CHICAGO–The Cubs have thankfully reached an agreement with right-handed towel-thrower Mark Prior. The announcement comes just weeks before Prior’s inevitable season-ending injury. The Cubs have not yet released the terms of the agreement, but sources close to Jim Hendry expect that the deal will include a lifetime supply of Always and a DVD copy of The Bridges of Madison County.
Mark Prior: Snapping into a hot tub near you. Summer, 2007.
Published January 31, 2007
The Bottom 126
What was the point of Gary Varsho? Other than the fact that he’s one of those guys whose name can only be said as a first and last name combination, little good can be said about Gary Varsho.
Thanks to the lunatic collecting vintage pictures of crappy Cubs for providing this picture. And the one of Chico Walker. Weird.
Gary Varsho had no power, didn’t make contact, couldn’t run, and struck out way more than he walked. Plus, he only has 10 more Major League home runs than I do. When you don’t break into the majors until you’re 27, your career path may look something like Gary Varsho’s.
My favorite “Gary Varsho” moment was during the writing of this article. I inadvertantly saved a copy of the Gary Varsho picture to the wrong folder, so I deleted the out-of-place Gary Varsho picture. My computer asked, “Do you want to send ‘Gary Varsho’ to the recycle bin?” I do indeed, all-knowing computer. I do indeed.
Low Point: How about the entire 1989 season? I don’t know how a guy earning a Major League paycheck can manage a .220 OBP, but Gary Varsho did it.
Did You Know? Gary Varsho and his 27 career stolen bases have taken their act to Cleveland to serve as the baserunning coach for the Indians.
Published January 30, 2007
The Bottom 126
Maybe I couldn’t stand Jason Bere because he had no shoulders. Maybe it was because he had never shaved the goatee he was required to have during his stint with the White Sox. Or I guess it could have been his 1-10 record in 2002 with the Cubs.
You may recognize him from the mound at Wrigley, or you may recognize him from the “Sci-Fi” section at Blockbuster.
I’m not one to base my opinion of a pitcher on record, but didn’t it seem like the Cubs lost every time Jason Bere had the ball in his hand? Well, quit overreacting. In 2002, they only lost 75% of the time he had the ball in his hand. Bere’s awfulness as a Cub was made worse by the fact that his two best years–during which he compiled a 24-7 record–came in a White Sox uniform. It was further compounded by the fact that he took starts away from Carlos Zambrano. Thanks for the memories, Jason. By the way, do you have any more copies of John Tucker Must Die?
Low Point: August 31, 2002. In Bere’s last start as a Cub, he loses to Andy Freaking Benes after giving up 8 runs (7 earned) in 4 innings at Wrigley, including giving up home runs to Eli Marrero and Andy Freaking Benes, of all people.
Did You Know? Bere was part of the trade that sent Cub killer Richie Sexson to the Brewers. Yeah, his biography is as boring as his appearance.
VENEZUELA–Cubs shortstop Ronnie Cedeno is hacking away in the Venezuelan Winter League, leading the league in several postseason hitting categories. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is pleased with Cedeno’s play.
Cedeno focuses intently on making contact with two teammates’ fists simultaneously.
“Cedeno is really hitting his stride,” Hendry said. “It’s a good thing he started hitting before we were forced to trade a future Hall of Fame pitcher for a slap-hitting shortstop to fill the void at short,” Hendry continued, rolling his eyes. “It’s also a good thing ‘his stride’ isn’t shaped like a baseball.”
“Yeah, you really want to peak in the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs,” Hendry continued, his voice beginning to rise. “Because that’ll save a lot of people’s jobs if you hit the snot out of the ball down in Venezuela when no one, including me, is watching.”
BRISTOL, Conn.–Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker finalized a two-year contract with ESPN last week to serve as an analyst and therapist for traumatized athletes who have been booed in their home stadiums. Baker will be ESPN’s first analysist/therapist.
Baker’s new business card.
Baker’s contract includes an out clause which allows teams interested in running young pitchers into the ground, constructing idiotic lineups, and playing washed-up veterans over promising rookies to contact him as a managerial candidate. The clause is not expected to be exercised.
Published January 29, 2007
The Bottom 126
Was Troy O’Leary seriously a Cub for only one year? Because I could have sworn that I threw at least three seasons’ worth of profanities at my television when O’Leary would come to the plate. When the Cubs signed a former Red Sox outfielder named Troy O’Leary in the winter before the 2003 season, for some reason I was convinced that the Cubs were getting Trot Nixon. Imagine my surprise when O’Leary showed up and put up absolutely anemic numbers with the Cubs.
Not Troy O’Leary
O’Leary fit in perfectly with the flailing-away, “it’s called hitting, not walking, dude,” idiocy that was the 2003 Cubs’ plate approach which got Randall Simon a position in the lineup. He was powerless, speedless, and worthless off the bench. And worst of all, he wasn’t Trot Nixon.
Published January 26, 2007
Loyal readers, I’m out of town skiing until Sunday, so Fire Lou Piniella! is taking an (un)deserved break. I will try to post Sunday, but I will at the latest be back on Monday as The Bottom 126 countdown continues. Have a great weekend.