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GAME 62 PREVIEW FLORIDA MARLINS (31-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (33-28) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: FSFL, CSN
SP *John Koronka SP *Dontrelle Willis
CF *Juan Pierre SS #Neifi Perez
2B #Luis Castillo 2B Jerry Hairston
LF Miguel Cabrera 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Carlos Delgado 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Mike Lowell LF Jason Dubois
C Paul Lo Duca RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Juan Encarnacion CF *Corey Patterson
SS Alex Gonzalez C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
The Cubs get a brief respite from interleague play (they're now 4-5 against the AL this year, with six games to play) as fishy Florida visit town. On the mound tonight for those Marlins will be the one that got away, Dontrelle Willis, who is currently enjoyable an unbelievable season. No, literally, I don't believe it - he's 10-2 with an ERA touching two. I don't believe he'll keep it up either. The Cubs tonight have their chance to give his numbers a little more respectability, and in the process they could make themselves feel a little less rueful about throwing in the young lefty who'd never pitched an inning above Low-A ball when it came to acquiring the bust of a closer that was Alfonseca and fellow throw-in Matt Clement. At least he didn't figure out too badly. How the Cubs might be wishing they had either Clement or Willis starting for them tonight, given that as it is they have to throw John Koronka out there. Injuries or not, there's now no excuse for Koronka being in the rotation any more as far as I'm concerned, because the Cubs could surely by now have reconfigured schedules, days of rest and the like to avoid the unfortunate situation of a pitcher scarcely capable of getting out minor leaguers on a regular basis having to try and prevent major leaguers getting runs across the plate. Hopefully he can keep us in the game tonight, but I'm not holding my breath. Jerome Williams at Iowa is looking like quite a coup given the way he's turned his season around in his first three starts as a member of the Cubs organisation (18.1 IP, 18 H, 2 HR, 3 BB, 13 K, 2.45 ERA). The Cubs certainly have to balance the short-term needs of the big league club with the long-term development of their prospects at all times, but there's no real conflict of interest here now as far as I can see. Williams' weight (reportedly 260 pounds, 20 pounds overweight) isn't a concern in the short term given Williams' recent success in spite of it, nor in long term given Williams' own determination to shift it. Neither is his lack of a truly refined third pitch too problematic, given that he's already achieved major league success without one. Refining either his slider or curveball while in the minors would certainly be nice, but it's hardly essential or urgent, and the need for someone better than Koronka in the rotation right now seems to me more pressing. And Williams, given his recent success, looks like a good bet. Unfortunately, the Cubs seem intent on keeping Williams at Iowa for a while yet. In that case we can only hope Kerry Wood returns double quick. He's making his first rehab start at Iowa tonight on a 60 pitch limit - listen live here from 7.05pm CT if you like. The Marlins haven't been that impressive of late, winning just five of their last eighteen to drop from top to bottom of the NL East. Their big problem has been a shoddy bullpen and a lineup unintent upon scoring runs. Sound familiar? It was only a month or two ago we were in the same situation. Cubs, let's not go back there!
