My 2nd half ATS performance so far has me thinking its October and I’m A-Rod striding to the dish with runners in scoring position. But don’t fret Homeboys, just like Darryl Strawberry I’m never gonna quit! Speaking of unique MLB personalities, it looks like the ornery/crusty hustling Jason Kendall will be fighting and scratching for the Cubbies post-season push. I career .300 hitter heading into the season, the 33 year-old Kendall has struggled mightily this year in Oakland (.226, 2 HR, 22 RBI), and I’m guessing GM Jim Hendry is hopeful a return to his old stompin’ grounds in the NL Central (Pirates 1996-2004) will be exactly what the feisty backstop needs. A lead-off hitter for most his career, the once speedy catcher has slowed considerably, but still can knock in a clutch run or lean into a pitch when needed. While I’m not as enamored with the move as most, if anything, at least we’re assured of watching another bench-clearing brawl in Chicago…the dude’s crazier than Nick Nolte in a Hawaiian shirt!
Moving on to more important things (no, not the NBA Summer League or an Asia Carrera sighting), it appears the Professional Pigskin Season is starting to stir-up some chatter not related to “Makin’ it Rain” or “Drivin’ Dirty”. In Chi-Town, we’ve already heard Tommie Harris request Donovan McNabb, Lance Briggs request Brian Urlacher money, and Urlacher’s baby’s momma request Brian take some child-rearing classes. As for Briggs, while I usually have more sympathy for football holdouts (injury risk vs non-guaranteed contracts), in this case, I hope Lance doesn’t have a TO complex and is simply bluffing about sitting-out. Take the 7.2 Million, get the Bears to guarantee they won’t franchise you next year, and take your solid (but not great) azz to the open market in 2008. For the Bears, if they have no plans to keep him after this season, I don’t understand why they didn’t pull the trigger on the Washington deal. While nobody really wins in this situation, it does remind me of the Chicken/Tractor battle in Footloose and I have a feeling Jerry Angelo’s shoelace is stuck!
And finally, what team is going to be 'Brittany Spears' enough to take Steve Francis. I don’t care if it’s for the veteran’s minimum (1.1 M), he’ll always give-up twice as many points as he scores and I guarantee his maligned-azz finds its way into a coaches doghouse by the All-Star break. Gotta roll fellaz, and once again, I apologize for my miserable performance on the diamond the last few days. But no need to pout like Stevie Franchise, you know I’m like Rocky Balboa…I always rise back up!
DETROIT TIGERS @ MINNESOTA TWINS
The Tigers will be looking to cool-off the hot Twins, who just swept a 4-game series with Oakland, and are now only 6 games out in the Central. The Twins, like the Cubs, are one of the few teams that hit worse against lefties and will be facing southpaw Nate Robertson (5-6, 4.92) who is coming-off 9 days of rest. As for Twins rookie Matt Garza, he hasn’t allowed a run in 8 innings pitched this year, but will be throwing in-front of the home crowd for the 1st time this season…so I expect him to be a little jittery. Not the ideal welcoming party with the best line-up in baseball coming to town…Tigers by 3-5 runs
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS @ CHICAGO CUBS (-135)
Baseball magic has hit Chi-Town and it doesn’t matter that a lefty will be pitching against Lou’s boys tonight. Not to mention, the AARP Giants are awful, looked demoralized after blowing-it in the 8th last night, and probably won’t risk putting Bonds out in left with the wet-grass tonight. Southpaws Barry Zito (6-9, 4.90) and Sean Marshall (4-3, 3.48) will be dealing tonight, and I’ll take my chances with 6-7 kid coming off 12-days of rest…Cubs by 3-5 runs