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Will The Real Cubs Please Stand Up?

So which are the real Cubs? The ones who blasted the Astros 6-0 behind Mark Prior on Wednesday? Or the ones who lost a not-as-close-as-the-score 9-3 game to the same team the next day?

Or are they the ones who nearly no-hit the Diamondbacks last night, and blasted three homers off Curt Schilling?

Or the team that got blasted by the same Arizona team today 13-2?

The team that's Rob Neyer termed the Bizarro Cubs continued their alternate-day pattern on this trip today, in this awful-looking loss, which had so much bad stuff I can hardly even sum it all up in a short post here, and I really would rather not. It got so bad that I decided to take time out and go get my car washed, and in listening to Ron & Pat on the radio, they were so bored that they started listing names of different animals, and how so many animal names have three letters (trust me, you don't want to hear the entire transcript).

All I can say is that no matter how loyal Dusty Baker is to his players, he's got to realize that Shawn Estes and Antonio Alfonseca are absolutely killing his team. Lefty or no, I think I'd sit Estes down for the rest of the season. We are finding out first-hand why both the Mets and Reds let him go last year. Alfonseca had some gaudy save stats with the Marlins, but frankly, I don't think he was ever as good as he was touted to be, and Jim Hendry seriously miscalculated by paying him big money this year, and wound up with the world's highest-paid bad setup man.

The good news is that as of this writing, the Reds are leading the Astros 2-0, though it's early, and if they can hold on the Cubs will still only be half a game out, though behind both Houston and St. Louis, since the Cardinals beat the Phillies this afternoon.


I would like to take this part of today's post to say what an execrable little [deleted] Thom Brennaman is. First of all, what's with that "h" in his name? That just screams out pretension. I never liked him when he was a Cub announcer; he got his job because his dad, Marty, the Reds lead announcer, turned it down, and recommended little Thommy for the job.

Now, he's the Diamondbacks' lead TV announcer, as well as Fox TV's 2nd team baseball announcer and football play by play man. And during today's telecast he didn't hide his rooting interest at all, getting all excited about Arizona rallies and runs.

What's even worse is his hype over things that should be ordinary, and total lack of a sense of baseball history. In talking about the Cubs' playoff chances he said, "They haven't made the playoffs since 1998 and haven't won a playoff game since nineteeeeeen-eiiiiighty-niiiiiiiine", as if 1989 were somewhere in the Middle Ages. Yeah, sometimes it feels like it's the dark ages, but fourteen years in baseball terms isn't a very long time at all.

Brennaman has a good broadcast voice, but that's all. I think he's an embarrassment on a national network telecast. Obviously, Fox used him for this game because they're cheap -- why fly another announcer in when their own guy is already in town -- but in general, I think for games like this which are supposed to be "neutral", they ought to use a neutral announcer.

For his part, I have heard Joe Buck, the Cardinals' lead radio announcer, do Fox games involving the Cardinals and he does not root for his team, not the way little Thommy does, anyway.

[end rant]

The Cubs can still salvage the last game of the series tomorrow, but that will take the good Matt Clement to show up.