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Piniella “Worn Out” from Cubs Convention; “Fire Lou Piniella!” Circles, Bides Time

CHICAGO–It took a convention for new Cubs skipper Lou Piniella to emerge from his winter hibernation, and he came out with his teeth bared. Cubs reliever Scott Eyre suggested that the Cubs Convention “overwhelmed” Piniella. Piniella told Eyre, “I’m a little worn down right now.”

Pansy.
A little worn down, and a LOT sissified. Maybe Piniella shouldn’t sit so close to Prior, who is clearly touching himself.

Upon hearing that Piniella was exhausted and weak, two reporters from Fire Lou Piniella! flanked the manager cautiously, crouching low and taking care not to make a sound in the tall carpet.

During the conference, Piniella called the fans “a tough crowd” after they grilled Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry during a Q-and-A session about his misguided faith in the Cubs pitching staff. The laughter the response elicited gave a third FLP! reporter the opportunity to scamper up the scaffolding erected over Piniella’s head and wait to pounce.

Exhausted, this Piniella has been separated from the herd.
Exhausted, this Piniella has been separated from the rest of the herd.

Piniella took a jab at Notre Dame during the conference, as well, saying, “I think LSU might have helped [new Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija] make that decision [to forgo the NFL draft and play baseball].” More laughter erupted from the crowd, providing a perfect cover for the three FLP! reporters to call to one another, indicating that all three were in position for the attack.

Piniella was escorted from the Convention before FLP! reporters had a chance to make their move.

#119: Chris “The Butcher” Stynes

Chris Stynes was impotent at the plate with the Cubs in 2002. Don’t get me wrong. But what led to more “Why the f@#$ is Chris Stynes playing third base?” moments was his glove. At least, I think he was wearing a glove. They wouldn’t have let him take the field without a glove, right?

Everyone in the first base stands, DUCK!
This glove came with a free Yo-Cream!

Stynes was an absolute butcher in the field. Every ground ball was an adventure. Stynes helped a team give away runs which absolutely couldn’t afford to give away runs. He had the Todd Walker defense and shave without the Todd Walker ability to make contact with a pitched baseball.

Low Point: May 1, 2002, when Stynes struck out looking twice in an eventual 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Did You Know? Stynes was one of the original “Dirt Dogs,” the use of which nickname eventually led to the devolution of Red Sox fans.

And by the way…

Eat it, ESPN “experts.” Not you, super-intelligent computer.

PWNED ESPN Experts

PWNED ESPN Experts (contíd.)

BEARSSSSSSSS!

Yes, it’s a Cubs blog, but well done, Bears. Well done, indeed.

Here we come, Miami!

#120: Dan “Lazy Eyebrow” Plesac

The hotness.Maybe I’m just jealous of Dan Plesac. I’m left handed. I have about as much muscle mass.

He had an 18-year Major League career which he parlayed into a gig at Comcast as an analyst. I’m blogging about him. Yeah. Maybe jealousy is the case. Or maybe it’s his right eyebrow, which appears surprised during every second of every Comcast Sportsnet broadcast.

Or maybe Plesac is another one of those guys who had just about the worst two years of his career in Cub pinstripes. Plesac was a the epitome of a LOOGY, getting out lefties at a sufficient clip, but turning any right-handed batter he faced into Ted Williams. And, unfortunately, he saw a lot more righties than he saw lefties. Hence, Dan’s spot at 120 on the list.

Low Point: May 4, 1993. The Cubs are up 5-4 against the Rockies at Wrigley. 5-4, that is, until Plesac comes in and pours gasoline all over himself. Plesac gave up the lead to the first batter he faced, Joe Girardi, then let the Rockies go ahead on a sacrifice fly. Plesac then proceeded to load up the bases for Jim Tatum, who hit one of his three career home runs off Plesac. Grand slam. Rockies 10, Cubs 5. The Rockies would go on to win 14-13 in 11 innings. It’s tough to lose a one-run game to Don Baylor. Thanks a lot, Dan.

Did You Know? Plesac is a harness race horse trainer?

#121: Robert “It’s Either Me, Hundley, or Girardi’s Corpse” Machado

Have you ever played the game “Do, Dump, or Marry?” It’s a game played in public when a friend chooses three random people out of a crowd. The player must pick one person to “do,” one to “dump,” and one to “marry.” It’s a stupid game. I only bring it up because it reminds me of the three-headed monster that was the Cubs catching situation in 2001.

