Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zambrano vs. Dempster

Ryan Dempster
With the Major League Baseball trade deadline upon us at 3 p.m. CDT today, we likely will see Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster heading out of Chicago, likely to the Dodgers.

Dempster has been good for a woeful Cubs team, going 5-5 in 16 starts (mainly because of little run support), but holding a 2.25 ERA, including a 33-inning scoreless streak earlier this month. Since becoming a starter in 2008, he has been consistently steady for an unsteady Cubs team, including winning 17 games in 2008 and 15 in 2010. However, he likely is out of Chicago, joining Geovany Soto, who went to the Rangers last night, and Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm going to the Braves, all for prospects.

Carlos Zambrano
Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 Radio this morning had an interesting question as they discussed Dempster's likely departure, and that is who was the better pitcher for the Cubs, Dempster or Carlos Zambrano.

Zambrano was pretty good during his 10 years at the Friendly Confines, winning 125 games before being traded to the Marlins after last season. He was known for his bouts of awesomeness, including a no-hitter against the Astros Sept. 14, 2008, in a game moved to Milwaukee's Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike hitting Houston. He won 16 games in 2004 and 2006 and 18 games for the NL Central title-winning Cubs in 2008. He also had a good bat for a pitcher.

However, he was also known for his temper and bouts of immaturity. He was suspended in 2010 after he had a tirade against then-teammate Derrek Lee, and last year, he was pretty much booted off the team in September after yet another meltdown. He was traded to the Marlins and equally fiery manager Ozzie Guillen, but that has not translated to success, going 5-9 so far this season. That has led to a demotion to the bullpen.

So here's the question: Who was the better pitcher for the Cubs: Ryan Dempster or Carlos Zambrano? Cast your votes now.

Cubs vs. Sox showdown

During what has been a long, torturous season for the Cubs, there have been few bright spots.

Sure, we saw Ryan Dempster have a 33-inning scoreless streak this past month. The Cubs also had a stretch where they won 15 of 20 games around the All Star break, a brief tease of respectability that ended with a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals last weekend by a combined score of 23-1, including a 12-0 loss last Saturday that saw the Cardinals score a team record 12 runs in the seventh inning.

Beyond that, the only bright spots, besides the promises from Theo Epstein for a brighter future, have been in commercials. We featured ex-Cubs Kerry Wood and Andre Dawson shilling State Farm Insurance recently. But there also have been these great spots by New Era with actor and Cubs fan Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation" and fellow actor and White Sox fan Craig Robinson ("The Office") squaring off.

Round 1 appeared in April at the beginning of the season.

Round 2, which premiered in May, had Robinson quizzing Offerman on how far he would go to end the Cubs' World Series drought.

Round 3, appearing for the first time a week or so, ago, have an ultimate staredown.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Sox got the better of them in the overall series, taking four of the six games they played, including sweeping the three at Wrigley Field in May. So continues the long season.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

50 Shades of Nationals Grey...

Relief pitchers are notorious for being a little, shall we say, odd. A few members of the Washington Nationals' bullpen continued that tradition, reading the bestselling novel, "50 Shades of Grey."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's in the ivy at Wrigley Field?

Wait Til Next Century returns with one of the few highlights of this long Cubs season, Kerry Wood and a surprise guest in this State Farm commercial.