Archive for the 'The Bottom 126' Category

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.

#76: Steve “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the” Buechele

To be fair, Steve Buechele probably wasn’t as bad as you remember him. But to quote the great Walter Sobchak, “Fair? Fair? Who gives a shit about fair?” Find me 10 Cubs fans who watched the team in the early 90s, and I guarantee 9 of them will cringe when the hear the name “Steve Buechele.” You just cringed, didn’t you?

That’s MISTER Buechele to you.

Steve Buechele? Or Chick Gandil from Eight Men Out?

Buechele was the Cubs’ regular third baseman after coming over from Pittsburgh in 1992 in a trade which sent Danny Jackson to the Pirates. Buechele played badly enough that, by 1995, he was released by the Cubs in favor of Todd Zeile. I think that’s the dictionary definition of a “lateral move.”

A good portion of Buchele’s Cub career was spent walking from third base to the plate, taking three strikes, and walking back to third. The rest of his time was spent trying to return the ball to opposing batters with his foot. I’ll give him credit extra hate for having a bit of a Joey Gladstone thing going for him.

Cut it out, Steve. Cut. It. Out.

Low Point: From Buechele’s Wikipedia page, “the 25 times he was hit by a pitch is the 13th highest in the Rangers’ franchise history and his 73 grounded into double plays is the 14th highest.” They then point out that he’s eligible for the Texas Rangers’ Hall of Fame. Nice juxtaposition.

Did You Know? Buechele was one of the hosts and coaches for the Texas Rangers 2006 Media Spring Training. I’m not sure why media needs Spring Training, although I might hire Buechele to tell Gordon Wittenmyer to “take it down a notch.”

#77: Darren “and Stimpy” Lewis

If I were ever granted an interview with Darren Lewis, and I was only allowed one question, my question would be, “What was the whole thing with the lips?” While at bat, Darren Lewis looked like someone had just smeared peanut butter all over his gums. Maybe it was a ploy to distract us from the fact that he wasn’t going to make any attempt to actually hit the ball.

Stinky.

Seriously, does that smell like feta cheese to you?

Darren Lewis was a bad player on an atrocious 2002 Cubs team. If you can stomach it, click here and just take a slack-jawed gander at that roster. Wow. Not a lot to like there.

Lewis was a year ahead of his time. If anyone was a “Dusty Baker guy,” it was Lewis, with his lack of baseball talent, his reputation as a “speedy” guy, and his ability to play in day games. Unfortunately for Lewis, he joined the Cubs a year before Baker did. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, Lewis joined the Cubs at all.

Low Point: The last at-bat of a Major League player’s career has always fascinated me. Everyone hopes to go out on a walk-off, World Series-winning home run. What would be the exact opposite of that fairy tale ending? That would be the Darren Lewis ending. In his last at-bat in the Major Leagues, Lewis popped out on a bunt attempt. Lewis was traded the next day to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Chad Hermansen. Instead of going to the Pirates, Lewis retired. Yes, Pirates, playing for your team is a fate worse than baseball death. Not with a bang, but a whimper, eh, Darren?

Did You Know? Dusty Baker is such a fan of Lewis, that he named his son after him. His son Darren. But then, Dusty Baker is an idiot.

#78: “Death” Rey Ordonez

Back in college, my friends and I had a saying. When everyone was counting on you to come through and do something and you let them down, those folks who were counting on you got “Rey Ordonez’ed.” For example. Bottom of the 9th. Your co-rec kickball team is down 18-17. The girl you really like is there watching you. Bases loaded. Two outs. The pitcher winds up and rolls! You swing your leg and completely miss the ball. As your leg is coming down, your heel lands on the ball and you hyperextend your knee. And then you realize the ball is a puppy, and the girl you like is having sex with the winning pitcher on the mound. You ruined the season, you blew out your knee, you lost the girl, and you killed a puppy. Congratulations, you just Rey Ordonez’ed your team. And the puppy.

At one point, Rey Ordonez was as highly touted as these guys.  Hell, so was Alex Gonzalez.

Rey, at top right, is usually expected to “talk to the fat one.”

Three questions: 1. Are all shortstops required to wear that chain around their necks? 2. Why are Alex Gonzalez and Rey Ordonez in this picture? 3. What sports men’s magazine would run such a picture?

Is it any wonder that Ordonez made the Bottom 126? Middle infielder. Check. Strength of the love child of Sampson and Superman shaved bald and wearing kryptonite underwear. Check. Inexplicably bats leadoff all the time. Check. It was his destiny to be on this list.

