Tuesday, September 30, 2008

John Paxson's Evil Twin Takes The Reins

Ok, this will be my only post during the Jewish holidays and its about the Bulls, I know. Screw you guys if you don't care about them. That being said, it appears that the innocent, retarded, asset-stockpiling John Paxson is gone and has been replaced by his diabolical evil twin.


Maybe this bizarro Paxson will create bizarro results. Like 50 wins, or maybe even a decent run in the playoffs. Spooky.

Cubs Pick up Option on Sweet Lou



Just a day before starting the playoffs, the Cubs picked up the option on Skipper Lou Piniella for the 2010 season.

Sure, all he did was bring back-to-back division titles to the Cubs immediately after the team went 66-96 in 2006.

It feels good to have Lou locked up for a couple more years after the turnaround he has overseen.

Plus, anyone who can deal with Carlos Zambrano on a regular basis deserves a reward.

Hey, the Cubs Play Soon!

Remember the Cubs? It seems like forever since they have played a game. It really hasn't been long, just a little while since you cared what the outcome was. Plenty more Cubs content to come, but here's a quick preview of the series. Check out some position match-ups over at Top Ten Chicago Sports.

Why the Cubs will win:

The Cubs have the pitching to win this series. You can dig into the numbers all you want, but since Lou had a chance to set the rotation, things fall in place well for Chicago. Dempster has been unreal at Wrigley this year and I think anyone would want Harden and Lilly as the two guys trying to steal wins on the road. Then you have Big Z. Call him unpredictable if you want, but everyone knows the Cubs will get all he has on the mound in game two.

This lineup is also more than capable of getting the job done against LA. The Dodgers have great pitching as well, but after last season's playoff performance, these guys have something to prove. With the improvement the Cubs showed in taking pitches this season, we'll be seeing a lot of the Dodger pen.

Add in the playoff experience for Chicago as another positive. Even though it was just three games, almost every player on the team has a taste of postseason ball. Against a lot of right handed pitching we'll be seeing a ton of Jim Edmonds this series. You don't get much more experienced in the playoffs than Edmonds.

The Dodgers don't strike fear in their opponents, especially not the Cubs coming in with the kind of season they have put together. They're a great team, don't get me wrong, but the intimidation factor is zero. Check that, the intimidation factor is Manny (more on that in a bit).

Why the Dodgers will win:

The Dodger's starting pitching has the best ERA in the NL. Sure, there is no Brad Penny, but Derek Lowe chucked a .59 ERA in September, while Billingsley and Koruda (the game two and three starters) were solid as well. If the Cubs pitching falters, the Dodgers have the firepower on the mound to take advantage.

Manny Manny Manny. Manny Ramirez is the most likely guy in the playoffs to carry his team to a series win.

I can't possibly go on in this half of the segment as long as the positives for the Cubs. Suffice it to say they have good starting pitching, Manny, a solid pen, and the experience of Joe Torre running the show.

What does it all mean?

Nothing really. It's postseason baseball. It's the Cubs. Anything can happen, but I think this one looks good for the Cubbies. Sure LA is good in some aspects of the game, but I think the Cubs are clearly better. The opening game of the series is gigantic tomorrow night, but the Cubs pitching just stacks up too well for them to drop this thing. Right? We'll see. Cubs in 4.

One Game Playoff Fun

This is great. The Twins and White Sox in baseball's version of the play-in game. Time to see if the Sox can slam their way to another victory to grab the AL Central Championship and possibly build some momentum going into the playoffs. If you would have told me at the start of the year that the White Sox would be playing the Twins in a one gamer for the division and a chance to play the AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays, I'd have slapped you, laughed at you, and kicked you right in the pants.

Ozzie of course is talking about the game, this time sticking to his description of Twins starter Nick Blackburn's last outing versus the Sox as "lucky," saying that if he pitches like that again, he likes Chicago's chances.



I don't know who you give the momentum to going into this game, but I'm going to say the Sox have it. Yeah, they were swept by Minnesota last weekend, but the Twins went on to struggle with the Royals and Ramirez's grand slam against Detroit was gigantic. That said, conventional wisdom and the Chicago White Sox have rarely agreed this season.

It's been mentioned over and over recently, but you have to love being a sports fan in this city right now. So turn on the TV (and turn down the volume) and watch the game. Cheer for the Sox, cheer against them, but take it in, because it's a one game playoff and there's only one October in September.

Chicago Blackhawks Season Preview


That's right. Hockey. Get used to it. The regular season opener for the Blackhawks is October 10th, so it's time to remind you that hockey really does still exist, and that the Hawks are going to be pretty damn good this year. As these words are hitting the e-paper, the Blackhawks front office is taking care of one of the team's glaring problems. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin seems to be on his way out of town.

Last season, Chicago would have made the playoffs if it weren't for an abissmal January that included an eight game losing streak and only four wins in the month. After adding youth in recent years, Hawks management hit the free agency pool with a vengeance this year, picking up all-star defenseman Brian Campbell and goaltender Cristobal Huet. Campbell will be great on the power-play and should team with Duncan Keith to form one of the league's best duos on the blue line. Huet comes into a great situation with Bulin leaving town. Youngster Corey Crawford should push Huet just a little, but Cristobal and his sweet name will be the #1 coming into the year.

Almost all of the excitement when it comes to the Blackhawks though focuses on the youth. Kane, Toews, and Sharp are names you will be hearing all season long. Sharp, at 26 is the oldest of the trio, and led the team with 36 goals last season. Kane, 19, led the Hawks in points and assists and just kept improving as the season went on. The 20-year-old Toews battled injury last season, but still managed a highlight or two.

Forwards Robert Lang and Jason Williams made their ways out of Chicago in the offseason, so the youngsters will have to carry even more of the load. A resurgence from Martin Havlat wouldn't hurt either. Havlat has not lived up to expectations in his short stint in Chicago and if he gets it together this season, watch out.

The defensemen look strong as well with the addition of Campbell. It should be Campbell and Keith going against teams' top lines, with Seabrook, Barker, Wisniewski, Hendry, and Byfuglien in the mix.

