" That's just the sort of blinkered, Philistine Pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage!"

John Cleese

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Get Older...And Set Your TiVos.

Last night, on CostasNow, Bob Costas held a live, 90-minute town hall meetingy-type thing examining the state of sports media.
Everybody whose anybody was involved with topics ranging from radio, ESPN, print media and of course the proliferation of blogs.

It's an entertaining watch (upcoming schedule here), if only for seeing Buzz Bissinger come off like Abraham Simpson after just crapping his pants.

Bissinger was part of the panel on blogs with Will Leitch of Deadspin.com and um, Braylon Edwards, who you will almost feel sorry for after watching the segment.  

Leitch, of course, pushed the blog party line that the internet and, in particular, blogs are the pure embodiment of democracy (Ken Tremendous of FireJoeMorgan actually broached the subject and Leitch expounded on it) and that he doesn't, nay, shouldn't be in a press box because it ultimately clouds his judgment and access spoils objectivity.

In other words, it's Mike Murphy-style bullshit, purporting to represent some mythical Joe average sports fan like this is Argentine politics circa 1932.  It's part posture like anything else.

But the real gold is Buzz Bissinger's spitting vitriol toward Leitch and, as Leitch put himself in a post-show recap, really personified a raging against the dying of the light for print writers.  Really.  At more than one point, you think a lesser man would have jacked him right in the jaw.  Want to see an aging man's reaction to being called obsolete?  Check it out. 

I read Deadspin daily.  Along with TheBigLead, Awful Announcing, KSK, With Leather and FireJoeMorgan.  I don't know if I ever actually learn anything that adds to some grand overall sports perspective from trolling these sites (with the exception of FJM - I Love It!), but they're entertaining enough, mostly just enough and pretty much only entertaining.

And I take it as just that.  Bissinger is supposing that people not only don't but can't.

Saying blogs are the future smacks of the tired/obvious.  And as a group, it will only get better. 

And there's also that tiny part of me that knows what Bissinger is trying to say and 100% agrees with him but it's entirely destroyed by the posture and method in which it's delivered.  With blogs, I expect a future where it rivals the quality and depth of print.  It's just not there yet.   

But I can't help thinking the combative nature of both sides (blogs and print) makes for a sports world even more silly than it already was. 

Here's the segment intro:



And here's the man himself. Ladies and Gentlemen...Buzz Bissinger.



Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday Grab Bag

With the recent track record of this blog, it's no secret that our brains here at Big Red Egg turn into an overflowing sack of baseballs once the season starts.
For an example, Big Red Egg's satellite office on the North Side watched every freakin' inning of the unresolved Sox-Orioles game played in dirt soup. 

It happens every year.  It's what we do. 

With that, per Mr. Rant Gaskew, today in the 25th anniversary of Lee Elia's superlative - and batshit loony - skewering of Cub fans.  Seems like just yesterday. 



AND PRINT IT!!!!  Uncensored to boot!!

Initial Box Office Poison

Baby Mama topped the box office last weekend.  We live in a different world when it comes to marketing films.  So much so that every trailer I have seen for the film has shown only Tina Fey, Amy Poehler with a dash a Sigourney Weaver.  

But when I came across the cast list of the movie, it was very telling just how much two actors have become box office poison w/r/t marketing.  Steve Martin and Greg Kinnear play pretty large roles in the movie and get no airtime in the trailers.  How the mighty have fallen. 

While the advertising focus was obviously skewed toward young women looking for a date movie and young men who are fans of the wildly funny 30 Rock, the total absence of Martin and Kinnear borders on the hilarious.

$20 says they roll out a new trailer in three weeks with Martin, Kinnear and Weaver to pull in the older crowd.  It's the new formula.  It's what they do.

Kind of like the gradual showing of the monster from Cloverfield, which I saw last night and really liked. Not a bad way to spend 80 minutes if you can stick your brain in your back pocket. 

Inter Alia 

With the recession beginning to take hold, people are tipping less.  I'm feelin' it.  Believe me.

Michael Symon of Iron Chef fame is taking over for that big fat liar on Dinner:  Impossible.

Spiegel has a great interview with Robert Reich on the current state of Democratic race.

Ken Tremendous of FireJoeMorgan.com will be on Costas Now tonight.  HBO.  9pm.

Iowa signs their first commit-decommit-recommit-decommit of the year.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Phil Watch: Power Rankings For Morons, Part Quatre

Let's plow through Phil's latest game of darts as he blindly moves teams up and down the power rankings irrespective of the previous week's play.
There's a vague feeling that Phil compiled the list late Sunday (includes the Rays sweep of the Red Sox).

There's also a palpable feeling that Phil also found out that baseball statisticians keep tabs on catcher efficiency in throwing out potential base stealers.  Today's offering is like when a four year-old learns a new word and finds a way to use it in every sentence for a week.  We'll mark it with a (*****).

First zone rating and now catcher efficiency?  My mind is awhirl in transient nodes of thought.  

Let's see in this article how he incorrectly and/or randomly applies his new-found arbiter of baseball success or failure.

1. Diamondbacks (1): This is the third week in a row for Arizona atop our fictional standings, and why not?...One of the hidden keys to their fast start: Third baseman Mark Reynolds, who is hitting .264 with seven homers and 22 RBIs; he and first baseman Conor Jackson have been among the NL’s best with men in scoring position.

Yet Justin Upton is one of Phil's offensive candidates for the early MVP.  I fully understand how painfully stupid dissecting Phil's weekly column can be.  He's like Mike Murphy in many ways, a guy who has a job because...well...he's always had the job.  

Both talk about 'hidden' things like nobody else has ever thought of them.

An exercise:  Is Carlos Quentin an early favorite for the AL MVP?

Justin Upton:  .333/.376/.578, 144 OPS+, 5 hr, 14 rbi, 3 errors in right field, 0 assists.

Carlos Quentin:  .288/.435/.562, 166 OPS+, 5 hr, 21 rbi, 1 error, 1 assist.

You make the call.  I really like Quentin.  MVP?  No. 

And anyone who thinks Reynolds and Jackson are some kind of 'hidden' keys doesn't watch baseball and aren't fulfilling job descriptions. 

7. Mets (3): Catcher Brian Schneider shouldn’t have to buy many meals for himself on the road. The Mets are allowing fewer stolen bases than any team in the major leagues—a welcome change from the results in the Mike Piazza and Paul Lo Duca eras.

