The Record Setting Soriano and other stuff

It’s on a fitting note that the dismal April ends with Alfonso Soriano hitting his ninth homer of the season and the most by a Chicago Cub in the month of April.

Yesterday, Soriano belted two homers to help give the Cubs a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks and avenge the slaughter the day before.  The two clubs finish off April today.  I hope he hits two more.

So yesterday, Darcy gave me a present(Mary Beth helped him pick it out) a retro T-shirt with the Cubs bear on it.  I will wear it proudly tomorrow as I watch the Cubs finish off the Diamondbacks.

The other things that are looking up today is the weather.  The sun is shining and it appears to be 15 degrees Celsius, and almost grass cutting weather.  It doesn’t have much to do with baseball, but it got me to thinking about sending away for that Scott’s turf builder Wrigley Green stuff that makes your lawn look like Wrigley Field.  Then I thought that would be obsessive.  However, my goal is to get a replica Wrigley Field bench for the basement so we can watch the games in style!

Nope, instead I’m going to make a trip to the hardware store and get the lawn mower geared up for the season.  By the end of the summer, Darcy will be hitting the ball into the neighbour’s yard.

—Mark Gauthier


A Stinging Defeat

I was excited yesterday to watch the game.  I wasn’t that excited after the first inning.  Ryan Dempster was chased from the mound after the first inning as the D Backs racked up the score 7-0.  Eventually, the Diamondbacks went on to win 11-2.

Frustrated, dissapointed and confused after the month of April.  They should have won last night and Ryan Dempster had the worst April of his career.  It’s not that it’s unnacceptable, after all I still have high hopes for them this year, but there is definetly some changes that have to be made.

I’d put Castro back in the lead-off, Barney in second and Fukodome in third.  I also agree with Strictly Cubs Baseball in saying that Quade is leaving the pitchers in too long.

The team has a lot of positives.  Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney will find their place on this year’s all star team and I can’t stop raving about Kosuke Fukodome’s play.  If I ever met him, I’d buy him a beer for harping on him.  The guy is having a good season.

The best thing Quade can do with Dempster is keep playing him.  Stick to the game plan and encourage Ryan.  After all he’s been around baseball for such a long time that he knows he’s having a rough start so anything to shake his confidence would be disasterous. 

Hang in there Ryan, April showers.  That’s all it is.

—Mark Gauthier


A Little Rockie

So, it was a busy weekend and I hope everyone had a great Easter.  How does the theme song go?

“You take the good, you take the bad, you have them both and there you have…”

I think that kind of sums up last night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.  The thing is I hope this marks a turnaround for the Cubs.  They’re blaming themselves for the mistakes.  Starlin Castro commits three errors in an inning?  I know he’s young, but he’s in the big leagues so that can’t happen and I don’t think he’ll do that again this season.

Darwin Barney hit his first home run!  That’s exciting and signs of things to come.

Mike Quade said,”You can’t gift wrap it to the opposition”  That’s exactly what the Cubs did last night.

Alfonso Soriano continues to be a leader this year by giving a sacrifice fly to get the Cubs up 3-0 in the first.

Fukodome has been a welcome surprise this year.  Just when i was getting ready to pack up my Fukodome action figure, I had to dust it off again.  He got 5 hits, a career high.

Even though the Cubs lost, I’m confident that they’ll take the good and the bad and look to the future.  There’s plenty of baseball left and like I say, this team is good.  They have all the tools, just putting it together, that’s all.

—Mark Gauthier

A Miserable Day

Some things are worth the wait and well some things are just better left postponed.  Having to endure a rain delay and forced to watch Walker, Texas Ranger, I thought it might be an enjoyable afternoon watching baseball with our son while Mary Beth was out doing some errands.

There was an interview with Paul Haggis(Crash, Million Dollar Baby)a few years back.  The interviewer asked him if he had any regrets and he said,”Sometimes, in the middle of the night I wake up and realise I was the man behind Walker, Texas Ranger.”  The interviewer asked him if there were anything else. 

