Archive for December, 2010

GO: Stadiums

Friday, December 31st, 2010

What professional baseball stadiums have you visited, and which was your favorite?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

In the News: Idiots (Not So) Anonymous

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

This may be the last “In the News” for a little while. To be honest, I don’t like being tied down to the structure, so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, there are three stories “In the News” this week and all three have me saying to myself “That guy is an idiot”. Join me for a quick session of Idiot’s (Not So) Anonymous.

Hello, my name is: Rafael Palmeiro

Why he’s an idiot: After standing in front of congress and wagging his finger saying he had never taken steroids, it was revealed just a short time later that he had tested positive with the Orioles. It was a black eye for his career and for baseball. Now, with the talk about those guys simmering down, he does it again. “I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now,” Palmeiro said. “I don’t know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids. For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I’m never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don’t look at one mistake.”

Which is it Rafe? How can you say I have never taken steroids and then the very next sentence say “for the people who think I took steroids intentionally….don’t look at one mistake” Mr. Palmeiro….please go away. You’re an idiot. But that you for sharing, you may sit down.

Hello, my name is: Tucker Carlson

Why he’s an idiot: For those that don’t know, Carlson is a political news correspondent for Fox News. He recently spoke out against President Obama’s praise of the Eagles for giving Mike Vick a second chance. “I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances,” Tucker Carlson said recently. “But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a cruel, heartless way. Personally, I think he should’ve been executed for that.” Executed? Really? I don’t want to go political or moral on you in this post, but what Carlson said is absurd. Mike Vick paid his time in federal pound you in the butt prison. He’s done exactly what has been asked of him. Leave the guy alone. Thank you Mr. Carlson, you are indeed an idiot.

Hello, my name is: Oney Guillen (with apologies to Bobby Jenks for including him in the picture)

Why he’s an idiot: His Twitter feed is going to ultimately get his dad fired. I honestly don’t think he realizes it. His most recent tweeting was at the expense of Bobby Jenks

hahah memo to bobby jenks get a clue u drink to much and u have had marital problems hugeee ones and the sox stood behind u

they did not air out ur dirty laundry, u came to srping not drinking and then u sucked and started srinking again be a man

be a man and tell the manager or the coaching staff how u feel or the organization when u were with the sox not when u leave

u cried in the managers office bc u have problems now u go and talk bad about the sox after they protected u for 7 years ungrateful.

if it wasnt for u and mainly u freddy garcia would have like 17 wins and the sox would have beat the twins

and u self diagnosed urself bc u didnt want to pitch un real i hope the sox let this guiy fucking have it

oh and yes i remember clearly u blowing a hugee game in 09 and u laughing ur bearded ass off while everyone busting there tail

i thought u were a man not some punk who runs away and talks bullshit. u coward. say it to there face when u were with them

dont make me air out more then i have 2 say ur sorry dont disrespect the White sox ever

now u know what piece of shit person u rooted for chicago. the ones that leave and talk bad about ur team

and u say the manager didnt trust u? he kept putting ur fat ass there and u kept blowing it, he never took u away from that role unreal

go read it its a scott merkin piece its a dandy, i hope people say what they really feel instead of me

although it wouldnt surprise me if the sox take the high road and be classy instead of destroying this yellow beard dipping idiot

and to think u were actually a cool guy and ur word meant something, to bad u dont hit in the AL so they can drill that ass.

one little story remember when u couldnt handle ur drinking and u hit a poor arizona clubby in the face i do. and later u covered it with

Im sorry thats ur answer to everything. How can u disrespect ur ex team like that.

Someone take Oney’s computer away so he’ll just go away. Mr. ONEY Guillen, you’re an idiot. Ozzie, you get a pass on this one.

Now it’s your turn. Either nominate your own (sports related or maybe personal related) or discuss mine. Happy Thursday.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Chet’s Corner: Tickets Are Still Available!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

What do you get when you cross Cubbie Kool Aide, Cubbie Cute, and most of Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin?

You give up?……………………

The annual Cubs Convention!!!!!

Most MLB teams have some sort of off-season dork-fest kicking off the new year. This is how you do it Cubs style!!!!

By the way, if you have not heard (and from the looks of ticket sales you have not),  the Convention runs January 14th-16th.

I had the pleasure of joining this crowd in 2008 and got a first hand look at the madness.

The recipe? Pack thousands of rabid jersey wearing,  autograph book toting Cub fans into the Hilton Towers and give them access to all sorts of Cub schwag.  I left the event with the following junk in my bag…..

