Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saying Hello to an Old Friend

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time we revisit a story that was told billions of times already, but hasn't been told in almost a year. A story told by a man who once showed up here quite frequently, and is still allegedly our flagship target. Ladies and gentlemen, please wwwwwwwwwwelcome back.....Jay Mariotti.

Bad Vibes Abound in Friendly Confines

For those of you who don't believe me......









::sniff:: Those were happy times. I sort of miss you, Jay.

CHICAGO -- I'm actually a hopeful guy at heart, confident we'll one day have an economic recovery,

Likely very soon!

peace on earth

Likely not happening!

and better late-night TV from Jimmy Fallon.

The least likely of all!

But my faith in humankind never has extended to the Cubs. Let me lay this out right here: They won't win another World Series in our lifetime or anyone's else,

Interesting. Jay should bet his life savings against the Cubs winning every year and live like a king. But I don't quite understand that sentence. Can you please give me three very random and completely unrelated references to clarify this?

doomed like pork rinds, Vanilla Ice and the last U.S. president as irreversible national debacles.


On a cold, rainy Tuesday, it was Country Music Night at Wrigley Field, the perfect promotion for the saddest ongoing song in sports. Living here, I am sensing more than a smidgen of burnout in Cubdom, a world-weariness that suggests even the most loyal masochists in sports are sick of pledging their entire beings to a cursed cause -- only to be inevitably bludgeoned every autumn.

I stopped reading the second you used the word "cursed". Unfortunately, it seems I already read roughly 89% of those words.

Wasn't there some sort of "curse" on that there Boston baseball team?

Naw, couldn't be. They won the World Series twice recently.

Now, there's a queasy feeling that the Cubs are regressing and might not even make the playoffs this season. They've lost eight of their last nine games, with a rain-shortened 6-1 win over the Pirates finally breaking the streak, and they too often strike the appearance of a sluggish, broken-down, overpriced blob that has overstayed its welcome as a National League contender.

They're four games out of first place on May 31. And they're behind teams that aren't even good.

This begs for a snarling, spitting, belly-bumping tantrum by manager Lou Piniella, who went bonkers in June 2007 and saw the Cubs use it as an emotional turning point in a division-title season.

Jay seems to be of the opinion that the Chicago Cubs won the division in 2007 because Lou Piniella kicked dirt on an umpire. Good for you, Jay.

But here's the rub: His wife, Anita, won't let her hubbie throw bases or fits anymore at 65, which not only is the clubhouse's loss but SportsCenter's, too.

Translation: The Cubs are fux0red.

At 22-22, the Cubs are only four games behind Milwaukee and St. Louis, locked in a first-place tie in the NL Central.

Dan-bob, please explain to the audience what is wrong with this sentence.

But the Cardinals, with Albert Pujols as the resident machine and pitching coach Dave Duncan working more miracles with mediocre arms, are poised for a division-title run.

I'm glad you think that Joel Piniero and Kyle Lohse aren't in for some sort of rude awakening.

The Brewers aren't bad, either, even without C.C. Sabathia.

Actually, they are kind of bad, especially when you consider Rickie Weeks isn't playing anymore. They have four guys hitting the ball acceptably well, and one of them is Craig Counsell, who is totally going to hit .327 all year. Trevor Hoffman will never give up a run, and the team will definitely stay in first place with Manny Parra and Jeff Suppan pitching this awful.

Let me read that sentence again.

The Brewers aren't bad, either, even without C.C. Sabathia.

Wow Jay, you've totally convinced me that you know one thing about the Brewers.

The Cubs are one of baseball's worst offensive teams,


ranking 11th in the league in runs and 14th in batting average and total bases, a far cry from the mashers who powered their way to glory.

Geovany Soto is going to hit .210 all year, and Aramis Ramirez will never come off the disabled list.

One issue is the deterioration of Derrek Lee, who hit 46 home runs four years ago, into a glorified singles hitter. Another issue is Aramis Ramirez, a dangerous hitter who can't stay healthy. Then there's the maddeningly streaky Alfonso Soriano, who is striking out like a fiend and remains misplaced as a leadoff man. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year, catcher Geovany Soto, is hitting .214 with one homer.

There is absolutely no reason to think that any of these players will produce at such a sluggish/disabled rate over an entire season.

Then there's Milton Bradley, who has brought nothing but poison to the Friendly Confines and threatens to spoil the good vibes that have pervaded Wrigley the last two seasons. Only Bradley, who should be accompanied by a shrink 24/7, still can carry a grudge in late May about an umpiring spat that happened on April 16.

Bradley is hitting home runs at a higher rate per plate appearance than he ever has in his career. His OBP is 119 points higher than his batting average. If you think that Milton Bradley is a .224 hitter, then please, by all means, panic.

But, hey, at least Mr. T was there on Monday night, in his red, white and blue get-up and bandana, mucking up the seventh-inning song with the worst of them. You thought Denise Richards was bad? Jeff Gordon, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Romo, Mike Ditka, Dick Vitale? Mr. T brought "PAIN!!!" in the worst way.

See? It isn't all bad!


ThatReaderWhoNeverComments said...

I seem to remember another 'curse' broken last year in baseball...Billy Penn can go blow himself.

Also, apparently Albert Pujols played for that other Saint Louis team last year, you know the one that finished third in the NL Central and carries almost the same lineup as last year.

Surely Dave Duncan wasn't on the team last year and is the reason for the success this year? Shit, he was there last year too?

I heard that Ozzie Guillen secretly runs the Cubs, just to piss off Mariotti.

dan-bob said...

Dan-bob, please explain to the audience what is wrong with this sentence.

The Reds are going to win the NL Central!!!!!!