Monthly Archives: July 2016


· Joe Sez, News · , , ,


Hey there, weed eaters. I got a question for ya: What the hell is it with the Robin Leach plans for Wrigley Field? Excuse me all to friggin’ hell for just bein’ a baseball fan instead of a Rolls Royce drivin’, C-suite fancy pants with $1000 bills hangin’ outta my pockets, but I guess that just ain’t good enough for Tom Ricketts anymore.

Hey, I’m grateful as hell that Tom-Tom wrestled the Cubs away from the pinheads at the Trib, and has turned the club into something that has less than zero resemblance to the National League door mat it used to be. Major kudos for that, Mr Ricketts. The Schlombowski’s thank you. But plans are in the works to turn parts of Wrigley into some sorta private yacht club for the single malt sippin’ rich and famous, and they’re wedged into my craw like a friggin’ 2 x 4. That whole way of thinkin’ is a slippery slope, my friend. It gives me an Old Style headache — one that can only be relieved by blowin’ the foam off my medicine.

I suppose I should be happy that Wrigley hasn’t gone the way of the wrecking ball. If it had, not only would the best ball park in the galaxy be just a memory, but we’d now have a “kinda” ball park as it’s replacement. “Kinda” ball parks are places like AT&T, or PNC, that kinda seem like an old baseball park, and kinda have some of the idiosyncrasies ($10 word bonus for Joe) of an Ebbets or Crosley or Comsky or Fenway, but they’re just Kingdome’s in disguise. No one is happier than me that we’ve still got Wrigley in it’s almost original form. And some of the changes over the years have been good. As hard as it was to take at the time, I know we had to do the lights. It was a must. And the clubhouse? Sheesh. You can’t treat million dollar ball players like circus animals, especially now since they don’t play like ’em anymore. But not every change is for the better, pal.

Under Armor logos in the Ivy, for instance. I’m sorry, but Wrigley’s ivy walls are sacred. Or were. Puttin’ advertising on ’em is like farting in church, or takin’ a leak on the Magna Carta. Seriously, was that necessary? How much could that possibly add to the revenue stream? And the jumbotron. Yeah, every park has ’em and, quite frankly, I like seein’ instant replay. Still, for me the jumbotron is an extension of all the other crap that’s invaded the between-inning break. It’s as if ball clubs are afraid we’re gonna head for the turnstiles if there isn’t some obnoxious music breakin’ my ear drums, or videos of some fat guy dancin’ every second the ball isn’t in play. It’s supposed to be a ball game, not a friggin’ Chuck E. Cheese.

I know I’m in the minority on this stuff, but I don’t really give a crap. I’m of the opinion that Wrigley is part of the history of Chicago, if not the entire US of A, and because of that I think it oughta be treated with a little more respect, and with a nod to the undying loyalty of the average SOB that used to skip work to take in day games. That’s right. Where were the well-heeled back in the day (year before last) when the Cubs woulda had a hard time beatin’ the Sheboygan Little League All-Stars? Not at Wrigley. But now … oh yeah … now it’s cool to be a Cubs fan. And it’s gonna be so much cooler to be of the Premier class, not just the riff-raff in steerage. Can’t say it’s rubbin’ me in a way I like. The more management shoves us into the archives and turns Wrigley into a place where only bankers and lawyers can afford to go, the more I feel the sting of Tom Ricketts backhand.

I suppose season ticket holders have the right to the kinda stuff they feel oughta come with that sorta cash outlay. But where does it stop? Gold-plated cotton candy? Champagn-dipped curly fries? Personally, I care a whole lot more about the product that’s on the field than whether my Chicago dog is made outta Wagu beef or not, and I think the true Cubs fan agrees with that. It’s a baseball game, not a night club. Braggin’ about Wrigley’s room service treatment and doily-covered seat cushions isn’t about bein’ a fan. It’s about keepin’ up with the Trumps. Me? I’ll take the Joneses and the cheap seats any day.




