View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2017



GirlieView (10/26/2017)

Written by , Posted in General

This is not your typical GirlieView. It makes me sad and happy at the same time.

Big Toe Joe and I talked a few weeks back about the direction VFTB will take in the off-season. I’m not sure of Joe’s decisions and even if I was I’d let him tell you himself. But we did decide that the GirlieView would be wrapping up after the end of the season, win or lose.

So, this is it. The final GirlieView. I didn’t tally up any Lizzies this week. I thought instead I’d take you on a bit of a historical tour of the column.

Many of you have been here with me the entire time. Those of you who haven’t will still recognize some of the names and certainly many of the stories, even from years past. We tend to revisit a lot.

I started writing here in early 2009. I called my column GirlieView because I was the only female writer and it was mainly to talk about baseball from a girl’s perspective. It didn’t go over well. I hadn’t yet thought up the Lizzie idea, so mainly I was just yapping. Like here. I got zero comments for months.

In June that year, I happened to quote one person’s comments in my column. That person thanked me. And something began to take shape in my head. (You can click on each date to open the corresponding post.)

  • GirlieView 06/26/2009 – The first time I quoted the commenters. Got five comments! This was huge for me. (Also was the most I’d get for the next month of my posts all added together. Lol.)
  • GirlieView 07/31/2009 – Made up a story about a naked ball girl. Got seven comments!
  • GirlieView 08/07/2009 – cap’n realist (then known as cap’n obvious) suggested that the weekly highlights be called Lizzies.
  • GirlieView 08/14/2009 – I called them Lizzies, and I got 32 comments! Granted most were from dave l disagreeing with everyone, but I was happy!
  • GirlieView 08/21/2009 – Sherm made history with what was and is to this day the best Lizzie ever. This was when the Lizard was conceived but it wasn’t called that yet. I still only got five comments. No one really liked me yet. I was a girl who sometimes talked about girlie things on “their” he-man baseball blog and that didn’t go over well with some of the less evolved fellas. But the site stats told a different story. People read it even if they didn’t comment. To this day we have some in our audience who won’t ever acknowledge reading the GV or being pleased when one of their quotes show up. But I have a feeling they like it even if they won’t admit it!
  • GirlieView 09/25/2009 – I first proposed the weekly winner of the Lizzies, and asked folks to help me come up with a name. No one came up with much, but in this particular post Sherm suggested the Gregg substitution for the f-word since CAPS swore too much and I was thisclose to banning him from the site completely. 56 comments!
  • The term Lizard came from an offline suggestion and I decided to go with it. And that format has held ever since then.

I picked a few of my favorites from over the years. They are my favorites for different reasons. Sometimes I like the Lizzies themselves. Sometimes I like the conversation. Mostly I find it amusing how we passed the time during the off-seasons and the sucky-seasons. Since it’s the boring off-season as we speak, you might enjoy some of these. (Again, click to open.)

That one, 09/14, was when I made the final decision that it was time to stop. My entire time here I wanted nothing more than to cultivate camaraderie among us. That was always the point of the Lizzies, to show how one funny comment flowed from another, even among these people who mostly never knew each other before VFTB. Little did I know when I started, that many of these people would eventually meet in person based on friendships they have made here. Some people who didn’t know each other before this, now routinely converse offline in vulgarity-ridden group texts. Yes. My job here is done.

Thank you. ❤️

  • Junior Von White

    If we crack 100 comments will you continue doing Lizzie’s? This has been my favorite post since I started reading a few years back. Thanks for the fun!

  • Eddie Von White

    This is a very sad day. They might as well take Thursday off the calendar now.

    It’s been great, Lizzie, but I don’t blame you. I can’t imagine how much time it takes to keep up with all our stuff.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Thursday will now be a sad day. I will miss the Lizzies. Thanks for all the fun!

  • Buddy

    Great work Lizzie!!!!

  • Adam Peters

    Much thanks, and many kudos, Lizzie. This blog and the blossoming Cubs were huge for me when I was going through my cancer treatment in 2015, and you were a big part of that. GirlieView will be sorely missed, but I totally get why you are calling it quits.

    Thanks again!

  • Chet

    Lizzie, way back in 2010, when I started writing here (and wrote a lot more back then), you and your Girlieview column were at times the light at the end of the tunnel.
    When it was “tough” to craft a post I would think, “let’s just write something that will get us a lizzie” or at least generates comments that would then result in a Lizzie.
    I looked at it as a measuring stick for the entertainment value I was providing to our community of readers.
    What I realized was the harder I tried to “Lizzie” (yes, it can be a verb) the less I actually got the all important Lizzie designation.
    It wasn’t just being funny, you actually had to be thoughtful, timely, and clever.
    You also provided encouragement for the new writers, which at times was needed when we had some readers that were less than cordial in adding their thoughts to the comments section.
    It will be sad to see the Lizzie go. Hopefully we are not losing the whole package.

    • Eddie Von White

      “Less than cordial”? You must have this mixed up with another blog.

    • Ha! Good point Chet. I don’t ever remember you pandering but it was usually quite evident when people tried!

  • Doc Raker

    Who will document my genius? Lizzie, thank you for bringing us together and taking the time to do Girlie View. Your efforts are appreciated and will be missed. I hope you will still be around and I hope Big Toe Joe will carry on. It is always fun to start my day with some Cubs baseball talk. Thank you Lizzie and Big Toe Joe.

  • cap’n realist

    I’ve written in this space before, more than once actually, that there’s really nothing in my life this entertaining that I get for free. With that in mind, I’d just like to say two words. Thank you. Thank you for your time, your wit, and often, your wisdom. Thank you for giving people who aren’t funny, like Raker and Seymour, and outlet to try. Thank you for crediting yours truly with the birth of the Lizzie name. Thank you for keeping caps in line, or at least trying.

    I will look at this as more of a beginning than an ending. Not sure what Big Toe has in store, but I am grateful for the friendships I’ve found and cultivated here. As much as I hope it lasts, if it doesn’t, what can I say? I got 20 minutes a day of entertainment for 8 years. For absolutely free.

  • Seymour Butts

    I don’t want to make this about me, but that is what we do in each microcosm of a single comment. I’ve had a really shitty fucking month. The fact that I am both a Cubs fan and a Packer fan, barely make the list. in the next 48 hours I will have the second death in the family this month. At least this one is old and it can be seen as a blessing. (the first one is actually a metaphorical death, so don’t get down on my account, but it felt just as bad).
    Driving into work this AM I was actively looking forward to the Lizzies. Another gut punch. Used to it.

    That out of the way I really appreciate the effort that you have made over the years to do this recap. It evolved into the most loved subset of this site that is part of our small community’s daily life. I would take issue with your statement that in mid 2009 nobody liked you yet. Shermrants was dying at the time and your name came up there frequently in positive ways. I always felt like you were a kindred spirit.

    Of course we will move on, Raker will say something preposterous (such as denying climate change) and some of us will call him out on it. But it won’t be the same without a Lizzie to be yearned for. Maybe I could gather up the most amusing wisecracks of the week and call them “Butt’s cracks”. Sequels usually disappoint, so maybe not.
    Again thank you Liz…anyone know the theme song from M*A*S*H?

    • Sherm

      Shermrants was NOT dying. It was, um, just, um, struggling to find its creative “space.”

      Them from M*A*S*H was called “Suicide is Painless.” Not sure how it applies here, unless you are a LOT more upset than you’ve let on.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Thanks for all the recaps Lizzie. VFTB won’t be the same without the GirlieView

    • cap’n realist

      this is easily your best comment ever, caps. Well done.

      • Sherm

        Yes – I bet he gets a…oh never mind.

  • Sherm

    When I read this early this morning, I decided to wait a while to respond so that I could search for the perfect words. I think I found them:

    No no no no no no no no no no

    Was it something I said? What can I do? Be more “positive?” I will. Less swearing? Back to Gregg, immediately. Unblock CAPS’ number? Gee, I’m going to miss your column. A lot.

    I’m about to ramble folks, so buckle in for the ride…it could take a while. (and the murmur of “oh shit” is heard in the background across America. Or not.) Some of what I’ll write today has been written here before, but my heart doesn’t remember what has or hasn’t been said, and I’m letting it dictate the words.

    So, January 2007 I go to Cub Fantasy Camp. To that point in my life, I’d never written a word about the Chicago Cubs. I’d never met a Cub player, past or present. I had never seen Seymour in the shower. (There are some things that you just cannot “un-see” no matter how hard you try.) To that point in time? I’d never even really experienced any loss – not the kind that really matters, anyway. I’m not talking about losing to the Marlins in 2003. We’re Cub fans – our lives are filled with THOSE. Those don’t matter.

    Met some great people at camp – and decided to start my own blog… as a way to keep in touch. It was called Shermrants, and is alive someplace in the recess of the Internet, although it hasn’t been touched in years. Much like Cap’n, but I regress. It was just a handful of us – from the camp, plus Cap’n, who at that time was BadMojo and whose real name is Dave. I don’t think he’s even really a captain. Just saying. Dave didn’t attend camp and I honestly have no idea how he and I became friends or how he started reading and participating in the blog. Had to be because he’s lifelong friends with Raker and that family but the leap from that to Shermrants? Your guess is as good as mine. I cannot see Raker saying “you MUST read this…it’s incredible.” Incredibly bad, maybe. Whatever. However. Well, our little “group” of idiots went on for a couple years ranting about the Cubs, life in general, Smitty (don’t ask) and whatever. During that time, Dave suffered an awful tragedy – the loss of a daughter (I’m sorry Dave, if this goes places you’d prefer it didn’t) I hadn’t yet lost either of my sons, so had no idea what he was going through. Figuratively speaking, we all have nuts. Life, I’ve learned, is a knee. We just kept at it. What do you do? You move forward. Kept doing the silly blog – every day – whether I had something to say or not. Mostly not. Some force made me do it – like I was pulled to the computer first thing every morning and the day wouldn’t start until I increased the absurdity level of the web. A year later, Dave tells me that during that incredibly difficult time…our little blog was so important to him. In the desert of insanity and pain, it was an oasis, I suppose, where he could put those feelings aside momentarily. In the grand scheme of things? I’ve accomplished little. THAT, however, remains as one of my finest moments. I realized that there is nothing more important in life than to know that something you did had meaning.

    Joe Aiello – God only knows how he found a stupid little four reader blog like mine – emails one day and says “would you like to write for my blog?” (Showing that he never really had even READ my work.) So I packed up my bags (figuratively) and moved to VFTB. And brought ALL of my readers with me. You know them as Cap’n, Raker, and Seymour.

    I’ve had loss. Plenty since then. And didn’t handle it well. Left the blogosphere for a couple of years (when I grieve, I don’t WANT ANY GODDAMN HELP OR FRIENDS OR KINDNESS. Apparently.) So, I dropped out for a bit and honestly can’t recall why or how or when I came back. I stayed in touch with the three guys – albeit less frequently – but somehow, someday, some way, was back in the mix at VFTB as if I’d never left. (When I shared the news about my sons, I was chastised by Seymour, offline – and rightfully so, who said “when a friend of mine goes through something like that, I have a right to know.”) This blog is more than just a place to spew baseball thoughts is what I’m saying.

    Lizzie – please don’t stop contributing. Your wit is needed here. We all understand the commitment to the column, and will miss it. For the record, you could have just linked up EVERY GirlieView ever and that would have been good, too. They were all incredible. Thank you for taking the time to keep us all together and for bringing us together every other Thursday (or as CAPS likes to call it “Shower Day”) I promise you that the terms “Lizzie, Lizard, and Lizzie-worthy” will live on forever. And, you’re the only person I know whose dog has been on TV during a Cub game.

    Joe – I hope you don’t pull the plug on this because I think we need it. I’ll throw this out there – if you need a partner? Or just a volunteer? I’m in. Let me know what you need.

    Ten years. Been doing this now for ten years. I’ve met some of the people from the blog. I even liked some. I want to meet more. I want our annual field trip to continue. I told you I was going to ramble. I don’t know what comes next. In life, in sports, or in this blog. I just know that I want to be part of it.

    With the greatest of respect,


    Reigning Lizzie Champion. FOREVER.

    • Eddie Von White

      My hat is off to you, Sherm. And to Lizzie. Thanks a million times over, Lizzie. I’ve always felt a kindred spirit – maybe because you live in the same town my parents and grandparents lived in. (I was born in Valparaiso – so basically the same town). I love all you guys – and that includes Karen Hirsch.

      My wife thinks our little blog family is cute. That is until I told her one of my life’s fantasies was to spend a week in January with Seymour. She said: “That guy with the x-rated butt shot?” Yeah he’s the one. Actually, I’d like to spend it with all you guys in Mesa. It would kill me if this blog ended. I’m half dead now just losing the Lizzie’s.

      • Seymour Butts

        My condolences EVW, if your wife thinks this photo is x rated.

      • Eddie Von White

        She’s lived a sheltered life, what can I say?

    • Doc Raker

      You are the Lizzie Champ of all time. Hall of Lizzie Famer- Sherm. We will get working on your bust. Statue I mean not man boobs.

    • Joe Aiello

      We’ll be back Monday. I can’t quit you guys.

  • Seymour Butts

    Zobrist named Gold Glove finalist AT 2ND BASE!
    Two better at 2b on Cubs ( 3 if you count KB shifting) apparently all chopped liver. Do the nominating committees even know where Zobrist plays?

    • Eddie Von White

      Does anybody know where Zobrist plays?

    • Doc Raker

      What a sham

    • Bryzzo1744

      Rafeal Palmero won the gold glove. As a DH!

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        But that was at least before the league claimed they are using defensive stats to determine the award.

      • JTBarrett16

        Come to think of it, Zobrist doesn’t even hit

  • Buddy

    If Zobrist wins a Gold Glove I’ll eat my cell phone. Also, Cubs hire Chili Davis today. I guess Jeffrey Leonard and Dan Gladden weren’t available.

    • Brad Lyerla

      I hope he teaches the guys the chicken wing homerun trot. Classic.

      Seriously, tho, our front office has a reason for this move. Any intelligence on why?

    • Bryzzo1744

      Like the time you ate a keyboard after Campana went yard?

      • Buddy

        Yes indeed. Added a little salt and pepper. It was delicious.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Wow. This is the end of an era. Thanks Lizzie for putting up with and even welcoming newcomers like me.

  • Doc Raker

    VFTB Spring Training trip. Who’s in? Dinner at Don and Charlies on the Capn!

    • Doc Raker

      I reserved a table for 8 plus a table for 1 in the corner for Seymour.

  • I was going to reply to each comment but then I’d just end up bawling! So, to everyone who thanked me, you’re welcome. But really it wasn’t me. Sure I documented everything, but you all wrote it!!! So really, it was you.

    I’ll still be around VFTB. I’ll keep my VFTB email address for as long as Joe lets me keep it! (lizzie (at) jswanson has my text number which he is welcome to use and share with discretion. And you can always follow the shenanigans of my dog who has a social life way more interesting than either of his parents! Instagram: @phinneausthepug.

  • Sooooooo many Lizzie-worthy comments today! Makes me proud!

    • Doc Raker

      So really though, I had the Lizard this fortnight, show me my Lizzies.

      • Did you? What was it?

      • Doc Raker

        If I have to tell you….

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That means someone else earned the Lizard

      • Doc Raker

        We will never know…………….