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The [Friday] Papers

LOOKING FOR OUR CUBS SONG? HERE IT IS . . . "PLEASE STOP BELIEVING!"

*

"If you saw just one moment, one play, from this game or this series, the full-count pitch from Ted Lilly to Chris Young in the second inning Thursday night would satisfy outcome and circumstance, pathos and bravado," Nick Piecoro writes in the Arizona Republic.

"It was a snapshot moment in a series that feels decidedly one-sided, particularly after the Diamondbacks' 8-4 triumph against the Chicago Cubs, a victory that gives them a 2-0 lead in this best-of-five National League Division Series.

"Young's three-run home run barely had left his bat, the ball not even on its descent into the left-field bleachers, when Lilly yanked his glove off his right hand and fired it into dirt.

"Triumph and jubilation for the Diamondbacks, failure and frustration for the Cubs. The moment epitomized a series that could come to an abrupt end in Game 3 on Saturday, when the Diamondbacks will hand the ball to their most experienced pitcher, Livan Hernandez, a former World Series MVP."

And here I thought the two games the Cubs would win in this series would be the ones started by Ted Lilly.

The Goat
It'd have to be Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs' $136 million man.

He's 2-for-10, he's left five men on base, and he made a key defensive miscue last night. "Soriano misjudged a catchable ball at the wall later in the inning to give Eric Byrnes an RBI triple, and by the time Lilly got out of the inning, he had already thrown 58 pitches," Paul Sullivan writes in the Tribune.

COMMENT FROM JOEL REESE 1:15 P.M.: You forgot the worst thing about Soriano last night: He was held to a single because he was admiring a sure home run . . . that actually bounced off the wall.

Not that Sweet Lou has had a great series so far, either. Not only did he appear to pull Carlos Zambrano too early on Wednesday night (or fail to pinch-hit for him the inning before he was taken out) and leave Lilly in too long - for a playoff game - last night, but he let his team get dejected.

"As the Cubs took the field in the fifth inning, former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, now an analyst for the D'backs radio broadcasts, blasted them for having 'bad body language' and for hanging their heads," Sullivan writes.

"'They're looking at their toes instead of being on their toes' Grace told his radio audience."

Sorry Soriano
"Alfonso Soriano has heard over and over that he's not a good fit for the leadoff spot, and that he would be better off down in the order where the Cubs could take more advantage of his power," the Tribune reports.

"'People don't realize that the only at-bat leading off an inning is the first one,' he said."

Yes, but the leadoff man gets more at-bats than anyone else on the team. That means he has more chances than anyone to get on base. It might even mean he's the one you need to get on base to have a chance at the end of a game. So on-base percentage is most important for those at the top of the order. The ability to drive in runners on base, then, becomes important for those in the next section of the order. And that is where, by the way, Derrek Lee has left six men on base and Aramis Ramirez has left eight men on base in this series so far. That's not going to get you to the World Series.

Beachwood Cubs Coverage
* Some Cub fans are upset at the so-called bias of TBS. I say they just can't handle the truth.

* Marty's Game 2 Take: At least there is no second-guessing in a game with on guessing at all. In The Cub Factor.

Flag Folly
Barack Obama's decision to take off his American flag lapel pin after 9/11 hardly deserves the front-page treatment the Sun-Times so cynically gives it. The Tribune put its story on the flap on page 14. Sometimes sobriety is a virtue in newspapering.

But the Sun-Times doesn't stop there. Its new, so-called "progressive, independent conscience" of an editorial page slams Obama with all the logic and reason of . . . the Sun-Times editorial page.

"Obama has worked hard to stake out a centrist position, but his polarizing comments [about the flag pin] make him sound like a hardened leftist," the paper says.

Oh, for Pete's sake!

I only wish Obama would have stated his case with more passion. American flag lapel pins as an affirmation of patriotism are about as genuine and meaningful as Mayor Daley's calls for reform after every scandal he escapes from. What's next, loyalty oaths?

The final irony is that it was the Sun-Times that slapped its own flag lapel on its front page after 9/11 as it exploited patriotic fervor to sell newspapers, and then played America's Cheerleader to this horrible mistake of a war with twisted coverage ordered from on high and abetted by its current editor-in-chief, among others, for which it still has neither explained nor apologized.

A greater show of patriotism would have been to produce honest, quality journalism. That's what serves America and democracy best. And that's Obama's point; it's about your deeds, not your pins.

Bottoms Up
You loved her letter to the Chicago Children's Museum, now see what Cate Plys has to say about all those smiley butt ads plastered over the Internet. In fact, catch up on all her Open Letters. They're really good.

Judging Daley
"Every federal judge in Chicago is learning that it's folly to trust the Pinocchio-nosed lawyers from the City of Chicago," the Tribune editorial page says this morning.

"When attorneys make pledges to federal judges, those attorneys are duty-bound to tell the whole truth.

"Unless, apparently, the attorneys represent Chicago's City Hall."

I appeared on Chicago Tonight last night to talk about this issue in the context of the city's broken pledge to make the list of police officers with excessive force complaints available at least to aldermen. I didn't get a chance, however, to name Georges as the Alberto Gonzales of Chicago; her loyalty to the mayor supercedes her loyalty to the public that pays her salary and is her true client. So I'm doing that now.

Or, as U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen put it: "Sometimes I think when we get involved in grand plans with each other, loyalty gets to be a virtue that floats towards the top. But any time loyalty or what one thinks is loyalty floats above integrity, one makes a very substantial moral misjudgment."

Kool-Aid Report
What with the Cubs, it's been easy to forget it's Packer Week. Our very own Eric Emery tastes from the Green & Gold Kool-Aid and reports back.

The Beachwood Reporter Tip Line: Stay gold.



Permalink

Posted on October 5, 2007


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - The Terror And Rights Violations Of Obama's Deportees.
SPORTS - Saturday's 'Greatest Horse Since Secretariat.'

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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