View From The Bleachers

January 26, 2004

I’m Sorry

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 2:14 pm

I have been really overloaded with student teaching and a wedding this past week. As a result, I have been horrible with writing. The winner of the Best Blog 2003 was the Northside Lounge, so congrats to them. I will be in contact with them over the next week or so. I am disappointed in the latest Maddux update. Apparently we have not offered him enough money. I say, “Screw him and Boras” I find it funny that both of his big free agents have not and are not even close to signing. Why doesn’t this guy get it? He seems to think his guys are better and deserving of more money than they are. If you look, as much as I hate to admit it, Maddux is a 6 inning guy who is on the decline. Rodriguez has always been an injury worry. Neither are deserving of the money they are asking for. I mean, my god, Clemens signed for 5 million and he is a 1st ballot hall of fame guy. Why don’t these guys just suck it up, play for a good team and win another ring? You have plenty of money, don’t be so selfish.

In other news, I still have like 5 or so openings for a keeper head to head fantasy baseball league on yahoo. If you are interested, please let me know by leaving your e-mail in my comments section. When I have the 10-12 slots full, I will e-mail everyone so we can discuss the details of the league.


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January 16, 2004

Take Some Time To Think Today

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 1:31 pm

Today as you know is Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day in the United States. This is a day when we celebrate one of the single mostly influential men in our countries history. It’s sad to think about the reason for his greatness. That reason is one that still exists today, Racial Predjudice. It is not an issue that has gone away. There are still plenty of people in this world that are predjudice in some way. This doesn’t mean that you are a member of the KKK or regularly lynch people. Deep down inside, there is some sort of predjudice in almost all, if not all of us. It does not necessarily mean you hate someone because of their color or religion or any other things, but rather that your initial thought of them may not be the same as that of someone who is the same as you. For example, you may be walking down a dark street and see a black man walking towards you. There are a lot of people who would naturally be more afraid of that than if it were a white man. Why is that? It’s because of the stupid stereotypes we have against people! It is time that we continue what Dr. King worked for so many years ago. It’s time that we fight racism and prejudice not with our guns or fists, but with love, peace and acceptance of all. Each one of us needs to do our part. When you hear a racial joke, don’t laugh, show that person that it was wrong. Stand up for what is right. I will end this with a quote from a speech Dr. King gave in 1963. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


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January 15, 2004

Average Joe & Update

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 1:38 pm

According to the Daily Herald, the Cubs and Joe Borowski are reportedly nearing a deal that would pay last years closer in the neighborhood of 2 million dollars for 1 year. I am happy about this because I think Borowski was a vital part of last years team. That’s not to say he never made me nervous in the ninth inning, or that he never made a mistake. He pitched the best he could and as a result, finished 6th in the National League in Saves. Not bad for a guy that was out of baseball for a while and wasn’t a closer until El Pulpo went down. This one year deal thing is what makes me wonder. I have to believe that the Cubs have only committed to Borowski for one year because of the Latroy Hawkins signing. Then, after this year, put Latroy in the closers role. I really hope that isn’t the plan, but I think it may be. I would hope that they have seen the damage that Latroy can do as a closer. He is a great setup man, not closer. That’s why the Twins had Guardado closing for them. If this is the Cubs plan, they should have pursued Guardado. Cross your fingers and hope that Hawkins is not the closer in 2005 when we are trying to be repeat champions.

We are up to 3 in our sign ups for fantasy baseball keeper league. Please leave me a comment if you’re interested. It is going to be a great year. Also, if you are reading this site and you haven’t already done so, please take 2 minutes and place your pin on the map in my links. Just click the part that says place your pin, tell where you’re from and if you have a blog or website, please list it.

Update ~ I swear not two minutes after I posted this, I checked the Cubs site and saw that Borowski has been signed for two years. So, that makes me feel a little better. At least they have given him what he deserves.


