It started out as a Cub blog with cuss words. I'm still cussin'; it's the Cub part I'm a little squishy on these days.

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Wednesday, December 31

The Curse is real!

First off, I do not blame Game 6 on Steve Bartman. Bartman interfered on a foul pop that Alou had, perhaps, a 50/50 chance to handle cleanly. Even afterwards, there was still one out, it was still 3-0, he did not give up the walks, the blown grounders, and the home runs.

I bristle whenever I see or hear someone blame Game 6 on him. However, I do wonder whether or not the dim moronic mope doesn’t in fact have his finger on the pulse after all, and is just not articulate enough to truly explain.

There is a Curse! And it isn’t a Billygoat Curse, either, for I believe it was in effect long before 1945.

The Book of Revelations says that all of the seven Seal Judgements were announced by a sign, such as a clap of thunder, the sound of trumpets, or a black horseman riding from the mists.

In 2003, Bartman was not the cause of the Curse, but the manifestation of the Curse itself. If he wasn’t born at all, someone else would have to have been there to stand in the way.

In 1989, the World Series featured two Bay Area teams, and it was postponed by a massive earthquake RIGHT BEFORE GAME 1! Guess which team lost to the Giants that year in the NLCS? This HAS to be related, somehow.

In 1984, the Cubs only needed one win in San Diego. Mike Royko wrote an inflammatory column about SD fans. If he hadn’t, someone else, Bob Greene or someone, would have. Now, Royko wasn’t the one who couldn’t bend over to stop the grounder. He was merely the foreshadowing.

In 1969, the Cubs blew a massive lead to the Mets, after a black cat ran across the front of the Cubs’ dugout at Shea Stadium.

In 1945, there was the matter of the Billygoat. But, at the time, the Cubs had lost the last six World Series they had been in. In 1932, Babe Ruth had his “called shot”. Now, whether you believe that he was pointing at the bleachers, the pitcher, or the dugout, or merely reminding them of the pitch count, something electric happened at that moment that is not forgotten 70 years later. He had already hit one homer in the game. How come nobody brings that one up?

The second one was the Curse, announcing itself.

But here’s one more thing to consider: there’s another team in town, and they haven’t won anything in over 80 years themselves. So one town, two teams, no titles in over 80 years! Everyone else, no matter how poorly run: Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators; all have had their moment in the sun. All except for the Chicago teams, and Boston, and they have their own thing.

One might blame it on the Black Sox scandal, except that the Cubs blew a World Series in spectacular, Game 6-fashion, eight years before the scandal. One could say that the Black Sox themselves are merely representatives of the same Curse.

Perhaps it is due to the improbable way the Cubs won their last championship, which itself would not have happened if it weren’t for “Merkle’s Boner”. By rights, the Giants should have won that game, and the pennant that year. Maybe Johnny Evers withdrew ALL of our karma when he pulled that win out of his ass. If so, did he blow it for BOTH Chicago franchises?

I don’t know, but at this point in time, if you do not believe that there is something otherworldly that is standing in the way of the Cubs winning a championship, you have no soul, no appreciation of the role spirits play in this world.


Tuesday, December 30

With all due thanks to The Cub Reporter

Our guy Ruz got to meet this guy in person this past week:

I acknowledge my unhealthy level of man love for him.

Prior, I mean. Not Christian, my man love for him is in check.

Lunch with Chuck

Over a very tasty lunch with Ivy Chat Chuck, we were wondering what the significance is of January 1st, as a threshold beyond which it will be OK to negotiate with Greg Maddux (and/or, hopefully, Pudge)?

Unfortunately, I was looking at it entirely by a competitive standpoint, whereas Chuck feels that there must be some sort of taxation reason. Does anyone know of the tax implications to a corporation if they sign a player to a large contract after Jan. 1 vs. before?

If a baseball team were its own company, it would seem to me that the fiscal year would begin November 1st, after all baseball was played for a given year. The Cubs however are but one division of Tribune Corporation, which at the very least must have a different fiscal year, whether it coincides with the calendar year or not.

Pro-porn is not a popular stance

Fellow Cub Blog Army captain Chuck, with whom I am lunching with again today, BTW, characterizes me as 'openly pro-porn'.

Wellllll, um...I'm not against it, by any means. And I do have the link on the side, which I am not compensated for, thank goodness. I would have trouble spending porn money. I do not wish to be a porn lord, or even breathe the same air they breathe.

I guess it's just a lifestyle thing. One of the highlights of my childhood was finding a copy of Velvet in the field in back of my house, which had an excellent pictorial about a meter reader giving a lady a parking ticket, which she chose to discuss, and one thing led to another, and there they are, with their faces buried in each other's crotches, and I guess that is one childish tendency I have never outgrown.

I like to look. It doesn't mean I love my wife any less, or that I think less of women, for I always look at things like this on a case-by-case basis. I nearly ALWAYS wonder what circumstances bring the "models" to their current state. Is it drug dependency, low self-esteem brought about by an abusive childhood, or were they actually unaware, or worse, unwilling participants? There sure seems to be an awful lot of people who have pictures out there of themselves with several inches of pink papa pipe stuck up them somehow. Are they really getting paid for this?

But I digress. If it appears that I am pushing porn, be assured that my interests are casual in nature. In fact, I voted against making Jenna Jameson's birthday a national holiday on Forklift's spot.

Besides, Monica Sweetheart has soooo much more to offer than Silicone Jenna.


Monday, December 29

Back to Todd Walker for a sec

Read Forklift today, and I got confused...what was that about a three-way between Walker, Grud, and Paris Hilton? Do they have video, and I hope it's no more of that damn night-vision shit!

Anyway, the point he's trying to make is that Walker is the same guy left-handed that Grud is right-handed, which is, a .300 hitter with some slugging juice and a good eye. I never considered a platoon, since I didn't think either one would go for that kind of noise.

But, if the second baseman named Walker Grud could hit .310 with about 45 dubs and 20 bangs, all for about 4 milldo, and nobody's bitchin' about it, that's good, ain't it?

Yeah, thought so. Even if he can't catch a cold.

It appears that MLB took a holiday, too

Every day, I watched the news, waiting for something Cubs news-worthy to break in with. The most Cubs-worthy news ANYWHERE in the world was the list of what I received for Christmas, which includes but is not exclusive to:

- Prior #22 Home gamer, which even fits
- 2004 Cubs Calendar
- "Durocher's Cubs", by Claerbaut
- "Wrigley Field", by Green & Jacob
- A plaque entitled "Chicago Cubs - There Are No Other Teams", with pictures of various old uniforms at different points of the Cub timeline - very sharp
- A picture of the Wrigley marquee right before gametime with my name computer-generated in the display

All in all, a very materialistically exciting Christmas.

