The Chicago Cubs—Your 2008 NL Central Executioners

Out of the corner of my eye last night, the one corner that wasn't marveling at how grotesquely obese Prince Fielder has become, I noticed what was happening to a couple of our National League Central friends:

The Cardinals, who were officially eliminated from the division race last night, were continuing to get their brains beaten in (six straight losses, five straight road losses, and 10 road losses in their last 11 tries), and the Astros were continuing to not hit (a 5-1 loss at Florida, which means Houston has scored two runs in three games).

Most everyone agrees that the Cards overachieved all season long and that they haven't been viable contenders for quite a while. However, if LaRussa & Co. had any flickering hopes, the Cubs went a very long way toward snuffing them out with their series win in St. Louis last week.

As for the Astros...

well, we all know about the Astros. They were baseball's hottest team, a fairy tale in the making, until Hurricane Ike, No-Hit Carlos, and One-Hit Ted got hold of them. Now they've lost three in a row for the first time in 56 days, and they find themselves three games behind the Wild Card-leading Mets. Suddenly their season is a lot less sunny.

All of that is to say nothing of how the Cubs have contributed to the Brewers' misery. While Milwaukee's September tailspin had nothing to do directly with the Cubs, their spirits couldn't have been lifted by watching the events taking place on their own home field Sunday night and Monday afternoon. Then, when they do go face-to-face with the Cubs, their previously untouchable pitching ace gets beaten, and now they get to read about how much the Cubs enjoyed using their lockerroom and even THEIR WHIRLPOOL TUB!

Yes, life in the NL Central is beautiful.

Just beautiful.

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Comments

Actually I guess the Brewers' spirits were lifted a bit by watching the Cubs beat the Astros Monday, they certainly weren't saddened by it.

Practically speaking, you're right. I was referring more to the indiginity I imagine they felt seeing the Cubs celebrating on their field.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the Cubs magic number to clinch home field advantage is 5.

Right?

for once, you are correct about something.

zing

I hadn't noticed this posted elsewhere, but Cubs 2009 Schedule is out.

They open the Season at Houston and at Milwaukee. The home opener is against the Rockies.

They play Milwaukee 7 times and St. Louis 3 times in September. The regular season ends with a 6 game homestand vs. the Pirates and DBacks.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_i...

AL Central next year..

ROAD TRIP...to Detroit. Wait, maybe I'll skip that one.

That would be great. Sure, Detroit is s***, but Comerica is the balls.

They go to SD twice unless its a misprint for one to be SF.

And weekday series against Sox at Wrigley

shows a 4-game set @ SF in Sept, strange to have 2 road series vs Padres, but Padres schedule shows the same thing.

You know I have never been too keen on the idea of the Cubs building a new ball park but i think that article about how the Cubs really like Miller park probably changed that.

Who knows if having a bigger clubhouse, with more space for weights and spa's is more beneficial to a team? I think it could very well help with strength and conditioning and keeping players on the field. Just an opinion though.

I really like the idea's of tearing down Wrigley and building a replica in the same spot only with all the bells and whistles. The only other thought would be where do the Cubs play for the next 3-4 years when it is being built? Because I don't think they can do it over the Winter, lol. And i think with a newer park the rooftop people would be out of business.

probably work out something where they share Comiskey and Miller Park. It would probably cost them 2 seasons, possibly just one.

Relaxed players probably are better players.

I would imagine they could gut Wrigley and play a year at Comiskey.

Especially if Cuban is the owner.

im one of those people that could care less about wrigley.

it's pretty to look at and that's about it for me.

as long as they keep the organ and/or don't start having "intro/batting" music or blasting rap and 80s rock between innings i'm happy wherever they're playing.

Me too.

But I think to be profitable they need atleast two more rows of skyboxes from pole to pole (on roof and below) to make the money they will need.

Also I would want a replay score board on each side of the roof by the poles encles the stadium around the poles.

Just ask me I have the drawings on a cocktail napkin.

I like poles.

But not Dick Pole.

yeah...to be fair i really enjoy the OF view...the scoreboard, the ivy, the bleachers (very classy/transparent impact upgrade), and the backdrop of the buildings behind it.

ultimately, i could care less if they stay or go, but i guess i should stick with what i know to be good if i truly don't care. i'll ponder that one some other year.

i could talk about the impact of not getting players based on the cruddy clubhouse, bullpen waiting/warming area, training facilities...but really, things like all the day games have more proven impact on that it seems.

Wait, you could care less...so you DO care? That's not what go onto talk about, though. I'm so confused.

i do have the emotional capacity to care less if so desired.

also,

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hehe...

I was harboring a secret expectation (desire?) for that response! I'm p'sychic.

And this is why we love you.

I think he should be the mascot for the 2008 World Champion Cubs. That's right, I said it.

Whatever happened to the plan to build a new building between the current park and Clark - where the players currently park? I thought a couple of years ago they were talking about building something there that would have given some extra clubhouse space and other facilities for the team.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/expansion...

I remember Kenney saying they would hold off until they could get more funds and probably until the sale was done. I also thought it was just retail space and more corporate office stuff rather than anything for the players.

They could always play a season at the University of Illinois... oh wait -- that's been done...

so when the cubs make the world series in 2009
and some team takes us to game 7 according
to espn that game is played on november 5th
brrrrrrrrr

Don't worry. Games 6 and 7 will be in sunny Anaheim, CA!

I don't know much about the inside of Wrigley, but isn't there a cheap way to build an awesome state-of-the art clubhouse for the players without tearing the whole thing down?

I realize it's old and there is not a lot of space inside, but you'd think you could knock down some walls inside and expand the clubhouse at the expense of other places, or build some sort of extension on one of the sides or something. I don't know.

Surely they could just put some of those troughs in the clubhouse and fill them with hot water for a jacuzzi when they're not being used for their main purpose.

They've pretty much maxed out the space in Wrigley.

Take the media interview room, for example. On TV, it looks like it might be your standard, maybe even nice, room. It's a dungeon. It's in this little crevice off the walkway to the field/clubhouse where they keep excess grounds crew crap. And the room itself is about the size of a condo's master bedroom.

Actually on TV it still looks like a dungeon. a really nice dungeon.

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  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 10 min 21 sec ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 22 min 31 sec ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 48 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 12 hours 23 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 13 hours 15 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 13 hours 48 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 13 hours 57 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 14 hours 8 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 14 hours 17 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 14 hours 24 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 14 hours 32 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 14 hours 33 min ago view