I couldn't go through a Blackhawks preview without mentioning the New Year's Day game at Wrigley Field against the Red Wings. Hockey fan or not, this is a must-see event between two franchises with amazing tradition.

So where do the Blackhawks end up this year? The playoffs of course. Really.

Big Ten Week Five Wrap-up


Did Penn State prove me and the rest of the doubters wrong Saturday night against Illinois? Yeah, mostly. Illinois did keep the game close, trailing 31-24 with about 13 minutes left in the game. Illinois lost their second game of the year, but both losses came to teams who now sit in the top six in the nation. And both losses were largely a result of one playmaker tearing them apart. First it was Maclin and this week it was PSU's Derrick Williams catching a touchdown, running another, and taking a kickoff 94 yards for a third score. Sound familiar? A reporter actually asked Juice after the game if it was time to start thinking about basketball season for the Illini fans. Ridiculous.

Michigan had two weeks to get ready for Wisconsin after the Wolverines fumbled the Notre Dame game away, but the offense didn't skip a beat in the first half, turning the ball over five times to the Badgers. Then something happened in the second half. UM didn't find the endzone until the 2:22 mark in the third, but didn't waste much time after that. Another TD drive in the fourth was followed with an interception return for a score as Michigan put up 13 points in three seconds to take a 20-19 lead. After another Michigan score and UW fumble in the red zone, the Badgers made a gutsy drive that would have tied the game had Travis Beckum not lined up wrong on a successful 2-point try, but after the penalty the do-over failed and Rich Rodriguez got his first big win in Ann Arbor.

Northwestern made a 14 point comeback in Iowa City to beat the Hawkeyes Saturday and improve to 5-0. Barring a Mets-like collapse, someone owes me an apology for making fun of my bowl prediction for the Wildcats. C.J. Bacher was great Saturday throwing for 284 yards and three touchdowns, while leading Northwestern to its best start since 1962.

Michigan State beat Indiana, Ohio State topped Minnesota, and Purdue lost at Notre Dame 38-21.

Today's Links--One Game Playoff Edition

Monday, September 29, 2008

Because I Can't Look at Prince Fielder Anymore

This actually happened yesterday in the Raiders-Chargers game. Lane Kiffin ordered for a 76 yard field goal attempt. He is sooooo fired.

Prince Fielder Gets Bukakked


Thanks to Ethan for this wonderful photo. For those of you who don't know what Bukakke is, it is what the Cubs did to the Brewers pretty much all seasson. Oh and its this too.

Ozzie Guillen Gets Mad; Beats Wife (or her picture I guess)

Apparently Ozzie has run out of things to break in his office. After Saturday night's terrible loss to the Indians, Ozzie was angry. The Sun-Times reported:
There wasn't much in the office left for Ozzie Guillen to break after the latest humiliation Saturday.

He took care of that after the embarrassment he witnessed Friday.

It started with a few bottles.

Then it progressed to some of his pictures. That included the picture of his wife, Ibis. Poor Ibis, that picture never will be the same.

''My wife looks like she has black eyes,'' Guillen joked. ''I was so mad I hit a picture I'm not supposed to hit. I was so upset, I didn't know what to do.''

I hope the White Sox can stay alive and make the playoffs, because losing Ozzie's ridiculous quotes would leave me with at least 50% less material to write about. What's the reference to a few bottles? Was he drinking? I think maybe its time for some marriage counseling for those two.

Today's Links--South Siders Have More Baseball Edition

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Baseball Extravanganza

A little roundup of the baseball in Chicago to date:

Chicago White Sox
  • I don't want to be a dick about this, but the Sox completely shit the bed at the Metrodome this week. That is why the situation stands as it does and the Sox aren't preparing for the playoffs right now.
  • The White Sox blew a huge opportunity Friday after Minnesota lost by losing 11-8.
  • Needless to say, Danks did not look like the kind of big game pitcher he would need to be for the Sox to have any success in the Playoffs. He gave up 7 runs in 4+ innings.
  • Griffey did hit 2 home runs in the Minnesota series.
  • The Twins lost today, leaving them in a statistical dead heat with the Sox.
  • As I am writing this, Javy Vasquez has been chased from the game after getting hammered. The Sox are down 7-1 in the 6th inning to the Indians.
  • If the Sox lose, which appears likely, they will be a half game behind the Twins. (**UPDATE: Sox lost)
  • IF the Sox lose tonight and tomorrow and the Twins win tomorrow, the Sox are eliminated. any other combination of Sox win/loss and Twins win/loss will cause the Sox to have to play the makeup game with Detroit. They then may have to play the Twinkies in a one-game playoff.
  • Good news: Quentin looks to be recovering nicely and still remains hopeful to play in October.
Chicago Cubs
  • The playoff rotation has been set: Dempster, Zambrano, Harden, Lilly (if necessary)
  • Their opponent is still up in the air. With the Phillies win today they clinch the division. Milwaukee is now in a tie with the Mets.
  • If Milwaukee wins the WC, the Cubs will play the Dodgers in the first round. If the Mets win the WC, the Cubs will play the Mets in the first round.
  • Micah Hoffpauir has looked good AND bad (boneheaded base running). Will he make the playoff roster?
  • Soto was not back in the lineup after a "minor" injury to his left hand.
  • I almost forgot, the reason Milwaukee is in a tie is because the Cubs beat them. Cubs won 7-3 today, though they did lose 5-1 yesterday.
  • In terms of who makes the 25-man playoff roster, rumor has it the Cubs will only carry 11 pitchers. A BCB fanpost has a decent list of who they think will make it. Pitching-wise I agree except that I think Marquis and Gaudin are not sure things and Marshall may make it. For bats, I agree and I would add Ward and Hoffpauir. (***UPDATE: The Trib is reporting Samardzija was named to the Cubs postseason roster while Gaudin was left off it)

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Most Offense Kosuke has had Since June


This story comes from Rumors and Rants about how great it is to live in the South. Especially this time of year, a lot of us like to use casual Fridays to support our favorite teams. We break out our Payton jersey, our old student section football tee, or Fukudome jersey tee.

