Hey there, moon pies, Joe Schlombowski here. Let me just say that I’m not a huge basketball fan. Yeah, I watch it enough to know Steph Curry is silk in a Dubs uni, and LeBron James is the 6′-6″ basketball version of John McEnroe, but that’s pretty much where it ends. I’m not big on Timex sports — sports with clocks. Of course that means I’m tryin’ my best to ignore what that brain fart, Rob Womanfred, is doin’ to baseball along those lines.
Anyway, I’m not here to pinch a loaf on Womanfred (although that would give me a world of satisfaction). I just think that Stephen Curry, and probably the rest of the NBA, could use a lesson or two from baseball on how to misbehave when it’s called for.
Last night, Curry and the Warriors we’re gettin’ rear-ended by the stripes in a really obnoxious manner, so when 30 fouled out, it was his moral obligation to let loose with a really stupid, childish and inflammatory gesture. Instead we got the Clark Kent temper tantrum, which was about as interesting as a butter dish. Was he pissed? Sure. You could even tell. But that rant which lasted … what? … an entire 5 seconds and including throwin’ his saliva-coated mouth guard, wouldn’t have even registered on the Tommy Lasorda Scale — which is just like the Richter Scale, only instead of earthquakes it measures the magnitude of baseball meltdowns. Lou Piniella? He was at least a 9.5. Billy Martin? A solid 10.8. Earl Weaver? Weaver broke the friggin’ scale. I’m just sayin’, if you’re gonna get thrown out, you might as well make sure they hear every word you have to say, including the ones that Tommy Lasorda was so fond of.
Of course I could be wrong. But I’m not.
Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra proved that you can have one wheel in the sand and still be thought a genius baseball man. This I do not understand. Mostly because baseball is always called “the thinking man’s game.” I don’t see it. At least not in the Cubs dugout. If they’re thinking — and I’m not saying they are — it must be about nail polish or something, cuz it sure as hell isn’t baseball.
I give you exhibit A; Lou Piniella. Now, I love Lou. I mean the guy is right out of central casting and, up until now, I thought he was exactly what we needed. But when I read stuff like I did yesterday, it makes me wonder if Lou wouldn’t be better of with a few jolts of electric sunshine to the temples. Or, perhaps, some other more vital area of his anatomy.
Take the Milton Bradley thing for instance. Lou’s assessment is that the best thing he can do to get the Monopoly guy’s crap .230+ average to a respectable level is to relax. ReLAX?! If he was any more relaxed he’d be on a beach somewhere getting a tan. Instead, how about friggin’ CONCENTRATING?! Ever thought of that? This is a guy who drops routine flies, and turns out number 2 into a souvenir. He doesn’t need to relax, he needs 3 or 4 guys pulling on his shoulders until his head pops out of his ass.
Honestly, I think Lou needs to go off his medication for a while. Is it me, or is he turning into the Dahli Lama? I remember when Lou used to get fired up; put the fear of God in people. Now, when you screw up and you gotta go to the principal’s office, you might as well be having a session with Doogie Howser. In this case, Bradley got a warm and fuzzy personal tutoring session from Lou. Same difference. Last year the Monopoly guy hits .321 for the Rangers. This year he’s hitting about as good as my mother. (No offense, Mom, but you never could hit a curve ball.)
And what does Lou say? “Hitting a baseball is ability, and he’s got ability.” Brilliant, huh? No wonder they paid him so much money to manage us into a World Series. “It’s good eyesight, and he knows the strike zone well.” He does? Stevie friggin’ Wonder knows the strike zone that well. “It’s also good hitting mechanics, and you have to get yourself in good position to swing the bat…” What the hell does that mean? Like, he should stand in the batters box? That’s usually a good place to be to swing the bat. C’mon, Lou! Is this why you’re so revered as a baseball guru? And then there’s the “…adding the relaxation mode to it more than anything else. No tension.” I got news for you pallie, Milton Bradley makes more in one plate appearance than I do in one year. About $25,ooo. So does Soriano. I think it’s time you bulldozed the day care center and brought back a little bit of the fury that made you famous. If we’d wanted milk toast as our manager we’d have hired Joe Torre.
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.
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.