On the 23rd, though, we found out that my father-in-law has cancer, which has spread to his brain. Although he seems in decent health now, we are told that he has months left with us, and of course, this is about the worst news we could ever receive. The fact that it was at Christmastime, well, it just was not a joyous holiday at the Casa de Sloth.

Anyway, let's get Woody signed, let's see how much it is going to take to get Pudge up in here, and let's get this going again, OK?


Tuesday, December 23

They've gone out and signed Todd Walker....?

They can't trade Grud, can they? I thought time had to pass before you could trade free agents, right? Certainly they haven't found a taker for Gonzalez, and if so, who's going to play short? Grud? Or, gulp, Walker?

They already had Mony (Ramon Martinez) and the Great Jose Macias as infield backups. This is curious to me, to say the least.

It's that time of the year, at last!

Whew! Looks like we made it to another joyous holiday season. I don't have it in my heart today to complain about not having Pudge Rodriguez on the Cubs' payroll, or to wonder why they are waiting until after the new year to talk to Greg Maddux, rather than do it now. I thought about explaining to one and all the difference between blaming and attibuting to Steve Bartman for the Cubs loss, for in my mind, there is a huge difference. But I'm not. I'm not even going to elaborate on my disappointment that a nuclear warhead didn't explode in Dallas last night, wiping out both Bobby effing Knight and Steve effing Alford in one fell swoop.

No, this is the last workday before Christmas, Christmas Eve Eve, as it were. I won't be checking in, in all likelihood, until the 29th, unless something major happens. So I want to take some of your time to speak to all of you from the heart.

Someone once said, if you weren't a liberal when you were young, you have no heart, and if you aren't a conservative as you get older, you have no brain. Funny. But I think the grain of truth behind this is that people have more energy to be more passionate in their youth. I can't imagine anyone being as passionate about their life as I was with mine. I let my heart lead me to places nobody should go to. I turned down a full-ride scholarship during the depths of a recession because I didn't like the college(s) it was for. I married, poorly, twice, because I had tricked myself into thinking that there was love when there wasn't. I have been overly selfish at times, and at other times overly generous, when I couldn't afford to be either. I have endured literally THOUSANDS of sleepless nights, worrying about whether I was worthy of friendship, or love.

But for as much passion as I have shown, I have never truly known my vocation. I am not "handy". I was the first male student in the history of the Coal City school district to ever score a 0 on the 7th grade mechanical aptitude test. I am not glib, I can't sell anything that I don't believe in, and there aren't many things that I do believe in. I have worked as a programmer and analyst for over 17 years, but I am being passed up by people 10 years younger than I, because I have so little interest in my profession, that I have never accomplished any more than what is expected.

I know I want to communicate. I have vocabulary, I have knowledge, and I have empathy, I think. But I don't have any style, skill; I'm not articulate. I am fat and non-photogenic, and my hair sucks. I certainly do not belong in front of a camera. My voice is monotone and dispassionate, from the bottom of a well. I lack the focus to be taken seriously in the written media. I use the word "I" way too much in my writing to ever make it as a true journalist, or as a serious commentator.

I am beginning to wonder, as I turn forty, what my true purpose is in life? My main contribution to the GDP is that of consumer. I am not a fighter, and I am not much of a lover, as well. There have been times in my life when I have been closer to God, enough to know that I miss it in times like the present, when I feel far, far away from the source of our lives together on Earth.

So perhaps that is the true purpose of the winter holidays. Maybe you are reading this from some place like California or Georgia, where stuff grows all year round. Here in Illinois, everything that is outside is either dead, or in hibernation. It is the low point of the year, and it is very easy to regress, to die inside.

Christmas and Hanukkah are not the most important holidays of the year. I believe Easter and Passover would qualify, when spring hopes eternal, according to The Liar, Ed Lynch. Certainly any solemnity or grace existent in these holidays has been scrubbed away from the commercialism. Even the good-intentioned effort to attend a religious service commemorating the holiday is made into an ordeal, having to arrive 90 minutes early for a 60 minute service, in order to find a seat.

But the thing I appreciate about the holiday season is that work slows down, for a few weeks. When I first started work, in the mid-eighties, the whole month of December was pretty much blowoff. These days, I notice a change around 12/15. For the next couple of weeks, competitive efforts to build, to fix, to gain advantage, are suspended, left for the start of the new year.

For two blessed weeks, I get time to think, to reflect on who I am, what I stand for, and what the rest of my life can be. I am able to once again ask what God expects of me. What is His plan? Am I passing His test? Am I here for myself? My wife? The kids? My parents, my friends? I try to drag myself to sit closer to God's light, to try to absorb Him, so I can better know how to live my life for Him.

It is much harder, though, as I get older. I don't feel as I did. In my twenties, my heart beat so hard, everything I did was hard. I talked loud, I walked noisily, when I would sign a receipt, the point of the pen would tear the paper. Now, I worry about how hard my heart beats. It makes me uncomfortable. Whether it was due to an effort on my part, or if I am just starting to slip, but I don't FEEL the passion I once did. I don't feel the source of life surging through me as I once did.

But if I didn't have this two weeks, the reminders of where God came to us, to try to come home and touch base with, I would spin forever out of orbit. I need this time now. I need to try to come home again to God. I need to feel passion and love again.

My gift to all of you is my wish for you to let go, and to try to reconnect with the source of your life, as well. I thank you and appreciate your fellowship, and I wish you peace this holiday season.


Monday, December 22

The Maddux Question

Many people come to me and say, hey, how would I like Greg Maddux back?

And I say, ya, sure, but not at the expense of Pudge.

If I knew that there was no chance at Pudge, then I would take Maddux back, strictly on nostalgic terms. He would pass along valuable info to our young pitchers, he would win his 300th in our uniform, and he would be useful for at least a year in our rotation. But at this point in his life, he is NOT the difference between us and a title.

Pudge still lurks

The VERY best news of the day is that Javy Lopez is now an Oriole. WHEW!

I like what Joe had to say about Jose Macias: "Like Augie Ojeda, only taller". I personally don't think he makes the team. I don't see what he brings to the table, but I'm not that worried about the 25th guy.

I am still more worried about what should be one of the first guys on the roster: an available All-Star catcher. OK, Bako and Barrett are both under relatively minor contracts. These guys can exist, but we aren't winning anything with them, either. We still aren't ready to win, especially considering we don't have a leadoff man. When you have certain weaknesses, you have to overcompensate elsewhere. The presence of a known killer behind the plate is the overcompensation we need to atone for the sin of not having a true leadoff man.

Until the battle is won or lost, I will not quit. I will not stay silent.