*****

This would be mildly impressive if the Mets hadn't played two-thirds of their games against teams in the bottom seven of stolen bases.  And it's not like Schneider is throwing out a crapload of potential base stealers.  He's 3-6.  Casanova - seeing a third of the time - is 2-3.

Is this really more relevant than Reyes' .272 OBP or Delgado 'curious' power outage (until yesterday) and .208 average?  Of course, we know that Reyes just needs to up his fun quotient

10. Cincinnati Reds fans (NR): The Big Red Machine isn’t coming back any time soon, but at least the leadership tandem of new GM Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker provides some hope for the future.

If Dusty's wife ever becomes barren and the Baker family wishes to have more kids, Phil will gladly volunteer to be a surrogate.  

11. Angels (9): Remember the early concern about Francisco Rodriguez’s lack of velocity? He somehow found a way to earn seven saves in an 11-game stretch.
Pretty impressive.

Some people find out new information after stating something and correct themselves.  He had a sore ankle.  It was widely covered.  His velocity was back up even before Phil first wrote this crap.

And the Angels go into Boston and Detroit this week and take two or three from both.  Verdict?

Drop 'em two spots.

$20 says Phil will never mention Erick Aybar this year, probably the best young shortstop in the game. 

15. Marlins (16): Hanley Ramirez is a great player. This is anything but a solid team, despite what the standings indicate. Only Pittsburgh has gotten weaker starting pitching than Florida, among NL teams, and the Marlins often exacerbate their problems with erratic fielding. The power hitting of Ramirez, Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham has hidden many flaws thus far.

Well fuck, why's Fredi Gonzalez your NL Manager of the Year with that early review?

18. Mariners (19): Erik Bedard returned strong on Saturday against Oakland. The M’s lost 21/2 games in the standings while he was out, but the saving grace was that it was to the A’s, not the Angels, who have had problems of their own.

I'm acutely aware of how pissy and miserable my reviews are sounding...so I'll continue the motif.

PROBLEMS?

Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana are both 4-0 and both have ERAs below 3!  I think they've compensated for the temporary loss of Lackey pretty well.

And the Angels are tied for the second-most wins in baseball.  What are these problems?

19. Blue Jays (7): Frank Thomas could get the last laugh on J.P. Ricciardi’s surprising decision to eat almost $8 million in salary. Toronto lost its first five games after the show of force by the Jays’ front office.

Recycled crap.  Again.  Saving $10 million next year by not signing a soon-to-be 40 year-old DH.  Stupid, reactionary, surface analysis.

24. Padres (20): Gentlemen, start your baserunners. No team is easier to run on.

*****

26. Reds (27): Would the Cubs trade for Ken Griffey Jr. and move Fukudome to center field? There are whispers that Jim Hendry is looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder and it doesn’t figure to take long for new Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty to trade Griffey or Adam Dunn to open up a spot for Jay Bruce.

So the Reds should trade Adam Dunn because he's a bum and blocking a center field prospect even though Dunn plays left field and Corey Patterson with his .286 OBP in the leadoff spot should stay?

And he's a bum but a last place team should trade him to a first place - and Phil's favorite - team?  And wouldn't that mean everybody's new favorite Cub, Reed Johnson, wouldn't have a position?  Maybe it's a veiled reference to the idea of benching Soriano.  

Christo confused.

30. Giants (32): Closer Brian Wilson has quietly been a bright spot.

Tim Lincecum:  4-0, 1.23 ERA, 36 strikeouts in 29.3 innings.

Jonathan Sanchez:  2-1, 3.54 ERA, 36 strikeouts in 28 innings (1.50 ERA in last four starts).

Not stories.  Brian Wilson.  Story.

Everybody and their mother thought the Giants would be epically bad.  Early on, they're not. 

Heck, they might only lose 90 games.  

28. Nationals (30): When Wil Nieves hits a game-winning home run, you know the worm is turning. Taking two out of three from the Cubs could get Washington off the mat.

Cub fan logic.  A team is considered good if they play well against the Cubs, mainly because it's the only time most Cub fans see other teams.  It's their only barometer.  

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Phil Watch: This A's Masturbation Is Getting Old.

Happy Day Of Your Marriage Plus One to Mr. & Mrs. Mate Famber.
May your days be filled with joy and splendor.  Congratulations.

Let's make a transition to one great thing in life to one stupid-ass Sunday sporty-type column.

And I think we can call it...Phil's a Sunday boy.

Today's offering tells us that the A's are a contender with the addition of Frank Thomas.

Long before the New York Yankees gave Jason Giambi a $120 million contract, he was the Oakland Athletics' most popular player. General manager Billy Beane let Giambi walk over his insistence to get a no-trade clause in his contract.

Right out of the gate!  The A's payroll over the last ten years has never reached $80 million while hovering at or below the league average every year since Beane took over.  They've shedded Mulder, Hudson, Zito, Tejada and Giambi to precisely keep the payroll in check, banking on a superlative farm syyyyyyyyyyyyyyssssssssssssssssssss.............

Sorry.  I fell asleep typing something rehashed ad nauseam over the last ten years.  Everyone knew Giambi was eventually going to walk and the "I want to stay in Oakland and will sign for less money" crap was the definition of lip service.  The no-trade crap as a sticking point was a way for both sides to save face.

I can't remember what I had for lunch two days ago but even I remember the details of this.

Like Giambi, Thomas had been a popular player in Oakland. He signed a bargain-basement deal there in 2006 after the White Sox cut him loose, then joined the MVP discussion with 39 homers and 114 RBIs as he led the A's to an unlikely playoff spot.

Unlikely???!!!  Seven of the nineteen writers polled at ESPN.com picked the A's to win the World Series that year!

Twelve of the nineteen writers, INCLUDING PHIL, picked them to win the division!

Cripes!

Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi coveted Thomas as part of a planned attempt to crash the elite tier of the American League East. Thomas delivered in 2007, hitting .277 with 26 homers and 95 RBIs. He was off to a bad start this year and had complained about being benched, going as far as accusing Ricciardi of trying to keep him from getting the 376 plate appearances he needed to kick in the $10 million option for '09.

It's tough to blame a team for saving $10 million by cutting a soon-to-be 40 year-old DH with a recent track record of injuries.

And something a little more pertinent and not really talked about w/r/t the release of Thomas is the fact that Scott Rolen's activation from the DL lined up almost directly with the move.  

Now I'm not a huge fan of Rolen and his contract is nearly identical to Thomas' with one more year (including Thomas' vesting option).  One bad contract is better than two.  Why would the Jays want to keep so much potential dead weight with bad contracts?