Well, don't even think about bringing that foul language to work in Oklahoma.

And she would occasionally celebrate her casualness by wearing a Kosuke Fukudome t-shirt to work. That is until a couple weeks ago, when an edict came from down from the mountain declaring that the shirt was not appropriate for the workplace. And no, we’re not talking about one of those "Horry Cow" shirts. This is a regular “Fukudome 1″ jersey.

Wow. Good for Oklahoma, cracking down on the smut. If you're a sports fan there, you had better be careful. Maybe your favorite sports gear isn't allowed on casual Friday. For example:
  • Your South Carolina Gamecocks shirt.
  • Your Rudy Gay jersey.
  • Don't even talk about the Oregon State - USC game.
  • Your Dick Trickle Nascar stuff is okay. They get it.
  • No materials relating to anyone on this list.
Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Your Week Five Big Ten Preview


Conference play has finally started in the Big Ten! Well, not until Saturday but still...!!! Two big games this weekend with Big Ten Championship implications.

The premier game of the weekend in the Big Ten is Illinois at Penn State. This is a night game in Beaver Stadium, so it won't be easy for Illinois to go in there and come out with a win. But the Illini showed last season that they can win big games on the road when they won in the toilet seat in Columbus. Last I saw, the line on this game had Penn State giving about 15 points. I've said before I think Penn State is overrated based on its cupcake schedule so far. Look for Illinois to keep this one close by putting a lot of points on the board, then pull off the upset in the end.

Wisconsin, the highest rated team in the Big Ten, travels to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines. In the last 17 games played at Michigan Stadium, Michigan is 16-1. The times they are a changing though, and Wisconsin comes in as about a touchdown favorite, sporting a 3-0 record and a top-ten ranking nationally. Michigan has a top five defense in the country against the run this year, but sack yardage accounts for most of the success. Stopping P.J. Hill and company behind Wisconsin's line of athletic Manginos will be the key to the game. For Wisconsin, the key will be slowing down the spread offense, which the Badgers have struggled with in the past, and forcing turnovers to set up a short field for the offense.

Purdue travels to Notre Dame in the Irish's third straight match-up with the Big Ten. Notre Dame looked awful last weekend against MSU, with an offense consisting of runs for little to no gains, followed by prayers lobbed up to receivers downfield by Jimmy Clausen. The only time ND was productive was with short, quick passes. Those quick strikes hurt Purdue last weekend against CMU, so if Notre Dame comes out with a good gameplan, they have a good chance. But hey, it's Weis. Purdue wins.

Northwestern travels to Iowa, the Buckeyes will host Minnesota, and Michigan State plays at Indiana. Picks?

Picks:
  • Illinois- 38 Penn State- 34
  • Wisconsin- 27 Michigan- 21
  • Purdue- 30 Notre Dame- 16
  • Northwestern- 20 Iowa- 27
  • Ohio State- 42 Minnesota- 17
  • Michigan State- 38 Indiana- 14

Today's Links--Blame The Cubs For Underfunded Schools Edition

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fontenot Rejects Unibrowed Redhead

Wrigleyville23 comes up big again with a funny video. I'm not sure why it was made or what the point is. Enjoy.

Shut up and let us Drink our Beer!


Honestly, I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me as to what in the name of Pinella you are thinking. Let's stop the sale of alcohol from the end of the seventh inning until the end of the game at bars around the stadium. Why? What what will this accomplish?

If you want to stop alcohol related incidents, banning the sale of alcohol for an hour won't win the day. You'll succeed in doing a few things:

  1. Pissing people off.
  2. Being an asshole.
  3. Hurting business around Wrigley
  4. Creating a shitstorm right after the game when thousands of people are all trying to buy a drink at once. Think about that one.
  5. Did I mention being an asshole?

There you go. That is what is accomplished. You'll fail at the following:

  1. Life.
  2. Stopping people from getting drunk.
  3. Avoiding alcohol related incidents.

Is this even a legal move? I guess that is a question for another time. I always thought the seventh inning last call was to help people sober up before they piled out of the stadium and drove home. Crack down on drunk driving, put some extra cops on the street; these are sensible solutions that may have the added benefit of you know, working.

I realize it is only for clinching games, but it's the principle of the matter. Plus, what the hell are you doing trying to jinx the Cubs, planning for clinching games in the playoffs. Now that you've opened that door though, what if the Cubs are in a clinching game five of a series and down 11-2 in the seventh? Do we really have to go without a cold drink to help us through the end?

So here's to you Daley! We all raise our warm beers that we had to stock up on in the seventh inning to you.

OSHA Investigating Brewers For Mistreatment of Employees

I'm not sure to what extent this story is reliable, but in light of the debate here on NQTC about the way the Brewers organization treats its employees, I am reprinting the whole thing from Wrigleyville23:
WASHINGTON - Federal officials confirmed late Wednesday that the Occupation Safety & Health Administration is launching an investigation into a Milwaukee-area employer - believed to be the Milwaukee Brewers - for "willful disregard for employees' health and safety."

OSHA did not disclose the name of the company, but two sources at the Department of Labor who spoke on the condition their names not be used said the employer under investigation is the Milwaukee Brewers.

"We have received repeated complaints from employees about unsafe working conditions," one source said. "I don't want to pre-judge the case, but it's pretty clear there are some issues with this employer."

One of the employees at the center of the probe is believed to be Yovanni Gallardo, who was involved in a violent collision at a facility in Chicago in early May. Mr. Gallardo was clearly injured but was forced to continue to work that afternoon by his supervisor, according to the incident report. Mr. Gallardo later had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Mr. Gallardo reports being "surprised" to learn he is being asked to report to work Thursday, less than five months after the incident in Chicago. He told local media that he is trying to make the best of it.

"After I saw the doctor and we had a conversation with Dale (Sveum), like I said earlier, wherever they want to use me, whatever the opportunity is. If they want me to start, I'll be able to start. If they want me to come out of the bullpen, whatever it might be," he said Wednesday.

