As many of you know, I am somewhat a connoisseur of hate. I sample the fruit of misanthropy as others go through flights of beer and wine. And of course, being a sports fan, many of the varietals and blends of my pure, unadulterated loathing is reserved for sports related entities.
I hate the Dodgers, because of Brett Butler and the deeply learned values of one’s first rivals. I hate the Mets because of Bobby Valentine, and the obscene belief of their fans that they were ever actually a rival. I never really hated the Phillies, though I certainly understand why the generation of fans just after mine would. I hate the Nationals because of Bryce Harper. Actually, I hate the entire Mid-Atlantic because of Bryce Harper. Man, you can never hate too much on Bryce Harper. All that said, one of my true animal level detestations is saved for the Cubs. Man; the fruggin’ Cubs.
This all comes down to an interaction with a drunken Cubs fan after the 1998 NLDS Game 2 in Atlanta. Having been thoroughly destroyed in Game 1, the Cubs had lead into the 9th of Game 2 of that series, only to have Jim Riggleman leave Kevin Tapani one inning too long. Tapani, who had been brilliant all night, gakked up the lead, and then Terry Mulholland gave up the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. It was a pretty good game all around, but with the Braves comfortably up 2-0 and Greg Maddux on the mound for Game 3, you felt pretty good heading back to Chicago. The mood was pretty celebratory in the tunnels walking out of the stadium that night. Until Drunken Cubs Fan happened.
So, look, right? If you’re a Yankees fan, you can give me shit about the Braves “choking” in the playoffs. If you’re a Cubs fan – if your team hasn’t won a World Series the Ottoman fucking Empire was a world power; if the last time your team won the World Series Orville and Wilbur Wright were *literally* still demonstrating controlled flight to a disbelieving public; if the political intrigue of the day was whether or not William H. Taft could maintain Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose style – you do not get to get in my face about it. You simply do not. If you’ve never nearly come to blows in a crowded exit tunnel with a drunken Cubbies fan, you haven’t really lived.
All of which is a long winded way of saying, “Man, I really hate the fcvking Cubs.” Like, deep seated animal hatred. Like, I was thinking about doing an intro to this write-up based on how Theo Epstein’s five year plan, while being essentially the anti-Braves plan – all he’s doing is stockpiling hitting; he will go buy free agent pitching in 2016 when his 1-8, no outs available lineup is ready to compete; because he doesn’t trust pitching to develop without breaking – was well onto its way to fruition. How his most recent trade of Jeff Samardaziajjanndaadoagashundeit to Oakland was almost the final piece of a well built puzzle. And how saying such about a Cubs GM felt like talking about how Erwin Rommel and how it was so sad that such a brilliant manager was born into a circumstance that had him fighting for the Nazis. Because the Cubs are Nazis. But like, really stupid, bumbling, incompetent Nazis from a Mel Brooks movie. Until Epstein came along.
Anyway, that was the plan. But then I forgot that I had an appointment doublebooked for yesterday afternoon, and instead of watching the game as I thought I would, I ended up following on AtBat while having inkwork done instead. Sorry about that. I flake sometimes.
The way the thing went down, concisely, was three innings of “we’re getting no-hit by Jake Arrieta – wait, how the hell does Jake Arrieta have an ERA under 2?!” followed by the two lamest runs to tie in the fourth. Oh look, two RBI groundouts. Exciting! Then a brief lead followed by “Wood’s going to gak this thing up isn’t he” salvaged by a tieing run in the 9th that was then given back on a weak little dribbler through short to lose it in the bottom half.
So we lost to the Cubs, and that sucked.
This Braves squad may not amount to much, but I daresay our recappers have got a chance to win it all.
Well done Sam
The last Cubs WS win was 3 years BEFORE Ronald Reagan was Born. Ronald Reagan lived 93 years. Ronald Reagan died 10 years ago.
