COMMENTARY | Fantasy baseball drafts are under way with opening day less than a week away.
For Chicago Cubs fans still in need of a fantasy team name, look no further than the list below. Here are 10 fantasy team names fit for any Cubbies fan. Feel free to use at your own risk!
"Sweet Lou" Piniella coined the term Cubbie Occurrence during the spring of 2008 when discussing the team's projected regular-season rotation. But Piniella's term also seemed to put a bow on the many unexpected, unexplained and unbelievable twists of fate during the Cubs' 100-plus year championship drought.
Sammy Sosa's DL stint after suffering a pulled back muscle while sneezing; Brant Brown's dropped fly ball against the Milwaukee Brewers; Mike Harkey's pregame cartwheel resulting in a badly injured knee; the Bartman incident; and your fantasy picks -- all Cubbie Occurrences.
THE TOWEL DRILL
Mark Prior was tabbed as a pitcher with perfect mechanics when the Cubs drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft. But following a dominating 30-start season in 2003 (18-6, 2.43 ERA), Prior began a rapid decline due to injuries.
Prior's many rehabilitation programs (Achilles, elbow, shoulder, etc.) became infamous with his use of the Towel Drill, an exercise designed to help pitchers with arm extension. Instead of throwing a baseball, however, the pitcher uses a towel. This, unfortunately, became the lasting memory of Prior's career as a Cub, and a fitting fantasy name for those who may need to wave the white flag later this summer.
DEJESUS TAKE THE WHEEL
A spinoff of Carrie Underwood's popular ballad Jesus, Take the Wheel. The song tells the story of a woman in crisis seeking help from Jesus to take control of her life.
With prospects Brett Jackson, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler still developing in the minors, and Alfonso Soriano on the trade block, the Cubs are throwing their hands in the air to ask David DeJesus to take control of a makeshift outfield. DeJesus has changed defensive positions moving from right field to center field, but don't expect any miracles or to find Underwood's song on my iPod.
Which Cubs players haven't been injured this spring? Matt Garza's pulled lat muscle and Ian Stewart's pulled quad have both players beginning the season on the DL. Josh Vitters' quad strain limited him to two games this spring. Brent Lillibridge missed two weeks. Starlin Castro was out with a tight hammy, and Dontrelle Willis was done for the spring after seven pitches.
And this week we learned Scott Baker could be out until June with a strained pitching elbow. Use this team name to remind your opponent how they'll feel after a three-game fantasy series against your power house--generally sore.
TINKER TO EVERS TO CHANCE
On Sept. 15, 1902, shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance took the field together for the first time with the Cubs.
The threesome quickly developed into one of the best infield dynamos in professional baseball and inspired Franklin Pierce Adam's poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," also known as "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
The three ballplayers remained teammates on the Cubs through the 1912 season but are best remembered for a seven-year run from 1903-09 that included four pennants and two World Series championships for Chicago.
Good vibes times three for you fantasy team.
The village of Rosemont, Illinois, located just northwest of Chicago, recently made a pitch to the Cubs offering up 25 acres of land for the organization to build a new stadium.
Would the Cubs ever bite on an offer to relocate Wrigley Field? No, nor should they.
You can't blame Rosemont's mayor for trying to lure the Cubs out of the city, but it's simply ridiculous to believe the Cubs' brand wouldn't suffer, if not collapse, with a move to the burbs.
What better than a fantasy proposition for your fantasy team name?
NINE BILLY GOATS GRUFF
The infamous Billy Goat Curse was placed on the Cubs by Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis during the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. A curse that supposedly has kept the Cubs from winning a World Series (rolls eyes).
The Gruff reference is from the children's fairy tale Three Billy Goats Gruff. This being the story of three hungry billy goats named Gruff who wish to enjoy greener pastures on the other side of the river. However, living under the bridge the goats must cross to get there is a mean troll waiting to eat them.
A couple of weird goat references and a nod to nine players on the diamond gives way to this fantasy name.
COLLEGE OF COACHES
One of the true low points in Cubs history. Owner P.K. Wrigley had the bright idea of abandoning the manager's position in place of an eight-man committee to lead the team. The experiment lasted two seasons and was a total flop. Despite a lineup with Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo, the Cubs lost a combined 193 games in 1961-62.
Perhaps there's better luck with this system for those of you partnering with a family member or friend to run your fantasy team. You couldn't be much worse than the Cubs running this ill-advised system.
This one's a look to the Cubs' future for a new energy source. That doesn't mean the addition of solar panels in the outfield bleachers, but the arrival of outfield prospect Jorge Soler.
The lanky 21-year-old turned plenty of heads this spring with his natural plate power and overall raw talent. It's unlikely we'll see Soler reach the majors in 2013, but come next spring he could be in competition for a big-league roster spot.
This is a nod to keeper league managers building toward future dominance.
The Cubs' ace pitcher is starting the season on the DL. There's no answer for third base, or takers for Carlos Marmol. The offense doesn't score enough runs, and the best prospects in the organization are still years away from reaching the majors. Who knows when the rebuilding will ever end? Someone please hit the panic button!
You might share those similar thoughts by Cubs fans if you've already drafted Derek Jeter (beginning season on DL) as your starting shortstop and somehow allowed Chris Volstad to crack your starting rotation.
You begin to panic. The season hasn't even started and you're the odds on favorite to buy all the pizza and beer for next year's fantasy draft. Gasp! The horror. How did you let this happen?
Brian Corbin is a Chicago-based sportswriter. He's covered the Cubs year-round atBullpenBrian.com since 2007. His posts have been published on the Chicago Sun-Times News Group web sites and numerous baseball blogs. You can follow Brian on Twitter @bullpenbrian.
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