Everyone can relax now

9:55 PM | Comments (2) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Hey relax everyone, we got Phil Nevin!

Vote Early and Often

10:12 PM | Comments (1) | by Governor X

Don't forget to stuff MLB's All Star ballot box. Cardinals fans are already ahead of the curve and erstwhile pissant David Eckstein is leading the NL SS voting as a result. Stop the insanity!

I've voted my 25 times (nothing says democracy like one man, twenty-five votes) and you, dear readers, need to as well. As a service to Thunder Matt's Saloon, and because of the fact I couldn't think of another 3rd outfielder to vote for, Matt Murton got my 25 votes. Also getting votes from me are ramoN, JD Drew, Jeff Kent, and Khalil Greene. Go ahead folks and join in the fun of making baseball's midsummer classic a complete and total sham!

This Just In...

3:11 PM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

I just got off the phone with the folks at the Elias Sports Bureau. They've assured me that no team has in fact won the World Series while having a Neifi Perez on it. On another note, Neifi has just secured a season ticket seat for his mother. She'll be accompanying Jacque Jones' mom to all home games. That'll learn those inconsiderate fans.

Bartender Banter: Quick notes from the Saloon

1:25 PM | Comments (2) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It was a relatively quiet weekend in the Saloon as most of us were out enjoying the holiday. Chaim's saturday post regarding Neifi pretty much summed up everyone's feelings and frustrations towards His Pudginess. Now we've got Tony Womack, so we can hope for someone to play 2B while Walker covers 1B, that perhaps can bat .240 as opposed to Neifi's .204.

Coming up this week...
I'm working on a longer piece that will be up later this week. And perhaps we'll get another edition of Realm of Red from Chaim or another glowing review of the Dodgers from our good friend the Governor. Also now that BrantBrown is finished up with classes for the summer, you can expect a bit more from him as well.

Mad Dog feels right at home
Greg Maddux went from April stud (5-0, 1.35 ERA) to May dud (0-4, 7.81 ERA), hitting rock bottom in South Florida when he did his best rendition of "The Untouchables" with a water cooler. Today, Greg closes the month out at home against Cincinnati. There's reason to be optimistic here. In 4 starts at Wrigley, he currently holds a 1.40 ERA and a 3-0 record. His only other home start in May so far resulted in a no-decision against the Padres, where he allowed only 4 hits and 1 run in 7.1 IP.

Thunder Matt on a tear
There hadn't been much to talk about related to Murton lately but over the last week, Thunder Matt's bat has been as red hot as that scraggly mop on his head. In the last 7 days, Murton has hit 8 for 16 with 2 home runs. Murton, like Maddux, seems to thrive at home. Currently he is batting .361 with an OPS of .918 at the Friendly Confines.

Getting linked up
About three weeks ago I registered the Saloon with Statcounter.com, that way I could see how many hits we were actually getting and where they were coming from. Less than a month in, I have to say there are a few things I've learned.
  • 1) We have people not only reading our stuff, but they've actually come back on a separate occasion to read some more.
  • 2) People do Google searches from some really weird shit.
Some of my favorite keyword searches done that people found us through include "hobo fights", "Kyle Farnsworth gay", "Tim McCarver worst announcer", "Pierzynski clubhouse cancer", and "cock tattoo". Some of them make sense, but who the hell is Googling "hobo fights" and "cock tattoo"? Actually I don't want to know. Some things are better left unanswered.

We actually got linked by someone else! While I've submitted the Saloon to be added to the Cubs Blog Army (which may or may not ever get done by the looks of it), someone has given us some props and added a link to our site. Thanks to Andy Bugay for the publicity. Andy currently sponsor's Thunder Matt Murton's Baseball Reference page. He also has a pretty funny piece about the "13 Worst Cubs Injuries" in the Dusty Era.

Impeach Neifi

9:43 AM | Comments (1) | by Chaim Witz

Ok, I'll admit, my frustration has boiled over into pure, unadulterated anger. Nothing all year has riled me up like watching Neifi Perez (NEIFI PEREZ!), drop a simple cut off throw yesterday on a sacrifice fly allowing 2 runs, including the go-ahead one, to score.

2 runs on a sacrifice fly! He should immediately be kicked off the team, no quetions asked. Why was he even in there? Ryan Theriot, Tony Womack...anybody but Neifi? I dare anyone to provide me with any sort of baseball logic as to why he has a job.

I'm so over Neifi being cute and short and pudgy and funny. Nope. He's ugly, fat, pathetic and untalented. So it's resorted to name calling on my part. So be it. This guy should NOT have a job. He easily assumes the role of my most hated Cub of all time, making you pine for the days of Jose Hernandez striking out in every clutch situation.

In fact, Neifi empitomizes everything that is wrong with the Cubs this year. Sure they have other glaring deficiencies, but from now on when someone asks me, 'What's up with the Cubs this year?', I will pause, look to the ground, sigh, run a hand through my hair, bite my lower lip, tap my foot rapidly, pace around nervously for a few minutes, sweat profusely and then take said person's head in both hands, give them a piercing stare and say 'Neifi Perez.' Then as I walk away, shaking my head I will once again mutter 'Neifi Perez'.

Take it to the bank

11:56 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan


I've sat down, crunched the numbers, looked at every possible angle and what not. I can tell you with a large amount of confidence, that there's no conceivable way the Cubs lose today. Maybe its just a hunch, but who knows?

Meanwhile in Heaven...

10:45 AM | Comments (2) | by Governor X

Let me first say I'm not posting this to pile on my suffering colleagues here at TMS, but the Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball right now. Frankly, I'm as surprised as anyone. They've won 15 of 18, including 7 straight, sweeping a homestand for the first time since 1994.

What's really odd is how they're winning. The Dodgers, a team which has never in its 100+ year history been known for its hitting, are hammering their opponents. Five of their regular starting eight are hitting over three hundred with Nomar leading the way at .375. JD Drew is hitting .294 so a good game or two and we could have six guys hitting .300 plus. Kent and Furcal are recovering fast from their horrendous start, closing in on the .260 mark after floundering around the Mendoza line for the first four or five weeks of the season. Also worth noting is the fact that you can count three rookies, Willy Aybar, Andre Eithier, and Russell Martin (pictured left) among the three hundred club.

Another shocker is Aaron Sele, who will be known as Cy Young Sele until further notice. He shut down the Rockies last night giving up only 3 hits and no runs in 7 innings. On the season, he is 3-0 in 4 starts with an ERA of 1.69 since telling the Dodgers to either call him up from AAA or trade him. Perennial basket case Odalis Perez, whose surprise trip to the Domincan Republic paved the way for Sele, will probably never get his job back. Sele isn't alone though, the Dodgers starters are all doing well (well, Seo isn't, but he's the #5 guy): Brad Penny (ERA 2.31), Derek Lowe (ERA 3.08), & Brett Tomko (ERA 3.21).

I know this hot streak won't last forever, but I'm also comforted that they are doing this well without Bill Mueller and Eric Gagne, both of whom will be back soon. Their return, particularly Gagne, can only help things. Aaron Sele and Brett Tomko (aka Bombko) may implode sooner or later, but I'm going to enjoy the ride while it lasts. For now, its Cy Young Sele, and the Dodger Blue Bash Brothers. God bless Grady Little.

Enjoying the view from hell

11:50 AM | Comments (2) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We're about 15 minutes away from game time, where the worst team in the NL could possibly sweep the Cubs. Sadly I may not be able to use the "worst team" title for opponents soon as the Cubs are only 4.5 games out from taking that title away from the Marlins. We can always hope the Pirates stay crummier than us I guess. When you get excited about Tony Womack possibly coming up from AAA Iowa, there's not much hope out there.

Hopefully Maddux can shut Florida down and we can get some hits, which shouldn't be a problem given that today's starter Brian Moehler has been giving up over 7 hits a game on average. Then again, the hits aren't the problem, its the runs. The Cubs are currently 29th in the league in runs, which may as well be last place since Kansas City doesn't really count as a viable MLB team. Hell, at least the Cubs spend money (albeit not wisely).

