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Wednesday, March 31

Prior out until mid-May

OK, so if the good news keeps coming in at this rate, in mid-May, Prior will be saying that he hopes he's ready for next Opening Day.

Straight from the horse's mouth, Prior himself "hopes to be in there by mid-May".

Factually speaking, out of the thirty MLB teams, the one team best suited to lose a Mark Prior IS the Cubs. Scott at the Northside Lounge very neatly made the best point about it today. If we're going to be completely left-brained today, very few teams have the pitching depth we do, so numbers-wise, it is not fatal.

Of course, we all know that numbers don't mean diddly-shit to me.

This IS the Curse, dammit!! How else do you explain it? Due to the cheapness of the Twins, we stole one when we drafted a turnkey product, a plug-and-play Cy Young winner. And what does God do?

If he blew out his arm, like Wood did, then we all could go about the business of blaming Dusty for over-using him, and there would be closure. But this is worse, in a way. It's a bigger tease. His elbow IS inflamed, a little, but there isn't anything structual that they can detect. Of course, there isn't anything structual they can detect in the achilles, either, and he can't even push off on that at this point. A whole winter of rest and rehab didn't help at all.

It isn't his arm, it's his leg, and it's keeping him from pitching, all the same. I have a feeling that another month isn't going to help one iota. Then, he will take the Death Ride down to Birmingham, Alabama, where Dr. Andrews keeps the big knives for the big boys.

God lets Albert fucking PooHoles, and Greg Eric fucking Gagme come up from nowhere. But He won't let US enjoy a little good fortune, too.

The Curse. God ain't gonna let us steal nuthin!


Tuesday, March 30

Just something I got to get off of my chest

Growing up in a time before all communities on the Rand McNally got their own McDonald's, it was a real treat to go to the Arches, or a King, or a KFC, whenever we would make it to "the big city". Like, Joliet, for instance.

When I tell my kids that the nearest McD's was a half-hour away, their heads spin.

Anyway, today I tried the new Tender Chicken Sandwich at BK today, and it was a good sandwich, no doubt. With the coupon, it was still $3.49. But I also noticed that there was another, cheaper fried chicken sandwich on the menu, along with several grilled chicken selections, plus chicken tenders.

McD's also has a $1 McChicken, a more expensive McCrispy Chicken, a grilled chicken sandwich, along with the New Chicken McNuggets, now made with White Meat.

All capitalized menu items are a registered trademark of their respective companies

Anyway, the menus are so large anymore, that they do not fit on the drive-thru menu board, and unwieldy "extensions" have to be clipped on to show customers all the offered items and specials. In the meantime, all the fry grills have been replaced with hi-tech contraptions that move the product along a conveyor to cook to documented perfection.

Nobody asked me, but if McD's, BK, Wendy's, etc. want to get back to the good old days of double digit growth, I got one word for them.


Screw having an entire R&D department to concoct new funky sandwich items to try to draw people in. I have NEVER met anyone who told me honestly that their favorite menu item was any of their "special" line extension items (except for the McRib. Some of my strangest friends and acquaintences love McRibs). Instead, devote your resources in two areas:

1) How to most effectively keep the restaurant clean, re-engineering all areas and surfaces if necessary.
2) How to best prepare a small "core" of items.

In my world, when you went into a McD's, you can have the following:
1) Burger - 2 oz., up from 1.6 oz
2) Cheeseburger - ditto
3) Big Mac - would be 4 oz now
4) Double and triple burgers, upon request
5) Fish sandwich - increase serving size by 20%
6) Quarter pounders - including cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion & mayo
7) fries - regular and large
8) Chicken McNuggets
9) Soft drinks, shakes, and coffee
10) Ice cream

Screw the salads, soups, hot apple pies. Screw the McBratwursts, McPizzas, and anything else that makes it complicated for the cooks. You don't need two levels of chicken sandwich, and if you don't eat red meat, you always have the fish, or the nuggets. If you don't like fried foods, then, please, go to Sweet Tomatoes, and nibble to your heart's content.

For BK, similar. They can shit-can their fish sandwich, keep their new chicken sandwich (it's reeel good) and throw out their "specialty" items, their Chicken Whopper, their chicken tenders (they suck) and their tacos (Jack In the Box ought to be suing their asses). Just burgers, Whoppers, onion rings, fries, chicken, drinks and Icee's. If someone wants BBQ sauce on their Whopper to make it "western", then by all means, Tex, give them a packet of sauce upon request.

The Colonel his own self said it right many years ago. "We only do one thing, and we do it right." This was right after they had to shit-can the shaved roast beef sandwich bizness.

Too bad his own company can't do the same. Do you have a KFC in your town that isn't part of a Pizza Hut, A&W, or Taco Bell?

Do you? Can I come over for chicken?

Cubs post Active Roster

Assuming Prior, Macias, Remlinger, and Dempster all start the year on the DL, there are 28 names posted on the Cubs "active roster" on the official propaganda site.

Newly acquired Andy Pratt is there. So is Sergio MeatTray, and Todd Wellmeyer. There are no other surprises.

Considering Ramon Martinez is here, along with whomever is not playing in the Walker/Grud carousel, we really don't need another middle infielder, which is the Macias role. Actually, we don't need Macias.

So, knowing they don't have Prior, do they take Mike Wuertz and/or Jimmy Anderson? Is Kent Mercker going to start on the DL also? If they take 12 pitchers, then there will be no position replacement for Macias.

I, myself, I'd love to get a hitter. Off the bench, we have Goodwin and Hollandsworth, both nice in the pinch. We also have GrudWalker, and Martinez, who I'm not so impressed with as a pinch hitter. He fills in a couple of days a week capably.

To me, I need one more bat, and if we aren't going to give a shot to a McClain or a young guy like Nic Jackson, then you start dangling some young pitching meat out there, maybe get the Meat Beater back from Pittsburgh for a nice young cheap arm.

More on Mark Prior

The sneaky bastards flew Prior to Chicago to get him checked out. If you or I get an MRI, we have to wait a week to get a doctor to read it. But Mark has already gotten his achilles and his elbow scanned, and one is bad and the other ok.

There is NO truth to the rumor that his arm is bad, and may need surgery.

But the back of his right leg IS killing him, and maybe guys have thrown through this kind of pain before, it really isn't worth it at this time for THIS guy.

When the supposed big fish of baseball net journalism, FlannelMan, takes it upon himself to compose the narrative under Prior's HOF bust, you can infer that any part of Marky's body that's sore is a big deal.

I was driving home from Door County, WI, a couple of years ago, on a Monday morning after the Packer game where Brett Favre hurt his knee. Their big radio station is 620 AM, the flagship home of the Pack, blah blah. Anyway, it's supposed to be a 24-hour news station, but on this day, there were up-to-the-minute updates from their practice facility, and, THEN, from his HOME, breathlessly reporting on the condition of his knee.

Imagine being Brett Favre, waking up that morning, probably still tired and sore. And, like most of us, probably sporting a piss boner. As he pulled back the covers off of himself, and as he sat up, preparing to walk to the john, he probably glanced out his window and noticed all of the local television newsvans parked in his driveway. He understood that a whole entire STATE was awaiting word of how his knee would feel as he stood up to take his first piss of the day?

In the world of sports, and I guess in the world of the world, THAT's power, my friends. As Prior wakes up each morning, and squirms out from underneath his fleshy, pale wife, to take his first short hop to the can, does he realize in his first wakeful thought that a whole NATION of Cub fans hang on whether he can walk to the toilet without a limp?

I'm trying to hang desperately to the notion that, once he comes back, he will hit the ground running, and pitch like himself from the first. Regular logic, and Cub logic, would suggest otherwise. But if he really is a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, I guess he's gonna hafta make with tha miracles.


Monday, March 29

Can't get her out of my head

Note: if you did NOT watch the Class AA IHSA Girls Basketball finals, followed the next week by the Class A IHSA Boys Finals, followed the following week by the Class AA Boys finals, then just skip this and go on to the next thing I can't...stop...thinking...about...her...

I ask her Van....

Do you prefer "New Order" or "Orgy"

Tell me, how, does it feel, how, should I feel?

Anyway, after the CBS announcers, sideline staff, and the NCAA appointed referees got in line, and took turns deep-throating Coach K, completely oblivious to the fact that Luol Deng and Shelden Williams cut-blocked, gang-tackled, back-climbed and foot-dragged their way to a win Friday night, and after all parties finished gargling Chris Duhon's cum yesterday (yes, he has sore ribs, you told me already, and wasn't he on the 1991 championship team?), basketball season is over in the Sloth household.

