Not in the Cards

Well, Cubs fans have seen this one coming all season.  It’s been a rough season and changes have to be made.  in the wake of Hendry’s release, Tyler Colvin’s walk-off single in the 10th inning propelled the Cubs to an important win over the Cardinals.  Not that I’m dreaming of a miraculous playoff this year but beating their rivals and really putting an end to Jim Hendry’s career with the Cubs is somewhat poetic.

it’s a new beginning for the Cubs.  Jim Hendry had 9 tumultuous years with the organization and he made some good moves and some not so good moves.  I’ve been saying all season long that with the highest pay roll this side of Manhattan and not being able to secure a World Series spot; there’s bound to be some changes.

Nobody can blame it on curses, Black Cats, winds blowing in or blowing out–Hell, being the “lovable losers” will only draw fans in for so long(Yesterday was their biggest attendence since 1978-was it for Hendry or the Cards?)The question at the end of the day is, Can you win any ball games?

Jim Hendry’s record with the Cubs was 749-748.  That’s an ok record if it were some other team, but the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 103 years so that record should have been better.

Next year starts today.  No more bullshit(yes, that’s what it is).  The Cubs will make the post season next year, Albert Pujols will lead the team in HR’s and Sandberg will be back.

—Mark Gauthier

Tyler Colvin is Back

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 9: Right fielder Tyler Colvin #21 of the Chicago Cubs hits a ground rule double during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ok, I shouldn’t have went to bed early.  I missed Tyler Colvin’s heroics.   I wanted to get to bed early because of our Toronto trip today. 

Tyler Colvin was having a huge slump in hits and suddenly he comes back with the game winner.  He missed his chance for a homer in the ninth when a fan interefered and the umpire ruled it a double.

Tyler Colvin was 0-36 and hadn’t had a hit since April 28th.  Hopefully, having his hitless streak will turn the corner for the Cubs as well.  There’s 100 games left and they can still do it.  It’s not entirely impossible.  However, the Cubs should have been playing Tyler Colvin all season long.  He’s back and it was alkso nice to see Marlon Byrd in the dugout and he should be back soon.

TORONTO TRIP

So, we leave for Toronto today.  We’re heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame .  It’s kinda weird because I’ve never been there before and in many ways the stereotypes are true about Canada and hockey.  We grew up watching  stories like

 The Sweater

it’s a classic and I’m excited to go and visit an important part of our Canadian heritage with my family.  Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe , Guy Lafleur and Wayne Gretzky are all enshrined there.

On Saturday, we go see the Blue Jays and the Red Sox.  Look for us by the third base bleachers.  We’ll be the ones in the Cubs uniforms.

I’m going to post plenty of pictures.

—Mark Gauthier

Garza a Hit

Another tough loss yesterday.  However, Matt Garza got his first hit.  In the end, it was a tough loss to take.  Nobody needs to know the importance of division rivals.  These are the games to win.

Everyone can say that everyone did their jobs but in the end, they just didn’t win.  Now, Tyler Colvin isn’t playing the best but Mike Quade says,”I need to get him involved but can’t do it at the expense of players who are playing well.”

You know what?  The kid’s gotta play.  Put him in coach.  Even if you have to bench one of the guys who are playing well.  The only way a player will end his slump is to play.  It’s that simple.  Put Fukodome on the bench for a game.  Tough love, but confidence in a young player will grow.

I would also love to see the Cubs steal more bases. 

Actually, I’m going to sit back and see what happens.  The sun is coming out, it’s a beautiful Saturday and the Cubs are going to win today!

—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

Cubs Charm the Snakes…again

I’ve been waiting to use that one.  Tyler Colvin played first base and got a two run home run.  Andrew Cashner showed he’s got the tools in the making of becoming a Cubs legend and Starlin Castro added to his future Hall of Fame numbers.  All right, I may be jumping the gun just a bit, but those are just a few reasons to get excited this year for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs not only came from behind to beat the Diamondbacks 6-5, but they did it with perceverance and hard work.  This team is really coming together.  It seems Opening Day was all about the jitters.

