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HBT Extra: Previewing the NL Central

Mar 18, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

Dare I ... Dare I ... Dare I pick the Cubs?
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  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    With respect to the Cubs, you should have just left it, “I’m actually kinda high.” They will be sub-500 and there’s nothing to be “high on” with respect to the Cubs. In fact, if one does get high and goes to a Cubs game in 2011, it would be a waste of weed.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      Let me be clear: the Cubs will suck butt nugs.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        So what are you trying to say, Hey? (Hehheh—see what I did there?)

    • purdueman - Mar 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

      The highlight of EVERY Chicago Cubs season is the opening day ceremonial “first pitch”, because once the ump crys: “Play Ball!” for the first game of the season, then the Cubs immediately starting making their plans to go home the first weekend in October!

  2. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Craig, you used Cubs and class in the same sentence without your head exploding! Good job. Now here a suggestion. Sell your house, cars, wife, kids and get your hands on as much money as possible and place it all on the Cubs to win the NL Central.

  3. lar @ wezen-ball - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Craig bringing the Milwaukee hate. That’s it! If you ever get to Miller Park, no helmet cheese fries for you!

    Honestly, I understand some optimism for the Cubs. But they’re defense is just as bad as the Brewers (look it up at BR, FG, BP), and their offense and pitching are worse… I don’t see them gaining more wins than the Brewers this year…

  4. cur68 - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Craig; Dude, I want you to be right, really I do…but you’re not. And your head is shiny again. Tiff, no PJs? Pity. Cards will win the NL central. Bank.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      What’s wrong with the shiny shirt?

      • cur68 - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        Nothing. Very acceptable. Boring, in fact. The jammies were…nice. The shiny head, though? Disturbing and distracting especially when outshining the shirt.

  5. Utley's Hair - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Reds will take it; Brewers second; Cards will have third, but the bench and stands clearing brawl with Cincy in the early September soup that is St. Louis will have consequences, allowing the Stros to close in on them—almost; Bucs, as usual, are last.

    • purdueman - Mar 18, 2011 at 8:03 PM

      Houston is FAR worse than Pittsburgh. They have returned to be the LASTro’s and will push losing 100 games this year and capture the NL Central’s cellar. Look for a fire sale at mid-season from Houston too, as their very aged owner is trying to get out and sell and will want to clear as much room off the books as possible. Too bad Houston is stuck with slug Carlos Lee’s no trade big contract.

      • fatcatt - Mar 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM

        U need to do some homework. houstons pitching will be better than most think. And alot are thinking that. Lee wont hurt them. Bourn will continue to progress and stal a ton of bases. And if Pence has his year(even better than the last 2) and the 2 youngnsters play well, they will leave Pitt where they usually rest. Because pitching wins and Pitt has 0 pitching.

      • fatcatt - Mar 19, 2011 at 10:12 PM

        crap put that other reply in the next comment. anyway dude they sold out last year. Where were you? they have a bunch of youngsters. Lee doesnt matter at this point. They already ate that one along time ago.

      • purdueman - Mar 19, 2011 at 11:00 PM

        fatcatt: your comments are spoken like a true naive Houston homer. Nothing wrong with being a homer (I’m one myself, but not for any Houston based teams), but from your posts you sound very suspiciously like a rotogeek, putting way too much stock in stats coming off of last season.

        Since you don’t think that I’ve “done my homework” before picking Pittsburgh to escape the NL Central cellar and for your Lastro’s to take it over, consider the following:

        Pittsburgh’s Offseason In Review:
        Major League Signings

        Kevin Correia, SP: two years, $8MM.
        Lyle Overbay, 1B: one year, $5MM.
        Matt Diaz, OF: two years, $4.25MM.
        Scott Olsen, SP: one year, $500K.
        Total spend: $17.75MM.
        Notable Minor League Signings

        Joe Beimel, Jose Veras, Andy Marte, Josh Fields, Garrett Atkins, Justin Thomas, Dusty Brown, Fernando Nieve, Donald Veal, Tyler Yates, Brian Burres, Jorge Julio, Wyatt Toregas
        
        Trades and Claims

        Acquired SP Cesar Valdez from Diamondbacks for SP Zach Duke
        Claimed SS Josh Rodriguez from Indians in Rule 5 draft
        Acquired IF/OF Corey Wimberly from Athletics for RP Ryan Kelly
        Claimed P Aaron Thompson off waivers from Nationals
        Acquired a player to be named later or cash considerations for P Joe Martinez

        Granted, none of these moves made a “big splash” this offseason, but what the Pirates were badly lacking, veteran leadership to help develop their kids, they got (including 3 veteran starting pitchers who don’t after all run the gauntlet like that of the AL East)!

