The Ghosts of Deadlines Past

3:06 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Every year players and fans alike are excited at the prospect of change that the trading deadline brings to the game. I felt that with my post being finalized at exactly the same time as the deadline, it was only natural to talk a little bit about some last minute deals.

This year we've already seen Cleveland unload Cliff Lee to Philly and it appears likely that Victor Martinez is going to Boston. Jarrod Washburn is now officially a Tiger. And yet somehow, one name has remained suspiciously off the waiver wire. That's right, I'm talking about Miguel Olivo. No, seriously, no one wants Miguel Olivo. Roy Halladay is still a Blue Jay (as of this writing) and it looks like he may stay put. He has clearly been the crown jewel of this years deadline but with Buchholz now likely headed to the tribe and Boston seemingly out of the race, no one left seems to want to pull the trigger. Does anyone want Adrian Gonzalez?

All of these teams feel that this move or that may be the final piece of the puzzle they need to make a run at the post-season or even compete for a championship. We all know hindsight is 20/20 so lets look back over the past few years and see how well these last-minute transactions panned out.

2008

Cubs get Harden and Gaudin. It's far more difficult to complain about Harden than how the club handled Gaudin in the subsequent offseason. At least we still have Neal Cotts.

Brewers rent CC Sabathia for almost four months and give up Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson, and Taylor Green. The Brewers pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and dealt for a guy that they planned on running out to the mound every fourth day. That's exactly what they did and he ended up going 11-2 for Milwaukee. Looking back, they may not have made the post season without him but he sure as shit didn't help them once they got there.

Manny to Dodgers, Jason Bay to Boston, Brandon Moss, Craig Hansen (from Boston), Andy LaRoche, and Bryan Morris (from LA) to Pirates. This deal was huge for a few teams. Obviously Manny going to the Dodgers was huge and Bay finally started to spread his wings for the Red Sox. The Pirates got LaRoche...I guess.

Griffey to White Sox for Nick Masset, Danny Richar and $$$. This deal was bizarre. The White Sox didn't need another outfielder and Griffey played in Chicago for only one year before returning to Seattle. Masset is "pitching" for Cincinnati and Danny Richar can be found at the track when he's not playing AAA ball in Louisville.

2007

Wonderkind Eric Gagne found a new home in Boston where he....still is?

Braves land Mark Teixeira, Ron Mahay, Octavio Dotel, and Royce Ring and give up Kyle Davies and Wil Ledezma. For all the hype surrounding this Teixeira deal, he didn't last much longer than a wet fart in Atlanta before cashing in and moving to NY.

The Padres are the proud owners of Morgan Ensberg and all they had to give up was a PTBNL. I'd say that's fair.

Matt Morris goes from the Padres to the Giants in exchange for Rajai Davis. My how the mighty have fallen. And he only made $9.5 million that year. Ha!

Tadahito Iguchi returns to his hometown of Philadelphia to plug the gap left by an injured Chase Utley. Has since been fitted for a ring.

2006

The Professor gets kicked out of Chicago once again but this time he heads to the west coast. I don't think anyone was happy to see Maddux leave, particularly when they saw we were getting Cesar Izturis in his place. I tried to find a picture of Izturis screwing something up by typing in his name, and subsequently typing in his name plus the word "bad". The same pictures came up. Go figure. Now you get nothing.

Julio Lugo joins the prodigal son in LA for the tune of Joel Guzman and Sergio Pedroza. Wait, the Dodgers traded FOR Lugo?

Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez to the Mets and Xavier Nady to the Pirates. Xavier felt it was in his best interests to get injured in a larger market and was later absorbed by the Yankees.

Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle head to the big apple for CJ Henry, Carlos Monasterios, Jesus Sanchez, and Matt Smith from the Phillies. You suppose Corey ever crashes as Jesus' place? I'll let you take it from here.

Overrated: Dane Cook

9:45 AM | Comments (0) | by Zachary Kenitzer

I'm cool: you want proof?
My belt buckle is badass.

Dane Cook is not funny.

First, while I shouldn’t even have to, let me explain. Dane Cook started as a comedian touring college campuses and small time bars and became “big” after he appeared on Comedy Central. While early on he might have been funny, his comedy slowly devolved into a formulaic, mind-numbing and insulting. Today it is no secret that he is hated by most comedians, a major drama queen and supposedly is low enough to steal material from comedians like Louis CK. Regardless, even if he wasn’t any of these things he still isn’t funny. Take a look at my rendition of “The Dane Cook Formula”:

Step 1: Make an Observation (usually something simple)
Step 2: Describe something in the observation
Step 3: Expect people to laugh at the observation as if its ironic or unique
Step 4: If people don't laugh then:
a: make a strange face or make an odd movement to accentuate story
b: yell a swear word or make an odd noise at the top of your lungs
Step 5: Expect people to laugh at a, b or a and b.
Repeat

In fact, lets take it further. This is the joke that prompted me to write this post and have a long discussion with my coworker (who is named Karen and called this the Karen joke). All you have to do it take the formula and apply it (the only thing I have done is add “Step #”, this “joke” is in its whole form, seriously... you can't make this up)

Step 1:

So I'm hangin' out with all of my buddies, and uh, I realize something, I realize something. Think of the group of people you've known the longest in your life. Think of the group of friends you've hung out with the most, maybe you're all here tonight. And this is what I realized, I had an epiphany, and here it is, right here: There is one person, in every group of friends, that nobody fucking likes. You basically keep them there, to hate their guts. When that person is not around the rest of your little base camp, your hobby, is cutting that person down.

Step 2:

Example: "Karen, is always a douchebag." Every group has a Karen and she is always a bag of douche. And when she's not around, you just look at each other and say, "God, Karen, she's such a douchebag!". Until she walks up, then you're like, "Hey, what's up Kar-? Kar-. What's up Kar-?"

Step 3

There's always that one person - and I'm lookin' out and some of guys are like "Umm, I disagree." Well you're the person - You're the person nobody likes.

Step 4

I know, it is so true, and that's why it's funny. It is so true, that's why it's funny, because, it's so true, hence, funny.

Skip Step 5

Repeat Step 1

Your whole life that person has been there. That's how Brian is in our group. Nobody likes Brian. Yet everywhere we go, Brian would show up, even if we didn't tell him where we were going.

Step 2

We would go someplace and he would do that I Just Found You run. "H-h-h-h-hi guys. What's up guys?" And one of us would always see him and warn the rest of the group. We'd be like,

Step 3

"Fucking Brian is coming." "What?" [whispered] "Fucking Brian is coming."

Step 4

That's his name, Fucking Brian Is Coming. I heard a rumor, when he was born, even the doctor said, "Fucking Brian is coming. Let's get this demon seed out of here."

Step 5

That's what I'm saying - quote, unquote. And you can quote me on the quote, unquote.

Repeat

Wow... just take a minute to reread that and see what is funny about the actual text. There is nothing funny about it... hes telling a terrible story that most people would end with "and then I found a $5 bill." Then on top of it he stops in the middle to say "Its funny because its true." Yes Dane, its true, but its not funny. Sorry.

