After a promising start to a weekend series up in Wisconsin, the Cubs outdid themselves on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, Matt Garza gave up eight more hits (only 20 allowed in two starts so far–awesome) and the Cubs didn’t bother to score. But then, how are you expected to do anything against the mighty Narveson?
The highlight of the game came in the eighth, when Carlos Gomez of the Brewers decided to celebrate a rare feat for him–successfully reaching base–by stealing second and third with a five run lead.
But, to make matters even better, when he stole second base, Starlin Castro tried to do a sweep tag and instead did this:
Holy shit, that has to hurt. Keep your eye on the ball, Starlin, not your bicuspids.
That had to be the most humiliating thing that happened to any player this weekend, right?
(Cue Juan Pierre, and “Yakety Sax”)
Juan’s sterling defensive play continues to impress, even after all of these years. That gift led to the Rays actually winning their only game of the season so far.
There really is no more hit or miss assignment in TV or radio than the man on the street, and we have this new classic from WBEZ where a bald guy with a beard (always looks like their head was installed upside down) interviews a drunk Cubs fan.
She’s the perfect fan to interview. She probably used to be cute. She’s drunk. She doesn’t know who’s playing for the team. She doesn’t have tickets for the game. And she’s constantly sniffing during the interview.
Oh, and the whole thing is fake.
Because what drunk bitch would still be lugging around her “It’s Gonna Happen” sign?
OK, I don’t know it to be fake. But it just reeks of bullshit, doesn’t it?
WGN does a fine job with their season opening promos, and this year’s is…well…it’s not bad, but it doesn’t match teh awesomes of last year.
This year’s seems to be a reminder that old people love the Cubs, and even the oldest ones have never seen them win a goddamned thing. We get it. We live it.
Then again, you put a little soft music behind Carlos Zambrano throwing a no-hitter, Shooter nailing down a playoff spot, and a Ron Santo bomb, and I get all goosebumpy and ready to see some real baseball. Well, as “real” as the Cubs manage to play it, anyway.
Here’s the promo for Sunday’s TV opener against the Dodgers:
Our old pal Franchester Martin Brennaman is at it again. Everybody’s favorite tone deaf hack got paid to give a speech at Marshall University in West Virginia over the weekend and he gave the people what they came to hear.
It was basically all of Franchester’s greatest hits. He made a gay joke, defended his old buddy Pete Rose’s honor (which, of course is still for sale on QVC for three low payments of $29.99) and he dusted off the big book of cliches and took aim at the other five teams in the NL Central.
Rich Stevens, (a man who looks just a little bit like Kenny Powers without the power mullet) the Charleston Daily Mail’s Assistant Sports Editor, has the details.
On Saturday night during Marshall University’s preseason baseball banquet and fundraiser at the Cam Henderson Center, Brennaman – the keynote speaker – determined that Marshall’s president must be “queer” for softball since the university managed to open a $2.5 million softball facility in March 2008, but baseball is still traveling for home games.
Now, to be fair to Franchester back when he was a kid queer didn’t mean homosexual, it meant gay. Wait, what?
Many of his comments resulted in rousing ovations as he spoke to a contingent of more than 400 interested in what he had to say.
Gee, who would have thought you could find 400 rednecks in West Virginia?
I mostly was struck by Brennaman’s candor. When asked a question during the three-plus hours event, he didn’t dodge it.
With a head as big as Marty’s there’s no dodging anything.
“They’ve (Pirates) probably improved themselves, which means they’ll probably lose 97 games,” said Brennaman of the Pirates, who were 57-105 in 2010. “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel for that franchise. There really isn’t.
“I don’t think it has great ownership, I don’t think it has great baseball expertise in its front office, and is strapped for finances, which is probably the single biggest problem. I feel bad for them. PNC Park is one of the fine ballparks in Major League Baseball.”
Well that’s good. I’m sure Pissburgh is super happy that a semi-retired radio play-by-play guy from a franchise that has had one winning season in the last ten feels pity for them.
“I’m not a big St. Louis fan, because I’m not a big Tony LaRussa fan. I refer to him as ‘Mr. Baseball’ on the radio, because he acts like he invented the game.”
I’ve got no problem with anybody not liking The Genius, but there’s only one Mr. Baseball, Franny, and it’s not Tony LaRussa.
“The Chicago Cubs won’t be a factor because, no matter how much they add to their club, at the end of the day, they’ve got ‘Cubs’ across the front of their jerseys. That’s the reason why they won’t win.”