Well, except in certain southeast bedrooms, decorated in Laker purple-n-gold.

Anyway, even the five hour orgy of Cub clinchdom on Fox Sports Net last night couldn't distract my mind from wondering how bad Mark Prior is really hurt. Actually, now I really wish I hadn't watched that.

First of all, Clement really pitched well that day. He hasn't approached that all spring. Who honestly thinks that he is just going to turn it on next week?

Next, I wish there was a way to have kept Eric Karros around. He really seems to get it. Unless he told management that he would not have been happy playing behind D. Lee, I think it was a mistake letting him go. Even if he never got out on the field once, you need good guys like him around.

Finally, everywhere you looked, there was....Sammy. No, not Sammy.

Well, yeah, there was Sammy, ok. But I meant Prior! I'm sorry, Dusty or not, and I'm not saying Dusty's not good, because he is. None of this happens, NOTHING, there is NO credibility without Prior.

Dusty might be Phil Jackson, or a Jackson-esque figure. But Prior IS Jordan. Only without the chunky blond hoochies. Besides the one he's married to, of course.


Friday, March 26

Another foray into non-Cubs material

UPDATE! Shop the Sloth!! No kidding, it was ez to get my very own line of Sloth gear!

On another gray-assed Chicago morning, in which Baby Pedro is now a Brave, Baby Seaver still can't push off his right leg, and Baby Nolan throws for nearly 7 innings in a Spring game, for ricesakes, all I can think about is...

...the Big Game tonight! Duke! Illinois! Live, on CBS!!!

The world is full of Duke fanboys, and I literally put my two cents' worth out on Desipio yesterday. Two cents? Yeah, I whiffed. I sounded like the fat stupid moran that I am.

Why do people hate Duke?

I've heard a lot of comparisons to the Yankees, which really doesn't do it for me. The Yankees can buy the best talent in the world, and there really isn't any proof that Duke does the same thing, although I've never heard any Duke players complain about having to use their laundry money in order to eat, if you catch me. It's more like the Dallas Cowboys, or maybe the Atlanta Braves.

Sure, they win more than most, but really, it's been three titles in 13 years. Impressive, but not exactly UCLA of the late sixties. Sure, Coach K was a typical hypertensively competitive jockstrap who has put himself on a holy pedestal, requiring the university that employs him to build him a palatial office, higher and with a better view than the college chancellor. So do a lot of other college coaches. You don't think Nick Saban has a student manager in charge of washing and disinfecting his dick down in LSU? Sure, they don't recruit, they reload. You can make the same claim about Kentucky, Stanford, Arizona, Kansas, even Illinois to a lesser extent.

But the media, the Bily Packers, the Dick Vitales, the Jay Bilases, CBS, ESPN, blah blah blah blah Duke blah blah greatest blah Coach K blah blah Cameron blah blah...we as Americans generally submit to having something force fed to us, to a point. Then, once we get tired of the same thing, year after year, we start to spit it out, like a toddler with his Maypo.

They may NOT be the favorites to win EVERY year, but damned if CBS, ESPN, and half the announcers in America don't seem to think so. Year after year, all Duke, all the time. And, I don't know if this is a product of a overactive PR department, or just the comfortable, mindless drivel of simpleminded, bald men who watch young boys in shorts run around for a living. But it's no wonder we're all sick of it.

However, I post this today since it's fairly clear to me that although I picked the Illini to beat Duke tonight, this doesn't make it so. I fully expect this to be our swan song, so for all of my fellow alumni, let me just say, once more, with feeling:



Thursday, March 25

My guy is gone

Looks like my guy Juan Cruz is gonna get the chance after all to pitch in a big league rotation.

He has been traded to Atlanta for an Andy Pratt, a AAA lefty with a 7-10 ERA last year, albeit with a decent ERA, and he also led the IL in strikeouts.

Yes, this Pratt IS a lefty, but he had a below average record in Triple A, whereas our guy dominated during his AAA stint. I realize that Hendry had his hands tied, waiting for Maddux and his fuckwad agent to come off of their high horse, and sign. Cruz would have brought in more at the start of ST, fresh off his stellar Winter League work, than he can bring now.

Frankly, in the here and now, Hendry made a nice trade. Cruz won't be around to bitch about being the long man in the pen, or about having to go back to Des Moines. A promising young lefty is about all we can hope to get out of him now.

Oh, but I wish he could have made the trade last month...we might have been able to get a Catching prospect, instead, which we don't have none of.

Good Lord

In what qualifies as a major upset to me, Larry the Cable Guy has a website.

I didn't realize they had the internet in Alabama.

Oh, yeah. Yarbage is from them parts, too. My bad.

Actually, I don't know which Southern state Larry's from. For all I know, he's from Dartmouth, NH.

But he's just funny, I don't care who ya are.

UPDATE: a story about the unlikely comeback of PBR, bay-bee, in the Daily Herald.


At the risk of alienating our non-local readership

Here, we have two sports radio stations: the ESPN-owned affiliate, and a locally owned station, which calls itself "The Score". Neither one draws major ratings: the Score does about a 1.2, and ESPN a 1.1.

The Score has always seemed to aim itself towards Joe Bagadonutz, with equal parts blowhards, conspiracy mongers, and frustrated stand-up comedians, and it is entirely provincial. If you listened to the Score and nothing else, you wouldn't know that there were any other teams in existence than the Bears, Bulls, Sox, Cubs, and Blackhawks, in that order.

ESPN has Jay "Windsock" Marriotti in the mornings, who tends to lean with the wind at all times. They also have an afternoon local show with some ex-Score refugees, and the rest is national programming. There is precious little Cubs news on there, since they also are the flagship home of the Sux. There is, of course, also WGN, which is all newstalk, except for Cub games, and a evening sports program.

Anyway, it is real hard to know exactly what is going on with the Cubs (meaning, with Mark Prior) based on radio shows. I have been monitoring the coverage of both stations, and there is a definite tendency for the Score to be negative, to look for the rotting core within any situation. They end up being more Sensational than ESPN, the Worldwide Leader of Sensational.

Anyway, today the Score reports that Mark Prior did NOT throw yesterday, he is doing WORSE than the Cubs are letting on, and that he will NOT be ready for the first home series. ESPN is NOT reporting such dire news.

The Score, in my opinion, is not a credible news source at this point in time. They reported earlier this winter that the Cubs were in contract discussions with A-Rod. They report that every free agent in the NFL comes through Halas Hall to discuss playing for the Bears, when 80% of that is fiction, and they themselves will admit that their sole purpose in life is to gain ratings, thus revenues. I used to listen to that station religiously, used to have their static cling sticker in my back window. Now, I never listen, except for research purposes like I have this spring.

But they WERE the first to report that Prior was hurting; and the first to surmise that he would end up on the DL. When I heard both, I immediately thought they were Shit-Stirring. This time, unfortunately, they were right on da money.

My point is, where I sit today, it doesn't look good for Mark's early season chances to lead this team. I am now going to assume that he is in fact NOT ready to pitch, and is going to be out for awhile. And even though you can't win pennants in April and May, you sure as hell can LOSE them. He is the straw that stirs the drink, as Reggie Jackson once said. He is the Cornerstone, the Man, our Relevancy. If he cannot go, then I do not believe we can win anything this year.

And wouldn't that just be typical?


Wednesday, March 24

The opening day matchup just announced!

Kerry Wood v. Cory Lidle!!

Have your pencils and scorecards ready!

My apologies for those of you who missed out on the delectable and shiny Jessica Alba yesterday, still #1 on the Sloth All-Majestic List until further notice, or whenever Amanda Bynes becomes street-legal.

Mark Prior is officially on the DL, a rumor that only took about 8 days or so to come to fruition. God help us if Marky Mark ever has a 'regularity' problem. A hushed city, as well as the three major papers, will sit on the edge of its seat until Mark goes "boom-boom".

That's a #2 for those of you who don't speak Toddler.

This has to be THE most fanfare for what may amount to only ONE missed start since Sandy Koufax decided it was better to atone than to pitch. Hell, his arm was probably killing him. The Jewish holiday was probably just a convenient excuse to shut it down for a week.

Which, BTW, at the risk of raising the ire of IvyChat Chuck, the Israelis? You gotta admit, they give as good as they get. THEY can fly a chopper overhead and hit a man right in the scrote with a missle, but WE lay waste to two entire countries, find one guy only after nine months, and the other guy still is driving a cab after 2 1/2 years?

Focus. Focus!! We as Americans lack focus. Nah, we'd rather blow things up, tear things down, and run through warehouses full of inventory. The Israelis, they deal only with the task at hand, with what, 1% of the resources we have? Makes you wonder, though, why Arafat is still out there chewing hummus? You know?