I challenge you to go back and look at other Dane Cook Jokes, I've even made it easy by giving you this site if you don't believe me: http://www.mustsharejokes.com/page/Dane+Cook+Jokes.
Every one of those jokes follows the formula. In closing, Dane you're a terrible comedian, and if you were the jester in my court I'd have you guillotined.

Cubs Get Gorzelanny and Grabow

9:41 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

So the Cubs finally made a trade, acquiring Sloth Gorzelanny and John Grabow from Pittsburgh for Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and a minor leaguer. With this deal the Cubs gain two lefties for the bullpen.

Hart got the win for the Cubs today in what ended up being his final performance for Chicago. At least he has somewhere to go still. Russ Ortiz got tossed out on his ass by the Astros after giving up 9 runs in 2.1 innings pitched today. Maybe it's time to finally hang 'em up Russ. Hey you were a 20 game winner once, you had a good run, and you're not Shawn Estes*.

So John Grabow huh? It'll be nice to have another lefty in the pen, especially if we need Sean Marshall to step back in the rotation since our starters have been a little banged up. He's been decent for the Pirates, just know that he does walk batters quite a bit.

Gorzelanny has experience as a starter but served as a reliever earlier this season for Pittsburgh before being sent down to AAA Indianapolis. Gorzo has pitched quite well in the minors this season posting a 2.48 ERA in 15 starts and striking out 85 in 87 innings pitched. He'll certainly be a valuable asset to have either as a #5 starter or serving in long relief.

For what they gave up I'm pretty happy with this move. Now if Hendry could somehow get a 2B worth a damn I think the Cubs would be set.

*I alway confuse Ortiz wth Estes. Then I remember Ortiz was never the worst starting pitcher the Cubs ever had.

War Hero: Aaron Miles

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

Wait, what? Aaron Miles is a War Hero? How can this be? Since I live under a rock, it wasn't until I read the new Vineline that I learned the story of how Aaron Miles was taken hostage in March of 2000 while he was in the Astros' minor league system. The gunmen robbed several of Miles's teammates, tied them up with ziplines, and locked them in an adjoining room. They were able to break the ziplines and call the police. When the police arrived, two of the gunmen fled, but one remained, keeping Miles as his hostage. Miles took a chance and tried to wrestle the gun away from the man, who proceeded to punch and bite Miles, finally jumping on his back. Miles refused to let go of the gun and hollered for the cops to come in. The police came through the window and shot the criminal six times, all while Miles was on top of him, still holding on to the gun.

Now I don't know why I've never heard this story before, but holy crap, that took balls of steel. I've made fun of Miles a lot and while I still don't particularly want him on the Cubs' roster, I can't really make jokes about a guy who took on an armed assailant. That Miles held on to the gun and was on top of the guy while the police pumped six rounds into the fucker just amazes me. I'd have been crying in the corner like a little girl, so I have to give a lot of credit to Aaron.

Aaron Miles, you sir, are truly a War Hero.

Andy White Goes Yard

8:03 PM | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

Yes, he can.

Andres Blanco belted the very first homerun of his career in the 8th inning of a complete beatdown of the Astros today. On an 2-0 changeup from Doug Brocail, Andy hit a line drive that reached the bleachers just inside the right field foul pole. The run hardly mattered, as it was the 11th of the 12 runs the Cubs plated over the Stars. Because it was Blanco's 350th professional plate appearance, making it more rare than Haley's Comet, the Andy White Fan Club will be celebrating tonight by buying rounds of Cabo Wabo at an undisclosed location in the Phoenix area.

Shot of my view of Andy's homerun in the 8th.

Go Cubs!

Press Release: TMS Was Right To Endorse Wells

3:42 PM | Comments (0) | by Wolter

This just in! ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

Thunder Matt’s Saloon Was Right To Endorse Wells

Chicago, IL – July 29, 2009

After 8 solid innings of shutout ball, giving up only 6 hits and walking 2, TMS's July 16th endorsement of Randy Wells has thus far proven to be "right on, bitches," in the words of an anonymous TMS staffer.

This staffer then went on to call Wells "Nails. Totally f@cking nails, bro."

Mr. Wells himself remains unavailable for comment, no doubt because he is to busy kicking ass and taking names.

Contact:
Press Secretary
c/o Thunder Matt’s Saloon
Chicago, IL and Parts Unknown
TMS RSS Feed
TMS Facebook Fan Page

TMS Twitter Page
TMS Guest Blogger

Summer Games: Thermal Ball

7:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

Now that summer is here, it's time to get that itchy shirt off and get outside. This is doubly true in times of Cub woe that we're currently experiencing - we need something to pass the time and dull the pain. Summer Games will examine some classic outside games, carefully choosing ones that lend themselves to shirtless participation and the coexistence of your favorite summer beverage.


Thermal Ball. The "game" is fairly simple. Take a tennis ball and douse it in a flammable liquid. Gasoline is preferred as it burns longer than lighter fluid, although substitutes such as Everclear or napalm will also work. Light the tennis ball on fire. Kick or throw the flaming tennis ball around. That's about it. It is one of the few summer games that can be played at night, nay, must be played at night.

History: While it would be lying to say we invented the game (YouTube shows many versions), our version was born from a bunch of friends bored one night with nothing to do. Not yet having realized the potential of boozing it up, smoking a fatty, or boning down, our weekend nights usually involved lighting fireworks at the local elementary school until the cops showed up and then running and hiding from them. This night, however, we were out of fireworks, and being the pyromaniacs that we were, found the next best thing. And Thermal Ball was born.

Location: The location is fairly important in Thermal Ball. While we used to use the street in front of our friend's house as teenagers, the inherent danger and legality of the game might make you want you to chose a safer place to play this game. Some recommended locations include: parking lots, corn fields, abandoned warehouses, and the like. The more room the better, and the darker the better, as the coolness of a ball flying through the air on fire is increased with less outside light.

Places not recommended to play Thermal Ball include: inside your house, your neighbors backyard (while they are sleeping inside), a California National Forest, and unfortunately where I live in the Arizona desert. Please note that the tennis ball will leave puddles of flaming gasoline where it bounces or rolls, so keep flammable objects and babies as far away as possible.

Rules: There are three rules to Thermal Ball- 1st RULE: You do not talk about Thermal Ball. 2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about Thermal Ball. 3rd RULE: There are no rules. A little like Calvinball, the best way to play is using your imagination and make it up as you go along. It is usually more fun with the more people involved, as the risk of serious injury increases. Basically you just kick the flaming ball around, or if brave enough, try to catch it and throw it without experiencing 2nd to 3rd degree burns. Tricks are encouraged, again increasing the risk of injury makes the game more fun.

Don't tase me, bro!

The game is usually ended when the police show up and you run away. If you get caught, refer to the first 2 rules of Thermal Ball. If you are lucky enough to be in a location that the cops will not show up at, the game may continue until the fire has burnt a hole in the tennis ball, causing it to no longer bounce, or until someone is injured enough to take them to the hospital (1st degree burns don't count, suck it up pussy).

Scoring: Much like my personal life, there is no scoring.