· Joe Sez, News · , , , ,


Hey there, pot stickers, Joe “Untouchable” Schlombowski, here. So I was readin’ in the Trib that Chris Correa, the Cards’ former scouting director, was just sentenced to a skosh under 4 years in the slammer for spyin’ on the Stros. This story is so whacked that I’m havin’ trouble knowin’ where to even start. But, hey, I’ll give it a shot.

First, Chris Correa isn’t exactly on par with the Pink Panther when it comes to bein’ a criminal mastermind. I mean if you rob a bank, and you’re wiley enough to get away with it, you end up with a ton of cash. BOOM! Instant payoff. Rocket scientist Correa, on the other hand, hacked into the Stros’ database in order to get his beady little eyes on their draft list, notes on trade discussions, player evaluations and a 2014 team draft board. What the hell is the payoff with that kinda move? Sure, over time, the Cards maybe, possibly, eventually might, sorta, kinda be able to make some minor gains at the expense of Houston, but we’re talkin’ about stuff that typically takes years to develop. And Houston isn’t even in the same league, let alone the same division as the Cards, which if they were it would have the greatest possibility of makin’ a difference. And what does Correra get outta any of it anyway? Maybe a raise if and when enough of it pays off, but … wow … is that a roundabout way of gettin’ ahead.

Second, if you are gonna do your own little Richard Nixon reenactment, why the hell would you target baseball? Now, I could be wrong but it seems like whatever Apple Computer is plannin’ for the new, new thing might … just might … be a little more valuable than the OPS of some 16 year old phenom from Barahona. Yeah, I get it … Correa was in baseball so he was workin’ the turf he knows. But the risk/reward trade off is just too thin. It’s Twiggy on a liquid diet. It’s friggin’ anorexic.

Third, and no offense to the Stros — well, the usual amount, but no more than that — if you’re just bound and determined to partake in corporate baseball espionage, is hackin’ into the Astro’s database where you wanna start? That woulda been like Nixon’s guys breakin’ into the Bethesda Motel 6. If I’m Correa — and thank God I’m not cuz I’d have the IQ of driftwood — I’m hackin’ the Cubs. Why? Look at ’em. Look at the club, the depth, the talent, the farm system. If you get away with it — and I gotta assume that was part of Correa’s plan — why wouldn’t you go after the information that can make the biggest difference for you, both in terms of it face value, and the fact that you’d be takin’ it from your arch-friggin-rival? Nope. Correa goes for the Stros in what can best be described as a pinheadian move of gargantuan proportions.

But then, what would you expect from a Cardinals guy?



· Joe Sez, News · , , , ,


When I got up yesterday, I had a little extra spring in the Schlombowki waddle. It was National Hot Dog Day. As usual, I saluted and checked my condiments. No … the ones in the pantry.

Nothin’ … and I mean NOTHIN’ is better than a hot dog. Except 3 or 4 of ’em. A few dozen more if you’re Joey Chestnut. Anyway, National Hot Dog Day pays tribute to that, honoring the highly under-appreciated and unassuming hot dog as the quintessential American food. It’s waaaaaay more American than apple pie, by the way. When the hell was the last time you saw someone chowin’ down a pie at a ball game? Never, that’s when. Look, when American’s do American stuff, like picnics or a 4th of July BBQ or takin’ in a ball game, hot dogs are on the menu, pal. Period. And if they’re not — if you’re doin’ any of those things without havin’ dogs or brats or polish or whatever kinda encased meat products (the 3 most beautiful words in the English language) that turns your crank, you’re just plain un-american. You could be KGB with an attitude like that. Boris Badenov. Putin.

Hot dogs are actually the perfect representation of America, in a small, 3 or4 bite-sized epicurean way. Think about it — America is made up of all kinds of people (and St Louis fans) from all over the world. Melting pot? Pffft. To me, that’s a hot dog, baby! If you ever saw how they make ’em, you’d know exactly what I’m sayin’. Why? Cuz dogs are made outta all the left over stuff once the fancy cuts have been carved up. So, just like your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free are the ingredients in American soup … your fatty bits, small trimmings and pig lips yearning to be delectable are mushed all together in their own perfect union — the delicious all-American hot dog.

