Rambling from the Abyss

I really don’t know what to say. I am at a loss for words. What is there to say? There is not an answer. And if you think Anthony Rizzo is one, put down the drink right now.

I saw the movie “The Abyss” when I was young. I really don’t remember anything other than it was under water and I was scared. And watching the Cubs … well, I feel the same thing. I might not see the same thing, but it is definitely the same apprehensive fright that I recall lo those many years ago.

So, we have to start somewhere, so let’s get rambling …

  • I haven’t written since Kerry suddenly, but not unexpectedly, walked away last Friday.
  • I have read all the comments, arguments, discussions, etc. He may not have lived up to expectations, but expectations are not promises. They are hopes and dreams.
  • He lived up to the promises of being a great teammate, a great man, and a great member of society. Those are the things in which he had 100% control. That is how I choose to remember him.
  • You are entitled to your opinion.
  • I am right, though.
  • It worked so well with the managers, so I say it is time for a “College of Closers,” you know, if the Cubs ever have a need to save the lead in the 9th.
  • However, I don’t even remember what that looks like anymore. I remember that losing streak in 2002. It was July, I believe. They won about 8 in a row after that. Something like that. Brad Radke and Jon Lieber are the two pitchers that I remember taking roles in each streak.
  • Yes, I am odd.
  • No, I cannot confirm any of that information. It could be totally erroneous.
  • “Erroneous! Erroneous on both accounts!”
  • Name the quote and you win a “feel good about yourself” award.
  • I live in Lakeview. I work in the Loop. It is 8:06 on Thursday night. For the past two and half hours, I haven’t heard police and fire sirens for about 11 minutes.
  • There must be a hot, holiday weekend approaching in Chicago.
  • That is the only explanation because the Cubs are sure and heck not on fire.
  • Is Bryan LaHair a left-handed Pedro Cerrano when it comes to the breaking ball? Or is this just a slump? We shall see.
  • The defensive play Starlin made was fantastic.
  • Tony Campana’s dive was just outstanding.
  • Nothing else has been good.
  • Sorry, The Shark pitched very well on Wednesday night. You can’t really fault him for the two runs on a bloop triple.
  • Derrick Rose did not make any All-NBA teams. That is the equivalent of Chris Volstad being named the All-Star game starter.
  • Congratulations to one of my best friends on becoming a father for the first time on Thursday! You know who you are. Welcome to the world J.G.A.
  • So big Cubs fan The Rahmfather embarrasses himself during a radio interview by calling the great third baseman Ron Santos. Then the next day he says there is not issue with the rumored Joe Ricketts PAC ad.
  • Interesting.
  • Travis Wood, your new go-to pinch-hitting pitcher.
  • Through 44 games, the Cubs have started 5 different catchers.
  • If I had a contact at Elias, I would look into this further to see if there is a similar occurrence.
  • I don’t have a contact at Elias.

I could go on, but none of it is pretty or enjoyable. So I will end it here. I wish each and every one of you a very happy, safe and sound Memorial Day weekend! Enjoy it!

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!


  • Aaron

    here’s a good article for everyone to ponder…sincerely….

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/12724674-418/rahm-emanuel-laughs-walks-out-of-press-conference-when-asked-about-cubs-ricketts.html 

    While we shouldn’t really bring politics into baseball, Mayor Henchman….I mean, Emmanuel clearly wants to do so. I do not have any respect for strong-armed tactics exuded by people in the current administration, including Emmanuel. It is an absolute disgrace that we allow these sort of people into office, and it occurs on both sides of the aisle, unfortunately…j

    In all honesty, guys like Emmanuel and former Mayor Daley should be sitting right beside Blago in jail for the rest of their lives, considering private industry guys like Skilling and others remain imprisoned for similar crimes…but I digress.

