Breaking News: Carrie Fisher Fired as Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills

December 27, 2016 | Comments (2) | by Governor X

ORCHARD PARK - The Buffalo Bills have relieved Head Coach Carrie Fisher of her head coaching duties.  Fisher was 15-16 in her Bills career.

Heaven needed another angel.

Profiles in Doubt: TMS Watches the World Series

November 29, 2016 | Comments (0) | by Shooter Muldoon

Like most of you, I've spent every hour since November 2 drifting on a sea of endorphins - with only some of that coming from monstrous beer intake. The Cubs did it! They won the World Series and we all got to partake in that joy. The parade! The high fives to strangers! The buying of really expensive championship shit! We never doubted, right?

Nah, man. Of course we did. When you're carrying around a black cat, an Alex Gonzalez, and a glove-spiking Ted Lilly in your head, you're either managing a constant fluctuating level of anxiety or you're a paste-eating moron irresponsibly wielding a pair of safety scissors. That's not automatic doubt per se, but it does set the table for it pretty nicely. Because in the back of your mind, you remember bad things can happen fast:

He later returned to kill Scar in 7 games

For me, Game 4 was like a kick to the spine. My Cubs fandom is such that I don't feel the need to defend it to internet strangers, but my TV was off before Kipnis's homer off of Wood landed in the right field bleachers. I didn't know Fowler had hit a homer until the next day. Sometimes you have to sulk so you don't become an unbearable asshole to the people you love.

Anyhow, THIS version of the Cubs restored brittle hope, and two wins later, there was no turning away from emotions (or alcohol) during the biggest game of our lifetimes. Just me, fellow bartenders Rich and White Chili, a handful of friends and ladyfriends, and a Chicago bar chock-full of anxious boozers.

As the game wore on, we were on edge, then overjoyed, then nervous, then despondent, then hopeful, then nervous, then ecstatic. And just after the last of the bar-provided cheap champagne ran dry, and we'd all gone Tom Waits hoarse sing-yelling Steve Goodman and Queen songs, I realized that doubt is as natural a reaction as joy, whiskey-rage, and every baseball emotion in between.

Even my wife, who yelled at me for pulling up stakes during that awful 2008 NLDS, gave me a furtive glance as they pulled out the tarp that we both knew to mean "fuuuuudge. Uh ... home?" But we stayed at the bar, and it wasn't really ever in question. Later she said "I thought that was the end of it. I was ready to go home, because they were going to lose." Which, if anything, is less bleak a picture than the bar-turned-funeral-parlor felt immediately following 6-6.

Anyway, the point is I doubted, and I'm open about it. I doubted a little when we lost in extras against the Giants. I doubted a little more when Old Rich Hill shut out our offense with his one pitch. I tore myself into emotional ribbons for almost the entirety of the World Series, which is not the act of a confident man. For a brief dark glimmer, I thought we'd never regain the lead after Davis stuck a fork into Chapman. To have these thoughts is natural, to give in to them totally is counterproductive, and to deny them is just the weirdest thing. If you were 100 percent confident the whole time, then I imagine I had a lot more fun than you did.

You know who else had fun? Our team of degenerate bartenders. Let's hear from them on the topic.

Bartenders of Thunder Matt's Saloon - did you ever doubt during the playoffs?

Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Well the NLDS was rife with doubt. It was looking all too familiar. I went to bed before that loss in extra innings to the Giants ended. Then we're down 5-2 in Game 4 to them and it just looks like shit again. When they reached the bottom of the 8th I recall saying that if the Giants tacked any more runs on then I was shutting it off for the night.

But they didn't! And then the 9th happened. It was glorious and a reminder of the magic moments this team had in the 2015 playoffs. I was reminded that this wasn't the Cubs of old any more.

The NLCS was a lot more laid back. I was stressed for sure after the two shutout games but looking back at that Game 4 win I reminded myself these guys are never done until that final out is recorded.

Fast forward to the World Series and we go down 3 games to 1. The morning after I was at my friend Mark's house and we were trying to muster up some enthusiasm. Again I went back and thought, this team doesn't know how to quit. They've given no fucks from one day to the next and literally take no shit from anybody.

No fucks given, no shit taken.  That was my own personal rallying cry for them the rest of the way and as dumb and crude as that sounds it helped. [Editor's Note: I thought the phrase "Give no Fucks, Take no Shits" at least 80 times during the next 3 games]

Until it was tied 6-6 in Game 7. Doubt started creeping in again.

Watching the offense in the top of the 9th I thought, "Well shit, maybe they've finally reverted back." By a miracle Chapman gets through that bottom of the 9th and the Cubs offense manages to pull it out.

Looking back I feel dumb for doubting them at times but I think being a Cubs fan over the past decade and a half has left us keeping our guard up a lot.


I don't think I ever did doubt. But I really didn't like a few of the positions we were in.

I think that actually being at Game 5 helped, because all the atmosphere of actually being at a World Series game forced me to still be positive. I didn't want to bum myself out, If we would have fallen behind in game 7, especially after that lead we had, I think I would have crumbled.

After the Cubs came back to beat the Mariners in the Brian Matusz Trade Deadline Audition From Hell game, I knew to never count this team out. And with the game tied 6-6 in the 8th inning, all I could think of "Which of these lineups do I trust to score 1 run before the other" and that was a super easy question to answer.

Lingering Bursitis

I doubted plenty during the playoffs. The crushing weight of history did it. I panicked during the San Francisco series until that ninth-inning rally. I panicked again after Kershaw and Hill's back-to-back wins. I panicked again after losing two of three at home in the World Series.

Every time, I pledged a renewed faith in the superior quality of this team and that they would eventually do what they had done all fucking season long.

Adam Blank

Some friends in L.A. were getting married and wanted me at their wedding, so they flew me out there. Their wedding was on October 28 (Game 3 of the World Series). Before they booked the flights in late September, I told them that the flight to L.A. had to land before 5 p.m. Pacific time and the return flight had to be on October 29 (Game 4) and land before 7 p.m. Central, because I was damn sure the Cubs would be in the World Series and I wasn't about to be in L.A. for a potential clinching game. 

How's that for confidence?

They complied with the second part of my request, but I watched part of Game 1 of the World Series on my phone with Southwest's bizarre TV app. As for doubts? Oh, I had them. Not too many during the NLDS or NLCS, but that World Series ...

After Game 2, the series was tied 1-1. Then, out of the blue, my uncle died and my mom was hospitalized. Those two things are unrelated. They weren't in the same car or anything. Just crazy coincidences. I'm 2,000 miles away from Chicago, these people are having a weird sunset wedding during Game 3 of the World Series, my mom is in the hospital and her brother is dead. The Cubs lost Game 3.

I flew back to Chicago in time to see them lose Game 4. As you can imagine, I wasn't really feeling terribly positive at this point. My mom was released in time for Game 5 and the Cubs managed to hold on and win it. But I still thought we'd lose it in six games.

