deal.

#75 has a point...no matter what holier-than-thou level we may wanna put players on a lot view themselves as entertainers much the same way tom cruise sees himself and therefore gets millions just to be in a movie.

yes, a lotta that is their agents putting that in their heads, but whether they believe it or not, they're paid like entertainers and are treated by the general public like an entertainer.

Rob G.:
"so MLB gets more upfront money and a wider audience for their baseball channel and they “caved” (assuming everything goes through). Okay…."

Then why didn't Selig just offer the same deal to the cable companies right away, if this is a better deal for him? This is what should of been offered up to all parties from the beginning. And of course, this is all assuming it goes through.

"MLB seems to be getting what they want and so are the fans. Win…win."

EXACTLY!!! Selig dropped the ball again and after he realized it, he fixed it. I give him kudos for realizing his mistake.

Cool I finally get to see my first Cubs game of the spring on TV today.

No, Manny. The MLB began negotiations for EI 2007 and insisted that companies carrying EI agree to host a 24/7 MLB channel on the BASIC TIER. Cable companies said no, DirectTV said yes, so the MLB moved towards an exclusive deal with DirectTV.

The cable companies then realized they were going to be shut out, they reversed their position on the basic tier channel, and a deal was signed.

The MLB got exactly what it wanted from the beginning: a widely available EI and basic tier MLB channel.

Bleeding Blue, didn’t you think there was no way the cable companies where going to match?

I'm very surprised by this news. I'm curious how the "at least the same number of subscribers" part of this deal will play out, but it sounds like great news for everyone.

Vorare:
"No, Manny. The MLB began negotiations for EI 2007 and insisted that companies carrying EI agree to host a 24/7 MLB channel on the BASIC TIER. Cable companies said no, DirectTV said yes, so the MLB moved towards an exclusive deal with DirectTV."

Do you have a link or anything that supports this theory? Because the interview that I heard with Selig on ESPN Radio with Mike & Mike was not consistent with that theory.

Slient--I got to post #15 and immediately stoped reading.

I was wrong about you my old friend.

Crunch, you're still too bitter....but Silent, you're over the top on Sammy. Too much crap you're spouting as gospel with nothing to back it up.

GAWWWD.....I feel like I just went to confession. "Forgive me Rob G., for I have sinned...."

Joey, penitent in Iowa

yeah what vorare said....

fun bit of trivia, when EI first became available (I believe in the early 2000's), it was exclusive to DirecTV as well.

But yeah, the EI package was MLB's bargaining chip for a basic cable channel. Cable originally said hell no and DirecTV said sure. Cable seems to be changing their minds now.

But I do agree that the public pressure made MLB rethink the deal a bit and give cable "another" shot. They'll lose out a little on their DirecTV deal, but more than make up for it from cable and the wider audience for their channel.

That's assuming it goes through, which I'm not sold on yet. I think cable is playing around a bit and MLB expects their channel to be available to all cable subscribers in the same way.

Bleeding Blue:
"I’m very surprised by this news. I’m curious how the “at least the same number of subscribers” part of this deal will play out, but it sounds like great news for everyone."

I agree 100% with that...

But since DirectTv is giving the MLB channel to 19 million people (their total membership), it would seem fair to me that inDEMAND should only have to give it to 19 million viewers. But we will see how bad MLB wants the cable companies involved. If they don't take that deal it would seem like a bad business move to me.

Also, I like the ex-girlfriend thing but let's take it a step further. This is more like an ex-wife situation. The one you had three kids with and had a nasty divorce with lawyers and stuff.

I clearly avoided the distinction of male or female, spouse or long-time mate. Simply..."ex".

"Not to get all Chad on you but it’s McGwire folks…."

It was McGuire until the steroids provided the extra lift to McGwire. :)

Anyway, I am glad to see the silent majority has spoken that Sammy is at least all right with them.

I'm going to leave this up as the game thread because I stayed up late writing it and it seems relevant to the game.

Marquis vs Jamey Wright

Anyone watching or listening, please let me know the fans reaction when he steps up.

I'm still unclear about the TV rights thing. I live in Seattle, what will be the best/cheapest way (other than MLB.TV) to get Cubs games? Anyone know?

I knew you had the force in you, young Joey from Iowa. I knew it all along.

