Thunder Matt (The Big Murt) Returns

I guess the E-Pat experiment is over, as the Cubs have re-called the Big Murt and sent Patterson back to AAA. Odd move to bring E-Pat up for a few days and then send him back down, but we'll see how much the Big Murt sees the field.
Whaaaaaaa???? Jumbo here. I was just getting on to make a post about this great free article from Baseball Prospectus regarding the EPat/Big Murt debate over the call-up last week. In the article Christina Karl, BP's transactions guru, provides an in-depth look at why Murton wasn't recalled in the first place when Soriano was sent down. The article makes a lot of really good points and, I have to say, I'm in agreement with her. Her arguments about the potentiality of EPat solving the problems that Pie creates makes a lot of sense. That's what makes this re-do by the Cubs all the more interesting. Why do this now? Is EPat not ready? Did EPat eff up again? Is one of our other OFs hurting? Or is this simply more of a matchups deal over the next few days? Fascinating. -Jumbo

Horry Kow!

I'm not Asian. Never have been. With that caveat, I'm not sure what to make of this. The above image shows one of the hottest selling t-shirts in Wrigleyville. A lot of people find it racist and offensive. But a lot of people are buying it. I'm assuming those people are not offended by the shirt. I'm not sure where I come out on this...but Gordon Wittenmyer is pissed! What do you, all-knowing readers of web logs, think?

UPDATE: 4/19/08 @ 11:30: The Cubs were quick to act after the Sun-Times ran the article on Horry Kow t-shirt. The shirt has been pulled from the shelves of the vendor that was selling it. Take that free speech! Actually, the trademark issues involved here were pretty rock solid-once a gaggle of Cubs attorneys show up at your t-shirt shop's front door...probably time to do as they say. Actually, pretty ballsy of this t-shirt guy to go in the Sun-Times with this in the first place. Lesson learned.

Cubs Recap: Pirates @ Cubs 4/18/08

Cubs win. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Bucaroos 3-2 yesterday in a tight one. The story today was clearly Richard Hill. Hill, who had struggled to this point in the season and had even been demoted to the bullpen after his rough start (though he did not make an appearance out of the 'pen) went 5 innings yesterday, giving up 5 hits, 1 ER, walking 3, and striking out 4. Big relief.

After the rotation's other lefty, Ted Lilly, didn't exactly set the world on fire with his Thursday start, the sentiment would be much different today in Cubdom had Hill not put up a decent outing. But he did, so all is good for now. (By the way...that last link is a video clip from Perfect Strangers with Larry and Balki doing the "dance of joy." You have to watch that. Hilarious). Hill came out after the 5th having only thrown 82 pitches but Lou's comments after the game indicated he was basically just trying to build a foundation for Hill for the future rather than try to push him too much in his one decent start.

Great efforts also turned in by Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood yesterday too. The Marmot went 2 innings, striking out the side in the 7th and getting out of the 8th with another K after a Nate McLouth HR ran the score to 3-2. Woody then came on (no word on what his recent entrance music has been) and set the Bucs down in order to close out a tight one run game.

All 3 of the Cubs runs came in the 4th. Fuku led off with his first MLB triple and was shortly thereafter knocked in by DeRo. A Soto double and Reed Johnson infield single netted another run, and the final run came on Eric Patterson's first MLB RBI on a fielder's choice. Patterson would then go on to net his first MLB SB as well.

All in all, a good game. Great to see Hill bounce back. Great to see Woody breeze through a tight save situation. And great to get a W. Today's game vs. the Pirates will conclude the series-let's get our 2nd sweep of the year.

Shut Up Marty Brennaman

I hadn't heard about Cubs broadcaster Marty Brennaman's rant yesterday during the Reds/Cubs game until I saw this article in the Daily Herald this afternoon. I'm gonna go with this: a bit much there Marty. Chill out bro-han. Don't get so pissy about a couple baseballs on the field. It was funny. The Cubs players (see the quotes from TheRiot yesterday) enjoyed it and they were the ones in danger of getting pelted with one of the fifteen baseballs-not your big donkey Dunner who hit the HR.

I generally think Brennaman is one of the best broadcasters in the game. But what the hell does he have up his ass about the Cubs? Check out what he said, courtesty of the Sun-Times article:

Brennaman called Cubs fans ``far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league,’’ adding, ``this is what makes you want to see this Chicago Cubs team lose. Throwing 15 or 18 balls on the field, there’s absolutely no excuse for that and that is so typical of Chicago Cub fans. It’s unbelieveable."

Brennaman called the fan behavior ``ridiculous.... You simply root against them. I've said all winter, people talk about this team winning the division, and my comment is they won't win it because at the end of the day, they're still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.’’

And be sure to hit up the You Tube video of this too.

Marty, buddy...what does Cubs fans throwing baseballs on to the field have to do with how the Cubs baseball team will perform this year? Seriously. The Cubs are going to screw up winning the division because of the fans? Really?

Enjoy Dusty and Corey Patterson. If I were you, I'd be pissed too.

Cubs Recap: Reds @ Cubs 4/17/08

Don't really have much to say about yesterday's 9-2 throttling the Cubs took from the Redlegs except this: Two outta three ain't bad. Despite being a lowly blogger who lives in my parents' basement, we here at Towel Drills do have day jobs. That being the case, I wasn't able to watch the game yesterday but listened to it via the glory that is XM Radio. I say that to say that I wasn't able to watch Ted Lilly throw yesterday-and you can't really tell much by listening to the play-by-play. But reading through "the papes" this morning, it seems that the general consensus is that the Lilly is starting to come around.

Lilly went 6 and K'ed 6 in that time. But he also gave up 5 Ernies to see his ERA settle at 9.16 after the outing. Not good. But at least there are signs of improvement. Lilly got over the "5 inning hump" this time out, which I suppose is progress. It will be really important for the Cubs today to see how Hill is throwing. If we can't get at least one of these two on track, it might be a long year.

Bottom line: too many guys left on base. I think Fontenot, who led off and played 2B, himself was responsible for 7 of them. But today's another day. With Joey Votto and his 5 RBI headed out of town, let's see if we can't fly the W flag against the Bucs this afternoon.

Towel Drills Short Hop

  • According to the RMN (Rocky Mountain News) and Peter Gammons (two sources, so it's confirmed in the news world), the Cubs are looking to acquire my favorite cereal-named player Coco Crisp. The Gammons story reported that the Cubs were going to trade Sean Gallagher for Crisp, while the RMN story has the trade a little more doubt now with Crisp's leg injury.

Towel Drills Short Hop

  • Oh Miggie T. News has broken from Houston that recent acquisition Miguel Tejada is actually 2 years older than he's been listed as throughout his career. (Be sure to check out the incredibly awkward video from an ESPN interview grilling Tejada on this too). Yesterday, Miggy was 31. Today Tejada is 33 and will turn 34 on May 25. This really isn't huge news-I'm sure this is rampant throughout baseball, especially with the Latin players. But it is funny. While we're at it Miggie...anything else you want to fess up to? (cough, JUICER!, cough, B12 = STERIODS, cough).

Short Guy Spark

There are many possible explanations for the Cubs offensive thumping of the Reds without the Glass Ego, but I think I've come across the best explanation: Short Guy Spark. When you see a guy like Aramis Ramirez crush a ball deep, you get pumped. But when that ball bounces off the wall, you know the next camera shot you are going to get is him cruising into second base. But when you see lil' Mikey hit a ball deep, you start screaming at the ball because you feel like you have to will that ball to get out, because there's no way it's going to happen on it's own. But the excitement doesn't stop when the ball bounces off the wall. You are still excited to see him running his balls off into second base, so that if there is the slightest misjudgment, he's going to third.

So why do you get more excited to see a little guy do well? Because the natural athleticism of the big, strong guy isn't exciting. The maximum effort of a little guy is. Thus, Short Guy Spark. I have to believe it rubs off on the rest of the team as well. They feed off the energy. They see the effort level and it increases their effort.

