The Playoffs


· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · ,


I got this nice pep talk email from a woman in California, today. I know, I know. Left coasters — besides rooting for the likes of the Giants and Dodgers and stuff — are generally, you know, genuine whackos. Usually you’re just rolling your eyes when they’re lips are moving, while you listen intently for anything of substance that falls between the word ‘dude’ and the next use of the word ‘dude.’

So little surfer girl was wondering if I’m gonna keep writing the blog now that the Cubs are out of it, as though the previous 47 years of misery hadn’t taught me what rooting for the Cubs means. (See? Left coast.) I mean, it’s not like the Cubbies ever really had a chance after friggin’ Sports Illustrated started writing about our chances like the Series was a foregone conclusion. That brain trust has never picked a winner, so as soon as the first kind word appeared, Lou shoulda just had them clean out their lockers and hit the links. The season was over.

Anyway, it’s baseball, right? Somebody is always doing something great — or stupid — to talk about. And there’s never a day when something can’t be made out of nothing. For instance, the Red Sox just won the ALDS, like 30 seconds ago. Again. For something like the 5th or 6th time in recent years. Now this is a team who traded Babe Ruth; who has choked more times than Linda Lovelace. I mean what’s worse, telegraphing the end of the season with a 34 and 56 record by the All Star break, or takin’ your fans down to the wire — even the playoffs — before proving to the Yankees that they are the better team? For me, I’d rather know where I stand early. Seriously.

Yeah, yeah, I know the Sox have been better recently. I’m just making the point that dragging your fans to the brink of a championship before saying, “just kidding,” is the baseball equivalent of waterboarding. After years of that kinda thing, how is it the Red Sox now get to shower in Champaign all the time? Where’s the karma in that? The Cubbies on the other hand, when we are still actually in it at the end of the season, we deserve to shake ourselves free of the goat cuz it’s such a rare occurrence. It oughta be marked by a national friggin. holiday. And some hardware.

Anyway, Gidget, I’ll be blogging just the same. And I will try to forget the fact that having the season we did this year, then letting the Dodgers mop up the field with us, I know has taken 5 or 10 years off my liver — because of the extra celebrations during the season, sure. But mostly because of the unbelievable disappointment during the playoffs.



· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs ·


Hey, there peanut gallery. Joe Schlombowski here.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything (although that would give me a world of satisfaction right now) … not really, I’m just pissed. I mean how do you go from spanking the league all season to creating such a powerful sucking force as to risk creating a black hole in the universe? We should change our name to the Chicago Electrolux, or the Hoovers or somethin’.

To be fair, not everybody stunk it up, but as a team — and this is a team sport last I checked — we definitely played in an odoriferous, holy-cats!-who-cut-the-cheese? way. I quote Bull Durham again: “This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.” Apparently, that’s true for some, not so much for the Cubs. At least in the playoffs.

The numbers are friggin’ pathetic, so if you haven’t seen ’em, chug down a bottle of Pepto Bismol and look ’em up. I’m only gonna talk about two of ’em here. The first is the number 100; as in one hundred years; a friggin’ century of misery that couldn’t be stopped by a team that kicked ass all season long. The other number is (800) 843-2827. That’s the Chicago Cubs ticket office which, in the interest of public safety, oughta update their robo-message for next year, as noted above.

And Lou, if you are reading this (and I hope that you are) I would love it if next year is exactly the same as this year, right up until the playoffs when — and I know you will agree with this — it has to be a whole helluva lot different. From where I’m sittin’ I gotta think a little bit of that guy you’ve been trying to downplay might help to motivate everyone who did such a good job imitating Mario Mendoza the past week. I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job or anything. I think you’re the best. But I also think it’s time for you to bring out Mr Hyde.

100 years has come and gone. We win next year and it stops there. We don’t, we’re into the second century. I don’t think anybody wants that.

Wait ’til next year.



· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · , ,

Alright. I’ve had time to cool down, repair the hole in the drywall, and get a new TV on account of that mishap with my autographed Ernie Banks bat. And I have a new way of looking at the horrible (some would say pathetic) loss in Game 2.

Remember, in 2002, and 2003, the Red Sox made it past the Indians and then the A’s only to get eliminated by the Yankees. In each case, they were down 0 – 2 and came back to win the ALDS 3 – 2. So it is possible that we will now give the Dodgers a big helping of Second City bitters.