- About six schedules for the upcoming season

- A baseball signed by Fergie Jenkins (obtained in person for a $20 fee)

- A set of Cubs coasters with pictures of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and  Harry Carey emblazoned on them (Classy, I know!)

- A Ryne Sandberg Rookie Card

- A Cubs drink Koozy

- A cubs floating key chain in case i ever get into boating

- and too many other weird and useless items my wife made me throw out!

The best part was standing in line for autographs.  There was a point when I found myself standing in line for Kerry Wood  (it was for a friend as I already have one) and I couldn’t figure out what part of the hotel I was in as the line was so long.  I asked people if Christ had taken his place and was at the end of this madness putting his John Hancock on the sweet spot of a Rawlings. Nope, just Kerry Wood.

Well, at any rate,  it looks like the ole convention might be a weather bell for the upcoming season.  For the first time in a very long time the thing isn’t sold out within weeks of it’s announcement.  Does this mean Cubs fans are finally fighting back? Are we finally sick of the mediocre product?

What does this say for ticket sales next season?

I know one thing for sure, we may be hearing the cries of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly during our telecast next year urging people to “head on down to Wrigley Field as good tickets are still available for all games”.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Just How Good WAS Starlin Castro’s Rookie Year?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Since we’re light years away from opening day and no breaking news in sight, I decided to look at the all time best rookie seasons put up by a shortstop that had enough at bats to qualify for the batting title. Here are the results, sorted by OPS+ (adjusted OPS). Scanning the list, I can’t seem to find Jeter, Rodriguez or Garciaparra. Just sayin’. So the discussion for today is Do you believe in Starlin Castro, and what do you expect from him in 2011?

Player OPS+ Year Age Tm PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG
Charlie Hollocher 134 1918 22 CHC 586 72 161 23 6 2 38 47 30 26 0 .316 .379 .397
Johnny Pesky 119 1942 22 BOS 686 105 205 29 9 2 51 42 36 12 7 .331 .375 .416
Arky Vaughan 114 1932 20 PIT 555 71 158 15 10 4 61 39 26 10 0 .318 .375 .412
Dave Bancroft 104 1915 24 PHI 665 85 143 18 2 7 30 77 62 15 27 .254 .346 .330
Dave Altizer 102 1906 29 WSH 493 56 111 9 5 1 27 35 0 37 0 .256 .324 .307
Whitey Witt 100 1916 20 PHA 626 64 138 16 15 2 36 55 71 19 0 .245 .315 .337
Pat Listach 99 1992 24 MIL 649 93 168 19 6 1 47 55 124 54 18 .290 .352 .349
Dick Howser 98 1961 25 KCA 719 108 171 29 6 3 45 92 38 37 9 .280 .377 .362
Topper Rigney 98 1922 25 DET 642 68 161 17 7 2 63 68 44 17 8 .300 .380 .369
Joe Tinker 98 1902 21 CHC 545 55 132 19 5 2 55 26 0 27 0 .263 .300 .333
Starlin Castro 97 2010 20 CHC 506 53 139 31 5 3 41 29 71 10 8 .300 .347 .408
Rafael Furcal 97 2000 22 ATL 542 87 134 20 4 4 37 73 80 40 14 .295 .394 .382
Mickey Doolan 97 1905 25 PHI 524 53 125 27 11 1 48 24 0 17 0 .254 .292 .360
Phil Rizzuto 96 1941 23 NYY 548 65 158 20 9 3 46 27 36 14 5 .307 .343 .398
Joe Boley 96 1927 30 PHA 415 49 115 18 8 1 52 26 14 8 5 .311 .361 .411
Glenn Wright 96 1924 23 PIT 662 80 177 28 18 7 111 27 52 14 6 .287 .318 .425
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

GirlieView (12/27/2010)

Monday, December 27th, 2010

This week the Lizzies are full of our fun Pete LaCock talk. Don’t miss today’s discussion question at the end about other “baseball names” that strike your fancy! But first, the week in review!

