Tuesday, August 31, 2004  
George W. Bush Called Me

Well, actually, a recorded message of George W. Bush was played by an automated calling system, but it counts. Since I just registered to vote one month ago I was still most recently registered as a Texan, even though I moved two years ago. "Mr. Bush" was reminding me to fill out my voter absentee ballot so that I could vote for him.
I don't know what would give him the idea that he would receive my vote, since I never voted for one republican during my ten years as a Texan. But it was nice to get a call from America's Silliest President.

The Cubs have a 3.83 ERA, 3rd in the majors and the league, this season (STL & ATL).
They've allowed 535 runs -- behind only STL and LA in all of the majors.
They're 10th in the majors in OPS (.790) and 4th in the NL.
They're 15th in the majors in runs scored (640), but 6th in the NL.

They have a run differential of +105; better than the division-leading Yankees, Twins, A's, and Dodgers, the same as the Braves, and behind only the Cardinals.

They have a guy that players, fans, other managers, and the blowhards in the media generally agree is one of the best managers in the game.

Over the past two months, Greg Maddux has been our most effective starter:
7-2 in 11 starts, 74.2 IP, 63 H, 22 ER, 9 HR, 11 BB, 50 K, 2.65 ERA.
Kerry Wood
4-3, 9 starts, 53.2 IP, 52 H, 17 ER, 9 HR, 25 BB, 50 K, 2.85 ERA.
Carlos Zambrano
4-5, 10 starts, 66.1 IP, 56 H, 26 ER, 4 HR, 30 BB, 60 K, 3.53 ERA.
Matt Clement
2-6, 11 starts, 55.2 IP, 59 H, 31 ER, 13 HR, 33 BB, 71 K, 5.01 ERA.
Mark Prior
2-2, 10 starts, 51.2 IP, 56 H, 30 ER, 10 HR, 27 BB, 60 K, 5.23 ERA.

Factoring that and the players' season numbers, I'd go Zambrano - Wood - Maddux - Clement in the postseason (if it started tomorrow), with Prior coming in if any of them has a bad first couple of innings.

AAA Report:
Joe Borowski: 4 appearances, 0-2, 4 2/3 innings, 5 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 11.57 ERA. His first outing he got rocked, but he hasn't exactly been Bruce Sutter since.
Richard Lewis is hittin' .245 in 98 AB with Iowa, 7 2b, 2 HR after .329-10hr, 59rbi in AA. He's 24 now, so it looks like he might be a better major league contributor off the bench than guys like Gookie Dawkins, Damian Jackson, and Neifi Perez. Oh, and Russ Johnson, Bill Selby, Benji Gil, Denny Hocking, and Ricky Gutierrez. All of whom are, you guessed it, proud Iowa Cubs.
Poor Jason Dubois. .314, 28-90 with 25 doubles and the Cubs can't find room for him. At least they haven't brought up Trenidad Hubbard or Calvin Murray. Geez, AAA is almost never used as a developmental level any more; that is not good company.
Michael Wuertz: 2.66 ERA, 17 sv, 29 H, 15 BB, 54 K. There's hope for the kid yet.

UPDATE: Looks like the Cubs have bolstered Iowa's catching crew for some reason. Chicagosports.com is reporting that Mike DeFelice was acquired from the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later. Hopefully that player to be named is Mike DeFelice.

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