A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines For Friday

Shawon Dunston

 

Somtimes, in life, you come across a news story that makes you go "WTF?" This is one of those stories. Chung-chung!

So news that Dunston sent a handwritten letter to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware objecting to the decision to place the team in bankruptcy was surprising. 

Dunston, who works part time for the San Francisco Giants, wrote that he was "entitled to college scholarship funds" from the Cubs that were part of his original contract. Reached at his San Francisco-area home Thursday night, Dunston explained that a financial adviser told him to write the letter and that he has no intention of going to college at this stage of his life.

"It was just a formality," Dunston said. "When I signed the contract [in 1982], they said they'd pay for my college tuition if I ever went. It was part of my signing bonus, but I never used it. My adviser asked me about it, and told me to send a letter by the 16th [of September], so that's what I did. I have nothing against the Cubs."

Okay then. Thanks for helping to streamline the process, Shawon. 

Was it just me, or did Paul Sullivan report yesterday that Harden was shut down for the season? For some reason, in writing about a bizarre clubhouse scene, he gives us a really bizarre column:

But few could top the crazy atmosphere Thursday after a 7-4 loss to the Brewers.

The Cubs may be out of the pennant race, but they still lead the league in chaos, confusion and misdirection plays.

It all began with rookie starter Randy Wells taking the blame for Thursday's loss, admitting he "lost focus," saying manager Lou Piniella "hit a nerve" with his criticism and calling his outing "pitiful."

Normally, that would be enough to stand on its own. But Wells' mea culpa was just the appetizer. As Wells left, media relations director Peter Chase flicked the switch to the sound system, ending the interview session without manager Lou Piniella.

"Where's Lou?" I shouted.

Piniella had declined to talk, he replied.

Piniella not talking after a game is a rarity. He does it about once a year and already had used his mulligan for 2009.

Thanks for painting us a picture, but the details of what the reporters said and did realy doesn't interest me. What else you got?

As the media horde wondered what was up with Piniella, it filed into the clubhouse and saw some colorful costumes hung in several players' lockers. It was rookie hazing day, where Ryan Dempster buys goofy costumes for the rookies to wear on the team charter.

 

Players huddled around Milton Bradley's locker, wondering why he left for a pinch-runner with no one immediately replacing him. Bradley picked up his clothes and went elsewhere to dress.

I wandered over to Rich Harden's locker, where the Cubs pitcher appeared surprised to learn he was being skipped in the rotation for his next start, and possibly one more.

Harden had told the media he was fine Wednesday, so why would he possibly miss two starts?

"Who said that?" Harden asked.

"Lou," I replied.

Harden insisted he would miss only one start and that he's just "a little tired."

Maybe shouldn't have reported he was done for the season, then, huh?

I trudged to the other side of the clubhouse, where Sam Fuld was dressed as Wonder Woman, Jeff Samardzija as Buzz Lightyear and David Patton as a giant leprechaun. Carlos Zambrano was the official team photographer, naturally.

Bradley re-entered the scene and reluctantly took questions at his locker.

What happened with the injury?

"I'm not talking about that," he said. "What else you got?"

Why did you come out?

"I got knee inflammation," he said. "I got two knee surgeries. That happens when you got knee surgery, in case you don't know. What else you got?"

How long will you be out?

"What else you got? Anything significant?"

This went on and on until Bradley turned his back, ending the interview. A few minutes later, reporters were called into Piniella's office, where he calmly discussed Wells' start, Bradley's knee injury and Harden's fatigue.

I don't even know what to say about this article. It's more bizarre than the clubhouse scene. I've never seen a beat reporter insert himself into the story they Sullivan has begun doing lately. Moving on.

Daily Herald, save us from this train wreck:

"I've got three starts left here and I've got to get it done," Harden said following his fourth consecutive start in which he failed to go 5 innings.

Um, doesn't look like that's going to happen.

"We're going to skip Harden on Monday and put (Tom) Gorzelanny in the rotation; he'll be pitching against Milwaukee Monday and I would think probably in San Francisco, too, on Saturday," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.

