View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



January 2012



Morning News: Afternoon Edition

Written by , Posted in General

Strike One:  Joe Paterno passed away over the weekend.  The final year of his coaching career saw him achieve the highest highs, becoming the winningest Division 1 coach in history, and sink to the lowest lows, as the Jerry Sandusky scandal engulfed the entire football program and led to Paterno’s eventual ouster–all in the space of a few short weeks.  While his on-the-field legacy is secure in most eyes, it remains to be seen if or how the forthcoming Sandusky trial further tarnishes the longtime coach’s personal legacy.  For some people his death may come as a relief, as he won’t face further humiliation and shame over his relationship with Sandusky.  For others–and especially Sandusky’s victims–his passing means they’ll never get answers to their questions concerning Paterno’s role in the apparent coverup.  His funeral is set for Wednesday.

Foul Tip Ball One:  The day before Paterno died, a Penn State student-run new organization called Onward State erroneously tweeted news of Paterno’s death.  The story was picked up by several national news outlets before it was recanted, and the editor of Onward State resigned over the mistake.  Less than a day later, Paterno was dead–for real this time.  I wonder if the editor regrets his knee-jerk resignation now?

Strike Two:  Are you ready for a rematch?  By now you know that the Patriots and Giants both won yesterday, and are now on a two-week, hype-loaded collision course for Super Bowl XLVI (46–I had to look it up).  Do you expect a dominant performance from Brady, Gronkowski, and Hernandez, or some more late-game heroics from Eli and the Giants defense?  Here’s John Clayton’s early breakdown of the game.  And in case you missed them, here are the highlights from yesterday’s Ravens-Patriots and Giants-49ers games.

Foul Tip:  Steven Tyler was asked to sing the National Anthem before the Ravens-Patriots game yesterday, apparently by someone who had never heard Steven Tyler sing before.  Here’s the video, along with some links to other famous train wreck versions.  Tyler’s version was not what you’d call good, but it could have been a lot worse.  Or funnier.

Strike Three:  Don’t shed any missed-it-by-that-much tears for longtime Ravens linebacker and human wrecking ball Ray Lewis–he’s not retiring yet.  However, another fixture of an East Coast powerhouse has decided to hang it up.  Jorge Posada plans to retire tomorrow as a Yankee, rather than continue his career somewhere else.


    Strike 1: RIP Joe Pa.
    Strike 2: I think America wants the same result as Super Bowl XLII. The Giants and Patriots have the same colors, as such, the NFL only needs one set of confetti for the game.
    Strike 3: Ray Lewis is a symbol of everything wrong with Thug U, and why they are very unlikeable.

    Side note: Wouldn’t the first foul tip be considered strike 2?


    I know I posted it in another post, but it’s going to get swept under the rug with the Pena debate.

    – The guy who muffed both those punts, Kyle Williams, is the son of White Sox GM Kenny Williams.
    – Cutler is going to be a father. I thought he got rid of that hack
    – LeBron posted on twitter yesterday that the end of the game got blacked out for him

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Way to monitor my pitch count. Fixed it.

    I’ve got no sympathy for Kenny Williams, but I feel bad for his son. Nobody wants the be the goat.

  • Jedi

    I like the change to Ball One – get Matt Clement out on the mound for you and the Morning News could be a 10-pitch at-bat.

  • Seymour Butts

    Greetings from Mesa, AZ.
    With the weekend tourney in the rear view mirror, it’s Randy Hundley and friends time.
    Great weather ,good friends, and 2 wins for the fighting Seymours today. Coaches are Pete LaCock and Jose Cardinal. The astute reader (Raker) can glean some of my team mates from just this information alone.

  • cap’n obvious

    Tournament was great fun. If there are aging cardiologists and optometrists that are better for their age in the country, I’d like to see them play. Raker’s mound effort was masterful, as he baffled the marauders from Seattle with a mix of slow, slower, and some well placed sunshine that they had no answer for. Seymour’s 3rd base play reminded me of Aramis….he’d make 3 tough plays look easy, then turn an easy slow roller into a soccer ball. Cap’n Obvious was hideous as a run producer, leading the galaxy in LOB for the weekend, and got absolutely lambasted in Alec Berg’s kangaroo court for an (alleged-still)off field incident at a local bar which also implicated a teammate, a mechanical bull, and an alleged Berg groupie. Other highlights included, but not limited to:

    -Berg and Raker’s youngest brother…the barrister, taking a scorcher off the shin at 3rd, and proceeding to simultaneously fall onto his back and the ball, rendering him to resemble, as Berg brilliantly stated, “a turtle that needs to be flipped back over before he dies.”