Theriot 4
Jones 8
Lee 3
Floyd 7
Murton 9 (!)
Cedeno 6
Perez 5
Blanco 2
Marquis 1

The Joe:

I’m still unclear about the TV rights thing. I live in Seattle, what will be the best/cheapest way (other than MLB.TV) to get Cubs games? Anyone know?

Give Bud your first-born child and one of your limbs. For an additional lamb sacrafice, you can get all out-of-market games, including blackouts.

Rob,

Fair enough, I was taking it up a notch not the the gender of it but for the seriousness of the situation.

Sweet Rynox, I'll get right on that...but, does anyone have any other ideas, first?

Manny,

I don't have the time to go digging through month old news articles; you can do that yourself if you really want to. It was widely reported in February that the negotiations had come down to the issue of the 24/7 MLB channel (money was about equal), and the cable companies were only willing to include it as a premium channel. That's why the negotiations fell through and that's why Selig moved towards the exclusive deal with DirectTV.

A month later, the cable companies are agreeing to carry the channel in their basic tier. So how did Selig "cave," if he ended up getting exactly what he wanted in the first place?

Front page in the Des Moines Register is an article about Sammy, from Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.

Sammy is quoted a bunch, but it's pertinent to point out the following:

1. Indicates to Zack Minasian, the Ranger clubhouse MGR, to not let ANYONE touch his bats---QUOTE "You never know, but I'm taking any chances. You never know what people might do. There's jealous people out there. I found that out the hard way, papi." OBVIOUSLY SAMMY SAYING HIS CORKED BAT WAS SALTED IN TO HIS STASH.

2.The article points out that Sammy is 5 pounds heavier than when was last with the Cubs. Yet, this reporter has yet to see a photo of Sammy that shows him LESS muscular than before...certainly he is carrying some belly fat like he did not before.

HOWEVER:

My question is this......if he WAS on HGH or steroids, then quit, would he NOT have lost SIGNIFICANT weight????? He doesn't have enough fat on him to offset the weight loss he SURELY would have had sans HGH-steorids.

Point is....prove the steroid/HGH issue with Sammy or get off it.

I'll go back to sleep now.

Joey

nasty it was, but it's high time we wish each other the best, be happy that the other side has found happiness. Don't be afraid to break out the old photos from that time in mountains or that anniversary trip to the beach and remember that we did a lot of great things together....but for the best of all involved we needed to part ways.

wow, joey added something that wasnt laughing at others or trying to offend someone.

good for you.

LOL......Crunch...thanks man.

I

and that was about as unnecessary as joey's post from yesterday...ugh.

I meant crunch's btw...

ANY publicity is good publicity, right? My name is getting play!!!! Finally...been waiting 2 years!!!!

Seriously..I'm going back to sleep.

i was just kinda caught off guard...im used to 1 side of the poster in question, but i forgot for a while the purpose of those posts and the quantity of them vs. real contributions.

i made an off the cuff comment and of course joey was happy i paid attention to him cuz that's what its all about.

im new to this internet thing, sorry. hehe...

I notice the blurb on the right sidebar about the Brewers being interested in Mackowiak. He can't play SS, but he can play everything else and he can hit. I'd take him as our 25th man in a heartbeat. Lou can figure out how to get Theriot or Derosa to play SS when he pinch-hits for Izturis.

Don’t be afraid to break out the old photos from that time in mountains or that anniversary trip to the beach and remember that we did a lot of great things together….but for the best of all involved we needed to part ways.

----

Just not when the new significant other is watching ;)

Re: Cork.

At the time of the cork incident, sammy admiitted it was his batting practice bat used to put on a show for the fans ....

speaking of people who cant play baseball...jonathan broxton cant, but omar vizquel can...wanna trade him rob?

"speaking of people who cant play baseball"

hahah...that should read:

peaking of people who cant play SS...

ANOTHER day without radio/internet broadcast

damn...this is 3 games in a row.

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/comments/2007/...

looks like they changed the lineup...
Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Floyd, JJ, Derosa, Cedeno, Blanco, Marquis

Theriot at 2b, Derosa at 3b (first action there all spring I believe)

Sosa is playing RF for the Rangers and batting 5th

Murton in RF would have been interesting...

I'm still thinking about it, boils down to if I think I can snag a capable back-up shortstop off the waiver wire and who to dump. I have another deal in the works that might influence me one way or another. I'll let you know in a couple of hours at the most..

