I considered using “The Dog Days are Over” as a title of today’s post, but, if I’m being brutally honest, the dog days are still here in full force. Please bear with Carl and me as we do our best to slog across the finish line of the Chicago Cubs 2013 season. We knew from the beginning it was going to be bad, but knowing it’s going to be bad and having to write about the bad every single day are two totally different things. May God have mercy on our souls.
For some reason this morning, I started singing (rapping?) this in the shower, and I came to the realization that I still know every. damn. word. to this song (rap). I’m not sure what that says about me, but at the very lease it ought to get me my own “Committed” commercial.
God, 1989. Not only was I into every single game that year, but I was into every pitch. Granted, all I had to do was come home from school and flip on the television (no job, mortgage, blog, etc), but even so. Also, it’s nice to see Mark Grace before life beat him down and sent him to a tent prison in the Arizona desert. Wasn’t having to try to haul in Shawon Dunston’s throws from short punishment enough? I’d start drinking, too.
Hey, Scott Baker (remember that guy?) is finally healthy and wants to pitch for the Cubs this season:
CHICAGO — Scott Baker made his final rehab start with Class A Kane County on Monday. What’s next for the Cubs right-hander? They’re not sure.
Baker has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and he would like to pitch in a Cubs game this season. The Minor League season ends for Kane County and Triple-A Iowa on Monday, and the Cubs have three Minor League teams in the playoffs.
On Monday against Peoria, Baker served up hits to the first three batters he faced, including a two-run homer to Nick Martini. The right-hander was pulled after giving up two runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out four. He did not walk any of the 23 batters faced.
Although Baker has been a starter, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday that if the right-hander were added, he’d pitch out of the bullpen.
Given that I had to be reminded pretty much weekly that Scott Baker was still on the roster, I have no opinion on this news. Sure, let him pitch. Why not? What’s he going to do, blow their post-season chances?
Even though he was . . . re-distributed . . . to another position in the organization, Tim Wilken feels good about what he accomplished during the brief time Jim Hendry let him go hog wild down on the farm:
But as the Cubs trudge through another unwatchable season, that foundation Epstein spoke of is starting to look quite sturdy, with Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee combining to go 82-47 in their second halves en route to playoff berths.
Daytona begins its quest for the Florida State League title against Dunedin on Tuesday night with Cory Black, acquired from the Yankees in the Alfonso Soriano deal, taking the mound in the opener of the best-of-five series. C.J. Edwards, whom the Cubs acquired in the multiplayer deal that sent Matt Garza to the Rangers, will start for the Cubs in Game 2.
Meanwhile, Tennessee travels to Birmingham on Thursday to begin its Southern League playoffs against the White Sox affiliate, and Class A Boise, the Cubs’ short-season team, takes on Salem-Keizer on Tuesday in its Northwest League playoff opener.
“It’s a very big compliment to our player development department that it kept to their plans and didn’t deviate a lot,” said Tim Wilken, the former scouting director who now is a special assistant to Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer. “It’s part of the attitude ‘We want to win everywhere,’ including here (in the majors).
I don’t mean to laugh, but only the Cubs would not have a “we want to win everywhere” attitude. Even if your focus is on developing players and honing certain skills, you should still want to win. How else do you know your players are developing and their skills are being honed? I just . . I can’t . . I . . . (sigh).
The newly-motivated to win Chicago Cubs are back facing the hapless Marlins tonight at 7:05 pm at Wrigley. One source told me he counted 28 Marlins fans at Wrigley yesterday. Total. Twenty-eight.