Tagged: Chicago Tribune

Intelligence Trumps Corruption?

John Mozeliak.jpgroland burris rod blagojevich.jpg
A smile, a wink and a good old fashioned Chicago roundhouse to the face and everyone seems to have forgotten that Rod Blagojevich is the scum of the earth who not only embarrassed the millions of people who chose him to lead but also tainted the already highly critiqued political machine known as the City of Broad Shoulders.  And let me tell ya: it’s really friggin’ hard to embarrass a city known to root for those lovable bastions of disappointment: the Chicago Cubs.

Indeed, after a brilliant array of surreptitious spin-doctoring, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President-Elect Barack Obama swiveled from one extreme to the other and now favor seating Blago-appointee and Chicago granddaddy of patronage, Roland Burris, to the US senate.  To quote Jack Buck, “Excuse me while I stand and applaud.”

(*clap, clap, clap)

Yes, dear readers, Rod Blagojevich may appear to be a complete idiot, but his sinisterly savvy move of handpicking Burris to take Obama’s place (accented by the potentially trumping race card) just proves that he’s way smarter than anyone ever thought.  In fact…

Dude is wicked smah’t.

Meanwhile, many of you may see my flippant ferments to dispel equally corrupt John Mozeliak from the Cardinals’ helm as mere exercise in futile hyperbole, but believe me when I declare my absolute sincerity — that my dissatisfaction stems from a sound place: my undying loyalty to preserve the winning spirit of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Whether you like it or not, Mozeliak is corrupt.  Anyone who thinks he can throw around pretentiousness disguised as frugality in the Cardinals’ front office is corrupt.  Anyone who squashes the fans’ perennial hopes for a pennant (before the season even starts) while the hated Cubbies build and build and build only to get better, is corrupt.  Anyone who “rebuilds” a severely damaged bullpen by signing the likes of a lukewarm lefty named Trever Miller or Royce Ring — mere band-aids on a gaping, gushing head-wound — is corrupt.

tony larussa dave duncan.jpgYeah, sure, Tony LaRussa is extremely intelligent — so much so that he hid Mozeliak’s ineptitude for most of the 2008 season.  With Dave Duncan at his side, it’s no secret that LaRussa has fixed many a troubled bargain-bin pitcher — whatever riff-raff Mozeliak (and Jocketty before him) could dig up and throw his way.  But how long can we expect TLR’s elite level of intelligence to conceal the GM’s corruption?

One of these days (probably sooner than later) LaRussa and Dunc are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and walk away.

One of these days (probably sooner than later) the Illinois legislature (and the Democrats as a whole) are simply gonna get tired of the b.s. and send Blago on his way.

At least, I hope as much. 

Intelligence can’t hide the scandalous scars of corruption forever.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Second City DYING to Catch Not-So-New Axis of Evil

al capone.jpgMy rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
                  Al Capone (1899-1947)

Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
                         — Al Capone

Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub.  Now that’s clout!  When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ’em who’s boss with that move.  Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers.  Yeah, take that.  The Cubs got Gathright.  Whoowee, watch out world!

But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there!  No, the White Sox kept ’em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise! 

And wait!  There’s more…

New York, you think you had a crooked governor?  Ha! 

http://www.nbcchicago.com/syndication?id=36300869&path=%2Fhome%2Ftop_stories

You hear that?  He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois.  Dying!  See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them.  No.  They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood!  BOO-YEAH!  

Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE!  Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again!  Duh, my friends.  Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes.  The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago!  We do things our way — the US American way!

“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
                — Al Capone

Me too, dear readers.

Look, it’s true.  I love Chicago.  I really do.  It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah. 

And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:

We’re awesome.

Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Pay-Rod: MSNBC’s Liberal Use of Famed MLB Moniker Proven Inaccurate

rod blagjojevich.jpgMSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews led off its December 15th
broadcast with the teaser line “Pay-Rod” next to a photo of a
disgruntled, egomaniacal Rod Blagojevich — a clear shot at the
shortcomings of Blago’s esurient character aimed to compare him to
Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez.  The joke here is obvious: pay to play.  But MSNBC got this baseball-politico comparison wrong and as the de facto authority on such surreptitious simile, allow me to tell you why:

alex rodriguez.jpgCall him greedy, call him seedy, call him needy: A-Rod (aka “Pay-Rod”) still produces results (*post-season not included in this study).

He
demands and receives big money because he is arguably the best player
out there; simple supply-and-demand economics only follow suit. 

Blago,
however, does not.  His record low approval rating (even prior to
Patrick Fitzgerald’s accusations) rivaled only that of our Dear Leader
Bush.  His refusal to live in Springfield has long angered tax-payers
and politicians alike.  His swashbuckling appropriations of state funds
caused him to be a Chicago Tribune target.  And let’s face it: his
hairdo sucks.

But the most appalling of all Blago character traits is his cocky swagger, his self-righteous talking points, his relentless refusal to come clean — to face the Federal music and tell the public what exactly is/has been going on.

In other words…

Rod Blagojevich is the Barry Bonds of politics.

