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The Cubs Are On TV Today!

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OK, OK, I know, it's just a tape of this game from May 28, 2005, but it's at least baseball on TV. It's for those of you within the reach of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago; unfortunately, the rest of you will have to just dream of watching baseball for the next couple of weeks.

Here is what I wrote about that game, a 5-1 Cubs win over the Rockies, at the time. The biggest news from that day wasn't the win, or Derrek Lee's two homers, it was the just-before-game-time trade of LaTroy Hawkins to the Giants:

As usual, the ballpark is the absolute worst place to get any information like this. Dave, who had the wrong starting time in his mind (12:20 instead of 12:05), called us with the info shortly before game time, so I walked around the bleachers spreading the good news. Walking by the concession stand you could see the TV monitors had been turned to Jim Hendry's press conference announcing the deal -- of course, no sound, so if you didn't know what was going on, you'd still have no clue.
One thing, in retrospect, we should have realized on that day, was that the NL standings after May 28:
East   W   L        GB     WP      RS      RA
ATL    27  21     -    .562     225     181
FLA    26  20     -    .565     209     173
NYM    26  24   2.0    .520     230     210
WSN    24  25   3.5    .490     194     216
PHI    24  26   4.0    .480     227     239

Cent   W   L     GB     WP       RS      RA
STL    32  16     -    .667     254     199
MIL    24  24   8.0    .500     216     185
CHC    23  24   8.5    .489     205     195
PIT    21  26   10.5   .447     191     207
CIN    19  30   13.5   .388     223     284
HOU    17  31   15.0   .354     176     216

West   W   L     GB     WP       RS      RA
SDP    30  19     -    .612     246     211
ARI    29  21   1.5    .580     221     249
LAD    25  23   4.5    .521     236     239
SFG    23  25   6.5    .479     213     240
COL    14  33   15.0   .298     211     276
... already had the Cubs 8.5 games out of first place, and under .500 despite a positive run differential.

A housekeeping note: a BCB reader, and I'm not going to embarrass you by saying who it is, posted a diary this morning that contained the entire text of an article from another website. I've mentioned this before, but I think it's worth repeating -- that's a no-no. It's a copyright violation and BCB could get into legal trouble for that sort of thing. If you want to comment on an article you read elsewhere on the web and you think would add to the discussion here, I encourage you to do so in a diary -- but just provide maybe a sentence or two in quoting it, and a link to the rest of the article, and maybe some of your own thoughts.

Thanks.

And at the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I'm going to be a contrarian about all the fawning that's gone on in the MSM about Michelle Kwan's withdrawal from competing in the Olympics.

Yes, I know how loved she is. Yes, I know that unlike so many other modern athletes (and despite the frilly outfits they wear, there's no doubt that figure skaters ARE athletes), she had never had even a whiff of a scandal surrounding her. But when she couldn't compete in the US Nationals, and had what was apparently a serious, chronic injury, she should have been gracious and bowed out then, and let the third-place finished, Emily Hughes, go to Italy as the rules dictated.

She took the medical exemption instead. And though she said she didn't want to be a "distraction", guess what? This has become the biggest story of the Games so far. And Hughes, for her part, now has to rush to Italy at the last minute, and in fact, is still stuck in the US due to yesterday's massive East Coast snowstorm.

Is that fair? Kwan never won Olympic gold, and wanted one more chance. That's not unreasonable, I suppose -- but if it wasn't under the right circumstances, I don't think she should have asked for the exemption. And yes, I know that doctors claim that the current injury, the one that's making her bow out, is unrelated to the original one that forced her out of the US Nationals. That, incidentally, doesn't sound quite right, either.

Kwan is still the most decorated skater of her generation, and one of the most beloved. Should that give her an "automatic" right to be in the Olympics? It'd have been like saying that the USA baseball team should have been allowed in the 2004 Olympics, even though they lost in a qualifying game, just because the USA is the home of the best baseball in the world and we had "always" been there.

It doesn't work that way. The US lost, fair and square. Michelle Kwan was hurt, and someone else qualified. Kwan may be revered, but her insistence on going to the Olympics when she clearly couldn't, will always diminish her a bit in my eyes.