Thursday, December 13, 2007

Let's Warm Up the Stove!

Well it was amazing that our apathy here at PNR reached the point that we went through an entire season without a post! With the Cubbies centennial season (w/o a world championship) upon us, and with Hendry making some major moves, maybe we can stoke a fire in the offseason stove.

I'll give Hendry credit for being willing to throw big dollars out there again this year to land Fukudome. But the the lion's share of his other moves this winter puzzle me. So maybe we have a right fielder who will out achieve the platoon of Jones & Floyd, but I'm not convinced we have a center fielder. So far Felix Pie seems to be Corey Patterson II. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cubs continue free spending ways & sign...

Left handed Pitcher Ted Lilly to a 4 year, $40 million deal. I don't know what has gotten into Jim Hendry this off season (and unfortunately it may have come 3 years too late), but it certainly is promising.

In fact, this pessimist may start to believe that the Cubs might just be on their way to becoming the favorites in a weak NL Central division.

Certainly, the acquisition of Crazy Lou as manager looked to portend such a spending frenzy, as we suggested on this page a month and a half ago. None of us, however, expected Jim to open the purse strings so liberally.

Oh and by the way - welcome Ryno to Peoria!

We're glad to have you!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Well it has been some time since I have posted anything on the blog, pretty busy with school going in full swing, not to mention some computer problems. At any rate I have extra time this week because I am on my regularly scheduled "The Cardinals are in the World Series so I am going on Vacation" Vacation.

Being motivated also by my good friend Chris' message he left me on my cell phone about the Cardinals could be the team with the fewest wins to win the World Series. To that I publicly respond by saying "who cares". That's true, who cares, except for maybe bitter jealous Cub fans, especially those who have never had the pleasure of seeing their beloved Scrubbies play in a Fall Classic, where as I being the youngest poster on this blog have now got to see the Cardinals playing in 5 of them.

I must say my feelings are mixed so far in this one. Going into it I was hoping to not have to re-live the debacle of 2004. Chris insists the 2004 World Series was a choke job by the Cardinals, I disagree. We just ran into a buzz saw in that series and we never led at any point in the 4 games, that is no choke job. My definition of a choke job would be getting 5 outs away from your first World Series in decades, with a lead, with your ace on the mound and imploding after one of your own fans interferes in a game a denies your left fielder the chance of catching a fly ball. Then ultimately getting your bootay spanked the next night to finish off the mother of all choke jobs.

Saturday night I was just hoping to not have to re-live 2004, and was pleasantly surprised at the pitching performance of Mark Prior's college team mate at USC, and getting game 1. Then I began to get greedy and thought man if we could steal game 2 and go home up 2-0, with Carpenter and Suppan set to go, we will be in great shape. It wasn't meant to be when the ghost of Don Denkinger appeared in the shape of Kenny Rogers and "smudge gate".

I was 10 years old when the Dink screwed us in 1985, and remember it well, and I got that same feeling watching Kenny "George Brett" Rogers, the camera man beating scum bag cheat his way through a masterpiece. We got beat by a "clump of dirt" and a pitcher clearly on the juice. Not to mention footage showed the same clump of dirt on the same spot on his hand in his 2 previous outings in the postseason. Listening to the "Gambler" or "Cheater" in his post game press conference he clearly is a man lying through his teeth. The story changed three different times in a three or four minute interview.

At any rate we move on to St. Louis satisfied with a split against their best 2 pitchers, with our worst 2. Now we get to see what Detroilet can do with Carpenter and Suppan who is one of the biggest big game pitchers in the past decade or so. Jack Morris, Clemens, Smoltz and Suppan. He may not be flashy but I don't know any other pitcher going today that I would want in a big game. As attested to by his 15 innings, 1 run performance in the NLCS. Not to mention he out pitched Roger Clemens in game 7 of the 2004 NLCS. And he didn't even have a "clump of dirt" on his pitching hand.

So I got mixed feelings, excited we got out of there with a split, but bummed out by last nights game, especially to see Kenny Rogers get away with his obvious cheating ways. But I like our chances in the next 2 but that means nothing.

Cub fans should be pulling for the Cards for 2 reasons, maybe a World Championship by your arch rival will motivate the tribune to spend some cash and build a winner, and also you could say you won the season series against the the World Champions. I know most fans would not take much from that but when your relegated to pulling for the Cubs you gotta take small victories when you can get 'em. I would gladly help you Cub fans out and take a ring, even if it means being the team with the fewest wins to win the World Series.

On a side note I will admit I might have to start watching the Scrubbies again, should make for good TV watching Pinella flip out on a daily basis managing these hacks. Between him and Zambrainless, should make for some real exciting tv. I predict by the All-Star Break Lou is in a straight jacket and a padded cell.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Welcome to the north side crazy Lou!

As many of you know by now, the Cubs have brought crazy Lou Piniella on board to manage the national league ball club from Chicago.

Although some rather influential members of the CBA regard this as a negative development, we do not share that opinion.