Theo can also flip any position player prospects they don’t need or value as much for starters who have already made it to the majors, gone through their growing pains, and established themselves. Even if they aren’t the best upside-wise, they won’t need them to be with a lineup that includes Rizzo and Castro/Bryant/Baez/Alcantara/Soler/Schwarber…
They really are the anti-Braves.
The wind is blowing out, and Mike Minor’s pitching. Oy …
I’d suggest that we break up the Braves, but they already appear to be broken.
World War II had just ended the last time the Cubs were even in the World Series. Rommel “Committed suicide” the year before. Hitler shot himself a few months before. He was 18 when the Cubs won the World Series. Joseph Stalin was 28 when they won and still had seven years to live when the Cubs last played in the World Series.
Might as well put it on a tee and save your left arm the trouble, Mike.
That was not pretty, but it could have been worse.
Minor needs to learn how to not suck again.
Chris Johnson is still alive.
Regression loves Wrigley, say the Cubs announcers. I can see why.
Our second home run in the last two weeks.
Not a bad throw from the back of the bleachers, but he’s no Henry Rowengartner.
I must have this completely wrong.
I swear I read (heard, whatever) that the Phillies were willing to part with Cliff Lee for next to nothing to rid themselves of some payroll.
Can that possibly be true?
If so, why aren’t the Yankees all over this? For that matter, why aren’t we finding a way (now that our lefty “ace”) is shown to have no heart?
Sorry for the ignorance, but it’s all I got.
That was sweet.
Nice double, BJ.
There was no chance for third, but Chip still said BJ “could run for a while”.
And now Andrelton drives him in. What a 1-2 combo!
Nice piece of hitting, Mr. Simmons.
Jason Heyward can pick it.
Nice going, BJ. And it’s not like you make up for it at the plate.
BJ can’t pick it.
B.J., on the other hand …
BJ giveth, and BJ taketh away.
I’m not sure what the hell is wrong with Minor, but he has my permission to stop any old time.
Mike looks absolutely terrible. He might need some time in Gwinnett.
That’s using your head, Christian.
I think that was a pretty difficult play; the ball was scorched and probably knuckling. Minor is just throwing crap. Andruw Jones probably catches it but I think that’s more on the pitcher.
Send Minor to the minors.
Damn, CJ, where have you been?
Do you think maybe the Cubs might be interested in our third baseman?
Minor helps his own cause, which surely needs the help.
Well, there’s a joke about Mike Minor knowing a home-run pitch when he sees it …
That was unexpected.
Chip has told that story about an outfielder “strategically hiding a ball in the ivy,” I don’t even know how many times. Has he never stopped to question what the point of that would be? For that “strategy” to prove beneficial, then a batted ball would have to take you, the outfielder, to the exact spot you hid a ball, would have to disappear itself, and you’d have to deke a runner in to attempting a double, and then throw him out. But any ball that reaches the ivy is probably already a double, if not a triple, and if he’s attempting a triple, wouldn’t you rather just wave your arms and hold him to a ground-rule double, rather than hoping you can throw him out?
What a stupid story..
Mike is to homeruns as Andrelton is to outs. He’s automatic, on both sides of the ball.
Justin!! That ought to be enough runs even for Minor and the back end of the pen.
That’ll be enough, if Fredi uses the hook as needed.
It is nice to see lots of runs. Very nice.
This scoring runs thing is a novel approach.
Mikey, don’t do what you did at Coors Field, and immediately start barfing it all back.
Here’s Jose Cardenal on the ol’ hide the ball in the ivy trick:
“Everybody wants to hear that story. Makes me sound like I was cheating or something. I didn’t hide no ball in the ivy; I just left some there. In batting practice the guys were hitting balls over my head into the fence and I had to go digging around in the ivy to find the balls. After a while I got sick of this. There were rats in there. They hit a few more into the vines but I just let them stay there. Then during the game someone hit one into the same area. It flies into the ivy and two batting practice balls drop out. If I try to find the game ball it’s a triple at least, so I just hold up the other two balls, one in each hand, and the umpire calls a ground rule double because he doesn’t know which ball is live. Neither one of them was. The game ball stayed in the ivy. Part of my collection.”
