It seems like every game I hear Len Kasper and Bob Brenly mention how Soriano is “hobbling on that bad left leg” after every time he grounds out or any time he makes a play in left.
Bob usually follows it up with, “And isn’t it just like that selfish layabout to hurt his team by continuing to play left field? And computers are better than umpires! And don’t you hate when guys wear their sunglasses on top of their hats? We never did that in MY day! And I won a World Series because of strategy, not because of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling! Now, here’s an obscure modern music reference that makes me seem like I’m NOT 100 years old!” God dammit, Bob Brenly, just shut the fuck up.
Why wouldn’t the Cubs put him on the DL, move LaHair to left and bring up Anthony Rizzo for a few weeks? Is it because Soriano is finally starting to hit home runs?
— Steve G., Irving, Texas
Yeah, it’s about time he FINALLY started hitting home runs! Those 340 he hit before entering this season were all DO-OVERS!
CARRIE: Soriano does have a sore left knee, but it obviously hasn’t affected his hitting, considering his 6-for-13, three-homer series this past weekend against the Twins.
It’s affected his groupie-banging!
CARRIE: He was joking with Cubs officials after Sunday’s game to move this week’s Interleague series against the Tigers to Detroit, so he could be the designated hitter.
CARRIE: The knee hinders Soriano when he’s running, and it’s tough for him to stop.
So the crack Cubs coaching staff introduced him to this new technique called SLIDING.
CARRIE: But since last Tuesday in Milwaukee, he no longer wears a knee brace, and the Cubs’ medical staff has put together enough strengthening and stretching exercises to keep him in the game. Soriano has been the team’s only source of offense since May 15, with 12 homers in 25 games — more than any other Major Leaguer in that stretch. Chicago needs him in the lineup.
Yes. YES. For the stretch run.
What pace is Rizzo on compared to LaHair’s 38 homers last year at Triple-A Iowa?
— John P., Swifton, Ark.
God, I really hope your parents didn’t intentionally name you after Jonathan Swift and then forget to teach you anything about the English language.
CARRIE: Through 58 games at Iowa this year, Rizzo is batting .363 (78-for-215) with 20 home runs. Through 58 games last season at Iowa, LaHair was hitting .356 (73-for-205) with 16 home runs. Rizzo notched his fifth multihomer game Sunday, hitting a pair.
That’s amazing that she just listed the stats instead of actually trying to predict Rizzo’s pace. You know. Like the question asked.
Please explain why manager Dale Sveum is not playing LaHair.
Have you seen his head? Dale Sveum hates la hair! PUNNNNNNN!!!
We are putting Jeff Baker out two or three days a week instead of LaHair.
I am doing no such thing.
Also, 2-3 days of Jeff Baker means 4-5 days of LaHair. Meaning he IS playing. Aren’t Chinese people supposed to be good at math?
Let’s see — LaHair is batting over .300 and Baker is south of .250. Fielding, LaHair has the edge. So explain to me if we are in a development year, why we are not developing LaHair. If he has problems against left-handed pitching, he’s not going to get better watching from the bench.
— John F., Wanning, Hainan, China
Eh. His English is still better than the dude’s from Arkansas.
CARRIE: Sveum is trying to find an edge against left-handers.
It’s pointless. The lefties of the world will rise up and destroy the foolish red-scissor-using aristocracy! Rise up with me, my brothers! Rise up, southpaws! Rise up and cast away the bonds of right-handed can openers and those stupid credit card signature pads with the pen tethered to the right side! United, we will prevail! Might makes left!
CARRIE: Baker is struggling this year, hitting .214 (9-for-42), but he has a career .302 average against lefties.
Plus, he has the jowels of a young Matt Holliday!
CARRIE: LaHair is 3-for-27 against left-handers this season, and he is batting .131 (8-for-61) in his career against them. The Cubs have scuffled overall vs. left-handers — batting .223, the second-lowest mark in the NL — and are 3-13 so far against southpaw starters. They’re looking for any kind of edge.
Maybe they should try to arrange it so the only left-hander they face is Travis Wood.
I am much more impressed with Tony Campana in the outfield than David DeJesus.
And I am impressed that your brain keeps reminding your lungs to breathe. Because you, sir, are a fucking idiot.
I would rather see an outfield with LaHair in right and Campana in center. DeJesus just doesn’t hit enough to pay regularly in the outfield.
DeJesus is not having a great year. He is, however, having a MUCH better year than Tony Campana. God dammit, I KNEW this was going to happen once that little shit started getting regular playing time. He sucks at hitting. He sucks in the outfield. He has exactly one skill and, frankly, it’s probably the LEAST useful skill for a baseball player to have. Just because he’s better at it than basically everyone else in the MLB doesn’t mean he’s a good baseball player. Fuck. YOU’RE GOING TO EMBARRASS US IN FRONT OF THEO EPSTEIN!
Campana would be an ideal leadoff man.
— Harold H., Culloden, W. Va.
You know who would be a better leadoff man, due to his ability to actually get on base? David DeJesus.
CARRIE: We’ll have to agree to disagree.
YOU MADE ME AGREE WITH CARRIE, YOU MISERABLE SON OF A BITCH!
CARRIE: Campana does rank among the National League stolen-base leaders with 18, but his on-base percentage is .226, while DeJesus has a .378 OBP when leading off (DeJesus’ numbers are down in the No. 3 spot, where he’s 4-for-23).
I know this Muskbox is a few days old, but .226? That can’t have been right. Had to have been .326, right?
CARRIE: Sveum will start Campana in center in larger ballparks, because he does cover a lot of ground.
Which is totally useful, so he can take a SUPER-SPEEDY crow-hop before throwing an eight-hopper to home plate.
CARRIE: His speed is a tremendous asset off the bench.
And even more tremendous ON the bench!
CARRIE: DeJesus also had a solid May, hitting .317, and you don’t see many teams running on him when he’s in right. They can run on Campana.
Soriano is a better outfielder than Campana. I HOPE YOUR HEAD JUST EXPLODED, BOB BRENLY.
What are the chances Ryan Dempster is traded to a playoff contender before the Trade Deadline? As much as I love Demp, I think it would be a win-win scenario.
— Jacob C., Chicago
If you could see my face right now, you would be reminded of the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie bets his dad that he’ll never guess what Ralphie got him for Christmas, and his dad looks away dreamily and says, “A new furnace?” Oh, here’s the audio.
CARRIE: Considering where the Cubs are in the standings and this being the last year of Dempster’s contract, it could happen.
Also considering Theo Epstein’s low tolerance on a roster for bullshit clown mascots (see Millar, Kevin).
CARRIE: What team wouldn’t want a starter with a 2.31 ERA who is holding opponents to a .206 batting average?
The Cubs, apparently.
CARRIE: Imagine what his record would be if the Cubs scored some runs in his starts.
//”A new furnace…”
CARRIE: It’s a similar scenario to 2010, when the Cubs dealt Ted Lilly to the Dodgers. Matt Garza also has drawn interest from teams. An American League scout told me Sunday he’d love to have Soriano in his lineup.
Wait, a scout said that? He wants him in which lineup? His bowling league?
CARRIE: The countdown until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is on.
I never seem to hear Josh Vitters discussed as a possible callup to solve our third-base issues. Is that possible, plausible this season, or do the decision makers prefer Vitters spend a full season at Triple-A?
— Joseph H., Lake Ariel, Pa.
It’s possible, plausible, persuasive, and presumptive!
CARRIE: Sveum was asked about Vitters this weekend, and he said the third baseman was doing better.
“I was actually asking about delicious VITNER’S potato chips, locally owned since 1926!”
CARRIE: “He’s been swinging the bat really well lately,” Sveum said. “He [doesn’t have] great command of the strike zone. He puts the ball in play, doesn’t strike out a lot for that kind of hitter. He still has to develop defensively. He’s got to get better defensively before we think of [promoting him].”
Did Sveum really say he DOESN’T have good command of the strike zone, or is this another Muskbox typo?
Now that Marlon Byrd is gone…
From baseball ENTIRELY, it would appear.
…is there any chance Reed Johnson could take over as the Cubs’ player blog writer? I really enjoyed his blogs when he did it a couple years ago.
— Melissa J., Plover, Wis.
I really thought this was going to suggest that Reed be the starting center fielder, but Melissa threw me a huge bender. Sly minx.
CARRIE: Reed and I have talked about it, and yes, we will likely revive “Reed Between the Lines.”
REJECTED BLOG NAMES:
Smacked with a Johnson!
I Never Learned to Reed: The Reed Johnson Diaries
Reed Johnson Presents: The Byrd’s Nest
Reed Johnson’s Family Muskbag
When will MLB Commissioner Bud Selig reveal which stadiums will host the 2013 and ’14 All-Star Games? I know Wrigley Field is competing for ’14 in order to honor the stadium’s centennial.
— Felipe A., Chicago
Hey, Bud has a busy schedule. When he’s not lecturing Hawk Harrelson or ignoring the rapidly-steady decline of the quality of umpiring around the MLB, he’s-
Holy shit, what DOES Bud Selig do?
CARRIE: Citi Field in New York will host the 2013 All-Star Game…
Ronnie died just in time.
CARRIE: …which would mean 2014 would be an AL year (Major League Baseball usually alternates). The Cubs may try to twist Selig’s arm and host the game in 2016, which is 100 years after the team moved into Weeghman Park, now known as Wrigley Field. Plus, the renovations may be done then.
Wait, if they could twist his arm to host it in 2016, why the hell wouldn’t they twist his arm to host it in 2014?
When will the rained-out game against the Reds be played? Have they rescheduled it yet?
— Beth G., St. Louis
This question is so hilariously simplistic. This must be what tech support guys go through all the time. “Hey, um, my computer has, like, a box on the screen, within another box, with an ‘X’ in the corner. What does that mean?”
CARRIE: The Cubs and Reds will play a day-night doubleheader Aug. 18. Tickets from the May 1 game that was postponed by rain will be honored for the day game.
Dammit, I already threw mine out
recycled mine. GOING GREEN!
Why does Cubs radio announcer Pat Hughes always take the fifth inning off every game?
— Gary S., Davis, Ill.
FINALLY! Someone asks the tough questions!
Oh, wow. Long have I made light of the Pat Hughes Fifth-Inning Steamer, but it’s actually true! Pat Hughes takes a full inning to take a dump. He’s a man of many poetic words, and one of those words is “UNNGGGH!”