Does it mean this is just to give Harden a break, or is the team shutting him down for the season?

"We're going to skip him a turn for sure and then we'll see," Piniella said. "There's nothing wrong with him at all. This will freshen him up a little bit."

Thank you. Was that so hard?

Cubs head to StL for the Cards today. Joy.

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49 Comments

gravedigger said:

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JEsus Paul Sullivan sucks.

Isn't it one of the tenants of journalism to NOT make the story about the reporter? Or keep the reporter out of the story? Or however you want to say it, fuck I'm really hungover.

JulieDiCaro said:

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yeah. i guess sports reporting is somewhere between a column and a news piece, but still. i think it's pretty bad.

Max Power said:

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It is one of the tenets of journalism. The tenants of journalism are the squatters who refuse to admit that the industry has changed.

gravedigger said:

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I told you, I'm badly hungover.

Doc said:

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um...

Why do I have the feeling next season (Lou's last?) will be just like 2006 (Dusty's last season)?

Hopefully there will be a lot for me to complain about. I thrive on that.

gravedigger said:

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I feel the same way. About both points. In fact, I need some new fodder.

millertime said:

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It was cold in the locker room. Ice cold. The lights flickered on and off occasionally, much like the bats of Soriano and Soto. Near the lockers, flashes from cameras caused odd temporary shadows to form across the walls. As I walked around I could hear idle chatter of a team doomed to not make the playoffs above the low droning tones of the jacuzzi, the kind of tones you only recognize after their gone. The clubhouse had the feel of an old hotel past its prime, still trying to recapture it's glory days. Something was not right in Cubsland today. There was this feeling of uncertainty I just couldn't shake. Players were wearing crazy costumes, laughing as if nothing was wrong, but I could see the pain in their eyes. I knew there was only one place to go for answers. But did I really want to walk down that path again?

I started the long journey to Lou's office. He was the manager around here, and generally the guy someone like me would go to for the real scoop on the issues. I figured if I played it straight I could star making some headway on this case. As I approached the office I noticed the room was black. Lou must be out at the speakeasy again. At least thats what everyone would assume. I was ready to dismiss my feelings and chalk it up to another episode of too much scotch and watching another losing effort. But then He walked in. Milton Bradley. Bradley was an odd bird, mad at the world for being the world. I'd have to watch my step around him. Others hadn't and had paid the price.

"Where's Lou at?", I asked him, causally lighting my smoke.

"Fuck off weirdo!" He replied.

It was then that I noticed the bat near his locker. And I knew, that this interview was over.

Umbra said:

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Post. Of. The. Year.

flyball said:

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excellent!

gravedigger said:

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If we could have signatures, "Fuck off weirdo!" would be it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This could be our afternoon project: rewrite a passage in Paul Sullivan-ese.

millertime said:

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I picture it film noir style. For the movie, Bogart can play the part of Paul Sullivan. The prospect of Sullivan saying "you're bat is ice cold, angel" to Mike Fontenot would make my day.

We could have a short story contest! Each week we pick a different writing style, and then rewrite a sullivan piece in that style. Like when those improv comics do that thing where they act out the same 2 minute scene in a variety of hilarious television and movie styles.

flyball said:

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I can't write for anything, but I'd read those

Dmband said:

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"Milton what happened with your knee"...

(Milton) "What else you got?"

Is this guy for real...he is a walking joke...I also find it interesting that he left the room to get dressed...clearly, no one on the team likes him, and he is officially an outcast...

its time for Milty to pack up his shit and get out.

Umbra said:

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You find it interesting that he left the room to get away from Paul Sullivan?

I find your post...interesting.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Come on, Dave. Even Lou said Milton handled the situtation wrong. Asking a player if he's injured is fair game. And I'm NOT defending Paul Sullivan.

Umbra said:

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And Milton replied that his knee was inflamed. Asking a player if he's injured is fair game. Asking him multiple times after you've gotten your answer makes it look like you're not really interested in the information in the first place. You just want to make a scene. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm a little quick to jump to MB's defense.