Cubs Recap: Reds @ Cubs 4/16/08

The best part of this game was as Cub's fans, it gave us a chance to get caught up on the rest of our lives...spend some time with the family, pay those overdue bills, etc. But if you're like me, you kept watching. It was a nice break to watch the game on not be on pins and needles. It was fun to watch Dusty sit their with his toothpick in his mouth, trying to figure out how the hell to get out of Chicago as fast as possible.

It's hard to pick a single guy out and say he was the catalyst. 7 guys had RBI's, including Zambrano, who went 3 for 4. Fontenot should've never tried to score on that ball that barely got away from Valentin, but he got such a great jump off third, there was no stopping him. Fukudome continues to be able to place the ball seemingly wherever he wants. He's batting .353, but he's hitting .500 with RISP. The dude knows how to hit. Finally, it was good to see Z go on cruise control with the big lead. You never know with him what's going to happen, but I actually think the fact that he was getting hits really helps him...he is more relaxed and happier with himself when he gets to run around the bases. Just as long as he gets his Gatorade when he gets back to the dugout.

Towel Drills Short Hop

I thought I'd intro a new "feature" at Towel Drills this morning. "Short Hops" will be a way for us here at Towel Drills to provide some content that, though it may not be enough for its own full post, is worth passing along for a quick read. No pictures, minimal commentary, and a link or two to check out. (As you can see-I went for the baseball metaphor here in naming these-feel free to ridicule my selection and provide a better name.)

So let's get it going with a couple of news items that stuck out to the Jumbo over the past couple days:
  • First up is today's Sun-Times article from Chris DeLuca on Felix Pie. This goes to our Felix Pie as Corey Patterson comments from yesterday. While I don't agree with the central premise of DeLuca's article here in that it's arguing it is "time to forget about the prospect and forge ahead," it does draw some all too valid parrallels between CPat and Apple Pie. The kid is 23 though people, let's chill out a little bit here. Also-if they Cubs offense is to grind to a halt without The Glass Ego and his .175 BA, how do you explain the 12 runs they put up without him last night?
  • Next is this article on regarding LaTroy Hawkins' choice of uniform number. The basics-LTrain is giving up #21 and switching to #22 because he can't handle the heat from the Yankee fans about wearing Paul O'Neill's old number. Paul O'Neill. Are you freaking kidding me? Paul O'Neill? When did Paul O'Neill become Jackie Robinson? Or the Babe, or the Mick, or DiMaggio? If he's that good, why hasn't his number been retired by the club? And why, oh God why, is LTrain such a pansy that he can't handle a little flack from the Yankees fans? Maybe that's why he's such a terrible RP.

Eric "Please, Please! Don't Call Me Corey" Patterson

In a mildly surprising move, the Cubs called up 2B/OF Eric Patterson today. Many speculated that Matt Murton would get the call instead, but EPat makes just as much sense. If you call up Murton, you've got to play him. You're basically putting him up for an open 15 day audition. At the end of that audition-you're really got to move him. Patterson can play the same positions as Murton (LF and RF), but can also play CF as well as 2B. He's really just a more versatile player.

Patterson certainly didn't get the nod over The Big Murt based on his 2008 minor league performance. Through 11 games at AAA Iowa, Murton is hitting .294/.442/.294 to Patterson's .222/.282/.444. Granted, 11 games isn't a very big sample size from which to draw any conclusions from these numbers.

So who are the Cubs getting for the next two weeks in EPat? As I believe everyone should when beginning a very serious research project, let's turn to Wikipedia first:

"Eric Scott Patterson (born April 8, 1983 in Tallahassee, Florida) is an outfielder in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs; he has played most of his career as a second baseman.[1] Patterson made his major league debut with the Cubs on August 6, 2007.

Although Patterson was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 23rd round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft out of Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, he did not sign and went on instead to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology. With the Yellow Jackets, Patterson was named an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star three times (2002-2004) and an All-American twice (in 2002 on the Freshman 1st Team, and in 2004 on the 3rd team). He was named to the USA Baseball team twice, in 2002 and 2003.[2] Patterson was selected in the 8th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cubs.

