The Gist: Be Like Marshall Edition

10:37 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



Be like Marshall.

This was a frustrating game, and a frustrating series. All the momentum the Cubs had going at this time last week is completely gone, after going 1-5 against the Orioles and White Sox.

Be like Marshall.

I was really mad on Friday. I thought that after dropping 2 of 3 to Baltimore that playing the White Sox was just what we would need. I didn't expect a sweep of the South Siders, but I expected to take at least 2 of 3. So while I was mad after Friday's game, I was livid after Saturday's heartbreaker. Games like that one are ones that the Cubs have to win to have a shot at being one of the best teams in the league.

Be like Marshall.

Considering the panicked state of mind I was in heading into the Sunday night game, and the way the game actually turned out, one would imagine that I am writing this from the ledge of a tall building at this point. After all, it's one thing to lose 3 in a row. It's another to lose those 3 to a hated enemy like the Sox. And it's quite another to lose those 3 to a hated rival to wrap up the first half of the season.

But you know what? I'm calm. I'm not even a little mad at the way today's game turned out. I owe it to a little three word mantra I've picked up as of tonight:

Be. Like. Marshall.

In the second inning of tonight's game, the Cubs got screwed over big time. True, it didn't lead to any runs, but it was a royal screw job nonetheless. Jim Thome was up with a man on and no outs and 2 strikes against him. Sean Marshall threw a b-e-a-utiful curveball that settled right into the middle of the strike zone for a textbook strike 3. But it wasn't called a strike. For some reason, it was a ball. And as things like this go, the next pitch was ripped for a double by Thome, setting the Sox up with men on second and third with 0 outs.

The next batter checked a swing that he clearly went around on, but also wasn't called a strike. That's when Lou came out to give the first base ump the business. Lou got screwed over royally as well. When Lou was on his way back to the dugout, the home plate ump (not even the one that he had yelled at) tossed him.

But that wasn't the key part of the inning. Sean Marshall came back and got 3 outs without giving up a run.

So now I'm trying to be like Marshall. Sure, we may struggle and look crappy and even get screwed over sometimes, but we've gotta bounce back from that and get the job done.

So yes, this definitely isn't the way this week should have gone, and not a good way to end the first half of the season, but come on peeps...look at what the Cubs have accomplished so far this year:
  • The Cubs are on pace to win 98 games this season.
  • Geovany Soto and Fukudome are as good as advertised.
  • The Cubs have scored the most runs of any NL team
  • The Cubs are half a game back of having the best record in the majors. For a while, they had the best record.
  • The only thing keeping the Cubs from running away with the division is a sort of "They can't keep this up, can they?" season from the Cardinals.
  • We just got done with arguably the hardest month on the schedule.
  • All of this has been done despite Alfonso Soriano hitting the DL 2 times, Zambrano, Eyre and Reed Johnson hitting the DL, no contribution whatsoever from Rich Hill and Felix Pie, and of course, not nearly enough Matt Murton.
So yeah, use the rest of tonight to wallow in self-pity. But be like Marshall and bounce back to get those 3 outs and strand those metaphorical runners.

Big Z says he's 100% ready to go. Soriano is looking to be back soon.

Tomorrow comes Barry Zito. I like our chances.

Be like Marshall.

The Gist: Game 81

6:48 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Fuck Carlos Quentin.

TMS Beer Project: Old Nick

11:55 AM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to present the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss.

Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Today's beer is...

Old Nick

Brewery: Young and Co Brewery, England
Type: Barleywine Style Ale
Receptacle: 500ml bottle

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 7 - This really depends on your palate. A barleywine ain't nothin' to shake a stick at, son. Though a little on the low side for a barleywine, the 7.2% ABV still packs a mighty wallop, much moreso than your traditional "college" light beer. This is more of a drink for chilling out, not so much for loading into a beer bong or playing flip cup with.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 8 - Again, a barleywine isn't your typical macrobrew. The "beer" pours nice and thick (please don't drink it "hillbilly style" right out of the bottle) into your glass, with a cream-colored, frothy head complementing the dark amber liquid. I can't say for sure, but this probably isn't part of the Atkin's Diet.

Intoxication (1 being a Shirley Temple from the local Elks Lodge, 10 being Todd Hundley and his bottle of Jack during his Cub tenure): 8. It's not as high as many barleywines you'll see (well over 10% ABV), but it's leaded enough to keep you honest. Unlike some of the stronger barleywines out there, I've found that the Old Nick is easier to drink and enjoy the malty flavor.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Mr. Belvedere, or authors like Dan Brown, Michael Crichton and others whom you'd picture drinking it from a snifter glass by a fireplace in the home library.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$$ - A 500ml bottle will run you in the neighborhood of $5, so you should make all attempts to enjoy it. You get a bit of a break for buying by the 6 pack, but that's still a big investment. Best to get just one for your virgin run.

Overall: 8 - I would have to say this is definitely a good beer. Not the greatest I've ever had (that will come later), but definitely in the top quarter. It's not a beer that I would drink day in and day out, I'd make it more of a Special Occasion type beer. You know, to celebrate a big sale, toast your good friend's new child, or Jason Marquis pitching into the 5th inning. If you're big on flavor and like to change it up every now and again, take a flyer on it, brah.

The Gist: Game 80

6:08 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



Cubs 3, White Sux 10

Well shit.

That didn't really go as planned. Look, Dempster has been absolutely phenomenal this season and a complete godsend, especially with Fat Z out. But no one can pitch this well forever without at least one bump in the road. Dempster's stink bomb today was the big story, giving up 8 runs in just over 2 innings of work. His ERA shot up from 2.63 to 3.26.

Honestly, I won't waste your time or my own going over the events of the game. It was a terrible loss and raises at least a few concerns considering it's the second absolute fried turd our pitching staff has laid in a row. But I expected the Cubs to lose at least one of the games on the South Side this weekend, so we may as well get it out today.

Tomorrow the Cubs have Sean Gallagher on the mound, who has put up a few decent starts in a row. I view it as a big game not only because a loss would mean the series would go to the hated Sox, but because if the Cubs win tomorrow, they'll go into the exact halfway point of the season still on pace for 100 wins. Plus, it would be nice to go into July with a bit of momentum.

Cubs of Yore: Roosevelt Brown

12:05 PM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Nickname: Rosie

Played for The Cub: 1999-2002

Random Write-Up: Golly, never did someone look the part more than Rosie Brown. Originally drafted in the 20th Round by the Atlanta Braves in 1993, Rosie never really did much of anything for some really bad Cub teams. Rosie showed a lot of promise coming up in the minors. His numbers were quite impressive, even boasting a 26 game hitting streak in 1999 in AAA Iowa. When it came to the bigtime, though, Rosie couldn't cut it. A .251 career hitter in 4 seasons for The Cub may sound quasi-respectful, but considering he hit just .211 with 3 homers and 50 strikeouts in his last season, the only one in which he received substantial playing time (111 games, 204 AB), it's not hard to see why he couldn't stick around.

What the hell?: After things didn't work out too well for Rosie at the Major League level, he went and tried his trade in the Far East. Turns out Rosie actually did quite well, playing along side some former and future MLB'ers that went by the names of Fukudome, Jojima, Iguchi, Tuffy Rhodes (51 HRs!!), Irabu, and Matsui. Rosie gave it one last hurrah in 2005, playing a season for the White Sox AAA affiliate, Charlotte Knights.

Did You Know?: Sometimes the apple falls far from the tree. Roosevelt is actually a cousin of Ellis Burks, former Red Stocking and Rockie great. Apparently, Rosie didn't get the same DNA of Ellis. And for that matter, he didn't get the same athletic prowess of his namesake (but no relation), Roosevelt Brown of the New York football Giants fame. Ultimately (and sadly), Rosie was just another Brooks Kieschnick David Kelton Mike Harkey Hee Sop Choi Cub who put up great numbers in the minors, but fizzled out in The Big Show. Still, I'll be damned if he didn't look like a big leaguer

Want To Join My 27x27 Dynasty League?

9:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



I love Fantasy Baseball. You love Fantasy Baseball. We all love Chaim's mom Fantasy Baseball. It keeps you up to date with pretty much every player in the league and makes teams like the Royals and Mariners somewhat interesting.

But as is the case with just about everything cool, there are so many new people jumping on the bandwagon every year, that the so called "Old School" players do whatever they can to prove that they were there first and their years of experience are more than enough to dispatch these young up-and-comers, like Apollo Creed against Rocky. The only difference is that the Old School players won't get killed by Russian imports, unless that's part of your league's settings. And even then, I'm not sure that Russians know how to play baseball. I think all they know how to do is play soccer and poker.

In Fantasy baseball circles, many people think that the more obscure your league's stat categories are, the better a player you must be. And sometimes, this is true. After all, anyone can draft players with a high average, but in leagues with OBP slotted in instead, it takes a little more research.

But some of these leagues are out of control. In a never ending quest to prove their league can beat up your league, some managers are using crazy ass stats that even Bill James would look at and say "Wow, that's fucked up." Let's take a look, shall we?

Hitting Categories:

Sacrifice Hits/Sacrifice Flies: These are the most ridiculous stats you could ever pick for a fantasy baseball league. Who could possibly predict what players are going to have a high number of sacrifice fly chances in a season? I've got some names for ya:

JT Snow
Dante Bichette
Mark Grace
Derek Bell
Rico Brogna
Craig Monroe
John Olerud

What do those guys have in common? They all led their respective leagues in number of sac flies at least once over the last 10 seasons. And over that time, the average number of sac flies it took to lead the league was 12. Who would ever pick a stat to count in fantasy baseball where a player can lead the league in that category by averaging one every other week?

And don't even get me started on sacrifice hits. Take a look at the leaderboard for sac hits this season:

Ryan Dempster
Jeff Francis
Aaron Cook
Tim Redding
Joey Gathright

The leaderboard on this stat is littered with pitchers. This is all well and good, except for the simple fact that sac hits are counted as a hitting stat. In most leagues, your hitting stats that come from pitchers don't even count! So let's look at the top 5 non-pitchers in this category:

Joey Gathright
Willy Taveras
Alexi Casilla
Luis Castillo
Jerry Hairston

"Well, he kills my average, doesn't hit any home runs and strikes out more than I'd like, but Gathright is a monster when it comes to sacrificing. I'll draft him next round. There may be a run on sac hitters!"

Times Picked Off: Having this category is pretty much a waste of time. Usually the only players that get picked off are players that tend to steal bases. This makes punting saves even more appealing. If you don't have any base stealers on your team, chances are that you'll never get picked off, so it will even out every time your opponent's players get picked. Sure, you can't count on that every week, but as long as you keep putting up a big fat 0 in that category, that's another point your opponent won't get, isn't it?

Walks + HBP: Yes, this is a real category. But now that Craig Biggio's out of the league, no one cares about it anymore.

Honorable Mention: Grand Slams, 4 Hit Games, Hitting For Cycle - Yes, these are all actual scoring category options. I think Hitting For Cycle is by far the worst. Only 20 players have ever done it more than once in their career. The career leaders? Bob Meusel and Babe Herman who both did it a whopping 3 times each.

Pitching Categories:

Intentional Walks Allowed: Again, another category that makes no sense because there's no way to prepare for it in your draft. Sure, you might want to draft Carlos Zambrano, but he plays in the same division as Albert Pujols, and you don't want him to face Pujols with 1st base open. That'll blow your entire team average for IBB given out for the week! Better skip Zambrano and draft nothing but situational lefties who will never be wasted by having to intentionally walk someone.

Double Plays: Yes, you can get points if your pitchers induce more double plays than your opponent's pitchers. So when drafting pitchers, don't pick ones that are too good, because they don't allow many baserunners. No baserunners = less chances at a double play. But don't make your pitcher picks too crappy because you don't want to ruin your unimportant stats like "ERA" and "WHIP" and all those other stupid categories that no one pays attention to.

Balks: Seriously, just stop it.

Pulled Before 4th Inning: (Drinking heavily)

Perfect Games: That's it...I quit. If anyone needs me, I'll be at the bar setting up the first ever 1x1 fantasy league...

2008 All-Star Ballot Breakdown: The AL

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It's getting close to that time of year again. The All-Star balloting ends in one week and as the deadline draws near let's look at the absurdity of some of the top vote-getters. Before I go any further I just want to mention that I'm well aware that as long as the fans vote for the starting lineup, we'll always have guys getting in that truly don't deserve to be there. But dammit, like last year I feel like ranting about something, and with the Cubs actually winning more often than not this will be the source for my lengthy discourse.

AMERICAN LEAGUE


1B With no DH last year, Kevin Youkilis got screwed when David Ortiz got put on the AL ballot instead of him. Have no fear as this year we're in Yankee Stadium and Big Papi is off on another part of the ballot. Overall I look at the AL 1B and see nothing worth liking. Maybe the NL can loan them a couple 1B from their side as one or two will surely get the shaft.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Kevin Youkilis, 2. Justin Morneau, 3. Jason Giambi, 4. Carlos Pena, 5. Paul Konerko

Who shouldn't be there?
Apparently Carlos Pena is getting votes based on last year's performance as his .227 is far from what you'd call "All-Star" material. Paul Konerko? When was the last time you did something with your life? Konerko deserves to be an All-Star as much as I deserve an award for my tremendous work ethic. Let's look at the stats.

Paul Konerko: .215 AVG, 9 HR, 26 RBI
Richie Sexson: .217 AVG, 8 HR, 30 RBI

That is no joke.

Who SHOULD be there?
Youks and Morneau are probably most deserving and I wouldn't have any qualms with either guy winning the starting spot. Giambi is getting the Yankee love but I don't have any beef with that as he's been hitting better. Other than that, there's a case to be made for the oft-ignored Casey Kotchman. Seriously can anyone name more than 2 guys in the Angels starting lineup? That team is as boring as the latest Death Cab for Cutie album.


2B At least in the NL there's a clear-cut choice for this position. Here we're left with a lot of, "Yeah I suppose he'll do."

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Dustin Pedroia, 2. Ian Kinsler, 3. Robinson Cano, 4. Placido Polanco, 5. Brian Roberts

Who shouldn't be there?
Dustin Pedroia get out of my life. You're currently near the top of my overrated list. I could pick 5 other 2B that I'd rather have in the ASG than you. Put him in Minnesota and voters wouldn't even give him the time of day. Beantown Bias at its finest. Even worse is Robinson Cano in the third spot. I don't know what's worse. Cano getting so many votes or my sorry ass that's still holding him on my fantasy roster hoping he'll "turn it around."

Who SHOULD be there?
Ian Kinsler should be starting and I really hope he can overtake Pedroia in this final week of voting. Kinsler leads AL 2B in R, HR, RBI and is second in SB and AVG. Polanco and Roberts are fine and toss Jose Lopez and Mark Ellis in that top 5 for that matter. Sorry Dustin.


3B Once again 3B is a one man show. Not that there hasn't been anybody decent other than A-Rod, but most of the others can't even smell his jockstrap right now.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Alex Rodriguez, 2. Mike Lowell, 3. Joe Crede, 4. Miguel Cabrera, 5. Hank Blalock

Who shouldn't be there?
Miguel Cabrera and his still-developing manboobies have been just decent enough to be in the top 5 for consideration but Hank Blalock and his carpal tunnel hand can't even hold a bat right now. There's bound to be someone that deserves more votes than him.

