Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maybe they won't be so bad....

Ok, let's be clear about something. The 2010 Chicago Cubs will not suck. Not like Pirates or Royals kind of sucking anyway. Cubs fans, we loves our dramas. So while we all curse and rail that this team will be so bad, yeah well, they could be worse. Far worse.

So let's be realists here. The Cubs are looking to be a probably slightly higher than .500 team at this point. And that's probably the worst of it. Not so bad that we get to really complain about it (not with any real leg to stand on anyway), but not good enough to overtake the Cardinals or possibly the Boo-hoo Crew. Our 2010 Cubbies are probably gonna be ridiculously average. And that's the really sad part. Expectations are so high after 2003, 2007, and 2008, that the "average" that would've been welcome relief in the 80's and 90's is torture in the 2000's.

I'd write more, but I'm tired and need a nap....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zambrano's fuse....

A couple of other folks have sounded off on this piece by Danny McWhackadoodle of Chicago Tribune and WSOX fame.

Ok first of all, Danny Mac does not (nor anyone else at the southside radio station) keep secret about his baseball allegiance in this town. I can only imagine the whiplash caused by the double take when McNeal handed this piece to his editor - "You're writing about what?"

While we're on the subject, Dan McNeil ranting about someone else's temper is like Hitler saying "I don't know, that's a little harsh." Maybe we shouldn't be listening to the guy that was both suspended and fired by a certain other sports radio station within a year.

You want tantrums and general stupidity Danny? I'd suggest you tune into WSOX from 9-1 every weekday.

Today is the day!

All the off-season moves, the excitement, the wonder, the Wrigley renovations, it's all so mesmerizing. It's inspired my wife and I to plan our summer very carefully and map out everything we want to see from this year. It's so exciting and so motivating. I've got my two computers here. I'm pushing for a personal best 120 virtual waiting rooms. Everything is ready. Everything is planned for our....

2 games.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring is in the air...So the hell what?

This is my obligatory "Pitchers and Catchers" blog posting - everyone needs one. So here's mine. Since it's officially time to look forward to the season, here's what I'm looking forward to.

A completely forgettable season. There won't be any controversy, no great events, no horrible events. The Cubs will probably finish second or third, or whatever ain't first. There will be highs and lows. A walk-off against the Cardinals. A walk off by the Cardinals. The Sox will make us grab our ankles when they show up with Peavy, Buehrle (or whoever you spell his name - how about Bueller?), Danks, Damon, Quentin, etc.

People will talk and rant about how Zambrano is a nut case, he needs to be traded, Lee should be traded, Theriot should be traded, where's Castro, what the hell is Castro doing here, we miss the Hoff, blah blah. We will search for something to get excited about - good or bad - and the best we'll come up with will be something Carlos Silva's mom says.

Gonna be boring folks. Strap in and enjoy the virtually flat ride.

But in the meantime, here's some obscenity-laced Metallica for you:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Not so much "Presale" as it is a "sale"

The Cubs announced recently that fans will have the "opportunity" to purchase individual game tickets before everyone else during their "pre-sale" starting February 15th at 10am and going through noon on Feb 18th. For the privilege of buying tickets before everyone else, you need only pay 20% above face value. Ok - a couple of things:

1. If everyone can buy tickets during the "pre-sale", it's a SALE. Just call it what it is. There's not unique opportunity here. Everyone is invited. If you want the good seats, you gotta pay the good prices.

2. There's a business model that generates profit by inflating ticket prices of good seats and selling them above face value. It's called "scalping". Once again call it what it is.

Long story short - either fans are getting screwed or fans are getting screwed. Either you pay the inflated prices for the good games. Or you pay the regular prices for the games nobody cares about. Oh wait, they already have that in the tier system. So wait. I'm confused.

Long story short, I've only heard about the Cubs doing this which means they're the only franchise with the balls to try and pull it off. It's sad that withholding my money is the only way to protest which only means I'm depriving myself of the experience while 20,000,000 other lackeys step into my place.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I fought the law, and I won....

I apologize to all my readers, er ok, both my readers, but this is neither "one minute" nor Cubs.

Shawn Wasson, a.k.a. "The News Junkie" was broadcasting his usual show on Saturday morning. He was reporting a story in which a principal sent a student home for wearing the wrong jersey to school. According to Wasson, The principal singled the student out in class, berated the student publicly, then denied the student his education by sending him home for supporting the wrong team. He and I needed to have a chat - Email sent:

Greetings News Junkie,

I happened across your radio program on my lunch break earlier, and unfortunately, did not have time to call in - 30 minutes just isn't as long as it used to be. You were discussing the merits of a principal sending home a 17 year old student for wearing a Colts jersey on Black and Gold day. So I found the following story, and wanted to comment on your position:,2933,584975,00.html?test=latestnews

First of all, while requiring student to wear uniforms is not a popular stance among the students, one could easily argue that wearing standard uniforms in an academic environment is considered a normal practice by schools across the country. The theories behind adherence to a dress code range from child safety to student focus on curriculum. Whether or not the practice of a dress code policy is right or not is not in question here. The problem comes when the school relaxes those policies for whatever reason.

According to the news article, "A Livingston Parish School Board member said Frost wasn't sent home, but was told he couldn't wear the blue jersey at school. Keith Martin, whose district includes Maurepas, said the school uniform had been relaxed only for black and gold."