Ease of Playing Drunk/Shirt Wearing: Most often this game is played after consuming heavy amounts of alcohol and can often be influenced by flaming shots or drinks, such as the Flaming Cocaine or Flaming Moe, although as an official disclaimer, TMS does NOT endorse mixing drinking with fire. That being said, if you have someone sober enough to make sure your totally trashed friend doesn't try to catch the flaming tennis ball with his mouth, you should be okay.

This game can be played with or without a shirt, although for the more hairy men in the group, you might want to keep a shirt on if you don't want to end up looking like Michael Jackson shooting a Pepsi commercial.

All in all, Thermal Ball is a fun game, and it's ease of play and the chance of going out in a flame of glory (literally) make it a notch higher on the excitement level when compared to other summer games such as cornhole and horeshoes. Just make sure to remember the three magic words when playing with fire, "It wasn't me."

Go Cubs!

What's That Sucking Sound? It's The Cubs' Second Base Black Hole.

3:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

It's amazing to me that a team that has approximately half the roster devoted to second sackers doesn't have one that's any good. Ever since the salary dump of He Who Shall Not Be Named in the offseason, the Cubs have experimented with several options at second, with none of them turning out to be particularly effective.

Considering that the Cubs have managed to claw their way into first place in the Central (albeit by a tenuous 1/2 game margin), perhaps it's unnecessarily whiny and petty of me to be harping on this, but would it be too much to ask that we have at least one starting-caliber second baseman on the roster? Jim Hendry has always had an unusual fetish for second baseman, possibly the most vanilla and unexciting of all the infield positions, collecting them like so many Donut Fancier magazines (ah, a Jim Hendry fat joke, how original). This season in particular, Hendry has outdone himself with the gaggle of 2nd (3rd, 4th?) tier "talent" the Cubs have manning second base.

To recap:

Aaron "Double A" Miles- Batting .203 with 0 HRs and 4 RBIs. Before he went on the DL, Miles tried to change his fortunes at the plate by pulling a reverse Cardinal and shaving his goatee. It didn't work. Miles was the bargain bin replacement for HWSNBN (who just hit his 17th dong of the year last night, by the way), but at best, he's the white Ramon Martinez. Even my wife didn't buy this move and she would refuse to watch any of Miles's at bats. Sometimes at night, she clutches her Cubs #7 shirt and cries silently. Damn you, Jim Hendry!

Mike "The Cajun Hobbit" Fontenot-our brilliant guest blogger is hitting .231 with 8 HRs and 31 RBIs. Now I like Mike Fontenot. He and LSU Wonder Twin Ryan Theriot are a dynamic duo who are probably a blast to drink with, as I'm sure they have plenty of nostalgic stories about all the tail they pulled back in college, not to mention the whole midget wrestling scene. Mikey was great last year, really excelling in a part time role. It's not entirely his fault he's struggled this year, as he really has no business being a full time second baseman.

Ryan "True Grit" Freel-currently batting an even .200 with 0 HRs and 5 RBIs over time spent with the Orioles, Cubs, and Royals, Mr. Energy couldn't find a groove with the Cubs. Maybe Farney didn't like wearing blue, in which case he's still screwed. It's just as well. With Milton Bradley, Lou Pinella, and Carlos Zambrano in one dugout, the Cubs are already full up on crazy this year. Not to mention that Theriot and Reed Johnson didn't need another guy horning in on the "grittiness" dick measuring competition they've got going on.

Bobby "Mr. Man" Scales-Bobby started with a bang, but finished with a .241 average, 3 HRs, and 7 RBIs during his call-ups so far this season. Called up when Aramis blew out his shoulder, the Cubs inexplicably continued to play the Cajun Hobbit at third and most of Bobby's time came at second base. For a while,he was good enough for us bartenders to get all sweaty over him and thusly cursed, his numbers plummeted. Sorry about that Bobby. Our bad.

Andres "Andy White" Blanco-I like this kid, even if he doesn't quite have the mystique of his cousin, Hank. Blanco is hitting .221 with 0 HRs and 8 RBIs. The only thing Blanco really has going for him is his slick glove and the fact that he's probably the only decent back up shortstop the Cubs have in the system who's major league "ready". He's not white, so he can't be scrappy, which means he's pretty much Nefei Perez without the PEDs. Christ, he even wears the same number. Don't any of these fuckers know that #13 is supposed to be bad luck?

Jeff "Whitey Whiterson" Baker-Jesus, how many marginally talented bland white guys can this team get to play second base this year? Baker even wears glasses, which makes him look even more like he should be in the Tribune Accounting Department helping the team sale go through. Hell, he might be more useful if that's what he was doing right now. Someone call Crane Kenney (I think Mark Prior could use a job as well). With the Cubs and Rockies, Baker is hitting a robust .188 with 1 HR and 8 RBIs this season. Hey, his BA with the Cubs is a robuster .240, so things aren't all bad. Right?

Kids, the bad news is that things aren't likely to get any better. According to MLB TradeRumors, the Cubs might not even have good enough prospects to pry John Grabow loose from the Pirates, much less Freddy Sanchez. A Brian Roberts trade has become as realistic as a talking unicorn or an uncorrupted version of the Erin Andrews video. If I were Steve Stone, I'd tell you all not to worry, since the Cubs are trading Milton Bradley for Placido Polanco and Justin Verlander. Unicorns indeed.

War Criminal: Undersized Pints

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Zachary Kenitzer

Last week I went out with a few of my friends to a little pub called "Fox and Hound" that some of you may have heard of (actually its a chain that caters to people who think its actually an English style pub... aka Tools). Our group had won a party package where we got free pizza and wings as long as we had 10 people there, and it was $2.00 pint night to boot. So I joined in the celebration and ordered my first beer which came in a glass pint. After a few beers and several games of nine-ball I ordered another, yet this time it came in small plastic cup. I looked at it, then looked at the glass that my friend had, and my cup was both shorter and almost the same width of the glass...

Then I recalled a article from the Wall Street Journal from last year were many fine establishments started to short change consumers by "subtly" changing their pints from the 16oz (an American standard) to the smaller 14oz to cut down cost and increase profit per glass. It wasn't until I realized this that I looked at the glass and sure enough the beer was only 14oz.

What the hell... seriously?

So then I asked our waitress (who was a very nice girl, yet just got yelled at by another customer... I hate people that think they have a right to do that) and asked her why I had gotten the plastic cup instead of the glass. She informed me that they were the same size, but the big pints had a "foam" on top and the plastic cups didn't.

I was angry, all this time I thought I was ordering 16oz pints, because when I had gone in the past they were that size. But no, they were only 14oz. Now this goes past $2 Pint night (which is still a reasonable price for even that beer) but what about a regular night where they charge you 3.75 for the same beer. You're almost paying a quarter for a oz of beer. Thats ludicrous! Not to mention that they also "foam out" the top at some places.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121279252381153273.html

The article gives several tips to avoid getting shortchanged at bars. I call for a tribunal to convene and sentence those guilty.

Guest Blogger: Mike Fontenot

6:00 AM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Hey guys! How are y'all? I sure am tired with that late game last night. Whew! I've got a few questions for all of y'all: Were y'all saying "boo" or "Boo-urns" last night when I fouled up that hootenanny in the bottom of the ninth and missed that there ball? How is Des Moines this time of year? Do theys eat crawfish in Iowa?

