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Getting to know Cubs first round (6th overall) draft pick, OF Albert Almora

June 5, 2012 Leave a comment

(MotherShip)–“If you look at the total package of Albert, he has the ability to no doubt play in the major leagues, but it’s also the makeup and work ethic, how he carries himself and the leadership he’s shown,” said Jason McLeod, vice president of scouting and player development. “It’s what we’re looking to do here with the Cubs — to bring in somebody that will be an impact player and to impact those around him.” The No. 6 overall selection, Almora becomes the first draft pick in the Cubs’ Theo Epstein era. Epstein, who became the club’s president of baseball operations this winter, has targeted the draft as an important piece of the organization’s rebuilding process. McLeod is aware that Almora and the club’s new management of Epstein, McLeod and general manager Jed Hoyer will be forever linked. “It goes back to the evaluation of him as a player on the ability, but even more on the makeup side,” McLeod said. “He’s driven to succeed and be the best. We feel that in this market there is something to the whole ‘Theo Epstein first draft’ and our first draft. But that will subside quickly and it will be about him and what he does for this franchise moving forward. We feel he will handle it well because of who he is and what it means to him to be great.”

I am not going to sit here and pretend to know a god damn thing about this Albert Almora kid, but I think there are a couple of things to note.  1) Almora is a HS kid which means he is probably at least 4 years away from contributing at the Major League level.  Historically(and remember I am an Epstein expert) Theo has favored spending high draft picks on college players(see: Pedroia, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Bard, Renaudo, etc).  So Almora must have clearly been the best player on Theo’s board in order for him to stray from his draft day norms.  2) I think the Cubs repeatedly talking about the character of Almora is huge.  They want winners.  You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re a fucking moron like Starlin Castro it doesn’t matter.  They need their best players to also be leaders and it appears that’s what they hope will happen with Almora.

PS: Miami delenda est

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Umm…who wants some free shit?

June 1, 2012 3 comments

 

Got a package out of the blue from New Era.  No idea why.  I mean I thought the Cubs game in a luxury box and two bags of product would be the end of our relationship, but I think they just love me.  Like maybe even more than I love them.  Anyways, I’ve got a shit load of great hats and t-shirts to give away.  I feel like I should do some sort of contest.  First contest…come up with an awesome contest.  Winner gets a New Era hat and a t-shirt.

PS: Miami delenda est

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Cubs Win…Now on the verge of a winning streak

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

 

It must SUCK to be a Padres fan.  Nice .333 winning percentage you effing losers.  Padres fans wish they were the Cubs.  They’ve got nothing.  Last place team, no Samardizja, no Starlin Castro, and no Theo Epstein. Hell they don’t even have Jed Hoyer or Anthony Rizzo.  Just totally irrelevant.  Cubbies losing streak of 12 games only makes the wins that much sweeter.  Going for the sweep today(I think, could be a 4 game series not sure, but I am not going to look it up. 3 out of 4 is pretty much a Cubs sweep anyways) with ace Ryan Dempster on the bump.  Lock it up.  Cubs about to be  on a winning streak.  SING IT JD!!!

 

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People need to chill out about the Cubs being terrible

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I feel like there is so much negativity surrounding the Cubs right now and I don’t get it.  People saying that they won’t go out to Wrigley and they won’t support this team blah blah blah.  Umm…what’d you guys expect?  I mean look at that roster, it’s as AAAA as it gets.  They have a few nice pieces and they compete hard, but they need about 20 new players.  Rome wasn’t built in a day people.  It’s going to take some time.  So just relax.  Enjoy the ride.

 

Sunshine, sports, and hot girls…yeah that sounds fucking miserable.  Who would want to hang out at Wrigley Field this summer?  If those first three things don’t do it for you…do this…

 

PS: Yeah I know that was a shitty pour. You try holding a camera and pouring a beer.

 

 

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Can I pull this look off?

May 18, 2012 Leave a comment

So I went to the Cubs game last night as a guest of New Era. “OMG!!! Chief, that’s so effing cool.  You must be a big deal.  Here’s my number call me maybe”… I know, I know, but that’s not the point of this blog.  They gave out all kinds of cool shit including this Cubs hat.  I threw it on, but when I got home I looked in the mirror and…I don’t know…a little doubt creeped in.  I kinda feel like I am too old/not cool enough to rock a backwards hat.  I don’t know that I ever was cool enough for this look, but I know I am definitely getting less cool with age.  Ken Griffey Jr was the king of this look and nobody had more cool than that guy.  I love the New Era brand, but I don’t think having white bread dudes like me trying for the backwards hat look helps their image.  I don’t know, maybe it’ll grow on me.  It’s also kind of a sin to cover up my salad.  I am going to continue to use my thinking face(see above) on this one and try to come to a conclusion, but I could use a little help.