    • paperlions - Mar 19, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      Everything went right for the Reds last year and they did nothing to improve their roster. They might hang around for a while, but I don’t see them lucking into another division title.

      • fatcatt - Mar 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM

        Oh and they have nothing to sell making your case less viable and your knowledge of that team is non existant. Lee. Possible. but contract and age work against him unless he has a better year. They sold last year. Where were you?

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    I love your optimism, Craig. I hope you’re right.

  7. spudchukar - Mar 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    If talent were the only deciding factor in a pennant chase, then the Cubs would probably get my vote too. However, the Northsiders will never “Outclass” any organization in the Central relegating them to a disappointing but deserving fourth place finish. The team motto should be “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  8. purdueman - Mar 18, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Anyone from Chicago knows that the real baseball fans there follow the White Sox, not the Flubs. Going to Wrigley Field is far more about the bars, the women who hang out in the bars, getting drunk before and during the games, chucking batteries, baseballs and coins at players from the bleachers (at both teams), yelling out potty mouthed obscenities, taking your shirt off (guys and fat chicks), and then urinating on the lawn in front of one of the neighboring houses/3 flats after the game. Baseball comes in a distant last.

    The Cubs manifest destiny though is to become the first team in the history of sports to have 100 consecutive losing seasons in the same home arena (which will happen soon in 2016). As is, they already hold a record likely to never be broken (certainly not in my lifetime, nor that of my childrens either), of having now had 102 consecutive losing seasons (this season will be #103), as the “Loveable Losers”.

    To be perfectly objective about this seasons prospects for the Flubs though, here’s my take. Vegas seldom is ever too far off from being right and they have the over/under for Flubs wins right now at 81.5. New manager Quayde strikes me as being a bit of a goof. Zambrano and Silva are both ticking time bombs. Soriano is a huge defensive liability and his offense has declined to the point to where Quayde plans on dropping him all the way to 7th in the order. Ramirez last season was one of just plain lazy play and disinterest.

    But the real problem for the Flubs this year will be a very questionable starting rotation (Matt Garza a #1? Pulh-ease!), and one of the most defensively challenged teams in baseball.

    Despite having a manager better known for his disgusting dirty toothpicks and sleeping during games than actually managing, Cincinnati is just too deep and too talented for the Flubs to overtake them. I’m not as sold on Milwaukee as most of the writers though, and St. Louis has clearly dropped a notch with Wainright now being out for the year (not to mention the lame duck status of Pujois). Pittsburgh should get out of the cellar and is in the position to play late season spoilers. Houston could lose 100 games.

    Bottom line? If Zambrano and Silva don’t melt down again the Flubs could make a run at 2nd place in the NL Central, but that consolation prize will be like kissing your sister instead of sleeping with Sandra Bullock, as I don’t see any way that the wild card team comes out of the NL Central.

  9. purdueman - Mar 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Have you all heard the GREAT news? ESPN is going to air a movie about Steve Bartman, the patron Saint of Chicago’s South Side baseball fans.

    In case you don’t remember Bartman, he was the johnny come lately bandwagon Flubs fan who interfered with Moises Alou on a foul ball down the line during game 6 of the 2006 NLCS, resulting in a faster nuclear meltdown on the part of the Flubbies than the Russians experienced at Chernobyl!

  10. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Mar 18, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Craig, somebody hacked your site and put up a video of you supposedly picking the Cubs to win the NL Central. The clue is that the guy got to play you isn’t near as good looking as you are. In fact, he’s kind of ugly.

    • purdueman - Mar 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM

      Cubs win anything? Bwahahahahahahahhaha!!!!

      • marinersnate - Mar 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM

        Purdue,

        We relise that you are a Chisox fan. But I think that you might be swinging a bit after the bell.

  11. brewcrewchamps - Mar 19, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    Dude, whatever.

  12. stairwayto7 - Mar 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    C= Chicagos
    U= Useless
    B= Baseball
    S= Seaon
    Cubs suck and always have. They will finsh 4th behind, Cards, Brewers and Reds.

  13. mossholder - Mar 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM

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    League ID is: 87135
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  14. fatcatt - Mar 19, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    I read the comments before I watched the video, and that told me all i needed to know about this guy. I see why NBC doesnt carry baseball. How many errors will Castro have this season. they have a .200 hitter at 1b. No 2B. And an injury prone 3B. Seriously dude u know nothing about Pujos if u think his contract is going to hang over this team. There hitting totally outclasses the cubs as does the Brewers. Speaking of doesnt pitching win games. The Cubs have nothing that compares to this rotation. And as I said u underestimate the Astros pitching and they can get by with their hitting. This was just a terrible piece of uninformed junk.

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