View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2011



Early AM Wakeup Calls Suck

Written by , Posted in General

Another morning is here. My almost 2 yr old has decided that it’s a good idea to get up every morning between 5:30a and 6:00a. I know that sounds like I’m complaining about a lot, but when you don’t have to be up till around 7, it kind of ticks you off. Dude needs to understand that when it’s dark in the room and dark outside, he needs to be sleeping. Oh well, on to the discussion points.

STRIKE ONE – The Theo Epstein smoke as been everywhere and since we know that where there is smoke there is almost always fire, this Epstein thing must be a possibility. I posted a question on Twitter the other day and was a little surprised at the results. Yesterday, Jeremiah had a piece that talked about who Ricketts should hire at the GM spot based on what he was looking for. Epstein came in as a “new school success story [with] name recognition” People everywhere around Cubs nation want him and want him bad. My discussion question for you today is this: Make the case why Theo would be the wrong guy for the job. Why would it be better to hire someone else?

STRIKE TWO – The Yankees are now one game away from being eliminated from the playoffs despite having the highest payroll in baseball and the second best record in the game. I would argue that this is bad for baseball to have both the Red Sox and the Yankees out early because of the fact that they bring so many viewers to the games. Baseball needs October to shine to continue to attract new fans. Let’s face it, they’re not in it for the long, arduous regular season. They tolerate that to be able to get to October. Make the case that I’m wrong and that it would be good for the Yankees to be out.

STRIKE THREE  In case you missed it and were wondering why there was no Hank Williams Jr. song on Monday Night Football yesterday, here is the basics on the story, courtesy of CNN.

For the first time in years, “Monday Night Football” viewers did not hear Hank Williams Jr.’s intro “Are You Ready for Some Football?” after ESPN pulled the song from the broadcast following remarks Williams made about President Barack Obama.

In an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Monday morning, Williams referred to a June golf game with Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on the same team, against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.”

Asked what he didn’t like about it, Williams said, “Come on. That’d be like (Adolf) Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu. Not hardly.”

In a statement Monday, ESPN said that while Williams “is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to “Monday Night Football.” We are extremely disappointed with his comments and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”

CNN – 10/04/2011

I don’t know where to go with this other than to say watch the video and discuss as you will.

  • Norm

    Strike one: The case against Theo comes down to Daisuke, Lackey, Crawford, and I’m probably forgetting one or two guys. Same mistakes Hendry made, but Theo just had better home grown talent to compensate.

    Strike two: Last years World Series was San Fran and Texas and this year MLB had the 5th highest attendance ever, an increase over last year. Baseball is fine with or without the Yanks in the Series.

    Strike three: Football was on?

  • Buddy

    I know it’s been said many times, many ways, but it’s worth mentioning again. The playoffs are a crapshoot. If you stuck the Royals in the postseason, they could win a short series. As for big payrolls, ask the Cubs, White Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox how that helped them this year.

  • Just like you never know when a member of the general public is going to say something stupid, you never know when a celebrity is going to say something stupid (you would think this would not be the case since the talking stupid celebrity is often costing himself or herself money).

    The Williams, Jr. Monday Night Football opening was due for elimination anyways.

    Not to mention that Monday Night Football had all of it’s grandeur drained by ESPN so who cares?

  • Noah

    Strike One: On top of the fact that Epstein has made some poor free agent signings, as Norm described, there was a FanGraphs article that pointed out that Epstein doesn’t have any knowledge base that, for example, Ben Cherington or Rick Hahn wouldn’t also share. But you’d be paying probably at least three times as much for Epstein’s name recognition.

    Strike Two: I’d also say that having other teams competing makes the fans more likely to stick around. For example, while the Brewers didn’t have great attendance in 2010, their success in 2008 still made the Brewers far more popular in 2010 than they had been in, say, 2005. While I do think a Yankees/Phillies World Series would have higher ratings than, say, a Rays/D-Backs series, I’m not that concerned with immediate ratings.

    Strike Three: I’m just going to say Hank Williams, Jr.’s analogy was utterly moronic. He’s saying that two people going golfing who disagree by a few percentage points on the proper level of taxation for the wealthiest Americans is akin to the Prime Minister of Israel and a person who tried to kill all Jews going golfing. It’s just idiotic.

