Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chicago Radio Spotlight: David Kaplan

This week I spoke with WGN Sports Night host David Kaplan. We talked about his tumultuous last few months, the return to the night-time airwaves at WGN, his new and old partners, and some of his favorite sports highlights.

You can read the entire interview here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Coming this weekend

I spoke with WGN Radio's David Kaplan this week, and he'll be this weekend's Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. He has some great stories about sports figures we all know, and the behind the scenes stories of what went wrong during the previous WGN regime. I'll be posting that on Saturday.

As for Father Knows Nothing, I was inspired by this awkward proposal tale to tell my own. I don't think I've ever written about that before. I'll be posting it on Sunday.

Sammy's corked bat gets a CAT scan

The saga of Sammy's corked bat was bound to continue when Grant DePorter bought it, and sure enough he made headlines with it yesterday and today.

He has given the bat a CAT scan.

If you'd like to know the forensics of exactly how Sammy cheated, click on the link above.

A Suburban Dad

I forgot to post a piece I wrote for my friend Kim Strickland's "A City Mom" blog at ChicagoNow earlier this week. I go by "A Suburban Dad" on her blog, and contribute a column a week.

This week's column is called "The Unwritten Rules of Valentine's Day."

You should check out Kim's site, she's really very good.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An unforgettable proposal story

Miguel Cabrera gets busted for DUI

And he did it in spectacular fashion.

The Sun Times headline really says it all: "Miguel Cabrera pulls a Ron Burgundy"

Percy Sledge

Fascinating story from 45 years ago today, courtesy of Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac this morning...

February 17, 1966…In Sheffield, Alabama, Percy Sledge recorded "When A Man Loves A Woman." Before the recording session, the song had no title or lyrics. The session proceeded, the instrumental track was laid down, with the expectation that Sledge would eventually reveal the lyric sheet for the vocal takes. But when it came time to record the vocals, Sledge improvised the lyrics with minimal pre-planning using the melody as a guide for rhythm and phrasing. The performance was so convincing that everyone working on the session assumed he had the lyrics written down.

Pujols to the Cubs?

His deadline passed for the Cardinals to sign him, so naturally, the subject of Pujols coming to the Cubs was the talk of Cubs camp in Mesa.

I sincerely doubt it.

Although, if there's a GM out there that would willingly overpay waaaaaay beyond his actual market value, it's Jim Hendry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Cubs pick Moreland

Former Cubs player Keith Moreland was named as the replacement for Ron Santo by WGN Radio today.

That's a good hire.

How many candidates could say that their name is actually in the lyrics of a Cubs song?

For those of you wondering which song, it's "A Dying Cubs Fan Last Request" by Steve Goodman.

Listen for Moreland's name...

One Bad Apple

Exactly 40 years ago today, the number one song in the country was "One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds. It wasn't just a number one hit, it went platinum. It was HUGE.

I admit I liked the song when it came out, but cut me some slack--I was seven years old at the time.

I found this priceless time-capsule on YouTube. The Osmonds performing the song at the Ohio State Fair in 1972...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

E-mails, we get e-mails...

"RP" writes regarding my post about Jeopardy's Man vs. Machine...

"I saw about half of yesterday's show on DVR before I had to leave...I'll watch the rest of that and today's episode tonight. Lots of "how we did it" filler. My biggest complaint to this point regards ringing in on an answer. The show alleges that Watson has to pop the buzzer like the human contestants. They also continuously show a graph of Watson's level of confidence on an answer as it is still being read aloud (Watson gets it as a text file). Above a certain confidence threshold, Watson will ring in. I don't think I saw any answer that Watson wanted to ring in on where the humans were actually able to beat him on the buzzer. I guess that changes later on the lower levels of the board where the answers are harder, but when I had to leave, it was a slaughter. Watson had several thousand dollars, and Jennings and Rutter each had about $200. They could never get in for an answer."

This link has some good information about the computer's strengths and weaknesses.

Machine Gun Jack McGurn

75 years ago today he was gunned down in a North Side bowling alley.

His gruesome story, and the other reason he's remembered around Valentine's Day, can be found at Just One Bad Century.

Don't remember Jack?

He was also the owner of the Green Mill Jazz Club.

Zambrano wants opening day start

Carlos Zambrano said he's going to let his stats do the talking for him this year, but his mouth did contribute one thing before his stats told him to shut up.

He said he wants to start his seventh consecutive opening day.

Let me just say this to Carlos: "Even if you had been our best pitcher the last few years, which you clearly haven't, you still stink on Opening Day."

Do Carlos' stats want to say anything? Yes: "Your record the past six Opening Days is 1-5. Last year you gave up 8 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings."

I think I'm going to enjoy hearing from Carlos' stats this year.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zappa on MIami Vice

25 years ago today, Frank Zappa appeared on the television show "Miami Vice". He played a drug kingpin named "Mr. Frankie."

Uh oh. Dempster's making predictions again

Ryan Dempster has been looking over the hard working Cubs pitchers and catchers their first weekend together, and he's encouraged. How encouraged?

"I like our team, and I like our chances."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column has been posted. This week's is called "My very own Spudnik moment" and it's about the cruel murder of a potato.

You can read it here.