Tuesday, September 30, 2008
If You Squint Your Eyes Real Tight and Tilt Your Head to the Side a Little...He Looks Just Like Pujols.
(Or maybe my crystal meth habit is getting a tad out of hand. It's one of the two for sure.)
There has been a lot of hand-wringing going on this week about this "new look" Dodgers team.
"This is a different team than the one the Cubs dominated earlier in the year," they cry.
"Manny makes them a serious threat to pull off the upset," they wail.
"Jeff Kent is still playing? God, that guy's a douche," they whine.
Actually, that third one was me, but you get the drift.
Manny Ramirez will single-handily beat the Cubs and then eat all city's first born children!
What do I say? Ridiculous.
I am by no means discounting Manny's playoff prowess or the fact that this Dodgers team is MUCH better with him on the roster. Manny is very, very good. Clinically insane? Probably. But one hell of a ball player nonetheless. But that doesn't mean we should all quake in our collective boots when we think about the Cubs having to face him this week.
Why? Because the Cubs know exactly how to handle a guy like Manny. In fact, they've been facing the NL version of him for 8 friggin' years now. I am, of course, speaking of the Lord of the Turds himself, Albert "Please Don't Consider The Fact That My Team Finished in Fourth Place When You Submit Your MVP Ballot" Pujols.
Now, I know what you're thinking (not really, but for the sake of this post just assume that I can read your minds). Pujols and Manny are nothing alike! One is a All-Star talent who drives in a ton of runs and plays gold-glove caliber defense. The other is an All-Star talent who drives in a ton of runs and sometimes forgets to bring his glove with him when he takes field. True. But, when it comes to facing both these dangerous hitters, the approach is the same.
Limit the Damage.
As we see time after time when the Cubs and Cardinals hook up, the primary goal is to make sure Albert doesn't beat you. The philosophy is simple. Get the guys in front of him out and pray that he doesn't hit 7 solo shots and beat you anyway. Basically, just focus on getting the "table-setters" in the lineup out. It's a simple plan, but one that the Cubs are familiar with and relatively good at accomplishing.
Players like Manny and Pujols are gonna get their hits, it's just a fact. But if you can make sure that the results of those hits are negligible, you can and should win. Open bases become your biggest weapon against these types of hitters (that, and in Manny's case, pretty butterflies).
Not to over-simplify the Cubs approach this week, but it should be as straight-forward as...
1) Throw strikes.
2) Play good defense.
3) Walk Manny whenever possible.
As long as the Cubs can do these three things, Manny won't beat them. If they don't do #1 and #2, they won't be able to do #3 and, well...let's just not think about that for now.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Dear Cubs Fan Who Ruins it for Everyone,
I hate you. I hate you and all those like you.
Go home and high-five your moronic friends as you shotgun Old Style tall boys and leave the rest of us in peace. You aren't funny. You're pathetic. Bite me. You know, there is a reason why Sox fans hate the Cubs...it's you. Tell me, loyal Cubs fan, why do you give a shit if the White Sox make the playoffs or not? Are you afraid to share the spotlight? Do you think our postseason will be any less special if the Sox join the party? How can you have such an huge inferiority complex in a city that is so obviously pro-Cubs? Sorry, that's a lot of questions in a row there, I don't want your tiny brain to explode.
Maybe you've forgotten, you knuckle-dragging cretin, that your Cubs haven't been to the playoffs in back to back years in a long, long time. Enjoy it while you can. Bask in the glow of this amazing season. Cheer them on as they test themselves against possible playoff opponents over the next few days. Pretend to have a little fun!
Openly rooting for the White Sox to lose doesn't make you any more of a Cubs fan than that nameless jersey you bought at Target, you schmuck. Giggling uncontrollably every time something goes wrong for them just further emphasizes what a sad, sad little man you are. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should cheer for the White Sox. I'm just saying that you shouldn't care. You're a Cubs fan (or more likely one of your douche bag friends is a fan so you jumped on the bandwagon too) so stick with that.
The Cubs made the playoffs. They're in. Can't you just be a fan of baseball for one night? Can't you just count your blessing that the Cubs aren't in the White Sox shoes at this point? You remember what that's like, don't you? No, what am I saying...you don't, do you? You weren't a fan in 1998, suffering with every pitch, every swing of the bat. You were probably a Yankees fan that year, turd.
