9:30 AM | Comments (1) | by Shooter Muldoon
10:26 AM | Comments (1) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan
Stats before my apology: .384 AVG, 8 HR, 18 RBI, .476 OBP in 28 games
Stats since my apology: .200 AVG, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .279 OBP in 16 games
You're back on my shit list!
7:49 AM | Comments (0) | by Shooter Muldoon
Name: Milton Obelle Bradley
Nicknames: Admiral Fuckstick, Ol' Shit-Ass, Dickbag, Dr. Blumpkin, Milty
Media Guide Year: 2009
Acquired: Signed to a 3 year/$30M contract that greatly helped Jim Hendry's reputation drop straight into the toilet.
Random Write-Up: Remember riding high the day Ted Lilly and the Cubs beat the Cardinals on a beautiful day at Wrigley to clinch the division in 2008? Say what you will about playoff collapses, but this is where the wheels really fell off. Even coming off an All Star season and a .321 average, there was a pervasive feeling that this was NOT going to end well. I'm not saying that we needed to keep Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood around with that money, but I am saying that he eventual blowup wouldn't have been nearly as bad, nor as tinged with accusations of racism. 2009 was the fucking Challenger of the modern-era Cubs.
After his prolonged slump to begin the season, Milton Bradley decided that the reason he wasn't performing was because of pervasive racism in the Cubs fan base. Incredibly, Steve Rosenbloom, Alpha-Douche of the Chicago Media, decided this was his pot to stir, and proceeded to do so in the shittiest manner possible, bringing up names like Dusty Baker and Juan Pierre in the process. Now I've never heard the N-word at Wrigley, but I've only been to 100-something games, so maybe small sample size. The insane part isn't that Bradley threw that card, it's that the media, and to an extent the fans allowed themselves to be sucked into his bipolar whirlpool for the better part of two weeks.
So he left under circumstances that left him envying Todd Hundley, got arrested again on domestic violence charges, and we were left to ponder whether we were really turning a blind eye to racism or whether we perhaps put too much trust in a sniveling little faux-Mariotti and a man who inspired the TMZ headline "Ex-Dodger Bradley: I Never Threatened to Kill My Wife."
I'm not saying that the Chicago sports media is reactionary and easily manipulated. I'm just saying that they put a lot of stock in the word of a man whose wife accused him of swinging a bat at her. His failure to make contact just backs her story up even more. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned among all this humorous head-shaking at the 2009 disaster.
Also of Note: Was responsible for most baseball fans learning the term "Restricted List," which really paved the way for all the whackadoo nutbags of today to grab an extra headline while their lives spiral out of control.
11:07 AM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus
Be it Bartman or the goat, I am so tired of Cub fans giving legitimacy to this crap. Blowing up the Bartman ball, goat carcasses left on the Harry Carey statue, rain dances in the outfield; nothing will change the fact that the Cubs' only curse has been a procession of bad baseball teams peppered with some bad luck whenever we do actually get a team that's worth a shit.
Other franchises have gone through long stretches of mediocrity. Look at Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Are their fans blaming the fucking supernatural? No. Is the answer walking across the country with a farm animal? Again no. The Cubs' time is gonna come, provided the owners continue to make building a winning franchise a priority. The worm will turn, folks. The Red Sox broke their championship "curse" not by making absurd pilgrimages or by desecrating Babe Ruth's grave, but by making smart baseball decisions. The Cubs can do the same.
In the meantime, please stop making it even more embarrassing to be a Cub fan.
8:14 AM | Comments (1) | by Rich Funk
|This is Garza's impression of what the Astros did to him last night.|
Things don't seem to be going well for the Cubs lately. The Sox came in and swept the first interleague series of the year. Garza got shelled last night. Dempster's looked pretty average lately. LaHair is doing his best impression of Alicia Keys' first single ('Falling'? Anyone remember? God, you stupid kids these days don't appreciate the classics...).
But as any gambler will tell you, just because a prostitute on the Vegas strip has a deep voice and a pronounced Adam's Apple doesn't necessarily mean it's a dude, and on a lonely night when you're down $20K, a mouth is still a mouth.
Wait, what? Hang on. I lost my train of thought there. Let me try that sentence again.
But as any gambler will tell you, luck can come in streaks and turn at any time. Take a look a Dempster last season. In six April starts, his ERA was a whopping 9.58. But if you looked at his underlying stats (BABIP, K/9, etc), mathematically he should have had a much lower ERA. In other words, his terrible April had a lot to do with bad luck. Baseball stat nerds knew he was going to turn things around eventually, and he did, posting a much improved 3.94 ERA the rest of the way.