Mr. Gallardo's difficulties are far from the only only incidents involving the Milwaukee Brewers. Three ironworkers were killed during construction of the company's headquarters in 1999, a leaky roof repeatedly created unsafe working conditions in 2002, and a malfunctioning fryer at a concession stand outside Section 427 burned three employees earlier this season.

Additionally, the investigation also will focus on the handling of CC Sabathia, an overweight employee who has been asked to work extremely long working hours in recent months - leading to fatigue and diminished effectiveness. Mr. Sabathia's former supervisor, Ned Yost, was fired last week. It is not known if the dismissal was related to the pending investigation.

The Department of Labor officials said the investigation likely would take several months.

A Brewers spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
According to the guys at Wrigleyville23, the anonymous Department of Labor people told them this story. Interesting. I wouldn't want to work for an organization that did those things, whether OSHA is investigating or not. Good luck tonight Yovanni, though I would recommend seeing your own doctor next time.

Today's Links--Sleeping With Dusty's Daughter Edition

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mayor Daley Takes His War on Cubs to New Level

Thanks to Big Bri for bringing this to my attention. I noted in the links the other day that the City was asking Wrigleyville bars to stop serving alcohol after the 7th inning in clinching games. It appears Mayor Daley has taken the fight to Wrigleyville. I'm not sure how this is justified and definitely does not reflect well on a city claiming they can host and control millions for an Olympics, but Daley gets what Daley wants:
Bar owners reacted angrily, arguing that customers who don’t get served will get up and leave and never come back.

Daley was not sympathetic.

"Then I’ll have someone buy their place tomorrow. It’s not gonna cost ’em any business. They made enough money all year. I’m sorry. We’re just talking about common sense. That’s all this is. Because I’ll tell you one thing — if that community sees something they don’t like, they will not have a bar. They will not have a liquor license. They will vote it completely dry," the mayor said.
We didn't hear anything about this when the White Sox were making their run. There are some things I like about Mayor Daley, and then there are some I don't. Guess which one this is?

MadTV Parody of Ozzie

The Chicagoist dug this up on youtube. It is hilarious. Trust me you want to watch until the end. There is something about Ozzie's style that is endearing, and then there's the larger part of his style that is just obnoxious. Watch the whole thing, it's pretty funny.

Brewers Blog Bites Back On C.C. Question

Do you sense the sarcasm in this little post from a Brewers blog?
I don't think we should let CC Sabathia pitch anymore guys. He's really throwing way to many pitches. I mean...it's just not that nice. You guys should really think about his future...I mean...we are MAIMING him. The Brewers should be ashamed of themselves.

So in his best interests...we should give him a box of popsicles, and tell him to sit down the rest of the year. We don't need him. We'll thank him for all he's done, and we'll throw Mark DeFilice out there instead.

Because throwing those extra 120 or perhaps 210 pitches to help Milwaukee get to the Playoffs just doesn't seem right. We're overusing him guys. Really. We should be more sympathetic to the big fella. Can you imagine the emotional and physical strain being put on him right now to succeed? I mean...these next couple of starts could make the difference between him getting a guaranteed 136 Million next year instead of just a paltry 122 million.

So for the sake of him...and the sake of his Mother (who I'm sure is thinking her little boy is pitching too much), no more CC Sabathia this year.
If I was a Brewers fan I would want to throw him out there too, but that doesn't mean its not dangerous and foolish.

The Seven Millionth Sign does the Trick: Lions Fire Matt Millen


After presiding over one of the most embarrassing and futile eras in professional sports, Fox Sports is reporting that Detroit Lions President/GM Matt Millen is out in Motown.

Since Millen was hired in 2001, the Lions limped to a 31-84 record and I don't think more than one or two of those wins were on the road. Millen was a model of suck and did a good job ruining the organization through a myriad of bad picks in the draft, in free agency, and in coaching. Did you know the Lions are one of the four oldest teams in the NFL in terms of their players' ages?

For a generation of Lions fans that have seen one playoff win, this is probably their greatest day as Lions fans since, well, ever.

What does it mean for the rest of the division? Nothing, as far as the near future is concerned. But Millen's contract wasn't due to expire until 2010 and most just assumed he wouldn't be fired until then, because I mean, if he wasn't fired already...

So there is hope for a Lions resurgence, but come on, it's the Detroit Lions.

Today's Links--Pitch Count Edition

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Club FETOB (Fans for the Ethical Treatment Of Brewers) Hits Bump In Road

The Brewers might have to go to a
5-sausage rotation if they keep over-
working their pitchers


Well some discussion in the War Room of late has been about whether the Brewers use of C.C. Sabathia this year has been ethical. They are purposely making him pitch extremely high pitch counts in their push for the playoffs, at the possible expense of his future career and health, because they know they will not be able to re-sign him next year. Some stupid shitty Brewers fan (goes by "Deez Nuts" or "Real Stadiums Have Roofs", really clever names jackass) thinks that it is not unethical because "Bob Gibson used to pitch 275 innings a year" back in 1963. Not to say that this is a different era (it is), but that comparison is extremely flawed. On top of that, there is further proof that the Brewers do not give two shits about their players health in their push for a chance to be swept in the first round of the playoffs; from Wrigleyville23:
The Milwaukee Brewers, fresh off working to maim CC Sabathia, have activated Yovani Gallardo. This comes less than five months after he had what was thought to be season-ending knee surgery, which came after being sent back out to pitch by Ned Yost with a torn ACL at Wrigley Field.

Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash says Gallardo is cleared to pitch and there is speculation he could start one of the team's upcoming games. But Gallardo doesn't sound so sure. For example, Brewers.com notes:

Gallardo said his status would hinge on a visit with a team doctor Tuesday evening, but (Ash) said Gallardo was cleared to pitch.

In other words, "Get out there, dammit."

