Author Archive

GirlieView (06/23/2016)

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • I think I’m in love with Albert Almora.
  • Joe’s in love. The Phillies’ broadcasters are in awe. That was another fun game to watch. Lackey looks like Mr. Ed.
  • I don’t think we are peaking. I think we are slumping. I don’t have Dork or the new nerds spreadsheets to prove it, but I watch the games. The offense can be much better than it has been the last few weeks, though granted the wins keep coming.
  • When you have three kids (10, 6, & 4), your visit includes Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry, and hanging with grandma and grandpa. Wrigleyville bars don’t make the list.
  • But Wrigley Field with the Cubs in it should be included. What are you teaching your kids?
  • Seymour can provide a suitable family escape excuse.
  • My first thought was Ross as he is the eldest. Then I looked at the roster and noted I was in college when he was born, so probably not much to talk about in common.
  • Then I thought Schwarber as he went to Indiana and can’t run away.
  • But I decided to go outside the box and pick Madden. At only 4 years older than me, we likely have a lot of shared memories. He is a fun guy interested in having a good time, as am I. He is not a fashion slave and likes cheap eats. He is me with a baseball life.
  • I choked on my toasted sub when I read, ‘fun guy …as am I”.
  • I assume toasted sub is a euphemism.
  • I’d take Theo as long as no Red Sox talk.
  • Montero. No real reason behind it, but he comes off as a guy that could carry a conversation over a meal.
  • Zobrist. I like the veteran’s best. Plus, he’s a downstate guy and I like that too.
  • I think I’d pick Jake the Snake.
  • Pat Hughes.
  • Theo so we could talk about our lives as transplants.
  • Pedro Strop so I could ask him about the hat thing.
  • Definitely Jon Lester. For one thing, he spells his first name the same as I do, so there’s that…but I’d love to hear from him about the whole not throwing to first base thing.
  • The first solution would be to make the game mean nothing again. Honestly, there is no reason this game should mean anything anyway. Managers try to rotate position players in and out of the game, and pitchers throw 2 or 3 innings max. The All-Star game is an exhibition. No one would complain if it went back to being a meaningless exhibition.
  • The All Star game is not interesting to me any longer.
  • Home field advantage should be awarded to the team with the best record.
  • The All-Star game should be after the season, like football does it. Shorten the season by the week they lose, and play the All-Star game someplace warm or indoors.
  • Oh, and the starting 9 should be the 9 players who finish the season with the best overall stats for their position. Let the great unwashed vote on the reserves.
  • They are elite athletes getting paid a SHIT-TON of money to play baseball. If they “need the break” they should take a different job. They get a long paid vacation every winter.
  • Baez – someone needs to work with him on breaking ball recognition…man he can look bad up there. When he whiffed the third time, Santangelo said, “he’s mad at himself for striking out. He shouldn’t be. If you are going to swing like that with two strikes? You are going to strike out a LOT. Get used to it or change your approach with two strikes.” He’s spot on.
  • For the record, Justin Hayward was the lead guitarist for the Moody Blues. I’m sure Len knew that. For you young’uns, the Moody Blues were a popular rock band in the 60’s and 70’s. They kept playing music, they just weren’t popular any more. They still tour. Tweet Len for details.
  • I get so tired of watching our starting pitchers get ahead of hitters all night long and then as soon as the bullpen comes in it is 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 3-1, always pitching from behind. Not just this season, every season all the time. Yes the Cubs are good but that will kill you in October.
  • No one has any thoughts on what my dream may mean?
  • Oh we stopped reading the top part years ago.
  • I feel like I’m reading a riddle.
  • the next one is sort of like a limerick
  • Bullpen needs a better lefty than Clay Dick
  • I would not give up Schwarbs but I would trade Chris Coghlan, Montero, David Ross, Clayton Richards, Trevor Cahill, Wiffowitz or Adam Dunn.
  • What are you expecting back for that ‘can’t resist’ package of talent?
  • Fernando Rodney
  • I’m sort of over Miggy Mont. Give Contreras some consistent starts over the next few weeks and let him show what he can do and then go from there. If he’s up here, play him.
  • Heyward still looks REALLY BAD to me at the plate. He’s uncomfortable. His swing is still loopy and awkward. I cannot understand why they are leaving him batting 2. Everything and everyone else on this team has changed positions in the batting order (and most of them in the field, too) except this one.
  • So now we are expecting our players to not only play hard, but throw hard as well. You do realize some of these games last longer than 4 hours.
  • Whew! I hate Molina.
  • [I’d] rather see David Ross bat second.
  • his pee-er part

Lizard

  • In the playoffs, there will be zero crappy pitching – and this team has to learn to consistently, not occasionally, beat the other guy’s top 2 or 3. Period.

Shout Outs

  • No one had their very first 2016 Regular Season Lizzie this time so let’s have a shout out for everyone! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Sherm, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er for the third time in a row! Way to go Sherm!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Sherm
2. Doc Raker
3. Eddie von White
4. Seymour Butts
5. jswanson
6. Doug S
7. Joe Aiello
8. Brad Lyerla
8. cap’n realist
10. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

  • What changes do you feel the Cubs need to make between now and the end of the season in order to be playoff-ready? Your ideas can be specific (trade for such-and-such, etc.) or more conceptual (improve moving runners into scoring position) but let’s hear your thoughts!
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GirlieView (06/09/2016)

