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#124: Chad “Stupider Like A” Fox

Recipe for ending a career:

2 pts. Tommy John surgery
1 pt. Cub uniform
Age 34 years
Stress 8 innings
Add a pinch of Dusty Baker

And that brings us to #124 on our Bottom 126, Chad Fox.

Samantha was much better looking.
What. The hell. Were you thinking?

I have no idea what a guy who previously had two Tommy John surgeries was thinking joining a team managed by a guy who abuses pitchers like Jacque Jones abuses the ground in right field on a relay throw. So I guess it was Fox’s own fault that he threw only eight innings as a Cub. No, wait. I can find a way to blame Dusty. Fox was coming off an injury-filled 2004 during which he had thrown only 10 2/3 innings with the Marlins. So what does Dusty do? Pitches Fox five times in a week from April 11 to April 17, including the final three days in a row. Dusty pitched Fox on April 24 and tried to bring him back the next day against Cincinnati. On the TWENTY-FIFTH pitch Fox threw in a 10-3 Cubs blowout, Fox’s right arm went flying toward the Cubs dugout, and his career was over.

Chad, we barely knew ye. Sorry about destroying your life.

Low point: The fact that, in his final inning of work, he gave up a 3-run homer to Adam Dunn which hasn’t landed yet.

Did you know? That there’s also a 30-year-old DJ in Tampa named Chad Fox desperately trying to cling to his youth?

Cubs to Lose Arbitration Hearing with Zambrano

CHICAGO–Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano asked for $15.5M in 2007. The Cubs offered $11.025M.

I sweat blood.
Don’t sweat, Carlos. You’ll get your money.

Pay the man what he’s worth, Jim. If Theodore Roosevelt Lilly is worth $10M/year, Biz Z is a steal at $15.5M/year.

St. Louis Gets 2009 All-Star Game; Future Headline: All-Star Game Spectators Get Staph Infections

ST. LOUIS–The 2009 All-Star Game will take place in the new Busch Stadium. The decision was made by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig after Gary, Indiana, Newark, New Jersey, and Compton, California failed to get their bids in on time for consideration.

Busch league.
Busch: The Champagne of Crotch Sweat

Baseball insiders suspect that Selig’s selection of St. Louis to host the game, which will take place two years after Selig’s projected retirement, is a sick joke on Selig’s successor, who will be forced to attend the game. Interviews with Selig partially confirmed such suspicions. “No, it’s going to be really, really great,” Selig said, pretending to cough as he covered a snicker. “I mean, there can’t be a better baseball town in America,” Selig said shortly before he was joined in uproarious laughter by a cadre of reporters.

“I mean, they’re SOOOOOO intelligent and love baseball SOOOOO much!” Selig continued, chortling. “What other team’s fans would have had the thoughtfulness to give Ken Griffey, Jr. a standing ovation when he hit his 500th home run? On Lou Brock bobblehead day, no less!” Selig practically shouted over the peals of laughter. “And to top it off! Consummate professional and excellent broadcaster Joe Buck is a Cardinals fan. He’ll tell you what a great baseball city St. Louis is!” Selig finished before excusing himself from the press conference, red-faced and teary-eyed.

After Selig’s announcement, Andy MacPhail and Bob Costas withdrew their names from consideration for serving as the next Commissioner of Baseball.

Ohman Resigns; That’s “Signs Again,” Not “Quits”

CHICAGO–The Cubs agreed to a two-year deal with left-handed reliever Will Ohman. The Cubs expect Ohman to benefit from put on fifty pounds because of another year around Scott Eyre.

Details of the contract are not yet known.

UPDATE: SI says the contract is 2 years, $2.5M.

#125: Adam “Moonlight” Greenberg

Ah, the magical summer of 2005. Corey Patterson and Jason Dubois were sucking the life out of the Cubs outfield. The Cubs were sucking the life out of Cubs fans everywhere. I was sucking back a beer, when I heard the news that the Cubs had sent Patterson and Dubois down to AAA Iowa, and had called up two kids from the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx: Matt “Red” Murton and Adam Greenberg.

