Like the Cubs championship drought and my 5th marriage, all things must come to an end. In order to pay alimony, I’m being forced to churn out a ridiculous amount of content over at the Damox Sports Blog. It’s a sports junkies dream, except for the part where my wives reap the rewards.
The Cubs got the bad Carlos Zambrano on opening day, as he had the worst start of his career. Zambrano gave up 7 runs in less than 2 innings of work, totally screwing over everyone who picked him for their fantasy team. I think it’s about time we start searching for a better ace pitcher, which we’ve been missing since the implosion of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
Hawk is in! Andre Dawson was finally selected by the BBWAA for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dawson had his best year of his career with the Cubs in 1987, when he won the MVP award and hit 49 home runs while winning a Gold Glove. My guess would be that Dawson will probably have an Expos logo on his hat on the Hall of Fame plaque, but we’ll always remember him as a Cubbie! It took the BBWAA way too long to select him, but none of that matters anymore now that he’s in. Dawson was the only player selected this year, so he’ll essentially get the whole ceremony for himself as the only living 2010 inductee.
The Tribune Co.’s efforts to put the Cubs in bankruptcy so they can be sold reached an unexpected roadblock this week when former infielder Shawon Dunston filed an objection to the bankruptcy because the Cubs are still contractually obligated to pay his tuition should he ever decide to go to college. Dunston has not expressed interest in attending college, but he would like to make sure the money is there for him anyway. Basically, he wants the Cubs to pay him up front while they are still under a contractual obligation to do so. It’s actually a pretty smart move on Dunston’s part. I wonder which college-educated fan told him to do it.
The Cubs don’t have a game on the schedule today, I’m just making some updates on the site. Move along.
It took 14 innings for the Cubs to earn a victory in Cincinnati on Sunday, and they still fell 4 innings short of the longest game of the day. That record would belong to the Diamondbacks and Padres, who played 18 innings yesterday. The Cubs scored 3 runs in the top of the 14th off Reds reliever Mike Lincoln and Angel Guzman pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning for the save — his first of the season. The game took 5 hours and 13 minutes to play, about half an hour quicker than the D-Backs/Padres game.
Lou Pinella made a lineup blunder in the 8th inning when he changed his mind on a pinch hitter after he’d already been announced, and it may have come into play in the 9th inning as he had less flexibility to make a move and couldn’t get the lefty-on-righty matchup he might have wanted. Instead, Jake Fox ended up with the opportunity to win the game with the bases loaded. Since you’ve already read the headline, you know that didn’t happen and the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 2-1.
I’m not going to blame this one on Jake Fox. He’s a young kid who will have many more chances to win games for the Cubs in the future. I do blame Lou Pinella, who is starting to show his age and is regularly missing opportunities to pull double switches to get his lineup the way he should want it in the late innings.
The Cubs called up rookie hitting sensation Jake Fox from Iowa and sent down Neal Cotts, the lefty specialist. Fox is batting over .400 with 17 home runs with Iowa, making him by far the hottest hitter in the upper minor leagues at this point in the season.
Calling up Fox is just what the Cubs needed at this point in their disappointing season. They need to make up for the loss of Ramirez’s bat in the lineup, as he probably won’t be ready to go for another month. I’m really hopeful this is going to turn things around.
Any Cubs fan who has been paying attention for the past month knows that Milton Bradley is getting rung up on pitches that are off the plate. Some of these pitches are missing by what looks like a good 6 inches. Is it just bad luck? Are catchers framing pitches off the plate better when Bradley is at the plate? I think the more obvious answer is that umpires are targeting Bradley after he was suspended for a game last month for a heated argument he had during a game.
MLB needs to look at this situation, because it hurts the integrity of the game when you have umpires who are factoring in the hitter when they make what should be judgment calls. Any umpires found to be taking part in this vendetta against Bradley should be suspended immediately and indefinitely. There is really no place in the game for this type of behavior.
It’s no secret that Derrek Lee has completely fallen off the radar this season. He has miraculously managed to hit 4 balls out of the ballpark, but all of his numbers are way down from career averages. He’d have trouble hitting home runs right now if they moved the fence in to the edge of the infield dirt. The man who will probably replace him next season, or this season if he keeps playing like crap, is one Micah Hoffpauir, who has some good numbers in a limited number of big league plate appearances. He’s old for a guy just breaking into the bigs, but he’ll put up much better numbers than the aging Lee, who should probably be thinking about retirement and which country club he wants to belong to.