265 thoughts on “Game Thread: June 2, Braves at Cubs”

  1. He may need to be fired, but I think there should be a reality show following his career, too. Or, perhaps he could become a manager-consultant, whose primary mission is to invent new ways for managers to go ape-sh*t. The guy’s clearly gifted. And while embarrasing to his players and the organization, talent like this ought not rot on the vine.

  2. i was there…it was not amusing at all, he needs medication. the call was questionable but not worthy of that…not over balls and strikes. Villa was ejected because they thought he was pine tarring the balls. i left after that.

  3. I should add that there is a long tradition in baseball of laughing at such incidents that are in fact evidence of mental illness. Two examples: Jimmy Piersall running the bases backwards, and Tony Horton crawling back to the dugout after a strikeout. Both played for laughs; both players were in fact severely mentally ill.

  4. Jay10–Just now saw the video so I want to say Thanks as well (no pun intended).

    And I was beginning to think that problem with the Braves’ farm system was Bruce Dal Canton….

  5. They’ve just posted the lineups:

    Braves:
    Prado 2b
    Escobar 3b
    Renteria ss
    AJones cf
    Francoeur rf
    Diaz lf
    Saltalamacchia c
    Thorman 1b
    James p

    Cubs:
    Soriano lf
    Theriot ss
    Lee 1b
    Ramirez 3b
    DeRosa 2b
    Pagan cf
    JJones rf
    KHill c
    RHill p

  6. our 2 sparks are our of the lineup and 2 unproven major leaguers are at the top of the order. pure genius. if this turns out good then color me blind.

  7. I think the worst of the Barrett-Zambrano bout happened in the clubhouse after they were taken out of the game.

    Lou Pinella at the end of his press conference got pretty aggrivated and and just walked off.

    Any word on if they got suspened or anything yet?

  8. Both were fined but neither has been suspended. As you see, Barrett isn’t starting, but he is available.

  9. Dustin, as far as I know just fines by Pinella, Barrett isn’t starting today but WGN said he is available to pinch hit.

  10. I hope it was a hefty fine then.

    It seems that two grown men who have the privledge of playing in the major leagues might conduct themselves differently and more maturely (sp).

    But I guess when your on the Cubs, it’s hard to do.

  11. Seems to me it’s a team matter, so even if they decided on no disciplinary action whatsoever, it wouldn’t bother me. It’s up to them and what they wanna do about their team.

    Also, if Kelly Johnson gets one more day off against a lefty on anything but a day game the day after a night game, I may destroy something. Kelly Johnson should play every single freaking day! Perhaps to resist the urge, Bobby should pretend that KJ is Renteria…because that’s how often he should be playing, dammit! No more Prado, no more Woodward, no more Orr…Johnson every day!!! I cannot emphasize this enough.

  12. And I fully recognize that McCann needs days off, but I would actually prefer that he get those days off against right-handed pitchers.

    Because for God’s sake, it’s not McCann that needs to be pulled against lefties, it’s Thorman. When the hell are we gonna play Salty at first like we said we would in these situations?

  13. Can we turn this inning into a couple runs? I hope Prado is OK.

    Re: Mentally Ill Ballplayers.

    I believe Rube Waddell also fell into that category. Like many early-century ballplayers, he also liked adult beverages a bit too much.

    He was so loony, apparently, that he would chase fire engines—while a game was in progress. He was an amazing, fireballing pitcher, but crazy as hell.

  14. Jesus, now Ron Gant, of all people, is speaking the Gospel of Simpson.

    My understanding is that in today’s terms, Waddell wasn’t just mentally ill, he was actually retarded.

  15. Kelly Johnson is like 25 years old. He doesn’t need all this rest, he’s not a 40+ veteran with bad knees. Heck, I think Barry Bonds gets less rest.

    We all know Johnson is not playing because, again, of that stupid lefty-vs.-righty match-up fetish that Bobby Cox has. It’s just criminal.