Patterson played in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game in Pittsburgh,[3] and was ranked the sixth-best prospect in the Cubs organization by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season.[4] He collected his first major league hit on August 7, 2007 by singling against Woody Williams in a game against the Houston Astros.

He is the younger brother of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Corey Patterson."

Patterson is a decent and useful player, but just at age 25 he's already fallen off most of the major Top Prospect type lists. The 2008 Baseball Prospectus annual has this to say about our more favorite Patterson:
"Patterson forms an interesting little case study with older brother Corey. The less athletic of the brothers, Eric is by far the sounder fundamental player, with a very good plate approach and a high baseball IQ. Of course, Eric also played college ball and Corey didn't. One wonders if Corey might have picked up the same skills that Eric did had he too gone to college and, if so, would his career have turned out differently? As for Eric, the Cubs need to get over their fear of the Ghost of Patterson Past and either hand him the second-base job or deal him to a team that will. Eric's is almost certainly a major league-quality skill set, but also one that isn't likely to get much better."
BP projects that Patterson will go .268/.337/.429 with 13 HRs, 21 SBs, and 94 Ks over a 532 PA 2008 season. Also of note is that two of BP's top player comparables for EPat are All-Star 2Bs Eric Owens (who also played OF) and Ray Durham.

Bottom line-this kid isn't a future star, but deserves a shot at an MLB roster. Patterson is likely better than some other every day MLB 2 sacks and were it not for the likes of DeRo, Lil Mikey, and TheRiot, he might be the Cubs'. As an OF, EP seems to profile much better at CF than at either of the corners as he lacks the power to play on the edges. He's fast but is middle of the road in BA and power. But still only 25 and in only his 4th professional season, EPat has plenty of room to grow. Here's to hoping that begins tonight...and to hoping that he can restore some credibility to the name Patterson in Wrigleyville.

The 136 Million Dollar Man

Noticeably absent from the Cubs Recap was any mention of the injury to Alfonso Soriano. Soriano left the game in Top 1 after injuring his right calf on a routine play to the OF. Sori did his usual "little girl hopping through the daisies" hop before catching the ball. But when he landed he came up lame on the calf and had to be helped off the filed by TheRiot. Soriano apparently went straight into the clubhouse.

To replace the star LF and leadoff hitter, Lou had to quickly juggle his roster around. DeRosa, slated to start at 2B, was sent to LF. Fontenot was called upon to lead off and play 2B in place of DeRo. And here we go...

Soriano is a freaking baby. I'm sure this is a legit injury, so I have no beef with that. But what continues to piss me off about him is his child-like insistence of leading off despite the fact that he is clearly not suited to be a leadoff hitter and is hurting the team every single time he makes a PA in the one hole. This followed his same infantile crying about moving from 2B, where he was clearly no longer suited to the position, to LF a couple of years back w/ the Nationals. Watching all this play out again this year, I've reached the simple conclusion that Soriano is simply very weak mentally. I'm not sure how an athlete of his stature could reach the heights that he has-but what other explanation is there?

Contrast Soriano's attitude with this: DeRosa, who was forced to play LF last night after having played it about once all of 2007, and Fontenot, who was forced to leadoff and play 2B when he was not prepared to get a start in the game, went a combined 3-9 and scored 2 Rs. DeRosa's hit came off a bomb of a HR off of Harang. 3-9 isn't as impressive as it seemed when I was watching the game last night, but it still works. How do you think Soriano would have fared in a situation like that? His bat wouldn't even have caught a whiff of a baseball all night-and probably for 3 weeks afterwards. I think this says a lot about Soriano and why DeRosa and Fontenot continue to be two of my favorite players.

Soriano's injury is sounding like it's going to result in a DL stint. Speculation is that The Big Murt, Matt Murton, will be called up with Sori out. Is this really all that bad of a thing? Soriano hates cold weather and has gotten off to a pretty bad start. Maybe some time off will let him get his swing going. Additionally, Murton will get the chance to showcase his skills for a potential trade and will likely help the ball club in doing so.

The questions this raises though, are these: With Soriano out, who will hit leadoff. And once Soriano is back, will he move back to the one spot?

