Monday, August 31, 2009

Carl Feels Our Pain

Couldn't have said it better myself. Go to Smells Like Mascot and relive the illustrated pain that is the 2009 White Sox.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We Are Lazy Motherfuckers

David Ortiz? Fuuuuuck...

Look - we've been bad. It's true. Frankly, the wide world of Chicago sports has sort of been in a depressing lull since Cutler dominated last week. As much as I enjoy covering the Cubs losing (and to the Nationals, no less), it pains me even more to watch the Sox get swept by their red counterparts.

Hell, even Brian Anderson - who was 1-6 with the Red Sox - was sent down. It's just been a slow repeated punching yourself in the balls.

That said, here are a few things to look forward to in the coming weeks:

Footballfootballfootball: If you didn't just get a hard-on from that bolded text, you're illiterate. It's time for Forte, Cutler, Hester, Bennett, and Olsen to dominate the competition. We're going to really have a passing attack - holy shit.

Cubs go 10+ GB: Nothing will make me happier than knowing that the Cubs will be more than 10 games back in mere days. With Matt Holliday hitting .933 for the Cardinals, there's not much to do other than sit back and laugh. Looks like Mark DeRosa got on a championship NL team after all...

Peavy Time: Since I highly doubt that the Sox will be able to take the division with two and a half starters, Peavy will probably be brought up next week where he can be on a short pitch count and do nothing much of note (prediction: 5.2 IP, 2ER, 3K, 1BB), but it's still a good sign if he pitches without exploding into a fiery ball of flame and DL visits.

Colon Headline(s):
There's going to be at least one more. Probably not "Colon Released", though, because it would be too awesome.

September Callups: Time to see the farm. Both the Sox and Cubs are a little short of major super prospects, but it never hurts to see who can make an impact.

And if all else fails, at least we can rest easy knowing that Jerry Reinsdorf is no longer going to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. What a clusterfuck that would have been.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Arts & Entertainment: Falling Down

Finally, an action movie for the new millenium. Up-and-coming director Joel Schumacher (The Wiz, Lost Boys) brings us Falling Down, a crime thriller like no other. Far from the senselessness of other recent action movies like Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe, Falling Down is a frightening glimpse at the streets of America today.

Rising star Michael Douglas stars as Bill, aka D-FENS, a divorced man who works for the Department of Defense (hence the nickname). At the start of the film, Bill is sitting in gridlocked L.A. traffic on the way to work. Frustrated, he wisely decides to abandon his car and head home, making his way across the shittier parts of Los Angeles on foot. Bill walks into a convenience store to get change, and completely loses his shit when the Korean store manager tells him he must make a purchase to do so. From then on, D-FENS falls deeper into madness, waging a literal war on golfers, gang members, bogus construction work, unfair divorce court rulings, and the high price of a can of Coke.

At some point D-FENS decides he is going to visit his ex-wife and daughter, who have a restraining order against him because he is fucking nuts. All the while, he is being tracked by Detective Prendergast (Robert Duvall), who seems to have a hard time locating a white guy in army fatigues carrying a duffel bag full of guns in gang-infested, predominantly hispanic L.A.

Also, this movie features a brief cameo from that black dude that fights Bruce Willis at the beginning of Die Hard 2. Here, he plays a man protesting outside of a bank, claiming that they would not give him a loan because he is "not financially viable," a subtle nod to the bank scandals and bogus loans that are currently plaguing the U.S. financial system.

Perhaps the best part of this movie is towards the end, when Prendergast discovers that Bill was laid off by the Defense Dept. a month earlier -- no doubt a result of Obama budget cuts and/or the scaling back of the Iraq war. But if Bill was unemployed, where the hell was he going at the start of the film, with his tie and his briefcase? Is he one of those dudes that loses his job, but wakes up every morning and goes someplace else for 8 hours so nobody will know? My friend Rob pulled that shit once when he got fired from PetCo. Unlike Rob, I don't think D-FENS was going to his brother's apartment to shoot pool and drink Beck's all day.

