Results tagged ‘ Chicago Tribune ’

Big Lay-Z

the big z.jpg“I’ll be running nice and easy, just taking my time, not hustling.  I apologize to the Cubs fans.”
 – Carlos Zambrano, on how he’ll play upon his return from the disabled list
 (Chicago Tribune Article)

The good news is Carlos Zambrano doesn’t have to take the fall for this mope wreck of a statement.  The chain of command comes from up high and the Chicago Cubs suits are proving that not only do they not know how to win when it matters, but they also don’t know how to manage the public image of their players.

So, the really bad news is that baseball has openly lowered its standards.  You don’t have to hustle anymore, folks — especially if you’re a ticking time-bomb with a slingshot arm and a once-sore hammy that has now fully healed, leaving no pain.

Indeed, Cy Young is rolling in his grave.

Okay, so I gotta ask:  If Zambrano feels no pain then why won’t he be hustling on the field? 

In the wake of steroids, with pandemic doubt blanketing the game from New York to Los Angeles to Los Angeles of Anaheim, the last thing we (and especially Cubs) fans need is to know that some players aren’t giving it their all and that management is okay with that.  If you’re not healthy enough to play the game the way the game is supposed to be played, then you shouldn’t be playing the game… I don’t care how talented you are.

Note to Cubs: either sew Zambrano’s mouth shut or hire a new P.R. person.  I got just the guy for you too — even colored his hair to match your duds:

perez hilton.jpgDon’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

An Ode to Mouthbreathing and Crying

The last couple days have been rough for the city of Detroit. The practically hometown Spartans were annihilated by UNC’s modern day version of George and Lennie, Ty and Tyler, while the Tigers have once again managed to open the season with consecutive losses. And if the losses weren’t bad enough, Detroit’s big offseason acquisition, Brandon Lyon, has so far proven to be a huge bust.

But, it’s time like these when I like to remind myself that it could be worse. At least we no longer have to deal with Kyle Farnsworth.

farnsworth cries.jpgIn his first outing of the season yesterday, Farnsworth managed to blow a great outing by Gil Meche when he dished up a three-run, game-winning homerun to Jim Thome with two out in the eighth. Now, to anyone familiar with Farnsworth’s body of work, this certainly came as no surprise. I used to watch him throw BP during the eighth inning of close games back when I was living in Chicago in 2003. But when it happens to a team that will in all likelihood end the season 20 games under .500, well, you just feel kind of bad.

For the team and the fans that is. For Farnsworth? Hell no. He’s baseball’s living embodiment of the Peter Principle. As Phil Rogers points out in his column in today’s Chicago Tribune, “[Farnsworth] throws hard. He can’t be trusted. But teams can’t stop thinking that
they are going to be the one to make him into a top-of-the-line setup
man, if not a closer.” Just ask the Cubs, Yankees and Tigers how that worked out for them.

As an unrepentant realist, here’s how I see it. Farnsworth should not play above triple-A, the Tigers are not going to the playoffs and Michigan State never had a chance. But, I’m not opposed to looking for the silver lining. For instance, at least I’m not a mouth-breathing, inbred okie. So, there’s that. And there’s this:

-A

Ripping Us At the “Seems”

michelle and barack obama.jpgIf you are one to eschew the daily fear mongering and perpetual bad news infecting our world today, then I highly recommend you avoid reading the Chicago Tribune first thing in the morning.  Unfortunately, for me, the Tribune has become that thing I love to hate.  My self-inflicted aggravation is just one of the many results.

But today, I came across a titillating article by Stacy St. Clair which boasted and celebrated the harmony, the togetherness, the complete reciprocal adoration between Barack and Michelle Obama — our nation’s first couple.  Reading it made me feel good.

As the day went on, news broke of Alex Rodriguez — our collective fallen hero — and his stunning confession of guilt regarding his usage of banned performance enhancing drugs in 2003.  The image of Rodriguez discussing the issue with Peter Gammons flickered on my computer screen.  I was overwhelmed with sadness.