To paraphrase Lyndon B. Johnson...

"If I've lost Joey from Iowa, then I've lost the nation."

Oh, how it's lonely being right and brilliantly astute all the time.

no hurry rob...i got no other SS trade ive looked into or got on the table right now.

Crunchie--Wrong again, oh Abrasive One...I was tickled that Rob G. was paying attention to my insecure self. You I don't care about.

Okay.....a tidbit of a rumor.....was in the Miller High Life Lounge this noon hour for their 70's lunch and overeard Sam Bernabe's (he is the GM of the Iowa Cubs) crew chatting. This joint in is Des Moines about a block north of the Iowa Cubs Park.

Something about DeRosa in DesMoines to start the year?????

Is he injured??? Is there a trade in the works??? Am I high?

JOEY

Joey

yeah, well it would have to be an injury but all I've heard is a stomach bug that he seems to be over.

joey...you call me out personally like 2-3-4+ times a month between the times you drop out then suddenly show up again in the threads.

you dont have much to say, but im one of your favorite subjects. i'll save the summary of everything you've called me for a long time now.

ST...very nice. I wave in the wind my ex-friend. Keep working.....I can be had!!!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Sorry Manny....MLB turned down the deal.

"The communication sent to our office today by iN Demand is not responsive to that offer," he said. "In spite of their public comments, the response falls short of nearly all of the material conditions (among them requirements for carriage of The Baseball Channel and their share of the rights fees for Extra Innings) set forth in the Major League Baseball offer made to them on March 9."

he is Bob Dupuy by the way.....

this is a magnificent P.R. war though if your intrigued by these things.

Cable still has 10 days to pony up....

Sosa up AB runners on 1st and 3rd.

Sounded like a good cheer for Sammy.

Crunch---My only issue is you bully people and it pisses me off. The easiest job in the world is to be a skeptic, ala REALLY BAD reporters.

When you're of a mind, you're like bad toilet paper...chafing......then you come up with something brilliant and you're Charmin; Mr Whipple, don't get excited. That HAS to be the wost analogy ever typed out...GAWWDD.

Either way, your posts intrigue me enough to read them, so you have that going for you. On the other hand I'm a fat guy from Iowa living with his gay uncle, so what intrigues me shouldn't matter to anyone.

Baseball...that's why we're here...not to debate social interactions between misfits like us.

Joey

Really? Sweet....my faith in Cubs fans is restored.

You might want to check Joey's and ST's IP address because Joey is the only one who licks ST's asshole daily. I wouldn't put it beyond ST to create a fake name to make it look like he has friends.

Well, Len said 'mixed reaction', but from what I could tell it sounded like an overall warm reception.

nah, one is from Iowa, one's currently in St. Louis (hmmm, a Cardinals fan...that explains a lot)

Oh a Cardinal troll, yeah it does explain a lot, lol.

The-Riot doubles down the 1B line, when he's hitting 2nd with nobody on base it's like having a second leadoff hitter.

DLee RBI single

They sure do look good in first innings, this spring.

No one uses the chat room anymore? It is so lonely and cold in there.

Floyd bloop single to LF, fun in the sun

when I can hear or see the games once again, I'll show up.

It was full of people saying..."what, you guys are Cubs fans?"

They nixed the Murton in right idea...Floyd, Soriano, Jones

Sllent, you're from St Louis?

yikes 2 HR's for 3 runs off Marquis.

unknown fact... Cedeno with 6 BB this spring.

marquis given up 2 homers so far...liard and vazquez

doh...#138

Marquis RBI single

Very good AB by Theriot that moved the runners over.

What was good about it was how the announcers were saying how much Piniella trusts Theriot to make contact as on 3 seperate occasions the runners on 1st and 2nd (Marquis, and Blanco) were running. 4th time he grounded out, but no double play.

Ohh and DLee just hit a deep ground rule double to score 2 runs.

DLee opposite field double bouncing over the wall (as Sammy watches)...2 RBI's; Cubs 4-3

Marquis the DH...get used to it.

Silent Towel is in St. Louis. I live in Chicago (northern suburb), but work for a St. Louis based company and find myself in the Arch City several days each week. Two blocks from Busch Stadium. But rest assured I am a longtime diehard Cub fan. Go to Wrigley 10-12 times each season.

