My Take on Derrek Lee

April 23, 2006

The injury to D Lee is not what the Cubs were hoping for. Derrek is going to be out for awhile. He broke two bones in his wrist during the collision. I don’t think this is worst case scenario though. Worst case would be he’s out for the season. Derrek will be in a cast for a minimum of six weeks and then will probably have at least 4 weeks of rehab. This gets him back before the All-Star Break. To me, this is good news.

There is no doubt that Derrek Lee is a huge part of this Cubs team. But this team does not rely on just one person. Let’s not look back at last season. Let’s look back a couple of seasons ago and realize remember that when the Cubs made the playoffs it was because everyone contributed. It’s a huge blow to lose his bat and his leadership. But it’s only temporary. “Everything is temp-o-rary” to quote my favorite movie, Moonstruck. This is a long season. The Cubs have plenty of other players that are capable of big offense – Jacques Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton. And let’s not forget Todd Walker’s consistent .300+ batting average.

On the defensive side, everyone is going to have to step up a bit. You could shop for a first baseman for years and never find another D Lee. Walker, Mabry and Restovich will have to channel their inner Hoover to suck up every ball that comes towards first and the rest of the infields will have to try and be more accurate with their throws. Pitchers will have to keep things close.

Two losses after the injury doesn’t bode well, and maybe it was because everyone was shook up from the news. And maybe it was a guy having a bad outing and another guy not being able to get that last out. Maybe it stuff that happens all the time in baseball. Let’s not forget that the Cards came to Wrigley Field and got swept. It makes sense to me that the Cards were going to be strong at home. It would have been easy for this Cubs team to get swept, but they didn’t. The Cubs are still ahead 4 – 2 against the Cards and they’ll see each other 19 times this year.

This team needs to stay in it. They are capable, even without D Lee. And when D Lee comes back, they’ll be that much stronger. And D Lee will be rested and able to really push through the second half of the season.


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West Coast Roadtrips

April 19, 2006

I love baseball, but these west coast roadtrips require some pretty big sacrifices. The games don’t even start until ten pm. That’s bedtime! And because I’m so obsessed, I mean dedicated, I can’t go to sleep without knowing the final score. So I’ve taken to coming home and taking a nap so that I can make it through the game. We were very lucky Monday night when the game was over in 1 hr, 59 mins. I think that’s some sort of record. Last night was about three hours and that’s what we’re on track for tonight. Thankfully I have no huge, major proposals going on at work or we’d be in trouble because 2 + 2 has been coming up two 22 these last few sleep deprived days. But I would stay up to the wee hours of the morning if it means a Cubs win. The game is currently tied so that may be what I’m in for…

Update: As a note, this game was worth the sacrifice. The Cubs came from behind to win. But there was a scary play that took out two Cubs players. The Dodgers bunted and relieve Scott Eyre dove to field it. He tried to flip it from his glove to first baseman D Lee, but the toss put D Lee in the runners path and caused a collision. Eyre went out with a knee contusion and D Lee is out with what is currently being called a sprained wrist. The x-rays were inconclusive so he heads to Chicago to see the team doctors. Todd took over at first, again showing his flexibility on the field and his importance to this team. The Cubs were behind when they lost arguably their most important player, but they were able to rally for the win. Ronny Cedeno was able to put a throwing error out of his mind and made a great game ending catch. I was please to see the Cubs play good small ball and get out of some tight situations to come up with the “W”.


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The Bet

April 18, 2006

On our drive home from Pittsburgh Sunday, after a great Cubs’ win, Bill and I discussed the game. I was trying to remember if Todd scored the winning run in the first inning with his home run to right field. Bill corrected me and let me know that it was Aramis who hit the home run. “Want to bet?” I said I would put $100 on it. He said he didn’t want to take my money but I said I told him it was okay.

What was he thinking? First, how likely is it that I wouldn’t know what Todd did during the game? Can we not say Todd Walker obsession? Second, I keep score. I’m actually paying attention. Lastly, how confident must I have been to put up $100 of birthday money nonetheless. Not, I’ll go to the ATM where both our paychecks get deposited, but actual saving for a rainy day money. And I’m right about things 92.8% of the time.

We shook on it. But rather then refer to my trusty scorecard, I went to a non-biased source and dialed up the internet on my phone. And guess who was right. Out of pity, I told him it didn’t have to be birthday money. So far I have collected $60.

Since I’ve brought it up, how about Todd? I was convinced that he was going to get traded. I didn’t want it to happen, but for some reason Dusty is not a Todd Walker guy. He’s got a strong bat and is a consistent .300 hitter, but there are concerns about his defense and range at sescond. In the offseason, there was much debate about who the starting second baseman would be (with three potential candidates). Todd won the job. Before today’s game, his batting average was .455. I realize it’s a young season, but I think it’s a good sign he’s swinging the bat well. And a home run in the first inning of the last two games! So far his defense looks good. Go Todd! Go Cubs!


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My Matt Murton Moments

April 16, 2006

This weekend, Bill and I drove to Pittsburgh for our first two Cubs games of the season. We always enjoy Pittsburgh and this weekend was no exception.

For those who don’t keep up with the Cubs, Matt Murton is the young, Opie-resembling, left fielder for the Cubs. Our first moment occurred during batting practice before Saturday’s game when I was patiently waiting to catch a ball. For whatever reason, not many balls were going out over the 410 ft. sign (which is where I was) and for the fly balls hit near us, no Cubs were tossing them to the fans. I found that to be quite annoying because there were a lot of Cubs fans around. My irritation was starting to get the better of me, but still I waited. A ball was hit to left-center and rolled to the wall. Murton trotted over to get it and I yelled “hey, Matt”. He looked up, tossed me the ball, and jogged away. It was a short moment, but through our sunglasses our eyes met and we shared something. Also, patience is a virtue.

Sunday morning, Bill and I had a leisurely breakfast and then drove over to the ball park. It was 10:30 and 3 hours before game time. I thought it was late for the players to be arriving, but what do I know as I ended up with 7 autographs. My second autograph was Matt Murton. He and Derrek Lee signed for everyone who was waiting. As Matt handed my ball back to me, I said “Thanks, Matt. You threw me that ball yesterday.” He chuckled and looked up and replied “Oh, I did?” This time, there were no sunglasses and our eyes met. I think one of my teeth sparkled as I smiled at him. A definitely momement.

I also shared moments with Derrek Lee when I thank him and wished him a Happy Easter, and when I told Ron Santo he was an inspiration. (Ron Santo, does a lot of work on behalf of JDRF and will hopefully be in the Baseball Hall of Fame in the near future.) I also got autographs from Scott Williamson, Bob Howry, Glendon Rusch, Jerome Williams, Ryan Dempster, John Mabry and Will Ohman. After Saturday’s loss, I didn’t expect the players to be so friendly, but maybe everyone was in the Easter spirit. It definitely makes my top give mornings ever. If I had gotten Todd Walker’s signature it would definitely be my number one morning in history. I’m not sure what the other four mornings on the list are.

And I think if we have one more moment with Matt Murton I definitely qualify as his stalker.


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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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