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • NO on Braun. Just No.
  • We win the world series for the first time in 108 years? No way I want Fraud taking any credit for it and saying some BS like “I’ve always liked the Cubs and their fans”.
  • Agree. Then we’d have to start cheering for him.
  • No…Fuck No.
  • Big Toe Joe- Seymour used a bad word. They must of under toasted his sandwich today at Quizno’s.
  • I get cranky when they are out of French onion sun chips, Doc.. let it pass
  • I don’t like Braun.
  • As much as it would be an incredible feat for [Arietta] to end the season without a loss, there’s going to be games where he gives up 2 or 3 and the bats go cold.
  • I know there will be tons of reply’s to this as everyone will be fascinated with my viewing habits.
  • We need a stat guy to determine your BARIP (batting average on replies in play)
  • More interested in your viewing habits with folded dollar bills in the Bay Area last week.
  • He uses coins
  • Ouch
  • And one day we shall meet and regale tales of much and little truth.
  • (1 thru 9) Lester, Ross, Rizzo, Zobrist, Bryant, Russell, Soler, Fowler, Heyward.
  • I am really not following your batting order.
  • what are the odds the Cubs still win with Doug’s order?
  • I missed the banter, the “Wood played hard” never gets old I guess. Hope we never trade that guy.
  • There is always more Wood in the forest.
  • Just wanted to post this here to see Raker go crazy: FanGraphs crowd sourced TV broadcaster rankings put Kasper and JD as the 4th best team in baseball.
  • I will bow in the direction of the Cascades at sundown.
  • Pull those pants up a little first
  • It’s nice to see that Joe Maddon reads this blog and pays attention.
  • Looking forward to the NWL starting up the 3rd week of June. Finally some live baseball here and get to see the baby cubs when the green Sasquatches come to town.
  • Do they have a Yeti cooler night?
  • No, but in the 4th inning every game they have a sushi race.
  • So, I see soy sauce, and what I am guessing is wasabi. The other two? A Scotch Brite scouring pad and an egg who works the streets?
  • L-R – Mr Kappa Maki, Chef Wasabi, Ms BC Roll, Sadaharu Soy.
  • That looks delicious
  • I chuckled when you called him Grandpa Rossy, then I cried when I realized I am 6 years older than him. Sigh.
  • In fact, I can honestly say I have no idea who [CJ Reifenhauser] is or how he got on the 40 man roster to begin with.
  • Reifenhauser was, I believe, a 12 year who broke his arm, and when it healed he was suddenly gifted with a 100 mph fastball. Daniel Stern was His personal catcher. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold runners or field his position, and Thed decided they only had room on the 40 man for 1 of those.
  • Sad to see CeeJer go
  • Reifenhauser plays bass with Kool and the Gang, Thed put him on the roster for Len’s sake but once Len and JD got that #4 ranking Thed figured Len didn’t need the help.
  • The more I watch Ben Zobrist play baseball, the more I realize how important he is to this team. In the month of May, he’s been remarkably productive and I don’t know what the Cubs offense would look like had he not been on the team and Starlin Castrobe manning second base.
  • Zobrist is the best hitter the Cubs have had since Mark Grace, his at bats are outstanding. What a brilliant pick up.
  • Zobrist is excellent. I am more impressed every day with him.
  • Love Zobrist. He is an outstanding batter, fielder, and locker room guy. P.S.-his wife is singing the national anthem today.
  • That would make sense if we really cared to help our service members but we really care to sell more jerseys and what better way to do that than have special jerseys for special days so suckers like you buy more of our stuff. This way you can feel like you are helping our service men when you buy our over priced MLB jerseys. Enjoy, MLB Merchandise Marketing
  • Did you forget that MLB is a whore? I thought I made that clear.
  • Let’s see…MLB takes money for it’s services…check. Fans of 29 of 30 teams end the year feeling screwed…check. Fans of the 30th team get a happy ending, money well spent…check. You can’t kiss MLB on the mouth…check. I guess you are right.
  • Wood pitches long, too
  • It’s not all about length, but what you do when you’re in there that counts
  • Not surprising… Wood always pitches hard against stiff competition.
  • getting wood to go deep was a huge relief.
  • Shame on me for missing the opportunity to work in the deep reference.
  • Ah.. wieners sure are funny
  • It’s a crime that Trey McNutt didn’t default to #3
  • I hate it that the brewers picked up Ramirez. I will be sad every time I see him pitch.
  • Yes Richard is pretty crappy, but so is every team’s final reliever.
  • No team has ever won a game while scoring zero runs. Ever. If you want to blame pitching for the loss, go for it.
  • Richard is the goat because he followed Arrieta and gave up three hits. If he would’ve followed anyone else on the staff, today’s focus would be on the offense that mustered up one hit.
  • I, for one, don’t expect Arrieta to win every game he starts.
  • Physically, [Lester]’s a solid #1 for 15 big league teams. Mentally, and defensively, he’s still a 13 year old.
  • All the 13 year olds I know can throw to first base.
  • But only a lucky few can actually get to first base
  • A friend and fellow Cubs fan described Lester as fragile.
  • Must be Italian
  • So I was just looking through these and Ive decided we are all very weird here.
  • 23 over on June 3. Unbelievable.
  • This just in: Jake Arrieta is human. News at 10:00.
  • Baseball has a funny way of bringing you up and knocking you down. Just about the time you start proclaiming “Jake Arrieta Day” and thinking it’s a sure thing…well, you know.
  • Remember when Jeff Smardijida was our “ace”?
  • This is what happens when you taunt the baseball Gods and start expecting an automatic win from Jake Arrieta every time out. The baseball Gods shut it down all around. No wins for Jake and no posts for the VFTB. Say 10 Holy Mary’s and 5 Our Father’s for your penance and everything will be fine.
  • Who says we’re being patient? Seymour has started a new blog “WherethehellisJoe?.com” Sue is frantic worrying that you got hit by a foul ball. Len had a new tweet called “FireRaker.com”. I accidentally ranted on View From the Beautyshop and three blue-hairs fainted. The Lizzies have gone into syndication in Mad Magazine. Swanson is drawing triangle mouths on the side of city buses. Adam Dunn called. CAPS quit his job and has taken up beachcombing. EVW quit coffee cold turkey and now drinks Earl Grey with honey in it. It’s a shitshow, Joe. A complete shitshow. Hurry back.
  • Watching Philly feed. Guys talking about Lester’s inability to throw to first. Funny, but….No idea who’s at the Pavilion this month.
  • Data nerd here
  • Welcome. We now have a nerd and a dork.
  • Nice – Did you use a spreadsheet to calculate that?
  • Of course. I live in spreadsheets.
  • oh get a room you two
  • Could you send me a spreadsheet with hotels sorted by rating and price filtered down to ones within walking distance to Wrigley to help me make an informed decision of where to get a room?
  • Catchers are like bananas. They are good for a long time but once they start to go bad, they go bad fast.