Anyway, the big matchup...Lidle vs. Wood. I can tell you already who is going to be leading the league in homers and RBI after one game: Dee Lee! All Wood has to do is get the damn ball over the plate, because he will enjoy supreme run support on the Fifth.

UPDATE: Sergio Meat Tray, in his big chance to slip into the rotation vacancy left by the unstretched Mark Prior, is living up to his name by serving it up hot to the Angels. 5-1 Halo's, bottom of 3rd.


Tuesday, March 23

Why no Mark Prior angst?

The fact is that nobody, probably including Prior himself, knows how bad he is hurt.

Ordinarily, based on precedents, with news such as this: "Prior likely to start year on DL", we Cub fans would have all the right in the world to moan "See, here it is. We knew it was too good to be true". We all have in our minds eye the year 1985, when the whole 5-man rotation was on the DL AT THE SAME TIME for a brief period. Sutcliffe, Trout, Sanderson, Ruthven, and Eckersley. In retrospect, we're talking about 2 drunks, a puss, and a couple of near-pusses, but how were we to know that at the time?

It's possible to make the logical leap and picture a year where Wood's surgically enhanced elbow tatters, Zambrano finally goes completely ape shit, Clement comes up with dead-arm, Maddux's back goes out, and Prior ruins his shoulder while favoring his sore achilles.

It's possible, but do you know what else is possible? It's possible that the Cubs may be on the forefront of medicine. That maybe, the ounce of prevention now is going to be worth it's weight in gold when Prior is allowed to work himself into shape on his own terms, when otherwise, he is rushed out and forced to make adjustments which may eventually prove harmful?

If that's the case, and right now, it is what I believe to be true, then I don't want to hear any more shit about Dusty Baker burning out pitchers due to his negligence.

McClain drives himself in as only run in last night's win

Scott McClain, 31, has to make the trip north, doesn't he? Particularly if Prior is on the DL for the first week. Then, what happens if he hits well during his stay? What happens to Hollandsworth or Jose Macias? One of those guys has to go. Since we already have Ramon Martinez as well as Todd Walker, I choose Macias.

I'd rather take a shot at some stud dude that might bash one for us off the bench, rather than have another slap-ass who has to swing from his jock to get it out of the infield dirt. I've already seen the Augie Ojeda movie. I want to see something more like Julio Zuleta. Maybe McClain would do voodoo chants over the bats like Zuleta used to do. That was fun.


Monday, March 22

Courtesy of the LaSalle News-Tribune

Cubs Quiz:

If you want to cheat, the names are on the bottom of the quiz.

1) This famous Cub was born in Rhode Island.

2) This Cub is the only pitcher with more than 3,000 Ks and less than 1,000 BBs.

3) The last pitcher to win a World Series game as a Cub.

4) His promising career was cut short by a fatal plane crash.

5) This Cub appeared in 1958 as a left-handed catcher.

6) This Cub dated white women (inside joke), won two Batting titles as a Cub, and two more after he was traded.

7) He wore #8 as a Cub but wore #10 elsewhere.

8) Came to the Cubs with a 4-5 season record, but finished the year with a 16-1 mark with the Cubs, for a 20-6 overall record.

9) Won the MVP AND Cy Young award the year after being traded from the Cubs.

10) Traded by the Cubs early in his career, he amassed over 3,000 hits.

11) This Cub would be a good Musketeer.

12) This Cub pitcher hails from the same state as two 300 game winners.

13) He was AL MVP in 1979.

14) He played a full season as a starter (min 500 plate appearances) without hitting into a double play.

15) He pitched the last no-hitter for the Cubs.

And now, the names I was given for the quiz:

Dale Long
Andre Dawson
Aramis Ramirez
Fergie Jenkins
Bill Madlock
Rick Sutcliffe
Hank Borowy
Lou Brock
Augie Galan
Milt Pappas
Don Baylor
Kerry Wood
Gabby Hartnett
Ken Hubbs
Guillermo (Willie) Hernandez

This should have been cake for all of you Die-hards. I only looked up a couple of things that I didn't know, for that I am smarter, now.

This year's Bellhorn, perhaps?

Your clubhouse leader for dongs and rbi's is one Scott McClain, your Crash Davis lookalike for 2004. Since Goodwin and Hollandsworth are your OF depth, Scott doesn't have a prayer unless Alou fouls a ball off his kneecap, or something like that.

What indication do we have that McClain all of a sudden figured it out? NONE, especially considering Hee Seop Choi murdered Cactus League pitching last year. It IS possible to kick ass in AZ, and do a Gary Scott at the 39th parallel. (Hey, Gary Scott McClain...a Before and After like on "Wheel of Fortune").

I...just...I dunno. Wouldn't it be great if, for once, an Albert Pujols happens to US? For once? A guy out of nowhere all of a sudden is an Impact Star?

For more than ONE year, Bellhorn breath?

What? Oh yeah, there WAS Sosa. Which begs the question...has McClain had to pee in a cup lately? I mean, shit, suppose you're a career minor leaguer, whose back is getting to be too tender to sleep in any more busses. What if you get caught with the joo-ice? What do you have to lose?

It isn't just black guys juicing up, you know.

Obviously, I'm not alone on this

As Fork points out, it's T-minus 12 days until Amanda Bynes is street-legal, at which time I will have a LOT to say about this tempting little morsel.

I will say this today: in the process of looking for jpg's of her, 27 of the first 30 hits were about "Amanda Bynes di*k su*k", which tells me the following:

1) There's some little porn-let out there that looks a lot like her;
2) There's more than just me out there waiting for her first nude role, or even better, for her A-list career to fizzle, so she ends up "tastefully nude" in Playboy, or on "Red Shoe Diaries".

I saw this coming a long time ago.

I can pick women...just can't pick prospects. It broke my heart this morning, as I stopped off at 1060 W. Addison to drop off my Juan Cruz Fan Club membership card. Just can't have it anymore. When I'm sitting herre thinking that I'd rather see Sergio MeatTray, that ain't good for Baby Pedro.


Friday, March 19

Kate Winslet, underrated

Yep, I said it. So much has been made about how she isn't super-model thin, and sure, she hasn't really been in a GOOD movie, that includes Titanic, but I guess she is just "classically" beautiful, and since she is starring in the new Jim Carrey blockbuster opening tonight, here's your Babe O' The Day, courtesy Celebrity Pictures:

Not on my personal all-time Top Ten, but I imagine her as someone who, when you wake up next to in the morning, doesn't look like aneroxic death warmed over, which is a good thing in my book.

I have actually taught in college

How are your brackets? The wrong mediocre Illinois-based basketball team won yesterday, so that should give you a clue as to how dogfucked I am.

For all of you with a degree from Northern Illinois University, time to quit feeling all high-n-mighty, for it is possible that I, the Uncouth Sloth, may have taught you Business Statistics at one time. So the math teacher in me wants to write a post today.

For those of you who have kids, who whine "Why should I learn math?" I was reminded of this as I drove in today.

On the radio, the announcer said "DePaul's Drake Deiner was 7-for-10 from the field, and a perfect 10-for-10 from the line for 28 points as DePaul won in double overtime..."

Anyway, what I wanted to know was: "How many threes did he put up?" The announcer neglected to mention it, and if you are not somewhat familiar with high school algebra, you will never know. (Unless you look up the box score on the web, you fucking cheater. I wanted to know right there and then.)

You might ask "Who gives a titty-fuck?" Well, that's just the kind of thought repression that Bush, Cheney, and the Thought Police are just COUNTING ON to hold us down, mister man. When you're stuck in traffic for two hours, you sure as hell can't exercise your body, so you better be able to workout your mind.

So let's set up the problem. Say the number of two-point shots Diener put up is X. The number of threes, which we want to solve for, is Y. Since he was 7-of-10 from the field, the first equation we have is:

X + Y = 7

OK, now we know he had 28 points from the field. The number of points from two pointers can be expressed as the number of two point shots he had, X, times 2. The number of points from three pointers is Y times 3, follow? Plus, he had 10 free throws, each counts as one. So, the second equation is:

2X + 3Y + 10 = 28

We all hated word problems as kids, but what you didn't realize was: without word problems, and without decent announcers who give you all the facts, you can't make head or tail about sports. So when you were given this problem on a pop quiz:

Solve for Y:

2X + 3Y + 10 = 28
X + Y = 7

What you were really finding out was how many trey-balls Drake Diener threw in last night. We all have heard both Bob Costas and Billy Crystal tell the stories on why they did so well in fifth-grade math, because they were big baseball fans, and what is a batting average, but long division? They knew that 3 divided by 7 was .429, because that's just a batting average.