But Rolen could easily match .277/26/95 and gives the Jays much more flexibility because he, unlike Thomas, owns a baseball glove.

In short, any team paying Frank Thomas $10 million in 2009 is not really a financially responsible baseball team. 
 
Yet it was not wise for Ricciardi to kick him to the curb in favor of a platoon of Matt Stairs and Rod Barajas at designated hitter. Ricciardi said quick action was called for, as he didn't want his team falling too far behind Boston, but the Blue Jays dropped their first four games after releasing Thomas, scoring only 11 runs.

Well shit, they lost four in a row after releasing Thomas.  Nothing proves it was a stupid move like evaluating a team's four game stretch.   

Oakland had nothing to lose by picking up Thomas. The A's figured to have written off this season when they traded Dan Haren, Mark Kotsay and Nick Swisher to get the payroll down to $48 million, but they started 14-9. Pitching injuries threaten the anticipated dominance of the Angels and Mariners, creating a chance for a huge Oakland surprise.

25 games?  Give 'em the pennant.  It's over.  The move was interesting in the sense that the A's already had Mike Sweeney at DH, a guy off to a nice start so far but is the definition of injury-prone.  The Thomas acquisition moved Sweeney to first base and into a platoon with Daric Barton, a guy off to a bad start but considered a top shelf prospect.  

I thought prospects were a good thing in Phil's world, especially w/r/t the A's system?

But Sweeney has to see time somewhere if the A's hope to have any chance to trade him.  Seems like a bit of a clusterfuck to me.

BTW, Thomas is 1-10 since joining the A's.  Using Phil's logic of four game stretches to determine value, I think the A's have to waive him.

Thomas could be a part of that surprise. He's not what he once was, but he still is going to win some games with his bat. The Blue Jays may wind up wishing he was doing that for them.

Or the Jays could take that $10 million saved by the release of a 40 year-old DH and the money saved by A.J. Burnett's expected walk and go get some real starting pitching to build around Halladay, McGowan and Marcum.  

Might need some pitching in the AL East.  Just a thought.


On to Phil's news and notes...

Eric Gagne appeared five times in six days and warmed up in the bullpen on the one night he wasn't used. He had converted only six of 10 save chances entering the weekend but nobody was complaining about his durability.

Durability should probably be second to inherent goodness at pitching.

Gagne so far hasn't been pitching good with inherent goodness.

Of course it's nice to see Gagne healthy (...it's early) but he's topping out at 94 and pitching like he still throws 100.  Until he finds a way to get crafty, the Brewers will have issues getting saves on a constant basis from him.

Point taken, though.  Eric Gagne's arm hasn't fallen off through April 27.  Good for him.

Given the Reds' 3-10 slide that dropped them to the bottom of the National League Central, Jocketty's first assignment is probably to trade Adam Dunn (or even Ken Griffey Jr.)to open up a spot for 21-year-old Jay Bruce. He's hitting .338 with four homers and six stolen bases in 19 games in Triple-A and was Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year last season.

Curt Schilling and Adam Dunn broke into Phil's house and urinated all over his new suede couch.  

Both have been mentioned three times by Phil in the last month either in a snide manner (Schilling) or in a 'trade that bum' manner (Dunn).   This paragraph is just a recycling of this column where Phil essentially defends the signing of Corey Patterson, the guy currently blocking Jay Bruce in CENTER FIELD (!), not left field where Dunn plays.  

Again, Phil is advocating trading a guy with a .381 career OBP and has hit 40 or more hrs in the last four years to essentially allow Corey Patterson to stay in the lineup.  That's dumb baseball thinking.


Let's move to Phil's whispers.  With his ear to the ground, Phil hears more silliness.

You can't say Curt Schilling isn't an optimist. He bought a 26-acre estate in Medfield, Mass., for $4.5 million in 2003 from Drew Bledsoe and now is listing it at $8 million.

There's the third.  What the hell does that have to do with anything?

Chien-Ming Wang is the best pitcher nobody talks about. He has won 50 of his first 85 starts for the Yankees, the best start to a career since Dwight Gooden.

My mom doesn't talk about Wang (heh, heh, heh).  My mom doesn't know a lot about baseball. 

If she represents everybody, then yes...nobody is talking about Wang (heh, heh, heh).

MVP watch as April winds to a close: AL— Manny Ramirez, Joe Crede, Nick Markakis, Josh Hamilton and Jonathan Papelbon; NL—Chase Utley, Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones, Justin Upton and Brandon Webb. 

Mildly logical choices here (it's not that hard).  

But we have the Andre Dawson theory put to the test with the selection of Josh Hamilton.  

He's off to a hot start this year for the worst team in baseball, currently 8-17 (tied with the Nats for last).  How can a player be considered the most valuable in a game where winning is the only barometer for success?

Papelbon's entry is too cute by half.  

And Justin Upton?  C'mon.

Early front-runners for the other BBWAA awards— Cy Young: Cliff Lee, AL, Webb, NL; Rookie: Greg Smith, AL, Geovany Soto, NL; and Manager: Bob Geren, AL, and Freddy Gonzalez, NL.

BBWAA?  Phil's a member...and he'll probably just forget to vote.  More A's stroking with Bob Geren and Freddy Gonzalez manages a team that just last week Phil said has been winning with smoke and mirrors in his power rankings.

Miguel Cabrera's move to first base may be the best thing for the Tigers but doesn't exactly reward him for losing weight and getting himself into shape. But at the time manager Jim Leyland announced plans for the switch, Cabrera had made five errors in 14 games and had the lowest zone rating in the majors at third.

Reward him?  For getting himself into shape?  Isn't that Cabrera's job?

And I'm positively atwitter with Phil's reference to zone rating.  Holy Crap!  

I wonder if he'll ever mention Ryan Theriot's abysmal zone rating?

The Angels and Braves could push to division leads when they start getting their injured pitchers back.

In Phil-world, the Angels are not in first place.  It's funny because on this Earth, the Angels have been in first place since April 15.  In fact, in the first 25 days of the season, the Angels have been in first for 21 of them.  

Back to Phil-world because I like lands filled with sprites, fairies and unicorns.  It's prettier than this realm.  In Phil-world, the A's could be the surprise team of the year with the addition of Frank Thomas but the Angels could regain the upper hand in the division once Lackey is back (I won't tell Phil that Escobar is most likely out for the year and headed to the bullpen if he comes back in August).  

