‘Another stinkin’ choke job’

Mike Nadel has another great column on the death of the Cubs’ 2008 season.

CHICAGO — It’s not a stinkin’ curse, folks. It’s just another stinkin’ choke job by a franchise that officially has entered its next 100 years of failing when games matter most.

In 2009, after the Chicago Cubs complete their 162-game schedule, can’t they simply save their beaten-down fans some grief – and themselves some embarrassment – by forfeiting their three playoff games?

It would be quicker, it would be neater and it would let them get a jump on their tee times.

The Scrubs are beginning to remind me of the Atlanta Braves of the recent past: great season, lousy post-season.

The best line so far

Zambrano was done in by his teammates – apparently, it’s difficult to field grounders with both hands around your throat – but did that mean the rich right-hander had to fall behind Martin in the count and then groove a pitch? He could have stopped the bleeding and earned his money, no?

Emphasis mine. Mike Nadel’s column is here.

Piniella’s excuses

“This isn’t life or death,” he said. “It’s a game. It’s entertainment. … But look … there are important issues in this country that people should be paying attention to, not only what the Cubs do or do not do. I want to win as much as anybody, but if you can’t be loose, and have some fun and you can’t enjoy the moment, then you don’t belong here.” — Lou Piniella

Usually, leaders don’t start talking this way unless they’re convinced they don’t have a chance. Why can’t the Cubs ever get a manager who doesn’t try to distract people from the fact that they aren’t as good as their fans think they are?


Isn’t October loverly?

James Loney hit a go-ahead grand slam off a wild Ryan Dempster, Ramirez and Russell Martin homered and the new-look Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 in their NL playoff opener Wednesday night.

Yes, I know. It’s only the first game of the first series and the Cubs could very well win out from here. Still, it does my heart good whenever I see the Scrubs lose in October. Manager Piniella is not exactly your postseason stud. Yes, he won one World Series as a manager — in 1990, with Cincinnati. Then he had one of the best if not the best teams in the NL in 2007, and lost out against the D’backs in 3 straight in the NLDS thanks to boneheaded pitching decisions. Wednesday night, he took Dempster out AFTER the guy had walked the bases loaded and then given up a slam and a double. Do you think walking the bases full might have been a clue that Dempster didn’t have it? Was he wearing a “What Would LaRussa Do” bracelet to remind himself of what the Great Skip would do if Ankiel was on the mound?

Well, let’s see what happens from here. Of course, I won’t see it, since I don’t have cable or satellite.