A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headline for Tuesday

Man reading newspaper in armchair, portrait

 

I'll get to Cubs news in the comments. For right now, we have only one headline.

I believe in newspapers. I grew up in a family that read the paper around the breakfast table each morning. I went to journalism school and, when it was all the rage to concentrate in broadcasting, I concentrated in feature story writing. I cannot remember a time when the Chicago Tribune was not the first paper I read in the morning. In college in Southern Indiana, I had it delivered to my dorm. When I lived in France, I would walk the two miles to the train station every day to pick up a day-old Tribune. As a teen, I wanted to write for the Tribune. Specifically, I wanted to write for the Tribune about the Cubs.

The Chicago Tribune is my hometown newspaper; it never once occurred to me that I should doubt what I read there.

Until last night.

Some of you may recall that I wrote a diary sometime back examining Paul Sullivan's seemingly-biased coverage of Milton Bradley. Even after that diary, I continued to defend Sullivan from time to time, mostly because it's incomprehensible to me that a journalist would intentionally misrepresent the facts in order to try to sway readers to one point of view, but I've become convinced that this is exactly what's happening.

Last night, I was appalled by a Milton Bradley quote in a Paul Sullivan article. Sullivan reported the following:

"Am I going to get more cheers now?" he said. "Are we going to stop getting bashed by everybody, articles about our lineup and how it was better last year and all that garbage. Last year's team is sitting at home, just like everyone else. There's just one champion."

This quote inspired me to write a diary calling Milton Bradley "a dick" and Steve Rosenbloom to write an article entitled Buzzkill Milton Bradley. In his article, Rosenbloom says this:

The guy takes shots at fans for not cheering arguably the biggest free-agent failure in baseball this season, and then says he doesn't hear the cheers. 'Course, the guy has trouble counting to three, so perhaps noticing cheers is asking way too much.

The only problem? Bradley never said "Am I going to get more cheers now?" Every other paper in Chicago, as well as the Associated Press, quoted Bradley as follows:

"Are we going to get more cheers now? Are we going to start getting bashed by everybody in articles about our lineup and was it better last year and all that garbage? Last year's team is sitting home just like everybody else. There's one champion."

Sure, it's one little word. Changing "Am I going to get more cheers now?" to "Are we going to get any cheers now?" And it's still a dick statement. But it's the difference between rolling your eyes at crazy Uncle Milty's negativity and say, writing an entire diary calling him a selfish ass for thinking only of himself.

And this isn't the first time Sullivan has done something like this when it comes to Bradley. First, there was his on-air admission during Spring Training that he roots for or against certain players depending on how they treat him in the clubhouse. There was his description of Milton's calm discussion with an umpire as "Mount Milton erupting." There was his story declaring that Milton was being "benched" by Lou, when Lou made clear that he was just giving Milton a day off and refused to call it a "benching" himself. Every other newspaper in the city reported it as a "day off."

Finally, there's been the long list of bloggers who have been tirelessly documenting Sullivan's grudge against Bradley, headed up by the guys at Another Cubs Blog, who have been writing about this for a long time. Other than Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, who has been nothing but gracious and supportive of the Cubs blogging community, most reporters look down their noses at bloggers. However, in this case, it seems to me that the bloggers have been the ones keeping Sullivan, the "mainstream" media reporter, honest.

I have no idea why Paul Sullivan continues to get away with this, but I urge each and every one of you to send an email, letter, text, or tweet to Paul Sullivan asking him to report on Cubs baseball honestly and without an agenda.

I personally apologize to Milton Bradley for calling him an ugly name as a result of an inaccurate quote. As for this blog, the new LOHO policy is that nothing written by Paul Sullivan regarding Milton Bradley should be posted here as fact unless it's verified by another, independent source.

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72 Comments

kiwibob said:

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Great post....
Particularly the intro.
My only comment would be that a well written intro like that should be directed to the editor of the Tribune not Sullivan himself. Do you really think he would acknowledge his deliberate smear to mere bloggers?
Whereas the outraged reader who may no longer buy a paper may have more sway in terms of a change of course for the Tribune.
And sure... I know it's a longshot but I do think good old fashioned letters to the Ed actually make a difference albeit a small one

oog of ulams said:

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me agree.

this is a classic case. a letter to the editor would enlighten a lot of folks who may have got the wrong impression and who aren't avid enough to check around teh intorwebz

JulieDiCaro said:

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the problem with a letter to the editor is that i think you'd have to give all sorts of examples, and it would be so long that they probably wouldn't print it.

i'll give it a shot.

gravedigger said:

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this kind of shit is why i hope newspapers fail.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i should have said "journalism" rather than "newspapers." it can happen just as easily online as it can in print.

gravedigger said:

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Yeah but I especially hate newspapers. And the thing is, material gets far more editing in a newspaper than online where speed is the priority.