Just to briefly distract from the game I also wanted to comment how I'm glad to hear Sammy didn't get booed. I've never been a huge Sammy fan, although I always appreciated his time with the Cubs. Mostly I've never been a Sammy fan because of the animosity between him and Grace, and well...Grace was always my favorite and since he was around first, clearly there was no question who my fan-love went to. I must admit though that my dislike of Sammy went above and beyond what it should have been following 2004, and it was nice to read the article to hear a reminder of the good things that he did do, completely disregarding the PED/arrogance issues.

Marquis is all over the map in the first couple innings. Missed out over the plate a couple of times. Having a hard time hitting his spots. Grooved a heater at the belt to Laird that he made go boom.

ST---I may be getting transferred to the DMZ, just south of St Louis. At risk of sounding like, what did the man say...."Licking your ass"....LMAO!!!!

We could paint our bodies Cubbie Blue and go to Busch and get in fights and stuff. That would be way kewl.

I've been to the new Busch Stadium. Don't care for it nearly as much as the old Busch, a place I thought gave the Cardinals a distinct identity and a competitive. Interestingly enough, most Cardinal fans in the office down here don't like the new Busch either. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty and all.

St. Louis generally sucks. Nice people, but a craphole of a city. I thank God every Thursday night when I fly or drive the heck out of here.

ST---we agree on something then. Comparing St Louis to Chicago...hell comparing Chicago to anywhere, just isn't fair.

But then, here I am licking again...sorry to monopolize TCR for my and ST's love talk. I need to pick up the basement before my Uncle gets home. Later

Yeah, count me in with the 'you're a bunch of ungrateful hypocritical bastards' when it comes to Sammy. And, well, when it comes to Patterson as well. Ever since the end of 2003 Cubs fans seem to have determined that World Series titles are their right and anyone who didn't move us towards that with their every breath was earned a spot in the pineapple line with Sadam Husein in Hell.

I liked the Cubs fans of the 80's and 90's much better. Can you guys pleas let them out of the basement?

I can kind of get Sosa, but what the hell do we have to be grateful to Corey for? A couple of highly overrated months in 2003??

HA...Real Neal

yeah the vitriol towards Korey was a little much no doubt, but he never gave us what Sammy did and I certainly never got the sense that he gave it his all every time out.

But in hindsight, he would have been better than Pierre last year and we could have gotten more this offseason for him if we did trade him.

Silent Towel is in St. Louis.

Nice that ST has started speaking about himself in third person. I do believe that was the final symptom of meglomania he was missing.

I can kind of get Sosa, but what the hell do we have to be grateful to Corey for?

Go back and watch the play that caused his injury in 2003. Cubs fans turned on Corey long before Corey turned on them.

Soriano 'I am not going to play left field'
Sammy 'I bat third or forth'
Corey 'I don't think I am suited to bat leadoff, but I will give it a try'

IMO, Patterson was too close Crunch, and the bitterness drove his ego to the edge and effected/affected (never been able to figure that out) his performance.

Crunch...that was a joke....seriously. Don't get all bothered. Really, I kid because I love.

Corey "there's nothing wrong with my swing."

What did Lee hit in Spring of '05?

Looks like Wright has been chased in the bottom of the 4th after a 1 out walk to Theriot.

according to the cube 358/477/698

3 HR, 5 2b, 2 3B, 11 BB/ 13 K

re: #157

see #105

Great question, Real Neal. Yes please, let the spring D. Lee continue into the real season. Please, please.

Corey “there’s nothing wrong with my swing.”

Then goes down to Iowa and hits .297 .366 .505 with 6 SB's and 1 CS proving that he was right.

The savior hit 283 .341 .451 with 17 SB's and 11 CS last year in Iowa, for comparison.

Cubs are 21-for-23 in the SB department this spring

and are 7th in walks and 17th in K's....

I'm liking what i see....

opps SB for Theriot so make that 22-for-24... NICE!!

Theriot should have tagged up on that fly to center though. Guess that is the 3rd base coach's fault though.

Nothing wrong with his swing? Have you watched the kid play? Take a look at his monthly stats from last season in Baltimore as the league began to adjust to him.

Anyway, I actually agree that Cubs fans are too quick to hate lately (see Jones, Jacque), but Corey sure isn't the example I'd give.

it was hardball times or BP that showed that Lou's team are pretty efficient with their stolen bases..

