The Maple Bats

I’m always excited when I here about famous connections with my hometown of Ottawa.  A few years ago Barry Bonds was getting his bats made in Ottawa.  This was before the “allegations” so it was a big thing and that’s another day on how I feel about those “allegations”

So, it was kind of an urban legend that Barry Bonds got his bats made in the Nation’s Capital.  Well, Sam Bat is a baseball bat manufacturer that makes one of the best maple bats and is located in my hometown.

I believe Aramis Ramirez uses Sam Bat.  I could be wrong.

All right, all right.  Hank Aaron is still the champ!

—Mark Gauthier


Wrigley Field


I just wanted to take a moment to admire the beauty of Wrigley Field.  Some of these are old pictures but someday I will post some from our own collection.


Here’s a nice one of the ivy and scoreboard.

A beautiful night game!



That’s another nice shot. 

All right, hopefully I have everyone excited because spring training is just a month away!!!!

—Mark Gauthier



Alfonso Soriano

In my continuing adventures to profile Cubs players, I’ve been hesitant to mention Soriano.  I like Soriano.  Sure he’s frustrating, he drops a lot of balls and swings at every mosquito that comes near home plate; but he is consistent although his numbers have been dwindling, I blame it on the frustrations of last year. 

He is getting older, but 24 Home Runs isn’t anything to sneeze at.  However, far from great considering the 39 Home Runs he hit in 2002.  His RBI’s have been getting better with 79 and you can contribute that with age.  He’s adjusting his game due to age and I think that’s all right.

The number I find alarming is his BB’s.  They’re gradually going up with 45 and I think that’s a sign that he’s getting older or being lazy.  I don’t know.

They’ve put him in the lead-off position, but that was a disaster.  He’s got to 2nd base 40 times last year and I think that’s a pretty good number.

The final verdict on Soriano is like the rest of the Cubs, it’s a fresh start and he’s got the power but needs to pick and choose his swings.  When he does hit, he can be a game breaker and the best on the team, but man, when he well, drops the ball, it’s brutal.

Hey, I wear my Soriano jersey with great pride.

—Mark Gauthier

The Lead-Off Debate


A while ago, I posted about who is going to lead-off for the Cubs this year.  There’s going to be a huge debate about this subject but my pick for lead-off has got to be Tyler Colvin.  Here’s my reason:

His season was cut short because of the infamous injury so he didn’t get a chance to prove himself as well as he could.  at . His On Base Percentage is decent at.316 

Tyler got a lot of HR’s too at 20 which is great also.  I don’t need to tell anyone the importance of the lead-off position, but Tyler’s young and he’s got the enthusiasm to send the right message to opposing teams.  I mean I really think both Tyler and Starlin are going to take the reigns of the Cubs this year and run with it.  Like I’ve said before, it’s a transition year for the club and who better to kick off the new year than the sophomore?

—Mark Gauthier 

Cubs in the Old Navy

So, in my further adventures to find Cubs merchandise and seek out new apparel, my wife and I were at our local Old Navy and looked in the children’s clothes section.  What did we find?  A pile of little Cubs shirts.

Now, let me go back and explain the situation.  It’s very hard to find anything related to the Cubs up here.  I’ve ordered stuff online, but a $10 toque somehow turned into $70.  Ok, we ordered a Cubs visor and Cubs sleeper for Darcy, but man $20 in extra international fees and $10 in taxes.  It racks up.

So we play a game and look for Cubs merchandise.  There are rules(with exceptions like Christmas)that we only find things on sale or at antique stores.  Well, that Cubs T-shirt was a great find!  $3.98  We bought two sizes because as everyone knows babies grow faster than Jose Bautista scores home runs.

—Mark Gauthier


Cubs vs Yankees

All right, I’m upset that I won’t get a chance to tune into the historic match up of the Cubs vs the Boston Red Sox.  We’re going fishing that weekend and it’s all right.

Now, the one match up I’m looking forward to as well is the Yankees and the Cubs in June 17-19 at Wrigley.  You see, I’m not a Yankee hater at all.  I love baseball period, but the Yankees always remind me of the playground bully kicking sand in the face of everyone else.

I love stories and seeing the Yankees get their comeuppance by our Chicago Cubs, well that would be incredible. 

So here is the deal.  Around these parts North of the Border, we have a tradition amongst sports fans.  We bet a Toonie when it comes to our favourite teams.  Since it’s hard to exchange money throughout the blogosphere, I’m going to propose this suggestion:

If anyone wants to bet me a Toonie(Canadian two dollar coin) when their team plays the Cubs this season, the losing party has to post a picture of a Toonie on each of their blog posts for a week with a “Go Cubs Go” written underneath.  Any takers? 

—Mark Gauthier

Cubs Avoid Arbitration. Sign Marshall and Garza

The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration Tuesday with signing of pitchers Sean Marshall and Matt Garza. 

The Cubs inked Marshall to a two year deal worth 4.7 million.  He’ll earn 1.6 million this year and 3.1 million next year.

They’ve also officially signed Matt Garza to a one year deal worth 5.95 million.

Carlos Marmol filed for arbitration on Tuesday.  The Cubs would like to sign him to a multi-year deal.  The Cubs ace closer has the record for strikeouts per inning at 15.99 beating Eric Gagne’s record of 14.98

I’m confident the two sides will come to an agreement before the case goes to the judge next month.

—Mark Gauthier


In One Month…

First off, I like the Gorzelanny trade.  We need some prospects and in the trade we recieved from the Nationals, Michael Burgess, A.J Morris and Graham Hicks. 

It’s a good deal.  We need the young players and it makes up for the prospects we lost in the Garza trade.  Excellent trade. 

The next thing is it has been brought to my attention that the reporting date is just over a month away.  That’s right, you heard it folks, Spring is almost here!

The Cubs are in good shape this year.  As the snow piles up in our backyard and the temperature dips to -35 Celsius, it warms me up to think that Cubs vs A’s play February 27 at HoHokam Park.

Go Cubs Go!

—Mark Gauthier

The Emotional Big Z

Most people can keep their emotions in check.  When it comes to baseball, well, it’s a different can of beans all together.  Fans do the wave-a gathering of synchronized bowing that goes throughout the stadium.

Some fans, now these are the brave ones, bare all in frigid weather and paint their team logos across their chests and drink as much beer as required in order to fight off the chill.  Then they go home and beg forgiveness from their wives or girlfriends.  That’s what sports are for I guess, if that’s your thing.  Then we come to Carlos Zambrano.

The “Big Z” as he’s known around baseball circles wears his heart on his sleeve.  He had a biography. Not bad for a guy just reaching thirty.

I know I shouldn’t be picking on him but I respect him going to anger management and gaining control over things, which led him to going 8-0 in his last 11 games.  Well done Carlos!!! 

However, I’m calling you out.  This is your last chance.  You don’t need an emotional baby sitter, you’re a professional ball player and one hell of a pitcher.  If you need advice, phone up Doc Halladay, the master of self control.  Heck, why not ding a couple of batters.  But please, pretty please, don’t touch the Gatorade.  July is a hot month.

—Mark Gauthier