Anyway, I was really lookin’ forward to Chicago doggin’ all day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime snack … the works. It’s a Schlombowski tradition. And, as it turns out, a nutrition tradition. Yeah, seriously. I’m pretty sure hot dogs are a super food. I don’t really know what that means, but they’re food and they taste super, so I’m goin’ with super food. It’s a good thing, like kale … only I’ll eat it.

Turns out that yesterday is also Bastille Day — the day France celebrates its liberation. So I’m thinkin’ to myself how friggin’ awesome it is that the most important day on the French calendar aligns with the most important day for America. Yeah, yeah … I know some of you think Christmas or the 4th or Fat Tuesday are way more important. That’s ok. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. However … you either love hot dogs, or you’re wrong, my friend. Anyway, if it wasn’t France — let’s say Tonga or Rwanda or Cameroon or somethin’ — it wouldn’t raise even one hair in one of my eyebrows. But France? France is some kinda food Mecca. 1) Croissants come from there … 2) everything they cook is slathered in butter … mmmmmm … and 3) the all-time slam dunks of slam dunks; French fries. Now THAT’S a country that knows food.

So we’ve got these two simultaneous celebrations — one about a food nation and another about a nation’s food. It was like some freaky Julia Childish karma kinda thing; an anointing of the hot dog (le hot dog in French) as one of the finest of all chef’s creations, deserving of Michelin stars or linen table cloths or somethin’. By the way, I still don’t understand what the hell tires have to do with food.

And then everything went to total shit.

Some twisted M-F-ing radical Islamic ass-wipe with an 18 wheeler does his sick, murdering Road Warrior thing through one of the main streets in Nice, France during their Bastille Day celebration, killing almost 100 people and injuring Lord knows how many more. This sick F-bucket went on for more than a mile, weaving in and out to try and mow down as many people as possible. Women, children, everybody. To say the least, I lost my friggin’ appetite and, quite frankly, I don’t think I’m ever gonna celebrate National Hot Dog Day again. At least not in the usual way.

What I’d really, really like to do now is make every chicken-shit psycho terrorist a-hole in the world, put on an orange suit, get down on his knees and eat what I call a jumbo DAESH dog. That would be about 6 ounces of C4 shaped like a brat, covered in poopy-flavored relish, metal shavings for onions, and a nice mustard-gas mustard, all packed into a burnt-to-a-crisp bun so it’s black as their friggin’ hearts, and their stupid friggin’ flag. Now that’s what I’d call a National Hot Dog Day, my friend. KA-FRIGGIN-BOOM!

My heart goes out to the people of France. My stomach, too. It’s much bigger. Like everyone else in America (except for the few that are here lurking in the shadows plannin’ similar fun and games for us) I’m saddened by this tragedy and the pain it brings. I wish we could unleash the full force of a Chicago weekend on Syria and Iraq and everywhere else these guys are plotting their assholian carnage, cuz that would pretty much put an end to it. Would be a helluva lot better than doing to ourselves, too.


PS. Sorry about all my French. Seemed appropriate.


· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , ,


If you read between the lines of this piece by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, you might get the impression that havin’ a lot of star power is all that matters in baseball. Funny … All these years I thought it was winnin’ the World Series.

Personally — and I fully admit I’m old school … in fact, I’m more like prehistoric school — I couldn’t give a rat’s hiny if people are buyin’ Bryant’s or Trout’s or Big Papi’s jersey, or if kids are sculpting their heads like a Bryce Harper doll (other than the fact than they look like morons). I’d rather have a team of no-names with Darth Vader’s charisma, but who play the game with a purpose defined by winning, instead of how many Muscle Milk commercials they’re in.

