stripes-1.jpgFor a sport that is obsessed with statistics, you’d think baseball might want to put more thought in how some of its numbers are calculated.

For example, on their way to pummeling the Giants 12-1 yesterday (July 18, 2007) the Chicago Cubs put up a 5-spot in the bottom of the 5th inning. In so doing, the small bears from the windy place sent nine batters to the plate and used up about 30 minutes of clock time.

That was apparently ample time for starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to cool down and tighten up. So with a nine-run lead and the Archie Bell cued, manager Lou Pinella decided to pull his ace and replace him with Sean Gallagher (incidentally, if the name isn’t Irish enough, he comes from Boston).

The Cubs’ offense tacked on 3 more runs in the bottom of the 8th, just in case there was a Cubs-esque collapse looming. Not out of the realm of possibility as Gallagher was making just his fifth appearance and it is the Cubs.

No such luck for the Giants. Gallagher worked four innings and gave up just one run.

And for that Gallagher was credited with a save. (more…)



Inspired by a Deadspin headline and a Deadon comment thread, this week’s odes to my fantasy team is in honor of the late Wesley Willis. (more…)

chipper.jpgNobody cares about your fantasy team.

Well, if you’re in a head-to-head league, the other guy you are playing might care. But even that isn’t lasting more than a week. Seriously, if you want to suck the lifeforce out of people just tell them how you dropped Chad Gaudin right before he became SP eligible so you could pick up Jason Hirsch on a 2-start week only to see him get pounded twice.

I am now a less interesting person simply for having written that sentence.

I am also guilty. I am obsessed with checking my teams’ scores as they update. I watch gamecasts to see if Micah Owings can pitch out of a 2-on 2-out jam. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Micah Owings six weeks ago, or if I did, I probably thought it was some brand of cookware. These aren’t even actual games I am watching, they are just dots that appear on a web page that show where a pitch crossed the strike zone. I’m an Ecclesiastical fence-sitter (read: agnostic), yet I believe those dots to reveal something true about the world. It’s not healthy.

I want to talk about my fantasy players but I want to do it in a way such that I don’t lose my friends and don’t chase away potential girlfriends. So I will attempt to use the only idiom that will not engender hatred. (more…)

z_sweat.jpgBig Z might have been wise to take a page from the Roger Clemens playbook and just skip April.

And most of May if he could have gotten away with it, because Zambrano has been costing himself potential millions by starting the season on time and starting the season with a Bruce Chen impersonation.

Zambrano, who entered the season as the Cubs’ staff ace, has been anything but.

On Thursday (May 10) Zambrano was touched up for 6 runs in a loss to the Pirates. In fairness, only 4 were earned. Matt Murton started checking out the Lincoln Park Trixies in the crowd before squeezing a fly ball out. The ball glanced off the outside of his glove and the muff led to a couple of unearned runs for the ‘Burgh. Bummer because the Cubs came back with a couple of late homers to pull within 6-4. Take the two unearned runs off the board, and Big Z is off the hook for the loss.