Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Offseason but Good Rule Change

The NCAA has eliminated the most frustrating rule in basketballwhen it eliminated the rule allowing players to call timeout when falling out of bounds or into the backcourt.

It was always so frustrating to see often fake hustle rewarded like that.

Of course, this will be the year that IU players hustle enough to need to try to call that timeout...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Cubs Stink, So Here is a Pretty Girl

No word on her (Danneel or Daneel Harris) next career move, but she is good to her fans, I guess. Sophia Bush looks so different with just a regular digital camera...

Barry Manilow's Wardrobe Is Now Safe

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us...In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club

P.S. Too bad he’s dead.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

He'd Rather be Seen with Mark McGwire

It breaks this Cub fan’s heart to know that two alleged Saint Louis icons are feuding. Still.It has to be Ozzie’s fault, because no one may ever question Tony LaRussa. I think LaRussa believes that Ozzie used performance enhancing drugs to do those obnoxious flips.

Let’s hope these two crazy kids can get together.

"When my time is up, they can welcome him with open arms, but I don't want to be anywhere that he is. I won't ever be around when he's around. Cardinals fans can embrace him all they want to, and it won't be uncomfortable because I won't be there." -- Tony La Russa

Bizarre that feels that way about Ozzie, when the quote would make more sense if he were tlking about Mark (Let's Not Live in the Past) McGwire.

Cubs Lose Again, Blah Blah Blah

From Barry Rozner’s column today:

Raise your hand if you’re sick of seeing Jacque Jones drop his head on every flyball he hits as if he just missed it and can’t believe it’s not a home run.

Maybe it is unfair to pick on him, since he is one of the few bright spots (relatively) on this team right now, but this is a symptom of what is wrong with this team. If the manager is getting in their face away off the field, it sure doesn’t show on the field.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lloyd, Lloyd, Null and Void

The AFLAC Trivia Question tonight was “What Cub set a record with five intentional walks on this date in 1990?” I knew it had to be Andre Dawson, and it was tipped in by the fact that he is a special assistant in the Marlins’ organization. My question was, who was hitting behind him?

I checked the box score and saw it was Lloyd McClendon (0-6) and later Dave Clark, who ended up driving in the winning run, after the fifth intentional walk.

I also saw Mike Bielecki threw ten shutout innings. They didn’t keep pitch counts in the box scores then, so I have no idea how efficient he was. The Cubs won 2-1 in 16 innings, with Chris Sabo hitting a homer in the 13th off Jeff Pico, but Luis Salazar answered with a homer in the bottom of the inning off Randall Kirk Myers.

Not Quite the Seven Year Itch

James Hardy was jailed for two days following his arrest for domestic battery in Fort Wayne.

The police report says he and his girlfriend have been together for seven years. He will be a sophomore on the football team. At the most, he is twenty-one years old. So, they have been together since he was fourteen. That is quite a durable relationship. She says he hit their child, but there is no evidence detailed in the Indy Star report. The complaintant also says that some of her red marks on her neck came from an earlier confrontation she had with another woman.

I am not saying Hardy didn’t do it, but the claim (seemingly uncorroborated) that he hurt his child makes one suspicious.

I'm Not Saying He's Right, But I Understand

The circumstances were perfect for what happened at the Cell Saturday. The Sox, coming off the World Series championship, beat the Cubs on Friday, badly, and their fans just want more. The want the Cubs (and their fans) humiliated.

The Cubs, on the other hand, have been playing very poorly recently. The fans are increasingly frustrated and visiting that frustration on their players. They get trounced on Friday, and look as bad early Saturday.

Last August and earlier this month, Michael Barrett has been cited here for stupidity.

Saturday, he was at it again. He was all instinct, and his instincts are bad. To his credit, he admitted Pierzynski's play was clean, and he was wrong to punch Pierzynski.

Thing is, Pierzynski is an instigator, and you simply cannot take his bait. He is all about the fake rah-rah (slapping the plate), the bending/taking advantage of the rules, and all around needler. You hate him unless he is on your team. I hate him. You take his bait, like Barrett did, and you show you are mentally weak, which he is.

If this team couldn’t win with Corey Patterson on it, I say you cannot win with Micahel Barrett on it. Yes, he got the big hit yesterday, but his reptile-like brain will screw it up in a crucial situation, and you simply need a smarter guy behind the plate.

That said, you cannot be too down on a guy that punches A.J. Pierzynski.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Yet Another Reason to Ignore the Blackhawks

Typically, when you are releasing bad or unpopular news, you do it on a Friday night. In Chicago sports, it is also good to do it in the midst of a Cubs-Sox series. The Blackhawks have screwed up royally again, letting Pat Foley go.