But lets stay positive here. That's Dusty's mantra. In an interview yesterday Dusty said, "This losing, I'm not used to this. It's getting to me. Yeah, there's an end in sight." You can definitely tell its getting to him. Check out this photo comparison.

When the Cubs are winning.

During their current losing skid.

Realm of Red: Redhead of the Week

11:04 PM | Comments (5) | by Chaim Witz

Realm of Red was on hiatus last week while it went out drinking with Rick Sutcliffe. It will return later this week after the hangover subsides and Clooney solves that thing over in Africa.

Ri-COCK-ulous!

10:29 PM | Comments (1) | by Chaim Witz

It was one of those 'Oh shit' moments that makes you set down your Old Style and pay attention, like a cheetah getting a whiff of a crippled elk. Sure to go down in Chicago sports lore, Michael Barrett threw the most shocking right cross since Buster Douglas hit Mike Tyson hard enough to make him think it was a good idea to get a face tattoo 10 years later. If only the rest of the Cubs could hit a baseball like Michael Barrett hits white trash in the face.

Now this moment has been disected again and again, replayed more times than the obligitory 'guy getting hit in the balls' shot on every episode of America's Funniest Videos.

So I won't speak at length, but I will say this. For one of the first times this year, I was fired up to be a Cubs fan. Was Barrett in the wrong? Probably. If the culprit had been anyone other than AJ 'I Still Own Half a Dozen WCW Shirts, Including 2 NWO Ones" Pierzynski, would Barrett have done his best Ron Artest imitation? Very doubtful. Bet your ass that wouldn't have happened if it was Paul Konkerko who had run him over. But AJ is a jackass and it was a long time coming. Now I'm not an advocate of violence, but in the case of AJ, surely it is not only justified, but mandatory. I only wish it could have ended with a Brutus the Barber Beefcake moment, with Barrett standing over AJ with a pair of hedgetrimmers and a maniacal look in his eye, ready to cut that mullet.

Well one would have hoped that incident lit a fire under the listless Cubs, and on Sunday, for a fleeting second, it looked like it may have. After narrowly escaping TOTAL embarassment by, it pains me to say this, a Sox team that is clearly in a different league right now (literally and figuratively), the Cubs get shellacked by the Marlins. That's right, the Marlins. Quick casual fan, name one Marlin other than that pitcher with the nice smile and high leg kick. Times up. We would have settled for 'the collection of nine guys that made the Cubs look like a Double A club', assuming the Marlins, as speculated, are Triple A.

Later in the week, I will look at who's to blame for the Cubs. That will be a really, really long post.

TMS' 10 Most Wanted List

8:43 PM | Comments (2) | by Governor X

In the 2nd in my ongoing series of "War Criminals in MLB", its time to profile the 10 worst announcers/commentators in the game today. Now, as a Dodger fan I have Vin Scully and the Cubs fans here had Harry Caray, but lets face it, most "voices of the game" are terrible. Some are worse than others of course, and these ten should be breaking rocks in a Siberian labor camp. Without further ado, the list:

10. Rick Monday (Los Angeles Dodgers) - The words coming out of Monday's mouth are English, and I speak English, but I rarely understand what the hell Monday is talking about. Read this quote closely and note it makes no sense: Ground ball to short. Furcal is up with it and throws it high to 1st, where it's dug out nicely by Loney. Monday is also the only good argument FOR an amendment banning flag burning. Thirty years ago or so, some hippies went onto the field at Dodger Stadium to burn a flag...Monday swooped in and saved it, making him an instant star. If only those hippies had thought twice, we might have been spared years of mindless rambling.

9. Pete Van Wieren, Don Sutton, & Skip Caray (Atlanta Braves) - Yeah, its three guys, so what. They're all interchangeable. Who needs Ambien when you have a Braves game. These guys make Ben Stein sound like a.......zzzzzZZZZZzzzzz....huh? what?.....zzzzzZZZZZzzzzz

8. Kevin Kennedy (Fox) - You won't find a more inane moron than Kennedy. He was recently saying a team that just won a game had an excellent chance to go on a winning streak. No shit? He also grooms himself like Tom Selleck circa 1982.

7. Tim McCarver (Fox) - Back before World War I broke out, Tim McCarver was just starting to go senile. He's been stammering like a Canadian with tourettes ever since. Age doesn't necesarily mean you need to send an announcer out to pasture, but when you sound like Grandpa Simpson in the booth, its probably time. Just an awful announcer.

6. Joe Morgan (ESPN) - If you're interested in how all current players are inferior to The Big Red Machine or a really odd way of pronouncing "slider", Morgan is for you. If thats not your cup of tea, Morgan is insufferable. Fortunately, ESPN's Sunday night game is usually crap so I don't have to listen to him.

5. Steve Physioc (California Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim) - Physioc is the Angels play by play guy and he's bad, but what makes him one of the worst is his role as an enabler of #2 on our list, his partner in the booth and in life, Rex Hudler. Its often hard to figure out whether you're watching a baseball game or one of those Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoons on SNL.

4. Everyone on Baseball Tonight (ESPN) - A key clause of a commentator's contract to appear on this show is that you have to check your brain at the door. Also, if you aren't convinced Barry Bonds is the greatest athlete in human history and the sexiest man alive, you aren't welcome. As a Dodger fan it pains me to see one of my all time favorites Orel Hershiser playing Laurel to John Kruk's Hardy (thats for you old folks out there).

3. Ken "Hawk" Harrelson (Chicago White Sox) - "You can put it on the board...YES!" Here's hoping that board is part of a cross and you're putting Hawk Harrelson on it with nails. Most announcers at least TRY to feign objectivity. Harrelson gave that up years ago and became the most insufferable homer ever to grab a mic in an MLB booth. White Sox games are unwatchable as a result.

2. Rex Hudler aka "Wonderdog" aka "Beelzebub" (California Angels of Los Angeles of Anaheim) - For Rex Hudler, every player is a Hall of Famer, every play is great, and everyone in the world is holding hands and smelling flowers. A guy could be batting .200 and Hudler would say he's scrappy. In Hudler's world, Charles Manson was just a hard worker who wouldn't give up. Hudler may in fact be the devil himself as he even managed to survive a drug scandal while the SS...err, I mean Disney owned the Angels.

1. Joe Buck (Fox) aka Joe MotherBucker - Joe Buck is the Osama Bin Laden of our list. In fact, if you gave him a beard, a kalashnikov, and a dialysis machine, you probably couldn't tell the difference. Buck isn't the worst or the most irritating, but he is the only person on this list with global reach. Fox has him calling Saturday games, playoff games, the World Series, NFL football and Nascar. Don't be surprised if they have him moderating a presidential debate in 2008 or taking over as host of American Idol. You can't escape Buck. He knows where you live and will soon be stalking your family to do bland commentary on your daily life. Now that I think of it, since Buck is an incompetent boob who got his job because of his father's name, he might be the George W. Bush of the list. You decide that one...

Cubs win, Zambrano enthusiastically debuts fist-pump in '06

8:44 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan


Granted its only one win, but I just feel like it may have sparked this team a bit. Leave it to the hapless Nationals to help us get of this funk. Chaz Zambrano pitched great last night, (Way to pitch 8 innings Z, and give the pen a rest) and watching the crowd all fired up in the late innings is a welcome sign. If they can pull out a sweep on Washington (or at least a 2-1, baby steps here, baby steps), maybe they'll have enough momentum heading into this weekend at The Cell to have a respectable showing.

