Monthly Archives: April 2016


· Joe Sez, News · , , ,


For a loud mouthed guy from Chicago, I’ve been conspicuously silent since Curt Schilling threw his wild pitch the other day. The missus asked me if I could be like that more often … and on stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with Schilling, or gas station bathrooms in North Carolina. That reminds me: Mets fans, please don’t eat the urinal cookies.

As far as ESPN brooming Schilling, I look at it in kinda the same way the Cubs handled that human IED, Carlos Zambrano; no shortage of talent, but a total friggin’ disaster waiting to happen. And eventually, it did. Ka-BOOM! To ESPN, Schilling had become a problem that had to be dealt with. But ESPN’s real problem is they’ve got too many lawyers, and not enough nuts. What ever happened to “The opinions expressed by whoever are not necessarily those of this station or its management?” Plus, it’s not like he walked onto the Monday Night Baseball set wearing high heels and a pencil skirt to make his point. He reposted a tasteless photo — yes, it was tasteless — on his personal Facebook page, with his own commentary. The hypocrisy at ESPN is staggering. They flush Schilling, but still fawn over serial hole-chaser (of the non-golf course type), Tiger Woods, like he’s the Dali friggin’ Lama.

Still, a really big part of me (no, not the part surrounded by my 44 inch belt) thinks that sportscasters, athletes, movie stars, musicians and the like oughta stick to what they get paid for and keep their friggin’ mouths shut when it comes to other stuff. I mean, just because someone “pretends” for a living, and maybe even got a shinny gold statue for it, doesn’t mean they know ka-ka about global warming. It’s ok that they have opinions, just like everybody else. But using fame to broadcast them is obnoxious. As if all us little people are sittin’ on pins and needles breathlessly waitin’ to hear George Clooney’s thoughts on foreign policy. Clooney oughta concentrate on not sucking as an actor. Likewise, baseball commentators oughta comment on baseball, and stow their wisdom when it comes to health care, the minimum wage and who’s lives matter. Just my 2 cents.

The real crux of the issue here — and why I’m pulling my own “Schilling” — is something no one is talking about. So I’m gonna talk about it, pallie! It’s science; that inconvenient thing that gets in the way of hysteria (and, in my case, going to med school).

I’ll say right here that the sum total of my science knowledge wouldn’t fill a rosin bag. But I know enough to understand why a curve ball curves, what evolution is, and where Pamela Anderson’s body came from. The primary contention in Schilling’s Facebook post — that “a man is a man no matter what they call themselves” — just so happens to be supported by DNA and those annoying little X and Y chromosomes. It is, according to science, biologically impossible to change genders, unless you’re one of those fish I’ve seen on the Nature Channel. Dr Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital says, “Claiming to be a woman when you have the chromosomal and anatomical structures of a man does not make you such. You’re still a man no matter what you think or how you dress.” 

And on a totally practical note, anyone who’s ever been to the mens room in a ball park would know why you don’t want men going into the ladies room. Men are notoriously bad shots. It’s like they’re trying to christen the floor! And half of ’em don’t wash their hands after. Think about that the next time you’re at Wrigley and there are 7, beer chuggin’ guys between you and the hawkers. Best get your pretzel in the concours, my friend.

To wrap this up, I’d guess the average person coming unglued over Shilling’s controversial Facebook post, is the same one megaphoning about global warming — and defends the position on the latter by saying science backs them up. My question, then, is this: Why doesn’t science matter in Schilling’s case?


PS. Met’s fans, remember what I said about the urinal cookies.


· Joe Sez, News · ,


This play has been making the rounds on social media like Yasiel Puig just cured cancer and balanced the federal budget. On the same day. Most every comment I’ve read makes this throw — which, I admit, did nail the guy at third — into something other-worldly; like God himself breathed some sorta biblical power into Puig’s arm. My charitable side, if I had one, would assume these guys never saw Roberto Clemente, Fred Lynn or Reggie Jackson throw a ball from the wall — not 20 feet inside the warning track— to nail a guy at 3rd or home. Happened all the time, my friend, and I saw plenty of them myself. Even Chicago’s own hero-turned-juicer, Sammy Sosa, woulda made that throw better than Puig.

I saw Puig’s throw the night it happened. Who didn’t? ESPN and every other jock sniffer on the planet ran it to friggin’ death. Hell, Jennifer Aniston could walk down Michigan Avenue stark-friggin-naked and she wouldn’t get that kinda coverage. (By the way, if she ever does that, I’ll be checkin’ off number 3 on by bucket list.) But like I said, I can’t argue with the end result; Puig nailed the guy. It’s the way his throw was characterized — by sportswriters, no less — that’s chaffing my backside. It was called “a laser” to third. A laser? Look … I may be closer to a Christian Scientist than a rocket scientist, but I’ve seen enough Star Trek to know that lasers don’t come in “rainbow”, which is exactly what that throw was, pal. If I didn’t know better, I might have thought the game was in St Louis with that kinda arch.

Anyway, while we’re busy dipping Puig’s arm in bronze and adding a wing to Cooperstown to keep it in, let’s try not to crap all over the guys that perfected the art of the cannon shot from deep right center. Have a little respect for the game, and the guys that made it great by doing the impossible, not just flippin’ bats and shit.



· Joe Sez, News · , , ,


Of all the mind-numbing things that I couldn’t possibly care less about, we have the 4,327th reason why baseball kicks football’s ass; Deflategate. Does anybody with an IQ higher than a door knob really give 2 craps if a little bit of air was sucked outta some footballs 2 Super Bowls ago? That’s like still arguing about a bad call at second base in a 11-0 game from 2014. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we’ve added 2 or 3 trillion dollars to the national debt over that period of time! A stark raving lunatic or a pantsuit-wearin’ pathological liar are likely to be president! And the Cubs are the hottest team in baseball! But the geniuses at NBC think we should care about a little air in some balls?! Gimme a break.

Who is it that makes these decisions? I swear, if you could wire together the brains of everybody in the NFL and everyone sittin’ above the mezzanine level at 30 Rock, you couldn’t power a 10 watt light bulb. If Roger Goodell and Tom Brady wanna keep swinging their itty bitty man parts at each other, I say let ’em. But do we really need to hear about it on the national news? Cuz if we do, maybe we should also get the Wenatchee River steelhead count, and live coverage of the Cheese Rolling Festival in Brockworth. It’s not news, people.

I guess if you’re a Patriots fan, maybe you think it’s news. But if you’re in that part of the country, I’ve got some news for you; IT’S FRIGGIN’ BASEBALL SEASON! You should be thinking about Big Papi, Pedey and the Sox. Or at least Gisele, who is like a set of those special radial tires; “all season.” So, puh-leeeeeeeeze, can we bench the Deflategate noise already? Nobody gives a crap.



· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez ·


The Brewers will be stinking up Wrigley starting tomorrow, my friend, which means it’s time to get ready … or, uh … get up for the game, so to speak. Now, if I was former Cubs cannon-armed, superstar-turned-jagoff Sammy Sosa, this would involve needles and some cork. But seeing as how I’m just your average fat guy from Chi-town, I got another — and I hasten to add, superior — way to make sure I’m game ready for the Brewskis on Tuesday night. That is … I plan on doing my best Joey Chestnut imitation at Hot Doug’s while jiggling both of my chins and my 6-pack* to the best food song ever. This tends to help me find my game face. Not to mention my game gut.

Then, after the missus has brought me home from the emergency room, I like to put the Laverne and Shirley intro credits on “loop” and play it over and over until it’s time to leave for the ballpark. This reinforces why I can’t friggin’ stand the Brewers (as if the fact that Bud Selig used to own them isn’t enough).

Anyway, whatever your ritual is, like stickin’ pins in a Ryan Braun doll, wearing a thong (it worked for Giambi), polishing your dog, shaving your forearms … Whatever. Just be ready. And when you’re at the yard, and you happen to bump into those morons wearing Brewers gear, remember the words of my sainted Mother: “If you can’t say anything nice, be sure and say it to a Brewers fan.”


*A true 6-pack, by the way, ain’t the kinda shaved, metrosexual 6-pack you see gawking at you through the windows at Abercrombie. It comes from actually CONSUMING vast quantities of 6-packs. Preferably of the Old Style persuasion.


· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez ·


I’m a really superstitious guy. I don’t walk under ladders, if I see a black cat I turn and go the other way, and I never ever change my underwear in the middle of a winning streak. (Already been a little crispy a few times this year.) Because of this, I normally wouldn’t want to tempt the curse of the goat by talkin’ about the start the Cubs have pounded out this season. But I’ve sat back in the Barcalounger as long as I can, pal, so — Schwarberless and all — I gotta point out the obvious fact that the Cubs are the friggin’ class of the sport of baseball this year. (Which is the real Sport of Kings, not horse racing, like most people think.)

And although we got a taste of our own medicine yesterday by lettin’ Cincinnati lay a little of the old Red Machine on us, today we hung another 9-spot on ’em, taking the last game of the series, makin’ it 6 outta 7 against them so far. That means our 14-5 record is the best of any team in baseball. Thee best. The top. The Mona Lisa, baby. It’s also one of the best starts in the long, agonizing and painful history of the Cubs. Anyway, it got me wondering what other kinda great starts there have been — ones that are worthy of being on the list with the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Alright, here’s what I got:

Best start to a book:

My first instinct is to go with, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” If you’re not familiar with that one, you must be a White Sox fan.

Up for consideration would also be, “Call me Ishmael.” When Melville wrote Moby-Dick baseball hadn’t been invented yet, but that 3-word opening is both quick and memorable; exactly like any game Arrieta throws. Spooky.

Then there’s Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities opens with, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” If that isn’t the most accurate distillation of what it’s like to be a Cubs fan, I don’t know what is. my friend.

Best start to a movie:

“A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …” I don’t think you can top that for a non-baseball movie.

But really, what’s better than Annie Savoy’s monologue in Bull Durham? “I believe in the church of baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there’s one hundred and eight beads in a Catholic rosary and there’s one hundred and eight stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance.” Seriously … it’s spiritual and it’s about baseball. Perfect.

I gotta throw in “Casino Royale”, too. Not the bozo one from 1967; the one with Daniel Craig and that human loli-pop, Eva Green. That opening … where we see how Bond gets his license to kill, is awesome. But they easily coulda just shot 5 minutes of Eva Green sittin’ in a gunny sack and it woulda been hands down the best opening of any movie. Ever. Period. Woulda melted a lot of projectors, though.

Best start to a song:

This is a tough one because there are so many songs with killer openings. My count is 24, but I trimmed the roster to my best 5 starters for this. As much as I worship at the altar of Eddy Van Halen, I gotta put AC/DC on top of the sheet music with Back in Black. That’s the musical version of DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak; ain’t nobody gonna top it.

After that I put Eruption, then Beautiful Girls, both by Van Halen. I consider them 1 song, with the former being the long intro into the latter.

Guns ‘n’ Roses’ live version of Welcome to the Jungle is totally electrifying, and it would contend with Back in Black if my rules allowed the music video as part of the deal. But, in my mind, that would be like havin’ a Designated Hitter, and you know how I feel about that. So … 3rd place.

Led Zeppelin had 4 songs in my top 24. I’d guess most people would go straight to Stairway to Heaven as Zeppelin’s No. 1 but, to me, the killer opening belongs to Good Times Bad Times. It gets added votes, too, because of the fact that the title is the perfect description of what it’s been like to be a Cubs fan. Can’t say that about Stairway to Heaven, but I expect I’ll be able to after the World Series this year.

You gotta put School by Supertramp in there somewhere. A classic, at number 5. And, again, the title reminds me of exactly where we’ve been taken the rest of baseball this year.

I’m leaving off The Doors, Buddy Guy, The Stones, Cream, Elton John, Pink Floyd, The Pretenders, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Who, Steely Dan, The Romantics, ZZ Top and Rare Earth. But everybody’s gotta trim the roster eventually.

Best start to a chess match:

I know as much about chess as the Atlanta Braves know about baseball, but experts will tell you that the Ruy Lopez, or Yugoslav Attack, or Sicilian defense (whatever any of those are) are some of the best. Me? I gotta go with the Stonewall Attack. Of course I picked it cuz I like the way it sounds, which is kinda like pickin’ a ball club cuz the shortstop is cute (a girl thing). But, like I said, I don’t know jack about chess.

Anyway, that’s what I got; a bunch of amazing starts that are worthy of being mentioned along with the 2016 Cubs. And for any of you who think I just jinxed us, you can bite me.