Battered and Bruised

Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano tries but can't make the catch on a double by Pittsburgh Pirates' Neil Walker during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

You would think that Mike Quade would have gotten writer’s cramp with all the injuries that have happened to the Cubs this season.  Adding Alfonso Soriano to the list with a strained Quadricep.  Ok, let’s put a positive spin on this and say that it’s injuries that are plaguing the club.  Once everyone comes back from their prospective injury everything will be all right and the Cubs can get down to business.

A nice two-run homer by Carlos Pena.  Great job!  Tony Campana, where the hell did he come from.  He stole two bases.  Anymore and they’ll have to call Chicago’s finest on him.

Big Z gets the start tonight. 

—Mark Gauthier

Ramirez Rockets the Cubs to win over the Pirates

 

Aramis Ramirez Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after swinging and missing a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on May 29, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 3-2.

Aramis Ramirez ended his homerless drought.  It took 155 At Bats but he blasted the ball over the bleachers to help the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2

Ryan Dempster picked up the win to even his record at 4-4.  Well done! 

With yesterdays’ win, Coach Quade said,”If we can excecute like that on a regular basis, and get Campana’s speed involved, we should be ok.”  That’s just paraphrasing, but he must have been reading the blog a few days ago.

Maybe there should be more rain delays.

The Cubs start a series today against the Astros.  It’s a must win series for the Cubs if they want to stay in the race in the Central.  The Cubs are trying to battle back into the .500 position and the game today in Houston shouldn’t be a problem.

—Mark Gauthier

Goose Egg, Ottawa Rough Riders and a Tangent

Yesterday’s loss was hard to take.  10-0.  That says it all.  It got me thinking about something else.  I’ve mentioned the Canadian Football League early on in my posts, but I’m going to mention them again.

A few years ago, God it must be 14 years ago, The Ottawa Rough Riders were labeled the worst team in professional sports history by Sports Illustrated.

Here are some of the lows:

  1. They drafted a dead guy
  2. Hired a GM that specialized in marketing.  Maybe it would have been a good idea, but “Rider Rage” of 1988 was nothing short of a whimper because they signed eight of the top free agents in the league only to win two games that year.  Bottom line: Bringing fans to the park doesn’t win ballgames.
  3. Fired a coach who broght them their first .500 season in 11 years.
  4. Had a Mardi Gras promotion where female fans would bare everything for a bead of a necklace.  Problem was this promotion occured near the family fun zone.
  5. They signed Dexter Manley.

There are probably many more but the team’s last year was in 1996 and with a brief return in 2002-2006 with the Ottawa Renegades, but disaster seems to surround this team.

I was the mascot for the Ottawa Rough Riders in 95-96 and when the Merchandise manager says to me,’I think you should talk with a funny voice like Mickey Mouse.” 

 I turn to him and say, “Mascots don’t talk.” 

Maybe this is one of the reasons I love the Cubs.  Someday, they’ll win the World Series and maybe they’ll put together a winning streak.  I loved my Ottawa Rough Riders and their return in 2013.  If we lived in Chicago, I can guarantee my wife would be calling up the Rickett’s, “Can you please send Mark home.”  Just like I was always at Landsdowne Park.

Now, here’s a bit of history for you.  For those of you who have ever wondered if the CFL played the NFL  here’s your answer:

—Mark Gauthier

Mistakes

Mistakes happen.  There’s no way around it.  However, it’s learning from those mistakes that matter.  Yesterday, the Cubs made mistakes and it cost them a win.  An important win.  They have to win the games against the division opponents(especially the Pirates).

The aforementioned Pirates beat them 4-2.  It’s good to see Alfonso Soriano get a home run.  Doug Davis said it best about walking six,”There’s no excuse for walking six”  He’s right.  Hey, stuff happens and there’s nothing the Cubs can do about yesterday’s loss.  Today’s a new day and they’ll have to concentrate on the Pirates.

I think the Cubs should groom Tony  Campana on the art of base stealing.  The Cubs have to move the runners and with his speed, they should have no problems.

Another reason the Cubs lost yesterday is the ineffectiveness of the big bats of Castro, Barney and Ramirez.  They got to get that moving or they’ll be in the basement come September.

On the up swing, Carlos Pena is getting it together with two hits and a run.

—Mark Gauthier

Who is Tony Campana?

It always seems when I get on the Cubs case they rebound and upset their opponent.  Maybe I just think I’m their muse or something.   They won 9-3 over the Mets

 One of my biggest concerns is that in the National League, pitchers should know a thing or two about batting.   I’ve harped on this before but when Zambrano can go 3 for 3 that says something.  It means pitchers won’t do the usual bunt or sacrifice.  Carlos Zambrano is a huge threat when he steps up to the plate.  You know, the other thing is Zambrano has far exceeded his expectations this year.

Carlos Pena earned his money by hitting a home run.  I think he’s warmed up a bit and ready to go.

So, who is this kid Tony Campana?  Ok, I’ve asked that question before but I think few would disagree that he’s solidified his place in the lineup and I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves his way up in the order. 

One more time; who is Tony Campana?

My prediction is that the Cubs will make a run for the division title.

Holy Cow!

—Mark Gauthier

Not So Bad

There’s an old cliche that says, “They’re great on paper.”  This applies to the Chicago Cubs.  It’s funny you know, the Toronto Blue Jays on paper have an Ok team, but this year, they’re exceeding expectations.  The Cubs on the other hand, for some reason can’t get it together.  They have one good game followed by a really poor one and then climb out of the woodwork and pull together an amazing game.  That’s baseball.

The Cubs are seven games back.  A few years ago they were ten games back at the start of August and came back to win their division.  That’s also baseball.

There have been some outstanding performances this year like Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro who should have no problem making it to the Allstar game.  There havy been some great surprises like Tony Campana and returning stars like Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson.

To be fair, Andrew Cashner has been injured and now Marlon Byrd so injuries have played a crucial part in this year’s fluctuation.  I’m confident the team will turn around.  I think after the Allstar break, we’re going to see a much better Cubs team.  No, a more consistent team.

—Mark Gauthier

Since 1918

The Cubs got beat up at Fenway.  Hey, the pageantry was felt and what I’ve learnt from baseball is that even in the losses, baseball is an intriguing game.  Now, I only watched a little bit of the game on Sunday but it was pretty cool to see the Green Monster.  My dad and I were watching snippets of it and we both concur that the magic of baseball unlike some sports is the strategy goes right down to the wire.

I saw a clip of Marlon Byrd getting nailed.  I hope he’s ok.  It looked pretty bad.  Today, the Cubs are off and I have a funny feeling that they’re going to be making some crucial changes in the lineup.

I like interleague play.  Maybe not as many games, maybe one series I don’t know.  Boston is a powerhouse and maybe the Cubs having to change their plan is rough.

It was a treat to see the Cubs at Fenway and I look forward to the Yankees at Wrigley.

—Mark Gauthier