Showing posts with label Chicago Cubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Cubs. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thank You Notes

Jimmy Fallon's idea made far worse.  In fact, he just released a book that I'll promote HERE.  Hey, I've been taking his idea on a weekly basis, I might as well promote his product to make up for it. 

Dear Real World,

Thank you for crushing my hopes and dreams.  Mrs. B. and I had to bail on home buying because of BOTH of our jobs being insecure.  Working in the same department (not in the same office, though) has its advantages (carpool, can eat lunch together) and it has its disadvantages (economic set backs affects both of us at the same time.)  Obviously, nothing is certain yet, but we can't responsibly buy a home at the moment.  Fun fact: losing a house this way feels remarkably like breaking up with someone- very similar heartbreak. 

Tony B.


Dear Cubs,

Thank you for playing so well yesterday.  Stringing together hits and beating the pants off the Cardinals was one way to make me feel better. 

Keep it going,
Tony B.


Dear Jack Daniels,

Thank you for being the other way I was able to feel better yesterday.

Jack sure loves that wheat thresher,
Tony B.


Dear Raley Field,

Thank you for letting my band play at Brewfest tomorrow!  It's going to be great!  Get your tickets HERE!

Can't wait to rock and drink tiny tasters of beer,
Tony B.


Dear Short Posts,

Thank you for saving me time, but also for making me look lazy.  And by "making me look" I mean "proving that I am." 

Tony B.


I'll keep this blog train moving, just trying to put the pieces together and get focused.  If anyone needs a musician for hire or possibly a getaway driver for a bank job- then let me know.  As long as we don't have to wear stupid clown masks like in "The Dark Knight" and I don't get shot like the dude from "Point Break," I could be game. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thank You Notes

You know the drill- Jimmy Fallon's idea stolen and made much, much worse. Like Marvin Gaye, let's get it on!

Dear Chicago Cubs,

Thank you for the making Ryan Dempster the #1 starter this year. He's been great in years past, but I'm not entirely sure he's still a top-flight guy (was he ever?) You know what is top-flight? Dempter's Harry Caray and Matt Foley impressions! Dempster, if you don't pitch better, you'll have plenty of time to do those impressions while you're living in a VAN, down by the RIVER!

With undying hope,
Tony B.


Dear Katy Perry,

Thank you for somehow getting a bunch of my friends to want me to learn how to play "Firework" acoustically. It can't be much more of a stretch than "Poker Face" but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind when becoming a "professional musician." By "professional," I'm of course referring to "not being able to make a living wage on the money I earn as a musician, but still doing it." I hope you're enjoying sleeping on piles of money. ;)

Tony B.


Dear Traffic Lights In Downtown Sacramento,

Thank you for being green on each intersection I went through yesterday! Not only did I get to work on time, but I also felt like Vin Diesel in my Jeep Compass. Don't mind me, I'm just living my life "a quarter mile at a time."

Earning and burning,
Tony B.


Dear The Damnwells,

Thank you for all your music. I know I wrote about this band a couple weeks ago, but seriously- if you are reading this, go check them out if you haven't already. It's excellent rock/pop music that you need in your life! As Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer would say, "DO IT! DO IT NOW!"

I'm not joking around on this one,
Tony B.


Dear Super Mario Bros. 3,

Thank you for being the toughest damn game to finish (without using those magical whistles- yeah, I know you cheated with those to warp to Level 8 just like you used to cheat on high school Spanish quizzes- I'm in your brain!) Special mention on this blog goes to Level 5 (in the clouds), Level 6 (the ice world with multiple dungeons), and Level 7 (the world of a zillion pipes- I have no idea where to go.) The game is great, fun, and frustrating nostalgia.

I'm coming for you Bowser,
Tony B.


Dear Fausto Carmona,

Thank you in advance for pitching better today than you did in your first start. Please... pretty please... PLEASE!!! By the way, my fantasy team is down over 200 points for this first week-and-a-half. It's the first week and I'm already feeling like Stewie from Family Guy feels about being a Mets' fan.

I'm banking on you, Carmona- bring it!

Tony B.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cubs Pitching Options

Well, it's official. The Cubs now have one more win (3) than they have starting pitchers on the disabled list (3). Randy Wells is rocking a strained forearm while Andrew Cashner has a strained rotator cuff. Their bullpen is already tired and their offense looks OK. So how have I been enjoying baseball season?

It's been good so far. Not great, but not terrible. The Cubs are 3-2, which is fine. I have to remind myself every day that the baseball season is a grind and to not get too worked up over each game. It's tough though, as mental errors are a huge pet peeve of mine and the 162 game season naturally allows for plenty of base running errors or poor defensive choices. Baseball is built on imperfection- I know this all too well as a Cubs fan.

So what do the Cubs do now besides hope for some rain-outs and good news from Wells and Cashner in two weeks? Well, I can think of a few options:

1) Casey Coleman - He's a prospect that looked decent during his time in the majors last year. However, if he was really good and Major League ready, then he'd already be up with the team, I suppose.

2) Move Jeff Samarjdaf;kja to the rotation - I never spell check his name and refuse to learn how to spell it. He was excellent in Triple-A Iowa last year as a starter. Unfortunately, he looked good for exactly 1 inning yesterday before getting in trouble and ultimately blowing the Cubs' 4-1 lead. Not sure he can be trusted.

3) Offer the Yankees a package for Mark Prior, then throw him into the starting rotation - So far, this is my favorite option. The Cubs could probably get 3+ starts out of him before his arm detaches from his body, becomes a zombie arm, and starts biting bleacher bums. Instead of hoping for that, I'm resigned to watching sick highlights of Prior pitching against the Dodgers in 2004- I was at this game.

4) Bring Greg Maddux back - He works in the Cubs front office and could probably make a few starts. Why not? It's a better suggestion than bringing Rick Sutcliffe out of the booth and back to the mound. I prefer my pitchers to be younger and less like the doctor from "Rocky Racoon." What I'm trying to say is Sutcliffe drinks a lot. We've gotten way off topic.

5) Go with a 3 man rotation - They used to do it in the olden days, are we too good for this solution? It's better than bringing Carlos Silva back (which is not an option, but I imagine that if he came back, Wrigley Field Old Styles would ripple like the water cup from Jurassic Park when the T-Rex was coming.)

The moral of this post? The Cubs are probably screwed in the near future. There aren't too many good options that I know of, so I hope they surprise me. I also hope Wells and Cashner aren't out for extended periods of time. Pitching injuries are the worst.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Bandwagon

Since the Giants won the World Series, the jury has been out on all the "bandwagon jumpers" (for purpose of this post we will NOT call these people BJs.)  There are so many takes on what is a "true fan" and what legitimate claim any individual has to enjoy a championship.

The reason this year's Giants team has created such a sudden bandwagon is because their rise to a championship was meteoric.  In 2009, they won 88 games and missed playoffs.  This was their first winning record since 2004.  In 2004, they won 91 games but missed the playoffs.  To say the Giants from 2005-2008 were mediocre is a very fair statement.

