I'm worried that our best hitter and best pitcher are two of the most injury-prone players in the game
I'm worried that we signed Dempster back before the economy completely tanked, and wound up over-paying.
I'm worried that the Dempster overpay caused us to trade away DeRosa, which, I worry, has greatly weakened our bench.
And, I worry, has greatly weakened our chemistry, whatever the hell that is.
I'm worried that Carlos Marmol will tire of his experiment living
amongst humans, and decide to return to his normal, alien form, go back
to the mothership, and report to the Martians that no, the earthlings
do not offer any worthy baseball competition. Marmol the Martian will
then leave us as he explores other worlds in search of competition.
I'm worried that Carlos Zambrano is on the Livan Hernandez Career Arc.
I'm worried that you, gentle reader, won't follow me below the fold...
I'm worried that in a secret laboratory in Wyoming, DARPA is cloning Joe Morgan, with the intent of disappearing Len and Bob in May and replacing them with the first of an army of Joe Morgan clones. The clones will be programmed to plant subliminal anti-American, totalitarian messages in their commentary that eventually will lead to an army of brainwashed baseball fans who overthrow society and institute a New World Order based on moving the runner over and expensive suits.
I'm worried that Fukudome simply isn't a very good hitter.
I'm worried that after his first burst of personality and temper, Milton Bradley will get the type of treatment that Cubs "fans" have given Hundley, Hawkins, Jacque Jones and others, and will handle it about as well as his predecessors did.
I'm worried that when I then defend Bradley and call out the people giving him a hard time, I'll be run out of TCR on a rail.
I'm worried that not enough people appreciate what it literally means to get run out of town on a rail. It HURTS, damnit!
I'm worried that I just insulted the historical and sadistical literacy of my readers.
I'm worried that in our effort to free up money to get Bradley and/or Peavy, money we wouldn't have had to free up had we not overpaid on Soriano, Fukudome, and most recently Dempster, we let Wood go when we shouldn't have. I'm worried that Kevin Gregg is no Kerry Wood.
I'm worried that without Hank White, Cubs fans will struggle to find an appropriate new scrub on whom to fixate. It's just not nearly as much fun to be a part of the Aaron Miles fan club.
I'm worried that Joey Gathright will encourage other Cubs to try jumping over cars. Ryan Theriot will try jumping over a Hummer, and when he fails, I no longer will have to worry that Theriot is unlikely to match his BABIP from last year.
I'm worried about pretty much all of our non-Marmol the Martian bullpen pitchers.
I'm worried that since the Cubs have the easiest schedule in baseball we will spend the season over-estimating our club's talent and then be stunned when we're easily handled in the playoffs.
I'm worried that the rest of the TCR authors think of me as their own Milton Waddams.
I'm worried that Derrek Lee's 90 point drop in OPS last year wasn't a fluke.
I'm worried that none of the minor-league gurus is very impressed with our farm system once you get passed Vitters.
I'm worried that the one guy who we can least afford to lose is our catcher.
and that I'll never have hair as nice as him.
I'm worried that I'm out of practice at spelling Samardzija.
I'm not at all worried about Ted Lilly or Mike Fontenot. They'll be fine.
I'm worried that Rod Blagojevich has sent out his goons to get me, in retaliation for my ground-breaking reporting on the Cubs' role in his corruption charges. I already have very oddly shaped knees, and don't need Blago's goons wailing on them. And it'd hurt.
I'm worried that we're going to spend the next decade regretting the Nolasco for Pierre trade
I'm worried that the Cubs will bring Billy Jo Robidoux out of retirement to be Lee's backup at first, which will bring about two catacylsmic events. First, Ron Santo will spontaneously combust the first time Pat Hughes calls a Theriot-Fontenot-Robidoux double-play. Second, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Lou Dobbs will march on Wrigley demanding we employ only full-blooded Americans, not fake Cajun-Americans. Lou Dobbs will cast a hex on Wrigley, declaring we shall not win a world series for..... well.... for even longer.
I'm worried about Hendry's latest collection of scrub utility infielders.
I'm worried that I don't yet have plans for getting to a Cubs game this season.
I'm worried about Grey Goo.
And vinous, prehensile plants that can strangle you in the night.
I'm worried that all three of those things will, at some point this year, injure Harden, provoke a fight with Bradley, then injure Bradley in the fight.
I'm worried that Prince Fielder will tire of his vegetarian diet, and in a explosive fit of long-repressed gluttounous urges, gnaw off the head of Aaron Miles after he hits a single and stands on first.
And that he then will floss with Sean Marshall.
I worry that the Reds might actually be a pretty good team.
I worry that the Rays and Red Sox are clearly the two best teams in baseball as the season starts.
I worry that Batting Stance Guy does a better Soriano than Soriano does.
I'm worried that I've over-played this column, and that you, dear reader, will pan it in the comments.
deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.
Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?
NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.
If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.