Oh, and Seattle could win the division because of their pitching and Josh Hamilton is the only contender for the MVP race from AL West teams, a guy who plays on an absurdly bad team.

A bevy of coulds.  I could win the lottery tomorrow.  My dog could learn Spanish.

Phil could think about displaying some level of consistency.  I wouldn't bet on it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And Reality Comes In For A Landing...


The Sox have decided to take us on a nice trip down memory lane by doing their usual shitting in their pants when the Yankees come to town.

It reminds me of the old Hayden Fry days whenever Ohio State would come in. They would get so jacked up and full of adrenaline they would start tripping over their own dicks. Despite, on occasion, Iowa having a better team.
The Yankees are incredibly average this year. And Mike Mussina is pushing 50 and it shows. But the Sox, no matter what, will always make these cocksuckers into world beaters every damn time. They made Mussina with his blistering 83 MPH fastball, look like Bob fucking Feller.

And this just in: Juan Uribe can't hit!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


I had an incident last night that is perplexing me. I distinctly remember getting up in the middle of the night with severe stomach pain. Like scary pain. Only to go back to bed and have it go away the minute I laid down. I could've swore this had happened. But then I woke up and felt fine. Now I honestly don't know if this entire thing was real or a fucking dream. Should I go to the hospital only to be told I dreamt the whole thing?

I think it was a dream. Tylenol PM fucking with me.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanna see where I'm going to be for the next week or so?

There's about 100 alcoholic beverages and a hammock with my name on it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
So long, suckers. I will be out of the blogosphere until May 6th when I return from said honeymoon.

The BRE will be in the capable hands of Christo during that time. And I hope he will tell you all about his new act:





Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tejada's 33? Call Up The Militias!!!

After seeing ESPN promote it so incessantly like it was the consummate example of great journalism, it's become impossible to leave this alone.
For your viewing pleasure (after the dippy Mike & Mike ad):



Newspapers and blogs largely left it alone, putting up posts that felt almost perfunctory and leaving the judgment to the reader.

'Ambush' was thrown around a few times, but much of the verbiage was nothing more than the written version of a headshake (Charles Barkley doesn't count).

Not discounting the mild newsworthiness of the revelation, especially given the investigation of Tejada (or Tejeda) for perjury and the fact a contract extension is being discussed, but it's curious that ESPN felt the need to conduct the interview in such a bullshit manner.

Remember. This is a network that unceremoniously dumped the always great Outside The Lines from a daily format to Sunday morning in favor of this crap.

E:60 is now at the top of the heap at the Worldwide Leader when it comes to getting the bulk of the cushy timeslots.  

And it's bad.  You've never seen so much pseudo-serious manufactured bullshit.

Swirling music, shaking steadycam, extreme close-ups, slow camera pans to convey its 'epicness' and, easily the bestest of the worsest, the use of black and white to show just how raw it all is.  And that's just the stupid-ass 'roundtable'.

To wit:



Could that be more scripted?

Good luck getting a real interview in the foreseeable future, ESPN.  Once again, your own crassness and stupidity just keeps getting in the way.

Oh, Man.

Microsoft inter-office video. Yikes.
I wonder what Springsteen feels about this.
This is just awful. I like the lyrics being on screen, too, so you can just watch w/o the volume.
What idiot wouldn't realize how lame this is?


You Wanted It, You Deserve It

Take a seat next to Ohio on the bus, Pennsylvania.

Well, Hillary won Pennsylvania by a far too comfortable margin last night. You know what? I give up. I really do.

Actually heard one of the pundits this morning say that pounding the shot and beer won her the election. I weep for America.

Does this mean those evil White males are back in Nora Ephron's good graces?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Case #3891.

From the New York Times Politics Blog:



Did he say it?



Yes. He said exactly that. Darn these internets.

My God, I truly forgot how much he rambles.

Listen to the very end.  He seems so adamant and firm in his opinion and then after signing off from the interview, he asks someone next to him while still wired, "I don't think I should take any shit on that, do you?"

And let's heed the timeline here.  The WHYY interview happened...YESTERDAY!  

I don't miss the 90s. 

I Can't Believe I'm Blogging About Nora Fucking Ephron




Yes, Nora Ephron, who apparently is still alive and is responsible for intelligence insulting horseshit like this, this and this, has written a thinly veiled hate essay on the Huffington Post. I guess she's trying to be funny but it doesn't take an FBI analyst to read between the lines here. Nora's barely hidden disdain for men is seeping out of every line of this.

It really is difficult for the so called Feminist Majority (i.e withered old hags that still latch onto Gloria Steinam and Billie Jean King) to not sound bitter. I get it. What consititutes feminism has changed so much since the 70s it sort of has left them in a daze. I kind of feel bad for them. They've been waiting a long time for this. This was supposed to be their chance to have their candidate. You know, the woman that stuck by her sex crazed husband despite his multiple episodes of "Wandering Dick Syndrome". Total.... feminist. (Cough) I think deep down Nora knows that Obama is the better candidate. But she won't let herself accept it.
Accept it.

Instead, they have to turn their attacks on White men to disguise what may be perceived as their own racism.(Yeah, I said it!) It burns them to no end that Obama is taking this from Hillary. I'm waiting for all of them to fold their arms and hold their breath in a corner in protest.

And I laugh and I laugh and I laugh.....I love it when big plans by large groups backfire!

Nice try at justification by the way at the end there, Nora.

(Yep, she said it are you fucking kidding me? in Blue)
(Ed. note- the comment section of the post is well worth the time. Never have I seen such defensiveness from a political wing. The justification, the bitterness. Oh, it's fantastic.)
WHITE MEN



by Nora Ephron
Posted April 20, 2008 10:50 PM (EST)
Here's another thing I don't like about this primary: now that there are only two Democratic candidates, it's suddenly horribly absolutely crystal-clear that this is an election about gender and race. This may have always been true, but weeks ago it wasn't so obvious -- once upon a time there were eight candidates, and although six of them withered away, their presence in the campaign managed to obscure things. Even around the time of Ohio, when there were primarily three candidates, the outlines were murky, because Edwards was still in there, picking up votes from all sectors.
But now there are two and we're facing Pennsylvania and whom are we kidding? This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can't even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder -- after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn't believe any of those articles.)
To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday's primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or
Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain's temper will be a problem, don't bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what's more, they think it's normal.
If Hillary pulls it out in Pennsylvania, and she could, and if she follows it up in Indiana, she can make a credible case that she deserves to be the candidate; these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.
Hillary's case is not an attractive one, because what she'll essentially be saying (and has been saying, although very carefully) is that she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can. Nonetheless, and as I said, she has a case.
I spent the weekend listening to one commentator after another saying that Obama has it locked up, it's a done deal. I dunno. Hillary is the true whack-a-mole and if she survives on Tuesday, it will be a whole new ballgame. And it will be all because of white men. Plus ca change.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since I'm piling on feminists today, I see the blindfolded dart board toss at the Sun Times hit 22, so, that means a random yawn inducing opine from Tournament of Awful participant Carol Slezak. And guess what? It's about Danica Patrick and her incredibly irrelevant win in a sport that nobody gives a shit about.





