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AT WHAT POINT IN THE SEASON IS IT APPROPRIATE TO PULL OUT MY RABBIT’S FOOT?

· 2017 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , ,

JOE-AT-HARRY-CAREYS

Hey there, cheese doodles. I’ve had my eyes closed for most of the season, for obvious reasons, so I was wonderin’ if anyone out there can tell me whether that was a corner the Cubs turned last night, or was that 14-3 enema we administered to the Mets just another one of those smooth spots in this bolder-strewn dirt road of a season?

Don’t get me wrong, pallie, I coulda poured last night over my pancakes this morning. Still, in spite of rackin’ up 15 hits, five of which left the yard, including a grand salami by Ian Happ, I’m not quite ready to head down to Party City. Yeah … we finally got some hits with guys on base — friggin’ amazing! I’d like to think that whatever it was — Rizzo hittin’ in the lead off spot, Lester still high from pickin’ Tommy Pham off of first last week, or Maddon puttin’ on his uniform in a different order — the Cubbies are about to catch fire. Of course, I’d also like to think that the missus is gonna put more hide-the-sausage days on her ‘to do’ list.

Take last week, for instance. The Cubs had won five straight, including a 10-2 A-bomb (that A is for Arietta, my friend) where the Cubbies treated the Marlins like a Donald Trump pinata at Elizabeth Warren’s birthday party. As a result, the wire was all abuzz with a heapin’ helping of hyperbole tied to the North Siders. Words like “surging” and “dominant” — terms that this year are usually associated with the Stros and the Nats — were actually being used in the same sentences with “the Cubs.” And lemme tell ya … I was pretty happy to read stuff like that about this year’s vintage. Still, I found it mildly entertaining — sorta like a guy juggling bowling pins, or Anthony Weiner’s last name.

What I mean is that beatin’ the Cards (26-30 at the time) and the Fish (24-33 at the time), although satisfying, wasn’t exactly a sign that the Cubs had rediscovered the lucky charms that made ’em magically delicious last season. It means they wrestled victory away from a couple of ball clubs that are slightly more mediocre than themselves. Yeah, I sound skeptical. Sue me! One incredible season (last year) — which, admittedly, was un-effing-believable — isn’t enough to break up the previous 55 years of scar tissue on my ass. History aside, though, winnin’ those five games was a distinct improvement over where we were a couple weeks before — limping outta Petco Park after being royally pants’d by the Preachers — the worst team in baseball, except for the Phillies. Kickin’ the Mets (29-34) around their own ball park last night comes with a certain measure of satisfaction, too. But winnin’ games we’re supposed to isn’t exactly somethin’ to do cartwheels over. Yeah, it’s nice, but was it a sign that the Cubs are finally runnin’ on all cylinders?

As it turns out the answer is no, cuz in spite of the fact that tonight Rizzo, Happ and Schwarbs picked up right where they left off last night, the Cubs found a way to reach back to 2012 and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I’m at a loss to explain how the same damn team can play like they did last night, and then fertilize the lawn tonight. I’d consult my crystal baseball but in April it predicted 111 Cubs wins this season, and obviously can no longer be trusted.

Still, I have hope. I grant you … it’s Schlombowski hope, which means it’s tempered by that hemorrhoid, Steve Bartman, and a lifetime of other rash-inducing memories that the Cubs have scarred me with. Of course I also remember the 2006 St Louis Cardinals — a skid mark of a ball club that took their hairless 83 regular season wins all the way to the World Series title. Which is to say, hope will get you just so far. After that you can squeak by with just enough hitting and pitching to win 83 games, as long as you also have a shit load of luck. So rub it if you got one, my friend. No … I’m talkin’ about a rabbit’s foot, nimrod. Sheesh.

Joe

BIRD FLIES AT CITI FIELD, GETS SHOT DOWN BY MANAGEMENT.

· 2017 Cubs, Joe Sez, News · , , , , , , ,

MR-MET-FINGER

Hey there, sponge cakes. I got a question for ya: Is anyone over the age of six and a half, besides Lee Corso, a fan of team mascots?