Who SHOULD be there?
A-Rod's a no-brainer. He's got lots of support from the New York fans, but his overall play has the rest of the pack beat hands down. Joe Crede is having what looks to be a career year after a disappointing 2007. Crede appears to be showing better plate discipline as his BB/K ratio is 0.71, well above his career mark of 0.42. He seems to be the obvious choice for a reserve spot.


SS Last year's pool of AL shortstop candidates left little to be desired. Take away Carlos Guillen and Miguel Tejada this season and it's looking even worse. Oh where have you gone Cal Ripken?

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Derek Jeter, 2. Michael Young, 3. Edgar Renteria, 4. Julio Lugo, 5. Orlando Cabrera

Who shouldn't be there?
Can I say all of them? Yeesh. Right now the shortstop with the best AVG is Yuniesky Betancourt, hitting a scorching .279. Really you could take any one of them out of the top 5 but there's really no one better to take their place.

Who SHOULD be there?
It seems that Jeter probably has this one locked up. Honestly you could just flip a coin between him or Michael Young and it wouldn't matter. No one else really needs to be on the team. If Francona takes Lugo I'm gonna puke.


C This one is going to come down to the wire as Joe Mauer has just taken a slim lead over Jason Varitek in the voting. Usually Varitek, Posada and Pudge dominate the votes but Mauer seems poised to take the top honor.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Joe Mauer, 2. Jason Varitek, 3. Ivan Rodriguez, 4. Jorge Posada, 5. A.J. Pierzynski

Who shouldn't be there?
Jason Varitek. His days in the sun are over. There are plenty of more deserving catchers out there that should get a shot. Much like his sexual orientation, I could go either way on Pudge. Posada has been decent but his injury has hurt his chances a bit.

Who SHOULD be there?
Give it to Mauer. He's dick in the dirt good when it comes to hitting. Joe is sporting a .325 AVG and a ridiculous 1.77 BB/K ratio. Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro deserves some consideration. Navarro is currently hitting .323 and is tied for the lead with Mauer and A.J. Pierzynski among AL catchers with 29 RBI. Speaking of A.J., despite the fact he's a complete shitheel, he's having a pretty damn good season and is worthy of a spot on the AL roster.


OF This is the position that more often than not goes to the most popular guys rather than who's most deserving. This is also the position that usually has some unfortunate omissions on the ballot. Oh if only Carlos Quentin had been on there.....

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. Manny Ramirez, 2. Josh Hamilton, 3. Ichiro Suzuki, 4. Vladimir Guerrero, 5. Bobby Abreu, 6. Johnny Damon, 7. Milton Bradley, 8. J.D. Drew, 9. Magglio Ordonez, 10. Melky Cabrera, 11. Torii Hunter, 12. Grady Sizemore, 13. Coco Crisp, 14. Carl Crawford, 15. B.J. Upton

Who shouldn't be there?
Ichiro I usually have no problem with being a starter, but this season he hasn't been quite as good. Melky Cabrera and Torii Hunter are pretty much "Blah, whatever." as far as what they've done this season. Coco Crisp has absolutely no business being 13th in the voting and should only be on the team as a target for the pitching staff to practice throwing.

Who SHOULD be there?
Josh Hamilton should definitely be there. Man-Ram a starter? Sure. Carlos Quentin could easily be a starter, but the write-in campaign hasn't taken off. Shame. Grady Sizemore definitely deserves more respect in the voting than he has received. Just like with Pierzynski, I hate to say it but J.D. Drew should be an All-Star too. With a .290 average, 13 homers and 60 RBI (which is second to only Hamilton in the AL), Jose Guillen should be the representative from Kansas City, although Zack Greinke could be considered as the Royal rep as well. Do we dare say two Royals in the All-Star Game? Nah.


DH Oh the designated hitter. Hank Steinbrenner's favorite position and the bane of my existence as a National League fan. We all know David Ortiz will get this one, but let's see who really should.

So currently, who are the top vote-getters?
1. David Ortiz, 2. Hideki Matsui, 3. Jim Thome, 4. Frank Catalanotto, 5. Gary Sheffield

Who shouldn't be there?
I could go all deep into the argument and say the DH position in general shouldn't be here, but I don't have the energy for that right now (remember my lack of work ethic?). Let's start with Jim Thome. .229, 14 HR, 38 RBI. Easily a front-runner for the 2008 Dave Kingman Trophy. Frank Catalanotto? Isn't that Jared Leto's character in "My So Called Life"? Nevertheless I just referenced Jared Leto when mentioning him, thus FAIL! Gary Sheffield is still alive? Is he still rocking the Hitler stache?

Who SHOULD be there?
Screw Big Papi, he's hurt. He'll get voted in but I sure as shit hope Hideki Matsui is his replacement in the starting lineup. He may not have the homers that some of the other guys do, but his .323 AVG will punch you in the weiner.

I'll tackle the NL later....

STP at the Hollywood Bowl 6/24/08

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

From the "I should have done this when I was 18" file, on Tuesday 6/24, I saw the reunited Stone Temple Pilots at the Hollywood Bowl. Also in attendance was TMS' own Brant Brown. No traffic for this one, which was a pleasant change from the three hour freeway debacle to see R.E.M. I threw some trash at an LAPD bike after the show out of spite anyway. Take that Pep Streebeck!

Going into this one, I told myself if Weiland doesn't fall of the stage or otherwise embarrass himself, I would be happy. Scott and the band exceeded these modest expectations by a long shot, putting on one of the best rock shows I've ever been too.

Back to the show itself in a minute... As always, people watching was part of the fun. We counted no fewer than four Iron Maiden shirts before the show. I can't say I would even suspect anyone I knew owns an Iron Maiden album, but here are four guys who apparently do. Another gem outside the Bowl was the father/son pair with matching Guns N Roses shirts. Inside, the group in front of us consisted of three forty-ish women and two teenagers. I thought, "Hey that's cool, they took their kids to the concert." I was off a little. When STP came on, the old bitties started moving to the music and lighting up a bowl of weed while the two kids sat there nearly falling asleep. Damn kids these days.

Just before 9:00, after what I hear was an uninspiring performance by an uninspiring man, Frank Black, an AIDS-thin Weiland and the rest of STP takes the stage and goes into Big Empty. It was never my favorite song of theirs, but it sounded pretty good live. After that, they start ripping into the rock, knocking my dick in the dirt with Wicked Garden and Big Bang Baby. About this time, I text TMS bartender Chaim Witz to eloquently notify him that this STP show is apparently much better than the one he attended not long ago.

With no new material to support, the set list read like a greatest hits CD, but you can't hold that against them. Hearing 16 year old gems like Crackerman and Sex Type Thing live and loud was more than enough to keep me and the sell out crowd entertained (yes, believe it or not, Core came out in 1992). Videos courtesy of some guy with much better seats than me who posted them on youtube for all to see.

The set list:

Big Empty / Wicked Garden / Big Bang Baby / Silvergun Superman / Vasoline / Lounge Fly / Lady Picture Show / Sour Girl / Creep / Crackerman / Plush / Interstate Love Song / Too Cool Queenie / Coma / Down / Sex Type Thing / Sin / encore / Dead & Bloated / Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart

The Gist: Game 78

10:22 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk


Cubs 7, Oreos 4

The Cubs have the #1 offense in baseball, especially at home. So expect to see the cowardly behavior that the Orioles' pitchers' showed tonight more often. Scheduled Orioles starter Brian Burres got so scared of the Cubs lineup that he suddenly "got sick" 2 hours before the game. Spot starter Matt Albers only got one out before crapping his pants and heading back to the clubhouse to cry in the shower. By the time the second inning was over, the Cubs were up 6-0 and cruised the rest of the way to victory.

The Good: Geovany Soto went 2-3 and knocked in 3 runs. being a catcher is a tough job and can easily wear a player down physically. Apparently Soto banged up his hand a bit and has been in a slump this month, hitting only .206, so it's nice to get games like this from the would-by Italian.

The Bad: Isn't it always the Jay Payton types that seem to light the Cubs up? If it's not Jay Payton, it's Jody Gerut or Gabe Kapler or Wes Helms or some other "That guy is still playing?" dude that seems to have those monster games against us. But at least it happened in a game where the Cubs were able to punch across enough runs to negate it. Just like I punched a few across Chaim's mom last night! Hey-O!

The Ugly: Jim Edmonds hit another jack. As Chaim said yesterday, this guy is trying as hard as is humanly possible to get Cub fans to like him. Reed Johnson won us over, but he was never a Cardinal. I don't know yet if I can stop hating him. But if he keeps knocking them out of the park and making the Padres look stupid for letting him go, I don't know if I'll have a choice. His last 4 hits have all left the ballpark. For some reason, every time Edmonds connects with the ball, it gravitates toward Boys Town. Now I'm not saying that Jim Edmonds is gay, but I'm not not saying that either.

Tomorrow: Jason "de Sade" Marquis is up against Radhames "My First Name Sucks" Liz. Don't let Liz's 1-0 record fool you. That 6.27 ERA is ripe for a pounding, as is your mother!

Wrigleyville Bar Project

7:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We're here to profile some of the local watering holes around Wrigley, so that you aren't the poor sap who gets dragged into going to the Cubby Bear before the game, wherein you are soon left wondering how your life spiraled out of control so quickly. Tommy Buzanis has pledged to help out with this column, as he is no stranger to the bottle, but you can rest assured that those promises are as empty as his shot glass. So here it is, another sporadically timed, mildly entertaining column that you can only find here at the TMS. Actually you can probably find lots of info on Wrigley bars in a much more concise and helpful format, but that's neither here nor there.

Today's Bar: Rebel Bar and Grill, 3462 N Clark St.

Website: http://www.rebelchicago.com/

Douchebag Factor (1-10, with 10 being this guy): 5

Who You'll See Here: Pretty much your standard twenty something Wrigleyville dweller who wants to try 'that one new place'. An amiable mix of douchiness and down to earth young couples looking for another couple to swing with.

What to order: The menu is the typical fare found all these new trendy sports bars trying hard not to be your father's sports bar. Not just chicken strips. Panko crusted chicken strips. Sweet pear and chicken panini. And of course, what trendy sports bar would be complete without mini sandwiches? We opted for the combo platter and it was good enough. The chicken strips were tasty and not too greasy, the mini corn dogs were a little piece of carnie heaven, and the mini burgers were positively White Castle-esque. The cheese quesadilla on the other hand, was bland and dry. Beer is familiar if uninspired.

If you were to see a celebrity here, it would be: James Vander Beek, Kyle Orton, Scott Baio, Willy Taveras, Matthew Lillard.

Summary: Located in the old Billy Goat Tavern space (I think), Rebel is like a smaller, less intimidating version of some of the huge rape magnets popping up along Clark Street (I'm looking at you Moe's). Dark as hell, with blood red walls and lots of TVs. Along the walls are some cool, black and white prints, mixing sports and celebrities. James Dean. Lou Pinella (as a player). Marilyn Monroe. Mike Ditka (also, as a player). Jake Nicholson from 'The Shining'. Bonus points for the one of Barrett punching AJ, especially fitting considering that I visited during the Cubs/Sox series at Wrigley. Black leather and candlelight is the motif of choice and there is a DJ booth situated next to the bar that I'm sure plays 'hot beats' at night. I can already hear the fat, sweaty chick from Naperville slurring, "Play some Nellllllly."

Like I said, the food was pretty good, the TV's were all huge and well placed, and the crowd wasn't too obnoxious. But what really stood out, at least initially, was the service. Our waitress was always around, and even offered us a half price round when we tried to close out our bill. Then, for the next round, I said, "We'll take the check unless you want to give us another half price round." Done.

Of course, now I look at my bank statement and see that it was charged an extra $10. Swindled. No soup for her.

So really, there's nothing about this place that really deserves your regular patronage, but you could do worse. Like standing in a 30 deep line to get into Casey Moron's. Boo. Like Merkle's did, and my herpes, this one has the potential to be a grower.

Thunder Matt Rating: 7 empty Old Style cans out of a 12 pack. It could have been 8 if not for that two faced waitress.

The Gist, Game 8,792

10:28 PM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Crazy Ass Orioles 7, Blue Stockings 5

Tonight the Cubs 14 game home winning streak came crashing down like my sobriety. The Orioles, led by Albert Belle and Eddie Murray, put the Cubs to shame. Sean 'I Got Nothing' Marshall got the call for the Men in Blue, and started out well enough, until it all unraveled in the 4th and 5th. I blame trade rumors.

Soon the Cubs found themselves down 7-1 and things were looking bleak. You think they gave up? You don't know this 2008 squad very well then. Whipping boy Jim Edmonds steps up with a 3-run donkey slap, Aramis' Oakleys get an RBI single and we're only down 7-5. The crowd was going nuts.

That's what I love about the Cubs. Most teams, they get down 7-1 and the fans are heading for the exits. Not Cubs fans. Instead of just getting drunk (or 'drunker'), they stay into the game and go crazy at even the slightest hint of a comeback. The reaction to a simple base hit would lead you to believe it was a tied game if you didn't know the score. I love that. That's why I get so mad when people give Cubs fans a bad rap, saying they just go to the game to get drunk and don't care about what's going on. Bullshit. Watch a game. Sure, everyone in the bleachers might be toasted, but with the exception of a few trixies and douchebags, everybody knows what's going on and everyone cares. Anyone that thinks otherwise can kiss the ass of 40,000 strong every night.

Anyway, back to the game. Thunder Matt flies out in the 8th to end the inning with runners on. There goes his chance of any PT (but at least he didn't get sent down today when they activated Ward).

In the ninth, we load the bases with no one out before Cedeno, K-Fuk and Hank White strike out in short order. Damn. Tomorrow Machine Gun Lilly takes the mound and rest assured, he will not be smiling.

Let's start another streak. We're going streaking!

Bring The Funk To Chicago: Update

3:14 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Last week was our first attempt at begging you for money...er...asking for your donations to help fly me, Daft Funk, to the city of Chicago to attend ThunderSummit 2008.

As you can see from the computer generated hi-res image to the right, we're about a fifth of the way to our goal. Please, think of the children.

Also, the question has been raised about what will be done with all the money donated so far if we don't get enough for the plane ticket. In the event that some, but not all, of the money needed is raised, it will be donated to either Cubs Care or to the Red Cross to help with the disaster relief in Iowa.

So donate that money! Either way, it's going to a good cause. As always, you can send a donation via Paypal to SaveFunk@gmail.com or e-mail us there to find out how to make any non-Paypal donations.

George Carlin Passes At 71

12:27 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

We don't take too kindly to being "serious" around the Saloon here, but there are exceptions from time to time.

George Carlin died yesterday of heart failure at the age of 71. Although this was a relatively young age, one can't help but wonder if Carlin was ready to go. After all, he had spent his entire life pointing out the satire we all live and breathe on a daily basis. After roughly 50 years of anti-Establishment rants and raves, maybe his work was complete. Now I wasn't there when he passed, but it would have only been fitting if Carlin's last words on this planet were "I'm sick of you motherfuckers. You all disgust me and I'm leaving."

The Hundley had George in our TMS Death Pool. He doesn't feel bad about it because our Death League seems like the exact kind of thing that Carlin himself would love to take part in.

6 points to The Hundley.