UPDATE - 3:15 PM Central: Will Carroll's Under the Knife column (subscription required) is up at Baseball Prospectus with news, sort of, on Soriano's injury. For the unfamiliar, Carroll is the sites resident injury expert. A PhD turn baseball writer who really knows his stuff. Per Carroll, the injury is right "in the belly" of the calf muscle and "swelled up significantly" right after it occured. Carroll says that what is more important, though, is how quickly the swelling resides. At this time, he doesn't seem to have any info in that regard and is thus unable to give a prediction on how long Soriano might be out.

The more worrying part of Carroll's discussion on the matter is a comparison he draws to Ken Griffey, Jr. Carroll compares Sori to The Kid in that despite good conditioning they both have continual leg problems that seem to build on one another. And no one, and I take him to mean the respective training staffs here, seem to know how to prevent them. Let's hope not.

UPDATE - 3:45 PM Central: The Cubs have placed The Glass Ego on the DL and recalled E-Pat from AAA. Presumably, the Cubs will use Reed Johnson and DeRosa in Left for now.

How is Daytona Cubs pitcher Adam Harben related to George Bell?

So how is Adam Harben related to George Bell? Technically, they were traded for each other. How? Well, The Cubs signed George Bell as a Free Agent. They later traded him to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa. Sosa was traded to the Orioles for Jerry Hairston Jr. (among others). Hairston was traded to the Padres for Phil Nevin (does your head hurt yet?). Nevin was traded to the Rangers for Adam Harben.
Obviously, the same relationship to George Bell can be made for 'lil Mikey, who also came over in the Sosa trade. But there are others...
D-Lee's Connection to Tom Gordon
Tom Gordon was signed as a free agent by the Cubs and later traded to the Astro's for some younger arms, including Mike Nannini. Nannini was a thrown in in the D-Lee trade.
Aramis Ramirez's Connection to Adam Morrissey (who?)
Adam Morrissey was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent. He was traded for Mark Bellhorn, who was later traded for Jose Hernandez. Jose Hernandez was included (mercifully) in the trade to bring in Aramis Ramirez.
Kevin Hart's Connection to Phil Norton
Norton was drafted by the Cubs. He was traded for John Koronka. The Cubs later acquired Feddie Bynum in a three team trade for John Koronka. Bynum was traded to the O's for Kevin Hart.
Here's my favorite...
Matt Murton's Connection to Justin Speier, Kevin Orie, and Todd Noel
In 1993, the Cubs took Kevin Orie with the 29th overall pick. 3 years later, they drafted Todd Noel with the 17th overall pick. At the 1998 trade deadline, the Cubs shipped those two, along with a 55th rounder, Justin Speier (the only one of the three still in baseball) to the Marlins to get Felix Heredia to help with their Wild Card run (I am amzed the Cubs traded two 1st rounders and a MLB quality pitcher for Felix Heredia). Heredia would later be dealt to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez, of course, would be a large part of that infamous inning in Game 6 of the NLCS. A year later, he was shipped at the deadline with Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris, and Justin Jones for Nomar and Matt Murton.

Harry Caray

I noticed that Jumbo and Lionel have been discussing the recent injury to Alfonso "the Glass Ego" Soriano and while agree with most of their statements regarding who will play where and why...I do need to point out that Harry Caray performed some great dance moves and never hurt his calf.

Not only did he perform this magical dance that would have probably gotten him first place in Dancing with the Stars...he was drunk doing it.

Cubs Recap: Reds @ Cubs 4/15/08

Cubs win. Last night the Cubs took down the (hated, despised, reviled) Dusty Baker and the Cincinnat-uh Redlegs 9-5...and actually did so in 9 innings of baseball. Last night's was a really well played and fun game to watch. Five HRs, good pitching on both sides, some shenanigans with the lineup, the game had a lot of different things going on.

First off-props go out again to the reigning "Best Pitcher on the Cubs Staff" Ryan "Don't Call me Dump" Dempster. I don't know if all those jaunts up Camelback Mountain in spring training helped him find his inner soul, or if he was really just heading up there to toke some peyote, but whatever he was doing-it's working. After 3 starts and 19 IP, Dempster is now 2-0 with a 2.37 Ernie, and 8 Ks to 4 BBs.