As luck or karma or divine intervention or Theo Epstein’s nuclear-powered brain would have it, the Cubs have both this year — stars and studs. Maybe that’s divine intervention after all. I think Mr Stark is right, the National League, at this point in time, has more Hollywood than the American League.

To which I say, “So the hell what?”

That has about as much to do with goin’ home with the hardware as the color of your tooth brush. And I don’t care who you are … you could be Buster Posey or Robinson Cano or Jesus H. Christ (I think he’s from the Dominican) … winnin’ the Series is the be-all end-all of human existence for ballplayers.

Let’s start off by goin’ back to the 70s, when Mr Stark points out that the stars burned brightest in the National League. Despite that assertion, the American League took the Series 6 times in that decade. Is that a landslide? No. But it’s an indication that buyin’ a guy’s jersey doesn’t necessarily affect the outcome in October.

In the 80s, it was an even split; 5 for the AL, 5 for the Senior Circuit. In the 90s, though, there musta been some kinda eclipse on the Star Effect thing, cuz despite the red carpeted American League, the NL claimed 6 titles. Coulda been worse, too, cuz there was no Series in ’94. Hard to say, on account of the players and owners were too busy crappin’ on each other to do their jobs. (Yeah, my ass is still a little chapped over that one.) Anyway, 6 outta 9 went the other way. From 2000-2009, though, it’s 6 for the Junior Circuit — a bit better than half, so I’ll concede that one. I sorta, kinda, reluctantly also gotta give in on this current decade we’re in, since the National League has taken 4 outta 6, so far, and it’s during that time that Stark says the star quotient has shifted from the Junior to the Senior Circuit. However, I hasten to point out that the 2012 Giants nearly escaped death twice in the playoffs, so I don’t think it was their Hollywood status that got ’em to the Series, let alone helped ’em win. They were like friggin’ White Walkers — nothin’ coulda put them down that year.

Now lemme say right here, that we still got 4 more championships to decide in this decade, and it wouldn’t make me the slightest bit itchy if the Cubs won all of ’em. In which case, I think my argument starts to fall apart a bit. Fine. Bring it on. I’d sooooo rather have the Cubbies sittin’ on top of the baseball world, that have my theory validated.

Hey, and those of you who are sayin’ I don’t understand the game, are full of pine tar. I get that it’s about the money, pallie. That’s been the holy grail since George Steinbrenner bought the Yanks. It’s also why the Friendly Confines aren’t so friendly when it comes to actually goin’ to a ball game. You practically gotta mortgage the brown stone these days. So, yeah, I get the friggin’ money part … and I understand that more money means bein’ able to sign and pay the guys you draft. But seriously, if spendin’ money on star players had anything to do with winnin’ the Series, the Yankees and the Dodgers would have won every one of ’em since 1999. And I think we know how that’s gone.

That’s about all I gotta say, except for these two words: Barry Bonds. Buildin’ a franchise around a star, or stars, because they’re also popular for some reason is about as effective as usin’ Windex to cure cancer. The Giants went that route, and it wasn’t until (speakin’ of cancer) that malingnancy was removed from the clubhouse that they went from bein’ the Giants to the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Three friggin’ times, too, in this decade. They filled their roster with guys you never heard of … until you did. And you did cuz they won. And won again, which had nothin’ to do with how many times they were on Colbert.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m not.



· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , , , , ,


When it comes to All-Star Games, Major League Baseball kicks football’s, basketball’s and hockey’s asses. No question.

And football? Pffft. The Pro Bowl ain’t even played until the season’s over; we’ve slept through a playoff system that includes, like, every stinkin’ team in the league; and nasty Miss Jackson’s boobs have already exploded from her Super Bowl outfit. I mean, after that, who the hell gives a crap about football?

