If we’re going to do this thing, kids, let’s get one thing straight:
The first rule of a win-streak is you don’t talk about the win streak!
The second rule of a win-streak: no outside food.
Tonight marks the triumphant return of one Ryan Dempster and his big toe, both of which suffered unfortunate injury in an ill-fated attempt to clear the dugout fence at Wrigley. Clearly, Ryan Dempster is no Ted Lilly, who, if you haven’t heard, underwent knee surgery today. That and his bum shoulder should keep him on the DL until Mid-August. Do I buy this? No. I think Obama has called Ted in to resolve the healthcare crisis. It should take Ted about 15 days to wrap all that up, at which point he’ll return to the rotation. And America will be better for it.
I’ll get to Cubs news in the comments. For right now, we have only one headline.
I believe in newspapers. I grew up in a family that read the paper around the breakfast table each morning. I went to journalism school and, when it was all the rage to concentrate in broadcasting, I concentrated in feature story writing. I cannot remember a time when the Chicago Tribune was not the first paper I read in the morning. In college in Southern Indiana, I had it delivered to my dorm. When I lived in France, I would walk the two miles to the train station every day to pick up a day-old Tribune. As a teen, I wanted to write for the Tribune. Specifically, I wanted to write for the Tribune about the Cubs.
The Chicago Tribune is my hometown newspaper; it never once occurred to me that I should doubt what I read there.
Until last night.
Some of you may recall that I wrote a diary sometime back examining Paul Sullivan’s seemingly-biased coverage of Milton Bradley. Even after that diary, I continued to defend Sullivan from time to time, mostly because it’s incomprehensible to me that a journalist would intentionally misrepresent the facts in order to try to sway readers to one point of view, but I’ve become convinced that this is exactly what’s happening.
Tonight the FIRST PLACE CHICAGO CUBS take on the Houston Astros, who are only 2 games back of the FIRST PLACE CHICAGO CUBS and hot on the trail of the FIRST PLACE CHICAGO CUBS.
It’s been a long, hard slog to get to first place for the FIRST PLACE CHICAGO CUBS, who have endured injuries, suspensions, bat-shit crazy pitchers, stupid injuries, more suspensions, a bat-shit crazy right-fielder, still more injuries, some minor leaguers, and a bat shit crazy manager who insists he is not a dragon.
(NB: Whether Milton actually said the quote that I based on my entire diary on seems to be in dispute. More on this in tomorow morning’s headlines.)
But while Wrigleyville and Cubs fans everywhere rejoice in the afterglow of sweet, sweet victory, one sullen Cubbie has decided to use this joyous occasion to continue his descent into total dickitude:
“It’s nice, but I don’t think we’re going to get any nicer articles written about us,” Bradley said. “But we’re in firstplace, so you can’t find a negative in that.”
It really means nothing, after all the Cubs have gone through?
“Am I going to get more cheers now?” he said. “Are we going to stop getting bashed by everybody, articles about our lineup and how it was better last year and all that garbage. Last year’s team is sitting at home, just like everyone else. There’s just one champion.”
Actually, Sunday’s lineup included seven players from last year’s team, and Bradley was cheered after making a nice headfirst slide into home in the third and a running catch of a foul ball in the fifth.
“I don’t notice it,” he said.”
Let’s address your points in turn:
(Chicago Tribune photo by Nancy Stone)
The oddest thing happened to me today. I went away for the weekend for my little brother’s wedding, had a great time, got a wonderful new little sister-in-law, and came back to find the Cubs in first place.
Mind you, all this appears to have happened with Uncle Milty AND Soriano finding ways to contribute to the game, Harden pitching well at Wrigley in warm weather, and Groggles saving games instead of blowing them.
Everything’s coming up Milhouse!
In order to celebrate whatever cosmic alignment has caused this latest win streak to take place, and to make whatever ritual sacrifices may be necessary to the baseball gods (I’m thinking we offer them millertime or summerguy), Matt and I will be hosting an abbreviated podcast tonight.
Grab your party hats and join us.
The call in number for questions, making fun of Julie, snarky comments, and threats is (347) 884-8570.
Even Milty hit a home run!
Yes, I’m aware it’s the Reds that the Cubs are playing, and I’m aware
that the Cards are facing the buzzsaw that is the Phillies right now.
We’ve got a game coming up in just under three hours, so we’re going to combine our headlines and our game thread today.
The game last night was a real heart-breaker, as our not-so-hitsy team managed to squander a great outing by Rich Harden’s butt:
PHILADELPHIA — Jayson Werth’s two-out homer in the 13th inning Wednesday night, after Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez had walked, gave the Phillies a 4-1 victory over the Cubs.
The loser was Jeff Samardzija, who got the first two outs in the inning before issuing the walks.
The Phillies have won 10 straight games, while the Cubs lost their second in a row after starting with four victories in Washington following the All-Star break.
“We’ve see this movie before about not scoring runs,” manager Lou Piniella said.
“We’re challenged offensively, I can tell you that. You don’t score runs, you can’t win. We’ve played this game so many times before that you get tired of complimenting the other team’s pitchers. I’d like to compliment our hitters once in a while.
“We might need a couple of hitters at trading deadline.”
Joy. I can only imagine what kind of hitters we’re likely to get, what with the entire world knowing that we couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. A fifth (sixth? sevent?) go around at Paul Bako? Another Jeff Baker? Is it too late to get Freddy Bynum back? Blah.