Two words: Jose Reyes. That’s all it takes to explain why I can’t stand the friggin’ Mets. That, and seein’ a Mets fan in the stands, wearin’ a Reyes jersey. And this guy was ultra-Mets; the kinda fan with a $250 Wall Street hair cut and wearin’ his sunglasses backwards on his head. Totally obnoxious. Probably does the Anthony Weiner thing with his cell phone, and checks out his own ass in the mirror every chance he gets.
Yeah, yeah … Cubs fans wear player jersey’s all the time; Rizzo, Bryant, Arrieta, Baez, Sandberg, Banks, Jenkins … Williams, too — Billy and The Wild Thing. But none of those guys have grabbed their wives by the throat and thrown ’em against a plate glass window like Reyes has. Charming. There’s no excuse for beating a woman. None. Period. End of discussion. Still, the Mets have welcomed the guy back to their clubhouse, like he was convicted of jaywalking or somethin’. Classy move. Shows what they think about domestic violence. On top of that, any fan — like the aforementioned pinhead — willing to still sport the jersey of a guy who’s known for treatin’ his wife like he treats a baseball shows just how friggin’ tone deaf he is to a really dipshittian kinda crime — one that should never ever happen.
Anyway, Jose Reyas and Jose Reyas apologists add up to the 868th reason why I can’t stand the friggin’ Mets.
Reason #869 is all about the fact that we spent the entire regular season last year shellacking these guys, only to have them open a Costco-size can of whupass on us to win the Pennant. And that’s just the tip of the #869 iceberg, pallie, cuz on top of that I add the series that just wrapped up today, where they basically kicked the livin’ shit out of the Cubs. It was ugly. It was embarrassing. It was like wettin’ your pants in public with the Mets standin’ there pointing and laughing. And today was the ever lovin’ lulu! Lester was handing out runs like he was friggin’ Santa Clause; 8 of ’em in … get this … 1-1/3 innings. The worst, most dreadful, awful, obscene, dismal, atrocious and definitely shortest outting of his career. His entire CAREER! Sheesh. And the pen wasn’t any better. Overall, our staff gave up 22 hits today. That’s like 3 game’s worth. Ridiculous. You tac these 4 games onto the playoffs last year, and you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see that whatever superiority we had over the Mets has vanished into thin air, or rather that garbage-scented kind of air that hovers over New York.
When the Cubs headed east for this series, somebody from ESPN tried to goad Maddon by askin’ him about what happened in last year’s NLCS. Doin’ his best to shove that into the bottom of the ball bag where it belongs, Maddon replied, “Last year is last year.” Well, as it turns out, this year is lookin’ a lot like last year, too. The good news is that in spite of our Queens melt down, the Cubs are a damn fine baseball team. Yeah, our starters are in a bit of a funk and the pen is — as it has been all season — a question mark. (Although I sure liked what Carl Edwards Jr was dishin’ yesterday.) Still, I feel good about where we are. It’s one helluva lot better than bein’ outta the picture already, which is where we’ve been by the Mid-Season Classic for most of my 55 years. Plus, we got Cinci tomorrow, then Atlanta, then the Pirates before the All Star break. That’s what you call havin’ your cake and eatin’ it, too.
By the way … did I mention that I hate the friggin’ Mets?
Boris Spasky? Garry Kasparov? Bobby Fischer? Pfft. You wanna talk about the grandest master of ’em all, you’ll be throwin’ the name Joe Maddon around, my friend. If you saw last night’s game, you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about. If I didn’t know better — but I do, cuz guys were wearin’ uniforms instead of suits, and the game was in Cincinnati not Reykjavik — I’d have sworn I was watchin’ a great chess match.
Maddon opened with the Zobrist Attack — nearly impossible to defend against — and then began to slowly and methodically dissect the Reds like the pawns they are. It was masterful; different than the night before, though, where he basically commanded the entire game with a single piece — a tactic known as the Bryant Challenge. But last night … last night’s middlegame was almost cruel. Maddon lulled the Reds into a sense of over-confidence by toyin’ with ’em. Even lettin’ them back in the game when he had a chance to close it out. This is known as the Rondon Gambit. There are similar Gambit moves — the Wood, the Grimm and the Stroup — that Maddon will attempt on occasion, but last night he went with Rondon.
You could see the Reds thinkin’ they had an opening, especially when they shut the door on the Cubs with their semi-brilliant (nothing the Reds do can technically be called “brilliant”) execution of the Votto Defense. But then Maddon started movin’ pieces around like a friggin’ tornado and exchanging ’em like teenage girls sharin’ a closet; Grimm for Rondon, Goghlan for Almora, Szczur from left to center, Edwards for Grimm, Montero to Edwards’s spot then Cahill for Edwards. This kinda chess-like mastery continued for the next 5 innings, with Maddon makin’ one of his most blinding moves — the Patton-Wood castling — in the 14th. Filthy. Really filthy.
It wasn’t until the 15th, though, that Big Joe pulled out the rarely-used Javier Baez Slam. An end game I don’t think anyone expected, least of all the Reds. That just friggin’ crushed whatever hope they’d been clinging to and 3 outs later … check-friggin-mate, my friend.
Tip of the Joe cap to you, Joe Maddon. That was 4 hours and 43 minutes of brilliance.
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.
Hey there, Milk Duds, Joe Schlombowski here to point out that Ferris Bueller, one of the greatest things to ever come outta Hollywood — other than that human ice cream cone, Scarlett Johansson — turned 30 Saturday. I bring this up for three reasons: 1) Ferris was a Cubs fan. That one fact, all by itself, shoulda spelled “Oscar” for John Hughes’s, my friend. 2) Take a look at Ben Stein. You take away his Gillette Foamy for a few weeks and you get Joe Maddon’s twin. “Rizzo? … Rizzo? … Rizzo?” 3) You know how every last little thing works out for Ferris, no matter what? That’s the 2016 Cubs, pal.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
— Ferris Bueller
Words to live by. Why? Cuz what you’ve been watchin’ on the green, green grass of Wrigley Field this year is somethin’ special. Somethin’ unusual. Somethin’ that comes along every 108 years. Maybe. So enjoy it. Watch it. Replay it. Breath it in like the perfume of the aforementioned Goddess of Sultry, Ms Johansson. Why? Cuz this is baseball, jujubees. The credits will be rolling on this summer’s feel-good movie before you know it … and unlike Hollywood, you can’t count on 3 or 4 or 8 sequels. Sure the hell is fun to think about, though.
So, I gotta “what if” for ya: What if the Cubbies are flashin’ some long awaited bling next season. One reason to think that there just might be a sequel or 2 is the fact that at 30, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is older than the majority of the roster. Yeah, I know … baseball teams are like musical chairs from season to season. Still, most of this particular team are likely to have lockers here for a while. So if we can keep the staff from gettin’ too greedy (and I think you know who I mean) champagne soaked locker rooms are somethin’ the Cubs may have to get used to.
The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”
— Ferris Bueller
The Cubs are playin’ like Ferris this year; throwin’ caution to the wind; doing whatever they want; breakin’ the fourth wall. And like Ferris, they’re holdin’ the world in the palm of their hands … or the web of their mitts, in this case. So let’s raise a frosty Old Style to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — one of the best movies ever shot in Chicago, and hope we’re doin’ the same thing in November for the World Series Champion Cubs.
You’re still here? It’s over. Go home. Go.
— Ferris Bueller
Life is good, Cubcakes. I used to wake up, slide out of the fart sack and pray to the Polish gods that we might actually win a game. Now? Well, I can’t wait to jump out of … of … okay, it’s still a fart sack (hey, I drink Old Style and eat Red Hots from a Pez dispenser, what’d you expect?) then pay my respects to Joe-Joe Maddon, the Polish god IN OUR DUGOUT, and wonder not if were gonna win today, but by how much. Yep, life is good north of a .700 winning percentage.
But let’s put the present aside for sec, uhm-kay? With the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft starting today, June 9 is all about the future: the stars of tomorrow that will lead each club to the Promised Land.
Or so they hope.
It ain’t that easy, Moses. I mean, who in the wide, wide world of sports can forget Shawn Abner? Just about everyone, that’s who! Abner was the first pick in the ’84 draft, ahead of guys named Bell and McGwire and Mullholland and Charlton and Maddux and Glavine and Moyer. Hearda them? Save for his mother and a handful of pals he grew up playing Whiffle Ball with in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Smokin’ Joe Schlombowski is one of the few people on the planet who remembers if Abner knew which end of the bat to hold. He did, but barely. Point is, first-round picks ain’t a sure thing.
Good thing, too, cuz thanks to John Lackey, we don’t get one.
That’s right, bat racks, the draft wheel will turn nearly three full times before the Cubbies make their first pick — the 104th overall. Hell, I could be dead by then. Like all sports drafts that matter, clubs pick in reverse order of their previous season’s finish, which is why the Phillies get first whack this year, and why Braves and Twins scouts, caffeine-high as they’ll need to be, are already hittin’ the road with an eye on the 2017 class. There will be no rest in the Big Peach or the North Star State for at least a year. Makes me feel all tingly inside.
Theoretically, the Phillies would get the first pick in all forty rounds. But then there’s this thing called “compensation picks” which turns the draft order into somethin’ that resembles the Christmas lights I unpack on Thanksgiving Day. This year, we gave up our first two picks to the Cards when Theo signed the Dental Giant and Jason Heyward. I get that. But someone’s gotta explain to me why MLB rewards teams by givin’ them preferred draft spots for not signing their top picks from last year’s draft. Makes zero sense to me, but then Carlos Marmol couldn’t close a a friggin’ umbrella either, and we paid him $9.8M in 2013. Idi-friggin-otic.
But I digress.
The point is, don’t put too much stock in this week’s draft, pallie. We’ve only got five first-rounders on our 25-man roster. And we sure as hell ain’t home grown (only four Cubs were drafted into the organization). Like it or not, it ain’t Ernie’s Cubs anymore. Free agency’s our thing. We’ve got money and we spend it like Jason Kidd at the Pink Monkey. Enough with the future; it’s draught time, as in icy cold Old Style. Now, where’d the missus hide the remote?