Archive for October, 2006

Cardinals Win Series; God to Cubs Fans: “F@#$ You!”

ST. LOUIS–In His first public appearance since appearing on earth as His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, God addressed the media Monday, three days after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the World Series 4-2, clinching the pennant for the Cardinals.

“I just wanted to come down congratulate the Cardinals on their World Championship,” God said, as the reporters present averted their eyes, making them unable to see God’s “GO CARDS” t-shirt.

When asked if He was a Cardinals fan, God said, “I am who you say I am. Did you have any doubt? I mean, come on. Jeff Weaver? David Eckstein? I also love the White Sox.”

Screw You, Sheep
God salutes a local Cubs fan.

“I created the World Series, and I saw that it was good, despite the ratings,” God said, as several reporters wept from the beauty of His Creation.

One reporter suggested that God should not play favorites among the Major League Baseball teams, as all people are equal in His eyes. “You are all my chosen people, made with my love in my own likeness, except you, you, and you,” God replied, pointing to the three Cubs fans in the room. “In fact, who hath let you in here?” God asked.

God offered one bit of advice to the Cubs fans before he had them escorted from the room by the angel Gabriel. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ trophy,” God said.

Cubs Name 3 More Coaches, Dispelling Rumors That They Are “Bunch of No-Names”

CHICAGO–Lou Piniella added three more coaches to his staff Friday, naming Mike Quade as third base coach, Matt Sinatro as first base coach, and Lester Strode as bullpen coach.

“FLP!” hit the streets to gauge the reaction of Cubs fans to the announcement, with apologies to The Onion.

Cubs Fan #1

Ann Helter, Town Crier

“If we keep spending money on coaches all willy-nilly like this, how are we going to get Neifi to come back?”

Bill Murray

Bill Murray, Alleged Celebrity Fan

“Lester Strode? He is a madman! When he stole that cow, and his friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with that cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it.”

“The Beave” Startman

Ted Kopski, Computer Analyst
“So, they got the guy from Total Recall, a singer, and the slang term for the space between your nuts and your @$$hole to coach this team? That is so Cub.”

TSN’s Mike Berardino Does Line of Blow, Pens Article

The Sporting News’ “expert” reporter Mike Berardino suggests that Lou Piniella might be the Cubs’ version of Jim Leyland. Berardino comes out with gems like this:

Piniella’s track record made him the top catch on the market this fall.

Not only does he report to duty with 1,519 career victories in 19 seasons, he has pulled off quick turnarounds before.

I pulled out the trusty old calculator and divided 1,519 victories by 19 seasons, and came out with about 80 victories/season. For perspective, Dusty Baker had 840 victories in 10 seasons before coming over the Cubs. That averages out to 84 victories/season. Go ahead and say, “But, Bad Kermit! Dusty had the best player in baseball when he managed the Giants!” And I say to you, “Wrong. Dusty had the second best player in baseball for most of his time with the Giants. Piniella had the best player in baseball in Ken Griffey, Jr. Piniella also had A-Rod, Steroid Boone, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, etc., etc., while Dusty’s second best player was a motorcycle daredevil with a pornstache. Now, go make me a sandwich, imaginary devil’s advocate.”

Berardino lays another turd:

With Piniella, it’s simple: If you spend money and give him players, he’ll give you a winner.

So, Piniella is the MLB’s answer to Phil Jackson. Thanks, Mike. If you spend enough money, I can give you a winner, and I come a lot cheaper than Piniella.

More great reporting by Berardino:

OK, so the homecoming in Tampa Bay didn’t work out, but the former ownership didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, either.

Yes, so let’s brush off the time in his career when he actually had to manage, and blame it on the Tampa Bay ownership. Care to explain how the ownership “didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, either” or do you just want to make a sweeping statement and leave it hanging there? If Piniella didn’t know what he was getting into in Tampa Bay, he’s an idiot.

Free agent center fielder Juan Pierre is another top priority.

