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Home » May 2011 Game CommentsMay 2011 » AC0265102


At 3633 North Sheffield Avenue in Chicago stands the home of the Lakeview Baseball Club. The building is currently in foreclosure as the club has defaulted on $3.15 million in mortgages. Since 2004 the private buildings that ring Wrigley Field pay 17% of any revenue to the Cubs. This may have been a contributing factor to the foreclosure, but the all-around decline of the economy must be cited.

This particular baseball club were the originators two famous signs: “EAMUS CATULI” and a sign that seems like an indecipherable code. “Eamus” is the first-person plural present active subjunctive for “proceed” and “catuli” is Latin for youth or whelp. AC stands for “anno catuli” and the next two numbers are the years since the Cubs won the division (2008), the next two represent the seasons since they were National League champions (1945), and the final three are of course the span of time since they last won it all. Some Cubs fans object to the sign because of its negativity, but at least they don’t flip the numbers until the team is officially eliminated.

If last night was any indication of the Northsiders’ chances the sign changing to “AC0366103” seems inevitable. Doug Davis had nothing but “weak salad” according to Dennis Eckersley, someone who knows a thing or two about cheese, heat, moss, and iron. Even with the Red Sox rotation’s recent injury woes Davis could only make the roster as a batting practice pitcher.

Wait, the Red Sox just signed Kevin Millwood to a minor league deal? Given that pitchers of Davis’s caliber are needed as stopgaps until John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka are ready to go. Along with the Millwood acquisition Theo Epstein traded a player to be named later to the Rockies for former top prospect Franklin Morales. While Hideki Okajima will be missed for his past contributions, the upside that Morales brings to the bullpen is worth more than the sentimental reasons to keep Okajima around. Oki-Doki!

Scott Atchison earned his first major league save the Eckersley way: by pitching three or more innings. He took the mound in the sixth with the score 10-5 and held the visitors scoreless for three straight. The unassuming reliever helped his own cause in the eighth by chasing down Starlin Castro’s grounder and flipping it to Adrian Gonzalez. The play was as inelegant as it was effective, basically the opposite of Mark Buerhle’s 2010 opening day web gem.

If this is how the offense plays when it warms up, opposing bullpens had best be well-stocked when coming to Fenway. The local nine batted around in both the fourth and eighth innings. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s power outage may have finally ended; in the fifth he put a charge on James Russell’s fastball and knocked it off the Volvo sign above the Monster.

Perhaps lost in the huge gap in the score were questions about Tim Bogar’s performance as third base coach. In the bottom of the third with the score tied 2-2 Dustin Pedroia ignored his coach’s hold sign and scored on Kevin Youkilis’s sac fly ball to right. As Pedroia so often does when reaches the keystone sac safely the second baseman deftly avoided the tag and touched home with his hand to break the tie.

David Ortiz’s hit clanged off the top of the scoreboard and was gathered by Marlon Byrd. Bogar still sent Gonzalez even though he had just passed third base and is as slow as a tuatara. It would have taken an adequate throw by relay man Castro to hose Gonzalez and this time, unlike the other two times where he made errors, the shortstop’s aim was true.

Random thoughts about the broadcast: If you were playing a drinking game about how many times the Cubs’ last visit to Fenway was mentioned you would have been as hammered as the Cubs pitchers. Why didn’t Heidi Watley taste the sushi from Basho? How did the Providence Journal photographers fit Don Orsillo’s melon in frame? When did cameramen start putting up websites for themselves, and after reading about Tom Guilmette, why don’t more of them do so? I can see why ESPN the Magazine is doing a feature on him.

Game 44: May 20, 2011
Chicago Cubs
L: Doug Davis (0-2)
2B: Darwin Barney (6), Aramis Ramirez (10), Reed Johnson (6)
WinBoston Red Sox
W: Jon Lester (6-1)
S: Scott Atchison (1)
2B: Kevin Youkilis – 2 (13), David Ortiz – 2 (8), Dustin Pedroia (6), Jacoby Ellsbury (14)
HR: Youkilis (8), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2)

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