thecubsfan.com

passive phillies

Jul
30
SDP --- v LAD (2.5 out in NL West)
CHC 2.0 v PHI
SFG 2.0 @ STL
FLA 5.0 v MON (3.5 out in NL East)
PHI 5.0 @ CHC (3.5 out in NL East) 

Way to COMPLETELY CHOKE, Phillies. I beg of you, do not stop now.

I’ve never personally run a real baseball team, but I’m thinking it might be too late in the season to fire Larry Bowa and expect a reversal of fortunes for the Phillies. My guess is it takes about a month for a new manager to get his players on the same page he is, and the Phillies don’t really have time to tread water. They’ve got this far with Bowa, and they might as well finish it out.

Plus, they don’t have to play the Marlins till 9/21. And the last series – 4 games – of the year. I have a sick desire to see the Phillies need just one win going into that series needing just one win and losing three times just to see people explode.

I think now we’ve got to start rooting for the Cardinals. Sucks. But it’d be nice to get a secure grip on at least second, since everyone else is fading away.

As much as I complain about Baseball Tonight (and rightfully so, sometimes!), Peter Gammons bringing the potential Kris Benson to NYM trade and it devolving into an annabenson.net discussion was one of their finer moments of the season.

It was a nice break from the trades themselves, because this is the part of the deadline where you really get sick of hearing Gammons mention 30 possible trades, none of them which have or will happen.

I did call Oakland getting to first yesterday. Let’s forgot what I’ve done wrong. If Boston would’ve won, the AL playoff teams would’ve been the group the majority expected at the start of the season: NYY, MIN, OAK, BOS (tied with TEX).

Looks like the game is on, but I may or may not have tickets. Eh.

solo shot

Jul
29

Only scoring on home runs? It’s this season’s theme.

SDP --- v SFG
SFG 1.0 @ SDP
CHC 2.0 @ MIL
PHI 4.0 @ FLA (2.5 back in NL East)
FLA 5.0 v PHI (3.5 back in NL West)
HOU 5.0 @ ARZ

I’ll be so glad when the Padres/Giants series is over. It’s kinda annoying to know that if you lose, you’ll almost always lose ground; we’ve already got that in the Central.

Instead of Pittsburgh winning and moving all the way to third, they lost and dropped all the away to last. Those last four teams (at least) probably will bounce around a few more times. The Reds are sinking to the bottom like a penny into fountain.

Way to suck, White Sox!

Way to suck, Phillies! Phillies have another chance to suck today some more. 1-10 vs one team, that’s horrendous.

Winning % for teams with 9 or more loses against one other team

PHI (vs FLA) 1-10 .090
CIN (vs STL) 2-11 .154
ARZ (vs LAD) 2-11 .154
SFG (vs SDP) 3-9  .250
NYM (vs FLA) 3-9  .250
MON (vs PHI) 4-9  .308
FLA (vs ATL) 4-9  .308
MON (vs ATL) 3-10 .300
COL (vs SFG) 5-9  .357
CHC (vs STL) 8-11 .421

Quite strange how NL East teams with similar records got there by skewed performances against one team or another.

This could be the last day of the season the Rangers are in first place…but I don’t think it will. They’ll lose today and A’s will temporary pass them, but I believe they’ll stick close enough around at least for a few more weeks. Feels real strange that Beane hasn’t made his trademark move yet.

Feels strange that no one’s made a move yet, even if I thought that might happen.

ESPN’s MLB Standings Graphs are totally unrelated and fun to stare at. (Click on RACE)

Chip got on my nerves last night by talking up Cubs pitching prospects by mentioning their Win/Loss record. If you even slightly believe a Major League’s pitchers W/Ls are affected by hitting, fielding, and other things they do not control, than you’ve got to realize those factors are going to be as strong or stronger in minor leagues. I wasn’t expected Chip to start dropping VORP – ERA’s right there and understandable by the barely educated fan they aim television towards; if you’ve only got five seconds and the choice is between ERA and W/L, I would have thought he knew which one to pick.

