Archive for the ‘Cubs’ Category

Seeking Favor With The Baseball Gods

June 29, 2008

No Zambrano or Soriano and the Cubs have dropped 3 in a row.  The boys from the Northside are 4-6 in their last 10 and have gotten blasted in a few of those outings.  This small spiral comes, of course, immediately following my destiny post.  Needless to say, I feel in debt to the baseball gods.  The Cubs desperately need to get back in the good graces before they get swept by Jermaine Dye and the boys just south of Wrigley Field.  Please consider the following suggestions for Major League Baseball a feeble attempt to curry favor with the baseball gods.

 1. Reinstate Pete Rose

Gambling or not, Pete Rose was baseball.  Number 14 played the game he loved the right way; with passion, intensity and an effort found only in a handful of today’s professionals.  Winning was everything.  Reinstating Pete Rose will not change baseball very much, aside from probably the most watched Hall of Fame induction speech ever and a very emotional ceremony at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Thoughts of Pete Rose have taken me back to 1990 and the Cincinnati Reds.  A championship team led by Lou Piniella was built on a foundation laid by Pete Rose himself.  Their shocking sweep of the “unbeatable” Oakland Athletics was the last thing Pete Rose gave baseball.

What if the all time hit leader had never been busted for gambling? (Note: I intentionally said “busted” instead of “didn’t gamble” on baseball.)  Baseball would be a completely different sport.  Remember a few weeks ago when Jimmy Rollins got benched for not running out a pop fly? Charlie Manuel waited an inning to bench Rollins.  Insert Pete Rose into that situation and Rollins doesn’t even get back to the dugout before he’s benched.

Could you see Adam Dunn playing left field for Pete Rose?  When Dunn went down swinging or misplayed a ball of the wall in left, I believe the term “Fat, Lazy, F#&%!” would take on a whole new meaning in that dugout.

2, 3 and 4 After The Jump. (more…)

We’re 400!!!

June 25, 2008

Well, technically, we’re not 400 days old until tomorrow, but much like 2SL we can’t keep help but bust out a little early.  For those of you who haven’t been here from the start this here web log started back in ought seven on April 22nd.  That parting shot fired over the wall of the Internets at Lexington Herald Leader resident write John Clay was our first foray into this odd world of sports blogging. 

Since that day we knew we’d never be the same again, and if you’ve read this site more than 2 days, we suspect you feel much the same about your own life since discovering us.  We’re sure you’ve never been more horrified.  Where’d we go from there? 

Well it’s hard to say.  A little baseball, a little racin’, a little college football and then it was New Year’s.  Time was flying and our hits were going up.  Soon, with the help of Deadspin, With Leather, and some well-timed Google image searches we were floating at about 1,000 hits per day.  We’re happy to say that’s still the case.  And we’re extremely happy that we’re had over 330,000 hits in a little over a year since we started this.  We’d like to get teary and thank everyone but we’ve still got some time to recap.  Hit the more for recaps of our best and worst ideas around this here blog.

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What Do We Do Now?

June 20, 2008

When the NBA finals wrapped up on Tuesday and Tiger stopped being Tiger at least until next year, many of us were left wondering, what do we do now?  What do we watch?  How do we fill that uncontainable desire to “get our sports on?”  Sure there is baseball but we are smack in the middle of the baseball doldrums.  Games matter but we need more than just baseball.  There is of course the Euro Cup but come on……

So how do we as faithful sports enthusiasts pass the time and “get our sports on?”  Returning from my 3 month sabbatical I bring to you 5 things to help you pass the time this summer.

1.  Pick up a new sport.  Of course we here at APIAS.net recommend croquet or softball.  Unless you want to go Barry Bonds on us, spend your weekends at sporting complexes, drop thousands of dollars on matching softball equipment, drink beer in the parking lot, and drag your wife/girlfriend and kids to a tournament where obscenities, chest hair and jorts are the  norm, then we suggest croquet.

2. Spend time with your significant other and/or family…..HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Come on, that was too easy.

3. Read a book.  Of course that sounds crazy but believe it or not, we here at APIAS.net actually can and do read.  Here are a few suggestions to get you through the summer months.

  • My Life On A Napkin” by Rick Majerus
  • Seven Seconds Or Less” by Jack McCallum
  • Money Ball” by Billy Beane
  • Winning Everyday” by Lou Holtz – classic Holtz stories and motivational tactics.  It’s best to read outloud with a lisp to truly get the Holtz experience.
  • Eight Men Out” by Eliot Asinof

 

 

4.  Movies.  Dust off that old collection of classic sports movies or head to the store and start a collection.  Here are some greats that if you haven’t seen, you need to seriously evaluate your sports enthusiasm. 

  • Hoosiers” Is there a better basketball movie? No, there is not.
  • Rudy” Yes, I cry at the end, every time.
  • Remember The Titans
  • Bull Durham” – “Candlesticks always make a nice gift.”
  • Days of Thunder
  • A League of Their Own
  • Major League
  • Pistol: Birth of a Legend
  • Dazed and Confused”  It’s almost a sports movie…remember when the football coach says, “Don’t go gettin’ soft on me this summer, while you’re sittin’ by the pool, chasing the muff around.”