    The main reason I have a problem with this, is nobody in the city government seemed to have a problem with the White Sox renovations, and continuing improvements largely funded by the city. Those of you fans out there that happen to be from Chicago (as I am originally) know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

    So what if Papa Joe wanted to invest in ads blasted the O-man….Who the hell cares?!? Last time I checked, we lived in a free country……guess if you speak out against this administration, you’re damned. I’ve honestly never seen crap like this before. 

    I still have no idea how the guy even got elected. Most of my family still lives in the Chicago area, and none of them, or their friends understand how Emmanuel got in. For crying out loud, they weren’t even sure if he was eligible. Now this?!? Strong armed tactics, trying to shut people up from using freedom of speech.

    You guys can blast me all you want for bringing politics into this, and I could care less what side of the aisle any of you are on. This is a slippery slope we’re headed on with all this shaming, and silencing that’s going on. Freedom as we know it is disappearing before our eyes. Chew on that for a minute, won’t you? This is completely relevant with the state of the Cubs. Fact is, professional sports owners have been contributing to campaigns, etc. forever. 

    What a shame this douchebag of a mayor is thrusting himself into this in a negative way.

    If I were the Ricketts, I would block him from ever attending a Cubs game in his lifetime…and I’m being serious. Teams have blocked unruly fans in the past, so why can’t they do the same to Emmanuel?!??

    I apologize for the rant, but seriously, what in the world has this country come to? Paul, and some of you older guys on this site probably know better than any of the rest of us. You’ve seen a lot in your lifetime.

    • John G

      The real reason is that the butt he kisses belongs to a Sox fan.

    • Theboardrider

      As far as an administration persecuting those that speak out against it look no further than our most recent 2 term president (GWB) and his henchman (er…VP).  Those guys had no tolerance for dissent or disagreement.  They completely played by their own rules as well.  Maybe that is where Emmanuel got the idea. 

      Remember when Cheney said he wasn’t restricted by the requirements of the executive branch?  That he was a member of the Senate?  That will go down in history as one of the more comical episodes in American politics.  Except that nobody was laughing.  We were scared of tyranny…

      • Aaron

        You’re absolutely right…it all started with the Patriot Act, which infringed on everyone’s rights, but was disguised as a homeland security act…LOL…these people honestly think we’re dumb…we’re not, and more and more people are waking up.

        I meant what I said too…I hope the mayor, along with the former mayor Daley spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

        • cubs1967

          as a VP of Lending for a financial institution who hates all the regulations we get as a private industry; I can say the patriot act does serve it’s purpose in the banking world; too much “junk” can go on that did with the purpose of the act stopping those that want to do harm hiding monies.

          as far as father joe being a complete political doorknob; listen to the Score interview today with tommyboy; he’s sounds 100% like mike mccaskey and needs to get rid of his puss-n-boots demeanor and tell rahm we get what we want or we’ll move to lake county; that’s how he get mesa, AZ to pony up.

          BUT, tommyboy threw all cub fans under the bus; claiming the 12.25% amusement tax was paid by the Cubs through the baseball operations budget; HUH?; no its not; look at your ticket; WE pay for it; us the FANS. the cubs collect it and pass it on; a complete wash.

          get a clue tommyboy!

          • Aaron

            I have to agree with what you said, except for the last bit. The amusement tax IS paid by the Cubs. Yes, the fans technically pay it, but the Cubs have to fork it over. What the Cubs’ contention was is that if the organization has to pay the tax, they should receive a benefit from it. And just FYI, that tax rate, along with every other tax in the Chicago area is absolutely egregious. My parents ultimately moved away, because their property taxes were around $7 to 8k/year, and they just had a 2,200 SF home. 

            Pretty much half of that money is going to pad the pocketbooks of politicians and unions.

            As for your question about Lake County…while not technically in Lake County (but fairly close, I guess), I’ve long thought the best possible location for a new Wrigley Field would be Loyola Park on the north side, though that obviously would be taking up park land, and would involve the city, but that area needs some redevelopment anyway. They would be right off the Lake, reminiscent of newer parks like San Fran, Cincy, Pittsburgh, etc. Furthermore, they wouldn’t have to worry about neighborhoods bitching, and they would still have the train getting people to games, as well as Lake Shore Drive, and if something like that ever happened, I’d do what the Bears do, and have shuttles going to and from parking garages for fans.