A few quick notes....
  • I know I'm spoiled as a Cubs fan when I can live almost 200 miles outside Chicago and still get almost every game televised on cable. Despite that, is there a more depressing feeling than sitting down for a 7:05 game, turning on Comcast Sports Net to see the White Sox playing, then quickly switching over to WGN to see them showing "Glengarry Glen Ross"? But hey, I have to say the Sportscenter highlights kicked ass this morning.
  • How drunk do you have to be to decide, "Hey, you know what'd be cool? What if I chuck this baseball at Jacque Jones?" Seriously, heckling an opposing player, great, go for it. Heckling a player of the team your cheering for, I'm not a fan but there are plenty of jackasses that feel it must be a good morale boost to the player when you yell expletives at them. Throwing something at any player though, should be punishable by stoning. There's just no valid reason to ever do something like that. I think Jacque reserves the right to get all liquored up (on an off-day of course, I don't want Freddie Bynum starting because Jacque is inebriated), show up at her place of work, and wing a few balls past her melon.
  • I'll be attending the game on Thursday. I'm looking forward to Wood pitching. I'll post something about the game and will hopefully have some pictures to share too.
  • Just a quick note to our readers that number in the tens (and even that estimate might be liberal at this point), I've been adding more and more links to the sidebar. Be sure and check out some of the Cub Links as there are some great sites/blogs out there. The Cub Reporter, Bleed Cubbie Blue, and Goat Riders are a few that I have really enjoyed reading and try to check out on a regular basis.
That's all for now. I'll report back friday after Kerry Wood either A) pitches well, B) completely implodes, or C) has his arm detach from his body on a pitch to Jose Guillen who is hit in the face by the bloody appendage, thus enciting a bench-clearing brawl so huge it puts the Andre Dawson-Eric Show showdown to shame. We'll just bank on A.

McSweeney's Mention For One of Our Own?

10:40 PM | Comments (1) | by Chaim Witz

Dateline Anaheim, CA. Drunk. Heckling. Could this be the Saloon's own Brant Brown? If not for the White Sox hat (more than likely a clever decoy), I would swear on the billygoat that this has all of Ted's hallmarks. A hilarious article about baseball heckling none-the-less. For the sake of a good story, we should pretend it was Ted anyway. When we tell the story we'll just change it to a Cubs hat.

Schlitz, Big Barring, 10:30 pitchers, and no BBQ

9:59 PM | Comments (2) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

I just don't have the energy to write about the current situation with the Cubs. Instead, here are our Top 8 memorable places to visit on a Cubs trip, and the shenanigans that have ensued. Feel free to submit your own. If they are filthy enough, we just might post them.


#8 - Salt & Pepper Diner - 3537 N. Clark St

The closest thing to a greasy spoon you'll find in Wrigleyville. A great place to visit the morning of a 1:20 game to fill your belly with some eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. And what's better than washing it all down with a pitcher of Miller High Life? Having that pitcher brought to you by your surly old waitress, that's what. You know the type. That waitress that gave up on charming the customer long ago. The one that counts the minutes until she can go out back and smoke another Marlboro. The one that at any moment you're waiting for her to shout "Kiss my grits!"

All in all, I can't think of a better way to start the day.


#7 - Dunkin Donuts - Seemingly on every street corner

A good place to get a quick coffee and donut before hopping on the Red Line. Just remember that when you get coffee and they ask if you want cream and sugar, that means they will put cream and sugar in for you, and you don't need to. This lesson was learned by Ted the hard way as he needed me to give him some insulin to properly consume his doubly-sweetened beverage.


#6 - Harry Caray's Restaurant - 33 W. Kinzie St

If you truly are a Cubs fan, this place is a must-visit at least once in your life. The place is a virtual shrine to Harry and the Cubs and happens to be a pretty damn good steakhouse to boot. I've yet to have a bad meal here, from their risotto, to their Italian pork chops, to their filet mignon, everything is outstanding. When you eat at Harry's you also have the possibility of spotting a ballplayer. On one occasion we saw Fernando Vina eating with his family. One piece of advice, most of the main dishes do not come with a potato or salad, so if the waiter asks if you'd like a baked potato with your steak, remember that it will probably cost extra. For further information, you can ask Ted about his kickass $5 potato he had one time.


#5 - Goose Island - 3535 N. Clark St

I've been to Goose Island a handful of times now for some after-game grub. Every time, I've had the cheeseburger and its been fantastic. Every time, I've had a full day's worth of Old Style in my gut, so my judgement in taste may be slightly altered.

You know how in college there was "that place" you and your friends would head to at 2:30am for some late-night afterhours food? Whether it be pizza, or breakfast food, or gyros, or tacos, when you're completely blitzed, this food is the greatest culinary achievement of all-time. Whoever cooked it is a "frickin' genius"! You're absolutely sure of this and then one day when you're completely sober you think, "Hey I'll get that for lunch". Except now without the magic of excess alcohol, the food tastes mediocre at best. In fact its really not good at all (This is why Hot Pockets are still around. No self-respecting sober person would dare eat that garbage).

There's a possibility that the food at Goose Island I've had could just be "OK". Someday if I eat there sober, I may shed some light on this mystery. Given that I only go there after Cub games, and given that their I.P.A. is damn tasty, I doubt that day will happen any time soon.


#4 - Brother Jimmy's - 2909 N. Sheffield Ave

You know the saying "Getting there is half the fun"? Well in the case of our trek to Brother Jimmy's, getting there was ALL the fun.

So back in 2003, when Ben, Ted and I took Chicago by storm, Ben kept going on about how we "have to go to Brother Jimmy's". Apparently they had excellent barbecue. I know this because Ben told us about 2 dozen times. After a day of watching the Cubs at Bernie's, drinking Schlitz with a journeyman minor leaguer at Gingerman, and Ted and I, just for shits and giggles, feeding Ben a line of BS all day that we weren't going to walk 12 blocks to eat some lousy barbecue, we headed on our journey down Sheffield Ave. After about 30 minutes and a couple pit stops at bars along the way, we were finally about a block away from Jimmy's. It was then that a girl walked out of a nearby laundromat and was walking down the street with us. Ted made some small talk with her. Here's roughly how the conversation went.

TED: How's it goin?

GIRL: Good, what are you guys doing.

TED: Were going to get some food.

GIRL: Cool, where at?

BEN: Brother Jimmy's

GIRL: Um, (short pause) that place closed down like 6 months ago.

BEN: WHAT?!?! NO!!!

TED & ME: (on the ground in full out laughter)

In my mind I don't think that could've played out better. While I'm sure walking up to a boarded up Jimmy's would've invoked a Clark Griswald-like response from Ben when the talking moose tells him WallyWorld is closed. The fact that just a mere block away, some random girl we knew for approximately 30 seconds broke the news just makes it much, much funnier. This would be an ongoing joke for the rest of the day, well at least until we got to the Big Bar. Which brings us to:


#3 - Big Bar - located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel

On that 2003 trip, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency on Wacker Dr. The main bar at the hotel is this place called the Big Bar. The whole theme behind this place is that everything they serve is BIG, hence the name. So one night the three of us (Ben, Ted, & I) go to the Big Bar and order some 2 gallon beers, or whatever size they were, and Ben had a margarita that was so big that you'd need 18 roofie tablets to properly drug someone with it. On top of that we order a nacho platter that was taller than your average 7-year old. So we get all our stuff and are eating, drinking, marvelling over the absurdly gluttonous enormity of everything.

So about 45 minutes go by when we realize we've seen neither hide nor hair of our waitress. No refill inquiries, no bill, nothing. So at this point the notion of "dine and dash" has entered the conversation. Ben & I are psyching ourselves up to make our inconspicuous exit, while Ted is trying to be the voice of reason. After a little while Ted gets us settled down and we hang out for a little longer. Now, over an hour has passed without any sign of our waitress, when suddenly Ted says, "Well, see ya later!" and bolts. So now Ben & I, looking at each other in disbelief, are left to either wait for a bill or plot our exit. Finally I build up enough courage to leave my stool and begin walking to the exit. I begin heading down the stairs to leave the place, making sure to not look back, when I notice someone following me directly over my right shoulder. Shit, its probably a bartender that saw us skip out I figured, when suddenly I hear "Just keep going, just keep going." Ben had gotten up right behind me and we were now both making a break for it.