Side note:  Matthew McConaughey was born to play the role of David Wooderson.  Just like Sean Penn was born to play Spicoli.  Are there two better stoners in any movie?  No, and if you give me any character from Half Baked  your credit will be ruined.

5.  Count down the days to college football.  Yes, I said it, college football.  Just hang on for a few weeks then you can start talking practice, the talented freshmen, week one games and how drunk you will be before kickoff.  Ah yes, college football, our saving grace from this summer.

So there you have it, 5 things to help pass the time this summer.  In case that’s not enough there is still plenty of baseball.  Please note I have refrained from any Chicago Cubs homeristic remarks in an attempt to not jinx the northsiders.  Best of luck passing the summer months.

FWP: Things Are Sloooowing Down

June 20, 2008

fwp.jpgFearless Weekend Predictions is a weekly column running on Friday afternoons where our resident soothsayer (or whoever we can get) locks down what will transpire in the coming 72 hours. It’s better to get these out before the 7-year is open.  The crystal ball gets cloudy.

What a week!  Basketball (games) ended until the Olympics, a lot of interleague baseball, 91 holes of golf and I remember something about someone getting fired at 3:15 in the morning.  I actually had one of my better weeks from a prediction standpoint.  Tiger acually did win the US Open (no matter how hard I tried to jinx the bastard), the Mets gave up on the season (see: 3:15AM firing of manager), Chad Johnson’s ankle kept him off the football field, we haven’t heard another peep out of Tim Donaghy after his first little outburst and Billy Gillispie totally railed Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend (sorry about that Cris, oh, and that loss to Germany yesterday).  Basketball ending means the long summer of baseball has begun.  Interleague play gives this weekend a little bit of extra flavor (spicy!).  There’s also a NASCAR road course race, Kentucky football fans set themselves up for a big letdown and EURO 2008 continues (it’s going to be a loooong summer).

  • The Mets season will hinge on this weekend in Colorado.  I know, I just said they’d given up on the season, but if they can just put a little run together…  Oh, who am I kidding?  The team with the fourth highest payroll in baseball is going to finish at .500.
  • Phil Mickelson will be forced to carry the PGA for the rest of 2008.  And with the extra holiday weight he’s been carrying around for the last decade it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.  The PGA desperately needs Mickelson to be in contention for the remaining two majors of the year, as Tiger won’t be in them.  I would also like for more shots of Phil’s wife, Amy.  Amy is a classy babe and is absolutely cougar-ific.
  • The Cubs will begin their slow descent back to reality.  It was a nice run in the beginning of the season for the Cubs, it really was.  Then, Alfonso Soriano never learned how to actually get out of the way of a ball that was going to hit him (but somehow, he manages to do this with every fly ball hit to him in left field).  After that, Carlos Zambrano’s shoulder gave out on him.  Their only saving grace is that they play in the WORST DIVISION IN BASEBALL!  Every team in the NL Central got swept except for the Brewers.  Incredible.
  • There will be big news for the site unveiled on Monday.  First of all, EDay has promised to mediate the results of the bet between Brubaker and I.  I’m just trying to get a new car.  Also, I believe we’ll be adding a new writer to the APIAS staff.  Whatever happened to that 2ndStoryLloyd guy anyway?
  • Jeff Gordon will win the race in Sonoma.  It’s a road course.  One can only hope that means lots of wrecks and lots of drivers bitching at each other on the radio.  That is the best part of racing.  A road course also means the “Said-Heads” will be out in full force.  Boris Said is the Bob Ross lookalike who dominates on road courses.  Unfortunately for Boris, his wife probably doesn’t look like Jeff Gordon’s.  Why would Ingrid Vandebosch marry a douche like Jeff Gordon?
  • Morgan Newton will never sign with the University of Kentucky.  The LHL is reporting today that highly touted 2009 QB, Morgan Newton, is considering Kentucky for college.  Unfortunately for the Cats, South Carolina is also listed in his favorites.  Let me think, when was the last time Steve Spurrier lost anything to UK?  That’s right.  Never.  Keep dreaming.
  • Willie Randolph will continue to try and keep his name relevant.  Look, I understand you weren’t let go in the most polite way ever.  But, you probably got a pretty nice buyout and get the rest of the summer to do nothing.  And you want to bitch about it?  Stop… just stop.
  • EURO 2008 will continue and no one will care.  There’s nothing about this that appeals to Americans.  First of all, it’s soccer.  Second of all, with the name EURO in the title, it’s just that much more unwatchable.  Plus, no more Nereida Gallardo (SFW) means I have no interest.
  • Billy Gillispie will go see Get Smart and then sleep with your girlfriend.  I’m talking to you, um, whoever it is that is lucky enough to be dating Anne Hathaway.  Get Smart has officially reached “I would definitely watch that while taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon” status.  Anne Hathaway has reached a much higher status for me that you probably don’t want to hear about.  But, we all know who will end up railing her, Coach Gillispie.  That guy has all the luck.