Enjoy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Primary Tuesday! Let's Get This Over With!

Here's the dope.
Hillary has to win by much more than the seven percentage points she's currently up in the polls to have any justification to stay in the race.  In fact, a huge win is entirely necessary.  

Say, 12-15 percentage points.  In other words, a sea change in voter partiality across a vast spectrum of demographics tilting toward Hillary must take place.

If this doesn't happen and the votes is anywhere in the ballpark of close - five points or so - it's officially time for Hillary to get her ass out of the picture. 

Why?

Obama is swimming in money and Hillary is deep in debt after blowing her wad on scratching her way back to relevance. 

Hillary has a slight advantage with superdelegates (258-232) with 250 still undecided as fully one-third wait to see which way the wind blows.  I expect nothing less from the new breed of Democrats.  There is a sense that this could be a Obama landslide in the end as many hop on the leader's bandwagon. 

Even Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's former Labor Secretary and loyal friend of the family since 1968, a man who spent countless hours on the Sunday morning talk shows blindly endorsing Clinton policies, has had enough.  He officially endorsed Barack Obama for President on his blog (from the LA Times) seemingly over the Hillary camp calling Obama 'elitest' as the last straw.  

Add Sam Nunn to the Obama acolytes, a man so terribly needed in the Democratic Party right now, if only to tell the party to 'quit your whining and grow a pair!'

When James Carville called Bill Richardson 'A Judas' (and the Clinton camp let it fly) so close to Easter in a bald, blatant and transparent attempt to sway mouth-breathing Americans to abandon Obama, the scintilla of respect I had for the Democratic Old Guard was gone.  It's time to blow it all up and start from scratch.  
For a clearer picture of what I'm talking about, check out The New Republic's upcoming print article examining the inner workings of the Clinton campaign for further insight into what a Clinton White House would look like.  It's terribly telling in what exactly is allowed in the Clinton camp.  Try to read it and not feel some level of queasy flashbacks.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Historic times, these.  A black man and a woman are vying for the Democratic nomination and this party is finding a way to screw it up as they squander all the campaign money on gender/race bickering like it's a high school popularity contest.

So much for the moral high ground.

I'm a political pessimist.  Obama represents so much of the little that's left of the rational optimism I have left for American politics.  He allows a pessimist to feel right and good about embracing liberalism again.  He's someone who speaks with an aloofness and reticence about pertinent issues as if it's already decided how he feels and bringing any issue up in infantile terms are entirely beyond him.  

In other words, politics annoys him at such a visceral level, it offends his sense of being to deal with it any other way than genuine annoyance.  For that, I'm in.  And it's 100%.

And if Clinton somehow pulls this out, I won't be voting.

And I'll be completely done with the Democratic Party.  In the wildly small possibility that Clinton wins the nomination, I will be switching my affiliation back to Independent the second it's decided.

One can take only so much posturing before it becomes implied endorsement.

The Cubs Threw the 1918 Series (?) and Phil Watch

Apparently the Chicago Historical Society is in possession of an affidavit where Chicago White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte says the idea to throw the 1919 series came from the Chicago Cubs throwing the 1918 series. 

I don't know who owned the group of documents, notes, etc. before the CHS acquired them last December, but how has it taken ninety years for this to be revealed?

It's an interesting read but not exactly definitive.  Funny it's released now, in the 100th year of the Cubs drought.  Just newsworthy enough.  Our culture's peculiar fascination with round numbers and benchmarks aside, I smell something.  Seems too perfect. 


On to Phil.  His weekly power rankings are up and there's not outrageously stupid.  I think someone told him to stop being a dope.  The Braves jumped 12 spots by going 4-3 for the week and losing 2 out of 3 to the Marlins and the Orioles are apparently better than half of the other teams in baseball but overall, it's a little more sane.

But one of my favorite Phil features in his Whispers Around The League where Phil puts his ear to the ground and gives us entirely inconsequential tidbits that are essentially throwaway news items culled from MLB.com.

Let's get started.

Tough stretch for the Yankees, who have started a three-city trip to Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland. Because of Pope Benedict XVI's weekend visit to Yankee Stadium, they are playing 18 road games in a stretch of 20 days.

If you knew this, why are they the 22nd-best team in your power rankings?  They scored 968 runs last year, almost a half-run better than the next best team and their pitching was even crappier last year to start the season (Carl Pavano was the opening day starter).  They finished 94-68.

They'll be fine.  

Gabe Kapler, a minor-league manager last season and a Brewers outfielder this season, missed a three-game series in St. Louis with a bruised shoulder caused by crashing into the outfield walls shagging fly balls. Did he fine himself for the silly injury?

Phil made a funny.  

Roger Clemens isn't completely out of sight. He has been a frequent visitor to Lewis-Gale Medical Center Field in Salem, Mass., where Koby Clemens is the starting catcher for the Carolina League's Avalanche. He rented out a local sports bar so the Avalanche front office and players could watch the NCAA tournament title game between Kansas and Memphis.

When I say inconsequential, I mean it.  

Nice of Curt Schilling's doctor to go on a radio station to say Schilling would be interested in pitching for the Yankees next season. Craig Morgan is upset with the Red Sox for not signing off on surgery to repair Schilling's partially torn labrum and loose biceps.

I swear, Schilling must have murdered Phil's cat.

Four items into the whispers and we're given tidbits about the completely irrelevant goings-on of Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, two players utterly useless to the current baseball discussion.

Sportswriters do this all the time.  Bitch about the perpetuation of stories not germane to the current relevance and go ahead and perpetuate it themselves.

Pitchers having serious velocity issues: Nationals closer Chad Cordero (topped out at 82 m.p.h. in one recent outing), Braves starter Tim Hudson (fastball at 84-85 against Florida on Wednesday), Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez (low-90s) and the surgically repaired Francisco Liriano (low-90s).