Anyway, taking the second equation, if we subtract Y from each side of the second equation, we find that X = 7 - Y. Big deal, you say, what's Y? Who cares? You can substitute (7 - Y) everywhere you see X in the first equation. So, instead of:

2X + 3Y + 10 = 28

You can write instead:

2(7-Y) + 3Y + 10 = 28

Lots of people have made the mistake of not going there, because they think this makes things more complicated, but look again. Whereas before, you had X's and Y's, now you just have Y's. And that makes things a LOT simpler.

Now let's work the rest of the problem:

2(7-Y) + 3Y + 10 = 28
2(7) - 2(Y) + 3(Y) + 10 = 28
14 - 2Y + 3Y + 10 = 28
(14 + 10) + (3Y - 2Y) = 28
24 + 1Y = 28

Now, subtract 24 from each side:

Y = 4

So, Diener tossed in 4 three-bombs. Since X = 7 - Y, then X, the number of two-pointers, is 7 - 4 = 3. And I leave it up to you to plug X and Y in the second equation.

I hope you had fun with today's math lesson. It helps to know a little math to make sense of the gibberish you read in the paper. It doesn't do squat to help with NCAA bracket picks. That's just pure hell.


Thursday, March 18

A double standard? Why, yes.

OK, Mad Dog got shelled yesterday. I thought to myself: "Self? Should you make tomorrow's post all about wanting to trade Maddux, like you have been doing for Clement?"

Of course the answer is no, for about a million good reasons, a few of which I'll list here: 1) Maddux has earned the right to fuck up during spring training, Clement hasn't; 2) Clement still has trade value, Maddux doesn't; 3) Maddux is here two years, maybe three years, tops, but Clement is a possible logjam for the development of some of our other arms; 4) Maddux, whether he wants to admit it or not, is a defacto pitching coach, while Clement is just a poster child for the Gillette Mach3.

Sitting here in the gray damp gloom of an Illinois late winter, it is hard to imagine the sunshine and warmth of Arizona right now. I'm sitting herre in the knowledge that in three weeks or so, these guys, these mega-million dollar arms, the only hopes we have ever had of winning a pennant, have to go risk their bodies by pitching in this shit. If this were summer, it would only be logical and proper to expect that Maddux, Prior, Clement, etc. would be able to go outside, into the warm sticky humidity, and stretch themselves out well, and work on correcting their flaws, without fear of shredding tight muscles in the numbing cold we're feeling now.

IN other words, it just doesn't seem like baseball season yet. So I sit and worry about other things, like the inevitable shocking upset of Illinois in the NCAAs by a second-rate state school from Paducah whose best players can't keep their hands offa da bong. I also worry about whether it is a good idea or not that our state is going to send a guy to the Senate whose name sounds like an African battleground (Reuters reports hundreds of casulties in bloody infighting in the jungles near Barack Obama) and what its going to be like next year with a Democrat president AND Congress?

I don't expect that we were going to win every spring training game. Let delusional mopes like Ned Yost get their willies that way. I guess I'd just feel a lot better if Prior was taking HIS turn in the rotation, too.

It's just hard to imagine a man with an achilles problem feeling better, when mine has been aching for days here in the wet.


Wednesday, March 17

I'm not sure WHAT this means, though

Mark Prior DID throw off of a mound yesterday. Most sources claim that he felt fine during and after his workout. Others claim that he still feels pain, and that the club will make a decision soon whether or not he ends up on the DL.

I truly hope that the sources stirring up shit about the DL are just that, shit-stirrers. I have given the Cubs the benefit of the doubt all along that they are just being cautious during Spring Training, but if he ends up on the DL, then obviously what we have here is a Nagging Problemo. And, as Steve Stone said last night, the road of Baseball is paved with the stories of men who overcompensated due to lower leg problems, and ended up ruining their arms as a result.

If this is in fact the case, then I may have to put on my yellow Chicken Little rainsuit and run around outside waiting for the sky to fall down on us. I truly believe only Injuries can stop us this year, and as a Cub Fan and a Moran, I also truly expect the worst.

Free Speech is Gone

It is, people. I knew after yesterday's post, I was going to get comments.

When I am told at work by my boss to change the way I normally express myself because we have to be more careful these days, I feel threatened.

When I recently endure a ten-fold increase in e-mails from people complaining that I am being blasphemous, when I have been FAR more blasphemous in the past, I feel threatened.

And, frankly all you Bush apologists, when you put comments out there telling me that I am just as free as ever, that the war in Iraq is GOOD for us, that the Patriot Act is good for us, and that he isn't in bed with Big Oil when Big Oil is basically his cabinet, well, I feel threatened.

I have voted Republican since I was 20. I voted for Bush in 2000. But, you people have NO idea what it's like to be ME right now. If you don't feel any different today than you did six months ago, let me theorize for a moment: YOU WEREN'T PUSHING THE ENVELOPE BEFORE, AND YOU AREN'T PUSHING IT NOW, SO WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

The Uncouth Sloth has pushed the envelope since 1999, and, believe me, it's pushing back. Don't tell ME that I'm just as free as I was. Because I'm not, and I will NOT argue this point any further.


Tuesday, March 16

Rock and a Hard Place

I'm gonna try to stick my toe in the waters of Politics again, because it's timely, because it seems to be the only thing you guys get excited about, and because I can post pictures of a babe

Today is Primary Day in Illinois, and in true Fascist fashion, I can go pick up a Democratic ballot and vote for Kerry, or a Republican one and vote for Bush. Or, since I am now over 35, I can write myself in. Honest to God, I feel like I'm trapped in the middle of a George Orwell novel, here in Dubya's America. Free speech is less free than it was, we are losing soldiers in a steady stream everyday, all because of Halliburton contracts, I am absolutely fucking pukesick every time Bush wraps himself in the 9/11 cloak, as if that makes every mistake alright, and I do NOT feel better off financially than I did 4 years ago.

But Jeez, John Kerry? Check his basset-hound looking ass. Do you want to look at that now for the next four to eight years?

OBVIOUSLY, most of you do, because we in Illinois are getting the sloppy seconds. Others of you got to vote for Edwards, Dean, Clark, what have you. I would have liked to vote for Edwards. Still can, I guess, or I can just skip the booth and go wipe my ass with the ballot. But the rest of the nation sees something in Kerry.

Maybe we all just REALLY love basset hounds.

The real race in Illinoize is for Senator, which is certainly important, too. Of course, both parties have ended up dragging their races in the gutter. Both front-runners are divorced men, and on one hand, Democrat Blair Hull is just taking it up his pooper for what he supposedly said to his gold-digging 2nd ex. Don't feel sorry for him, though, because this was their second marriage to each other, within a year, and whatever made him think that 11 months apart was enough for both of them to get their shit straight...well, I know what made him think that.

Blair Hull's staff.

Hull has since lost his poll position to some Black suckup with a weird name. Since this IS a Democratic state, I'm sure he'll be a fine Senator, who will bed down with far fewer fictators than Carol Moseley-Braun.

The Republican frontrunner, Jack Ryan, not only is saddled with a fake name, but was once married to her:

That's right, ol' Seven of Nine herself, Jeri Ryan. What does it take to lose a sweet piece like this? Don't know, and we'll never know, because Jack refuses to unseal the documents, saying that it will harm their 9-year-old son.

Dogshit. What's gonna hurt their kid, who now lives in California with Jeri AND her new husband, a former Star Trek producer....?

It doesn't take Dr. Phil, Dr. Joyce or even Dr. Demento to do the math in this case: seems that Jeri was gettin' herself some on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, probably for a leg up in the biz, pun intended. She was a bit character whose role was expanded, and it wasn't for her stellar acting. Jack found out about it, probably slapped the shit out of her, and now having seen the shit-tsunami Blair Hull is dealing with because he merely blocked HIS wife from kicking him in the head, isn't gonna let a herd of wild horses pull HIS file out of the drawer.

I gotta go to the poll later, and put my two cents in, because I believe that if you don't vote, then you have no right to bitch about the way things turn out. And I ALWAYS reserve my right to bitch.

I could get used to this

Kerry Wood had four uneventful innings yesterday, striking out four and giving up nothing. Now, if we could just get Mark Prior on a mound, and see him do the same thing, things would be more restful in my world.

I am already getting sick of hearing "Mark Prior may throw to the side tomorrow." I'm not sure where the fault lies here: with the Cubs, for not being honest about how badly the Francheezie is hurt, or with the media, for having to write something every time Prior has to wipe more than three times at a sitting.