There is a long road ahead still, but  so far so good. Although Cashner left the game with soreness in his shoulder, it looks like it is just day to day.

The Cubs are over .500, and the Boston Red Sox are 0-3.  Hmmn, I better check that Mayan calendar.

—Mark Gauthier

 

Don’t start the BBQ

Sunday was a relaxing day.  Sure, we had lots of housework to do that still has to get done.  Hey, it was Sunday, traditionally a day of rest.  Who am I to break with traditions?

Mary Beth asks me if I would like to go downtown.  Why not, eh?

We went downtown.  It could have been Chicago.  Kingston is now the windy city.  I knew there was another reason to be a Cubs fan.  it’s all about the connection to living on a Great Lake.

It was cold.  We got a few feet from the car and turned around.  So, we went shopping and on our way to grocery shopping I casually slipped, the Cubs are on.

What? 

So Mary Beth went shopping and I went home with Darcy. Diapers had to be changed, bottles had to get made, but the payoff was worth it.

Dempster was great in his final warm up till Opening Day!

Later, Mary Beth prepared some burgers and I went out to fire up the BBQ.  I was looking at her through the kitchen window and she mouthed three words.  At first I thought it was,”I Love You” but no, it was more like,”Want some Ham?”

Then I clued in—

“A Grand Slam!” dropping the spatula and running inside only to see the hilights.

The lesson? Don’t start the BBQ when Tyler Colvin is up.

—Mark Gauthier

Working Out The Kinks

So, I missed yesterday’s ballgame.  We had company, but It looks like I didn’t miss much.  Spring Training is a time for working out the kinks, clearing the dust and cobwebs  from the corners and finding out just where things go.  Spring cleaning works pretty much the same way around our house.  I love cleaning.  I love spring training.  People think I’m crazy,”It doesn’t count.”  or,”What’s the point?”

So, I after seeing the score against the Padres (and for those of you not in the know, it was 14-4) a pretty bad score by any other standard but this being Cactus League play, let’s break down the Box Score:

Fukodome got one hit and a run. He continues to shine in the lead-off position.  Let’s keep him there. 

Marlon Byrd wasn’t in the lineup.

One word:  TYLER COLVIN.  ok, that’s two words but he got one hit, one run and two walks.  He’s going to be a star this year.

Reed Johnson is his usual best with a hit and a run.  The Cubs did a great job getting him back.

Pitching is still a little shaky.  Matt Garza is struggling but he got off to a rough start but you know, the best players bring their game come the regular season.  I’d give him some rest.

Despite yesterday’s loss, the Cubs are in good shape for Opening Day.

—Mark Gauthier

Pena Becomes Vocal

Carlos Pena had a few pointers for sophomore Tyler Colvin during practice.  Pena told him that each player is responsible for certain areas on the field.  This is good because it might lead to more organization this season and who knows that if Pena wants to take part in mentoring Colvin, maybe they’ll be able to give Pena a day off and put Colvin in at 1st base.

They key to winning championships is depth.  If the player knows their role and doesn’t try to do too much, they will succeed. 

When it comes to pop- ups, there’s nothing more agonizing than seeing a couple of players running into each other over a simple catch. 

It’s also good that Mike Quade is keen on letting his players speak up.  This will build a more comfortable atmosphere.

Hopefully, Pena continues to be a communicator in the locker room.  I think this was a problem last year.  I believe in this team and can’t wait for the season to get going.

—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 

Marlon Byrd

 

 

 

2010 was an awkward season to say the least, but out of that season we saw Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin give a glimpse into what lies ahead for the Chicago Cubs.  There is one player that played brilliantly throughout the season and landed a spot in the All-Star Game making a great play to throw the mighty David Ortiz out.

This year, he’ll probably play behind Carlos Pena and that my fellow Cubs fans, will be a deadly one-two punch.

His statistics tell it all:

12 Home Runs, 66 RBI, AVG .293

No wonder he made an all-star appearance.  It’s difficult to say that he’ll have a breakout year, but this year could be a record setting year for Byrd.

The Cubs should sign him for the long term. 

—Mark Gauthier