Hardly Hard for Harden
Suddenly people in Chicago know who Rich Harden is. Good. It’s about time Cub fans find out they got swindled by Billy Beane because it won’t be long before Harden takes another trip to the DL. In a perfect world, that would’ve happened today. Hoping for such an opportunity, I wanted to see it firsthand. If possible, I wanted to talk to Harden myself and find out how he was going to hurt himself again… how he would do it… would he cry…
That’s why I went to the game.
Don’t worry, dear readers. I am perfectly aware that the simple act of showing my face at Wrigley Field could get me shot, maimed, urinated on and beer bashed. That’s why I wore a mask.
“You mean Red State Blue State?” said the pimply faced kid at the door.
“That’s right.” I replied.
“Man, I write hate mail to that guy every week.”
“Yeah? So you like the blog then?”
“Sure, I like reading it despite all the Cub dissin’ that goes on there. I mean, it is funny. And I hate to say it, but that Jeff Lung guy is a genius.”
“He sure is.”
“Why doesn’t the other guy ever write anything?”
“Oh, Allen? He’s a flake. Confused. Occupied. Look, I need to talk to Rich Harden. Can you get me in to see him?”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
The pimply faced kid, totally deceived by my ingenious disguise, led me down to the field level where the Cubs pitching staff was warming up. I posted up along the wall and waited for my opportunity. Harden was nowhere to be seen; just a bunch of relievers lollygaggin’ and doing pilates.
I got impatient. I yelled some not-so-nice things at Neal Cotts and Scott Eyre. They ignored me. To show them just who they were dealing with, I picked up Scott Eyre with my thumb and forefinger — just for fun.
So I ditched the mask.
“Hey, you,” yelled an angry Bob Howry, “you that guy from RSBS?”
“Yeah. That’s me.”
“Yeah? Well, F*** YOU!”
Needless to say, Bob Howry is not a fan. He said some choice things about my mother too, but he obviously didn’t take the time to check his sources because my mother is a very nice lady indeed. In fact, Bob, if you’d like a great recipe for her Oh-So-Good Pie, just holla and I’ll hook you up, D-bag.
Back on the field, Harden was still nowhere to be seen. The sucker was probably warming up away from the press. What a lameball.
But I am not one to disappoint my fellow US Americans hungry for the hard truth. I had to do something. So I didn’t interview Rich Harden. I interviewed a guy who liked Rich Harden. This guy:
Old Grumpy Guy: Who are you?
Me: I’m Jeff Lung from Red State Blue State.
OGG: What do you want?
Me: An answer I suppose… to start with.
OGG: Oh yeah? Well start with this: eat s**t and die, pal. I’ve read your site and you can su<k it!
Suddenly surrounded by a mob of angry Cub fans and their century-long unfulfilled hopes and dreams, I decided the best thing to do was go find my seat.
Once there, finally, I found someone who was happy to see me:
It doesn’t matter what sport, what stadium, what team, friend, foe or fantasy, the beer guy is always glad to see me. I needed the beer too. I was seeing strange things:
And the more Old Style I drank, the less bothered I was by Wrigley’s trademark steel beams that seem to always find a way to get directly in front of me, no matter where I am in that ballpark:
The more Old Style I drank, the more numb I felt as Rich Harden pitched lights out baseball, striking out ten, making me look like a fool. The more Old Style I drank, the less bothered I was that Jim Edmonds — who still don’t look right — had four RBIs and got the crowd to turn into wildly electric banshees.
Sure, I wanted to get up and boo, to remind those Cub fans about their lovable-loser status, to point out the infinite woes of the franchise and all those associated with it — players and fans. But I couldn’t. I was schnockered:
I woke up somewhere around the 9th inning, when Carlos Marmol tried his hardest to lose the game by throwing up underhand soft tosses wherever the opposing hitters requested them. Unfortunately, he only allowed the lowly Giants to tie it by putting up a five-spot, which sent the game into extra innings.
Finally, in the 11th, the Cubs came back to win on a Reed Johnson RBI single. It was a close call at home plate, but the Cubs walked off the winners.
Rich Harden, however, did not get the win. As far as I know, his arm is still connected to the rest of his body, but how long that will actually last is uncertain. I estimate that shortly after the All-Star break he’ll find his way back on the disabled list, and when he does, I’ll be telling all you sCrUB fans that I told you so.
I will also be telling the Tribune Company that they should remove those steel beams from the stadium and hope for the best.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.