Nothing like a win over the Cardinals to get people off the ledge. I mean, it’s getting ridiculous. For instance:
Sometime around 8 or 9 tonight, the Cubs can make the call on whether to print playoff tickets this year.
That's how important Carlos Zambrano's start is against the St. Louis Cardinals. Win or lose, that's how important his shoulder is to the Cubs' chances of doing any damage in October -- and possibly of even getting there.
That came out of the Sun-Times, for crying out loud. That’s actual press coverage of our team.
Adding to the circus atmosphere is the return of Jim Edmonds to St. Louis, this time in Cubbie Blue. St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz kicks it off with the Five-Minute Hate:
Bulletin: Edmonds is a Cub.
He plays for the enemy.
He plays for the team that so many of you claim to "hate."
It is a team that has Jim Edmonds' complete loyalty.
It's a team with fans who now bow down in salute of Edmonds when he trots out to center field.
You're gonna give a standing ovation to the latest darling of those fickle Cubs fans? Edmonds has given his heart to those front-runners, and you still want to hug him?
Please. It's like being dumped by a girlfriend and then begging her to come back so you can give her a kiss and relive the good old days.
Have some pride.
After all, this is the new Edmonds, who says things like, "I don't have to feel like a Cub — I am a Cub," when he speaks to Chicago reporters.
And, "I'm a Cub now, and I'm happy."
And, "Whenever you guys get done tying me to the Cardinals, it'll be fine, so I can start getting a little bit of Cubs history in my background."
Wow. So much hatred of the Cubs, you’d almost think that you were reading a Jay Mariotti column!
Somebody must’ve fed LaRussa some of those quotes, because he chimed in:
"I think we ought to follow his lead," La Russa said, tersely. "His quote was roughly, within a couple of words, 'I've had enough of people asking me about my Cardinal days. I'm a Cub now.'
"So I would treat him like he never played here. I would wait until the end of his career and I would remember he was a Cardinal. I would ignore the fact that he was ever here because that's what he wants. I would honor his request. Forget the Cardinal days until his career is over."
Edmonds was not thrilled:
Asked if he would talk to La Russa before the game because he was so upset, Edmonds said: “He said the same kind of [stuff] when I played here. That doesn’t bother me. He got bad information, and he reacted to it. I mean, we all do … he’s in control. It’s his show, and that’s the way it should be. He’s the manager. He doesn’t want anyone upstaging his team. I’m not trying to do that. I’m here to play, and that’s it.”
La Russa told the media he would shake Edmonds hand if he sees him. When told of that, Edmonds replied: “He’s a [sissy] if he doesn’t.”
By the way, as an aside to any beatwriters or other media personalities that read GROTA: If any of you are willing to share exactly what “[sissy]” was, that would be keen. Send us an e-mail; we promise not to reveal your identity.
I’ll be honest – as much as I hate the melodrama surrounding the Cubs-White Sox series, Cubs-Cardinals is fun. Especially this year, when the Cubs matter and the Cardinals matter; each game counts for double, which provides some real substance to the sturm-und-drang.
Lou says that Fukudome may be wearing down a little. Meanwhile, video doesn’t seem to show any signs of Marmol tipping his pitches. Rothschild also claims that Marmol does not have a dead arm, and should “get back on a run.”
Meanwhile, AZ Phil of The Cub Reporter was sensationally impressed by Rich Hill’s simulated game today. I’d like to see him do it facing live hitting before I got my hopes up, though.
The Brewers haven’t won the C.C. Sabathia sweeps yet; the Dodgers are joining the hunt. There’s a catch, however:
However, the Dodgers' bid for Sabathia is complicated by their pursuit of Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson as a replacement for the injured Rafael Furcal, sources say.
To get Wilson, the Dodgers would need to trade the Pirates some of the same players that the Indians want for Sabathia, leaving Los Angeles with a choice of one deal or the other.
While the Dodgers might not offer a prospect better than Brewers Class AA left fielder Matt LaPorta, their proposal for Sabathia would include three players, sources say.
Class AA right-hander James McDonald, Class AAA shortstop Chin-Lung Hu and third baseman Andy LaRoche are among the Dodgers' prospects likely drawing consideration form the Indians.
Yeah, I know I have a hard time choosing between Sabathia and Jack Wilson.
For their part, Brewers beatwriter Tom Haudricourt thinks the current offer is “top prospect Matt LaPorta, minor-league third baseman Taylor Green and probably another prospect, perhaps outfielder Lorenzo Cain.” Brewers blogger Jeff Sackmann isn’t exactly impressed by Haudricourt’s credibility in the past, though.
If the Cubs are going to trade for Bedard, they might have to pay freight for the bus his teammates are throwing him under:
Whenever Erik Bedard starts a game these days, Mariners relievers know there is about a 99-plus-percent chance that some of them will see some action.
Sure enough, the left-hander departed after five innings and 99 pitches on Friday afternoon. Right-handers Sean Green and Brandon Morrow combined for four scoreless innings, finishing the job as the Mariners handed the Tigers a 4-1 loss in front of 30,564 at Safeco Field.
"[Bedard's] pitch count was up near 100, so I was already getting ready," Green said. "I also knew they had a lot of right-handers in the lineup today, so I was prepared."
Bedard, who has now thrown fewer than 100 pitches in each of his past six starts, and has reached triple digits six times in 15 outings this season.