Friday, December 19

2004 Upgrade Analysis

Been all over Cub Blog Nation, trying to cherrypick from everyone else's analysis, and everyone else seems as underwhelmed as me. Joe seemed to have the best idea: "At least it wasn't Singleton". Yeeeesh!

I have the nagging feeling that this is IT for awhile, since it appears that Pudge will have ample opportunity to sample Boog's BBQ, so let's look at what we have, and assign each slot on the 25 man a '2' for standing pat, a '4' for a massive upgrade, and a big fat Al Oliver for a complete failure.

Listed in terms of 2004 Player - 2003 Equivalent - Net - Optional comment

SP Mark Prior - Mark Prior - 2
SP Kerry Wood - Kerry Wood - 2
SP Matt Clement - Matt Clement - 2
SP Carlos Zambrano - Carlos Zambrano - 2

The top of the rotation is static. I pretty much expect a repeat, barring injury. Prior may win 20, Clement is going to go .500, Zambrano may be slightly less mericurial and more steady, and Wood needs to get signed. His contract is causing problems in terms of greatly improving the offense. I still would not hesitate to package him in a deal for A-Rod. But that is the ONLY scenario I can consider trading Wood in.

SP Jamey Wright - Shawn Estes - 2

Yes, Estes sucked last year, but he did win 8 games. To me, there were two turning points to the 2003 regular season - the 5th game of the St. Louis series, and Estes' shutout. They are trying to find ST invitee-Esteban Loiaza lightning in the bottle with Wright. This will be a good test of the scouting capabilities of the club. I say he wins about 8-9 games this year.

RP Mike Remlinger - Mike Remlinger - 2
RP Joe Borowski - Joe Borowski - 1
RP Kyle Farnsworth - Kyle Farnsworth - 1
RP Juan Cruz - Juan Cruz - 2
RP LaTroy Hawkins - Antonio Alfonseca - 5
RP Kent Mercker - Mark Guthrie - 3
RP Todd Wellmeyer - Dave Veres - 2

I think that Lucifer is going to start coming around this year, telling Reg'lar Joe to quit stalling and pay up. I also think it is too much to ask Cap'n Tightpants to remain focused for a whole another year. Juan Cruz is a bust, I'm convinced, so nothing from nothing know.

I broke my own rule, and gave LaTroy a 5, just look at who he's replacing.

C Barrett/Bako - Miller/Bako - 3
1B Lee - Simon/Choi/Karros - 3
2B Grud - Grud - 1
SS Gonzalez - Gonzalez - 2
3B Ramirez - Bellhorn/FatAssLenny/Ramirez - 3
IF Martinez - Martinez - 2
IF Jose Macias NEW! - AugieDoggie/Womack/Assorted Mangoo - 2

I figure at this point, Barrett has to be signed. We really don't need a disappointed Damian Miller around. Do I expect Barrett to be good? Nooo...but he couldn't be any worse than Miller was last year at bat.

Grud was too far over his skiis in 2003, and I don't see him hitting .314 again. Jose Macias, I know nothing about, but compared to Augie Doggie, can be considered a push, at least.

OF Alou - Alou - 1
OF Patterson - Patterson/Lofton - 1
OF Sosa - Sosa - 3
OF Goodwin - Goodwin - 2
OF Hollandsworth - O'Leary - 4

No way Alou holds up again this year. Sorry, no way. Patterson will be slow to come back this year, and cannot match the production he had at the beginning of last, year, combined with Lofton's late production. Goodwin is a good backup, and the new guy? If he has a pulse, and registers on the blood pressure cuff, is a major upgrade over the corpse of Troy O'Leary.


Sosa had 66 dongs in 1998 and probably had the finest offensive performance of the last 50 years in 2001. But to me, his greatest performance came at the second half of last year, when he transformed to a cheating, lying, cork-packing slimeball to a 40-homer hitter WITHOUT da ju-ice! He has learned to hit post-steroids, and if he can escape HGH detection this year, so much the better for the Cubs.

SO, adding up the numbers I get an average of 2.2. Remember, I said that 2 was a push, so I can consider the current roster, pending the addition of a backup infielder, very slightly improved over 2003. Maybe the 88 wins become 90.

You may then say...this slight improvement, is it worth 5 outs in a LCS? Is it enough to gain the pennant?

That's a difficult question, considering the improvement of Philly's bullpen, the addition of Andy Pettitte to the Ass-Trolls, and what I feel are shrewd little moves by the Evil Satanic Fowl from St. Louis. And, you heard it here first, look out for the Padres.

I say it isn't. There isn't enough middle-of-the order production to make up for the lack of a true leadoff man, or the albatross that is the catchers' spot in the lineup. I really needed to see Pudge there to deem us pennant-worthy.


Thursday, December 18

Heated debate in the Coven

Cub Blog Nation doesn't know yet what to make of Michael Barrett, that much is clear. Hell, even the mainstream press don't know what to do with the information at hand, either. Of course, that can be expected, considering the steaming filthy mess they have made with the whole A-Rod/Nomar/Manny/Magglio/Perez/Konerko/....shit, they can drag it out to where they can get Augie Ojeda involved in this mess, and he's just minding his own biznass, up in Minnesota, or wherever, doing signs of the cross and thanking the Lord that he still has a paying gig.

One thing I will mention though is that I am not feeling well after reading what Bruce Miles is reporting today. If I can read English, and I think I can, it seems to me that the Cubs not only believe that Barrett is THE answer, that they are also going to end up with, as one possible scenario, Glendon Rusch and Chris Singleton. GUH!

Yep, Barrett, Singleton, and Rusch batting 7-8-9. That compares favorably with all the other pennant winners, yep.

In the Coven, though, and I'm nothing except a daily advertisement to the best damn discussion site on Planet Cub, Adam a/k/a Socherball and Josh a/k/a Bull Durham a/k/a Ben T. Dick are ramping up for a battle royale. These are two of our younger guys, twentysomethings who we old fucks have managed to pollute with our cynicism, sarcasm, and, yep, uncouthness. Either one are always welcome to break bread with me whenever they are in the beautiful Corn Hole, Illinois area.

Soch has been emboldened by our great run last year, and he has faith that Barrett will be nothing more than a backup to a high priced Latino catcher to be named later. While Josh is convinced that this is the Trib trying to catch lightning in a bottle, yet again, trying to get by on the cheap.

Josh points out that the "management" of the club (Dusty, Hendry) may want to win, while the "ownership" (Tribune) may value profit, ratings, and other considerations above winning at all costs. I believe at this point in time, that Hendry may be convinced that he CAN build a winner at $85M, even though if he were able to back away from his work a little, he may see what we do...the club is only one fine-hitting catcher away from, on paper at least, being truly pennant-caliber.

And, here in the weeks before Christmas, paper is all we have to go on right now.