My thoughts immediately went back to the Obama article and I couldn’t help but ask myself: Is anything what it seems anymore?

Alex Rodriguez thinking.jpgAlex Rodriguez put on a great front.  Despite Jose Canseco’s self-righteous smear campaign and associated agenda, I never once questioned Rodriguez’s proclaimed innocence.  At no time did I suspect Rodriguez to be tainted in even the slightest of ways, for A-Rod was our hero.  He was the one targeted with pulling us out of the steroid era forever.  He was the one endowed with replacing Bonds as the all-time homerun king.  He was the one who seemed like the most talented, most gifted, most touted ballplayer I have ever witnessed play the game.

What you see is not always what you get.

John Edwards seemed like a family man.

Pete Rose seemed like the consummate all-American baseballer.

Eliot Spitzer seemed like a hard-nosed crime-stopper.

The Wizard of Oz seemed like an all-powerful wizard.

And it turns out they were all just… like… us:

H-U-M-A-N.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Impressions Great and Lasting

impeachment trial.jpgSpringfield, Illinois was the epicenter of public embarrassment today as Rod Blagojevich stepped up to the political plate and delivered his most compelling impression of a soulful, hardworking, genuinely honest human being:

“How is it an impeachable offense for helping low income families keep their health?  How can you impeach a governor when what we did was about helping families and kids?”
(image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

Uh… I think you are missing the point, Rod, because having something “(bleeping) golden” that you “just don’t give away for nothing” in regards to the vacated Illinois senate seat doesn’t really have anything to do with providing health care for low income families.  But since you brought it up, let it be known that my back hurts like a (bleeping) (bleep) and my (bleeping) health insurance won’t (bleeping) cover a chiropractor so I am stuck in (bleeping) (bleeping) pain while you waste my tax dollars on giving free CTA rides to seniors, threaten to fire Chicago Tribune editors and balloon state debt by borrowing millions of dollars from the future.

Nice try, Rod.

Yet, I tip my hat.  That performance in Springfield today was an excellent, Academy Award worthy acting job that will go down in history as being almost as entertaining as it was pathetic.  I especially liked how you invoked the spirit of the 2 million Illinoisans who elected you twice, Rod — the same 2 million Illinoisans who now want you out of office.

Your dramatic impression of an incorruptible man was one for the record books, indeed.

So in light of this depressing state of Illinois politics, the impending unemployment of the Cubs’ biggest fan and the overall economic bitterness shared by US Americans the world over, let me introduce to you, dear readers, a man who will surely make you smile: Batting Stance Guy.

If you haven’t seen him yet, you should, and in an attempt to inject spunk back into the hearts and souls of taxpayin, apple-pie-eatin’, baseball lovin’ Joe Six-Packs out there, why don’t you enjoy some classic stances from the St. Louis Cardinals:

And in honor of the kind tribute Mr. Krause mustered up last minute (after the fact I must point out), I would like to reach across the aisle and offer you some classic Tiger stances as well:

Man, is he good or what!?! 

Now those are what I call impressions.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m (bleeping) right.

Peace,

Jeffy

P.S.  He Gone!

Intelligence Trumps Corruption?

John Mozeliak.jpgroland burris rod blagojevich.jpg
A smile, a wink and a good old fashioned Chicago roundhouse to the face and everyone seems to have forgotten that Rod Blagojevich is the scum of the earth who not only embarrassed the millions of people who chose him to lead but also tainted the already highly critiqued political machine known as the City of Broad Shoulders.  And let me tell ya: it’s really friggin’ hard to embarrass a city known to root for those lovable bastions of disappointment: the Chicago Cubs.

Indeed, after a brilliant array of surreptitious spin-doctoring, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President-Elect Barack Obama swiveled from one extreme to the other and now favor seating Blago-appointee and Chicago granddaddy of patronage, Roland Burris, to the US senate.  To quote Jack Buck, “Excuse me while I stand and applaud.”

(*clap, clap, clap)

Yes, dear readers, Rod Blagojevich may appear to be a complete idiot, but his sinisterly savvy move of handpicking Burris to take Obama’s place (accented by the potentially trumping race card) just proves that he’s way smarter than anyone ever thought.  In fact…

Dude is wicked smah’t.

