As far as the National Anthem snafu in San Diego goes, I’m thinkin’ everybody oughta step back for a moment, un-wad their panties, take a deep breath, count to 10 and get a friggin’ grip on reality before the entire sky (and the rainbow that’s in it) falls to pieces. Seems like one got away from them, rather than a decision on the part of the Padres organization to throw a little chin music at the Gay Men’s Chorus. I mean, seriously, is that something they’d do on purpose?
And how about the reaction by Buster Olney, demanding that MLB “investigate what happened with the National Anthem in SD and, if necessary, come down with full weight of discipline.” Geeze … how ’bout calling out the National Guard, Buster? Maybe a Senate hearing is in order. Perhaps a couple of years in Gitmo for the Padres’ front office. Nobody was kidnapped, held at gunpoint, or had their head chopped off. A little perspective would be nice.
Seein’ as how this happened at a ballgame, I personally think it shoulda been handled the way all bad calls are handled in baseball; The head Chorus guy shoulda got in the face of whoever was runnin’ the show on the field and given him his best Earl Weaver imitation. I mean right in his face — screamin’ and kicking dirt, and yelling at the top of his lungs (which gotta be like Lou Piniella lungs cuz the guy’s in a chorus, after all) and spittin’ on the guy until he got tossed. Woulda made for a much better show, and I’m pretty sure everybody that has anything to do with baseball would be on the side of the Chorus … but in a realistic way, instead of acting like Donald friggin’ Trump.
Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m not.
Take a knee, Cubs-lovers.
So I’m watching Jake spellbind the Giros last night, wondering if he was facing a real Major League team or the consolation bracket in Williamsport, when, during a commercial break, I flip channels long enough to hear two jock-sniffing windbags calling a meaningless game in Boston or New York or You-Take-Your-Pick mention that the Commish is now considering — get this — a proposal from the owners’ competition committee that will do away with the intentional base-on-balls as soon as next year. No, hey, if you’re rubbing the eye boogers from your peepers right now wondering if you just read that right, believe me, I get it. I nose-farted Old Style all over the barcalounger! Oh, and that’s not all, sports fans. They also want to raise the strike zone to the top of the knee, probably because there ain’t a warm body on the planet that can hit Jake this year. Since Alex Cartright spit out is last chew, the only problem with the strike zone is that the boys in blue can’t seem to read it any better than a book of French poetry. Leave it alone, I say.
Let me ask you this, cheese doodles: is there a novocaine drip that leads directly to Robbie Womanfred’s ball bag? He’s pissed cuz the game is taking seven minutes longer this year. Seven minutes? Um, what’s the problem? The fans in Atlanta may not want to endure the pain any longer than they did last year, but at Wrigley we’re real fans who say, the longer the better. Hell, I can savor two more Old Styles and another Smokie in seven minutes! Let’s face it, hammer heads: either you’re a baseball fan, or you’re not. Don’t like being at the yard? Don’t friggin’ go! Besides, it’s not the stuff on the field that chaps my ass. It’s all the commercials and promotions and electronics and other “fan experience” crap required by the average Dodgers fan that brings the game to a screeching halt and sends me into sensory overload. Not to mention instant replay, which I hate as much as Steve Bartman must.
Now that MLB has adopted the NCAA’s sissy, college-boy slide rule, its next act could be simply signaling the intentional walk from the dugout without requiring the pitcher to make four pitches outside the zone. Is it me, or did somebody just fart? Look, pal, if you’re the Atlanta Braves and somehow find yourself in a close game with guys on second and third, one out, and — God, this is hard cuz that bunch of slapdicks doesn’t have a single good hitter — oh, I don’t know … let’s pretend that Chipper Jones is still playing, and Chipper is due up, and you know they’re gonna walk him, and (since we’re pretending) Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams is on the mound. Wouldn’t you want him to throw those four pitches and pray that one gets past the catcher so you could actually win a game? That’s real baseball, Cubcakes, not the cotton candy-suckin’ ballerina puss-chip thing Womanfred wants.
Let’s see, we already have a girly slide rule and a time limit on mound visits, thanks to the Commish. On the horizon is a new strike zone that will be even harder for the Cincinnati Reds to hit. And now we’re going to use the high school rule for intentional walks. That ought to speed the game up.
What’s next, Robbie, seven-inning games?
The Cubs are in San Francisco for the start of a 3 game series with the halloweenies. Given that english is now a second language in California, this probably won’t be necessary, but I’d like to point out right now that Arrieta is Spanish for “no hitter.”
San Francisco’s AT&T ball park — home of the Giants — is where Mr Arrieta will be notching his 8th win tonight. I hate to admit this, but I have a soft spot for the Orange and Black. It’s cuz they so dutifully rolled over for our broom last August, almost single-handedly ensuring the Cubs’ spot in the playoffs. Mind you, this soft spot is very tiny … and it’s not located in my heart, like most soft spots. It can be found on the caboose of my digestive tract, my friend, which always makes me think about Barry Bonds, and is why I’ll never forget who’s soft spot it is.
Excuse me while I meander back over to my original subject — AT&T ball park. I’ve been there a dozen times or so over the years. Meh. You’ll hear people from the Bay Area talkin’ about it like it’s a friggin’ holy shrine to baseball, cuz it supposedly has characteristics of the pre-Astrodome era. Personally, I’d say that if Wrigley is the Friendly Confines, then AT&T is the Hair Salon. It’s all a little to polished and schmick — not that it doesn’t get properly trashed during a game — but it’s missing whatever it is that Wrigley and Fenway have that make you feel like you’ve gone back far enough in time that baseball is still a game. Before free agency. Before ball girls and designated hitters. Before $14 beers, and idiotic mascots, and obnoxious music blarin’ so loud it almost breaks my ear drums. And certainly before Rob Womanfred’s nad-clipping 2nd base slide rule. AT&T sits squarely in the middle of “right now.” It’s a ball park. Nothin’ more, nothin’ less. Where it’s got it over Wrigley, though — and you have no idea how nasty these words taste in my mouth — is the 3 World Series Championships that have been hosted there. Credit where credit is due, pal. Still, the steroid inflated cheat, Barry Bonds played there, which in my mind sorta cancels that out.