Game 6 was the day of my uncle's memorial service. At the service, all people could talk about was the World Series. My 68 year old uncle died out of the blue, and people were leaving his memorial service early so they could get home and watch the game. We know our priorities in my family. The Cubs won game 6.

I was surprisingly confident going into Game 7. The entire playoffs seemed like Cubs vs. Unstoppable Juggernaut Pitcher Who Had Their Number, yet the Cubs would always find a way to prevail. I think I experienced the entire spectrum of human emotions during Game 7. I didn't have many doubts (why would I? We were winning!) until the 8th inning. The Indians tied it, and somebody had obviously used the Dusty Baker mind-swap ray on Joe Maddon, who began making moves that make no fucking sense ... it felt like all the bullshit talk of curses might have some merit after all. Hell, even up a run in the bottom of the 10th with two outs, I remember thinking, "Fuck. The Indians can still win this thing on the very next pitch." They didn't. We did.

Someday, when my illegitimate child tracks me down and introduces me to my grandchildren, I'll recap the 2016 Cubs World Series to them. In that version, I will have never had a single doubt about the outcome. But, come on. Anyone who claims they were confident that the Cubs would win this when they were down 3 games to 1 is completely full of shit.

White Chili

The question of whether or not I let doubt quietly creep into my mind during the Cubs’ historic Championship run implies I otherwise maintained an overwhelming confidence, ripe to be wavered.

Instead, my general state during those 27 days was more like that of an abused shelter dog in a new loving home. They kept offering me a toy. It was so close. Jesus, I could SMELL it! But I knew the moment I finally let my guard down and went to seize that ball, a size 14 would come out of nowhere and knock me into yesterday.

So instead, I spent most of that time - including a few hours at Wrigley during game three of the Series - trying to find the most effective combination of beer, whiskey and pretzels to give myself an ulcer. (I still have the recipe if any of you good people are searching for any last-minute ideas for Thanksgiving!)

Sure, there were moments when I screamed and threw up my hands - like when we rallied in the 9th to put away the Giants or when Dexter led off game seven with a moon shot. But there were an equal number of times, capped off by Rajai Davis’ home run, when it felt like that boot was winding up like it had so many, many times before. It wasn’t until Zobrist slapped that ball into left field during the 10th inning that I caught myself letting out a genuine little smile and said “Holy shit this might actually happen.”


It's weird, but no. Was I nervous? Yep. Nervous enough that I couldn't even watch some of the games, especially once they hit the NLCS. They lost those games to Kershaw and Hill without scoring a run, but I just didn't believe that the offense would go cold for a whole series.

Then when they hit the World Series and Kluber, I didn't think they'd tank 3 games against the same pitcher. As soon as they won that last game in Wrigley, I knew the series would go all 7 games. I wasn't sure the Cubs would win, but I knew they weren't going down in 6. Either they'd win or come so achingly close it would break our hearts. And they almost did lose that way. But this team wasn't the 2003 Cubs, or the 2007, or 2008 Cubs. Jason frigging Heyward said "We got this" and it turns out they did.


Two periods of time I suppose. The first is more of a fuzzy feeling of dread after the Rich Hill game. I don't remember it much, because it only lasted one night.

Then around the 7th inning in game 4 of the World Series. Walking around Wrigleyville with Rich, trying to soak in the old, familiar lonely feelings. Then I went back to his place and ate a bowl of chili and passed out. So again, it didn't last long. Even that Sunday morning, it was "Well, if Lester can get it done tonight we go to Cleveland with Schwarbs." So I never had a two or three day binge of dread and hopelessness.


Nikolou Rossmathakios

I definitely had doubts once it got to 3-1. I was definitely hopeful that the Cubs could still win it, but the odds seemed really insurmountable, considering how the Cubs had hit in games 1, 3, and 4. I certainly had my frustrations and I even quit watching game 4 before the Kipnis home run.

(I couldn't take the stress anymore...I watched Stardust on Blu-ray and got really drunk. I know Stardust is an odd choice, but for some reason that movie always makes me happy.)

Still, I never gave up hope. Shit, I was supremely doubtful when Maddon sent Chapman back out for the bottom of the 9th in Game 7, considering who was coming to bat. However, I wore myself out, bouncing all around my basement, watching every pitch in terror, hoping for the best to happen.

Fun story: During the rain delay, I told my wife (she sat through all of Game 7 with me - bless her heart) that the Cubs were going to score 2 runs in the top of the 10th. This is proof of my unwavering hope. During Game 6, she promised me that she would do a shot of tequila with me to start Game 7 if the Cubs would go on to win (she didn't stay up for the end of Game 6). She had a hard time getting our daughter to bed before Game 7 and then didn't feel so great, so I ended up doing the tequila shot on my own after the bottom of the third inning. The Cubs then went to score 2 runs. So I ended up doing 3 more tequila shots and every time I did, the Cubs scored. I don't even believe in that shit, but it's still bonkers.

Sorry this is such a long, continuous rant. Bless your heart and Bless "Basehit" Ben Zobrist.

Chaim Witz

Honestly, the only time any sort of doubt crept in the entire series was immediately following the Rajai Davis home run in Game 7. Like a Nam flashback, it was like, "Oh shit, so this is it, huh? The 'Bartman moment' that will get played over and over for years until our souls turn to dust." But then we made it through the 9th, and after the rain delay something clicked emotionally (maybe it was the fact that they played some lively music at the bar during the delay that stirred the loins), where I was like, "Nah fuck it, this team is different. This just happened to make it all the more sweet." As sweet tasting as the 8 Old Style tallboys I'd consumed to that point.

It was the same feeling of confidence (not cockiness) that I had when we went down 3-1.  I still knew I was going be in Chicago to watch Game 7. I had no doubts. And when that 9th Old Style tallboy was poured on my head after the last out, victory (and Old Style) never tasted sweeter.

[This post shockingly NOT brought to you by Old Style]

The Hundley

Did I ever doubt? Am I a Cubs fan? Of course I doubted.

I know (from watching others teams over the years) that the playoffs are an entire different type of season - things don't generally happen the way they do in the post season. Especially in a short series, a hot pitcher can take a series over. I was a bit nervous against SF because of Bumgartner. I also figured their armada of scrappy position players would undoubtedly go off. For every Derek Jeter and David Ortiz World Series domination, there's a Mark Lemke and Craig Counsel lurking somewhere. I doubted against L.A. because of Kershaw, and it looked for a bit like we were the same team that faced the Mets last year: we swung at everything and couldn't muster much offense.

During the World Series I must say I was anything but a true believer. When we went down 3-1, I didn't figure the series wouldn't go back to Cleveland. Not with our schizophrenic offense and knowing we'd have to face Kluber again. When we pushed it to Game 7, I actually had some confidence. You know, right up until Maddon's handling of the pitching staff, where it seemed he was was trying to do everything he could to blow the series.