So we get to the elevators and get up to our room ready to give Ted shit for leaving us there. We walk into the room to find....Ted wasn't there. It then occured to us. Ted was just goofing and was coming back to our table. So now we're laughing our asses off at the prospects of Ted returning to the bar with an angry waitress or manager awaiting him to fork over the estimated $80 we owed for our humongous appetizer and libations. About 5 more minutes go by when the door opens and its Ted. He had gone to the ATM and was returning to the table when he noticed we were gone, so he quickly made a beeline for the exit and came to the room. The infamous Big Bar incident has now become legendary and we created a new term for giving someone the shaft we like to call "Big Barring", as the ultimate reference to our juvenile and shameless act.


#2 - Bernie's - 3664 N. Clark St

I came across a review of Bernie's written by Larry Majewski of Centerstage.net. I think he summed it up best.

"Not all season tickets are held by corporations and doled out according to office rank. Some individuals actually own their own seats, and have done so for decades. These are the kind of guys hanging out at Bernie's Tavern, the ones who can actually name the Cubs starting roster .... you can strike up a Cubs-related debate without a female fan chiming in with 'I like Mark Prior because he's cute.' You can't find a more casually-paced bar this close to the friendly confines."

Just a perfect example of why I like this place out of all the Cub bars around the stadium. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the other, more-trendy joints. I guess I don't like being packed like a sardine in a large, loud bar where half the people are there because "this is the coolest place people told me I should go to". These are the same posers that don't understand why we get up and chant "RIGHT FIELD SUCKS!" between half-innings. Frickin' sheep. Go cheer for the Cardinals why don't ya?

Some of the more memorable moments at Bernie's include seeing Billy Corgan walking down the street while we sat in the beer garden. He looked like a frickin' zombie with his pasty white skin, wearing all black with a black floppy hat. He couldn't have stuck out more. It doesn't help that he's also freakishly tall and stands a whole head above everyone else.

My favorite moment at Bernie's though, happened two years ago. I was in Chicago with my friend Mark, and we had tickets for a 1:20 game that had been pushed back to 3:00pm for ESPN. We thought we'd leave our hotel in the Loop that morning and take the Red Line to Wrigleyville early and just hang out, check out the souvenir shops and stuff before we grabbed some lunch and met up with the rest of our party that were carrying our tickets at 1:30. So we get off the train at Addison around 10:20am. We made one lap around the stadium before we had this exchange.

ME: "What time is it now?"

MARK: "10:30"

ME: "Is it too early to start drinking beer?"

MARK: "No.....no its not."

We then proceeded straight to Bernie's and were the first two patrons of the day. In fact we were the only two until about 11:30 when the regulars started filing in. Needless to say instead of lunch, we sort of lost track of time, had 3 pitchers between the two of us and sprinted to the Harry Caray statue at 1:25 to meet the other guys for our tickets. All I ate that day was a hot dog from that vendor under the bleachers. The moral of the story: if you're gonna drink all day and not eat, know where your hotel room toilet is.


#1 - Gingerman Tavern - 3740 N. Clark St

The Gingerman is probably one of the coolest bars I've been to. Just a stones throw from Wrigley, this place is a far cry from your traditional Cub bars like Murphy's or The Cubby Bear. Its got a sort of Bohemian/Indie vibe to it and you can expect to find a wide array of people there from your Cub fans, to your indie/art kids, to just your average joes, there to shoot some pool. What really makes this place great is the beer selection along with their prices. I pretty much stick to the PBR on tap (which is the best bargain in the area on game days), but they do have a nice selection of imports and microbrews to choose from as well.

In 2003, Ted, Ben & I stopped at the Gingerman and had a chance encounter with a Mr. Keith Johns. Keith was once a journeyman minor leaguer that bounced around various farm systems. We got to shoot the shit with him for a while as he told all sorts of baseball stories. We also got to drink Schlitz in a bottle, which sadly no longer exists. You can find Schlitz in a can no problem, but apparently when we drank all the Schlitz bottles that day, there were no more to be found on the planet. I returned a year later with Mark to make the sad discovery and wound up drinking PBR and Crown Royal while talking to some dude for hours about music, namely Led Zeppelin as I recollect.

In 2005 the infamous trio returned as we needed a place to lay low for a few hours. We bolted in the 8th inning after a dismal Cub performance, but not before I cleaned out the pot in the "Cup Game" we were playing with some guys sitting one row in front of us. Now before you start harping on me that it was a dick thing to do, let me just say that these guys were complete douchebags and were stiffing us out of money for a good 3-4 innings before we left. So the bastards got what they deserved, which was a solid Big Barrin'! Needless to say the $22 in loose ones was more than enough to buy a round of beers at the Gingerman as we revelled in our small heist.

Joke of the Day

9:27 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Have you heard this one? Ray King, relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies (pictured to the right) is listed at only 235 pounds! Ha ha ha!

Hats off to the Cubs & Dodgers

12:37 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Have to give a tip of my cap to the usually shaky Cubs and Dodgers pitching staffs this past week for preventing the abomination of a flaxseed oil induced 714th home run by you know who. It will happen sooner or later, but at least it didn't happen in SF.

Observations from a novice fan

3:11 PM | Comments (0) | by Chi-Town Girl

I will now become an active member of Thunder Matt's Saloon by making my virgin post. As the only girl here, and just recently becoming a baseball fan I feel a bit intimidated, as I lack the baseball savviness of the other posters. Thus I will limit my post merely to observations.

Observation #1: Cub fans are commendable in their unity, and they are widespread.

In the recent trip to watch the Cubs take on the Padres in San Diego, the Cub fans represented, better than the actual Cubs. In fact I would not be exaggerating to say 1/3 of the attendees of the games were Cub fans. This is not shocking as I have come to believe that no one is really from southern California. The entire population are transplants...many from the Midwest. Throughout the weekend, Padre fans showed no unity in cheering (I exclude "the wave" as I find this act a sign of ignorance) but Cub fans were heard in unity several times during each game, in a visiting stadium. I will also note here my intrigue in the requirements of being considered a "true" Cub fan. It seems that in order to be "true" you must be willing to yell slanderous and offensive remarks throughout the game, not only at the opposing team, but at your own players, which leads me to:


Observation #2: Cub fans are relentless... and ruthless.

I have already mentioned Cub fans' tendency for obnoxiousness, but I will now empathize with the Cub players. They are in an obvious downhill slide and in need of strong support from their fans. This need will not be met until they win. Cub fans will spend the entirety of this slump complaining, booing, and outright leaving in the middle of games, not to beat traffic or to get some early shut eye, but merely to show their outright disgust and rage at the team's performance. It will take more than one win to bring the fans around. Cub fans are not easily satisfied, and they will let you know this, even if you don't ask.


Observation #3: Juan Pierre could be faster.

Juan Pierre is fast, and could be a vital element to the team if they somehow pull it together this year. He is a threat on the bases and known to rattle pitchers, but could someone get this man clothes that fit him? The wind drag on his pants alone are probably slowing his sprint to first base by a precious half second, at least.


Observation #4: This video clip is more fun to watch than recent Cub games, but not as fun as listening to a disgruntled Ron Santo.

I will close with an explaination of why I like Neifi Perez. I know he is not a good player, and quite frankly, he's fat. But to show why I find him likable I will direct you to the Cub's active roster. To get the full effect, click on a player like Michael Barrett, Todd Walker, or Matt Murton first, then check out that player's photo gallery. You only have to see the first few images of their slide show. Then click on the Neifi slide show. You only have to see the first image.