Awesome analysis. He’s right. The Cubs have sucked lately. Since 1998 they only have had seven winning seasons, three division titles and one playoff series win. That’s not that impressive. Believe us, we know. We’ve lived it. The Reds, meanwhile, have had three winning seasons, one division title and zero playoff wins. Holy shit, what a juggernaut. Oh, and they managed to get no-hit during the playoffs. I almost forgot to give them credit for that.
“The franchise we all have to be worried about is the Milwaukee Brewers. What they’ve done is mortgage their future for one shot. That’s this season. They lose Prince Fielder, probably to free agency at the end of this year. They’ve traded away almost every good, young prospect in their organization in order to try to be better than the Reds and the Cardinals.”
Hey, that’s just not true about the Brewers trading all of their good prospects. They really only traded one good one, Brett Lawrie. Just because that’s the only one they had is of little consequence.
Franchester also has a hard-on for centerfielder Drew Stubbs.
“He can do it all,” Brennaman said of Stubbs. “He’s the fastest player in the league, he can run down the ball in center field with about as good as it gets in our league, and, he had 22 home runs last year and he and Jay Bruce pretty much carried this club the last half of the season.”
Stubbs did have a pretty good second half, and he stole 30 bases last year. It’s of course laughable that he’s the fastest player in the league. In his own division he’s at best the fifth fastest centerfielder behind Michael Bourne, Carlos Gomez, Andrew McCutcheon and Colby Rasmus. Sixth fastest if Jim Hendry hadn’t been foolish enough to trade Sam Fuld. Wow, that guy could scamper.
Wait, Fernando Perez is faster than Stubbs, too. Jesus, at this point we should start listing the guys who aren’t faster than Stubbs, might save us some time.
Stubbs is, of course faster than Marlon Byrd. Then again, so are you.
Jay Bruce had one of the weirdest second halves in baseball. He hit better than he had in the first half. His average went up 40 points, his on base and slugging went up 160 points. His walks went down, his total bases went down, he didn’t steal a base, he drove in fewer runs and after hitting 20 doubles in the first half, he hit three in the second. I have no real point. I just think it’s really strange.
When asked about Aroldis Chapman, Brennaman apparently forgot that Dusty Baker manages the team.
“As far as his role beyond 2011, he could be a closer or as a starting pitcher. We don’t need him to start. They’ll handle him with kid gloves and let him get his feet wet this year. He’s about as exciting an act as you get from a pitcher.”
Is it kid or kit gloves? I never know. But Dusty will handle him the way he handles all young pitchers, like he has stock in Dr. Andrews’ practice.
Finally, he was asked about Pete Rose. Now, if you don’t know the history of Marty and the Big Red Machine, know this. Joe Morgan was only the second most insufferable person in that clubhouse every day. Brennaman never took a back seat to anybody when it came time to prove who was the bigger asshole. There’s a reason he refers to the Reds as “we” and especially the Big Red Machine. He’s convinced he was a member of it. So when he talks about Rose, it’s personal.
“He bet on baseball,” Brennaman said. “There’s no question about that. He admitted it in a book a few years ago. But, if they’re going to allow these guys who either confirmed, or alleged, druggies … steroid guys … just to be on the Hall of Fame ballot, which they are – (Roger) Clemens and (Barry) Bonds. (Rafael) Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa and (Mark McGwire). If they’re going to allow those guys to be on the ballot, then damn it, Pete needs to be on there too.
And being on the ballot would do Pete about as much good as it will those other guys. He’ll get about 40 more votes being on the ballot than he gets not being on it. Actually, a few dopes vote for him every year anyway. And it’s true that he admitted it in a book a few years ago, after blatantly lying about it for 20 years. Typical Pete, he didn’t tell the truth until somebody wrote him a check.
What Franchester refuses to acknowledge is that none of the other players are banned from baseball. Rose is. Whether or not they should be is a different discussion, but it’s hard to make a case that Rose shouldn’t be banned.
“When you go to the Hall of Fame, you realize the level of hypocrisy about this whole thing. Everywhere you go in Cooperstown, you see some evidence of Pete Rose. He’s good enough to have his stuff in there, but he’s not good enough to have a plaque in there, and that’s got to change sometime in the not-too-distant future, and hopefully it will.”
Here’s where he forgets that it is the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Pete’s in the museum because he got more hits than anybody else. He’s not in the Hall of Fame. You know who else is in the museum? Curious George and Garfield are both in the museum this year. I’ve never understood why Garfield’s not on the ballot, did Odie rat him out for excessive cat nip use?
But it’s not like it keeps Pete out of Cooperstown. He sells his autograph there Hall of Fame weekend every year, and nervously laughing dopes like these guys eat that shit up: