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Let’s Leave This as the Newest Post for a While

I must go now. My people need me.

I must go now. My people need me.

My hatred of Ryan Dempster has been welldocumented on this site.

And, apparently, it’s well-known in the Twittersphere, as well! Roland Johnson was good enough to inform me that one of my many mean tweets about Dempster had been read that morning on MLB Central. Leave it to Dempster to be involved in a routine stolen from fellow hack Jimmy Kimmel. My only regret is that they didn’t pick a meaner post.

I’m not saying that this is the culmination of my life’s work. I’m not saying that this will be my last post. But if this ends up being my last post, what a glorious last post it is.

WE DID IT, YOU GUYS!

10 Years

Birthday CakeIt’s HJE’s 10th birthday. This seems as appropriate as anything.

I should post something.

BRING ON THE CARDINALS

Jakey Roger

The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time: BN Jake Fox

I believe that's called the Flipping Pudge.

Look at that form!

A passing comment on Twitter has led to my next pet project.  I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of the best bad Cubs of my time.  Let me clarify a few things right off the bat.  I looked at stats, but I really don’t care about your stats-based argument.  This is supposed to be fun.  Calm down.  As you’ll see as the roster develops, personality wasn’t as big a factor as it was for the Bottom 126.  However, watching a bad player play well as a Cub made generally made him pretty likeable.  I’m starting with the bullpen, then I’ll do the bench, then the starting pitchers, and finally the starting eight.  HERE is the roster so far.

As you can see from the above-linked tweet, Cody Ransom was the inspiration for this list.  At the time, Ransom was batting a respectable .250 and slugging .574 with a .905 OPS. That was less than two months ago. Ransom ruined my grand plans to start him at third base for this team.  Such is the danger of picking active players for a list like this.  It’s a similar danger to buying a Mark Prior jersey while he’s still active.  YOU NEVER KNOW.  Alas, I had to slot in one of my alternate guys and add Jake Fox to my bench. Yes, I had alternates.  This list is SERIOUS BUSINESS.  So, congratulations to Jake Fox.  Like a right-handed Brant Brown, he swung for the fences, hit some bombs, and struck out a shit-ton.  That’s good enough to beat out Cody Ransom for a slot on the bench of the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.

Fox was born to be a Cub.  He was a pudgy white guy from Indiana who went to Michigan (like Rich Hill!), could hit the ball far, and couldn’t touch his arms together in front of him.  So it made all the sense in the world for the Cubs to select him in the third round of the 2003 amateur draft.  Fox hit fine in the minors, with good power numbers and a decent OBP.  So when the Cubs traded Cesar Izturis to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, they called up Fox to take his place.  Not a very high bar to set for the slugger.

Fox made his MLB debut on July 19, 2007 against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.  Fox pinch hit in the 8th inning and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.  The Cubs went on to win 9-8, however, because Carlos Marmol and Bob Howry were, at one point, really good.  Plus, Ted Lilly threatened to murder Bruce Bochy’s friends and wipe his seed from the earth if the Giants won.

Fox appeared in only seven games during the month he was up in 2007, hitting .143/.200/.286.  He was bad enough to not see Major League action until 2009, when he was called up in May.  Fox’s 2009 was significantly more impressive.  In only 82 games, he hit 11 home runs and drove in an absurd 44 RBIs.  Of course, he also struck out 47 times while walking only 14.  He ended the year with a .259/.311/.468 line.  I think it’s safe to say he was a…contributor to the Cubs’ 83-78, second-place finish that year.

Certainly to the chagrin of the four-letter site, the Cubs traded Fox after the 2009 season along with Aaron Miles to the Oakland Athletics for Matt Spencer, Ronny Moria, and Jeff Gray.  He was bad in Oakland, so they sent him to the Baltimore Orioles a month before the trade deadline for Ross Wolf.  He played 65 games over parts of two seasons in Baltimore, compiling a .230/.279/.441 slash line with the Orioles.  He struck out 31 times while drawing only 7 walks, and he managed only 7 home runs and 16 RBIs in 161 at  bats.