What is wrong with you? Didn't you get enough attention as a child? Were you dropped on your head? Repeatedly? The Cubs won a dramatic game last night. Were you watching or were you glued to the Sox game hoping to see them lose again? Don't answer that. I know the answer. We all do.
You're not a Cubs fan. You never will be. And if by some miracle this team does the impossible (knocking furiously on wood) this fall and you're outside Wrigley during the celebration, keep an eye out for me. I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one kicking you in the nuts.
Whew. Ok, now I feel better. Sorry.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
For those of you who know me, there is one thing that worries me during the postseason more than terrible managers, suspect defense and Bob Howry...idiot fans. Seriously. I know it's dumb, but I spend more time obsessing about over-turned cars, broken windows and the general douchebag-ery that goes on after the smallest Cubs victories, that the idea of this team going deep in the playoffs gives me hives. I actually pray for clinching on the road at times. Sad, but true.
This is just is one of a hundred ridiculous Cub-related things that I have no control over, yet continue to let bother me every waking hour of the day. That's why this article in the Sun-Times gave my a moment of peace for at least 30 seconds.
No beer in Wrigleyville: A seventh inning stretch?
Bars and restaurants around Wrigley Field will be asked to stop serving alcohol after the seventh-inning stretch -- just as they do inside the ballpark -- to prevent Cubs playoff celebrations from turning ugly.
Ray Orozco, executive director of the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, said the proposed seventh-inning cutoff -- discussed at a playoff security meeting Monday -- would occur "only if it's a clinch game." Liquor sales could resume once the game is over, he said.
Sounds like a plan. I know that one less hour of drinking wouldn't make a lick of difference for most of the drunken masses, but maybe...just maybe, it keeps some guy from turning to his buddy and saying, "You know would be cool? Let's set the bleachers on fire!"
Thursday, September 18, 2008
For those of you who don't have the pleasure (yet) of following my random thoughts on Twitter, let me explain. After the Cubs neglected to score in the bottom of the 8th of today's game, I turned it off.
"Screw Smarj and whoever the hell that guy is who pitched after him," I yelled to no one in particular.
As a refresher, I am also the idiot who saw the Cubs were well in front on Sunday and decided Generation Kill was a better option than the first no-no in in my lifetime. So, obviously I had history on my side.
To be honest, I had better things to do then to listen to the final outs of a frustrating game that they should have won. I mean, my status on Facebook isn't gonna update itself people!
So when my lovely bride sent me a text around 4:45 today saying, "I wish I was at this game!" I knew I was in trouble.
Thankfully, I had just turned down my volume on the only good investment I have ever made, MLB Gameday Audio. As I turned it back up, Soto flew out to the wall in the 11th, followed by a dreadful start to the top of the 12th. Runners on, Kerry on fumes. Not good times.
So I made a choice. I made the only choice a totally neurotic, overly-obsessed, semi-OCD Cubs fan could make.
I closed out of the broadcast and waited, knowing full well what was at stake.
If the Cubs lost, the impact on I have on wins and losses by watching/listening was negligible at best.
But if they got out of that 12th inning jam and then managed to win...fuck.
We all know the result.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
With the boring baseball on display over the past three days, I found myself thinking about the postseason.
So many questions are still unanswered at this point:
Will Ned Yost join the Fox team so we can all giggle when he's asked about how to best manage pitchers?
Can they find someone even douchier than Dane Cook to top last year's "THERE'S ONLY ONE OCTOBER!" commercials?
Will they actually blow up Shea with the Mets still inside when they miss the playoffs?
But thanks to endless 90210 promos on CW/WGN AMERICA these days, one question stuck out.
If the (current) playoff teams were characters on the original Beverly Hills 90210, who would they be?
David spent most of his early years on 90210 just trying to fit in with all the "cooler kids" at West Beverly. He worked really hard to get accepted...sometimes too hard. You wanted to like his chances of succeeding, but at the same time you knew that the rest of the group basically thought of him as an also-ran. The general consensus on the Dodgers is no different. No matter how hard they try, they are still only a whopping 6 games over .500 and are actually having a hard time holding off the "surging" Rockies (68-83). No one outside of LA thinks thinks of them as a threat in the post season. Good news? At least Manny puts out.
The hair, the Mustang, the strong morals...Brandon was really the complete package. Other than some gambling issues and poor decision-making in the girlfriend department (I'm looking at you, Emily), he basically could do no wrong. Problem was, he was boring as hell to watch. You always found yourself wishing he'd screw up once in awhile to shake things up. Same thing with the Phillies. Sure, they can hit, field and throw with the best of them, but at the end of the day you find yourself wishing for something more.
I would stay as far away from Shea as possible.
Unfortunately, they shot themselves in the gut...and died.
PS. In interest of full disclosure, I missed the no-hitter on Sunday thanks to a combination of my stupidity and my friends strict adherence to arbitrary jinxing rules. That's why I neglected to post about. I felt like a turd for missing one of the greatest Cubs games in my lifetime and couldn't bring myself to try to fake like I had been watching it. To my three avid readers, I apologize. Just wanted to get that out there.
Side Note: Did anyone else keep picturing the Astros manager running into Bob Uecker in the hallway after Monday's game, having a flashback of his "One hit? All we got is one god damn hit?" line from Major League and then killing Bob with his own shoe. Anyone? Tell me I wasn't the only one who thought of this. Bueller?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Pat and Ron just laid a doozy of a breaking story on us...
Third-base coach Dale Sveum will become interim manager for the remainder of the season.
The Brewers have lost seven of their last 10, and share the NL wild-card lead with Philadelphia.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I’d love to have posted more often, but (a.) real life has taken over recently, and (b.) I’ve been watching about ½ of each game lately, due to the overall suckfest that the Cubs have become. But I needed to jump in and write a little something about all the ledge jumpers out there:
I’m tired of all the chicken littles whining about every ounce of bad news coming from the Cubs.
Don’t get me wrong-they’ve been worse than awful lately. If awful could be quantified by population, the Cubs would be India and China combined. There is absolutely no arguing with this. In every aspect of the game they have been utterly craptastic. But you know what? They’re still making the playoffs. As of this writing, their magic number over the Phillies is 10 and if they beat the Cardinals tonight, their magic number for the playoffs in general is 9. They could literally have a playoff spot locked up by Sunday.
If they shit the bed and blow an 8 game lead with 19 left, then they are truly a waste of space and a garbage team. The season will be a waste and idiots likes Rosenbloom will have more fodder that will allow them to not have to actually do anything creative in their writing. No amount of whining and crying is going to change what they do over the next 19 games. Pretty much the only thing that all the hemming and hawing is going to accomplish over the next few weeks is to piss off all the moderately sane people.
I'll make this simple: They’re going to make the playoffs. Screw curses, jinxes, goats, whatever. They're going. And if they don't, its because they don't deserve it, not because some cosmic force has kept them out.
Its also important to remember that what happens in the playoffs is a crapshoot. But here’s the catch: if they went into the playoffs on a 22 game win streak, it would still be a crapshoot.
To wit-The hottest team going into the playoffs last year was the Rockies-they got swept in the World Series by a team that lost 11 games in September, including a stretch in which they lost 5 out of 6. In 2006, the Cardinals lost eight out of nine between September 18th and 26th. In 2005, the White Sox lost six out of seven between September 8th and 15th. The Red Sox lost five of seven between September 18 and 25th.
The point is not that the Cubs are going to win the World Series. The point is that “hot” teams aren’t really any more likely to win in the postseason than “cold” teams. Cubs fans should want the team to make sure that Harden and Zambrano are healthy and hope that they get over this annoying penchant for shitty defense they’ve developed lately. But losing a lot of games in September has about as much to do with how they play in the playoffs as winning a bunch of games in August.
So if you’re so upset about your first place team that is on pace to win more games than any Cubs team in the last 25 years, fine. Don’t watch. Move on. Find something fun to do. But quit annoying the rest of us with your obnoxious negativity. Actually, scratch that. Make sure you keep whining all the way into the playoffs so I know which “Its Gonna Happen” Shirt Wearing fuckstick to punch in the throat.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And a Cubs/Cards series shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in Chicago now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That took the field with us upon this September day.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Alright, I can't take it anymore. If you aren't going to say anything, you spineless bastard, I am. I'll spell it out as simply as I can...