Today’s game is Carlos (36.2) vs Hendrickson (-6.4). It’s too soon to even think about critical games, but probably not too much to project this as a turning point. It’s a game the Cubs are supposed to win, and need to win to make this series worthwile. A win puts them either one game out or in second place, with a possible tough series vs the Phillies next.

I’m not sure if I’ll do this tommorow; I’ll be busy dodging falling cement, I hear.

game no game

Jul
28
SDP --- v SFG
SFG --- @ SDP
CHC 1.0 @ MIL
PHI 3.0 @ FLA (1.5 out in NL East
FLA 5.0 v PHI (3.5 out in NL East)
HOU 5.0 @ ARZ 

I didn’t end up going to the Sox game; the plan was to get tickets at the stadium, but they were sold out before we even got around to going. Maybe later, in a non-Twins series. It’s nice how the big change in manager has made no difference so far in their choke jobs to the Twins.

Giants winning pulled everyone a little closer. I watched the last inning of last night’s SDP vs SFG on Gameday. Giants obviously need to make a relief move, if they’re going to make three run leads in the ninth inning so dramatic. Maybe Herges will take something from getting out of a bases loaded, no one out situation, and not from being partially responsible for getting into that situation.

Pittsburgh is out of last for the first time in a long time (Brewer, and could move up two more spots today if they win and Houston and Cincinnati both lose. If you look at the winning percentages now, the Central’s a group of near .500 teams and the West has some excellent ones, a reverse of what was going on earlier this season.

Today’s game is Wood vs Chris Capuano (who beat the Cubs last trip in) on FSN. A win today will move the Cubs into a tie for second and keep them 1 game out.

digressing Comments Off on game no game

YALE RULES

Jul
27

Why didn’t anyone tell me Nowinski was blogging from the Convention?

This is cool. Reminds me that I need to figure out why I haven’t been getting voter info.

signed

Jul
27

Brock Lesnar to sign with the Vikings – St. Paul Pioneer Press

The article gives no contract specifics. My guess is it’s your basic non-roster invitee deal, where he can be cut for nothing whenever they feel like.

Key Dates
08/14 – vs ARZ (live cut ins + tape delayed the next day on NFL Network)
08/20 – @ ATL (tape delayed the next day on NFL Network)
08/27 – vs SF (tape delayed the next day on NFL Network)
08/31 – All Rosters Cut To 65
09/02 – @ SEA (live cut ins + tape delayed the next day NFL Network)
09/05 – All Rosters Cut To 53
09/06 – Practice Squads formed (5 players per team)

(roster cut source: AtlantaFalcons.com)

Brock’s going to be used as DT. ESPN’s NFL Depth Chart parnter Ourlads’ Scouting Service, list these as the other DTs in camp (roughly in order)

Chris Hovan
Kevin Williams
Steve Martin
Billy Lyon
Jeff Womble
Spencer Johnson

Womble and Johnson are undrafted rookie free agents.

I believe the Vikings are running a 4-3, which means they’ll keep between 3 and 5 DTs.

His best shot? They can keep 5, obviously. Womble and Johnson don’t show a lot of future potential. No one ahead of him gets hurt, because it’ll favor taking someone who’s got more experience at the position; they need to be able to hide him for a year.

Brock’s said repeatedly he’s not doing the pratice squad thing, so it’s making the roster on 9/5 or moving on. My wild guess is he’ll either be cut early (for looking like too much of a project) or it’ll come down to the wire (as they try to figure out if they’ll have room on the 53 or if he can be convinced to stick on the practice squad.)

emptier room

Jul
27
SDP ---
SFG 1.0
CHC 2.0
PHI 3.0

Off the list: CIN (6Ls in a row), HOU (lost to ARZ to end their losing streak.) That’s about as short as it’s been, which is an effect of the Padres getting hot (7-3). They’ve actually lost ground in the West because the Dodgers are hotter.

Maybe if the Astros get swept, they’ll deal Beltran? They should just fold if they get swept by the Diamondbacks right now.