Lizzies

  • If I looked like Theriot I might get more “happy fun time” with the wife…
  • You should ALWAYS be nice to little kids, with a sort of bell curve on it, being still nice but less willing to sign an autograph for, say, a 30 year old, and then going back to being nice for old-timer.
  • I am not a celebrity but when I am in my office I expect people to walk in and request my services or ask me questions. Once I leave my office I don’t expect people to request office services of me while I am at lunch.
  • So the Capn wants to wake up next to Jim Edmunds and Seymour had an x rated situation with Chipper Jones. The good news is you can both openly serve in our military.
  • There aren’t enough people named “Bump” in the world.
  • I’ll take Paul Lynde to block.
  • I loved Doug Dascenzo back in the day when I didn’t know that the ability to hit was a necessary part of being a good ballplayer.
  • Always wanted to be the play-by-play guy who had to say “LaCock’s got two balls on him”!
  • Seems Rapheal was dipping his pen in the inkwell of the second baseman.
  • That may be confusing. The said inkwell was the property of the second baseman’s wife, not the second baseman.
  • that anecdote would be a whole lot funnier if it was Ryno’s inkwell in which Raffi dipped.
  • Why was Pete LaCock traded? Anyone know that?
  • Because one day in the future he would want to sleep with Ryne Sandberg’s wife?
  • I guess a career being a TV game-show host wouldn’t really take off if your name was Peter LaCock.
  • Just realized that Peter LaCock is kind of redundant.
  • Announcer: “LaCock is up. He digs in…”
  • I remember LaCock’s glove not being to good but his stick was pretty good.
  • LaCock was one of the first players to use a hard wood bat.
  • Seymour brings a LaCock model bat to camp, kind of like those rock and roll groupies of the 60′s that took plaster molds of Jimi Hendrix LaCock.
  • They should just copy and paste for 2011.
  • I hope I’m wrong, but I think they lack talent, especially on offense.
  • If we don’t shit our pants every time we play the astros and pirates we got at least a .500 team. Hope that brings some Christmas Cheer.
  • I vomit for other reasons.
  • My favorite part? the Lizzies.
  • my favorite part of 2010 ….. “THE END .”
  • Hustle is also a dance from the 1970s.
  • That should be the 2011 Cubs theme song, sing along “Do the Hustle”

Lizard

  • Mesa is 2 months away !!

Monday Morning Discussion Question

We had an interesting discussion about Pete LaCock this week thanks to Buddy’s column about players and their numbers. I want to talk about players and their names. There are just some names that seem destined to be baseball players. Cubs Rebel Ridling and Casey Coleman come to mind. Like them or not as players, they’ve got cool baseball names. What are some names that stick out to you, Cubs or otherwise, either because they’re cool (Rebel) or because they’re unfortunate (LaCock)? Entertain me! :-)


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (VFTB and/or Chet’s Corner and/or GirlieView ) and Facebook (VFTB and/or GirlieView)

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Book Review: Christmas Is Good!

Friday, December 24th, 2010

The full title is “Christmas is Good! – Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Holiday”. It is written by Trixie Koontz, DOG, and edited by Dean Koontz.

The book features photographs by Monique Stauder and illustrations by Janet Cleland, and both the photographs and the illustrations are great! I should point out that, as this is a Christmas book, photographs feature Trixie with red bows in her hair (just above her ears).

The Koontz website (DeanKoontz.com) describes this book as “an irresistible stocking stuffer full of furry tidbits to maximize your yuletide fun.”

Here is a quote from the dedication page:
- “Trixie, a former service dog for people with disabilities, retired at three with an elbow problem, and came to live with the Koontz family. She is donating all author royalties from this book to Canine Companions for Independence, the wonderful organization that originally raised and trained her.”

Trixie’s Holiday Wish List is included, and it comprises 37 items.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Holiday:
- “Christmas is not about getting. Is about giving. So give me sausages!”

Trixie’s favorite Christmas movie is “Die Hard”.

A recipe for “Trixie’s Special Christmas Gift Dog Treats” (aka “Peanut Butter Training Bites”) is included at no extra charge.

I recommend this “Big Little Book of Holiday Fun” as a stocking stuffer “for Dogs and Their People”.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Chet’s Corner: In Regards to 2010…..

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The year in baseball has been a doozy.  Not just the actual 162 game season but the off-season too!

Without a bunch of blathering about the no hitters and the statistical minutia, which can be found here in a very interesting article by Jayson Stark,  I give you my highlights and low-lights for the 2010 season…..

*Many of the following are Cubs related, but not all……..

1) We found out in late January that the Ricketts family had purchased the Cubs for a mere $900 Million.  Not a bad margin for the Trib, considering the team was bought by the Tribune in 1981 for 20.5 million.  Just think,  we could almost field an entire team of ball players in today’s game making that much on a yearly basis….or at least we’ll be able to very soon.

2) This was Yahoo sports spring training outlook for the Cubs starting rotation in 2010….

Starting pitching has been a strength of the Cubs the last few years, and this season could be no different. You can pencil in Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, and Randy Wells as the first three starters in the rotation. After that however, it gets dicey.

Does this look familiar? They should just copy and paste for 2011.