Even this year, the Giants needed the San Diego Padres to absolutely tank at the end of the season in order to win the NL West by 2 games.  It was a combination of the Giants playing quite well, and the Padres going on a 10 game skid and being unable to rebound (the Giants still would have won the Wild Card I suppose, but that would've made the playoff match ups quite different.)

Most people expected the offensively inept Giants to be a nice story that would get bounced in the NLDS or at best the NLCS in their first playoffs since 2003 (where they lost to the dastardly Marlins- I still hate that team with a passion.  They may or may not haunt my dreams.)  What actually happened was that the Giants went to the playoffs, finished off the Braves, took out the defending NL Champion Phillies and then beat a Texas Rangers team that looked like they were emotionally spent after defeating the defending Champion New York Yankees.  The rise was so quick that people had to jump on the Giants bandwagon with record speed and it was quite noticeable to the rest of the Northern California community (and possibly the rest of the country.)

So is this a bad thing?  Why are people so offended by bandwagon jumpers?  Who deserves to celebrate a championship?

Let's start with the first question- Is this such a bad thing?  The short answer- No.  Every single fan-base has true fans.  Search your soul.  You know if you are a true fan of a team.  I know in my DNA, I am a Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks fan.  There is no way around it.  It was ingrained into the fabric of my being and I will never cheer for any other team over the four teams mentioned.  (I even wavered on the Blackhawks during their down times because I'm not a huge hockey fan and I wanted to support the local Sharks, but when they faced off in the playoffs last year my true colors bubbled to the surface immediately.)

If the Cubs won a championship next year (unlikely) the bandwagon would be so large that they could start registering citizenship, form a government, then form an army and take over France.  This would all happen within 12 hours of the Cubs final out to win the World Series.

Does that mean that the casual fan who doesn't have their day ruined by a June loss to the Astros doesn't deserve to celebrate?  Heck no!  Jump on!  The more the merrier.  And while you're at it (and this is my main point) buy some Cubs gear!  You know you want to.  And your purchase will filter money back to the club to make them better

Take note of 2003.  The Cubs didn't even win a championship, just the taste of going to the NLCS ramped up Cubs fans (and more importantly Cubs ownership) to demand a better product on the field.  It has been hit and miss with them since then, but they did spend big money on Alfonso Soriano and a few other free agents and this is in part due to bandwagon fans' money.

The main point is that bandwagon jumpers can financially benefit a team.  The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, and Dodgers all benefit massively from this type of behavior and it looks like the Giants will now reap some rewards.  Hopefully their ownership group continues to invest it back into the club.

Why are people so offended by bandwagon jumpers?  This one is easy.  If you're the kind of person that follows a team (especially a baseball team because they play damn near every day for 6 months) and lives and dies by every game, you feel the extreme joy and pain that your team can bring you.  The Giants have branded their type of baseball "torture" and the fans have really bought into that brand.  Having never won a San Francisco championship, every SF Giants fan there ever was had not tasted a championship until this past Monday.  So if you are that type of fan that follows every single day, you feel more entitled to celebrate a championship than another person who may be a casual fan or maybe didn't even care about baseball ever before in their life.

So why would I say a loyal fan for years shouldn't be offended by someone who just started paying attention?  Well, there is that whole financial aspect that I addressed above, but there is one more thing- this could be the moment where they fall in love with a particular team or sport.  If someone who never liked baseball is swept up in the emotion of the recent Giants run, they may have arrived late to the party, but they might stay for the rest of their life.  And that can't be a bad thing.  The Giants almost moved to Tampa in the early 90s, but a new ownership group came in and saved the franchise, brought SF a top notch baseball stadium in AT&T Park, and helped pave the way for this championship.  To make sure that baseball stays forever in SF you need fans to support the team.  The more fans there are, the easier it is to support a team.  Someone ask the Oakland A's if they would like more than 10,000 fans per game at their stadium- the answer is YES.

So who deserves to celebrate a championship?  I think any true fans are an automatic shoe in to celebrate.  I remember the day the Cubs beat the Braves to clinch the 2003 NLDS was a Sunday night.  I went to the store and bought a blue bottle of Hurricane mix and made my (Giants fan) roommate Sean celebrate with me even though we had work the next day.  True fans will celebrate in their own way when a team is going well.

I think bandwagon jumpers can celebrate as well.  It makes them feel good and ultimately their short term purchases of gear will help the winning team.  Most of them are harmless and let's face it, it is far worse to watch a community like Tampa NOT SHOW UP to their winning team's games.  The Rays games near the end of the season were a joke and that is far more embarrassing than having a million people show up for a victory parade.

I also think anyone in the local community should be able to celebrate (assuming you don't hate the local teams.)  I have nothing against the Giants (besides the 1989 NLCS- damn you Will Clark!)  I cheered them on and I'm happy for their fans.  I attended Game 3 of the NLCS and had a great time cheering for the Giants.  I know in my heart that I can't go crazy and fully enjoy their championship because it's not the Cubs, but I do not mind watching the success of the Giants.  They are a pretty likable group with DOMINANT pitching that I love to watch.

I hope I've dispelled some problems with bandwagon jumping.  Ultimately, these people financially benefit your own team and fill in any gaps in seats to create a stellar stadium experience.  I suppose the one downside would be that the demand for tickets would go up causing ticket prices to rise- damn my Econ degree for creating a counterpoint to my argument!

Overall, I have no problem.  People enjoy sports differently and deserve to celebrate when possible.  If a celebration allows a moment of escape and happiness, I say allow it.  The world is better when good vibes are flowing in an entire area- even if it is over a sports team.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top 5 Addictions

These are both awesome and bad, depending on how you look at them. I'd like to think I have all of these habits under control, but isn't that exactly what an addict would say?

5. Going to the Peppermill - Clearly this one actually paid off. I went to the Peppermill 4 times in a 7 week period and finished that stretch with the well chronicled stay as their "High Roller."  Even without the High Roller trip, I was actually up money during the first 3 trips, which was phenomenal.  They've clearly earned a longtime customer as I've already booked my next trip (December 10-12!)

4. Wendy's - Out of all the fast food joints, I find myself coming back to Wendy's most often.  I enjoy their Chicken Sandwiches and those Spicy Chicken Nuggets.  The location nearest my work has the fastest drive thru window in the history of the world, so it is all too easy to make a quick stop there if I am starving or running low on time.  I'm not joking, you pay, drive to the next window and your food is typically hanging out the window ready for you.  Could this be a bad thing that food is prepared that quickly?  I have no idea, but it tastes great and never makes me sick, so I still go there ever so often. 

3. Caffeine/Diet Rockstar - I have caffeine withdrawals during the day.  I don't drink coffee regularly.  I have no idea why I don't, but I don't.  Years ago, I started drinking diet soda and now I can't stop.  I moved up the "wake you up" meter to Diet Rockstar cans if I have something important to do (shows, band practice, big household projects, etc.)  I am well aware that soda and energy drinks are not good for me, but so far I can't break the habit.  The worst part is that if I go cold turkey on the sodas, I'll inevitably steer back because no other mixer goes quite as good with whiskey.  They've got me trapped!