Meanwhile, many of you may see my flippant ferments to dispel equally corrupt John Mozeliak from the Cardinals’ helm as mere exercise in futile hyperbole, but believe me when I declare my absolute sincerity — that my dissatisfaction stems from a sound place: my undying loyalty to preserve the winning spirit of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Whether you like it or not, Mozeliak is corrupt.  Anyone who thinks he can throw around pretentiousness disguised as frugality in the Cardinals’ front office is corrupt.  Anyone who squashes the fans’ perennial hopes for a pennant (before the season even starts) while the hated Cubbies build and build and build only to get better, is corrupt.  Anyone who “rebuilds” a severely damaged bullpen by signing the likes of a lukewarm lefty named Trever Miller or Royce Ring — mere band-aids on a gaping, gushing head-wound — is corrupt.

tony larussa dave duncan.jpgYeah, sure, Tony LaRussa is extremely intelligent — so much so that he hid Mozeliak’s ineptitude for most of the 2008 season.  With Dave Duncan at his side, it’s no secret that LaRussa has fixed many a troubled bargain-bin pitcher — whatever riff-raff Mozeliak (and Jocketty before him) could dig up and throw his way.  But how long can we expect TLR’s elite level of intelligence to conceal the GM’s corruption?

One of these days (probably sooner than later) LaRussa and Dunc are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and walk away.

One of these days (probably sooner than later) the Illinois legislature (and the Democrats as a whole) are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and send Blago on his way.

At least, I hope as much. 

Intelligence can’t hide the scandalous scars of corruption forever.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Second City DYING to Catch Not-So-New Axis of Evil

al capone.jpgMy rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
                  Al Capone (1899-1947)

Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
                         — Al Capone

Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub.  Now that’s clout!  When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ‘em who’s boss with that move.  Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers.  Yeah, take that.  The Cubs got Gathright.  Whoowee, watch out world!

But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there!  No, the White Sox kept ‘em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise! 

And wait!  There’s more…

New York, you think you had a crooked governor?  Ha! 

http://www.nbcchicago.com/syndication?id=36300869&path=%2Fhome%2Ftop_stories

You hear that?  He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois.  Dying!  See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them.  No.  They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood!  BOO-YEAH!  

Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE!  Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again!  Duh, my friends.  Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes.  The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago!  We do things our way — the US American way!

“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
                — Al Capone

Me too, dear readers.

Look, it’s true.  I love Chicago.  I really do.  It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah. 

And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:

We’re awesome.

Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Pay-Rod: MSNBC’s Liberal Use of Famed MLB Moniker Proven Inaccurate

rod blagjojevich.jpgMSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews led off its December 15th
broadcast with the teaser line “Pay-Rod” next to a photo of a
disgruntled, egomaniacal Rod Blagojevich — a clear shot at the
shortcomings of Blago’s esurient character aimed to compare him to
Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez.  The joke here is obvious: pay to play.  But MSNBC got this baseball-politico comparison wrong and as the de facto authority on such surreptitious simile, allow me to tell you why:

alex rodriguez.jpgCall him greedy, call him seedy, call him needy: A-Rod (aka “Pay-Rod”) still produces results (*post-season not included in this study).

He
demands and receives big money because he is arguably the best player
out there; simple supply-and-demand economics only follow suit. 

Blago,
however, does not.  His record low approval rating (even prior to
Patrick Fitzgerald’s accusations) rivaled only that of our Dear Leader
Bush.  His refusal to live in Springfield has long angered tax-payers
and politicians alike.  His swashbuckling appropriations of state funds
caused him to be a Chicago Tribune target.  And let’s face it: his
hairdo sucks.

But the most appalling of all Blago character traits is his cocky swagger, his self-righteous talking points, his relentless refusal to come clean — to face the Federal music and tell the public what exactly is/has been going on.

In other words…

Rod Blagojevich is the Barry Bonds of politics.