  • Chuck

    Strike 1: The only blemish on Theo’s resume right now is the inability of the Sox to develop a lot of home-grown pitching the last couple of years. That is really picking nits, but it is a potential issue. Otherwise, I’m not sure there is a lot to complain about aside from not winning the WS every year. Boo Hoo.
    Strike 2: Cue baby crying. Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Wa! Wa! Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! The Yankees are about to be eliminated! Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Alert the National Guard! Wa! Wa! Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! My pre-playoff prediction of Brewers over Texas in the WS is looking pretty good now.
    Strike 3: I don’t consider Hank williams Jr. the bastion of political correctness that others seem to. I did not see anything wrong with what he said. He didn’t praise Hitler in any way, so what is the big deal? Political correctness run amok.
    BTW: Nothing good ever happens when you mention Hitler on TV. Ever.

  • ‘I’d like to spit some Beetchnut in that dude[Hitler]’s eye, and shoot him with my old .45.’ I smell a marketing opportunity. As so long as we are making generalizations, I think Fox News, the NFL, and Hitler are all retarded.

  • Doc Raker

    Joe- Enjoy that time with your children. Some extra time in the AM is a blessing, go to bed early so you can enjoy your time with him, teach him how to throw and hit. Soon they will run off and not want you around, keep the glass half full if not filled to the brim.

  • Doc Raker

    Ratings are not more important than the greatest game itself, that is part of MLB’s problem with 8:30 start times, baseball will be just fine without the Yankee’s, good riddance.

  • Doc Raker

    Hank Williams was not calling Obama Hitler, he was comparing Obama and Boehner as political polar opposites which is true. But Williams called Obama the enemy and let it known that he is not in the liberal wing of the Hollywood Elite so out Williams goes. When Whoopie Goldberg or like bashes a Republican they get a pat on the back and a raise.

  • Eddie Von White

    Strike One – Why hire someone else’s loser?
    Strike Two – If the Yankees are in the World Series I for one, will not be watching. Outside of New York and the retirees in Flordia, the Yankees are not beloved.
    Strike Three – Hank Williams is a singer, sports is supposed to be apolitical – why does ESPN have to be polically correct?

    @ Swanson – Fox News and the NFL are not retarded. Hitler is dead.

  • Eddie Von White

    Joe – enjoy those early morning wake ups while they’re here. Soon, very soon, you will miss them.

  • Jedi

    Doc has the Hank Williams thing right.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Williams jr may have been trying to make ..some point.
    At any time, mentioning the POTUS and Hitler in the same sentence? Pretty effing stupid.
    I thought W was a moron, but I would never and come out and made a Bush/David Duke comment…or anything like that.

  • Seymour Butts

    Fox News is not retarded, just the number one network among the retarded.
    Strike 1- Theo had his chance with the new thinking AND a big payroll and what does he have to show for it? A couple WS wins and mostly perennial playoff appearances. Why would we want that?
    Strike 2- The Yanks are a draw across most of the country when they are LOSING. I turn it off if it appears they are going to win. Toss da bums and make for a happy USA.
    Strike 3- Really??? someone watched the colts and Bucs? get a life.G

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    1) I can’t so much make a case against Theo as a better case for Friedman. If he’s available after the Rays’ playoff run, I’d much prefer him to Epstein, simply because he’s had to find ways to compete at the same level as the Yankees and Red Sox with a fraction of the budget. Epstein had the advantage of owners who wanted to spend big–Friedman’s had to work harder. Since the Cubs don’t appear to be able to buy themselves out of trouble whenever they want, I’ll take the guy who has had to do it with a light checkbook.
    2) The Yankees being out of the playoffs hurts the way FOX/TBS/TNT/ESPN market and cover the games, but it doesn’t do much if anything to the way fans enjoy them. The baseball talking heads have their set storylines in place, and they don’t want to deviate from them. Just watch, no matter who winds up in the World Series, Buck and McCarver will find a way to talk about the Yankees and the Red Sox.
    3) I’m not sure I understand the hand-wringing on the part of ESPN. Does anyone really care that Hank “knows a little about politics, too,” or what he has to say about it? You can’t be that surprised when your country/western singer with a rocky past and a colorful personality says something less than politically correct. Frankly, that they felt they had to distance themselves from him to avoid offending anyone is perhaps the most offensive part about the whole thing. Well, that and the fact that someone at FOXNews through this was newsworthy in the first place.

