Czech, please!

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

=================

After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

I've been to Europe several times and remember the days before mlb was so accessible on the internet. In Med School, I was in London and Paris "studying" for 6 weeks toward the tail end of my senior year and remember following the 1984 Cubs via newspaper info only. The International Herald Tribune was about my only daily source and the info was usually 48-72 hours old. Their friday edition was actually friday-saturday-sunday, so there would be no scores for 3 days and the monday edition often didn't have any of the sunday results yet.  So on my recent vacation just for grins I looked at the "sports section" of the IHT and nothing has changed. MLB Standings and 2-3 day old results with a minimal top news story often about bicycling or tennis. 

I needed to travel light on this trip so no laptop computer,  just my iPhone set up with an extended data package for what is fairly pricey internet access. I did have the new mlb at-bat application, which is essentially mlb's gameday for cell phones. Apple had just upgraded their software the morning I was leaving for Europe. Given the glitches at Apple that morning with everyone trying to download the new software,  I got a bit lucky getting the download completed with 15 minutes to spare. I was panicking an hour before leaving home as the software upgrade wasn't happening and I couldn't go back to the earlier version without losing my phone software. Visions that I might be going back to the days of IHT hell danced in by brain.  Fortunately the download completed and I might have been the first Chicagoan to have the iPhone 2.0 software. Alas, no slingbox this trip, which is the ideal way follow from afar if you have wi-fi (but that's another story).

The first hotel we stayed in (Munich) had free wi-fi and computer access in the lobby (but not in the hotel room). Given the time being 7 hours ahead, that first evening in Munich, I was following the Saturday noon start game against the Giants, Rich Harden's debut. As you recall he left with a 7-0 lead and as it was almost 9pm, I headed back to the room to crash with that secure feeling of having a game in the W column. You know the rest but since I was messed up from Jet Lag, I woke up around 3 am, couldn't get back to sleep and went back down to the hotel lobby to check out the other final scores. Two hours later...after trying to sort out what the hell happened, I was finally able to crash. Welcome to the Cubs, Rich Harden. Oh, and in Munich don't miss the Viktualienmarkt, where you can have the popular Frühstück of Weisswurst (white sausage) and sweet mustard (Weisswurstseif), sauerkraut with a pretzel and a Pilsner for breakfast although it was really more of a late night snack, Chicago time.

The trip was planned so I could miss the fewest games during the season, so it was a premeditated act to relinquish the all-star week for this vacation. I did follow some of the mid-season classic, using the gameday feed as Dempster finished the 9th. It was tough to follow much beyond that for it was the wee hours of the early Vienna morning. My Cubbie paranoia had me figuring that it would end about the 12th inning with Marmol blowing the game, permanently ruining his confidence and forcing him to enter the land of Steve Blass disease. Fortunately, Marmol was great in his inning of all-star glory and we get to forever kick Dan Uggla and Brad Lidge around instead. In Vienna, we loved the Leopold Museum and don't miss the pastries although you can get them in Chicago right here.

We were in Prague after the All-Star break and the night games were tougher to follow closely as by now I was adjusting to the time zone and an 8 pm start translated to 3 am in Prague. I did gameday watch the 5 run ninth inning in the game Dempster pitched a complete game shutout to avoid a sweep in Houston.  On the last morning on the trip, I awoke about 4 am to catch the last 4 innings of the Randy Johnson vs. Rich Harden game with his almost a no-no. It must have been a very depressing game to watch in real time let alone on a cell phone at 4:30 am in a hotel in the Czech Republic. Ah, Prague. Wonderful city of Bohemian Crystal, Czech deep red garnet jewelry and Smažený sýr (a local cheese dish)...yep, it's just like going to Wisconsin.

See you at Miller Park tuesday night, it's Little Cubster's 23 birthday party! We're rooting for WeissWurst in the sausage race.

Comments

Yo doc,

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?

Slingbox + iPhone? thoughts?
---------
the slingbox people did announce it's coming to the iPhone at the MacWorld conf last January, just don't know how soon. Probably >6 months is my guess. It took them a year to come out with the slingbox for mac although it works really well on a fast internet connection (ie. Wi-Fi or 3G).

To quote my hero, Peter Griffin:

Freakin' sweet!

Ahh, you were in Munich a week after I spent 15 hours there trying to connect flights. I had the white sausage for breakfast as well. It's pretty bland without mustard.

It was great to see Marmol throwing so well. He looked like he did in May, Zeus-like. Wood is "not close," Howry has been shitty, but Marmol, Gaudin, and Samardzija look like the new late inning options.

Nice to take game 1, looking forward to the Z-Sheets matchup tonight.

I don't know what I'd do without the internet. Living in Rome for 5 years a decade or two ago would, I imagine, just about cure me of my Cubs' addiction, but thankfully TCR and, probably, MLB.TV are around to make sure that doesn't happen. It is frustrating to not find out the scores of the current Brewers series, for example, until they're several hours old. Of course, the excitement/anxiety of living the play-by-play is probably something I can do with out as well.

let me say, not only does the lineup suck, but please stop posting game threads!

Here in Manila the internet is all I depend on. ESPN here will show the Cubs live maybe about 3 or 4 times all season.

Sorry Cubster. Vienna Pastry has closed.

However, Lutz on the North Side on Montrose is still open as far as I know.

I had my first taste of Lutz in utero. My mom's friends threw her a baby shower there.

And yup, it's still around.

We're so damn lost. Where the hell is Innsbruck, Austria?

Well then.... Goodaayy Mate!!!!!! Throw another shrimp on the Barbie!

5.8 earthquake in the middle of the day and i'm on the 7th floor. Fun times.

You ok over there?

That was fun.

it's all good, epicenter was like 45 miles away...the building swaying was the real fun part. It does that some times when it's super-windy.

 

 

bill hicks' Arizona Bay beachfront property has to wait another day.

i don't think that Bill Hick's will be buying beach front property any time in the next, i'd say, eternity.

(i know, i know)

I guess if your building doesn't swing, that's when you're really in trouble.

I looked out the window when I was on the 8th floor of a hotel in Manilla once during a quake and it looked like something from a cartoon. All the buildings around swaying haphazardly, scariest thing I ever saw.

I wonder was that in the 90's or the 2000's? The last truly massive quake we had here was in 1991, but only a few pretty noticeable ones since then.

It was 2004 I think, sometime between August and October. Never heard the number, but it was enough to wake me up and make me wonder 'what the hell is going on'?

Edit: The beauty of the interweb:

http://english.people.com.cn/200410/09/eng20041009...

6.2 at the epicenter I guess.

Oh yeah remember that one. I was having late dinner at the time. Good thing I live on the ground floor where it's not as shaky :)

In my best Keanu Reaves "whoa"....

What part of LA do you work in , Rob?

beverly hills...

Are you a plastic surgeon Rob?

yup, I parachat even during surgeries.

 

You must have been working on Bruce Jenner during the 2007 NLDS

Or game 3 or the 89 World series

That wins the thread in a runaway.

to the Angels for Kotchman and P Stephen Marek.

crazy good deal for LAA.

even if they dont keep teix they get to pay a 1st round pick replacement less money than they'd pay for a power-streaky kotchman the next few years.

LAA gets a playoff push with very little downside unless marek makes more for himself than people expect.

I can't believe the Braves didn't at least get Adenhart or Walden.

seems fair for a 2-month rental....

I think Kotchman will only get better getting out of Anaheim which is really tough on lefties.

 

I think it's a better haul than the 2 first round picks if he left at season's end.

that's the thing...i dont think kotchman is any more that a 20HR 30-double guy who's not gonna walk a lot. some think he's ready to break out with his power. personally, i think a guy who swings and makes contact with as much stuff as he does should be showing more of that power by now.

i also don't like his prospects playing in ATL/FLA/NYM parks.

and i don't really understand why rotoworld (and some others i assume) want to paint marek as a future closer.

those that think highers of either or both would have a view i dont, f'sure. it's not a slam-dunk thing based on a flaw or anything.

atl is a launching pad and who knows what new shea will be like. and we all know about philadelphia.

Turner field is an average park (this year is 6th in runs scored and 05 it was 8th, but in 06 and 07 it was 21st and 24th in that department) and Citi Field (New Shea) is suppose to be pretty identical to Shea.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor?sea...

Its a good deal for both sides. LA3 needed a run producer and Atlanta needed cheap talent. Though I wish they would have waited until Thursday to do this because this is going to be one boring trade deadline as Jose Guillen is the best player who might get dealt.

well the old atlanta was known as "the launching pad", the new one plays a little more for pitchers. That being said, it doesn't have the dead West Coast night air or the big wall in RF.

"those that think highers of either or both"

my god...i dont know where to start with that one.

i should use that preview more often...or type less than 3987294872394 wpm.

He had some pretty solid BB numbers last year, but that's regressed this year. His HR's and K's are trending in the right direction, so I guess his hitting coach Bakerized him, and he's being more aggressive early in the count. After last year, he looked like another Mark Grace in the making. This year, hard to say, but first basemen who slug .440 and have a OBP in the .320's are not going to have long careers.

Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 49 min 39 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 50 min 40 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 31 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 13 hours 29 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 13 hours 50 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 13 hours 56 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 14 hours 50 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 15 hours 8 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 15 hours 28 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 31 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 48 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 53 min ago view