To be clear, Ordonez didn’t just suck when he came over to the Cubs after a lengthy career with the Mets. He sucked the whole time. The difference is, if he would have stayed in New York (or Tampa Bay, for that matter) we wouldn’t have gotten Rey Ordonez’ed so many times.

Low Point: June 4, 2004. The Pirates are in town, and the Cubs are clinging to a 1-0 lead in the 8th. With 2 outs, Michael Barrett draws a walk, pushing Todd Hollandsworth to second base. Ordonez, having already gone 0-3 with a foul bunt out, comes up with a chance to give the Cubs some insurance. He strikes out swinging. In the top of the 9th, the Pirates, including Chris Stynes, of all people, score 2 runs. Cubs lose 2-1.

Did You Know? In 2002, Ordonez, angry with the boos he and double play partner Roberto Alomar were hearing, called the fans in New York “too stupid.” Too stupid for… what, exactly?

#79: Marvell Wynne”? More Like Marvell Lose!”

Remind me again. What exactly was Marvell Wynne good at? I don’t remember him being good in the field. I don’t remember him being good at the plate. I don’t remember him being good on the basepaths. And he’s certainly not very good at signing his own name.

Pick me out a Wynner, Bobby.

What is it exactly that you’d say you do here?

Then, I checked Baseball Reference, and I was correct in not remembering any of those things. The Cubs got Wynne from the San Diego Padres in 1989 in a blockbuster deal that also brought Luis Salazar to the North Side. And the Cubs only had to give up Calvin Schiraldi and Darrin Jackson! Imagine that!

Wynne reeked up the North Side through the 1990 season, when he was sold to Japan for some computer chips which, at the time, were the size of a room.

Low Point: In the heartbreaking 1989 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants, Wynne, like pretty much everyone but Mark Grace, didn’t show up, collecting a worthless single in 6 at-bats.

Did You Know? Wynne’s son, Marvell Wynne II: The Sequel, plays in the MLS on Red Bull New York. Did you also know that corporate sponsorship for the MLS is ridiculous?

#80: “Win, Lose, or” Tyler Houston

Was I the only one who was convinced that Tyler Houston and Brant Brown were actually the same dude? Probably. But just in case you’re confused like I was, Houston was the sucky left-handed hitting catcher. Brown was the sucky left-handed hitting outfielder.

Wannabe.

Not Brant Brown.

Now that that is all cleared up, Houston was the backup catcher for the Cubs in the late 90s. Well, he was the backup catcher when the Cubs weren’t playing him out of position at third base. Tyler Houston at third was a comedy of errors. Literally. The Cubs were that desperate for a third baseman that they used TYLER HOUSTON there for several games. Ah, late 90s Cubs. You certainly did suck.

Low Point: Remember those nail-biting late September moments with the 1998 Chicago Cubs? Well, Houston certainly didn’t help put you at ease. In what could have been the final game of the season, Houston came in to a 3-3 game in the 11th inning in Houston. The Cubs needed baserunners. They got a swinging strikeout out of Houston. The Cubs lost 4-3 in the bottom of that inning, forcing the one-game playoff against the Giants, and giving Cubs fans everyone acid-reflux disease.

Did You Know? Tyler Houston cleans up surprisingly well (NSFW link). Who knew?

#81: Amaury “Povich” Telemaco

Amaury Telemaco had exactly one thing going for him in his time as a Cub: he caused Harry Caray to pronounce his name in hilarious ways. But then, Harry Caray died and Telemaco became officially completely worthless, so the Cubs didn’t shed any tears when Telemaco was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 1998 season.

The proud tradition of #44.

Ah, #44. The proud jersey of studs like Telemaco, Kyle Farnsworth, and Roberto Novoa.

If you’re wondering how Telemaco ever made any starts with the Cubs, look at the Cub rotations of the late 90s. There you go. That doesn’t lessen the sting of having to watch Telemaco ever take the ball in a Cubs uniform.

Low Point: Yes, it’s hard to pitch in Coors Field. Moreso if you’re Amaury Telemaco. On July 27, 1996, Telemaco faced the Rockies in Coors, went 4.2 innings, and gave up 6 earned runs, including 3 bombs which landed in John Elway’s backyard. His backyard when he lived in California.

Did You Know? Telemaco is the only rookie pitcher to face former Cy Young award winners in his first three starts (Drabek, Maddux, Glavine). I can’t think of a more talented pitcher to run that particular gauntlet.


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Ozzie Guillen, mang.

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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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