He obviously is in more pain that I first thought. Chances are, though, when he eventually gets back to it, he will easily find his own groove, and be alright. But, I guess, you just don't know that until it happens. I do not believe that this was caused by his overuse at the hands of Dusty Baker. More than likely, this is a function of what I feel is overexertion by the player, in a seemingly well-meaning effort to stay in playing shape. I mean, his legs, in particular his lower legs, really don't need any more toning.

There were, as of Sunday, rumors that Juan Cruz was being shopped, with his market price being second-rate middle infield prospects. I gotta believe that, if this were done right, that Cruz would be worth more than Augie Ojeda. I suppose Hendry couldn't do it all this winter, the pursuit of Maddux led to uncertainity, and we are probably going to fall in the trap of over-valuing pitching prospects in our own minds, and in turn watch them leave town for far less than we think they should. Guess we better get used to it.


Monday, March 15

In the grand scheme of things, this means nothing, but...

There is a movie coming out where Ben Stiller and Jack Black invent an aerosol product that, when sprayed on a dogturd, would dissolve the turd clean away. Stiller pusses out, Black markets the product and makes so so so so so so so so so so so much money.

Anyway, as this pertains to college basketball...if you were to litter my front yard with the biggest turds in NCAA basketball history...Bobby Knight...John Thompson...Dick Vitale...Billy Packer...Bill Walton...Steve Alford...Bruce Pearl...Jim Harrick and his simpleminded son...Dave Bliss...

...then you added Phil Martelli to the fray. I only had enough in my spray can for one turd? I'm pointing it at Phil.

I hope St. Joseph's gets bitch-slapped by 16-seed Liberty, which is run by Jerry Falwell, a big fat dogturd in his own right. Falwell goes against everything that I stand for, and I hate him with every fiber of my being.

That being said, I hope his boys whip the unholy cockyshit out of Phil Martelli and his overrated ballclub.

Trying to keep up with my end of our bargain...

Frankly, nothing so far has happened this spring that would contradict my low opinion of Matt Clement. He has his supporters in Cub Land, but I gotta say at this point, he is a real tough sell. I have already expressed my reasons why we should have traded him already, once Maddux was signed. Juan Cruz hasn't done anything to support MY side of the argument, true. But it's not like there aren't others in the pipeline.

Wavin' Wendell Kim, the sawed-off third base proton accelerator, is a subject of some controversy amongst the peanut gallery. Taken by himself, it certainly appears like he doesn't do a good job. The Cubs have an more-than-average number of runners thrown out at the plate, and an average number of runners score, period. So it is hard to argue with a fan, unhappy at his performance.

My take on it stems from the fact that in most cases, a manager and his coaches need to be considered as a unit. Dusty brought him here, Dusty supports him, and I basically see a vote against Kim as a vote against Dusty.

So do I vote against Dusty?

Hell, noooo. Jim the Hekeler from the Coven wanted to know how I could hate Sammy Sosa, when he has brought me so much enjoyment. Excuse me? Jim, listen up. I haven't enjoyed a single minute of the Sammy Sosa Experience, from the moment he came here as Larry Himes' pet project from the Sux, to his putting his personal quest for 30/30 in front of team goals, the overblown kiss-fest in 1998 with the other swollen freak, McGwire, his frequent and curious homelife problems, his dalliance with people I just cannot fucking STAND like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and ending with Corkgate.

Dusty Baker, on the other hand, also does things I wonder about, starting with his coaching staff. Two pitching coaches, a windmilling moron at third base, his defensiveness with the press, tax evasion, his falling out with his former employer, so on and so on. I may sour on him in the long run.

But right now, all I know that since he has been here, the Cubs have gone from a profit center for the Tribune, to a profit center for the Tribune that wins playoff series, attracts the best free agents, is favored to win the whole NL this year, and to a man, his players back him. That's good, that's nice, and I have no quarrel with any of it, and if the package includes Wendell snotchewing Kim, then I have to step back and consider the whole, and say it is Good.

(ripping the ballot in half)....Coach Stays!


Friday, March 12

Mark Prior is going to be fine

Let's see...controversies...controversies...

...controversies....Dusty Baker thinks we're on a Steroid Witchhunt...Dusty hates walks. Well, I don't believe that. I just think he's sick of being asked stupid questions....Mark Prior's Achilles.

OK, stop there. If the World Series started today, and if it were Mark's turn, he's pitch.

If the playoffs started today, Mark would pitch. If the regular season started today, I believe he would pitch.

But they don't. It's still March, the games mean nothing. When the team says "He may not be ready for Opening day", what they mean is "he isn't going to have the six weeks that we insist on so that we can milk the public out of everything they are willing to give, in order to be in playing shape".

I'm sure Wood, Zambrano, Clement, Cruz, even Maddux probably have aches and pains similar to or worse than Prior RIGHT NOW. But he is Mark Prior, he is the Franchise, he is perhaps the Most Valuable Property since Tom Seaver, and in our risk-adverse society, nobody wants to stick their ass out on the line to be the One Who Rushed Back Mark Prior Too Soon.

Least of all, Mark Prior.

He'll get a couple of starts, and the first inning or two of his first real start, he may have trouble finding his rhythm. But they're just being Ultra-Careful, which is good.

It's gonna be fine. Relax. Worry about something else, like walks, or steroids.

Making me look real dumb


Juanny baby, how come you keep making me look so bad?

And, what's probably more important, how come you can't come up and pitch well when you need to? You kill in the minors, you kill in Winter league, but when its go-time, you choke worse than some slut on

This isn't just one outing, either. Given a shot in 2002, you racked 'em up for one win to go against your 10 losses. Your ERA was ok, and we all saw how you were victimized game after game by shoddy defense and pathetic run support. But you know what? Woody had to deal with the same shit, and he came away with wins.

Last year, when the Big Blue Train was rollin' along, you could have come along for the ride. But every time we sent you in there, you just walked guys and passed out apple jacks like you were wearing an apron on Saturday morning at Sam's club.

I'm sitting here defending you, stroking you, coddling you, telling everyone that I see the inner Maddux in you, calling you Pedro Junior, and you go out and get four outs to go along with your eight runs earned.

Juan Cruz, if you aren't going to pitch for US, then dammit, suck it up and show us something so we can get something more for you in trade besides a bucket of lukewarm spit! Maybe you need to go to Montreal or Pittsburgh, to pitch in front of nobody, so who gives a ratfuck what you do? Maybe you need to go there, like Pedro did, to start up your career, to learn how to pitch in front of 40,000 blue seats. Then, after you pile up your 11-15 record, your 2.80 ERA, in front of the beer vendors, you can cash in with the Steingrabber or Bill James.

Then I'll have to hear all the moaning about how come you couldn't do that for US?

C'mon, Juan, suck it up. Otherwise, you're gonna lose your only friend in this here army.


Thursday, March 11

Today's thoughts on Corey Patterson

I wrote something about ol' C-Pat in the Coven and I liked it so much, I brought it over here.

It is true that I have been raving about our need for a true leadoff hitter. I could see the difference Kenny Lofton brought to this team, and I truly wish there was a way we could have kept him for this year. But, he got a shitload of money to leave, and that's probably the best thing for him. It is too late to try to trade for one of the few decent leadoff hitters left at this time. Maybe, in July. So, we're stuck trying to shoehorn, or bellhorn, someone in the space.

I keep hearing people moan that, by rights, it ought to be Patterson, because he is quick.

Very simply, we did not draft Corey Patterson to lead off. He was
drafted as a 5-tool impact outfielder. He was envisioned to bat in
the middle of the order, drive in runs, and hit with power. He never
had plate discipline. IF he decides he wants to change his whole
game for the good of the team, that's one thing.

I don't see it happening, since he seems to be coming into his own
with his own game, which is power. He should be hitting 3rd, Sosa
4th, and fuck the big fat cornfucker AND his little dicklicking slave if
he doesn't like it. Shove his $18 million down his throat. In small

For once, Sosa needs to look at his hands, note the missing rings, and just do what the fuck he's told.

John Ashcroft woulda dropped his choppers

Here's a charming story about a man who has caused quite an outrage in the Netherlands, where Amsterdam sits. Did he have a "wardrobe malfunction"?

Hardly. He got caught "riding a pony", red-handed as all hell, and the court had to let him go free, since there was "no evidence of a crime"? Fucking a horse is NOT a crime? Apparently not in Holland, and Dutch legislators are now scrambling to pass laws to make beastiality against the law.

The point is, as of now, its legally OK in Holland to push a horse up against a wall and wail away on it. I'm not sure what the laws are there if you pushed a woman against a wall and had your way with her. Here, in America, you would be vilified and convicted for doing that to a defenseless animal.