    -Cap’n Obvious, trying to overcome nearly 175 years of blatant discrimination against lefties by playing a nearly error-free game at shortstop, which, incidentally, was integral to Raker’s mound performance.

    -Raker, the morning after his CG mound win, after lazily chasing down a ball in the LF corner, being referenced as Milton Bradley…by members of the OPPOSING team.

    -Seymour explaining to me that he refers to Doc Raker here on VFTB as just “Raker” because, “he’s not a real doctor.”

    -Cap’n Obvious volunteering to run to a local CVS to buy post-game beers, committing credit card fraud, and using Berg’s Amex to make the purchase.

    -Raker’s petulant attitude toward the hard-working lunch caterer.

    -Cap’n Obvious having serious issues in the dugout with how the team was being managed, attempting to do the right thing by leaking his displeasure to the press, only to find that there was no press…because there were no fans. The hand was forced, so he entered a short, Derek Bell-esque operation-shut-down. No one noticed because no production was actually lost.

    -Seymour nearly get a bloop broken bat single, which wouldn’t ordinarily be noteworthy, except that the bat was broken BEFORE the at-bat.

    -Another clubhouse gag, featuring Raker, Obvious, Berg, a balloon-knot, video camera, and identical tubes of Chap-stick. Details too racy and/or despicable for this audience…I was, frankly embarrassed to have taken part.

    -A guy named Smitty was there, and somehow managed to remain completely below the radar.

    -and the moment of the weekend, when DOC Raker patiently waited, and tactfully approached Nicklas Lidstrom for a photo for his hockey playing son in the mechanical bull bar, only to have Lidstrom roll his eyes, stonewall, and continue plying a chubby co-ed with bottles of Budweiser. Stay classy Nick. 4 Stanley Cups, 7 Norris Trophies, 11 NHL All-Star appearances…a hall of fame career shattered by 1 moment of douchebaggerry. The Red Wings will always suck, but Lidstron could have been a star in one little Huntington Beach boys eyes.

    friggin Swede.


    How did the 2B do? I had 3 balls hit to me at 2B my entire time playing baseball. One I throw out the batter-runner at 1B, and the other one I didn’t get to because I was covering 2B on a steal, if I wasn’t covering the bag, I would have had the ball. I was also part of 3 6-4-3 twin kills, started a 4-6-3, but the SS pulled the 1B off the bag. I had plenty of balls hit to me when I played OF.

  • cap’n obvious

    It should be clear from the previous post, but Obvious also spent the entire weekend, in an effort to fit in with other under-achieving superstars of his generation, referencing himself in the 3rd person.

  • cap’n obvious

    after game 1, 2B became a haven for the slow moving, nearly injured, decrepit players on the club. In other words, Raker’s family pretty much bogarted the position.


    Keep that position warm for a few years, then I will join and take over as the everyday 2B

  • Thanks for the update Cap…that was great. I wish I was a fly on the dugout wall for the Butts / Raker doctor discussion. I hope you fellas snagged a giant bucket of Advil with the beer at CVS. I watched a few of Berg’s old videos from camp, jealously, in my cubicle this afternoon. One of these years…

  • Seymour Butts

    I was going to mention the 3rd person thing if Cap had not pointed it out. Petulant is the word that comes to mind. The Captain does have game however, and was not nearly as inept as the more or less constant dugout banter would have one believe. In a small sample size, leading the universe in LOB does happen.
    The outlook for the real Cubs from those who know is good. A former Cub still well connected with the team was very happy in the dugout today about how the club is becoming faster and defensivly better. Look for good things in the not to distant future.

  • Eddie Von White

    Cap’n – you should have gotten your own post for that summary. Very interesting and very easy to picture it all in my mind. I actually read it all the way through to the end.

  • MJ

    I still think Doc and crew should get a guest post each year to run through their weekend triumphs.

  • cap’n obvious

    Thanks Eddie….it all fit in a comment. I am sure Joe has plenty of people that actually aspire to being writers waiting in line to have their own post. Looking back, it was maybe the longest comment in history. Had to type the whole thing right-handed, since my manager ran me out to the mound on 1 day rest to close out the Sunday game after I threw 212 pitches trying to get through 7 innings in Friday’s game against the Dodgers. Nice of Raker to mention the 7 strikeouts, and leave out the fact that I couldn’t find the strike zone with a batman spotlight and a team of National Geographic explorers. I think there was one Dodger player’s wife that didn’t draw a walk in the Friday game. At some point, there will be some youtube video of some of the events, I’m told. It will likely not be PG rated.

  • Doc Raker

    Great recap Capn but you missed a few things. We had 3 fans, my dad, Alec Bergs groupie and her daughter but neither of them cared about your operation shut down, everyone was hoping more for operation shut mouth but we were never so lucky.
    * The Capn pitched well in game 1. He out thunk himself a bit as he fought a bit on his command trying to master 4 pitches for the outing, fastball, change, slider and cutter. At the time he didn’t realize that 80% of these rosters can’t hit a ball out of the infield and the Capn is throwing 3-2 changeups to a guy who will get himself out if he just puts the ball in play, assuming he doesn’t hit a slow roller to Butts which would then wind up being a hit. So in the first inning I walk in from ss and say to Obvious, “Hey Obvious, just throw strikes and these guys will get themselves out, I thought that was obvious.” He replies, “Doc”, because Obvious understands MD’s aren’t the only doctors in the world like anyone really cares, “Doc, my catcher isn’t framing my pitches properly”. I say, “You ain’t getting strike calls cause you ain’t throwing strikes. Forget about how your 55 year old crippled catcher is doing and worry about yourself and throw strikes.” The next hitter bloops in a single just beyond the infield and Obvious starts chirping, “My outfield is playing to deep, pull my outfield in. Can I get a new catcher, I need someone to frame my pitches.”
    “No new catcher Obvious, look around, Geovanni Soto ain’t here, not even George Mitterwald is here, just throw strikes.” In our last game on Sunday the Capn came in to pitch and with a very sore arm simply lobbed strikes over the plate and got outs, he just let everyone get themselves out.
    * In game 2 we had a pitching duo with probably the 2 best pitchers in camp. We gave up an unearned run in the first inning. Our pitcher broke 3 bats to the first 3 batters he faced inducing 3 easy ground balls to our infield, we got one out out of those three broken bat hits. Butts did his best soccer impression on a slow roller hit right at him to start the game. The opposing pitcher was throwing hard and early on we squared a few up on when we got to the middle innings in a 1 run game he started mixing in this wicked curve ball to go along with his fastball. Both pitchers pitched brilliantly and we lost by 2 after our closer allowed 1 more run in the late innings.
    * In years past lunch has been pretty good, BBQ chicken, hamburgers and BBQ pork. This year was grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches with potato salad and doritos. I didn’t even stay on day 2, went to Polo Locco, then pitched a complete game. I don’t think I go the distance on a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich.
    * Many highlights to the weekend and some low lights including seeing Butts naked in the locker room. Cover up next year Butts, almost lost my appetite.
    * Capn, I need to see you in my managers office. Can we post that picture in the managers office? I had to send someone down after day 1. Tough job.

  • Katie

    Not looking forward to the Super Bowl… two of my absolute LEAST favorite quarterbacks. Was hoping for a Super HarBowl.
    Also, Steven Tyler has no vocal cords. He can barely speak, and he’s sung like that most of his career. Don’t know what the ruckus is about.

  • flyslinger2

    Curious to know the ratio of beers sold to the stands versus sold to the dugout. Beers consumed per hour for each location. Ratio of mass produced wanna be Beer’s (Miller, Pabst, Bud, etc.) versus crafted Beer (Sam Adams, Yuenling, Yeti). The volume, tone and duration of the release of carbonation from the consumers of the adult beverages of choice between the two groups. Now these are stats worth knowing.
    R.I.P. Joe. Only God truly knows what transpired in that heinous crime and He will hand out the ultimate penalty to those that either committed the crime or those who chose to ignore it.
    The media is too anxious to have someone “resign” whenever an “injustice” is made public. The court of public opinion is not where these kinds of actions should play out. The media is too often God like in their role.
    Its only going to take two or three strikes to Gronk for the Pats to put the Giants away. If the Giants D try to double team Gronk then their other star receivers are going to pick them apart. I think this is a Pat’s win.
    Tyler has been washed up for 30 years. The media execs just haven’t figured that out nor the teens that still buy his “music.”
    I think Lewis could be close to needing to look for a new line of work.

  • RichF

    Anyone know what date the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to Mesa?

  • CubbieDude

    Playing the “not an RD” card on Raker – harsh.