Corey's swing sucks and it still does in Baltimore as does his approach. Let's not fool ourselves.

There's nothing wrong with Corey's swing. It is his selectiveness. Where is the hole in his plate coverage?

hehe...just saw the video of ryan dempster putting ohman's truck on blocks from last season as a practical joke...hiding all his tires all over the stadium, btw.

some special "baseball bloopers" thing on fox sports net.

I hate the camer angle at HoHoCamera. I like to be able to see the plate from the center field cam.

Cedeno just rips a freakish barehanded play to get Sammy one a groundball to short,

Cliff Floyd is doing a 'buy one get a second for free' deal on base hits to left today.

Marquis is only finding the knees and lower about 70% of the time and Laird decided a 2 HR day would go nicely with Floyd's special. 5-4 Rangers.

Prior to start tomorrow, Wood and Hill to relieve on Comcast.

I can't believe we are putting Corey Patterson and Sammy Sosa in the same conversation.

Corey Patterson had the worst attitude problem. Nothing was his fault and he couldn't understand why he wasn't the next Barry Bonds. I hate that guy.

Hey Real Neal....
"...then goes down to Iowa and hits .297 .366 .505 with 6 SB’s and 1 CS proving that he was right.

The savior hit 283 .341 .451 with 17 SB’s and 11 CS last year in Iowa, for comparison. "

Also for comparison:
Patterson:91 at bats
Pie: 559 at bats.

The savior had a pretty good full season at AAA.

Coey's first time at Iowa?:
367 AB's, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 19 SB, 8 CS, 28 BB/65 K
.253/.308/.387

Facts can be fun, can't they?

speaking of pranks and Gerald Laird, I think I linked to it before, but the Rangers pulled off a good one on him if anyone is interested.

Cubs seem to have thrown it into cruise control again, and gone to sleep...

I absolutely will not forget the incredible stuff Sosa did for the Cubs franchise and the fun it was to watch him play the game. There are just so many moments and at bats that I remember as if it were yesterday.

But there is still something to the fact that Sosa never really took responsibility for his faults. I'm not talking about steroids...I'm talking about his lockerroom behavior, his need for special treatment and his very quick shunning of fans that while supporting him through and through, had some questions about him. His profound arrogance and his personal dependance on the spotlight in same ways was insulting to me considering how much attention I, as a fan, gave him. He always needed just a little more...he pushed too much, he bit the hand that fed him, and that will be that.

I am so glad he was part of the Cubs for so long and made the entire game fun and exciting year in and year out...but, that's the past and I'm happy it's in the past....as for his future, besides wishing him the best...he's pretty irrelevant to me as a baseball player.

7-4, G-F ratio though for Marquis

oh, and I haven't been around here much this offseason....but I have a profound sense of doom about the 2007 Cubs. It's at the point where I'm almost dreading the upcoming season and the way it will preoccupy me for no good reason, only to have similiar results to the last 2 years.

I just don't see our pitching holding up...we have 1 great starter, and 4 #4 or #5 pitchers. Sure, an improvement over last year...but a 25 game improvement? No, I don't see it.

My predicition at this point is that the Cubs win between 78 and 81 games.

Facts can be fun, can’t they?

So it's a good thing that with 559 at bats Pie hit .283? My bad.

The point being, and again I must have been deceptively subtle, that it was the environment (coaches, monkeys in the stands) not the swing in 2005 that was Patterson's problem. Any shred, even the tiniest little bit, of evidence to contradict that?

Take a look at his monthly stats from last season in Baltimore as the league began to adjust to him

Man it must be a big shock when these players switch leagues. It's really amazing how these interleague games go since the advance scouts aren't permitted to look at players in the other league. Remember that time that the scout asked his colleague in the other league what the book was on a hitter and Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt?

Remember when the Cubs fired Elia over not reading the scouting report on a guy who got called up from AAA? How preposterously ignorant do you have to be to think that AL teams haven't scouted Patterson after after 600 ML games?

I see the abrasive and smug Real Neal is back....

Good times....

hmm....a .283 batting average is bad?
ok....um.....i guess so?

Yeesh...

Well, maybe its good to get all the snarky stuff out in one day.

