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Thursday, October 7

I feel better about one thing

I was going to take somewhat of a rest from blogging, but I had to share with you an interview I heard while running lunchtime errands that involved The Francheezie, Mark Prior.

As they go, it was some of the most informative and exaplanatory radio I've heard in some time, even when you consider that I had to somehow block out the shifty-assed, mumbling Boers and Bernsie of THE SCORE (capitialized for emphasis, for any old-time Score fans who remember Bernsie as a mere cub reporter).

First and most importantly, they asked him about what role the a) achilles, b) elbow, and c) his mind played this season. Basically he said the following:

The achilles was the first problem. He should have let it heal longer. He started throwing in the bullpen too soon. He was NOT pressured to throw, other than by himself. He wanted to make it for opening day. He overcompensated for the achilles, which strained his elbow, which caused tendinitis. The elbow was, in the long run, more destructive than the achilles.

When he came back, because of the elbow pain, he was on a pitch count. He doesn't like to think about pitch counts. At this point in his career, he just wants to pitch, and when he is allowed to "pitch his game", he usually finds himself in the 7th inning at around 100 pitches. But he was always aware of the pitch counts, and he was trying to economize pitches without really knowing how. This accounted for the number of walks he gave up.

After the Hurricane layoff, his elbow healed sufficiently to where he could pitch without a count, which was liberating to him, and yes, he pitched much better as a result.

THEREFORE, it does not sound like there is anything permanently wrong with him, which to me is a MAJOR relief.

Next, they asked him about Sammy Sosa, whether or not he was right, whether he owes the team an apologi.

He basically said he does, IF he comes back.

At about this time, I'm waving my hands in the air, like I just don't care.

They then asked about the wisdom of the whole Dusty Baker "us vs. them" atmosphere.

Francheezie said that he didn't really see the need for that kind of "distraction", which is the very best answer he could have possibly given.

Prior doesn't make himself available much during the season, which is OK since he IS still young, and especially when he is fighting injury. On the other hand, Kerry Wood is always there for you, as befits a man with 6+ years of experience. But Wood never really cops to the problems in the locker room. He went the whole year insisting that all was well, that he never really noticed any problems, that everybody was on board, on the same page, rowing in the same direction, and about twenty other cliches. He did say that guys "crap in their hats" to cure headaches, which was funny.

Wood learned from the Master of Mediocrity, Mark Grace. Gracie would ALWAYS talk into a microphone, and he would always insist all was well, an assertion that was completely trashed in Ryne Sandberg's book, which outlined locker room divisions between Sammy and the Latins and Grace and the White Guys. An astute observation, considering he wrote it in red crayon.

Oh, I kid, because he can't read.

So what did we learn today?

1) Prior is going to be fine next year, God willing.
2) Sammy is a piece of shit that is most likely due to be flushed.
3) The whole Cub Paranoia of 2004 was NOT appreciated by Those who Matter.

OH, I can't wait until the World Series is over, so the shit can finally hit the fan.