Hey, so, that story of mine? Totally updated. You should read that.
I’ve decided that, from now on, I’ll be publishing new chapters twice a week (which is what I’ve been doing anyhow, but now it’s official); short chapters on Thursdays, long chapters on Saturdays. So we’ll see if I can hold to that update schedule.
I know. Shut up.
Stephen Strasburg will need Tommy John surgery, so he’s likely to be out of action until 2012 and who knows if he’ll be any good afterward — Fransisco Liriano is looking like he’s almost back to form (four years later), but a lot of pitchers never fully recover from TJ.
But, hey, Strasburg mania was fun while it lasted! Good luck, Aroldis Chapman, with being the next big thing once the Cincinnati Reds call you up to the Majors and make you struggle under this arm-destroying assbasket.
Sammy Sosa is all bent out of shape because the Cubs didn’t retire his number. It says so on the internet, so it must be true.
Don’t be dense, Sammy. Sure, you left on rough terms with the Cubs, and, sure, you’re looking mighty odd these days, but I think we both know why the Cubs don’t retire your number. No? No guesses at all? Here’s a hint. The Cubs just don’t need that kind of PR trouble right now, what with new ownership, a new manager, and a team that’s going to lose a hundred goddamn games this year.
Also, holy shit, Sammy, the Cubs don’t retire a lot of numbers. Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins, and Greg Maddux — that’s it. They didn’t retire Andre Dawson’s number, or Mark Grace’s number, or even goddamn Cap Anson’s… persona, I guess, since they didn’t wear numbers back then. I gotta say, it’d be a nice gesture, but at least Grace has to be in line in front of you, man. So cool out the angst in re: Tyler Colvin, hey?
Hey, Darien fans, have you heard my famous story? If you haven’t been following it, now’s a great time to jump in — it’s still a manageable size (just a hair under fifteen thousand words), and the next chapter doesn’t hit until Thursday, so you have a few days to get up to speed. Since it’s a blog, the older chapters are on the bottom, which is a little bit annoying; if anybody knows any decent plugins to create like a "digest" page that contains (or even just links to) all the chapters with the oldest ones on top, please let me know.
Seriously, read that shit. I absolutely 100% promise that it does not contain:
• Spider temples
• Amnesiac heroes
• Dark elfs
• Orcs and goblins and spider orcs cunningly renamed "darkspawn" so maybe nobody will notice
• Gaunt, crying women pining for their lost loves
• Wood elfs
Meanwhile, I promise it does contain:
• Sneaky inside jokes that probably nobody but me will get, but, hey, there you are
Well, in about an hour, Lou Piniella will retire, which is like 40 games early. Or a year too late, depending on how you look at it. I don’t blame him; I’d take the plunge myself rather than suffer through another month-and-a-half of the 2010 Cubs.
The bright spot from my perspective is that the Cubs are naming Mike Quade as interim manager, and apparently are also considering him as the new full-time manager, which is awesome. Mike Quade rules. He’s like a crazy food fanatic, and he’ll murder you if you piss him off.
I love Mike Quade so much I even know how to pronounce his name, which isn’t at all like you probably think.
The Cubs are horrible. Heartbreakingly, disgustingly horrible. Horribawful. I mean really, really bad. So I’m pissed off to begin with. And then in their death throes they go and trade away my pretty pony. So now I’m really pissed.
Then, just to piss me off even more, along comes this asshole to pile on. I guess he’s called Mark Potash, and now I’ll put my foot in his article.
Derrek Lee’s legacy in Chicago is one that many will ignore: Nothing he did here as a Cub could quite erase the pain he inflicted as a Marlin.
I mean, seriously, this is just the first line of this article, and already you’re being so stupid that I’m just swearing at you instead of actually critiquing anything. You want a critique? Okay, here’s a critique: that pain was inflicted a little bit by Mark Prior, a little bit by Dusty Hollingsworth Baker-Stupid, but mostly by the other Alex Gonzalez, who booted the world’s most routine double-play ball and virtually handed the stupid Fish the win.
Now, did you notice anything all those people have in common? That’s right: they were all Cubs personnel. We did that shit to ourselves. That is the common theme of the epic 2003 collapse. Nobody blames Derrek Lee, except your own crazy ass.
Lee’s acknowledgement Wednesday of the "negative environment" at Wrigley Field was dripping with irony. With all due respect, it is Lee who — unwittingly — had a huge hand in creating that environment.
What are you, seven years old? The Cubs have been losing for way longer than that. No less a personage than Greg Maddux is on record saying that the Cubs had a negative environment back in the late 80s and early 90s — but you know when the Cubs didn’t have a negative environment? 2003 and 2007. Can you guess why?
Seriously, Diane, get a grip. Negative environment is a side-effect of the team with the third-highest payroll in MLB losing a hundred games. Ask the Mets about that sometime; bet you they’ll agree.
Also, you know what Lee actually said? Can you guess? Here it is:
"I think having to hear about losing kind of puts you in a negative environment. I don’t think that’s conducive to winning."
Wow, really called out the horribleness of the Cubs there, didn’t he.