Now some players can ride a good luck streak for an entire season sometimes. Remember Esteban Loaiza? If you played fantasy baseball in 2003 you do. From 1995 to 2002, Loaiza had a career ERA of 4.88. Out of nowhere, he goes 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and obliterates his career bests in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP...pretty much everything. After 2003? He goes right back to being awful again for the final five seasons of his career.
That's just a rare case. Luck doesn't usually run one way or another for an entire season, as the Cubs are beginning to see.
I'm not saying that Garza, Dempster and LaHair aren't good players. But they were all performing way over their heads. Going into last night, Garza was carrying an ERA of 2.58 when really, he's about a 3.20 - 3.70 ERA pitcher. After last night's molestation at the hands of the Astros, that's exactly where he is now (3.72 ERA). Even after 2 shaky outings, Dempster's ERA is at a cool 2.28. Expect that to end up closer to 4.00 than 3.00 by the time the All-Star break comes around. And LaHair? Well he's certainly no top-10 player. If he can keep his walks up, he'll be solid, but anything more than 25 home runs and a .260 average would shock me.
The saddest thing about all this regression hitting at once? Three of the Cubs best players were getting extremely lucky on the field so far this season, and they're still a last place team 12 games under .500.
Bust out the Malört, gents. It's going to be a long year.
9:54 AM | Comments (2) | by Rich Funk
|Expect to see this picture 4,000 times this weekend.|
You're going to see a lot of articles written about Wood over the next few days. Links to video of the 20 strikeout game. Talk about the incredible (and sometimes improbable) playoff pushes Kerry was a huge part of. Since all of these things will be covered ad nauseum by bigger and better blogs, I'd like to take the time to point out some of my personal favorite Kerry Wood memories.
- During a crosstown game in 2003 (I think), Kerry was pitching at US Cellular and Paul Konerko was standing in. Wood threw him a slider, and Konerko dropped practically to his knees because it looked to be on a direct path to his head. Only after he had already bailed out did the pitch break down at a Bugs Bunny-esque angle and settle in for a strike. It was one of the single nastiest pitches I've ever seen, which was a microcosm of Kerry's ability when healthy and dealing in his prime. And it didn't hurt that it made a Sox player look foolish.
- I was as crushed as any other Cubs fan when Wood lost Game 7 in 2003 to the Marlins. But the fact that he stood up and took 100% responsibility for the loss really showed how much of a gamer Kerry was. He wanted the ball in the biggest moments in the biggest games. Sometimes I think that with his mentality, Kerry Wood could have been one of the best closers of all time had he only focused on relief pitching from day 1. It might have led to less injuries.
- What really made me love Wood was that in 2008, we had to basically push him out the door to leave the Cubs. Hendry told him we couldn't pay him even close to market value and he didn't want to insult him with a lowball offer. Kerry said he didn't care. I really wanted him to sign back with the Cubs on whatever offer they could afford, but I think the player's union would have had a shit fit if a $10 million a year player signed for 20% of that.
(Side note: If you really want to read a good summary of Kerry Wood's awesomeness, get Three Nights In August, one of the better recent books on baseball. Lots of good Wood stuff in there.)
7:54 AM | Comments (0) | by John
Name: Jose Prado Salazar Macias
Nickname(s): Joze Mackey, Now Pinch-Hitting, That Guy - What's His Name I Can Never Remember
Media Guide Year: 2004
Acquired: Traded from Montreal for Wilton Chavez, who has pitched for 14 different minor league teams, if you count the Mexican League.
Random Write-Up: Born in Panama City, Panama, a hardscrabble metropolis notable mostly for its vicious dancefighting culture.
Signed in 1992 by Montreal, which used to be a franchise that existed. Not many people saw them, though. Played in Montreal's minor league system from 1994 until 1997, when he was went to Detroit as a Rule 5 draft. Finally made the majors in 1999, where he was a lifetime .256 switch hitter with 26 home runs and 173 RBI. Came to the Cubs in 2004 and played two years as "that guy," then went to the Nippon-Hokkaido Ham Fighters, and the Diablo Rojos of the Mexican League a couple years after that.
Notice anything? Bland. He's perhaps the blandest of the mid-2000s Cubs, which is saying something. He makes Daryle Ward look like Mark Grace in terms of charisma. If he were white, I'd call him Whitebread, but I'll stay away from baking terms, as Brownbread sounds pretty racist.
Also of Note: He was at Wrigley on June 6, 2004, helping Greg Maddux win his 5th game of that year, back when we were a trendy World Series pick and LaTroy Hawkins was a name that people on the North Side hadn't yet begun to despise. It was also the first game at Wrigley where I enjoyed a wax paper cup of Old Style. I ... may or may not have been 20 years old at the time. It's where I got this media guide I inexplicably hang on to!
You May Remember Him From: You won't remember Jose Macias. But you all remember the concept of Jose Macias in your Cubs fan hearts.
