Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by alex ciepley
There are only two sporting events that make me as nervous-nauseous-freaky as watching the Cubs in critical games: Olympic Women's Figure Skating and Women's Gymnastics. (If I hadn't outed myself before, I certainly would have just now.) So I traded my Cubbish craziness—and it certainly helps that Extra Innings once again didn't carry the Cubs game, thanks—for some uneven bar mania. I couldn't believe the U.S. team left Courtney McCool off all the apparatuses, and was a little bummed to see the team finish with a silver, but at least we didn't have to listen to that sick skeezball John Tesh go on about "little girls floating through the night, little girls tumbling in our dreams", a la 1996.
It's a good thing that I have the Olympics and its Yurchenkos entries, straddled Shaposhnikovas, and double-twisting Khorkinas to distract me. The Eastern Europeans aren't the only ones to have sporting maneuvers named after them; the Cubs are quickly catching up.
A Sammy Swinging Release
A baseball swing that is so hard and violent it threatens to create a small windstorm; occasional contact can result in long home runs, but the usual result is a humbling walk back to the dugout.
A Twisting Farnsworth
When you throw your flattened-out heater to the plate and have to twist around to watch the resulting fly ball clear the outfield fence.
A Diving Grudciaparralek
When a middle infielder shows off his "range" by hitting the dirt in a vain effort to snag a weak dribbler through the infield.
An Alou Two-Second Set
When your at-bat is over faster than you can say "Patterson"; often due to a grounder to the left side.
A Hibernating Bear Routine
When one of the most talented teams in the league keeps topping itself in finding creative ways to lose its battle for a playoff spot.
It's been a frustrating week and a half, to say the least. Yeah, the Cubs could use one more bullpen arm, but there really isn't much else to be done to improve this team. I could trot out the run differentials and one-run unlucky losses as proof in the puddin' that the Cubs are actually not only more talented than their opposition but actually have been performing better than the other guys and just can't catch a break, but what's the point? The Cubs refuse to run away with the Wild Card, content to let two mediocre teams pass them by. If they keep up this uninspired play, I won't even have to worry about being crazy-rattled-freakish come October.