· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez, News · , ,


Hey there, rice cakes. The Cubs were swept by the Cards yesterday. (Yeeaacchhh! Man, those words taste like a giant turd hoagie.) The reason why seems apparent to me, and it’s got nothin’ to do with talent. Talent we got. Heart we got. Spirit we got. Youth we got. Pitching we got. The mixing bowl runneth over, so to speak, so what in the helllllllll happened over the last 3 days then?

I think most guys are gonna say that baseball happened, and losin’ a few in a row is no reason to call out the National Guard. And I get that. The first two games were close; coulda gone either way. We make a couple of mistakes … don’t take advantage of some opportunities … that’s baseball. But what happened yesterday was a friggin’ cake disaster. It was the baseball equivalent of opening the G-D oven door on a half baked angel food. Pfffffffft. Flat as a pancake, pal. I’ve done that a couple of times myself — with a real cake — and it’s never failed to turn the missus into Mr Hyde. Why? Cuz it’s 100% avoidable, and each time it’s been the result of me positioning my head for a really good view of my lower intestines. (Note: Not to be confused with being a White Sox fan.)

Not keepin’ your eye on the ball doesn’t work out too well in baseball. That goes for off the field, too. And it’s that kinda crapola, in my less than humble opinion, that had the Cubs quietly slinking out the back door of Wrigley after gettin’ swept in the finale with the Cards.

Only they weren’t doin’ it quietly. No sir-eee. In fact, they headed for Miami lookin’ a lot more like the cake display at 31 Flavors than a Major League baseball team. Seriously, there are only two things in the world the color of Maddon’s suit; Play Doh and Lady Gaga’s fingernails. Apparently, this was some sorta theme trip; one of Maddon’s ideas, I guess to keep things lose in the clubhouse. But here’s the thing: 1) They weren’t in the clubhouse. 2) They play a game for a living, and if you can’t be loose when you’re makin’ silly money playin’ a game, then dressing up like pimps ain’t gonna help much. And 3) acting like a bunch of teenage girlies when you haven’t won the Series since the Ottoman Empire was in power is flat out tempting fate, my friend. I think if you’re the Yankees then, yeah … there was a time when you could get away with that. The Giants have won 3 championships in 6 years. They could get away with it, too. But the Cubs? Maybe it’s just me, but I think you gotta earn the right to be colorful by demonstrating your mastery of the game. You win a ring, you can dress like Liberace all you want. But until you decorate your finger, it just means you’re unfocused.

And that’s the point. If you’re the Cubs, it should make you physically ill to drop 3 in a row to your arch rivals. You should be mega-pissed off … and playin’ dress up should definitely NOT be on the line-up card. Neither should posing nude for ESPN the Magazine, or, if you’re a pitcher, lobbying for a spot in the All Star break’s Home Run Derby. I mean really … the season ain’t even half over yet and what I’ve been seein’ is a team — and a few players in particular — who act like winning the Series is a foregone conclusion. I don’t care that they have the best record in baseball. That doesn’t last if they’re not focused, or if they’ve forgotten that it’s been 108 years since they showered in champagne.

It’s not fun to lose boys, not if you’re a fan anyway. And it’s definitely not fashionable. You wanna clown around, play Pretty Pretty Princess, become Playmate of the Month? Fine. You’ll be golfing in October … like usual.

Ask yourselves this: Would Ernie do it? If the answer is “no”, then don’t.



· Joe Sez, News · , , ,


You know that part in Bull Durham when Nuke LaLoosh is pitchin’ naked, and then Crash wakes him up and they talk about it like it’s a common baseball player dream? I always thought that was just a big Hollywood cow pie designed to make baseball players interesting to movie critics. Nope. In fact, Arrieta is livin’ his own Nuke LaLoosh dream in ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue” (coming out July 6th).

Now I don’t have anything against nudity. The missus will definitely confirm that aside from the Cubs using the Cards for a roll of Charmin, I’m at my jolliest when she’s all dressed up in her birthday suit and there’s nothin’ good on TV. And I’ve let more than my share of guys cut in front of me at the barber shop cuz I was busy checkin’ out the naughty bits of the Playmate of the Month. But I gotta draw the line at Jake Arrieta, my friend.

First of all — and this point is so major it counts for 3 points all by itself — Arrieta is a guy. I don’t really give a crap that he has some super human healthy lifestyle and is built like the Rock. Nobody wants to see the J-man’s bat swingin’ in the wind. Maybe Mrs Arrieta. Maybe some of the bimbettes I see swooning at Wrigley when 49 is pitchin’. Maybe the guys over in Boystown. But that’s it. If I wanna see a guy naked, I can look in the mirror. In fact, it’s because of the naked guy starin’ at me in the mirror in morning that I don’t wanna see Arrieta, or Dwyane Wade, or all 300+ pounds of Vince Wilfork pretending their in a Michelangelo fresco. No offense to athletes and their athletic bodies, but as long as the Internet is still plugged in, there’s greener grass. Know what I’m sayin’?

Now I’m sure there’s some sorta Freudian head-shrinker mumbo-jumbo that can explain why one of the best pitchers in baseball felt compelled to pitch naked in the desert for ESPN. But if I’m pullin’ down Arrieta’s pay check, I don’t really need the money. So what is it? I know there are parts of San Francisco where you can just walk around in broad friggin’ daylight without a stitch and it’s ok. Maybe Arrieta is one of those kinda guys. I don’t know. Pitchers are a different breed. Mark Fidrych used to garden on the mound. Carlos Zambrano had to be hauled off the field in a straight jacket with monotonous regularity. And Al Hrabosky? Well, let’s just say big Al wasn’t called “the mad Hungarian” for nothing.

And where’s the front office? You tellin’ me Theo is good with this? Where’s Major League Baseball? Usually orgs like those are screwed down so tight you can’t slouch in your chair without gettin’ fined. Posin’ nude? That’d usually get your naked ass fired. I guess this is a non-factor, though, cuz this particular issue of ESPN the Magazine, along with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue (girls, though … really hot ones) are generally accepted … and mostly tasteful. That and the itty bitty fact that Arrieta is pitchin’ like some sorta Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, 50mm Howitzer mishmash this season. In my opinion, though, if God had wanted ballplayers to pose nude he wouldn’t have invented pinstripes.

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