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Archive for the 'There’s Plenty of Blame for Rothschild, Too' Category
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.
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.”
CHICAGO–Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs believe that closer Ryan Dempster, who was abysmal in 2006, will “bounce back” in 2007. Dempster’s time traveling adventure will be difficult, as he must bounce back to the very narrow window of time when he was actually good, all while traveling at 88 m.p.h. and generating 1.21 jigowatts of electricity.
Dempster expects his close friend Dr. Emmett Brown to help him get back to 2005. Brown is the inventor of the flux capacitor, which is “what makes time travel possible,” according to Brown.
Unfortunately for Dempster, while the De Lorean DMC-12 which houses the flux capacitor needs only to reach 88 miles per hour and runs on standard gasoline, the flux capacitor must be powered by 1.21 jigowatts of electricity. When Fire Lou Piniella! asked Dempster about the likelihood of generating such a charge, Dempster said, “What the hell is a jigowatt?!”
Brown explained that one of the only power sources capable of generating such a charge is “a bolt of lightning.” Dempster, standing nearby, said, “What?” Whereby Brown repeated, “A bolt of lightning.” Brown then added, “But the problem is you never know when or where one is going to strike.”
Dempster excitedly told Brown, “We do now.” Dempster handed Brown a copy of a speech expected to be delivered by Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry later that day. In it, Hendry had written, “We expect Mark Prior to make thirty starts this year. If there is something physically wrong with Mark Prior, may God himself strike me with a bolt of lightning right NOW.”
…TO BE CONTINUED…
While still recovering from a holiday-induced haze, “Fire Lou Piniella!” got a rare opportunity to get an advanced look at Lou Piniella’s list of New Year’s Resolutions. Enjoy.
- Find out if Rothschild has ever actually worn a Cubs jersey under those stupid pajamas he wears to games.
- Return Steve Lyons’ wallet.
- Cut back on the word “c@#$sucker.” Increase usage of phrase, “bunch of c@#$smoking losers.”
- Quit reassuring Hendry that Jason Marquis doesn’t suck.
- Finish my autobiography, Living Among Assholes: The Lou Piniella Story.
- Fewer temper tantrums, more conniption fits.
- Stop hiding my keys and wallet in Trammell’s face.
- Be more politically correct, so that mick interim president gets off my back.
- Lose a few pounds. Christ, I’m starting to look like Hendry.
- Punch Joe Buck in the face with Tim McCarver’s severed hand.
CHICAGO–Cubs G.M. Jim Hendry is desperately trying to undo the good he has done by signing Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano this offseason. Reportedly, Hendry has signed Jason Marquis to a three-year deal between $20M and $28M.
Edmonds is going to need a visa to catch that one.
The Cubs are going up against the longstanding tradition of never signing a pitcher upon whom the Braves have given up. Marquis had an ERA over six last year, which projects to jump at least thirteen runs under pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
Marquis leans toward being more of a groundball pitcher than flyball pitcher, which is helpful in Wrigley Field about half the time. He can also hit. So that’s nice. He doesn’t strike out a lot of guys and he walks too many. But, again. He can hit. Yay.
Marquis has averaged over 200 innings for the past three years, meaning he is willing to take the ball every fifth day. Amazingly, the Cubs plan on actually giving him the ball every fifth day.
CHICAGO–The Prior family has a new addition, baby Amanda Grace, who was born Thursday to Mark and Heather Prior. Initial rumors that Mark bore the child himself were proven false, as it was confirmed that Heather was, in fact, the one who gave birth to the 6 pound, 9 ounce baby girl.
As soon as Amanda was born, Mark and Heather put her on the disabled list, retroactive to 9 months ago. “We just wanted to do what’s in the best interest of our firstborn,” Mark said. “With Rothschild being back, and with Piniella having a history of pitcher abuse, we didn’t want to take any chances,” Mark added, wincing as he spoke.
Amanda has a long weekend ahead of her, as she will be taken for a shoulder MRI today, followed by Tommy John surgery tomorrow. The Priors expect that they will be able to bring Amanda home in less than a week, though sources close to the family expect that Amanda will not be able to participate in any infant-related activities until at least June of 2007.
The setback does not bother Mark and Heather. “We already have a cute little towel all ready for her to snap around,” Heather said. “I knitted it myself,” she concluded, beaming.
One bright side of the medical care needed for Amanda is the fact that Amanda’s procedure will be the tenth on Mark’s surgery punchcard, meaning his next season-ending surgery is free.
CHICAGO–One day after new Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced that pitching coach Larry Rothschild would return for the 2007 season, Cub pitcher Mark Prior’s right arm requested its unconditional release from the club.
“It’s unexpected,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “We thought Prior’s right arm would be here for years to come, but we’re going to honor its request, and also to send it off with a ten million dollar bonus,” Hendry added.
“Fire Lou Piniella!” caught up with Kerry Wood’s right arm, known to be a close friend of Prior’s right arm because of all of their time together on the disabled list. “It’s going to be rough next year without him out there,” Wood’s right arm said. “I’ve gotten used to having someone right beside me, snapping towels, hanging out in the hot tub, sitting on the bench, getting wrapped in warm towels, getting massages, writing our names on big paychecks, those sorts of things,” Wood’s arm continued. “It will be sad not having Prior’s right arm there next year.”
Hendry plans on filling the void which will be left by Prior’s right arm quickly, as he already has plans on assembling his own new starting pitcher made up of Clint Malarchuk’s jugular, Tim Krumrie’s left leg, Joe Theismann’s right leg, Dave Dravecky’s left arm, Steve Young’s head, Bryce Florie’s face, Michael Barrett’s testicles, Tony Conigliaro’s eye, and Ray Chapman’s soul.
“I shall call you ‘Injore,’ and you shall be the greatest- Hey, is that Sid Vicious’s leg?”