I wish Chicago Sun-Times columnist Joe Cowley would stick to telling White Sox general manager Ken Williams how to do his job.
In Thursday's Sun-Times, Cowley, a former longtime White Sox beat writer, advised Cubs fans to not get their hopes up in regards to the North Siders signing St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols. He suggested that any Cubs fan who dares dream of Pujols donning a Cubs uniform in 2012 should "pick up the nearest stapler and punch it into your chest to help snap you back to reality."
Hero: Carlos Zambrano (4-1) won his 10th straight road start with eight terrific innings as the Cubs (14-16), sporting classy 1944 replica uniforms, took two of three in the series and four of seven on the road trip. Zambrano, whose first pitch was delivered with an old-fashioned windmill windup, allowed one (earned) run on five hits while striking out four and walking one.
"He was Big Z today, he wasn't Carlos," Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd said. "I saw 92, 94 (MPH) on the board today. He's a power pitcher, and that's what he has to do to win."
Did you catch Big Z dancing in the dugout as a recording of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's "In the Mood" blared over the Dodger Stadium public address system? It's welcome to see him enjoying the game again.
"He did what he did easily, to me, without a lot of pomp and circumstance," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He just went after hitters. When he's got some soft game to go with his moving fastball and can locate, he's really tough. He went right after guys and attacked them."
Zambrano's last road loss came last June 25 at Comiskey Park - his infamous meltdown game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are sporting replicas of the powder blue satin 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers alternate uniforms for all of their weekday afternoon home games this season.
Hero: Finally, the Demp we know and love. Ryan Dempster, who turned 34 on Tuesday, walked the first two batters he faced on eight straight balls, but bounced back to work seven solid innings. Dempster- who lowered his ERA to 8.05 while not figuring in the decision- allowed one (earned) run on six hits while walking two and striking out five.
"To say this was the best outing of Ryan Dempster's season would be probably the understatement of the year," Len Kasper said during the WGN telecast."He was really good."
"Just a quick little glimpse into what good of a person Vin Scully is," Len Kasper said during Tuesday night's Cubs-Los Angeles Dodgers telecast on WGN.
Hero: Alfonso Soriano took over the major league lead in home runs when he belted his 11th of the season leading off the seventh.
I understand that the alternatives are as appealing as the selection of women at closing time at the neighborhood dive, but I wish the Cubs would pull the plug on the James Russell-in-the-starting-rotation experiment.
Hero: A slimmer Justin Berg made his 2011 debut and set down the Dodgers in order in the seventh inning.
Hero: Starlin Castro - the best player the Cubs farm system has produced since perhaps Billy Williams - went 4-for-5 with a double and a clutch two-run single during the Cubs' five-run eighth. It was the fifth career four-hit game for Castro, who is now hitting .393, and his second four-hit effort this season. He has a major league leading 10 multi-hit games in 2011 and leads the majors with 35 hits.
Hero: Kosuke Fukudome went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .417.
Hero: Reed Johnson, who replaced center fielder Marlon Byrd in the starting lineup, went 3-for-4 with a double.
I turned 41 on April 1 and I can't think of a better birthday present than the one my wife, Denise, gave me this year - three tickets to this year's Opening Day game between the Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
There are several interesting storylines heading into the 2011 major league season. Among them:
(Editor's Note: Sixteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
On May 14, 1978, I was 8 years old and out for dinner with my family at a restaurant. The Cubs' game against the host Los Angeles Dodgers was on the TV behind the bar and early in the meal I excused myself from the table on several occasions to check out the game.
(Editor's Note: Sixth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Greg Maddux is my all-time favorite Cub.
I watched Maddux grow up before my eyes, from a green rookie to the best pitcher of my generation. Maddux, besides being great, was reliable, modest, never made excuses when he failed, and was a great teammate. The team always came first. What was there not to admire about the guy?
(Editor's Note: Fourth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
The Cubs didn't provide their fans with much to cheer about for much of the 1960s, but an extraordinary effort by starting pitcher Bob Buhl and three relievers on May 23, 1965 was one of those rare occasions as the North Siders fell behind early but rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
(Editor's Note: First in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
Rick Monday had a solid 19-year major league career, including five terrific seasons with the Cubs, but he will always be remembered for his courageous and patriotic feat during the Cubs' game against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium on April 25, 1976.
I will use a quote from the character of Rudy on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to express my opinion of former Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot:
"Man, you're like school during the summer. No class!"
You would think that Theriot would be grateful for his experience with the Cubs. It was the organization that drafted and signed him and brought him to the majors in 2006. It was while with the Cubs, that Theriot was given the opportunity to become an everyday player in 2007 by manager Lou Piniella. Thanks to the Cubs, Theriot became a popular player on one of sports' most famous franchises. Thanks to the Cubs, Theriot became a millionaire.
22-37, 4 saves, 4.78 ERA with Cubs
(Editor's Note: Tenth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)
Tim Robbins played Eby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh in the 1988 movie, Bull Durham. Nuke was a young pitching phenom who was described by his catcher Crash Davis as a prospect who possessed "a million-dollar arm and a five-cent" head.
I always considered Crash's description of Nuke an apt one for Kyle Farnsworth, a young flamethrower who teased Cubs fans with his blazing heat and some fleeting success but failed to fulfill his promise because of a lack of commitment to his career.