See, that makes sense, AND makes a good story. Chip Caray’s story is neither funny, nor an example of clever ingenuity. It’s just stupid.
@44, Yeah, Chip’s a butcher.
What a nifty double play!
Okay everybody, be quiet. Chris Johnson’s up at bat.
If only Sam Holbrook were umpiring.
“We wanted to try and get Mikey the win.” — Fredi Gonzalez, 6:59 p.m. CDT
I have REALLY not been impressed with Christian Bethancourt’s vaunted defense.
He made a nice play on the bunt.
WTF Justin? Catch the damn ball.
Hey, way to go! Struck out the side, Mikey!
Mike Minor is a constant LOL. A solid 4.94 era
Fredi needs to stop illustrating the absurdity of the win stat. I think we all get the point by now.
W.. T.. F?
I guess the team is doing what worked a couple seasons ago with Minor: keep running him out there until he figures it out.
I have no other explanation…
I can’t watch another inning of Minor today. 1.72 WHIP & 6.15 ERA since June 1. Of course, today he has yet to surrender his mandatory home run that comes with each start. Maybe that’s why Fredi’s sending him back out there.
Fredi has generally left his starters in too long all year.
We got away with that one.
14- WGN actually has Thomas Ian Nicolas, who played young Mr. Rowengartner, in the booth right now. He’s signing for the 7th inning stretch.
Pretty bad idea to have Wood and Minor back to back in the rotation
I want James Russell to be a Brave.
Alcantra is a 2b. Dang.
Carpenter. Oh, bother.
Jim Powell reported that Brewers Segura’s nine month old child died last night.
It’s “Return of the Attack of the Neighborhood Play,” a series I’m really sick of.
Yeah, this neighborhood play replay thing is getting retarded. What an embarrassment.
I’m not even sure his foot wasn’t on the the bag.
EDIT: LOL…his foot was actually on the bag! What an imbecile that umpire is!
At least the umps made the right decision.
He’s out this time. What a stirring presentation of the moral authority of instant replay.
That play was 100 times more of a candidate for pulling the fielder off the bag than the one in New York, and it still never should have gone to replay.
coop, that is so sad. What a tragedy.
I’m guessing that Simmons, for whatever reason, has a reputation for coming off the bag early among umpires. I’m not sure what we can do about it. The embarrassment that just happened where the umpire made a complete ass of himself will probably help.
Dascenzo’s doing a good job as the 3B coach. Nice to not have runners getting Snitkered.
@67, that’s simply tragic. I’m so sorry to hear that.
Puts baseball in perspective, for sure.
Mike Minor started and gave up six runs on 11 hits.
David Carpenter, David Carpenter, was the last pitcher for the Braves.
If anyone had those things happening in today’s game and still predicted a Braves win, you need to stop whatever you are doing and immediately go to Vegas.
In the “you can’t predict ball” section:
Minor broke his string of consecutive games in which he allowed a homer…in the same game he hit a homer.
What a whacky game.
Know what’s sad? Even adding today’s run total with the rest of the games played this week, it still averages out to less than 4/game (3.7).
In regards to James Russell/Wesley Wright: know what you wish for when wanting either of these guys. They are true LOOGY’s built very much like Scott Downs. While very effective on lefties, they are equally ineffective on righties. With that being said, if braves can’t get andrew miller, then I think one of these 2 are best bet.
Justin had four RBIs. How many did he give up with his dunderheaded defense?
Born to be a DH.
The picture of both Uptons standing there looking at each other while the ball trickled away from the ball kinda summed it all up.
Both Uptons. BOTH of them. Good job, Frank.
Justin might have made a bonehead play, but his defense seems improved this year. No?