Well, I'm not so experienced with this blogging thing. I've got to get some sleep, and that ain't goan be easy since my old pal Theriot says I got to sleep in the hall tonight.

Paul Sullivan tells me y'all got a feature on this site that goes by You Make The Call and that it's a real humdinger. Well, here's my attempt. I wanted to make it real educational, cuz sometimes I get confused meself.

Bonsoir!

You Make the Call


Bunting...or bunting...or bunting?

TMS Beer Project: Hamm's

3:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Wolter

Even the can screams 'DRINK ME, IF ONLY TO NOT LOOK AT ME!'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 bring you another installment of 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. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:

Hamm’s

I think Hamm’s deserves a bit of a preamble. This venerable beer (first brewed in 1865, no doubt to celebrate the end of the bloody American Civil War) is in the same family of Cheap American Lager as the more commonly consumed PBR and Old Style, but of late has failed to be fully retrofitted into either the Hipster Community (like the former) or the Chad Community (the latter). Of especial note is the incredibly awesome vintage commercial featuring the Hamm’s Bear, that can be found on youtube:



Apparently, Hamm’s had a heavy sponsorship of Chicago baseball in the 50s and 60s, but as I have only been on this earth for 33 years, and in Chicago for 5, I do not see much evidence of this once mighty footprint.

Brewery: Miller. Which means it now joins High Life as The Only Two Miller Products I Don’t Hate. Seriously, if you’re ever in the Buena Park region and want 3 cans of Miller Lite that my dad left last time he came to town, let me know. The process that made it a Miller product is fairly tortuous: according to Wikipedia, the Minnesota-based Hamm’s family sold the brewery in 1968 to the Hueblein Brewing Company, then a long chain of mergers and purchases pushed its ownership through Olympia (“It’s the Water!”), Pabst (“It’s the Aluminum!”), Stroh’s (“It’s…affordable…”), and finally Miller (“It’s crap!”), which is actually owned by some South Africans now, apparently.

Type: American Pisswater Lager (If you know me, you know I don’t mean that in a bad way)

Receptacle: 12 ounce can. I’m sure you can get it in a bottle as well, but cheap beer belongs in cans, dammit.

Bring this guy back, dammit!Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): Ease of drinkability is at least an 8. If you can’t drink this, you are either the lightest lightweight in the history of lightweights or a pretentious ass that only drinks skunky hippie microbrews. However, if drinkability = flavor in your mind, knock this down to about a 5. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s moving into “making love in a canoe” territory.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 3. Hamm’s is, after all “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters.”

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 3. Maybe 4 on an empty stomach. An ABV of 4.73% pretty much means you need to really pound the everloving hell out of these to get too embarrassingly drunk. I downed about 5 of these with a burger and tater tots, and a shot of tequila, and I was fine. And I'm not a remorseless boozing maching like Dave "White Chili" Thomas.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Well, I had it at the Holiday Club, so maybe Vince Vaughn. That and old Midwestern guys like Dennis Franz and Dennis Farina. Hell, any ex Chicago cop named Dennis that became an actor.

Affordability ($ being chiclets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): ¢. This is about as cheap as you can get without choosing “American” Beer at Delilah’s on Punk Rock Night.

Overall: 8. But I love cheap, pisswater lager. My tastes in beer are pretty much either “High End Import” or “Under $5 a six pack.” The middle-of-the-road is for dead possums with yellow stripes on their backs. So, buyer beware!

Talkin' Chicago Cubs Baseball

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

Remember how cool "Pump Up the Volume" was? When I first saw this movie as a young tweener I thought Hard Harry was the coolest mother fucker on the planet. He said a big "GFY" to everyone with his pirate radio station, alludes the police and FCC, gets the girl, and no one is wiser to the fact that he's the shy, loser, new kid at their school. Nowadays, anyone can have their own radio show, and instead of broadcasting to a small town, you can reach anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

During my day when I'm not listening to the Chicago Cubs, I often times head over to the iTunes Store and checkout the Cubs Podcasts. What's a podcast you say? A podcast is like a blog, only in audio format. Consider it an audio blog. It's hosted by random fans like you and me. They often times don't have the facts exactly correct, but that's okay. If you want Al Yellon talking to you for an hour, then go stick a 3 inch construction nail in your ear. It would be like that. They also don't feature all the bells and whistles of your regular radio programming. It's usually just 2-4 guys talking Cubs baseball, from the perspective of Cubs fans. Most are held weekly, some feature regular segments, and others even have call-ins via Skype.

So here is a short review of the podcasts which I listen to on a regular basis, and others that for some reason or another I have skipped over.

Ivy Envy:
From the guys at IvyEnvy.com, Andy, Kurt, Corey and Paul are regular Cubs fans and mostly know their shit, sometimes don't, but it's all usually funny. They are actually one of the regular podcasts, posting an hour long episode every week recapping the Cubs games, players, Lou, fans and other random happenings. It's obvious they do watch all the games and can hold their own opinions. At times they feel a little lost, but it's mostly entertaining. They also have a running "feud" with the ChiTownLouCrew, another podcast with a similar format.

A League of Her Own Podcast:
Featuring cubbiejuilie and Matt from the A League of Her Own blog on the ChicagoNow network, this blog recaps the week of Cubs baseball. It's recorded on Sundays and also features call-ins, usually from the regular authors and commenters of the site. Cubbiejulie talks a lot about how hot the Cubs players are, how much this team would be better off with DeRosa and other aspects of the current Cubs. Matt usually plays the "sidekick" of the show and often disagrees with her. He is the point of reason. Personally, she annoys me, but she is a usual reader of blogs and news, so her and Matt know their stuff. They even talked about when I called their show out for bashing on Andy White. Unfortunately, for some reason they have stopped with new episodes since the end of June. They also have a couple regular features of Cub of the Week, Goat of the Week, and Cubs BFF, in which they name a non-Cub player that has helped the Cubs.

Chi Town Lou Crew:
The Chi Town Lou Crew is also a regular weekly podcast by a group of Cubs fans: Alex, Paul and Dan. It's the most amateur podcast of the group, as the intro/exit music is obviously played from a boombox and the sound quality is horrible. That being said, it's actually pretty funny most of the time. They seem like they would be your usual "doucebag" Cubs fans, but they actually are pretty interesting, and I really like this podcast. They have pretty strong opinions which is good, and hate anything that's not the Cubs. They have regular features of Dan's Tidbit and Douchebag of the Week. Check out their awesome website at chitownloucrew.com. Oh, and they also have that "feud" with the IvyEnvy podcast.

Desipio/Hire Jim Essian Podcast:
Honestly, I don't know why I listen to this podcast, formerly named "The Other 15%". While both Andy (desipio) and Bad Kermit (HJE) are hilarious in their blogs, it fails to translate into a podcast. But then again they are probably the most educated podcasters that I listen to, so it's a give and take relationship. When they aren't sucking off Paul Sullivan, they are bashing on the Cubs players, management and especially fans. For a couple of fans who haven't been to the bleachers since the 90's, they sure do know a lot about the fans out there. It's a pity that the great writing (most of the time) over at desipio and HJE couldn't come through over the air waves (internet waves?), but most people would probably actually enjoy this podcast... that is if you're over 60, keep a perfect scorecard during every game, and hate rooting for your team.