Now I'm waiting for Karl to show up so we can talk about France... =)

Yeah, Rob. Marquis got some ground balls. His sinker was pretty effective today when he could keep it down. However, 3 of his 4 fly balls went far. Real far. Just didn't have great command today. I'd say he missed his spot more than he hit it.

He was kinda due for a rough outing, though. He'd been better than I think just about anybody expected to this point.

Real Neal... please learn how to use italics.

Speaking of guys missing spots, look it's CWTP's guy Roberto Novoa!

3 batters faced, 0 outs, 3 BB. Pulled for Eyre.

#152 by Real Neal: I liked the Cubs fans of the 80’s and 90’s much better. Can you guys pleas let them out of the basement?

Unfortunately, the close call with meaningful winning in 2003 pushed many of us 80's and 90's Cub fans into a new realm of baseball understanding. Before "the year that almost was" we were content with the loveable losers and oblivious to the ineptness of the Cub's organization. We had Harry, the Ivy, and chicks in tubetops on WGN. Hawk or Sammy ruled the outfield, and Ryno and Grace ruled the infield. It didn't matter what number was on the Shawn-o-Meter or how wild he was, because you knew he could do something special. And if he didn't, oh well...it was another day at Wrigley. We didn't expect the Cubs to win, so every victory was a bonus.

Winning is addictive. And 2003 was just enough of a taste. That was when I started checking out sites like TCR. And then my eyes were opened to a whole new level of baseball understanding, which was both very good and very bad. For the first time, I knew what was going on in the minor league system. A new world of statistics and analysis was made available. The folly of managerial (on-field and GM) ways became apparent. Knowledge was gained, but Eden was lost. Loveable losers were no longer good enough after that peek behind the curtain.

So us 80's and 90's fans are still around. We are just a bit more jaded. For what it is worth, I was blissfully ignorant of Sammy's faults until the bitter end, so my memories of him are good ones. Of course, I wasn't looking to find fault before. Still, I'll hold onto those days of "innocent" fandom while looking ahead with a more critical eye.

Dave--apologies on the italics. Apparently Neal isn't the only one with HTML deficiency...

I fixed it for you Leningrad since you haven't called anyone a "moron" or "ignorant" or a "fucktard" recently that I know of....

JJones two run bomb, 6-6

i love that were not out of any ball game this year with this offense....

I think DeRosa ate a mouthful of dirt with that slide.

I sure hope that the apparent increase in walks Cub hitters have gotten this spring is a sign of a philosophical change that is coming from the coaching staff. I realize it's spring training but I've been looking at the boxscores to see what the walk tally is and who is taking walks and it seems to be noticeably improved from the past few seasons. Is there a source for historic spring training stats so I can see if my impression can be backed up in fact?

"Speaking of guys missing spots, look it’s CWTP’s guy Roberto Novoa!

3 batters faced, 0 outs, 3 BB. Pulled for Eyre. "

Careful, or he'll whip out his statistics on what a "great" 2nd half he had. Watch out!

Cubs are 7th right now in total walks...

Boston, A's, Nats, D'Backs, Tigers and WSox are ahead...Cards are tied.

that's from MLB.com, ESPN.com and baseball cube have some individual numbers but for past spring training, but nothing on a team level.

You know, E-Man.. I don't want to dig all this stuff up again. We went over it yesterday. But CWTP is right. Novoa did have a really great second half of 2006 last year. I agree with him there.

Here's the problem:

With how the 2007 bullpen is set up, having a nice second half of 2006 + $1 = a cup of coffee and bus trip to Iowa.

That equation becomes especially true when you have a crappy spring. ERA of 11.50. 5 walks in 2.1 innings.

ESPN.com has several years of spring training stats but apparently they don't track walks

#197 by cubster: "ESPN.com has several years of spring training stats but apparently they don’t track walks"

Isn't that where Dusty is working now? Did they put him in charge of stats?

Speaking of guys missing spots, look it’s CWTP’s guy Roberto Novoa!

Wow, Wes, what a cheap shot! Just because I don't believe Novoa cost us a Division title last year, doesn't mean he's "my guy."

You do realize he's recovering from shoulder injuries incurred in an automobile accident and has only pitched a couple of innings, right? And last time I looked he had zero chance of making the club and stealing another Division title from us.

looks like the cube might have some..

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/statistics/200...

you have to add it up yourself though....

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