I know there are some of you who don’t like it when I waste valuable bandwidth picking the nits of off Al Yellon but the steamer he produced today deserves…no…demands to be ripped into tiny little pieces. So if this isn’t your cup of tea, I understand, click away and I’ll let you know when something else has been posted on the site.
Now, for those of us who feel the need to endure reading some of this tripe, let’s dig in. Hold your nose and try not to gag.
Today’s missive from Al is titled “On Praising or Criticizing The Cubs.” Apparently it’s his attempt to show that he doesn’t just reflexibly agree with everything that the Cubs do. I don’t think that’s ever been in dispute. Typically when the Cubs do something smart (rare, I know) Al immediately disagrees with it.
His analysis of on field matters has always been full of banality. Where he really shines is in trumpeting the business moves made by the franchise. And that, is really only a recent occurrence. A couple of years ago the Cubs started inviting their season ticket holders to come to the park and chat about what’s happening with Wrigley and or the Cubs. Al loves this. Guys like Crane Kenney pretend to listen to Al and he’s in heaven. Suddenly everything the franchise plans to do is great.
Now, they invite him to press conferences, too. And before you start to wonder if I’m jealous, understand this. I’m not. I don’t feel left out by not having such access. I don’t want it, and I wouldn’t use it if they offered it to me. Because it’s not really access. You go into a room they put out a cheese tray and they feed you a huge helping of bullshit and then they leave. Besides, if I ever went to those things poor Gordon’s rage for me would pool up into an aneurysm and we might be deprived of his hacktastic writings for several weeks or months.
There’s no hidden agenda here from me. Just one very obvious one. Al’s an idiot.
It seems inevitable.
Oh God, is the sun burning out? Those ancient Mexicans warned us it was going to happen! Run! Run!
The Cubs make an offseason move, whether a trade or free-agent signing.
Wait, what? Oh, never mind. I thought the world was going to start crumbling behind John Cusack in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’m actually kind of relieved now. Go on.
The comments begin to roll in… many of them negative.
Maybe if you hadn’t banned any of your readers with a brain your comments wouldn’t be full of such sputum.
Criticism of Jim Hendry. Wash, rinse, repeat. Then I chime in, almost reflexively giving some approval, however cautious, to whatever deal has been made.
Sorry, I didn’t read that closely, are you washing Hendry’s hair in this imaginary scenario? Are you both nude or just shirtless? Wait, never mind. I don’t want to know.
Why does this happen?
Why does what happen? Good lord, Al, you should hand out a map for this shit if you’re just going to wander around.
I’ve said at times to those who appear to be constantly negative, “Why are you even a Cubs fan?”
Good point. Because a fan should be someone who just eats up whatever the team is serving. Do not question the approach of the franchise. All is well! They invited me to play touch football on an ill-fitting field the day after some college footballers rolled around on it! If they didn’t know what they were doing, would they have done that?
Of course, that isn’t true. You certainly can be a fan of a sports team and be a constant critic — although, personally, I don’t see how you get any enjoyment of following that team out of doing so. But to each his or her own.
See, now Al is being magnanimous. What he just said was, “Hey, if that’s what you want to do, it’s fine by me, even though you’re a fucking moron, and I’m going to tell Crane to put you on his list!”
We are approaching the sixth anniversary of this site — February 9 is the date — and in blog years, that’s like decades.
Happy Anniversary Al! Way to go. You’ve served an invaluable purpose of dumbing down the Cubs fanbase for six years! Tell me where you’re registered and I’ll pick out a gift for you. You know what, never mind, I’ll just pick something up in the Husky Octogenarian section at a Super Target. Not just a Target. A Super Target! That’s how much you mean to me.
My feelings about the Cubs are well known; despite the lack of championships, I choose to be an optimist, to think that each move that is made, each change that happens, will be one that improves the team.
Let’s put this into Babel Fish and translate it from Bullshit to English.
My feelings about the Cubs are well known (awkward use of semicolon) despite the complete lack of anything resembling success I choose to believe, in the face of voluminous evidence to the contrary, that the Cubs ownership is infallible!
Obviously, I wind up being wrong a fair amount of the time.
That goes without saying.
I hope people here realize that and know that if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it, and if I haven’t, it’s only because I take many positions here and I don’t necessarily remember each one — although people here also don’t let me forget that!
How very Ronald Reagan of you. Admit you’re wrong when it it suits you, forget anything that doesn’t.
Kudos, not like that wasn’t completely obvious. But I’m sure you’ll have a long list of bad moves by the Cubs that you sniffed out.
I actually attempted to praise the signing of Milton Bradley, even though it wasn’t the signing I wanted. We don’t have to go over and over that one.
Oh, we’ve changed tracks. OK, let’s get back to the bad moves you knew enough not to clap along with.
I have consistently written about how I think the organization has made mistakes in pricing tickets, and wrote this long post about the problems in the bleachers last May, which may have helped lead to at least one solution — the issuance of wristbands for over-21′s to buy alcohol, which did help solve the problem.
Sigh. OK, just the one, then.
But I do like how Al took credit for the wristband thing, as though without him the Cubs would have never thought of that. And there’s one small problem. Al never mentions wristbands in his entry. He blathers on about no more college nights or shortening the time they serve alcohol, but until one of his commenters brings up the idea it doesn’t exist on that page. But he takes credit for the idea anyway.
Some here have asked what my role is. I’m a blogger. To me, that’s kind of a cross between a reporter and a columnist.
That’s because you’re a dumbass, and only a dumbass would think that way. You’re not a reporter, at all. I’m not either. So it’s not a cross between anything. You are a blogger in the most vapid sense of the word. If Ignatius Reilly was a Cubs fan with an Internet connection he’d have a more coherent Web site than you do. As far as I can tell, what you are is a guy who regurgitates things. You’re like a mama bird! Oh, that’s kind of sweet.