Cubscast:
I don't listen to Cubscast, but from their description they podcast 3 times a week and have shows that are usually around the length of your average tv show. Listening to my first episode that recapped the sweep of the Nats, the two podcasters sounded very informative, although are pretty monotone and have really no interesting facts, stories or humor involved. It goes a little bit along with why I hate game recaps. Since I listen or watch all the games, I already know what I heard/saw, so nothing was new. But if you do miss the occasional game, this podcast might be for you.

Len and Bob's Podcast:
You watch the pre and post games, so you already know what it's like.

CCO Radio:
From Chicago Cubs Online, this fairly often internet radio show I also don't listen to regularly. They do take calls though, so it's a little like a call-in radio show. I managed through about 15 minutes of the latest episode, although I've been listening to the podcasts all day for these reviews, so it could be that I'm just burnt out. They sound pretty informed, but there is again little humor, so it's just not keeping my attention. I'm sure it's pretty good though.

The Heckler's Podcast:
This new's update show is similar to the Heckler with short, fake news clips. Really funny stuff.

Well, there you have it. As many of the readers are probably living in or around Chicago, this post was pretty much pointless for you, as you get Chicago sports news on a daily basis. But for those of you who don't live around the Chicagoland area like myself looking for Chicago sports updates, this might help you out to keep up with the opinions of other Cubs fans.

This just in, the other members in the Saloon have just informed me that the Score and ESPN 1000 both stream their radio feeds, so I actually can listen to these stations. Well fuck, forget everything I just wrote about then.

Go Cubs!

TMS Booze Project: Jim Beam

3:04 AM | Comments (0) | by Adam Blank

I always felt like an outsider when I'd read one of the TMS Beer Project reviews. Although I sometimes drink beer and even enjoy it on occasion, it's usually something I resort to only when every other beverage has been consumed. Being a saloon, I decided to spotlight my preferred vessel for inebriation: hard liquor. Without further adieu, I bring you the TMS Booze Project.

Editor's Note: Now with new and improved rating system!


Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon


Distillery: Beam Distilleries, Frankfort KY

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Receptacle: 750ml glass bottle

History: 9. A bunch of Krauts came to America in the 18th century. Their last name was "Boehm," but that soon got changed to Beam because Boehm is some creepy Euro shit that scared the hicks real good. Being idiot immigrants fresh of the boat, they settled in Kentucky; possibly Bourbon County, which would make a hell of a lot of sense. Anyway, Jacob Beam began selling barrels or corn whiskey to unsuspecting hillbillies in 1795.

General Characteristics: 7. Bourbon is basically just corn whiskey made in oak barrels that have had their insides burnt. Originally, this was done so that the barrels could be reused. This means that hillbillies were some of the first Americans to recycle. Because of the shit I just said, Jim Beam is basically whiskey with a smoky hint to it. Describing the taste of whiskey is like describing double-vaginal penetration to a blind mute. You either know what it's like or you don't. And you're either into it or you're not. I'm way into it. Meaning Jim Beam, of course.

Straight from the bottle: 8. Jim Beam is best consumed straight. Not only does it taste better this way, but other than eating whole habanero peppers, there really isn't anything more manly than bourbon. Also, bourbon is the national spirit of the US of A, so getting drunk off Jim Beam is as much apart of America as baseball, apple pie and pharmacies making sick people walk all the way to the back of the store while I buy my cigarettes at the front counter.

Mixability: 3. Bourbon generally sucks for mixing purposes. All whiskies do. Sure, there's the mint julep for the Kentucky Derby. And there's the Manhattan. But generally, mixing anything with Bourbon requires ingredients you aren't likely to have on hand. Seriously, how many of you have sprigs of mint at your place? I don't want to have to buy the Chia Herb Garden just in case I feel like mixing something with my bourbon on another sad Friday night. Although there isn't anything inherently wrong with a Jim Beam & Coke, try to muster some balls and do shots of Beam and use the Coke as a chaser. It's the same thing, only with the added street cred of doing shots.

Intoxication: 8. Jim Beam white label is 40% alcohol by volume. Black label is 45% alcohol and usually not much more expensive. This is about average in the world of hard liquor. But be careful, whiskey, especially Bourbon, has more congeners than pretty much every other type of alcohol. Congeners are believed to be impurities created in the fermentation process that cause hangovers. Generally, the darker the alcohol, the more hangover potential it has. Bourbon is one of the darkest liquors known to alcoholics, so either use in moderation or slowly develop a tolerance for the stuff.

Effect on your ability to function the next day: 9. As I just mentioned, the congeners will fuck you up and make it generally impossible to stagger into work the next morning. Save Jim Beam for the weekend, unless you can function at your job using 1/10th of your mental faculties.

Affordability:$$ Jim Beam is mid-shelf liquor at its best. I paid $16 for a 5th at the rip-off liquor mart down the street. It can generally be had anywhere between $12-15 at stores that aren't gouging you. Damn you, Liquor Deli! You're so fucking convenient yet so over-priced!

Cubs Closer: You Make The Call

7:16 PM | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ


Chaim Witz had a crazy idea earlier today, particularly about using Rich Harden in the closer position and shooting Gregg in the back of the head. This intrigued my small brain, and since I was slow today on set (not much fluffing needed, mostly lesbian scenes), I decided to do a little research. I took all of Harden's first inning starts and compiled the stats. This would be a good indication (or best I could think of with my puny brain) of how Harden would be as a closer. Let's look at said stats:

April 10 - 1 unearned run; 1 hit; 1 strikeout; 0 walks
April 15 - 0 runs; 3 strikeouts; 0 walks
April 21 - 0 runs; 1 strikeout; 0 walks
April 26 - 0 runs; 1 hit; 1 strikeout; 1 walk
May 1 - 1 run; 2 hits, 1 double; 0 walks
May 6 - 0 runs; 1 hit; 0 walks; 1 strikeout
May 12 - 2 runs; 2 hits, 1 homer; 2 strikeouts; 0 walks
May 17 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 2 walks
June 13 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 0 walks
June 19 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 0 walks
June 24 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 0 walks; 1 strikeout
June 29 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 0 walks; 1 strikeout
July 4 - 5 runs; 5 hits; 1 double; 1 homer; 1 walk; 1 strikeout
July 10 - 1 run; 1 hit; 1 double; 1 walk; 1 strikeout
July 16 - 0 runs; 0 hits; 1 strikeout; 0 walks
July 21- 0 runs; 1 single; 1 wild pitch; 1 strikeout; 0 walks

16 innings / 9 ER / 14 H / 3 2B / 2 HR / 14K / 5 BB / 5.06 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / .209 BAA

Now this may be deceiving as it does not look that good. But Harden did have one HORRENDOUS outing on July 4th. You see, Rich is from Canada and doesn't like wearing the American flag on his hat, so he purposely blew the game. Let's take out that start. New stats, minus July 4th:

15 innings / 4 ER / 9 H / 2 2B / 1 HR / 13K / 4 BB / 2.40 ERA / 0.80 WHIP / .155 BAA