2. Burritos - Mexican food is too damn good.  I really want to eat healthier.  By no means am I severely overweight, but I could stand to lose a few pounds.  This clearly isn't going to happen at the rate I eat burritos during the week.  They are too delicious.  It is impossible to stop.  I guess I could open the burritos up and not eat the tortilla- but what is the fun in that?  Between chain restaurants and independent Mexican restaurants, this habit will be a hard one to stop.  Damn you California for having such delicious Mexican food!!! 

1. Chicago Sports - I am a Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks fan.  There's no getting around it.  While the Blackhawks did just win Lord Stanley's Cup, Chicago sports as a whole has driven me nuts my entire life- in a good way.  The psyche of a Chicago fan is quite delicate and it is too easy to make them overvalue their teams, and even easier to make them go into a deep depression with little or no hope.  The Bears were just 3-0, and the fanbase felt on top of the world.  That's nothing the offensive Offensive Line couldn't take care of.  After helping to concuss Jay Cutler, it's time to temper expectations (or like I said, go into a deep depression.)  I wouldn't trade my teams in for anything, but that is why this is my number 1 addiction.

I'm not even sure I absolutely need an intervention on any of these things, but I've tried hard to at least limit them to healthy levels.  Almost anything is ok in moderation.  At least, that's what I tell myself...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Passive Trash Talk

It's Wednesday, and yesterday I mailed it in with videos. So one might think, "Tony, you probably though long and hard about what you're going to post today, right?" Well, of course I didn't! Not one second of thought went into today's post. Is that going to stop me from writing one? Nope. We're still going to go for it.

Being a Northern California that doesn't cheer for the teams of the area is a little bit odd. I'm known as "The Cubs Fan" or "The Bears Fan" to a lot of people around here. Needless to say, I occasionally get crap from Giants or Niners fans when their teams are better than mine. Luckily, this year the Cubs have been so awful that recently not too many people have given me a hard time. However, one of my biggest annoyances is what I'll call the "Happy Gilmore." If you recall, in the movie "Happy Gilmore," Happy sinks a putt, but Shooter had just been giving him a hard time. Happy clearly saw the ball go in, but still said:

"Did that go in? I wasn't watching, did it go in? I didn't see it, could you tell me if it went in?"

While friends (and family) of mine aren't necessarily this a-hole-ish, I have had this happen a few times.

Friend: "So Tony, how are the Cubs doing?"
Me: "Uhh, they are 20 games under .500. They're absolutely awful."
Friend: "Oh yeah, I saw that."

WHY DID YOU ASK THEN? I guess you're trying to make conversation, but even if you knew that the Cubs were bad, and you still wanted to talk about it with me, then say, "Oh, that's too bad" or "Well, at least football is right around the corner" or something like that. I'd almost prefer a more forceful s*** talking than this polite, back door trash talk.

And that brings us to last night's Cubs/Giants game. First it was rain-delayed. Then Matt Cain and Carlos Zambrano decided to make up for the delay by blasting through the opponent's lineup like it was no big thing. Those two pitchers are on fire.

Then there was the 8th inning homer by Gerald Demp Posey III. Damn that guy is good. If he doesn't win Rookie of the Year in the NL, I'll be shocked. No rookie has been more consistent than Posey. There have been times where this guy has put the Giants on his back and carried them to victory.

In summary:

- I'm somewhat pulling for the Giants, please don't trash talk the Cubs and make me cheer against the Giants.
- Big Z and Matt Cain are savages (right now.)
- Buster Posey is the NL Rookie of the Year. There's no doubt.
- Brian Wilson is still the man. Giants fans should appreciate just how good that guy is.

Eh, not bad for zero thought ahead of time. I'm playing tonight at Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek- 6:30pm. Get there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cubs/Giants 8/10/10

Mrs. B. and I went to the lovely city of San Francisco yesterday for the Cubs/Giants game.  We left work right at 5pm and drove straight there (we did stop to for a bathroom break at a huge Walgreens off San Pablo which stationed their bathrooms in the way back of the store in the employees only area- we peed and hightailed it out of there!)  We had seats in the bleachers, and our friend Sean (best man at the wedding) bought a ticket near us. 

After getting Cha Cha Bowls, we decided to look for seats away from the elements.  It was very cold last night.  After the game, Marty Lurie (on KNBR 680) said it was probably the coldest night of the year thus far.  On our way from the center field bleachers to around the left field foul pole to look for seats without a wind tunnel nearby, a guy was carrying his just purchased hot dog like he was Adrian Peterson.  Someone needs to teach him some ball security!  Mrs. B. didn't see him and the two collided, knocking the hot dog to the ground.  I didn't really see much of the whole thing go down, but I did see the end result, and it didn't look like Mrs. B. was wanting a confrontation, so we left the scene.  I think the guy was mad, but I have a feeling he probably brought the dog back and got a new one.  I can't imagine them refusing that.  Mrs. B. immediately told Sean and I that she debated telling the guy to "Charge It To Da Game!"  This would have been the funniest yet douchiest thing to say ever.  I still wish she had done it, though I guarantee I would've stopped, laughed as hard as I ever have, then gotten in an argument with "Neon Deon" about how he should have been carrying his hot dog high and tight.  Seriously, he was carrying the thing it was a sixth grade dance and a teacher had put a ruler between him and the hot dog. 

We went to section 133 under the overhang.  As far as sneaking into seats, this was quite a tame proposition, but there were still ushers looking to check people's tickets.  Luckily, we were able to pull it off without much trouble. 

I was excited to see Tim Lincecum pitch as I had never seen him pitch in person.  The results were underwhelming, but I guess that was good being a Cubs fan.  Fukudome hit a jack off Timmy in the first that went out of the stadium.  You don't see "Splash Hits" as often these days, so it was great to see Kosuke put one in the Bay. 

There were a few exciting parts to the game.  Buster Posey's double that should've been an error on Tyler Colvin, Mike Fontenot's pinch hit double to drive in two, and Ryan Dempster was quite good for the Cubs.  Also, it was great to see Sean again (twice in less than two weeks is some kind of record these days.)  Overall, I had a great time.  At least until...

TRAFFIC.  Bad traffic.  Around the 80 & 4 interchange, there was a massive slow down.  Had I Google Mapped my plan of attack I may have been able to avoid the massive wait, but I don't know the Richmond area all that well.  We sat in crawling traffic for at least an hour.  Eventually, the freeway went down to one lane, and we saw a horrific accident in the left lane.  The ambulance(s) had already left, but from the wreckage of the multiple cars, both Mrs. B. and I agreed that someone probably died.  It was awful. 

Once we were past the accident, it was mostly smooth sailing back to Sacramento.  Definitely not the perfect baseball experience with the cold weather, fumbled hot dog, and awful traffic accident on the way home, however, the good parts were a lot of fun.  My guess is that will be my final game of the season unless something crazy happens and the Giants go deep in the playoffs.  On the Triple-A front, I will be going to see the Sacramento Rivercats vs. the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday.  Let's go Ryno! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thank You Notes

I borrowed this idea from the Jimmy Fallon show... wanna fight about it?