Wednesday, December 17

Damien Miller, Michael Barrett, and Impact Catchers

What do the three of these have in common? They all squat behind the plate.

I think Barrett would be a nice backup catcher. I personally regard him as a slight, very slight DOWNGRADE from Miller.

What is weird to me is why Mr. Moneyball would get Barrett for nothing (to trade to the Cubs?) then send him here supposedly for Miller (if the Trib can be believed)? What would Mr. Saberweenie want with a .240 hitting catcher who strikes out all the time, has no speed, and doesn't have any OBP? Especially at his salary? Are runners thrown out trying to steal really that important in the computer version of Major League Baseball? Is Damian Miller really the Key to the Great Cubs Pitching Staff?

For, if so, maybe we should keep him, pop-ups be damned.

I don't believe that is the case. I think Wood, Prior, Clement and Hawkins are going to strike out 1.5 batters per inning regardless of who is back there.

Maybe you don't think so, and if not, then maybe you don't want Pudge. Definitely you don't want Javy Lopez. Neither one is known for handling pitching staffs, and Lopez particularly is infamous in that regard. I do not want Lopez, no way, no how. I do NOT regard him as anywhere close to equal to Pudge, especially defensively. His offensive production last year was what the sabrweens call a "blip", either due to Da Ju-Ice, or just a big time salary push.

In fact, if I had my choice between Barrett and Lopez, I would lean toward Barrett. At least I like him.

Some local sources believe that Oakland really wants Miller, and that they will take his $3.5M off our hands. Then Barrett will be non-tendered on the 20th, which will free up money to sign Pudge, or more likely Lopez. Bako would continue to be the backup, which is OK, I guess, if you still hold out hope that Greg Maddux will choose to play out his career with us. Then, at least, he'll have Bako to be his "designated backstop", in his lifelong effort to avoid Javier Lopez like the plague.

Like I said, the whole thing is weird. I don't see the point to any of this so far, and I hope it clears up soon.

In the meantime, I feel a little better. I take back all the mean things I said about Howard Dean and George Bush. I guess if I have been able to survive eight years under a draft-dodging sex addict, and three years under a dyslexic party boy, I can manage to survive in a country run by a contrarian beret-wearing granola-chewing pollyanna.


Tuesday, December 16

I'm really starting to get pissed off

Pissed off at everyone. I'm pissed off at you liberals. I can call Dean a commie, and Gore a commie, because basically, they are. A commie isn't a Russian, or a dictator. A commie is someone who wants to tax the people that work hard and give it all to those that don't. You want to take more of MY paycheck and give it to some tree-hugging bastard who just might have a skill but chooses to wax poetic about some noxious weed?

I'm also pissed off at Bush. Whaddya mean, capturing Saddam isn't going to get our troops home sooner? WASN'T THAT THE OBJECTIVE? We got him (trademark applied for), now scoop up and head home, Joe. But NOOO, we gotta keep the troops there, getting them picked off onesie, twosie here and there, so that Tricky Dick Chaney and the rest of the Halliburton boys can fucking suck the money right out of the Iraqi sand. "This is a great day for Iraqis". Bull-spit! Since when did any of you lockjaw Texas criminal fucks give a SHIT about any A-rabs?

Pissed off at Jim Hendry. He's gonna wait it out, wait to see who is going to slip by on the cheap. NO! NO! NOOO!!! Winning is not done on the cheap! The Great Billy Beane, for as much as I love him, has never won anything! The Marlins won this year by paying Pudge $10M when nobody else was offering him anything. They stepped up and took charge of their own destiny, and won the Goddamned thing!

Your catchers cannot hit ME, if I jogged past them slowly and flinched a little. We are ONE man away from a Pennant! Go get him!!! If we win the GD pennant, we'll make the 10 milldo back, EAZY!!

Pissed off at God. Why, you ask?

Tell me what His fucking plan is? Yes, He gives us free will, and he sits up there all Machevellian on us, letting Jews kill Muslims, Muslims kill everyone, and lets us all act greedy, miserable, psychotic like we all do every December IN HIS NAME? We have criminals who come on TV and extort from the feeble-minded, in His name. We have the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holy Wars, the Jihads, various assorted Purges, all in the name of our Maker.

Maybe He stepped in once and stopped the shit when He flooded the earth. Maybe He stepped in twice when He sent his reps on earth to teach in His name and die for our sins.

But I really think He really needs to step in, early, and often, and smite down anyone who takes "religion" and abuses it by twisting it to meet their immoral ends.

I think the "Holidays" is the greatest deviation from what truly should be important that there is. I was out there today. Nobody was happy. Nobody was holy. Nobody was finding joy and peace in His name. No, everyone was completely distraught, trying to find the best presents, the best deals...Christ, save us.


Monday, December 15

Trapped like a rat

What do I think about the capture of Saddam?

It's good, because I think it means, foremostly, that our troops will get home sooner. He's a coward, because he let himself get taken alive. He's a fuckwad, because he claims the bodies found in the mass graves are those of thieves. Uh-huh, so why is every third one small, like a child?

It's good, because morons like Gore and Dean, who were willing to just let the guy be, now look like red commie bastards. It's good because Iraq can put the guy on trial, then administer true Islamic justice. It's good because the little squealing prick might tell us where Osama and the other Al-Qaida sand-n***ers are hiding.

But most of all, it does my heart good to know that Bush, like most politicians, is predictable. The election is 11 months away, and you're being handed your lunch by the liberals. Sooooo....pull Saddam out your ass! That will buy you double-digit popularity points! Salud!!


The Mariners grabbed Spezio, NOT Craig Biggio (?), and about eight other guys today. I guess the only guy left there from last year will be Ichiro!.

Jim Hendry, meanwhile, ordered pastrami and kreplach soup from Manny's Deli.


I either have the flu or food poisoning...let's just say that I tore the handicapped rail off of the side of the stall just now. Ouch, babe.

Now that I'm scooped out empty, let's see what happened this weekend...

Forget about Tejada. And Vlad.
And, more than likely, Pudge.
Forget about trading for Jose Vidro.
Forget about the triumphant return of Mad Dog.
Forget about Jose Cruz, Jr.
Hell, even Forget about Geoff Blum.

The big news from the Big Winter Meetings is that Kerry Wood is asking for WAY more money than they counted on, and that anyone they are interested in signing are current starting mid-level players that we would make sit on the bench to watch Sammy Sofa chase 57-foot sliders.

We're looking at Jeromy Burnitz and Scott Speizio. These are NOT the impact players I have been asking for. Oh, there is still a chance that the market for Pudge is going to dry up for a second straight year, and that he will come, hat in hand, to the Cubs willing to take a cut in pay for the honor, the privilege of being a Cub.