By comparison, the guy who Chaim will so easily murder in cold blood and then fuck his lifeless corpse hasn't actually done that bad this season. Kevin Gregg has 19 saves in 22 opportunities and hasn't blown a save in over 9 chances dating back to June 23rd, over a month ago. So why does Chaim and half of Cubdom hate Groggles? Probably for the same reason he hates me, Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn, and Stephen Hawking - because we wear glasses and he thinks that makes us look smarter than him. So let's look at Gregg's stats this year (minus today):

45 innings / 16ER / 37 H / 7 HR / 44K / 19 BB / 3.15 ERA / 1.23 WHIP / .214 BAA

Still, some of you guys still complain about Kerry Wood. Of course you haven't seen him pitch this year, but yet you complain, complain, complain. "I want a cookie, Sally hit me, Jimmy took away my Woody!" STFU! Let's look at Kid K's stats this year (also minus today):

33 innings / 19 ER / 29 H / 6 HR / 38K / 18 BB / 5.08 ERA / 1.40 WHIP / .234 BAA

Not too impressive anymore, is it? He also has 4 blown saves in just 17 opportunities. That's just a 76% success rate, compared to Gregg's 86%.

So you make the call. If you're still crying for Kerry Wood, then you're probably this guy:


If not, then does Chaim have a reasonable argument for moving Harden to the closer position, given just the stats, or is he full of as much shit as the bag of dog poo I'm going to leave outside of Dusty's hotel room later tonight. Let's hear you TMS readers, YOU MAKE THE CALL!

Go Cubs!

Point / Counterpoint: CGI

3:00 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

White Chili, formerly Dave Thomas, checking in.

Computers have gifted recent directors with the tools necessary to bring us to worlds filled with dinosaurs, aliens, and armies of thousands. It used to be that all the actors in movies were actually human beings and creatures were either made of clay or costumes stacked with minorities trampling miniature cityscapes.


The Big Unit has seen better days

I remember when T2 came out and everyone first got a glimpse of the T1000. Holy Crap! Have you seen this boy? How about a clean pair of pants? Jurassic Park was made 16 G*d damn years ago and it still holds up as a masterpiece. All hail Stan Winston! And remember when Forrest Gump came out and people were excited when Tom Hanks dropped trou in front of the ACTUAL Lyndon B. Johnson? CGI has given us some of the most memorable moments in cinematic history. But if you abuse it, like any good thing, it's no longer special. Turkey dinner becomes a turkey sandwich.

The trick is to use CGI in conjunction with good acting and real props. Apollo 13 had some great computer generated scenes, but the actors also spent hours and hours inside one of NASA's planes dubbed the "vomit comet" that flies up and down to simulate zero G where they filmed all the space scenes a few minutes at a time. And what about Ghostbusters? Here's a movie made 25 years ago about ghosts that used almost zero computer effects. It's a good thing they're not going to brutally rape that series and sell yet another piece of my childhood back to me...........what's that? They're filming what?

And as for the other side of the story...

Go fuck yourself Michael Bay

And if that wasn't enough for you, here.

In Defense Of: Child Labor

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Zachary Kenitzer

Capitalism is a great idea, however over the years socialist b@stards and hippies have tried to stop the mighty steam locomotive of progress by enacting laws that prevent companies from putting other animals besides cow in your ground chuck (suck on my sausage Upton Sinclair!). Even more disturbing nations around the world are not looking to the United States as a “model” for human rights. This is both revolting and sickening. However the most disturbing part of this trend is that these lefties are trying to take the dignity and worth out of an honest job. From giving people the idea that unions improve wages and benefits to limiting the hours or completely eliminating the possibility of child labor. These people are destroying capitalism and the Laissez Faire style of economics. Adam Smith and other pioneers of capitalism ar rolling over in their graves. But alas, I refuse to let this happen without a fight!

Exhibit A: Mugatu understands the way the world should work.

But you now may be asking why I am defending what some may term the "despicable" practice of child labor. Simply put I am a purist. The Free Market works and I'm sure all of the panelists on CNBC and Fox Business would agree that the most open market is the free market. There should be no regulation at all - FDA, SEC, FDIC and Federal Reserve be damned. They're just playing with the markets! Besides child labor does have its benefits:

1: Children Have Endless Amounts of Energy

Today so many people in the workforce get tired while on the job and working. They come to work tired, get groggy after lunch and then become incredibly unproductive right before they leave. This wastes money, lots of money. In the name of efficiency children do not have this problem, as they are full of energy. Feed them some sugary stuff during the day and they are like little energizer bunnies. You also don't have to worry about them waking up on time because as we all know children have an automatic alarm clock built inside of them, and you even get bonus hours on Saturday. A side benefit to having this energy is that that they no longer need toys or television, because the machines that they are working with to produce goods have tons of buttons that they get to push (in a predetermined order naturally).

Exhibit B: Will work for candy.

2: Size Matter

Children are smaller than adults, this makes them ideal for working in factories for three reasons

a: Fit more workers into a factory -
Now you can fit 100 workers into the area where an employer could previously fit only 50. You can also lower the roofs and fit more levels of a factory into the same height of a regular factory. This increases efficiency to the point of your economy of scale.

b: Smaller hands allow for more intricate work -
Who doesn't love detail work? Since children have small hands with it comes the ability to get more details into pieces of clothing and objects that they make. This was previously done by machines but why employ machines when hand worked items are worth more?

c: Smaller size allows for smaller and more compact machinery -
their size also allows them to operate machines that are smaller than what regular sized adults could work on. Smaller buttons, gears and more allow for companies to fit more machines into a structure, which means greater efficiency.

3: Save Money - Lower Taxes - Grow the Economy


Children require less pay than adults, since you could term their labor “inferior” to that of people working hard in the coal mines. This means that as a business owner you have more money to invest in capital, growing your business and making more money! You’ll also lower taxes because kids won’t need public schooling anymore. If you are rich enough to afford private school then feel free to send your children (they will be the future Captains of Industry), but the great public school experiment in the United States has failed, so we should eliminate it. With the drop in tax rates (because the government needs less money due to no regulation) growth in profits and increase in cheap labor the laws of economics suggest you would make heafty profits and real world income growth! This would move the manufacturing might of the US back up to levels of WWII, and who doesn't want that?

Exhibit C: Proof that public schools have failed.

4: Apprenticeship Used To Be Popular
Back in the middle ages many kiddos would jump at the chance to work with hot steel and explosives. Now we could start apprenticeship programs to teach kids skills they could really use. It would put many of the children who can't succeed in school to work and it would take the smart kids and put them in a naturally higher order over the weaker ones - a win-win for the economy and humanity! Besides the ones learning trades could then refine the trade, pass it on, refine it further meaning more profits for the smart, intelligent wealthy ones and a good standard of living (in 18th century terms) for the rest of the population!

In closing now that you can see the benefits of child labor call your representative today and ask that we repeal all of these useless regulation organizations and put our kids back to work!