DLee also had another great night last night. Lee went 3-5, including a huge 3 run jack in the 5th that gave the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish. The Gold Glover also made another outstanding play with the glove turning a 3-6-3 double play on The Kid in the 7th to get Marmol out of a big jam. Huge play at a huge time in the game.

On the dark side of things-Felix Pie looked awful...again. Look, I'm high on this kid. I think he's going to turn into a good player. You don't hit like he did at AAA by falling out of bed. The kid can hit-but he's just not getting it done right now. Pie went 0-4 last night, dropping his BA to .154 in 26 ABs (w/ a .185 OBP-awful). He did make a great catch on a ball deep into the gap in which he slammed into the solid brick outfield wall, however. But watching him against last night's opponent-it's getting really difficult to NOT draw the comparison to everyone's favorite whipping boy (after Dusty B, of course)-Corey Freaking Patterson. I didn't count them, but Pie's 3 Ks last night feature far too many long, swooping cuts at fastballs at his shoulders. Not to mention the flailing at the junk pitches low and way out of the zone. I really don't want to make this comparison here, but it's too noticeable not to. Let's hope Pie rebounds tonight against Josh Fogg (if he plays). If he doesn't-we're in trouble...because Fogg is awful.

Inaugral Shawon Dunston High Flyer

Dunston - known for the Shawon - O - Meter...defined the Cubs shortstop position for years. A little known fact about the big guy --> He seldom walked, which is why, despite his decent batting average, during the 18 years he played his on-base percentage was the second worst of those with at least 4500 plate appearances (Ozzie Guillen is number 1).

With that being said I am proud to present the first Shawon Dunston High Flyer award for the 2008 season to: Ryan Dumpster...the true professional.

Random Baseball Attendance Stat of the Day

I heard this random note on the Tony Kornheiser Radio Show this morning and thought I would pass it along. Tony was discussing the Nat's new stadium and how attendace figures were lower than expected. In the course of conversation, it was revealed that the standards for attendance had been severely upgraded in recent years.

In 2005, the Nat's moved to Washington and into RFK stadium. Despite a 5th place team and playing in a run-down football stadium, they totalled 2.73 million fans, which placed them 8th in the N.L. It was only 7 years earlier, in 1998, that the fabled Yankee Stadium first exceeded 2.7 million fans for a season. Granted, there was added excitement of baseball returning to Washington, but in 7 years it went from 2.7 million being attendance figures of the World Champions and the most storied baseball franchise in history to that of being a middle of the road team in a crappy ballpark.

Dusty's Back. Hide the Pitchers.

Sorry...did I miss something? Everybody (the Sun-Times, the Trib, the Daily Herald, everyone else in the world, now including Towel Drills) is running Dusty Baker is back(!) articles right now. The overwhelming majority of these are even positive.

Did something happen that I'm not aware of? I CAN'T STAND Dusty Baker. The guy is flat out horrible! Be it burning up young pitching arms, giving Neifi "Effing" Perez 572 ABs, or simply that freaking toothpick, the guy is an idiot. Maybe he did take the Cubs to the brink of the World Series in '03, but does anyone believe that the Cubs did this in spite of Dusty instead of because of him?

The guy was run out of town on rails, and rightfully so, after the horrendous 2006 when he continued to show that he just flat out doesn't get it. Let's not try and rewrite history here and pretend that everything was always okay (see Alou, Moises re: Bartman). Dusty Baker is the worst manager in the majors. We're lucky that a team with as much young talent in our division picked him up beacause we all know that he's going to jack it up for them by playing Scott Hateberg and Corey Patterson (!) all year long.

In Dusty We Trusty? Hell. Freaking. No. Good riddance.

Maddux to Retire?

This great article from ESPN's Tim Keown includes an interesting tidbit (that's right, a tidbit)-former Cub Greg Maddux has confided in some teammates that this will be his last year pitching in the bigs. The statement is just a small sentence (4th to last paragraph) in a large, well-done article, but it's obviously a significant one. I'm not one for writing a guy's tombstone before he passes so we can save the Greg Maddux retrospective piece for another day. But should this turn out to be Maddux's last year, it might be worth remembering to watch this guy pitch while we still can.