Unless your team is the Penthouse Pets or the Playboy Bunnies, I can see payin’ as much as zero attention to a mascot when I’m at a ball game. Okay, maybe if they passed out sling shots to the first 10,000 fans and painted a target on the San Diego Chicken (last name omitted for obscenity reasons) I could get interested. But other than that … no. So why am I writin’ about ’em? Well, I just saw where Mr. Met has been relieved of his duties as one of the major annoyances in baseball for communicating in a non-verbal manner.

This makes absolutely no sense to me for the following reasons:

1. Mr. Met is a mascot. And like every other mascot that’s been farted outta someone’s brain, Mr. Met is supposed to be mute. How the hell else is he expected to communicate?!

2. I’m willin’ to bet the Mets don’t FedEx someone in from Walla Walla to wear that get-up. You gotta figure the guy is from New York — born and raised — and it’s a well-known fact that New Yorkers learn how to flip the bird before the ink is dry on their birth certificates. So … in the words of every New Yorker since Henry Hudson, “What the fuck did you expect?”

3. One thing is certain: Whoever Mr. Met is, he’s a total die-hard. Probably has a Daryl Strawberry tramp stamp. I mean who else is gonna dress up as a friggin’ baseball and march up and down the Citi Field steps for the duration of the swamp-like New York summer? Combine that kinda rabid fanaticism ($3 word bonus) with the fact that the Mets are playin’ about like the Cubs are playin’ (they positively, totally, completely suck*) and you’re gonna have some frustrations spill over in ways that aren’t always ready for prime time. It’s to be expected.

4. Mr. Met only has 4 fingers, not 5 like you and me. Actually it’s 3 fingers and a thumb. But I ask you: How do you give someone your middle finger if you don’t, technically, have a middle finger?

5. The guy flipped off a Mets fan, but if anyone deserves the bird, it’s Mets fans. I’m still so sore from what they did to us in the playoffs a couple years ago, the Schlombowski man cave turns into a veritable aviary whenever we play the Mets.

6. Two words: Milton Bradley. When the monopoly guy was playin’ for the Cubs, he musta given the Mr. Mets’ high sign to the faithful a dozen times. This is a guy in uniform, mind you, and he didn’t get booted. And keeeeeyyy-ryyyyyyssstt … if there was ever a guy even remotely associated with baseball that shoulda been pink-slipped, it was Bradley. And maybe Bud Selig. Rob Womanfred is a good candidate, too.

Some will make the argument that Mr. Met represents the ball club and, as such, flippin’ off the fans casts a shadow over the organization. To which I ask, how do you back that up when there’s been plenty of guys who smacked their wives around (Chuck Knoblauch, etc.,) or impregnated women in practically every major league city (Steve Garvey, etc.,) or were drug cheats (Barry Bonds, etc.,) — all much more damning offenses? How come nothin’ happened to those guys? Are we to believe the Mets organization is classier than say, the Dodgers? Debatable, I grant you, but probably not.

Personally, I’d like to see the rule-happy Rob Manfred finally institute something that actually IS in the best interest of baseball and give mascots the Shoeless Joe Jackson treatment.

Joe

*Full disclosure: The Mets suck (music to my ears) mostly because of some key injuries. The Cubs, on the other hand, appear to have forgotten how to play baseball. Or they think winning a single Series is good enough … WRONG! Or they’re more concerned with pickin’ out their costumes for the next theme’d road trip.

THERE IS NO JOY IN METVILLE. MIGHTY TEBOW HAS STRUCK OUT.

· Joe Sez, News, Spring Training · , , , , ,

MIGHTY-TEBOW

Hey there, turf toes. Happy little Friday. (Uh … that mean’s Thursday, White Sox fans.)