Chaiming In

6:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

I haven't written anything for this site since Pomp Culture was still a part of the American lexicon, so I may be a bit rusty. Bear with me.
  • Here's a crazy thought, fueled by too many Miller Lite's. Lets make Rich Harden our closer. The man is a wet noodle drenched in Ben Gay medicine who Lou is remiss to leave in for more than 6 innings, so why not? He's got "closer stuff", he's unflappable in the bedroom and he's a million times better than Chad Cordero. It makes perfect sense. He'd be the Canadian Kerry Wood. Slot Marmol into the 8th, Guzman to the 7th and shoot Kevin Gregg in the back of the head in the clubhouse shower. I see nothing wrong with this. I say, listen to me now! It is much easier to find a 5th starter than it is a dominant closer. You heard it here first, at Thunder Matt's Saloon. No other Cubs blog brings this kind of balls out analysis.
  • Have you seen The Hurt Locker yet? No? JESUS CHRIST! Why not? As if you have better things to do. Be a goddamn man for once in your life. Bartender Dave Thomas (aka, White Chili) saw this movie and it was so good his whole shirt was unbuttoned by the end. Oh wait, you went and saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Fuck you. No really, fuck you. If instead, you want to get laid (ahem, Jordi), take a women to see (500) Days of Summer or Away We Go. Neither of those movies star Rose Byrne, but they'll suffice.
  • Will the Cubs make a splash come the trading deadline? One would hope that we get Freddy Sanchez's mole, but can we count on that? God no. Be content to watch Milton Bradley walk (OBP, skeet!) while second base is manned by a tackling dummy. Whatever happened to Bobby Scales? Wasn't he doing good? He must had sex with Lou Pinella's wife in between a day/night doubleheader or something. Free Bobby Scales!
  • How many people write for this blog? I don't even know anymore. I leave for a short time and come back to a whole litter of gremlins, some of who, quite frankly, should have been aborted. It's almost easier to figure out who doesn't write for this blog than who does. For instance: Bret Favre? Doesn't write for this blog. (Not because he doesn't want to mind you.) TMS: Quantity over quality. If you want quality, stop reading blogs.
  • MLB Trade Rumors. Now there's a blog!
  • Many of you don't know this (but a lot of you do since most of our readers write for the site), but we have a pretty epic Gmail thread that all of us contribute to daily. I would say it gets at least 100-200 emails a day. Let the record show that 90% of our best stuff is on those threads and never makes it to the site. Granted, a lot of it is way to random and 'insidey' for the site, but it's mean spirited, funny and occasionally glorious. Perhaps someday Lingering Bursitis will publish it in an expensive, leather bound book. You will be able to pre-order it exclusively from Pomp Culture. (OMG, that's two PC references in one post!)
  • Shameless personal blog plugs. Check out my blog at HHH for some family friendly minutiae and Eternal Stench for some more adult (see: pot) fueled endeavors. There are other personal blogs listed on the sidebar that may someday earn a plug on Chaiming In, but today is not that day.
  • Best food that you're not eating: Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.
  • Underrated: Crinkle Cut Fries
  • Overrated: Grizzly Bear
  • New KISS album on October 6th, along with accompanying tour. I haven't been this excited since I found out that the dark curly hairs around my wiener wasn't just lint from my sweatpants. They just played for 90,000 fans in Canada, so don't you dare say they aren't relevant anymore. Granted, it was Canada, but still. (Rich Harden interjects.) Check out this meat and potatoes clip of the underrated 'Watching You' from Buenos Aires, complete with soccer chants at the end.
  • I have a child on the way, due in December. Not that anyone cares. But for those who do, Chip Wesley will throw up a 'Name Chaim's Kid' poll.
  • TMS has instituted a new schedule which will, in theory, lead to more posts. So make sure to tell your friends. Then again, chances are if you're reading this blog, you have no friends. Stay tuned and watch the homoerotic drama unfold!

How To Get Laid in 12 Easy Steps

10:08 PM | Comments (0) | by Adam Blank

It seems that one of the bartenders is having a hard time with the ladies. I don't want to embarrass the poor guy by name, so I'll call him Lordi. Much like Milton Bradley, Lordi can't seem to make it past first base. Being the kindhearted individual that I am, I decided to help Lordi out with Adam Blank's How To Get Laid in 12 Easy Steps, which is the only 12 step program that anybody really needs.

1) Find a girl who is hot but has low self-esteem. They're usually shy and dress poorly.










2) Pretend you find her interesting for some reason other than her vagina. If you actually do find them interesting, that's even better! You won't have to fake it.





3) Try to get them to hang out with you in a situation where they don't feel threatened. If it goes well, try to get them to hang out with you again.





4) Give them a nickname. "Legs" has worked wonders, but "Toots" is a fine back-up if their legs aren't so great.








5) Make them feel like they need to hang around you more. Something like, "I don't feel like cutting myself when you're around," only maybe less pathetic.


6) Once they feel like they need to be in your life, back off. Pretend you could take or leave their friendship.

7) When they try to make plans, make it seem like they're imposing on you, but let them hang out anyway. "I was going to watch TNA Impact, but I guess you cold come over if you wanted."



8) Buy some orange juice and a bottle of decent liquor. Stash the liquor in the back of the fridge. Make sure it's not completely full, but no more than 1/3rd can be gone. If it's in the back of the fridge and it's nearly full, they won't think you're an alcoholic. Go with a vodka or tequila, as whiskey is not for every woman.


9) Make sure they know about the liquor, but do not be like, "HEY! I HAVE BOOZE!" They can smell a trap. Rattle off drink options, and then at the end mention that you've had a bottle of liquor in their for a long time that could be used as a potential beverage if the other options don't suffice. 75% of the time, they'll pick the booze. If not, then you didn't have a chance anyway. Instinctually, they will mix it with the orange juice, so have a clean glass available, you filthy bastard.


10) Let them get themselves tipsy; NOT DRUNK. This is for legal, moral, and physiological reasons. And stay relatively sober yourself. Wait about an hour, and begin to subtly compliment them, but don't pour out your heart or anything stupid like that.


11) Make small "moves" and let them make the big moves. Again, this is for liability purposes. Alcohol and flattery practically ensures that they will make a move.







12) Dispose of the body in a lake or other    large body of water. Wooded areas are frowned upon...

Congratulations, You Redneck Son of a Bitch

10:04 PM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Mark Buehrle, bane of Cubs fans' existence, pitches a perfect game. And ya know what? That's pretty goddamn cool. Only 16 of those fuckers. Ever. While it would be easy to belittle his accomplishment and jokes about his sexuality, I won't go there. Because you know what? That's what Sox fans would do to us. And we're better than that dammit.

War Criminal: Televised Poker

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

How in the name of all that is good and holy did poker get on TV? And it's not just on TV, it's all over TV, like a goddamn rash. ESPN really loves this shit, but I just don't get it. What's next, televising grass mowing competitions or a really wicked game of tiddlywinks? With all the different sports that are played across this country and the world, why do I have to settle for a bunch of sweaty douchebags grouped around a table listening as the announcers wait with bated breath for the metrosexual in the leather cowboy hat to decide whether he's "in or out"? Jesus Christ, I know there's got to be a real game of something going on somewhere. I'd rather watch cricket then this sorry nonsense. And as a baseball fan, I feel a sense of moral outage that they dare to refer to this farce as a "World Series" of anything.

