May 1 - Ryan Theriot draws his one walk for the entire month of May. Seriously.
May 2 – The Cubs reach the .500 mark for the third time in 2010 by taking three of four from the Diamondbacks. Most folks were pretty sure the Cubs had turned a corner and would be able to continue their roll against the hapless Pirates in the next series. After all, who can’t beat the Pirates?
May 3 – The smartest fans in the world’s newspaper writes this about the Cardinals’ inevitable NL Central championship:
In the National League Central, who can take this team down?
Seriously, unless the Chicago Cubs start putting together some long winning streaks, this race could turn into Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont. A horse named “Sham” tried to get out and run with Secretariat but couldn’t hang on. Secretariat won by 31 lengths. The Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Pirates and Astros might want to go to youtube.com and watch what happened to poor Sham.
After a 6-1 home stand, the Cardinals are 17-8 and have a 4 1/2-game lead in the mediocre Central. That is, by far, the biggest lead by a first-place team in the majors. And what will change? Unless the Cardinals are struck by catastrophic injuries, I don’t see how the five Shams keep pace.
I don’t know what is funnier, that the Cardinals actually did fall apart (without catastrophic injuries) or that they thought the Cubs would be the only ones capable of catching them.
May 6 – The Cubs get swept by the Pirates after scoring a total of five runs all series and getting killed 11-1 in the series finale. The Cubs never reach the .500 mark again in 2010. Who could have predicted that? Me. That’s who.
May 7 – The Cubs make a shocking move and send Chad Tracy to the minors in favor of some punk prospect from their AA team.
May 7 – Starlin Castro makes the Cincinnati Reds his bitch with a three-run HR in his first major league at-bat, and a bases-clearing triple later on for a total of 6 RBIs. And Cubs fans loved him and always remembered he was a 20-year old playing at the highest level of competition from that time on…
No, no. We tip our caps to you. Unless you start making rookie mistakes.
May 8 – Carlos Zambrano is, sadly, the most effective reliever, giving up two runs in one inning as the bullpen allows 11 runs in the 7th and 8th innings to the Reds. This is when the Cubs realized their wish upon a star that Carlos Zambrano would become the “best set-up man on the team” wasn’t specific enough.
May 8 – John Grabow is sent back to Chicago when the Cubs tell him his knee hurts.
May 9 – Lou Piniella decides to let Ryan Dempster face Joey Votto in the 7th inning with two out and two on and nursing a 3-2 lead after watching the bullpen give up 11 runs the night before. Joey Votto’s resulting homerun would have left the solar system, but it bounced off one of Saturn’s moons and is scheduled to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere sometime this summer.
May 10 – Starlin Castro makes his Wrigley debut, has a pretty bad night, going 0 for 2 and making three errors, and is booed by the Wrigley faithful like he was making mistakes on purpose.
May 10 – MRIs conclude that John Grabow’s knee is fine and that he just sucks.
May 14 – Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutcheon combine to go 10 for 11 with 17 total bases, two HRs, 7 RBI, 10 indian burns, 6 wet willies, 8 swirlies, and 12 atomic wedgies against the Cubs.
May 19 – The Cubs sign just-released-by-the-crappy-Diamondbacks Bobby Howry. Apparently they couldn’t reach Matt Karchner because his phone was disconnected. Cubs fans are almost unanimous in their reaction:
May 19 - The Cubs begin stretching Carlos Zambrano out in preparation for his return to the rotation by letting him get one out in a victory over the Phillies, which is just ridiculous. I mean, how the hell did they beat the Phillies?
May 20 – Barry Rozner goes on the radio and states that Carlos Zambrano probably had to think about tanking games in the bullpen to force a change in his situation. Not that he asked Zambrano or anyone who knows Zambrano about it, he just threw it out there on the radio as a matter of fact. Sadly, this is not a joke either.
May 22 - David Patton is designated for assignment to make room for Bobby Howry on the 40-man roster, making his presence on the Cubs roster in 2009 about as valuable as nude photos of Wilford Brimley, but more disturbing.
May 23 - The Cubs beat the Texas Rangers to take two of three from the eventual American League Pennant winner in their home ballpark, thus showing how an inferior team can beat a superior one in a short series. You're welcome, Giants.
May 24 - Carlos Zambrano threw his first simulated game in his road to return to his starting role, and the Cubs even simulated a weak groundball sneaking past the outstretched gloves of Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot just to make it more realistic.
May 26 - Gordon Wittenmyer picks up where Barry Rozner left off and came out and wrote that he suspects Zambrano pitched poorly in the bullpen on purpose:
It was a decision made after he struggled and couldn’t get his mind around the new role well enough to adjust — yet all of a sudden he has been dominant since being told he’ll start again.
”It goes to show you, basically, that he’s very capable of doing that particular role,” manager Lou Piniella said over the weekend, stopping short of being critical.
But there was no going back on the return move for Zambrano at that point, not with team officials knowing what everyone else around the team knows: That lights-out pitching isn’t likely to continue if he’s told he has to stay there.
Of all the things of which you can accuse Carlos on and off a baseball field, DELIBERATELY PITCHING POORLY isn't even close to being one of them. Do the media members in this city even watch the games? Carlos Zambrano would probably tear his own genitals off and hit them into the stands with a fungo bat if he thought it meant the Cubs would win the damn game, and these guys are asserting that he gave up runs and looked like a goober in the bullpen on purpose? I have to go lie down.
May 26 - Top starting pitching prospect, Andrew Cashner, is moved to the bullpen. Not the Chicago Cubs' bullpen, mind you, the Iowa Cubs bullpen. Of course, Rozner and Wittenmyer are nowhere around when you need them to accuse the Cubs of deliberately trying to lose.
May 29 - It comes out that Ryan Dempster deferred money from his salary to give the Cubs the flexibility to sign Xavier Nady. You have to figure that Dempster would probably not have made the offer if he had known his money was going to a player that still can't play in the outfield because it requires throwing. Of course, deferring money from his multi-year deal is something that pro teams will sometimes do. It's not like they deferred money from a player's one-year contract or anything. They would NEVER do that. Wait...
May 30 - The Cubs and Ryan Dempster learn the hard way that there are some things you should never do:
- Tug on Superman's cape.
- Spit into the wind.
- Pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger.
- Mess around with Jim.