Between the 4th of July, trying to pull jobbies off of job trees and a move out of my parents’ attic and into Chi City officially, I have come to ignore you. For this my dear, dear friends, I apologize from the bottom of my very irregularly pumping heart (I’m pretty sure it’s beating strange because of a spicy red curry dish I demolished last week, but I can’t be too certain). But we have much to discuss, so let’s get right down to it. I have some more apologies to dish out, some props to be given and some predictions to make, none of which should be taken very lightly.
Remember when I called you washed up? Derrek Lee, I beg of you for my forgiveness. After watching you get pounded on the inside and not being able to get your hands through the zone, after watching you beat ball after ball into the ground for a GIDP, I thought you had lost your hand-speed forever. It wasn’t that I was trying to be mean, I swear I’ve loved you as any Cubs not named El Pobrecito, but I just thought age had finally caught up to you. But how I was wrong. The way you turn your wrist and punish pitchers trying to beat you up on the inside of the plate, it’s like watching you circa 2005. That grand slam you hit off of the Brewers was beaten so hard that the mother of the horse who died to become that baseball had bruises on her. Because of the absolute tear you’ve been on, especially considering the other, non-injured superstar on the team — Alfonso Soriano — has been playing like crap, you’re the recipient of my first mid-season award.
The Mid-Season Hardware:
MVP: Derrek Lee. In the lead with 9 games as the Hero, you are truly an inspiration to us all.
LVP: Milton Bradley. You bat like my grandmother, and she’s been dead for three years now.
Cy Young: Ted Lilly. More on you later.
Rookie of the Year: Randy Wells. As the first Cub since Kerry Wood to win four starts in a row, and an ERA of 2.48 through 69 innings, you have more than earned your share of starts in the Cubbie rotation.
All-Star Lone Ranger: All Ted Lilly does is win ballgames. Since putting on the pinstripes 3 years ago, Lilly has gone 40-23. In that same amount of time, Carlos Zambrano is 36-22, Ryan Dempster is 24-18 (albeit he did close 28 games) and Rich Harden is 16-9 (though half of that time he was with the Oakland A’s). Let’s all give an enthusiastic round of applause for the real ace of the staff.
It’s just a flesh wound: Ryan Dempster is out for at least a month with a broken toe. How did he do it you ask? Fighting ninjas? Wrangling cattle? Jumping over a fence? Well, yeah, that last one is correct.
Quotables: When you hit around 1:50 in the video, set your face for gross.
“I’ve seen my share of child pornography and I wanted to do something about it.”
I bet you have Erik Estrada, you sick, sick Latin American former heart throb.
Bullpen season GPA: 2.94(B/B-) GPA through 65 games, up .06 from two weeks ago.
Hero Squad: Number is games chosen as hero/goat. Sent down. Not with team.
6 – Soriano
4 – Johnson, Lilly, Zambrano
3 – Soto, Theriot, Wells
2 – Fukudome, Harden, Ramirez
1 – Ascanio, Bradley, Dempster, Fontenot, Gregg, Guzman, Hoffpauir, Marmol, Marshall, Scales
5 – Bradley
4 – Fontenot, Soto
3 – Cotts, Fox, Gregg, Heilman, Hoffpauir, Patton
2 – Fukudome, Harden, Marmol, Marshall, Soriano
1 – Ascanio, Johnson, Lee, Lilly, Samardzija, Scales, Zambrano
Finally, some bold predictions from N.L. Centraldamus: All of the early rain outs the Cubs have been subject to will ultimately help their chances to make the playoffs, because they get to play those games when their team will be playing better. Milty the Meth Bear will not hit 60 RBI (he’s currently sitting at 19). No Cub will hit 30 HRs (Lee has 16, Soriano 14). Randy Wells will win more games than Carlos Zambrano (they both have 4 wins). Ted Lilly will win at least 15 games, but no other Cub starter will win more than 10. The Cubs won’t trade for an impact player.
Most importantly … The Cubs will still end up in the playoffs, make it past the first round, but won’t participate in the Fall Classic.