Season Standings
1. Governor Gray Davis - 25
2. The Hundley- 15
3. Daft Funk - 10
4. Chip Wesley - 9
5. Dave Thomas - 8
6. Tommy Buzanis - 6
7. Brant Brown - 5
8. Chaim Witz - 0

The Gist: Game 76

6:34 PM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Live from Dempster's Dojo, it's the ESPN Game of the Week. The Chicago Cubs hosting crosstown rivals, the Chicago Black Sox. The Cubs are looking to sweep the trash out of the North side of town while securing their 14th straight home victory. This game will not only get The Gist treatment, but a Drunken Diary as well. Bill Simmons, your check is not in the mail, because you are an asshat. On to The Gist!

5:10: A rainstorm right before the game brought a beautiful double rainbow over the city. I'm also drinking white wine at the moment. You know how I know I'm gay?

5:18: And the first pitch from Dempster is a fastball for a strike. We're underway.

5:19: A single by Cabrera kills the no-hitter. Fans are leaving the stadium en masse. We kid, we kid.

5:20: My doppelganger, A.J. Pierzynski is up. Note that the diary entries will not be this frequent throughout.

5:25: A tailor-made double play ends the top of the first, and the Cubs are coming to the plate.

5:27: Theriot is in the lineup batting eighth, with the undeserving Eric Patterson supplanting him and starting ahead of Murton in the two hole. Weak. Does Patterson have some dirt on Lou? Possibly a homemade porn video of the Piniellas that could leak if Patterson doesn't play?

5:29: Vazquez is wild at the onset, walking Fukudome, who then gets an uncontested steal of second base. Patterson subsequently draws the second walk in as many hitters. None of the 40,000+ in attendence yells "good eye!" to Patterson.

5:32: Lee singles up the middle scoring Fukudome. Patterson follows him to the plate on a Cabrera muff of the relay. None of the other Cubs high-five Patterson in the dugout. Murton stares at Patterson with the passionate hatred of a daughter that has been routinely molested by her step-father.

5:39: Edmonds fouls out to Pierzynski. You say he hit two homers yesterday? I say Edmonds is on notice.

5:42: Geovany Soto. Seriously, we almost don't talk about this enough. What a godsend compared to the six catchers we ran through last year. This is one of the biggest gems of our organization in quite some time. If I knew him, I'd buy him a lemon lime Gatorade for his efforts.

5:46: Nick Swisher is at the plate in the top of the second. I'd like to open this up to a Wrigleyville Roundtable. Nick Swisher: Gay or just Metrosexual? A post will be up later this week.

5:56: Theriot with a broken bat base hit. And the shards of maple stick directly into the ground. Two cheers for maple!

6:09: Peter Gammons does a piece on Ryan Dempster. Dempster has really come a long way back from a blown out arm. I've always been reluctant to trust him, but I must admit now, he's a workhorse and he's proving his worth.

6:11: Patterson draws another walk. He's still not to be trusted, as Murton will attest to.

6:16: Patterson is thrown out trying to steal second. I can't verify it, but I can only assume he was running on his own, and should be sent down to Des Moines for the blatant disregard to Lou's decisions.

6:22: Great play by Ramirez on Jermaine (Allensworth) Dye's sharp grounder, and a great dig out of the dirt by Lee. One down in the top of the fourth.

6:30: Theriot with the base hit is two for two and proving to Lou that this drop to the eighth spot should quickly be erased from our memories.

6:31: Does anyone realize that Wimbledon starts Monday morning? Does anyone care? When was the last time tennis was relevant? I have to assume that the men's final will once again come down to Sampras vs. Agassi.

6:34: Alexei Ramirez hits into the third double play of the night for the Black Sox.

6:35: They cut to one of those Sportscenter updates, where they stroke the ego and cock of Mark Teixeira. So he hit three homeruns today. Big deal. He's no Hard Hittin' Mark Whiten.

6:40: Vazquez hits Fukudome on the arm. Racist.

6:41: Patterson hits a two-run homer. With his first Major League homerun, he is clearly showboating. Ship him back to Iowa.

6:43: Ramirez follows with a much more legitimate homerun. 5-0 Cubs!

7:01: If Joe Morgan gives an opinion, and no one cares, does it really happen?

7:02: By the way, let's hear it for Jim Riggleman getting a job again! I just remember him as the most buff manager ever. He should manage with his shirt off.

7:10: Fuck Joe Morgan. He just said that the Cubs are only strong this year because the National League is so weak. Fuck you Joe Morgan. You also hate Ryne Sandberg. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. You are a son of a bitch! God forbid the Cubs are actually good, you Reds loving motherfucker. Your allegiances are so tainted. You seriously need to be removed from the booth you fucking old codger. Get out of our lives. Go back to your "Elder's Committee" and continue to fuck over Ron Santo. Seriously you dick. We hate you with every fiber in our god damned bones.

7:16: The vile hatred of Joe Morgan is now tainting my view of the game. All I can hear is the bile spitting out of his mouth.

7:17: I bet if Lee got hit in the head with the next pitch, Joe Morgan would say some incompetent shit like, "well, Lee shouldn't be covering the plate, he's clearly provoking a pitch to the head by trying to raise money for his daughter's charity". Fuck Joe Morgan. He can burn in hell.

7:24: Ramirez hits it to the gap in right center field, knocking in Lee. Fuck you Joe Morgan. In case you hadn't noticed, the Cubs are about to sweep an AL team dickhead.

7:38: Been a while since I expressed my hatred for Morgan. He hates the Cubs, he hates you, and he thinks his children are statistically better than yours.

7:39: Jim Thome with a pinch hit double. The drug addicts and delinquents with criminal records (aka Black Sox fans) rejoice!

7:40: Fresno State and Georgia meet in the finals of the College World Series? Joe Morgan just said that neither of those teams are as good as the Big Red Machine.

7:47: Dempster the Iron Man, batting for himself in the ninth, going for his second complete game in a row. Almost unprecedented in this day and age of weak pitching staffs. Best pitching staff ever? Any pitching staff on a Joe Morgan team.

7:54: Patterson with an infield hit, and he scores on Lee's double off the bricks. 7-1 Cubs.

8:02: Lou come out to the mound to pull Dempster in the ninth. Morgan states that Dempster wouldn't have even been good enough to pitch out of the bullpen for the Big Red Machine. Fuck you again, Joe Morgan.

8:08: Jon Miller tells us that Wrigley Field no longer allows brooms into the stadium if a sweep is iminent. Fascists.

8:10: Groundball by Alexei Ramirez. Ballgame over. Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! The Black Sox and Joe Morgan are out of our sight, at least until next Sunday, when they're the ESPN Game of the Week again. See you next week from the relatively new Comiskey.

Joe Morgan is still an asshole.

The Resurrection of Cito Gaston

5:15 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

In 1997, two time World Series winner Cito Gaston was condemned, tortured and crucified by his evil Canadian overlords, The Toronto Blue Jays. On June 20th, 2008, a day that shall hereafter be celebrated around the globe, he resurrected.

To be blunt, this is the event all the world's major religions have been waiting for. The return of Cito Gaston marks the second coming of Jesus, the first coming of the Jew's savior, the coming of the Mahdi, and the rebirth of the Dalai Lama, even though the current one isn't dead yet. Cito has come to wash away your sins and punish the wicked. As I write this, he's not doing too well punishing the wicked of the AL, but I blame the pathetic army he has been given.

Nonetheless, the Canadian Empire is worried about this rabble rouser. Caesar Stephen Harper has instructed his legions to monitor Gaston and his Blue Jay followers and may yet have to order a second crucifixion. Stay tuned for further news.

The Gist: Game In Pictures Edition

10:52 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk





ARAMIS!!!!!