But winning cures all, doesn't it? Perhaps the win felt even sweeter because I doubted. No, that's not true. I haven't been the best Cubs fan recently, nor any sports for that matter. You become an ex-blogger with a demanding job and 2 kids, and you might catch a regular season inning here or there. But this playoff season, I made sure I saw everything - unless I fell asleep for a few innings here or there. My fandom came back strong, and every pitch and swing was a live-or-die moment. I was yelling at the TV, I was pacing the living room, I was scaring my kids, my wife told me she couldn't watch a game with me.

This World Series felt great, but it wasn't all elation for me. I got so emotionally invested that after each game it felt like I had gone for a long run. More than anything, the World Series title felt like...relief.


A Completely Arbitrary Ranking of the Trumps

November 17, 2016 | Comments (59) | by Governor X

I've tried really hard to keep politics away from TMS, lest we turn into the next Deadgawkerspin, but god damn it, we have a new first family coming in and everyone likes rankings. So here, have a completely arbitrary ranking of the Trumps. Sorry Ivana - current Trumps only!

1) Barron - He's 10, likes to wear suits, and as we all know, is good with The Cyber. Such talent. Wow. He also rides lions. Do you? Yeah, I thought not. Also, by virtue of being the youngest Trump, he has committed the fewest crimes against humanity. BTW, is that lion in blackface? Jesus...

2) Melania - So what if she's a plagiarist. So what if her discount Bucharest boob job made her nipples point at the sky. People assure me she's classy. Also, have a fucking heart. Donald is long overdue to trade her in on a newer model. She'll be shipped back to the Soviet Block in her original packaging and he'll bring in the latest grunting tennis prodigy from Belarus.

3) Tiffany - Oh Tiffany. As far as I understand, you're basically Courtney Love born into money. That's got to be a blast.

4) Donald - So yeah, the country may not survive this and your favorite kabob guy is about to get shipped off to a "facility" in rural Nevada, but wow, what a showman! I get all the doom and gloom, but objectively speaking, it takes a great deal of talent for a rich guy from Manhattan with a solid gold bidet to get Billy Bob out in Sweatfork, WV to go all in. Also, I am continually impressed by his ability to buy $20,000 suits that make him look like works the new account desk at your local bank. He's #4 because of the pure spectacle - also, his adult children are even worse.

5) Ivanka - Statistically speaking, at least 1 out of every 2 people you meet is able to recognize Donald is a con man. Inexplicably, people haven't yet figured out Ivanka is every bit as bad. Somehow they just order her cheap bracelets off of QVC and never quite figure out they've been had. Is it because she's good looking? If so, you've got some work to do feminists. Put down the Lena Dunham sex doll and get on that.

6) Eric - Eric and his brother Donald Jr are big game hunters, so it goes without saying they are awful people. Eric is what I imagine Patrick Bateman would be like as a vampire.

7) Donald Jr - Just regular Patrick Bateman, without the vampire charm.

"Soon. That's why I'm smiling."

Well...Last Week Sure Was Something, Wasn't It?

November 14, 2016 | Comments (1) | by Rich Funk

For those of you that have been following us around the last 10 years, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that the first thing posted here about the Cubs winning the World Series is going up a whopping 11 days after Game 7 in Cleveland. If nothing else, we've always been consistent with our maddening inconsistency. We posted (almost) daily game recaps during the early season even when the Cubs had a huge division lead and were playing the Padres and Brewers of the world, then had a grand total of 4 posts during the entire playoff run, one of which was about the NBA.

That's why I don't blame you if you don't believe me when I say that this post isn't the typical kind of late. It's not like I didn't have time or wasn't interested enough to put my thoughts down.

I just wasn't ready.

At first it was too much. There was too much to process. How does one begin to take it all in, something so many have been waiting on for so long, something that you hope and pray for that you have absolutely no control over. There's no one you can ask for advice because no one knows what it's like. I thought about writing this post at least once or twice every single day between now and last Wednesday, but I didn't know how to start. I didn't know how to put everything that I was feeling into any kind of coherent structure, especially in the days immediately after the win, reading so many better writers put what I was feeling into words better than I'll be able to.

But if I waited until I came up with the perfect framing device for my thoughts, nothing would ever get written so I think I'm just gonna jump in. There's no through line. This is all gonna be off the top of my head. Let's get into it.

*   *   *   *   *

From the very beginning of this season, I was all in on the 2016 Cubs. Even in 2008, the Cubs didn't go into the season knowing they were the best team in baseball, so it was cool to totally buy into a team that was built to crush everyone. I also decided that going all in with this team meant leaving the baggage at the door. I would not suffer any talk about curses or goats. I would not live in fear of superstition or jinxes. Before the Cubs even took the field, I defiantly stated that they would win the 2016 World Series. As 7/1 favorites at the time, it was not a particularly HOT TAKE to have, but it was my first step into living jinx free all season.

And you know what? It was AWESOME. I talked about Jake Arrieta's no-hitter as it was happening. I counted down the last 12 outs in Game 6 of the NLCS. Hell, a few friends and I ate at the Billy Goat Tavern in the Loop the day of Game 6! No matter what was happening the entire season, I kept telling myself that absolutely nothing I did in my life would have any effect on any game, and it was incredibly satisfying. In baseball more than any other sport, there's a very high tolerance for superstition and so I get it if not everyone is onboard with my cavalier attitude, but it sure was fun not having to wear the same thing every day during a winning streak and being able to sit in any spot and in any position that I wanted to on the couch because there was no thing as a 'lucky spot'.

Ironically, I have to continue not believing in jinxes and superstitions next season because it worked this year. Right? Right.

*     *     *     *     *

Thinking back to the NLDS against the Giants, I was really REALLY stressed out when the Giants won Game 3 to save their season. Looking back on it now, it seems like quite an overreaction. After all, the Giants won ONE game of that series. But man, was I in a bad mood when the Cubs lost that one. One thing this Cubs season taught me was how to most effectively be mad at the Cubs without being too moody of an asshole about it. I never gave up on the Cubs at any point this season, but I was certainly frustrated by them a whole lot in the playoffs.

I have a regular group of friends I usually talk to during the games, and I feel bad about bringing everyone down when they're trying to keep morale up, so I know that when I feel like I need to wallow in the doom and gloom for a little bit, I have my cousin to turn to. Whenever I complain to him, he's always willing to jump down the reverse shower drain into the murkiest depths. Any Cubs fan knows that there are times when you just need to hit rock bottom before you can get your head back in the game. It's really important to identify which people in your circle are willing to jump with you because being a total bummer to everyone around you is not the best way to go through a stressful playoff series.

Every Cubs fan has their way of expressing their frustration in real time, and this is mine: I throw my phone. But by 'throw' I actually mean 'toss'. And even 'toss' is a strong word. Whenever the Cubs do something awful and my phone is in my hand, I'll drop it out of my hand in an exaggerated way, only the phone is usually about 4 inches above the cushion of the couch and is usually tossed onto a pillow that is on top of the couch to boot. I take my frustration out on my phone, but only if there is no possible way for the phone to touch anything more solid than a gym mat. I also say "COME ON!" and "GOD DAMMIT, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS" a whole lot.

