I missed Adam Dunn's long home run Wednesday night and the ensuing reaction from dozens of Cubs fans, who took balls they had apparently corralled during batting practice and threw them onto the field. Veteran Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman was there and found the whole thing rather quaint:
"This is the kind of thing quite honestly...that makes you want to see the Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans--and I can't attest to the Yankees or the Red Sox because we don't see them with any degree of regularity--but far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball...are those who follow this team right here...You simply root against them. I’ve said all winter, they talk about this team winning the division and my comment is, they won’t win it because at the end of the day, they’re still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up."I happen to agree that Cub fans are obnoxious, particularly the bleacherites, especially at a night game, when the drinking has gone on for way too long.
But how this feeds Marty's certainty that the Cubs will "screw up" their shot at winning the NL Central--a division which the Cubs managed to win just last season, Mr. Hall of Fame Announcer--I'm not at all clear.
(Longtime Cubs fans will recall that Marty's kid, Thom, called Cubs games in the early '90s, departing for the Fox Network in '94. It always struck me that whenever the subject of Lou Piniella would come up, Brennaman would refer to him--sarcastically, it seemed--as "Uncle Lou." Though I never heard any explanation, I assumed there was bad blood between Piniella and Thom's daddy. I can't help but think that bad blood or some lingering raw feelings between young Brennaman and the Cubs organization is behind Marty's outburst here.)
For now at least, there's a link to the audio clip on this page here. The other voice you'll hear belongs to former Major League reliever and current imbecile Jeff Brantley.
Ted Lilly pitched Thursday like he's interested in winning the #5 starter's job, i.e., he pitched like hell, allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 earned runs in 6 innings. The Cubs were thumped 9-2. Rich Hill, whose own poor performance already earned him the demotion to #5 man, goes Friday against the Pirates.
Some starter other other than Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster needs to begin giving the Cubs some quality innings, and I'll be the first to admit that from the time Dempster was first mentioned as a candidate to join the starting rotation this winter, I never, ever thought I would be saying anything like that.