But you are right. Yesterday, the Anchorage Daily News website ran a special headline for the Palin resignation with a huge picture taking up the top quarter of the screen, with a caption (that stayed up all day) reading: "Sean Parnell, was sworn in as governor around." WTF?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay--here we go with the regular headlines:

If you want to bed early last night, you missed the big rally!:


"Ex-Cub LaTroy Hawkins was ejected in the middle of an Aramis Ramirez at-bat in the eighth inning. Milton Bradley, representing the winning run, was thrown out at home on a botched squeeze attempt with one out in the ninth.

And Alfonso Soriano was booed after failing to run out a grounder in the 11th when the umpire ruled he didn't foul the pitch off his foot.

It looked as though the game would last forever before Soriano's 13th-inning grand slam gave the Cubs a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Demp is back tonight!

"Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he probably will limit Ryan Dempster to 80 to 85 pitches in his comeback outing Tuesday night.

"I'm sure they'll probably not want to run me up too high, but hopefully I can be economical and not waste a bunch of pitches early on," Dempster said.

Dempster has been out since breaking his right big toe jumping over the dugout fence while celebrating the Cubs' victory over the Brewers on July 5 at Wrigley Field. He won't do anything differently on the mound."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Yikes! Am I the only one who didn't know that Lilly had surgery?

"The Cubs say Ted Lilly’s arthroscopic surgery on his left knee went fine today and that Teddy Ballgame will be back at the park tomorrow to continue working on his shoulder rehab as well as having the knee mend."

JulieDiCaro said:

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And prepare to be underwhelmed at the trade deadline:

"Don't expect the Cubs to pull off a blockbuster deal this week. And don't expect Jim Hendry to come away from the non-waiver trade deadline empty-handed.

The Cubs still are looking at relievers, especially a left-hander who can pick up some of Sean Marshall's burden in the bullpen.

The Baltimore Orioles' George Sherrill and Washington Nationals' Joe Beimel are among their targets, but they also will weigh that need against how recently acquired lefty B.J. Ryan looks tonight in his organizational debut for Class AAA Iowa.

''It's hard to predict,'' Hendry said Monday. ''Nobody ever goes to work when you're in the race and doesn't want to try to do something that might help. And sometimes not the big splashy things that we've done in the past.''

In other words, don't expect Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee."

MLBfan said:

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Julie,
Great stuff. No reason both ideas can't be put into play. You can send a letter to the editor and the rest of us can relay our displeasure to Sully.

MLBfan said:

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I found it funny that on the same day Sullivan misquotes Bradley, Sully goes on Tribune Live and publicly apologizes for being an ass to LaTroy Hawkins when he was with the team.

MLBfan said:

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Julie,
Frankly, you are way to beautiful to be a beat writer for the Tribune.

JulieDiCaro said:

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awwww.

i (heart) you.

Doc said:

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Well...I'm ugly...so maybe I should be the beat writer for the trib...

Of course I have less rationalistic integrity than Sully, but I'm sure I would be more entertaining.

gravedigger said:

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you're not ugly, you just look a lot like a dog.

Doc said:

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actually, that isn't me, believe it or not...

I'm much uglier than my dog.

millertime said:

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You ain't got no alibi.

MLBfan said:

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If they ever made another Snow White movie, Sully could play Dopey.

millertime said:

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Oh good, we won. Hooray!

millertime said:

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And yes, it is a sad state of affairs when print media starts to go bad. Sports radio, I expect idiot opinions. Skip Bayless? The man just figures out the correct answer, and then does his best to go against it. That First and Ten show is based on who can find the worst answer. But Chicago Tribune? Harsh.

I don't expect perfection, but I expect professionalism. If print media wants to claim superiority to blogs, then they'd better act like it. Their job is to accurately report what happens during a game while offering up smart analysis. A reporter might not like a certain player, or a certain move by the gm, but it is unacceptable to use your column to deliberately attack a player based on how much you like him/her, or how much access they give you. They are supposed to show that they understand the sport, and that they can break done some of the finer points. Articles suggesting waiving one of the best pitchers on the team goes against everything I think a newspaper should stand for. I think reporters have a lot to answer for. Let's not forget that if reporters had done their jobs 15 years ago, they could have broken the steroids scandal before it got this big. Instead, they treated sports athletes like untouchable heroes, refused to ask hard questions, and now they have a big scandal to write about for the 20 years whenever a big name is up for the HOF. Shape up or ship out Paul Sullivan.