    And Martin Prado bats leadoff? He’s an eight hole hitter at best, a nine hole hitter in the AL or maybe in the NL if someone like Dontrelle Willis or Mike Hampton is the starting pitcher.

  16. Big inning here – if james can keep from giving any back, I like our chances to close it out.

  17. Awesome. And the pitcher’s spot due up first next inning. That was Chuckie’s plan all along.

  18. Way to go, Chucky.

    I’ve read that stuff about Waddell, but I guess I just can’t imagine a genuinely retarded guy doing all the onfield stuff that he did. It’s also been said that he may have had some form of autism.

    I wish there was some film of him speaking.

  19. I just got on…is something wrong with Kelly Johnson? Is he hurt? Why isn’t he playing?

    (I am now officially posting like this, tongue-in-cheek).

    It’s obvious Bobby thinks a 25 year old like KJ needs rest. Explain this to me. Bobby, have you heard of a guy named CAL RIPKEN? Yeah, not every player is Chipper and gets hurt every other week.

    These guys are athletes and 25 year old stars who are potentil All Stars should freaking play, especially considering how inconsistently this team scores runs.

  20. Furthermore…no Chipper, no McCann…again, why would this be a day you sit KJ?

    And again, why even sit KJ at all? Just stupid.

    Martin Prado is a B-A-C-K-U-P.

  21. By the way, with Lance Cormier finally making his first appearance, tomorrow, on June 2nd, did we ever get a good explanation as to why he was out for so darn long after that stellar Spring Training that gave all us the happies?

  22. FWIW, David O’Brien had this to say about KJ: “Further by the way, Kelly J’s got a ear/sinus/throat thing he’s been trying to shake for a few days, but saw a doctor today and is being rested at least one game and on meds.”

  23. I completely agree with you, Alex, but just to be contrarian I’ll play devil’s advocate and argue the opposite.

    KJ is having a stellar year, but despite his great stats he’s been getting a lot of days off. Bobby says stuff like “Gotta get Woody some playing time,” but what if the reason that KJ gets rest is that… KJ needs rest? Maybe KJ wouldn’t put up the numbers he’s had if he played every day. I mean, he’s playing out of position and he’s just a year off Tommy John surgery. Maybe they’re babying him because he needs to be babied.

    Just a counterargument. I’m not saying I actually agree with it.

  24. AAR, it’s not a crazy argument you’re making but he’s been playing great and he’s 25, plus, there is a huge dropoff from KJ to his potential back-ups: Prado, Orr and Woodward. That maybe the main point for a team, struggling to score some runs. You just don’t sit the 25 yr. old All Star unless he asks for a day off.

    And yeah, I get the “it’s a marathon, not a spring” argument about Baseball, but no Chipper or McCann and a potentilly WILD Chuckie James…a recipe for disaster.

  25. Chuckie gittin’ the ball up, dinger Soriano on a belt high hit me pitch makes it 3 to 1 after 5. Chuckie poopin’ out with 89 pitches, Hill with 70.

  26. I’m feeling pretty thankful for those 3 runs.

    I’d love to see Chucky get through the bottom of the order next inning, but I’m not holding my breath.

  27. Dangerous question–but it would be nice to start a trend. This should be a critical inning for James…

  28. Mac,

    I finally took a moment to watch the You Tube posting you have on BJ of the Zambrano scuffle and let me say this: I don’t think any Boxing or UFC announcers are going to worry about their jobs anytime soon, after listening to Joe Simpson describe the fight.

    By the way, speaking of the UFC, can someone explain to me why ESPN is nmow shoving this crap down our throats after years of the 4 letter ignoring it?

    This is why I hate the 4 letter. They will shove any sports down your throat until you want to vomit it up, if they are showing it. But if it’s a sport they aren’t airing (say like Hockey nowadays), they basically ignore it.

    (Yes, Mac, I know you hate Hockey but I will gladly take Hockey over freaking UFC, Golf or Nascar).