Lizard

  • And for the love of God, we are having a great season. Enjoy.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Chuck, Junior von White, Kyle Clark, Noah, and Tomas Checkosky for their first 2016 Regular Season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for contributing!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Sherm, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go Sherm, second time in a row!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Sherm
2. Eddie von White
3. Doc Raker
4. jswanson
4. Seymour Butts
6. Doug S
7. Joe Aiello
8. cap’n realist
9. Brad Lyerla
10. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

  • Another off day on GirlieView Thursday so what can we talk about? If you could have dinner with any current Cub who would you pick, and why?
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GirlieView (05/26/2016)

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • Bryant’s RBI liner up the middle when all that was needed was a liner up the middle…not a bomb. It doesn’t always have to be a bomb, and he’s figured it out. He’s going to be SO good.
  • I still miss Castro but I understand the different make up of this Cubs roster.
  • Wood’s lost some heat (don’t do it, Seymour) and is learning to be crafty, but he … needs a little more bend. (Dammit – leave it alone, Seymour)
  • Wood pitches hard.
  • What happened to the half off prom dresses?
  • Lester has a classic case of ‘the yips’ on the throw to first and everyone in the league knows it.
  • No review of the “YIPS” would be complete without defining the words origin. YIPS is an anagram for the first letters of what the coaching staff mutters when observing Knoblock lawn dart a throw from second to first. “You Idiotic Piece of S**t.”
  • Billy Ocean. Any relation to Junior Lake?
  • First cousins, only much larger.
  • Maybe the Cubs could hire a tutor/musician to stroll out to the mound with Chris Bosio and spend 30 seconds humming to Jon – the way some teams have an interpreter for non-English speaking players.
  • Even with no game tonight, it was a great day for Ben Zobrist who was named National League co-player of the week,
  • Still not loving Heyward hitting two. To me, Zobrist probably belongs there behind Fowler – back to back switch hitting on base machines. Heyward has been a rally killer, and until his wrist, or whatever it is that is bothering him, is 100% it won’t kill him to bat lower in the order. Hell, bat him ninth.
  • We lost all of that funny junk we said with the other comment format… I hope Lizzie was taking notes
  • Lizzie never gets distracted.
  • I guess I’ll summarize. Doug was classic, CAPS apparently gets emails every time somebody comments on VFTB, intentionally, Dork had an identity crisis, Sherm shermranted, business as usual for Seymour and me. Raker was studying science at Subway and failed to check in. Still no sign of our beloved Johnsons.
  • get your game face on, triangle mouths and all!
  • She was last seen standing outside of a baseball stadium holding a homemade sign which reads “balls to the face hurt.” Her original sign, “who wants a ball in the mouth?” was stolen by a streetwalker.
  • Last year I dreaded games that David Ross was the starter because he was an automatic out. He’s not an all star, by any means, but watching him play this year has not been torture.
  • Real satisfying watching Sean Rodriguez strike out.
  • I have a problem with people not giving people that are better than them credit. Know where you stand
  • To all the off season Ben Zobrist supporters. You were right, he is an upgrade from Starlin Castro as much as I like and miss Castro. It’s not just the batting average with Zobrist, it seems like everyone of his AB’s is a quality AB. Zobrist is impressive and made the Cubs a better team.
  • Who hasn’t had the metaphorical bat flipped in their face? It’s life.
  • And who hasn’t, metaphorically, at least, punched an arrogant idiot in the mouth?
  • If you don’t like his bat flip, maybe you should have gotten him out.
  • The Pirates are probably still salty from their Wildcard loss.
  • People don’t hate losers. It feels good to be hated on.
  • The Cubs are playing with class and acting like they have been there even though they are not and have not been perennial winners year after year.
  • it prevents [your] back end of the pen guys from staying sharp because they aren’t needed very often. Take Clayton Richard, for example. In the last seven days, he’s thrown one inning. For the year, he’s under six. This for a guy who has the endurance to throw that in one outing, and he’s considered you long man. How can you expect him to be a long man if he doesn’t have the opportunity to throw long outings?
