Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yesterday's News

I spent the day traveling yesterday so I missed Rich Harden's Spring debut, but was glad to read it went well. I think half of the media was kind of hoping that his arm would come flying off as he made a pitch so they would have something else to write about, but it was fairly uneventful, which in Spring Training is a good thing.

I also missed the Dominican Republic get eliminated from the World Baseball Classic courtesy of its second loss to the Netherlands, thanks, in part, to a blown save by our very own Carlos Marmol. Apparently, Ken Rosenthal is ready to hijack the Curse of the Billy Goat to explain the implosion and resulting Dominican Republic loss.

Hey Ken - hands off the curse. It is ours. Period. The fact that Marmol is a Cub is coincidental and nothing more. The baseball gods have nothing against the Dominican Republic. It is not their fault that All-Star calibre players like Albert Pujols, Aramis Ramirez, and Alfonso Soriano decided not to play. They got over-confident and caught a team playing over its head. It happens.

Also, it turns out that Milton Bradley may have been a bit selfish in removing himself from games last year instead of playing through nagging injuries. I am shocked. Shocked and appalled. Who would have thought that Bradley's normally exemplary behavior and attitude would all simply be a charade? This is like breaking a story about Michael Jackson having undergone cosmetic surgery.

To anyone who is asking how Cub fans will react to Milton Bradley now given this latest revelation that he may not be a team-oriented, self-sacrificing player: we will react the same exact way would react before this story "broke."

If he hits the ball well and drives in runs and stays out on the field for 120 games or so, we will like him very much and he will get plenty of adoring love from the right field bleachers.

If he sits himself out every other day, picks fights with the bleacher fans, and/or manages to underwhelm us with his playing ability, we will not take kindly to him.

What Milton Bradley did for another team last year is of no consequence this year. It is a good reason to not sign him in the first place, but that deed has been done and there is nothing anyone can do about that now.

Lastly, both the Sun-Times and the Tribune made mention of the fact that Harden will be the fourth starter and that the fifth starter (Sean Marshall unless something goes very wrong for him down the stretch) might get skipped in the rotation early in the season due to days off.

I find that interesting since it seems to make the most sense to skip Harden every now and then if they are really concerned about his shoulder. So does this mean that they are now not as concerned about Harden's shoulder? Are they simply more bold because both Heilman and Marshall are throwing quite well and they have confidence an injury wouldn't derail their season?

Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

Don't be too quick to discount the ability of the curse to engrain itself deeply into a player, even when he isn't playing for the Cubs. Remember the celebrated "Ex-Cub Factor" that is examined every year when we're reading about other teams that are playing in the World Series. Seat 106

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