Dear Aramis Ramirez,

Thank you for waiting until the Cubs' season was completely lost before going on a HR tear reminiscent of Sammy Sosa on steroids.  I mean, it's not like the Cubs needed hits and runs earlier in the season.  Being a consistent 10 games under .500 is exactly where where we want to be- time to make our move. 

Tony B.


Dear Lou Pinella,

Thank you for retiring before the Cubs re-sign you, wear your soul out even further, then inevitably kill you.  The "Curse of Lou Pinella" will hopefully be avoided by your spirit not being crushed under the weight of Wrigley Field expectations.  If I am ever able, I'll buy you an Old Style. 



Dear Ryne Sandberg,

Thank you for immediately hitting all media outlets to campaign for the managerial job opening that the Cubs are about to have.  I mean, why allow the Cubs to even make a decision?  Force them to hire you!  In all seriousness, I have no idea if Ryno will be a good manager, but having my favorite player of all time being the manager can't be all that bad. 

Tony B.


Dear Lindsay Lohan,

Thank you for going to prison.  The roads of Southern California a little safer for the next 13-29 days.  I do realize that Red Bull has already lost 20% of it's usual profits, but I'm sure you'll help them regain any losses when you get out. 

On lock,
Tony B.


Dear Bacon Club Chalupa Commercial,

Thank you for giving the impression that attractive women are not good enough to get guys at a bar- they, in fact, need to throw odd taco concoctions that include bacon into their purse.  Makes total sense to me and every other guy who enjoys diarrhea. 

We's hungry,
Tony B.


Dear Step Up Movie Series,

Thank you for making it to your third installment.  I can't tell you any one person who has seen "Step Up" or "Step Up 2: The Streets."  This includes Mrs. B. who loves watching people dance, but has the good enough sense to stay away from these flaming brown bag piece of crap movies.  How on Earth you got a third movie (in 3D!) I'll never know. 

Tony B.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things To Do At The DMV

I was at the DMV for a little over two hours yesterday. Those two hours felt like an eternity. It honestly felt like I could have watched the entire Lord of the Ring trilogy while being surrounded by an array of characters that you would only see on "Cops." A couple highlights:

- The old guy that could barely walk, but was there to renew his license. That's safe.
- The overweight 35 year old white woman who does not have a license, but was there with who I can only imagine was her skinny, white trash boyfriend, her two half Mexican children, and an older gentleman that may or may not have been related to the rest of the bunch. I think the boyfriend had to register a number of used Ford molester fans. She was standing for awhile, then started complaining to her 8 year old about how her ankles were swelling up. Then she started an immature game of "if you pinch me, I'll pinch you back" with one of her sons. They have no hope. Awesome.
- A more white trash version of Sam Merlotte from "True Blood:"

There were other fine characters there in order to bother me. I had to go deep into my head to amuse myself and try to forget about my surroundings. Here are some ideas of how to waste time at the DMV:

1) People watch. This doesn't help you forget your surroundings, but it will help you write the first half of your blog.

2) Bring a vuvuzela and blow it the entire time you are there. If the South Africans can ruin the World Cup by blowing these plastic horns, why can't I bring the tradition to the DMV?

3) Pretend that it is not the DMV, but rather a DMB concert. I know they are past their prime and their original saxophone player is dead, but a boring 12 minute jam in the middle of "Jimi Thing" would be MUCH better than renewing my license at the DMV.

4) Play Craps on my iPhone. It's not for real money, but the app is pretty true to the real game- as in it will take all my fake money and help me forget my current DMV predicament.

5) Write a novel based on someone who went to the DMV to renew their license, then went on a violent rampage similar to Michael Douglas in the movie "Falling Down."

Yes, it was an awful time, but I survived and I hope to wait another 10 years before I have to visit the DMV again. By the way, the Cubs/A's game last night was literally the worst baseball game I've ever watched. Derrek Lee- you're really going to make two errors in the same inning? Yikes, you former Gold Glover. I've said the Cubs should trade you, but who the hell wants a .227 hitter that is losing his once great defensive skills? Answer: the same number of people who would want to spend their day at the DMV.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fixing The Chicago Cubs

[I found this pic at Can she help fix the Cubs?]

I'm obviously not someone who can actually fix the Cubs franchise. I don't know the ins and outs of their day to day business, nor do I have any idea what it takes to run a professional sports franchise. With that said- SCREW IT! Like Will Ferrell's version of Harry Caray said when someone told him that his guest Albert Einstein had been dead for 42 years. "We'll try to get him anyway!" With that ignorant (yet hilarious) attitude, I'm going to try to fix this team anyway!

Ok, so I'm going to dumb this down so I have a handle on it all. I'm looking at contract lengths, movable pieces, some (but not all) minor leaguers, and moves that are realistic. No one is trading the Cubs for Soriano and taking on his entire contract. That's idiotic and will not be suggested here.

Where to start? Well, let's start with a change in attitude. Jim Hendry has had a decade to run this team, and to his credit, it has been the most successful run by the Chicago Cubs in my lifetime. In the 2000s, the Cubs won 3 division titles, and won their first playoff series (2003 NLDS) since 1945 (can you believe that stat! Unreal!) However, Jim Hendry is now part of the problem. Hendry runs his team with a business plan similar to the Underpants Gnomes from South Park. Step 1: Sign long contracts. Step 2: ? Step 3: Win. It makes no sense. This needs to be looked at.

He has made bold moves that have locked the Cubs up. In a certain sense, he is the Brian Sabean of the midwest. Both he and Sabean love young pitching, but have had a hard time drafting/developing big bats from their own minor league system. Having been burned by potentially great prospects who are actually terrible (Jason Dubois/Corey Patterson for the Cubs, Todd Linden for the Giants) neither GM relies on young talent. Instead, they promote prospects to bench roles and sign veterans to bog down young players.

For example, Tyler Colvin hit over .400 in spring and has continued to rake when given the chance. Unfortunately, he's fifth on the outfield depth chart because the Cubs signed Xavier Nady. I think Nady's great, but let's try to develop some of the younger talent in the system. A change in philosophy is needed, and it starts at the top. Jim Hendry needs to go. (Side note: I wish the Cubs would have signed Walt Jocketty when he was available- surprise, surprise- the Reds are magically good!)

So how do we work the younger players in? Well, we can probably scrap this entire year. I know it's not going to be a popular sentiment among fans, but does anyone really expect the Cubs to be a force this year? They are SO inconsistent. They win 4, then lose 6. Then they'll split a few series and repeat. It's not going to get the job done. The White Sox recently admitted they are down to start trading pieces and the Cubs should follow suit. Make Chicago one big professional baseball flea market. Pick up a veteran starter or first baseman and while you're at it, have your future foretold by a topless psychic! Genius!

