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#105: Enrique “Mayor Goooooooldie” Wilson

Enrique Wilson. You sucked so badly in only 22 at-bats as a Cub that you pissed me off enough to be a part of this list.

You sucked so badly, that even New York’s answer to Mark Prior (Chicago’s Mr. Glass) knocked you on your ass.

Pavanowned!

Pavanowned!

Look at you.

Fool you twice, shame on you, suckas.

Fooled you, fools. Also, I farted.

You look like you’re trying not to smile, because you fooled everyone into thinking you were an actual Major League Baseball player.

A team like the Yankees was able to keep you around because you hit Pedro Martinez well, Enrique, but the Cubs couldn’t afford having a guy like you on the roster. Particularly not with Johnny B. Baker managing the team. Putting you on a 25-man roster managed by Dusty is like leaving a sugar-coated gun next to a swingset next to a pool with no fence around it. And the pool is next door to a children’s rehabilitation center which specializes in trying to wean kids off of sugar-flavored guns.

Good Lord, Enrique. I can’t get over the fact that you were ever on a Cubs roster. Thank you for retiring before Jim Hendry had a chance to resign you for the 2006 season. Thank you.

Low Point: Honestly, Enrique, it has to be May 17, 2005, the day you signed with the Chicago Cubs. I remember hearing about the signing and thinking, “Has it really come to this?”

Did You Know? Had the Yankees won Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, Wilson would have departed to the Dominican Republic on the deadly American Airlines Flight 587. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says that he is happy that he blew the save in game 7 because that way he still has a friend (Wilson). Looks like Darwin swung and missed just like you did so many times, Enrique. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Piniella Survives Three-Hour Dinner with McCarver, Bush

Just when you thought Lou Piniella couldn’t get any crazier, he sat through a three-hour dinner at the White House on Monday with President George Bush and Tim McCarver. Crazier still is that Piniella did it without punching anyone in the head.

From the link:

First Fan: Fox’s Tim McCarver joined several current and former baseball players, including new Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, for a three-hour private dinner with President Bush at the White House on Monday. McCarver says the ex-Texas Rangers managing partner is studying intelligence on the latest effort to turn around what some consider a lost cause: “He’s very interested in the Cubs and how Lou will do with them. He’d obviously done his homework.”

“George Bush is studying intelligence on the latest effort to turn around what some consider a lost cause.” Where have I heard that before? Oh, I get it. Bravo, USA Today, you snarky little bitch.

I See What You Did There

Thanks to microrecording technology, Fire Lou Piniella! was able to capture a snippet of conversation between Tim McCarver and Lou Piniella at the dinner.

TIM: I never liked the sirloin that they used to make back when I used to have sirloin that they used to make when I played ball.

LOU: What?

TIM: I think this steak may be the greatest steak ever to go through a digestive system as a young steak while learning how to be a steak.

LOU: You are a horse’s ass.

TIM: It’s hard to catch the slurve because when you have your fingers positioned to throw the slurve it’s designed to slurve out of your fingers and slurve downward at a slurvey angle. Slurve.

LOU: Are you going to eat that lobster claw?

#106: “I’ll Have the Grilled” Ruben “With Fried” Quevedo

Fat, drunk, and bad at pitching is no way to go through life, son. Why didn’t you listen to Dean Wormer’s advice, Ruben Quevedo?

Corpulent.

I am no Carlos Zambrano.

Quevedo was similar to Carlos Zambrano in exactly two ways: they were both Venezuelan and both liked danish. Zambrano worked hard at his craft and made himself one of the premiere pitchers in the Major Leagues. Quevedo is currently drooling onto a sneeze guard at your local Old Country Buffet.

Quevedo was awful in his brief career as a Cub and a Brewer. Perhaps if he had made a conscious effort, as Zambrano did, to get himself into shape, he might have had a more successful career. And maybe his fastball could break a plate glass window. But maybe not.

Low Point: Over the course of 5 starts from August 18-September 9, 2000, Quevedo gives up a whopping 30 earned runs (including NINE homeruns) for a nifty 11.57 ERA and a 1-4 record. In comparison, in 1994, Greg Maddux, in arguably his greatest season, gave up 35 earned runs (and only FOUR homeruns) throughout the course of the entire season (25 starts). Is it fair to compare Quevedo with Maddux? Yes. Yes it is.

