Hero: Darwin Barney went 3-for-4 (all singles), was hit by a pitch, and scored twice.
I remember fondly throughout my childhood the February day in which my father would bring home a stack of baseball preview magazines.
I would devour those things and have continued the practice into adulthood. All of that reading material has helped me get through those final few weeks without baseball, but I learned long ago that such publications should not be believed as gospel.
(Editor's Note: Fourteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
It seems so long ago, but it's only been a little over two years since the Cubs, with the best record in the National League, clinched their second straight Central Division title with a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 20, 2008. My confidence in the Cubs was never - before or since - as high as it was in '08. And the highlight of that magical regular season came on Sept. 14 when Carlos Zambrano pitched the first Cubs no-hitter in over 36 years.
(Editor's Note: Ninth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)
The Cubs were riding high when they played host to the Colorado Rockies on May 30, 2008. They had won their previous four games to improve to 33-21 and held a 1.5-game lead over second-place St. Louis in the National League Central.
Consider me among those who has been underwhelmed by the Cubs' offseason activity up to this point, but it seems that every piece of less-than-exciting news has been surrounded by a silver lining.
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.
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.
The improved play the Cubs demonstrated under interim manager Mike Quade during the season's final weeks (a 24-13 record) was encouraging but it doesn't change the fact that the 2010 season was an unmitigated disaster.
It seems so long ago, but it's only been two years since the Cubs, with the best record in the National League, clinched their second straight Central Division title with a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. My confidence in the Cubs was never - before or since - as high as it was in 2008. And the highlight of that magical regular season came on Sept. 14 when Carlos Zambrano pitched the first Cubs no-hitter in over 36 years.
Rick Sutcliffe, who was the analyst on ESPN's telecast of Wednesday's Dodgers-Rockies game, far too often goes overboard in trying to suck up to his favorite players and managers.
Doesn't it feel good to come clean? To finally admit it? To stop the charade? The Cubs finally admitted it to themselves, to their fans and, well, to anyone else who is paying attention: They suck.
It's difficult to judge a trade like the one the Cubs made ahead of Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline.
Hero: James Russell allowed one hit struck out three, and walked none in two shutout innings of relief.
Hero: Ryan Theriot went 3-for-4 to account for half of the Cubs' hits and scored their only run.
Hero: Carlos Silva (10-4) rebounded after back-to-back horrible outings to reach double figures in wins for the first time since 2007 when he earned 13 victories for the Minnesota Twins. Silva allowed one (earned) run on five hits in five innings while walking one and striking out four.
Hero: Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double to raise his average to .308. The 20-year-old rookie shortstop has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 games and is 34-for-94 (.362) over that span.
Hero: Ted Lilly impressed the scouts who were there to see him but he ... couldn't ... quite ... finish the job. Lilly was working on a five-hit shutout when he allowed a leadoff homer to Pedro Feliz in the the eighth inning that tied the game at 1. Hindsight is 20-20, but Lou Piniella allowed Lilly to hit for himself in the bottom of the seventh with an off day Thursday. TRL exited with one out in the eighth after allowing seven hits, walking one, and striking out six.