            If anything, the Cubs might actually get more attendance being further north and east than where they’re currently at in Lake View…but again, that’s just my opinion. There might be better alternatives, and it’s certainly not ideal, but the beauty of going north is I think that’s out of Emmanuel’s jurisdiction, as I believe that’s considered Evanston….I’m not sure how the mayoral thing plays in there, but it’d sure be a black eye on his administration if the Cubs moved out of Wrigleyville, and I would love every minute of it…watch him try to side-step that…LOL

          • paul catanese

            I would go for that, their hands are tied where they are at.
            And don’t forget President Obama is also a White Sox fan( but his wife is a Cub fan)
            right?

        • Theboardrider

          You’re dead on about the Patriot Act Aaron.

          “Rest of their lives,” may be a bit of a stretch.  I’d like to see politicians held accountable with jail time but even Jack Abramoff seemed rehabilitated to me when I saw him on 60 Minutes. 

          Although it’s tough to tell who’s genuinely sorry or just genuinely sorry he was caught. Jack wasn’t a politician but I’m sure you understand the correlation.

    • Denio

       Great Rant Aaron…  Having left Chicago in 1973 I can see that nothing has changed…

      http://www.chicagonow.com/jane-of-all-trades/2011/06/half-of-illinois-governors-have-gone-to-jail-since-the-1970s/

      • John G

        Don’t forget about Paul Powell, with all the cash and checks in shoe boxes. Steve Goodman didn’t just write songs about the Cubs (or trains), he wrote about corrupt politicians too.

        Paul Powell got laid to rest in a casket lined with gold,
        But his ghost lives on in other thieves, or so I’ve been told.
        And there’s crooks in every walk of life, and that I know is true.
        But the biggest bums are some of the ones we give our power to.

    • paul catanese

      Agree Aaron, it would take me a week, a month, with all the things that went on there, from top to bottom. Memories, ah
      memories.

    • Henry

      Aaron, I love you thoughts.  I am tired of the cubs being held hostage by the City and the Neighborhood!  I would also be one of those laughing if the Cubs moved out of Wrigleyville!  I am all for it!

  • Bryan

    Brian…I normally enjoy the Friday “rant” read, but lately you’ve gotten into this commentary of “you’re entitled to your opinion”, immediately followed by “I am right though”.  Well there, I guess you told us.

    Sorry, but lately you sound like Phil Rogers…a lot of rambling, without a lot of substance. 

    I appreciate you taking the time to be part of the CCO article writers, but should we really care about the duration of sirens in Lakeview?

    How about keeping the thoughts on pertinent Cub themes.

    Just an opinion, of course.

    • John G

      You’re wrong.

      There, I guess I told you.

  • Andy

    Brian… dont sweat the guys who dont like your rant unless you suddenly start getting regular paychecks for your great blog. (and then just be more PC when you tell them to shut up) … I like your site for what is it… the rantings of an obsessed Cub Fan… kind of like me only I live in Texas!  I actually go here to get extra insight I wont get from the news… Thanks…

  • Theboardrider

    Although it isn’t Cub related, I have to encourage you to remove the “red, Bulls-tinted glasses,”  Derrick Rose was not All-NBA this season.  He spent more time on the sideline than on the court. 

    Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, even Rajon Rondo were more effective point guards this season.  Rose wasn’t even in the discussion.  Rose is a great player and with a full season of health he’ll be right back in it but in 2012 he absolutely was an afterthought.  

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Minor league signing:

    Cubs sign SS/3B Diory Hernandez, whom the Astros released last week. Batted .159/.240/.159 (50 PA) for Okla City this year.
     

    • Aaron

      Neil,

      Why do you suppose they signed him? I have my own theory…and it has everything to do with Rham Emmanuel….LOL…just kidding (and also sorry for doing the politics thing, but that guy really bothers me with his strong-arming and silencing of free speech, but I digress).