I am not very creative with my Cubs frustration.

*     *     *     *     *

Until this season, the loudest I'd ever heard Wrigley Field was in 2003. When the Yankees came to Wrigley Field for the first time in decades, I was at the Saturday game of the series when Kerry Wood was facing Roger Clemens, who was going for his 300th win. In the top of the 8th inning, Mike Remlinger was brought into a bases-loaded, 2 out jam to face the brand new toy in the Yankees lineup, Jason Giambi. Giambi worked a full count before striking out swinging to end the threat. When he swung and missed at strike three, the entire place exploded. The whole stadium was shaking down to its foundation. It was deafening.

I was lucky enough to go to all three NLCS games at Wrigley and I can tell you now that there is a new bar set for how loud Wrigley Field can get. But it wasn't during the pennant clinching game 7 like you would think. It was actually during game 1 when Miguel Montero launched a grand slam deep into the right field bleachers. I don't think I'll ever hear a crowd that loud again in my life. Even when the Cubs were clinching in game 6, I think everyone was too busy crying all over each other to yell and scream as loud as they could. But that Miggy slam was unbelievable. Poor Dexter Fowler hit the most overlooked Cubs home run of that series on the very next pitch. People were still up out of their seats and high fiving their neighbors before they even realized that Fowler launched a home run into right as well. Come to think of it, Fowler also hit a totally overlooked home run in the World Series off of Andrew Miller in Game 4 too.

Good thing he was able to hit the biggest home run in Cubs history 4 days later.

*     *     *     *     *

The World Series was perfect. And I'm not just saying that because the Cubs won. The 7 games we were all treated to were so above and beyond everything a baseball fan could want from a World Series that I don't think anything else is going to touch it. I wanted the Cubs to win, but I also wanted them to play the Indians for 10 more games because this series had EVERYTHING.

There's not a whole lot that I can say about the World Series that you haven't heard already, so the one thing that I do want to draw some attention to is how well this year's Cubs team made adjustments and fought back. The first time the Cubs faced Clayton Kershaw in the NLCS, they took a patient approach and it blew up in their faces as Kershaw poured strike after strike over the plate and put the Cubs in what seemed like infinite 0-2 counts.

When the Cubs got to face Kershaw again in game 6, they were much more aggressive and it worked, tacking on 2 runs against him in the first and another in the second, mostly off if hits that came early in the count.

The same thing happened in the World Series against Kluber and Tomlin. In Game 1, Kluber had the best stuff that I think I've ever seen. He looked like he had perfect game level stuff and after the Cubs lost that one, I honestly wasn't mad at all. I was surprised the Cubs were able to scratch the 4 hits they did against him. When the Cubs faced Josh Tomlin in game 3, they made a ton of weak contact by swinging at pitchers pitches, especially low and out of the zone.

When the Cubs saw Tomlin again in Game 6, they stayed patient and, knowing that Tomlin isn't much of a strikeout guy, waited on pitches that they could drive. Tomlin didn't strike out a single Cub in the 2.1 innings he lasted. When Kluber came back in game 7, the same thing happened - the Cubs were patient and waited for pitches that they could drive. Again, the Cubs struck out 0 times in the 4 innings Kluber lasted. To see such a young team make the adjustments they needed to get the job done against the specific pitcher they're facing is impressive enough. To do it in the middle of the biggest games of their lives brings it all to a whole other level.

Another thing I heard a lot about during the playoffs is how the Cubs were so susceptible to curveballs and how throwing them more breaking stuff than usual is the key to beating this team. I think that is stupid. Yes, the Cubs struggled against breaking balls throughout the playoffs, but I'm pretty sure ANY team would have struggled just as much. Throwing a good curveball is tough and the reason the Chicago lineup was shut down so much by breaking pitches is because their playoff gauntlet featured some of the best curveballs in baseball.

Fangraphs can rank pitchers by how good they are by the specific pitches they throw. If you look at starting pitchers with a minimum of 100 innings by their curveballs, look how many the Cubs faced on their road to the World Series and their 2016 ranking:

1. Cory Kluber
2. Rich Hill
4. Madison Bumgarner
7. Trevor Bauer
9. Jeff Samardzija
13. Matt Moore

And that's just the starting pitchers! Looking at the relief pitcher leaderboards, Cody Allen had the 3rd best Curveball in the majors. Andrew Miller had the 4th best slider in baseball. So facing a path to a world championship littered with Cy Young winners and the best breaking pitches in the major leagues, yeah, any team is going to look like they struggle against curves and sliders.

*     *     *     *     *
I saw this guy on my walk to work the morning after the Cubs won the Series.
One thing that I've heard a lot of talk about over the last year is how to handle bandwagon fans. My official stance is that I do not care why someone supports the Cubs or how long they've been a fan. If someone is pretending to like the Cubs because that's the cool thing to say on Instagram of Facebook, that's fine! It doesn't take away from what I felt going through this season and honestly, I say the more the merrier. Despite growing up in a household that had Cubs baseball on all the time, I didn't really start my Cubs obsession until 1998, when the Sosa-McGwire slugfest caught the entire nation's attention. Those Wild-Card Cubs were the first team I ever got into and it's been an obsession ever since.

I don't care why people like the Cubs. I don't care when people pretend to like the Cubs more than they actually do and I don't care what reasons they have. If something can make people get into the Cubs or baseball in general, I'm all for it. It took a playoff run for me to fall in love with the Cubs 16 years ago and I've been fully onboard ever since. Who am I to judge anyone else for doing the same this year?

*     *     *     *     *

I love the city of Chicago and I love the Cubs. The Cubs love this city and the city loves them right back. I would have rooted for a team of 25 Donald Trumps if it meant they would win a World Series for the Cubs, but it makes it even better that we got to root for such an awesome and likable team along the way. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are both a GM and marketing department's wet dream. Addison Russell and Javier Baez could combine for 350 web gems next season. Kyle Schwarber may already be knocking on the door of being one of the most beloved Cubs of all time and he's only played in 71 regular season games!

I think having such a likable team full of guys that looked like they genuinely loved each other and were enjoying every minute of this season made it safer for fans to fall for them. We knew that no matter what, win or lose, this team would never give up. They would never freeze and crack under the pressure like the the 2008 team did.

Even after the World Series and victory parade were over, Wrigley Field was still abuzz as of last Sunday. The streets were almost as crowded as they are for game days with fans leaving their marks on every single square inch of Wrigley that could be marked with chalk.