A bit of an innocuous tidbit but pretty telling in what is not said for a couple.

Chad Cordero - Right shoulder tendinitis so what do you expect?

Tim Hudson - A ton of pitchers go through a dead arm period in April.  Never threw hard.

Frankie Rodriguez -  A bad ankle.  Back up to 95 on Saturday.  Watch the games.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki,who drove in 99 runs last year, didn't get his first RBI this season until Wednesday, when he ended an 0-for-20 slump. He might be the biggest disappointment in the majors thus far.

'Entering the weekend', Tulowitski had about 14 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, well below the league average.  Last year, he was above the league average in opportunites to drive in runs. This year, he's batting almost exclusively second and is hitting behind a leadoff platoon that is getting on base at a .303 clip.  BTW, he had more 5 rbi over the weekend. 

Biggest disappointment?

Here's a few better candidates to consider, guys hitting in lineup spots demanding performance:

Ryan Howard:  Hitting .186 with only 9 rbi.
Prince Fielder:  Hitting .222 and just hit his first hr over the weekend.
Ryan Braun:  Also hitting .222.
Andruw Jones:  Hitting .169 with only 3 rbi and has struck out 21 times in 59 abs.
David Ortiz:  Was hitting .111 entering the weekend with one hr and 7 rbi.

And that's just hitters.  Sabathia, Verlander and Oswalt are infinitely 'mostest disappointing' compared to Tulowitzki as well. 

Can't wait to hear next week's whispers.  I predict a Julio Franco and Jason Giambi item. 

Mate's Musings


Well, it's wedding week. Everything is pretty much taken care of. Hopefully it's a fairly stress free week. Honestly, it's a bit of a formality for us. We've lived together for 2 years. I think we're both ready for it to be over but looking forward to it. It'll be a great party and an even better vacation. Can't wait for Costa Rica. I plan on being in the pool about 6 hours a day. Oh, and they have satellite tv. That means baseball games while drinking cocktails by the pool. Fucking Paradise.
Christo, over/under on how many folks from Iowa get lost trying to find the church and/or hotel? I'm going with 6. My father being one of them.
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Didn't find the time to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" this weekend. However, did finally get around to watching "Into the Wild" after a month of it collecting dust on top of my tv. (Got Blockbuster Online--it's like Netflix but better..)
Now, i know the Oscars are hardly the barometer of what is actually the best movies of the year but how "Juno" and "Atonement" and "Michael Clayton" were nominated over this movie is beyond me. Second only to "No Country.." in movies I've seen this year. It's not the most audience pleasing, fun movie you'll ever see but it's great. Highly recommended.
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Also, if you didn't watch the "John Adams" mini series on HBO this month you should. Last night was the final installment and while it was probably the weakest of the 7 it is well worth the time. If you have HBO, Tivo it. If you don't, pick it up on DVD. Or you could always read the book, too. Or do both. Either way.
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The Sun-Times headline for the sports page this morning was something akin to "Start Spreading the News" because the Cubs and Sox are both in first place....in April...after sweeping the shitpile Pittsburgh Pirates and taking 2 of 3 from the incredibly average Tampa Bay Rays. Let's just settle down, folks. Settle down.
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Hey, the Pennsylvania Primary is tomorrow. Not a century too soon.
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Hey, I hate to seem like I think that Cubs fans have the patent on stupid ass message board/blogger fans but since this whole Marty Brenneman thing has happened the defensiveness is staggering.
This little quip, believe me I could've picked 400 randomly. I found on a comment section of a random Cubs blog. The whole thing is fantastic but this one caught my eye.
It was in response to a Reds fan talking about how his family was sweared at and called names because they had the audacity of wearing a Reds jersey to Wrigley.
News flash: Cubs fans don't treat you badly b/c your a Reds fan. They treat you badly because your a walking, talking vagina.
Thanks for your sad, sad tales of being brutalized by Cub fans. No cares what you do or do not want to hear. Maybe, you should stand-up for yourself, or is that asking for too much? Reach between your legs barbie doll, what do you feel?
As for your definition of respect and arrogance, NO BODY CARES! (I believe a theme is forming here.) Your "preceived" arrogance of Cubs' fans come from our pride in our city and baseball team. Something you would know little about. You city and team come in 2nd in your own state to CLEVELAND! Friggin' Cleveland!
Brennaman is an asshole with a whole lot of nothing to say. The only way the Reds get attention is when this butt monkey makes another of his many stupid comments.
As for Reds, Cardinals, and Pittsburgh fans not liking Cub fans; I say great. Throw in the entire state of Mississippi and you have the entire moron express not liking the Cubs. Not a big loss. We have more fans, a better ballpark, a better team, and a far better city. Get use to it, because it's not changing.
But, I'm sure Cub fans appreciate your whiney pussball comments of the average Reds fan.
You can also find countless attendance arguments all over the place. You know, Cub fans are better because there are MORE of them.
Please, true Cub fan/baseball fan, pull your idiot brethren aside and tell them the attendance argument is tired, so fucking tired. And they don't hand out trophies for Attendance. And throwing 20 baseballs on the field is obnoxious and stupid.
I beg of you, reclaim your stadium!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Irony...


Tina Fey on a movie poster that looks remarkably close to a parody that would be on "30 Rock".

Phil Watch: Revising His Preseason Pshaws

Something's going on.
Something curious in that the Tribune's baseball columnist seems to only be posting a column on weekends for the Sunday print edition.

Could Phil be the 'failing Tribune columnist' that Mariotti referred to today?

'Lacking creative juices and originality' kinda fits?  But that could be anybody really.

Possible reasons:

1.  Vacation - strange that he would take it the first month of the season. 
2.  Repositioning - Sunday fits Phil's writing better.  Musings for the semi-blurry, casual reader. 
3.  Buyout Coming - A move to Sundays is a clear sign management ain't diggin' ya.
4.  A temporary schedule reshuffling - maybe they're just trying something new.

As always, probably a combo of all of them.  Management is probably still deciding.

With that, Phil went all voluminous for Sunday, cranking out three (count them, three!) columns for the blurry-eyed just biding time until the crossword puzzle.

Let's get started with Phil's revision of the AL Central.

Perhaps the White Sox's neighborhood isn't so dangerous, after all.

The stumbling starts of the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians force a reassessment of the American League Central. The feeling here is that it's too early to read much into the early problems of C.C. Sabathia and the Indians but that the Tigers have pitching issues that aren't going away any time soon
.