Just as…

Marion Barry
is the Josh Hamilton…. and…

David Duke is the Ty Cobb… and…

Barney Frank is the Billy Bean

If we’re going to throw out catchy baseball player references in
relation to controversial politicians, MSNBC, let’s make sure they’re
accurate, shall we?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Ron Santo Crybaby Camp Overshadows An Otherwise Respectable Career

chicago aerial.jpgAs a Chicagoan, I am expected to accept and endure the following three basic tenets of Chicago life, otherwise known as the Three C’s:

1.  Crappy weather

2.  Corrupt politicians

3.  Crybaby Cub fans

Because I love this fair second city and all the headaches associated with its underground, battled, scar-bearing character, I generally acquiesce and forego my impetus to break bones and punch walls in reaction to the ceaseless bombardment and annoying abundance of those Three C’s

But on a day like today, when it’s 30-some degrees outside with a steady, sloppy rain pouring down… when our dear Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich is arrested at his Northside home on federal corruption charges… when the Ron Santo camp is hogging headline space by going through its annual crybaby routine… when all three of these things converge on the same day in one unforgiving onslaught of discomfort, I am left exhausted, irked and very, very thankful that I am anti-gun.

It’s just too much for one man to take.

The weather, yeah.  Like an unwanted pregnancy, it happens.  We deal with it.

rod blagojevich.jpgBlagojevich, yeah.  I think we all knew he was a crook.  I met him at the 95th Street/Dan Ryan Expressway CTA station on election day 2006.  He smiled, shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder.  Five minutes later, as I was left admiring the indescribable solidity of his hair, I realized my wallet was gone.

But when it comes to the Hall of Fame hopes of one Ron Santo, I have absolutely had enough.  Enough!

I mean, when a woman says “no”, she means “no”, stupid.  If you ignore that you’re a rapist.

ron santo.jpgLikewise, when the Hall of Fame, whether it be the BBWAA, the Veterans Committee or the Baseball Gods themselves say “no” for twenty-five years, they mean “NO!!!!!… and stop bugging us.”  Because just like the yearly lament of “this is our year”, the we-were-robbed cries for Ron Santo routine is getting extremely old and intensely aggravating. 

Rick Morrissey, of the now bankrupt Chicago Tribune, cried out to his drones of readers, “What don’t Hall voters see in Santo?”

They don’t see a Hall of Famer, that’s what, Rick.  If doing the same thing over and over and over again while expecting different results is insanity then the crybaby Santo camp is absolutely DERANGED!

Get over it.

Ron Santo was a great baseball player.  He wasn’t one of the greatest of all time but he was better than average, better than good, better than what Cub fans have turned him into over the last several years: a whiny, sore losing, crybaby.  It’s not Ron’s fault.  Leave him alone.  He’s on your side.  Quit making him look like the fat kid in gym class that no one wants on his team.

You have a stronger case with Andre Dawson so go cry about that for a few decades, will ya?  By then Blagojevich might be ready to enter a work-release program cleaning up the beaches that will surround the then island of Chicago (it’s a polar ice cap melting thing).

So yeah, go ahead.  Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Stop the Madness!

question_mark.jpg“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein (or those guys at A.A. meetings)

So why do I do it?  Why do I continue to support the Chicago Tribune despite their undeniable penchant for making my fair city a cesspool of inferior journalism and third-rate hack reportage that totally alienates those who enjoy reading actual news?  Haven’t I broken enough household items over the garbage printed in the Tribune’s sports section?  Haven’t I put enough holes in the walls of my apartment?  Haven’t I lost my voice enough screaming over this insanity!?!

As if the Trib’s article — printed the day after Opening Day — touting Kosuke Fukudome as a perennial all-star MVP candidate who would most definitely serve as the secret weapon that would get the Cubs a ring wasn’t ludicrous enough.  As if the Trib’s full-page special promotion of a book they co-published titled This Is the Year to commemorate the Cubs’ so called “historic 2008 season” before they even played ONE playoff game wasn’t outrageous enough.

No.  They just couldn’t stop themselves from making me hate them more and more and more…

As if there wasn’t a World Series going on starring the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, the Tribune decided it’d be a great idea to fill precious space on the sports section’s front page with a preposterously pathetic pipedream of an article by Mike Downey called: Cubs Against Rays: The Series to Die For

Excuse me while I puke.

Is this news?  Really?  Come on!  Get a grip, Tribune!  You seriously pay this guy to sit around and think up fairytale scenarios that would feature the Cubs in the World Series while there is indeed a very important WORLD SERIES taking place right NOW?!?  Wake up!  The Cubs are dead.  They’ve been dead.  And they ain’t comin’ back to life!

I want to pick up my local newspaper and read about the important things going on in the world — not the private fantasies of Cub fans who just can’t seem to let GO.  Apparently my cries, my letters to the editor, my raving rants — all of which have been vehemently directed at the Chicago Tribune and its sub-par sports-writing staff — have been ignored. 