Fox just caught on with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as they signed him last month for the stretch run.  He hasn’t fared well in AAA Reno, hitting only .147/.237/.206 in 38 plate appearances.  Suffice it to say, Fox had his best moments, fleeting though they may have been, as a Cub.

Plus, as you loyal readers have so creatively pointed out, it’s fun to play with Fox’s name!  He can be Jake Fox, Jay Kvox, or Jake Vocks!  I don’t know why you all do that, but I guess it passes the time.

Greatest Cub Moment:  Beating the Cardinals is always good, even when the Cubs are bad.  So September 20, 2009 was a good night.  The Cubs were in St. Louis, and Carlos Zambrano and Adam Wainwright gave fans the pitchers duel they expected.  Both pitchers allowed only two earned runs, and the game was tied 3-3 at the end of 9 innings.  Fox had pinch hit for Kevin Gregg in the top of the ninth inning and drawn a walk (GASP!).  He came up again in the eleventh with one out and Andres Blanco on first.  Fox launched the second pitch he saw into left-center field for a two-run homer.  The Cubs scored another in the frame and beat the Cardinals 6-3 after a nice, clean Marmol-pitched bottom of the inning.  That may have been the last clean frame he had.

Worst Moment as a Human:  Fox had one of those days on June 24, 2009.  Rich Harden and the Cubs were in Detroit to face Rick Porcello.  Fox was starting at third base, batting sixth.  To say he had a frustrating game would be an understatement.  In the top of the second, Fox came up with no outs, no score, and runners at first and second.  He promptly grounded into a weak 5-4 double play.  In the top of the fourth, he came up again with runners on first and second, this time with two outs and still no score.  Again, he hit a weak grounder to third.  When he came up with a runner on first in the sixth with the Cubs trailing 2-1, he managed a single.  But then he had two crucial at-bats.  In the top of the seventh, the Cubs were trailing 4-2.  Fox came up with bases loaded and one out.  He managed only a sacrifice fly.  But, hey, at least he didn’t hit into another double play.  Finally, in the top of the ninth with the Cubs trailing 5-3, Fox came up AGAIN with runners on first and second and one out.  He flew out to center.  All told, Fox came to the plate with a total of TEN guys on base, and drove in only one of them.  Ugh.

The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time: BN Brant Brown

I actually would have if they had functioning cameras in Milwaukee in 1998.

You didn’t think I’d be cruel enough to use THAT picture, did you?

A passing comment on Twitter has led to my next pet project. I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of the best bad Cubs of my time. Let me clarify a few things right off the bat. I looked at stats, but I really don’t care about your stats-based argument. This is supposed to be fun. Calm down. As you’ll see as the roster develops, personality wasn’t as big a factor as it was for the Bottom 126. However, watching a bad player play well as a Cub made generally made him pretty likeable. I’m starting with the bullpen, then I’ll do the bench, then the starting pitchers, and finally the starting eight. HERE is the roster so far.

Brant Brown won’t be known in history as the man who killed Ron Santo, but he will forever be known as the man who almost killed Ron Santo. He killed at least a part of Ronnie on that fateful day in 1998. I’m not saying he’s the reason Santo lost his legs, but I’m not NOT saying that. But we’ll get to that. Brant Brown was bad over the course of his 5-year career. Occasionally, he was stunningly bad. Except for those times he was awesome. That’s why #37 joins the bench of the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.

Brown’s professional career began on June 1, 1992 when the Cubs selected him way up in the third round of the amateur draft. Here’s when I might ordinarily make a joke about the Cubs passing on a way better player later in that round, but the most recognizable player taken in that round was either Chris Widger or Chris Gomez. If you think you remember either of those guys, you’re mistaken.