However, sometimes, you can get away with doing that to a woman, here. Right, Kobe?


Wednesday, March 10

A minor lather

I have found it odd that Garth Brooks has been able to "buy" his way onto several spring training rosters.

The way it works is, that he puts up serious coinage to the team's charity, in exchange for liberal doses of jock-sniffing and pre-pubescent fantasy fulfillment. I suppose he's a good guy to have around, probably doesn't make himself to be too much of a pain in the ass, and does all the drills that the real players do. I suppose it's a fun thing, and I also supposed that I'm just pissed that I don't have enough means to do the same thing myself.

I didn't realize, though, that he was getting in as many games as he was, or that he was coming in contact with Real Live Expensive Major Leaguers, like LaTroy Hawkins. I know, nobody got hurt, except for Hawkins' ego, by Garth's first base pass. I know he was on base and scored in the Sux game the other day, too.

I just hope that the day never comes when he is too clumsy or dumb to get out of the way of something, and it causes harm to someone else's career. I also wonder if he isn't taking away valuable playing time from real prospects?

Of course, nobody says anything about Jose Macias being in Cubs' camp, either.

Not much to talk about

Pretty busy at work today, so I haven't had to chance to work myself into a good lather about anything yet. All the news is on the Todd Bertuzzi incident, which incidentally didn't look all that horrific to me.

If I were King of Hockey? The first thing I would do, is abdicate. Huh? That's not an option? Ok, since this is such a "man's" game, then I would declare "an eye for an eye"...Bertuzzi, you are out until the guy you hit is cleared to return to play, plus 10 games. If he comes back tomorrow, then you're out 11 games. If he can't return until next November, then see you in December. If he is out for good, then so are you.

And, I guess the other news is the congressional hearings on Steroids. So some congressmen and women get all puffed up and indignant, Donald Fehr takes his whipping, and we all feel cleansed. Except that HGH is probably the drug most responsible for the swole up baseball mens, and you can't test that, since HGH runs through all of us naturally. "Well, if someone was using, wouldn't their levels be higher?" Sure. From what I know, there isn't a widely available test to prove that.

It's all public masturbation. I'm glad I got a day job, so I don't have to watch it.

OK, and to conclude, here is one Evan Rachel Wood. She was in the movie "Thirteen", even though she is 17. She played the "better" of the two girls, with the girl who wrote the movie playing the "sluttier" of the two, even though in real life, SHE was the "good" girl. Anyway, I include her, because THIS is what passes for Real HOTT amongst the teenage set these days. I dunno....gimme that there one chick from "American Dreams" with the divot in her forehead...


Tuesday, March 9

OK, at last, Meadow Soprano

Thank you, friends of Andy at Desipio. Now, can any of you come up with a Drea DiMatteo jpg for me, too?

I do want to clarify one thing from yesterday. I truly hope Remlinger is only going to be a few weeks late in starting his season. We truly need him out there, if the available options include Jimmy Anderson, Louie Anderson, and any other fat left-handed people named Anderson. My name isn't Anderson, or even Andersen, and I'm right handed. But IDs can be forged, and I do own a left-handed glove that my brother once used.

I never advocated the whole LOOGY thing, unless the rest of your bullpen is set, and you can afford to give a roster spot to a man who can only pitch to one man every other day, provided the man hitting is left-handed.

Remlinger is more than that, of course, he is a true reliever who can get hitters of both species out. I hope management is bright enough to realize that we really don't NEED a LOOGY just for the sake of having one. So if he's out a few weeks, we have the luxury of keeping one of our young guys around.

Hopefully it isn't more serious than that. I honestly have no idea who we can pitch a trade to, to replace him, if need be.


Monday, March 8

Of New Words and Fellowship

The Stud Hoss of all Cubs self-publishers, Christian Ruzich of the Cub Reporter, has put together a Cubs roundtable of the important Cubs issues for 2004. He managed to make me sound like a semi-coherent non-moron, and I even got to trot out a new word for the vocab:

Bell-horn: bel'-horn - verb. To play several positions, none of them exceedingly well, while hitting above the league average, then fall off of the face of the earth the next year. bellhorning: Dusty was planning on bellhorning Walker around the diamond this year. bellhorned

UPDATE: There was a link to a picture of some pretty young thing here, but it was screwing up how the blog worked, for some reason. No more gratuitous posting of chicks. For now on, I only post if it follows with the plot for some reason or another.

More Wood, Clement, Cruz, and Remlinger

Cubman was quite accurate when he pointed out to me that "Wood could not find the plate" in his first start. I still stand by the notion that Wood dominates, in his manner. Yes, he needs to learn that burning himself out in the 6th inning is wrong.

I'm here to tell you that, if you are expecting him to become an economical pitcher, please don't hold your breath. He MAY adjust his outlook a smidge due to the influences of Prior and Maddux. But I think you can come to expect that in the near to mid-future, Wood is still going to throw a lot of pitches, get a lot of strikeouts, not allow many hittable pitches, and have days where he walks a lot of guys.

These factors are in his favor, however: 1) He is far stronger after 100 pitches than most pitchers, he is mature and less succeptible to the physical breakdowns that plagued him early in his career; 2) better bullpen; and 3) he WILL learn a little, and maybe in 5-6 key situations every year, instead of going for the kill, he might instead opt to induce a ground ball or pop-up, thus saving his arm a little.

The Matt Clement fans are on me for suggesting he should be traded. Please, let me explain. First of all, this is NOT based on his first spring training start, although I found that start to be quite indicative of his typical performance. I don't have anything AGAINST him, not really. I just see Wood and Prior and Zambrano and Cruz, who all have the potential to win 20. I don't see Clement winning 20, in fact, I think you got the best you could hope for already out of him. He's 29, and a .500 pitcher. Many teams would kill to have his 14 wins. I merely suggest that I would rather keep Cruz than him, in the certain eventuality that one of them has to go by mid-summer.

Remlinger is slow getting started. If, in fact, this is a problem that will resolve itself in May or early June, this may be a PLUS. We will need him in the long run, and I really hope he is just a month or two away. It would be bad if he wasn't. But if he is, that means we can keep from sending Cruz to AAA. There is a school of thought that he needs to go to AAA to pitch. I call Bullshit. He pitched this winter, he probably actually needs the rest, but what I do know, his head will not deal with being sent down again. We send him down, we've lost him. Period. This may buy us another month to consider trading him or now. Is this professional? Does this make him a baby? Yep, it does. So's Pedro. So's Sammy Sosa, but we keep his big fat ass around, don't we?


Saturday, March 6

Weekend Sloth

Well, isn't it a relief that we got the first spring training win off our backs?

JK, sort of. I get queasy to hear some "experts" talk about how exhibitions mean nothing, win-loss record in the minors means nothing, etc. Sure, these games are used primarily for evaluations and fine-tuning, not wins.

But this is what I always wondered: if the fine-tuning, conditioning, etc. is going as it should, shouldn't the scoreboard result reflect that? I mean, if you lose a game in Arizona because some non-roster filler shortstop boots a grounder in the bottom of the ninth, that's ok, as long as the rest of the game is competitive. If they guys you are counting on are getting hits, scoring, and getting guys out, then isn't that success? And, if the guys you are counting on are getting all those hits, runs, putouts, and strikeouts, then shouldn't you win more than you lose?

Thursday's lopsided score was due to a bad Clement start, and a worse Beltran relief effort, and these are two guys we are counting on. Yesterday's win was due to dominant pitching by Wood, Farnsworth, Wellmeyer and Glover, and some timely hitting by your catcher, Michael Barrett. So that's a good thing in my book.

So I do look at each loss, to determine who was responsible, and if it was some guy with an interstate number on his back, I don't worry. But I just hope that management is taking serious consideration of No. 30, to see what his worth as a rotation pitcher is vs. his market value.

UPDATE: Juan Cruz started well, and LaTroy Hawkins finished well, as the Cubs beat the Giants 5-3 today. I want Cruz as my #5 starter. You're welcome.


Friday, March 5

Martha Stewart found Guilty of all counts

The old douchebag is going to the graybar hotel for awhile.

Man, the mind reels...all the "womens prision" movies I have watched, and I'm imagining the billionaire homemaker empress being held down by three brawny fellow prisoners with their skin-tight t-shirts pulled taught across their muscular, hairy chests, and 10-12 other cellmates queued up to ride Martha's face like a bike seat, and sadistic low-paid guards plunging very dis-tastefully decorated axe-handles and billyclubs up her nether regions.

Because, you know, nothing says "welcome home" than a dozen angry, musky bulldykes with mischief on their plate.