Malt Liquor Bull?

Big Z's issues with cramping has been in the headlines since his first start this year. The Bull finally came out and disclosed that he has an addiction to caffeine. His favorites for the cure to this hunger? coffee and energy drinks. He states that he has significantly cut down on his caffeine intake but that no one knows what he does at home...

Really Z? why would you say that? It is like when that pregnant dude was on tv in his backyard saying "even now I am nervous...our neighbors have no idea i am pregnant and I am afraid they may hear me doing this interview" ??? Really big guy? you are giving this interview to CBS and you were on Oprah...i think your neighbors know now.

So Big Z stop being a pregnant dude and cut out the caffeine...When Lou was asked about the caffeine issue, he stated: "I've never had Red Bull in my life, but I've actually seen people at a bar order Red Bull and vodka," Piniella said. "I can't comprehend that. If I had a couple of those things, I'd be like the malt liquor bull (from the old TV commercials) leaving the bar. My lord." that you choking on this dog

Besides being a great place to meet "baseball" fans the bleachers tends to be one of the most competitive places. From the "Left Field" "Right Field" sucks chants to girls competing for the shortest shorts and tightest shirts...the bleachers is a classic place to sit and of course.

Sidenote...are you kidding me? that girl couldnt beat that guy? she looks like she has been in numerous eating contests.

Words from Woo Woo

Living in the past and looking back is like a home run -it's gone.
Woo Woo

Hector Villanueva is Crowned

Congratulations to Hector Villanueva, the run-away favorite Cubs backup backstop of the 90's. Villanueva was the unanimous selection of the millions of Towel Drills fans who voted on this prestigious award. A big thanks from all the Towel Drills staff goes out to those who voted. Scroll down for this week's new poll!

Cubs Recap: Cubs @ Phillies 4/13/08

Well it wasn't necessarily pretty, but the Cubs fought their way past the Phitin' Phils this afternoon in yet another extra-inning game. Today's extra frame marked the third time in this six game Quaker state roadie that the Cubs played to free baseball. The Cubs took all three extra innings affairs in Pennsylvania after dropping the season's other extra inning game to the Brewers on opening day.

Baby Bull was the hero today. In the bottom of the 10th Big Z came to the plate as a pinch hitter for Kerry Wood. Zambrano hit a soft grounder to SS Eric Bruntlett but came bombing out of the box towards first. Z's hustle induced a throwing error from Chase Utley when Utley was unable to transfer the ball cleanly from his glove. The throwing error moved Z to second and scored Ronny Cedeno who had walked to lead off the inning and was advanced to second on a good sac bunt by TheRiot.

The big controversy in the game came after DeRo's two-run jack in the 6th off of Jamie Moyer. DeRosa blasted the ball down the left field line. The ball was hit so hard that when it crossed the fence it passed, essentially, over the foul poll. The ball looked foul to me on the replays, but the umps called in fair. Phils manager Charlie Manuel also disagreed and was awarded with an early shower for his efforts.

In the bad news department, Marquis had another shaky outing today ,walking 5 in his 5 innings of work and giving up 2 runs. Coming only a day after Ted Lilly's turd against the Phils and two days after Rich Hill's getting sent back to the 'pen for some quality "get your head out of your ass" time, I'm really starting to get worried about the back end of this rotation. After 2 weeks in the season, who the hell thought Ryan Dempster would be the Cubs second best pitching SP? Me neither. At least Zambrano has been pitching well. Hopefully these guys get their heads together and get it going next time out. We're going to need them.

Good to salvage this one against the Phillies today and to keep our heads above .500 ball. Off day tomorrow for the last time until 4/28 and then back home for three game sets against the Redlegs and Pirates (again) and a twofer against the Metropolitans. Let's hope we can put the Reds in their place a bit and fatten up on the Pirates. After that, the Mets should provide a nice barometer on the early season.