Hendry is having his own little ego trip now, commenting in public that free agents WANT to be Cubs, now. Sure...Tejada just strapped on the blue pinstripes, and the rest of them are just waiting in line to do the same.

Meanwhile, the Cards pulled off what I think is a HELL of a trade, dumping the Wussified J.D. Drew on the Braves for pitchers. That is a classic addition-by-subtraction move if I have ever seen it. They are immediately better than last year, as is Houston.

Meanwhile, we wait to hear from the Orlando Palmiero's of the world, anxiously anticipating their willingness to take $2M to sit next to Dusty for 162 exciting Cub games.

My buddyForkLift has an interesting angle on this weekend's inactivity, and maybe you will agree with it more than I do. He lives in Brooklyn, see, and thus has a front-row seat to Steingrabber's latest spending binge. I agree that not all the money he has thrown around has been smart money.

But I do not agree with the premise that our future looks brighter than the Yankees. After all, their owner will do anything to win. Ours won't. Why else are they playing "chicken" with Pudge?


Friday, December 12

Winter meetings

Not much to say today. I am very disappointed. It appears that this weekend's meetings, the supposed lynchpin of the whole Hot Stove, is going to come and go without the Cubs making a sincere attempt to sign an impact ballplayer.

Not a mediocre one, not a possible fit, not a serviceable player or a professional hitter or a clubhouse guy or a stopgap.

I want someone that all of us can agree on, someone without a doubt, someone who other teams want, and we beat them to it.

For once in my miserable life, we are ONE player away, but the fucking bastards won't make the move to get him. I feel like I just got dumped.

More Cubs Blogs

Say hello to my little friends...the well named "Any Team Can Have a Bad Century", the unappetizingly named "Eat at Joe's", the strangely named "Merablog", and the generically named "Cubs' Fan Blog" by the Rev.

It's getting more and more crowded up in here...


Thursday, December 11

Fucking Boras

OK, so we ran around like decapitated chickens yesterday. And, it was NO accident, my friends.

A Phoenix TV station leaked the news that Pudge Rodriguez, through Scott Boras, was close to signing with the Cubs. Of course, everyone in Chicago and Cubs Nation jumped all over it. I would say that the tone of the conversation could be characterized as "favorable".

Then, someone got ahold of the Cubs, as well as Boras, who denied the claims, but indicated that talks may begin at the winter meetings. Meanwhile, we're all hot and bothered about where Pudge fits in the batting order, yadda yadda. And people start M-Fing the media for being irresponsible with their stories.

But take a step back and look at this again.

The story was leaked in AZ...not Chicago or Florida. Guess who happens to be based in Arizona? Also guess who might have planted this story with the television station? Did you guess Boras? Good, you win a cookie.

Why would this wet fart do such a thing? Leverage! No, he isn't gonna publish a 75 page booklet about Pudge's stats for the next millenium...Pudge is too old for that. In fact, he needs to try to sweep the "age" thing under the rug. What this cocksucker did, instead, is start the negotiations in the court of public opinion.

His first words to Hendry are gonna be something like: "Hey, Jimmy. The fans are gonna love him...look how apeshit they went when it was merely rumored that he was coming." He probably made a few million MORE dollares for his client by leaking the false story. If it went the other way, if Cub Nation pissed and moaned about the cost, if we said we want Javy instead, then you know, all of a sudden, Baltimore seems interested again.

But he doesn't want to go there, he wants togo with a winner...the fuckhead Boras is playing us like a plywood fiddle, and we're all STUPID enough to take the bait. Pavlov and his dog. Rita Hayworth walking through Alcatraz in a tight sweater. Sacks of US grain dropped on starving Ethiopians. Rocks of crack waved in front of skeezy ho's. The best catcher in the game, waved in front of us. Us die hards, who have had to suffer the indignities of Tim Hosley, Barry Foote, Robert Machado, Steve fucking Swisher, Damon Berryhill....the motherfucking TURD, for Christ sakes....and Boras is waving Pudge in our faces, not even two months after the squat ass prick single-handedly kicked our ass in the playoffs!

Of course, we're gonna drool. That ain't fair. That ain't playing right. That's cold, that's sticking a fork into your dead mama. The shit-heel suckie-tit butt-lick prick-smoker Boras has got us, Cub Nation, Hendry, McFail and everyone else who bleeds blue bent so far over, we could lick our toes.

SUCK MY CRACK, BORE-USS!! I fucking resent jumping through hoops for you, you miserable bastard. You got what I want, you know it, I know it, I wrap my hands around my ankles and you sniff and say, "no, not far enough. Bend til it hurts....beeyatch!"


Wednesday, December 10

The most glorious way to mark the one year anniversary of the Sloth is to bring in a real hitting catcher!

The one year anniversary also features the longest headline. Sorry.

In case you haven't heard, there is some smoke-n-sizzle for us today: KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, Arizona leaked word that the Cubs and free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez were closing in on a deal. CubsTalk
has since learned from sources that a deal for Rodriguez is on the table and could be finalized soon.

Of course, the Bugler, the morning talk show host was just besides himself imagining a lineup that looks like this:

2B Grud
C Pudge
1B Lee
RF Sofa
LF Alou
CF Patterson
3B Ramirez
P Stud-du-Jour

See, I got issues, starting with the notion that Sammy Ego-fuck Sosa is going to agree to drop in the order? Really? Since when?

Ramirez 7th, when Patterson is 6th? Lee third? When did HE become Lord of OPS?

And Pudge 2nd? The Fish themselves had him fifth, I believe, until he went apeshit in the playoffs, so they took advantage by moving him up. Doesn't the second hitter have to sacrifice himself sometime in terms of moving the leadoff runner around? Maybe this won't be an issue, since Grud isn't a leadoff hitter. He isn't gonna walk, run, bunt, etc, like good leadoff men do. Maybe we'll just pretend that we WON'T have a leadoff hitter, so we'll treat Grud like a 2 hitter, Pudge like a '3', Lee like a '4'...down to Gonzalez as our ninth hitter, and the pitcher will be just a real shitty DH?

Anyway...I'm putting the cart b4 the horse, MegaBigTime!! The main thing is that my raw smelly asshole is burning right now, from all the Pudge smoke that they're blowing. I hope Hendry gots the big ol' Zimmer-sized tube of Prep H....


Tuesday, December 9

Nobody asked, but...

For anyone who is still scratching their head about the "three-input", follow this link, at your own risk.

You will notice the three inputs, from top to bottom.

It's been a glorious 365 days

I first posted on Dec. 10, 2002...that means I have to come up with something special for tomorrow?

I already did the top ten babes list. Some pictures would be nice. I wish I had upload space, cheap bastage that I am.

