Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Make that 12-0...

That's Randy Johnson versus the Cubs lifetime, with one no-decision. What happened to the Big Unit that got slammed by the Cubs in Spring Training?! Johnson was pitching brilliantly - he was ahead in the count with nearly every batter, which led to a night of offensive futility for a team that has been jacking the ball as of late (Entering Monday's game, the Cubs were second in the National League in hitting with a .289 team average - who would have thought!). On the other side of the mound, the big Z struggled throughout the night. Losses are never easy to take, but they are a lot easier to swallow after a 6 game winning streak - I was surprisingly calm during this blowout as I was listening to the game on the drive back from Chicago (normally in situations like this - drivers who happen to glance see a crazed lunatic pounding on the driving wheel and shouting at no one in particular).

Cub-fan-mania and superstition

It never ceases to amaze me the degree to which individual Cubs fans think the game turns on their own personal actions and the peculiarities of those around them. Anyway – Al Yellon has probably one of the best Cubs blogs out there – it is one of the two that I have to read every day - the other being Derek’s well written and insightful comments at the Big Red C">. Al’s superstitious eccentricities absolutely crack me up – you get a good dose of them after nearly every game. He had this gem in a recent post:

Among them were things from CurseBreaker, an outfit that's making cute little goat stuffed animals and keychains, in yet another silly attempt to break the "goat curse".

Now, I think that stuff has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. And if they really wanted to break the curse, they'd do what Billy Goat Sianis wanted to do in 1945 -- let the goat come to a game with a ticket and sit in a seat. Parading a goat around the infield isn't going to cut it.

But anyway, I took one of the keychains and put it in my backpack.

Since the Cubs won yesterday, I'll leave it in there for the rest of the season.

I think that our cult would make an interesting sociological study - we could compare how the various phenomena exhibited in the Cubs games affects fan actions with how cycles of prosperity/scarcity affect African tribal behavior. I could be wrong, but I’ll bet there would be quite a few similarities. :-)

Guaranteed a .500+ April

With four games remaining in the month, the Cubs are assured of finishing above .500, for the second season in a row no less. Any idea when the last time was that the Cubs put together back-to-back winning April’s? The 84 & 85 seasons (12-8 in '84 and 12-6 in '85) – Doh!!! Let’s hope that is where the similarities end.

Looking ahead: (From the Official Cubs web site)

The pitching matchups are set for the Cubs-Cardinals series this weekend in St. Louis. Kerry Wood will open against Woody Williams on Friday, followed by Matt Clement vs. Jeff Suppan on Saturday, Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Morris on Sunday, and Sergio Mitre vs. Jason Marquis on Monday.

Should be good!