11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Shooter Muldoon
But I will admit that as much as I think people who want to abandon ship for a bland, new-construction job are stupid, I don't at all mind new advertising or anything that would help build a Series-worthy team. Hell, I really like the new scoreboard that went up over the offseason, because the Bleacher Boxes were stupid, and so was the Family Seating section incarnation before that. I'd imagine most reasonable Cubs fans acknowledge that it'd be great to win a series, baseball has always been a business big on sponsorship, and that it's a great ballpark - a legendary ballpark - but once you start whispering that it's a cathedral, you need to take a fucking knee. It's baseball - you're not supposed to use your library voice when you're holding an Old Style.
So what level of sponsorship would you accept for a contender? A conversation among the bartenders envisioned a newly-renovated and thoroughly modern Wrigley Field, with one small compromise to modernity - sponsorship. Namely, this:
"Tampax Field - Built for comfort."
"Tampax Field - Home of the most absorbent outfield in MLB."
"Tampax Field - We screen "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" on the jumbotron between innings."
"Tampax Field - No, you don't look fat in this baseball stadium."
"Tampax Field - Where you can play baseball! Or go swimming, or horseback riding, or play tennis ..."
"Tampax Field - Where all the elevators are like that one from The Shining."
"Tampax Field - Where the Cubs keep up a heavy flow ... of WINS!"
"Tampax Field - A cardboard applicator full of family fun!"
"Tampax Field - Are you really going to trust your white pants to Store Brand Field?"
Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan
"Tampax Field - This isn't a good week."
"Tampax Field - Stay too long and you'll get toxic shock syndrome."
"Tampax Field - Because fairweather fans bleed Cubbie Blue periodically."
"Tampax Field - Where We Bleed Cubbie Blue (liquid)"
"Tampax Field - Where it's not 'hormones,' it's 'steroid rage!'"
"Tampax Field - Now with wings!"
9:17 AM | Comments (4) | by Arcturus
By the way, what the fuck is up with Matt Garza and his inability to throw to first base? His turf-burger in the 3rd was one of the more embarrassing things I've seen in a while. At least Juan Pierre managed to top that when he screened himself with his own glove and dropped an easy out on a Bryan LaHair popup.
Speaking of LaHair, the real bummer last night was his streak of consecutive games in which he reached base came to an end at 32. Pretty impressive for a guy a lot of people, including myself, were writing off as a 4A player. LaHair has been one of the main reasons I've actually enjoyed watching this team this year. Editor's Note: He did reach base on an error last night.
Last night's loss aside, I'm still feeling pretty positive about this team. They're not going anywhere this year, but they're a lot more fun to watch than the sad sack collection of dogdoo Cub fans were treated to over the past couple of years. I'm starting to look forward to games again, which is pretty cool.
Speaking of cool, it's awesome to have the Saloon back up and running. As you could no doubt tell from this post, I'm a little rusty at this whole blogging thing, but with time and more enthusiasm for this team, I'm hoping to once again reach the lofty heights of esoteric nonsense that made Thunder Matt a household name.
8:14 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk
|LaHair is no longer allowed to 'raise the roof'|
The reason Real Steel was great was Hugh Jackman's performance. While not winning any Oscars (unfortunately), Jackman was completely committed to the role and sold the hell out of it, which is impressive considering he was acting alongside what was basically a bunch of toasters. And just being 100% committed to a silly role isn't the key to success (just ask Leo DiCaprio after J. Edgar).
What made the performance great was that the whole time, you could tell that Hugh Jackman was in on the joke with us. He knew how batshit ridiculous the concept of training boxing robots was, and you could tell that he had an attitude of "Eh, why not? Could be fun, right?" throughout the entire movie.
That's exactly the kind of feeling I'm getting from the Cubs and their recent play as of late.
This isn't like the 2007 - 2009 Cubs, who fell apart under the weight of expectation, either in the playoffs or just before. There's no delusion here. Everyone, from the fans to the players to the front office knew coming in that 2012 was going to be a full-on wash of a year. Year One of a new rebuilding project always is. And I think the team is playing better because of it.
If Bryan LaHair had come up a few years back and been expected to mash from day one like Hee Seop Choi or Micah Hoffpauer, would he have done nearly as good as he is so far in 2012? Who knows? But there's a chance he wouldn't. Cubs players don't handle the pressure of expectation to well.
But so far in 2012, players like LaHair and Campana know that they're playing with house money, and I think it's letting everyone play relaxed and loose. By no means are the Cubs a threat to win the division, but they've played some really great baseball against division leaders over the last few weeks and that's...well, that's something right?
2012 is shaping up to be a lot better than I expected so far on the North Side. Sometimes being in on the joke, even if you are the joke, is a lot more entertaining.