That said, MLB’s All-Star Game ain’t exactly a chew-on-your-fingernails, glued-to-the-chair, don’t-miss-a-pitch event. It’s a vehicle for sellin’ beer and cars and Viagra (Oh … and just for the record, there have been 6 phone calls from the Schlombowski household seeking immediate medical attention, but each has been 100% attributed to the God-given charms of Mrs Schlombowski.) to the average couch potato like me, sittin’ at home takin’ in the spectacle or pageantry or whatever the hell Joe Buck will undoubtedly call it. Point is, the All-Star Game may not be as riveting as the missus, but I haven’t missed one since I was old enough to pee. I have no idea why … I mean, why give a crapola about one game that doesn’t really count and is wedged into the middle of 162 that do?

No clue.

So let’s put things on the Schlombowski Scale and see where the pros and cons net out.

THAT’S PRETTY COOL: In 1939, the American League All-Star team featured 10 guys … 10 friggin’ guys! … from one team; the Yankees. Only 6 of ’em played, but still, that gives you an idea of exactly how good the Yanks were in ’39. This year the Cubs have 7: Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. And except for Lester and Chicago’s very own nudie pitcher, they’re all startin’. Think about that for a minute. The Chicago Cubs have gone from being a team with a token guy on the All-Star roster (cuz you gotta have at least one player from every team — smells like Bud Selig to me) to havin’ 5 starting position players. I’d say that’s pretty damn good. In fact it’s just shy of 1939 Yankees good. Maybe better, cuz the Yanks were already a dynasty in ’39, whereas the only thing the Cubs have ruled over is the National League door mat.

YOU GOTTA BE JOKIN’: The Mid-Season Classic is an exhibition. It doesn’t count. But thanks to one of Bud Selig’s aggravated brain farts (and he had more than one related to the All-Star Game) the game’s outcome decides who has home field advantage in the World Series. If you took all the moronic baseball ideas and stacked ’em in ascending order of stupidity, that one would hold the cherry position, my friend. Yes, it even beats out the White Sox short pants fashion “don’t” from 1976.

Bob Ryan, when he was with The Boston Globe, put it like this:

“So now we have a game that’s not real baseball determining which league hosts Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 in the World Series. It’s not a game if pitchers throw one inning. It’s not a game if managers try to get everyone on a bloated roster into the game. It’s not a game if every franchise, no matter how wretched, has to put a player on the team … If the game is going to count, tell the managers to channel their inner Connie Mack and go for it.”

Look, wing nuts, home-field advantage in the World Series oughta be based on regular season records, not on a friggin’ exhibition game filled with enough “fan experience” bullshit to overload the senses of a Fuller Park police dispatcher. You got the best record, you should have the advantage. Period.

What Selig did in 2003 has impacted the World Series in a ginormous way: the league that won the All-Star Game has won ten of the last 13 October Classics. That’s Perry Mason-like evidence that home field advantage is significant. So why is it decided by something as random as the final score of the All-Star Game? You might just as well just flip a coin cuz they’re both equally arbitrary. How ’bout lettin’ the winner of the Home Run Derby decide who gets home field advantage? Or maybe the 10,000th fan to enter the park? Better yet; a rochambeau between the bat boys.


Plus — and this really winds my weed whacker — when you’ve got Adam Wainwright suggesting that he purposely … PURPOSELY … floated some meatballs to Derek Jeter in his last appearance in the Mid-Season Classic, you gotta question the integrity of usin’ the All-Star Game to decide anything. Except maybe who gets the Douche Bag Award — in this case, Adam Wainwright (a Cardinal, of course).

THANKS, I NEEDED THAT: 162 games is a long season, my friend. Hockey and basketball are long, too, but baseball is ultra-extra long. Biblically long. Football? A whopping 16 games. Doesn’t even deserve a coffee break, pal. A baseball season, on the other hand, is like all 1,037 pages of Gone With the Wind that Mrs Bednarski tried to get me to read in the ninth grade: great, maybe, but too damn long to sit through without an intermission.