4:30 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



Dear Scott Linebrink,

Enjoy today's donkeypunch. Hope to do it again sometime. Say hi to your wife and my kids.

Peace,
Aramis.

Bartender Banter: Surviving TB

9:08 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Well that was a nice trip to St. Pete, wasn't it? Let us never speak of it again....

Ugh, that whole series was terrible. Well for us at least. I'll say it, the Rays are legit and I hope they can keep it going all season. Taking the division from Boston would give those fans a much-needed humble kick in the taint.

And now, the bullet points
  • Oh Thunder Matt. Can we get at least one more home run before you're shipped off in a midseason trade? The 2008 case in the trophy room is covered in dust and cobwebs right now.
  • I really have to credit the Rays fans. Whenever the large number of Cubs fans would try a "Let's Go Cubbies!" chant at Tropicana it was always drowned out by a series of boos, cowbells, and other noisemakers. Bravo to you guys for taking a stand and keeping your homefield yours.
  • Derrek Lee's OPS in May was .681, and his June OPS is .719 thus far. Yeah a sweep will make you start looking at the cracks in the armor.
  • Our pal Jordi from The Serious Tip was at the Wednesday game and was kind enough to send us a couple nice shots of Thunder Matt at the plate in what he called "Starting Lineup"-like poses. Check out the photos below.
  • Someone go listen to something on TMS Radio. I spend way too much time putting it together for just Brant and I to be using it.
  • Speaking of music, some of the best albums I've heard in 2008 thus far include "Consolers of the Lonely" by The Raconteurs, "Attack and Release" by The Black Keys, "Walk it Off" by Tapes 'n Tapes, "Made in the Dark" by Hot Chip and "We Have You Surrounded" by The Dirtbombs. There are quite a few more I want to listen to a few more times before giving the official thumbs up.
  • While the fad of RickRolling may have jumped the shark, getting Ast-Raped will never go out of style.
  • Overrated: Willie Randolph's "shameful" firing. For further coverage I take you to an actual Mets fan that shares that sentiment. Read this and this.
  • Ugh, I'm putting the odds of Sabathia being in Cubby blue at slim and none. The Yanks or Boston will easily offer something better.
  • Dear NBA Season. You go on too long. Sincerely, Nextel Cup season.
  • You're allowed to punch me in the throat for using a lame Jim Rome Show gag just now.

That's it. I bring nothing to the table. Rockies in 6!


Thunder Matt did in fact get a hit in this series.

Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

TMS 30 Greatest Movies: #13 Predator

12:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Title: Predator
Year: 1987
Genre: Action, Sci-fi
Main Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura
Ranked: Highly by Brant Brown

Two future Governors battle Royce Clayton in a jungle somewhere.

Read the rest here. I'm goin' huntin'.

Let The Speculation Begin!

12:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



We keep hearing from Jim Hendry and Sweet Lou that while they love the current Cubs team, they're never satisfied and will do what they need to do to upgrade the club wherever and whenever they can.

While this is a good thing to hear from your GM under most circumstances, Hendry's constant tinkering and plotting can sometimes be too much. Example 1 is the recent Murton/Patterson swap. If you're going to only give Patterson 8 at bats before sending him back down, why not just call Murton up in the first place? I'm sure Jim knows a hell of a lot more than I do about running a baseball team, but if I can't second guess and complain in this post-9/11 society, then the terrorists have truly won.

Despite the fact the Cubs have the best record in the majors, we are a team that has some holes. Because of this, everyone expects the Cubs to be in on a ton of major trade talks this month. Here are my random thoughts on the subject.

Who can we afford to get rid of?

With Soriano and Fukudome locked in at the corner infield spots for the next few years and a really good chance that we'll have yet another highly touted 5 tool centerfielder prospect in the Corey Patterson/Felix Pie mold crash and burn (I seriously believe this cycle will continue every 3-4 years), the outfield is pretty set, so anyone not named Soriano and Fukudome is fair game. I also consider Rich Hill and the Seans (Gallagher and Marshall) to be available and expendable, especially if another pitcher comes back in return. With Fontenot, Theriot and DeRosa on the roster, Ronny Cedeno could be shipped off for something useful and I wouldn't really care. Same goes for the Bizarro Murton (Eric Patterson).

Am I suggesting that the Cubs trade all of those guys and completely empty the cupboard? Not yet. I'm just saying who I think should be available. The list currently looks like this:

Outfielders
Matt Murton
Tyler Colvin
Felix Pie
Micah Hoffpauir

Infielders
Eric Patterson
Ronny Cedeno

Pitchers
Rich Hill
Sean Gallagher
Sean Marshall

(NOTE: I'd list Jason Marquis in there as well, but I can't ever imagine anyone wanting that guy unless he somehow learned to vomit $100 bills.)

Who's out there?

This is where things get a little tricky, since there aren't many teams that are out of the race yet, and some teams that were left for dead a few weeks ago (San Diego and Colorado) are showing signs of life in weak-ass divisions. But here are a few people that may be available over the next month or so:

C.C. Sabathia: If this guy gets traded, expect the Cubs to be one of many teams that are in the hunt for him. I'm not familiar with the Indians' minor league system, so I'm not 100% sure what they need, but it seems like some corner outfield help and a decent middle infielder would be on their list, with some starting pitching thrown in to boot. Can we get him? I think so, and he's the kind of guy that you wouldn't feel too bad shipping off a bunch of guys to get, even if he leaves at the end of the season. At least you'd collect the 2 draft picks when he bolts out of town. In fact, I'd feel better about letting him leave and getting the picks than signing him to even a 4 year deal and seeing him eat his way out of being useful a la Miguel Cabrera. Are Murton, Marshall, Patterson and Cedeno enough to land C.C.?

A.J. Burnett: What is it with pitchers going by their initials instead of having a first name and being connected to the Cubs in trade talks? Is J.J. Putz next? Anyway, Burnett has gone so far as to say that he would love to play for the Cubs. Someone needs to tell this guy that he's still under contract with Toronto. Can we get him? At this point, between Burnett's boner for the Cubs and Toronto's surly attitude toward him, I don't think it would take a whole lot to aquire A.J.'s services.

Do we really need anymore outfielders, especially centerfielders?

I understand why we went out and got Reed Johnson. And even tough I hated it at the time, the Jim Edmonds signing is actually working out decently enough. And yet every morning when I hit these here interwebs, I read things about the Cubs looking for more outfield help. Why? The Reed Johnson/Edmonds tandem seems to be working out pretty well for us so far. And if we need some extra help, why on Earth would the Cubs trade for someone like Coco "Thug" Crisp when Kenny Lofton is out there just waiting for a phone call. Same with Reggie Sanders. The point is, I don't think we need any other outfielders. Unless a fantastic offer comes out of nowhere (Matt Holliday becomes available and can play a decent centerfield), I think the outfield is just fine the way it is and I don't see the point in trading for a Coco Crisp or Griffey Jr.

Would it be worth it to bet the farm on 2 big aquisitions?

You mean would I bet the farm and ship everyone listed above off for both Sabathia and Burnett? I'd be tempted. You're mortgaging the future, but if it got a World Series win this year, would it really matter? In a short series, wouldn't a right/left/right/left rotation of Zambrano, Sabathia, Burnett and Lilly scare the crap out of anyone?

The Gist: Game 72

11:58 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



Rays 5, Cubs 4

I don't have much to say about this game. It's one of those ones that, despite the tingly feelings the Cubs have given me this season, feels like every other year, when the Cubs underachieved and fell apart when it mattered most.