Maybe I can mark the day with the triumphant heralding of the arrival of Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, or Jose (not Pudge) Vidro. That would be special and nice.

Without any news to report on, what can we talk about?

I know: three-input turkey hens!

Do I have to really explain to anyone here the notion of "three-input"? And, to be honest, they aren't talking "three input", but "three position", but I have been known to take any level of filth to a new, filthier level.

From Dave Barry's Annual Holiday Gift Guide:

`Love triangle' turkey decoy set

$54.98 from
Cabelas, One Cabela Dr., Sidney, Neb. 69160-9555, phone: 800-237-4444, Internet:

(Suggested by Ed Kavanaugh of Durham, N.C.)

Each year, we like to include some kind of sportsperson item in the Holiday Gift Guide, because we frankly cannot believe the amount of thought that sportspersons put into the problem of how to outwit animals with the intelligence of cheese mold.

This year, we're pleased to present the "Love Triangle" flock of turkey decoys, which consists of three decoys, named (we swear) "Aggressive Jake," "Passive Jake" and "Three-Position Hen."

That's right: It's two guys and a gal, and the idea is that the sportsperson can position them in various ways, depending on which part of the mating season it is, to make the decoys appear more realistic to actual turkeys, which will then approach and be shot in a sportspersonlike manner by the sportsperson.

We don't understand the technical details. We were only dimly aware that turkeys even had sex. And we don't want to know what is meant by the term "three-position hen." But if you know somebody who does, that person really, really needs this gift.

I could not actually find the three-position hen in the "turkey decoys" section, but I don't think you could actually make this up. For if you could, then you are far, far sicker than I ever could hope to be.


Monday, December 8

Who's gonna lead off?

Let's say that something strange happened, and there was a glitch in one of the Tribune's economist's spreadsheets, and that glitch seemed to indicate that they could acheieve maximum profit by maximum expenditures: the more they spent, the more profit they could make. So they go out and sign Vlad and Sheff, bench Sosa and Alou, sign Pudge, and also Javy to back HIM up, and then MadDog as our fifth starter.

Even if they did ALL that....Who's gonna lead off?

This exercise of the ridiculous has been brought to you by advanced math classes, which stress that if you took the most extreme situation and tested the theory against it, would it still give the expected result?

My point is: we re-signed Grud, and even though he is crying "collusion" and is not happy, he's our second baseman. Vazquez has been traded, and Vlad has been let loose, so the Expos don't have to get rid of Vidro. We could sign Pudge or Javy Lopez to help us behind the plate, and I personally prefer the non-enhanced Pudge over the steroid-popping Lopez. Or we may do neither. We may sign Maddux to bolster the best staff in the majors. We may even sign one of the two stud-ass sluggers for the outfield, even though the chances of that happening are nil.

If we do, so what? We don't have a leadoff hitter. We have Grud, who at his BEST did not get on base enough, does not run or cause havoc on the basepaths, and even when he was hitting for average last year, did not ignite the offense like Lofton did.

We can be stacked to the rafters 2-7, or even 2-8, but I am a complete convert to the necessity of a leadoff man, and without Jose Vidro, without Kenny Lofton, and without any other true leadoff option, we will not make the playoffs next year.


Thursday, December 4

One day, and mah pre-dilictions are tore up all to hell

1) The Yankees have just stolen Javier Vazquez from the Expos for a bunch of man-goo, starting with Nick Johnson. (Don't EVEN get me started as to what it could have taken for US to get him)

2) The Cubs have tendered offers to Grud, Lofton, and Goodwin.

Well, OK, I'm glad to see that we are considering keeping our two speedee outfielders.

But to me, all this means that we have no chance in hell of getting Jose Vidro.

It probably is no longer a priority for Les Expos to get rid of his contract. Jim Hendry has said that finding a second baseman is the next priority, and in the same breath kind of did the whole "Grud is one of the options we are considering" tapdance. Um, Jimmy? If you tendered Grud, and he happens to ACCEPT, then isn't he ours?

Then, what? I assume the tendered offer was around the ballpark of what he made last year, $5M. Not a whole lot less, if it is. Are you gonna pay this man this much to be your fifth infielder, since you already have Martinez and Simon? Are you going to still go after Vidro? Hell NO...if he accepts the offer, he's the man, and while in the whole Sloth Second Baseman Wish List, he certainly lies above Vina, Walker, and whatever else is out there...they all stand far, far behind Jose Vidro.

I'm thinking pennant this year. But, the Cubs are not so strong that you can consider "several options" at second base that will suffice, especially since you have a ? in CF, shit behind the plate, inconsistency at SS, new guys on the corners that have never done it a full year for us, and the aging, less swollen, less effective Dominicans in left and right.

We need the BEST option at second. As in the Sandberg years, other positions are so weak that we need the state-of-the-art offensive option there. That is Jose Vidro.

Yes, I tend to get obsessed with particular names. Last year it was Lowell. The year before that, Rolen. Before that, Mike Piazza ( amore!) It's because I'm not interested in "good enough" or "let's see". I want them to say "That FITS!" When Mark Prior was not picked by the Twins, THAT was a "That Fits" moment. That's all I'm interested in. Let the deeper thinkers wonder how Todd Walker would look here. I don't give a fat fuck.


Wednesday, December 3

But I warn everyone at the top of my blog

I have had several key people tell me that there is 2 much cussin' in my blog.

OK, thanks for the heads-up.

This will shock many of you, but I actually try to LIMIT it! I figure that my best chance of ever being taken seriously as a writer is to play it clean.

But let's look at a few things, shall we?

First of all, the site is called The Uncouth Sloth. Look up "uncouth" in your Funk & Wagnall' isn't going to come up as "erudite" or "mealy-mouthed". You gotta know what yer buyin' when you come over.

Next of all, it's been a long time since I got so hot that I threatened to fist-fuck any nuns. I usedta talk about abusing nuns and old librarian ladies all the time. I haven't wanted to shear Sammy Sofa's nuts off in some time, and I have gone far, far out of my way NEVER to use the term "cat menstruation" in a sentence, ever! So this IS a kinder, gentler Sloth you are ingesting here and now.

Weren't you mad after game 6? So was I. Weren't you crushed when Maddux took equal money to go to the Braves? I was. Didn't you want to pull your hair out in one grotesque motion every time you saw Antonio Alfucksucka or Felix Horridia walk to the mound?

The Cubs stir up extreme emotions for me, and I express them here. There are enough sites picking apart OPS and Range factors. This one tells you what I see, and my view is indeed obstructed by nearly 35 years of heartbreak and disappointment.

I do apologize, though, if something has struck you wrong, particularly in the non-Cubs related areas. I vow someday to play old-time hockey, play it straight, like Eddie Shore, Bill Simmons and Andy Dolan. I don't wanna goon it up.