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January 14, 2004

Maddux II & a Random Brewers Thought

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 1:44 pm

The Cubs have officially made Greg Maddux an offer. It is reportedly a two year deal work between 14 & 15 million dollars. So, basically 7-7.5 million a year. Maddux and Boras have been asking for two years and 20 million. So, it’s about 3 million short a year. The offer was made on Tuesday so we may see a decision sometime in the next day. I am sure Jim Hendry would love nothing more than to announce to the Cub fans at the convention this weekend that Maddux has come home. If this doesn’t work out, I have to think that the Cubs need to offer Pudge a contract. If we can find 15 million over 2 years for Maddux, then wouldn’t that same money also be available for a Catcher? I would think so. So, it should be an interesting next week or so. At least the Cubs realize that they need to try to get even better because of the recent Astros moves. I have to say that it is kind of weird thinking about Spring Training and hearing World Series being mentioned. We are so used to hearing the words “question mark” being mentioned. “The Cubs have a question mark at third.” or other such phrases are all we are used to hearing. Thank God it is changing this year. It is so sweet that the Sox fans are the ones mad about their team not spending money. I love it.

So not too long ago I added some links to my site to other team’s blogs. Well I was nosing around the Brewers Blog and noticed a funny post on there. It is entitled “Has is come to this?” Apparently the Brewers have come to the conclusion that the Cub fans are a vital part of their attendance and they are planning on trying to encourage Chicago residents to make the drive to Milwaukee to see some baseball. This really pisses this guy off because he is tired of seeing us pack the ballpark over there. I love it. I love going to other teams parks and cheering on the Cubs. I have been to Comisky, Turner Field, Miller Park, and the old County Stadium. Each time, there have been loads of Cub fans and it is so nice when they win. If you’ve never been a visiting fan, make the trip sometime. You will really enjoy it.

In closing, I am really wanting to get a fantasy baseball league together, so if you are interested, please leave me a comment with your name, and then e-mail address as well as your blog address if you have one. I want 12 teams, right now we have 2. It is me and Mike from Cub’s Pundit.


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January 13, 2004

The Blog of the Year, Maddux, Vlad, etc.

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 9:37 pm

This whole Best Blog competition is really starting to crack me up. I check my site each day to see how the voting is going. I must say, I never really expected this much of a turnout at the polls. The finalists are actually campaigning for votes on their sites as well as friends sites. It just makes me laugh. I really look forward to interviewing the winner and posting the interview. At this rate, we may have more registered voters turn out than the U.S. does for the presidential elections. So, I am taking this opportunity to copyright the idea for the Best Cubs Blog Competition. I will be the official host of Best Cubs Blog 2004 next January. Hopefully we will have even more additions by then to the Cubs Blog Army. I am going to close the Polls at 5pm Eastern Time on Friday. So, keep on campaigning for votes. It looks to be a 3 horse race, but the Sloth could be a dark horse if he tries. It should be fun these next 3 days.

So, I have not commented really on the two major things that have happened in baseball of the past few days. So, I will take this opportunity to do that. I love the Vlad signing by the Angels for this reason. Vlad is one of my keepers in Yahoo Fantasy Baseball and I am happy that he is going to be in a great lineup. I was really surprised that Anaheim came up with money out of nowhere. That was a real shock, because I was convinced that Vlad was heading to Baltimore. Anyways, back to Fantasy Baseball, I want to get a fantasy baseball keeper league in Yahoo with members or readers of the Cubs Blog Army. If you are interested, please leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you. It would be head to head with playoffs. I think it would be a lot of fun.

The Roger Clemens signing pissed me off because unlike Rob (aka – The Uncouth Sloth), I do not believe Clemens is done. I still believe he has a lot in the tank. I was actually surprised that Houston only got him to sign a one year deal. I wonder if that was more the Astros choice or Clemens choice. I set the over under for Clemens win total in 2004 at 14. I think he is more than capable of doing that. This signing definitely hurts the Cubs, unless they make a counter move. CubsTalk had this to say. According to them, the Cubs must sign Maddux to just keep pace. I don’t agree with that. Prior/Wood is better than Clemens/Pettite. I really believe that. Both are going to have to come into the National league and get used to new ballparks and new hitters. That is not an easy task, especially when both are looked at as the finishing pieces to the puzzle for the Astros. I am not saying that Maddux is a bad signing, but I don’t feel we NEED it to keep pace. I would rather see us go and get Pudge. It should be an interesting weekend, because the Cubs have made a bold move on their Website. All stories that are posted on the Cubs official site obviously must be endorsed by the team. They have officially posted that they are pursuing Maddux. This is a bold move for an organization that is still feeling the ripples of letting him go the first time. To make it public now and not go out and get him would be a huge slap in the face again. I really wish they would not have announced that. Keep it quiet until it happens!!!!

Anyways, in closing, it is not a do or die must sign situation, but a counter move certainly wouldn’t hurt!!!! Don’t forget to let me know if you want in for a Fantasy Baseball League. I am looking for like 11 people plus myself.

Tagline: They needed a second chance to finish first (Name that movie)


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January 11, 2004


Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 9:57 am

Report: The Anaheim Angels will sign Vlad. He has agreed to terms, but it has not been made official. I am leaving for church right now, so more on this when I get home. Until then, check out this story.


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January 9, 2004

Two Things That Are Bugging Me

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 10:31 pm

I wanted to take this time to talk about two things that have nothing to do with Cub’s baseball at all. First, as most of you all know, I am a Fighting Illini basketball fan. It makes me mad when they don’t play up to their potential. The other day, they had a game at home against an unranked Illinois State team. It was the first game back for Deron Williams and was picked to not really be all that close. Well, it turns out that the team has to pull it out of their butts in overtime. At halftime though Bruce Weber goes crazy on the players especially Nick Smith. Apparently big dumb Nick was and has been taking opponents too lightly. He talks junk about them and how they aren’t really good. As a result, the rest of the team starts to feel the same way and teams like ISU make it a good game. It just really bugs me that he is the one on the team that would be taking teams and players lightly. He isn’t very good. Usually it would be the star of the team that would think like this, not a guy that isn’t even a starter. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him play, but he is a big oaf. He is like 7’2″ and just doesn’t seem to know how to put it all together. There are days when he gets in the zone and days that he can’t seem to do anything right. So Nick, until you get it all together, Shut your mouth and play Basketball.

The second thing that bugs me is the fact that Chicago Bears fans immortalize certain players that when you look at their numbers, we not really that good. The one that sticks out for me the most is Jim McMahon. This guy was so delicate. He always got injured. Jim’s career bests for the following categories: Yards – 2392 (1985), TD’s – 15, games played – 14 (1983). This guy was no better than Jim Miller. Why do you people love him so much. The only thing that I could see is because they won the Super Bowl. But everyone knows that they won that year because of their defense. Willie Gault is another one. The man never had a 1000 yard season and the year they won it all, he had one TD in the regular season. They were not that good. Get a clue people. Alright, now that I got that off my chest, I am gonna end this.

I don’t really even know why those two things bug me that much. For all I know, most people could feel the same way, but it just seems like people idolize those two guys.


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January 8, 2004

The Finals Are Here!!!!

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 1:44 pm

Vote now for the Best Cubs Blog 2003!!!!! Good Luck to all. Don’t forget to check out some of the new links to enemy blogs and the two new Cub’s blogs!!!


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January 7, 2004

Cubs Talk

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 1:23 pm

One of the sites that I check a lot for stories and news on the Cubs is Cubs Talk. All that site is though is a bunch of Cub fans who have taken it upon themselves to become “columnists” covering the Cubs. Isn’t that what we as the Cubs Blog Army is doing? I think it is. So, I would like to see if we could get hooked up with Cub’s talk and see if we could get some representation on their site and maybe eventually with the Cubs Official site. I think if MLB is trying to get the fans interested and boost interest in baseball in general, one of the good ideas is to value quality fans. Fans that stick with their teams and know baseball. Fans who go to the game and even if they do not keep score, know how. Fans that have been with their team through the good times or bad. To me, that is what the Army is about. We’re just a bunch of quality fans who want nothing more than to see our team win that dumb looking trophy with all the flags. I would like to see Cubs blogging and blogging in general begin to get noticed a little more.

We all have our favorite blogs that we read. There are a number of reasons why they are our favorite. For some of the sites, we like them because they offer us a lot of good information relatively quickly and painlessly. Others, seem to have sarcasms or brutal honesty laced in their writing. Whatever the reason, each author or writer brings their own unique flair to their site and that is what makes it good. Maybe I’m just babbling but I think we have a lot of quality writers with some quality things to say. There should be some way to make those words heard by more than our loyal blog army readers.

On a side note ~ I have added some new links to some good blogs written by the enemy. I have tried to pick ones that have good things to say and also update fairly regularly so give them a look. Also, I would like to welcome two new additions to my Cubs Blog Army links. Welcome to North of Wrigley Field & Cubs Rants

~Update~ 4:02pm Apparently, according to Fanball, the Diamondbacks signed Todd Walker, not the Cubs. What idiots!!!!! Check out the link and look down in the second basemen section!!!


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