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Browsing posts from March, 2009

WBC Injuries Not Worth It

By bullpenbrian - March 18, 2009 - 1:02 am Leave a comment.

Team USA already has four casualties from the Classic.

  • Chipper Jones – strained oblique
  • Dustin Pedroia – abdominal strain
  • Ryan Braun – lower rib cage
  • Matt Lindstrom – sore throwing shoulder

This is silly business, and why on earth are clubs agreeing to let its players participate???


Hot Dogg!

By bullpenbrian - March 17, 2009 - 12:05 am Leave a comment.

Some sweet sounding chin music from Bob  Howry

Some sweet sounding chin music from Bob Howry

There’s a place in sports for a little showboating now and then.

A fancy strut after a game-winning HR, some celebratory fist pumps after closing out a tough ninth inning…I’ve got no problem with that.

The catch is, knowing the appropriate time for such behavior.

One thing I appreciate about baseball is its unobstructed path to player retaliations.


Surprises In Cubs Camp

By bullpenbrian - March 16, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Are there any surprises in store for the Cubs during the final 21 days of Spring Training?

We know Gregg or Marmol will close, Fontenot is the starting second baseman, Fukudome is batting second behind Soriano and Sean Marshall is most likely the No. 5.

So baring the unforeseen injury or Milton Bradley escapade, the Cubs’ roster, lineup and rotation appear set.

However, I’m still in favor of Samardzija beginning the season in the rotation, Soriano moving down in the lineup and Marmol positioned as the set-up man.

Although, be it one, none or all of my suggestions taking place, not one would qualify as an unforeseen surprise.

Of course, all that said, there’s not much to dislike about this club either, but it’s sure going to make for a long three weeks.


Mark Prior’s Return

By bullpenbrian - March 14, 2009 - 12:15 am 1 comment.

I think Mark Prior makes a return to the bump with SD this year.

His situation is ideal for it: he’s under no pressure, has plenty of money and is far removed from Chicago.

Of course, I’m not saying it will be a successful return, but I’m still pulling for the guy.

If by some medical miracle he stays healthy, there’s still enough time for him to make a career of it. After all, he’s just 28-years-old.

The question is, can Prior reinvent himself from thrower to pitcher?


Dempster Is the No.1

By bullpenbrian - March 13, 2009 - 12:01 am 2 comments.


Lou names Zambrano the Opening Day starter and it’s a non-story.

But if Lou tabs Dempster as the No.1 it’s a huge story.



MLB Opening Day Schedule

By bullpenbrian - March 12, 2009 - 12:15 am 1 comment.


It appears MLB has finally made a season opening schedule that makes sense, at least weather wise.

Of the 14 opening series 10 are being held in reasonable, if not ideal, weather locations.

Seriously baseball, stop scheduling lid-lifters in Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and anywhere else that isn’t south of St. Louis.

Nothing kills the celebration of Opening Day like a snowstorm.


Marmol’s Bruised Ego

By bullpenbrian - March 11, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Thankfully Carlos Marmol will return from the Classic in full physical health, which was a concern of mine when the Cubs’ best reliever opted to pitch for his native D.R.

However, his mental game is undoubtedly in question after blowing a 1-run lead against the Netherlands in what completed the Classic’s biggest upset to date.

So I ask you this: which would you rather have of Marmol, a sore elbow or a bruised ego?

Ninety percent of life is how you respond, to both favor and disappointment, thus leaving Marmol under the microscope for the remainder of Spring Training.


Expect More From Fukudome

By bullpenbrian - March 10, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

It’s fair for Cubs fans to expect a better performance from Kosuke Fukudome this year.

He has a full season under his belt plus a better understanding of the new culture he’s living and playing in.

But don’t expect the guy to reach the power numbers he once did playing overseas either.

Just as with any foreign currency, the transition isn’t 1-to-1 with baseball statistics, especially power numbers.


Oregon Trail 2009

By bullpenbrian - March 9, 2009 - 12:15 am 1 comment.

Last week I drove from Chicago to L.A. with four buddies, all for a music concert.

Along the way one of my knucklehead friends got his finger stuck in a pop bottle, another burnt his leg on a seat heater, a third swears to have seen Bigfoot and lastly, Juan met a special someone in Vegas and stayed – for real.

We’re talking 2,000 plus miles and about a grand in total $$$$…not to mention, we also spotted four hitchhikers – none of whom we picked up, sorry.

Think our trip was lame? Think you can do it better?

Let’s find out. CLICK HERE!


Pinch Me It’s Over

By bullpenbrian - March 7, 2009 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

Mark Sweeney has the 2nd most pinch hits in MLB history

No ballplayer strives for the title of professional pinch hitter, but I must say, this role could easily be the best job in all of baseball – if not the world.

You get more off days than on days, the pressure rarely exceeds that of a game-winning at-bat and although you’re not an everyday guy, you’re not the bullpen catcher either.

Plus, the job pays pretty well too.


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