Did You Know? At one point the tubby Quevedo dropped 25 pounds in an offseason. Impressive until you look at a picture of him and compare it with a picture of Kerry Wood, who dropped 31 pounds in the past offseason. You even suck at losing weight, Ruben.

Rich Hill Predicted to Emerge in 2007, See Shadow, Disappear Until 2008

MLB.com’s Alex Cushing suggests that Cubs left-hander Rich Hill is one of several young pitchers who may emerge in 2007. The Cubs expect Hill, who put up excellent numbers in the second half of the 2006 season, to emerge at the beginning of Spring Training. If Hill sees his shadow, he is expected to disappear until 2008.

“Rich really had a breakout year,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “I really hope when he emerges that he doesn’t see his shadow. We’re counting on having him in the rotation this year, not having him hibernating.”

At the beginning of Spring Training, Hill will greet the crowd that has gathered in front of his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob to determine whether he will emerge and be a dominant pitcher or whether he will retreat to his home for the 2007 season.

Rich Hill Emerges

Rich Hill emerges on Gobbler’s Knob.

“The other guys are already calling him ‘Punxsutawney Hill’,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “If he’s honestly scared of his own shadow, I’m going to take to calling him p#$$y.”

#107: Damon “Yeah, I Played Center for the Red Sox, But I Didn’t Look Like Jesus” Buford

Was Ed Lynch even trying to field a competitive team by 2000? I’m guessing the Damon Buford signing was one of the reasons listed when Lynch was sent packing in the summer of 2000. I imagine the conversation between Andy MacPhail and Lynch went something like this:

ANDY: So, I think you know why you’re here, Ed.

ED: Because Willie Greene is playing third?

ANDY: Well, now that you mention it, yeah. That’s part of it.

ED: Is it because of EY?

ANDY: Good point. I forgot about him. Yeah, him, too.

ED: Well, I promise we’ll get better.

ANDY: It’s too late for that now, Ed.

ED: But, Andy-

ANDY: Damon Buford, Ed? Damon freaking Buford? I mean, I’ve defended a lot of your moves to my bosses, but how do you expect me to explain my way around Damon Buford?

ED: He’s had some okay years-

ANDY: No, Ed. He hasn’t. You’re fired, Ed. Get the hell out of my office.

And so Ed Lynch’s reign as the Cubs’ G.M. was over. Damon Buford’s reign as the Cubs centerfielder was not, however. Buford fumbled around in the outfield and flailed away at the plate for two years at the turn of the millennium.

Tall, dark, and swinging from his ass.

Is this seriously a baseball card?

The most maddening part of Buford’s game was his Willie Mayes Hays (circa Major League II) conviction that he was a power hitter. He wasn’t. But feel free to keep screwing yourself into the ground on your ridiculous swings, Damon. We’re in a hurry to get to 65-97.

Buford also gets negative points for being one of the stopgap centerfielders to suck so badly that the Cubs had to rush Corey Patterson’s development and render him useless. More negative points for attending Southern Cal.

Low Point: May 16, 2001. Buford was released from the Cubs because Gary Matthews, Jr. was a better option in center. Ouch.

Did You Know? Buford’s father Don also played for Southern Cal and in the majors for the White Sox and the Orioles. He also would have made this list had he played for the Cubs.

Like Planet-Destroying Comet, Piniella to Have Impact on Cubs

Jim Street suggests that new Cubs manager Lou Piniella might have the biggest impact of any new manager. Like that movie Deep Impact. Only with more screaming.

With Football Season Officially Over, Piniella Gets in Line for His Chance to Disappoint Chicago

CHICAGO–Soon after the Bears’ season ended with a Super Bowl loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Cubs began preparations for the next soul-crushing, mind-blowing sports season ending in Chicago.

“I was watching the game Sunday night thinking about what a let-down the Bears’ play was for the city of Chicago,” new Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “I thought to myself, ‘How can we possibly crush their spirits any more?'”

Piniella came up with some ideas. “Well, we’re going to try to hang around with the Cardinals until late September,” Piniella said. “But we’re going to do it in annoying fashion. Like from September 14-16, we have 3 games against the Cardinals in St. Louis, which we plan on sweeping to give us a 2-game lead in the NL Central. But then we plan on losing the next 6 to the Reds and Pirates, so we’re 2 games behind the Cardinals going into the final week. I expect that final game [on September 30] against the Reds will be pivotal, and I am already planning to start Jason Marquis that game, no matter who is up in the rotation.”

