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And So, You'll Remember...

... WHEN the Cubs make the World Series this year...

Oh, come on, hope along with me, won't you?

... that the fact that they'll be playing only three possible home games instead of four, is due in large part to the fact that Roger Clemens had one of the worst outings of his career last night, in the National League's 9-4 loss to the American League in the All-Star Game, the AL's 7th straight win (if you don't count the 7-7 tie in Milwaukee in 2002).

Think Clemens might be having second thoughts about coming out of his 78-day retirement? Think maybe he's considering the wild rumors that he might want to go back to the Yankees, or even the Red Sox? Think Jimy Williams wishes Clemens had stayed retired? Williams is likely going to be fired as Astros manager today, and -- stifle a laugh, Cub fans -- one of the most likely replacements is ex-Cub manager Don Baylor.

Wonder how well Carlos Beltran likes laying down sacrifice bunts in the first inning?

I went to sleep with the score 9-4 in the sixth, and apparently, all I missed was the sight of the two managers then trying to get everyone in the game. All three Cubs participated, with both Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou going 1-for-2 (Sammy with an RBI), and Carlos Zambrano threw a 22-pitch inning, giving up one run, which shouldn't impact his ability to make his next start on Monday against the Cardinals. Most importantly, no one got hurt in the game. Back in 1977, Cub outfielder Jerry Morales, who was having a terrific first half, got hit on the knee by Sparky Lyle, and though he played six more seasons, was never the same.

There was the usual excess of promotional nonsense, though it was fun to see the guy who won $1 million by throwing five balls through a hole in a board they put at home plate. My son Mark said he could do that, and he probably could have.

And will someone please tell National Anthem singers that it is an anthem, not a gospel-fest? Sheesh.

In Cub news today, there are continuing, persistent rumors (free registration required for that NY Times article) that the Cubs, Red Sox and Diamondbacks are going to swing a three-way deal, with Randy Johnson going to Boston, Nomar Garciaparra coming to the Cubs, and various prospects going to Arizona.

I'd do this in a heartbeat. While Nomar has been off-and-on in the 26 games he's played since returning from injury this year, he's clearly an offensive upgrade over whoever the Cubs are playing at SS this week. While he would almost certainly be a rent-a-player... he'd be a pretty darn good rent-a-player, and even at the cost of a decent pitching prospect or two (I'd trade almost anyone except Angel Guzman), this might be the one player who could improve the Cub offense enough to match up with the Cardinals.