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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  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 40 min 17 sec ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 3 hours 33 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 3 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 6 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 7 hours 58 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 12 hours 44 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 12 hours 45 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 22 hours 26 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 1 day 1 hour 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 1 day 1 hour 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 1 day 1 hour 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 1 day 1 hour ago view