It’s summer, so even with a lacking sports schedule tap you should be able to enjoy yourself.  Grab a beer or twenty and go sit by a pool.  I know I will.

Sam Zell scoffs at your traditions; profits

February 27, 2008

 

In a move sure to upset one 2SL and other baseball purists the globe over (read: me), Sam Zell, CEO of Tribune Company, which owns (and is actively selling) the Beloved Cubbies, has publicly opened the door to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field.

During an interview on CNBC, Sam Zell says despite Wrigley Field being known world-wide, he didn’t get a discount because he wasn’t going to use the naming rights that the field represents.

Zell said he plans to sell the Cubs and Wrigley separately and in his own time frame. He also disclosed that Major League Baseball has approved “four or six” potential ownership groups and that any one of them would be fine.

Personally, if it’s going to happen sometime, I hope Wrigley’s Gum ponies up the cash in the name of all that is holy in sport (and in breath tolerability).  This way we could all double our pleasure!  It’s like 69.  Everybody wins.

And honestly, Mark Cuban has got to be as bored with the NBA as I am, right?  I mean, at least with baseball you get a season that stretches over 8 months and allows you to enjoy the playoffs for several weeks… what’s that… oh right. My mistake.

 Side Note:  2SL’s well documented journey to the North Side last summer appears to have come just in time.  Hey, at least we got in while the gettin’ was good (and original).  Beware the Standing Room Only Ladies.

[CBS2Chicago]

Tax Season Hits APIAS.net

February 11, 2008

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Well everyone knows it’s tax time and the gang here at APIAS are starting to check pay stubs, W2’s, lottery tickets, and winners from Keeneland.  We thought we’d placate all you folks out in Blogsborough by letting you in on some of the things we’ll be writing off this year.  Also, it should be noted that we consulted our man A. Bowski and all of these things are completely legal write-offs.*  Follow the more to see what each of the crew will be trying to slip past Big Brother this year.

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Curt Schilling’s Lucky 13

October 31, 2007

pondering.jpgHours, perhaps even minutes, after the Red Sox had won their second World Series in four years, it seemed Curt Schilling was already thinking about 2008.  The blood had hardly dried from his sock The beer had hardly dried on his uniform, and one of the more famous bloggers in all of Blogfrica was at it again.  Yesterday, on his website, he dropped the 13 teams he might be interested in playing for.  He indicated that Boston would be his “first choice.”  He also left these twelve possible destinations at the end of his Free Agency?  Weird. blog.

Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A., S.D., Arizona, Chicago Cubs,  St. Louis, Milwaukee

To see what uniform #38 might be pitching in next October, you might as well JUMP!  (more…)

Rivalries, Why Exactly Do We Hate Those Guys Again?

October 24, 2007

kidcryingblue.jpgDuke/UNC, Sox/Yanks, Cubs/Cards, Cats/Cards, Vols/Tide…See a pattern?  Any time these teams play one another the opposing fans absolutely loathe the other team.  Hell, in most cases the teams hate one another. 

In team sports, rivalries do a lot of things.  They rile emotions, set the table for epic battles, and most importantly to The Man, they sell tickets.  But where does all this hatred stem from?

Rivalries stem from one of four places: proximity, competition, tradition, or a moment.  Each of these factors can add up to a rivalry and it is highly debatable which type of rivalry is the most exciting.  Hit the jump to see some examples of each type of rivalry.  Who knows, your team might just be kicking the shit out of Jefferson High (they’re our rivals!)

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2007 Cubs Baseball – A Beginning

October 9, 2007

Cubs NationWhat an absolutely horrendous way to end the baseball season for the Chicago Cubs; Soriano, Lee and Ramirez went a combined 6 of 38 in the playoffs. Wow, 6 of 38. Talks of managerial decisions and discipline at the plate will dominate this off-season. As painful as it is was to watch the Diamondbacks sweep the Chicago Cubs, there is a silver lining to this 100 year old dark cloud.

Understanding growth, development, and the big picture can be tough in a world of instant gratification. The Chicago Cubs franchise is not a one-hit wonder. It is almost impossible for a team of the Cubs’ stature to make the postseason one out of every five years, and hope to turn one of those years into a World Championship team. Look at the last few one-hit wonders of this generation, the teams that showed up in the playoffs, put together a great run and magically won the whole thing: Diamondbacks 2001, Angels 2002, White Sox 2005, Marlins 1997 and 2003, . What is the one common component of these organizations? None of them were carrying the weight of an entire city, one of the largest fan bases in the country and a curse on their backs. Every one of those teams could just play baseball. There weren’t swirling expectations or the lingering taste of a “cursed” organization.

The Chicago Cubs are not afforded such a luxury. With every passing year comes a greater expectation, a greater desire and a growing anticipation of a World Series. Compound this by ten in a year when the team actually stands a chance of making the playoffs and contending for a ring. Any year the Cubs make the playoffs they take a 25 man roster, a coaching staff, and now 100 years of agony, 100 years of loyal fans begging for just one. (more…)