      I looked over his stats back when he got released, and I actually had a gut feeling the Cubs would pick him up because they don’t have anyone outside of Junior Lake now in the upper minors even remotely considered an everyday middle infielder. While that might seem like it doesn’t make much sense, I’m thinking big picture here:
      -DeWitt or Baker traded, which would create openings at Iowa and the big club
      or
      -Tolbert, Samson, Amezega, or Mota are released

      The fact is, all the other guys that can play middle IF at the AA level aren’t even remotely ready for call-ups, which means they had to go out and get somebody.

      Methinks Barney might be injured, or they think there’s a possibility his knee might be bothering him the rest of the year. In that case, it’d likely be Valbuena to get the call, which Cardenas assuming an everyday role, but the question then becomes, who replaces the guys at AAA, and that, in my mind is why they’d sign a below average hitting middle infielder that doesn’t offer much other than a warm body on the bench.

      What do you think?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

         I think it was for depth only. DeWitt left the game early, I think that was Wednesday with an injury, and I would not be surprised if he is hurt. Also, Amezaga has an out in his contract (June 1). With the 40-man being full, there is no room for him to be added. Of course, that could change in the next week.

        I still do not see Junior Lake being an option for the middle infield. Third base might even be a stretch at this point. His tools fit better in the outfield.

        Jeff  Baker needs to be moved, I agree with you. The roster spot is more valuable right now than the player. Would be nice if they could find a team interested and just move him along with the remainder of his contract.

        I have not heard/read anything about Barney being hurt but that collision Wednesday night looked bad. I really question Cardenas’ ability to field any position. I hope I am wrong. He looked better at the plate Monday night, worked the count more than he has. He should really be playing everyday in Iowa … If nothing else but to work on his defense.

        Sorry it took so long to respond.

        Here’s a link on the report about Amezaga’s out

        http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2012/01/cubsnews013012.php

  • CubsTalk

    I found myself watching a few innings of the Cardinals-Phillies game last night…..then I turn to the White Sox……is it me or does the White Sox have the worst announcers on both radio & tv ?….what happen to Steve Stone?…..he use to be so informative…………… I love hearing those Dodger games with Vince Scully….I throw up when I hear Bob Costas call a game…………is it me or is Bob Brenly just wants to get up and leave watching these Cubs?……Don’t be surprise if he takes a managers position this year………..I miss the days of Vince & Lou……I met Vince Lloyd when he did Florida Senior League ballgames back in 1990.

    • Aaron

      I’ll tell you what happened to Stoney….Hawk Harrelson happened to Stoney.

      As much as I didn’t like the change from Chip and Steve to Len and Bob, I must say that those 2 have grown on me, and I love Brenly’s very direct commentary where he doesn’t care if he ruffles feathers…he just calls it like it is, and I love his self-depreciating manner as well, unlike other announcers that embellish things

  • paulcatanese

    The only thing I took away from the last game was the re-play of Campana goinig from first to third with the song in the background.
    Thats it, nothing else.
    One more thing, I am convinced that the Cubs are confused, in a state of confusion, and will remain confusing for a long while with their ever revolving roster.

    • Coachdon

       Paul, this is one of the reasons I haven’t been on board with the Epstein approach to this season. All of these washed up guys, or borderline Major League veterans that they brought in were, and are, destined to be traded or released at some point soon. That leaves everything in a state of constant flux and ever-changing roles.

      • paulcatanese

        Feel the same way,while I was hoping for change, I did not expect a multitude of them. Players are in and out so fast the only people that are doing it right are the seamstess’s that are sewing the names on and off the jerseys, they may go to snaps to make it easier.
        They are running out of numbers.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those that have not heard this … a must listen

    http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/the-tony-campana-song/

    • John G

      Willie Mays Hayes

  • cubtex

    Who would have guessed that Joe Mather would be hitting 3rd for the Cubs in a game on May 25 this past offseason?