“Everybody wants to win. But the fans know one team is going to win and one team’s going to lose even before they get to the ballpark. But to come with the spirit of having fun... of laughing, of joking, of making trickery, of booing an umpire, or cheering a star, all the emotions are there. And whoever designed the phrase ‘the agony of defeat’ and ‘the ecstasy of victory’ certainly covered it all. But, it’s a game. Enjoy it.” - Harry Caray, 4th Inning

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Your bad?

"My bad?! Lemme tell you something about that phrase. That is one of my least favorite phrases of all. My bad?! Of course it's your bad, and don't think that just because you're saying it, it makes your mistake ALRIGHT." - Bobby Knight, Knight School

That quote, paraphrased of course, popped into my head on my way to work this morning. For better or worse, playing the Marlins always reminds me of the 2003 NLCS. I don't know if any Cub fan is different, or if I'm just purposefully (yet, subconsciously) pouring salt in the wounds. But of all the things that never will sit right with me about that series, there's one that sticks with me more than the others: Alex Gonzalez. Yup, Alex f*****g Gonzalez.

In my more rational moments after the series, I couldn't figure out why Cub Nation cast their grief on Steve Bartman. Bartman wasn't on the field. Didn't have a glove. Didn't play an inning.

Alex Gonzalez had sure-thing double-play ball hit right to him, and he botched it. And no one cares about this? No one mentions his name with scorn. He's not the one that had police watching over his house and family. Now, I don't really wish that on anyone; Bartman nor Gonzalez. I'm sure Gonzalez felt pretty awful about that play too... but... I just don't get it. Can we do some due diligence to make sure we heap some of this blame on A-Gon? He's just getting off too damn easy... ask Leon Durham. Maybe some well-timed letters to ESPN and FOX... the next time they feel the need to roll-out their oh-so predictable packages about that game, and the banter that ensues afterwards... JUST MENTION GONZALEZ! OKAY?!!

Whew, sorry to dredge up old memories. I don't know why I needed to do that after a pretty great win over the Fish last night! Two great wins in a row! There's nothing I love more than watching great, young pitching, and when the Cubbies let Marshall open the year with them, I was pumped. Watching him throw in spring training, he showed that he had that Major League makeup. He was poised, went right after hitters, and had the stuff to get them out. Three starts in, with his best effort yet, and it looks like the Cubs finally have a lefty worth hanging on to (Sorry Glendon).

And you have to love all the shots of him and the Professor in the dugout together-- although, I've read so many hilarious stories about Mad Dog lately, I wonder if they're mostly picking out drunk people in the crowd, or talking about the apocalpyse.

And speaking of young pitching, today marks the long-anticipated debut of Angel Guzman. I remember watching this guy pitching in the Spring of '03, and he made my jaw drop. His stuff was insane. I was, of course, not surprised at all by the series of injuries, from '03-'05 that kept him from the big league club... after all, he is a Cub (and was on the way to becoming the second coming of Jeremi Gonzalez). Watching him this spring, his stuff wasn't as eye-popping as it had been, but I'm glad he's finally healthy and ready to take the mound at Wrigley.

On the other side, Scott Olsen (1-1, 1.50 ERA). If my theory about the Cubs and their knack for beating up pitchers with good ERA holds true, it could be a fun day at the Confines.

-Fletch

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