In the end, this film could be getting at any number of things. It could be a prototypical thriller about a sociopathic killer who happens to blend in with the rest of us, until he is pushed too far. Or it could be saying that playing by society's rules (as D-FENS did his whole life) leads to misery and insanity, and the only alternative is to rebel violently against the system. What I learned is this: when Michael Douglas asks you for 50 cents to use a pay phone, give him the fucking 50 cents, or he will whoop your ass with a bat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh, and if you weren't watching

Note: This is NOT movie promo material

Look - I know it's been hard for the last 10 years to find an action star you really identify with. The 90's were so easy - Ahnold, Stallone, and Bruce Willis made life easy for you to find a likeable man who wasn't afraid to kill things for you. Nowadays, you have the occasional Ong-Bak or Jason Statham movie, but there really isn't a likeable killing machine around (oh, and whoever is calling out Vin Diesel can suck it. That guy couldn't kill a mortally wounded puppy).

THANKFULLY, we have the brilliant masterminds of Hollywood to thank for this:

That's right - in a movie about giving old, steroid-addled action stars another hurrah, Bruce Willis joins the already talented and beaver-tranquilizer-using cast of Stallone, Ahnold, Jet Li, Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Robers, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, and Steve Austin (wrestler, not $6 million man).

If this movie isn't just 2 hours of shit exploding and grimacing, I want my money back.

MJ is old, still has it.

Nice video of MJ dropping bombs on some semi-pro. Somehow, he manages to elevate despite wearing 75 pounds of jeans. Seriously, he must be squatting 900 pounds to even get off the ground in those pants. via

I bet MJ could still drop 20/game in the NBA. I think he's 46 years old.


Not Done With This Yet

What, did you REALLY think I was going to let this go? Did you think I would take some sort of "normal" route and stop writing about a career minor-leaguer just because he got traded into the black hole that is AAA Pawtuckett?

Go fuck yourself.

Now, it wouldn't really be fair to simply assume that Anderson would continue to perform amazingly well. You have to report on the good news as much as the bad news. And frankly, AAA Pawtuckett is the worst team in the world. Seriously. You know that you have a problem when the team is scouting those with disabilities.

I'm a 4th-baseman!

Just how bad are they? They have a total of FOUR WINS in August, with the majority of losses ranking as crushing defeats. I don't think Pawtuckett has scored more than 5 runs in any game this season. Offensive powerhouses, indeed.

And what of Brian Anderson?

Although he's reached base safely in 7 of his last 10 games, Anderson is batting a paltry .259 with a K/BB spread of 16/2. I attribute this to playing with a broken heart.

While I will continue to cheer for Brian Anderson (and I suggest you do the same unless you're some sort of communist), I must say that this is disheartening news. Brian needs your love, people! WE CAN HELP HIM SUCCEED.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Preseason is meaningless: Part 1

Football, I've missed you.

The preseason is like a cold drink after trekking through the desert for 6 months. With no football for the last half-year, preseason games always seem to carry far more significance then they should. Most stars don't play, the remaining starters only play a few series and the playbook is neutered (or, designed exactly like the Lions playbook).

Yes, our lord and savior J.C did not play well and we lost the game. His 10 passes will be over analyzed by fantasy fanatics everywhere and his INT (should have been INT's) were not pretty.

Honestly, it really doesn't make any difference.

The Lions went 4-0 in the preseason last year and finished 0-16. The Colts were 1-3 in preseason and finished the regular season 12-4.

The important things to look for in preseason are:

1) Which rookies/bubble players stand out?
2) Injuries
3) Chemistry (hard to tell until week 3, really)
4) Glaring issues (If Cutler went 0-30 with 3 INT's every game)

Nevertheless, some observations sure to be magnified and taken out of context:

- Our backup QB situation resembles my toilet after a heavy dinner of tacos and chili. Why didn't we try to get Mike Vick again?
- The D-line looked very good with the pass rush.
- Kevin Jones has some game left in him.
- Our secondary needs someone to step up. Nice pick from Steltz...

All in all, I'm just excited to have the little people with the C's on their helmets running around inside my television again.