  • There is no reason to have three catchers unless one of them is named Kyle Schwarber and if Tim Federowicz has his name changed to Kyle Schwarber, I retract that statement too.
  • I would just as soon send Federowicz packing and keep Kalish. I bet Baez would be willing to strap on the gear and catch the long man.
  • Heck, I’d rather see Thunder Matt Murton pinch hit over watching guys like Richard, warm the bullpen pine, game after game.
  • The league may be making adjustments on how they pitch to the Cubs.
  • Len – Joe Nathan, there’s two first names
    Thinking Man – Wouldn’t you like to see a Joe Nathan / John Jay matchup?
    Len – Two more first names right there
    Thinking Man – Then you have Jay Bruce
    Len – That’s out number one. That brings up a great point, do you think Jay Bruce was born to run like Bruce Springsteen?
    Thinking Man – Maybe back in his glory days
    Len – We’re through eight. Cubs seven, Milwaukee two.
  • Opportunity for a 4th of July hot dog eating contest tie in with Joe Nathan.
  • Nathan’s famous hot dog probably has an entirely different meaning in the Nathan bedroom
  • Federowitz pinch hit AB in the 9th was putrid.
  • Flailowitz at bat was terrible. I’d have rather seen Travis Wood pinch hit. Pathetic. He didn’t come within a foot of the ball.
  • I would go with Bryant at 1b and jBaez in left. I didn’t think Rizzo should of been pinched run for. Now we are in extra’s without our best hitter.
  • And Baez could have pinch it in that Whiffowitz situation. Or instead of Cahill, who actually did a lot better than Strikeoutawitz.
  • Wood played hard, as per usual.
  • He played hard for a long man.
  • Maddon, when asked what he said to Wood on the mound with bases loaded? “Understand one thing: If you get out of this, you’re getting an at-bat.”
  • I know you have seen good 3b play, you played with me.
  • What happens in the shower, stays in the shower
  • I do want to go back to something Joe said in the original post, though. The WWE is fixed and pre-planned? SON OF A BITCH!!!!!
  • Sorry brother.
  • If they do move a guy out of the pen and into the starting rotation without a trade, I would look for it to be Warren.
  • I’ll start with Grimm. He’s a two pitch guy. Unless one of the two is a heater that hits triple digits with sick movement? He’s not a starter. Teach him a change-up, and then? Maybe. Not this year.
  • look at the standings, and then stare at a photo of Jake and question your sexuality.
  • Heyward is a different story. He’s just not comfortable at the plate. Give him some time off and call it bereavement (for the death of his swing) But really…just drop him to 7 (or 9) in the batting order and let him work it out.
  • VFTB authoring guideline 101 – The word naked usually follows shortly after Murton.
  • Soler busts out. Finally. He was like a big black right handed Kyle Schwarber yesterday. The JS of Death?
  • Bubble wrap the JS of Death and it sticks.
  • Every time I type that, I have to send Sue a nickel
  • I hope you sterilize them first.
  • Nah…they’re wooden
  • Cheap at twice the price.
  • They actually play rookie ball in Phoenix through out the summer. That is brutal.
  • It’s a dry heat.
  • so is fire
  • My apologies, I thought I gave CAPS your celebrity fan line number. $1 a minute to listen to your recording…………..”and then we took batting practice……..and then we played the games………..and then there was laughter and joy for those capable of experiencing laughter and joy……….and then dinner at Quiznos………..”
  • $4.99 a minute. What do you think I am.
  • I did prefer the 24 – 6 stretch over the 5-8 stretch we have been on.
  • Did anyone see the poor ump in LA that took a fouled off bunt to the groin? He went down pretty hard. Karma?
  • Twig or berries?
  • The Cubs are 1st in the league in ERA and 2nd in the league in runs scored. They’re on pace to win 110 games, which would be freaking insane. Don’t let a couple tough losses in May get you down. All is well in Cubbyland!
  • Cardinals Kick the Cubs in the Twig AND the Berries
  • What a blessing Ben Zobrist has been this season. He had another great night at the plate and has been wonderful this season. Imagine this team had he not been brought in and had Dexter Fowler not spurned the Orioles and come to Chicago.
  • The only question mark was catcher, but Geovany Soto grabbed the opportunity and ran with it.
  • My Bushmills taste especially good this evening, it compliments a good old fashion ass kicking of the Cardinals very well.
  • the pig is on the runway. Hammel will be our #2 come playoff time. Lester just isn’t as trustworthy.
  • Hammel is all star caliber this year. Not only does he pitch, but he hits, and he throws to first. That’s 3 out of 3 if you’re doing the math.

