[from Friday, King Cub, Jim Edmonds, having the best Card-turned-Cub career since Dizzy Dean.]
First, special shout out, all respect is due, etc., to the Cubs’ new best friend, Peter Gammons. Rather than spend an evening at The Cell, Gammons visited Wrigley Sunday. There he used his HoF/ESPN cred to extol Cub Chairman Crane Kenny and portray Mark Cuban as the de facto owner and Only Future of the still-for-sale franchise. Looking for new band mates, Pete? Gammons announced that the Cubs, as one of the only three truly national teams in baseball, were about to finally jump from the 1950s into the 21st Century and take full advantage of new media. Good news, cuz the “new” WGN is still touting Bewitched reruns. Anyway, if Gammons’ recent treatment of Manny Ramirez is any indication of the future, Cub players better get used to looking over their shoulder. As to Cuban, we can only hope he will snag the Cubs. He’s apparently looking for Chicago area partners, as reported in Crain’s Chicago Business. Bud Selig prefers local owners for teams, apparently to mirror his own massive success with the Brewers of the 80s and 90s. Rob, got any cash to invest in the future?
[from L: Cub enthusiast #1, Peter Gammons]
As to the game itself, an Ozzie Guillien approved all-male revue defeathered the Cards in a 6-2 display of big league ball. Ryan Dempster threw 112 pitches and governed with a 1-0 lead for six innings. The highlight of which came in the 4th via King Cub Jim Edmonds. With two men on and two out, Edmonds made a spectacular diving catch for a sinking-like-Favre bloop to shallow center field. Another Ozzie approved aspect to this weekend get-away for the Cards were the histrionics between Edmonds and his former manager in STL, Tony Walnuts. Edmonds clocked 2 HRs in Friday’s game, and after the first flipped his bat at the Cards’ dug-out. The Cards responded by pelting Zambrano Saturday, in possibly his worst defeat this season. Sunday, Edmonds also offered up not only his 4th inning gem, but a leaping basket catch, an eeked-out walk from Cris Carpenter, and forcing his way to first after a fielding error by Adam Kennedy. All in all, it resulted in Edmonds’ second standing ovation from Wrigley this weekend. Also worthy: Aramis Ramirez’ late inning, bare-handed catch at 3rd, sent to Derrek Lee for an off-the-bag tag out at 1B.
Carpenter’s return from Tommy John surgery was marred by a tricep strain, and on a 1-1 count against the Cardinal’s wayward son, Edmonds, La Russa pulled him. The Cubs further marred the exit with a 5-run six inning begun with Kennedy’s error. As far as the mercurial Cubbie bullpen of late, Piniella played out the last three innings by advertising the depth of his closing staff. Samardzija took the ball from Dempster to finish the 6th. Kerry Wood struggled against his collection of comic ailments to fan the 8th. And Carlos Marmol hung up the “Closed” sign and put on the night light at Wrigley to send the Cards off 7 games behind. Samardzija showed the first nerves I’ve seen in him so far when he took the mound against Albert Pujols and Pujols doubled to score a run. True, Samardzija was just out of the pen, and he quickly got it under control.