Could this be the start of a national 'reassessment' of the AL Central?  If it's reached the depths of Phil, maybe the rest of the world will jump on board.  It is not head-and-shoulders above the rest of the Divided-Up Groupings in these Leagues that are Considered Major.  It's not better than the AL East and probably not better than the NL West.

Anyone with a modicum of baseball acumen could have predicted Detriot's bullpen and rotation shortcomings while Cleveland added nothing to a team that had a few players enjoying career years last year (Byrd, Blake, Betancourt).  If Cliff Lee didn't suddenly learn how to pitch this year, it could be worse.  
After splitting a two-game series at the recently renamed Progressive Field in Cleveland, the Indians and Tigers entered the weekend at 11-21—and even that record shrinks to 9-19 (less than one victory for every three games) when the head-to-head matchups are eliminated.

Ding, ding, ding!!!  New Phil-math.  Not as good as this, but still pretty good in its utter uselessness to create a picture of badness.  Analyze offensive numbers like how both teams were bringing up the rear in OPS 'entering the weekend'?  Nope.  Just look at the standings and come up with some dopey combined record that isn't that glaring outside of the original numbers. 

And I love the 'entering the weekend'.  It tells us when Phil is typing words.  Something's goin' on, my friends.

What happened to the teams that won at a .551 pace over the last two seasons and were expected to improve that margin a little bit this season?

More?  I'm gettin' a woody.  Slight improvement, though.  It probably took a calculator.

The Indians' fate will sink or rise with Sabathia and the recently disabled Joe Borowski or his replacement as the closer. They have a solid, deep pitching staff capable of complementing their well-balanced lineup, which makes it clear to identify Sabathia and Borowski as the primary reasons for the bad start.

Or the fact that they were hitting like .220 'entering the weekend'.

Solid and deep?  Cliff Lee will come back down to earth soon enough.  Jake Westbrook is still Jake Westbrook.  Paul Byrd is already back to being Paul Byrd.  Sabathia has major release and balance issues. Really.  It's like he forgot how to pitch.  

Well-balanced?  Okay.  They were a pretty darn good run-producing team that was good at producing more runs than the other team wearing different colored uniforms.

But with Franklin Gutierrez and David Dellucci anchoring the outfield corners, Casey Blake playing third and looking more like the Casey Blake we're all familiar with and Asdrubal Cabrera attempting to play regularly after an unspectacular minor league career and never rated high in the Mariner's organization before being dumped in the Eduardo Perez deal, they field a team with four positions being played by terrible average to below-average hitters.  

How's that balanced?

And that's not even taking into account Hafner's strange decline at an age when he should be just destroying the baseball.    

Borowski, who led the AL with 45 saves last season, picked up two saves the first week of the season but then blew his next two, giving up a game-ending grand slam to Torii Hunter and a monstrous two-run homer to Manny Ramirez. He had an 18.00 ERA and a .412 opponents' batting average when he went on the DL on Tuesday, the announced reason being a strained triceps muscle.

Can't we just shorten this?  Joe Borowski is bad at baseball.  He's always been bad at baseball.

He's like the guy who gets a promotion because everybody else just left the company and a warm body is needed to shuffle the papers.  Never really qualified but cripes, someone has to do it.

Yes.  He saved 45 games last season.  And he also finished 149th among relievers in the league with 40 innings pitched last year.

Let's use Phil-math.  That's about the average fifth-best reliever when you average all the league's team bullpen player averages and assessing just how below-average to bad a reliever is.

It's strange Phil doesn't know how bad he is.  Borowski used to play for the Cubs.  

The Tigers were the only AL team with an ERA higher than the Indians entering the weekend. Their pitching seems like the kind of problem that could haunt the vaunted lineup all season.

Something that could be seen by a deaf and blind gibbon entering the season.  The pitching is bad.  And they're not even good at being bad.  Assuming the Tiger's pitching wouldn't be an issue this year assumed Dontrelle Wills was suddenly going to be good again, Kenny Rogers was going to be healthy all season at 43, Jeremy Bonderman was going to correct his abysmal second half performance last year and Nate Robertson was suddenly going to learn how to pitch.  

Bullpen?  Zach Miner and Jason Grilli?  Todd Jones as closer?  C'mon.

The Tigers have the potential to score a bazillion runs.  But that assumes the pitching is going hold the opposition to a bazillion runs minus one.  

After all, Dontrelle Willis (currently on the DL with a hyperextended knee after walking nine with no strikeouts in his first two starts) was the only significant addition to a pitching staff that ranked ninth in the AL in ERA and runs allowed a year ago.

Where was this shit before the season?  Cripes!

More coming with the other two articles.  I apparently have all week.  But I'll get to them before we 'enter the weekend'.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Oh So Bright Whiteness

During yet another week where Cub fans proved they truly deserve the honor of the the Biggest Collection of Dipshits in Baseball, a roster shuffle gave us something even funnier.
Alfonso Soriano went down with a strained right calf, setting off a flurry of stupidity on sports radio and message boards relating to who should play and what the new lineup should look like.


The Skin Color:  White, White, White and White.

Mark DeRosa inevitably moved to left field to take the place of Soriano, but left a hole in the leadoff spot and second base.

Cub fans screamed for Matt Murton to take the place of Soriano on the roster and they just got their wish. He was called up today to replace Eric Patterson, sent down after one game in the majors.  They screamed for Mike Fontenot to play more.  They screamed for Reed Johnson to lead-off because he's been hot...for 13 games.

If Cub fans got their wish, this would be the lineup with Soriano out:

CF  Reed Johnson 
SS  Ryan Theriot/Mike Fontenot
1B  Derrek Lee   
3B  Aramis Ramirez
RF  Kosuke Fukudome
2B  Mark DeRosa/Mike Fontenot
C   Geovany Soto
LF  Mark DeRosa/Matt Murton 
P
 
Guess what?  That's a bad lineup.  Stinky bad.  Chicago garbage strike stinky bad.

Murton, Johnson, Theriot and Fontenot approach 'Joe Average' status, guys who sabermetrically contribute zero production above the average major leaguer.  With baseball being a zero sum game, that's four guys in your lineup doin' diddly in the quest to demonstrate dominating offensive domination.

And if Derrek Lee somehow goes down with an injury, Holy Crap, this is a bad lineup.