Added a 'Ex W/L' column to Organizational Records which is the major league teams expected win/loss record determined by the differential of runs scored and runs allowed, often referred to as the team's pythagorean record. Team Records Updated through 6/12/05; Individual Stats Updated through 6/12/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10Ex W/LW/L (2003)W/L (2004)
Chicago Cubs33-286.5/2nd6-434-2734-2732-29
Iowa Cubs 26-387.5/4th3-7&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
West Tenn Jaxx40-210.0/1st5-5&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp
Daytona Cubs33-294.5/3rd6-4&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
Peoria Chiefs32-323.5/4th5-5&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
Boise HawksSeason begins June 22nd N/A N/A &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
AZL CubsSeason begins in JuneN/A N/A &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels "Henry was good. He said he will slap me." - Carlos Zambrano, on Henry Blanco coming out to talk to him after walking the first 3 batters in Sundayís game versus the Padres Not Settling for Second Best "It's early, but we don't want the Wild Card. We want to win the division. We will win the division. That's our goal." - Carlos Zambrano laying the smackdown Not That There's Anything Wrong with that... "He's a beauty." Jeromy Burnitz, on Carlos Zambrano
GAME 61 PREVIEW BOSTON RED SOX (32-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (33-27) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: ESPN
"The Cubs are just simply not a good team. They beat a lackadaisal, average team twice in a row and will likely sweep, but that doesnít make them good. Their closer is highly unimpressive. I donít like their bullpen. Zambrano now is an injury concern, what with his blister before and turf toe. Take Derrek Lee and Neifi Perez out of the equation, and theyíre lousy. Perez and Lee, repeating last year, and this club is below .500. Theyíre not a good club, period." --Evan Brunell, Fire Brand of the American League
And if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass a-hoppin'. Replace "Zambrano" with "Schilling" and "Lee and Perez" with "Ortiz," and it's like looking in a mirror, isn't it, Evan? I'm not too upset, though. It must be hard when you finally win a World Series and then, a third-of the way through the next season, you're in danger of finishing behind a team that you beat by twenty games last year. So, I can understand the frustration. Tonight, Glendon Rusch takes on knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. If the wind is blowing out, that'll be good for Wake and bad for the Cubs bats, so think "lake breeze" thoughts.
GAME 59 PREVIEW BOSTON RED SOX (32-27) at CHICAGO CUBS (31-27) Wrigley Field, 1:15pm CT, TV:WGN
SP Greg Maddux SP Bronson Arroyo
CF *Johnny Damon SS #Neifi Perez
SS Edgar Renteria CF *Corey Patterson
1B *David Ortiz 1B Derrek Lee
LF Manny Ramirez RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF *Trot Nixon 3B Aramis Ramirez
C #Jason Varitek 2B *Todd Walker
3B #Bill Mueller LF *Todd Hollandsworth
2B #Mark Bellhorn C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
Nothing like two of the more storied franchises meeting each other to get the national media on it's high horse. I'll let them try and still grasp for some sort of story line that still links the two clubs. If this series was last year, I'm not sure I could bear to watch the coverage, but with last year's improbable Red Sox championship run, we're all spared a bit of the melodrama. Now to more important matters and the actual game in hand. Maddog versus Cornrows, I mean Bronson Arroyo. (Does he still have that ridiculous hairdo?). Maddux so far has escaped the first two innings without allowing a baserunner while Arroyo has given up 2 homers to Burnitz and Holly and the Cubs lead 3-0 in the bottom of the second. Dusty stacked the lineup with lefties today as as they are hitting .295 versus Arroyo this year compared to righties hitting only .170. Seems to be working so far..... I'm going to go enjoy the game and hope some of that good fortune the Red Sox enjoyed last year, rubs off on the Cubbies before they leave town.
Nothing like reviewing something that isnít complete. Almost every media outlet grades each teamís respective drafts in the NBA and NFL with some randomly chosen letter grade, as if you could pass judgement on something before anyone's put on a helmet or laced up a sneaker. NFL.com writer Gregg Easterbrook, a lover of all religions, puts my distaste for rating drafts much more eloquently then I could. The reality is, and especially when it comes to the grand old pastime, that a draft can only truly be evaluated a good few years down the line. Hereís all 51 of our picks and some information, useful or not, about some of the soon to be baby Cubbies.