Lizard

  • Baseball in person still beats any other sport. Even in a loss.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Andrew Thackray, Bartz, Bilyuds, Buddy, and Dork for their first 2016 Regular Season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Sherm, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Eddie von White
2. Sherm
3. Doc Raker
4. Seymour Butts
5. jswanson
6. Joe Aiello
7. Doug S
8. cap’n realist
9. Brad Lyerla
10. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

  • Today’s day off gives you some extra time to think about the Cubs so give this a try. Given current performance what’s your proposed lineup for Friday’s game vs. the Phillies? (Probable starter is Jon Lester so you must work that in. Adam Morgan is set to start for the Phillies if it matters.)
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GirlieView (05/12/2016)

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • Look how interesting that move made the rest of the game.
  • I agree. I like the strategic component.
  • Yeah, everytime I think I want the DH in the NL, a game like this happens, and it shows the importance of a good in-game manager. I do think, however, that both leagues should have the same rules, since we have interleague play. ….. It needs to be one or the other, and there’s no way the MLBPA is going to let the league take away the DH.
  • regardless of the weather, it takes the whole game to win.
  • if you are the same William Ocean that sang ‘Caribbean Queen’ please don’t leave us. No more love on the run has long been a motto of mine, and Len Kasper really wants to see you live. Please stay and remind of us of all that was good about the mid-80’s. The Cubs sure weren’t.
  • Sail on… The idea here is to have fun. And we do that. If that is not your thing, happy trails.
  • Sail on. Great Lionel Richie tune. (Damn it, inner Len!)
  • We are better off without Tommy the wannabe priest, Sue the safety nut, and some dude named Dave I barely remember. We may lament the loss of our Johnson’s from time to time, But we won’t miss an ocean.
  • Speaking of missing Johnsons, where’s Dork?
  • It’s funny because Joe “plucked” us into semi-legitimacy. I remember when it was just you, (then) BadMojo, Raker and me…with an occasional drive-by posting from Smitty. Since we’ve been HERE? We’ve been REALLY nice and on our best behavior. All out of our complete (and I mean this) respect for Joe.
  • Speaking of which, I have been part of this family for the last four years thanks to you all. This is the first place I visit every morning and the last one each night, and a zillion times in between. My uncle was the greatest Cub fan ever. He died two years ago at 89 years old. We talked Cubs baseball all the time no matter what season. VFTB is now my uncle.
  • How did Cindy Sandberg stay off that list?
  • This illustrates the difference between “being” and “doing” a Cub.
  • Nice job EVW. All you need now is a triangle mouth.
  • Odd coincidence… I referenced the odd, pervy guy by name in a comment 3 hours ago.
  • coincidence: odd Pervy guy referencing odd Pervy guy
  • All you need now is a triangle……..oh never mind.
  • Going to be a long hot summer, to be enjoyed and savored by me.
  • Arrieta is proving that you can do remarkable things with a good workout routine – what he’s done over the last couple of years has been the result of a ton of work, not drugs, should be applauded.
  • Agree and would add that it is diet too. He avoids foods that contribute to body inflammation. Controlling inflammation works hand in hand with exercise to achieve superior performance.
  • pretty sure the double cheeseburger I just had for lunch will contribute to my body inflation. If only there was a cold sandwich shop with a pedophile spokesman nearby…I too could pitch like Arrieta.
  • To me, Russell especially has matured since last year and looks like he belongs, possibly becoming one of the premier players at the position. And what an absolute steal by the FO.
  • If you do have a boss and she (or he) asks what you are looking at there on your computer thingy. Just state that you found a great site to watch pre-school children change their clothing. They will be so relieved to find that is not the case that your pilferage of company time will go unnoticed.
  • That’s right up there with the strip bar/cubs game excuse.
  • Consistency is a cornerstone of solid advice.
  • I hate it when I get too busy working at work to check in.
  • these are big wins, when the Cubs #4 starter beats the Pirates #1.
  • “It is imperative that Jonathon Niese pitches well tonight against these Chicago Cubs. They can hit and with Jake Arrieta on the mound Niese has to be on his game if we are going to have a chance against Arrieta tonight.” Pirates Broadcasters to start the game. “Jonathan Nephew, I mean Niese will be pitching tonight for the Pirates” Len Kasper.
  • Baez should continue to see playing time almost every day as long as he continues to handle the bat well, and dazzle us all with his defense.
  • Cubs are going to have a nice little problem when everyone gets healthy. The way everyone is hitting, who do you sit?
  • I think you do like Maddon has been doing – play everybody just alternate them in and out. Doesn’t matter who is in the lineup – the team takes no hurt.
  • I think Billy Ocean might be Sue.
  • Nah, Billy had an issue with our having lives and discussions outside of baseball. Sue apparently disliked our caviler attitudes about enjoying a game free of bubble wrap.
  • “Depth is everything in the modern game.”–Theo Epstein.
  • It’s this ability to see beyond the immediate circumstances and think long-term that makes Theo and Jed so good at what they do.

Lizard

  • So our number 5 starter beat the Nats guy with 2 first names that came into the game with a 0.80 ERA and we are now 21-6. Pinch me, I have never been here before.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Elijah Knepper for his first 2016 Regular Season Lizzie!!!! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Seymour Butts, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go Butts!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Eddie von White
2. Doc Raker
3. Seymour Butts
4. jswanson
5. cap’n realist
5. Sherm
7. Doug S
8. Joe Aiello
9. Sean Powell
10. Brad Lyerla

Chit Chat

  • More travel this week so I wrapped this up on Sunday, while watching the Cubs tied with the Nationals as they begin the ninth inning. (Arietta is off the hook after one of his less impressive starts this season. Still love the guy!) Anyway as usual I will pick up right where I left off so your wit won’t be wasted.
  • Meanwhile, let’s talk favorites. We’ve already listed our favorite individual Cubs, now let’s talk about something a little different. What is your favorite trait of this year’s Cubs? For instance my favorite thing is their patience as a team, working deep into counts and making the pitcher work regardless of the outcome of the at bat. This is a big change. Of course there are many wonderful things about this team, and many big changes from years’ past when we were all here lamenting one “virtue” or another. What are some of your favorite things?
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Three Strikes – Welcome to Pittsburgh!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Joe is still under the weather so although I’m not able to devote as much time here as he is I can at least give us a place to chit chat each day. I know you guys will keep the conversation rolling. (Thank you for that!)

  • Strike One – The Cubs beat the Pirates last night 7-2 at PNC park in lovely Pittsburgh, PA. Jason Hammel (4-0) got the win and Gerrit Cole (2-3) took the loss in the Cubs first trip to Pittsburgh since that great Wild Card game last year! Full coverage here.
  • Strike Two – Jake Arietta was named NL Pitcher of the Month for April. Yay Jake! Details here.
  • Strike Three – Smack dab in the middle of an impressive time for him, Matt Szczur pulled a hammy. MRI results are pending. Details here.

Tonight we’ve got Jake Arietta going up against Jonathon Niese at 6:05pm CT. Enjoy your day, enjoy the game, and let’s all send up some good thoughts for Joe. Thanks everyone!

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Recap and Look Ahead

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Last I spoke to our Big Toe Joe he was a bit under the weather, and since I’m not sure who’s assigned to write what I thought I’d at least get something posted until he’s back! Let’s take a brief look back at the weekend’s baseball and a look ahead to the coming week.

Friday, April 29: Cubs 6, Braves 1

  • Jon Lester battled with Aaron Blair but neither got a decision. Tied 1-1 in the 8th inning, Matt Szczur hit his first career grand slam which put the game out of Atlanta’s reach.

Saturday, April 30: Rainout. Makeup date not yet scheduled.

