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Thursday, January 20

News from the Kubs Karavan

Since time immemorial, the Cubs (since they are nothing if not fan-friendly) have set up two or three separate teams of their employees, and set them adrift throughout Greater Cub Fandom as the Cubs Caravan. These days, since the formation of the Cubs Convention, the Caravan functions as would ants bringing food back to the anthole, or perhaps Mardi Gras in Louisiana. The teams start out in the sticks (like Rockford, Kankakee and Joliet) a few days before the convention, and work their way towards Chicago, culminating in the big opening on Friday.

Back in the day, this was a great deal for both fan and player. The player got some xtra spending cash, and got some free food-n-booze from the local organization hosting the caravan at the time. The fan, such as myself, got to see real-life legends such as Ernie Banks completely TREED right there in their local VFW halls. Why, I still have my pic, right here beside me, of Mr. motherfucking Cub himself imploring me to continue to hit the books in 1977, while he himself couldn't even keep his own snot in his own nose, he was so Wild Turkeyed.

Good times!

These days, since there IS the Convention, and since the players and coaches already make more money than God, and since there is nothing but a glut of radio, TV, newsprint, and internet coverage of every move these fucksticks make, it isn't such a great deal. Compound THAT with what we will (charitably) call Jim Hendry's "caution" in making any moves to improve us this year, and what you had yesterday was a dog-humping feeding frenzy, and Dusty Baker was the roadkill.

Well, he managed to just about entirely say the absolutely wrongest stuff every time he opened his trap. He thinks that all LaTroy Hawkins lacked last year was "experience as closer", and if the season started today, he's STILL gonna run his big ass out there every ninth inning.

If I were Z, Wood, Prior and Maddux, I'd be getting myself fitted for collar braces right now, because they can't EVEN allow themselves to look back at the bullpen this year. Go nine, or go home, stud muffins. Don't walk no-one.

He thinks Shin Boy will make a helluva left fielder, and Corey a helluva leadoff man. You know, I'll let Chuck handle the last one. He's been ruthlessly trying to corner the market on Corey Hatred for some time, now. It's a bad idea, as is Hollandsworth as starter, and I'll let it go at that.

But then he gets to the piece de resistance, and for once, maybe he did do something right. He refused to rip Sammy Sosa, opting instead to rip the 'clubhouse snitches' who told the media that SamMe played hooky last year.

If you want the man traded, which Dusty must pray for morning, noon, and night, don't go running the man down in the press. He's smart enough to realize that. So it really bothers me to see that he ISN'T smart enough to realize that the 'snitches' who let the Sosa cat out of the bag are HIS OWN EMPLOYERS!!

The Tribune smeared Sosa's name in print before his first big contract in 1997 (who let it be known that he was talking to Boston), smeared it yet again in 2000 (who let it be known that he was trying to engineer a trade to the Steingrabbers) and who pointed out to one and all that Sosa was caught on survelliance cameras leaving last year? I mean, Bruce Miles (Daily Herald) didn't even KNOW the Cubs HAD survelliance cameras.

So is Dusty so stupid that he can't see this? Or is he trying to pit himself and his team against his bosses, in a "Major League"-esque attempt to play "us vs. them" to the hilt? I have to assume the latter, to be honest. Dusty seems to understand the psyche of today's ballplayer, even if he doesn't understand how to handle a bullpen, or how to move a runner along with less than two outs.

I was hoping beyond hope that the big swollen ape would be gone by now, but it looks like the big news for Convention 2005 will be the usual and customary signings of the arbitration eligibles, and hope that the masses swallow it up.

Like I said before, wake me when something INTERESTING happens. ZZzzzzz...