He’s only been with the team for 25 years, and been the best reason to watch or listen to their games. The story indicates he has been treated shabbily by the team, which is not surprising.

Can we get one more “Bannerman!” call?

Here’s the Classic Hawks’ Theme Song , the only decent thing still standing about this wretched franchise.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hot Neifi Action

Two outs, bottom of the Ninth, runners on first and third, down two, Neifi Perez comes to the plate...

...and he bunts!


It was great what he did in 1998, but the statue has run. YOU SUCK!

Baby Steps

The Cubs shut out the Nationals again, this time with Sean Marshall pitching six innings of one-hit ball.

The game started fifty minutes late due to rain, but it allowed for a really cool rainbow over the scoreboard. On the heels of the drunk girl throwing a ball at Jacque Jones, we noticed that the Cubs were not throwing any balls in to the crowd. The normal routine is for the outfielders to throw the ball into the crowd after their warmups between innings. How long will this punishment last?

Speaking of the Jones thing, Chicken Little has a typical (for him) column today which seems to exaggerate the entire incident, even “reporting” that Jones was the subject of racial epithets. Drunk? Yes, but the fans aren’t bigots. The highlight of the column is an insinuation that this type of behavior may cost us the 2016 Olympics. Promise?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One in a Row

The Cubs shut out the Nationals as Carlos Zambrano was dominant, striking out eight in eight innings.

Jacque Jones again was doubled off second base, killing a bases loaded rally, and was booed lustily. He was booed his next at bat, and in the ninth, a drunk girl threw a ball at him. To his credit, he didn’t rip all of the fans. "I'll take whatever is coming to me," Jones said. "But I'm still going to go out and play the game hard, like I always have."

Sat in the AGA box last night with LHFDW, and it was quite the scene. Maybe I am just getting old, but the level of distraction in the crowd was unbelievable. There was a group of recent college graduates getting plastered on beer, mai tais and the vodka they brought to the ballpark. The best part was the fact that the first guys there had room for about four people, and I swear nine people came to sit in the space.

Part of me wanted to be a snob and be disgusted that they weren’t paying attention, and part of me wanted to party with 22 year olds. So, I did a little of both.

I came to another conclusion last night as well. Digital cameras are ruining the trick of sticking one’s head into others pictures. In the good old days, people wouldn’t find out that you stuck your head into the picture until weeks later when the film was developed. Last night, I made myself part of the picture, but then the girl saw the picture and deemed my appearance in the picture “creepy.” That hurt.

Another highlight was the young Kim Delaney who was allowing her pants to drift down low enough to provide a nice show until her boyfriend saw it and made her cover up.

Friday, May 12, 2006

They're really really behind you around here...My F#$%^ing Ass!

So, the Cubs are getting pounded (again) and I was about to turn off the game when I heard Dave Roberts was being jawed at by Michael Barrett.

Off the top of my head, I would say that Barrett was spouting off stupidly, as he has been known to do from time to time. Ask Roy Oswalt.

This is on the heels of stories in the Tribune and Sun-Times about how Barrett was worried about the fans reaction to their woeful recent play on the recent road trip.

Stop worrying about the fans and play baseball! Jeez! Did you not learn a thing from Lee Elia?

Today's Steinberg Gem

A couple of great lines from Neil Steinberg’s column today. The subject was the placement of a referendum on the November ballot regarding gay marriage.

Unfortunately, parties are using this type of referendum to get out the vote, knowing that their loyalists will come out for the red-meat issues, when their party’s actual candidates stink.

Steinberg says:
Can't these religious types fixate on something else? Doesn't their faith have rituals beyond loathing and fearing gays that they could occupy themselves with? Or is mesmerized fixation with man-on-man sex their entire liturgy and holy writ? Because it sure seems that way. No Halsted Street twink, tumbling to the bars with his pals on a Friday night, is obsessed with gay sex to the degree that these bowl haircut fundamentalists pushing their protect marriage act seem to be.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

As a comedian, in all seriousness...

My alter ego had a strong Togo tip published on Deadspin, giving some much earned love for SCTV, the smartest, most clever show of its era, and maybe of any era.

The stuff on DVD is so good that it must be taken in small doses so as not to miss anything, but look out for Joe Flaherty’s audio commentary, they are brutal. It is as if he is discovering the material for the first time, and not in a good way. Martin Short does his best to keep him on point...and funny.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

He couldn't even get an interview at Loyola?