Uh-oh, the old man just waddled into the clubhouse.

"...Piss on Eddie Shore! YOU'RE BLOWING IT!!! There are scouts...from ev-er-y NHL team in the stands. All the publicity, all the fashion shows, all the radiothons....they see...The Chiefs! Not this bunch of....pussies!"


Broten just hangs his head....


The preceding predictions are by no means what I WANT to have happen, but are what I think IS going to happen.

I don't want the corpse of Wilson Alvarez, when I could have the corpse of Greg Maddux, whom I have always adored, since day 1 in 1986 when he was getting jocked at age 20, yet we all could tell he could pitch.

Anyway, Barry Rozner seems to have a first-name relationship with Mad Dog, and is mega-teasing us with the prospect of having him come home to the Cubs.

This works on SO many levels, it isn't funny. He gets his 300th win for us. He wins 13-15 games for us. We have several guys that can throw a ball through a 5-foot-thick concrete wall, but don't know how to pitch. Mad Dog is the best pitching coach alive. You read that right. Nobody knows more about pitching than he does. Nobody.

Of course, since this makes just so much sense, it would be un-Cublike for it to happen.

Wild Ass Predictions, Volume IX

All in favor of signing LaTroy Hawkins for $4M per...

I'm just sitting there with hy hands in my lap

C'mon? He's the best available reliever, and he wanted 5 million!

I still think the money would have been better spent on hitting. Why didn't we let one of the Fine Young Prospects show us that they can do what Hawkins does, for a tenth of the price?

OK, let me rephrase the question. All those who think LaTroy Hawkins is good?

My hand shoots up!

All those in favor of letting him close games, leave your hands up.

Back down into my lap. Which is the point: another $4M for a guy who throws ungodly heat, but cannot close? We got one of those, Ol' Cap'n Tightpants, Fiddy Cent, Kyle Farns #44....for half the money!

Besides, don't bother me. I gots my tea leaves, my crystals, and my magic 8-ball, and I'm trying to predict the 25-man for opening day.

The 8-ball, in particular, is never wrong, and after painstaking logical elimination using YES and NO questioning, here is the 25-man roster for Your 2004 Defending NL Central Champeen Chicago Cubs!

Mark Prior
Kerry Wood
Juan Cruz
Matt Clement
Wilson Alvarez
Mark Remlinger
LaTroy Hawkins
Ricardo Rincon
Todd Wellmeyer
Joe Borowski
Hector Almonte
Derrek Lee
Jose Vidro
Alex Gonzalez
Aramis Ramirez
Geoff Blum
Ramon Martinez
Damian Miller
Paul Bako
Jose Cruz, Jr.
Sammy Sosa
Moises Alou
Tom Goodwin
Randall Simon
Jason DuBois

Remaining Acquistions:
Farnsworth, Zambrano and PTBNL for Almonte, Vidro and PTBNL from Expos
Vidro - second base God
Almonte - Alfucksucka look-alike
Jose Cruz, Jr. - free agent, fill in for Corey Patterson (DL)
Tom Goodwin - free agent, fourth OF extraordinare
Geoff Blum - free agent, utility man
Jason DuBois - Arizona Fall League sensation
Wilson Alvarez - free agent, LHP 5th starter with something to prove
Ricardo Rincon - free agent, LOOGY


Tuesday, December 2

Gotta get Vidro

His on base percentage last year, which was a three-year LOW for him, was .400.

He would bat lead-off on my team, followed by CPat, Sosa, Alou, DLee, Aramis, AGonz, Catcher DuJour, and Pitcher.

He has no speed, true. But speed is second or third on the list for me, in terms of leadoff qualities.

First would be on base percentage.
Second would be patience at the plate, taking pitches, letting the on-deck hitters see the pitcher for timing's sake.

He is all that, and more.

FHM's top 100 babes list

There can't be anybody here who doesn't read Desipio, but if so, here is a link to the start of the list for this year.

The top 3 are Who's Who in extremely Over-rated:

1) Halle Berry
2) Britney Spears
3) J Lo (???)

We're gonna to go with the following list:

10) Elisha Cuthbert (53)
9) Jennifer Love Hewitt (12)
8) Eliza Dushku (28)
7) Jessica Biel (38)
6) Brooke Burke (10)
5) Alyssa Milano (4)
4) Mandy Moore (51)
3) Shakira (31)
2) LeeAnn Tweeden (39)
1 and a half) Jessica Alba (17)
1) Catherine Bell (22)

Black Friday

I promised Scott at the Northside Lounge that I would focus a little better, since they were kind enough to link to me, but I can't resist throwing in this nugget from Richard Roeper Sun-Times column today.

Without further adieu, here's Rich:

As for the retail reaction to stampeding shoppers, here's one reader's description of what it looks like from a store employee's point of view:

"Black Friday is a foul celebration of all that is grim within the human spirit. One particularly bleak season . . . I found myself at the mercy of those people. The doors opened and we were awash in a sea of large rumps and tight fists. [These] 'Caligula'-like harpys and their dim husbands [had but] one dank purpose: gnaw on the skulls of lowly retail clerks.

"Dostoyevsky said that hell was a room with a chair? He obviously never experienced a Black Friday shopping melee."

Long live on-line shopping. We have done more than 90% of our holiday shopping online. In 1995 I partook of the 6AM crowd at Target in McHenry for the start of the Xmas shopping spree. Just to see what it was like, because I had heard stories, and people tend to exaggerate.

The front of the door was blocked by a 400 pound woman on a Rascal, with a metal cane in the front basket, whacking people on the arms when they came too close to her or the front door. By gum, she was GONNA BE FIRST to get her hands on them Power Rangers when the store opened.

Promptly at 6, the stockboys opened the doors, and RAN back into the store. The Hulk in front eased her way in at half-speed, but as soon as she cleared the threshold, shoppers overtook her on both sides as she was swinging at them with her cane.

I stopped alongside her (because I can) and said she was a despicable human being who ought to stand closer to a salad. She told me to get the fuck out of her way, and quit talking to her.

OK, we'll call that one a draw.


If you trust Mike Kiley, and I do, this ain't good

Today's Cheap One features this update from Mr. Kiley, and if you're 2 la-zee to click the link to see for yourself, here's what he has:

- Cubs have made a THREE-year offer to LaTroy Hawkins
- Will use either Mitre, Wellmeyer, or Sanchez to fill one spot in the pen
- Plan on signing Geoff Blum (?) for the bench
- Plan on using Cruz as trade bait; but for what?
- Cannot find any takers for AGonz, so forget about Tejada
- Plan on re-signing Grud or Fernando Vina (??) to play second
- Nothing on catcher or leadoff hitter, esp. since Luis Castillo returned to the Fish bowl.