Please note the two phrases - "Frost wasn't sent home" and "the school uniform had been relaxed only for black and gold". It is not uncommon for schools to allow "Dress down days" or similar practices for special events such as fundraisers, sports teams, school spirit, etc. In this case, the school relaxed their policies to support the New Orleans Saints team in the Super bowl. The school did not require any student to wear the Saints' colors. It offered them the option.

The article goes on -
"According to Martin, a friend of Brandon Frost's had asked Vampran on Thursday whether Brandon could wear a Colts jersey, and had been told "no."" - self explanatory

"During a class on Thursday, Frost said, he talked about his plans to wear his jersey rather than Saints colors. He said the teacher warned him he'd get in trouble." - Self explanatory. He's been told no twice.

"Larry Frost said he didn't know about that when Brandon asked Thursday whether he could wear the jersey. He said he told his son to come home if he was hassled too much." - Sounds like Dad is the one sending him home.

"Brandon Frost said Vampran called him out of his first class Friday and told him, "I don't recall saying you could wear a Colts jersey on Black-and-Gold Day."" - 100% accurate. The Principal did not say the student could wear "any jersey". - Please note "Called him out of his class" - he did not confront the student in front of other students as you suggested on your show.

""He started to get angry with me," Frost said. "I thought I remember him saying, 'If you like Indiana so much, why don't you go back?"'" What? You mean a principal got upset when a student - who had already been told he was wrong twice - started mouthing off to him about a jersey. I particularly like the sentence "I thought I remember him saying..." You mean as opposed to "You're going to have to change shirts"?

Then Dad, decides to call the ACLU about this affront to his son's free speech. This isn't free speech. This is a t-shirt. This is a dress code. Even the ACLU doesn't want to take that one on.

I could frankly go on and on, but at the end of the day, when you send your child to school, you are not buying "an education". You are paying for the teachers to dispense knowledge at a facility. This facility has rules and regulations for a reason. Flagrant disregard of these rules make for a hostile learning environment. Teachers have a hard enough time teaching. Telling 17 year old kids that they do not have to honor those rules that are put place to facilitate learning only leads to a breakdown in the learning process - more so than asking a kid to change his shirt or go home.

I am willing to concede that perhaps the principal did say the remark about going back to Indiana, only because as the article state, he acknowledged that he should not have done so. If so, that was wrong. But not ACLU wrong. However inappropriate, I can only guess what equally inappropriate/downright offensive things the student in questions must've said in the exchange. You'll notice those quotes were left out of the paper.

Bottom line: even if this dress code policy was not written down or set in stone, two things remain clear:
1. The student was told no, 2 1/2 times. Twice in school, and one half when the father admitted that there may be trouble. While he didn't say it wasn't allowed, granting permission to come home if there's trouble seems to be at least a tacit acknowledgement that this is not - for lack of better words - "a good idea"

2. The student clearly violated the spirit of the rule. Black and gold day was clearly meant to celebrate the home town's team and their accomplishment. Not only did the student violate that rule, he completely went in the opposite direction. I somehow think that if the students were told to wear school colors, and this student wore something not in the school colors and he were sent home, this would not be an issue.

This was a 17 year old kid flagrantly violating a rule, and being allowed to do so by his parents, the neighborhood, the newspaper, and the ACLU. Clearly THAT is the wrong message to be sending - not "my team is better than yours".

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hey you, Ryan, yeah you. Come here....

What are you an idiot? Sullivan might think so. (couldn't resist) You're going up against the Cubs in arbitration? Did you know I'm a psychic? You're gonna lose. Badly. And you'll be a not-so-happy-go-lucky plucky, scrappy little infielder. You'll be a bitter angry upset little infielder and you'll still have a rag arm, but you won't be as aww-shucks-like.

Don't get me wrong kid - you're kinda cute in a "I won't throw the puppy out in the cold unless he chews my mattress" kinda way. But beyond that, you're a slap hitter and an average fielder. Not exactly the gateway to Jeterdom ya know?

So lighten up kid. You're gonna lose, and lose bad. Take whatever bone the Cubs are throwin' ya and run away like a bandit, because that is probably the best steal you'll get all year without being picked off.

This is yet another example of the written word that I wish could be spoken word because it comes off in my head so much better than it looks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An open letter to WGN RE: Steve Cochran

Dear WGN,

This Blackhawks season has brought to light something that concerns me. Something that I'm afraid will continue into the Cubs season. It seems whenever a sports team who broadcasts on WGN has a game following Steve's show, for whatever reason Steve Cochran is given the go-ahead to broadcast remotely from that location. It would seem that along with that permission also comes permission to drink heavily, become an ass, and generally become less funny than he is on a normal night - no easy feat.

Just why Steve is given the green-light to drink like a catholic priest just before a courtroom appearance while on the air is a mystery, but when the listener can't tell who's further under the table - the host, or Bobby Hull - that's a problem.

Since we're on the topic, if there's any other way to reduce the frequency of the daily 6:30 "Steve's not-as-funny-as-me friends" segments featuring Patti Vasquez and Mark DeCarlo or the bi-weekly Wine "Diva" visits with the same dipsh*ts calling and asking the same dipsh*t questions ("No you should not drink the red wine that's been sitting in your attic since 1692.") it'd be very much appreciated.

I'd go on, but Steve just said something that made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.