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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.

Cubs Hurlers Use Spring to Experiment with New Pitches Called “Strikes”

MESA, Ariz.–Spring Training is a time for pitchers to experiment with pitches they have never thrown before, and for the Cubs pitching staff, it is no different. Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been working with the entire Cubs pitching staff in developing a new pitch which he likes to call a “strike.”

“I just figured it was about time some of these guys learned a new pitch,” Rothschild said sleepily. “I know that Zambrano has that nasty slider and Hill has that big curveball, but it’s good to keep the batters on their toes,” he continued, smoothing out his creased pajama top.

“Imagine how much filthier Hill’s breaking ball in the dirt will be if the batter has, in the back of his mind: ‘Hey. It’s possible on this 3-0 pitch that this kid might actually throw a strike,'” Rothschild mused as he wiped crust from the corner of his eye.

Why does the catcher’s mitt make that popping sound when I throw?

Jason Marquis experiments with a “strike” moments before a ball is lined back at his face.

Successfully throwing the new pitch might not be easy.

“It’s a learning process,” Rothschild said, stifling a yawn. “These guys aren’t used to throwing a strike, so there are going to be some problems with it initially. Take Prior, for instance. Every strike he threw the other day got drilled,” Rothschild said as he eased back into a reclined position.

“But don’t worry. He’ll figure it out. And if he doesn’t, he can always go back to throwing balls.”

Cubs Trade Ryu; Rumors Swirl Around Blanka, Chun-Li

CHICAGO–Cubs right handed fireballer Ryu was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tuesday for two minor leaguers, outfielder Andrew Lopez and right-hander Gregor Reinhard.

Ryu

Ryu: Traded to the Devil Rays

Talks are still swirling around other Cubs prospects, including Chun-Li, Blanka, E. Honda, and Dhalsim.

Bobby Hill Back with Cubs; There’s Something Not Quite Right with That Boy

The gentlemen at Desipio pointed out that Bobby Hill has signed with the Cubs.

Hill was thrilled to return to the Cubs, who gave him his first opportunity in the Majors.

Yay Cubs!

Rich Hill Predicted to Emerge in 2007, See Shadow, Disappear Until 2008

MLB.com’s Alex Cushing suggests that Cubs left-hander Rich Hill is one of several young pitchers who may emerge in 2007. The Cubs expect Hill, who put up excellent numbers in the second half of the 2006 season, to emerge at the beginning of Spring Training. If Hill sees his shadow, he is expected to disappear until 2008.

“Rich really had a breakout year,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “I really hope when he emerges that he doesn’t see his shadow. We’re counting on having him in the rotation this year, not having him hibernating.”

At the beginning of Spring Training, Hill will greet the crowd that has gathered in front of his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob to determine whether he will emerge and be a dominant pitcher or whether he will retreat to his home for the 2007 season.

Rich Hill Emerges

Rich Hill emerges on Gobbler’s Knob.

“The other guys are already calling him ‘Punxsutawney Hill’,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “If he’s honestly scared of his own shadow, I’m going to take to calling him p#$$y.”

Grossman Signs with Cubs as “Pop-Up Simulator”

MIAMI–Minutes after the Chicago Bears fell to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, Rex Grossman signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs, seeking to improve their outfield defense, signed the erratic Bears quarterback to throw simulated pop-ups to outfielders Alfonso Soriano, Matt Murton, and Jacque Jones. Grossman will gather the outfielders together next weekend for a game of 500.

Tomlinson’s gonna need a visa to catch this one.

“Three hundred points!”

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was excited about the addition. “Rex was throwing some towering pop-ups during the Super Bowl, and I thought he’d be put to his best use as a pop-up simulator,” Hendry said. “I’m also going to have him work with [Jacque] Jones. I figure if they can find a happy medium between Jones firing the ball into the ground five feet in front of him and Grossman lofting the ball 600 feet in the air, we might find ourselves a serviceable right fielder. Or a serviceable quarterback. Or maybe both. Or possibly neither. Christ, I don’t know. I’m hammered.”

Cubs Come to Terms With Prior by Using Terms “Injury-Prone,” “Pansy,” and “Tampon”

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.

Oh snap!

Mark Prior: Snapping into a hot tub near you. Summer, 2007.


Who is Lou offending today?

Ozzie Guillen, mang.

How Angry Is Lou Today?

Lou! Hot as a Kerry Wood fastball.

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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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