Go Bears.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Can Only Imagine How Cubs Fans Feel

Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Everything starts off well enough - you get a big name player (Bradley) to address what you thought was your one weakness, and you're all excited to have a full season with Rich Harden and newly acquired closer Kevin Gregg. Man, this season will be great!

Or not.

And on the 8th day, the good lord created a deceptive baseball franchise that leads you to believe that all will be sunshine and puppy farts until, say, the season actually starts.

I can only begin to fathom how miserable it must be to be a Cubs fan. I mean, every year seems like it should be better than the last (wait till next year indeed), and it's just enough to make you forget that your team is a bunch of perennial losers. Here we are, at the beginning of August, and the Cubs are already playing themselves out of their division. St. Louis, with the help of (gasp) Mark DeRosa and Matt Holliday (who is hitting 2.173 because he did the extra credit), is slowly building a nice lead as the Cubs begin to flounder (Bradley in the 2-spot!? HA!).

I'm not saying that the Sox are a better team this year (we are) or that the Sox have a better chance of winning their division (which they do), but it's not like the Sox went this offseason and made a bunch of moves to "help us win now." We traded our third SP Vazquez (who has been filthy in the NL...unsurprising), lost Crede, and let Orlando Cabrera walk as well. We only shell out money in the middle of the season for players with huge risks attached to them that may or may not fuck us over entirely in two seasons.

As for the Cubs? Well, after watching Kevin Gregg pitch two seemingly perfect innings that were then punctuated with a game-winning HR...all I can say is that Marmol would have lost the game sooner. I think that's consoling, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh, and while I've got my pocketbook open...

Ozzie and Kenny doing their "I'm a mime, and he's Ray Charles" routine.

Nice one, Kenny!

Williams was cited Monday outside Safeco Field for illegally crossing a street away from a crosswalk. The GM was on his cell phone after exiting a cab and was on his way into the stadium hours before his team's game against the Mariners when a traffic-control officer nabbed him and wrote a $56 ticket.

Williams had just completed a waiver claim that brought All-Star outfielder Alex Rios -- and $61.6 million of his contract -- to Chicago.

Williams tried to tell the officer people in Chicago cross streets anywhere. He said the officer told him, not in Seattle.

Two Men Mad About Money

Oh, you want a tip now, too!?

Well, that didn't last long. Despite the warm and fuzzy feelings of the 2009 Blackhawks, we have still found a way to get ourselves into the news long after the ice has melted.

...this is probably not the best way.

The pair allegedly punched the cab driver and grabbed money they had handed him after he told them he didn't have twenty cents in coins to give them their change, the report said.

Their fare was $13.80 and they handed the driver $15, according to a report.

The cab driver told police he was punched in the face and head, grabbed by the throat and had his glasses broken during the incident.

While we await a final verdict on Cap'n Kane, we can take a more comical look at J.P. Ricciardi, GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox put in a waiver claim on Alex Rios, the $11-kajillion outfielder who has underperformed (and still has $60-million left on his contract) in the hopes of maneuvering a larger deal. Instead, Ricciardi said "enjoy!" and let the Sox claim him without any compensation.

This can either go into "Mega Win" or "Oh Dear Lord Why." If Rios somehow resembles the player he used to be (speed, average, and great defense), he's going to be roaming our CF in 2012 in what looks like a discount compared to other players. If he doesn't rebound, we're looking at a $60-mil paperweight.

As a result, the Sox are now on the hook for ALL of Rios' contract, which goes another six years. So what does this move actually mean for us? It means a few things:

#1. Williams expects Rios to rebound. Coming to US Cellular generally helps hitters, so I would expect a little bounceback from those stats...getting up another .30 in the average seems unlikely though. Still - he has great speed, rarely gets hurt, and if he can get on the bases, he can be very VERY useful.

#2. We now have a Thome/Dye backup plan. Should either one of them be, er, "relocated" next season, we have a replacement at either position.