They also serve lattés at AT&T. This, my friend, is like servin’ caviar and champaign at the rodeo. I mean you’re there to watch a friggin’ baseball game, not the Yves Saint Laurent fall collection at Fashion Week. This is not to say they don’t put out some damn fine, artery-chokin’ ball park junk food at AT&T. They do. My personal fav; a Sheboygan brat from Doggie Diner on the Promenade level. I recommend takin’ it to where they serve that melted cheese crap, slippin’ a fiver to the staff, and having ’em drown the brat in it. You may have to go to 2 or 3 until you find someone who wants to play ball, but it’s damn well worth it.
Anyway, it’d be real nice of the Giants to do an encore performance of last season’s August series. Might have to write a thank you note to Brian Sabean, Bobby Evans and the rest of those yay-hoos over there if they do. Better yet, I could send ’em a gift certificate to somethin’ like Hot Dougs or Pizzaria Uno, so — with all due respect to everyone who thinks San Francisco is foodie central — they can find out what real food tastes like.
Well, cheese doodles, tonight was either a bona fide come-from-behind, never-say-die, skin-of-the-teeth victory, or a brutally honest look at our bull pen. Depends on how you wanna look at it, but since I have an almost mythical knack for finding the cloud wherever there’s a silver lining, I feel the need to point out the obvious flaw in what seems like a World Series team; our bull pen. Watchin’ them tonight was like eyeballin’ a petri dish coated with some disgusting stuff you can’t pronounce swarming around in random ways you can’t predict. And whatever that stuff is, you don’t want to touch it, and you sure as hell don’t want it wearin’ a Cubs uniform.
All I can say is thank you, God, for Joe Maddon. This was like some sort of baseball experiment tonight, where the Cubs were in a Phase II trial to figure just how comatose they could be and still win. Maddon, though, was the mad scientist, mixing things up in crazy ways, and putting parts where they don’t belong until he effectively willed a win out of what appeared to be a collection of inanimate objects. Seriously … how can the Cubs make like friggin’ Ironman for the first 5+ weeks of the season and then turn into Boy George against one of the worst teams in the league? Boggles the mind.
As good as we’ve been (and we’ve been damn good) and as masterful as Dr Maddon is (like a Casey Stengel version of Einstein … or vice versa) tonight’s showing against the Brewers illustrated with the clarity of a Miller High Life bottle that our bull pen is definitely the weak link in the Cubbies chain reaction. They walked 6 guys. SIX! I thought bull pen guys were supposed to throw strikes. That’s why they get brought in in the first place … cuz the previous guy couldn’t throw strikes. I mean if we wanted to keep walkin’ guys we’d just leave the first guy in, who was doin’ a fine job with that already, Right? Even Wood, who got the win by gettin’ out of a spectacular hole he dug for us, and gettin’ walked himself with the bags loaded, probably woulda had a different outcome if it hadn’t been for some of Maddon’s chess moves.
On the other hand, the Cubbies did come away with a win tonight, even if the bull pen was channeling Mitch Williams most of the time. Question is, what kinda pen do they wanna be? The kind that’s directly responsible for an increase in Chicagoland cardiac deaths, or the kind that inspires the sale of (name of Cubs reliever here) jerseys? We’re gonna find out. No question about that.
If you wanna go by what the New York Post says — and in this instance, why the hell not? — it’s time we got to the bottom (literally) of Bartolo Colon, so we can find out what else the guy might be hiding (besides another woman and a couple of kids). Who knows? Maybe Jimmy Hoffa is in there?
Colon is slated to be on the hill tonight against the Nats. But seein’ as how his two-timing backside was hauled into court Monday by Alexandra Santos, who claims the $7 million-sausage-in-a-uniform is a deadbeat dad, who friggin’ knows? I mean if it were me, there’s no way I could concentrate, but then I have a conscience — something that would keep me outta this kinda pickle in the first place. Colon, on the other hand, plays for the Mets. That and the fact that he’s been HIDING the pickle with someone other than Mrs Colon — and he’s able to sleep at night anyway — mean that a conscience doesn’t come standard on the Bartolo model. (Although 3 or 4 spare tires do.)
Can’t say I’m surprised. He’s a Met (whatever the hell that is) and as a result obviously can’t be trusted. If the Post’s article is true … well … Bartolo’s got some splainin’ to do. Although, I’m not sure Rosanna, his better half — or in Bartolo’s case probably just 15% — really gives a crap. She said she knew all about his other kids. Which means she knows about Ms Santos, too. Not sure why all that’s ok with her, but I’d guess it has something to do with the bank account Big Sexy keeps fully stocked. They sound like they’re made for each other.
Pretty sad for those kids if Colon is actually their father but he’s not willing to step up and support ’em. But hey, like I said, he’s a Met. Not that this isn’t a serious deal, but the funny side of all this is that the child-support case in question is listed on official papers as “Anonymous v. Anonymous.” Because of that, the only reason you, me and the Post found out that Bartolo wasn’t so anonymous after all, was because he’d represented himself in the custody dispute, thus his name was listed as an attorney. Which means Bartolo is not only an alleged dirt bag, he also has a fool for a client.
Joe Anonymous Schlombowski