Okey-dokey. It DOES look like Derrek Lee WAS the big one, and that just SICKENS me!

First off, Hawkins. Remember all my ramblings about the $25M that could fix the offense?

Well, once you consider the price of retaining Wood and Clement, knock that down to roughly $19M.

Then, throw in Derrek Lee, who is bound to make $5M more than Choi. So $14M.

Suppose they bring in this Blum dude for another milldo. Then, last I heard, Hawkins wanted $10M for two years. I would assume then he would probably want $13+ for three, so that's another $4M.

So now we are down to $9M or so. This does take us out of Tejada territory, unless we could move Gonzalez, and that's not gonna happen.

Finally, we move to the key point of today's thoughts. If we re-sign Grud, then that means the Trib gets to put about $6M back in their pockets, and we can look forward to another year of wasted 2-1 and 1-0 losses by Prior, Wood, Z and Clement. But that would be better than throwing MORE money on the rotting corpse of Fernando Vina! The Cardinals AREN'T stupid! If he had anything left, they'd keep him. The league isn't full of ex-Cardinals coming back to beat their old club.

We have Cruz and probably Farnsworth to dangle as trade bait, not to mention our farm system full o' prospects. It is up to Hendry to figure out which of the prospects we can't afford to lose, and then use the remainder to go after Jose Vidro.

It fits in the budget, it works as far as team chemistry is concerned. I can't help thinking that we wouldn't be better off without Cruz and Farnsworth. The Expos are just WAITING to hear from us!

Do it! NOW!


Monday, December 1

...and they say Cubs fans are Kool-Aid swilling morons?

Look at this!

And this.

Not to mention this here!

Bear fans are just certifiable...5 and 7, with NO offense to speak of, a defense that is the most overrated thing since the DeLorean, and a coach whose mumbles can barely be heard at an Amish funeral.

Playoffs? PUT....THE....KOOL-AID....DOWN!!!

Och...we would be 12-and-oh, my friends, if da Coacccchhhh was still in power...oppp!

Luis Castillo/Jose Vidro/The Northside Lounge

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday...mine was good, even considering the fact that I accidentally fileted myself yesterday. The good folks at Coon's Grove Tree Farm of Dimmick, IL outfitted me with a brand new tree saw, and its superior sharpness proved to be just the thing to allow effortless felling of our beautiful 7 foot Scotch Pine. However, the last stroke happened to intersect with the top of my left hand, neatly butterfly-ing it. Very gross. But, it didn't even hurt, it didn't bleed much, and no tendons were injured. Very lucky and embarrasing indeed.

Do you want Luis Castillo? More than Grud? I guess so. More than a trade for Jose Vidro? See, to me, the trade with Vidro not only nets us a great second baseman, and lets us keep the first round draft pick that we would lose in signing free agent Castillo, but it would allow us to send players to the Expos that, in their subtraction, may end up adding to the whole. Like if we sent Farnsworth there, or Cruz, and let their potential be someone else's albatross. Questions that have hung over us for years: "Will Farnsworth close? Will Cruz fit in the rotation? Can he make it through the lineup more than once? Should he relieve?"

What appears to us as "potential" looks entirely different in the myopic world of the clubhouse. There, it just looks like questions, and as we have seen over and over again over the years, ballplayers don't like uncertainity and chaos. They thrive on routine, order, and value the sure thing over great expectations. And Vidro is as sure as it comes.

The Expos represent, for quite unfair reasons, a rare opportunity for the Cubs to quite boldly steal from the poor for their own benefit. We don't need the fine, fine Guerrero or Vazquez as much as Vidro. We would almost appear beneficient, allowing them to keep their most famous star by taking Vidro's contract off their hands. How nice!

Finally, anybody who knows Scott and Dennis at the Northside Lounge, ask them when did I piss in their Cheerios? They got links to a lot of us, but no Love for the Sloth? I have written them, and not rated a response. It's a fine site, I read it daily. I would be honored if they hooked up with me.

A rebuttal from the Bleacher Preacher

I received a rebuttal from Jerry Pritikin, the Bleacher Preacher, over the holiday. I think it speaks for itself. I replied to him below. I guess I don't really have any real beef with him. I guess it was a good lesson for me, in that the WWW really can and is seen by everyone. Anyone with a modicum of computer literacy and a little spare time can be heard. I soft-soaped him, but I try to pick and choose my fights, and this isn't one I am picking.

-----Original Message-----
From: jerome pritikin []
Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2003 9:20 AM
Subject: In my defense ..

I tried adding a comment but had if you can add this...


I never described myself as famous, however`Jayson Stark,Jay
Mariotti,The Chicago Historical Society are among those who used that
term in describing me. I'm proud that
Harry Carry and Kup tabbed me the # 1 Cubs fan in the 80's and 90's.But
the fact remains most of my claims and quotes have been well
documented in books,documentaries,
wire service stories and magazines and local and national print and
broadcast media. I was there in '45 except for the World Series, and
for the next 5 years helped clean the grandstands and got passes to
many,many games that way. I went to my first opener in '47 and was
there the first time Jackie Robinson played the same year. I was invited
to sit with Joe Wilson in the WBKB-TV booth in '48 and watched the Cubs
play on 3 TV stations ( WBKB-4 WENR-7 and WGN-9) in 1949. I've been on
the Cubs band wagon ever since. But I protested along the way, a one
man army back then,too!

I even protested when the Tribune Company eliminated the BEER VENDORS
in the cheap seats (when they were still cheap)! And I don't even
drink...but I felt Bleacher Bums should be treated like 2nd class
citizens. What I do not understand is how some people dislike me, even
without ever taking the time to discuss what it is that they
do not like about me. I realize not everyone might agree to my
opinions , but there must be some reasons why the media flocks to me,
year after year...

Those same people might be surprised if they took the time to talk to
me, they would find the guy under the pith helmet is a real Cubs fan
and for nearly 60 years!

Jerry Pritikin


Dear Jerry,

First of all, thank you for reading.

I have met you before, it was many years ago, in 1987. I can't really say you were nice to me, or not nice to were kind of busy, actually. It was soon after both Sandberg and Dunston both went down with injuries, and the team was starting to slide. You were pretty miserable that day...understandable.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence that you have received so much media attention over the years. But I seem to remember that you do and did actively draw attention to yourself. Whatever.

Many of the people I associate with have the strange habit of equating the worth of a man by his eagerness to sign an autograph. That may be where a lot of the angst comes from on the other sites. Maybe you didn't sign for one of them...horrors!

I for one will pledge not to bash you anymore on my site. I just feel that I, myself, rate up there with the best Cub fans alive.

My apologies, and please try to hang in there until they win a pennant for us.


the Uncouth Sloth