Just as…

Marion Barry
is the Josh Hamilton…. and…

David Duke is the Ty Cobb… and…

Barney Frank is the Billy Bean

If we’re going to throw out catchy baseball player references in
relation to controversial politicians, MSNBC, let’s make sure they’re
accurate, shall we?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Ron Santo Crybaby Camp Overshadows An Otherwise Respectable Career

chicago aerial.jpgAs a Chicagoan, I am expected to accept and endure the following three basic tenets of Chicago life, otherwise known as the Three C’s:

1.  Crappy weather

2.  Corrupt politicians

3.  Crybaby Cub fans

Because I love this fair second city and all the headaches associated with its underground, battled, scar-bearing character, I generally acquiesce and forego my impetus to break bones and punch walls in reaction to the ceaseless bombardment and annoying abundance of those Three C’s

But on a day like today, when it’s 30-some degrees outside with a steady, sloppy rain pouring down… when our dear Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich is arrested at his Northside home on federal corruption charges… when the Ron Santo camp is hogging headline space by going through its annual crybaby routine… when all three of these things converge on the same day in one unforgiving onslaught of discomfort, I am left exhausted, irked and very, very thankful that I am anti-gun.

It’s just too much for one man to take.

The weather, yeah.  Like an unwanted pregnancy, it happens.  We deal with it.

rod blagojevich.jpgBlagojevich, yeah.  I think we all knew he was a crook.  I met him at the 95th Street/Dan Ryan Expressway CTA station on election day 2006.  He smiled, shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder.  Five minutes later, as I was left admiring the indescribable solidity of his hair, I realized my wallet was gone.

But when it comes to the Hall of Fame hopes of one Ron Santo, I have absolutely had enough.  Enough!

I mean, when a woman says “no”, she means “no”, stupid.  If you ignore that you’re a rapist.

ron santo.jpgLikewise, when the Hall of Fame, whether it be the BBWAA, the Veterans Committee or the Baseball Gods themselves say “no” for twenty-five years, they mean “NO!!!!!… and stop bugging us.”  Because just like the yearly lament of “this is our year”, the we-were-robbed cries for Ron Santo routine is getting extremely old and intensely aggravating. 

Rick Morrissey, of the now bankrupt Chicago Tribune, cried out to his drones of readers, “What don’t Hall voters see in Santo?”

They don’t see a Hall of Famer, that’s what, Rick.  If doing the same thing over and over and over again while expecting different results is insanity then the crybaby Santo camp is absolutely DERANGED!

Get over it.

Ron Santo was a great baseball player.  He wasn’t one of the greatest of all time but he was better than average, better than good, better than what Cub fans have turned him into over the last several years: a whiny, sore losing, crybaby.  It’s not Ron’s fault.  Leave him alone.  He’s on your side.  Quit making him look like the fat kid in gym class that no one wants on his team.

You have a stronger case with Andre Dawson so go cry about that for a few decades, will ya?  By then Blagojevich might be ready to enter a work-release program cleaning up the beaches that will surround the then island of Chicago (it’s a polar ice cap melting thing).

So yeah, go ahead.  Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Stop the Madness!

question_mark.jpg“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein (or those guys at A.A. meetings)

So why do I do it?  Why do I continue to support the Chicago Tribune despite their undeniable penchant for making my fair city a cesspool of inferior journalism and third-rate hack reportage that totally alienates those who enjoy reading actual news?  Haven’t I broken enough household items over the garbage printed in the Tribune’s sports section?  Haven’t I put enough holes in the walls of my apartment?  Haven’t I lost my voice enough screaming over this insanity!?!

As if the Trib’s article — printed the day after Opening Day — touting Kosuke Fukudome as a perennial all-star MVP candidate who would most definitely serve as the secret weapon that would get the Cubs a ring wasn’t ludicrous enough.  As if the Trib’s full-page special promotion of a book they co-published titled This Is the Year to commemorate the Cubs’ so called “historic 2008 season” before they even played ONE playoff game wasn’t outrageous enough.