Things that sucked:

1. Zambrano left the game in the 7th with "shoulder discomfort". MRI scheduled tomorrow. Is this ever a good thing?
2. Jim Edmonds leaves with a hurt foot, which would normally be great news, but Reed Johnson is also out with a stiff back.
3. Today was the best chance the Cubs had at stealing a game in Tampa with Sonnanstine on the mound. We lost, and our prize is James Shields tomorrow. Shields has a fantastic changeup. The Cubs are awful against pitchers with great changeups. If Shields was also a lefty, I'd say he's got a great chance at a no-hitter.

The good? The 9th inning, which included a Soto homer and a few guys getting on base. After DeRosa walked against Percival, Hoff-Power swung at the very first pitch and popped out. I know you're young and aggressive early in the count, but come on guy...there are no outs and a guy on first that just got walked. You gotta stand in there and take a pitch or two.

Yeah yeah yeah...I sound like the typical negative Cubs fan; arrogant when things are going well, gloom-and-doom when things look bleak*. But for some reason, the last two games have left a poor taste in my mouth. We gotta win tomorrow. I don't want to go into the White Sox series losing 3 straight for the first time all season.

*I do appreciate that things "looking bleak" this season consists of losing 2 games to one of the best home teams in the majors.

Underrated: Randy Quaid

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

"Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!"

And thus, cinematic history was made. Those immortal words were uttered by the one and only Randy Quaid. Forever living in the shadow of his less talented brother Dennis, Randy is a comedic genius that must finally be celebrated. To quote imdb, "Randy Quaid has never been timelier." What does that mean? It means you need to get with the program. Today, we will look back on some of his comedy masterpieces (many of the highlights are on youtube if you're so inclined):

Vacation - 1983 - Quaid first lands on my radar when he hits a home run as Cousin Eddie, Clark Griswald's ne'er do well brother-in-law living in Kansas. Cousin Eddie gives us one of the great philosophical conundrums of our time when he says, "I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper, it does just fine by itself."

LBJ: The Early Years - 1987 - I never saw this, but the very thought of Randy playing LBJ brings a smile to my face. LBJ was famous for his shitter humor as well.

Christmas Vacation - 1989 - Cousin Eddie returns, this time rolling up in a dilapidated RV to spoil Clark's big family Christmas sporting a blue leisure suit. In addition to the shitter line, he also asks if he can salvage the chair the cat was recently fried in by fumigating it and kidnaps Clark's boss on Christmas Eve. Did you know they had to replace the metal plate in his head with a plastic one? With the metal one, every time his wife fired up the microwave he'd piss his pants and forget who he was for a half hour or so.

Major League II - 1994 - Quaid plays every obnoxious fan ever in this tepid sequel to the baseball classic. Vile thing, you make my butt sting! I detest you! You're all garbage, all of ya! Back up the truck, back it up!

Independence Day - 1996 - Remember how much ass this kicked when you were in high school? Well, if so, I advise you never to watch it again. Your memories will be ruined. Quaid plays an alcoholic farmer from California who claims to have been abducted by aliens years before. Even after the visitors obliterate all of our major cities, no one believes his story. Assholes. In the end, he only saves the human race...

Kingpin - 1996 - 1996 was a banner year for the Q man as he scored two huge hits. In this one, he plays an innocent Amish bowler taken advantage of by huckster Woody Harrelson. Hey everybody there's a shit cloud coming, run for your lives!!

Vegas Vacation - 1997 - After 8 long years, Cousin Eddie returns for a third time. This time he's living out in Nevada on some land the government used to test H-bombs on. There isn't a minute of screentime that passes without a Busch beer in his hand (with a couple more attached to his hip). Beyond that, it seems he's still having problems with the plate in his head: Every time I belch, the plate shifts and my legs give out. But man, what a view.

Not Another Teen Movie - 2001 - This entire movie is underrated. 5.4 on imdb? Give me a break. Randy plays the supportive father of Janey Briggs who nicknames his daughter "pumpkin tits" and says "if Janey wants to be a rug-muncher, that's her decision."

Brokeback Mountain - 2005 - Not a comedy you say? I remember laughing a lot. Yep, I'm immature like that. Quaid plays the guy who hires Jack and Ennis to uh, work, up on the mountain. After he catches them uh, not working, he offers up this gem: Twist, you guys wasn't gettin' paid to leave the dogs babysittin' the sheep while you stem the rose. Randy is now suing the producers saying they got him to work cheaply by promising the film would make no money. With Brokeback making $80 million plus at the box office, Randy wants his fair share.

As I said, these are only the highlights. Quaid has a long and varied career. While I am touting his comedic genius here, remember he also garnered an oscar nomination, has won a Golden Globe, and done a Reagan impersonation on Saturday Night Live. Hose down now kids! Chicken's almost ready!

War Criminal: The Heart Pound

10:40 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



With the epic struggle of the Chicago Bulls this NBA season, I didn't catch much basketball this season until the playoffs started. After watching some of the approximately 1,834 games it takes to complete the playoffs, I'm glad I didn't.

There are certain things that happen in our society that I just don't understand and probably never will, like an old man that wakes up every day only to be confused and bewildered by such crazy things as the internet and pornography and this damn YouTube thing I keep hearing about. For example, when did it just become "ok" to talk at the movies? Not just a quick whispered comment, but people having full on conversations on their cell phones in the middle of movies! Who approved this, and where was I that day?

But this isn't about the movies. This is about the worst thing to happen to basketball since Bruce Bowen: The Heart Pound.

Now if you hit the game winning shot of a series clinching win, then yes, I don't mind a little excessive celebration. But when you're up by 40 points and you hit a meaningless jumper and start performing CPR on yourself, I have to draw the line. Kevin Garnett, I'm looking at you.

I'd much more have the "jersey pop" make a comeback over this bush league crap.

Here's a list of things I'd rather do than watch all 12 guys on an NBA team constantly punch themselves in the circulatory system:

1. Sit through Sex And The City: The Movie.
2. Make out with Sam Cassell.
3. Have someone pull out my intestines with a barbecue spit contraption like in the movie The Cell.
4. Actually watch The Cell a second time.
5. Walk through broken glass with no shoes on a la Die Hard.
6. Punch myself in the groin. Repeatedly.

THUNDERWATCH 2008

12:39 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk





STATUS: REVIVED


Murton is up! Murton is up! The Russian is cut!

Eric Patterson, the Bizzaro Murton, is going down to AAA again and the Thunder is being recalled. I think this is the last time the Cubs can call Murton up, so he's either going to stay with the team for good, or be traded by the end of next month. Either way, the manchild is up, which is good news for us. Let's paint the town orange!

War Criminal: Wind

12:00 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

By now all of you have heard about this new M. Night Shyamalan film The Happening. From all accounts, it looks to be a horrifically terrible piece of "art" (Update: I was forced to see it over the weekend, and its presentation is laughable at best, mind-numbingly idiotic at worst). However, every fabrication in life and on film, every tall tale, grows forth from some grain of truth embedded within our society. Do trees and grass attack us like they do in the movie? No, that's patently ridiculous. That being said, there is one devious malcontent in the realm of nature that clearly has it out for all things living: Wind (to the right is an artist's rendering).

No single source has given us a definitive account of the first instance of wind on our fair Earth. It seems to be a relic that even pre-dates the dinosaurs. We know that Wind has been around far longer than the history of man. It has fared well for itself without even the most rudimentary concepts of civilization, without any tangible presence, without any observable need to replenish its energies, and it most certainly thrives without a soul.

Often it resides on the fringes of populated areas, barely noticeable for days. At other times, Wind seeks attention violently, making it's presence known with screaming defiance and no remorse. Has it prohibited the progress of man? Yes. One must often overcome its anger and hatred while jogging or riding a bicycle. Instances such as this, though, are minor annoyances compared to what Wind is capable of. Wind is wiley and uncontrollable, allowing it to elude penalty and incarceration.Though it has never been detained and tried in a court of law, Wind has been held accountable for a number of deaths across the globe.