Sunday, May 1: Braves 4, Cubs 3 (10 innings)

  • Addison Russell sent the game into extra innings with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, but Hector Rondon couldn’t hold the lead and the Cubs lost a close one in 10.

Monday, May 2, 6:05 pm CT: Cubs @ Pirates

  • Probable starters: Jason Hammel/Gerrit Cole

Tuesday, May 3, 6:05 pm CT: Cubs @ Pirates

  • Probable starters: Jake Arietta/Jonathon Niese

Wednesday, May 4, 11:35 am CT: Cubs @ Pirates

  • Probable starters: Jon Lester/Juan Nicasio

The Cubs head back home on Thursday for a four game series with the Washington Nationals.

Please chat among yourselves while our fearless leader is MIA. :-)

 

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GirlieView (04/28/2016)

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • I’m going on record right now and predicting 20+ home runs from Addison this year and a potential gold glove award.
  • Munenori Kawasaki reminds me of Tony Campana without the motorcycle goggles
  • I’d take Kow’s goggles over Campana’s giant goddamned helmet. I guess.
  • he was the great gazoo from the Flintstones.
  • Who takes a day off on Tuesday?
  • The Moody Blues.
  • Outstanding. That would be a Lizzie if it weren’t for the fact that you just proved us to be very old.
  • has Len come up with a pithy nick name for him yet? Lame Cub fans need to know.
  • Eggs De La Cruz
  • Pablo Cruz…………rock on Len!
  • Motley Cruz for rough outings
  • Cruz Control
  • Grimm and Ross = Gross
  • Lackey’s hugely pivotal performance in moments such as these – of which there were others sprinkled throughout the game – proved to be the hinges on which the game ultimately swung.
  • They scored nine runs in 40 degrees.
  • The Cubs are 7-0 thus far in games they have won. I fully expect them to remain undefeated when outscoring the opponent.
  • That’s the kind of insight I come here for.
  • You say, when they bat around it really f’s up your score card.
  • The teams we have beat may not be that good, but we’ve beaten them very badly. When we get to the good teams, we’ll beat them, maybe just not quite as badly.
  • With high walk rates, lower strikeout rates, and lower chase percentages, the Cubs offense is going to be a nightmare for pitchers throughout the 2016 season.
  • I’m running out of things to say about Jake and his crazy good pitching.
  • A non-Cubs fan asked me the other day if I “really thought Arrieta is *that* good.” I hesitated both because I don’t want to sound like a giant homer, and because I’m waiting for things to regress a bit back to the mean. The longer he continues to pitch like this, though, it’s going to get harder and harder to say anything but “yes, he really is *that* good.”
  • Maddon said he let Jake bat in the bottom of the 8th because he wanted him to get on base so Wood could pinch run.
  • Wood pinch runs hard, presumably.
  • Wood is good, but when you really want to swing it hard, it takes a Johnson.
  • This team needs to work on some fundamentals…but it’s nice to be winning early.
  • It’s nice to see we can screw up a simple run down, but still win the game. That’s something new.
  • It was a great night to be Lackey.
  • Hammel nutted up when he needed to – both on the mound and at the plate, and that was great to see.
  • 10:45 AM start today for us on the west coast. Unfortunately there’s a Microsoft webinar with mandatory attendance starting around that time that could go for 3+ hours.
  • I would plug in my headphones and try to listen to the game on the radio while pretending to pay attention.
  • Picture in a picture. Just remember not to react if you have a camera on you.
  • blah blah start button blah blah bing blah excel
  • That’s the advanced stuff covered in the next webinar.
  • Enjoy this team. Savor the moments. Have a disco-ball-and-champagne party after every victory!
  • I have so many questions for him about Leonard and Penny.
  • Prince just canceled all his concerts in North Carolina
  • Dropped the game off my phone to tell you bozos to tune in.. Jake’s close and it’s a slaughterhouse
  • First David Ross no hitter.
  • well, of that nature
  • I had that weird feeling last night down deep in my loins and it wasn’t an STD.
  • It’s incredibly important to dominate this division so we’re not relegated to the wild card. We’re off to a good start.
  • And then Len said, “I never saw Prince live in concert, I can’t believe I never will. Today sucks.”
  • Cincy needs a mercy rule
  • Thanks Jake for making me question my sexuality.
  • One of my favorite plays in all of baseball is the squeeze bunt.
  • JD will have some insight into pitch selection which Len will completely ignore and go on to tell you about the Don Earl Band he saw at a Honky Tonk across the river in Kentucky after last nights game.
  • I wear my Cubs boxers every game day.
  • You wear underwear?
  • Raker is not Matt Murton.

Lizard

  • Getting on base is everything.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout outs to Bryan, Ben, Bruce Fritz, Bryan, CAPS, Chris O’Reilly, Luke Jett, and Sean Powell for their first 2016 Regular Season Lizzies!!!! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Eddie Von White, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time around for the second time in a row! Way to go EVW!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Eddie von White
2. Doc Raker
2. jswanson
4. Sherm
5. Joe Aiello
5. Seymour Butts
7. cap’n realist
8. Doug S
9. Brad Lyerla
9. Sean Powell

Chit Chat

I wanted to re-cap our chit chat from last time, where I asked you who your favorite Cubs were now that you had seen a few games. Here are the results of that highly scientific poll, player name followed by how many overall votes. Just like the election. By the way for those who asked, I was in Washington DC last week. Pleasure, not political. It was amazing! Anyway here are the results.