PS: JESUS CHRIST!!! Is my nose that big?  How could I have not noticed that before? Thanks a lot Dad.

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Kerry Wood to retire after today’s game

May 18, 2012 Leave a comment

(Trib)–Kerry Wood reportedly will announce his retirement from baseball Friday afternoon, but still plans to be available in the Chicago Cubs bullpen for the start of the City Series. Wood broke into the majors in 1998 with the Cubs at the age of 21. Over 14 years in the majors, mostly on the North Side, he compiled a 86-75 record. ESPNChicago reports that Wood, who has an 8.64 ERA this season and has been battling health issues, will call it quits on the day the City Series starts at Wrigley.
Sad day, but it was definitely time for Kerry Wood to call it quits.  Probably my favorite Chicago Cub of all-time.  I moved to Illinois in 1998 and one of my first Chicago sports memories was his 20 strikeout game.  He was a guy that always competed hard and gave an honest effort.  I hope the Cubs give him some sort of role in the organization.  If he wants to get involved in coaching, fantastic.  If not then just let him be an ambassador much like Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Denis Savard for the Blackhawks.  So long Kid-K.  It’s been fun.
PS: I’ll miss you too Mrs. Wood…
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IN YO FACE INSTAGRAM!!! Chief>Instagram

May 18, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Who needs Instagram when you’re just naturally artistic as fuck?  A billion dollars isn’t going to make this picture more beautiful.  Instagram is for people who take shitty photos and need to make them look enhanced by making them look old.  I just snap Pulitzer quality pics with my iPhone like it ain’t no thang.  Zuckerberg is one rich bastard, but you can’t buy artistic vision like this.  Either you see it or you don’t.   Chief for the win.

 

 

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Ricketts spends $10 million on Super PAC against Obama

May 17, 2012 5 comments

(Politico)–The New York Times reports this morning on a proposal, under consideration by the financier of the Ending Spending super PAC, to go nuclear against President Obama in ways no mainstream Republican has:

The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics. The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.” The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.” A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”

It’s hard to know how seriously to take a pitch like this. As the Times notes, it doesn’t actually have money behind it yet, and public exposure may not make that more likely. It would be an enormous risk for Ricketts to take, and not necessarily one his party as a whole would welcome.The Ricketts super PAC is a new arrival on the outside spending scene — it gave Republican Deb Fischer an essential boost ahead of this week’s Nebraska Senate primary — and is evidently looking to get a lot of attention in short order.

I don’t care what your politics are…you have to LOVE this if you are a Cubs fan.  It just proves that Ricketts is willing to do whatever it takes to win.  Just drops money and resources to ensure his side wins.  He wanted Theo…boom he got him.  He wanted Hoyer…boom he got him.  He wanted to renovate Wrigley Field…boom he got it.  He out-bid the Red Sox for manager Dale Sveum.  Now he wants Romney and he is willing to write big time checks to make it happen.  I dig it.  That’s the kind of guy you want on your side.  Ricketts and Theo are going to dominate the National League, it’s only a matter of time.  For it’s peace he wants, and money he has.

***UPDATE: Several people have pointed out that it is Papa Ricketts who is behind the Romney Super PAC and not the group who actually owns the Cubs.  My mistake.  Furthermore I guess Laura Ricketts is a big Obama supporter.  Talk about the rebel daughter huh?  Dad spending $10m right in your candidate’s face has to create some tension.  Family dinners are probably super awk.

PS: On a more serious note…if you have a problem with Ricketts spending money on this Super PAC then I have a problem with you.  It’s his money.  He earned it.  He isn’t breaking any rules, so he should be free to spend it however he wants.  This is still America.  I don’t like the idea of Super PACs and campaign finance needs serious reconstructing, but both sides play this game.

PPS: I wouldn’t be surprised if Wrigley Renovations get delayed by City Hall red tape now.  Barack Obama and Rahm Emmanuel are boys and the Rahm doesn’t fuck around.  That guy will play hardball all day long.

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New Era Rivalry: Round 2

May 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The Cubs-Sox series is right around the corner and the bitterness between the two fan bases is as bad as ever.  I just don’t get it.  I am on board with only having one favorite team.  It’s impossible to devote yourself mentally, emotionally, and financially to two teams in the same sport.  So I know people in Chicago have to choose sides.  What I don’t get is why the two fan bases hate each other so much.  They only play 6 games per year.  The Cubs fans might as well hate the Orioles and the Sox fans might as well hate Atlanta.