And:

"It's not up to me," Gallardo said. "I just want to be here and help the team out any way that I can. It's going to depend on what the doctor and the trainer say [Tuesday]. ... I haven't swung the bat, I haven't ran the bases, so starting is kind of 'out there.' We'll see. I just hopefully want to go out there and hopefully get a couple innings and help them out."

In other words, "Um, are you sure about this? Did you see what happened to my knee? Maybe we should wait until next year. I'd like to get paid some day."

And:

"As far as pitching, my arm is in shape, so I guess that's pretty good," Gallardo said. "Fielding your position, covering first base, that's the way that [the injury] happened, so that was going to be a little bit of a challenge for me to get over it. I feel confident. It was a main focus to take more [fielding practice] and cover first base."

In other words, "Um, REALLY, ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS???!?? WTF!?? I'D REALLY LIKE TO WAIT!!! THIS FREAKIN' HURTS!!! Really. Ouch."

We'll leave it to Ned Lite to get the last word:

"[Gallardo] is built up enough to do whatever we want from him," Sveum said. "We'll make those decisions as the next few days unfold.

In other words, "Get out there, dammit."
There you have it. Now they are rushing Gallardo back. Bring on the rebuttal Mr. Stadiums Have Roofs. On the other hand, maybe you should wait. You will have a lot of time to think about your response in October while the rest of us are watching playoff baseball.

***UPDATE: Read the comments from Brewers fans on this story about whether they should pitch C.C. on three days rest twice this week. Here's a little taste:

"Pitch CC twice to finish you have to do it, no quesito what do we care if his arm falls off."

"Run CC in to the ground. If the Brewers make the playoffs, anything can happen. Seriously, 2 CC starts, 2 Bush starts, 1 Gallardo start, and 1 McClung start with the expectation of a bunch of guys throwing 2 innings."

Wow.

Hey Ethan, Thanks For Helping Me Flunk Out Of Law School

Thanks to Ethan for the link. You know that addicting photo hunt game on the machine at a lot of bars? Well now the game is on ESPN with NFL pictures. It's addicting, and if I flunk out I'm blaming you Ethan.

Lovable vs. Ignorable

This picture is posted on Luol's Dong with some whining about the Sox not getting any love. Boo hoo. Go Cubs.

Big Ten Week Four Wrap-up



Take a moment and thank God, Allah, Vishnu, Ditka, or whomever you pray to, that the out of conference schedule is over for the Big Ten. Everyone pretty much went with cupcakes to start the year, except for Ohio State, who got frosted by USC.

Ohio State decided to sandwich their match-up with USC with two seemingly easy games against Ohio and Troy. Ohio, Ohio State, USC Trojans, Troy Trojans, Troy Smith...my head is spinning. Anyway, the Bucks struggled against Ohio, and this weekend did the same against Troy. Troy outgained Ohio State for most of the game, but freshman Terrelle Pryor turned it on in the end and the Buckeyes won behind 14 fourth quarter points. Not exactly the start to the season that Ohio State expected, coming off a second straight national championship appearance, fans were ready to win it this year with almost all of their players returning. A sure shot to win the conference before it started, it now looks like three or four teams could challenge them.

Michigan State beat Notre Dame this weekend, shockingly proving Lou Holtz's 11-0 prediction for the Irish wrong. While Notre Dame looked terrible, I didn't think the Spartans impressed much either. Javon Ringer is a great back, but does he really need the ball 40 times against Notre Dame? For a player with injury problems in the past, don't be surprised if Ringer misses some time later this season.

Central Michigan and Purdue proved to be just as exciting of a game as their bowl match-up last season. After CMU scored a late touchdown, the Chips went for two instead of the tying extra point and converted. Purdue wasted no time, with a long kick return and a huge 46 yard touchdown run from Kory Sheets, just 20 seconds after the CMU score. The Boilers won 32-25.

Penn State blew out Temple, causing many to think maybe the Nittany Lions are the team to beat going into conference play. They are 4-0 with no close games. They also beat four of the worst teams in college football. This team is overrated.

Minnesota beat Florida Atlantic, Northwestern held on to beat Ohio 16-8, Iowa lost a close one to Pittsburgh, and Indiana was embarrassed by Ball State.

Barkley v. Barney

I don't know if anyone remembers this, but I found this video via BDL. I would say that Barney's defense is a bit suspect, but that's just me.


"Merkle's Boner" Key To Last Cubs World Series; Who's Boner Do They Need To Win It In 2008?


According to this memorial he was "potent" and
"agile", but no mention of his boner anywhere...

I consider myself a huge Cubs fan but I have never heard of "Merkle's Boner". Apparently in 1908, some guy named Merkle dicked up a September game for the Giants which led to the Cubs winning the World Series:
Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the controversial play that landed Merkle on the short list of baseball's all-time goats. The beneficiaries were the Cubs, who without "Merkle's Boner" almost surely would not have gone on to win the 1908 World Series.

If not for the young New York Giants infielder, the Cubs' last title would have come in 1907, and their century of futility would have been acknowledged, if not exactly celebrated, last year. Instead they have played the 2008 season against the backdrop of a century without a championship, which attaches a certain urgency to the playoff campaign that gets under way next week.
The actual story of the greatest boner in Cubs history is an interesting one, so feel free to click the link and read the whole thing. Who's boner will save us this year? My guess is Zambrano has the biggest, but DeRosa, Edmonds, and Soto have got to be in the running.

Today's Links--Robbin' The Sex Cannon Edition

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bears Lacking in the "Artillery" Department


Bring back the Cannon!!!

If I'm going to watch the Bears lose, it better come with a side of hilarity in the form of the Sex Cannon. Orton is just so boring. Sure, he'll make a good throw now and then, but where are the interceptions twenty yards over the nearest receiver? Where are the fumbles that leave you in suspense during the first couple and rolling in laughter after the next three?

Seriously, I don't need to watch the Bears put up 17 points per week with the defense and special teams setting them all up and no Cannonage in the offense. We can watch Orton throw screen passes to defensive ends or Sexy Rexy sling bombs to safeties turned punt returners. Personally, I don't see a debate.