  • Rizzo = 6
  • Arietta = 5
  • Fowler = 5
  • Russell = 3
  • Bryant = 2
  • Epstein = 2
  • Hoyer = 1
  • Maddon = 1
  • Zobrist = 1
  • Rondon = 1
  • Schwarber = 1
  • Strop = 1
  • Wood = 1
  • Lizzie = 1
  • Raker = 1
  • Seymour = 1
  • Jedi Johnson = 1
  • Jeremiah Johnson = 1
  • The old perv who asked CAPS for pics from his lifeguard days = 1
  • Sue = 1
  • The Ball Dude = 1
  • The guy who invented protective netting = 1
  • Ernie = 1
  • Ronnie = 1
  • Billy = 1
  • Doug Dascenzo = 1
  • Carlos Silva = 1
  • Adam Dunn if we would have signed him in 05 = 1
  • Dusty = 1
  • Quade = 1
  • Sveum = 1

Enjoy the rest of your week! (One last thing, I had to wrap this up on Monday this time around. No worries, as usual I will pick up right where I left off so your mid-week wit won’t be for naught.)

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GirlieView (04/14/2016)

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • Cost me the equivalent of 80 Subway sangwiches for those seats, but when it’s your 7 year old daughter’s first Cub game, you kick down.
  • A cursory review of this week’s Lizzie’s leads me to believe that she never saw the Princess Bride. She should find a way to see it. Good, clean comedy.
  • I used to take little girls to ballgames. The restraining order put a stop to that.
  • I agree about the west coast, though I do like opening week in a warm weather venue.
  • The older I get, the more I prefer watching games on television. More comfortable. Better food. Better booze. Freakin’ PAUSE.
  • I love seeing St. Louis UNDER .500 already
  • I was at the game on Sunday. A few observations. There were some foul balls that were very dangerous, I think MLB should consider more netting for fan protection.
  • I have thought that about foul balls before as well. I wonder why no one ever makes an issue of it.
  • I’ve been too busy trying to figure out how to ban bats since Colvin was impaled.
  • A bat can do a lot of damage, I think bubble wrap would be helpful.
  • After the strikeout to end the 7th, Federowicz tossed the ball to mini-me Realist in the stands. This made her year. He is my new favorite minor league Cub, and I hope he makes the club next season, or later this season when Ross has a grabber legging out a triple.
  • [Fowler]’s the catalyst for this beast of a lineup. If he’s getting on base, this order is going to have a monster year.
  • How fun was that last night? Everyone contributed. A satisfying way to get started.
  • My first cup of coffee in the new season was sensational this morning.
  • If only the game had been on at a reasonable hour (for those of us in the EST time zone), as I was disappointed to have been unable to watch any of it.
  • Mark_in_Alberta has a decent ring to it.
  • But then I would miss any of the EST games which would start while I was still at work. Guess I can’t win either way
  • Split the difference in Winnipeg… Mark_in_Manitoba
  • Simplify – Markitoba
  • Somebody really should track down Jedi now that we’re good.
  • Just imagine what would come of this team if it played at Coors.
  • David Ross clearly spent the winter with Ponce de Leon in Florida.
  • Soler has a huge hole in his swing down and away- he has Sorianocantrecognizetheslideritis
  • Sort of looks like Raker is photobombing Cap and Alec
  • Looks like some holding-my-gut-in action taking place.
  • I am the one closest to the camera, don’t be that guy closest to the camera, not flattering. The Capn is in the middle holding his gut in and Alec Berg is in the grey Santo jersey.
  • I hope you were paying attention to flying objects leaving the field of play as well. Turning your back on the field of play can be hazardous.
  • Not to worry, Raker Jr. was wrapped in bubble wrap as was Mini-Me Cap’n.
  • Jr Raker smelled really funny when we took the bubble wrap off
  • that jersey is 10 years old…who among us wouldn’t have some tightness in the belly in a 10 year old shirt?
  • I am in Phoenix on business, but cruelly will not be able to see any of the games because of other commitments.
  • Call in sick. Head to the ballpark w/ a fake mustache and Goldie jersey. Problem solved.
  • Make a cardboard cutout. No one will know the difference. She has already described you to her co-workers as “dry as dust.” They will be amazed at her apt description in the desert.
  • I was going to suggest his and hers fake mustaches, but okay.
  • There’s gotta be a way to scam 1 game out of the series. Promise her you’ll paint a wicker chair with her, row a boat for her, hug her on a bench, dance with her, sit in a bathtub and watch the sunset with her……am I forgetting anything?
  • Ipecac. It’s over the counter and will make you vomit. This will get you out of the evening engagements.
  • I see an opportunity – “Ask Seymour – Marital Advice for Cubs Fans”
  • Bring your dollar bills.
  • that uppity prick from Texas
  • Nicely written and reasoned. I will, however, be profoundly disappointed if the Cubs fail to go all the way nonetheless.
  • As will Chris, regardless of what he says here.
  • I haven’t read your book, but it’s not bad luck or a curse that has kept the Cubs down. They’ve been a very poorly run team with no vision for a LONG TIME.
  • Fowler re-signing looks genius today.
  • Despite his quick bat, Schwarber going out for the season probably will have the least impact. Last year when Russell got hurt, the whole team suffered.
  • Strop – It’s difficult to take someone seriously when he wears his hat like that – and then loses the lead.
  • We all knew somebody was going down…Thought it would be Cindy Sandberg, though…
  • We can go 161-1 now, still can be a pretty good season
  • now we go home to the cold and windy April Wrigley were manufacturing runs will be paramount. Let’s see if we can win that way also.
  • I would think the emergence of Arrieta as the clubs ace makes life for Lester a lot easier, it takes the spot light off of Lester and allows him to work and make adjustments without the media and fans over reacting.
  • Back to Chicago… hope they didn’t misplace their muffs over winter.

Lizard

  • Good morning. It is Opening Day!