I'm still not ready to close the book on the 2016 season. I know that we have to move on to the next one eventually, but I'll never get tired of this season. I want it to keep going forever. I want to watch the 2016 Cubs play a million more games, finding ridiculous ways to win day in and day out. I want to watch Dexter Fowler smile and Javy Baez whip lightning-fast tags all over would-be base stealers. I want to watch Anthony Rizzo with his arm draped over David Ross in the dugout forever. I want to watch Willson Contreras bring the rookie swagger and fire to this lineup, never shying away from the biggest stage even though he had every right to. I want to see the relief wash over Addison Russell's face during the NLCS when he finally broke out, knowing he wanted to get rolling even more than the fans did. I want to watch Kris Bryant smile as he fielded the final out, that in itself a giant middle finger to curses and jinxes as he finally killed and buried the biggest one left in sports. I want to watch Rizzo slyly slip the final out into his back pocket before celebrating.

I'm sad that we'll never get to watch this exact group of guys play together ever again, but I'm so fucking happy that they gave us the best 179 games I'll ever see in my lifetime. I'm glad that guys like Ross and Fowler and Wood will forever be a part of Cubs history.

After the Cubs won the World Series, the bar that my friends and I were at served champagne and played music for hours afterward. We danced and drank and let it all sink in. The cab ride home took forever, as seemingly everyone in the city of Chicago was out driving around and honking. It was surreal. And it wasn't until about a half hour after I got home, already up late enough to make work the next day awful, that it really started to sink in. I randomly opened up Facebook and was presented with an ad from MLB Shop that just said "They Finally Did It!". Out of everything that happened, watching them win, celebrating with my closest friends, driving home through Wrigleyville, it was seeing that random ad in my Facebook feed that really made things get dusty in the old Funk household that night.

It actually happened.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. And they did it in the most perfect way possible.

*     *     *     *     *

As I mentioned before, there are so many more articles about what the Cubs did that are much better than what you are now (mercifully) ending. Just off the top of my head, this post from SB Nation was awesome, this video by Scott Van Pelt and this post on The Ringer really put what I've been thinking and feeling over the last 2 weeks into words better than I can. That's why I waited till the end to link them.

I've taken up enough of your time with my thoughts. To finish, here are a bunch of pictures I've taken on my phone over the last few weeks experiencing what Chicago was like in the wake of a World Series win.

I got to Grant Park for the Cubs rally at about 5:00 AM and there were already about 500 people waiting to get in. All of the buildings were lit up with Cubs pride.

Here's a view of all 5 million of my closest friends...

...and what is left behind after everyone goes home.

I got interviewed on WGN at a Cubs World Series rally. That sentence knocks 3 things off my bucket list singlehandedly.

This was spotted outside of Wrigley on the Sunday after the World Series win. I assume it's been there since the day Joe Buck was born. Also, the fact that they wrote "Sucks" in quotation marks is a curious choice.

I criticized Arrieta a whole lot over the second half, but the dude pitched a hell of a game in Game 6.

No we did not.

Matt Murton Forever

So About Tonight...

October 25, 2016 | Comments (1) | by Governor X

God, it's been such a long wait. Can you remember what you were doing? Were you even born?

Of course you were. Game 7 was June 19th. Are you an infant? If so, go back to bed. Stupid babies.

Tonight is BALL NIGHT as the 2016-2017 NBA season is finally upon us. To celebrate, the NBA released their team "hashflags," which for those of you over the age of 20 are hashtags that will prompt a fun little graphic. These are, unfortunately, terrible;

#TakeNote? #ItTakesEverything? Are these seriously the best the league office could come up with? And what the fuck is #MFFL? Marketing 101: if you have to ask what this is, you fail.

As usual, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. "DIY" as Swanny used to say (RIP Swanny, he died like he lived: whittling shirtless). Here are the new and improved TMS NBA Team Hashflags for 2016-2017. These suck too, but damn it, I did it with love:

Game 3 Recap: Get It All Out

October 19, 2016 | Comments (7) | by Rich Funk

I'm really frustrated and angry. In sports, the mantra is "stay positive and believe" but holy crap, are the Cubs testing my patience.

You know what? For just a minute, let's forget all that. Let's embrace the doom and gloom because honestly, getting all the garbage the last 2 games has built up in your soul out into the open is good for you. Here are all the awful things I've seen over the last 2 games in no particular order.
  • Addison Russell needs to be benched for a game. He's absolutely lost and waving at garbage pitches that are a foot outside and low. He needs a mental break and should really try and figure out what he's doing wrong or what pitchers have done to him that he hasn't adjusted back to. Remember, this isn't just Awful Playoff Addison. Russell has shown that he's no stranger to getting ice cold for long stretches at a time. In April, he hit .214. In June, he hit .214. In September, he hit .231. It's amazing what an All Star start and Jason Heyward's own shittiness can distract from. I'm not saying Russell isn't a great player (especially considering how young he is), but he's not as good a hitter as you might think.
  • Could the Cubs possibly hit any more baseballs directly at Dodger fielders? The Cubs' batting average on balls put into play last night was .190. If you're not familiar with BABIP, that's really, really, REALLY bad.
  • I understand the importance of confidence and bravado in sports, but man is it tough to see Arrieta talk such a big game sometimes and lay a hot steamy dump on the mound. He talks and acts like he's the same pitcher from the second half of 2015, but he is absolutely not that guy. He's not even the Arrieta we saw in 2014. He's not even Jason Hammel over the last half a season. Over his last 16 starts (which doesn't even include one good postseason start and last night's hot fart), Jake has a 4.44 ERA and has walked 3.7 batters per 9 innings over that time, which is awful. I know that Smoltz went on and on last night about how sometimes Arrieta's control can leave for a bit and the window of time before he gets it back is the opportunity to score, but I don't think that's the case. It's not that he loses control for a bit, it's that he only has control from time to time. The majority of his second half starts, Jake's mechanics just look awful. And yes, I know next to nothing about mechanics and hitches in deliveries and what not, but you can't watch Arrieta pitch and say that he looks like he's doing a fluid and effective pitching motion. From the first batter of the game, his fastball location was way off from where Montero was positioning himself.
  • Remember how last year's Cubs were susceptible to power pitchers who could rack up strikeouts and then they just so happened to run into a Mets team that had 4 guys like that in their rotation? We're looking at a same song, different verse this season. I know that a lot of analysts have mentioned that the Cubs are one of the better hitting teams against lefties this season, but that includes all lefties. If there's one thing we've seen so far this playoff series, it's that this is a team that is built to struggle against elite lefties with high strikeout rates. "Well how many of those are out there?" is a valid question, because there aren't a ton. But we've managed to face them in 4 of our 7 playoff games (Bumgarner/Moore/Kershaw/Hill). For a team that gets torn apart by elite left handed pitching, that's no good. Did I mention that 75% of the Dodger rotation is left handed?
  • The number of hard choices that need to be made against left handed starters is a domino effect of garbage. Do you keep Heyward in the lineup, knowing that you're trading 9 innings of awesome fielding for an 0-4 day at the plate? Do you put in Jorge Soler knowing that he's ice cold and not that great a defender?
  • I'm finished with the "Montero needs to be Arrieta's personal catcher" bullshit now too. Jake is terribly slow to the plate and Montero absolutely has the worst arm of any catcher on the roster. Even if the steals don't show up in the box score, the constant threat from the runner at first (added to Jake's shaky mechanics) is enough of a distraction to affect the game.
  • The bottom line is that right now, there are 2 slumping parts of the lineup that have shown at least some signs of life (Rizzo, Zobrist) and a whopping 4 players (Russell, Heyward, Montero, pitcher's spot) that look absolutely lost right now. When 4 lineup spots contribute nothing and two others are barely doing better than that, you're not going to score many runs against ANYONE, let alone a handful of the best pitchers on the planet.
  • I know that by the strict definition, tonight's game isn't a "must win" because it's only game 4, but every Cubs fan knows that with Kershaw ready to go tomorrow night in the case of a 3-1 Dodgers series lead, the Cubs have to win tonight to get back in this series. And they have to do that with John Lackey, who was brought in to win these exact types of games except for the fact that he looks super worn out right now and is on a super small sample size streak of 2 straight bad playoff starts.