Juan Pierre was about as useful to the Cubs this year as a book is to Paris Hilton. He had a hollow 200 hits, only started hitting when the Cubs were hopelessly out of contention, sucked at stealing bases, and steadfastly refused to take a walk or see more than 3 pitches per at-bat. Resigning Pierre should be on Hendry’s priority list right about here:

1098. Resign Jeff Fassero

1099. Resign Juan Pierre

1100. Start wearing thong

So, in answer to your question, Mike:

Jim Leyland had an obvious and immediate impact with the Tigers this year, so why can’t Lou Piniella do the same with the Cubs in 2007?

Because Lou Piniella sucks.

“The Gambler” Cheats, Shot ‘n Back fer No-Good Cur

DETROIT–Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers, whose “dirty” hand during Game Two of the World Series sparked controversy and whispers of cheating, was shot in the back after leaving the game in the eighth inning Sunday night, “Fer bein’ a no-good, lyin’, cheatin’ cur,” said Rogers’ assailant, Jebediah “Deadeye” Ringo.

Ringo said that he had seen a reward poster for Rogers’, and acted “on account of the reward money, feller.”

Didn’t know when to fold ‘em.

Didn’t know when to fold ’em.

“There’s gold in that thar arm,” Ringo told reporters. “Twenty five hunnerd dollars worth of gold,” Ringo said, spitting thick ropes of tobacco juice at the spectators gathered for his interview. Asked if money were the sole motivation for the shooting, Ringo said, “We don’t take kindly to cheatin’ around these parts, savvy?”

Rogers was taken for treatment at a local hospital and is expected to recover fully from the incident. “Since the weapon used was a Colt revolver manufactured in 1872, it didn’t have the accuracy as a modern weapon, so fortunately the bullet missed all of Mr. Rogers’ vital organs,” Rogers’ doctor, Marty Callup, said Tuesday. “However, since the bullet used was also from the 1870’s, we hope that there are no long-term effects of lead poisoning,” Dr. Callup continued.

Cubs One Step Closer to 100-Loss Season, Hire Bench Coach Trammell

CHICAGO–It has been more than 40 years since the Chicago Cubs last lost 100 games in a season under the fiery, argumentative, overbearing Leo Durocher. Monday, the Cubs took one step closer to reaching the century mark in losses, naming Alan Trammell the Cubs bench coach. Trammell managed to get the Tigers, who are currently in the World Series with largely the same roster of players whom Trammell managed to 119 losses, 90 losses, and 91 losses from 2003-2005. The move, in conjunction with the hiring of the fiery, argumentative, overbearing Lou Piniella, figures to have the Cubs in a position to break the record for losses in a season, set by the 1962 Mets, who lost 120 games.

The Cubs plan to make several other moves to help the Cubs break the record set by the 1962 Mets, as follows:

  1. Bring in Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel, who managed the ’62 Mets, as the Cubs’ third base coach. Stengel died in 1975.
  2. Get the sports psychologist from The Natural to tell the team before each game, “Winning is a disease, as contagious as polio.”
  3. Change the Cubs’ cap logo from the traditional “C” to a picture of this guy:Loser
  4. Hire Coach Morris Buttermaker before he sobered up.
  5. Rent Seasons 1 and 2 of Lost from Netflix. In lieu of infield practice, show episodes before each game.

Lost

Wednesdays on ABC.

Ask a Stupid Question to a Stupid Reporter, End up on Fire Lou Piniella!

Well, Carrie Muskrat has opened up the old mailbag to answer Cubs fans’ “burning questions.” I wonder how long it took her to sort through all the fan mail Muskrat! before getting to the really meaty questions, like this one:

How many World Series have the Cubs been in? I know they last won in 1908 and were last in the series in 1945. My dad says that the Cubs were really good a long time ago. I’m hoping Piniella takes them there again. Thanks.
— Zack V., 9 years old, Tampa, Fla.

The Muskrat responded as follows:

The Cubs have played in 10 World Series (1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1945), and have won twice (1907, ’08), beating the Tigers both times.

Here would have been my response:

Listen, kid. I know you’re only 9, but I have two pieces of advice for you: (1) Google. Figure out what it is and how to use it. (2) You’ve only wasted 9 years of your life so far. That’s less than 1/3 of the amount of life I’ve wasted rooting for this horsesh#t team. Do yourself a favor and ask Santa for a Twins jersey.

Moving along…

I was really disappointed that the Cubs did not hire Joe Girardi as their manager. What do the Cubs see in Lou Piniella that they don’t see in Joe?
— Nick M., Norman, Okla.

“She” says:

Experience. A proven winner. Someone who understands the importance of the whole organization, top to bottom, from the scouts to player development to the big-league level. Not to say Girardi didn’t, but Piniella impressed Cubs GM Jim Hendry on that topic.

I would have said:

Sentence fragment. Cliched sentence fragment. You want a job from Jim Hendry? Two words: Krispy Kremes. It worked for Rusch, Neifi, and Macias, and it’s still working for Rothschild.

Muskrat continues polluting the internet, as half the reading population has already surfed back to its regularly-scheduled pornography.

How good are the Cubs’ chances of landing A-Rod? And if acquired, would he play shortstop or third base?
— Erik P., Dyersville, Iowa

Carrie responds as follows:

The Alex Rodriguez rumor was prompted by Piniella’s hire, and both Piniella and Hendry say that the Yankee third baseman’s name never came up in their talks. It wasn’t a package deal. As to whether the Cubs will try to deal for Rodriguez … he’s pretty expensive. A-Rod is owed $108 million over the next four years, and his contract includes a complete no-trade clause, so any deal would have to be approved by him. The Cubs might want to spread that money around, because they have other issues to address — see the next question.

A-Rod is pretty expensive? I didn’t realize that, so I Googled “Alex Rodriguez salary” and I only got 438,000 links. Thanks, Carrie! I like how Carrie suggests that the Cubs are going to “spread around” their A-Rod money. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, but here is how the $108M (which, by the way, is an irresponsibly inaccurate amount, as Texas is still on the hook for a good chunk of that money) the Cubs could pay A-Rod over 4 years is going to be spent:

  1. Cubs fail to get a deal done with Aramis Ramirez. Sign Edgardo Alfonzo. ($6.5M)
  2. Hendry decides Dempster is not the answer at closer (+5 GM points). Signs Antonio Alfonseca (-100 GM points). ($4.0M)
  3. Goodbye, Hank White! Welcome back, Paul Bako! ($3M)
  4. Didn’t Gary Bennett hit a big grand slam this year, or something? ($5M)
  5. Gotta replenish the Jeromy Burnitz retirement fund. ($7M)
  6. Bruce Chen finds the one team he hasn’t yet been on. ($6M)
  7. Ramon Martinez is available… ($4M)
  8. Christ, so is Shawn Estes. ($6M)
  9. And Latroy Hawkins. ($8M)
  10. And Todd Hollandsworth. ($5.5M)
  11. Cubs bring back Nomar, who promptly breaks wrist signing contract, out for season. ($11M)
  12. Jason Grimsley has always been around pretty good players. I wonder why that is? ($5M)
  13. We can get Jerry Hairston the Lesser back, and then it will be like we got Nevin for nothing, which is exactly what he was worth! ($5M)
  14. Juan Pierre will get a healthy raise after collecting a worthless 200 hits after the Cubs were 28 games under .500. ($9M)
  15. Hendry makes his “big” free agent pitching addition! Jason Marquis! ($12M)
  16. Finally, the Cubs squirrel away the remaining $11M so they can “make a big move” at the “trade deadline” if they’re “in contention.” The Cubs do make a move at the trade deadline, despite being 18 games behind the Cardinals, trading Rich Hill for Sidney Ponson.

Don’t worry, Erik. The Cubs won’t be getting A-Rod. After all, they can’t keep Cesar Izturis off the field, can they? He was traded for a future Hall of Famer! That means he’s good, right? Anyhow, let’s see what Jeff C. says.

I’ve been reading about how the Tribune Co. is planning on beefing up the payroll by trying to make a few big offseason moves. Some of the names I’m hearing are A-Rod, Carlos Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Jason Schmidt and even Ichiro Suzuki. I’d like to know our realistic chances of landing a name like Ichiro or Soriano, and what it would take from the Cubs to get a player like that.
— Jeff C., Aurora, Ill.