Brown put up decent enough numbers in the minors, with a career OPS hovering close enough to .800 to earn him a call-up. Also be aware that this was the mid-1990s Chicago Cubs. An SAT score hovering close to 800 might have earned a guy a call-up.

Brown got his shot on June 15, 1996. The San Diego Padres arrived at Wrigley Field and sent Tim Worrell to the mound against Jaime Navarro, one of the few 1990s Cubs pitchers still living today. Brown batted second and played first base. In his first MLB at-bat, Brown slapped a single into right field. He finished the day 1-4 with a strikeout. However, he did drive in the only Cub run in a 2-1 loss, as his groundout in the 8th scored Scott Bullett.

Brown appeared in 29 games for the Cubs in 1996, hitting 5 home runs and driving in 9. His .304/.329/.536 slash line was solid. Not as solid was his 2 walks against 17 strikeouts. Nevertheless, Brown cracked the roster at the start of the 1997 season and was around for at least the first 12 losses of that year. Brown bounced up and down that year, finishing with a .234/.286/.409 line in 148 plate appearances.

In 1998, Brown was a regular member of the roster, spelling left and center field. Part-time players are easy to love. They don’t play enough for you to hate them, and they usually come in to replace a slumping player who makes you angry. That was Brown’s role on the Wild-Card-winning 1998 Cubs. In 380 plate appearances, Brown hit 14 home runs and drove in 48 runs. His .501 slugging percentage was third on the team, behind only Sammy Sosa and Henry Rodriguez. He also struck out 95 times, while drawing only 30 walks. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

But Brown did perhaps his best work for the Cubs off the field. After the miraculous 1998 season, the Cubs sent Brown to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jon Lieber. Straight up. Lieber was a workhorse for the Cubs for four straight seasons and is the last Cub pitcher to win 20 games, as he went 20-6 for them in 2001. Brown, meanwhile, put up a .232/.283/.449 line for the Pirates. His flailing away at the plate worsened, as he struck out 114 times against only 22 walks. He was traded after the 1999 season to the Florida Marlins for Bruce Aven.

In 2000, Brown was part of a three-team deal, as the Marlins sent him to the Texas Rangers for Chuck Smith. The Rangers then flipped him to the Cubs for Dave Martinez. The wrong was righted. Unfortunately, Brown was not righted. He hit .157/.248/.270 in 102 plate appearances to finish the season. Brown hasn’t been seen in a Major League uniform since. The Cubs haven’t won anything since. COINCIDENCE???

I think Brown is currently coaching with the Seattle Mariners, but at some point, Brown was currently coaching in the AFL with the Texas Rangers’ organization. When he was, he was on Twitter. It was astonishingly boring, and it lasted less than a month. But WHAT A MONTH.

Greatest Cub Moment: When that “Greatest Cubs Games” DVD came out, I wasn’t surprised to see “The Sandberg Game” on there. I was, however, surprised that “The Brown Game” didn’t make it. Maybe it’s because he didn’t start the game. Or maybe because there’s a bias against left-handed players. Or maybe because making this team is the greatest honor Brown could possibly hope to receive. Nevertheless, The Brown Game took place on June 5, 1998. The White Sox took the Red Line north to face Steve Trachsel and the Cubs. Brown didn’t even see action until the top of the 8th inning, when he was part of a double switch in a 5-5 game. Brown popped out in his first at-bat, but he led off the bottom of the 10th with the game still tied 5-5 with a ringing double and the top of the order coming up. Manny Alexander (who was leading off? seriously?) bunted Brown to third, and Matt Karchner intentionally walked Mickey Morandini and Mark Grace to face Sosa with the bases loaded. Sosa struck out swinging, and it was up to local twat Jeff Blauser to send the Cubs fans home happy. Did he ever? No. The answer is no. Blauser struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch. Both bullpens held until the bottom of the 12th. Brown led off the inning against Sox pitcher Tony Castillo. Brown yanked the second pitch he saw from Castillo deep into right field to give the Cubs a walkoff 6-5 win.

Worst Moment as a Human: Oh, wait, there’s already a Brant Brown Game? Well, it must be September 23, 1998. The Cubs were in County Stadium trying to clinch their first ever Wild Card berth. In the bottom of the 9th, the Milwaukee Brewers were trailing 7-5 and facing Rod Beck. As Beck was wont to do, he got two outs, but also loaded the bases. Up came Brett Favre lookalike Geoff Jenkins. He hit an easy fly ball to left, where Brown sat under it. He inexplicably dropped it, allowing three runs to score, and the Brewers to walk off with an 8-7 win. Oh, and this happened.

I don’t know what’s worse. Brown’s error, or that terrible clip.

The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time: BN Bryan LaHair

I feel like he should be doing a Mr. Bean sketch.

A passing comment on Twitter has led to my next pet project. I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of the best bad Cubs of my time. Let me clarify a few things right off the bat. I looked at stats, but I really don’t care about your stats-based argument. This is supposed to be fun. Calm down. As you’ll see as the roster develops, personality wasn’t as big a factor as it was for the Bottom 126. However, watching a bad player play well as a Cub made generally made him pretty likeable. I’m starting with the bullpen, then I’ll do the bench, then the starting pitchers, and finally the starting eight. HERE is the roster so far.

For a long time, Bryan LaHair appeared to be a career AAAA player. Not quite good enough for the MLB, but too good for AAA. It turns out, everyone was wrong. LaHair wasn’t good enough for the MLB or AAA. But for one shining half-season in 2012, LaHair was good enough for the MLB, the Cubs, and the goddamn NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM. His loopy, lefty swing clubbed him onto the bench of the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.

LaHair has been around forever. The Seattle Mariners drafted him way back on June 4, 2002 in the 39th round of the amateur draft. LaHair debuted in low-A ball the next season. In parts of seven seasons, LaHair struck out a lot, but hit some home runs and drove in enough guys to finally get a look from the Mariners in 2008. He debuted on July 18, 2008 in an 8-2 Mariners win over the visiting Cleveland Indians. LaHair pinch hit in the bottom of the 8th and grounded into an inning-ending double play. That’s efficiency!

LaHair posted a putrid .250/.315/.346 slash line in 150 plate appearances in 2008, good for a 79 OPS+. Also good for getting a look from the Cubs. After LaHair spent all of 2009 in back in the minors and was granted free agency by the Mariners, the Cubs grabbed him. LaHair was a September call-up in 2011, making his debut on September 4. You don’t remember any of this, because the Cubs were awful, Mike Quade was managing, and you had given up on the team in May. LaHair had a nice debut. He went 2-4 with an RBI in a 6-3 Cubs win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Randy Wells got the win, and Sean Marshall earned the save. ALL OF THIS HAPPENED ONLY TWO YEARS AGO. Almost exactly, actually.

After LaHair put up a 140 OPS+ in 69 plate appearances in 2011, the Cubs were confident enough to let Carlos Pena walk and install LaHair as the everyday first baseman in 2012. That’s just last season. I’m blown away with how much the Cubs’ roster changed in such a brief time period. LaHair looked like he was going to reward the Cubs for their confidence in him. In the first half, LaHair hit 14 home runs and slugged .519 on his way to an All-Star appearance. He even got an at-bat in the All-Star Game, and grounded out to shortstop on one pitch from Fernando Rodney.

And then, the second half happened. LaHair hit only 2 home runs and posted a .202/.269/.303 line after the All-Star break. His OPS in the second half (.572) wasn’t all that much higher than his slugging percentage from the first half. LaHair’s awful late-season performance prompted the Cubs to call up Anthony Rizzo and make him the full-time first baseman on June 26th. LaHair was a man without a position. At least in the MLB. He played some outfield after Rizzo’s debut, but he wasn’t good enough to be a full-time starter in the outfield. Oh, and he couldn’t hit lefties. Like, at all. Even with his great first half, LaHair hit only .063/.167/.125 against lefties. That is amazing. He struck out 27 times in only 54 plate appearances vs. lefties. That’s half of the time, in case you’re not too great at math.

The last anyone saw of LaHair, he was playing first base for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. The Cubs actually got $950K for letting LaHair go to Japan. If that’s not the greatest win-win situation ever, I don’t know what is. In case you’re wondering (good lord, why would you?), LaHair has 16 home runs and 57 RBIs this year, with a .233/.311/.437 slash line.

Greatest Cub Moment: On April 24, 2012, Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals were in Wrigley Field to take on Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs. It was a great pitchers’ duel. Wainwright gave up only 1 earned run in 6 innings while striking out 7 Cubs. Samardzija was scoreless through 6 2/3, striking out 9 Cardinals. Carlos Marmol blew a save when he served up a 2-run homer to Matt Holliday with two outs in the 8th. At least it set up LaHair for some Cardinal-killing heroics. Leading off the bottom of the 9th, LaHair hit a solo shot on the first pitch he saw against Marc Rzepczynski. The blast tied the game 2-2 and set up Alfonso Soriano for a walkoff single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th. LaHair was a nearly-perfect three-possible-outcomes player that day. He was 2-4 with a home run, two strikeouts, and an intentional walk. Any player that contributes to a walkoff win against the Cardinals is okay in my book.

Worst Moment as a Human: Travis Wood has been a bit of a hard-luck loser for much of his time with the Cubs. Not on July 17, 2012, though. The Miami Marlins were in town. As bad as that team was, they were good enough to hang 8 runs on Wood in 4 2/3 innings, including a grand slam by notorious Cub killer Carlos Lee. LaHair started in right field, and went 1-5 with three strikeouts (two looking) and an error.

Friday Roundup: The “LaTroy Getting Hit in the Nuts” Edition

HT: Ned Ryerson for the picture.

If you don’t spend a good amount of your Friday afternoon enjoying that GIF, I don’t think I want to know you. Also, if you just pronounced it “Jif”, the same statement applies.

Your tips are as appreciated as Jerry Hairston, for once.
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The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time: BN Geovany Soto

This was back before Soto discovered tweezers.

A passing comment on Twitter has led to my next pet project. I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of the best bad Cubs of my time. Let me clarify a few things right off the bat. I looked at stats, but I really don’t care about your stats-based argument. This is supposed to be fun. Calm down. As you’ll see as the roster develops, personality wasn’t as big a factor as it was for the Bottom 126. However, watching a bad player play well as a Cub made generally made him pretty likeable. I’m starting with the bullpen, then I’ll do the bench, then the starting pitchers, and finally the starting eight. HERE is the roster so far.

If there’s one thing that Cubs fans love, it’s overpaying for bad beer. If there’s a backup thing that Cubs fans love, it’s arguing about which backup catcher should be on the roster. From Paul Bako to Henry Blanco to Koyie Hill, the Cubs have had some amazing ones. Some of those have had some weird-good stretches. Remember when Koyie Hill was sort of good for a while? Or when Henry Blanco couldn’t stop hitting doubles? Only Geovany Soto, however, was second-best-bad-enough to spell the starting catcher on The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time. When Soto was good, he was very, very good. But when he was bad, he was awful.

The Cubs selected Soto in the 11th round of the draft way back in 2001. Soto’s minor league numbers were mediocre at best until suddenly, in 2007, he posted a .353/.424/.652 slash line with 26 home runs and 109 RBIs in only 110 games. The 2007 Cubs had trotted out Michael Barrett, Rob Bowen, Henry Blanco, and Jason Kendall for the majority of the year, so when Soto came up in September and actually hit and (mostly) caught the damn ball, he earned a starting spot on the playoff roster. Soto started 2 of the 3 playoff games (all losses, by the way), going 1-6 with a home run, 2 RBIs, and 2 walks. He was basically the best Cub player in the 2007 playoffs. Sigh.

