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The Bottom 126 Continues on HireJimEssian.com!

I think there may be a fair number of you who have “The Bottom 126” tagged who may not have gotten the news that The Bottom 126 (along with the rest of this crazy operation) has moved to Hire Jim Essian! The content at the new domain is going to be virtually identical to the content here, so please update your bookmarks. Oh, and I also tagged this entry with every other tag, just in case you have one of those tagged. Hope to see you at the new site.

Arbitration Breathes Sigh of Relief as Zambrano, Cubs Reach 1-Year Deal

The Cubs and Carlos Zambrano agreed to a one-year, $12.4M contract Tuesday. Arbitration lives to fight another day.

Cubs Release Rusch, Claiming He’s Been “Phoning it in” Since A Farewell to Kings

CHICAGO–The Cubs announced Thursday that they have released veteran left-hander Glendon Rusch, who missed the latter part of the 2006 season after suffering a blood clot in his lung.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry stated that Rusch had peaked with his 1977 album A Farewell to Kings, and that he had “really gone down hill” since that point.

Rush

Because they’re here.

“Have you ever actually listened to ‘Tom Sawyer’?” Jim Hendry asked. “Every single thing about that song pisses me off. The lyrics are idiotic. ‘Today’s Tom Sawyer, he gets high on you, and the space he invades he gets by on you.’ What the f@#$ does that even mean? And, no, Rusch, I don’t want to ‘catch the spit.’ That’s disgusting.”

Don’t even get Hendry started on “Fly by Night.” “Oh, you have got to be kidding me bringing that crap in here,” Hendry said. “What’s going on with that garbage? Is it supposed to be an airline commercial? This is why he’ll never get into the Hall of Fame. Hack. Oh, and RuschCon is a f@#$ing ripoff. Good riddance to him.”

Hendry Finally Signs Floyd, Gets Oil Change

CHICAGO–The Chicago Cubs finally got around to signing veteran free agent Cliff Floyd to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2008. Immediately after signing Floyd, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry decided it was just about time to get that oil change that he’s been meaning to get since before Christmas.

“Well, you know, the old guy has been around the block quite a few times,” Hendry said, presumably about Floyd. “It was just about time to replace the oil inside of him with some new, clean oil. For lubrication.” Scratch that. He was talking about his car. “Because without lubrication, that’s why his joints have been breaking down lately,” Hendry continued. Hold up. He has to mean Floyd, right?

At least it’s not his groin.

Looks like someone was a little overdue for a lube job.

“I normally get things done on time,” Hendry continued. “I’m usually right in there at three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first.” Car. “So when I traveled over three months and three thousand miles before getting the deal done, it was a first for me.” Wait. Maybe he means both.

Whatever the case, Floyd is now a heck of a left-handed bat coming off the bench, and he will be used to spell Jacque Jones and Matt Murton in the outfield. After Cubs manager Lou Piniella indicated at the Cubs Convention that Murton will get the lion’s share of the starts in left, Floyd looks to be a good signing. Also, Jim Hendry’s Oldsmobile is not due for an oil change until March 24, 2007, or 106,571 miles, whichever comes first.

Grace to Attend Cubs Convention; Convention Ticket Sales Rise 400% in “Fat Chick” Demographic

CHICAGO–Former Cub first baseman Mark Grace, the hits leader of the 90’s and one of the more popular Cubs in franchise history is back in the fold, according to the Daily Herald, more than six years after the Cubs unceremoniously parted ways with Grace following the 2000 season.

According to Barry Axelrod, Grace’s agent, Grace had been invited to the annual Cubs Convention since his departure from the Cubs, but had disinclined to acquiesce to the Cubs’ invitation until this year.

According to Axelrod, Grace, now the color commentator for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was in a bit of a broadcasting slump toward the end of the 2006 season. “Gracie had gone 0 for his last 36 witty comments. He didn’t get one laugh during that stretch,” Axelrod said. “He was talking to me about ways to shake off the funk, and he started reminiscing about his old days in Chicago, and he said that he could always find a slumpbuster in that town,” Axelrod explained awkwardly. “When the Cubs came calling, it seemed like a perfect opportunity.”

Gracie’s Formula for Slumpbusting

0 for 14?  Bring me a fatty!

+

“No fat chicks?”  More like “Yes! fat chicks!”

=

It was worth it!

Moments after the announcement, ticket sales for the convention skyrocketed. The increase was due to a swell of purchases by many of the heavier members of Chicago’s female population.

The Cubs expect to see a similar increase in ticket sales after tomorrow’s announcement that there will be free pastries provided from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. each morning of the convention.

Cubs 2006 Highlights: The Year in Review

Drifting along on the tumbling tumbleweed.

Fairy Tale Ending for Hendry’s 15-Year Love Affair With Floyd?

CHICAGO–The Cubs are allegedly close to landing free agent outfielder Cliff Floyd. Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry has had his eye on Floyd since 1991, when Floyd played at Thornwood High School in the Chicago suburbs.

Jim had been invited to Thornwood’s spring “turnabout” dance by a girl he hung out with “just as friends.” Cliff was a big baseball star at Thornwood. Popular. Strong. Handsome. Well-liked.