10:54 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan
And to share with you, our dear readers numbering in the tens, I plan to video document this event. Armed with a beer, my iPhone and a childlike sense of wonderment I will film our descent into madness, one bar at a time. Then historians can some day piece together the events of that day and perhaps shed light on what exactly happened. It'll be like Cloverfield but with fewer alien monsters and a lot more Malort.
Also, I made a map for the event!
|It's a long hard journey, and some of you may perish along the way.|
2:39 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan
I thought for sure you would fail miserably, and after a month you'd be relegated back to AAA and out of our lives forever. However that has hardly been the case. I blame the long line of Cubs players showing promise that inevitably let me down. There are too many to name but specifically when it came to you I could only think of Micah Hoffpauir. The parallels were all there. Roughly the same age when he had a breakout year in AAA, he emerged with the big league club and was given a shot, only to fall flat on his face.
Granted there's a lot of baseball to be played yet, but you've already shown me that you sir are not the next Micah Hoffpauir. I just wanted to clear the air and say I'm rooting for you. So are we cool? Cool.
Mr. Samardzija. You're still not off the hook yet however.
FUN FACT: In 47 games with Chicago, LaHair now has 10 home runs. That's just two shy of Micah Hoffpauir's 12 in 162 games as a Cub.
8:29 PM | Comments (2) | by Rich Funk
|Unicorn George Brett shall haunt your dreams...or your nightmares.|
- The Cubs took two of three from the Dodgers! As great as it is to have the Cubs take a series from a first place team, I feel like the Dodgers are not as good a team as their record may show. 11 of their 18 wins have come against the awful Padres, Astros and Pirates. Yes, you have to beat who you play, but I'd like to see the Dodgers beat a few better teams before saying they're "for real".
- Rafael Dolis has done pretty well since being named one of the Cubs' potential closers. I hadn't seem him pitch much this year before today. I was confused about his pedestrian 2.45 K/9 seeing how he usually sits around 94 MPH. After seeing him this weekend, it seems like it's because he ONLY throws his fastball. Fangraphs says he goes to the heater almost 87% of the time. If he doesn't develop a changeup or throw his slider more often, the league is going to catch up to him. Quickly.
- The Red Sox and Orioles played a 17 inning game today. Chris Davis, Baltimore's DH, went 0-8 as a hitter, but won the game by throwing two scoreless innings. Hopefully Chris Davis now needs Tommy John surgery. Am I still angry at being burned by Chris Davis multiple years in a row in fantasy baseball? Yes. Yes I am.
- The Bulls lost. Again. All those people that said "There's no team as prepared to lose their best player as the Bulls" can suck it. With the Blackhawks out of the NHL playoffs and the Cubs being only passably interesting, I'm throwing my support behind the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx to defend their title this year.
- Holy shit, The Avengers raked in $200 MILLION this weekend. Having seen it already, I can say it deserved every penny. I don't usually have the urge to watch many movies twice in the theater, but I'll definitely be seeing The Avengers again in the next month or so. Expect a final tally of about $450 million in the US.
11:35 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan
bbq for men - For $950. And it's going to have fucking terrible heat retention. But yeah, the mahogany handle is the tits. Can't wait to keep it outside during winter. Let's see how "art"looks after the thaw.
Prometheus International Trailer - Enjoy nerds.
New Nets logo - It's a million times cooler simply for not having "New Jersey" in it.
The Fourth Annual WAIW Pub Crawl is coming up on May 12. It's too late to buy the shirt (shown at right) but you can still probably tag along. You just won't be a suave-looking motherfucker like the rest of us.
Obiwan Kenobi Arrested - Jedi falling on hard times.
Kate Upton Bikini Dance - Probably not the best thing to watch at work. Actually you'll probably want some "alone time" for this.
Desipio.com - Take a trip down shitty Cubs memory lane.
Being cautious gives you Parkinson's - I know it looked like I did a ton of cocaine and drove my car into the side of a building before running off and stabbing a hobo. But it's all part of my Parkinson's prevention.
Three grannies watch Kardashian sex tape - The tip is purple!
Kate Upton Bikini Dance - Now in GIF form!
Tim Tebow Prom Date - Buddy Christ was able to chaperone.
10 Secrets to Life from Nick Offerman - Between this and the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness I think I have all I need to raise my children right.
|Typical bang bang play.|
Shaq Attack:The Rise of Babies Named ‘Shaquille’ - I can't wait for all the Darkos to grow up and flash their upside potential.
10 Best Cities for Cheapskates - Maybe Howard Schultz could've ran the Sonics better in El Paso?
That's all for this week. I'll leave you with this:
|Hey Jay, what type of diabetes do you have?|
Posted in: Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan