I’M A LITTLE DRUNK AND MY CAMERA’S A LOT BROKEN
5/31/04 by Brad
The Cubs have won two straight, and I’ve seen them win three straight. All-in-all, a rather uneventful day, capping off a rather uneventful weekend. Actually, it was a crappy weekend, especially considering it was a holiday weekend at that.
Up until today’s Cubs game, in which Lance “The Twinkie-Eating Machine” Berkman played along with much of our unrelenting heckling, the highlight of my weekend was choking down seven, count ’em seven, pieces of dried up sushi I bought at the Jewel across from my place. Talk about crap. And I thought that’d be the best it’d get when rain threatened to postpone today’s game against the Astros. Alas, the game went on and I put down a half-dozen or so Old Styles. Normally I like to post a few pics from the game along with my reports (which used to be regular), but my camera took a digger at the Cubs Convention back in January right before we posed for a pic with Jim Hendry. Talk about a pisser. I MacGuyver’d it up enough to get that pic, but it’s not been the same since.
Anyway, Cubs win. My camera sucks. There’s a new issue of The Heckler out this week. Check it out online as soon as our new site goes live Tuesday.
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
‘WHERE THE HELL HAVE WE BEEN?’ YOU ASK …
5/9/04 by Brad
Okay. We have some explaining to do. Most RFS visitors might think we took the last five weeks off. Well, that’s not the case. We have been AWOL from RFS-land, sure. But it’s not because we’ve been lounging around the pool, chasing girls or something. On the contrary, we’ve been busting our tails on THE HECKLER. Our first two issues are out, and if you don’t mind my saying, they’re pretty damn good.
We also had a banner Opening Day, doing live interviews on WGN-TV, Fox (with newsbabe Tamron Hall and sportsdude Bruce Wolf), CLTV, WBEZ, Q101, WXRT, WCKG among others. In the very near future you’ll be able to see much of these online at a new and improved TheHeckler.com. Just not yet. We’re working on that too. Oh, and we’ve managed to get to Left a few times. I don’t even want to tell you the Cubs’ record at the eight games I’ve been to. Okay, it’s 2-6. Can you believe that crap? I’m not really sweating it though. It’s not like I’m bad luck, right?
Beyond all that, we have our real jobs, so it’s been tough to stay afloat. We apologize for being behind on RFS. It’ll get better. I swear.
Read The Heckler
SPRING TRAINING LIES LIKE A POLITICIAN:
A REPORT FROM MESA AND TUCSON
3/22/04 by Prof. Bill Savage
On only my second Spring Training trip (saw the Cubs in Palm Springs about 15 years ago against the then-California Angels), I have come to a couple of profound insights: first, Tucson blows. The whole city is like the ugliest stretches of Western Avenue, with cactus. Strip malls and gas stations and car dealerships. And cacti.
But I was in Tucson for a good cause: the annual Spring Training Conference sponsored by Nine: The Journal of Baseball History and Culture, a top-rate journal published by the University of Nebraska Press, the foremost publisher of academic baseball studies. Check out the program.
I was there in my role as pointy-headed professor to read a paper on Nelson Algren and the Black Sox, so I shouldn’t really bitch about Tucson. Tucson was really just a hotel room with a bar attached. At this conference, I met many cool people, including Eliot Asinof, the author of Eight Men Out (one of two definitive books on the great shame of the White Sox, the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, basis for John Sayles’ great movie). Asinof (pronounced ACE-inoff, not ASS-inoff) gave a brilliant after-dinner speech decrying owners, agents, sportswriters, and modern players who won’t bunt even if there’s an infield shift on. Like a prophet crying in the desert (come to think of it, we were in the desert), he’s right and he knows it–and it probably won’t change anything.
The other coolest folks I met were there to crusade for a good cause: the reinstatement of Buck Weaver into baseball. Weaver was the Sox third-baseman who knew of the 1919 World Series fix, but didn’t participate. Nonetheless, after the Black Sox were found innocent in a Cook County courtroom, Weaver was banned with the other Black Sox by baseball’s first commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Dr. David Fletcher of the University of Illinois and Amber Buchanan, a brilliant (if Canadian) public relations mind, are working to have Weaver reinstated. Check out their great website.
Enlisting Cubs fans into an effort to clear a long-dead White Sox player might seem counterintuitive: but trust me on this one, Weaver deserves to be cleared. His only crime was not ratting on the other players–the same crime Kid Gleason, the Sox manager, and the team owner Charles Cellular, er, Comiskey, were guilty of. But, as Algren reminds us, “cheating is only a crime if you don’t own a ballpark.” Weaver deserves reinstatement, and y’all should go to their website and sign the petition and check out their photos. The neon-green t-shirts might seem a bit over the top, but you can spot them from the space shuttle, and it’s all about visibility.
My second insight: While Spring Training lies like a politician, who cares? Numbers from Spring Training are notoriously unreliable: guys you never heard of do great (Scott McLain? Who the hell is Scott McLain, and why is he outhitting Sammy?). But then they break camp with the minor leaguers and are never heard from again. Big-league regulars have terrible springs (Hello, Clement and Maddux) and then will be fine come April. Or May. Or June, we pray.
But we love Spring training anyway, since the lies Spring Training tells are beautiful lies, like, oh: We can cut taxes and fight huge wars and not run our nation and its economy into the ground. And Iraq had nukes. And John Kerry is Osama Bin Laden’s fraternity brother–and they had a threesome with Jane Fonda.
But back to baseball: my dad flew in from San Diego, and we drove up to Mesa. On Dr. Fletcher’s advice, we parked about a mile from Ho Ho Kam at Fitch Park (the Cubs practice fields, plenty of spaces) and got a pedicab to the park. Seats the shade, hot dogs, a couple of beers–life is good. And Spring Training rocks, even as Tucson blows.
See you in the bleachers.
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
BUYING CUBS TICKETS EVEN SUCKS IN CINCINNATI
3/22/04 by Kevin R., RFS Visitor
“You can’t beat fun at the ole ballpark.” Harry Caray reiterated that phrase numerous times as fans like me who sat glued to WGN all summer long watching great sluggers in Cub blue like Doug Descenzo and Ozzie Timmons destroy opposing pitchers, along with pitching phenoms Anthony Young and Mel Rojas dominating on the mound. Harry wasnâ€™t spreading verbal Tribune propaganda when he made that statement. No my friend, Harry saw something else in baseball: beer, broads and bullshit. On the night of Friday February 20th and the next morning, we discovered you also canâ€™t beat fun just outside of the ole ballpark.
Armed with a hibachi, bottles of Southern Comfort and Captain Morgan, and 24 of our best friends wrapped in a Natural Light Case, we planted ourselves outside of Great American Ballpark for 15 hours. What possesses three guys to travel a couple hours from Columbus, risk the chance of getting shot by the highway shooter on I-71, in order to sit outside on a cold windy night on the banks of the Ohio River? Cubs opening day tickets, you fool.
The night began on an ominous note, as it took only 15 minutes before we had our first encounter with a police officer. Apparently, the small fire in my hibachi threatens the safety of the giant solid-concrete stadium we were perched against, as we were ordered to take it across the street to grill our wieners. However, the tides would turn to good times and we would soon be responsible for a good ole fashion bacchanalia outside of the ballpark (for those of you who didnâ€™t take JT Roth’s Latin class at CSHS, bacchanalia translates into “drunken orgy,” and you must say it with the same sheepish grin JT said it with). Demonstrating to others how its done back in Mercer County, we marinated ourselves throughout the night with alcohol, making sure we were loud enough to keep everyone awake. Drew earned an interview with Channel 5 news, acting like an idiot for the world to see (sometimes I don’t know if I should refer to it as “acting”). For some reason the reporter didn’t believe him when he said his last name was Vandelay, and looked a little disturbed when he responded to a question, “We’ve still got 24 good ones over there to keep us warm.”
Midnight arrived and a couple minutes later it was 3 a.m. and I was making out with a 30-year-old woman who wasn’t in line around us before we finished the first bottle of liquor. It was about this time that Al disappeared to Kentucky for about two hours, searching for hookers to yell at. A few minutes later, it was 8 am and we were only an hour away from paydirt. Drew, managing to be the drunkest guy by 8 am since my drinking binge before the last Buckeyes home game of the year, incoherently blabbered loudly to absolutely everyone around us and made inappropriate sexual advances on “Gapper,” the Reds’ Philly Phanatic rip-off mascot. Despite the fact that Drew is a Reds fan, he still somehow managed to stoop to an even lower level with his big furry friend. At 9 a.m. tickets went on sale, by 9:16 all were gone. Luckily, we made our way to the ticket window just in time, snagging some decent seats to root on the Cubbies.
By the Numbers
1 Number of fights our drunkenness almost started
4 AM, time Drew drunkenly called his dad
15 Hours, waiting in line
16 Minutes, time it took for tickets to sell out
29 Degrees, temperature that night
30 Years old, of my girlfriend for the night
35 Mile per Hour, the wind that night
40 Times (at least), Al shouted “I’m Rick James, bitch!” during the night
44 Days, wait after getting tickets until the Cubs begin their Series run
47 Days, wait after getting tickets until the Reds are 0-3
Read The Heckler
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
3/11/04 by Reno, RFS Arizona Correspondent
The day after Greg Maddux resigned with the Cubs, I was so excited, I took a trip to Fitch Park. Mesa, Arizona. Right down the street, maybe twenty minutes. For those Cub fans that have never seen a Cub game outside of Wrigley, I envy you, but at the same time feel sympathy for you.
That first day, I’d say there were maybe five-hundred people at the most throughout the day. Think about that, Game 6 and 7 of last year, there were what, forty-thousand per game? I was some fifty feet away, watching Greg Maddux play catch with Mark Prior. It was somewhat of a dream-like feeling. Some blue hairs next to me were saying, “Is Maddux gonna come back?” I nudged the old man, nearly knocking him off balance, and spoke into his hearing aid, “THAT’S MADDUX RIGHT THERE,” pointing, “NUMBER 31. OOOOoooohhh,” was the old timer’s only response.
After warm ups, they moved to Practice Field 1. I’d say it was maybe fifteen to twenty pitchers. Basically the main guys, plus a handful of others fighting for the last couple of spots in the bullpen. The high-school like bleachers were electric. “There’s Maddux!!” “Is that LT? That guy from the Twins, Hawkins?” “Borowski!! You da man Joe!!”
Wendall Kim was hitting the fungos they talk about every time a pitcher has to cover first. You know, Stoney is always good for a, “they’ve been practicing that one since Spring Training.” Well, Wendall had his “A Game” working. “Hey, have some fun now” “Stay down now.” “Don’t be catchin’ rabbits out there.” “Hey Sunday hop. You go to church today?” “Look what I got.” I haven’t had that much fun since I was playing high-school ball.
Wavin’ Wendall didn’t get
any taller in the off-season.
March, 6. A beautiful Saturday afternoon. Cubs vs. Giants. Corey Patterson puts on a batting practice display that was topped only by Sammy. Get this Cub fans: Corey Patterson is the real deal. You heard it here first. Top five in 2004 NL MVP voting. Also, some darkhorse picks to come through for the Cubbies this year: Sergio Mitre and Juan Pena.
Carlos Zambrano. Lean and mean, and he’s ready to explode onto the scene. Do you realize that the Big Z is YOUNGER than Prior? In my mind, that’s perfect. Prior gets all the pub. Carlos, born June 1, 1981 in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, plays for more than glory. This guy was dirt poor gowing up. He’s got a lot of kin to take care of in the old country. So you know he’s working his ass off. He struck out seven today in three innings. Can I get a layup?
Anyway, back to my point. Practice Field 2. I walked over to see the other kids that the coaches wanted to get a look at. Basically, one A and double A guys. There were maybe a dozen old timers paying attention to them. I felt like a scout that just saw Willie Mays for the first time. I do not know how to express the feeling of having one’s jaw actually drop. There were maybe twenty-five to thirty kids out there. At least fifty percent of which were southpaws. Mercy.
On the other hand, for those of you that know me, there are always some doubts. This year, I have two: 1.) Todd Hollandsworth. I don’t know why, and I even hate to say it, but for some reason, he reminds me of Hundley. He just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe it’s the bad haircut. Maybe it’s just the way he walks that gives me flashbacks of Hundley with that sourpuss look on his face every time he struck out. I can only hope that I am proven wrong.
Point number two: the friggin’ Boston Red Sox. Since the days of the Bambino in Red Sox garb in 1918, who happened to beat the Cubs in six games, the Bo Sox have been to the playoffs ten times. Five times they have lost a heart-breaking game 7. ’46 vs. the Cards, ’67 vs. the Cards, ’75 vs. the Reds, ’86 vs. the Mets, and ’03 vs. the Yanks. Maybe it is time to realize that they have not forgotten where Billy Buck came from. Todd Walker and Grady Little both signed on with the Cubs organization this year. Could it be that this miserable failure of a ballclub is trying to share their misery? They saw how close the Northsiders came last year, and I think it scared them.
I know one thing for sure. Even the Drudge Report never covered this one: There are actually TWO child actors that play the role of Darren Baker!! Let’s play ball, I can’t wait!!
Reno gets the dirt:
There are TWO Darren Bakers.
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
RFS CLASSIC: BUYING CUBS TICKETS WAS THE GREATEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE
2/23/2002 by George
Forget the night I lost my virginity or even the time I bowled a stellar 221. February 22,
2002 will forever be burned in my memory as the greatest day of my life.
It all started Thursday, actually. Brad, Drew and I each the made the magical pilgrimage to
Wrigley Field for the opportunity to wait in line for our bracelets. Careful to spread out our
visits (in the hopes we would receive a wider range of numbers), Brad went at lunch, Drew
stopped by after work and I got in line just as darkness set in.
Watching the news later that evening–right about the time my cheeks and nose thawed to
a deep, rosy red–I was reassured by the Cubs spokespeople. This year would be different,
they said. Not only would the random bracelets make the ticket purchasing process fair, it
would deter scalpers too.
Come that fateful Friday morning, I realized just how right they were. I woke up at six to
discover I was a mere 5,691 numbers away from being the luckiest man on the north side of
Chicago. So close! Brad and Drew were even more blessedâ€¦their bracelets were only 3,000
and 4,000 off, respectively. We should have headed straight to Vegas with that kind of luck!
Fans enjoying the six-hour wait.
But there was much work to be done. Brad and I began phoning at eight, knowing our
bracelets probably wouldn’t be called until at least 8:45. It was so fun. I don’t know about
Brad, but I developed a great sense of appreciation for my redial button. Sure, I never
actually got through (nor did Brad), but I now walk around with the harmonious dee-doo-
dee-da-dee-dee-doo-da-doo-da-dee repeating in my head at all times.
Around 10:15, I decided to train to Wrigley and see what number was up. 2,900! They’d
already worked 900 people through the process in the short span of two-plus hours. Too
excited to wait, I rushed back to Brad’s apartment to utilize his high-speed cable modem.
The next four hours practically flew by as I showed my Cubs loyalty by clicking and clicking.
And clicking some more. By three in the afternoon I had all of 15 games reserved. Fifteen
may not sound like much, but I assure you it is. Who could want anything more? Other fans
need tickets too.
“I was a mere 5,691 numbers away!”
Besides, the Internet ticket buying experience was so invigorating, I had to stop before my
“But George,” you might be thinking, “which part of the process was the best?”
Well, while I thoroughly enjoyed the new price for bleacher tickets ($24 as opposed to $20
and $16 the last two years), my favorite aspects of the buying process were the
“convenience charges.” I didn’t even have to do anything to earn them! How convenient!
Even more convenient was the fact that I couldn’t have the tickets mailed to me. How they
knew I wanted to spend $18 to have them sent via FedEx I’ll never know. In the end, I chose
the $2.50 will-call option. After all, $2.50 is such a small price to pay to have them do
absolutely nothing with the tickets until I come to the stadium to pick them up.
Indeed, the whole experience was the kind of thing that makes me glad to be a Cubs fan. I
can’t wait until next year. Maybe bleacher tickets will be even more expensive so people
know how cool and exclusive they are.
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
RFS HITS VEGAS FEB. 26
2/22/04 by Brad
For one weekend only, a few of our crew will be in Vegas, soaking in the sights, catching a fight and hitting the links. Here’s the part where you come in: If you live in Vegas, are going to be in Vegas or have any connections to a good time in Vegas, EMAIL ME. Even if you want to be in our RFS PIC from Vegas, that’s cool too. Drop us a line.
And, yes, we already know to lookout for the “she-males.” Thanks.
Read The Heckler
CELEBRATE LEAP DAY AT COMIX REVOLUTION
Our good friend Northwestern University’s Bill Savage is hosting an afternoon of intelligent laughter in Evanston. No, Kyle Farnsworth will not be there. But among what will be there are donuts and salty snacks, beverages and a viewing and highbrow intellectual discussion of a Simpsons episode.
Sunday 29 February 2004
606 Davis Street
Book publication party for: Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture
ed. John Alberti, Wayne State UP
Also including an essay by Bill Savage: “So Television’s Responsible!: The Interpretive Logic of Censorshipand Satire in The Simpsons and South Park”
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
RENO REPORTS FROM SPRING TRAINING: MOMMA SAID THERE’D BE DAYS …
2/18/04 by Reno, RFS Arizona Correspondent
And then they told me that Santa was a sham. All I have to say is to hell with you all. Oct. 7, 1984. I got down on my knees that night and prayed to Santa Claus. Thatâ€™s right, I prayed to a fictionary character. With tears in my eyes, I prayed. â€œJust make the pain go away. All I want for Christmas is for the pain to go away.â€
‘This is the sweetest sight these eyes have ever seen … ‘
The offseason for a Cub fan is difficult. The winters are cold. Physically painfull. Even challenging, ya know, mentally. Endless grey skies. Itâ€™s mostly wet, not to mention, bone-chilling cold. Usually you have four or five days to look forward to. Playing in the piles of leaves. Christmas. Jenoâ€™s Pizza Rolls when Mom and Pop would go out for New Years and they leave you with the babysitter. And then comes the day that they announce, â€œPitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.â€ Well, God Bless America. Thatâ€™s the only day of the year that I can smell hotdogs before I get out of bed. â€œMustard and onion for me, thanks.â€ Itâ€™s still cold back home, but I imagine feeling the sunshine on my face.
Dec. 24, 2003. Christmas Eve. It just doesnâ€™t bring the same level of excitement as when youâ€™re a kid. Iâ€™m 32, single. Your average Joe Schmuckatelli. But every 12/24, I remind Saint Nick that heâ€™s still on the hook. 19 years! It still hurts. Câ€™mon Claus, make me a believer.
Autograph-seekers need Spring Training to get their game sharpened too.
What I asked for on that dreary night some three months ago was to see Maddux in Cubbie-blue pinstripes come spring. Sure it may have been unrealistic. Sox fans reminded me daily that it would never happen. And then a moment of glory. The sunshine briefly broke through the clouds.
Jan. 13, 2004. â€œCubs Make Offer To Maddux.â€ Could it really be true? Donâ€™t tease me.
The winter meetings were highlighted with rumors of Alex Rodriguez going to Beantown. The BoSox, still recovering from taking one up the ass from Aaron â€œfreakinâ€ Boone, were going for the throat. They had enough. F the curse. But as we all now know, it didnâ€™t happen.
I actually got a kick out of the Bronx Bombers signing A-Rod. If nothing more than to hear all those â€œchowda eatersâ€ moan. I have always admired the way Stienbrener runs his ballclub. And then â€¦ not six hours later, that admiration turned into pure and absolute emotional RAGE with the breaking of one simple rumor: “Maddux To Sign With Yankees.â€ I lost it.
That may have been the first time in my life that I actually questioned my faith.
No! No! Nooo!!!! Why?!!?! Screw this bullshit!!!
Out of nowhere, Kris Kringle came along. These days he goes by the name of Jim Hendry. He made things right. He even paid juice.
â€œGregory Alan Maddux signs three year, $24 million dollar deal with Chicago.â€
“And Joseph said unto his brethren: ‘Come near to me, I pray you.’ And they
came near. And he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither;
for God did send me before you to preserve life.”
Read The Heckler
OKAY, SO MAYBE WE JUMPED THE GUN
2/17/04 by Brad
Last night was a tough one. I’d written off the Cubs’ chances at Maddux, and along with that, the Yankees, Scott Boras, George Steinbrenner and Bohemians (that was a separate, non-published rant.
Now, reports are that Maddux is headed to the Cubs after all. I’m sure the whole Yankee rumor was compliments of Boras’ hype-factory, trying to rile up Jim Hendry and in turn Cub nation. Maybe not. Either way, I’ve learned in the last 24 hours not to let my heart get in the way of my mind when it comes to off-season dealings. I’m not going to get my hopes up until “GREG ALEXANDER MADDUX” is signed on the bottom of a contract on Cubs’ letterhead. Not sure if his middle name is Alexander. It just sounds good.
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
FORGET BOSTON, YANKEES GIVE ENTIRE WORLD REASON TO HATE THEM
2/16/04 by Brad
When the phone rang at 10:45 tonight, I figured it was going to be good news. I thought my friend was going to tell me the Cubs signed Maddux. I seriously did. I had no idea he was going to tell me the Yankees were going to get him. Where did that come from? No where. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.
Why? Do the Yankees seriously need him? No. Do they need A-Rod? No. Do they need to be shut down? Yes.
Why us? Why Cubs fans? Didn’t we just four months ago have our hearts ripped out by the Marlins? Wasn’t that enough pain? Now, here we are, thinking Greg Maddux is all but wrapped up and it’s not to be. Not only is it not to be, but he’s going to the great big evil: The goddamn Yankees.
For fans of a team known as loveable losers, we sure have a lot of people to hate: the White Sox, the Cardinals, the Astros, the Marlins. Now the hate jumps coasts to New York, where we get to hate George Steinbrenner, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux and, most of all, “Super-Agent” Scott Boras; the man behind all this nonsense. That’s just what it is, nonsense. Boras played everyone like monkeys. For his client Ivan Rodriguez he played a bunch of teams against each other until the lowly Tigers fell for the bait and signed the coveted catcher.
Then for A-Rod, Boras played the Red Sox and their 28-year-old GM Theo Epstein like fools, when all along they really never had a chance to do anything but turn their clubhouse inside out. Then, like a thief in the night, he gets Rodriguez–now apparently a third baseman–in a Yankee uniform. While his former team, the Rangers, who were saddled with a quarter billion dollar albatross of a contract that Boras manufactured, to pay him $10 million a year to play for another team. Not just any other team, but the goddamn Yankees.
Finally, I hope finally anyway, Boras creates a bidding war for Greg Maddux, a 38-year-old with arguably little left in the tank. The Cubs made him a great offer and sat back. Their two biggest mistakes seem to be the same as that of the Red Sox: dealing with Scott Boras and doing it publicly before a deal is signed.
Let’s deal with this the only way we know how, by HECKLING “SUPER-AGENT” SCOTT BORAS.
Right now the Maddux crap is only reports and earlier today, the Yankees’ fittingly named GM Brian Cashman denied the team had any interest in Maddux. Still, when was the last time the Yankees were rumored to be in a deal beneficial to them and it didn’t happen?
Read The Heckler
THE PHILOSOPHY OF RENO
2/9/04 by Reno, RFS Arizona Correspondent
Nobody said life was fair. Can you honestly tell me itâ€™s fair to have to face a Kerry Wood curve ball? There were at least three or four times last year I saw a guy swing at and end up getting hit by a K. Wood deuce. Blue would reluctantly ring him up with a look on his face like, â€œSorry kid, but thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m makin a living umpinâ€™ and not making a livinâ€™ trying to hit a mirage.â€ Life goes onâ€¦
And then there was Harry Christopher Carabina, aka, Harry Caray
“I figure I had no business being here this long anyway, so what do you care how old I am? I’ve been on borrowed time for years. You know my old saying: live it up, the meter’s running. I’ve always said that if you don’t have fun while you’re here, then it’s your fault. You only get to do this once.” – HC
Itâ€™s amazing how simple life becomes once you realize that there are no guarantees. I was lucky enough to learn early in my childhood that the Lord works in mysterious ways. A Grandfather that made the ultimate sacrifice for his country in the Phillipines, 1945. An uncle whose life was ended while still a teenager in a tragic accident.
Enough, letâ€™s keep the conversation lighthearted. Brant Brown. You heard me, BRANT BROWN. In reality, there are many more Brant Brownâ€™s among us than there are Sammy Sosaâ€™s, or Mark Priorâ€™s, or Francisco Cabreraâ€™s. We fail more than we triumph. That is a fact of Homo Sapiens. For every thousand kids that have dreams of glory in Yankee Stadium, there is one ham-n-egger that makes it to the Bigs as a late season call up. And for every Derek Jeter, or Ivan Rodriguez, there are a thousand punch and judy hitters that do no more than get their name in the books of baseball history with a couple of weeks of MLB service. For every Tiger Woods, there are ten thousand Rich Beem wannabees. Such is life.
Negative thoughts result in negative outcomes. As the great pool gambler Grady Mathews once said, â€œTo always play defense is to lose.â€
Of course, I have a couple of personal favorite quotes â€¦ these are from Vince Lombardi:
“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”
“It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you’ve got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not yet a winner.”
There are Cub fans and even Cub-haters who like to say that the Tribune Company is not trying to win. They claim that they should be spending damn near $200 mil like the Yankees. I disagree. My philosophy is to build a clubhouse that believes in one another. The price tag has nothing to do with it. Winning is contagious, unfortunately, so is losing. Perfect example â€¦ that five-game series the Cubs and Cards played at the beginning of September last year. The Cubbies kicked the Redbirds in the teeth, and St. Louie threw in the towel with a month to go. The Cubs let them know that they couldnâ€™t win. Thatâ€™s all it takes. Once you break them down mentally, the fight is over. Just like when Fast Eddie was beating down Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, he told him, â€œIâ€™m the best you ever seen Fats, the best there is. Even if you beat me, Iâ€™m still the best.â€
Life is what you make of it. I have damn near 33 years of emotional investment in the boys who play their home games at 1060 W. Addison. If you donâ€™t believe, then you might as well give up. I remember Henry Cotto making a run and jumping and hanging on the fence in right at the â€˜Murph when Garvey hit the home run in â€™84. And I remember Shawon hitting weak grounder to short after weak grounder to short, but every once in a while, heâ€™d beat one out. Shawon never sold out. Every time, and I mean EVERY time, it was head down busting his ass up the baseline. That is the way the game has to be played. Thatâ€™s the way life must be played. Either bust ass, or throw in the towel. There is no in between.
The countdown is on. Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training in Mesa Feb. 18. Iâ€™ll be there. Have you got the guts to invest another six months? I know I do.
“There’s no person alive who got his money’s worth better than my old man.” – Skip Caray
Sign up for the RFS Email Update today.
HEY EVERYBODY, LET’S BUY THE BREWERS!
1/17/04 by Brad
Have you ever wanted to own your own big league club? To hire and fire managers, buy and sell players, and get the best parking spot on gamedays? Well, now’s your chance. The Milwaukee Brewers are for sale, and we should chip in and buy them.
Bud Selig has finally realized that it might be a conflict interest to both serve as MLB commisioner and own a team. Wow, that only took five years! He and his family are putting the team up for sale. Join me in an attempt to buy them.
The official asking price has not yet been announced, but it can’t be more than a few grand. Think about it. The team hasn’t made the playoffs in more than 20 years. What’d they draw last year, 250,000 fans?
Seriously, how much can that team be worth? Junior Spivey and Craig Counsell are the middle of their infield. That would have been worth something three years ago. Not anymore though.
So, if you’re interested in helping us all become a big league owner, either by chipping in a few bucks or letting us crash at your cousin’s place when we’re in Milwaukee for some big team meeting or something, email me and we’ll see if we can make it happen.