Friday, January 07, 2011

Matt Garza

The Cubs made a trade to acquire a pretty darn good starting pitcher: Tampa's Matt Garza. Garza has been pretty good the past few years, he's only 27, and he's affordable. It's true that he has been a little inconsistent, but he also has the potential to be great (he's already thrown a no-hitter).

What do you think?

Phil Rogers of the Tribune isn't a fan of the deal, because they gave up an awful lot to get him (4 highly rated prospects and Sam Fuld). Bruce Levine of ESPN thinks the high price was worth it.

I think it's a little early to judge this. To those Cub fans (and Phil) that are outraged (and I'm hearing from you already), keep in mind that Cubs minor league prospects are never as good as we think they are (remember "can't miss" Corey Patterson and Felix Pie?).

The Homeless DJ reunites with his mom

The Conservative Constitution of the United States

I'm not accustomed to finding humor in the pages of the Washington Post, but this surely qualifies: The Conservative Constitution of the United States of America.

Pretty funny in light of the events of this past week.

I'm sure someone can (and will) write a liberal version that is just as snarky.

Parallel Parking Mule

Very impressive, but I'd like to see him do it with the car (or mule) behind him honking impatiently...


These were sent to me by "MM," who says they're from the Washington Post (although I couldn't find a link). Nevertheless, they're good. (My favorite is #13)

Neologism means alternate definitions of real words...

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulance (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lee Smith

Once again Lee Smith only received about 45 percent of the Hall of Fame vote. Why is the former all-time saves leader getting so little consideration?

George Castle tackled that in his column yesterday, and I think he nailed it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The 2011 Hall of Fame Class

The news just came across the wires. Blyleven and Alomar are both in the Hall of Fame.

Roberto Alomar got 90% of the vote. He was quite simply the best second baseman since Ryne Sandberg.

Bert Blyleven got 79% of the vote. He was a dominant pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

Congrats to both new members. They totally deserve it. Although I have to admit, the HOF voting is starting to make me feel old. I had Alomar on my Fantasy Team when he was a rookie.

A Deep Thought

I was watching the show "Parenthood" last night on NBC (that's a good show, by the way), and one of the characters was struggling with her controlling behavior over her husband. Her sister had a great observation: "Why don't you control your controlling behavior?"

Anyone that deals with people that have control issues must have smiled when they heard that line. Nicely done, writers of "Parenthood." Nicely done.

Cubs fan gets prison time

Remember the story of the Cubs fan that got into a fight with his (former) brother in law (and Sox fan) at a party? He kicked the Sox fan in the face, and the Sox fan lost his eye in the fight. The Cubs fan lost his freedom yesterday. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Every Cubs fan in Chicago with White Sox fan friends will be hearing about this for the rest of our lives. Thanks a lot, pal.

The Lord giveth (White Sox shirtless father/son team that beat up first base coach during game), and the Lord taketh away (Prison-bound Eye kicker).

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Thin Lizzy

From Bob Dearborn's Olde Disc Jockey Almanac today...
January 4, 1986…Bass guitarist/singer/songwriter (The Boys Are Back In Town) Phil Lynott, lead vocalist of Thin Lizzy, died of internal abscesses, pneumonia, septicaemia and multiple organ failure brought on by his drug dependency at age 36.
Always liked these guys. I got into them in high school in Germany, but by the time Lynott died 25 years ago today, I had moved on. Now that I'm a "grown up," I've reverted. I have a ridiculously large Thin Lizzy collection on my iPod, including of course this one...

Wonderland by Night

He was a German bandleader named Bert Kaempfert, and though I think his music is unbelievably schmaltzy, I appreciate his contributions for two important reasons. #1--He was instrumental (pun intented) in the early success of the Beatles (while they were in Germany.) #2--People over a certain age can actually spell my name correctly (without the "t" at the end) because of him.

This song was the #1 song in America exactly fifty years ago today...

Monday, January 03, 2011

Stars pitch smokes

This is the 40th anniversary of the last TV cigarette ad, so I've been going back and looking at some of the classic ads. Here are a few from the 50s and 60s pitched by the stars of the day...

Danny Thomas

Dick Van Dyke and friends

Lucy and Desi

Fred and Barney

Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart

Cigarette Ads

Forty years ago this week cigarette ads on television were officially banned. 40 years later they're really odd to watch. This one was one of the last ones on the air...

D-Lee goes to Baltimore

The Orioles have become Cubbie-East ever since Andy MacPhail arrived there, and now they've added another ex-Cub: Derrek Lee.

Add him to the list that includes Sammy Sosa, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Rich Hill, and Jake Fox. (Only Fox and Pie are still on the 40-man roster)

Kaempfer's Tody Tyrant

The bird that bears my last name has had a rough go of it in Brazil. A few days ago it was officially put on the endangered species list along with six other Brazilian birds.

The Kaempfer's tody-tyrant is a small olive-green bird and is a member of the flycatcher family. It is endemic to the Atlantic Forest biome and inhabits well-shaded edges of forests that are typically near rivers. Population estimates put the species at between 9,000 and 18,500 individuals, and it is believed to be declining.

Please pray for Kaempfer's Tody Tyrant.

(And yes, that will be my radio name if I ever return to the airwaves)

Cubs programming note

I got this e-mail from the MLB network about a Cubs program on television tonight...
"MLB's 20 Greatest Games debuts January 3 at 8pm ET on MLB Network and the Chicago Cubs are featured in our 20th-ranked game. The series is hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Verducci, who count down the top 20 games of the last 50 seasons. Each game will be revealed every Monday starting at 8pm ET from January 3 through the month February."

I checked out the list of potential Cubs games that might make this program (they have the nominations on their website), and it will be one of the following...

*Sept 9, 1965 versus the Dodgers. (I've previously written about that game here)

*May 17, 1979 versus the Phillies (My buddy Dane Placko was there, and told the story to JOBC readers)

*June 23, 1984 versus the Cardinals (I was there and told the story to JOBC readers)

*October 7, 1984 versus the Padres. (Don't discuss that game around me)

*October 14, 2003 versus the Marlins (Yes, that's right, the Bartman game. This is the video of poor Bartman being escorted out.)

I guess I don't need to point out that the Cubs are only the winners in one of those games. But before you get all "Hey--what about the homer-in-the-gloamin'" on me, remember that these are just the best games during the television era.

For the Cubs that didn't start until 1946. The year after their last pennant win.