    It’s just something that always bugs me about ESPN…like the fact that Boo Yah Scott and Screamin’ A. Smith still have jobs. Seriously, you’d think when they showed Michael Irvin the door after football season, they would have locked Screamin A to him out the door?

  29. The kid WGN showed with the Cubbies t-shirt and a Braves hat…he will need years of therapy with that kind of confusion.

  30. Dammit. At least we threw Rich Hill out at third. I think Chuck’s about done.

  31. I’m a bit surprised they are letting hill hit for himself, but I guess the bullpen is an even worse idea these days.

  32. One day, Bobby will understand that Chuck isn’t good for more than 100 pitches. I mean, he fell apart right on number 100. And now we have to get through the Kali Inning with a one-run lead.

    Alex, they’re pushing the UFC because boxing is dead. And as for the fight, apparently the real action was Barrett-Zambrano II, in the clubhouse.

  33. If it’s any comfort, the Cubs pen has been acting like last yyear’s ATL version.

  34. Alex,

    The reason ESPN shows UFC is because it’s become ridiculously popular among the network’s target demographic.

    The reason ESPN has minimized its hockey coverage is because the networked dropped the NHL & it’s viewer share remains tiny. I’m a huge hockey fan, but I also know that it’s still a cult sport in America.

    Hope Hill is tired from that jaunt around the bases.

  35. Mac..I wish both Boxing and UFC would go away. Why do they have to cover either?

  36. ububba,

    No, I get it, I suppose my comment was more out of frustration.

    But UFC is really more popular then some psychotic fringe sport? Is that why we were forced recently have an entire “Entourage” episode about it?

  37. Oh My God…Zook is as good of a singer as he is a coach. This is horrible. Just horrible. Make it stop.

  38. I actually feel better about the Braves’ chances to close out this game with Ron Zook in that Cubs jersey, rooting them on.

  39. Yates with a one-run lead. Can we possibly survive?

    Alex,

    UFC is so popular now you wouldn’t believe it. Its pay-per-view is off the hook & its live gates kick much ass.

    I had a friend who was in Vegas last week on business & she tried to buy tickets for the Liddell/Jackson fight. The very worst seats in the house (14,000+) were $250.

    My theory: We love our extreme violence packaged as a legit sport. Plus, UFC has the storylines of professional wrestling, but it’s real.

  40. Really missing Mike Gonzalez with the game on the line and Kali falling behind Lee…

  41. As ubuuba said, it’s got more violence than wrestling, and it’s real. Not my cup of tea though. I did see a muay thai kickboxing in bangkok. Extremely brutal.

  42. Thanks a heap, Kali. You too, Prado. What does Cox see in these guys?

    Mets lead the D’backs 3-1 after six. Sosa’s figured out how to pitch again.

    And I can’t muster any enthusiasm for or against UFC, and I’ve learned to accept wrestling as the sweaty soap opera that it is. I try to pay no mind to either.

  43. UFC sells out? Hmmm….and we wonder why psychos run around college campuses shooting innocent people.

    On a more pertinent note, stupid, stupid stupid Kali.

  44. And before there is a whole political argument about violence in our culture, I am politically moderate, for very tough stances regarding terrorism, and even played with GI Joe’s as a kid.

    That doesn’t mean I can stomach condoning garbage like UFC. Sorry, to me there is a difference.

  45. Man, Martin Prado’s really butchered the ball his last couple starts. I know Bobby plays him at a bunch of different positions, but if you can’t hit a lick, you gotta at least flash the leather.

  46. By the way, Kelly Johnson would have made that play. We can officially blame Cox.

  47. This inning aptly illustrates the cliche about the weakest link in the chain–except in this case the Braves have two weak links….

  48. What was the guy’s name for the Cubs who played right field yesterday? He looked like Ralph Malph and played like Potsy.

  49. i agree, let jack bauer brutally torture anyone, as long as it’s in the name of freedom. it is just sad that ufc can pass as entertainment.

    now welcome our savior woodward to the plate.