No love for the best passer in Indiana basketball history. This story rips Pat Knight and especially his laughably and notoriously bad recruiting as he gets ready to take over for his Daddy at Texas Tech. One thing: Bob Knight will never retire, he will Woody Hayes himself out of basketball. Then, will Tech hire a chip off the ol' block?

I don’t even care if it’s true, and we will find out one way or another in a couple of years. Pat will always have the Chevrolet Player of the Game Award when he had something like 10 assists in a 50 point blowout loss against Minnesota.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Oh My God! They Killed Danneel! You Bastards!

So, the season finale of One Tree Hill came and went quickly, as it allowed a lot of fast-forwarding. It also provided the reason why Danneel Harris (again, or is it Daneel Harris?) wasn’t in the opening credits. Why? Because they are killing her off, as they put her into a limo with Race Car Driver that flipped into a river. They both get trapped underneath, and then the dark-haired guy jumped into the river, and somehow got himself trapped underneath. I figure that they will put the lovely Danneel in a new WB series next season.

Anyway, there was some good parts, as the lovely Sophia Bush and the Blonde both looked great in bridesmaids' dresses, and maybe it was the drugs, but I thought Sophia Bush did some great acting last night, as she was talking to her ex-husband. Maybe it was all the bad acting surrounding her. Anyhoo, I like her, but I won’t mind if they cancel the show.

I also liked the Six Feet Under touch of having characters see dead people. Maybe that was the drugs too.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Uh Oh

Grounding into multiple double plays, getting screwed by close calls by the umpires, continued reprehensible base running by Jacque Jones and lame excuses by Dusty Baker, and yet they had the tying run on before losing in Arizona.

You will remember that the 1999 season died after Lance Johnson got picked off in the first game of a series in Arizona, and that was during the same time that Rick Aguliera began blowing saves and Ron Santo had his heart attack. Maybe the comparison is bad, as this team has lost Derrek Lee, but the pitching has been bad.

I notice that Bob Brenly is softening his subtle criticism. Is he getting ready to move downstairs?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Monday Night Baseball

So, the wife and I , after sitting through some of last Saturday’s 16-3 debacle (we left at 10-0 as it was cold and rainy), decided on the way out to see if there were some great seats available for Monday night’s game.

There were. Section 33, Row 8, on the aisle, like I like. We snapped them up, if you can snap up $54 tickets.

Sean Marshall pitched very well, and from our seats we could see the break of the curve and the effectiveness of the changeup. Plus it helps that the Pirates are bad. 7-20 bad. And, if the Cubs could have converted the bases loaded, no out situation, they would not have needed the heroics from Matt Murton in the eighth inning. He has really been clutch, which is good, because it seems no one else on the roster is.

Like I said, we had real good seats, on a line from the pitcher’s mound to first base. So, the first base umpire, Jim Reynolds, was nearby. In the ninth, with Craig “that was a fan, dude” Wilson at bat, there were two consecutive check swing calls, the first really looked like a swing. No swing was Reynolds’ call. The next pitch, not as clear a swing, but another appeal. No swing, Reynolds says.

The next pitch Wilson swings and fouls off. I yelled, “was that a swing, Reynolds?” He immediately turned, looked right at me, nodding and telling me yes. I think he enjoyed the moment as much as I, and the rest of the section, did.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I Went Down to the Demonstration to Get My Fair Share of Abuse...

Today in Chicago there are to be large-scale marches and demonstrations for immigration reform. They expect 300,00- 500,000 marchers. We'll see.

This is an issue that 99% of the people don't have a real stake in, but are allowed to get whipped up into a frenzy about by people seeking to divide people.

It seems a lot like gay marriage.

The world is a scary place these days, and immigration is an issue wiith a discernible bogeyman. Meanwhile, lots of other issues that have an element of gray, and are not black and white get blown off.

Unfortunately, the marches will tick off downtowners who cannot get to the train. A backlash among lazy thinkers is inevitable, but what an American moment, seeing people wanting to be Americans!

Under the heading, "If a Tree Falls in the Forest..."

If an IU bench player leaves for the NBA, will anyone care?

The Indianoplace Star tells us that good ol’ Cem Dinc is entering the draft, but not hiring an agent. Phew! That means he can still come back.

If he does get drafted, it will simply prove that all you have to be is big to be in the NBA. That, and IU will have another scholarship , which would likely go to someone who will play.

Good luck, I guess.

Do you see the way those passes come off his fingertips? Pro material!