If I told you that one of the Cubs’ starting pitchers wrestled a pit bull, beat the tobacco juice out of his manager, has 15-win stuff, and was described as fearless by Michael Barrett, you’d probably say, “You’re trying to mislead me into thinking you’re talking about Carlos Zambrano, but you’re clearly describing Ted Lilly.” That would wipe that smug look off my stupid face.
The truth is that the Cubs may have the craziest #1 and #2 starting pitchers in baseball. Even if their #2 is really a #4 and their #1 makes other #1’s #2 in their size #34 pants.
Unlike Zambrano with his wild eyes, animated movements, and screaming, fist-pumping mannerisms, Ted Lilly is a more terrifying type of crazy. With Zambrano, you know what you get. If you can’t see that Zambrano is one fender bender away from a murderous rampage, it’s your own fault. Follow the two second rule (four on the highway), drive at a safe distance, don’t look him directly in the eyes, and you shouldn’t have any problems with Zambrano.
Lilly, on the other hand, appears calm and normal on the surface. He’s a quiet guy. In fact, he doesn’t ever open his mouth. Ever. Even when he pitches.
Probably because it’s harder to grind your teeth with bottled-up rage when you have to open your mouth 100 times a game.
Lilly is that one friend who destroys a vending machine because it didn’t give him correct change. And when he’s done destroying it, he cuts himself with the broken pieces. He’s the guy who you don’t want to tell you’re having trouble with your boss, because he’ll say something like, “I’ll take care of it,” finish his beer, and disappear for three weeks. Along with your boss. He’s the guy who could make his eyes roll back in his head when he was a kid, and when you’d ask him to stop, he wouldn’t, so you got scared and started crying. And once he smelled your tears he got really scary.
But at least he’s on our side now, half of a 1-2 punch that would be as happy throwing you a fastball as he would be hunting you for sport. Hooray?
- Gordon Wittenmyer (where the hell did this guy come from?) talks about the three candidates for the fifth starter job, Mark Prior, Wade Miller, and Neil Cotts. If nothing else, the article will make you realize that everyone is counting on Jason Marquis to be the fourth starter. Perfect!
- As if you thought the juvenile idiocy of the “Tribune on Trial” series being run by the Sun-Times couldn’t get worse, the Score’s Mike Murphy is interviewed for this installment. It’s more annoying if you read it in Murph’s voice.
- John McDonough discusses the pressure of winning after spending $300M (no more than usual), dying before Wrigley Field is torn down (he will), the Tribune selling the Cubs (he knows nothing), and getting yelled at by Bud Selig for spending a lot of money (he did).
- Humble 4th-year manager Ozzie Guillen tries to explain to 20th-year manager Lou Piniella how to manage.
- Prior and Wood are still not hurt. Figures. The one time an injury to Prior would probably help the team, he’s going to make 33 starts, win 4 games, and post a 5.83 ERA.
- It’s never too early for Lou to bitch out the team. Even during Spring Training.