The way I see it, Derrek Lee is movable (though he has a no trade clause.) The Angels may be open to bringing him in because of the injury to Kendry Morales (my fantasy team hates you Kendry!) If not, do not re-sign him. I absolutely respect D. Lee and love what he's done for the Cubs, but it's time to move on. The Cubs traditionally keep players far too long and run into seasons like last year and this year. Letting D. Lee go will open up some cash and allow the Cubs to go younger. This cash will probably not be spent immediately, but allow the Cubs to make a splash later...

Place Big Z on waivers. This may do nothing (besides irritate Z, but we're not trying to have him to our house for a tea party- this is a business.) Maybe a team looking for pitching is crazy enough to snatch up his contract. Even crazier, maybe he actually helps a contender win. He's quite a talent, unfortunately his mental stability, diet and work ethic has eroded his talent earlier than one would think (he just turned 29!) If you can't get rid of him, keep him in the rotation. A $17 million relief pitcher is silly. That outside the box idea didn't work out, so let's move on and not try it again.

Trade Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. I love Lilly. He might be one of my favorite guys on the team right now. However, his contract expires this year, and he could help a contender. Get a solid prospect or two in return for him. Move Tom Gorzelanny back into the rotation. He's cheap and under team control for many years, unlike Lilly. Heck, keep an eye on the market and re-sign Lilly if the price is right. If not, let's move on by getting younger.

Pray that Aramis Ramirez starts hitting and declines his $14.6 million option for next year. It was almost a given that he was going to decline the option and become a free agent before the year started. Now, I can't even imagine him giving up that money. The guy is hitting below "the Mendoza Line" and not helping his own cause. If they can't get rid of him this year, then ride out the contract and say goodbye after next year. It's an expensive mistake, but at least it gives Josh Vitters more time to develop in the minors.

Best case scenario, we start to go young and things shape up like this in a couple years:

OF Tyler Colvin, Brett Jackson, Alfonso Soriano (boy, his defense is bad)
3B Josh Vitters
SS Starlin Castro
2B Ryan Theriot, Mike Fonenot, or someone better
1B ??? (either a majors ready draft pick, or even better, why not take a shot at Adrian Gonzales as his contract is up in a couple years.)
C Geovany Soto or someone better

SP Ryan Dempster, Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner, and Mark Prior (Ha! Just making sure you're still with me here- I know that was ridiculous.) Maybe the fifth starter is a prospect, a draft pick from this year, or a free agent signing.

RP Who cares about middle relief? I will acknowledge that Andrew Cashner could be the next closer instead of being a starter. This would allow the Cubs to trade Carlos Marmol to someone for prospects or even a legitimate bat.

Basically, let's get Lee, Ramirez, Zambrano, Carlos Silva, and Lilly's payroll off the books. Let's look inward at our farm system and find out who is legit and who isn't. Anyone know if Jeff Samardzija is worth a damn at the Major League level? Let's figure it out and roll with him or move on depending on that answer.

Once we get the payroll at a manageable level, it's time to look for good deals via trade and/or free agency. I just don't need to see albatross contracts coming in and staying for 8 years. 4 year contracts and don't give in to no trade clause demands. The Phillies started that policy and it seems to be a smart way to go. Obviously, if you find a talent like Roy Halladay then do what it takes, but otherwise, follow that policy to a T.

There needs to be a change in attitude within the Cubs organization. I don't really mind Lou Pinella as a manager, but let's be honest, he's out after this year. Will they hire Ryne Sandberg? If he's the best man for the job, then I say do it. If not, find someone who is going to get the best out of the Cubs' players.

I'm writing this before the Cubs' draft pick, so that pick may change this analysis a bit, but overall, this is a plan I can work with. To recap: get payroll flexibility so you can offer a great free agent (Adrian Gonzales or someone similar) a competitive offer. Otherwise, go young, develop your players and draft well. Find a couple new people to be the new voice(s) of the Cubs and have the wins start rolling in.

Am I that off base? Was I not specific enough? Have some better ideas? Want Bob Brenly to become the manager and promote his son Michael to the majors? It's funny when people say the Yankees buy championships (and to some degree, they obviously pay a lot for their quality players) but look at how they were so successful over these years. Jeter, Posada, Rivera, and Pettite are all home grown farm products. Get a core like that, then spend money around them. The Phillies are doing the same thing right now (Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hammels) and it seems to work out. This is the mold I want the Cubs to follow.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

Nothing like a Cubs' sweep over the division rival Brewers to get me back into baseball season! I didn't think this move of Carlos Zambrano into the bullpen was a great idea, but now I'm thinking it might just be crazy enough to work- especially if the Cubs' starting pitching continues to pitch the way it has. It's great to have Ted Lilly back in the rotation. He knows what he's doing. With the Nationals coming in to the Friendly Confines today, let's hope the Cubs continue their trend upwards.

Friday night took Mrs. B. and I to Bandera. I had never been there, and Mrs. B. had been wanting to go there for quite some time. I decided that Friday night was the night to get it done. She kept telling me, "It's a pretty nice place." Considering that it's in a shopping center with a parking lot that connects to a gas station, how nice could it legitimately be? The answer- really frickin' nice [read as: expensive.]

We had a 25-30 minute wait, so we went to the bar to order drinks. She got a Mai Tai and I got a 7 & 7. Total was $17.40. I left the remaining $2.60 as a tip to make one round of drinks an even $20. It was like buying beer at a sporting event [again, read as: expensive.] However, I decided to take Mrs. B. out, so I was going to roll with it and not be bothered by cost. You can't really enjoy the whole experience if the dollars and cents are bothering you.

We were seated and we started with an order of their house made cornbread. This stuff is unreal. They clearly put jalapenos in there somewhere, and there was a soft, yet crunchy crust on the top. It was served in a deep dish pizza pan. Solid.

Next up were the main courses. I ordered their Chicken Enchiladas which came with rice and a Mexican Cucumber Salad. Mrs. B. ordered a Thai Chicken Salad. Both were delicious, however Mrs. B.'s salad was awfully spicy. She continued to eat it because it tasted good, but after awhile she was visibly having a tough time with the spiciness. The waitress came over to see how we were doing, and it was obvious that the dish was too spicy and, despite Mrs. B.'s best efforts, was overpowering. The waitress immediately told the cooking staff, and they actually took the salad off the bill. This unbelievable customer service. We really didn't complain, but they went over and above what was necessary, and that spoke volumes about what kind of restaurant they are running over there.

Long story short, the expensive meal ended up being quite manageable which was nice. I do recommend Bandera as a nice night out though.

Since we had some extra savings from dinner, we went to see "Kick-Ass" afterward. The movie was pretty damn good. I had seen good reviews, but I had also seen that it was under-performing at the box office. With relatively no expectations, Mrs. B. and I enjoyed the movie a lot. As far as overly gory comic book movies go, this one is definitely a fun time at the theaters. The best character, by a mile, is Hit-Girl who is played by some 13 year-old whose name I don't really feel like googling. If you like comic book movies, definitely check this out.