GAME 58 PREVIEW TORONTO BLUE JAYS (31-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (30-27) Wrigley Field, 1:15pm CT, TV: ESPN, WGN
SP Sergio Mitre SP Roy Halladay
RF Reed Johnson SS #Neifi Perez
LF *Frank Catalanotto CF *Corey Patterson
CF Vernon Wells 1B Derrek Lee
1B Eric Hinske 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Aaron Hill 2B *Todd Walker
2B #Orlando Hudson LF Jason Dubois
SS *Russ Adams LF *Todd Hollandsworth
C Ken Huckaby C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
John got a bit tied up with other matters, I assume of vast importance, for how else could he dare shun his TCR duties? A demerit for him.... It was another disappointing loss last night, thanks in part to a mental lapse by Will Ohman (not covering first extended the eighth and the next hitter singled home a run) and then an unfortunate throwing error by NEIFI! (the ball squirted away from the outstretched Derrek Lee, resulting in another Blue Jay score). Two runs on two very makeable plays. The difference in last night's game? You guessed it: two runs. So today, although the game hasn't quite reached "must-win" status, more like "good idea to win" status, the Cubs trot out Sergio Mitre versus former Cy Younger Roy Halladay. Halladay has regained his 2003 form, it appears - he's 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA and 4.53 K/BB ratio. On paper it looks like the Cubs are set up to be swept, but, as the saying goes, that's why they play the games. Sergio has shutdown the Blue Jays for six innings so far and the first four and one-thirds of those innings were of the perfect variety before Aaron Hill reached on an infield single. Not impressed by the Cubs' offense, Sergio has contributed with the bat as well, doubling in a run and then scoring on a single by Corey. It's 2-0 Cubs entering the top of the 7th and Mitre is back on the mound with Ohman up in the pen. Keep it up....
Part 1: History of the Cubs draft Part 2: Trades & GMís Part 3: The Couldaí Been Cubs Weíve strolled through the tortured history of the Cubs draft, which perfectly leads us up to draft day 2005. A number of excellent articles exploring the history of the draft have come out in recent days and I recommend checking these out. Alan Schwarz The Magic of #5 Alan Schwarz Best, Worst Draft Picks Peter Gammons A Draft Unlike Any Other As for the Cubbies, theyíre slotted to pick 20th and scouting director, John Stockstill has only one philosophy when it comes to the draft,
We take the best available talent. To me, the only way to [draft] is to stack up the players, take the best ones, and that's it."
Here are some of the names being rumored to possibly be the Cubs first round pick.
BLUE JAYS 4 CUBS 1
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart
W: Gustavo Chacin (6-4) L: John Koronka(1-1) SV: Miguel Batista (10)
That certainly was an unfortunate loss. I didn't see the play where Gustavo Chacin reached on a sacrifice bunt but it sounded like a somewhat ill-advised decision to try and nail the lead runner. I did see the pitch to Reed Johnson that landed in the bleachers and there was nothing wrong with it. It appeared to be a low slider, well below the knees that Johnson just happened to turn around for a three run blast. With Jerome Williams having a few successful starts in Iowa, Kornonka's major league debut with the big league club may be a short one. The Cubs offense struggled mightily, wasting a few scoring opportunities early in the game, particularly annoying was Jerry Hairston grounding into a double play to end the second with Michael Barrett on third. The next respectable Cubs scoring opportunity didn't come again until the 9th and once again was thwarted by the double play. It began well enough, when Aramis Ramirez homered to leadoff the inning and then continued the rally by getting runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Up comes Todd Walker pinch hitting for Jose Macias and representing the tying run. No, wait, back goes Todd Walker and up comes Jose Macias, 2 for 3 on the day. Dusty for no good reason pinch hit for Hairston with Corey Patterson the 8th and now was short a man on the bench. So he called back Walker, hoping Macias would do anything except hit into a double play.....grounder up the middle, easy 6-6-3 game ender. Tomorrow it's more night baseball at Wrigley, as Glendon Rusch tries to maintain his Cy Young pace and keep his ERA under 2.00 and the Cubs try to regain their winning ways.
Part 1 Part 2 Trivia Question: Name two current NFL players who were once drafted by the Cubs? I'll end this look back at the Cubs drafts through the years by looking at some of the players the Cubs had a chance at obtaining or gave up too early on. This is all for fun and there are no fingers being pointed here. Just a frivolous look at who could have been Cubbies if the things broke the right way. In Part I, I introduced the all-time greatest drafted Cubs, a list of players drafted by the Cubs and their contributions as Cubs. Here's that list again to spur your memory.

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