We can only hope that it is a simple matter of time before justice is brought against Wind. The following is just a sample of the case currently being built against this most formidable of foes:

One of the earliest documented instances of Wind's direct implication in murder, from the New York Times, January 9, 1911.

In 2003, Wind killed a man who tried to harness it for pleasure.

It is believed that Wind has a history of taunting those that cannot defend themselves, notably the elderly and the young.

Wind has been implicated in at least one assassination of a public leader.

At least one account exists of Wind eluding airport security and committing a terrorist act while a passenger jet was in flight.

In one documented case, Wind was held accountable in the demise of another legendary mythological entity.

Not only do humans suffer the brute force and vengeance of wind, but animals as well.

Finally, Wind is disgusted by our reliance on oil.

This is but a glimpse into the eye of a killer and miscreant that we must, unfortunately, learn to co-exist with. Wind is only one member of a murderous family, bearing relation to such other deadly phenomenon as tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons. Wind is a creature for which we must stay vigilant, remaining in awe of its greatness; never turning our backs to it or cursing it for fear of immediate retribution.

Bring The Funk To Chicago

2:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



There are events that happen in one's lifetime that can only be described as epic and life-changing. Think The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Think of The Rolling Stones at Altamont. Think the release of Nellyville (Do you remember where were you were?).

Mark down August 2, 2008 on your life calendars, good readers.

Mark it down as TMS Summit 2008.

In the past, there have been many times where we here at the Saloon have had mini-meetups. Over the last month or so, there have been several Cub games that served as meeting places for anywhere from 3-5 of us, but never has there been a time where all 8 of us bartenders have been able to meet up in the same place at the same time.

That time is (almost) here.

The first weekend in August, the city of Chicago will be rocked to its core. Chaim Witz and Dave Thomas already hold down the fort in The Windy City. Joining them will be our fearless leader, Chip Wesley, who will put his humanitarian effort in Iowa on hold to descend onto the city. The Hundley is going to take a break from stalking...err...cheering on Thunder Matt in Iowa as well. From the east, Lingering Bursitis will be making his way from New York to get his Wrigley Field cherry popped. Brant Brown and Governor Gray Davis will be leaving Orange County and all of its popped collars behind for some good old Chicago fun. There may even be a Tommy Buzanis sighting if he can find a place to park the Orifice Penetrator. The Pirates have no chance on August 2 with that much testosterone in the stands cheering the Cubs on.

And where will I be? Remember that "almost" 2 paragraphs back?

As of right now, I will be sitting at home watching the game on MLB.tv from my couch. You see, I am poor. Very, very poor. Blame it on the slow economy, or rising oil and gas prices, or my addiction to hardcore German pornography. The point is, as of right now, I don't have the cash to buy the ticket to Chicago to join the rest of the bartenders.

So this is where we turn to you, loyal fans. From now until the end of July, we're going to run a fundraiser of sorts to try to bring me to Chicago for the August 2 game at Wrigley Field. Usually we're opposed to begging for money (or at least, we say that to seem like we have dignity), but the fact that this may be the one and only time in TMS history that we have a chance to gather all of us in one place means that we're pulling out all the stops.

I know what you're thinking: Why should I turn over any of my hard earned money to you? I'm glad you asked.

Anyone that donates to the cause will get something cool, which I have yet to think of. Maybe I'll write you a thank you note. Maybe I'll compose a sonnet about your incredible generosity. Maybe I'll send you an autographed picture of myself. I'm sure I'll think of something. Plus, with all of the entertainment and breaking news we've brought you over our 2+ years for free, couldn't you spare a few bucks?

Another perk? We have things set up so that if we do raise the money to send me to Chicago, we will print it up as a giant check like the ones that people give to contest winners. Once I have the check, I will make a special post on TMS documenting my attempt to cash the giant check at various banks and liquor stores. How funny would that be?

Also, to help out the cause, we're selling a special shirt in the TMS store. All proceeds from the shirt will go toward our fundraising effort.



If you'd like to buy the shirt, you can do so here.

Hopefully I've convinced you and your families that you don't really need to buy that extra large pizza tonight and that the money can be used for better things, such as buying a poor boy a plane ticket. So how do you donate some scratch? We've got a Paypal account set up for you to send money to. So if you're feeling extra generous, send a few (hundred) dollars to our Paypal account at SaveFunk@gmail.com. Not down with the whole Paypal thing? You can e-mail us at SaveFunk@gmail.com and we can work something else out.

We'll be doing updates throughout the next few weeks updating you on how we're doing in relation to our goal. So if you're in a giving mood over the next week or two, think of your good buddy Daft Funk. If you do and you're in the Wrigleyville area the weekend of ThunderSummit 2008, I'll even buy you a drink and let you kick me in the groin for fun.

And if your name is Paul Sullivan, I'll let you do it twice.


"Change? Chaaaange?"

Chaimng In: Strange Brew Edition

8:30 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Coming to you straight from the poop deck of the Orifice Penetrator, anchored somewhere in the middle of Great Bear Lake, I bring you these stray, Molson-induced observations:

-The boys in blue take 2 of 3 from the boys in powder blue. Machine Gun Lilly and Jason Marquis combine for two wins and zero smiles. Nothing particularly boner-inducing from this series, save for the Jays cool old uniforms they aren't afraid to break out. They don't give a shit. Reed Johnson? Still more popular north of the border than he is here. Jim Edmonds? Playing well, but unlike Reeder, he has no chance of winning me over, save for a series-clinching, playoff walk-off. Damn you and your restaurants Edmonds. Toronto pitching? Solid. Toronto hitting? About as imposing as me with my shirt off. Marco Scutaro? Kevin Mench? Jason Inglett? Exit stage left of my life. You'll never compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, nay, the Rays, with that collection of vagabonds and child molesters. Next.

-I listened to Saturday's game on the radio while sunning myself in a Canadian flag adorned Speedo. Santo was gone. In his place, the horrifically insignificant Dave Otto. That guy is like the K-Mart of sports announcers. I was able to lure several small children over to the boat with promises of candy and blackberry brandy, just so I could make them listen to snippets of Otto, before sternly warning them, "Don't be like that." The screams of their horrified parents aside, I think I may have gotten through to a few of them.

-Word is that the Cubs are in the market for a starting pitcher. We're hearing the names of two pitchers with initials for first names. 'CC Sabathia' and 'AJ Burnett'. I'd prefer CC (Deville), if only because, well, as Cubs fan, I have this phobia of pitchers with a history of arm injuries. Plus, it's been well documented that I love me a fat player (Cecil Fielder, Fernando Valenzuela, Louie Anderson).

-These NBA Finals are about as exciting as waiting for a wealthy old relative to die so you can have their inheritance. Who is this Kobe Bryant that I've heard everyone talk about? I haven't seen him show up in any of these games. Am I missing something?

-You know what's underrated? Mediterranean food. Tommy cooked me up quite the feast the other night. Hummus, falafel, dill rice and of course, Tommy's Famous Beef Kabob. I love putting Tommy's beef kabob in my mouth. So tender. Try it.

-The commercials for that movie The Love Guru? Sent me into an epileptic fit and I don't even have epilepsy. Somebody get me a beef kabob!

-Our prayers go out to our brethren to the west in Iowa. The footage is like a scene out of that Costner movie Waterworld, and just as hard to watch. I'm not sure what my home state did to cause Fortuna's wheel to spin downward like this, but they're a resilient folk who will bounce back.

-The Cubs now move on to play the Rays. A few years ago and fans would be cursing the baseball gods for putting such an abomination on the schedule, but now it makes for a potentially intriguing and exciting series. I'm sure the national press will be all over the whole Cliff Floyd vs. his former mates angle. Cubs take two of three and I take two of three from Tommy in Yahtzee.