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.

Recent comments

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 7 hours 56 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 8 hours 40 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 8 hours 42 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 9 hours 13 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 10 hours 17 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 12 hours 12 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 16 hours 42 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 7 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 7 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view