Saturday, Mrs. B. and I traveled back to my Mom's house for my brother's graduation party. Nice work, Tim! I had a great time, and while I would've preferred a different keg than Coors Light, I actually put on a decent display of drinking from 4pm until midnight. A group of us went to downtown Walnut Creek where Mrs. B. and I immediately felt bored and realized that we were too old to be hanging out at Crogan's (or maybe that it's not quite as fun it wants people to think it is.)

On Sunday, we made our way back to Sac-Town. As an Easter present, Mrs. B. had got me a massage which was scheduled for 6pm. It was at Mellow Me Out and it was just what the doctor ordered. Well, to be honest, the doctor ordered Physical Therapy, but since I was recently diagnosed with a bulging disc in my L5 vertebra the massage was quite helpful. I'm a little sore, but I definitely feel loosened up. I wish I had the cash to get regular massages- now that would be awesome.

That pretty much sums up my weekend. It was quite busy, but fairly productive (if going to the movies and drinking for 8 hours is productive- I say it is.) What's that, no NFL draft coverage? Yeah, I honestly have no idea who the hell any of the Bears' picks are (except that they needlessly drafted that QB from CMU, thanks for giving the media something to talk about in regards to the Bears' lack of confidence in Jay Cutler.)

See ya tomorrow...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank You Cards

I must admit, the thought of Jimmy Fallon hosting a late night TV show seemed to be about as good of an idea as hanging for three hours in a room with children that are contagious with the swine flu. However, I will say that I've watched the show, and to be honest, it is a lot better than I expected. One skit they do is where Jimmy writes out thank you notes to random people, groups, celebrities, etc. Today, adding to my own series of thank you notes:

Dear Cat Hair,

Thank you for sticking to every single piece of clothing I own. Any article of clothing could be washed, dried, dry cleaned, pressed, and immediately sealed in plastic and it wouldn't make a different. You will find a way to cling to whatever I wear. Your resiliency is matched by only the most competitive high class athletes... and Ben Roethlisberger when he's looking to have sexual relations (consensual or otherwise.)

Your servant,
Tony B.


Dear Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry,

I'm not sure who to thank on this brilliant move, but thank you for helping the Cubs reach another low point in their history. Never in my lifetime did I think I'd see the Cubs pay their Opening Day starter almost $18 million a year only to have him go to middle relief just three weeks into the season, and for that- I thank you. The crazy thing is that this might actually work, and which case I thank you for the even crazier moves that will succeed this one. Alfonso Soriano at catcher? Why not? Derrek Lee being better suited as the bat boy than in the field? Sure. This seems like this season is going well already.

Tony B.


Dear's Main Page,

Thank you for putting 90% fluff pieces as your main news "headlines." You've helped me store imagines in my brain of a cat that only uses two legs, the Redskins cheerleader that got the flu and can no longer walk or speak properly, and the [spoiler alert for today] 94 year old woman who has less than a year to live but wanted one last waltz. This news is way better than so called "real" news, obviously, since I keep going back there.

Tony B.


Dear Pants Stores,

Thank you for never carrying my size. I understand how 38/34 is probably an uncommon size, and at least you've made me settle for shopping on the internet rather than wasting my time in a mall. Sometimes, I do wonder who the people are that wear 42/28 and why that size would be so much more common than my size. I suppose it just means there are a lot of fat mofos running around. In either case, your physical stores are dead to me.

So it goes,
Tony B.


Dear Apples to Apples,

Thank you for providing blank cards where the owner of your game can add in their own red and green cards. The game is definitely spiced up by adding "Jenna Jameson," "Optimus Prime," "Michael Vick," "My Penis," "Hall & Oates" and "Jenny McCarthy's right boob" as red cards and "Stuff White People Like," "Porn-tastic," and "Boner-rrific" to the green card pile. Even better, you can bring that game box to work and play with co-workers. It's like Russian Roulette with cards!

Tony B.


Dear Nada Surf,

Thank you for writing the song "Popular." I'm not sure if I'm supposed to love the song or hate it, but after hearing it recently I can definitely say it's still pretty original. I'm not sure whatever happened to your band, but I'm thinking a little State Fair action would be pretty awesome this coming August.

If you can get Wheatus to open for you- even better.

Let's do this,
Tony B.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

That weekend passed more quickly than ever. I'm not sure exactly why I feel like it was over with such speed, but I'm going to guess it was because I decided to watch multiple Cubs games. Saturday's game was a scrappy win (read as "ugly") against the the Reds, and Sunday's game was a choke job and a half. When Tom Gorzelanny gives you six solid innings, you damn well better win that game. I'm sure the dominance of Mike Leake in his major league debut is just too much for the veteran Cubs hitters to handle (and his debut was impressive, to be sure.) Regardless, once the games were over, I just tried to pretend those hours didn't happen which lead to 6-7 hours removed from the weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was definitely the show at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville. That place rules. It seems to get better and better. The crowd is always solid (friendly and big on participation) and the staff there treats me really well. Most places I play on a regular basis treat me well, but the Donkey folks really do go out of their way to make sure I'm taken care of which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

There were about 18,000 birthdays being celebrated which set the table for an easy night. The crowd was primed to want to have a good time. I was like a solid hitter up with the bases loaded and one out- easy RBI opportunities (well, this wouldn't be the case if I were on the Cubs, but currently I'm not, so let's roll with the metaphor.) It also helped that I was able to field most of the requests that were thrown at me. Some nights I will only know 1 in 20 songs and that makes me feel like crap (though, come on people- did you really expect me to know some random b-side off of some crappy band's only single in the 80's?) Saturday night I was closer to the 70% clip which makes me feel pretty damn smart. Like a human jukebox.

Being a musician is pretty rough stuff because there are a lot of highs and lows. Crappy gigs, writers block, and a weird schedule is enough to make someone go crazy, but having shows like Saturday's at the Donkey is a pretty good medicine for any bumps in the road. One extremely nice comment came from a middle-aged woman who seemed to be having a great time. On one of my breaks, she came up and said, "You're doing a great job. You're very good, but there's something more about you. There's something else there." That was a pretty awesome compliment. Good musicians are a dime-a-dozen- it's that something else that can put someone over the top. I suppose I can temper my enthusiasm a bit because this woman is also the same woman who was mouthing "NO!" and waving her arms like someone just slid in safe to home plate while I played "Friends In Low Places." It's a great song to get everyone in the bar singing (and drinking), but on second thought, maybe this woman is extremely wise...

Sunday was kind of a blur. I've been deep in the reading of Stephen King's "The Stand" which I started quite awhile ago, but I'm burning through it now. I spent much of the day just reading and trying to escape the haunting memories of the Cubs/Reds game from earlier in that morning (yes, that game was more frightening than a Stephen King novel- that's what I'm going for.) Anyway, the producers of LOST have admitted that "The Stand" is a big influence on their show. I definitely can see the influential themes and even a few noticeable similarities (the use of dynamite, characters questioning free will vs. destiny, good (God) vs. evil (the devil), and picking sides to play out a game much like a chess game.) If you're jones-ing to read a 1100+ page novel, feel free to give this one a try. If not, just stick to something by Dan Brown... or Stan Lee.