Hurricane Kevin Orie looms

10:54 AM | Comments (1) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

A massive low pressure system has stalled out over Lake Michigan, bringing cold, windy, wet weather to Chicago. The system, known as Hurricane Kevin Orie should make the weekend series with San Diego a miserable one. One plus is that the wind is blowing from the west at 10-20 mph so we could see some balls flying out. This just a day after the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Steve Buechele that brought rain and wind gusts up to 40 mph. While all the home runs were wiped off the books, they did play long enough for Eli Marrero to tear his ACL, prompting Brant to shout "Get off the field! You're being selfish!" as Eli lay in a crumpled heap, writhing in pain on the wet grass.

Realm of Red: Redhead of the Week

10:29 PM | Comments (1) | by Chaim Witz


Each week I will profile various redheads who paved the way for our own Thunder Matt. These men and women opened doors (often times kicking them in due to their fiery tempers) that would have otherwise kept Thunder Matt toiling in Independent Baseball leagues, shagging fly balls in Newark and frequenting seedy hotels. We tip our Cubs hats to these fair-skinned pioneers.

Today's Redhead: David Caruso

David Caruso is nothing if not a firecracker. Born and raised a New Yorker, David's acting jones and considerable talent landed him bit parts on CHiPs and TJ Hooker. Smelling stardom, David lurched forward, landing a small role in "Twins" with Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, forming what is widely considered to be the greatest acting trio ever assembled on celluloid. After playing 'Kit Kat' in Hudson Hawk, David returned to his roots by going back to hour-long cop serials. This particular one, NYPD Blue was a massive success, more in spite of David than because of him.

Having finally achieved the success that he so craved, he immediately left the show for movie stardom. This led to "Jade" and "Kiss of Death", which in turn to led to the firings of numerous studio executives and overstocked VHS bargain bins at Wal Mart. After spiraling into a deep depression, complete with delusional thoughts of dying his hair, David pulled himself out of it, screaming 'Dammit, I'm a redhead!' and punching a mirror in a public restroom. This was quite disturbing to the Hispanic janitor who knew no English but he spoke nothing of the incident. It spurned David to take a big career gamble and go back to playing a cop on TV, this time in CSI: Miami. David is currently happy to be working and in the very near future plans to leave this successful show and star in a cop movie with Frank Stallone.

Nomar Garciaparra: War Criminal

11:19 PM | Comments (3) | by Governor X


Yeah yeah, so Garciaparra is hitting .305 for the Dodgers, has driven in 17 runs in 15 games, and is the first LA hitter you can count on in the clutch since Eric Karros in his prime...so what. I don't like him. Never have. He should be tried for his crimes in Den Haag with Slobodan Milosevic (the dead Serbian dictator, not the Lakers forward).

The air tight case against Nomar:

1. The fidgiting (something the far more reprehensible Ricky Ledee also does, but not to the same extent). Everyone knows what I mean...knock that crap off already.
2. His name is Ramon spelled backwards...deliberately.
3. Another name related atrocity...a normal name like Garcia wasn't enough, his family had to add that insufferable "parra" to the end of it.
4. One more...Nomar is his middle name. He has the normal first name of Anthony.
5. He's a shortstop playing 1st base.
6. He was born the same day (July 23rd) as Monica Lewinsky, Don Imus, and the kid who plays Harry Potter. He also tries to steal birthday thunder from Dodger greats Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese.
7. Also on his birthday, the aforementioned war criminal Slobodan Milosevic took power in Serbia and The Hale Bopp comet was discovered. This clearly implicates him in both the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the Hale Bopp related mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult in 1997.
8. He's from Whittier, CA. Richard Nixon went to college there and the films Hocus Pocus and Masters of the Universe were filmed in the city. If that isn't enough to convict, I don't know what is (I'll continue anyway of course).
9. Eight god damned years with the god damned Red Sox.
10. Made his major league debut exactly one year to the day before Dodi Al-Fayed and some princess met their untimely end in a Paris car crash. Who will inherit Harrods now? Damn you Nomar!
11. He went to Georgia Tech...fuck you Bobby Ross.
12. Jose Cruz Jr came in 2nd to him in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1997. Brett Tomko also got ROY votes that year...were those voters drunk?
13. His dickweed fans in Boston like this guy don't even bother to put his stints with Chicago and LA in his bio. This bozo hasn't even updated his Nomar page in 6 years.
14. He received a World Series ring from the Red Sox even though he wasn't on the team when they won.
15. He is married to Mia Hamm. She is probably more muscular than he is. Furthermore, Wikipedia calls her a soccer "legend" - what the hell is with that?
16. He hit two grand slams in one game, which is good, but it reminds me of when Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning against Chan Ho Park. God damn it.

Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen of the jury, or whatever the hell you have in Den Haag, for all those reasons and more, its time to put him away.

Go Dodgers

About Thunder Matt and this site

3:54 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan









With the understanding that the Chicago Cubs were in desperate need of a great white offensive hope, GM Jim Hendry made a move in the summer of 2004 to obtain right-handed hitting help from the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately, they ended up with Nomar Garciaparra. But what the Red Sox did not understand at the time was that Hendry used Nomar as a smokescreen to obtain the real jewel in that deal, a one Matthew Henry Murton. Of course, the Red Sox went on to win the World Series that season, but let's not split hairs. Matt Murton was now a Chicago Cub, and the planets were aligning behind his eclipsical stature.

Having realized his potential sooner than most men of his profession, Murton was a shoe-in to replace the offensive prowess of the dearly departed Moises Alou . Though he rivaled Alou in defensive ineptitude during his first year in the Majors, his striking red hair and chiseled physique soon made him a favorite of male and female fans alike. His domineering presence at the plate and in the hearts and voices of the Wrigley faithful can be best summed up in one word: Thunder.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: Thunder Matt's Saloon




And now to answer a few questions...

So that's it? That's why you guys call him Thunder Matt? Well no, not exactly. Murton is one of the first Cub rookie position players to make a splash in recent memory and we were fans from day one. One thing we felt he needed was a good nickname. Instead of him being referred to as "Orange Guy", or "Orange Head" we decided "Thunder Matt" had a nice ring to it. Since then we've been trying to ease it into Cub vernacular, even having it added in Wikipedia. This site will help further our grass roots promotion.

So is this a fan site for Thunder Matt? No, not at all. When Murton was with the Cubs we certainly covered him quite a bit, but since he's been dealt to Oakland and is currently playing in their AAA affiliate in Sacramento, there hasn't been much to talk about with him.

Basically we've slowly evolved from a Cubs blog honoring Matt Murton to more of a general sports/pop culture blog that is rather Cubs-centric. I like to think we're the leading "Indie Cubs Blog". Are you gonna get the latest on Zambrano's injury? No. Are you gonna get a rant about cilantro? More than likely.

I like your style Dude, just one thing. Do you have to cuss so darned much?

What the fuck you talking about man?

From time to time our humor may be regarded as slightly off-color, and majority of the time the things we say are in jest. We're not out to piss people off or anything. And while we're probably not going to be posting messages with so many f-bombs that it'd make Scarface blush, I wouldn't say we'll be overly family-oriented either. We're just having some good-hearted fun. So buck up. No one likes a wet blanket anyway.

I'll probably add some more unanswered questions later, as this may eventually morph into a sort of FAQ.

What the hell? This page looks like shit!
As much as I try to ensure TMS looks good in all browsers, the bottom line is that Internet Explorer is a bitch to get your pages to format sometimes. My suggestion is to ditch IE and get Firefox. Don't fear change. You may actually like it.

Following the Cubs to San Diego

10:59 AM | Comments (1) | by T.R.

