Friday, May 23, 2014

Guest Speaker

I'm officially ready to be a grandfather. This cornball joke made me laugh. Thanks "LH" for sending it...

Pastor Gas

Thanks to "JP" for sending this. Somebody out there is an inspired genius. Especially knowing that this guy was busted for fraud.

Gregg Jarrett Arrested

Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett was arrested over the weekend for an incident at an airport bar in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has the details. I wasn't even going to post this story, but I got an e-mail from former WGN-AM morning man (who currently works for Bloomberg) Greg Jarrett pointing out that if I did report it, would I mind pointing out to Chicago that it wasn't him: "So Gregg Jarrett of Fox was busted for drunk and disorderly not Greg Jarrett of Bloomberg. Two Gs in Greg. Not one."

Duly noted.

Just One Bad Century--May 23

The big news yesterday was this announcment by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts...

Looks like they're going to court. Amid all the hubbub, did anyone notice that the Cubs actually won last night (5-1 over the Padres)? I'm a big fan of these late night West Coast games. There's something soothing about falling asleep to the sound of baseball.

Today's Cubs birthdays include Augie, Algie, and Duke. The Augie, by the way, is not Ojeda. This one was an all-star, and the A/V club shows a silent movie of him playing in the all-star game.

Today in Wrigley History goes back to 1926. Somebody hit the scoreboard with a homer. Find out who did it.

Today's Historical Event is the end of the line for gangsters Bonnie & Clyde. Where were the Cubs?

I won't be posting a new "Today on JOBC" update until Tuesday, but rest assured the website will keep on pumping out the info. There are new Cubs birthdays posted every day. This week in 1908 and 1945 will be posted over the weekend, and the A/V club will be updated too. Lots of reasons to stop by over the weekend.

Here's to hoping everyone has an enjoyable holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jon Stewart Ripping Philadelphia

And it all begins with beloved Cubs icon Ryne Sandberg. Stick with's the last 2 1/2 minutes of this bit.

Just Gonna Jump Over This Chain

Throwback Thursday

I understand they are going to let Garry do one last show on WGN-AM this afternoon. In honor of that, my Throwback Thursday picture is from Steve & Garry's 10th anniversary show at the Chicago Theatre in 1989. I was one of the Cliff Dancers. I believe we danced to Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People". The other Cliff Dancers were Mike "Igor" Davis (facing Cliff), Mike Bramel, David Stern (hidden behind Cliff), Cabin boy Jim, and Shemp DeYoung. Proud Moment.

Just One Bad Century--May 22

Samardzija leaves the game with a 2 run lead. The Cubs put in their gold glover for defense to protect it, and their closer has been 5 for 5 in save opportunities. The closer gives up two doink hits and the gold glover makes an error, and just like that Samardzija still has ZERO wins in late May despite leading the league in ERA. That is so Cubs.

I hope Jeff can see the humor in the situation. I know I do. If this continues he could actually be having a historic season. At the very least it gives us something to root for.

A whole new batch of historical events were posted this morning. Today's historical event is Jerry Lee Lewis announcing he married his 13-year-old cousin. Where were the Cubs?

Today's Cubs birthdays include baseball's first sports psychologist. (The A/V Club has the scene he inspired in a baseball novel/movie). There are actually quite a few Cubs celebrating birthdays today including two guys nicknamed "Hooks", the guy who got us Jose Cardenal, and a little used third baseman from just a few years ago that gave my son a day at the ballpark he'll never forget.

Today in Wrigley History goes back to 1990 and 2002.

I have a feeling that yesterday's game will appear in a future edition.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Radio Shocker: WGN Boots Garry Meier

I didn't see this one coming at all. I just spoke to Garry recently, and I can guarantee you he didn't see it coming either. Yesterday was his last show on WGN Radio. Robert Feder has the details.

The new WGN lineup is...

Steve Cochran--5-10am
John Williams (yes, the same John Williams who used to be on WGN)--10-Noon
Bob & Marianne--Noon to 3pm
Bill Leff & Wendy--3pm to 7pm
Pete McMurray--7pm to 11p
Patty Vasquez--11p to 2am
Nick Digilio--2am to 5am

I have to give credit to Jimmy de Castro for having the cojones to do this. I feel bad for Garry, but he will still be getting paid for the next year and a half, and will be doing his show on

Just purely from a listening point of view, I think that Bill & Wendy have the best show on the station right now. I'm happy for both of them that they are finally getting their big time chance.

Do You Wash Your Jeans?

The CEO of Levi's says you shouldn't...ever.

Consider it done.

Pat Sajack Versus the Twittersphere

I've met Pat Sajack a few times. He seems like a nice guy. It doesn't bother me at all that's he's a Climate Change Denier. (I know many of them who are fine and upstanding citizens)

But he's been tweeting some very weird stuff lately, and the twittersphere is going after him.

The Twittersphere, by the way, is often quite funny.

22 Words That Have A Completely Different Meaning In Chicago

The list is here.

Pretty clever, although I'd eliminate about ten of them, and have a great top 12 list.

