Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Astros and their fans: Whiners?

Nothing like starting your morning off with a healthy dose of blinding rage, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers (who tried to bait the Astros into signing Adam Dunn, remember).

I'm glad I didn't see this yesterday, or it would have made me a bit peeved.

Come on, Carlos. Do it again.

Wouldn't it be something if Zambrano could give the whining Houston Astros a second helping of no-hit stuff, this time in their own backyard?

Because owner Drayton McLane planned horribly with Hurricane Ike bearing down on his city last September, the Astros were bleary-eyed when Zambrano blew them away at Milwaukee's Miller Park. The game ended a 14-1 run that had taken an underachieving Houston team to the edge of the National League wild-card race. But that had little to do with Zambrano's magic, and it was weak for the Astros to overlook his excellence.

Zambrano can remind the Astros of that Monday night when he faces them in the 2009 opener at Minute Maid Park. He is trying his best not to stir up those memories, however....

....The no-hitter Sept. 14 was anything but normal. But it was just as valid as any of the other 256 official no-hitters in history, even if that point was lost on the victims.

Rather than tip their caps to Zambrano or ask McLane why he didn't accept Major League Baseball's offer to fly players and their families to a neutral site at least 36 hours before Ike's landfall, the Astros complained about the series being moved to Wrigley North on short notice....

....Anything can happen when Zambrano starts, including some things that qualify as baseball magic. No excuses necessary.

I understand. I really do. But it seems like it just keeps coming up. Yep, Run-DMc mishandled it. Yep, Major League Baseball mishandled it.

But maybe the Cubs do their fair share of whining, too.

The last Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, New York - at least in its former format - was to feature the Cubs and Padres last June. Yet...

Piniella has been to the Hall of Fame Game before as a player and as a manager. But he didn't want to be here, not with the Cubs heading to his hometown of Tampa, a rare day off lost to a meaningless game as far as the standings are concerned.

"We're in a tough stretch of games. And we're on the road a lot this month," Piniella said outside the Cubs' dugout. "Truthfully, if you had your druthers you'd rather have the day off. But again, we were chosen to be here. San Diego was chosen to be here. And here we are. And we're happy to accommodate the best way we can. We understand it. We saw the enthusiasm," Piniella said. "I understand the significance of the game. And I understand it's an inconvenience for the teams involved. For me, I could have had a day off in my hometown today."

The Cubs' travels were indeed a hardship: a flight from Toronto to Albany, N.Y., then a 90-minute bus ride, then a return trip to Albany before heading on to Florida—all on Monday.

Do you think that if the Cubs were on the bidness end of a no-hitter in Tampa the next day, that might not have come up? Or do the Cubs just get pissed any time they're asked to do something historic? What do you say, Phil Rogers, Chief Apologist?

You couldn't blame players if they complained about the weekend trip to New York, especially given a schedule that doesn't include a home game until April 13, after six games in Houston and Milwaukee. But these guys seem to understand that their mission is to win games while being professional.

Oh, yeah, the weekend trip to New York, where they were asked to be the first team to play in the new Yankee Stadium. What a drag.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Milo mentioned that article in the radio broadcast yesterday. (via my new MLB.com app on the iphone- which is GREAT by the way) He also mentioned that the cubs were 8-9 against the Astros last year.