For some reason, the Cubs kept Joe Girardi, Todd Hundley, and Robert Machado all on the roster for the majority of the 2001 season, despite none of them being any good.

Youíll be okay, Robert.  At least youíre no longer a Cub.

Machado makes the list mainly because he forced me to choose to “do” Todd Hundley. Thanks a lot, Machado.

Low Point: Pretty much every time he looked at the lineup card and “Hundley” was written there instead of his name.

Did You Know? Machado came up with the White Sox? You did? Well, then, I have nothing to add.

Samardzija Chooses Pitching Over Catching; Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That

SOUTH BEND, Ind.–Former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija, who was drafted by the Cubs last year, has decided to forgo his football career for a career pitching with the Cubs.

Poor bastard didnít even know what hit him.

Samardzija’s Tommy John surgery has been scheduled for late August.

#122: Julio “Doo-Doo” Zuleta

Did you guys catch the “Zoo-Doo” fever in the summer of 2000? I sure did. Cubs prospect Julio Zuleta looked like a guy who could hit, posting an impressive line in a small sample of at-bats in 2000. Plus, Zuleta was the closest thing to a real-life President Palmer Pedro Cerrano Hats for bats.  Keep bats warm. that we were going to get, as rumors swirled that he practiced “Zoo-Doo” to bring the Cubs wins. All 65 wins that the Cubs had that year. Your Zoo-Doo sucked as bad as your hitting in 2001. Thanks a lot, Julio.

Itís very bad to steal Jobuís rum.
What are you looking for, Julio? The ball is in the catcher’s mitt.

Low Point: When Harris stole JoBu’s rum.

Did You Know? Julio Zuleta is still mashing the ball in Japan?

Sosa Seeks “Happy Ending” in Texas; FLP! Suggests Avoiding “Sunny Side Up Massage” in Arlington; SO Not What We Expected

ARLINGTON, Tex.–Former slugger Sammy Sosa, out of baseball since the 2005 season, is looking to revitalize his career in the place where it all started. Sosa worked out Tuesday in Arlington for the Texas Rangers, where his career began eighteen years ago.

After hitting .221 with only 14 home runs for Baltimore in 2005, Sosa wants to stage a comeback so that his career can have a happy ending. Sosa’s career has been seen frequenting several therapeutic massage parlors seeking that happy ending.

Subtle.

So far, Sosa’s career has had no luck in its search, despite suggesting to several masseuses such code phrases as “happy ending,” “the house special,” “the champagne room,” and “please touch my bathing suit area.” Fire Lou Piniella! will stay with the story and provide driving directions and a car pool list if Sosa’s career finds its happy ending.

#123: Todd “The Worst 79 Games of My Career” Zeile

Todd Zeile wore a lot of uniforms in his career (11, to be exact), and he was a halfway decent utilityman for the better part of 16 seasons in the Major Leagues. But not as a Cub. In his 79 games as a Cub, Zeile put up the worst numbers of his career. Go ahead and check out the link. I’ll wait here.

LaRussa showed me this position.
Zeile started his career before the days of color photography. They had colored markers, though.

As if that wasn’t enough reason to hate Zeile, how about I throw in the fact that he came up as, and spent his longest time with, the St. Louis Cardinals? Hate him now? Yeah. I thought so.

Low Point: His 45.00 ERA in 2004 with the Mets. Ha ha ha! You suck at pitching, Todd!

Did You Know? Zeile is now an “actor,” appearing in the 2005 film Dirty Deeds with the flying guy from Heroes. No, not the one with the perfect teeth. The one who acts like Keanu Reeves.

Done dirt cheap.
A bum. Just how I remember you.

More Actually Interesting Zeile Facts from Wikipedia Which Didn’t Happen When He Was a Cub:

  • Zeile is the only player in Major League history to have hit a home run for 10 or more teams.
  • Zeile is one of only 41 players to hit a home run in his final at-bat, which also happened to be the last home run hit off a Montreal Expo, as they became the Washington Nationals the following season.
  • Zeile is married to the first American gymnast to earn a perfect 10.0 at the Olympics.
  • Zeile is a descendant of John Adams, the second President of the United States.
  • That’s actually some interesting stuff. I’d have a beer with you, Todd, if you weren’t my 123rd least favorite Cub of my time.