  50. I was going to ask why you’d use one of your few pinch-hitters to bunt, but then I remembered it was Woodward and that’s all he’s good for.

  51. Alex,

    As a culture, we love violence. The evidence is everywhere. It’s no wonder we love violent sports like UFC, or the NFL.

    I make no judgments about it, really, but it seems obvious to me.

    Ever talk to a European about sports? They’ll tell you how tough soccer or rugby is, but Americans just laugh at that. My response is always, “Have you ever heard of a guy named Jack Tatum?”

  52. Ok, Maybe KJ has a cold, but why couldn’t he have pinch hit there for effing Prado?

    And a–hole Cubs announcers, why is your frakking bullpen on the frakking field? Jerks.

  53. Escobar! That is the first at bat I have seen from him today. How has he looked? I like his stance.

  54. Pretty darned good, HK. His first AB was about 10 pitches before he popped a single into right center.

  55. Spike,

    Now you can see why I was so relieved that they took Rich Hill out. Thank goodness.

  56. Is it just me, or anytime there is an e-Harmony commercial, I think of the SNL spoof, “Me-Harmony”.

  57. Stephen,

    We only have to worry about not seeing Yunel if he gets the sniffles. You know, like KJ.

  58. I think Davies has done more at the plate than Prado, Orr and Woodward combined.

  59. I don’t buy the illness excuse for holding KJ out. Did he have a cold when we kept him off the field the day after he nearly went for the cycle?

  60. Ububba, regarding your comment earlier about a violence obssessed culture, yes we are.

    And look, I LOVE “24” and I am probably going to see the new “Die Hard” movie the weekend it opens (tonight I am seeing “Knocked Up”–can’t wait) but there is a steep difference for me between some exciting but fake TV series or a movie, versus something like UFC…I don’t get it.

  61. Alex, I can’t wait to see Knocked Up either. I think I’m going this week. I’ll be eager to hear what you think.

    Oh, and I really like Edgar. Even when he makes an out, he puts up a tough at-bat every time.

  62. Yeah, KJ might have a little cold now, but Bobby has seriously been resting him like he’s a catcher or something. At the beginning of the season I thought Cox had mixed up McCann and KJ, cuz KJ was getting tons of rest and B-Mac was playing every single game.

  63. Alexes, let us know how Knocked Up is. It just doesn’t look that good to me for some reason.

  64. Alex,

    And I don’t get NASCAR, really—to me, it’s a series of left turns. But to each his own…

    Alright, Soriano, clampdown time.

  65. Crap. and again, thank god for Frenchy’s arm or that’s a definite triple.

  66. ububba…couldn’t agree more. The only thing I hate more then Nascar is Golf which (to me) is akin to watching paint dry.

    Knocked up…the reviews have been stellar so I am excited.

    Salty—awesome!

  67. That’s a game changer in my opinion. My high school coach had seizures if anyone got the first or third out at third. I’m not sure about the second out, but he always made a point about the first and third out.

  68. Ok, I am also a Spurs fan and after witnessing the Spurs win in Salt Lake City this past Monday, the debris on the field/court thing is getting really old for my teams to have to deal with.

    It shows a complete and dispicable lack of class by a team’s fans.

  69. So, from the radio, it sounds like Pagan should’ve had a triple, then he gets tossed at 3rd. Sounds like Lou should be as mad at his players or 3rd-base coach as the ump.

    Lou Piniella=Phil Wellman.

  70. Spike, he wasn’t stealing, the ball skipped away from Salty a little bit, but he recovered and threw him out.

  71. Sweet Lou! I think tha Pinella is just being himself–but at least he is not pulling a Wellman….

  72. Holy sh–…did you guys see that? While that poor grounds crew wwere running off the field, some evil prick tossed a bottle at ONE OF THE GROUNDS CREW.

    that’s just sickening.

  73. On the Cubs broadcast (I’m flipping back and forth during this), they showed an overhead shot of the groundscrew running off, and someone threw something that made a gigantic splash. Like, HUGE. Kind of scary huge.