The yearly trek to San Diego was quite uninspiring, no matter how much alcohol was consumed on the journey. The Cubs stunk up Petco, nothing you don't already know. But it was great to see all the rabid Cub fans filling the bars in the Gaslamp before and after each game. Now would be a good time to review what we learned:

1) Do not bring Roberto Novoa into a game...ever.
2) Do not let Fast Freddie Bynum play left field...ever.
3) Angel Guzman needs more time.
4) The Padres really are not this good, the Cubs are just this bad.
5) Don't get on the trolley to the stadium if you don't have your tickets for the game. This will waste precious time and may cause you to run great distances in flip-flops.
6) When you have a chance to leave a bar without paying your tab, just take that chance.
7) Old Town is a mandatory stop on any trip to San Diego.
8) When in Old Town, spend at least a couple hours in the Old Town Saloon.
9) Always take in the Kentucky Derby with total strangers in a Saloon.
10) Don't drink the 64-ounce margarita. It will taste great, and you'll get a good buzz, but it will weight you down for a couple hours.
11) The Blarney Stone is the best bar in the Gaslamp.
12) Padres fans cannot take criticism. They cannot deal with people rooting vocally for the visiting team. They will make outrageous accusations about you to the ushers. They wallow in their insecurities, and will work to have you expelled from your seat. They are not to be trusted, and are nearly as bad as Angel fans.
13) When your options at the end of an evening are to either go to your hotel room and pass out, or go to one more bar, just go back to your room.
14) When you choose to go to that last bar, verify that your table is steady before leaning on it, lest you spill your beer all over yourself.
15) The San Diego Convention Center has excellent facilities, especially if you need to vomit.

Oh yeah, one more thing: let's just fire Dusty and be done with it.

Get Confident, Stupid!

8:58 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

The title of this post is in reference to one of the "self-help" videos that Troy McClure appeared in. If you watch the Simpsons and don't know who Troy McClure is, then you weren't watching the show when it used to actually be funny (Honestly, why is this show still on the air? It hasn't been any good for about 6 years now). Anyway, I thought it was a great tagline for our situation right now. Its early May and I already see the doom and gloom written on some Cub fans' faces.

So as a guide to them, and as therapy for myself while the Cubs sludge through this losing streak, I offer, 4 reasons to stay optimistic about the current season. So without further ado, in no particular order, here we go.

1. Prior and Wood will be back before you know it. While Prior had a minor setback due to food poisoning (which led to a bevy of "better operate on his elbow then" jokes), him and Wood should be back in the rotation by the end of the month. Prior is aiming for the end of May while Wood is on track to get back in the rotation on May 17th versus Washington. Wood took the next big step last night when he mowed down the Lansing Lugnuts in a rehab start for Single-A Peoria. Once they return we will have a rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Maddux, Wood, and Marshall (I would hope he's the #5 when these guys come back). Oh and there's also Wade Miller on the horizon as well, who's slated for a return off the DL in mid-June.

2. Hey, these young hitters aren't that bad. Ronny Cedeno and Thunder Matt Murton both earned starting jobs in Spring Training, and they've shown no signs of relinquishing those spots any time soon. Cedeno has provided a consistent bat at shortstop. Currently Ronny is batting .317 which is tops among active Cubs starters (D-Lee has a .318 AVG). Thunder Matt is batting .289 and is second on the team to only Michael Barrett in RBI (17 RBI to Barret's 18).

3. Hey, these veteran hitters aren't THAT bad. .241, .240, .220. Those are the current batting averages of Jacque Jones, Juan Pierre, and Aramis Ramirez respectively. Are they below expectations? Yes. Will they stay that way? History would have it, probably not. Pierre is a .303 career hitter. A-Ram's career AVG in April, May, and June respectively are .250, .272, and .308. Jacque Jones.....well, um? Jacque's current AVG isn't much different than his 2005 AVG of .249, but he is only 3 years removed from a season where he hit over .300, that and if he doesn't pick it up, I think management can find someone to play RF.

4. Old Style beer is still being brewed and proudly served at Wrigley Field. For over a half-century, Old Style has been a Wrigley fixture. So if this streak doesn't snap soon and the above three reasons to stay positive don't help, you could always order up a cold one and drown your sorrows.

But hey, its early May! We've got 132 games to go. And despite the fact since I've been typing this, the Cubs have sunk into a 3-0 deficit through 3 innings against San Diego, I highly suggest to the doomsday fan, "Get confident, stupid!"

Meet the Saloon Staff

2:45 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

THE CURRENT STAFF

CHIP WESLEY

Real Name: Jake

Where are you from? Cedar Rapids, IA

Where are you now? Rock Island, IL

Favorite Baseball Team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Derrek Lee, Greg Maddux, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Prince Fielder, and of course Thunder Matt Murton

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Ozzie Smith, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Tim Salmon

First MLB game you attended: 1988, Cubs vs. Mets at Wrigley Field. We sat in the right field bleachers. Dawson hit a homer, Darryl Strawberry had a pop fly bounce in and out of his glove, and some fans dumped their beers on Lenny Dykstra.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Not really. I met Kal Daniels at the mall when I was a kid. I sat and had Schlitz in a bottle with Keith Johns. I saw Fernando Vina eating with his family at Harry Caray's restaurant one time.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Thunder Matt, Jeromy Burnitz, Goose Gossage and Rod Beck. I visited Des Moines when Beck was living in an RV behind Sec Taylor Stadium. Unfortunately I didn't have time to sit with Shooter and talk baseball over a couple of Coors Lights.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Neifi Perez, but only if it put him on the 60-day DL.

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Probably Jamie Moyer, because no way it would hurt.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? Its just a matter of time before someone sports a great handlebar and resurrects the 80's classic. And no, Jeff Kent doesn't count.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Poison, because like Bret Michaels, I'm diabetic, and I have a penchant for cowboy hats.

What's your favorite beer? The holy trinity of Old Style, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Miller High Life

What's the capital of Bolivia? La Paz

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? I honestly couldn't tell you which one is the most valuable. My main collecting years were from 1987-1993, meaning very little of my collection is worth anything due to mass overproduction. I also had a knack for collecting a bunch of cards for players that never became overly great. For example, ask me how many
Tim Salmon cards I own.

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? I'd want a trio of Pat Hughes, Ron Santo, and Bob Uecker.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? Hobo fight. It would be the most exciting. Think about it. A wild and unruly hobo that's led a booze-filled life on the rail. He'd know how to improvise and adapt. Farnsworth would get the better of him, but not before he unleashed a few surprises on Kyle.





GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS

Real Name: Brad

Where are you from? Orange County, CA

Where are you now? Orange County, CA

Favorite Baseball Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Favorite Current Player(s): Jeff Weaver, Milton Bradley, Jeff Kent, Khalil Greene, Takashi Saito, James Loney

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Orel Hershiser, Eric Karros, Nolan Ryan

First MLB game you attended: First I remember was actually a Cubs game in Chicago when I was 6, though there was probably an Angels game before that.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Matt Williams put me in a head lock and I got to tell him to shut up about 1993 (LA knocked SF out of the playoff race & he had some snide remarks afterward) during
Spring Training.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Hideo Nomo, with no interpreter

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Matt Williams

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Matt Williams

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? mullet

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Europe

What's your favorite beer? Dos Equis

What's the capital of Bolivia? La Paz

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? Charlie Hough rookie (thats sad)

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Vin Scully when I'm at home, Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons will handle the play by play when I'm on the road.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? hobo fight





BRANT BROWN

Real Name: Ted

Where are you from: Iowa

Where are you now: Southern California

Favorite Baseball Team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Matt Murton, Travis Hafner, Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson

First MLB game you attended: A random Cubs/Expos game at Wrigley with my dad. I got Spike Owen's autograph.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Spitting on Todd Hollandsworth, and on a separate occasion, explaining to him how he should get checked out for HIV/AIDS. Taunting Luis Gonzalez to the point where he acknowledged me in the middle of a game (spring training). I was an accomplice in
Brad's run-in with Matt Williams. I let Mike Piazza touch my girlfriend (appropriately). Had a discussion with Keith Johns about how he used to watch Trot Nixon shoot steroids in his ass. Sat across from Trenidad Hubbard in an airport terminal and was on the same plane when he got a call from Des Moines to the Show a few years ago. That's all I've got at the moment.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Matt Murton because he's still humble enough to sit with a stranger. Greg Maddux for an intellectual conversation. Kerry Wood to get hammered, have a killer night, piss in an alley, etc. And Rick Sutcliffe.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Jim Edmonds, Albert Poopholes, Barry Bonds, Johnny Damon

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Barry Bonds, so he could be suspended for the year, and hopefully be physically unable to come back for another season. Jim Edmonds and Poopholes for similar reasons.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? The 'stache

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? WASP

What's your favorite beer? Old Style at Wrigley

What's the capital of Bolivia? La Paz. That's where Mike Tyson knocks people to.

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? A Fleer Ryne Sandberg rookie card

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Steve Stone for color, because he'll tell it like it is. Harry Caray for play-by-play, unless being dead is a problem. Then just anyone except for Joe Buck.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? A barfight





CHAIM WITZ

Real Name: Ben

Where are you from? Waterloo, IA

Where are you now? Chicago, IL

Favorite Baseball Team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Micahel Barrett, Ryan Dempster, Craig Wilson, Barry Zito, Kurt Warner (I know he doesn't technically play baseball, but he IS my favorite current sports figure and in my alternate reality he is also a utility player for the Pirates, a gourmet chef and a fireman.)

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Fernando Valenzuela, Cecil Fielder, Andre Dawson, Babe Ruth

First MLB game you attended: Cubs vs. Phillies at Wrigley circa 84 or 85. Cubs win in extra innings on a Larry Bowa squeeze bunt.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Idle small talk with Ryan Dempster about Will Ferrell movies on the field at Wrigley. Seeing Glendon Rusch eating a steak at Ditka's. Matt Murton sighting at PF Changs. Scott Erickson, fresh off a domestic battery charge, at a mall in California with Ted. Said 'What's up Derrek' to Derrek Lee at AMC River East, where he was going to Batman Begins with what I can only assume was his girlfriend/wife/mistress. Seeing Jerry Hariston at the last Star Wars screening. Fernando signing my 1992 Topps Stadium Club (the "Orioles Era") card that I sent in.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Ryan Dempster, Babe Ruth (is he still alive?), Fernando (that would be tequila shots, not beer), any of the members of the 1997 Waterloo Diamonds.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Barry Bonds (I'd punch him in the testicles, but they are probably gone at this point), any Houston Astro who owns a camouflage coat (I suspect that would include every Caucasian on the team).

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? I'm a very likable person. No one would ever dream of hitting me.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? Oh the 'stache for sure. Nobody's mullet can live up to mine in high school.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? If we can count 1980's era Kiss, I'll go with them. More specifally Vinnie Vincent or maybe a pre-cancer Eric Carr.

What's your favorite beer? If Ted is reading this, Amstel Light. For all others. Domestic: Miller Products. Fancy/Import: Stella

What's the capital of Bolivia? Joliet

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? Wow. Uh. 1952 Topps Hank Sauer maybe? Is that Billy Ripken error card worth anything? How about the Upper Deck Michael Jordan for the White Sox card?

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Steve Stone and Bob Uecker with Fernando commentating for our Spanish language listeners.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? By cockfight do you mean with roosters? If so, a hobo fight. If we mean the other type of cockfight, then that.




THE HUNDLEY

Real Name: Nick

Where are you from? Davenport, IA (the fightin' west side)

Where are you now? Davenport, IA (moved up to the top of the hill)

Favorite Baseball Team: The Cub, The QC River Bandit (A)

Favorite Current Player(s): The Cub team, Jeter, Vlad

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Dawson, Grace, Vance Law, Dale Murphy

First MLB game you attended: 1981 - White Sox v Red Sox, I don't recall anything. 1st one I remember was 1984 when Chicago had Bowa, The Sarge, and Jody

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? I got an autograph and saw Mike Boddicker do a picthing clinic in the basement of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The college catcher couldn't handle his curve and the wall got all dented up.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Mark Grace, The Hundley, Sutcliffe, Nick Swisher

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Bonds, anyone on the Red Sox, Bonds, Tony La Russa, Bonds.

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Getting punched in the face f-ing sucks. So probably Jim Abbott's "bad" hand or Doug Glanville

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? So, Dutch Daulton or Kevin Foster? I'll side with the moustache. The womb broom is never out of style. Just ask Jeff Kent.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Spinal Tap, because I never leave home without an armadillo in my trousers.

What's your favorite beer? For smoking and drinking: Old Styzz. For my refined palette: Goose Island IPA on tap or some local brews at Bent River Brewing because I'm such a snob.

What's the capital of Bolivia? La Paz. I can name all of South America's capitals from a cheesy song I learned in Spanish class.

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? A Sandy Koufax card that says he struck out 15 in the WS. I also have about 6 of the Mark Grace "Rated Rookie" cards.

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Stoney and Harry for the english version, and the guy that says, "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-l" that the spanish audience could access by utilizing the SAP button on the remote.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? Hobo fight? None of the above. I'll take that diamond brawl with Paul Wilson any day.




DAVE THOMAS

Real Name: Ken

Where are you from? I'm originally from Northbrook, IL which was home to Ferris Bueller and is the illustrious speed-skating capital of the world.

Where are you now? Up until May I lived at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield but have since moved a few blocks away from Wrigley Field.

Favorite Baseball Team: The Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): My favorite active player is the prodigal son himself: Greg Maddux. The guy looks like he should be anywhere but throwing on a mound but he's been able to do things with a baseball that stifle the imagination. It's a simple formula: throw strikes and keep them down. Plus he still rides his bike to work and pees on the rookies in the shower. I'm also a big fan of Ken Griffey Jr. For someone who has bones made of glass he has the best looking swing in baseball and is still putting up great numbers and has never once been the center of controversy. My favorite up-and-coming guy is Ryan Theriot who seems to really appreciate the gifts he's been given and puts forth more effort than most veterans, even if the game is a lost cause. I'll always root for a guy like that.

Favorite All-Time Player(s): For me it begins and ends with Mark Grace. The man who totaled the most hits in the 90's was trampled on by the front office and adored by the fans. He coined the term "slump buster" and once had to bat with a load in his pants after trying to rip a little ass for the guys reaching first base. He even came in to pitch for the Diamondbacks during a 19-1 blow out to the Dodgers and almost escaped with a perfect ERA until he came out of the "Fetters" stance and gave up David Ross' first career home run. I was fortunate enough to witness his last game at Wrigley and I would put him up against anyone if you needed a clutch hit in the late innings.

First MLB game you attended: I can't remember the exact game but my dad has always been a White Sox fan and took me to Comiskey Park a lot when I was younger. I remember seeing Jack McDowell, Frank Thomas, and Bo Jackson play for the south-siders. It wasn't until I was a bit older that my allegiance turned decidedly northward.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Living about 500 feet from the bleacher entrance to Wrigley I was fortunate enough to routinely see some of the players jog/drive to work. Dempster and Rich Hill would always run right down Sheffield. I also managed a trip out to spring training where just about everyone is accessible.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? I'm going to limit my answer to players who are alive because there are too many guys ( i.e. Jackie Robinson, Ruth, Williams) where a chance to pick their brains would be absolutely priceless. This list could go on and on but my first choice would have to be Grace just because I'm pretty sure I would hear some of the best stories imaginable and possibly even become involved in one.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? This is easy. I would love to get a shot at Bonds. There's no way I'd miss that melon of his and if I could get a chance to wipe a little bit of that smug smile off his face I would cherish it. I would also like to take a swing at Alex Gonzales circa 2003 followed up with a hearty "thanks for nothing." Finally who wouldn't like to pull a Barrett and slug Pierzynski? On my list of hated opponents, he's right behind John Starks and Bill Lambeer.

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? This was a bit harder to answer. I guess I would let them hit me right back since it wouldn't change my thinking at all. Plus I'm not worried about getting slapped by A.J.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? I would like to answer this with one word: Shooter.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? This one came down to Europe with their vastly under appreciated 'Final Countdown' and Journey. I have to give the nod to Steve Perry and the gang. 'Separate Ways' and of course, 'Don't Stop Believin' are outstanding. Also, the 'Separate Ways' music video is one of the best worst videos ever. The woman strutting to nowhere along the docks with the Brigitte Nielson hair and the invisible instruments are classic.

