Congrats to BN’ers hardtop and hansman who won my extra tickets for Tuesday and Wednesday’s games against the Cardinals next week. Thanks to everyone who entered (the entries were hilarious and awesome, and choosing winners (one was randomly selected, one was chosen by me) was extremely difficult. We’ll do this again.
- Cubs players are staying positive about the abysmal start to the year, which can’t be easy. “It’s a little frustrating,” Volstad said of the start to the year, “but guys are not getting down. Every day we come in with a positive attitude to start the day off. We’re not the type of team that’s ever going to get down on ourselves or quit or back down from anybody. Everyone’s positive. We know the kind of talent we have, we just haven’t shown it yet.” It costs nothing to remain positive, so I’m certainly not going to rip a guy for having a good attitude. The start to this year has sucked. It’s probably been the worst since the 1997 team started the year 0-14. The 1998 team made the playoffs, for whatever little that’s worth.
- The New York Yankees had as many home runs yesterday (5) as the Cubs have had all season. The entire Cubs’ starting outfield has two extra base hits. Total. Both just doubles by David DeJesus. That’s fewer than Darwin Barney, who’s got a double, a triple, and a homer. And he’s still slugging just .377. Ian Stewart also has a double, a triple, and a homer. And he’s slugging just .340. Shall I go on? We expected the Cubs’ offense to be below average and power-weak, but this is beyond the pale.
- Dale Sveum on Marlon Byrd, who’s currently hitting .070: “He’s played a great center field all season long. He really has. Today he hit three balls hard. … Like I said earlier, it looks like he’s swinging the bat better. He’s going to keep going out there. He’s been an asset to us in center field …. I don’t know if you ever get down when you’re swinging the bat good and not getting anything to show for it. You know you’re swinging the bat good and getting good at-bats and putting good swings on the ball. I think it’s more important that they understand that once the weather warms up and we get in a little better hitters’ park than what we’ve been dealing with, a lot of those things turn out for the better.” Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.
- The Cubs are expected to make a decision on Ryan Dempster today, whose MRI results should be in at any moment. He’s got a sore right quad, which could be a problem for a right-handed pitcher trying to drive toward the plate. Randy Wells stands ready to start in Dempster’s place tomorrow if needed.
- Thoughts on Anthony Rizzo from a fantasy perspective, with words of hopefulness and caution.
- A sad story about former Cubs pitcher Angel Guzman, who was with the Dodgers organization this year. He’s tested positive a second time for a “drug of abuse,” and he’ll have to get treatment. His is not so much a cautionary tale – other than the drug stuff, all the bad things that happened in his career (injuries, death in the family) happened to him as opposed to being caused by him - as it is a sad reflection on how sure things can go terribly wrong. Good luck, Angel.
- Jon Greenberg, who might secretly hate the Cubs, spends a column extolling the virtues of Theo Epstein’s long-term plan for the organization, and admonishing anyone who thought the Cubs were going to be anything but terrible this year. But then he wraps it up with this: “But I think something is wrong with an organization when Wood is on the DL, The Noodle is the hottest thing at any corner, and a real-life major leaguer like Marshall was traded for next to nothing. It should make Cubs fans mad.” Which is it, Jon? Should we be mad that the team is crappy in service of long-term goals? Or should we have expected this because of those long-term goals? You can’t have it both ways, unless, of course, you’re just looking for a reason to dump on the Cubs. (And to Jon, who is almost certainly not reading this: please don’t go the way of the Rosenblooms and Rozners. Vitriol gets you only so far. And the cheap eyes it buys you aren’t worth it in the end.)
- Well, we blew our chance to get a Honus Wagner card for a measly $1.2 million. At least now I know what I’m asking for for my birthday.