Anybody see Tim Tebow’s debut as a Met yesterday? Two words: strike six. One can only hope that the rest of the Mets — all goose-bumped from showerin’ with a Heisman Trophy winner — start swingin’ just like him. Hey, I totally get that hittin’ a wicked-nasty Rick Porcello sinker is harder than a choir boy at a porn festival. And I freely admit that the only difference between Tebow at the plate and ME at the plate is about 5 inches and 47 lbs of solid muscle. But I mean, c’mon … Puttin’ Joey Chestnut in a suit and tie doesn’t qualify him to teach classes on the finer points of culinary etiquette.

Now I like Tebow. As a football player. In that capacity, I thought he got the shaft by the press — a bunch of yay-hoos who couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat, by the way, and who attacked the hell outta him for wearin’ his faith on his football uniform sleeve. Especially that colossal trouser snake, Bill Maher. Of course you never hear anyone breath a friggin’ syllable about players of color, in any sport, for expressing their thanks to the Almighty after takin’ someone deep, or for praising the G-man after winnin’ the Super Bowl. But Tebow? They did everything but actually nail him to a cross, my friend.

I give a lot of credit to the guy for standing up to that pinheaded crap and chasin’ his other dream. I mean I’m guessing baseball is some kinda dream. Although, so far, it’s a pretty bad one. Still, workin’ hard enough to get a shot is commendable. But at some point, I think we’re gonna have another Michael Jordan come-to-Jesus revelation, and Timmy is gonna realize that hittin’ a running back would be lot easier than hittin’ a baseball.

And if that doesn’t happen, even the geniuses running the Mets may eventually bring their heads back out in the sunshine. Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m not.

Joe

EVEN-NUMBERED YEARS, TAXI CAB COLORED HAIR AND OTHER BASEBALL VOODOO.

· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez, The Playoffs · , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OUIJA-BOARD

There were 2,430 games played this season, and it took the very last one for the Giants to manufacture a chance at the Post Season. How you interpret that can either give you hives or a grin the size of Prince Fielder’s butt.

It’s hard to figure a team like San Francisco. They’ve got a good staff, a line up of veterans, a damn good manager in Bruce Bochy, and a ton of experience with the post season in the last decade. A little too much. Like there should be a special episode of Hoarders about the Giants. And yet they still sucked like Linda Lovelace with a Dyson since the All Star break.

This is also an even year, which holds sway over the superstitious. Not that Cubs fans are immune to that condition. Two words: Billy Goat. Me, personally? I never, ever change my underwear in the middle of a winning streak. Needless to say, I got a little crispy now and then this season. Totally worth it, though. Anyway, Giants fans believe that even numbered years belong to their team — that they own ’em. And I gotta tell you … it would give me a world of satisfaction for the Cubs to prove what a Mount Everest-sized pile of crap that is.

The fact that the Giants made it to the Wild Card game at all, in spite of playin’ the second half of the season like the fog had rolled all the way into their clubhouse, says a whole lot about them, none of which I like very much. But I think an even numbered year has about as much to do with the Giants makin’ the playoffs as the color red does.

And that’s the thing. If they didn’t get in because of some voodoo, witchcraft, hocus pocus BS, then what’s the reason? As much as the legacy of Barry Bonds still sandpapers my backside, I gotta hand it to the Giants; they’re a grizzled lineup that plays team ball, doesn’t give up, and somehow finds a way to survive when they’re nose-to-nose with the grim reaper. Those are admirable qualities in a ball club, no question, and even though the words are gonna taste like the south end of a sick rhino, I gotta say that the Giants are probably for real and, unlike the geeked-out, cucumber mist bottled water-drinkin’ fans they got, they’re probably not big believers in the make-me-laugh, even-numbered-year thing.

Full disclosure: I was pullin’ for the Mets last night. And I gotta tell ya, after what happened last year, that felt a whole lot like havin’ a heart transplant without anesthesia. I just figured the Cubs would have an easier time with them than San Francisco, and that they’d do the same thing that the Giants did — chip away at the Mets’ pen.

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THE 4TH HAS ME FEELIN’ A LITTLE DIRTY. JOE DIRT-Y.

· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , ,

JOE-DIRT-Y

Hey there, fuzz buttles, and happy Independence Day. I gotta tell you, the 4th has me feelin’ a little Joe Dirt-y, especially after the Mets decided to start their fireworks show early, unleashing a 4 game long grand finale of spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers — with and without the scooter stick — right up the whistlin’ bungholes of the Cubs. What I’m hopin’ for is a little pyrotechnics of our own at the considerable expense of the Reds. Yeah … I’d like that.

Better stand back, cover your ears and put your dogs inside. This could get noisy.

Joe

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , , ,

BASEBALL-WISHES

Hey there, turn signals, Joe Schlombowski here; a little bruised and banged up emotionally from yesterday’s opener with the Mets. I had been lookin’ forward to this series all season long, and not being able to just get to it and settle the score was makin’ be break out. It was like being a snarling rottweiller on a 5 foot leash with a juicy slab of porterhouse steak dangling 6 feet away. I fully expected Joe and the boys to rip them to shreds, and the way the game started, it was lookin’ pretty much like I was right. Bryant, once again, was channeling himself. (Normally I would say he was channeling Babe Ruth or Reggie Jackson, but I think Bryant bein’ Bryant is about as explosive as you can get right now. Oh … and for any of you San Francisco fans wonderin’ why I didn’t mention Barry Bonds? Bite me. He’s a cheat, everybody knows he’s a cheat, and on top of that he’s a jaggoff.) Anyway, Mr Bryant got us off to a really nice start, thank you very much.

So did Lackey. The guy was on cruise control until his arm started farting in the 5th. Weird. Happened in the 5th in his last outing, too. Still, I was a little surprised Joe yanked him when he did. Yeah, sure … Cespedes launched one of his pitches into a geosynchronous orbit around Neptune, but that was pretty much it. Me personally? I think Joe pulled out the hook a skosh too soon. It’s easy for me to say that, cuz … you know … that hindsight thing is in play. But holy monkey droppings, did all 4 wheels come off the wagon then, or what?!

Now if I was politically correct, I’d say Peralta was less than stellar. But I’m not. He sucked. He walks pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza, then dishes an RBI single to Brandon Nimmo. If there’s one thing that drives me to drinkin’ — never mind … everything drives me to drinkin’. But I have a hard time with relief guys who come in and start walkin’ hitters. That’s the polar opposite of relief, my friend. I mean when pitchers are yanked it’s usually cuz they’re havin’ a hard time. Relievers are brought in to do what the guy before ’em couldn’t, not the same damn thing. That’s why it makes no sense to me to have guys in that roll that hold the friggin’ flood gates open with ball 4. Sure, everybody is gonna give up some hits, but any reliever that’s got an arm full of walks oughta be workin’ at 7-11, not pitchin’ for the Cubs.

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THE CUBS AND THE METS ARE ABOUT TO STEP OUTSIDE. IT’S ABOUT FRIGGIN’ TIME.

· 2016 Cubs, Joe Sez · , , ,

CUBS-VS-METS

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been stranded in the middle of the baseball desert, dyin’ of a thirst that’s only gonna get quenched by drinkin’ the metaphorical blood of the Mets. It’s not just that they waterboarded us in the playoffs last year … it’s that they found a way to do that after we zeroed them in the season series, 7-zip. I practically went into some kinda painintheassic shock, which admittedly isn’t as bad as your hypovolemic or neurogenic or anaphylactic shocks, but it hurts like a beach ball sized hemorrhoid. Anyway, I’ve been impatiently waiting for this series cuz it’s our chance to reassert our obvious superiority over the flowing locks of Noah Syndergaard, the 57-inch waistline of Bartolo Colon and the rest of that group of Queens … I mean from Queens.