Carrie tells Jeff, who clearly is unfamiliar with the Cubs, the following:

Hendry says that he’ll get an increase in payroll, he just doesn’t know how much. It may depend on the players. The Cubs have some holes — they need starting pitching and another good hitter. Piniella, his staff, the scouts, and the player development and baseball operations people will gather on Nov. 6 for their organization meetings to figure out who they want to focus on this offseason. Last year they targeted Scott Eyre and Bob Howry, and got both.

Not even Carrie can shine this turd. Let’s see. Outside of Zambrano and (possibly) Rich Hill, the Cubs need some starting pitching. Yep. All they need is 60% of a rotation. As long as they get Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, and 2003 Mark Prior, they might win 80 games! It’s obviously going to happen, since they were able to land Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre last year! What a coup! Fortunately, they only need “one hitter” according to Carrie. That’s true. Unfortunately, that one hitter is Ted Williams. Carrie, we have terrible or unknown players at the following positions: CF, RF, SS, 2B, SP3, SP4, SP5, closer. That’s almost 33% of the starting roster that needs to be replaced, and oh, by the way, every single one of our backup players sucks ass. A Cubs increase in payroll comforts me about as much as nuclear testing in North Korea.

Are you worried about Larry Rothschild being the pitching coach? Not one pitcher has gotten progressively better since 2001. Bringing Rothschild back, it’s hard to see us having any of our great young pitchers turn into anything over the next three years.
— Ty D., Omaha, Neb.

I just went ahead and edited Carrie’s response for her, since her copy editor missed some key factual errors.

Rothschild knows that he’s has never been held accountable. Tigers manager Jim Leyland liked Rothschild so much, he wanted him to come to Detroit and offered a three-year deal. Of course, Leyland also batted Neifi leadoff for a good chunk of time this year. Piniella gave Rothschild his first blowjob in the big leagues in 1990 with the Reds. As for progress, Carlos Zambrano has gone from a young reliever to the ace of the Cubs’ rotation, largely because he can’t speak English and fortunately doesn’t understand a goddamn word that Rothschild says. Rich Hill showed improvement a terrible dropoff in his ability since he didn’t get coached at all when he got from his first callup to his second stint. You can‘t blame Rothschild for Mark Prior getting sideswiped by Marcus Giles in 2003 or taking a line drive off his elbow, since you’d probably rather blame his soggy old ass than God.

Here’s a depressing question for you:

Since the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series with an 83-78 record, I was wondering what team had the worst record and won the World Series.
— Richard D., Columbia, Ky.

In case everyone needed a reminder of how wide open the National League was this year, there it is. The Cardinals go 5 games over .500 and are tied 1-1 in the World Series. What a shame that the Cubs couldn’t wait to get out of spring training and crap the bed for 162 games.

I just read a quote that said, “Hendry finally interviewed former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg over dinner in Chicago and stressed he was looking for a manager with experience. Sandberg’s next task is to gain the necessary experience.” My question is, will that experience be gained via the Cubs in Spring Training or will he go elsewhere? Ryno is great, and the best player the Cubs have ever had, in my opinion. I want him to stay within the Cubs family.
— J.B., Nashville, Tenn.

Carrie inadvertently indicts Hendry:

I think Sandberg will be back in the Cubs camp this spring. He was a surprise candidate for the top job. Hendry didn’t know the former second baseman and Hall of Famer was interested until the last minute.

J.B., do you honestly think the Cubs would let a Hall of Famer go elsewhere early in his career and have an amazing career with another organization? I don’t know where you would get such an idea. No organization could be that stupid. And, Mr. Hendry, can you please get off your dead ass and do some actual work? First, Nevin and Maddux had to trade themselves away from your disaster of a clubhouse, and now you fail to realize that one of the best players in Cub history, whose number you see hanging from a flagpole 81 times a year and who practically begged for the job, was interested?

Juan Pierre said that he wanted a manager who likes to run, and I was wondering if Lou “likes to run.” What are the chances of re-signing Pierre?
— Andy B., Muncie, Ind.