Crazy Lou's arrival suggests that Lou himself believes that the organization is able and willing to do what it takes in the near-term to get this team back into playoff contention since Lou [reportedly] wasn't interested in long-term building projects.

Now whether Lou's belief is justified remains to be seen (clearly there must be some doubt due to the Herculean nature of that task).

At the very least though, the Cubs must have done a good job convincing Lou that they are serious about taking the necessary [and no doubt dramatic] measures to fix this miserable team.

Then again, they just installed a salesman as team President.


Well, even if none of that pans out - at the very least some of us frustrated Cubs fans can derive vicarious satisfaction through Lou's public tirades when things start heading south (as we know they inevitably will).

That’s worth quite a bit to fans who have little else to grab onto.

Lou embodies the "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!" ethos better than anyone else, and as such he is the consummate fan's choice to manage this incompetent team.

When Lou overturns a table in the clubhouse, we will feel as if he had overturned that table for us.

Turn over another one buddy!

When Lou rips up 1st base and throws it into right field, he will be throwing that base on our behalf.

Go throw 2nd into center crazy Lou!

When Lou kicks dust repeatedly onto an ump after a bogus call, we will be screaming lustily for more dirt to be kicked due to the many years of travesty that we have suffered from umpires, players, managers, and the inept organization itself!

Kick some more dirt for me!

If nothing else, I will sleep better at night knowing that someone very near to the top is as torqued-off as I am at the way things are going.

I would, however, suggest that everyone in the clubhouse keep their wallets in sight.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I don't have a clue why I'm bothering with this, but here goes.

Now that it is September, we can begin the traditional look-ahead to next year. Even with my advanced years, I can not recall a season like this one, where we could have launched this topic in May. But, since it is now OFFICIALLY September, we begin a short discussion of Cubs 2007, hopefully to be followed by the Blog being hijacked by Football season.

It looks to me like blame for the 2006 season will be placed on the resident imbecile in the manager's chair rather than where it should be, with the tag team of Hendry & Ownership. Be that as it may, I do look forward to ANYONE who dines on something other than toothpicks to be pacing the dugout next year. A lot of pundits will predict that it will be Peoria boy, Joe Girardi, who may escape the "living soap opera" in Florida. I wouldn't mind that. The only down side is that I hate to see a good, standup guy like Girardi become the next person everyone in Chicago hates. That would truely be misdirected hatred.

I would talk more about the players coming and players going, but time doesn't permit that right now. So I'll turn this column over to the readers, if we still have any.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Survey: Two questions about the 2006 season

A few days ago I stated that with the Cubs 2006 season about wrapped up, it only remains to be seen if the Sox will repeat, and if that will have any positive effect on the Northside. I think there is a good chance that the Sox will repeat and I think we all know that it will have no effect on how the lovable losers are managed.

That being said, I would like to get your opinion on two interesting topics.
1) The Cub brass will at least have to make it look like they care about this fiasco. So who will be the scapegoat for the 2006 season? Baker? Wood, by way of not re-signing him? other?

2) Okay, a bone for Randy. :) How many home runs will Pujols hit this year? And since he's presumably not doing it with steroids, how's he doing it?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Revisiting pre-season prognostications:

I hate to tell you that I told you so, but...

I published the following post on this page December 20th of last year - just after Jacque Jones was signed to a 3 year deal:

That sound you just heard...

was the sound of the Cubs 2006 season flushing down the toilet. You see, the Cubs just inked Jacque Jones to a 3-year deal:


Why are prospects for next season swirling down the johnny as a result of this signing?

Because it signals most of all that Jim Hendry just doesn't understand the extent of the problems with this team as it is currently constructed and managed.

This is not a team on the cusp of playoff contention in need only of minor improvement (and it is arguable how much improvement [if any] Jones provides over the underwhelming Jeromy Burnitz).

This is a team that is deeply flawed - and deeply flawed on a number of levels. It is especially flawed in terms of offense (or lack thereof) - but it is also a team that has a very questionable starting rotation. That's never a good combination. It's certainly not a team that will contend.

Here's the bottom line - Jacque Jones isn't the answer to what proved to be an absolutely horrendous (from an offensive standpoint) OF last year. The offensive production was downright offensive last year, if you get what I mean. And Jones isn't going to substantially improve things.

In fact you can write this down - because it comes from a baseball realist - this team as presently constructed will struggle to finish third in the division next year (and that's assuming no injuries).

You don't like that prognosis? Go over to fantasy land and get your fix of continually deferred hope. For my part, I don't deal in fantasy - only reality - and sometimes it really does bite folks.

I suspect that Jim will tell us in the near future just how "satisfied" he is with the team as presently constructed. Just like last year in fact. He was satisfied with what he had then - in fact he was pretty sure the club could "survive" when Wood, Williamson, and Garciaparra returned in early August. And that turned out splendidly as we all know.

And to be honest, I don't know why he wouldn't be "satisfied."

After all, who isn't satisfied with fourth place in the division!

It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the team Jim Hendry assembled was destined for failure. Looking forward, what will be particularly revealing is how this team will continue to ring up losses at an alarming rate even after the return of Wood and Prior.