The Broken Unicorn

Our resident doctor, Joseph Hecht takes a look at the plight of one of our Cubs heroes. ---------- I have an idea for a dramatic play. Synopsis: It’s about a dysfunctional family. The father ran off years ago, leaving two children and their mother, except for one postcard of Wrigley Field, the father has not been heard from since. The mother, Louise Penny, is from a genteel southern family and tells tales of her athletic youth and the many Royal and Yankee suitors who once pursued her. She is disappointed in her daughter, Kerry, who once was very athletic but now is fragile beyond recognition from recurring arm injuries and no longer draws any gentleman callers. The mother enrolls Kerry on a local baseball pitching staff hoping that her daughter will make her own and the family’s fortune through a pitching career. Louise discovers that Kerry’s crippling injuries kept her from making the team when she was discovered wandering aimlessly about the disabled list. Meanwhile, Kerry’s older brother, Larry Ro, is trapped in a thankless coaching job to support his mother and sister. During one of the many arguments between mother and son, Larry inadvertently breaks several of the glass trophies that are his sister Kerry’s prized possessions. Louise asks her son to keep an eye out for potential suitors for his sister. Louise gets her son to bring home a gentleman caller, Jim O’Hendry, an acquaintance that works with Larry. Gentleman Jim is kindly and some warm conversation draws Kerry out of her shell. Jim gives Kerry the nickname, “Texas Roses” a subtle twist on the name of Kerry’s medical condition, “Tendomyositis”. Jim reproaches Kerry for her low self-esteem but praises her former athletic uniqueness. They play long toss but Gentleman Jim inadvertently knocks over Kerry’s favorite “Unicorn” trophy, breaking off its horn. Kerry is forgiving, realizing that the unicorn is now a normal horse. Jim explains he has a “prior” commitment with another pitcher. Kerry offers Gentleman Jim the broken unicorn trophy as a souvenir. Mother Louise enters the room full of hope with this gentleman caller but soon turns on son Larry as the caller leaves. They argue with Louise having to protect fragile Kerry while Larry explains he was fired from his coaching job and is leaving his mother and sister behind. Years later, although Larry has traveled to distant ball clubs, he finds he is unable to shake the guilty memories of Kerry. Dr. Joseph Hecht gives his most sincere apologies to Tennessee Williams.


Oooh! My arm! Its broken! The match is a draw!

I would assume this is the brainchild of a night-long drinking binge brought on the recent depressing news? Get help, man. It only takes 12 steps to get beyond the addiction to false hope about our SP rotation.

Jayson Stark said this morning on ESPN2 that there is a good chance, he thinks, that the Cubs will sign Zambrano by opening day but he said he does not think it is a sure thing. Apparently Buster Olney has said on ESPN2 that he thinks it is a sure thing. Stark said he thinks the player's union is pressuring Z not to accept anything less than "market value," in other words, not to give the Cubs a discount of any kind. Stark said he thinks that the commissioner's office is putting some pressure on the Cubs not to get carried away with the amount of money offered to Z. One of the studio hosts asked Stark what he thinks the chances are that, on July 31st, if Z has not been signed, a trade with the Yanks will be announced, with the Cubs getting AROD and Hughes. Stark laughed and said there is no chance of that, that the Yanks will not trade Hughes. I agree. Why would the Yanks give the Cubs much of anything to get a guy for two or three months. Makes no sense. What do you all think? I expect that Z will surely have a new deal by Monday.

Z said he won't pitch in AL because he wants to bat.

But money changes minds quickly.

Make the guy happy, do it now. Not interested in another autopsy of "what went wrong" a la Maddux. Such failure analysis is supposed to prevent bad things from happening "next time." It's "next time."

I'm just sayin (hey, its not my money)

Not sure if this has been mentioned on here yet, but the ESPN bottom line was reporting that Prior will start the year either on the DL or in AAA. Not really news to anyone, but I guess it's official that he won't be on the 25-man to start the year.

Unless they have completely lost their minds (always a possibility), there is no way that MLB is putting pressure on the Cubs not to pay Zambrano big dollars. The legal liability exposure (collusion, etc.) would be too high, not to mention the PR fallout if it were discovered.

The owners got into a lot of trouble for their collusive activities in the 80's and 90's, so I doubt that they are putting any pressure on the Cubs to keep salaries down, either.