Carrie spills this answer onto her keyboard:

Piniella does like to run — Ichiro stole 56 bases in 2001 for the Mariners under Piniella. But Pierre is a free agent for the first time and might take advantage of that and test the market.

Carrie, sweetheart, if Lou Piniella was telling Ichiro when and when not to run, the Cubs are even worse off than I thought. There are certain people who should have the all-time “steal whenever the hell you want to steal” sign. Ichiro is one of those people. Juan Pierre, who steals on speed alone and is, in fact, a terrible base stealer, is not. Pierre back in a Cubs uniform next year will be almost as ugly a sight as Piniella and Rothschild.

When will the Spring Training schedule be released, and are the Cubs going to play in Las Vegas again?
— Dan C., Las Vegas

Carrie “answers” this question, I guess.

I don’t know about Vegas, and I don’t have a date for the schedule. The Cubs didn’t release the 2006 spring schedule until early January.

Why in the name of God did you choose to answer this question, then? I have some advice for Dan C., if he makes it to Vegas. Pick the Cubs to finish 5th in the NL Central. Go ahead and put your mortgage on it.

It seems to me that the Cubs always managed to get two quick outs, but most of the damage was done with two outs. Is there any way to find out how many runs Cubs pitchers gave up with two outs as opposed to one or no outs?
— Ryan T., LaGrange Park, Ill.

Carrie is good with statistics, as long as they are only “counting” statistics and don’t involve any sort of calculations. Observe.

Cubs pitchers gave up 321 runs with two outs, second-highest in the National League (the Nationals were first, serving up 334 runs with two outs). For a point of reference, the San Diego Padres (244), St. Louis Cardinals (250) and New York Mets (268), all playoff teams this year, gave up the fewest number of runs with two outs.

The Cubs ranked eighth in the NL in runs given up with one out (305), and were second to the Cincinnati Reds in serving up runs with no outs (208 runs). Overall, Cubs pitchers were second in the NL in runs allowed, behind the Nationals.

She could have saved time by just saying, “Yes. It’s called ‘The Internet,’ you jackass, and if I could find it, you should be ashamed of yourself for not being able to do so.”

I heard that the Cubs attendance was somewhere around 3 million. What was the highest annual attendance for a team that finished in last place? I have a feeling it might be the Cubs.
— John P., Jackson, Miss.

Carrie excitedly gets to talk about more counting stats!

The 1993 Colorado Rockies hold the distinction of drawing the most fans for a last-place team. The Rockies drew 4,483,350 fans that season despite a 67-95, sixth-place finish. Four teams that drew 3 million fans won fewer than 66 games: the 1993 Marlins (64-98), the 1994 Rockies (53-64 in strike-shortened year), the 1998 Diamondbacks (65-97) and the 2001 Orioles (63-98).

The Cubs’ final 2006 attendance was 3,123,215, second-highest in franchise history.

Carrie. You forgot the word “paid” in your assessment of the attendance. Wasn’t the actual attendance at the games embarrassingly bad in the last few weeks? If you were a good reporter trying to answer this question honestly, shouldn’t you report what the concession sales were like, since that’s probably a far more accurate representation of the actual attendance?

Well, I’ve pissed myself off enough for one day. I’m looking forward to the next insightful entry in the “How the hell am I a sports reporter?” contest!

Heather Prior Delivers Baby Girl, Places Her on DL

CHICAGO–The Prior family has a new addition, baby Amanda Grace, who was born Thursday to Mark and Heather Prior. Initial rumors that Mark bore the child himself were proven false, as it was confirmed that Heather was, in fact, the one who gave birth to the 6 pound, 9 ounce baby girl.

As soon as Amanda was born, Mark and Heather put her on the disabled list, retroactive to 9 months ago. “We just wanted to do what’s in the best interest of our firstborn,” Mark said. “With Rothschild being back, and with Piniella having a history of pitcher abuse, we didn’t want to take any chances,” Mark added, wincing as he spoke.

