Bartender Banter: "crickets"

June 05, 2006 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

That's about all that has been heard in here for a while. The soft chirping of crickets.

I was planning on doing an "Anti-All Star Team, Revisited" piece but didn't have time last week. When you first become new parents, one thing no one ever tells you is that babies in their first year get sick, a lot. After battling the rotavirus a couple weeks ago with our 7 month old, we got the chance to experience roseola last week. Both are big fun, let me tell you. So anyway, sick babies trump everything else that's going on. Not sure what everyone else's excuse is though.

Another piece I thought about involved analyzing whether the Pirates and Marlins really were worse than the Cubs or not. The ongoing joke has been, "Thank god for the Pirates, or we'd really look bad." Well are they really worse than us? For those that are Bill James aficionados, I'm sure you've heard of the Pythagorean Expectation. Basically its a formula that looks at a team's runs scored and runs allowed and comes up with what their winning percentage could be expected.

Currently the records of the Cubs, Pirates, and Marlins are as such.
  1. Chicago Cubs - (22-33, .400)
  2. Florida Marlins - (20-34, .370)
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates - (21-36, .368)
Now if you take their runs allowed and runs scored and calculate their expected winning percentages with the Pythagorean Expectation, here's what you get.
  1. Pittsburgh Pirates (.466)
  2. Florida Marlins (.462)
  3. Chicago Cubs (.382)
I was then going to do a position-by-position rundown to see who had the better players, etc., but then I hit a snag. The Cubs started winning. Now, coming off a pair 2-3 series with NL Central leaders St. Louis and Cincy, it just seemed like ill-timing to write something in that regard, so I shelved it. But one can't deny the staggering difference in those expected percentages. Thank god for the Royals, I guess.

Thunder Matt Homesick?
After a nice tear at home Thunder Matt's woes on the road continued as he went 2-for-13 this weekend in St. Louis. Now he faces three games in Houston and four in Cincy. Currently Murton is hitting .354 at home compared to .211 away. Hopefully he can snap out of it this week. Murton batted .304 with 2 homers in 6 games last year at Minute Maid Park and has always had his way with Cincinnati, hitting .373 in 15 games including a fat .500 in Great American Ballpark. So hopefully that road AVG gets beefed up here, although I wouldn't be surprised to see Dusty bench him a game or two in favor of Bynum, as Baker continues his elusive, lifelong search for the perfect lineup.

Oh yeah, can I say Thunder Matt a few more times?
OK so I've cruised around the other Cubs blogs and I have to say, this "Orange Guy" business has to stop. Its unoriginal, and it isn't a very good nickname to chant at the ballpark. I realize that he apparently got the name from Maddux who called him that, probably because he didn't know his name at first, but Thunder Matt has a much better ring to it. Granted not all of my suggested nicknames have panned out (I got crickets from suggesting Sean Marshall be called "Cat Power". Sorry, bad indie rock joke. Although I do have "Chaz" Zambrano and Neifi "El Sapo Gordo" Perez on the backburner), but I'm quite proud of Thunder Matt Murton.

So I'm asking all our readers (all seven of you), to do your part. Whenever you refer to Murton in conversation, or a blog post, or in the throes of passion, please refer to him as Thunder Matt. Also when at a ballgame, try to get a "Thunder Matt" chant going. This may take some time. Perhaps shout "Lets go Thunder Matt!" a few times to get the crowd familiar with the nickname. Even if proven unsuccessful, you got the word out there, and maybe it will begin to creep into the Cub fans' subconscious. Also write to Pat and Ron to see if they'll use the Thunder Matt nickname on the air.

Again, Thunder Matt just sounds better than Orange Guy. If you don't agree, try doing an Orange Guy chant sometime and get back to me. Fellow Saloon bartender Ben (aka Chaim Witz) even said that the only thing people had for Murton in the left field bleachers was some lame chant that simply spelled out his last name. "M-U-R-T-O-N!" Come on people! Thunder Matt deserves better.