Well, that was a waste of an afternoon.
My son Mark's Park District ballgame got rained out. Thus, I was able to watch the entire 7-3 Cubs loss to the Dodgers -- that is, when the local Fox weatherman wasn't breaking in with tornado warnings.
But before I talk a little about the game, let me say something about Fox TV Sports. This is only the second time the Cubs have been Fox-ified this year (May 3 in St. Louis was the other), and the first time I've really watched it beginning to end. Keep in mind that IF this is still going to be that special season we've all been waiting for, the NLCS and World Series -- up to fourteen of the final games of the season -- are all on Fox.
We are in trouble, folks. The entire broadcast team is horrid, with the exception of Eric Karros (where'd he get that hair, incidentally?), who looks like he'd like to bolt out of that studio at any second rather than sit next to Jeannie Zelasko for one more moment.
Here's my message for Fox.
Stop with the 1908 stuff, already. We know.
WE FREAKING KNOW.It's been 100 years. Yes, we know and so does everyone else!! Stop focusing on the past and look toward the future.
OK, I'm done with that. Oh, wait, there's one more thing.
Tim McCarver has got to go. Period. He's not funny or insightful; his act seems stuck in the 1970's.
I mean, seriously. When I was a kid, we didn't have bad broadcasters clogging up the national level. We had Vin Scully, we had Tony Kubek, as I got older we had Bob Costas. (Say, Kubek is only 73 years old. Couldn't they ask him back?) Fox, instead, has Tim McCarver and Mark Grace. And don't even get me started with what we're going to have to hear calling tomorrow's game on ESPN. Is this the best they can do? (The answer to that question is "No", but they don't seem to want to listen to us, their audience.)
OK, now I really AM done ranting about that. WHEN the Cubs make the later rounds of the postseason, just turn the sound off and listen to Pat & Ron.
After today, you're probably questioning that "later rounds of the postseason" remark, and this is the first game in quite some time that the Cubs really looked bad. Too bad, too, because Carlos Zambrano actually threw six good innings; unfortunately, his defense deserted him in the seventh, with Aramis Ramirez charged with one error and Kosuke Fukudome dropping a catchable fly ball (the latter would have ended the seventh inning with the score only 4-3 Dodgers). You simply can't give a major league team five outs in any inning and expect to win.
All of this was after the Cubs had fashioned leads of 2-0 and 3-2 against the tough Derek Lowe, and even though Z had given up a ton of hits, he had gotten out of every jam up to the point where Russell Martin homered to tie the game at 2. In fact, all three homers hit today -- Martin's, Alfonso Soriano's, and the killer three-run blast from Matt Kemp that put the game away -- didn't seem as if they were going to go out when they first left the bat. All seemed routine fly balls that wound up carrying; Dodger Stadium seems more conducive to that during the day than at night.
And those defensive lapses were the story of the game; otherwise Z and Lowe matched up pretty well, and once the game was out of hand, Neal Cotts threw an inning and a third without allowing anything else, saving the rest of the bullpen for tomorrow.
It will be nice for the Cubs to get back home Tuesday, even if only for a three-game homestand (thanks again for nothing, Computer Schedule Maker Man), but first there's the business of splitting this series tomorrow, and let tomorrow be the day that Jason Marquis has his renaissance as a major league pitcher. The Cubs need tomorrow's game, and that may be the first time I've said this all year. If you're in the Chicago area, try to stay dry till then.