But for those of you keeping score at home, please know the following:

1) Kosuke Fukudome?  MVP my ^ss

2) This Is the Year?  My local CVS had piles of these strewn about randomly throughout the store with signs saying “FREE” and “PLEASE TAKE ONE” and “MAKES GOOD KINDLING”.  I live on the Southside. 

and…

3) Sorry, Mr. Downey.  Your article is crap. 

Oh, and by the way, you might want to pay attention to the real World Series (which the Cubs are not a part of).  As Anita, from the hit Broadway musical West Side Story, once said: Smoke on your pipe and put THAT in!

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Premature Jubilation

old cub fan.JPGThey say that the great state of Chicago‘s drinking water — drawn from the great Lake Michigan — is some of the finest, purest tap water in all of US America.  Seriously?  I’m beginning to wonder…

Again, my hat is tipped to the Chicago Cubs, their players, their front office and yes, even their fans for winning the National League Central Division title.  Job well done.  I’ve commented on blogs galore, I’ve shaken your hands, I’ve stopped calling the cops when you fire bomb my house. 

Congratulations on doing what you were supposed to do.  You were picked to win the Central.  You went out and spent a lot of money to win the Central.  So, it should be no surprise that you did indeed win the Central.

But I have absolutely no patience (nor the stomach) for this kind of crap sprawled across my Sunday paper:

this is the year cubs.jpgIf it weren’t for my sadistic infatuation with the shooting incidents finely described in the Metro section, I’d cancel my Chicago Tribune subscription in a New York methamphetamine minute because their escalating sensationalist style of journalism is growing too tiresome to be considered real reportage. 

Publishing a new book entitled This Is The Year?

The year for what!?!?  Winning the division?  Because that’s all you’ve done so far.  Congratu-friggin-lations on that.  You won the NL Central.  You did that last year too.  Remember?  Where’s the book for that great feat of baseball achievement?  Oh, there isn’t one?  Well then, let’s write a book about this year then without having actually done anything of real importance?!?! 

Is this for real?  What else have you done this year that warrants a book banking/hoping/praying you’ll win the NLDS and then win the NLCS and then… win the WS?

This is exactly the reason why Cub fans hate themselves.  They let the media and the hype and the curses and the exploding payrolls inflate their egos beyond the realms of sanity, so much so that they actually believe “this is the year” when they’ve still got a whole lot of work to do… just like they did when all they had to do was record five outs against the Marlins or win three games against the Diamondbacks or whatever the case may be this year. 

Sure, it’s been a hundred years and the media loves this kind of story… look: I get it.  But, don’t you think publishing a book called This Is The Year is a bit like asking that girl you like but haven’t talked to yet to marry you

Yeah.  Good luck with that.

I’m sure your manager, “Sweet” Lou Piniella, one of the smartest, classiest managers in the game, is loving your gung-ho holier-than-thou approach to the toughest part of the season.  Because we all know (cue the sarcasm) that the playoff games preceding the world series crown are really meaningless, especially if you’ve got a book called This Is The Year.

Nothing guarantees a victory like premature jubilation. 

Just ask Al Gore.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

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This week saw the introduction of instant reply — a
technocratic advance many still consider blasphemy — in Major League
Baseball.  Currently, the only calls
deemed debatable are homerun calls.  But now that the surface has been cracked, is it not only a matter of time before
we are reviewing foul balls down the line, close plays at first and dare I say
the strike zone?  Where does one draw the
line and how will this impact the overall game?

 

— Jeff

                                                                      

arod_replay_homer.jpg

Ah yes, the ol’ slippery slope argument. If we do “x,” then “y” and “z” must follow. It’s an argument politicians have used for years to hold out against reforming everything from farm subsidies to gun ownership. But, the fact of the matter is that the argument holds no water.

Beyond that, however, is an even more important distinction when it comes to instant replay. The use of replay for this one small area of the game is a huge improvement over the old system.

Just this past week, replay was used to uphold an Alex Rodriguez home run and the game neither came to a screeching halt nor did the ghosts of long dead major leaguers suddenly come flying out of the ground to right some injustice that had been done to their memory. Replay equals innovation and evolution in the game.

In the old system, a bunch of middle aged men who saw the ball’s path from 300 feet away would get together and debate what had happened. Often, they got it wrong. So now, instead of paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be necessary to put extra umps in the outfield, MLB came up with a suitable alternative.

No one who truly calls their self a baseball fan wants to see the abolition of the umpire. The call at home plate in a swirl of dust and dirt is as much a part of the game as the wooden bat and pinetar covered batting helmet.

But instant replay adds to the game. And in fact, in honor of its resounding success during its first week of use, I’d like to see it applied in other places where it’s never been seen before.

For instance, I’d like to see an instant replay of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention the other evening. Maybe then we can discover how someone who’s views so clearly fall outside the mainstream (creationism taught side by side with evolution?) has become an overnight media darling.

Or perhaps we could find out via replay how the Chicago Tribune came to print a story that so closely resembled my colleague Mr. Lung’s recent post.

No matter what, instant replay is here to stay along with the DH and All-Star Games that have way too much of an impact on October baseball. Instant replay, though, that’s change we can believe in.

-A