  74. JoeyT-

    Yeah, I just posted on that as well. That’s dispicable and if they caught that fan. he should lose his freaking season tickets. That’s sickening.

  75. Did he just say “the fans have been the MVP today”? After what just happened?

  76. Cubs fans have officially shown what many of us believed – that a great deal of them have no class.

    (I won’t say all is since most of my wife’s family and a portion of my family are nice Cubs fans).

  77. I believe one of the broadcasters said that when Soriano is facing left-handed hitters, 86% of the time he throws his fastball.

  78. I’d go for that, Spike. Or some kind of punishment to the team. You have to discourage it somehow.

  79. I was thinking the same thing, spike. When they took the Braves off the field, on one of the broadcasts they went to a shot of the press room. For a second, I thought they were going to call it, then I realized they were just showing Pinella’s rant from yesterday.

    If people are throwing objects, they should probably stop the game. If the home team is behind, they should probably just call it.

  80. Alex,

    I’m sure you’ve been to Wrigley & know that a remarkable amount of their fans (esp. the Bleacher Creatures) are remarkably hammered.

  81. I am only listening on the radio, but the fans sound like Philly fans rather than those of the Cubs. What a meltdown….

  82. Joey T and Spike-

    Totally agree. And any fans caught throwing debris on the field should lose their season tickets.

    If Bud Selig had any class or any balls whatsoever, he would seriously punish the organization for not disciplining their fans.

  83. Maybe Andruw was hit by a water bottle, and it had the same effect as being hit by a pitch.

  84. Andruw!

    Stephen,
    Philly fans hate themselves more than any team they may root for, so they don’t bother with throwing things.

  85. Yes, I made my first visit ever to Wrigley with my wife in April of 2006 but we had to leave by the 6th inning to get back to her Grandmother’s for Passover.

    I thankfully missed the blitzed crowd…

  86. Jay-

    I couldn’t agree more. Season ticket holders or not, they should be banned from the park for aminimum of a year. I am dead serious.

    Not only is throwing stuff dangersous to the players, the umps, the crew and other fans, it’s a horrible thing to be doing in front of the little kids in front of the park. I guess with my first child on the way later this year, I am definitely thinking about these things a lot more.

  87. A man died one day, and while in Purgatory, he was given two choices. He could live in Purgatory, have a miserable existence for which there may be no way out. Or, he could come back to Earth and be a Cubs fan.

    He chooses to stay in Purgatory. At least there he doesn’t have false hope

  88. I’ve been to a half-dozen games at Wrigley since 1980 & I’ve never seen so many people so pickled.

    I last went in ’03 for a Braves 4-game series & remember seeing a guy teetering so badly outside the stadium that he couldn’t negotiate a street curb. He was so loopy that that he couldn’t lift his feet high enough to make the sidewalk, so he tripped & did a header into some bushes. It was like a cartoon.

    I mean, I like my medicine, too, but acting the fool is not part of my repertoire.

    For Cub-fan haters, here’s Lee Elia’s classic 1983 tirade:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv23pqH9iG0

  89. Thank you. We will take it. Let’s get win one more & get outta there before the Cubs remember they’re in the Major Leagues.

  90. Cubbies. With the Devil Rays, Lou had some promising players and low expectations. Now, he has little youth and a huge payroll spent mostly on mediocrities.

    And unfortunately, the Mets beat the Diamondbacks 7-1, so we’re still 3 1/2 out.

  91. That may be my favorite coach/managerial tirade of all time. And oh so true. The Cubs have by far the most annoying and detestable fans in all of baseball, and probably in all the sports world. The key is that they act arrogant as hell, but what do they have to be arrogant about? They have the arrogance of Yankees fans but their team is the biggest joke in sports!

    The lovable losers thing is unbelievably infuriating! They assume that the entire country loves them, when in fact the entire country wishes that they would go to hell!

    I actually hope the Cubs never win a World Series, so that those jackasses will continually be miserable for the rest of their lives. What a bunch of assholes!

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