The drunken, reactionary, moronic, wildly spastic and vaguely racist Cub fans may soon get their wish - a team that looks exactly like them.  White, white, white and white to go with bad, bad, bad and bad.

And there will be much rejoicing.  No baseball fan base deserves it more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Isn't For Thinking

Best fans in baseball!!

Offensive image on hot-selling item doesn't reflect positively on city
April 18, 2008

(My personally favorite parts are highlighted in BLUE)
BY GORDON WITTENMYER
Kosuke Fukudome didn't have to wait long for the ugly American part of his welcome to Wrigleyville.
A Fukudome T-shirt with a racist image is the hottest-selling item at a souvenir stand that sells unlicensed Cubs-related merchandise across Addison Street from the ballpark, according to Mark Kolbusz, who's in his fourth season operating the stand.
On the front of the shirt is the traditional Cubs cartoon bear face but with slanted eyes and wearing oversized Harry Caray-style glasses. It's accompanied by the words ''Horry Kow,'' scrawled in cartoonish ''Japanese'' script. Fukudome's name and number are on the back.
''That's the No. 1 seller this year, by far,'' said Kolbusz, who estimates one in 10 customers complain about being offended.
While Kolbusz was answering questions, two white guys stopped by the stand and pointed at the shirt, with one affecting a 1960s B-movie accent while reading aloud the words on the shirt.
His friend responded in a similar offensive accent, ''Oh, you tink dat funny?''
They walked away laughing.
Nice.
Apparently, it's not only the Cubs' World Series form that's stuck in a 100-year time warp.
For all the innocently mistranslated signs, bows and zealous cheering from right-field bleacher regulars for the franchise's first Japanese major-leaguer, the mere creation of this shirt -- but especially its popularity -- sends a raw, vulgar message about Fukudome's new hometown.
''I don't know what the creator of the shirt meant this to be, but they should make it right,'' Fukudome said through his interpreter after being shown one of the shirts Thursday. ''Maybe the creator created it because he thought it was funny, or maybe he made it to condescend the race. I don't know.''
Regardless, it's not funny. The image feeds not only ugly, arrogant and ignorant Japanese stereotypes, but also the stereotype of the obnoxious, profane, drunken, booing, garbage-throwing Cubs fan.
How much truth is there in either image? And how funny is either one?
Kolbusz said he's ''indifferent'' to the image on the shirt.
''I'm making money,'' he said. ''It doesn't offend me. If other people are offended by it, it's just a silly T-shirt. Nobody is trying to offend anybody.''
Which is probably true -- and, if so, sadly ignorant.
(BEST PART!!--Kolbusz went as far as pointing out that the shirt's creator is ''an Oriental guy'' and also pointed out an Asian woman he sold a shirt to.
But the customer in question, Laureen Hom, had no intention of wearing the shirt, she said.
''I bought it for my mom, who has a collection of racist images of Asian Americans,'' she said. And, she added, the fact the creator is Asian ''is no excuse.''

Both of Hom's parents are Asian-American Studies professors at San Francisco State University, and they're in Chicago this week for the annual conference of the Association for Asian-American Studies. Hom, originally from San Francisco and now living in New York, met them in Chicago and attended the Reds-Cubs game Thursday with her friend Kimberley Ma.
''It's always weird buying that stuff,'' said Hom, who was startled to see the bear image on the shirt with the slanted eyes as she walked toward the ballpark. ''And then I got closer and saw the lettering and thought, 'Oh, my God.'''
Ma called it ''shocking'' and ''insulting.''
Hom compared the shirt to a series of Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts five years ago that stirred outrage and controversy before quickly being pulled from shelves. One version featured caricature faces with slanted eyes and rice-paddy hats and a slogan that said, ''Wong Brothers Laundry Service -- Two Wongs Can Make It White.''
Cubs officials made it clear they have nothing to do with the creation or marketing of the image, which also is being sold on headbands. The team had no official comment.
Fukudome did not seem shocked.
''I knew I was coming to a different country, so I expected something like this,'' he said. ''Maybe not necessarily racial, but that anybody could take any context of my words and degrade me if they wanted to. But if I make a big deal out of it, it's not going to benefit me, so I'm not going to make a big deal of it.''


And then this...

Ball tosses bring ejections
April 18, 2008

BY GORDON WITTENMYER
The Cubs ejected at least eight fans from the bleachers Wednesday night for throwing extra balls on the field after Cincinnati's Adam Dunn drove a home run onto Sheffield Avenue, a team official said, and they're ready to get as aggressive as necessary with ejections to prevent a repeat of the potentially dangerous problem.
The longstanding tradition of throwing back the actual home-run ball hit by an opponent won't be curtailed, they say.
''We're not looking to end any traditions,'' club spokesman Peter Chase said. ''We're asking fans to use their best judgment.''
With emotions running high upon the return of former manager Dusty Baker and a Cubs rout well in hand, Dunn's eighth-inning homer resulted in at least a dozen balls thrown onto the field.
Many longtime Wrigley Field veterans said they couldn't remember such a spontaneous downpour of baseballs before.
''I guess when the first one came down, everybody got into the mood of testing their arm a little bit,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ''I'd never seen that before, and hopefully we won't see it again."


If this shit happened on the South Side can you imagine how the assholes like Marriotti would pile on?
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Speaking of that, the Sox were on their way to a nice 10-5 start after another good outing by Gavin Floyd when Bobby Jenks proceeded to do his Bobby Thigpen/Roberto Hernandez/Billy Koch impression and blow a save last night.
Now, despite the fact that the 2-2 pitch right before the tieing hit was a FUCKING STRIKE, is there anything more frustrating in sports fandom than your closer blowing a lead in the 9th? We have become a tad spoiled with Jenks but he does have these occassional implosions.
White Sox history shows that a blown save like this almost always leads to a losing streak of 3 or more and at least losing 6 of 8.
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The future wife (8 days away) and I are going to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" tomorrow. I have no idea if I'll like it or not but when I see Ricahrd Roeper telling me it's one of the top comedies of the last 20 years and in his Top 50 comedies of all time, I gotta say, I'm bracing for disappointment.
Honestly, Richard, isn't that something that needs to be ascertained over years of viewing by audiences? That's really not something that can be derived immediately from a film.
Is it really funnier than "Groundhog Day" or "Big Lebowski" or "Office Space", all films that built an audience organically and through word of mouth instead of the audience being told how funny it is?
I like Roeper ,usually, but I wanted to smack him for doing that. And so do the makers of the movie I would imagine.
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