Nerd.

thisyearcub said:

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FINALLY! Thank you Julie. I am glad you have seen the light. This all started a while back when he admitted that he gave negative coverage to players he doesn't like. He is an embarassment. The sad thing is, there are some really good journalists still out there, but agenda hacks like Sullivan are ruining it. Bruce Miles does excellent work, but now the Daily Herald won't let him travel on road games, which sucks.

Also, can we extend that policy as to "anything written by Paul Sullivan involving anybody"?

thisyearcub said:

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I can't get enough of watching Soriano's GS. That was a BOMB.

Also, I hope Stevens continues to get more opportunities. That kid can throw. Finally, hilarious that Samardzija got the win last night.

JulieDiCaro said:

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it's NOT hilarious that Spellcheck got the win. now we're going to be stuck with him for the rest of the season.

flyball said:

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we were going to be stuck with him anyway

thisyearcub said:

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No, he's still firmly in Lou's doghouse. Most of the time he gets in for extra innings. If B.J. Ryan is able to find his mojo, I imagine Samardzija will be sent down. As far as tonight's move goes, it's likely bye-bye Justin Berg. Hope he enjoyed the cup of coffee.

flyball said:

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coffee, yum

waxpaperbeercup said:

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it's a dying media julie. i guess there only hope for survival is sensationalism, and i'm only kidding partially. the tribune has really thrown out any code of conduct for it's journalists and you see it with sully. sully was at one time the best on the cubs beat, he's probably over stayed his time with the Cubs and should probably move onto another beat...like the uic basket weaving team, they are tough.

baturkey said:

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Yes, it's good to see the Cubs reaching deep into the bullpen and comping up with zero runs.

Doc said:

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That's good and all...

I just hope Dempster can go deep into the game today to give those guys a rest. That might be a tall order considering he's coming off the DL.

gravedigger said:

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so, how long is lilly out? and how did a knee problem lead to shoulder surgery? last time i heard, the knee was nowhere near the shoulder.

MLBfan said:

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Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday, and he is expected to return to the team sometime in the middle of August.

Lilly's knee surgery goes 'very well'
Cubs lefty also dealing with inflamed pitching shoulder

Kurt Evans said:

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Pitching mechanics, gravedigger. If Lilly was favoring his knee the last time he threw, then he may have been using a different arm slot or he might have been trying to "push" the ball more than usual. Either scenario can spell trouble for his elbow/shoulder.

Last I heard, he's out for 3 weeks. I don't see it as so big a deal if Dempster comes back a little luckier than he was before he got hurt.

Ed Nickow said:

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Poor Paul Sullivan
Seems to have pronoun problems
Mixed up we and me.

Yeah, yeah ... I know he used "I", but that's not a pronoun.

It's called poetic license.
(grin)

flyball said:

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I missed so much last night! I so would have stayed up to watch that

JulieDiCaro said:

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i was just about the give up and go to bed when fonzie hit his bomb.

Doc said:

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First place...
Great finish...
Soriano grand slam...
Bullpen looks great...
5 game winning streak...

And all I can dwell on is Fontenot whiffing in the ninth on that bunt.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that was a horrible play. he looked like he was taking off for 1st before he made contact. i still can't figure out what he was doing.

flyball said:

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trying to be a hero

Doc said:

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He didn't even need to try. That's what is so sad about it. It was a good pitch to bunt...not perfect, but very buntable. If you are hitting as crappy as Fontenot has been this year, you had better be able to put down a fricken bunt or you have not value to your team! Geez. I am now officially on the "Send Fontenot back to Boise!" bandwagon.

flyball said:

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Billy don't be a hero!

JulieDiCaro said:

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I've been scouring the internet for things for us to talk about, but there's just nothing out there today. Unless we want to rehash Pete Rose. . . again.

Doc said:

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No Pete Rose talk. He was my favorite player when I was a kid. He broke my heart.

Reinstate him...don't reinstate him...doesn't matter, he isn't going to get voted into the Hall of Fame. And so be it. The jerk.

flyball said:

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please no, I've listened to a lot of disturbing conversations already today

and seriously, now I want an iced coffee, thanks a lot matt

flyball said:

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here's something semi-baseball related

the Schaumburg Flyers (Independent Northern League team) are playing against the Chicago Bandits (women's pro fast pitch softball)

I'd go if I was in town, be kinda fun, plus I like Flyers games

and yes, I totally got that from Gaper's Block

jtbwriter said:

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Afternoon all!
Julie, thank you for an amazing editorial-you really hit the nail on the head with your breakdown of the malicious treatment Sullivan gives players he holds grudges against. That so-called writer should crawl back under his rock until he knows the difference between journalism and poison pen tabloid writing!
I'm going to send an email off right now.

