thecubsfan.com

a whole lot of nothing

Mar
23

I have other stuff I want to say, but I can’t find a way to make that interesting. For some reason, that’s stopping me, but I’m blocked.

At least, Cubs wise, it’s not my fault. There’s really not a lot meaningful going on. Stuff like the last spot of the bullpen only matters if Angel Guzman and Chad Gaudin is being shipped out, because that last spot will change hands many times during the season. It always does. Same thing with the catching spot (if they don’t keep Koyie Hill, they’ll surely be able to stash him in Iowa.)

Marshall starts as the fifth starter, but should have no expectation of staying there unless he performs. Same thing with Hoffpauir on the bench, and the closer spot – anything that’s so indecisive to be on the line during March can’t really be secured with anything but regular season performance. The big decisions were made during free agency, and the good and bad performances in Mesa won’t mean anything by about April 15.

So far, I’ve been able to keep to my streak of not watching a Spring Training game. The WBC has helped a lot (though not the final round announcers – I’ve got the game on pause as a type this, just so I can fast forward more thru their banality.) But I’m reading people who are watching complain about how much the season needs to get here, and I don’t feel much different. I’m ready for this to get started again.

The one interesting is the whole downfall of Chad Gaudin. There was a stretch after he came over where he was good, right? Not so much, with everyone speculating about him getting cut last week. That trade with the is looking fairer by the day.

Pool D, Game 4 (DOM 1 – NED 2, F/11)

Mar
10

So.

This was kind of a conflicting 11th inning. It was impossible to root against the Netherlands. But the whole advantage to having Marmol pitch for the DR instead of in Mesa was to prove himself in situations just like this, game on the line, one run league, the pressure of the world on him.

And, well, Carlos didn’t get lit up, they weren’t the biggest hits he gave up and Holland looked totally overmatched most of the inning. Just not enough of it, and now I wonder how he’ll rebound it. Carlos now has plenty of playoff type ghosts of his own to exorcise:

            IP   ERA
2007 NLDS  3.0  9.00
2008 NLDS  2.2  6.75
2009 WBC   1.2  5.40

In a year where few positions are really up for grabs in spring training – Fontenot is going to start at 2B, Marshall is going to be the fifth starter, and no one cares who the backup catcher is – maybe the closer battle just opened up for real.

(It’s probably worth keeping in perspective – the problem wasn’t the DR’s pitching. Or even fielding, as bad as it was. You’ve got to score more than 4 runs off Netherlands, or everyone on that team needs to be signed tomorrow.)

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out of sight

Mar
03

Two things I’m currently very good at at the moment

– writing a half of a post, thinking about it, and then just throwing it away. (Not as if it’s any better than the stuff that goes up)

– opting to skip out on games or leave early when something quite incredible is about to happen.

Don’t be like me.

In my defense, most of the people at the game were no longer AT the game. While the Bulls took two dumb fouls at the end of the 3rd quarter, the last among the stupidest things I’ve seen at a basketball game, the roaming Bulls pep squad succesfully started the wave. Anyone doing the wave when down by 15 isn’t there for the game (which is no different than most Bulls games – how come the Cubs fans have the rep and the Bulls don’t?)

After the person I was going with backed out at the last second (and I had no good ideas for alternates), I was there alone, exhausted from a busy day and running behind on sleep. I’ve been stuck a half hour in the United Center parking lot after a 20 point loss before, I could go without doing it again. As the person next to me got up to join in the wave, I got up to avoid seeing the last of the free throws and decided to watch the game from the second floor lobby, at least it got to 20.

Much to¬† my amazement, the Bulls creeped back in to it, and I starting debating if I should go back and sit down if they got under 10. That I was even having this debate meant I didn’t want to be there all that bad. When Ron Artest drove the lane and dunked, hard, to put up 15, I knew it was over – not just the game, but pretty much any hope for playoffs – and headed to the car.

It actually was a couple points worst by the time I got there. And then, the run, and me driving thru traffic while muttering ‘no way’ while Rose proved there was a way. I made great time, no traffic, and was on I-88 when they finally got the lead and won the game. As incredible comeback as the team has ever done, and I was far away.

At least I know Derrick Rose is for real. It’s nice to have a 1st rounder people aren’t making excuses for all year. And it turns out he’s pretty decent in the fourth quarter when they let him play.

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