Amanda has a long weekend ahead of her, as she will be taken for a shoulder MRI today, followed by Tommy John surgery tomorrow. The Priors expect that they will be able to bring Amanda home in less than a week, though sources close to the family expect that Amanda will not be able to participate in any infant-related activities until at least June of 2007.

The setback does not bother Mark and Heather. “We already have a cute little towel all ready for her to snap around,” Heather said. “I knitted it myself,” she concluded, beaming.

One bright side of the medical care needed for Amanda is the fact that Amanda’s procedure will be the tenth on Mark’s surgery punchcard, meaning his next season-ending surgery is free.


Who is Lou offending today?

Ozzie Guillen, mang.

How Angry Is Lou Today?

Lou! Hot as a Kerry Wood fastball.

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Older Posts

The Bottom 126 Cubs of My Lifetime

1. Todd Hundley

2. Neifi Perez

3. Alex Gonzalez

4. LaTroy Hawkins

5. Fred McGriff

6. Corey Patterson

7. Mel Rojas

8. Jeff Blauser

9. Antonio Alfonseca

10. Juan Pierre

11. Shawn Estes

12. Felix Heredia

13. Julian Tavarez

14. Kyle Farnsworth

15. Mark Prior

16. Kent Mercker

17. Moises Alou

18. Dave Veres

19. Jose Macias

20. Lenny Harris

21. Jose Hernandez

22. Jacque Jones

23. The Unnamed Pitchers of the 90s

24. Freddy Bynum

25. Jerry Hairston, Jr.

26. Scott Williamson

27. Tony Womack

28. Andy Pratt

29. Will Ohman

30. Phil Nevin

31. Jeff Fassero

32. Ronny Cedeno

33. Brant Brown

34. Roosevelt Brown

35. Jason Dubois

36. Wade Miller

37. Mark Guthrie

38. Sergio Mitre

39. Juan Cruz

40. Gabor Paul II Bako

41. Ryan Dempster

42. Mike Remlinger

43. Glendon Rusch

44. Nomar Garciaparra

45. Gary Matthews, Jr.

46. Matt Clement

47. Gary Gaetti

48. Bobby Hill

49. Benito Santiago

50. Jerome Williams

51. Roberto Novoa

52. David Kelton

53. Todd Wellemeyer

54. Shane Andrews

55. Darrin Jackson

56. Frank DiPino/Terry Francona

57. John Mabry

58. Curtis Wilkerson

59. Hee Seop Choi

60. Cesar Izturis

61. Rick Wilkins

62. Jon Garland

63. Augie Ojeda

64. Jerome Walton

65. Jae Kuk Ryu

66. Todd Hollandsworth

67. Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes

68. Willie Greene

69. Michael Tucker

70. Damon Berryhill

71. Jon Leicester

72. Mitch Webster

73. Curtis/Tom Goodwin

74. Jody Gerut

75. Jim Sundberg

76. Steve Buechele

77. Darren Lewis

78. Rey Ordonez

79. Marvell Wynne

80. Tyler Houston

81. Amaury Telemaco

82. Kevin Roberson

83. Damian Jackson

84. Doug Dascenzo

85. Ismael Valdez

86. Matt Karchner

87. Jeff Huson

88. Jose Nieves

89. Ross Gload

90. Chad Hermansen

91. Luis Salazar

92. Mike Hubbard

93. Delino DeShields

94. Matt Lawton

95. Howard Johnson

96. Rondell White

97. Turk Wendell

98. Ray King

99. Gary Scott

100. Steve Rain

101. Kevin Orie

102. Rey Sanchez

103. Francis Beltran

104. Paul Noce

105. Enrique Wilson

106. Ruben Quevedo

107. Damon Buford

108. Brooks Kieschnick

109. Damian Miller

110. Scott Bullett

111. Rick Aguilera

112. Chad Meyers

113. Gary Varsho

114. Jason Bere

115. Troy O'Leary

116. Chico Walker

117. Rick Wrona

118. Leo Gomez

119. Chris Stynes

120. Dan Plesac

121. Robert Machado

122. Julio Zuleta

123. Todd Zeile

124. Chad Fox

125. Adam Greenberg

126. Sandy Martinez

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