Murton made his major league debut on July 8, 2005, in a win over the Florida Marlins. Greenberg had to wait until the next night to get his chance against those same Marlins. Valerio de los Santos was on the mound in the 9th inning, trying to hold the Cubs at their 4-2 lead. Todd Hollandsworth grounded out to start the inning, and the left-handed hitting Greenberg came in to hit for Will Ohman.

I vividly remember how excited and confident Greenberg looked, striding to the plate and then going through his pre-pitch ritual. His helmet was shiny; his uniform spotless. De los Santos wound up, delivered, and “CRACK!” earholed Greenberg on the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues.

It was for the best, Adam.
Don’t wink, kid.

And thus ended Greenberg’s career as a Cub, cementing one of the better statistical lines on Baseball-Reference. One game. Zero at-bats. 1.000 OBP. Here’s to you, Moonlight.

Low point: Somewhere between the time De los Santos released the ball and the time it connected with the side of Greenberg’s head.

Did you know? Greenberg is still trying to work his way up to the bigs, having signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals on December 5, 2006. And he thought it couldn’t get any worse than his only Major League at-bat.

Dawson, Sandberg, Bauer Discuss 2007 Cubs

DES MOINES, Iowa–Former Cubs Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg were at the Iowa Cubs’ Fan Fest 2007 this Saturday, and both had some interesting things to say about the Cubs’ offseason acquisitions, as Wrigleyville 23 pointed out.

According to Dawson:

They made some good acquisitions considering what was out there (for free-agent talent). But I still think there is work to be done.

According to Sandberg:

They were very aggressive this winter, but they had a lot of work to do after the last two seasons. I don’t know if a quick fix will work, but in the future it’s important that the Cubs get more players out of their own system.

The Des Moines Register failed to cover the most interesting part of the story, when federal agent Jack Bauer checked in on the Cubs’ offseason activity. Fire Lou Piniella! was fortunate enough to ask a few questions of Bauer.

Why do you always start the season with a beard?
Bearded Jack: Bad for ratings.

Q: Good afternoon, Mr. Bauer. How are you doing?

A: Today is the longest day of my life.

Q: I’m sorry to hear that. Is it okay if we begin?

A: Fine. But let’s get something straight. The only reason you’re conscious right now is because I don’t want to carry you.

Q: I understand. So, can we begin?

A: The only way you’re going to get answers is if I tell them to you.

Q: Good point. So, what do you think some of the acquisitions the Cubs have made this offseason.

A: Gimme a name!

Q: Okay. Alfonso Soriano. Do you think he’ll enjoy being in Chicago?

A: We’ll make sure he doesn’t turn the gun on himself.

Q: What about Jason Marquis?

A: I want you to point a gun at his chest and pull the trigger now.

Q: Yeah, me too. What do you think about rooting for the Cubs?

A: A few years ago, my wife was killed because of my rooting for the Cubs. My daughter has never been the same since. This last year… well, you know what I went through watching this team. What’d I get for it? A pat on the back. In the end, a demotion and a heroin habit. I’m tired of putting my ass on the line for nothing. I’m DONE putting my ass on the line for nothing.

Q: So, you think the Cubs will be better this year?

A: There are things in this world which are out of our control. Sometimes we like to blame ourselves for them so we can try to make sense out of them.

Q: Don’t you think you’re sort of selling me short with a vague answer like that?

A: You betrayed me, too, I’m just better at it than you.

Q: Well, at least tell me what you think of the website.

A: I know you think what you’re doing is right. But it is my job not to let that happen.

Q: You’re going to prevent me from getting Lou fired? How?

A: You have no idea how far I’m willing to go to acquire your cooperation.

Q: I bet I don’t. Well, can you at least tell me what you think about Lou?

A: You’re out of time!

Q: I guess that’s a “no.” Well, thank you for your time.

A: It’s been an honor.

#126: Sandy “I Caught Wood’s 20-K Game” Martinez

20 put-outs in 1 game!  Thanks, Kerry!
Sandy Martinez

What’s that? You don’t really remember Sandy Martinez? That’s because Martinez was a bad, journeyman catcher whose only claim to fame in an otherwise pointless career is catching Kerry Wood’s twenty-strikeout game. He spent two mediocre seasons with the Cubs in 1998 and 1999 poorly backing up Scott Servais and Benito Santiago. In 1999, Martinez had 1 RBI in 30 at-bats, which is one more RBI than walk that he had that year. But, hey. At least he got a hit in the 1998 NLDS, which is more than the rest of the team did as they were promptly swept away by the Braves.

Low point: Martinez hit 6 home runs in 218 Major League games. Carlos Zambrano hit 6 last season.

Did you know? Martinez is still alive and in the majors*, toiling away in the Mets’ minor leagues.

*And by “majors” I mean, of course, “professional baseball.” I’m a big, dumb animal.

The Bottom 126: The Rules

As I mentioned Friday, Fire Lou Piniella! planned to compile a list of the bottom 100 Cubs of all time. I got to 126 Cubs in under an hour without going outside of my lifespan.

So, I have amended the list to include the worst 126 Cubs in my lifetime.

By no means is this list inclusive. Guys like Dan Serafini, who sucked just about worse than anyone on this list, had stays with the Cubs which were too brief to acquire legendary crappy Cub status. Basically, this list hopefully covers most of the guys who caused you to swear at your television in about the last 30 years. And the list covers pitchers, guys who were supposed to be great and sucked, and even some of the guys on the current Cubs roster.

Some of the factors considered were the player’s promise as a ballplayer, the player’s contract, amount of undeserved playing time, appearance, likability, and, in some cases, specific moments which made an otherwise average player legendarily horrible.

This list includes has-beens, never-weres, and guys who only sucked during their times with the Cubs. Furthermore, the bottom 126 are vaguely ordered from least sucky (#126) to most sucky (#1). The Bottom Ten are special, and are ranked more carefully.

This list will take us into June, if I profile 5 players a week. At that point, the Cubs will have likely been eliminated from the playoffs, and this list will be all the sweeter.

Again, I want to thank the morans over at Desipio for making one man’s dream to assemble a list of horrid players come true.

All that said, #126 is coming up later today. Stay tuned…

Cubs Sign Switch-Hitting Infielder Perez. No, Not Neifi. I Know, Right? I Was Totally Relieved, Too!

CHICAGO–The Cubs signed switch-hitting infielder Tomas Perez to a minor league deal with AAA Iowa and added him to their Evite for the big league camp. Perez played–badly–with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last season. The only positive I think can come of having this guy on the roster is seeing a bunch of “NO MAS PEREZES” signs in the stands.

Sosa Too Fat for Japanese Ball; Grace Puts Sosa on Speed Dial

YOKOHAMA, Jap.–Former Cubs slugger and superstar Sammy Sosa has finally bottomed out. Certainly, it was evident that his stock had significantly dropped when the Cubs dumped him on the Baltimore Orioles for Jerry Hairston, Jr. And certainly it didn’t help that none of the thirty Major League teams offered him a Major League contract last season.

But this is the bottom.

From the article:

According to an interview in Chunichi Sports, an unnamed player personnel official with the Yokohama Bay Stars called a recent attempt by Sosa’s agent to get him a roster spot with the team for a $500,000 salary as endeavoring “to perpetrate fraud on us.”

In addition, the bigwig expressed strong doubts about the former Cub’s character. Alluding to the still unproven rumor that Sosa took steroids as well as the corked bat incident, he smirked, “guys who use performance enhancing drugs and break the rules aren’t real sportsmen.”

He then elaborated, “besides, he’s fat now. Where would we play him? He would probably go home in two months.”

In the first paragraph, he called Sosa a criminal. In the second, he called him a juicing, cheating, bad sport. In the third, he called him a quitting fatty.

Oh dear.
What has the world done to you, sweet prince?

Oh, Sammy. Just come home and find solace in the check-swinging arms of Mark Grace.