I hate to say I told you so, but I friggin’ told you so.
We just lost 2 outta 3 to the Giants — one of the worst teams in baseball — after dressin’ up like a biker gang on the trip out to the coast. Another one of hippie manager, Joe Maddon’s, let’s-have-some-fun-cuz-playing-pro-ball-ain’t-fun-enough theme’d dress-up brain farts.
Having fun now, Joe?
I hate losing. Ask the missus. And losing to the Giants is the worst. Why? Cuz they’re so far outta first place (35 games) it’s like the baseball version of gettin’ lapped. Losing to them actually physically hurts … like having your nards in a vice grip. The bottom line is that this dress-up thing is every synonym for “stupid.”
Why? Lot’s of reasons. Not the least of which is that the Cubs did the same damn thing on their first trip to the left coast this season, only instead of bikers they dressed like Ron Burgundy on account of they were going to San Diego. (If you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about, watch the movie.)
We got swept. By the Padres. Also one of the worst teams in baseball. But did we learn anything from that experience? Based on the biker thing, no we did not.
Acting like a bunch of teenage girlies ain’t helping the Cubbies get back to the Series. It’s childish, moronic and, quite frankly, it’s a colossal embarrassment. If you act like a Major League ball club, you at least have a chance of playin’ like one. From what I have observed, you dress up like Ron Burgundy or the Hell’s Angels, you play ball like ’em.
Pull your heads out, Chicago!
You had 108 years between Championships. That’s not a dry spell, it’s a friggin’ Death Valley spell. Hey Joe, Maddon, that’s not fun for us fans! You wanna have some fun, Joe? Flush the Pretty Pretty Princess routine and try focusing on winnin’ ballgames. I’ll bet the friggin’ Dodgers are having fun. Are they prancing around in onesies? No, they are not. But they’re doing a shit load of prancin’ around the bases. (Yes … they prance. They’re from LA.)
What the Cubs don’t realize is that they get to play dress-up almost every day. They have the privilege of donning the uniform of Chicago Cubs. That oughta be enough.
Of course I could be wrong. But I’m not.
Hey there, tire irons. I’ll say this; since comin’ back from the break, the Cubs have been flashing a bit of last year’s magic. And if you’re gonna do any flashing, San Francisco is definitely the place to do it, my friend. They showed just enough of their former selves to beat the G-men last night, which was one helluva lot better than the Sunday spanking we took at the hands of a real team — the Nats. The Cubs were this close to takin’ the home series against Washington, thanks to the nuclear powered bat of Wilson Contreras (again) and a little Lackey wizardry. But instead, the Cubs decided to reach into that black hole of surprises they call a bullpen and pull out a whimpering defeat. I bet Lackey was thrilled. It was another crap performance by what continues to be one of the biggest question marks in baseball — the Cubs relief staff. Even worse is how this kinda play is rewarded. Yep … another Joe Maddon costume party. Incredible. I mean is this a Major League baseball team or a bunch of Girly Scouts on a sleep over?!
I hate beatin’ a dead horse — unless it friggin’ deserves it, like if it keeps wanting to dress like a donkey or somethin’ — so I just gotta re-register my position on the nine kinds of stupid this themed road trip thing is.
First, I love Joe Maddon. I coulda given him a sloppy wet kiss last November 2nd. Without Joe, I think we’re on a 109 year losing streak. And I think the way he’s able to relate to players has worked pretty well. We’re Series Champs, after all, and you can’t argue with that. Still, I can’t get past the fact that these themed road trips come from the same mind that drove the Cubs into the winner circle, nor the stated reason for them — Joe wants his players to have more fun. MORE FUN?! These guys play a friggin’ game for a living. And by “living” I mean you’ve got over 160 million bucks gettin’ split just 25 ways. Not equally, but holy craptoids … if they’re not havin’ enough fun playin’ a game and makin’ a king’s ransom for doin’ it, something is rotten in Denmark, not to mention Wrigleyville. Dressin’ up like Ken dolls ain’t gonna fix that.
Second, we’re just a half game up in the Central. Now if we had … say … a 15 game lead and everything was going along swimmingly (By the way, what the hell does swimming have to do with somethin’ doing good. Never understood that one. Of all the exercises I’ve ever done — swimming is maybe the toughest. Bowling, for example, would be way easier. Like we should say “bowlingly” rather than “swimmingly.”) Anyway, like I was sayin’, if we’re basically on autopilot cuz we’re obviously the class of baseball, like we were last year, then maybe … MAYbe … you can do the Pretty, Pretty Princess thing. But if you’re grasp on the Central Division is limited to your fingernails, what the hell are you doin’ prancing about the country like bikers? (The theme for this trip is “Easy Rider.”) Not to mention the fact that this season has been about as “easy” as gettin’ to third base with Sister Mary Whatchyamicallit, so it’s not even is the same zip code as reality.