No.  They just couldn’t stop themselves from making me hate them more and more and more…

As if there wasn’t a World Series going on starring the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, the Tribune decided it’d be a great idea to fill precious space on the sports section’s front page with a preposterously pathetic pipedream of an article by Mike Downey called: Cubs Against Rays: The Series to Die For

Excuse me while I puke.

Is this news?  Really?  Come on!  Get a grip, Tribune!  You seriously pay this guy to sit around and think up fairytale scenarios that would feature the Cubs in the World Series while there is indeed a very important WORLD SERIES taking place right NOW?!?  Wake up!  The Cubs are dead.  They’ve been dead.  And they ain’t comin’ back to life!

I want to pick up my local newspaper and read about the important things going on in the world — not the private fantasies of Cub fans who just can’t seem to let GO.  Apparently my cries, my letters to the editor, my raving rants — all of which have been vehemently directed at the Chicago Tribune and its sub-par sports-writing staff — have been ignored. 

But for those of you keeping score at home, please know the following:

1) Kosuke Fukudome?  MVP my ^ss

2) This Is the Year?  My local CVS had piles of these strewn about randomly throughout the store with signs saying “FREE” and “PLEASE TAKE ONE” and “MAKES GOOD KINDLING”.  I live on the Southside. 

and…

3) Sorry, Mr. Downey.  Your article is crap. 

Oh, and by the way, you might want to pay attention to the real World Series (which the Cubs are not a part of).  As Anita, from the hit Broadway musical West Side Story, once said: Smoke on your pipe and put THAT in!

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Premature Jubilation

old cub fan.JPGThey say that the great state of Chicago‘s drinking water — drawn from the great Lake Michigan — is some of the finest, purest tap water in all of US America.  Seriously?  I’m beginning to wonder…

Again, my hat is tipped to the Chicago Cubs, their players, their front office and yes, even their fans for winning the National League Central Division title.  Job well done.  I’ve commented on blogs galore, I’ve shaken your hands, I’ve stopped calling the cops when you fire bomb my house. 

Congratulations on doing what you were supposed to do.  You were picked to win the Central.  You went out and spent a lot of money to win the Central.  So, it should be no surprise that you did indeed win the Central.

But I have absolutely no patience (nor the stomach) for this kind of crap sprawled across my Sunday paper:

this is the year cubs.jpgIf it weren’t for my sadistic infatuation with the shooting incidents finely described in the Metro section, I’d cancel my Chicago Tribune subscription in a New York methamphetamine minute because their escalating sensationalist style of journalism is growing too tiresome to be considered real reportage. 

Publishing a new book entitled This Is The Year?

The year for what!?!?  Winning the division?  Because that’s all you’ve done so far.  Congratu-friggin-lations on that.  You won the NL Central.  You did that last year too.  Remember?  Where’s the book for that great feat of baseball achievement?  Oh, there isn’t one?  Well then, let’s write a book about this year then without having actually done anything of real importance?!?! 

Is this for real?  What else have you done this year that warrants a book banking/hoping/praying you’ll win the NLDS and then win the NLCS and then… win the WS?

This is exactly the reason why Cub fans hate themselves.  They let the media and the hype and the curses and the exploding payrolls inflate their egos beyond the realms of sanity, so much so that they actually believe “this is the year” when they’ve still got a whole lot of work to do… just like they did when all they had to do was record five outs against the Marlins or win three games against the Diamondbacks or whatever the case may be this year. 

Sure, it’s been a hundred years and the media loves this kind of story… look: I get it.  But, don’t you think publishing a book called This Is The Year is a bit like asking that girl you like but haven’t talked to yet to marry you

Yeah.  Good luck with that.

I’m sure your manager, “Sweet” Lou Piniella, one of the smartest, classiest managers in the game, is loving your gung-ho holier-than-thou approach to the toughest part of the season.  Because we all know (cue the sarcasm) that the playoff games preceding the world series crown are really meaningless, especially if you’ve got a book called This Is The Year.

Nothing guarantees a victory like premature jubilation. 

Just ask Al Gore.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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