But she's probably going to a country club, where the worst indignity she will ever have to face is having to use scuffed tennis balls.

I'm scared

I have been involved, one way or another, since 1998 on the Internet writing about the Cubs. For the very first time since then, I feel quite anxious about the way this country is headed, the way our society is headed, and I am actually scared to say how I feel.

I feel our Constitution is at risk. I feel that I no longer truly have "free speech" rights, and I honestly, truly feel like my livelihood is at danger for saying how I feel.

How many of you were TRULY scared after 9/11? Me, I wasn't at all. I tried to put some perspective on it, and I realized that an awful lot would have to happen for an "outside" influence to be able to harm ME.

But I am truly scared, now, because I feel that there are people very close to me that can cause me harm. They can fire me, sue me, or arrest me, for simply speaking my mind. Bush, Ashcroft, Clear Channel, our organized religions, and our wonderful legal system is going to do to us, what Al Qaida could only DREAM about.

I'm just letting you all know. I'll write something later about yesterday's Cactus League debacle, and what it means to us.

Nah, never mind, I'll just say it now. Zamboni LOOKS fit. CPat hit one really hard. Sammy is a big a showboat than ever. And, I think there ought to be a long look at whether or not Matt Clement or Juan Cruz should pitch in our rotation, or someone elses. To me, this is the second biggest question facing Baker and Hendry, right after deciding how they are going to approach the leadoff position in the order.


Thursday, March 4

Sticks and stones

If you do NOT live in Chicago, then you are lucky, very lucky indeed.

First of all, you don't have to deal with Sux fans. OMG. As Jeff Foxworthy may say, "If your mom's cell number has nothing whatsoever to do with a PHONE, you might be a Sux fan." I was going to write today's post about the differences between Cubs fans and Sux fans, but something hotter came up, and besides, I'm not what you would exactly call PROUD over most so-called Cub fans. It can truly be summed up in one compound sentence: Cub fans love their stadium, their team, and bashing Sox fans, in that order; Sox fans love bashing the Cubs, bashing Cub fans, bashing their owner, and, oh yeah, there's the team, too. Insecure fuckmonkeys.

No, the real reason why you should feel grateful you live outside of the VHF transmitting area: Swear-Gate. The New Morality that is just squashing us has really caused Chicago to fucking lose its mind.

Seems that there have been several recent incidents where Chicago firemen have broadcast racial slurs over their two-ways. They are derrogatory terms for Blacks and Hispanics. The newspapers, radio, TV news media is all OVER that shit. Thusly, the Tribune today is featuring several big articles about the evils of swearing, trotting out dozens of anal-retentive Biblejockeys, preaching the kind of censorship that they HAD under STAAAALIN, as Annie said in "Field of Dreams".

Before I get into my treatise about swearing, let me just fill you in on Chicago firemen. This is going to sound like I got the Wide Paintbrush out today, but I am coming from an area of personal expertise, having closely known several actual Chicago firemen, and actually spending time at the Fire Academy in the far South Loop.

Many Chicago firemen are Irish, have historically been, although more Blacks and Hispanics are filling in all the time. The Irish see that as a threat to their livelihood. That's what they've told me. They've also told me, half kidding, that the reason why so many Irish have served in that profession is because "they're too dumb to be scared." Another great South Side Irish Catholic line is "In an Irish family, if a son is smart, he goes into the law. If he's tough, he's either a cop or a fireman. If he's neither, he could be a priest."

Once again, I am NOT making any of this up. Not one word. Why in fuck's name would I make any of this up, and open myself up to a shit-tsunami? Also, just for the record, my mom's maiden name is Fitzpatrick.

The point is, many of these guys (not all of them) are a beer short of a six-pack, and would think it's their God-given birthright to use the N-word on the radio. This phenomenom is NOT new...has gone on forever. It's just become a story after the post-Janets-tit-Morality has started sweeping the nation.

Now, do I think it's PROPER to call Black people N's? Particularly in the context of the first couple of calls in question: "Oh, there's no emergency. Those N's are just carrying on." The last several incidents have been in protest, mocking the authority of the Fire Chief, the Mayor, and the civil groups protesting.

NO. That is harmful. Racial slurs are directly pointed at someone. If you're in a group of, say, ten people, chances are good one or two of you are Mexican. And if I say something about "spicks", well, you as the Mexican are going to be pissed off. And I might try to say "Oh, I don't mean YOU in particular. I mean all of you." And, that's bullshit!! You ARE part of that group, so I DO mean YOU! That's truly poison, and any of you have to admit that I don't toss around that kind of shit here.

Well, except for dwellers of the Arabic region. Which really isn't right, either.

Using the Lord's name in vain is wrong, too. The Ten Commandments, written by God, not man, say so. I unfortunately resort to that all the time, and if your name happens to be Jason, or something like that, and if that's the reason you don't come round here no more, then you gotta point. I should work on that. No lie. No more GD's.

However, I have also heard all the arguments against the harm behind the terms fuck shit piss ass dick cock tits so on and so on, and I will even defend the c-word, which in here is usually spelled keyunt and I gotta admit is a tough one for even me. Don't give me any of that "mysoginist" shit, because I'm just as likely to use "dick" or "cock" as anything, and does that mean I hate men?

People in "decent" society do not talk like that. Well, what defines "decent society"? Is your house really made of glass? Do you truly practice what you preach? Do you truly treat others as you would be treated? Do you stand around comdemning others for their lives, while you yourselves do worse? Every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME someone stands up "in the name of decency" to abhor swearing, in the end, turns up to be an adulterer, child abuser or neglector, crook, bigot, or some other type of hypocrite.

I am what I say I am. I do judge people who seem to do stupid shit, but know that if I do so, you can dig all the way to Chin Chin China, and you aren't gonna find that I did the same thing.

Some people have gone in the Tribune today and stated that "swearing is the worst thing you can do." Uh, no, that's just your little view of the world. In my view, being a pompous hypocrite is the worst thing you can be.

Sticks, and stones, and bigotry, and racism, and hate, and crime and violence MAY break my bones, but Fuck will never hurt me. OK? Mahalo.


Wednesday, March 3

Why am I doing this?

Brittany Snow, from NBC's "American Dreams":

She's 17 going on 18, and that might get you 20, so I'll withhold any further comment.

In case you're wondering what the hell I've been doing, chasing down JPGs of pretty girls is far more fascinating to me than a) wondering when Maddux would sign, b) gnashing my teeth because AWad went to the Yankees, c) bitching about steroids, d) blowing up a stupid ball, and e) worrying about Sammy's jock sniffing friend, which is what has passed for Cubs and Baseball news the past 6 weeks.

Is this what it feels like to be a Yankee fan? To sit and stew and fidget until they start playing ball for real?

I know, we haven't won anything yet. That's not really what I'm saying. We have a few holes, one of which cannot be patched due to lack of available material (C), one which cannot be patched due to a paucity of takers for our incumbent (SS), and one which could possibly be filled by a trade involving loads of our fresh young hurlers, but I'm afraid I stand pretty much alone in my willingness to give away a big piece of potential for a (lead-off hitter) now.

So, this is it. All I can do is wait until April, hope nobody gets hurt, and most of all, hopefully the muckrakers from the SF Chronicle will stay the fuck away from the DR until at least next winter.

PS. Chicago TV viewers were treated to an awesome story last night on ABC-7 news, about the murder of Ivan Calderon. Turns out his eldest son is a ruthless gang enforcer in Puerto Rico, and Ivan was shot out of revenge for one of the dozen murders his son is suspected of. Anyway, they showed the funeral procession on the main street of Licey, and not only did they show several of his children by four different women, they showed all of his CARS being pulled down the street on flatbeds. PR Gangsta is THAT?

That seemed to work better, and I still hate Sammy

Looks like Martina Hingis does more for you all than Monica Sweetheart. Maybe so, there's less STD risk there. So, free of charge, Paige Davis, y'all:

Do I beat it to "Trading Spaces"? No. First off, power tools make me limp. It reminds me of work. Second, the other designers, like the old goof who I can't decide is rip-roaring gay or not, cut into my buzz. Well, except for the little dikey carpenter in the short shorts, Amy Wynn. She might be some sort of lesbian fantasy, but it works 4 me, too.

Anyhoo...seems like the biggest news in Cubland today is Sammy's assistant/bobo/asslicker Julian. MLB rules now state that syncophants like Julian can't hang anymore. (I am NOT going to use his last name, out of complete disrespect of his position). Of course, what he represents to SamMe is POWER, a symbol of Sosa's exalted position over the rest of us mere humans, just like Hamburger James was for Elvis.

