Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game

Tuesday marks the 10 year anniversary of Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game. I was there, sitting in my regular seats, freezing my butt off that day.

I must confess, I didn't recognize at first the magnitude of what I was watching. I remember thinking, "boy he's got a lot of strikeouts," but I had no idea he had as many as he did.

At one point I leaned forward and tapped the shoulder of the guy sitting in front of me. He was listening to the game on the radio.

"How many strikeouts does Wood have?" I asked him.

"12," he answered.

That's when I really started paying attention. The Astros, it should be noted, were in first place, and had a very formidable lineup that day including Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell, and Moises Alou.

You could almost feel the ballpark catching on to what was happening, slowly but surely. With each successive strikeout, the cheers got louder and louder. This might have been the most dominating performance in baseball history. The Astros only managed to hit it out of the infield twice, two weak fly balls. Wood only allowed two runners, a squib infield hit by Ricky Gutierez, and a hit-by-pitch to Craig Biggio.

In the ninth, the few thousand of us who braved the really horrible weather conditions to stay, all rose to our feet as Wood struck out pinch hitter Billy Spiers for his 19th strikeout. We applauded when Biggio grounded out.

And we roared when Wood struck out Derek Bell to end the game.

20 strikeouts.

A game I'll never forget.

Listen to some of the audio highlights here

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ugly Baseball Card Blog

I was tipped off to this blog by reader JH. I think it's a great idea. The blog is called The Ugly Baseball Card Blog. I think readers of JOBC might get a kick out of it.

Fukudome Cover of S.I.

Will it be a jinx? By the way, Jay Mariotti reports today in the Sun-Times that the Japanese script is supposed to say "It's gonna happen," but Fukudome himself translated it as "It's an accident."

Anyone out there speak Japanese who can either confirm or deny if the translation is correct?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lee Elia-palooza

You gotta hand it to Lee Elia. For years he fought against being defined by his rant, but this year on the 25th anniversary (which is today by the way), he has decided to embrace it.

He has been all over the place, not just locally, but nationally. Here's a handful of links to stories about Lee. Enjoy...

The Canadian Press: Former Cubs manager Lee Elia has new rant for Chicago fans

CNBC: Former Cubs Manager Cashes In On Tirade

The San Diego Union Tribune: It's silver anniversary for silver-tongued Elia

Once again, here's our cleaned up, fully-bleeped version of the original rave out: AUDIO

Also, I found this take on that day very interesting. This is about the arguments that went on inside the Tribune's newsroom about how to cover it. Read Fred Mitchell's column today.

By the way, those of you wondering about that Cubs baseball card, it's true, Lee did play for the Cubs in 1968. He was a middle infielder, and got 17 ABs, 3 hits, 3 RBI, and was eventually traded to the New York Yankees in April of 1969 for Nate Oliver (below). Elia never made it back to the majors as a player, but Oliver was a key bench player for the 1969 Cubs.