As a neutral third-party who wants all good things for the city of Chicago I really feel like I should be appointed the official mediator for the rivalry.  Just have me sit down with these two guys and get to the root of their problem.  Make sure the conversation stays cordial as we get to the real feelings underneath.  I’ll have them use “I language” instead of attacking “you language”.  I mean my sister is a therapist so I am probably qualified by proxy.  I want to get to the bottom of this.  Let your anger go Cubs and Sox fans.  Just let it go.  Focus on you.

PS: I think I will discuss my commercial idea starring me tonight at the Cubs-Phillies game with New Era while I am watching the game from their suite…

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Dumbass from WSJ, Rich Cohen, says that Wrigley should be torn down.

May 15, 2012 2 comments

(Wall St Journal)–Having not won a World Series since 1908, and having last appeared on that stage in 1945—a war year in which the professional leagues were still populated by has-beens and freaks—the Chicago Cubs must contemplate the only solution that might restore the team to glory: Tear down Wrigley Field. Having not won a World Series since 1908, the Chicago Cubs must contemplate the only solution that might restore the team to glory: Tear down Wrigley Field. Destroy it. Annihilate it. Collapse it with the sort of charges that put the Sands Hotel out of its misery in Vegas. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it. That pile of quaintness has to go. Not merely the structure, but the ground on which it stands. The Cubs moved into Wrigley in 1916, when it was known as Weeghman Park. Before that, it was the home of the Whales of the Federal League. The Cubs, founded in 1870, had been wanderers, playing on fields scattered across the breadth of booming iron-plated Chicago. The grandest was West Side Park, an opera house for the proletariat, with its velvet curtained boxes, at the intersection of Taylor and Wood on the West Side. Most importantly, the Cubs won there. The glory years before Wrigley are like the age before the flood, when exotic species thrived on the earth, among them the feared Chicago Cub. The team was a powerhouse. Performing as the White Stockings (1876-1889), the Colts (1890-1897), the Orphans (1898–1902) and finally the Cubs, they won with regularity. In 1906 they went 116-36, a .763 winning percentage that remains the greatest season in major-league history. In 1907 they won their first World Series; in 1908, with the unhittable Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play combo that was death to nascent rallies, they won it again. The Cubs then made the fatal mistake of taking up in Wrigley, where the evening sun streams through the cross-hatching above home plate and the creeping shadows form a web that has ensnared the club for a century, where sometimes the wind blows in and sometimes it blows out, and the only constant is disappointment.The entire story can be told via two statistics:

The Cubs pre-Wrigley: 2,971 wins, 2,152 losses.

The Cubs since (before Monday): 7,382 wins, 7,703 losses.

When a house is haunted, you don’t put in a new scoreboard, add ivy, get better food or bigger beers—you move!

 

Who the eff is this Rich Cohen moron and can we get him fired?  Tear down Wrigley Field and salt the earth?  Really bro?  Why don’t we just piss on the Statue of Liberty and melt down the Liberty Bell?  Those things are old too.  I am from Boston and grew up with “The Curse Of The Bambino”.  The 1946 series, Bucky “Bleeping” Dent, Buckner, Grady Little, hundreds of September collapses had an entire region believing in mysticism.  That seemed real.  The Red Sox were a contender essentially every year and every year a bad bounce or an injury or a decision seemed to get in the way.  Then 2004 came around.  A bunch of self-proclaimed idiots won the World Series and New England rejoiced.  It was special.  The Red Sox didn’t have voodoo, or witch doctors, or magic powers in 2004.  They were simply the best team.  They had outstanding front-end starters with Pedro, Schilling, and Derek Lowe and a shut-down bullpen anchored by Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke…oh…and they could FLAT-OUT  RAKE!!! One of the best offensive clubs in the history of baseball.  That’s why they won.  Not because they managed to beat a curse.

This guy wants to blame 100 years of failure on the Northside on Wrigley Field itself.  That’s just asinine.  He cited things like weather, atmosphere, and a culture of losing.  Well the first two reasons are bullshit.  Both teams play in the same weather and plenty of teams have won playoff series without having home field advantage.  The 2004 Red Sox for example.  Saying the atmosphere at Wrigley Field is too friendly to win is absurd.  Does this guy mean to say that the great fans of the Florida Marlins were responsible for their two World Series?  The Texas Rangers are good again after being irrelevant for about 15 years….did the atmosphere in the ballpark suddenly change?  Of course not.

I do believe that a culture of losing has permeated the Cubs organization in the past, but those days are over.  This Cubs team has a noticeable competitiveness to them and a palpable positive energy.  I believe that Tom Ricketts is the man ultimately responsible.  He brought in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, and let them do their thing.  They have changed the culture of the team and it is apparent on the field early in 2012.  The Cubs don’t have a lot of talent at this point, but things are heading in the right direction.  When the Cubs finally do win it won’t be because they eradicated a curse, but rather they had the best team.  It’s coming Cubs fans.  Ain’t no curses.

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