What happened last year just doesn’t add up for me, cuz theoretically the Cubbies got a lot better AFTER we swept the Mets during the regular season. We called up Schwarber, who basically was Babe Ruth reincarnated for the rest of the season, moved Castro to 2nd and added Russell, although he was injured for the post season. But Baez stepped into his slot so there were really no beats skipped there. Not enough to put us on a 4 game skid against that bunch of plankton anyway.

As David Schoenfield points out, it seems like we’ve got an edge this year, and I’m talkin’ Game of Thrones, swingin’ Valyrian steel sword edge, pal. Better pitching, better hitting, waaaaaay better record, more confidence, better uniforms, better city, better fans, better hot dogs, better pizza. Gettin’ carried away there, but you get my point. I’d like to say if the Cubs lose this series I’ll eat my truck, but I said that about The Donald becoming the nominee of the Republican party, and look how that turned out.

Game starts in a couple of hours. That oughta be enough time to pin the hell outta my Steven Matz doll.

Joe

IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR A BARTOLO COLON-OSCOPY.

· Joe Sez, News · ,

BARTOLO-COLON-OSCOPY

If you wanna go by what the New York Post says — and in this instance, why the hell not? — it’s time we got to the bottom (literally) of Bartolo Colon, so we can find out what else the guy might be hiding (besides another woman and a couple of kids). Who knows? Maybe Jimmy Hoffa is in there?

Colon is slated to be on the hill tonight against the Nats. But seein’ as how his two-timing backside was hauled into court Monday by Alexandra Santos, who claims the $7 million-sausage-in-a-uniform is a deadbeat dad, who friggin’ knows? I mean if it were me, there’s no way I could concentrate, but then I have a conscience — something that would keep me outta this kinda pickle in the first place. Colon, on the other hand, plays for the Mets. That and the fact that he’s been HIDING the pickle with someone other than Mrs Colon — and he’s able to sleep at night anyway — mean that a conscience doesn’t come standard on the Bartolo model. (Although 3 or 4 spare tires do.)

Can’t say I’m surprised. He’s a Met (whatever the hell that is) and as a result obviously can’t be trusted. If the Post’s article is true … well … Bartolo’s got some splainin’ to do. Although, I’m not sure Rosanna, his better half — or in Bartolo’s case probably just 15% — really gives a crap. She said she knew all about his other kids. Which means she knows about Ms Santos, too. Not sure why all that’s ok with her, but I’d guess it has something to do with the bank account Big Sexy keeps fully stocked. They sound like they’re made for each other.

Pretty sad for those kids if Colon is actually their father but he’s not willing to step up and support ’em. But hey, like I said, he’s a Met. Not that this isn’t a serious deal, but the funny side of all this is that the child-support case in question is listed on official papers as “Anonymous v. Anonymous.” Because of that, the only reason you, me and the Post found out that Bartolo wasn’t so anonymous after all, was because he’d represented himself in the custody dispute, thus his name was listed as an attorney. Which means Bartolo is not only an alleged dirt bag, he also has a fool for a client.

Joe Anonymous Schlombowski

DARLING, LOVER, SWEETIE PIE.

· Joe Sez, The Playoffs · ,

Here’s reason number 2,727,891 why I hate the Mets:

I’m sitting here watching the Sox and Rays in the 4th, when the plate umpire has to punch out because of an injury. So now we got a delay in the game until the crew chief figures out what to do. But it’s not like the guy was carried off on a stretcher. He just strolls over to the Rays’ dugout on his own power. So … Just give another ump the gear and let’s go already! Nope. Gotta call the blue off the field, like the safety of the free world hangs in the balance.

Anyway, while all this is going on, we’re treated to the analysis of the TBS announcers, including former Met, Ron Darling. (Nice last name, pal.) Well, you know where the conversation goes, right? How it’s gonna be really difficult for the pitchers to sit there for an extra 5 minutes while the umpires are grabbing a sandwich or two in the clubhouse, deciding who’s gonna call the rest of the game. Of course the resident expert, Darling, chimes in, explaining what a hardship it is for a pitcher in this situation — like the unbearable 5 minutes he’s having to endure is gonna totally unravel his mojo.

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