Quiet deadline so far. I’m thinking it’ll say that way. For all the conversation, RJ’s not going anyhwere. It sounds like the Twins are going to actually pick up salary by taking Benson. I got a strong feeling some bat is going to LA, but after that, probably no A-level players before July 31.

The news on Hollandsworth’s recovery is inconsisent and not too promising. If the Cubs make any more, I expect it to be in getting a left handed power OF for the bench and move Borowski to the 60 day DL to create roster room.

Tonight’s Cubs game is Greg Maddux vs Ben Sheets (FSC), which should be pretty good.

15 for 17 years UPDATE
With a win, he’s on a pace for 16.2 wins
Without a win, he’s on a pace for 14.58 wins

I may be going to the CHW/MIN game tonight. I know, I know.

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the big news

Jul
26

OMG, they voted off TIM! That makes no sense! He’s the show! Perhaps we don’t need the commericals to give away the twist for next week.

This was the best episode of the season, anyway. The whole earpiece/microphone bit was a great idea.

Mark My Calender

Jul
26

Madden Challenge 2004 hits Chicago, in the likely overcrowd Navy Pier on August 21st. This is going to suck – I’m guessing they’re using the same location and it was overpacked last time – and rule – COMPETITIVE VIDEO GAME PLAYING! what’s not to love – at the same time. We go all the way from SIX! days to have the game and prep to EIGHT! I feel for the people in Minneaplis and Green Bay, who get two and three days between the time the game hits stores and when their competition is.

In some respects, I think it is nice to have it early is a funnier contest, because the game you can’t poke around for shotcuts in a short time. You’re playing the video game against each other instead of trying to exploit the flaws in the video game.

It’s just when it’s so early that you may or may not get to play it that it becomes a problem; it’s no fun doing a Madden 2005 competition when you’re mentally playing last year’s version, since that’s all you know. I may have to get get a hold of NCAA just to get some practice in. I preorder Madden online, but I don’t have enough experience to know when it’ll show up.

We’ve been debating which teams to pick for a couple weeks now, without, you know, knowing actually how good they are, and haven’t gotten to a clear conclusion. Last year, I believe I had absolutely no passing ability, so I took the Bucs to make one side of the ball good. That pick this year would be the Ravens, but I have even less faith in their offense. I’m thinking, at the moment and don’t hold it against me, Patriots. I figure they’ll be the best and most complete team.

I expect to see about five hundered people playing Michael Vick. Which means playing against the option in NCAA will be even better practice.

Still 2 minute quarters (booo but kinda understandable). In the rules, they bury a note that $4 of your $10 guys to a 6 month trial subscription to EGM, and you can even get that $4 back if you send a bunch of photocopies. Money’s still going to charity this year (COMPETITIVE VIDEO GAME PLAYING FOR CHARITY! can it get much better?), though they don’t actually specify how much as they did in the past.

Remind me to steal/borrow a digital camera for this.

Crucial Rule Change of the Year To Annoying People: No one is allowed to stand in front of the TV while setting audibles or anything similar.

Crucial Rule Change of the Year for everyone else: It’s now a sudden death situation for tied at OT, as opposed to last year’s wacky (though dramatic) field goal contest.

Rule Most Sure To Not Be Enforced: No coaching allowed (people in the crowd telling the player what to do while playing)

(With this post, there are now more posts – though not all of them visible – on this blog than the CMLLBlog. I don’t know why that’s important. But I’m really not accomplishing much.)

random thoughts

Jul
26

While watching baseball, I threw together a beta version of the 2004 RAW TV Index. Lots of holes to fill, but the main problem is I keep getting confused on which PPVs are for which brands later on in the year, and I can’t find a good list. This is what I’m thinking

AUG SummerSlam – Both
SEP Unforgiven – RAW
OCT No Mercy – SD!
OCT Halloween Havoc – RAW
NOV Survivor Series – Both
DEC Armaggedon – SD! ?
JAN Royal Rumble – Both
FEB No Way Out – RAW ?
APR WM 21 – Both

