Saturday, May 16, 2009

Random thoughts after a rainout

Judd Sirott is not very good. For those who don't often listen to Cubs games on WGN Radio, Sirott fills in for Pat Hughes during the fifth inning of every game (side note: what does Hughes do during the fifth inning? I like to imagine he does something weird, like scarf down four chili dogs, or sit on the toilet for 20 minutes reading Elizabethan Era poetry), and serves as host for the pregame and postgame shows. Sirott had been the play-by-play man for the Chicago Wolves, but this year replaced Cory Provis, who now suffers eternal torment in the seat next to Bob Uecker, the most overrated announcer in sports.

Sirott's voice grates on my ears a bit, and you often don't know what's happening until the play is over. For example, Sirott said Thursday that Soriano "cranked" one high in the air, a popout to second. When Soriano's batting, and a radio announcer says the pitch is "cranked," you immediately assume he put a charge into it, not that he hit a high fly ball on the infield.

Another example of poor announcing: On a 3-0 pitch to Soto on Thursday, Sirott said "Got him! That's a strike." You can't "get" someone on a 3-0 pitch. It's not fair to compare Sirott to Pat Hughes, because Hughes is quite possibly the best announcer in sports (seriously), and he has a way of painting a picture of each play as it's happening. But while no fifth inning fill-in could match the standard set by Hughes, Sirott is a below average hire if you ask me. And if you're wondering, Judd is the nephew of WGN radio host Bob Sirott.

Ownership situation
From Jayson Stark's latest column:

"The Cubs' ownership limbo now looks as if it might stretch until Christmas Eve. So who knows whether Cubs GM Jim Hendry will even be released from captivity in time to pursue another Peavy deal come July."

What the h-e-double hockey sticks? According to the Chicago Tribune, several factors are holding up the deal, including the recession and the financial-sector meltdown. Tom Ricketts plans to borrow about $500 million of the $900 million price, and that's difficult to do in this economy. But gimme a break--how long can this thing drag on?

To be honest, the guess here is that if Jim Hendry wants to go after somebody--be it Peavy or someone else--he'll have the flexibility to do so. But the fact that this deal is moving slower than Kirstie Alley through a buffet line is getting frustrating.

Filling the seats
The Cubs lead the majors in putting people in the seats. While Boston and Philadelphia have filled a higher percentage of their seats at home, the Cubs have the highest percentage when you combine road games. On average, the Cubs play in stadiums that are 91% filled. For comparison's sake, the first-place Blue Jays play in stadiums that are 46% filled. The Cubs have finished in the top three in this attendance statistic every year since 2001.

For the record, the Cubs are filling 96% of their seats at Wrigley, third in the majors. The new stadiums in New York are seeing just 92% (Mets) and 85% (Yankees) of their seats filled.

Minor matters
Jake Fox continues to rip the cover off the ball. In 30 games, he's batting .420 with 15 HR and 44 RBI. He leads the Pacific Coast League in all three categories, and has 24 more total bases (107 in just 30 games!) than the player with the next highest total.

MLB notes
I found this story interesting. What would you do if you caught someone's first home run?

From the Tribune Monday.


  1. That's funny -- I imagine Pat scarfing down those chili dogs while he's on the toilet reading Elizabethan Era poetry.

    To answer your question about what I'd do with a valuable home run ball, I'd negotiate for some chili dogs and Elizabethan Era poetry.

  2. Kirstie Alley would want just the chili dogs.

  3. You HAVE to give the player his first home run ball; there should be no negotiations. I hope Bobby Scales got his.

  4. My dad, who follows all things Pat & Ron, thinks he goes and eats a tuna sandwich. (Apparently there was some schtick about him flossing tuna onto Ron's "trousers" on the Pat & Ron Best of CD that my dad owns.)