What's your favorite beer? Guinness. It's Irish for genius.

What's the capital of Bolivia? The capital of Jabooty is Jabooty.

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? I don't have the recent edition of Beckett handy but I've got two Henry Aaron's that are about to take a hit thanks to Mr. Bonds. I think one of my most meaningful cards is probably my 1983 Fleer Sandberg Rookie which probably isn't worth much money but it's still quite valuable to me.

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? This may sound expected and as if I'm pandering to the crowd but I wouldn't have it any other way than Pat and Ron. Harry and Steve is awfully tempting since Steve could tell me what I was about to do in any given situation before I did it but I think I would have way too much fun with something as simple as eating a bag of Skittles with Pat and Ron. Pat would ask Ron what his favorite color was and Ron would laugh and tell Patrick that he likes all the colors but his grandson likes the red ones the most and always saves those for last. Then Pat could tell me how many metric tonnes of Skittles I've eaten in my whole life.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? I would really like to see Farnsworth clear out a bunch of popped-collars from any of the places around Wrigley. If I had a burrito in-hand that would be a pretty good day.



DAFT FUNK

Real Name: Rich

Where are you from? Huntley, IL

Where are you now? Santa Monica, CA

Favorite Baseball Team: Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Ryan Theriot, Rich Hill, Mark Prior

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Glenallen Hill, Ryno, Ted Williams, Matt Riley

First MLB game you attended: Cubs/Expos sometime in the early 90's

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? None. I stink.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? David Ortiz and Manny, Kerry Wood, Nick Swisher

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Alex Rodriguez. Isn't this everyone's pick? And AJ Pierzynski.

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Alex Rodriguez. It would tarnish his image, and he could afford to settle out of court.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? The mullet hands down. Players can gro crappy moustaches...there's no such thing as a crappy mullet.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Motley Crue.

What's your favorite beer? PBR. I was raised in Illinois!

What's the capital of Bolivia? A little town called "none-of-your-damn-business"

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? An autographed Fergie Jenkins card.

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? I'd take Ozzy Osbourne and Marv Albert.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? Since he's a member of the Yankees, he's probably got the best shot of being in a ticklefight with A-Rod.



LINGERING BURSITIS

Real Name: James

Where are you from? Liverpool, England

Where are you now? New York City [the dangerous part]

Favorite Baseball Team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Mike Fontenot, Hanley Ramirez, Fausto Carmona

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe

First MLB game you attended: I got a late start to the party.... a 4-3 loss to the Mets in Shea Stadium in late-2004. Prior was lights out through 7 2/3, then LaTroy coughed up a game-tying 3-run HR with 2 outs in the 9th to Victor fucking Diaz and some dude named Brazell hit a walk-off HR in the 11th.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? I ran into A-Rod on 56th street just a couple of weeks after the Yankees' 2007 post-season "run" ended. I thanked him for carrying my fantasy team when it mattered most, and as he walked away, slightly confused, I mumbled "you're still a prick, though" under my breath. I could have sworn that he heard me, as he hesitated slightly and began to turn his head, but he thought better of it and kept walking towards Park Avenue. Oh, and one time I got down to the expensive seats and told Paul Bako he should consider another line of work.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Rick Sutcliffe. The drink of choice would be a 30-pack of PBR each.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Jose Macias, Neifi Perez, Joba Chamberlain [to see if his face is really made of cotton candy], Roger Clemens [to see if his face is really made of money and unbridled arrogance], Jim Edmonds, David Eckstein, A-Rod [to see if I could beat some sense into him].

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Adam Dunn or Richie Sexson, because I bet when they swing at me, they'd miss. [wocka wocka!]

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? The mustache. I don't see how it could be anything else.

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Manowar. They taught me that the way to a woman's heart is through wearing leather or leopard print speedos, and it's stood me in good stead ever since.

What's your favorite beer? Rogue Morimoto Ale. If I'm poorer: give me Brahma. That Brazilian lager is like lighter fluid mixed with methamphetamine. If I'm even poorer: PBR.

What's the capital of Bolivia? La Paz

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? I don't really own any.

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Steve Stone and Bobcat Goldthwait, with Erin Andrews in close for the sideline updates.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? I'd rather see him in a hobo fight, because I'd derive great pleasure from him being poor, desperate and homeless.



STAFF DEMOTED TO AAA



CHI-TOWN GIRL

Real Name: Vicki

Where are you from? iowa

Where are you now? orange county, california

Favorite Baseball Team: chicago cubs (because of ted)

Favorite Current Player(s): neifi perez (i'm sure no one wants me to admit that) juan pierre, michael barrett. i only know the names of people who play for the cubs.

Favorite All-Time Player(s): i don't think this applies to me. if it did, the answer would probably be neifi.

First MLB game you attended: angels vs cubs in anaheim stadium, june 2004

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? i had my picture taken with mike piazza. i cannot confirm his sexual preference.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? greg maddux

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? randy johnson because if i were lucky enough to break something it might make him more attractive

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? probably none of them...i don't yell from the bleachers that they have AIDS, like some people i know.

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? moustache

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? none really, but i'll say KISS for ben.

What's your favorite beer? tecate in a can

What's the capital of Bolivia? i don't know. my knowledge of geography is limited. i rely on ted for these answers.

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? i own none

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? jake

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? cockfight, only because the word cock is involved






MARTIN GRAMATICA

Real Name: Cody

Where are you from? 3rd Level of Purgatory

Where are you now? Tyler Durden's Basement

Favorite Baseball Team: Minnesota Twins

Favorite Current Player(s): Joe Mauer

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Kirby Puckett (RIP)

First MLB game you attended: Don Larsen's no-hitter in the World Series.

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Got in a knife fight w/Von Hayes & I spent a season as a correspondent tracking the ever elusive Pedro Guerrero.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Barry Zito and Rob Deer...at the same time.

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Bonds and any member of the Yankees

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? Huh????

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? The moustache. It comes in oh so many shapes and forms....

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Quiet Riot

What's your favorite beer? O'Doul's

What's the capital of Bolivia? Washington DC

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? '85 Topps Whitey Herzog

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Summerall and Madden.

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? I'd rather see Kyle Farnsworth's feet tied to a cement pole and see his hands tied to the back of an 18 Wheeler and then set that bad boy in motion.





TOMMY BUZANIS

Real Name: Shane

Where are you from? Meadville, Mississippi

Where are you now? Chicago, IL

Favorite Baseball Team: Chicago Cubs

Favorite Current Player(s): Thunder Matt Murton, Michael Barrett, Derrek Lee, David Wright, Joe Mauer, Alfonso Soriano

Favorite All-Time Player(s): Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Lou Gehrig, Bird Fidrych, Hector Villanueva

First MLB game you attended: Cubs vs. Giants, 1988

Any memorable encounters with MLB players? Jim Edmonds flipped me the bird...Met Sandberg...Met Thunder Matt...Got in a heated argument with Dan Plesac about the talent level of players today versus players from his generation.

Which player(s) would you love to sit and have a beer with? Ryan Dempster, David Wells, Sean Marshall, Mark Teixeira

Which player(s) would you like to punch in the face? Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, A.J. Perzynski, Brian Anderson, Jim Edmonds

Which player(s) would you like to punch you in the face? David Eckstein, Hee Seop Choi, Thunder Matt

What's better for baseball, the moustache or the big-league mullet? The Mullet - Without it we would have no Mickey Morandini

What 80's hair metal band do you most relate to? Winger

What's your favorite beer? Amber Bock

What's the capital of Bolivia? Shreveport, LA

What's the most valuable baseball card you own? Kevin Orie rookie card

If your daily life had game commentary, who would you want as your play-by-play and color guy? Thom Brenneman

What would you rather see, Kyle Farnsworth in a barfight, a cockfight, or a hobo fight? barfight