Monday, January 3, 2011

Cubs 2010 in Review: April

April 1 – It turns out the 2009 season was all just an elaborate practical joke.

April 3 – The Cubs leave Mesa with an 18-12 Cactus League record, proving once and for all that Spring Training records mean as much as when the Cubs promise to build a world-class organization for their fans.

April 5 – Marlon Byrd hits a 3-run homerun in his first regular season at-bat as a Cub in the 1st inning to give Carlos Zambrano a 3-0 lead before he took the mound in the first game of the season, in case you hadn’t heard...

If you were fortunate enough to die right after that moment, you died happy. Otherwise, the rest of the season was downhill from there.

April 5 – A couple has sex in a U.S. Cellular Field bathroom stall during the White Sox sold-out Opening Day game, shocking everyone to the core of their being that the Sox had sold out a game.

April 7 – It is announced that the Cubs have the highest average ticket price in the major leagues. Crane Kenney celebrates by announcing that a statue of a bleacher ticket will be commissioned.

April 8 - Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd both hit solo homeruns to defeat the Atlanta Braves for the Cubs’ first victory of the season even though John Grabow made an appearance (and didn’t get an out).

April 8 – Carrie Muskat reports that Ted Lilly is having some back issues in addition to his normal rehab from shoulder surgery. It isn’t seen as a big deal because it’s not like he’ll be stealing bases and diving head first during his rehab starts.

April 9 – The Cubs bullpen blows another late lead to spoil Carlos Silva’s first start, despite John Grabow not pitching in the game at all.

April 10 – Carlos Zambrano rebounds from his Opening Day debacle with a solid seven-inning effort, John Grabow recorded outs without giving up a run, and three Cubs hit homeruns to secure the victory over the Reds. Surely, this will be a springboard for Zambrano to establish himself back as a solid front-end starter.

April 12 – The Cubs win the Wrigley Field opener when they realize that Doug Davis sucks and beat the crap out of him.

April 12 – It is reported that Derrek Lee has a bad thumb and the Cubs say that it is nothing serious. He is batting .364 before the injury and, if the Cubs are right, will surely continue to put up those types of numbers going forward.

April 14 – The Cubs get back to the .500 mark at 4-4 after LaTroy Hawkins closes a game like LaTroy Hawkins does by allowing four runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. It is the most LaTroy Hawkins has ever been applauded at Wrigley Field in his life.

April 15 – The Cubs lose in their attempt to sweep the Brewers when John Grabow is their best pitcher of the day.

April 18 – I managed to get the first foul ball of my life off the bat of Humberto Quintero, leading to the debate over what is sadder, the fact that it took me over 30 years to get a foul ball, or that it will be the most memorable thing that Humberto Quintero ever does.

April 19 – Ted Lilly DIVES HEAD FIRST into second base in a failed steal attempt during one of his minor league rehab starts for his SURGICALLY REPAIRED SHOULDER. Nobody in the media rips him for engaging in a foolish activity that could lead to a setback.

April 21 - The Cubs move Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, he accepts the demotion and says all the right things to the media. I wish this was a joke, but it isn't.

April 21 - Bruce Levine discusses the development of top starting pitching prospect, Andrew Cashner:

Andrew Cashner has been starting since 2009. The Cubs’ 2008 first-round pick was a stellar closer at TCU. There’s no real consensus among the Cubs’ development people whether Cashner should be a starter or reliever at this point. The thinking is the young power pitcher could be a starter if he continues to develop a third pitch.

The organization has to make sure it doesn’t have a repeat of the Jeff Samardzija situation. Floating between starting and relieving has cost him — and the Cubs — valuable development.

It seems Levine is just being a worry wart. Surely after moving their Opening Day starter and best young pitcher since Greg Maddux to the bullpen, the Cubs would think twice about moving Cashner to the bullpen. And don't call me Shirley.

April 23 - It is announced that Wrigley Field will host a Big Ten football matchup between Illinois and Northwestern, meaning that for the first time since the 1970 Bears finished 6-8 at Wrigley, the venerable ballpark will host as mediocre a football game as it does baseball games.

April 24 - Jeff Samardzija gets sent back to Iowa.  His hair care products are sent in a separate tractor trailer.

April 25 - The Cubs finish a three-game sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee and request that the schedule be amended to include only games against the Brewers.

April 26 - The Cubs and White Sox marketing departments combine forces and utilize the sum of all their talent to invent the BP Crosstown Cup that goes to the winner of the six games between the two teams.  Seriously, that's what they came up with.  The runner up idea was to individually kick fans of both teams in the crotch and dump flaming gasoline on them as they entered the ballpark.

April 26 - President Barack Obama fires the first volley in the battle for the BP Crosstown Cup as he welcomes the World Champion Yankees to the White House:

"Now, it's been nine years since your last title, which must have felt like an eternity for Yankees fans," Obama told the team. "I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example."

He knows something about sustained success, being in the Democratic Party and all.

April 27 - The Cubs try to take the momentum of a four-game winning streak and push over the .500 mark for the first time all season, but are obviously still smarting from Obama's withering put-down when they run into the mighty Washington Nationals who beat them behind the solid pitching of Livan Hernandez's corpse.

April 27 - The Cardinals re-acquire Aaron Miles and the smartest fans in the world are actually happy about it.

April 28 - Marlon Byrd continues to be the word and the Cubs continued to suck.

April 29 - Kosuke Fukudome HIT A GRAND SLAM!!... after the Cubs were down 13-1 in the 8th inning to the Diamondbacks.

April 30 - Jim Hendry announces that Starlin Castro will almost assuredly be getting called up to the major league team soon, prompting a conversation with Ryan Theriot:

"Ryan and I had some good, honest chats that the day may come when Castro arrives that he'll have to move off short," Hendry said. "And I think Ryan was receptive to that."

Of course, this is a man that also said:

"Ryan is capable of being a .300 hitter and a very good infielder when he does move."

So you clearly can't put a lot of stock into what he thinks.

Coming in May, Starlin Castro's super awesome debut and then a whole bunch more losses.


Kin said...

"April 21 - The Cubs move Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, he accepts the demotion and says all the right things to the media. I wish this was a joke, but it isn't."

I think this is around the point where the end was nigh...amazingly Z still managed to win double digit games, not that we really care unless we're in the Chicago media, but that's still quite an achievement considering how much they fucked with him this past year.

Aisle 424 said...

This team never had a chance with Lee and Ramirez having such terrible years in the middle of the order. It exaggerated the weakness in the bullpen and they moved Carlos out of some combination of panic and punishment.

I've been looking at the old box scores and it really is amazing how often the team scored less than 4 runs in a game against some pretty shitty pitching.

Kin said...

Yeah, I never expected Lee and Ramirez to drop off a cliff like that. Too bad the Cubs couldn't trade Carlos Silva after that hot start...

Are you in a Twitter war with Rosenblargh? Hahaha...

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