The Bald Truth
Lou Piniella gave a day off to just about every Cubbie with a pulse. While the Giants sent out their Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum, Piniella countered with his No. 5 starter, Sean Marshall. Oh, and the Cubs would be without the services of their only two effective relievers, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg, because they had been used so much lately.
If the Giants had lost this game, they might as well have canceled the rest of the season.
And if the Cubs had won it, the question wouldn't have been if they'd win the World Series but if they'd sweep through the postseason in 11 games.
Giants 6, Cubs 2.
Whew! All is right in the universe.
"I'm mad at him today. He gave me a day off. They have to pay me anyway, so why not play me?" - Alfonso Soriano, joking (I think) about Piniella forcing him to take a day off.
The Balder Truth
So why did Lou do it? Why did he all but throw Tuesday's game?
Well, because it's a long season. And good managers know they must be willing to lose a game in May to win a season.
Still, just because I understood his motivation, it doesn't mean I agreed with Piniella's strategy.
OK, rest a guy. Maybe even three. But five? Really?
I mean, why not at least play Milton Bradley, the left-handed slugger the team bought for $30 million specifically to give them a chance against a bat-eating righty like Lincecum?
Then there's this: Nearly 40,000 fans bought tickets to this game. They deserved to see their heroes field more than a spring training B-game squad.
But hey, Piniella has tried pretty much everything else, right?
Maybe this strategy actually will help the Cubs win one stinkin' playoff game.
Or maybe not.
Oh My (Baseball) Gods
In what might be the most incredible thing to happen this entire baseball season, Rick Ankiel was able to stand around his locker and chat with reporters less than 24 hours after his horrific head-first crash into the center-field wall.
It's as if the baseball gods were apologizing for all the suffering they put him through during his years as a pitcher.
THE BALDEST TRUTH
ESPN is reporting that Brett Favre will meet with the Vikings this week.
And this is shocking ... how?
No matter how punch-drunk the fighter is, he always thinks he has one more knockout in him.