Who needs a drink?

Ok, so as much as I want to just sit here and wallow in the reverse shower of anger and gloom, there are a few things to keep in mind:
  1. The Cubs had to come back and win 3 out of 4 games to beat the Cardinals in the playoffs last year. Granted, the Cardinals didn't have Clayton Kershaw, but it's not like they haven't been in this position before.
  2. To really emphasize just how NOT deep of a hole the Cubs are in right now, if they win tonight (against a rookie), they will not only be tied with the Dodgers 2-2, but they will also have homefield advantage back for the remaining games. Yes, with just one win.
  3. Yes, it is a SUPER SUPER small sample size, but the Cubs are slashing .359/.405/.995 against Urias.
That's all I can think of. Feel free to get your Cubs hate out in some way or another and come into tonight's game in the right mindset.

I hate baseball so much right now.

The Gist: Not Great, Bob

October 11, 2016 | Comments (2) | by Rich Funk

Yes, I stayed awake for the whole game last night. If one person this morning asks me "Was it worth it?" I will murder them for 2 reasons. First, I don't even know how to answer that question. Did Bryant's homer make it worth staying up? Was the potential to watch them clinch worth my current zombie-like state? I can't begin to sufficiently answer that kind of question. Second, as I mentioned before, I am in a sleep-deprived zombie state and zombies murder, so consider yourself murdered, hypothetical person.

So yeah, the game last night was full of ups and downs (and ups and downs and ups and downs). I liked some of the things I saw. I disliked other things that I saw. I tasted vomit in the back of my throat from some of the things I saw. Let's get down to it in a structure that I decided upon this morning to be the least amount of effort on my part to write so I can get back to dreaming about eating Rick Grimes' brains.

The Good:

  • Holy crap, Arrieta with that moonshot! Everyone is always so quick to give Madison Bumgarner credit as the best hitting pitcher in baseball, but Arrieta actually had a better overall line this season at the plate (.262/.304/.415) than Bumgarner (.186/.268/.360) by quite a bit. Arrieta muscling up and driving a ball into the stands shouldn't surprise anyone. The fact that he did it off of Madison Bumgarner was plenty impressive though.
  • Man, a whole lot of calls went the Cubs' way, none bigger than the throw that pulled Rizzo off the bag at first that somehow did not get overturned. I mean I'll take whatever breaks the Cubs can get in the playoffs, but I'm sure I could look at the 12 inch TV/VCR combo I had in college and watched the game via antenna instead of cable and still have been able to point out the inch of space between Rizzo's foot and the bag.
  • Almora's catch was insane. I am going to miss Dexter Fowler like a son when he leaves Chicago, but Almora's play as a rookie that was called up a little early out of necessity has me excited about seeing what he can do over a full season. Plus, it would be great if the Cubs organization could finally develop a young, talented position player. HAHAHAHAHA JUST KIDDING WE HAVE LIKE 12 OF THEM AND I AM STILL GOING SLEEP INSANE.
  • Bryant's game tying home run in the 9th inning is exactly what an MVP does in a big moment. Kris Bryant is so good and I can't wait to sign him to a 50 year deal for $3 billion.
  • We should take a second and really appreciate the talented lefty difference-maker that we were able to bring onboard at the trade deadline. When someone writes a book about the 2016 Cubs, I hope there's a whole chapter about how overlooked and awesome Mike Montgomery (or MIKMON as we call him around here) is. I pray that the fact that he eventually lost the game doesn't overshadow how awesome he was last night. Yes, he's started and relieved this year so we know he can do either job, but going 4 innings out of nowhere is a really tough thing to do, and MIKMON battled through, looking pretty gassed into just his second inning of work.
The Bad:

  • I am not second guessing Joe's use of the bullpen on the field last night (more on what I mean in a minute), because other than maybe leaving in Strop for a bit longer if possible, he played it like he should have. The unfortunate side effect is that a lot of the bullpen might be pretty spent. MIKMON won't be able to go for sure, which is unfortunate considering how many lefty bats the Giants have to use.
  • Unfortunately, the guys that probably will be available tonight are the ones that I really don't want to see right now. I'll get to Chapman in a minute, but that's not all that's rotten in Denmark. Hector Rondon hasn't looked good since coming back from his injury. His velocity seems fine, so maybe it's a mechanical thing. Whatever thing it is, thing needs to get fixed.
  • The one thing I will criticize a bit was Joe having multiple members of the bullpen all warm up for 7 innings before coming into the game. Now I trust that Joe knows more about bullpen management than I do, but it just seemed like Montgomery (and later Edwards Jr.) were wasting valuable pitches trying to stay loose for multiple innings. Could Montgomery have been sharp enough to make it through 5 scoreless if he didn't have to get up and sit down multiple times? Will Edwards Jr. have any ill effects from the amount of time he warmed up and didn't make it into the game?
  • The Cubs left a LOOOOOOOT of men on base last night. Every opportunity to seemingly drive a steak through Bumgarner's heart was squashed. Like Smoltz said during last night's broadcast, Bumgarner's ability to grind out 5 innings was so valuable to the Giants and their (usually) terrible bullpen.
The Ugly:
  • Last night we got Bad Jake, the version of Jake that we saw a lot over his last 16 starts. And before I say anything else, I know that I'm talking about a guy who is the reigning Cy Young winner and threw a no-hitter this year. But it's exactly because we've been so spoiled by those Jakes that we can tell that something just isn't clicking with Bad Jake. I don't think any pitcher not named Kershaw could replicate Arrieta's second half of 2015, but the way Arrieta is pitching right now isn't even the Arrieta from the first half, or even 2014 Arrieta for that matter. I don't know enough about pitching to offer any detail as to what exactly is wrong, but when Jake gets out of whack, when he can't locate his fastball and looks like his mechanics are pulling him off course...there's gotta be SOMETHING that can be fixed, right?
  • Aroldis Chapman was terrible last night. His command was off, much like it's been off a lot lately. Now when you throw 100+ MPH hitters tend to get themselves out so you can cover it up. But I guarantee you that the book on Chapman for any team facing the Cubs for the rest of the postseason will be "Be patient and make him actually throw strikes." The number of pitches he threw last night that were in the opposite part of the strike zone than they were called for was frightening.
  • Rizzo continues to slump. I know it's not all his fault, especially on a night when he faced a million lefties, but it would be really nice to see a big game out of him tonight.
I was mad when the Cubs lost last night. I kept thinking that San Francisco is the exact team you don't want to let off the hook and the last thing you need to do in a short series is give your opponent any momentum, especially in their park. I was mad that the team wasn't able to take advantage of Kris Bryant's bring-us-back-from-the-dead home run.

