Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Wednesday 8/15, 7:05 CT

Random baseball note: former major league infielder Jose Offerman was arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut last night and charged with assault, for attacking two Atlantic League players with his bat:

Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League, homered in the first inning Tuesday night. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport Bluefish starter Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat.

Catcher John Nathans was hit in the head and sustained a concussion. He tried to keep playing, but left the game with nausea and collapsed in the dugout, team spokesman Nick Razzette said.

Beech, a left-hander, sustained a broken middle finger on his right hand. Both players were treated at a hospital and released.

Beech is also a former major leaguer -- he pitched for the Phillies in parts of three seasons during the 1990's. Offerman was part of one of the goofiest plays of the lost 2005 season on May 6 at Wrigley Field when, with one out and the bases loaded and the Cubs leading 2-1, Placido Polanco lined a ball back to LaTroy Hawkins, who whirled and threw to first to try to double Offerman off -- which would have ended the game with a Cub win. Instead, the ball hit Offerman's helmet and flew into right field, two runs scored and the Cubs lost. (Not coincidentally, a few days later Ryan Dempster was installed as Cubs closer.)

That notwithstanding, what Offerman did was beyond inexcusable and he should not only be banned from baseball, but I'm glad that criminal charges have been filed. Stuff like this and the assaults that have gone on in hockey games shouldn't be excused just because they're in a sports venue and not on the street.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Phil Dumatrait
P. Dumatrait
Reds
13-5 W-L 0-1
3.51 ERA 7.71
124 SO 6
41 BB 5
19 HR 0
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs
Where do the Reds GET these pitchers? Dumatrait is making his third major league start, and he's lefthanded, and that ought to spell doom for the Cubs tonight. In addition, when not pitching Dumatrait distributes badly needed medicine to Third World nations, helps to replant rainforests while he's there, and is going to adopt a set of needy quintuplets.

Ted Lilly can't do all that, but he has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all year and probably the best free-agent pitching signing, period, for any team. He is 1-1, 1.38 in two starts vs. the Reds, both earlier this year.

Random personal note: my friend Brian, who sits with us in the bleachers, and his wife Kristy welcomed a baby girl last night, 7 pounds, 5 ounces, named Katelyn Ann, which makes my friend Dave a grandfather for the first time. No, the baby wasn't actually born in the bleachers, as we joked with them earlier this summer. Congrats to the entire family.

Random site note: if you are interested in ordering one of the BCB shirts that we've been discussing here for the last couple of weeks, please check out this diary for more information.

And, as of this writing, first round draft pick Josh Vitters remains unsigned. He must be signed by 11 pm CT tonight, or the Cubs lose his rights.

Today's game is on WGN, so most of you should have access; if not, check out today's Mediacenter link.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

MLB.com Gameday for the Brewers/Cardinals game

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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