  • Chuck

    What is this NFL thing you guys speak of?

  • Katie

    I watch sports because I hate watching the news and all the political crap that goes on. Now we’re mixing the two? That’s dumb. Now I’m gonna have to start watching the Lifetime Network.
    Hank Jr. is a legend, regardless of his political preferences, and his MNF song is the best, darnit. I agree with you, Doc.


    How come the little rascal doesn’t bother Mrs, VFTB, only you? JK. 😛 Once he starts school, he won’t be waking you up at 5AM. Straight out of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin won’t wake up on a school day, but he’ll be going nuts on Saturday mornings, with his parents wondering why he can’t do that on a school day. I hate early morning wakeup calls too. I have to lifeguard at 5AM at least once a week

    Strike 1 – No to Theo. Lot of bad FA signings, Boston can just cover it up with money. Money that the Cubs don’t have at least until Ricketts can renovate Wrigley, build the triangle building, and pay off the purchase of the team.
    Strike 2 – The playoffs are a crapshoot in MLB, anyone can win. The Yankees being out is good because the small market teams can get some exposure. Fielder is the big name this winter, so a deeper run by the Brewers would mean more exposure for them.
    Strike 3 – Screw political correctness. I have used the Hitler analogy in regards to Obama, saying the GOP is after him like Hitler, and he’s responding to them like Neville Chamberlain when he needs to be responding like Winston Churchill.


    As for your Twitter question, I would like to see Soriano gone because his contract is an albatross, and he is blocking our young talent. Bozo only has 1 year left.

  • Buddy

    I agree that the Soriano contract is a huge mess, but he’s not actually blocking any young talent that I can think of. LaHair should get a chance to play 1B or RF, so who does that leave for the “blocked by Soriano” category. Campana? Colvin? Montanez? All bad! Am I missing somebody obvious?

  • Buddy

    Also, I didn’t mean to call LaHair “young.” He’ll be 29 in a few weeks.

  • CubbieDude

    I’d rather drink a beer with Hank Williams, Jr. (or Sr.) than with those 3 constipated nincompoops from FOX NEWS any day.

    And I’d rather watch Monday Night Football with Hank Williams, Jr. than with those three nobodies from FOX NEWS any day.

    On the other hand, neither Hank Williams, Jr., nor the FOX NEWS puppets ever claimed to be anything other than what they are.

    I think the ESPN suits are proving just how intolerant they are of dissent and/or diversity of opinion. While I don’t necessarily agree with Hank’s opinion, I did wear a uniform for 20 years to defend his right to say it.

    I’ve certainly heard plenty of Bush, Cheney, Rove/Republican bashing in the media, including references to one Adolf Hitler.

    And how did the anti-spam word get to be “redneck” in this particular instance?

    Doc Raker is right as rain on this one, and on his other two, too.

  • Lizzie

    @Katie, noooooooo don’t do it. The Lifetime Network is full of whiny women and no sports! It’s dreadful.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    CubbieDude, thanks for your service.

    And everyone who said “Doc is right” is right about Doc being right.

  • Doc Raker

    Thanks for all the support! Much appreciated.
    BLPCB- You are correct, Obama is much more like Neville Chamberlain than Winston Churchill. My perception is that you would prefer Obama to stand up to the Republican party more like Winston Churchill when what most Amercians want is for him to stand up for America in a Churchillian manner. But Obama is not Winston Churchill, that is for sure.
    * Who started this policital chat anyway Joe?

  • Seymour Butts

    Way too much “Doc is right” being thrown about in these parts. We are going to Gregg off Katie so, I will just agree, He’s right…way right.

  • Jedi

    BLPCB – at the risk of igniting a fire, I’m curious how you see Obama’s behavior to be reminiscent of Chamberlain’s. The former British PM was famous for appeasing Hitler; I’m not familiar with Obama’s attempt to appease anyone since January 2009. It’s been a lot of give me my way or I’ll gripe to America about the GOP. Look no further than the current “jobs” bill.

    To me Obama has come off more like a little kid who takes his ball and goes home when he doesn’t get his way – that’s not very much like either former British PM. Chamberlain subordinated his will to that of others, Churchill imposed his will on others. Obama hasn’t been convincing enough to play the Churchill role, nor is he willing to concede enough to play the Chamberlain role – thus, gridlock.

    I’ve probably started too much of a fire already…just didn’t get how the analogy was meant to be constructed.

  • Doc Raker

    Hop aboard Seymour, plenty of room on the bandwagon.


    -I say he responds to the GOP more like Chamberlian than Churchill because the GOP is out to get him. They have no interests in compromising with him. From the moment he won the 2008 election, their sole agenda has been defeating him in 2012. He is trying to pacify his enemy, much like Chamerblain kept trying to pacify Hitler when he kept invading European countries and violating the terms of Germany’s WWI surrender. Churchill realized this man had no intentions of compromising, so he went after him.
    I also use a Michael Jordan analogy to describe el Presidente, since he likes to talk about Jordan a lot. When Jordan was confronted, he did not try to pacify his enemy. He went after his enemy, and beat them to a bloody pulp.

    The Dems controlled the House and Senate for 2 years, and did absolutely nothing. Regardless of whether or not I support his policies, the fact remains that during those 2 years, they had the power. He could have rammed through the health care bill that he wanted. He could have rammed through an end to the Bush tax cuts. He could have rammed through this jobs bill he’s talking about. He could have rammed through this stuff about green energy. Instead he spent all his time trying to pacify the GOP. And even when the Bush Tax cuts were extended after the November elections, the lame duck Congress was still controlled by Dems, and they still could have rammed through an end to the cuts. I guarantee if the GOP wins the president and both houses, they are going to undo Obama’s agenda, and will ram through all the bills with no compromising with the Dems, the way Snot Walker is doing in Wisconsin.

  • Jedi

    Ok – I just don’t see any pacifying. What he didn’t get done in his first two years had more to do with his own party (he had the necessary votes in both houses, couldn’t get all the Democrats to vote with him); not sure what that has to do with pacifying the GOP.

    What he hasn’t done in the last year isn’t because he’s been too busy pacifying the GOP – if anything the list of things that the GOP wants to overturn is getting longer. Since last year basically no one is getting what they want; as you even said, the GOP wants to undo what he’s done…further indicating that they aren’t being pacified (Hitler didn’t need to undo anything Chamberlain had done; Chamberlain didn’t do anything! – I suppose someone might think I just compared the Hitler to the GOP)

    Again, just look at the “jobs” bill. Obama keeps saying the GOP won’t vote on it; when in reality it’s the Democrats who are blocking the vote in the Senate. Until January 2011, the GOP didn’t have any power to stop Obama (so if he pacified them, it’s because he’s a fool); since then, neither side has gotten anything they wanted…like I said, gridlock. If Obama’s done any pacifying it’s within the Democratic party; I can’t think of a single thing he’s given the GOP that he wasn’t forced to give them because he couldn’t otherwise get the votes of conservative Democrats.

    This has been civil so far…I’m going to quit while I’m ahead for once.

  • Doc Raker

    Jedi- I think in regards to foreign policy appease is exactly what Obama has tried to do. His foreign apology tour shortly after he took office was that of appeasement. Domestically I agree with you, he is like a child who isn’t getting his way, and I hope he doesn’t get his way for all of our sakes. This is what we get when the press doesn’t thoroughly vet out candidates, inexperience and incompetence. A junior Senator with not one bill to his name and a community organizer is enough experience to be POTUS, please. “Pass this bill, pass this bill, pass this bill” what leadership.

  • Katie

    @Lizzie – getting me to really watch that channel would be like pulling teeth… not a good time. Those darn whiny women give us awesome women a bad name.

  • Eddie Von White

    Doc Raker for President in 2012.

    Bumper Sticker: “You Will See Right With Doc”

  • Eddie Von White

    They should put Hank Williams in the booth and get rid of John Gruden.

  • Raker / Seymour 2012: “Sight and Heart.” You fellas have my vote…

  • Doc Raker

    Yous are Funny!


    As Homer Simpson once said, thousands of people with no discernible talents is called Congress.

    If Pro is the opposite of Con, does that mean Progress is the opposite of Congress?

  • Eddie Von White

    Actually it’s 535 members of Congress who determine the direction our country goes in.

    Put Doc and Katie on the ticket.


    I think he meant all governments, state local and federal

  • Katie

    Wait… Homer Simpson is capable of that level of thinking?

  • Eddie Von White

    Katie – You have my vote.