#3. Where the hell is he going to play? Heaven forbid that DeWayne Waste of Sperm Wise gets sent down or even (gasp) released to make room for Rios on the roster. After all, EVERY major league team needs three reserve outfielders. In all seriousness, Podsednik, Quentin and Dye have the three positions sewn up. If Rios plays in this current offense, it wouldn't be more than to spell Dye or Quentin (although who knows - he can play CF). This limits Wise to late inning defensive replacement (if he's still even on the team), and Kotsay to Konerko's replacement.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

2009 Bears/Bulls/Sox Projections

Yes, I hear you Bartolo... no, I cannot summon a cheeseburger

1) Greg Olsen will finish the season as one of the top 3 TE's in the NFL
He was poised for a breakout season anyway and now he gets one of the best QB's in the league to feed him the rock. He's a stud in the red zone and he's athletic enough to stretch the defense. He's going to have a monster year to the tune of 1000+ yards and 8+ TD's.

2) Jarron Gilbert and Earl Bennett will surprise the naysayers
I still don't understand how Gilbert fell to the Bears in the third round. I expect somewhere in the first quarter of the season, we'll see him start to get some time on the field (either because he's too good to keep out of the lineup or someone gets hurt). He's frighteningly talented and learning from some of the smartest defensive players this decade in Briggs and Urlacher.

Bennett is apparently crushing it in training camp. Obviously, the only thing you can predict based on training camp is what color jerseys your team will be wearing but nonetheless, WR's sometimes take a little longer to bloom and he's got a lot of history with Cutler. He was great in college, he has good speed and great hands. He will be a real surprise (kind of like Bernard Berrian was after his first disappointing season) and is a perfect compliment for Hester's speed. I think 75+ receptions is reasonable.

3) Jannero Pargo will prove to be a good investment for the Bulls
Pargo came cheap and can pick up 10-12 of the points/game we lost from BoGo. With Rose, Hinrich and Salmons rotating at the guard, Pargo provides a nice spark off the bench and pulls some of the pressure off Rose/Hinrich to create their own shot. Between him and Deng, we shouldn't notice much of a drop-off in scoring sans Gordon.

4) Gordon Beckham will win AL ROY
Kid is hitting .316 with 6 HR's and 38 RBI in 53 games. Insane. And this is after starting the season with a 2-28 slump. I had been worried about his defense initially but it looks like he's got a good glove to go with the golden bat. He's been tremendous with RISP and has a ton of extra base hits. I don't know what the biggest surprise is: Beckham making the majors look easy, Podsednik's resurgence (a real comeback player of the year possibility) or getting Peavy 30 days after he vetoed the same trade.

5) (Saving the best for last) The Bears will win the NFC North.
Fuck the Packers, that's why. Oh, and without old man Favre, the Vikings haven't magically gotten better at throwing the ball.

So there you go, everything in writing. I'm never wrong. Go ahead, take out a second mortgage and place a 8-1 bet on the Bears and Beckham. You'll thank me later.


Where the fuck is Bartolo Colon?



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anderson Update

"You're being traded! You too!"

Because I am incapable of letting go on this whole "Brian Anderson" thing, I thought it would be nice to do a quick "where are we now."

Brian Anderson: After starting off his time in AAA Pawtuckett slowly, Anderson is now 7 for his last 25 (.280 avg) with 2 HR. I'd like to say that the "Anderson effect" is in play here, but it's a moot point because the team is so awful. How awful? Before Anderson came the team record in July was 3-14. Since coming on board, they are 4-9. Not exactly a savior in the midst, but it's something.

DeWayne Wise: Since Anderson was traded, Wise has exactly two hits. Two. This 2/15 stretch run actually IMPROVES his average, as he is at a Royce Clayton-esque .193 avg. Pathetic.

Mark Kotsay: One hit since joining the club for an overpowering .077 average. I don't even want to talk about it.

White Sox: We're 6-7 since Anderson left town. To compare, in the first half of July we were 9-7. We also lost critical series to the Tigers and Twins with a miserable 1-6 run (until, strangely, Alexei got hurt...)

Oh, and just to rub salt, here's Richard's line against the offensive-heavy Brew-crew: 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hey Cubs Fans

I would just like to point out that Matt Holliday (of the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals) is hitting .541 AFTER an 0-4 game on Sunday with 3 HR and 10 RBI in just 10 games.