But then I remembered that juuuuust about everything had to go right for the Giants last night. They had to start the guy that is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time AND rely on an abnormal amount of left handed hitters to get hits off of tough left handed pitchers (seriously, the lefty Giants were 6-for-13 against Cubs left handed pitching) AND pull every pitcher they had out of their back pocket just to scrape by us and avoid being swept. And even that was ALMOST not enough.

I like our chances tonight. I like our chances against Matt Moore. I think the Cubs can put bats on him. Let's wrap it up tonight.

Go Cubs.

Jeff Samardzija: Hot Diarrhea Geyser - The TMS Oral History

October 08, 2016 | Comments (1) | by Rich Funk

In every lifetime, there are certain moments that will go down in history as defining moments in American culture. TMS Oral History is a series where we take a closer look at such moments through the eyes of those who made it happen. "Where were you when it happened?" Let's find out.

The following story is one that has been around for years, as much a part of Chicago Cubs lore as the Ryne Sandberg game, Kerry Wood's 20 strikeouts and Jake Arrieta's 2015 second half. Unfortunately, this story is the product of a certain player being less Jake Arrieta and more Brant Brown. That player is Jeff Samardzija, one of the most frustrating players in recent Cubs memory. TMS bartenders Rich, John and Jake (along with other notable contributors) will walk you through the story of the greatest baseball nickname ever.

"What do I know about Hot Diarrhea Geyser? Man, I know that it can bring you face to face with who you are."
 - John

Rich (TMS writer): I can't remember a player that was as equally despised and loved like Jeff Samardzija. The fact that he came out of Notre Dame was the absolute best or worst thing about him depending on who you ask. And the fact that he had a very douchey vibe and look didn't really help.

Jake (TMS founder, Wikipedia vandal): It was September 4, 2013. The Cubs won that day, but no thanks to Samardzija. There was a day game and I had just gotten back from picking up a decent lunch that an adult would eat.

John (TMS writer, BBQ connoisseur): I'm 98% sure that Jake went to get his lunch from a gas station that day.

Rich: I don't remember that day specifically, but Jake usually gets his lunch at gas stations.

Jake: I admit nothing.

Rich: We had been watching Samardzija suck at baseball for a while at this point, and the fact that he had seemed to give himself the nickname 'Shark' just made us hate him more. You can't just give yourself a nickname.

Joe Biden (Vice President of the United States, TMS reader): I'd like to think I've done a lot of good in my life for this country. I'm wrapping up a second term as Vice President of the United States. I've been elected as a Senator 6 times. When you work in the government that much, you see a lot of awful, despicable, immoral things. So trust me when I tell you that Jeff Samardzija giving himself that nickname is one of the more unforgivable things I have ever witnessed. He was really setting himself up to be taken down a peg or two, and that's exactly what Jake and the Thunder Matt boys had in mind.

The pitching box score of the fateful game.
John: A little background on me: I've loved the Cubs since I was a little kid, but every now and then I'll out-and-out despise one, like a mother pelican eating the runt of the litter. The litter of pelicans, see. Neal Cotts, Neifi Perez, John Grabow, Jeff Blauser - they've all felt my vengeful pelican wrath.

Rich: John once sent me a drunken rant about Justin Grimm that would make Donald Trump blush. When you get on his bad side...let's just say don't get on his bad side.

Jake: I think John might have actually murdered Jeff Blauser. Has anyone seen Jeff Blauser lately?

John: There was one guy in particular who was not only a crap-ass player, but an inexplicable fan favorite: Jeffrey Alan Samardzija. A big part of that is that he went to Notre Dame, and Notre Dame fans are even more insufferable than White Sox fans in this town. I'd estimate that 97 percent of the local green-clad mouth breathers never sniffed a class in South Bend, and god forbid you meet a local who did. You'll know them by their trashy gigantic class ring (a touch of faux-Italy in faux-Ireland) and their smirk, which will call to mind someone named Chad or Brayden or Bode. To hear them hoot for a shitty reliever with no control and a 1.45 WHIP was about the only unpleasant part of the 2008 regular season.

Rich: Now if I remember correctly, Jeff didn't really have too terrible of a start to the game. I think it was 3-2 Cubs going into the top of the 5th inning. That was the thing about Samardzija - he would lull you into a false sense of security before uncorking a torrent of pure, uncut filth all over the dining room. He should have had an exclusive deal with Stanley Steemer.

John: He got Christian Yelich out, and we thought things were looking fine from behind the bar in the Saloon. But the old seismograph we keep on the wall suddenly started going haywire. This could not be a good omen, I thought.

Jake: Mike Stanton singled. Justin Ruggiano singled. Logan Morrison walked. And naturally, Adeiny Hechavarria, whose career slugging percentage was a whopping fucking .336, blasts a majestic grand slam off Samardzija. That was what, one of 14 home runs he hit in his whole career? And then Koyie Hill doubles off him, which is probably even more embarassing.

John: The guy who literally stuck his hand in a table saw managed one more "you suck" hit right up the pipe. The boos were thick, rich, and acrid that day when Samardzija left the mound, like a New England Cham Chowder made with motor oil.

Joe Biden: It was an embarrassment. It was a national embarrassment.

Here is a transcript of the live chat at TMS during the game:
Ben: How did Jeff Samardzija turn terrible so quickly?
John: Quickly? He's been bloodfarting on the mound since 2009.
Jake: It might have to do with this the first time he's ever pitched over 180 innings in a season, ever.
John: He was cut off semi-early last year. Also, he's been kinda shitty for a few months. Since June, at least.
Jake: Hey remember when we paid him $3 million in 2010 to pitch 19.1 shitty innings. He was 25 years old then.
John: Good ole Hendry.
Jake: A lot of people will look at those big contracts dished out to Z and Soriano but the offer Hendry gave Snork may be the dumbest contract he ever offered.

Rich: It was funny because we knew better. We knew better than to think that this wouldn't happen all over again. And we still got sucked in. And despite seeing this happen time and time again, somehow this was different. The hate was more acrid, more of a sludge than usual. There was something almost majestic to the hate that we had in our hearts.