In the meantime-go Cubbies! Beat the 'stros!

jtbwriter said:

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Just in case the Trib doesn't allow this to be posted:

Dear Editor:

Regarding the recent potshots by Paul Sullivan and the Sports writers (and I use that term loosely) of the Tribune towards Milton Bradley and the Chicago Cubs:

Anyone who believes every word Paul Sullivan writes-Suckers! Read every other paper and see how many times this poor excuse of an "journalist" misquotes and lies about what ballplayers like Milton Bradley actually say!

Yesterday and today
Bradley was accurately quoted in the Sun, AP and other outlets as saying "Are we going to get more cheers now?"...not "Am I". This is just another in a long line of potshots and cheap innuendo that the Trib allows to be printed.
I believe that after this latest demonstration of the grudge Paul Sullivan carries toward Bradley, this should be the last straw for his employment. For
any paper, and I repeat, any paper who employs a poison pen tabloid writer like Sullivan deserves the libel and slander suits that are just begging to be filed!

Here's hoping enough readers weigh in and get the jerk to apologize or at least issue a correction.

JulieDiCaro said:

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White Sox send Brian Anderson to the Bo Sox for Mark Kotsay and cash.

Wasn't Brian Anderson their Felix Pie not too long ago?

gravedigger said:

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yawn. waiting for a real trade.

i think the deadline is going to be a lot of yawning.

anyone else think they need to move the deadline back just a little? hendry is right, with parity, teams dont have the same urgency to act july 31 -- they dont know for sure if they are in it or not.

Doc said:

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I miss the old days when we would rape the Pirates around this time of year.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I really had my heart set on Freddy Sanchez.

Sigh.

gravedigger said:

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me too. is that for sure not happening?

Doc said:

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I don't think Brian Anderson was considered to have the overall skills that Felix Pie did. I know they were hoping for a bit more hitting from him, but I don't think they expected him to be an all-star or anything.

I'm not sure what benefit this trade has for the BoSox.

On the plus side for the Sox (of the White variety), Mark Kotsay's wife in rather hot I believe.

Doc said:

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if we are looking for news to talk about,

Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian have split.

I'm not sure what she is famous for outside of dating Reggie Bush and having some show on E! but she's kinda hot...so all you single guys on this site can start your engines. I'm married, so it really doesn't matter to me.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm waiting to see how millertime is taking this news...

gravedigger said:

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she's famous because she had that sex tape

Doc said:

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Dear god...lots of people have sex tapes. Why did her's make her so famous? She had to be something before the sex tape in order to be famous.

gravedigger said:

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her boyfriend was someone famous, some kind of singer.

flyball said:

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wasn't she a model?

gravedigger said:

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oh maybe that too. i dont know.

flyball said:

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hey, the Simpsons are on stamps

flyball said:

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woohoo! baseball I can watch tonight

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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She's the daughter of Robert Kardashian, and OJ Simpson is her godfather! Plus she's the step-daughter of Bruce Jenner (who now looks like a woman). From her Wikipedia entry:

"Kimberly Noel "Kim" Kardashian (born October 21, 1980) is an American "celebutante", socialite, model, actress, businesswoman,[1] and television personality. She is best known for her social life and her role on the E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

Doc said:

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So she has done nothing. Unbelievable. Just like Paris Hilton. People piss me off for making people like her famous.

flyball said:

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um, who's Robert Kardshian

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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He was one of OJ's lawyers in the criminal trial.

Doc said:

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Oh, I get it, if you are a daughter of a laywer for a famous person and you make a sex tape, you get a show on E!. Makes perfect sense now.

Doc said:

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In non baseball related news...

Brett Favre will not be coming out of retirement to play for the Vikings.

Good.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I really don't care about the Vikes one way or another (my dad's a fan, so I guess I'd like him to be happy), but Favre is such an a-hole for dragging this out so long, once again.

Doc said:

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I'm stunned...

I really thought he would somehow drag this out another 2 or 3 weeks.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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When you posted that, I had the same thought. Really? He's actually made a decision already?

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Just for fun: Pat and Ron's call of Soriano's grand slam. Found via ACB which I think was found via BCB.

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