Or is the whole “Easy Rider” thing an arrogant slap in the face to the Giants who, at 44-69 are stinkin’ up all of northern California. Other than the Cards and the White Sox, I can’t think of another team I’d like to slap in the face more than the Giants but, to me, this would just be tempting fate. Are we a better team that San Francisco? Yeah, sure we are. We’re we a better team than the Pads the last time we played dressed up on our ride to the west coast? Also yeah. And what happened? We got SWEPT, pallie.
I’m also wonderin’ if anyone gave some thought to the fact that biker gangs — not all of ’em, but some — tend to be associated with things like chains, brass knuckles, knives, guns and words like “melee.”
But what the hell do I know? After all, I picked the Cubs to win 110 games this year so no one is gonna confuse me with Bob Costas or anything. Still, if the Cubbies go undefeated the rest of the season, my prediction is still golden. There’s a zero game margin of error, which is thin, I grant you, but it’s still matheMAtically possible. Of course it’s also mathematically possible for Scarlett Johansson to deliver my next Malnati Classic wearin’ nothin’ but her smile. I’m not countin’ on either one. (Full disclosure; if I was forced to pick between the Cubs repeatin’ and the human lollipop pizza delivery, I may have to do with the latter. I’m just sayin’.)
In the end, all I can hope is that this “biker” thing continues to do somethin’ for the Cubs in San Francisco. Besides gettin’ them a free pass to the Castro.
PS. And in reference to Maddon’s comment, “For the group that doesn’t understand it, that’s too bad that you forgot what it’s like to be a kid,” I say bit me, Joe. What I understand is that you think playin’ dress-up games is gonna help you get back to the Series. I say drivin’ in runs and not giving up grand salamis in the 9th is a better strategy. I also remember just fine what it’s like to be a kid. And in my neighborhood, you could get the livin’ crap beat outta you by playin’ dress-up.
C’est la vie. Forgive and forget. Que sera sera.
That’s the sound of the Chicago Cubs gettin’ all moist over Steve Bartman, and handing over about a nine million carat diamond encrusted World Series ring to the guy.
And that’s the sound of me, Joe “the elephant” Schlombowski — a nickname I got cuz I never, ever, ever, never forget. (Also cuz I’m tippin’ the scales somewhere between ‘hippo’ and ‘elephant’. “Round up,” the missus always says.) Anyway, I’m standin’ here scratchin’ my noggin, wonderin’ why … WHY … that human skid mark is gettin’ a Series ring. Unless it’s a Rodeo Drive kinda “thank you” for stayin’ the hell away from the ball park during last season’s Series run, I’m at a loss to explain it.
Not that any fan should get a World Series ring … but you’re tellin’ me there’s not one other Cubs fan … not one … that’s more deserving than Bartman, the guy who singlehandedly tacked on another 13 years of “wait until next year” to the longest losing streak in the history of sports?! There’s not some 90 year old granny that hasn’t missed a game since FDR was in the White House? None of the hawkers sweatin’ out the Chicago summers in the Friendly Confines have any merit? Not a single, gear-wearin’ human Cubs billboard who’s faithfully returned, year after disappointing year, to drop thousands on seats, dogs, beers and nachos buried in that melted cheese crap have given more for a ring? And what about Bill Murray for chrissakes?!
Whatever Bartman deserves, it sure as hell ain’t a World Series ring, my friend. A few things come to mind:
1. A unmentionable rash.
2. An atomic wedgie.
3. Six weeks on a desert island with the Village People.
3. A one-way, all expense paid trip to Syria.
4. Three minutes in a cage with Stipe Miocic.
5. Bullet ants.
6. A full body wax.
7. Eight non-stop hours on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland.
And imagine if you’re Bartman for a second; disguise and all. (Humor me.) Are you seriously gonna wear that damn thing in public? “Hey, look what I got for derailing the Cubs in 2003!” I would predict more death threats.
Full disclosure: Bartman didn’t act alone. 2003’s horrific collapse against the Marlins took some wicked crappy pitching and brain-dead play on the part of the Cubs for the wheels to come off. But Bartman was definitely standin’ on the side of the road with a lug wrench in his sweaty little paws.
I guess this gesture by Cubs management is some sort of parole. Bartman has served 13 years for murdering a season — long enough according to Ricketts. And maybe he’s right.
Then again, maybe he’s not.
Personally, I’m still a big fan of an atomic wedgie for Bartman. Seems much more fitting than a World Series ring.
