The 162 Game Preseason Begins

That was the title for my entry for the Maple Street Press team preview I wrote, and pretty much sums up how I'm approaching the 2008 season. Oh sure, I should be grateful for the back-to-back playoff appearances and the fact that the Cubs are the favorites to do it again. But I'm just having a hard time mustering the excitement right now. It seems a lot like the 2008 team, and sure I'm curious about the new blood, but they don't quite have my full attention yet. Plus, after last year, what could they possibly do during the season to make me any more confident about their postseason chances than I was last year? Well they could be healthy and Harden and Z could be hitting 95+ regularly in Septemeber, but that's about it. And I have to wait until September for that to happen.

So now that I peed all over your Opening Day enthusiasm (send hate mail to carriedotmuskatatcubsdotcom)...on to the game we go.

We're going to scale back the game previews this season by the way. I hope no one minds. Not that it would change anything if you did. If there's something particularly interesting about the day's game - like it be Opening Day for example - something might go up, otherwise just use the last post to talk about the game if you're not in Parachat. We will try to do more game recaps though - not all of the Transmission variety - to cover the gap.

LF Soriano 2B #Matsui
CF *Fukudome C Rodriguez
1B Lee 1B #Berkman
RF #Bradley LF Lee
3B Ramirez SS Tejada
2B *Fontenot 3B #Blum
C Soto RF Pence
SS Theriot CF *Bourn
P #Zambrano P Oswalt


Carlos Zambrano 12-7, 2.70 ERA vs. the Astros in his career in 166.2 IP;  a 3.58 ERA in Minute Maid Park.

Roy Oswalt: 12-11, 3.11 ERA vs the Cubs in his career in 160 IP.

Join us in Parachat for the game, Transmission should be recapping the festivities.


Jack Wilson just doubled with two out and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh leads STL 6-4!! Blown save for Jason Motte, homerun Soriano in the Cubs game!!

Wow. Soriano leadoff homer on 1-0 pitch.

yes, the best power hitter on the team working his way to 80+ RBIs again.


I'm with you on the argument, but I'd like to hold off on the pissy sarcasm until my beginning of the season euphoria wears off.

Why does Dusty have K-Fuk batting 2nd? Oh sorry, I mean Lou.

2nd pitch of season HR by Soriano, hope that is a good sign of things to come.

GO Cubs!!!

How quickly can we just cut bait and get a chartered flight back to Japan for K-Fuk? This guy has no business playing MLB ball.

Good to hear from you again, manny. By the way, if you had been watching the WBC, you would have known that Kosuke (Ko-suck-ay?) was the NL Rookie of the Year last year. So there. ~g~

HA HA!! Did he steal the trophy from Soto and take it back with him to Japan and say he won it?

Either that or it was a successful conspiracy by the Japanese media who believed they needed to justify their expense accounts for following the Cubs the entire season. Seeing that graphic under his name every time he came to bat in the WBC was a recurring WTF? moment for me.

I'm happy that baseball has begun. There's no room for team anger today. Chillax everyone.

Nice DP by K-Fuk there. UGH!! GO BACK TO JAPAN!!

Soriano looks great though. Man if he can be healthy all year that would be a huge boost.

I know it's the Astros lineup, but Zambie looks very good and extremely confident today. Great start to the season...

Since Lou loves the R-L alternating lineups and won't move Soriano off the leadoff spot, here's what I think the lineup should realistically be:

LF Soriano
2B *Fontenot
3B Ramirez
RF #Bradley
C Soto
1B Lee
CF *Fukudome
SS Theriot
P #Zambrano

I don't know how Lou can justify keeping DLee in the 3 hole and Soto in the 7 spot.

Ok, enough bitching. As long as they win, I guess I don't really care.

Thank God MB's back out there after the ankle roll. Although the real test will be about 3 hours after the game when he's been sitting down for awhile. Let's hope it was nothing.

HoffPOWER! with an RBI single in the 9th.

I love this team. Yes FKK sucks, but still.

Good to see He-Man picking up that RBI.

Bradley looks like a very good RF, but I'm gonna hold my breath every time he has to really run for anything. Ever since that ankle roll I just keep thinking, stay healthy.

What the hell? Soriano-FKK-Bradley. Defensive replacement in CF? WTF?

Cubs Win 4-2!!

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!



The good:
- Soriano. While I would love to see him drop down in teh lineup, he hit teh ball very well today and the leadoff HR was good mojo right off the bat.
- Zambrano. Big Z looked to be in mid season form. He even was pretty efficient with his pitches.
- Bullpen. Besides Gregg's hiccup in the 9th the bullpen came in and shut the door after Z left in the 7th.
- Ramirez. Hit his 250th career Hr tonight.

The bad:
- Bradley. If going 0-3 wasn't bad enough, he also dropped a ball in the 9th that could have easily been caught and twisted his ankle rounding forst. Let's hope that doesn't put him on the DL and he misses a month.

The ugly:
- Fukudome. He started off today just like he left off, being completely overmatched. I have absolutely no confidence this guy can be effective. I would not be surprised if he is relegated to bench duty by the All-Star Game and either traded or released by years end.

I'm going to play Go Cubs Go about 300 times tonight.

Nice game to start the season.

Good to see Manny back.

Todd Hollandsworth looks stoned.

Fuku vs. Oswalt 2008: 1/6. The 1 was a bunt single. On April 5. When he was a rock star. Just sayin'.

i also did not not understand the gathright in center personnally joey in right made more sense.

Recent comments

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  • Yeah, it's the past but you keep complaining based on the past. First they tanked and shouldn't have. Now they make some comments about needing to have a budget and you say they're crying poverty -- all before any trades/signings have been made. (They signed a $155 million pitcher last year, I recall.)

    FYI, the Cubs have had a skating rink the last couple of years. It's not a permanent structure (obviously) and probably doesn't cost all that much. But who knows, maybe it'll be the reason they don't win a World Series.

  • Thanks guys! Pretty sure Bill Murray says thanks too.

  • Awesome job, Tim!

  • Classic.

  • Outfielder Chris Young signs "multiyear" contract w BoSox.

    Wow, Dombrowski is a buffoon

  • Not sure I understand the logic, especially for more than one year.

  • well, that's the past. we're left with the present. even though that past you're seeing is some weird black/white either/or where hybridization of ideas isn't allowed...nonetheless...

    the present is ice skating, movies, concerts, beer gardens, hotels, office space and other wonderful baseball activities based around a young, successful baseball team.

  • All money making ventures, which would have been offset with a reasonable TV contract that previous ownership screwed up

  • Brilliant!

  • Nah, I'll probably just contemplate how they should've done a Padres-style all-in plan.

  • of course not. maybe go ice skating and think about it a while. make advanced reservations at the hotel they're starting construction on. check new releases for possible entertainment from the movie screens they want installed. think about renting an office in the new office spaces. write a letter to the cubs requesting your favorite beer be added to the beer garden. lobby your favorite band to play the outdoor venue.

    ...and in between that maybe they can find $40-50m to invest in the product that all of this revolves around.

  • let's not get caught up on phrasing for a setup and lose the gist of the post. i don't care what one wants to call the playoff exit.

    -crapping out
    +they lost their playoff attempt

    there. now we can focus on something other than not liking the tone of a line that's setting up a point.

  • I didn't like the entire post, if that helps.

  • Making the NLCS with a young team = "crapping out of the playoffs with a young team."