As a Marlin in 2003, it was his bases-loaded double in the eighth inning off Mark Prior — right after the infamous “Gonzalez Play” — that tied Game 6 of the NLCS against the Cubs and sparked the six-run rally that started the Cubs on the road to ruin. It was his tie-breaking single off Kerry Wood in Game 7 that was the game-winning hit in the Marlins’ clinching victory.
So I just have one question here. How did Derrek Lee score six runs with one double? Oh, right — because the Cubs fucked up two routine plays in a row and let the Marlins load the bases. And then continued to bleed runs after Lee was already gone.
From here he just says the same things over and over again. Well, anyhow, until this gem:
The Cubs are hitting .259 as a team this season — the same team average they had in 2003. But they’re hitting six points lower (.253) with runners in scoring position.
Holy mother of fuck. Six points? Fucking SIX points of team batting average? That’s the stat you want to make your case around? I don’t even know what to say to that.
No, wait, yes I do: that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. .253 and .259 are the same. That is the same batting average. Six addition hits per THOUSAND at-bats means not a goddamn thing. Here are a few things more important than that idiot stew you’re pretending is analysis:
• The Cubs sucked at hitting in 2003, and suck at hitting again in 2010. If only there were some other element in baseball; something else that could be different… oh, wait, there is! There’s goddamn pitching. The Cubs had otherworldly pitching in 2003, with Prior, Wood, Zambrano, and Clement all pitching out of their minds, and a bullpen full of nobodies like Mike Remlinger and Kyle Farnsworth and Joe Borowski who had absolutely amazing years. The 2010 Cubs? The starting pitching’s been tolerable, but the bullpen has been unstoppably bad. That’s the difference right there — not some effectively nonexistent difference between BA and BA/RISP.
• The Cubs’ actually-good bullpen in 2003 allowed Dusty Hollingsworth Baker-Stupid to pitch Prior and Wood for about ten thousand innings down the stretch, effectively ending their careers in exchange for a playoff berth. Loopy Nella wouldn’t think of that even if it were an option. Because it’s a dumb option.
• OMg the curSE!!!
So that’s it for that jackass. Good riddance. But over here is some ugly motherfucker who’s written an even dumber smear piece! I’m not going to attack the whole thing, because it’s really beneath my intellectual level. I’ll just pick on this one piece:
Derrek Lee joined the club Wednesday as he greeted the media with a big smile after waiving his 10-and-5 rights to join a winning organization.
Derrek Lee’s contract had a full no-trade clause. I mean, sure, he also had 10-and-5, but it didn’t really matter, since he had a full no-trade clause. Research is hard, though.
Understand, this is the same guy who rejected a trade to the Angels because he didn’t want to uproot his family. But now he agreed to join the Braves because they’re in first place. Which is it, pal? Family or first place? Or is it just whatever’s convenient?
• Are out of playoff contention
• Play in Los Angeles, which is 1739 miles from Chicago
• Already have a star first baseman who is on the DL
• Are, with Derrek Lee, 94.1% likely to make the playoffs
• Play in Hotlanta, which is 718 miles from Chicago
• Do not have a first baseman, like, at all
These are all differences. But I’m sure you’re right — it was a personal insult to you. Or whatever the fuck you’re whining about.
Look, I like Lee. I respect his professionalism.
Look, I don’t like you. I find your lack of professionalism pretty repulsive. And you’re ugly.
Whenever baseball is pissing me off, I like to step back, take a deep breath, and then go see what the Mets are up to. The Mets are honestly reason enough for anyone on Earth to be a baseball fan, because they are the funniest thing ever imagined.
So. K-Rod is out for the season with surgery on his pitching hand. The AP writeup goes a little something like this:
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has a torn thumb ligament in his pitching hand and will need surgery to repair the injury, which presumably was sustained when punching his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field.
Good. Good writing, AP. But it wouldn’t be the Mets if they couldn’t make this situation even funnier; apparently they’re now considering attempting to void K-Rod’s contract. This would be awesome for them — just like this guy says — because they’re giving him a totally hilarious overpay. Which is why, incidentally, they won’t be able to trade him (I’m talking to you, Klapisch).
But I love this part:
If the Mets manage to void Rodriguez’s contract, it would be a major coup for both the Wilpons and GM Omar Minaya.
Given that the Wilpons and GM Omar Minaya are the boneheads who gave him that bloated contract in the first place, I think it downgrades from "major coup" to "slight saving grace."
Thanks, Mets! I feel much better now.
I have nothing to say about this. It’s just another entry on a long list of reasons why I’ll be killing myself.
I would like to quote this comment, though:
In general, we expect one team in 20 to be more than 2 standard deviations from the mean – the 2000-2010 Cubs just happen to be that team. If you look at the 1990′s, there will probably be a different team in that category – but it isn’t interesting unless it’s the Cubs.
And then I would like to remind baseball to fuck off and die.
Remember this post from two weeks ago where Jeff Passan was all like "how long can Rich Harden stay healthy?" and I was all "zero" and we all laughed?
The game is mine, internet. Now, bonus comedy:
"We have to make sure that this doesn’t get worse," manager Ron Washington said. "He’s such a valuable asset."
James Richard Harden, 2010: 74.1 IP, 1.9 HR/9, 6.1 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 80 ERA+, 5.82 xFIP, -0.2 WAR
How are you defining "valuable," Ron Washington?