Did Lou Gehrig ever have to deal with this?
Concerned about how time on the computer might affect Carlos Zambrano's pitching, the Chicago Cubs have told the starter to reduce his surfing stints.
"I have been on the computer a lot and they say that's the cause of soreness in my elbow," Zambrano told Chicago reporters. "[Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal] told me the other day that a lot of people get sore when they sit at the computer. I spend like four or five hours talking to my brother in Venezuela [on the computer]. Now I have to spend one hour and take it easy."
Four or five hours? I think we all have the same reaction to hearing that Zambrano spends that amount of time in front of a computer screen every day: How does he possibly read everything on ESPN.com that quickly?!
And four or five hours talking to his "brother?" What, does his "brother's" Web site include photos of the Olsen twins and require a credit card and an assurance that the user is 18 years old?
More cynical minds might think the 136 pitches Zambrano threw in a single game a couple weeks ago could've played a bigger role in any soreness.
But it's true. Zambrano does have a serious computer jones. And thanks to Off Base's team of hackers, here are the Top 10 Ways Zambrano Spends Five Hours a Day on the Computer:
10. Donating $10,000 to exiled Princess Khalilia of Nigeria, with the assurance that she will reimburse him 100-fold when she returns to her beleaguered nation, overturns the corrupt government and regains access to the family's $100 million inheritance.
9. Refinancing his home mortgage seven times.
8. Reselling comp tickets at more than the regular face value on the Cubs' official ticket "exchange" site.
7. Downloading General Grievous, R2-D2, Darth Vader and other "Star Wars" icons for his IM.
6. Sending computer viruses to LaTroy Hawkins.
5. Online poker.
4. "Playing with his mouse."
3. Googling "Dusty Baker" and "pitch counts" and "overworked."
2. Reading Page 2.
Box score line of the week
Whether it's the weather, the more stringent ban on performance enhancers, better arms or (as it so often is in baseball) just one of those things, the game has seen an enjoyable increase in pitching gems this year. There was Mark Mulder's 10-inning shutout, Mark Buerhle's one-hour, 39-minute complete-game beauty and the Weekly Roger Clemens Masterpiece. Now add Carlos Silva's performance. The Minnesota starter didn't throw a no-hitter. He didn't throw a shutout. And he only struck out three batters. So what was so special? His efficiency. Silva needed just 74 pitches to throw the complete game, the fewest pitches thrown in a complete game in five years. His line:
9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 74 pitches
The 74 pitches Silva needed to complete the game were just six more than Pedro Astacio needed to record four outs the very next day.
Lies, damn lies and statistics
Sunday marked a milestone in the long career of catcher Pat Borders. He singled to extend his major-league hitting streak to 18 seasons.