Other sports I'd rather watch then poker:
  1. Naked Sumo Wrestling
  2. Canadian Football
  3. Catfish Noodling (see right)
  4. Golf
  5. Tenpins
If I want to watch a bunch of losers sitting around playing cards, I'll go to the Arcturus family reunion. It's like you're in Vegas, only with racially insensitive jokes and alcohol.

TMS Endorses Keith Moreland

3:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Let me preface this by saying I love Ron Santo. He's a Cub legend and a being a Type I diabetic myself a personal hero of mine.

That being said, it's become increasingly obvious that the time has come for Ron to step down from the Cubs radio broadcast booth.

In his current absence, Keith Moreland has filled in brilliantly as color analyst alongside play by play man Pat Hughes. He's given us good insight and analysis and compliments Pat nicely explaining various plays and calls on the field. Essentially he's doing his job as a color man, something that Ron has sadly stopped doing.

Don't get me wrong. I found Ron's homerism and heart on his sleeve attitude endearing, but it's reached a point where there's nothing of value being added to the broadcast. It's become a distraction to listeners trying to follow Pat's play by play.

Bad Kermit at HJE posted yesterday his approval of Moreland to take over Ron's spot in the booth. Today TMS is offering their endorsement* as well. Make Keith a full-time fixture on the radio.

*TMS still maintains neutrality in the ongoing Cubs of Yore Battle Royale. This endorsement of Mr. Moreland does not count towards that, unless of course he was battling against Mark DeRosa.

The TMS Guide to: Cooking/Reality TV Shows

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Unknown



Food TV was forever revolutionized by the Food Network, a channel that promotes obesity, lust and extreme hunger with every minute of programming. More than that, it has the cross-over appeal, fusing the demographics of "suburban housewife" and "stoned college student" together in most unexpected fashion. Before that, the viewer had to make do with rigid, formulaic 30-minute shows where chefs fudged their way through antiquated recipes.

It didn't take long for Reality TV to get involved, branching out from their touchstone varietals (listed below) to start hitting food and cooking for their own nefarious, faux-drama needs:
- People isolated somewhere, and their personalities clash while all trying to win some kind of money
- Horny, promiscuous people have casual sex with no strings attached, trying to win some kind of money
- Hey, you're fat. Would you like to lose weight for some kind of money?
- Hey, can you do anything special, like sing or dance? How about you do with the chance to win some kind of money?
- Hey, you will do anything for money. Let's test that to its logical limits, with the chance to win some kind of money?

And so, with the landscape rather muddied, we thought it wise to break down the food shows so you don't waste too much of that precious time of yours.


Top Chef
Awesome. A little over-dramatic, occasionally predictable, but generally good. Ruined periodically by dumb challenges that don't seem to have much to do with good cooking. It used to be the alpha dog thanks to a couple of seasons where strong personalities reigned over proficient chefs, but now they're stacking the deck with a bunch of miserable competent chefs who are all focused on the competition and mindlessly crank out decent food that the judges like. Tom Colicchio is a solid head judge, and the glorious Padma lights up the screen like a 4th of July fireworks show.


Smell the lack of interest!

Chopped
Absolutely terrible. Ted Allen is so irritating, and I've yet to see an episode where any dish is actually edible. Maybe they could drop the lame concept and stop putting together baskets of food that is never, ever, ever gonna work together in a single meal.

Iron Chef
Weird, bizarre, utterly compelling. Love the voiceovers, but I loathe that all the food looking fucking disgusting. The fact that the chefs are all Asian and use weird Asian ingredients like toad eyeballs, blowfish semen and tofu in EVERYTHING is just too much to bear. That said, Chef Morimoto is a bonafide bad-ass. I never understood why they have Iron Chef Italian though. No-one ever picks him. He's lame. And why are Japanese chefs specializing in Italian food anyways?

Iron Chef America
Safer, sanitized version of the original. Edible food with normal, everyday ingredients, but the fact that everyone challenges the ginger douche Bobby Flay makes me want to choke him to death on blue corn tortillas. The presence of super-nerd Alton Brown helps, though "floor reporter" Kevin Brauch is a bit much. Don't he and Alton do the same damn job?

The Next Food Network Star
Lame. Horrendously lame. All the contestants are bland and trying way too hard, and none of them will ever amount to anything. Guy Fieri was the exception to the rule, but yeah; all these idiots will flounder during that oh-so-coveted Sunday morning @ 9am timeslot that their limp-dick shows end up in.



Hells Kitchen
The pinnacle of the genre, exhibiting the perfect union between reality television and cooking. I mean, none of the participants can actually cook, and it's hilarious to watch a bunch of under-qualified hayseeds flounder their way around a simple menu. The casting is excellent; they find every self-righteous, delusional fry cook and throw them into a phony four-star restaurant where they show how useless they are. Some of 'em can't even cook pasta! Some are good at burning french toast! It's great! The challenges are always designed to be deceptively simple, because then we all get to laugh at how fucking terrible they are at Cooking 101.

And to top it off, Gordon Ramsay is a bulldog wrapped in an avalanche of tsunamis, the walking epitome of someone who's perpetually waking up on the wrong side of the bed. And that bed is filled with diarrhea, and the two-bit hooker they lazily fucked last night stole all their money and painkillers.

Top Chef Masters
A weak-willed, tepid facsimile of the original. All the chefs are courteous, polite, even-keeled and hard-working, thus robbing the poor, hapless editors of any natural conflicts that they might be able to build the show around. Even when faced with ridiculously difficult challenges, they all work so serenely and calmly that it sends me to sleep. The tensest moment I think this season was when some French douchebag wasn't cooking enough quesadillas to meet demand.

Give me a fucking break. Plus the host isn't nearly as sexy and fantasy-inciting as Padma Lakshmi. Seriously. Watch her ad for Carl's Jr and send me the dry-cleaning bill


I just dumped special sauce in my pants...

The F Word
Mr. Ramsay cooks with panache, flair, and does so in a manner than makes us all think, nay, believe, we can replicate his efforts at home. Preaching from the gospel of demystifying the art of cooking, Ramsay's a delight, and so are his coterie of horse-faced accomplices. His recipes are delicious (I've made several), and it's refreshing to see Gordon be nice to people instead of berating them for incompetence.

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
Let's all point and laugh at the inept restauranteurs and proprietors who have blown their life savings upon awful dining concepts, horrendous food and retarded waitstaffs. It's sad after a while, and one wonders how the Health Board hadn't already shut all these places down. The UK version was at least informative as Ramsay legitimately tried to give advice and showed the inner workings of his plans, but in the USA, he just yells a lot at people who are already overacting in front of the camera.

The Chopping Block
This had some serious potential, but like with most things, NBC royally fucked it up. The editing was a mess, the contestants were bland and poorly selected, the challenges were way beyond their abilities, and Marco Pierre White was an inconsistent, underwhelming host. In typical NBC fashion, they programmed it on the wrong night of the week, then dumped it to Hulu after just two weeks. Way to go, Ben Silverman!


TMS hopes this helps you in your quest for good television viewing while you're stoned/drunk/hooked on painkillers/hooked on phonics. Reality TV has invaded food television, and is undoubtedly here to stay. Let it wash over you like a warm bouillabaisse.