3) The San Francisco Giants won the World Series on the backs of a few young players and a bunch of journeyman ballplayers.  Their team payroll you ask??? Just shy of 99 Million.  That placed them ninth in MLB for the 2010 season.

4) If you told me prior to the 2010 season that Lou Piniella would leave his post as Cubs manager 3/4 of the way through the season I would not have raised my brow.  If you told me Mike Quade would be taking the reigns for the remainder of the season and have such success, and fall into such favor with the front office and players that he wins the job for the next two seasons, I would have asked you one thing…….”Who is Mike Quade?”

5) Stephen Strasburg looks a lot like Mark Prior…….all the way down to the pitching motion.  Hey Nationals, better luck with Harper!

——————————————–

These are just a few things that stuck out in my mind from this past season. What about you guys?  What were your highlights/lowlights from 2010?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

The Numbers Don’t Lie, Part 2

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Back by popular demand (my wife likes this series)…

#16—Steve Lake and Aramis Ramirez: A-Ram has looked more like the weak-hitting Lake lately. Here’s hoping he gets back on track in 2011.  I think Anthony Young, the one-man loss machine, wore #16 as well.

#17—Of course we all remember Cub great Mark Grace, but my favorite 17 has to be Bump Wills. There aren’t enough people named “Bump” in the world.

#18—Richie Hebner, Dwight Smith, Jose Hernandez, and Moises Alou come to mind. Of course, Geo Soto sports it these days.

#19—Spike Owens’ little brother Dave wore this number in 1984, my all-time favorite Cubs season. If memory serves, Owens helped turn the famous double play off Lee Smith’s back. After that lucky play, Harry uttered the famous line, “The Good Lord wants the Cubs to win!”

#20—Bob Dernier, Jerome Walton, and Corey Patterson: I guess you have to be a speedy CF who doesn’t like to walk.

#21—“Sammy, Sammy, Sammy, Sammy!” And don’t forget the great Scott Sanderson. “Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, Sandy!”

#22—A tear forms in my eye as I fondly recall the days of Billy Buck. A different kind of tear forms in my eye as I painfully remember Mark Prior. What might have been?

#23—How lucky we were to watch the amazing career of Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. The only other 23 I could think of was Pete LaCock. I believe he’s related to Peter Marshall from “The Hollywood Squares.” I’ll take Paul Lynde to block.

#24—Jerry Morales, Gary Varsho, and Bobby Scales: Another run of crappy Cubs.

#25—D-Lee is a no-brainer. My favorite player from this bunch was Rafael Palmeiro. I was crushed when the Cubs traded him in the Mitch Williams deal. I was embarrassed by how his career ended.  Honorable mention goes to Gary Woods and Tuffy Rhodes.

#26—Billy Williams (number retired). For some reason, 26 doesn’t seem to be a popular number in MLB.  Who am I missing?

#27—Who could forget the great Mel Hall, who was packaged with Joe Carter in the Rick Sutcliffe deal? Others include Derrick May (ugh) and Thad Bosley.

#28—Ladies and gentlemen, Randall Kirk Myers. Easily my favorite Cubs closer.

#29—Now here’s a depressing list: Tom Veryzer, Chico Walker, Doug Dascenzo, Jeff Huson, and Rey Ordonez. Sometimes I think it wouldn’t be that difficult to be a general manager.

#30—Chuck Rainey and Ozzie Timmons: Speaking of Chuck Rainey, he started 1984 as a member of the Cubs rotation. Fortunately, he didn’t finish. With apologies to the Rainey family, the best thing you can say about Chuck is that he brought Davy Lopes (#15) to Chicago in a trade with the Oakland A’s.

Stayed tuned for part 3, numbers 31-45. Mike Proly and George Frazier are right around the corner!

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

GirlieView (12/20/2010)

Monday, December 20th, 2010

If Christmas is your thing, this is your week! And in case you still have shopping, wrapping and decorating to do, we’ll not waste any time. Especially since there was a ton of fantastic conversation this week, even in the off-season! Enjoy the week in review, and don’t miss the discussion question at the end!