Shout Outs

  • It was the first 2016 Season Lizzie for everyone who had a Lizzie this time around! Big shout outs to Adam Peters, Brad Lyerla, cap’n realist, Confused in Cali, Doc Raker, Doug S, Eddie von White, Joe Aiello, jswanson, Mark_from_Toronto, Seymour Butts, and Sherm! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to Eddie von White, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go EVW!

Top 10 of the 2016 Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard)

1. Eddie von White
2. Doc Raker
3. jswanson
4. cap’n realist
5. Seymour Butts
6. Sherm
7. Brad Lyerla
8. Doug S
8. Joe Aiello
8. Mark_from_Toronto

Chit Chat

  • (Just a quick fyi … I had to wrap things up early this week because of some travel commitments. But never fear, I’ll pick up exactly where I left off next time.) Now that you’ve been able to (hopefully) see a few games, who are your favorite Cubs right now? Let’s go with top 3!
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GirlieView (03/31/2016)

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’er: The person with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2015 Off-Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.

Lizzies

  • I just want to thank my supporting cast for serving up some serious Lizzie assists. Although most of my Lizzie comments come from my genius some of them are assisted by others which I believe put me into the MVL category this fortnight.
  • What you are not seeing is that this is Spring (nee Winter) Training for Lizzies as well. We see a lot of obvious Lizzie pandering from those who will likely be in DesMoines come opening day. Established Lizzie veterans are just stretching out the fingers with the odd dick joke
  • Hey man, I added some insightful commentary around Trey McNutt’s camp.
  • Unsurprisingly, Johnson pitched hard tonight. Hit hard too.
  • Joe [Maddon] will have his hands full managing his lineup and keeping everyone sharp and focused during a full season. I cannot wait to see it unfold.
  • The Cubs are looking to be a playoff contending team for the next 3-6 years. That is something I have not seen in my lifetime.
  • We have 8 games in AL parks where the Schwarber question is easier to answer.
  • I’ll take an overcrowded outfield over an “undercrowded” any day. I think Maddon is smart enough to get the most out of it.
  • my phone autocorrected Maddon to Aladdin, granted Aladdin would make a damn fine manager too (he’s always one step ahead).
  • This year, Montero faces the pressure of seeing his job hang in the balance if he doesn’t produce.
  • Watched him yip from great yip seats … Got to see Lester dominate and then look like a toddler trying to field a ball. Dinner and a show.
  • It seems like every other day some Cardinals player, coach, front office member, or someone affiliated with the Cardinals organization has said something like, “Everyone needs to stop talking about the Cubs”, then they go on to talk about the Cubs.
  • The Cubs showed the world last year that they are capable of beating the birds when the playoffs are on the line and that means something to us the Cubs fans but it even means more to the Cardinals fans
  • St Louis has a chip on their shoulder , a smaller city less noteworthy than Chicago, Boston, New York, LA or even Peoria. Losing to the Cubs in the playoffs and then losing Heyward to the Cubs has got to really increase the size of that chip. Enjoy it Cubs fans, enjoy it.
  • Cardinals fans claim to be the greatest fans in baseball, yet they care more about their rival than they do their own team.
  • I do not care to speak about nor think about the Cardinals or their fans this season. Let’s talk about Cubs baseball, and let them talk about the Cubs and how classy and well informed the Cub fan base is.
  • I agree with the cap’n. If it doesn’t make your life better, ignore it.
  • I love when the scoreboard tells the fans to make noise. How dumb are your fans when you need to tell them when to cheer.
  • the Cubs are projected to have the third most valuable rotation in baseball this season
  • Rooting for Johnson and McNutt.
  • Did you try your shorts?
  • Still one short of Trey.

Lizard

  • Our problem, if we have a problem, is not too many outfielders, but too many good hitters and not enough at bats to go around.

Shout Outs

  • Big shout out to Noah for his first 2015 Off-Season Lizzie!!!! Thanks for being here!

MVL

  • Congratulations to jswanson, our Most Valuable Lizzie-er this time! Way to go jswan!

Final Standings of the 2015 Off-Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard) – Next time the standings will start fresh for the regular season! Congratulations Sherm! (There is no prize. LOL)

1. Sherm
2. jswanson
3. Doc Raker
4. Doug S
4. Eddie von White
6. Seymour Butts
7. Jared
8. Bryan
9. Brad Lyerla
10. Nate Usher
11. cap’n realist
12. Bartz
12. Joe Aiello
14. Sean Powell
15. Jerry in Wisconsin
16. Bilyuds
16. Elijah Knepper
16. Jedi
19. Buddy
19. Nate Head
19. Sue Draper
22. Adam Peters
22. Chet West
22. Chicago1908
22. Chris O’Reilly
22. Dork
22. Noah
22. theguz7

Chit Chat

  • We’re very close to regular season baseball! The Cubs are in Las Vegas to take on the Mets in their final two pre-season games. How ironic, huh? Both games will be televised, tonight’s on CSN at 7:05pm (central) and tomorrow’s at 3:05pm (central) on WGN. They have an off-day Saturday before Sunday’s opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers (this game is currently not scheduled to be televised live, though it’s set to be re-played on ESPN2 at 9:00pm central). I am not a fan of opening the season on the west coast. I mean no offense to my wonderful PDT friends. This is a direct function of my age, since I don’t make it much past 9:30 on any given night. I probably won’t see a regular season game until Saturday the 9th. Mid-season west coast trips are fine with me, because I’ve had my fill and can stand a few days Cubless. But I’ll feel left out next week. How about you?
  • Correction: The Cubs aren’t playing the Dodgers to open the season, they’re playing the Angels. And, Sunday’s game is considered a Spring Training game. First regular season game is on Monday, April 4 vs. the Angels and it is televised on ESPN2 (and ABC7 in Chicago.)
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