Piniella had some other devious plans for the season. “Expect [Mark] Prior to start the season 10-1 with a 2.14 ERA. But don’t expect to see him in August. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t set your Tivo’s for the All-Star Game unless you want to have a good cry.”

To-Do in 2007

A sample from Piniella’s 2007 calendar.

#108: Brooks “Was Here” Kieschnick

Brooks Kieschnick’s career can be summed up thusly: He’s an outfielder! No, he’s a pinch-hitter! No, he’s a minor leaguer! No, he’s a pitcher! No, he sucks at everything!

Kieschnick probably grounds out to second.

“That fastball was so hittable, I’m surprised I didn’t throw it.”

Kieschnick was taken by the Cubs in the FIRST ROUND of the 1993 draft as an outfielder. It didn’t work out too well. Kieshnick put up meager numbers in 1997 as a backup outfielder. So Kieshnick bounced around in the minors in the late 90’s, briefly appearing with the Colorado Rockies and then finally establishing himself as a circus act outfielder/pinch hitter/relief pitcher with the 2003 Milwaukee Brewers.

He sucked in those roles, as well, and loses extra points for giving Chip Caray something “novel” to talk about.

Low Point: May 15, 2003. The Cubs are up in Milwaukee facing the Brewers. Kieschnick pinch hits in the 15th inning of a 2-2 game and gets a hit. That is the highlight of his night. Kieschnick gives up a 2-run homer to Corey Patterson in the top of the 17th, giving the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Kieschnick then strikes out swinging in the bottom of the 17th to end the game. † Brewers lose 4-2. Hey, thanks at least for not having your low point in a Cubs uniform.

Did You Know? Kieschnick is the only player to have won the Dick Howser trophy twice, and he’s an inaugural member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Too bad for Brooks we’re not doing a “High Point” category.

Grossman Signs with Cubs as “Pop-Up Simulator”

MIAMI–Minutes after the Chicago Bears fell to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, Rex Grossman signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, seeking to improve their outfield defense, signed the erratic Bears quarterback to throw simulated pop-ups to outfielders Alfonso Soriano, Matt Murton, and Jacque Jones. Grossman will gather the outfielders together next weekend for a game of 500.

Tomlinsonís gonna need a visa to catch this one.

“Three hundred points!”

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was excited about the addition. “Rex was throwing some towering pop-ups during the Super Bowl, and I thought he’d be put to his best use as a pop-up simulator,” Hendry said. “I’m also going to have him work with [Jacque] Jones. I figure if they can find a happy medium between Jones firing the ball into the ground five feet in front of him and Grossman lofting the ball 600 feet in the air, we might find ourselves a serviceable right fielder. Or a serviceable quarterback. Or maybe both. Or possibly neither. Christ, I don’t know. I’m hammered.”

#109: Damian “The Omen” Miller

Was anything during the 2003 season more painful than watching Damian Miller swing and miss? Well, okay, there was that thing. But Miller’s follow-through when he swung and missed was painful. I remember, because I got to see it so often.

Just give me one second while I fire this one out.

Just…unh…give me a quick…oh God…second.

Miller had strung together a few decent seasons in a row with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and had even been named an All Star in 2002. So was it any wonder that he sucked as a Cub? Of course not. In his one year with the Cubs, Miller set career lows in, well, pretty much everything. What was worse was that Miller fell apart in September as the Cubs were struggling to win the NL Central, to the point where Gabor Bako was a better option down the stretch.

damian-miller-fans.jpg

Wait, seriously?

Low Point: The entire month of September, 2003. As the Cubs were in a dogfight with Houston for the NL Central crown, Miller disappeared, hitting only .205 for the month with a .250 OBP. The Cubs managed to pull ahead of the Astros thanks to Richie Sexson and the Brewers, but had Miller hit even adequately, the Cubs may not have had so many exhaustingly pressure-packed games at the end of the season.

Did You Know? Miller is not a part of the MLB Players’ Association, as he was a replacement player during the 1994 strike. That means he’s cost me a substantial amount of time adding him as a create-a-player in MVP Baseball. Thanks a lot, Damian.