Bring back the Cannon and put the funniliungus back in the Bears offense.

Everyone Knows Ballplayers Never Cheat on Their Wives, So Who is This Young Lady?

Deadspin is reporting that Alfonso Soriano has a little squeeze on the side, even though he's married. Apparently her name is Keri Wiesen and she has a facebook page visible to people in the Chicago network.

She's a looker. Way to go Fonzy.

Sun-Times Calls For Tillman's Head...Literally

I hate sportswriters that just write for shock value instead of actually covering the team. Well Mike Mulligan of the Sun-Times is one of those writers. Everyone saw what Tillman did yesterday, coming to the aid of his teammate that was under attack. Trueblood of the Bucs tried his best to snap our D-lines' necks, literally. While what Tillman did was foolish, it is at worst something he should get a slap on the wrist for. The Bears bleww plenty of opportunities that game. Here's what Mulligan thinks:
The coach must be feared in the NFL. Players have to know that one dumb, costly, selfish mistake can mean the loss of a starting job or a chunk of their paycheck or public humiliation. Fear is a wonderful deterrent. And the time has come for Bears coach Lovie Smith to put some fear into his team and punish cornerback Charles Tillman, whose absurd personal foul in overtime Sunday effectively cost the Bears a game.

Yeah! Lets suspend him or chop off his hand or something. That will show him not to stand up for his teammates anymore!

Today's Links--Clinch Edition

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who Doesn't Like to Watch Stadiums Explode?

Sunday Night Exploding Stadium Featurette; Say goodbye to the Miami Arena, former home to the Heat and the Panthers (Hockey apparently):

Random Fan Thinks We Were Better Off With The Sex Cannon

I have no idea how I stumbled on this, but Bleacher Report has a story submitted by a fan as its cover story for the Bears titled "Bears Can't Win Like This With Orton". It's a short article thatmakes some interesting points. I'm a former Sex Cannon lover, but I still don't agree with this, but it is funny:
"Yes, Rex Grossman gave me heart palpitations during his brief tenure as the starting quarterback. Yes, he really did not do anything to set the world on fire in the preseason. However, and I've said this all along to anyone who would listen: Grossman can make throws Orton can't.

Case in point- Orton missing Wide Receiver Marty Booker late in the game. I'll put myself out on the limb and say the Rexy doesn't miss that throw. He may throw 2 into double coverage earlier in the game, but he makes that throw.

Remember Rex hitting Rashied Davis in overtime to set up Robbie Gould's game winning Field Goal in overtime against the Seahawks in the playoffs? Those are the kind of plays that ultimately sealed Grossman's fate, due to the simple fact that they were not readily duplicated enough to offset the terrible interceptions he threw.

Orton doesn't have it. For all the accolades of being a great game manager, Orton simply doesn't posess the skills to produce quick scores. Jim Miller was a good game manager. Brian Griese (ironically the Bucs starter this week) was a good game manager. How many playoff games did they win?

For all his shortcomings, all Rex Grossman did was take a team to the Super Bowl.

When did that stop being enough?"

I don't know who will end up winning us more games in the long run, but its just too painful to watch Rexy throw into triple coverage so often.

Prediction: Bears 17 Bucs 13

Saturday, September 20, 2008

CUBBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Just got back from the game. Unreal atmosphere. This is great but we have a lot of work to do. Go Cubs!

Sam Smith Is Writing About The Bulls Again

Quick weekend link from HoopsHype. Sam Smith talks about the Ben Gordon situation.

Tigers And Indians Forget They Aren't Playing For Anything, Then Brawl Over Nothing

If you're a White Sox fan, you are a little nervous about the Twins catching you for the division. In general though, you're pretty confident that they have a good shot to close this thing out. If you're a Tigers or an Indians fan, you probably stopped watching baseball about a month ago. I guess someone forgot to tell the players that these games don't matter though. This happened last night:

LaTroy Hawkins Wants To Tell Bud Selig Something Via T-Shirt Campaign

The boys over at Wrigleyville23 pointed this little nugget out. Apparently the Astros are angry they had to play the Cubs in Miller Park because of some sort of storm they had down in Houston. In an effort to express this anger, former Cub "great" LaTroy Hawkins launched a little campaign against Selig:
Just in case Bud Selig doesn’t know he’s a despised figure to the Astros, a few of the players and even one coach wore black T-shirts on Thursday expressing their feelings about the commissioner’s order to play the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee’s Miller Park a day after Hurricane Ike hit Houston.

“We survived Ike,” the back of the shirt read in red lettering atop a drawing of the radar impression of the eye of the storm.

On the front, it read: “Bud killed us,” over a red drawing of the commissioner’s bust.

The Astros were upset at Selig’s decision to force them to play the Cubs at Miller Park on Sunday and Monday while their friends and family dealt with Ike’s aftermath.

LaTroy Hawkins is a whiny baby, but this is a very strange way of trying to show it. I'm sure Bud Selig is sitting in his mansion sipping champagne and thinking, "boy those t-shirts are right, I really was a dick to the Astros".

On another note, LaTroy Hawkins still plays baseball? Since when is he on the Astros? That guy sucks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prince Fielder Bids Adieu to the NL Central Division Race in the Classiest Way Possible

Before I go do weekend things, here's a little something to send you on your way. Good riddance to you as well Mr. Fielder!

George Brett Shits His Pants At Least Twice a Year

Just watch the video. It's hilarious.


***UPDATE: Apparently this video is unavailable now. Some sort of copyright deal. Sorry to those that didn't get to see it. It was truly amazing. George Brett shits his pants a lot, but you'll just have to take my word for it from now on.

Ben Sheets Career Arc=Kerry Wood's Career Arc....Except for Woody's 4 year $44 Million Deal

Rumors and Rants has written an article comparing Kerry Wood's career to Ben Sheets career so far. It is an interesting analysis and can be read here. The main statistical camparisons are interesting to see though:

Keep in mind that Sheets is currently in his eighth year, while Wood is
in his 10th

-Wood’s career record is 76-61. Sheets is 86-82.
-Wood has 11 career complete games and 5 shutouts. Sheets has 18 complete games and 4 shutouts (3 of which have come this year).
-Wood’s career ERA is 3.66. Sheets’ is 3.71.
-Wood’s career WHIP is 1.25. Sheets comes in at 1.20.
-Wood’s highest single-season strikeout total was 266 in 2003. Sheets’s
best mark was 264 in 2004.
-Sheets has allowed 159 career home runs. Wood has given up 131.
-Wood is clearly the less hittable of the two, as batters hit just .215 off him, as compared to .255 for Sheets. But Wood has also issued 576walks, compared to just 311 for Sheets.
-And Sheets, in two fewer seasons has run up a total of 1,425.2 innings pitched, compared to 1,214 for Wood.
-After Wood’s fifth season (2003) he has not topped 200 innings. Since Sheets’ fourth season (2004), he has not logged more than 200 innings either. He was on pace to do so this year (196) but now it seems unclear as to whether or not he’ll get that chance.

The only thing missing from this is Woody's 4 year 44 million dollar deal. Oh and the fact the Wood became a dominant closer. Will Sheets follow suit and sign a huge contract, then bust, then come back as a closer? We'll see.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today's Links

Thursday Night Football Live-Board


Yeah that's right, there are only three people on right now, but we're enjoying us some Thursday Night Football and taking advantage of the new message board. Might as well join us...creepy moped guy is gone. Kind of.

Mo-ped Mo' Problems


2008 has been the year of the DUI in Big Ten footall. Ohio State and Michigan have notably suspended players for DUI arrests. Now a bit of an uproar and high-horsemanship has followed the lack of action taken by Bret Bielema when linebacker Jonathan Casillas was arrested for DUI on August 24th. Beilema said he had already punished Casillas and he would miss no game time for the incident. "Jonathan, come on out and get your whoopin."

I really don't care about the lack of suspension and University of Miami-like discipline from Bielema. What I do care about is how Casillas picked up the citation. Casillas was drunk, while operating a moped, with a passenger! A moped! A passenger! The horror! This is the kind of gold you only stumble upon at most once per decade right? The Badgers wish it was so.

We travel back to 2006, almost two years ago to the day. Wisconsin linebacker Elijah Hodge leaves the athletic training facilities in Madison, and figures he needs to get home somehow, right? As luck would have it, sitting right outside the building was....you guessed it, a moped. Hodge stole the hog and shockingly got caught.

That's two moped incidents in two years for Wisconsin. What the hell is going on there? I'd be careful driving your new vehicle next time you visit Paul.

Your Big Ten Weekend Outlook


Not a whole lot of noteworthy action in the Big Ten this weekend. Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan have the week off. The biggest game on the schedule is probably Notre Dame at Michigan State, which gives you an idea of what we're dealing with. MSU has looked pretty good so far this year, as they usually do pre-meltdown. As long as they don't go all University of Michigan and hand the game to the Irish, this should be a Spartan win.

Iowa travels to Pittsburgh Saturday, in what probably looked like a good game when they scheduled it. Even though Iowa is off to a good start this season, neither team is worth watching, and even this game should enduce a mild coma.

Purdue and Central Michigan are going at it in a rematch of last year's Motor City Bowl, which Purdue won in a shootout. I've always thought "shootout" was a glass-half-full word. What really happened in that game was that neither team decided to play any type of defense.

I heard a story this weekend about an Indiana fan who was really geared up for the game against Ball State this weekend. I don't understand. Is this a rivalry game? The Letterman school right? Is Indiana football still in the Big Ten? What's a Hoosier? So many questions.

In other action, or lack thereof, Minnesota hosts Florida Atlantic, Northwestern plays Ohio, Penn State plays another doozy in Temple, and a week after being embarrased by the men of Troy, Ohio State plays...Troy. If you plan on watching Big Ten college football this weekend, you'd better be drinking.

Charles Barkley Talks; Everybody Listens

Thanks to Judd for sending me this link. Normally something like this would just go in the Daily Links for you to peruse, but it's too good not to get its own post. Top 50 Charles Barkley quotes. Among my favorite are:
47. "We better not be doing the Bulls this year. Man, they suck! Bunch of high school kids with $70 million contracts. Damn! I hate my mother for having me too soon."

39. "Every time I think about changing a diaper, I run a little bit harder
and a little bit faster to make sure I can afford a nanny until my daughter's
old enough to take care of that herself."

12. I'd never buy my girl a watch... she's already got a clock over the
stove.

1. After an Olympic Dream Team victory over Angola, in which they won
116-48, Charles got into a physical altercation with a member of Angola towards
the end of the game, afterwards he says: "Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit him
back. Even if it does look like he hasn't eaten in a couple weeks. I thought he
was going to pull a spear on me."
Honestly please read the whole list on the link. It's worth it.

Today's Links

  • Top ten Chicago sports movie moments. This list is hilarious. Personally I think the Blue Chips scene on the South Side should be first.
  • Northwestern is deep at multiple positions. I don't think they will win more than 2 Big Ten games, but we'll see.
  • While we are doing lists, might as well throw this in there. Ty Cobb definitely deserves the award for most legendary baseball asshole.
  • Cubs lost last night to keep the magic number at 4. It sort of feels like no big deal, considering any combination of 2 Cubs wins and 2 Brewers losses clinches for the Cubbies.
  • If the playoffs started today, the Brewers would actually NOT be in them. The wheels have really come off in Wrigleyville North.
  • Bears-Tampa preview. The teams look very evenly matched to me. Hopefully the home crowd gives the Bears an edge.
  • I'm not sure why Richard got the start, but it was the bullpen that actually blew it for the Sox last night.
  • Wait wait wait. I thought Quentin's wrist thing was career-threatening, but apparently he may be back in time for the post-season THIS year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Message Board

Ok everyone. I'm going to give this a shot. To the left you'll notice I've added something labeled "Message Board". Basically it is a chatroom for anyone that wants to discuss Chicago sports, sports in general, or just whatever. I have the ability to delete comments if they are too inappropriate, but I don't foresee that. In fact I'm hoping you all abuse this new feature. Anyways, my intention for it is if we are in front of a computer during a game and can/can't see it on TV we can chat it up on there. It can be for anything else you guys think of too (posting your opinions, starting discussions, etc.). Good luck fucking up this cool new feature. I expect the best from each and everyone of you.

Gay Mariotti Will Not Be Joining Tribune Staff (Thank God)

Ok, ok, I'll stop with the Mariotti crap. I promise. It's just so exciting to hear he won't annoying us in Chicago anymore. This from the Sun-Times:
Mariotti and Tribune "talked about television, about the Internet, about the newspaper,'' he said. Mariotti said that discussions about working for Tribune Co.'s Chicago Tribune newspaper became a stumbling block. "The Sun-Times' lawyer threatened me with a lawsuit in 64-point type. Things sort of stalled,'' he added.
"At one point last week, there were lawyers on both sides looking into this,'' Mariotti said. "It's daunting to put together a deal. This [lawyer's letter] got thrown out in the middle of everything. We both decided that we can't do what we wanted to do.''
Sources at Tribune Co. confirmed conversations with Mariotti had been held, but Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern would only say late Tuesday that "we have no plans to hire Jay Mariotti.''
GOOD RIDDANCE! Please stop trying to come back. We all hate you Gay Mariotti.

We Missed Carlos Zambrano Day!


Did anyone know that Carlos Zambrano pitched a no-hitter the other day? Well guess what? He did! So naturally, Governor Rod Blagojevich declared yesterday Carlos Zambrano Day in Illinois. How did I not know this?

Check out the list of ways to celebrate Big Z Day, my favorite is "punch a co-worker" but there truly are so many possibilities.

Oh well, I guess we'll just have to plan our celebrations in advance for Carlos Zambrano Day on September 16, 2009.

Former Major-Leaguer Rod Allen Tries to Kill a Small Japanese Man

I guess I'm just in the mood to post funny videos today. This is my blog and I'll do what I want. Anyways, Rod Allen gets beaned here in some Japanese League game and he just goes berserk. That little Japanese pitcher runs away so fast he's all the way in deep center field before you can even blink. Hilarious.

Dennis Rodman Wants To "Rock And Fucking Roll"

Here's a little video of Dennis Rodman. This made me laugh out loud. Not only does he ask a girl about her new fake breasts, but he swears, gets a lapdance, and in general acts like a drunken idiot. I have no idea what "Pangea" is that he keeps trying to promote, but I can tell you this: D-Rod's still got it.

Today's Links

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sam Zell=Gordon Gecko; Except For The Part Where He Bankrupts The Tribune





Maybe the Gordon Gecko comparison was premature. Zell is more of a Lex Luthor type.












Well Sam Zell is at it again. This time the real estate mogul is being sued by shareholders from the Chicago Tribune. The complaint alleges that:
"...since completing his takeover of the Tribune Company last December, Zell’s actions and public statements have damaged the reputation and business of the company. According to the complaint, through both the structure of his takeover and his subsequent conduct, Zell has diminished the value of the employee-owned company to benefit himself and his fellow board members."
A bad businessman and a dick? Sounds like a real American hero. It's hard to stay mad at this guy considering how the Cubs are doing. On the other hand, he has nothing to do with the current incarnation of this team. According to sources he is even trying to bring NQTC favorite Jay Mariotti on board at the Tribune. Gross. What a douche this guy is. Thanks to Ethan for the link.
Let's just say this plays right into the theory over at Cuban and The Cubs that Zell is not exactly an angel. They really hate this guy, by the way.

Today's Links

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zambrano's No-Hitter On Video

As most people know, I was at the game last night. My friend Scotty was there with me and he taped the last pitch and the ensuing insanity. It's a night Cubs fans will never forget. Here's the video:

Finally Y-ousted

Real Stadiums Have Roofs is chiming in today with his take on the firing of Ned Yost and other Milwaukee Brewers news. Nothing posted in this space reflects my opinions in any way. Go Cubs!




Former Batting Champion's Cousin To Lead Brewers








The roar you heard from Milwaukee today was not the sound of the droves of Cubs fans cheering on the most overrated and overpriced team in the nicest ballpark on Earth (miller) . Instead, that roar was in response to the only decent news Brewers fans have had in two weeks. In a move that should be surprising only in that it came 385 days too late, the axe finally fell on Brewers manager Ned Yost.

After going 20-7 in August and starting September with a 5 ½ game lead in the wild card, Yost who just so happens to share three letters of his last name with ‘lost,’ flubbed and tinkered with lineups and relievers until the Brewers’ miserable 3-11 start to September completely erased their sizeable wild card lead. This September debacle comes on the heels of a similar collapse last year, when the Brewers blew an 8 ½ game division lead and finished two games in back of the Cubs.

While there is plenty of blame to be passed around, see e.g., Ben Sheets and his injury which is seemingly obvious to everyone but him and Yost, Hall’s and Weeks’ inability to hit and field, Doug Melvin inking Jeff Suppan’s fat contract, Craig Counsell’s roster spot, and mostly Prince Fielder’s failure to maintain a decent weight or field his position resulting in losing Gallardo for the season as well as the former MVP’s inability to hit with men in scoring position, as the manager of a young and indisputably talented team that folded down the stretch in what could be two consecutive seasons, Yost deserves the lion share of the blame. Whether it was leaving relievers in too long, pitching Brian Shouse against Pat Burrell, pitching Gagne at all, promoting Craig Counsell from batboy to everyday player, or batting the best hitter in the league in the five hole, Yost often refuses to put his team in the best position to win games and that becomes especially apparent when they need wins the most.

The only non-bright spot from Yost’s firing is that he didn’t take Doug Melvin with him. Whether this move is enough for the Brewers to turn their September around and make the playoffs remains to be seen, the firing does, however, virtually guarantee six wins against the Cubs down the stretch and makes the Crew National League front-runners for years to come.
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