Just One Bad Century--May 21

I think we can all agree that Tanaka was a little intimidated by the Cubbie machine yesterday. His 42-starts-without-a-loss streak is now over.

Don't mess with this juggernaut, pal.

We posted a whole new week's worth of events at This Week in Wrigley History. Today's entry goes back to 1935 (the Babe's final Chicago at-bat) and 1939.

Today's Historical Event is the establishment of the Red Cross. Where were the Cubs? (As a sidebar, let me just say that this is clearly the only website in the world that links Clara Barton and the Cubs. Just sayin')

Today's Cubs birthdays include one of the six mustaches that roamed the outfield for the 1982 Cubs, a name that rhymes with Happy, a backup catcher with a name that sounds like a gangster's, and a Dick

Resurrecting Murray Saul

I read all the radio trade publications every day to keep up with the business, and they are filled with self-congratulatory stories about how radio is as popular as ever. Stories about how there's nothing to worry about. Of course, we all know it's nonsense. (Here's an example from this morning) Radio may have as many listeners as it used to have (I doubt it, but let's pretend it does), but the listeners simply aren't as passionate as they used to be--and no paid study will convince me otherwise.

I'll tell you why I don't believe it: Radio doesn't have any larger than life figures (other than politically toxic ones) anymore. You may still like to hear CCR, or want to hear people talking about your favorite sports teams, but there's really nobody on the air who just pops out of the radio. No one who explodes through the microphone. In short, there's no appointment radio.

Radio doesn't have any Murray Sauls.

Read this story about the recently deceased Cleveland radio great Murray Saul. I never heard him on the air, but reading this piece reminded me that every town in America used to have someone like him. I know there are characters out there somewhere now, but they are reading liner cards, or being told that the PPM ratings tell you nobody wants to hear you speak. Or more likely, they aren't on the air at all, and don't even have radio on their radar.

If I was running a radio station these days, I would constantly be on the lookout for someone I could throw on the air as a sidekick (at first)--someone who could just be unleashed. Maybe he's a waiter who has perfected his shtick, or she's a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who has them rolling in the aisles, or he's a tour guide on a double decker bus. He or she may eventually crash and burn like Murray Saul did, but I bet you would remember them for the rest of your lives.

Is there anything on the air today that remotely fits that description?

I know what radio programmers and executives would say to my theory. They would say that listeners are different now. They don't want that. To which I would reply: "Listeners don't even realize it's an option." Because right now, it isn't. Radio has been bland (by choice) for an entire generation. The most desirable advertising demo in America doesn't even know that radio can be exciting. It will take a young guy or gal to show them. And an old guy or gal who has enough guts to give them a chance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 Fabulous German Words That Have No English Equivalent

I didn't know all of these, but my German is admittedly a little rusty these days.

I have heard #1 and #8 used in conversation before--but not the others. Although, this is what I love about German, as soon as I read the words I instantly knew what they meant.

How To See A Baseball Game For Free

This is funny...

Today's Best Tweets (May 20)

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Daily Herald ‏@dailyherald 3m
Severe #weather rolling into #Illinois: People in Illinois are being warned of a slight risk of severe weather...

Breanna Deutsch ‏@BreannaDeutsch 6m
A new report confirms what you already knew - your opinion means nothing in Washington. … via @DailyCaller

Eric Alper ‏@ThatEricAlper 10m
Happy 68th Birthday to Cher! Here are 10 things artists can learn from the legend:

Gawker ‏@Gawker 9m
Man is shot in the face by his brother, spits out bullet

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 11m
"I would eat food off his body." - Guess which athlete Russell Brand is talking about?

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek 14m
After a toxic battle, a slice of Transylvania looks set to become Europe’s biggest gold mine

WXRT Chicago ‏@93XRT 16m
Led Zeppelin is Being Sued Over ‘Stairway to Heaven’ ‏@BillMoyersHQ 19m
Free speech much? NC GOP want to make it a crime to reveal fracking chemicals. #MorningReads

Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 20m
Soriano's back in town, under the cover of Jeter Week.

Slate ‏@Slate 31m
How far underwater will your city be by 2300? Here's San Francisco, AT&T Park--PHOTOS:

Alphabet Soup Joke

Gettin' lots of jokes in the e-mail box today. Like this one from "CC"...

10 Engineer Jokes

Sent to me by "DK". I'm not an engineer, but I am the son of one...

1. Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

2. To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

3. A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumed, "What's with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!"

The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept golf!"

The priest said, "Here comes the green-keeper. Let's have a word with him."

He said, "Hello George, what's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The green-keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group fell silent for a moment.

The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"

4. What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers? Mechanical engineers build weapons. Civil engineers build targets.

5. The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

6. Three engineering students were gathered together discussing who must have designed the human body.

One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections."

The last one said, "No, actually it had to have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

7. Knock knock. Who's there? Interrupting coefficient of friction. Interrupting coefficient of fri.... mmmuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (μ)

8. Two engineering students were walking across a university campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want." The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway."