Dmband said:

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Millertime-

"Great story, compelling and rich"....in the words of a favorite poet of mine,

You compose art like the ghost of Mozart.

JulieDiCaro said:

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So this convict escaped from police custody yesterday. he was shackled at his hands and feet, and he managed to get two guns, and make one of the cops give him his clothes. pics of the cop afterwards wearing an orange prison jumpsuit was priceless.

so far today he's carjacked a gray jetta and robbed a bank. AND he's heading in my direction. SWEET.

gravedigger said:

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You should go out and greet him! Bring him cookies. He's probably hungry.

Doc said:

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I'm really stunned they haven't caught me yet.

Dmband said:

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Am I reading this right, its says that he left when players were huddled around him, not the writers? Is that a typo:

"Players huddled around Milton Bradley's locker, wondering why he left for a pinch-runner with no one immediately replacing him. Bradley picked up his clothes and went elsewhere to dress. "

Otherwise, yes I totally understand why he wouldnt want to talk to Sully...

gravedigger said:

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Is Louis CK the funniest living comedian?

JulieDiCaro said:

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him, Kathy Griffin, or Lewis Black.

I first saw Lois CK back in college. He's been around for looooong time.

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, I just discovered him yesterday, can you believe that? But I agree with that trifecta. I've seen Kathy and Lewis Black in person, now I want to see CK.

I laugh at just about everything, but these three really match my style of humor. With CK especially, I don't think I stop laughing from start to finish.

JulieDiCaro said:

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he was on a young comedians special a long time ago, i think it was gthe 8th one or something, it was one of the funniest things i've ever seen. they still replay it on HBO from time to time.

gravedigger said:

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I guess I should also say "American" comedian, because there could be a seriously funny fucker in Estonia.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Funnier than Jeff Foxworthy!?

millertime said:

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I like Penn and Teller.

Dmband said:

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Julie-

Fear not, he was just captured..we rec. alerts at work that indicate he was just captured on Rt59...

JulieDiCaro said:

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Rte 59 goes right by my house!!!!

Ah well, as least he never made it to Napertopia.

Dmband said:

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Does anyone else find it humerous the convicts name was Maday...

How'd did that radio transmission go:

"He's escaped...

(Dispatch) "Who"

Maday, Maday...

(Dispatch)...Yes....we understand, but who escaped..

Maday...Maday...

Dmband said:

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Also, does anyone have a serious problem with this headline from the Trib:

"Insane killer escapes on field trip to county fair in Washington, has past history of fleeing"

I have sooo many questions...for starters, why is an insane killer getting to go on field trips, partricualry if he has a history of fleeing...

JulieDiCaro said:

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this was my question as well. where did they go, to the zoo? the science musuem? where does one take an insane killer on a field trip?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i was kidding, but apparently they took him to the county fair. and he has a history of escaping.

why do i suspect washington's state reps are busily banging away at their computers at this moment?

Umbra said:

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Julie, you write for RedEye, right? Could you please tell whoever is responsible for the 'hottie at the bar' flowchart that they are doing it wrong?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Uh. . . okay.

flyball said:

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hey look! I'm winning in fantasy baseball

gravedigger said:

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Shit I forgot all about that league.

flyball said:

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I love the slacker league

gravedigger said:

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I don't even remember if it was Yahoo, ESPN, or something else. I imagine I must be in last place.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I think you are. But I'm not very far ahead of you, and I check in at least once every two weeks.

flyball said:

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espn
you're second to last, sec is last

oops, its over, I won!

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Regular season is over... we're in the playoffs now

jtbwriter said:

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Afternoon from hot and bothered So Cal....
Thanks for posting the "rookie" costume party info-anyone seen pics of the participants? So appropo that Z is the photographer. If I recall-last year's festivities were cancelled by Lou because of the pressure of the pennant race...sigh. This weekend will decide if we get that pressure again.

JulieDiCaro said:

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HAHA.

Douglas Brinkley just took Joe Wilson APART.

WOW.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Bill Clinton and Al Gore were in town today, attending the same funeral as Reggie Miller and Larry Bird. How interesting is that?

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