John: I needed a way to describe the continual disappointment and anger that Samardzija put me and other Cubs fans who don't give a shit about ND through. He'd just trickled through some trouble spots in the first few, but that fifth inning was an ERUPTION of awfulness. Just a steaming ... oh, man. That was it. A Hot Diarrhea Geyser. That, I figured, would be a fitting nickname for a guy who regularly melted down Zambrano-style but had a legion of mustached white guy fans to defend him. I'd  also always hated the nickname "Shark," which no one calls him and which I'm 98 percent certain he gave himself.

Kanye West (TMS reader, rapper): I was playing an outdoor festival in Paris as this game was going on. I didn't even have the game on, but I could feel it. I could feel that shit happening. I stopped in the middle of performing Heartless and walked off stage. 120,000 screaming fans and I just left them. I couldn't go on. It made me hate sharing a species with Jeff.

John: But see, I'm only a passively terrible person. An Eddie Haskell, if you will. I politely asked fellow bartender Mr. Terrible Cubs Fan to intercede with the folks at Wikipedia, then I went off to a soul-killing meeting. When I came back, it had already started happening. It was unbelievable. It was magic.
John: I don't know. In terms of just being a spraying geyser of hot diarrhea, you have to look at Grabow and Marmol's contracts. Who the fuck did Hendry think he was bidding against there?
John: Jake, can you please change his nickname on Wikipedia from "Shark" to "Hot Diarrhea Geyser?"
Jake: OK but screencap it because I bet some ND Douchenozzle lords over that page from his parents basement.
John: Ready to go.
There it was. Jake had made John's wish come true.

Jake: 2:21 PM on September 4, 2013 the edit went live. It lasted until 8:55am on September 5, 2013. Apparently this was enough time to effect the Google preview of his Wikipedia page. We got a good laugh out of it and I assumed within an hour or two it would be taken down. But then social media got a hold of it.
Rich: I remember that Tom Fornelli from CBS Sports tweeted about it. It started having a life of its own.

Jake: The Score picked it up.

Rich: Yeah, Jay Zawaski (Executive Producer, host and hockey columnist at 670 The Score in Chicago) was the guy at the Score that picked up on it.
Joe Biden: I had a nice chuckle when I first heard the name. Hillary didn't get it.

John: People I knew were forwarding it to me not knowing that I was the one that was behind it.

Jake: The next morning I announced its death. It lived to the ripe old age of 18 hours and 48 minutes. The impression was left though.  Hot Diarrhea Geyser on Google still comes up with his page. Don't look at the image search results for that though. You can even look at Twitter search results and see that people actually used it as his real nickname for quite a while.

Twitter search results.

HDG still being referenced in late 2013.
Rich: Even now, I still hear the nickname being used once in a while. It's nice, and it's definitely fitting.
Still being referenced in 2015.
Kanye West: I loved it. I loved it. Really sticking it to Samardzija was my inspiration for The Life of Pablo. I was challenged to put something into the world that was as creative and bold and forward-thinking as Hot Diarrhea Geyser. It changed the game, man. Yeezy is great, but HDG is the best nickname of all time. Of all time.
"Oh, if only you got paid to do these things."
  - Jake's wife
John: Hot Diarrhea Geyser was a bad pitcher, and a bad man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors... and geysering hot diarrhea, and as a pitcher he diarrhea geysered the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and... up to... Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Hot Diarrhea Geyser. Hot Diarrhea Geyser, who loved geysering hot diarrhea. And so, Hot Diarrhea Geyser , in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

Rich: Hot Diarrhea Geyser wasn't the nickname Jeff Samardzija needed. Hot Diarrhea Geyser is the nickname he deserved.

God, Are We Awful: Part Infinity

October 05, 2016 | Comments (1) | by Rich Funk

The last time we posted anything here was in JULY. I'd like to say we got so swept up in the Cubs second half play that we just couldn't get to it, but anyone who has followed this site for any amount of time knows that we're prone to just wandering off into the wilderness without word of when we'll be back. It can happen at any time.

So yes, we are the worst, but at least we know it. I would apologize for making us such a big part of your life and then going-out-for-a-pack-of-smokes-ing you all, but if we're your main source of Cubs news, jesus...I don't know what to tell you.

But holy shit, as bad as we are, the Cubs are the exact opposite of that. They are the best. I want to spend every day watching them be best friends and having more fun than anyone else while crushing all teams under their boot. I want to meet up with them and solve mysteries together. Since we last talked, the Cubs have been awesome and somehow remained really sharp despite playing about 20 of their final games with nothing on the line.

And now, as the Mets and Giants currently face off to determine who gets to come to Wrigley for the weekend, let me remind you that Thunder Matt's Saloon was the first major news source in the world to go on record and endorse a 2016 Cubs championship, and we're absolutely sticking to our prediction. I forgot until just now that I made a bunch of predictions in that piece. Should we see how good I did? Yes we should.

(NOTE: If you're reading this, that means that I probably did pretty good with said predictions because if it turns out I was WAY off, I would have deleted this part and made up something else in its place. I am a vain and petty person. But I'm writing and you're not, so I get to do things like that.)

"(Jon) Lester has a season not quite as good as his 2014 and not nearly as uneven as his 2015. Let's split the difference with an ERA around 2.90. Spread that across 200 innings and throw in north of 200 strikeouts and a handful of clutch playoff performances and you've got yourself a true second ace behind Jake Arrieta in the Cubs rotation."
Did I get It Right?: Yeah, pretty much. I might have been a bit high on the strikeouts and ERA, but I'd say they're all close enough (and illustrating the point that I thought Lester would bounce back from a decent but not amazing 2015). Off to a great start!

"I think Bryant, Russell and Schwarber all fend off the dreaded Sophomore Slump and improve upon their 2015 seasons across the board."
Did I get It Right?: Sorta? On one hand, I wasn't exactly going out on a huge limb with this one. On the other hand, Bryant and Russell did improve in their second years, both offensively and defensively. On the third imaginary hand, Schwarber didn't get much better at anything. On the fourth mutant Cronenberg hand, I'm in charge here so I'm taking this one. 2 for 2!

What's next?

(Crosses fingers) PleasenothingHeywardpleasenothingHeywardpleasenothingHeyward...

Soler settles in and posts a 23 homer season with at least 70 runs and 70 RBI while hitting around .270.
Did I get It Right?: No whammy! Well technically they're both disappointing outfielders, but yeah, I was way off on this one. While Soler did hit more home runs than he did in 2015, he was nowhere near 23 even in a year when everyone and their grandmother hit 20+. And if you add his runs and RBI, even that doesn't reach 70.

Before moving on, I will say that Soler was a bit better in the second half than the first, slashing .258/.348/.515 after the break. Although most of that damage happened in August, as he hit just .182 in September. Still, Soler proved last postseason that he can hit when it counts. Not bad out of your 7th or 8th best hitter.

Adam Warren and a full season of Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill mean the bullpen could potentially go 6 deep
Did I get It Right?: NOOOOOOOPE

The 2016 Cubs will win the World Series.
Did I get It Right?: Remains to be seen. Probably.