Lizzies

  • Your husbands name is ‘Snow’?
  • Ghetto fabulous.
  • Why does frosty the snowman hang out on the sidewalk?
  • In return, I ask for your critical comments and snide remarks
  • 7. Alfonso Soriano (LF) – This won’t stroke the ego of the over-priced slugger, but where else should he be?
  • I wonder how much Soriano would pout if you stuck him 7th.
  • I would trade Z to the Yanks for nothing if they agree to take Soriano as well.
  • Unfortunately, it would also mean that the top of the lineup ran at glacial speeds.
  • I’m fed up with shoddy play & shoddy fundamentals
  • you are a day late and $120M short. Lee is a Philly now.
  • check with Lizzie regarding use of “asswipe”
  • Maybe Quade has a sense of humor…
  • Considering the options at 1B, I think the Cubs did quite well.
  • Koyie Hill didn’t get non-tendered? What is going on around here?
  • I’m also worried Hendry is gonna get into these deferred dollars contracts like he got into No-Trade Clauses
  • Hendry isn’t paying Pena $10M to be platooned.
  • Let’s just say my Favre dangled in the wind more then I would like to say!
  • I shared the Cliff Lee signing shock with everybody else.  Then of course, was subjected to eighty different baseball writers breaking down his contract like it is the national deficit or something.
  • Cubs:
    Carlos Zamrano
    Ryan Dempster
    The Bee Gees
    Eat Me
    I don’t care……..
  • How can you hope to keep your loyal and large fan base happy by raising ticket prices year over year and saying you need to curtail spending……all the while your counterparts are out throwing money at good players to become even better then they were?
  • Zambrano could fall anywhere from top 10 on his best days and outside of 100 on his worst.
  • They have scouts that find the right players, they have coaches that help them improve, and they have management that can tell which ones have it and which ones don’t. Do the Cubs have any of these things?
  • What a time to be a Phillies fan…
  • I feel like the Phillies are prepared to show up to the gun fight with M-16′s and we have swiss army knives
  • It will be interesting to see how the talking heads react if the Phillies don’t win the World Series.
  • I met Harry Hamlin in L.A. once. He seemed nice, but I don’t want him pitching for the Cubs either.
  • I read somewhere that the key to hitting Harry Hamlin is to step in looking for a first pitch fastball.
  • Hamlin hasn’t been the same since LA Law, his tommy john surgery took 10mph off his fastball.
  • Too bad. He could have been the next Jimmy Smits.
  • I met James Bond. Not 007, just some guy named James Bond.
  • how can you not like a movie with Pussy Galore in it.
  • We Got Wood
  • If you have Wood in the Morning, all of your problems are psychological, and not physical. Therefore, we should infer that this team can come thru given the proper attention. I’m looking for a bang-up new year.
  • I respect his baseball knowledge when he’s talking about something he’s not biased on, but he obviously just wants to stick it to the cubs whenever he can. And quite frankly Steve, it’s getting old.
  • I think the only thing that ruined Pie was Pie, specifically his love for swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.
  • I like Hendry, I think he runs the front office with honesty and integrity but I think his philosophy of depending on declining veterans is an expensive way to fail which minimizes the teams ability to develop young players.
  • Paul Reuschel
  • Must be tough even to be the “handsome Reuschel”
  • If I’m gonna wake up with a man, at least I want him experienced
  • the question was IF YOU COULD LOOK LIKE ONE OF THESE GUYS, not wake up with one of these guys. Put it on your list for Santa and leave us out of that wish.
  • Hector Villanueva
  • The kid still has his hair, and these days, that’s a bug improvement for me.
  • I don’t want to look like any of them, just want their contract.
  • the idea of not getting my inflated head through the door doesn’t sound appealing .
  • I always wanted hair like Henry Cotto.
  • Rudy Meoli
  • I had hair like Jose Cardinal back in the day of big hair.

Lizard

  • Like my wife, he is tall and slim with long, dark hair.

Monday Morning Discussion Question

Last week Seymour Butts raised an interesting point I’d like to discuss further. To refresh your memory, here is the main context of Seymour’s post:

[Re: Kerry Wood] I have met him twice and it provides a neat case study in context. The first time I was a about 50 yr old in the stands trying to get him to autograph a ball. He eventually did but seemed miffed that an old guy wanted his autograph. I was decked out in cub regalia, but I suppose could have been an autograph seller, so I understood his standoffishness.
The second time I met him was in a restaurant in Scottsdale. Jody Davis introduced him to me (and the rest of my fantasy team). He was friendly, talkative and courteous. Where you see people , and under what circumstances makes a huge difference.

So here’s the question. Do you feel pleasant fan interaction is part of a ballplayer’s job duties? Or do you feel they have a right to be aloof? I’ve got mixed feelings, which is why I’m anxious to hear yours. I think for the millions of dollars they are being paid, they take on a certain responsibility to their fans and need to make themselves courteously available. On the other hand, people are nasty. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with rude, pushy fans who feel they have the right to be as obnoxious as possible, seeming even to enjoy it. So it’s a tossup for me. You?


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (VFTB and/or Chet’s Corner and/or GirlieView ) and Facebook (VFTB and/or GirlieView)

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: