Archive for June, 2009

Cards acquire DeRo

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Following a burst of inactivity by the Cubs the Cardinals have traded for former Cub favorite Mark DeRosa. It cost St. Louis a young pitcher named Chris Perez and a PTBNL so now we Cubs fans will likely get to see DeRosa six more times this year and possibly sixteen games a year for the next couple of years.

I’m a bit perplexed as to why the Cubs’ brass seemed so disinterested in bringing Mark back, it appears not to have been what Cleveland was asking for in return. Does this guy have a communicable disease or something? He would have been a great stopgap for days when Ramirez wasn’t available or days when Milton Bradley was having a cool down session after one of this little temper tantrums. And what about having DeRosa available for when our second basemen get cold bats or Soriano needs a day off?

I guess we’ll never know, apparently Hendry and Piniella know something that we don’t (if that’s the case I’d sure like to hear it.) Best of luck with the Cards Mark, do us a favor and go easy on the Cubs, okay?

She Hate Me trailer

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The Indian in the Cupboard movies In Good Company dvd

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 hd

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“Beyond Belief” Is Right!

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

This is an autobiography. Josh Hamilton introduces himself as a flawed, sometimes-charming, sometimes-reckless drug addict. A hell of an intro.

Comparing himself to Jose Conseco, Josh says: “But I was just 18 years old and, you know, unlike Jose, I was working with God-given 18 year old muscles”.

All of his life, other players would stop what they were doing to watch Josh hit batting practice (he says). Josh says he came to believe that the 4 greatest words in the English language were “Did you see THAT?” Now, I’ve heard those same 4 words more than a few times myself, but they were usually not meant as a compliment.

In the spring of 2001, Josh started accumulating “permanent reminders of a temporary feeling”. The attitude that spring around the Devil Rays could be described as “optimistically defeatist”. If the team was going to be bad anyway, why not be bad with young players who could get better and might be fun to watch. (I have to say this description has a somewhat familiar ring to it in 2009.)

Josh describes in detail how the $4 million dollar bonus baby became a drug addict.

Josh traces the frustration of suffering from recurrent debilitating back pain. As an aside, I (The Cubbiedude) have suffered episodes of debilitating low back pain in my life, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Josh’s father told him: “The real shame of the whole deal is that you’re preventing people from having the pleasure of seeing you play” or words to that effect.

I came away from this true story amazed at how full of himself Josh Hamilton seems to be. This guy’s ego just kills me. I mean, it’s not like he found a cure for cancer or anything.

And, I have to say, I disagree with Josh’s characterization of the people who did what he asked them to do and provided for him what he asked them to provide, as lowlifes. If they were predators preying on people like him, then he was also a predator, preying on people like them with his money and fame.

I’m happy that Josh is clean now, but this attitude that he’s somehow a better person than the people he got loaded with in the past is, to me, part of his problem:

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  • Nobody’s been them asking for their autographs since they were 6 years old.
  • Nobody gave those guys livin’ in the trailer a four million dollar high school graduation present.
  • None of those people have a major league baseball career to come home to.
  • Nobody chased him around and forced him to take anything.
  • Nobody put a gun to Mr. Hamilton’s head and pushed bad choices on him. In fact, it seems that he was the one doing the “pushing”.
  • Those people only did what he asked them to do.
  • In fact it was one of those very people who made the phone call which connected Josh to Katie Chadwick, who later became his wife.

At this point in the book the thought which entered my mind was: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

Perhaps we could say that Josh Hamilton needed, and received, a lesson in responsibility.

To sum up, there are two things that I’m trying to say here:

  1. Like many of the people Josh has encountered since he got his life and career back on track, I’m happy for him and I wish him well. But I’m equally hopeful that the folks he interacted with during the bad times (who were also influenced by him and his money) can get their lives on track, too.
  2. I’m happy I never had that much money that early on, so I never had that much temptation.

Was it Kinky Friedman who once said: “A happy childhood is no preparation for life”?

To be brutally honest, the Tale of Josh Hamilton is a Perfect Storm of: too much money; too much opportunity; not enough smarts.

He’s lucky to be alive.

And aren’t we all?

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Time to man up

Friday, June 26th, 2009

First the good news – we won one, and we sure needed it. Jake Fox had a great day at the plate, hopefully we’ll see him starting at third until he shows us reason to do otherwise. Now the bad news – for some inexplicable reason the Cubs manager went to a clueless Carlos Marmol and nearly cost us another game. Doesn’t Piniella watch these games? Why can’t he see that Marmol is making games unnecessarily close? Let’s demote Carolos to Iowa and bring up Jeff Stevens for a couple of weeks and let Marmol either get his head back in the game or get used to Des Moines steak dinners. I’m tired of Marmol and it’s not going to come to him in a revelation. He needs some good old-fashioned humility and/or minor league instruction.

I’m also getting fed up with Milton Bradley, until now I’ve taken a wait and see attitude because the guy can hit when he wants to. Thus far it appears that Bradley will hit in the Friendly Confines but he does next to nothing on the road – IMO his thin skin is such that he puts extra effort in when he’s in Wrigley because he doesn’t want to hear the boos. Today’s temper tantrum was such that even Alfonso Soriano commented on it. Said the Cubs’ left fielder: “I hope [Bradley] comes back and he can help the team to win. If he’s not that way, we don’t need him. We have 25 players, we have to be on the same page. If he’s not 100 percent to help the team to win, we don’t need him. If he’s 100 percent and he comes and wants to play, he’s more than welcome.”

The guy is starting to show signs of being a clubhouse cancer – now is the time to ask him to make an apology to his manager and teammates. If he doesn’t want to do that then put Milton on the restricted list and suspend him until further notice. Methinks it’s time for Bradley to man up and quit acting like a spoiled little child.

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GirlieView (06/26/2009)

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Life as a Cubs fan is frustrating, we all know that. No surprises there. But I think it’s even more frustrating when we all know the potential is there. If you have no expectations they can’t be dashed. I expected better.

  • Friday – 06/19, vs. Cleveland, W (8-7): Down by 7 in what seemed like the blink of an eye, I really almost turned it off. Glad I didn’t. They fought back (albeit against a hapless Cleveland bullpen) and Theriot singled home Soriano in the 10th for the win.
  • Saturday – 06/20, vs. Cleveland, W (6-5): Not a good homecoming for Kerry Wood, who wild-pitched home a run in the bottom of the 13th to give us another extra-innings win.
  • Sunday – 06/21, vs. Cleveland, W (6-2): This final game in the Cleveland series was slightly less dramatic which was exactly what Randy Wells needed for his first ever ML win (though he should have won at least a few of his earlier starts for sure!)
  • Monday – 06/22, @ Atlanta, L (2-0): Offensive struggles re-materialized. The Cubs had 10 hits, all singles, none when it mattered. This was a makeup game from a rainout earlier in the season.
  • Tuesday – 06/23, @ Detroit, L (5-4): Who knew this would begin a sweep, but alas even though Hoffpauir homered late to give us a one run lead in the 8th, Gregg couldn’t hold on and gave up a pinch hit 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th to give Detroit the win.
  • Wednesday – 06/24, @ Detroit, L (5-3): Two bases loaded walks (one by Heilman, one by Marmol) ended up being the difference in this game, but the Cubs again couldn’t get the offense going when it mattered.
  • Thursday – 06/25, @ Detroit, L (6-5): Props to Jake Fox for his first ML home run but that’s about it. So many wasted opportunities. DLee’s hitting streak done at 21 games.

I found myself nodding my head in agreement to so much of what y’all wrote in your posts this week I decided to create a sort of collage of VFTB thoughts. At first I was going to list who said each thing but you’ll recognize yourself, I’m sure of it, and it’s more fun to read without the interruption of listing who said what. Maybe let’s call it the Best of VFTB. Of course these are just my particular favorites, which will no doubt differ from yours. Nevertheless, enjoy, and have a nice week!

This Week’s Best of VFTB

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    White Men Can’t Jump movie Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 movie

    Happy-Go-Lucky download

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  • I hate …the fact that we seem content with leaving Mike Fontenot as the answer at third base and are basically convinced that the return of Ramirez will solve all of our problems, despite the fact that his shoulder has the ability to pop out again even easier than before.
  • We love the Cubs, but you’re right, there’s a lot to hate about this team right now.
  • I hate the fact that the team has won two games this week and both times they have celebrated like they won the world series. the team seems surprised that they win.
  • Maybe it is time to sit Soriano down for a rest, he is down to .225.
  • Derrek Lee…I’m sorry for all the bad, mean things I’ve said about you, and for the even meaner things I’ve thought. Please forgive me, until you slump again and I hate you.
  • A young player should instinctively know that a win isn’t a win unless it’s fair and square.
  • Pap smeared the Mudcats over 5.2 innings of work, not allowing a run and striking out two.
  • I’ll take him [Hollandsworth] over diahrea of the mouth Plesac.
  • I think our fantasy camp team could light up the Cleveland bullpen. Just sayin’
  • You have bumps on your prostate older than 50.
  • Go Gregg yourself
  • Ask yourself for a second if you truly believe this is a good baseball team.
  • No longer do people say “it’s early.” Now they say “when Aramis gets back.”
  • How many men did we LOB last night? 138?
  • I Gregging swear I didn’t google it.
  • his biggest fear is that he will hear every cricket in the world.
  • I truly believe he’s dumb as a board.

The Haunted World of El Superbeasto on dvd

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Trivia Time

Friday, June 26th, 2009

As always, highlight clue 2 and 3 if you need them. Hopefully this one stumps ya.

Clue # 1 – This man’s career was fleeting; he won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1980, and just 70 games later, played over a two year span, he was through.

Clue # 2 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 movie downloadHe was widely known for his many wild antics, such as opening beer bottles with his eye sockets.

Clue # 3 Bottle Rocket rip

Happy-Go-Lucky film

Evilenko movie

He was a Cleveland outfielder and his initials are “J.C.”

Click for the Answer

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The Chicago…Pandas?

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Taking Joe’s theme of extinction a little bit further…

Let’s look at the word, extinction. Middle syllable is “stink” — and that’s exactly what the Cubs are doing right now. Maybe they won’t stink all year, but they do now. But why?

Let’s take the dinosaur. Or, better yet, the panda. Yes, the panda. On the verge of extinction — but they have no natural enemies. No predator considers the panda. Not as a meal. Not as a threat. No shortage of bamboo. But there they are…almost extinct. Why? Because they are lazy and stupid, I think.

Now let’s take the ballplayer with the long term guaranteed contract. Or huge money short term deal. Some with a no trade clause. They become dinosaurs, er, pandas. Content. Big, lazy, stupid…

In fact, until this team starts playing better baseball, and starts showing some energy and starts winning ballgames, I officially rename them the Chicago Pandas.

Speaking of energy…everyone jumps around like crazy men after a walk off single — why can’t they show that energy DURING the game? Oh, right…because pandas can’t jump.


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Countdown to Extinction

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

When I was in the 8th grade, my parents took me and my brother on a trip to Florida to hit Disney World. Considering the majority of vacations were to Wisconsin to spend the weekend at my grandparent’s trailer in the woods, Epcot Center and Magic Kingdom rocked our world. What made me laugh was the fact that all throughout the week we were constantly seeing guys wearing shirts promoting the Megadeth album “Countdown to Extinction”. All throughout the week, each time we saw one, my dad would promptly point it out and tell us all how he wanted to know where he could get one. It still makes me laugh because, and if you know my dad it would make you laugh too, I honestly believe he would actually have worn the shirt with no clue what it meant or who Megadeth was. I’m not sure what they were saying with the album title, to be honest. Maybe it was them forcasting their career. For me, each loss we painfully bear is just a countdown to extinction…of the 2009 Cubs season. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it today. This is a bad baseball team that is hoping and praying that their big money guys begin to play a little closer to their career means before it’s too late. It’s a team that is severly underachieving and trying to tread water in hopes that the savior will come back to the lineup and be the god of baseball all while trying to keep his shoulder from popping out of socket. Believe me, I hope I’m wrong. I really do, but from here on out I’m going to watch games because I love baseball. I’m going to compliment the team when they do something well and bust on ’em when they don’t all with the idea that this season is a lost cause.

Alfonso Soriano Is A Dumb Ballplayer – I can’t stand watching this guy play the game anymore. I watch him make bonehead play after bonehead play and I can’t help but wonder what a guy like Bobby Cox would do different from Lou Piniella with him. Remember when Andruw Jones played stupid? Cox benched him mid-game. We can’t even get Lou to drop Soriano down in the order so we don’t have a guy with an OBP hovering around .300 at the top of the order. Today we saw him almost get picked off on a snap throw to 1st when he went in standing up instead of diving back to ensure safety. Then, he sees himself get doubled off 1st on a long drive by Lee that was either going to go out of the park or get caught. He could’ve easily gotten back to 1st safely, considering the Tigers loafed a little themselves with getting the ball back into the IF. Not until they saw Sori being a retard did they make any actual effort for a DP. Disgusting. This guy has rocks for a brain. I truly believe he’s dumb as a board.

We Have A Weird Catcher Situation – Does anyone else find it odd, and a tad bit silly that we have one catcher who cut most of his fingers off and another one that gets stoned in the off-season?

Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto said he has been informed by the International Baseball Federation that he tested positive for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic.

“While I fully acknowledge my inappropriate behavior, I want to assure my fans and my family that this was an isolated incident,” Soto said in a statement released by the Cubs. “I do not say this to minimize or deflect from my conduct and I fully understand the ramifications of my actions. I have and will accept any and all consequences.

“I am fully dedicated to the game of baseball and my teammates, and I apologize for any distraction and embarrassment this may cause them.” –

War film

At least we know why Geo got fat. He was smoking up and eating crap food while at the WBC. Idiot!!!

Minor League Transactions from Baseball America – (Source)

Signed: RHP Jesse Ginley (NDFA—St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC), RHP Joe Simokaitis, LHP Daley Cox (NDFA—Santa Fe (N.M.) JC)
Draft picks signed: RHP Tim Clubb (29), RHP B.J. Dail (17), RHP Steve Grife (26), RHP Danny Keefe (14), RHP Corey Martin (27), RHP Jake Schmidt (41), RHP Robert Whitenack (8), LHP John Mincone (11), C Matt Williams (18), 1B Justin Bour (25), 1B Greg Rohan (21), 2B D.J. Fitzgerald (22), 3B Charles Thomas (10), OF Jeff Pruitt (23), OF Cody Shields (15)
Released: RHP Cedric Redmond, RHP Steve Vento
Recalled: 1B Jake Fox
Reinstated from DL: The Fantastic Planet ipod Shrek the Halls film

The Wanderers video

The Number One Girl dvd

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RHP Justin Bristow, RHP Jay Jackson, C Mark Johnson

Luiz Vizcaino Is Out – Twitter has the Tribe DFA’ing the former Cub – (Source)

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Soto tested positive for reefer

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Today’s Chicago Tribune

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ran a story that says Cubs’ catcher tested positive prior to the World Baseball Classic for marijuana. While this will have no effect on Geo’s status with MLB he will likely be banned from international competition for a period of time.

So here’s where I expose my inner hypocrite – whup-dee-doo. So what? Why is it that I’m adamantly opposed to steroid use or other PEDs but unconcerned about a Cub smokin’ some rope? I suppose that is because I think that it should be legalized. Aside from that smoking pot does not cause one to hit a bunch of homeruns. Ever watch Cops? Half of their “customers” are drunk out of their gourds, it’s a wonder they can stand up straight. What about the pot smoker? He’s in front of the TV with a bag of Cheetos waiting for the Domino’s guy to arrive. Does he get violent when he has a few too many bong hits? No, he becomes somewhat catatonic, his biggest fear is that he will hear every cricket in the world.

Now I will admit, I do not smoke pot now, I have a real job and that means that I might get drug-tested. But during my younger years I probably smoked my body weight and I even dabbled somewhat with cocaine (I never liked coke much although I must admit I liked the smell of it.) Now I’m a grown man and I related to Obama when he quoted scripture and said something like “there comes a time to set aside childish things.” It’s not a big thing Shrek the Halls trailer

, I can do without it and will because that’s what my job calls for. And that’s what Soto should do, he should abstain while he plays major league baseball and after he retires he can smoke primo hydro to his heart’s content. Perhaps one day it will be de-criminalized and eventually legalized; when that happens invest in coffee shops – buy shares in The Bulldog and Cafe Rusland and watch what happens with your money. Until then I think players who test positive for cannabis should receive a slap on the wrist and be forced to write “I will not smoke pot” one hundred times on the blackboard.

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When Does it Become Time For a Change?

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Ask yourself for a second if you truly believe this is a good baseball team. Is it really a team that can get hot and win the World Series? Honestly? I’m done believing that it is. People have been waiting patiently for Superman…err Ramrez to return and then everything will be all better. Bull. This team has issues and it’s time we wake up and see them.

I’m ready to see a change with this team, and I think the only way to make that happen is to make it be a drastic one. Assuming the team sale is finalized this year, I believe it’s time for a complete overhaul. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with a bunch of no-trade guys, and there is no one to blame for that other than Jim Hendry. I like Hendry, but he’s locked us in to some contracts that will really handicap us. It’s probably time for him to go.

I see, night after night, this team fail to do the little things to score runs and play winning baseball. I see a team that has been out played from a strategy standpoint, and I can only blame those things on the manager. I like Lou Piniella, a lot, but I’m beginning to believe he is one of the problems with this team and needs to go after this season as well.

I’m not sure what else can really be done to shake up the mix, but I know I’m done believing this year.

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