Soto was the starting catcher in 2008, and he rewarded the Cubs with 23 home runs, 86 RBIs, a 119 OPS+, an All-Star appearance, and a Rookie of the Year trophy, autographed by Thomas Ian Nicholas. Probably. He followed it up with a bad, 80-OPS+ 2009 season. He was good again in 2010, though oft-injured, as he hit 17 home runs and drove in 53 on his way to a 135 OPS+. He only played 105 games, just two years after appearing in 141 in his ROY season.

And that was the last we saw of good Soto. He had a completely forgettable 2011 season before getting off to an awful start in 2012. At the trade deadline last year, while everyone was praying that Ryan Dempster would either be traded or fall down a bottomless well, Soto was quietly traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Jacob Brigham, who isn’t good.

In parts of nine(!) years, Soto has posted a slash line of .246/.334/.769. But for his two “full” seasons with the Cubs in 2008 and 2010, he hasn’t had an OPS+ over 100 in his career. He’s been so bad with Texas, the Rangers better hope that “Cash” guy they also got in the trade develops into a perennial All-Star.

Greatest Cub Moment: Out of respect for Ted Lilly’s dying career, I’m not going to bring up Soto’s 2-run homer in Game Two of the 2007 NLDS that give the Cubs their penultimate playoff lead. Except right there, when I brought it up. Instead, I’ll go with June 30, 2011. Matt Cain and the Giants were in Wrigley Field to take on Carlos Zambrano (NEVER FORGET) and the Cubs. With Carlos on the mound, Koyie Hill got the start. Guys, remember Blake DeWitt? He started in left field. Just wanted to bring that up. Cain was brilliant, pitching 7 innings of shutout baseball. Zambrano didn’t make it out of the second, but the bullpen was brilliant, not allowing a single Giant run through the 9th inning. The Giants held a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th, when Aramis Ramirez took local boob Brian Wilson deep to tie the game. John Grabow, being terrible, allowed a solo home run to Pablo Sandoval in the 13th inning that gave the Giants a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 13th, Ramon Ramirez got two quick outs before allowing a double to Jeff Baker and a game-tying single to Darwin Barney. The Giants intentionally walked Starlin Castro, and someone woke Mike Quade long enough to have him pinch hit Soto for Grabow. Soto worked a full count before yanking a home run to left for a walkoff 5-2 Cub win.

Worst Moment as a Human: From Rookie of the Year just five years ago, to backup to notorious shithead A.J. Pierzynski. There’s nothing sadder than being a backup catcher, except for maybe having impeccably-groomed eyebrows behind a mulleted shithead.

The Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time: BN Domingo Ramos

He’s ADORABLE.

A passing comment on Twitter has led to my next pet project. I’ve compiled a 25-man roster of the best bad Cubs of my time. Let me clarify a few things right off the bat. I looked at stats, but I really don’t care about your stats-based argument. This is supposed to be fun. Calm down. As you’ll see as the roster develops, personality wasn’t as big a factor as it was for the Bottom 126. However, watching a bad player play well as a Cub made generally made him pretty likeable. I’m starting with the bullpen, then I’ll do the bench, then the starting pitchers, and finally the starting eight. HERE is the roster so far.

With the bullpen complete, and before we get into the starting rotation and lineup, it’s time to fill out the Cub bench. Even GOOD Cubs teams have diminutive, light-hitting middle infielders. And there are few light-hitting middle infielders who stepped up their game as a Cub more than Domingo Ramos did. So Ramos claims the first bench spot on the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time as my backup infielder.

Ramos’s MLB career was wrapping up by the time he landed with the Cubs in 1989. Beginning in 1978, he played in parts of nine seasons with the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and California Angels. The Cubs signed him as a free agent prior to the 1989 season to occasionally spell Shawon Dunston and Vance Law. And spell them he did.