The Cubs suck.
They suuuuuuck big time.
Don't give me any of this "They are still in first place!" BS or "Their magic number has gone down all week!" crap. They are beyond awful.
Have you watched them this month? Throw out Soriano's 3 home runs on Saturday and I dare you to name anything good this team has done in the past week or so. Even that game was ruined by the fact that they turned a 11-1 joke into a 14-9 ulcer-inducer. Nice work boys. Quality.
Everywhere you look, it's a gigantic train wreck. Blown saves. Errors. Missed MRI's. Rally killing D-Lee ABs. Ted Lilly's Home Run Derby. Cedeno. Starting pitchers needing 9 DAYS between starts. Whole SERIES without a single extra base hit. They are an embarrassment.
They aren't that bad, you say? Really? The ONLY player who has actually stepped up and shown anything resembling an actual human emotion since the bottom fell out is everyone's favorite whipping boy, Jason "My October is Wide Open" Marquis. Watching him scream at the home plate ump was just what I expect from a team playing this bad. I want to see the anger. I need to see the frustration, the asshole-ishness. While everyone else was talking about how "we can't get down on ourselves" or "everyone hits a rough patch once in awhile," Marquis is basically giving the ump the finger. Good for him.
"Don't worry," you say.
"We've got a huge cushion in the wild card," you whine.
Well, I know this is hard for your delicate little ears to handle, but FUCK THAT.
What happened to that "take no prisoners" team from August? What happened to stepping on the gas and cruising to the finish line? What happened to making September an after thought? That's all gone. These asshats pissed it away. It's infuriating and I am sick off people like you telling me to stop being a "typical" Cubs fan who wouldn't be happy if we were 50 games up. Hell yes I would be happy! What kind of idiot do you take me for?
My point is this. You and all your "blogging buddies" are idiots. The Cubs suck and so do you.
Your Inner Child.
PS. Shove the Magic Number up your ass, Tribune.
Dear Inner Child,
You need a hug.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Greetings Cubs Fans!
It's your old pal Dusty. I was just sitting in my office today, bumming about my Reds being eliminated from the postseason again, when Aaron Harang stopped by. Dudes, talk about a Debbie Downer. He kept blabbing on and on about how I basically destroyed his career and how it was my fault that all the Reds pitchers were having arm troubles (blah blah blah) and, well, I started to drift off.
I mean, how many times can I hear that same sob story? Am I right? Anyway, I was reminiscing my career and I started to think about the good ole days when I was back on the North Side. We had some fun, didn't we? We laughed. We cried. Well, mostly you cried.
Dudes, I'm kidding!
Anyway, so I was sitting here thinking about you guys and I realized that you have got to be FREAKED OUT about the losing streak. If I remember correctly, you guys aren't too keen on losing streaks up there.
Hah! I'm a riot, aren't I?
So I thought to myself, "Hey Dusty, why not send your old pals a pick-me-up. Give them something to feel good about this weekend, other than joy of playing my Reds."
So here it is. My gift to you, Cubs fans. Enjoy!
Dusty's Top 5 Things Worse Than a Five Game Losing Streak
5. Kyle Orton is Your Team's Starting QB.
4. Carlos Quentin Just Went 187 On Your Fantasy Team.
3. You left your bag in plain view of Tatum Bell.
2. You chose to attend Wheaton College for the parties.
1. You're Jay Mariotti.
See, don't you feel better? That's what I thought. No need to thank me.
Go Cubs...er I mean...Reds! Go Reds!
Wow, that was a turd of a game. Thankfully, since I am a huge advertising nerd, I tend to watch the commercials more than the actual game. Even though I am a Mac guy, this ad made me laugh out loud.
Note to Our Four Readers: Actual Cubs post later today.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I can't watch this FUCKER pitch away another game. I'm done. Anyone need a right-handed middle reliever who has trouble finding the plate and enjoys giving up the long ball? Anyone? Bueller?
I hate to swear twice in a post, but...Bob Howry is a FUCKING turd.