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Seriously, a billion dollars for the Cubs? I guess losses are the new wins.
Bob Barker, prop him up and settle this like men, "Price is Right" style. Preferably with that mountain climber game. Yodel-leh, yodel-lee!
Welcome to this brunch edition of From the Cubicle. I opted for the fruit salad at the usual Wednesday buffet spread in the newsroom, since the line at the omelet station was backed up with people I'm not sure even work here. (Actually, I imagined that entire scenario. But I might submit that idea to Sam Zell.)
Tough, young right-hander Edinson Volquez (4-1, 1.27) goes for the Reds today against the much more wizened Jon Lieber, who's making his first start of the season for your million-dollar babies.
Volquez beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 17, back when the Chicago police department was still culling the herd of North Side mountain lions.
The lineups are in! The lineups are in! Alfonso Soriano gets the day off. And frankly, with the way he had been going since coming back, Lou Piniella could've put one of the White Sox's blowup dolls out there and no one would've noticed the difference. Reed Johnson takes his place. Felix Pie is in center and Ronny Cedeno at second, which means no Mark DeRosa and Mike Fontenot again.
Comcast just showed some solid video. Cincy mascot Mr. Redlegs took a big spill off the back of a golf cart, driven by the other mascot, speeding around the warning track. Lost his big baseball head and everything. He looked pretty shaken up and was clutching his actual head in pain but that didn't stop Dan Plesac from having a big laugh at him. Hopefully that'll be on YouTube within the hour.
Baseball soon. They should play get-away-day games in Cincinnati at 8 a.m. The sooner you get the game done, the sooner you get out of that town.
It's raining in Chicago, the sun is peaking out in Cincinnati, Bob Brenly just quoted extensively from Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" while talking about Aramis Ramirez's return to the lineup last night and we're ready to go. Here's Reed Johnson. No, wait, here's Reed Johnson. Where's Reed Johnson? What is the holdout? The Reds are just now taking the field at 11:36 of this scheduled 11:35 a.m. start. And finally without further delay, here's Reed Johnson and he takes a fastball for strike one. Johnson grounds out to short. Ryan Theriot ducks out of the way of a high fastball and eventually draws a walk. To my untrained eye, it looks like the book on Derrek Lee is the low strike at his knees. He's taken a lot of them for strikes lately. Lee grounds to third where Edwin Encarnacion starts a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Nipper, to answer your question, I think I'll split time between both parents. I'll be here during the week, so I can continue to collect a paycheck, and then spend the weekends with the Cubs. They let me sleep in and watch cartoons. And to answer the question about why Soriano doesn't play second, well, because he plays second like he plays left field, which is why he was moved to the outfield years ago. Lieber fans Corey Patterson on three pitches. Seen that movie before. Here's Jerry Hairston Jr., whose only real talent when he played with the Cubs, if memory serves, was getting the occassional heave-ho. Hairston breaks his bat and sends a one-hop bloop just to the outfield grass where Ryan Theriot is able to field it but Hairston beats the throw. Ken Griffey Jr. flies out to Pie. Brandon Phillips grounds out to short to end the first.
Aramis Ramirez pops out in foul ground next to first. Kosuke Fukudome grounds towards first. Joey Votto charges, flips the ball out of his glove to Volzquez covering the bag for a nifty play. Geovany Soto draws a two-out walk. Cedeno flies out to Patterson in center.
Am I the only one who stills laughs at that one Geico dancing caveman commercial? "Baltimore's a great place to pick up dance steps. Lotta heal work." Yeah, I guess I am. Votto leads off the second with a deep home run to right. Adam Dunn, who hits a home run every time he plays the Cubs, does it again, putting another one way up in the right-field bleachers. Encarnacion pops up to second and doesn't even bother to run. Had no clue where the ball went. What's the deal? Paul Bako hits a homer to right. More fireworks. Three lefties take Lieber deep in the span of four batters. The pitcher Volquez lines a single to center and Larry Rothschild quickly picks up the dugout phone to order up some appetizers. Sean Marshall hustles to duty out in the pen. With Patterson at the plate, Soto is almost standing up in his squat. They know he has trouble laying off the high stuff. Patterson takes a fastball on the outside corner for strike three. Hairston Jr. sends one deep to left for the fourth homer of the inning, this one a two-run dong just inside the foul pole. Here's Griffey Jr., which raises the question, is this the first time two Juniors and sons of former big leaguers have batted back to back in a lineup? Junior grounds into the shift but it dies in shallow right for a single. Phillips, the ninth Red to bat in the inning, falls behind 1-2. Phillips grounds to short to end this Lieber misadventure that was the second inning.
Reds 5, Cubs 0
Memo from the department of office annoyances, titled of personal calls, gum cracking and whistling. Personal calls, fine. They're inevitable and often keep you sane during the work day. But let's keep the volume down, OK? As for the last two, who does either that isn't a.) 11 years old or b.) has at one time in been involuntarily committed to an institution? Pie strikes out swinging. Mike Fontenot bats for Lieber, who didn't even make a plate appearance in this one. According to Len Kasper and the Reds PR guy, the four homers in an inning ties the Reds record. Also the only other Cubs pitcher to allow four in an inning was the immortal Phil Norton back in 2000. Fontenot walks. Volquez nearly drills Johnson. Also, Brenly took a shot at Corey Patterson, pointing out the Reds have seven hits in the game but Patterson is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Johnson strikes out swinging at a slider. Theriot singles to right. Fontenot stops at second. Lee hits it off the pitcher but it bounces right to the second baseman Phillips, who steps on the bag to force out Theriot.