Ramos was a career .226/.280/.282 hitter when he joined the Cubs. He had compiled 5 home runs and 49 RBIs in 681 at-bats. His OPS+ was 54. Forget the fact that the Cubs shouldn’t have signed him. It was a miracle he was even still in the league.

Ramos was still pretty bad in his two seasons as a Cub, but instead of the “Most Likely to Participate” trophy he received from 1978-1988, he received a “Most Improved” trophy in 1989 and 1990.

In 359 Cub at-bats, Ramos posted a vastly improved slash line of .264/.338/.323 and an 81 OPS+. He hit three home runs and drove in 36 RBIs, falling not too far shy of his career totals to that point. The National League noticed the new threat that Ramos represented, intentionally walking him five times. He’d never been intentionally walked in his career until that point. Ramos also showed great patience as a Cub, as he drew 44 walks while striking out only 52 times.

He was a butcher in the field, committing 11 errors in only 202 chances at shortstop and third base in 1989. He followed up with a 10-error, 172-chance season in 1990. He was a non-factor in the 1989 NLCS, with only one uneventful plate appearance to his credit. But, hey, can you imagine a world where Domingo Ramos never got a single playoff at-bat? Me neither, friend.

Greatest Cub Moment: The greatest day of Ramos’s life came on May 23, 1990. The Los Angeles Dodgers came to Wrigley Field. Lenny Harris was leading off for the Dodgers, so that’s terrific. The Cubs built a 3-0 lead on the strength of four Ramos hits, including a two-RBI, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Cubs lost, of course, as Mike Harkey and Paul Assenmacher combined to give up four runs in the top of the eighth inning. But for that moment, Domingo Ramos WAS a Major League baseball player.

Worst Moment as a Human: On September 7, 1988, Ramos was playing third and batting ninth for the Angels as they took on the Kansas City Royals. Ramos came up with his team down, a runner on first, and no outs twice, both in the third inning and the seventh. Ramos saw only three total pitches in both at-bats, and he bounced into a routine double play both times. He made two more outs on the day to wear the 0-4 in a 4-2 Angels loss.

It’s Len Kasper Appreciation Day!

I just made history in my pants!

If there’s one terrible thing about having to watch Comcast Sports Net and WGN to see Cubs games, it’s the fact that the Cubs share TV time with the White Sox. Therefore, every time they run a TV promo of two of the most exciting moments in recent (2005 DIDN’T FUCKING HAPPEN) White Sox history, I have no choice but to listen to the soundtrack of Hawk Harrelson. Fortunately for Len Kasper, the promos help serve as a reminder that some announcers can make a bad team somewhat listenable, and some announcers can make a historic moment totally unlistenable. See if you can guess which kind of announcer Hawk is based solely on these two examples.

First, there’s been this turd of a commercial going around. If you can get over the completely terrible concept, focus just on Hawk’s “call” of Buehrle’s play. In case you missed it, it’s “Look at this play by Buehrle! Mercy!” Please note that Hawk is a play-by-play announcer, yet we have no clue what actually happened until Steve Stone interjects with an actual description of the play. At that exact moment, Hawk starts screaming over him about Buehrle’s Gold Glove. What an asshole.

While we’re at it, let’s go ahead (2 years late) and make fun of the all-time, undisputed worst call of a historic moment.

So, hey, did Dewayne Wise dive for the ball? Jump for it? Pull back a home run? Throw a saddle on Carlos Quentin and ride him around like a Tauntaun?

And then what happened here? “Alexeiiiiiiii……YES! YES! YES! YES! HISTORY!” Did Hawk just ejaculate on Alexei Ramirez? I would assume that would be a historic moment if Hawk ever ejaculated on anyone but YAZ.

I admit, I get sort of annoyed with Len and Bob sometimes. The corny jokes and repetitive stories are already pretty old and getting older. However, then I see a White Sox commercial and realize just how good we Cubs fans have it. Plus, the Sox have lost seven in a row and are already SIX GAMES behind the Indians. So there’s THAT, too.