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My Cubbies are doing pretty awful this season. Currently they are sporting a record of 43-64, and they are sitting 22 Games Back of 1st Place. Yet, for all of the bad this season, there have been some exciting developments. The Cubs have debuted a lot of young talent this year. Chief among these is our future-star First Baseman – Anthony Rizzo.
“Since making his debut June 26, Rizzo was second among NL rookies with a .314 average behind the Rockies’ Jordan Pacheco (.327), but led in home runs (eight) and RBIs (20)” (source). Rizzo has been a blast to watch. I haven’t been this excited about the promotion of one of the Cubs’ prospects since this kid named Starlin Castro got called up.
Starlin has been to the All Star Game twice already. I predict Anthony Rizzo will join him there next year. While they are no Tinker, Evers, and Chance, I expect great things from Castro, Barney, and Rizzo.
All of us (Cubs fans) knew this season was not going to be great. It was pretty obvious it was going to be a rebuilding year. This was confirmed by our abysmal first half of the season, and left no room for doubt at the trade deadline. Thus far this season, we have traded away Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, Jeff Baker, and Ryan Dempster for a heap of minor league players. It was hard to see most of those guys go (even though Marlon Byrd has subsequently fallen from my graces for testing positive for PEDs). I was a huge fan of Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Dempster. All three of those guys were super classy. I am thankful that the Cubs traded them to the Braves and Rangers respectively. The Braves are my second-favorite National League team, and the Rangers may be my favorite American League team (close contest with the Red Sox). I’ll admit…it’s a little difficult to see a bunch of quality players traded for players you’ve never heard of. But then, I remind myself that players like Ryne Sandberg and Fergie Jenkins came to the Cubs via trades. Maybe one of these anonymous minor leaguers could be the next Cub legend.
As a result of all of this trading (and an unfortunate injury to Ian Stewart – a very classy player in his own right), the Cubs made a big move on Sunday. They called up two of their prospects that Cubs fans have been begging to see in the MLB for years: Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.
I am excited about these guys. I am especially excited that they get to play 50+ games this season without any pressure of a playoff run. I personally don’t think they’re ready to shine at the MLB level yet, which was evidenced by Jackson’s 4 strikeouts yesterday. People are worried about Jackson’s strikeouts and Vitters’s defensive play. I think calling them up now is great. Let them work on those things at the MLB level, and then they can produce like crazy next season.
Overall, in spite of the fact that the Cubs are terrible this year (and will only get worse since we traded our best pitchers and Matt Garza is hurt), I am enjoying the developments of this season. An infield of Vitters, Castro, Barney (who just broke Sandberg’s single-season errorless game streak), and Rizzo is very exciting to me. The influx of young talent (14 rookies debuted this season) on this Cubs team has me hopeful for the future. It makes me feel like we are getting back to our winning roots, because the Cubs earned their name for having so many young players back in the day when they dominated the National League. Here’s hoping
Until later friends…
I am very glad that the Texas Rangers pulled out the victory last night over the Cardinals. As a result, I have had this stuck in my head most of the day.
The video above is when Nolan Ryan hit Robin Ventura with a pitch. The 26-year-old Robin Ventura charged the mound against the 46-year-old Nolan Ryan. Nolan Ryan promptly put him in a headlock and beat the snot out of him. This same Nolan Ryan is now the president of the Texas Rangers. Here is a picture of Nolan Ryan with president George W. Bush.
I’m fairly certain that Nolan Ryan could still hold his own in a bench-clearing brawl. I loved watching Nolan Ryan pitch as a kid. He had the best fastball ever, and he was as tough as nails.
Top Three Reasons Why I’m Cheering for the Texas Rangers
The Cubs/Cardinals rivalry is the most significant rivalry in my sports allegiances.
There is no situation in which I would cheer for the Cardinals. It is a friendly rivalry though. Unlike Yankees/Red Sox fans, I can have friendships with many Cardinals fans. There are many Cardinals fans I like, especially my in-laws. But I don’t want them to have the satisfaction of another World Series win before the Cubs get one.
2. Josh Hamilton
Classy guy. Classy player.
3. Nolan Ryan
Tough-as-nails. Knows the baseball code. Made the Texas Rangers a perennial contender.