9. An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for one week and do ANYTHING you want." Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

10. A wife asks her husband, a software engineer..."Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6!" A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk. The wife asks him, "Why the hell did you buy 6 cartons of milk?" He replied, "They had eggs."

Just One Bad Century--May 20

Derek Jeter makes his last stop at Wrigley Field beginning today. The weather forecast looks a little iffy.

It's fitting that today begins his last visit here, because This Day in Wrigley History will point out that in 1935, an even bigger Yankee icon made his last trip to Wrigley Field on this day as well. He wasn't wearing a Yankees uniform anymore at the time. 1967 in Wrigley history is featured as well.

Another former Yankees great is featured in Today's Cubs birthdays and the A/V Club: Bobby Murcer. His A/V Club appearance is especially entertaining--he's a mystery guest on "What's My Line?"

There's a big hub-bub in the news recently about the Cubs accidentally painting Charles Lindbergh into a Wrigley mural, even though he appeared at Comiskey Park. Well, today's Historical Event is Charles Lindbergh's famous flight...and the Cubs weren't too far away when he took off.

This week in 1908 has also been posted. How long ago was 1908? This week the Cubs raise their (1907) championship flag on the same day oil is discovered in the Middle East for the very first time.

Cubs Last Link To World Series

There's a story in the New York Times about the last surviving member of 1945 Cubs, Lennie Merullo. Lennie was their starting shortstop, and he's still alive in Massachusetts. He's 97 years old.

It's a charming story about the man.

I once wrote a snarky piece about Lennie at Just One Bad Century. It was about the day he made four errors in one inning. A half-dozen comments were sent to me that day from people who knew or know Lennie, and all of them took me to task for mocking such a fine man.

I never saw Lennie Merullo play the game, but I can tell you that the people who know him, think he's the very best. That's more important than baseball anyway, isn't it?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stealing Home

My son Sean told me that his number one goal this baseball season was stealing home. He pulled it off yesterday...taking such a ridiculous lead off third base that the pitcher had no choice but to throw it to third. When he did, Sean bolted toward the plate.

That was a fun moment. He'll be picked off next time he tries it, but for one sunny Sunday afternoon, he gave the fans in the stands a thrill.

The Commencement Bigots

This is a well-written piece that takes both sides of the political spectrum to task for stifling free speech in commencement speeches.

Fair and Balanced. Seriously.

Smooth Operator

This kid has got a future...

Michael Jackson Hologram Appears on the Billboard Music Awards

The story explaining his appearance is here.

Or you can just watch it here (with Spanish dubbing)...

AT&T To Buy DirecTV

You know what I was thinking? We need even fewer conglomerates running the telecommunications/media world.

Wish granted! AT&T is going to buy DirecTV.

Cloning John Lennon?

This is beyond creepy. From MSN News...

Sean Lennon has branded plans to clone his father John Lennon from DNA extracted from the late rocker's teeth as "bizarre, futuristic and dystopian". Last year Canadian dentist Michael Zuk handed a rotten molar from The Beatles legend to scientists so they could extract Lennon's unique genetic code. Zuk - who purchased the tooth for $30,000 (£20,000) - hopes experts will one day be able to clone the Imagine singer. However, Lennon's son Sean is unsure of the project and hinted it could end up the subject of legal action. He tells NME magazine, "It's interesting thinking about what rights we have over our discarded DNA. Cloning in general is a legal area that's bizarre, futuristic and dystopian - and this about my dad's tooth definitely falls into that category."

Turn me on, dead man.*

*The alleged backwards message in a Beatles song that "proved" Paul was dead.

Just One Bad Century--May 19

Green Marquee 2014

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Cubs won a series against the Brewers. That's two series wins already this season. Where on earth did I put that champagne? (Of course, the one game I went to on Friday is the game that they lost. The picture above of the green painted marquee was taken on Friday.)

If you didn't stop by JOBC over the weekend, there is a very cool video up on the A/V Club right now. A home movie of Jackie Robinson's first game at Wrigley. I left it up there today for another day, because I wanted more people to see it.

Also, This Week in 1945 was posted yesterday. Bogie & Lauren Bacall get hitched, Pete Townshend is born, and the Cubs are in the midst of a bigtime losing streak.

Speaking of Pete Townshend. The writing of "My Generation" on his 20th birthday is today's Historical Event. Where were the Cubs?

Today in Wrigley History goes back to 1961 and 1987.

Today's Cubs birthdays include the very last big league Fritz, a pitcher who won nearly 200 games, Turk, Pop, a 1990s mustache, and 1890s cup of coffee, and the guy who inadvertantly helped the White Sox win the World Series in 2005 by allowing A.J. Pierzynski to cheat.

As for the latest Cubs prospects, would you believe there was another no-hitter in the minors this weekend? It's true. At that link you'll also discover that Baez finally hit another homer, and Albert Almora is heating up. This story is about Arismendy Alcantara, who won a game with a homer this weekend.

Don't read this one, however: 5 Chicago Cubs Prospects Who Never Panned Out. You already know about all of those guys. No need to start your week with a big bowl of bummer salad.