Roger Ebert, perhaps the best movie critic EVER, died today. A moment of silence, please.
I was thinking that there are some parallels between watching movies for a living (like Mr Ebert did) and being a die hard Cubs fan (like you and me). I mean when you’re being paid to critique movies, you pretty much gotta see the credits roll in every piece of crap Hollywood dishes. And I mean crap with a capital K, pal. How ’bout Hansel and Gretel, or Oz the Great and Powerful? And lemme tell ya, if anyone knew the difference between a good movie and a turd, it was Ebert. How he could sit through stuff like that, I’ll never know. And maybe he couldn’t. There’s a rumor going around that he died from complications resulting from watching A Good Day to Die Hard, perhaps the worst 97 minutes excreted by Hollywood in the last 10 years. And I’m a Bruce Willis fan, for Crissakes!
I’m just saying that having to watch movies all the time, when most of them suck, is a whole lot like watching Cubs baseball games, when most of THEM suck, too. I mean how different is it? You pay waaaaaaay too much to get in, you munch on stuff that’s not good for you (but is deeeeeelicious), and you already know how it’s gonna end within the first 20 minutes.
One and Oh my friends! Feels good to be sure on this fine morning after. Yeah I know, Marmol tried to wreck it for us. Again. More on that later. Let’s just keep the good feeling going for a couple more moments, shall we?
Jeff “The Shark” Samardzija turned in the kind of performance yesterday that makes you think that maybe, just maybe, those first 4 or 5 years when he pitched like a steaming turd were just a fluke. Those fastballs to the backstop … history! Those sliders that got parked in the bleachers … forgotten! It could happen, right? Of course right. Now I will admit that when a guy like Samardzija is a team’s number one Opening Day starter, it worries me a bit. Kind of like putting Mario Mendoza in the clean-up spot. And I also will admit asking myself more than once over the past several years, (usually every 5th day) “Why didn’t he choose football? He was a big football star at Notre Dame after all, so why did he choose baseball? Why, God, oh why?” But I am washing those feelings aside this morning and will live in the 15 watt glow of his fine performance yesterday, at least for another 4 days.
Which brings me to the black cloud that is Carlos Marmol. Seriously, Carlos… THE VERY FIRST FREAKIN GAME OF THE YEAR?!!! Marmol’s like the guy who shows up at your party uninvited, drinks your last Old Style, and then blows chunks all over your Mom’s carpet. Of course he comes from a long line of chunk-blowing closers, so what can we expect? Mel Rojas anyone? Dave Smith? Turk Wendell, Rod Beck, Kevin Gregg? How about the 6 fingered wonder that was Antonio Alphonseca? The Cubs could have their own Crappy Closer Hall of Fame for Chrissakes!
The misses is yellin at me to cheer up. The Cubbies are One and Oh.
The Cubs ended their spring in Ho Ho Kam in a way that reminds us that they are, in fact, the Chicago Cubs. They ended up a couple of games below .500 and blew an 8th inning lead in the spring finale, losing to the Mariners 6-4. Another typical March; in like a lamb, out like a lamb. I hope they can locate some lion from April forward. But I also hope for Hugh Hefner to turn over the keys to the mansion, and everything female in it.
Las Vegas currently has us at 75/1 to win the Series this year. I know that sounds hopeless, but they’ve also got 6 teams listed with worse odds than that, including the Astros at 300/1. I mean, compared to that … we’re a friggin’ lock.
Bottom line is this; we’re currently tied for first. Spring hope is eternal, my friend.