That's about all I have from the weekend. I didn't really watch the Masters (I'm just not that into golf, I guess) and I don't think much else happened. Off to begin the work week...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fantasy Baseball Conundrum

The first few days of baseball season has already brought my blood pressure to a new level. Nothing is going right for me or my team. My post two days ago brought up issues that I have with the Cubs, and while they seemed to have played better yesterday, I don't know exactly what went on because my MLB.TV wouldn't work for that game! Damn you technology!

Instead I watched some of the Yankees/Red Sox game. Realistically, how could I miss it because those games typically take at least 4.5 hours to finish, so if it's on TV, you're bound to watch at least some of it.

Anyway, I have Jonathan Papelbon and the guy I'm playing against this week has Mariano Rivera. Not a terrible match-up, but I wouldn't ever claim to be getting the best of that one. If you watched the game, you know that Papelbon pitched a great 9th, only to blow up in the 10th and get the loss. At the same time, this gave Rivera the opportunity to come in and close out the game- Yankees win 3-1.

This is over a 20 point swing in my head-to-head match up (and that is dreadful for me.) Not to mention, that in a separate game, I have Billy Wagner and my opponent has Ryan Dempster. Dempster pitched quite well yesterday and was in line for the win. This I could deal with because at least the Cubs would get a victory. But since even when I win, I lose, Cubs' reliever John Grabow gave up a two run homer to Larry "Chipper" Jones and the Cubs lose 3-2. At least Billy Wagner got the save, right?

My point here is that the real season and fantasy season are colliding already and it doesn't feel good. My number one priority is for the Cubs to win, but I've already had my resolve tested by fantasy baseball.

One thing is for sure. I'm getting my ass kicked and the Cubs are 0-2, and neither feels great at this point.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opening Day Baseball

I was going to do something far more fun and light-hearted today, but unfortunately the Cubs went and crapped out a horrible opening day game against the much improved Atlanta Braves. The Braves impressed me and it looks like Atlanta fans will have a lot to cheer about this year. Jason Heyward is L-E-G-I-T. Not that I didn't think he was before, but his first at bat home run was RIDICULOUS. But let's get back to the Cubbies...

Carlos Zambrano is such an ass. I am so sick of this guy. True, he's been good in the past, but has he ever done anything of such merit that I, as a Cub fan, should give him a free pass on such a horrific outing? No. He has not. I've seen him get lit up on opening day a few times before. I've seen him say he's ready to retire after his current contract is up. Hell, I've even seen him deny my younger brother an autograph during an event where fans were allowed on the field at Wrigley (this was before he was even a starter.) I've seen him throw temper tantrums over and over and over, and I'm sick of it. Today he looked like he didn't give a shit. Can I get somewhere in the middle? One extreme has him not caring, and the other extreme has him breaking open a Gatorade machine with a bat. Average the two out, and let's rock and roll.

(I'm beyond mad that he's on my fantasy team- thank you for wrecking my week, asshole.)

Jeff Samardzija is absolutely horrible. I'm sure the Cubs wanted him to be good. They thought, "Hey! We can probably sell tickets to Notre Dame fans if we get this guy." And sickeningly, they are probably right. However, after one outing his ERA is 108.00. So Samardzija is either a huge fan of the LOST magical number of 108, or he's a God-awful pitcher. Maybe both?

Soriano sucks. Good luck breaking the strikeout record this year, buddy. You are Pedro Cerrano incarnate. And I don't mean that you hit game tying home runs against the Yankees.

By the way, UMPIRES, I have a HUGE problem with you blowing the call where Nate McLouth dropped the diving catch in center. Instead you called an out and a double play. When a request for instant replay comes up, I'll remember that play and realize that you obviously aren't trying to actually watch a damn game (or maybe you just legitimately need instant replay.) Either way, it was a terrible call, and you all can burn in hell. I can't believe Sweet Lou didn't pitch a fit worthy of him getting tossed. Unacceptable Lou!

I have to stop now. My blood is boiling and it's only day one of baseball season. Yikes, I'm probably going to need therapy after this season.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh Cubbies...

I know I should be talking about all the awesome NCAA basketball action that went on yesterday (and how my bracket is not doing terribly well, but I digress.)

Apparently the Cubs are working out a sponsorship deal with Toyota to hang a 16' x 22' sign above the left field bleachers of Wrigley Field. Here we go again with these guys.

Does the actual sign bother me? No. Does making more revenue for the team make sense? Of course. Do I really think this is a good idea? Not in the least.

Toyota, in case you've been living with the monks from the temple in Ace Venture 2: When Nature Calls recently, has been in trouble these days with many of their cars' accelerators getting stuck and causing horrible accidents. They've been making advertisements to say how sorry they are and that they appreciate people who've stuck by them during this difficult time. Sounds like a Tiger Woods-ish apology if you ask me.

Anyway, the Cubs are going to have a tough time this year. Their team has a chance to be very good, but with the Cards' combination of Pujols and Holliday, not to mention their other combo of Carpenter and Wainwright, it stands to reason that winning the division is going to be tough.

The Cubs have overpaid veterans, inexperienced youth, and depending on some of the free agent signings, maybe some holes around the field. Could the current roster provide a division championship? Yes- but only if many of the question mark players that I could see going either way trend upwards. Aramis Ramirez needs to be healthy and hit. Ryan Theriot needs to be a productive lead off hitter. Alfonso Soriano needs to not strike out every time someone is one base (he must have the most solo home runs of anyone ever.) Randy Wells needs to not have a sophomore slump (I keep hoping he pitches like last year, but I can't convince myself that this will be the case.) Carlos Marmol needs to be effectively wild rather than just completely wild. You see where this is going.

For a team that won 97 game two years ago, only to be swept out of the playoffs by the 84 win Dodgers, the Cubs have found themselves back in the middle of the pack with no clear path to a World Series. Why frustrate fans and ignite Cubs' haters by aligning a sponsorship deal with Toyota. Any other car company would be fine. Ford, Dodge, Honda, or even Kia.

I understand baseball is a business, but it gets to a point where you have to realize that the only reason the Cubs make money is because loyal, punishment accepting fans like myself. Either win in the playoffs, and then feel free to do whatever you want sponsorship-wise, or stop doing stuff to frustrate fans by reminding them that their team is nicknamed "The Lovable Losers."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bowl Fallout

I rather enjoyed watching the Saints win a Super Bowl Championship on Sunday night. The whole scene was cinematic. Drew Brees holding his son while tearing up was a special moment. Peyton Manning walking off the field instead of going over to congratulate Brees was interesting. And watching the Saints owner almost throw the Lombardi Trophy over the stage rail and onto the field was pretty funny (old people need to be careful when they fist pump with a large trophy in their hands.)

But then reality set in. The Saints won the Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. I can say it again if you like. THE SAINTS WON THE SUPER BOWL.