So, the break is good. It’s a way of standin’ back and evaluating where you are; lookin’ at what you’re doing right (Cubs: damn near everything on the field) and what you’re doin’ wrong (Cubs: the bullpen, and playin’ dress up on road trips). The All-Star Game gives the whole organization a chance to catch its breath. Or, if you’re the Twins or the Braves, set your tee times for the day after the regular season ends.

By the way, Mrs Bednarski was pissed at me for not finishing Gone With the Wind. Hell, I barely got passed the title cuz it pretty much summed up the Cubs’ post-season chances for all of my first 14 years on the planet. There have been a few hopeful moments since, but I’m not crackin’ that book again until the Cubs are sportin’ rings.

YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS: In 2002, that colossal bobble-head, Bud Selig, decided to call the All-Star Game a tie. I still can’t believe it. You got a collection of some of the best players in baseball playin’ against each other, broadcast around the world, and you decide to have it end in a tie?!! That’s like kissin’ your sister. (Uh … that’s a bad thing, White Sox fans.)

The game had gone into extra innings, so in the middle of the 11th both managers met with the Commish, explaining that they were out of pitching. Instead of doin’ what they’d have to do if they were playin’ A REAL FRIGGIN’ GAME, Selig decided that if the National League didn’t score in the bottom of the inning, the game would be ruled a tie. Are you friggin’ kidding me?! This was the big cheese of baseball layin’ down his Milwaukee bowling league rules on the Mid-Season Classic. Lemme tell you, lugnuts, the fans in Milwaukee were none too pleased. No real baseball fan was happy with that. Yours truly did his best John McEnroe imitation when it happened and spilled an Old Style all over the sofa. Had to get rid of it cuz we couldn’t get the smell out. It was like havin’ Bud Selig in the room. Anyway, that’s gotta be the worst thing that’s ever happened in, at or to an All-Star Game.

WISH I’D BEEN THERE: By contrast, I think maybe the best moment in All-Star game history was in 1941. With the American League trailing by 2 with 2 outs in the 9th, Ted Williams steps up to the plate and swats a 3-run homer to beat the National League 5-4. Of course, he hit it off the Cubs’ Claude Passeau, but, hey … I wasn’t even an itch in my daddy’s pants yet, so it’s not so hard to take that one. Anyway, Williams’ blast was the first of the walk-off kind in All-Star Game history.

But beyond that little factoid, think about the chances of the American League winnin’ that game. Zippo. Well, actually about 20% … but basically that’s zippo. That was an unbelievable shot when the chips were down by arguably the greatest hitter who ever lived. (BA of .406 that year.) If there was ever a meaningful moment in a game that’s 100% meaningless, that was it. Killer.

BAN THAT GUY: In 197o, long before we ever knew what a jaggoff he really was, Pete Rose demonstrated a bit of his assholian inner self when he barreled into Ray Fosse at home, essentially ending the All-Star backstop’s career. Mind you, this was pre-Bud, when the game had no significance whatsoever. It didn’t count, it didn’t matter, the Series home field advantage wasn’t ridin’ on it. It was just a pick-up game filled with ringers. Rose mowin’ Fosse down like an 18 wheeler was the most unsportsmanlike, jackassian display of testosterone I’ve ever seen, but par for the course for Rose. And hey, I totally give that move to him in the regular season and the playoffs. But the All-Star Game? Let’s just say, a Rose by any other name would still stink.

In a “what goes around comes around” sorta way, karma has done it’s a little Riverdance on Rose’s big fat head; the result of his bettin’ on baseball, a strict no-no. So while I was thinkin’ he oughta be banned from the game in 1970 for bein’ a total All-Star douche bag, little did I know that it would actually happen. For me, it was the ugliest moment in All-Star history, cuz a guy’s career was taken from him.

On balance I’d say I’m an All-Star Game fan. Besides, what’s better than another baseball game to break up the baseball season? Nothin’. Especially this year with 25% of the roster made up of Cubbies. Hopefully Rob Womanfred won’t rear his ugly bonehead and decide that we’re over-represented.