“I let Chuck Norris sing the theme song.”

Years from now, the Chicago Cubs will look back at yesterday’s game and say,”We should have rained that one out.”  Any regrets? “WGN showed it.”

Oh well, today’s a new day, although we have Chicago’s weather.  Win it today.

—Mark Gauthier

First Place!!!

So, I’ve been out of the loop the last couple of days.  I go to check up on the latest happenings and what do I see?  First place!!!

Maybe it’s the usual cliches of hard work and dedication, but in this case it’s true.  Now there’s a three way tie for first place. Incredible.

Not to be a “told you so” but I did mention picking up Reed Johnson was a good choice.  Here’s the post.

What about Alfonso Soriano?  He’s having a killer year!

Isn’t that a crazy statistic?  1-1, 2-2,3-3,4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9

Win one lose won.

Nope, That aggresive kind of play is what will lead the Cubs to the Series.

—Mark Gauthier


Thrilla in Chicago

Not quite the Thrilla in Manilla, but decent enough.  Chilla in Chicago?

So, I just tuned in last night in the top of the tenth inning and wow!  Listening to that on the radio was chilling.  There are things you can never count on and there are surprises that are amazing.

You can never count on a baby spitting up on you and maybe anger management helps win ballgames.  No one ever accused Carlos Zambrano of not being a warrior, a great pitcher or a decent human being.  What everyone had a problem with was his ability to send Gatorade containers flying from the dugout.

This year, Carlos Zambrano is sending batters back to the dugout for some Gatorade.

Box Score

Jumping to the tenth inning. Colvin at the bat with Soto on base-Bam! right field wall Soto comes home.  Cubs Win Cubs Win!!!

There back to .500 and a beautiful game.

Zambrano should keep wearing the short sleeves.

—Mark Gauthier

Hang in there, Ryan

So, I think it’s way to early for any kind of finger pointing.  Ryan Dempster is struggling on the mound.  It happens, he’s a professional and he’ll get through it.

I’m not going into details, but he gave up a lot of runs in yesterday’s loss to the Rockies.  Colorado is the best in the league, so I’m not worried.

However, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney continue to impress just about everyone.  Castro had 4 AB with 2 runs and 3 hits.


—Mark Gauthier


Stanley Cup/Cubs

This is the time of year when my allegience is divided.  There is nothing more exciting than the Stanley Cup playoffs.

That’s right, I said it.  Here’s my reason.  During the regular season of hockey, it gets pretty stale.  Unlike baseball, there’s no series play.  I wish there were because that’s what is so unique to baseball.  It creates drama, excitement and if I were visiting let’s say Chicago; Mary Beth and I could stay a weekend and go to the series instead of one game.  It creates that atmosphere and rivalry.  Plus, it’s great for tourism.

In hockey, some teams play each other 8 times a year.  Now, there’s only 80 odd games in hockey versus well over 100 in baseball. 

Since the lockout a few years ago, teams have played more, but how cool would that be to go to Montreal and watch them play Boston for a three game series?  On a weekend, broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada.

We have to wait until the playoffs to see that kind of series and rivalry.  There is something so thrilling in sudden death playoff hockey. 

However, by the time the post season comes in baseball, I find it gets boring because it’s a long season.  Not that I’m knocking it, but there must be something they could do to ramp up the excitement.

—Mark Gauthier


Win one, Lose one

The Cubs were shut out yesterday by the Rockies, 5-0.  I’ve been harping on Matt Garza but in the end it’s a team effort as well.  That’s the thing with this year’s edition of the Cubs, sometimes they’re incredible and sometimes they’re not.  Yesterday, Aramis Ramirez went 3-4, but that was it.

Ok, to be fair, the Colorado Rockies are having an amazing year at 11-2 the best record in baseball.

The big guns have to be firing always like they did in Houston, but ok, they were playing the best.

We’ll beat them today.

—Mark Gauthier