And even if MLB or the owners were pressuring the Cubs not to pay up, I would certainly hope that the Cubs would laugh and ignore it. It's the Trib's money, the Trib's decisions. You don't gain anything by being a team player in that scenario, other than the indirect fruits of collusion.

u.urbina sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted murder.

So attacking people with a machete and pouring gasoline on them is a crime now?

"Z said he won’t pitch in AL because he wants to bat." -jacos

If Z was in the AL he would be a full time DH too.

Is that actually possible within the rules, for a pitcher to pitch and DH on the same day? I can't recall it ever happening.

For those in Chicago, there is a pretty bad fire on the top floor of what appears to me to be the 500 West Monroe building.

Sheffield/Cornelia — March 28, 2007 @ 10:52 am
Is that actually possible within the rules, for a pitcher to pitch and DH on the same day? I can’t recall it ever happening.


SHEFFIELD/CORNELIA: An A. L. starting pitcher can hit for himself (Ken Brett did that for the White Sox in 1976), but if he does, his team cannot use the DH in that game, even after the starting pitcher leaves the mound. So an A. L. starting pitcher who hits for himself (in lieu of the DH) can't remain in the game as the DH once he is relieved as a pitcher.

If Carlos Zambrano was pitching in the A. L., he could hit, but once he left the game as a pitcher, he's out of the game, and his team can't use the DH for the rest of that game. (The relief pitchers have to bat for themselves, or the manager can use a PH and take the pitcher out of the game, just like in the N. L.).

Likewise, if a player who starts a game as the DH later comes into the game as a relief pitcher, the DH is no longer available. Since the relief pitcher is probably a pretty good hitter (which is why he was in the lineup as the DH), that wouldn't matter, but any subsequent pitcher used in that game must also hit for himself (or the manager can use a PH, just like in the N. L.). Anytime a DH is moved to a position in the field during a game, the team loses the DH privilege for the rest of that game, and the pitcher must hit for himself (or a PH can be used, but that takes the pitcher out of the game).

433... LOL. Nice one.

For those in Chicago, there is a pretty bad fire on the top floor of what appears to me to be the 500 West Monroe building.


So that is what all that noise is about.

Dusty is doing the Mets v Braves game on ESPN. if anyone cares to hear how he would prepare for a season.Ihe he had a job!!

They refered to him as the "one of the best minds is baseball".

baker in the booth for atl/nym on espn...for those that wanna hear dustbag talk about bases balls.

yeah, what barry said

Cubs Deadspin preview, more morose than Baseball Prospectus could ever muster....

looks like no web feeds for today's or video. boo.

Doug D.:
"Not really news to anyone, but I guess it’s official that he (Prior) won’t be on the 25-man to start the year."

This will make it four in a row...

Perfect mechanics? Meh...

From Rob's link:

"And just like that, Wrigley Field has gone from the de facto summer share house of every Chad and Trixie in Wrigleyville to the site of a desperate race against Alfonso Soriano's contract,"

crunch — March 28, 2007 @ 11:24 am
baker in the booth for atl/nym on espn…for those that wanna hear dustbag talk about bases balls.


CRUNCH: It was kind of nostalgic hearing Dusty actually use the phrase "you don't want guys at the top of the order clogging up the bases" during the broadscast. I wonder if he will also mention the advantage that players of African descent have over Caucasian players in days games.

AZ Phil-

Did he really say that?

Did he really use the "clogging up the bases" line again?

I always sort of half thought that was just him saying something for the sake of saying something, perhaps even misspeaking. But if he repeated it, it must be a philosophy.

One of the smartest minds, indeed.

I'll never forget last season when Joe Morgan called Dusty a "very aggressive" manager. Bleh.

Deadspin article errors:

1. |Cubs' front office in a way that (almost) winning in 2003 couldn't;|

Cubs made changes to correct all their flaws in the 2003 off-season, with the loan exception of Gonzales who they corrected during 2004.

2. |Dusty Baker's firing|

Dusty wasn't fired, he just wasn't offered a new contract.

3. |unprecedented-in-all-of-sports $300+ million| Unless you count, for example, the Texas Rangers in 2001.

Well that's it, just three, because he moves to strictly opinion after that. I would probably have a bone of contention with him saying the team is built to 'win now'. They're built to win over the next three years.

