Monday, April 4, 2011

Moreland, Cubs crack but hold

Going booth after only four games, the cubs marketing brass tapped new Cubs radio color man and Ron Santo replacement to stretch today. As a color man, Keith Moreland continues in the Santo tradition of ex-Cub players and was a catcher at Wrigley for 6 of his 12 major league years. The time at the Friendly Confines must have paid off as he actually sounded pretty good singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

A hard emphasis on both the first and second "Take" got the rendition out to a very harsh, staccato start but Moreland evened it out for a well-tempoed, sing-songy rendition. However, a slight voice crack on "Cub-bies" foretold of pain to come.
But no reference to Ron Santo during the stretch and a straight-forward finish of "Let's get some runs!" at the end, along with a solid tune throughout made this a very workmanlike effort. A well-played opening stint by Moreland.

So we had No Santo, a hard start, a slightly cracked "Cub-bies" but overall a good tempo, an even voice throughout and a strong ending.

The game mimicked Moreland's tune with a D-bags homer to start the game and some cracking in the eighth when SS Starlin Castro took his time with a routine grounder and had to hurry a throw to first, letting a D-bag on with one out. Two more D-bags got on base before Kerry Wood - who is no stranger to stretch-jinx - recovered and ended strong, holding onto the one-run lead with a clutch, danger-ending strike out and a harmless fly ball.

The strong finish in the stretch meant a strong end to the game as the Cubs got some long doubles in their half of the eighth and held the D-Bags off the boards for a good win.

- One topic of choice in the booth was - surprisingly - other Montana-players besides D-bags pitcher Kam Mickolio who is from Wolf Point, Montana. Pat actually listed off 5 other players from Montana and there was talk of a wolf-coat to end the bizarre exchange.
- Starlin Castro shared the NL player of the week. What a stud.
- Mark Grace, ex Cubbie and current D-bags announcer and my long-time favorite player will be signing the Stretch tomorrow. Can't wait to see if he says "Cubbies" ...

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