Thursday, August 25, 2011

Carlos Hustle

God DAMN was it a beautiful day for a ballgame today. Even one with the Cubs in it. The result was the same as ever (a few Braves home runs, several stranded Cubs runners), but it was everything a businessman might hope for from a Businessman's Special—though I have to say I don't see many businessmen at these affairs, unless businessmen have taken to looking like every other slob on the street, which I suppose they have.

Anyway, things got off to a rocky start. The Cubs have shown a remarkably consistent inability to execute the basics. Have you heard of those crazy plays where the ball is hit near the first baseman, so the pitcher has to cover first base to get the runner out? Apparently, these are still novelties in the Cubs' world.

Which reminds me, anyone care to give me an over/under on the date of Mike Quade's departure? I keep thinking of the tabloid headline near the end of Don Nelson's run as coach of the Knicks: "PLEASE FIRE ME."

I will say, though, that Carlos Pena played his ass off today. He was two-for-four, with two strikeouts, but he was hustling after balls, diving headfirst into first base,* and in general taking on the role of Guy Who Will Show Starlin Castro How to Play Hard. It was a nice display on a gorgeous day—the kind of day that makes you feel good to be a pig fan.

* Yes, I know diving into first is a really good way to dislocate something. But it still shows heart.

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