The Saints were once the lowly NFL team that consistently lost and was a laughing stock of the league. Even when they were good they would lose immediately upon entering the playoffs (12-4 in 1992 only to lose at home in the playoffs against the Eagles after being up 20-7.) There are a few teams that one expects to be terrible forever (or at least without a championship) and the Saints used to be one of those teams. The Arizona Cardinals are another one of those teams, and they almost got their championship last year. How does this relate to me? (Because I'm selfish and think of things in those terms.)

The Chicago Cubs are also considered one of those teams. Even though they do have their back to back championships of 1907 and 1908, let's be honest, the Cubs might as well have won those on Mars 3,000 years ago. No one cares about a championship from that long ago. Honestly, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a rich tradition of winning baseball, but since their last championship was in 1979, and they've been losing since Jim Leyland left their team, most people think of them as a losing franchise as well. "What have you done for me lately" is the most applicable phrase when it comes to sports.

My point is that with the Saints win, the Cubs have one less franchise in the "they'll always be losers club." The Boston Red Sox broke out of that club in 2004, the White Sox broke out of it in 2005. Misery loves company, and I hate seeing teams rise up and leave the Cubs in the dust crying about missed opportunities and begging for better luck.

I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on any of those teams, though. I mean, they're just doing what they're paid to do. Win. There is one simple solution to this whole psychological problem that professional sports is causing me- The Cubs need to win the World Series.

I thought about it the other day, and I don't expect the Cubs to win it this year. But that also got me wondering about when I think it will be. When could the Cubs actually break the fictional "curse" that has bothered them for so long? I have no idea. But this also brought forth the sad thought, "I'm 28, I'm sure they'll win one before I die."

I wonder how many generations of people have thought that before dying...

Damn you Saints! On the positive, you showed the world that it is possible for a traditional loser to rise up and win regardless of past history. But you've also left the "loser" club- it just keeps getting lonelier...

[Let's end on a positive note- Michael Jordan and the Bulls won 6 Championships in the 1990s and it was so awesome.]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Cubs' legend Andre Dawson was just inducted into the Hall of Fame. That is awesome. "The Hawk" had one of the most demolishing swings of all time. He played the game hard and overcame serious knee problems to become a Hall of Famer.

Congrats Hawk- you're the man!

(Now we'll have to figure out if Mark Grace can get in as well...)

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Case of the Mondays: 2010

It's the first Monday of 2010. I'm back to work, and I couldn't be less excited. I've enjoyed leisurely burning days away by playing Mario Kart Wii, watching college of pro football, playing music, or watching Lord of the Rings on TNT. But now it's time look back at the break that was:

- I still haven't seen Avatar. We're going to try to get to an IMAX 3D showing, but they keep selling out. Anyone seen it? Is it worth this much trouble?

- Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears provide me the best fan experience of the season with their win against the Vikings last Monday. This goes squarely in the category of "Too Little, Too Late" and disappoints Bears fans even further to see what happens when the team actually plays well. Did you know, Jay Cutler threw for 8 touchdowns and 1 interception in his last two games combined? Hopefully he can carry that momentum into next year.

- New Year's Eve was fun. I played a show at the Boxing Donkey in Roseville and I'm proud to report that no women were punched in the face during the time I was there. In fact, it was relatively packed and the crowd was pretty good about singing along and having a good time, in general. I had never played on New Year's Eve before because I figured it would be a mess, but this experience has changed my perception of the night (to some degree- however, it is still quite an amateur night for drinkers.)

- I managed to get the gym many times during the break, so I guess I was productive in that regard. The best part was that I never ran into anyone weird at the gym. Everyone was on the best behavior and not having any 'roid rage episodes.

- The Cubs signed Marlon Byrd. Another ex-Ranger with the initials "M.B." to play the outfield in Wrigley? Yikes.

- That Sunday Night Game was awful. How in the hell did the NFL scheduling people manage to create three re-matches next week of three blow out games (Cowboys/Eagles, Packers/Cardinals, Jets/Bengals)? At least one of the results from yesterday will be different next week but we'll get to that tomorrow.

Until then, Happy New Year...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Case of the Mondays: Luxury Edition

The first part of my weekend went something like this:

- Played an opening gig for the band Silent Treatment at the G St Pub in Davis. It went very well.
- Saturday morning I brought my suit in to let a half-inch out on my wedding suit pants.
- Got a haircut.
- Worked the rest of the day at the UC Davis football game (they beat "powerhouse" Western Oregon. Read the quotes as sarcasm.)

Sunday rolled around and it was time to drive to San Francisco to watch the Giants/Cubs game from the luxury box. We arrived early and used the extra time to each buy and drink a 24 oz. can of Miller Light in an alley outside of the park (Future Mrs. B. has occasionally been working as a Miller Light promotional girl so I've been trying to switch from Bud Light. Also, it is the only beer approved by the commish of the More Taste League.)

You may ask, you had the luxury suite, so why are you roughing it out in the mean streets of SF drinking out of brown bags? Well, the answer is simple- I had the tickets for the suite, but catering was not included. I initially was going to try get everyone to chip in and split catering but I was having too hard a time pinning people down so it became easier to just let everyone fend for themselves.

Upon arriving to the park, we walked over to the entrance of the Visitor club house and on the way down the hall I saw Cubs' announcer Len Kasper. I saw him and said, "Hey! What's up Len?" He said, "Hey man, how are you doing?" Then he kept walking and didn't wait for me to tell him how I was actually doing. My friends, not knowing who Len was asked me how I knew that guy. I explained that it was the Cubs' announcer and that I didn't actually know him. It was really a weird exchange for two people who don't know each other.

We got to watch Fukudome take batting practice in the underground cages they have below the homeplate area, and we did see Cubs' GM Jim Hendry just a few feet away from us. He didn't look like he was in the mood for any comments about Milton Bradley, so we left him alone.

It was then time to go up to the suite and turn on the 49ers/Vikings game. We were able to watch football the entire time we were in the suite. They had one TV inside, and one outside for maximum football enjoyment. Most of the people there were Giants/49ers fans, so they last minute Favre touchdown pass was a crushing moment. Even I was mad as I hate Favre and want the Vikings to lose for inter-divisional reasons. Everyone was hoping the video review showed something different, but Greg Lewis made a great play and perfectly dragged his feet in the end zone for a touchdown. The video only confirmed that fact and the Niners and their fans were left with a dramatic loss.

The actual baseball game was fine. Matt Cain pitched very well, and the Giants won without much fight from the Cubs. I'm not sure if I expected much from the Cubs. Sweet Lou gave them the day off from regular batting practice as if to say, "Hey guys, we're out of the playoffs and you have taken the first 3 games in the Giants' home park- don't worry about today."

The weather was great, and the view was awesome. It was also fun to not miss football while still enjoying baseball at such a great park (AT&T Park is an awesome yard- get there if you've never been.)

On the way home, I could still taste the garlic fries that I had had an hour and a half earlier. I could also still taste the Bears' victory which I was unable to watch, but kept close tabs on throughout the day. Both were delicious! It was a pretty great Sunday.