I know I just kind of popped back on the scene but I’ll be around to talk about offseason moves, the pending sale, and the rest of the postseason too. If something is significant, I’ll want to talk about it, even if it isn’t about the Cubs.
The sale of the team: I have a bad feeling about this, for a few reasons. Originally, they were supposed to have a new owner lined up by now, so that the sale could be finalized as soon as possible, affording the new owner to make offseason moves. Remember, the new owner still needs approval from the rest of the league. Without a new owner, it is unlikely the player payroll would be increased very much. So all those free agent dreams we have can probably be kissed goodbye, and guys like Wood and Floyd might not be resigned as well. It seems now, though that not much has progressed on this front, and this will be something that drags into winter and spring.
Winter Meetings/Hot Stove Talk: I’ll be around to talk about trades, both rumors, and ones that actually happen. I can see the Cubs being more active in the trade market this offseason, because they may not have the flexibility to sign major free agents. Stay tuned.
Well, what can I say about last night? I had my parents over, my brother and his wife and son, to watch the game. It was hard to watch, it started out bad and progressively got worse. Near the end of the game, when my little one year old boy wanted to play, how could I refuse? So, with the game playing out in the background, I made the smart choice and played with my son. To **** with the Cubs.
All in all, though, on the hurt-o-meter, this ranks somewhat low, probably similar to 1998 hurt. I mean, I thought they could go all the way this year, but in 2003, I knew they would. I believed it. But these 2007 Cubs, for which we had such high expectations, were also the same guys that struggled to win close games, and struggled in extra innings. They were a team that seemed among the best in baseball at times, yet they could just as easily be swept by Florida in the last week of the season with the division on the line. I should have known better, being swept by Florida a week before the playoffs is a bad indicator.
So I’ll close here, with a favorite quote, origin unknown… "We’ll win next year!"
I’ll close today’s posts with a message of hope:
We’re still alive, We’re still alive. Ask Eric Byrnes when the last time a team came back from being down 0-2 in a Division Series… In fact, he could tell you the last two times its happened: 2003 A’s vs. Red Sox (touch home, then shove Varitek, not the other way around) and 2001 A’s vs. Yanks.
Now I’m not saying Byrnes is the reason for any of this, because a lot happened in those series that had nothing to do with him. I was just using his participation in those series as a hook to explain that coming back from an 0-2 deficit is a common enough occurrence that a player on the opposing team could have been through it twice.
For the record, Ted Lilly started game 3 for the A’s in 2003, the game in which Byrnes is remembered for getting tagged out on his way back to the dugout.
You seem to hear more boos on pickoff moves during the playoffs, generally because the more moneyed types and bandwagon fans who don’t tend to watch much baseball during the regular season are in attendance. I would imagine the type who’d find this blog would never boo a throw to first, because they understand that aspect of the game.
But a mere novice could see the effect that Lilly’s attention to Chris Young had in the first inning, how he’d take a half step back towards first on every pitch. Kudos to Ron Darling for pointing that out on TV as well, and for generally doing a pretty good job otherwise in his analysis.
There is an off day in between games 4 and 5, so if it gets that far, Ted Lilly will not be on short rest. I don’t know why nobody on the TBS off air crew caught this, but he mentioned that Lilly would be coming back on short rest for a possible game 5 at least three times.
Probably the best part of watching with Tivo, was that I didn’t have to see the constant Dane Cook commercials… You know, that scruffy, effeminate pretty boy pleading with you to watch the playoffs, except for the fact that, I ALREADY AM!
I only took a couple of marketing classes in college, so maybe I missed the unit about annoying your core fans to draw in the fringes, but that seems to be strategy employed here.
These are some of the most annoying commercials on TV today. I already know how many Octobers there are… Can I get an Amen?
I’m not even going to get into the game too much, because it’s covered enough already as it is, and I’m not going to go crazy second guessing. I thought that maybe pinch hitting for Lilly in the top of the 4th would have been a good idea, except there really wasn’t a good fit at the time, and its still only the 4th inning. The only righties on the bench were Kendall and Cedeno, neither of which you want to lose early, putting you one injury away from seeing someone like Murton at catcher, or Fontenot at SS. I’m guessing here, but you get the point. If you bring in a lefty pinch hitter, it had better be a lefty that can hit lefties, in which case, you burn a good PH in the 4th, and lose your SP in a still 4-2 game. Hindsight tells you bring in Cedeno to pinch hit, but the non-pinch hit was probably the right call at the time.
My wife stayed up to watch the game, even though she’s four months pregnant and has to get up early when the baby wakes up. On top of that, I had a late softball game and didn’t get home until eleven. She was pretty tired by then, but the kicker was the Young home run, after which she angrily stormed upstairs to bed…
So, after the game, I had a choice to make… I could go upstairs and tell my wife the Cubs lost, but I really didn’t want to go up there. I had an empty feeling inside, so I ate a bag of microwave popcorn, two pieces of previously frozen birthday cake (thawed in the freezer fiasco earlier this week), and the previous two night’s leftovers, while watching five or six Seinfeld reruns. The empty feeling wasn’t hunger, and while the reruns were funny, I had to go to bed eventually, didn’t I?
When I finally made my way to bed, the baby started crying in the next room… I guess that’s just the way things work out sometimes, but at least I didn’t drown my sorrows in the bottle, although when you think about it, a six pack probably has half the calories of the impromptu buffet I ingested last night, so I guess you pick your poisons. I didn’t feel nearly as bad this morning as I could have.