#17 Barry,

Why do you think the unofficial nickname for ESPN is the 'Boo-Yah' network........I watch as much as anyone, but they are all a little full of themselves.

Did someone say walks just clog the bases...

'Cedeno, whose game has improved dramatically since a long talk with Piniella earlier this spring about his approach at the plate, hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday to send the Cubs past the Kansas City Royals 13-10.

"He worked with me on the strike zone," Cedeno said. "Now I try to take more walks and I can see the ball real good. ... It is relaxing for me because they gave me an opportunity and I feel happy for that."';_ylt=Ag0e7o...

jacos — March 28, 2007 @ 12:17 pm
AZ Phil-

Did he really say that?


JACOS: Yes he did. It was during a discussion about Willie Randolph's plan to occasionally hit David Wright in the #2 spot in the batting order.

Yes he did. It was during a discussion about Willie Randolph’s plan to occasionally hit David Wright in the #2 spot in the batting order.

Oh snap....that's hilarious. Well once a moron always a moron. (And yeah I know Dusty is generally well-read and all, but his baseball acumen is zilch in my humble opinion)

I knew that Dusty said that last year, but I also thought it was just him mis-speaking to fill air time. I didn't really believe that he meant it. Well, now he's on record again saying it. I think a team would be crazy to have someone who believes that as their manager....

Maybe Dusty has just enough sophistication to poke fun at himself???


and of course Wright has stolen 17 and 20 bases the last 2 years as well....

Bring back Steve Stone!!!!

and for the love of all things holy do not let Dusty do a Cubs game this year

nice draft prospect smackdown between David Price and Arkansas's Nick Schmidt, both lefties who squared off last week in a game (Vandy is #1, Razorbacks #9 in the country)

I think you need an account though...

heh...matt harrington released.

that was quick and painless...

Was Scott Boras Harrington's agent that kept telling him to decline all those offers? Does anyone know what Harrington looked like this spring?

Dusty=box of hammers


The only box of hammers here are the posters who can't understand Dusty's "clogging up the bases" philosophy. No really, you don't understand what the hell he actually means.

He means he wants aggressive hitters who are looking to put the ball in play and make things happen. There is nothing wrong with that philosophy. He doesn't want players like J.D. "Perfect Pitch Only" Drew. He wants a guy who will swing at a ball just off the plate knowing that he can make contact with it and tally and RBI rather than just walking.

That's not at all what Dusty is saying Chad. Although he might believe that as well (as moronic as that idea is as well), his "clogging the bases" comment is about guys at the top of the order who aren't all that fast and can't advance more than a base at a time when the sluggers come up and start knocking around XBH's.

Either way...a moron.

Yeah, I remember a lot of "putting the ball in play" last year... Clearly we are in the presence of higher intellect here.

Yes, Neifi and his ilk were great at swinging at the first pitch and not taking walks.

Great philosphy

I felt like there were a LOT of infield pop-ups, too. JJ and A-Ram seemed to do that A LOT. Is there anything to back that up, or am I just wrong...

And then Dusty would contradict himself by saying that Cub pitchers needed to cut down on walks.

That's classic. Dusty also shared that philosophy in 2004 or 2005, not only in 2006. I love the "it's blown out of proportion" comments and "no one understands what Dusty means".

" He doesn’t want players like J.D. “Perfect Pitch Only” Drew"

Maybe a better name for him would be J.D. "Lookee Lookee I am in the Playoffs Again" Drew?

Recent comments

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  • I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?

    billybucks 6 hours 30 min ago view

    Dusty Baylor 7 hours 53 min ago view
  • You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!

    Jackstraw 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.

    The E-Man 10 hours 55 min ago view
  • Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.

    New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.

    billybucks 11 hours 6 min ago view
  • Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.

    billybucks 12 hours 39 min ago view
  • I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.

    The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.

    Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.

    billybucks 12 hours 43 min ago view
  • 6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.

    And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.

    billybucks 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?

    The E-Man 14 hours 59 min ago view
  • Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...

    The E-Man 15 hours 38 min ago view
  • I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."

    The E-Man 15 hours 41 min ago view
  • OK, boys -- find a way to win today.

    billybucks 16 hours 35 min ago view
  • There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:

    -6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100

    cubbies.4ever 18 hours 25 min ago view
  • per Muscat...
    Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel

    Cubster 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.

    billybucks 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.

    For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.

    Old and Blue 19 hours 59 min ago view