You write pointless recaps of games and you parrot whatever stuff the Cubs PR staff sends your way. The whole reason for this rambling post is this one throwaway line Paul Sullivan ran in his Cubs Convention preview last Friday.
Media social, 3 p.m.: The Cubs players and executives meet with the Chicago media in a social setting for interviews and small talk. Fans and bloggers are not allowed, with the exception of the blog that lauds every move of the Ricketts and the Cubs’ higher-ups.
You should complain to Paul that he didn’t refer to you as a reporumnist.
I try to get Cubs news posted here as quickly as possible for people to discuss, in some cases adding my own opinions later. One thing I’ve mentioned, seemingly often this offseason, is the feeling I get from many posters that no matter what the Cubs do regarding deals, or what the organization does, is that “everything the Cubs do is wrong”
Again, you need better posters. That might not have been such a problem for you if you hadn’t long ago banned anybody who didn’t agree with you.
Maybe that’s a little bit over the top, but that’s the impression I get. Some here then think, if I then defend the move, that my position is “everything the Cubs do is right”.
First off, the period goes inside the quotation marks, but why would you know that? It’s not like you pretend to be a writer…or a reporumnist or whatever the hell you are.
Secondly, it sounds like nobody communicates clearly at your little Web site. No wonder Crane and Petey Chase and the fellas feed you stuff, they figure you’re all a bunch of waterheads.
The truth is somewhere in the middle.
You couldn’t find it if was blinking and beeping.
While Jim Hendry has made some very poor decisions (the Bradley signing and the other moves made to spend those dollars; the Juan Pierre trade), he has now been Cubs GM for more than eight years, since July 5, 2002.
Congratulations, I’ll pick something up at Super Target for him, too.
Incidentally, that puts him in the top third of all major league GM’s in longevity — only eight others (Brian Cashman, Kenny Williams, Mark Shapiro, Dave Dombrowski, Terry Ryan, Billy Beane, Dan O’Dowd and Brian Sabean) have served longer, and only Sabean (hired in 1996) and O’Dowd (hired in 1999) have more tenure in the National League.
This might be my favorite part of the whole column. It’s so typically Al. He just gives a list. Why doesn’t he point out that of the GMs he just listed that Cashman, Williams (allegedly) and Sabean have won World Series with their current teams and Dombrowski, and O’Dowd have taken their current teams to the World Series. That leaves Hendry in a class with Beane, Shapiro, and Ryan as long tenured GMs without a pennant. Of course those three operate under economic constraints that Hendry has never had to worry about and both Beane and Ryan have built consistent winners. That leaves Jim Hendry and Mark Shapiro. Whoop de freakin’ doo.
So he must be doing something right. In those eight years, the Cubs have won three division titles — yes, that’s not enough, of course we all want a World Series title — and vastly improved the farm system under Tim Wilken, hired by Hendry away from the Blue Jays. Hendry is well respected by his colleagues as a people person and someone who’s fair in dealings, and that has allowed him to make some deals that have benefited the franchise.
Is now where we point out that Hendry used to be in charge of the farm system himself so if Wilken had room to “vastly improve it” it’s because of the mess he inherited?
I think Hendry’s a helluva guy, but the people person shit doesn’t mean anything. It’s nice to think it does, but it doesn’t. Money talks and bullshit walks. Players don’t sign with the friendliest guy and other GMs don’t make trades just to keep a pal happy. Even Kerry Wood’s discount deal is more a product of him still appreciating how overpaid he used to be by the Cubs than it is anything else.
I was one of the first calling for Lou Piniella to step down last year when it was clear he was making wrong on-field moves, losing interest in leading, and bashing reporters for making strategy suggestions in postgame news conferences.
You know who cares that you did this? Nobody. As much as you might think your opinion is heard by the Ricketts, it’s not. They didn’t head over to your site and say, “Shit! Yellon says Lou’s got to go!” That’s about as likely as them clicking on your site and saying, “I hope Al wears the blue hat with the crawling bear on it today, we’re 6-3 when he wears it!”
This site exists to bring Cubs fans of many disparate views together.
No it doesn’t. It’s laughable that you’d even pretend that’s why you run it. Your site is there for you to be agreed with. It always has been and it always will be.
Criticism, when backed up with logical arguments and facts, is always welcome here.
No it’s not. You have never welcomed any criticism of any kind. You just break out your little banning stick at even the suspicion that someone might dare to disagree with you. You’ve banned people from your site before they ever posted once. This I know to be true. So knock off the sanctimonious crap, Al.
At the same time, if I disagree with that criticism, let’s have a discussion of the issue without personal attacks and profanity (not saying that anyone specifically has been doing this; it’s just a site rule).
One thing your site has plenty of, it’s rules. One thing it does not have is interesting discussions of anything.
The bottom line is, though, I’m a Cubs fan.
Bully for you, go treat yourself to one of those foam bear hands they sell. Those are so cute.
(And saying this is not intended to criticize anyone else’s level, intensity or method of being a Cubs fan. Everyone here chooses their own way.)
Guh. Seriously? Do you just save the parentheticals for the really steamy bullshit?
I want to believe, every year, that “this is the year”, as Ron Santo used to say.
Many times that optimism may not be justified, but one day it will be, and then we can all celebrate together.
I just know that you gave yourself goosebumps when you wrote that line. I’m sure you paused and thought, “This is terrific!” How sad.
Until then, let’s all keep this the most civil, intelligent, and best place to discuss Cubs baseball.