Until later friends…
It is time for the World Series. The Cards trashed my bracket, but I’m excited to see this matchup.
I’ve written a lot about how much I respect Josh Hamilton. Here is a great story about him catching the first pitch from the son of the man that fell to his death at the Rangers’ stadium this year.
As much as I hate the St. Louis Cardinals, I love Albert Pujols. He too is a classy guy, and I love all the charitable work he does.
I predict the Rangers win the series in 6 games.
Until later friends…
Thus far my bracket is doing pretty well. Tonight could change that drastically, but lets hope not. Lets talk a little bit about what has happened so far.
Rangers vs. Rays
The Rangers beat the Rays in 4 games. I was glad to see them win for two main reasons: I like Josh Hamilton and I like Nolan Ryan. Josh Hamilton is a classy guy. He really struggled with substance abuse in the past, which kept him from playing for the Rays when they drafted him. Hamilton apologized to members of the Rays organization for his past drug abuse that kept him from contributing to the team. I respect Josh Hamilton for confronting his past and living in the grace of Christ. Josh Hamilton makes me a Rangers fan this time of year. And I love that the Rangers celebrate with ginger ale so that he can take part – that’s classy boys.
Tigers vs. Yankees
The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees in 5 games. This thrills my soul. I despise the New York Yankees, and it does my heart good to see them lose. A lot of people don’t like Jose Valverde, because he acts crazy when he strikes people out, but I find him very entertaining.
I also love that this series ended with a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez. There are very few players in the league that I personally cheer against, and A-Rod is top of that list. He is a cheater. He has admitted to steroid use, and should be banned for life. No Hall-of-Fame for this cheater. He had great, raw talent, but his entire career is tainted now. Glad to see him finish the Yankees’ season.
Phillies vs. Cardinals
I think (and hope) the Phillies will pull this out. Roy Halladay is a machine. Aside from him being a Cardinal, I really like Chris Carpenter. He is a great pitcher and classy guy (Editor’s Note: I wrote this statement thinking about Adam Wainwright. In fact, Chris Carpenter is not classy). I just hope he loses tonight. And if you watch the game tonight, check out my theory that Lance Berkman looks like Vince Gill:
This series was the one I was most unsure about when I made my predictions. I know how good the Brewers are, but I have paid no attention to the Diamondbacks. I still think the Brewers will pull it out, but having Kirk Gibson at the helm for the Diamondbacks makes me uncertain.
So, GO PHILLIES and GO BREWERS tonight! And Booyah to you Yankees fans.
Until later friends…
This week has been really busy. I did not blog yesterday out of sheer busyness. I had either a quiz or test in all four of my classes yesterday; so, my mind is still a little shot. I wanted to give you some kind of blog post today, and what do I do when I feel obligated to blog but not motivated to think? Make a list (examples 2 and 3). So, here we go:
- Had a great date with Jen last week at Rocky’s. Rocky’s is a great restaurant that uses high quality restaurant equipment, and produces good Italian-American food.
- I got to watch a lot of football this weekend, which was good; however, it reminded me of something – I despise the Steelers. The Steelers are a classless team that plays like a bunch of thugs. Ben Roethlisberger deserves to be in prison. James Harrison is the dirtiest player in the league, and I hope Ray Lewis gets put in as a fullback to clean his clock the next time the Ravens play the Steelers. Anyone who keeps up with sports news is bound to agree with me.
- Today is the anniversary of the plane crash that killed Lynrd Skynrd (I will listen to Free Bird in their honor).
- As a true baseball fan (i.e., someone that hates the New York Yankees), I am a huge fan of the Texas Rangers this week. Especially Cliff Lee, what a beast:
- Speaking of Texas Rangers, Chuck Norris is one bad dude. (Bad in a good way)
- Last night during my exam, I was really craving an Americano from the Astoria Espresso Machine at Founder’s.
- Thanks Equipment Trek for the sweet reference to my coffee addiction post (If you want to slowly watch someone’s descent journey into coffee snobbery, read this blog.)
- Since I have mentioned manly men like Chuck Norris, Ray Lewis, and Cliff Lee, it seems only right to close with this:
Until later friends…