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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just Tip Your Cap, Greggie.

When you're winning, everything seems better. The air seems cleaner (well, sort of), food tastes better, your beer seems a little colder and more refreshing, the abominably hot weather seems more bearable, etc.

Not that the Cubbies would know anything about that. After dropping another decision to the Astros, 5-4, the Cubs are now perched perilously on the edge of being the worst team in the National League. They're but a game up on the woeful Pirates, and dead-even with the AAA Marlins (percentage points being the only difference between the two). They can't hit, they can't (apart from Zambrano) pitch, they can't field. Their only solid offensive contributor is on the shelf for an indeterminate time. They actually see it as a positive that they traded for the destined-for-the-bench, over-the-hill, former Astros headcase washout, probable-roider Phil Nevin. One of their big free-agent "splashes" is a guy who has no idea where the strike zone begins and ends. (Not that they're alone in that.) Their fans (and front office) keep thinking that--if they could just convince Wood and Prior not to be permanent residents on the DL--they could field a winning team. They blame their 2003 collapse on a dork wearing headphones. They've got one of the worst managers in baseball. The team owners don't care about winning, as long as they turn a profit. Their team MVP, at this point, is Wrigley Field. Wrigley--which, by the way, I visited and thoroughly enjoyed a few years back--is what brings fans out to watch the not-so-lovable losers. Their fans have, understandably, given up all hope. Desipio's usual Cubs Live! blog doesn't show up all that much anymore and, when it does, it often goes by another title: Cubs Dead, or "Pointless Exercise." Two nights ago, a group of idiot--and probably drunk--fans decided to jump up and wave their arms and be idiots during every pitch in the ninth inning. Distracting, to say the least. And yet, those were not their only stupid fans:
That is really dumb of you guys to be making fun of the Cubs player. Jacque is a great player, and yes he does have the highest batting average on the team besides Cedeno is a little ahead of him. Really you guys should think of all the things you are posting. Its terrible, I don’t see any of you guys out there playing ball. I’m not saying all of the Cubs are terrific. But Walker, Barrett, Murton, Jones, Nevin, Cedeno, Ramirez, Maddux, Marshall, and Zambrano I think are great.

Oh yeah, Corey Patterson is also a great player. He may not be a Cub but I sure wish he still would be.
The only positive I can see in these two Desipio posts is that, at least the seven-year-old fans haven't given up hope, I guess.

Despite all of the Cubbies' obvious shortcomings, the ever-myopic Greg Maddux--who should have retired two years ago rather than tarnish what was a stellar career--can't come to grips with the facts that (a) he ain't what he used to be, (b) he's not that effective when he isn't getting 4-inch-off-the-plate balls called as strikes, and (c) he just got his arse whupped last night. Rather than acknowledge that the 'Stros beat him into submission with 11 hits and 5 runs, Greggie offered the following weak excuse:
"I left pitches up with two strikes that I was trying to throw in the dirt," Maddux said. "It's kind of a tough way to get beat. If they go down and pick it, that's one thing. But to hang pitches like that with two strikes way ahead in the count. ..."
Yeah, Greggie." But for hanging pitches last night, you would have been the Greg Maddux of old. Just tip your cap, as the rest of the Cubbies did when discussing Oswalt's performance last night, and continue to collect paychecks for mediocre, six-inning (only 84 IP in 14 starts), 76.5 pitch-per-start, performances. (Fat Rog, by contrast, was still throwing 100.1 pitches per start last year while averaging only 15.2 pitches per inning. For his career, he has never dipped below a 100-pitches-per-start average.)

Jacque Jones's choke strikeout in the 8th inning, with the tying run 90 feet away, was classic. Not only did he strike out swinging at a ball that never approached the strike zone, but he had the grace to holler out a "G-D" on his lonely trudge back to the dugout. Good idea, Jacque; your team doesn't have enough troubles without getting the Man Upstairs mad.


Blogger Phat-C said...

Greg Maddux SUCKS.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Shafty said...

ERA's almost 2 runs higher than his career ERA. Getting hit to a tune of .314 (even worse than Cletus). OPS almost 200 points higher than career average.

Time to hang it up, Greggie.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Phat-C said...

O-blah-dee, O-blah-dah, life goes on... la, la, la, la life goes on.

8:59 AM  

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