Hey there, popcorn balls. You know how ballparks are addin’ all kinds of entertainment crap to pacify the simpleminded between innings? Well last night the Nats took that whole genre of stupid a step further by introducing us to the Montero-go-round — a cruel carnival ride of base stealing madness like nothin’ ever seen outside of Ricky Henderson’s nap time. And it wasn’t between innings, it was during the friggin’ ball game! It was, in a word, embarrassing. If it had come with that obnoxious carnival ride music that I can’t get outta my head for three days after, it would have been the ultimate in base stealing torture.
7 swipes in one game. It was like unleashing a bus load of escapees from Sing Sing on a 7-Eleven with a blind cashier. Anything that could be stolen, was. Worse yet … half the time, Montero didn’t even so much as fake a throw! He just stood there like a friggin’ zombie, wonderin’ what the hell just happened again. And again. And again. And when he did let loose, it didn’t always hit the mark. Unless left field (in one instance) was the mark.
I don’t wanna make it sound like it was all Montero. Guys who steal are stealin’ off the tandem, not just the backstop. In this case, it was the dynamic duo of Montero and his faithful ward, Jake Arrieta. And Arrieta has a certain measure of turtle in his delivery. But Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Every time Turner or Tailor got on base they’d swipe 2nd AND THEN SWIPE 3rd! It was makin’ me dizzier than a convention of blondes. After a while I had to run and get the Dramamine so as not to puke up my brats.
So … Montero came into the game with an 0-24 record tryin’ to nab base stealers. Left the game 0-31. It was painful to watch and wasn’t the kinda ride you wanna go on again. Thankfully, we won’t have to. After the game, Montero unleashed a river of venom on Arrieta, blamin’ him for the carousel of Nationals runners, resulting in gettin’ his ass … and his mouth (Is there any difference?) designated for assignment. Too bad, too, cuz today’s visit to the White House was a chance for Montero to rub elbows with another guy whose mouth is often confused with his ass.
The downside is all of the potential promotional opportunities the Cubs are gonna lose out on:
1. Whenever Montero catches, it’s “Dramamine Night” at Wrigley.
2. Half price tickets for anyone out on parole for grand theft.
3. Montero “Carnival” Night: The first 10,000 fans with fewer than six teeth get a Montero Bobble Head doll, which is just like a regular bobble head except the head doesn’t bobble, the right arm is missing, and the left hand is pointin’ a finger.
Anyway, the Montero-go-round has been shut down for the time being. In fact, last night could possibly be his last game in a big league uniform. I hope not. I got all my fingers and toes crossed that the Cards pull his sorry, whining, selfish ass off waivers.
Hey there, grease traps. You know, the missus happens to be a big fan of Chopped, a cooking show where the contestants have to make somethin’ tasty using surprise ingredients. If they don’t, they get eliminated … or chopped. Clever.
It got me thinkin’ about the Cubs, and how every season is like a mystery basket full of ingredients — winning streaks, slumps, heroes and goats, dazzling plays, mental errors and player chemistry. No matter what’s in your basket, though, you gotta put somethin’ on the field that can win. If you don’t, you get chopped. Or you’re the Phillies.
This season, the Cubs haven’t exactly been turnin’ the baseball world on its tastebuds. In fact, last night’s roasting of the Marlins — tasty as it was — was little more than one of those amusing bush things you get at a place like Alinea. It was a taste; somethin’ to get your appetite going. Problem is … you never know if they’re gonna follow it up with a gigantic slice of chocolate covered winning streak, or a dried out, nasty tastin’, stick-in-the-throat, pathetic two hit loss.
That’s been the recipe so far this year — outlined below — and it’s left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. I don’t know about you, but it wouldn’t break my heart if Maddon figured out how to serve up some of that 2016-style, deep dish Cubbie pie.
CUBS RECIPE FOR DISASTER
(Serves approximately 3 million people)
1 fresh World Series champion baseball team
1/2 (approx.) season of baseball
1 disabled list
Remove any remaining glory from last year’s championship team and discard. Separate out Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist and set aside. Combine the 37 wins and the 35 losses until they reach an average consistency. Remove the skin from Jason Heyward’s hand, and fully strain one of Ben Zobrist’s wrists. Add both to the Disabled List. Let chill for 10 days. While chilling, bring Addison Russell’s marriage to a boil and spread it out all over the newspapers. Finally, take one partially seasoned Kyle Schwarber and send him down to Triple-A, Iowa. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients with errors or until fully bland.
May cause indigestion, headaches, hair loss and occasional bouts of Tourette’s Syndrome.
Now I don’t think it’s time to go full on Gordon Ramsay or anything just yet. There’s a lotta baseball left. Plenty of time for the Cubs to whip up a batch of wins and make it to the playoffs. But they better turn the heat up pretty soon if they wanna pair any champagne with their season.