November 2010 Archives for Agony & Ivy
.259 BA, 34 HR, 156 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Ninth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
When the Cubs signed Japanese star Kosuke Fukudome to a four-year,$48 million contract before the 2008 season, the outfielder was often described in the media as a cross between Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui. In nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons, Fukudome hit .305, won a batting title in 2002, and was named the Japanese Central League MVP in 2006 after hitting .351 with 31 homers and 104 RBI.
It's a shame, that his lasting image in the minds of many Cubs fans will be an awkward-looking helicopter swing and a miss.
You don't put together a 103-year championship drought without a few infamous and embarrassing moments. Cubs history is full of head-scratching and gut-wrenching moments. I believe these are the 13 worst:
It was a surprise to learn Friday that longtime pitching coach Larry Rothschild has left the Cubs after accepting the same position with the New York Yankees.
Third Baseman/Second Baseman, 2002
.241 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Eighth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
When starting third baseman Bill Mueller missed the first month of the 2002 season with a knee injury, manager Don Baylor turned to career utility man Chris Stynes to fill the void. But Stynes, who was the Opening Day starter at the hot corner, demonstrated to Cubs fans why he was previously considered expendable by the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Red Sox.
.250 BA, 42 HR, 146 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Seventh in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
I remember watching the news on Feb. 23, 1979 when Johnny Morris led his sports report with the news that the Cubs had traded Manny Trillo, Greg Gross, and Dave Rader to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jerry Martin, Barry Foote, and Ted Sizemore. I stopped whatever I was doing and stood in our family room in stunned silence. I was only an 8-year-old third grader, but I knew it was a rotten deal for the Cubs.
6-11, 5.36 ERA with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Sixth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
"When the ball hits the street after flying 500 feet, that's Amaury!" is what my friends and I used to sing whenever Amaury Telemaco would pitch for the Cubs.
7-5, 37 saves, 4.31 ERA with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Fifth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
Rick Aguilera had a solid 16-year major league career and was one of the better closers of the 1990s, but he did not bring along the super powers he possessed in Minnesota when he joined the Cubs in 1999.
Outfielder/Third Baseman/Second Baseman, 2004-05
.261 BA, .284 OBP, 4 HR, 35 RBI with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Fourth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
My grandfather turned 90 earlier this year.
Pops is no saint, but I have always been struck by his ability to make friends. It's a testament to his talent for relating to others that a week does not go by when somebody in our neighborhood asks me how he's doing or tells me a story about a good time they had with him.
But the fact that he has been a Cubs fan since at least the 1930s has to be penance for something. The man has been subjected to more bad baseball in his lifetime than anybody else I know and has not even enjoyed the experience of watching his favorite team play in the World Series since 1938. He was serving in the Pacific while the Cubs participated in the 1945 Fall Classic.
"Wait 'til next year!" my late grandmother would mutter whenever she'd hear a Cubs fan speak those words. "It's always wait 'til next year with those Cubs!"
For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the New York Yankees when they fell to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.