But the Sox lost each year. Couldn’t get past the friggin’ Yankees. And yet, that was the beginning of the new regime … the new Larry Lucchino and John Henry brains and money trust. It took a few years for the Red Sox, and then they busted through. It’s possible that’s what the Cubs are going through right now. We got the farm system, so as long as we know when to spend (Harden, maybe Sorianno, Edmonds) and when to fold (Fukudome), we will keep knocking at the door. And one of these days, Heidi Klum will answer that door wearing a gossamer camisole from Victoria’s Secret.

But maybe not this year.

I could be wrong. But I’m not.


NLDS 2008, GAME 2.

· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · , , ,

Anybody still wondering if there is a God? I didn’t think so.

And I’ll tell you another thing … if that guy on the corner last night was right, and Jesus does save, he might want to insert himself in the Cubs lineup Saturday, because it doesn’t look like they’re gonna be able to save themselves.

At least I didn’t have to witness it from section 304 this time; thank you Katie Couric. Instead, I had to watch the debate on account of Sarah Palin sounding like a complete cinder block with Couric the other day. And because of that, the whole friggin’ country, including the Mrs, was tuning in to see if she needed to ask the Wizard for a brain.


Oh, and for those of you who disagree with my read on that, there’s a good chance you could get a job as a Major League umpire. I mean in the 9th, Jerry Davis watched a ball off the bat of DeRosa hit the line right in front of his face, and he called it foul. So … I mean … you know … are you serious?!

Anyway, I turn the game on after, see the score is 5 zip, and turn it off. That lasted for about 20 minutes before I had to see what was going on. A disaster, that’s what, pal.

Hey, Lou, maybe you oughta sign Palin for the duration of the series. She was totally embarrassed in her last outing (sound familiar?) but did she roll over and let Biden steam roll her? Naw, she went back out there and took her cuts. You guys? 4 errors. It’s the baseball equivalent of “What the hell is the Bush doctrine?”

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


NLDS 2008, GAME 1

· 2008 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · , ,


Let me start this by saying that probably the best movie ever made (that you don’t have to be in a hotel room to watch) is Bull Durham. Just so you know.

So yesterday I walk out of Wrigley and, across from Murphy’s, there’s this guy with a Jesus sign going on and on about how Jesus saves, and this and that. So I’m thinking, well we got Kerry Wood, pal. (Not that he got a chance to save jack in game 1.) Anyway he’s looking right at me, so I say, “Oh, yeah, where?” So he says “In heaven, son, in heaven. You just gotta belieeeeeeve.” You know, like one of those white suit-wearing TV evangelist dudes, all in a rapture, waving his arms and throwing his head back like he’s Tim Lincecum.

Right about then I realize it was a big mistake making eye contact with this whacko, cuz he points right at me and says, “Do ya belieeeeeve, son, do ya belieeeeeeeeeeeeeve?!” even more agitated than the first time. So I just go off on him. “I believe in the brat. The day game. The temperature of Zambrano’s heater. I believe the only juice players should be on is orange, apple or kiwi grape. I believe the Yankees don’t have a monopoly on pinstripes, great fans, or championship rings. I believe beer in a plastic cup is better than beer in a glass. I believe chin music oughta be played more often; that anyone not running out a weak grounder should be sent down; and that instant replay belongs on a grid iron, not a diamond. I believe that the DH is an abomination second only to the Astros uniforms of the 70’s. I believe there’s nothing in the art world (except for those Picasso women with 3 or 4 boobs) quite so beautiful as a well-executed hook slide, or a right fielder laying the guns of Navarone on some pinhead trying to score from second.” I can see he’s a little surprised that someone is giving him his own medicine, but I continue. “I believe that the yay-hoos who think there’ll be lap dances in the Sistine Chapel before the Cubs win the World Series happen to be the same yay-hoos that like to parade around the house in their wive’s underwear, have iPods with multiple Boy George playlists, and stand on corners with cardboard signs about God, WHEN I JUST HAD 9 INNINGS OF PROOF THAT THERE ISN’T ONE!!!!” He’s definitely frightened now. “And, my friend, I believe when you serve up 8 walks, 2 to the friggin’ pitcher, 3 dingers and 1 error to anybody, you just ain’t gonna win!!!”

I love Bull Durham. I hate the Dodgers.


PS. I also believe in that three-day-long, slow, deep wet kisses thing, but I left it out because I didn’t want him to think I was a Dodgers fan.