My ideas for the Iron Man match, thinking back to the last one
– Punt the rest of the show; do something for the main event slot, but schedule as many breaks between the 1:05 and 1:40 marks in the show. I’m sure they’ll try their best here – stuff like the Diva Search is made for 2 minute buffers between commericals.
– Start with mat wrestling. Brock and Angle went immediatly to Brock dominating with power, and really didn’t have enough different material to go the full hour. That shouldn’t be as big a problem with these two, but keeping it on the ground to start will save them from having to pull out more just to get through. It’s a big part of both guys styles, so I expect they’ll try.
– Tie goes to OT. This was the rule on the SD! Iron Man match and the WM one, but not for Triple H’s last Iron Man match. I’d actually like to see the OT worked with “most falls in X (5? 10?) minutes” rather than sudden death, since it fits the format of the match better. Either way, setting this up in the first hour leaves a nice opening to take this extra.
– Build on the spots from previous Iron Man matches. In real life, I’d assume Benoit and Triple H have been watching the past matches for ideas and strategies to use, but they shouldn’t forget that their characters should be thinking about those past strageties. Should Triple H get himself DQed again to try and win a fall? Is it better to stick with their primary move or to try and pull out something unexpected? Hopefully, JR and King will spend at least as much time talking about what’s going on in the match as they will talk about how great the match is.
– I’d even think about guest commentators for portions of the match, to give new life to the commentary. You’d get another dimenstion – Flair doing a segment with his knowledge of doing a sixty minute match, Jericho talking about having faced both men and how to gameplan against – without taking away from the match. I think this is a little out there to try, though.
– Don’t do falls during commerical breaks. Yea, it’s totally realistic, but I think you’ll find more people willing to give up a little bit of realism to see the meaningful moments of the match. If at all possible, don’t even do changes of momentunem during commerical breaks. It takes viewers out of the match when they aren’t allowed to changes in action.
– A clean finish. You really don’t need Eugene to get involved to heat up that feud. Anytime you ask people to invest a lot of time into a match and give them an unsatifying ending, you’ll end up with a lot of annoyed people. It doesn’t make sense to do a 59 man minute match and 1 minute screwjob finish, because the focus will be on the 1 minute finish and the rest of the match could’ve been 3 minutes long for all it matters. You can do inteference – it’d work fine as a side show late in the match when you want to give the guys a rest – but you don’t want it to have the deciding impact on a gimmick match, or the gimmick is diminished.

Judgement Day ’00
Winner of Fall #1: Rock
Winner of Match: Triple H

SD! Iron Man Match
Winner of Fall #1: Angle
Winner of Match: Brock

Obviously, Bret/HBK doesn’t follow that pattern, but I’m guessing tonight’s match will.

Things You Wish You Never Knew: Peter King reports Ricky Williams had a unpleasant body odor. This story offically got well past annoying to me when Dan Patrick asked Peter Gammons his thoughts on it, and if he would’ve been happier in baseball. (Dan sports radio oversimplifcation of this into pot vs NFL decision is quite tremendously as well.)

Pete Rose as not in Cooperstown signing autographs this year. That’s opposite of last year, but in line with his non-presence after the negative reaction to his book. The easy assumption is he’s doing this to get back in MLB’s favor. The true test of his low profile status is really going to be when ESPN’s bio flick airs on 9/25.

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Move List Notes

Jul
26

SmackDown should be updated. Less to do there, so far.

  • Did I break the Raw list for Mozilla/Firefox for anyone else? It wasn’t showing up right for me yesterday. It’s fine now on IE so I’ll check the HTML later.
  • Nunzio: The second rope Rocker Dropper and later the legdrop are the Sicilan Slice, but the springboard armbar takedown has always been the Arrivederci.
  • Does Akio have a finish I’m forgetting? I’m not sure if Yang Time counts. But I did put in the spinebuster for Sakoda to be wildly inconsistent.
  • Hardcore’s full nelson removed, since it hasn’t been brought up since No Way Out. The Alabama Crunch added.
  • Removed: Big Show, Rico, Rikishi. Is Orlando gone?