CORRECTION: Dickey mistook a fake Facebook account for a real one. We've taken down the image of the fake Facebook page, removed the disparaging commentary based on the fake Facebook page, and assigned Dickey to the mutton-bustin' desk. We apologize for the error.
What we watched: Wow. The Cubs can go lower. Earlier this week, manager Mike Quade was detained and frisked at an airport. Then, once-reliable closer Carlos Marmol melted down, and was sent toward the minors. Chicago won its next game against Florida, yeah, but then came Saturday's stinker. And, oh, it was a stinker.
Keep in mind that Chicago was facing the 44-49 Marlins, who wouldn't even be 44-49 had they not had an effortless four-game sweep of Houston before the break.
Mighty Carlos Zambrano pitched thusly: 4 ⅔ innings, seven hits, four walks, two homers. Whimpering Javier Vazquez, pitching for Florida, did this: seven innings, four hits, no walks, ten strikeouts. It should not surprise that Zambrano allowed eight runs to Vazquez's three. (All three came on an Aramis Ramirez homer.)
And the rest of Chicago's staff—in particular Ramon Ortiz and Jeff Samardzija—got hit, too, in large part because they are Ramon Ortiz and Jeff Samardzija. Florida won, 13-3, giving Chicago its seventh loss in its last ten games.
The Cubs, unlike Florida, have not canned a manager yet. They aren't even in full-on surrender mode, what with Ramirez and Carlos Pena, their only two valuable chips, still on the roster. But Chicago is 38-57 with a lineup and rotation that reek of false hope. Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, and Alfonso Soriano start for the Cubs—that's a combined 102 years on this earth. The outfielders that play in Wrigley are older than Wrigley itself.
Chicago needs to give up and start over, to ship Ramirez and Pena and any other valuable veteran (I cannot think of any) to contenders with a couple prospects. There's no reason to hold this bunch together. Anything would make for better baseball.
What we're watching: Japan-USA, the Women's World Cup final, is at 2:45 p.m. EDT, from Germany. USA's a fairly heavy favorite. And the British Open is on television. 40-something Darren Clarke is in the lead. But it is golf, after all, so you might as well get some sun and cook some hot dogs, or something. Then we're watching Breaking Bad at 10 p.m., on AMC, because it's the best show on television and you'd be a fool to miss the first episode in over a year. (And we'd say that even if they weren't Deadspin sponsors. But they are. Even better.)
Just stay away from Aroldis Chapman: "Matt Lentz thought his athletic career was over a little more than a year ago when he made the heart-wrenching decision to give up his football career at Kentucky because of a string of concussions. But Lentz, 22, has been awarded a second chance at an athletic career, but not in football. Reviving an old love, Lentz will resurrect his athletic career with the Cincinnati Reds organization." [Cat Scratches, h/t Matt]
So it's doubly more interesting than the MLB playoffs, then: "The pressure is sure to build. The knockout competition at Koshien is like the World Cup. The country is transfixed for weeks on the tournament, held each spring as an invitational and each summer in a regional qualifying format. But this year's pursuit has extra meaning because of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan four months ago. About 15 miles inland, Tohoku High escaped major physical damage. Several players lost relatives and had their homes swept away. The team's planned trip to the spring tournament a week after the disasters was also in flux." [NYT]
Oh, please: "New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said his team needs to use multiple signs even when there is no one on base at Rogers Centre because the Blue Jays "could be" stealing signs using illegal methods. "Sometimes we have inclinations that certain things might be happening in certain ballparks and we are aware of it and we try to protect our signs," Girardi said. On Friday, in a 7-1 loss to Toronto, Girardi ordered catcher Russell Martin to put down multiple signs even when there was no one on base. Starter Freddy Garcia and Martin believed it threw off the pitcher's rhythm." [ESPN New York]
Rickie Fowler is pretty good, inexplicably: "Hailed as the present and future of golf after his romp at the United States Open, Rory McIlroy has not even been the best mop-topped 22-year-old at this British Open. After three days of taking turns at the tees at Royal St. George's with Rickie Fowler, there is still no visible rift between them, but there is quite a generation gap on the leader board: six shots in favor of Fowler." [NYT]
Freestyle Turkey Deep-Frying Interlude:
Zut alors: "Down a player for almost 15 minutes after Josefine Oqvist was sent off for kicking Sonia Bompastor in the chest, Sweden won a corner kick that the French managed to clear at the near post. But the ball popped out to Hammarstrom, who faked out a defender with a small side-volley, touched the ball a second time and then let fly with a thunderous left-footed strike from the edge of the box. It was Hammarstrom's first-ever goal for Sweden, and it allowed the Swedes to do the hippity-hoppity dance that's become their trademark one last time." [Soccernet]
We are all Dave McKenna CXLVIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting every day until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets eaten by a baby.
Get Wambach: "Whoever's hitting the ball, they have Abby Wambach to aim at: that's the American trump card against a defense that hasn't yet had to deal with a truly comparable forward. "She is the best target striker I've ever worked with," Western New York Flash technical director Emma Hayes, formerly a consultant at Washington Freedom, told SI.com. Wambach is happy to win pretty but mostly she wants to win. "Abby wants to be in the record books and carries the weight of expectation better than any other player I've come across," says Hayes." [SI.com]
Nerds in love: Consider this your sweet moment for the day.
Scott Hairston is it: "Carlos Beltran was laid up with the flu, the Met offense had been sputtering anyway and Cole Hamels was on a nine-start roll dating back to his last outing against the Mets in May. So Phillies-Mets Saturday seemed like another looming divot in the Mets' fading playoff hopes, another step toward the inevitable trading spree that will be the exodus of several big names. But the Mets pounded Hamels, continuing their odd dominance over the Phils' talented lefty, Jon Niese was terrific and Beltran's sub, Scott Hairston, knocked in a career-high five runs in an 11-2 victory in front of 41,166 at Citi Field. For one day, at least, the Mets can say that they are still in play, though they'll have to keep doing this if they want to stay there." [NYDN]