They met at the refreshments table. Cliff was picking up juice for his date. Jim was polishing off his second plate of brownies. Sparks flew, primarily because Jim wore braces at the time and was generating a lot of static electricity. They danced, laughed, and stayed up all night chatting at an IHOP at Jim’s request.

They hung out a lot during their senior year. Cliff gave Jim his class ring. Jim gave Cliff an onion ring. Then, graduation came.

Jim asked Cliff to follow him to Creighton, where Jim had been coaching the baseball team. “It’ll be great!” Jim said. “You can play on the team, and we can spend all kinds of time together!”

But Cliff had met a different G.M. A better G.M. A foreigner from Montreal who offered Cliff money and fame. And so, he packed his bags and headed north. Jim was devastated.

Jim didn’t really think much about Cliff until he saw him again in 2004. At the time, Cliff was in New York, still playing baseball. Still handsome. Still perfect.

Jim was with Sammy at the time. He knew things were going badly with him and Sammy. He knew it was going to end soon. Jim desperately wanted Cliff back in his life. He even tried to use Sammy as leverage to be together with Cliff again, but to no avail. Cliff stayed in New York.

Jim kicked around the next couple of years and tried to forget about Cliff. He ran around with Jeromy and Jacque for a while, but no one could offer him what Cliff had.

Just a few weeks ago, a friend called Jim to tell him the news. “Did you hear?” Omar Minaya said. “I dumped Cliff. He really misses you.” Jim’s heart pounded as he put the phone back in its cradle. Then, he picked the phone back up and started to dial. Those old, familiar numbers.

One ring.

Two rings.

Then, a brief click. “Jim?” said the voice at the other end. “Is that you?”

“It’s me,” Jim said.

A pause. “I’m ready to come home. If you’ll have me,” said the voice at the other end.

“You never left home, Cliff,” said Jim. “You never left home.”


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The Bottom 126 Cubs of My Lifetime

1. Todd Hundley

2. Neifi Perez

3. Alex Gonzalez

4. LaTroy Hawkins

5. Fred McGriff

6. Corey Patterson

7. Mel Rojas

8. Jeff Blauser

9. Antonio Alfonseca

10. Juan Pierre

11. Shawn Estes

12. Felix Heredia

13. Julian Tavarez

14. Kyle Farnsworth

15. Mark Prior

16. Kent Mercker

17. Moises Alou

18. Dave Veres

19. Jose Macias

20. Lenny Harris

21. Jose Hernandez

22. Jacque Jones

23. The Unnamed Pitchers of the 90s

24. Freddy Bynum

25. Jerry Hairston, Jr.

26. Scott Williamson

27. Tony Womack

28. Andy Pratt

29. Will Ohman

30. Phil Nevin

31. Jeff Fassero

32. Ronny Cedeno

33. Brant Brown

34. Roosevelt Brown

35. Jason Dubois

36. Wade Miller

37. Mark Guthrie

38. Sergio Mitre

39. Juan Cruz

40. Gabor Paul II Bako

41. Ryan Dempster

42. Mike Remlinger

43. Glendon Rusch

44. Nomar Garciaparra

45. Gary Matthews, Jr.

46. Matt Clement

47. Gary Gaetti

48. Bobby Hill

49. Benito Santiago

50. Jerome Williams

51. Roberto Novoa

52. David Kelton

53. Todd Wellemeyer

54. Shane Andrews

55. Darrin Jackson

56. Frank DiPino/Terry Francona

57. John Mabry

58. Curtis Wilkerson

59. Hee Seop Choi

60. Cesar Izturis

61. Rick Wilkins

62. Jon Garland

63. Augie Ojeda

64. Jerome Walton

65. Jae Kuk Ryu

66. Todd Hollandsworth

67. Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes

68. Willie Greene

69. Michael Tucker

70. Damon Berryhill

71. Jon Leicester

72. Mitch Webster

73. Curtis/Tom Goodwin

74. Jody Gerut

75. Jim Sundberg

76. Steve Buechele

77. Darren Lewis

78. Rey Ordonez

79. Marvell Wynne

80. Tyler Houston

81. Amaury Telemaco

82. Kevin Roberson

83. Damian Jackson

84. Doug Dascenzo

85. Ismael Valdez

86. Matt Karchner

87. Jeff Huson

88. Jose Nieves

89. Ross Gload

90. Chad Hermansen

91. Luis Salazar

92. Mike Hubbard

93. Delino DeShields

94. Matt Lawton

95. Howard Johnson

96. Rondell White

97. Turk Wendell

98. Ray King

99. Gary Scott

100. Steve Rain

101. Kevin Orie

102. Rey Sanchez

103. Francis Beltran

104. Paul Noce

105. Enrique Wilson

106. Ruben Quevedo

107. Damon Buford

108. Brooks Kieschnick

109. Damian Miller

110. Scott Bullett

111. Rick Aguilera

112. Chad Meyers

113. Gary Varsho

114. Jason Bere

115. Troy O'Leary

116. Chico Walker

117. Rick Wrona

118. Leo Gomez

119. Chris Stynes

120. Dan Plesac

121. Robert Machado

122. Julio Zuleta

123. Todd Zeile

124. Chad Fox

125. Adam Greenberg

126. Sandy Martinez

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