James was reported to be this moron who Elvis paid to hang around and perform ANY task Elvis wanted. Why? Because he could. Elvis wanted hamburgers from a particular diner X in Denver. "James, go get me some X burgers." They're both sitting in Memphis. Well, James would hop a plane, fly to Denver, pick up the X burgers, and bring them back. Reportedly, there were times when the King was feeling a bit saucy, and he decided that he was too good to wipe his own ass. "James!" And yep, James would wipe ass. He had to. He was a completely kept man, and Elvis got off on it.

Just like Sammy gets off on having Julian around.

Why is this such a big deal?

Well, as we all know, this is as close as we have EVER come to winning anything major on the North Side. I, as well as all of you, everybody in Chicago, and everybody in the media, want NOTHING, absolutely nothing to screw this up. We all want to see 25 guys rowing at once. Team, team, team. Four passes before we shoot. TEAM. Nobody is above the team. That is the way championships are won, dammit, as a team. We want nothing to screw up the team concept.

And we all think that Julian is something that is going to crack the fragile team concept.

What's my take? You all know I hate the prick! We should have traded him for Soriano when we had the chance. We should have let him go to Nueva York when he wanted to go. Hell, I think we should have just let Boston keep him in 1995, when they signed him as a free agent, before some of the post-strike goofiness nullified that deal. I agree 100% with anyone who thinks that the Total Team Concept is the way to go, if for no other reason than that I personally find it MORE entertaining than the "Gladys Knight and the Pips" concept of one big star and a supporting cast. Who the fuck wants to be a Pip?

Buuuuuuuut....for those of you who wanted him...those of you who can't bear an offense without him...for those of you who lick his fat, swampy ass. You got him, Sam-Me is here buddy, he's ours buddy, and IF you want the most out of him buddy, you gotta do it HIS way, buddy.

They're a package deal. Everyone else is going to have to cope.


Tuesday, March 2

Pictures of babes?

I don't think this is going over that well, judging by the lack of comments. Oh, but just let me bash Dubya for seeming to be homophobic, and then the fur flies?

Maybe I just like chicks more than the rest of ya? Could be...who's got tha big swingin' dick now, bay-bee?

Anyway, sports chicks? ESPN ran their sexiest sports chick 2004 recently, and I have no quarrel with Heather Mitts, soccer star and this year's champion. I had a real problem the year before, when Jennie Finch, the UCLA softball pitcher, beat out Anna Pornikova. I mean, didja see the Enrique Iglesias video, with him all over her in a men's room, in his car, etc? Yep, ran out of the Vaseline Intensive Care the first time I saw THAT.

You wanna see Heather, Jennie, or Anna, go to, Page 2. Here is MY all time tennis chick, who once said of herself "I should have no problem attracting men. I am not that ugly." Yep, Martina Hingis, you're picky, wimpy, and foreign, but you're cute:

Shake ME up and pull MY cork there, Hingy, and see how much I squirt:

There are about 100 websites with pictures of her in one tourney when her skirt blew up. No skin, and yep, she's sweet back dare. But I'll leave that one up to you.

Thank you

American Pharmaceutical Collectors Club

I have another confession to make, one which may (or may not) shock many of you.

I am a card carrying member, in good standing, in the APCC, or American Pharmaceutical Collectors Club. You're not going to find us on the internet, or in the yellow pages, because a lot of what we do may be considered illegal in some states. But we are some 1,100 members strong, and we all share a great passion and love for collecting some of the world's most powerful, lethal, and, yes, beautiful drugs.

Some guys collect beer cans, guns, golf balls, die cast cars. That's all kid stuff. I have a wide array of over 200 of the most powerful antihistamines, diuretics, anti-biotics, anabolic steroids, hallucinogenics, and oncology medicines. Members of the APCC NEVER ingest any of their collection, good lord, because they are so hard to come by without a prescription. APCC members are very strict about only using what we need for our overall health, and ONLY under the guidance of a physician.

I keep them in a special refrigerated display case made for me in France. The case itself was over $20K, so I don't have as much money to devote to my hobby as others might. Some of my fellow collectors come from the professional ranks, including personal injury lawyers, trauma care physicians, Grammy-nominated rock stars, and professional athletes.

Thankfully, my name was excluded from the list of shipments made by Balco Labs, whose founder is currently under indictment in Cali. Balco has been most kind to provide me with many of my prize specimens, including Anadrol , Clenbuterol, Dianabol, Equipoise, Nolvadex, Omnadren, Oxandrolone, Proviron, Stanozolol, and Winstrol. I am currently saving up for my next big purchase, the rare Deca-Durabolin, but it seems that I will have to go overseas again since Balco is being shuttered, which only adds to the S&H.

However, some of my fellow collectors are being unfairly characterized as steroid users today. Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi are ALL members of the APCC, and I look forward to our annual convention and swap meets, usually held in a warm weather city around New Years.

Hell, it was just this year, down in Gulfport, MS, when I was talking to Shef. I asked him if he thought it was risky for such a high-profile star as he to have such a comprehensive steroid and HGH collection. "Man," he laughed, "the troof will come out in da wash!" Or something like that.

I'm telling you all, Barry and Shef and G, they're all good guys, and good collectors. I can't wait to hit Shef's place when the family and I go down to Orlando next month. He has a whole 750 sq foot room, with inlaid display cases in his walls, with all of his stuff. I may not want to leave, but I don't want to push his hospitality, he might sick his dogs on me not want to get together with me in the future.


Monday, March 1

Safe for work

Movie reviews: I watched two movies this weekend, well, two movies and some filmclips. I'll explain later.

I saw "50 First Dates". I like Adam Sandler, I liked "The Wedding Singer". This wasn't as good as "Singer". I can't believe any one would go through the hoops to get with Drew Barrymore?!? I just wish that Adam could get himself some speech therapy. I realize he is a nice Jewish boy from New Hampshire, which is probably two strikes against him talking nice and clearly, like we do here in the Midwest.

There were no babes of note. But it was cute. I think it was ok to take kids over 10.

I watched "Braveheart" last night rather than deal with the Academy Awards. You knew in today's New Media Era, the award show was going to be exciting as Mom's Meatloaf Surprise. There were also no babes of note, except Sophie Marceau, which I have previously noted on this here blog. Anyway, on a four-star scale, I give "Braveheart" 9 1/2 stars. Moral of the story: Don't tell a Scot what to do.

I mean it, nuuw.

I also mention the filmstrips, featuring one Monica Sweetheart (not safe for Work) - of which you've heard me tell before.

She's a real porn entity, and she's as enthusiastic as you want her to be. Put Jenna Jameson OOONNNN Jiggs would say. I'm all about the Sweetheart.

A rare position to be in

Kerry Wood is signed long term. A lot of money, yes. But is his money keeping us from getting what we need? It doesn't appear so.

Derrek Lee is signed long term. I stand by my evaluation as "McGriff with a pulse". Now we all know McStiff ate Ass, but you cannot argue with his offensive production. If Lee produces at the plate as McGriff did in his prime, I'll take that for 6 milldo per.

Coaches say Farsworth is focused.

Borowski and Hawkins are getting alone fine.

Maddux, Wood, and Pryor are all saying the right things.

Zamboni is lighter, Patterson is crushing the ball (even though he still cannot run), Alou is still being pissy, and Barrett is asking for help with his game.

And, finally, the team is able to pass the buck to a higher authority in terms of the "uniformed presence" of SamMe's plunger-pal. "He can't hang out anymore, Sam. Bud Selig sez so."

Sall good...well, pretty much mostly good. We don't have a leadoff man, but other than that, even a bitter old kitty-fuck like me has no room to bitch.

Which is something I am going to have to get used to. If the words "MRI" and "Dr. Andrews" do not become an everyday occurrence in 2004, this team should win and win and win, this year, and in the future. The Trib is finally stepping up and spending what it takes to keep their key components, and the farm system just oozes pitching, in a league starving for it.

No other team, with the possible exception of the Steingrabbers, are set up as well as we are.

Please don't hold it against me when I pause as I turn each corner, waiting for the fucking baby grand piano to fall on top of my head. 35 years of fandom, and every year, something has broken.

Maybe my personal karma is well lately. I only had to spend 15 minutes in the Waiting Room, I got the seats I want for the games I wanted, and from what I gather (if you listen to WSCR, which I did today, like a moran), this was quite the rare occurrence. I just know, if I swill from the big Blue pitcher of Kool-Aid, that somehow I am gonna end up choking on it. But, I am thirsty, and it looks really, really tastee...

It might be the Year of the Cubs for the Sloth.