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Missing In The Action
by Derek Smart
When I do recaps, I don't like to rehash the events of the day or even "tell the story of the game," as I figure if you're obsessed enough to read this little ditty you've likely either seen the contest in question or already perused what the fishwrap beat writers penned.
I prefer to do the things that mainstream writers lack the space or mandate to tackle - detailed observations of key plays, breakdowns of tactical brilliance/idiocy, or simply mentioning something that caught my eye and either linking it to a bigger idea, or making an unfortunate joke.
There's an obvious freedom in this, but it also comes with certain restrictions - the main one being lack of access both to the team and to the games themselves beyond that afforded any other fan. This was brought home with force last night as I attempted to find the game on my television, only to be confronted with the twin horrors of NBA Basketball and White Sox Baseball.
It seems that last night was one where Comcast SportsNet had the rights to both of the evening's local baseball games - both with approximately 7:00 CDT start times - and this is normally not an issue since the network uses the Chicago cable news channel (CLTV) to broadcast overflow games like these.
However, last night was also Game 5 of the Bulls playoff series versus the Wizards - a series which Comcast SportsNet has been broadcasting no matter what other coverage was offered by alternate outlets. True to form, the main Comcast SportsNet station on the dial carried the Bulls game - which was also being covered by TNT - and the secondary Comcast SportsNet station took on the White Sox tilt.
I won't argue about what should have been shown and what shouldn't have (although, my vote for what should have been shunted aside is pretty obviously with the inferior sport whose contest was readily available on another network), but the end result explains why I have so little to say about what the Cubs did last night. Observation based comments suffer unimaginably when confronted with a lack of observable material.
Of course, the bit that the television gods deemed proper for me to view consisted almost entirely of the Cubs being thoroughly handcuffed by Derrick Turnbow (by the way, Der(r)[i]ek's of the world, can we all get together and decide on one freakin' spelling, here? Mothers the world over making placecards for their children's birthday parties are going insane, I tell you!), followed by the incredibly predictable result of Roberto Novoa's wild and crazy outing.
It's become clear to me during his short stint in Cubland that Novoa is a younger version of Kyle Farnsworth, sans painted-on pants and legions of Trixie groupies. He has the same heat, the same odd fascination with his slider, and the same inability to locate either one of them consistently.
I'd rather have Novoa at this point, but that has more to do with his youth and my inability to handle one more moment of Farnsworth's hair than any real confidence that he'll become something more than the man he was traded for.
This afternoon features Greg Maddux against Gary Glover, and with both of these gentlemen's tendency to send balls to uncertain fates over the fences that loom behind them, we could see some fireworks out of this matchup. That is, if the Cubs manage to leave their ass-bats at home.