Glendon Rusch may not be the worst overall player on this roster, but when he was signed by the Cubs prior to the 2004 season, he was certainly coming off the worst season of any of the guys on the roster so far. His 2003 season in Milwaukee was nothing short of atrocious, and Cubs fans had no reason to expect that Rusch wouldn’t be the main reason for the collapse of the 2004 season. Rusch, contrary to all of our expections, had the best year of his career in 2004. The fact that he was not an asshole on a team more full of them than r/gonewild made him even more likable. So he becomes the fourth member of the starting rotation on the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.
Hello, internet people. This Roundup is very video-heavy, so I’m sorry if you’re at work. Actually, I’m not. You should probably be working. Or at least calling in sick to play GTAV. I’ve managed to hold off buying it so far, but my resolve is crumbling. You can, apparently, compete in a triathlon in the game, which seems far easier than competing in an actual triathlon.
This pick is sure to bring glee to loyal reader Section 242, who is a bigger Kevin Tapani fan than even you are, Mrs. Tapani. Not only was Kevin Tapani not very effective in his thirteen MLB seasons, he wasn’t even particularly good as a Cub. Yet, somehow, in 1998, he just. Kept. Winning. Only 9 times in the HISTORY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL has a pitcher compiled 19 or more wins in a season while also posting an ERA north of 4.50. It hasn’t happened since Tapani did it in 1998. Tapani has the third-highest ERA in the history of Major League Baseball for a pitcher who won 19+ games. The #1 guy was named Bobo Newsom, so GUESS HOW RECENTLY HE PLAYED. The #2 guy, Ray Kremer, won 20 games in 1930. Listen to this. In 276 innings pitched, Kremer struck out only FIFTY-EIGHT GUYS. That’s ONE strikeout every EIGHTEEN INNINGS. But unfortunately for Bobo, he was a Cub way before my time. And unfortunately for Kremer, he was never a Cub. So neither of them have the honor that Tapani does of making the starting rotation of the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.
No, not “Joey Bats” as people lamely call the really good, home-run-hittin’ Jose Bautista. We’re talking the original. We’re talking Jose Joaquin (Arias) Bautista. A man who pitched in parts of nine MLB seasons, and had very little success anywhere but Chicago. A man who went 32-42 in 49 career starts with a 4.62 ERA and 1.317 WHIP. But a man who was pretty brilliant in two seasons with the Cubs. “Joey Can’t Miss Bats” grabs a spot in the rotation of the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.
Baseball is a superstitious game. Friday the 13th is a superstitious day, for some reason. So don’t blame the Cubs if they figure out a way to lose TWO games today. Hey, if it helps the Pirates win the NL Central, I’m all for it. Maybe I’m jaded by the internet now, but there weren’t many links that grabbed my interest. Instead of wasting your valuable (heh heh) time with filler, I’ll just keep this Roundup short.
Finally, we get to the beef of this roster, and Mike Harkey isn’t even the beefiest member of the starting rotation. Harkey made this roster nearly by virtue of being one of the only 1990s Cubs starting pitchers still drawing breath. He also made it by being a godawful pitcher with flashes of brilliance in a Cub uniform. Though the big lug was oft-injured and definitely infuriating, he was lovable and his eyebrows were the EXACT SAME CUT, COLOR, AND SIZE of his mustache. Seriously, look.
I know, right? Mark DeRosa annoyed the shit out of me, too. But unlike every other super-utility player the Cubs have ever had, DeRosa was actually really good as a Cub. If it weren’t for the ridiculous fan adoration heaped upon him by bleacher dopes, DeRosa might have been one of the most well-liked, low-cost acquisitions of the Jim Hendry era. There is not much competition for that throne. DeRosa’s versatility in the field and downright competence at the plate as a Cub allowed him to claim the last bench spot on the Best Bad Cubs Team of My Time.
Kids nearly falling down is almost always funny. Do you like all the qualifiers I put into that sentence? GRAMMAR TRICKS, FOLKS. The Bears return this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, who apparently have the best defense the NFL has ever seen. My prediction: Bears: 45, Bengals: -2, but Jay Cutler makes a frowny face […]
As you can see from the above blurb, 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. Instead, I had to slot in one of my bench guys and add first alternate Jake Fox to my bench. 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.
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.