A League of Her Own

Open thread Archives

Cubs (Finally) Trade Tom Gorzelanny To The Nats

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Yes, you.

 I feel like we've been talking about the Cubs trading Gorzelanny since the day after they acquired him.

Today, it finally happened:

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs have traded left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny to the Washington Nationals for three minor league prospects -- two pitchers and an outfielder, according to two major league sources.


The trade is pending a physical that Gorzelanny is expected to take on Tuesday.

The Cubs felt it was necessary to make this move because of payroll constraints, and they felt comfortable with their depth on the pitching staff after acquiring starter Matt Garza from the Rays.

As I said in the post below, when Gorzelanny was introduced at Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, Tim and I both cocked our heads to the side and said "Rhu?" like my dog when she really really wants to understand me, but just doesn't. I was hoping he'd get traded while he was AT Cubs Con. .  like in the middle of an autograph session or something. . . and just get up an leave.

Alas, the Cubs never do anything that interesting.

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Cubs Con Day 2

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Kerry thows out the first pitch at last night's Opening Ceremonies (Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)

 As I've been tweeting all day, this post is going to be a disjointed list of thought/things that have happened so far:

1) The Meetup last night was a huge success; thanks to all who stopped by, including our friends at the Cubs PR and Marketing department, the brains/funnybone behind The Heckler, Brad, ESPN100's Sarah Spai, my podcast partners Tim and Adam, flyball, baturkey, and many more. We had a grand ole time and ran up a very, very large tab.

2.  If you want to read my live tweets/updates from the morning sessions at Cubs Con, you can follow my twitter stream here: http://twitter.com/juliedicaro. You should also follow http://www.twitter.com/Aisle424 for updates from Tim.

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The Return of Reed!

Reed Johnson

 Washed up? Check.

Stupid facial hair? Check.

Desperation move by the Cubs to win back the fans? Check.

Kinda sucky? Check.

I don't care. The Cubs have agreed to a minor league contract with Reed Johnson and invited him to camp. And I'm irrationally exuberant about it. After all, now that Sam Fuld is gone, we need someone to crash into the ivy.

And yes, we all know that my love of Reedz orginated when Flyball and I ran into him near the batting cages and he was wearing a very tight t-shirt that showed off his very big muscles. So what? We all have those Cubs who don't deserve our

 devotion.

Who is yours and why?

Cubs Fans Mid-Winter Tweetup Hopping; Cubs Con. . . Not So Much

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Last year's Cubs Con Meetup got crowded.

Has this EVER happened before?

Tickets to the 2009 Cubs Convention sold out in 24 minutes. Two years later, $60 tickets to the annual fan fest remain available two months after they went on sale and just a week before the three-day convention kicks off Friday.

The slow ticket sales raise some interesting questions. Is this a sign that the team's popularity is starting to wane after two years without a playoff appearance? Have fans decided that if the Cubs are not going to spend lavishly on free agents during the off-season then maybe they should keep their pocketbooks closed, too?

Cubs officials say the convention remains popular. They expect ticket sales to the 26th annual event will equal, if not surpass, last year's total. The convention has sold out for several years, attracting about 15,000 fans a year.

While the convention may still sell out, the Hilton Chicago, which has hosted the festival for 20 years, is not feeling the love from fans.

As of Friday, fans had not reserved as many rooms this year as in the past, which is the reason convention passes are still available, Cubs officials say. The team is trying to sell the hotel's allotment of tickets.

Woooooooooow.

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Cubs Acquire Matt Garza from Rays

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(Tribune Photo)

Only one day after the Chicago Cubs denied that a deal was in the works for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza, it appears that Garza is, or is close to being, a Cub at last. I guess that'll be the last time I believe anything the Cubs say; I should have known better. Here's what Dave van Dyck has to say for now:

The names apparently will include minor-leaguer right-hander Chris Archer, obtained in the Mark DeRosa trade with Cleveland, and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee. Both are considered the Cubs' top prospects at their positions, but Archer is at least a year away from the majors and Lee is stuck behind Starlin Castro. Among other names floated in the proposed deal are Brandon Guyer and catching prospect Robinson Chirinos.

While the cost seems a bit steep (in addition to the names above, Sam Fuld is also reportedly headed south) - I was at peace with a youth movement over the next couple years, but that youth is now on a Greyhound bus to St. Petersburg  - this much is certain: the Cubs now have one of the finest collections of #2 starters in all of baseball. So, overall....yay? Maybe false hope for the season is better than no hope at all; I guess we'll find out.

Happy New Year from LOHO!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Fireworks light up Sydney Harbour during the midnight fireworks session as Sydney Celebrates New Year's Eve on December 31, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)
Find Kiwibob in this photo from Sydney's celebration

Happy New Year to each and everyone one you LOHOers. Even the ones who don't comment. Anyone making resolutions? Any resolutions you think the Cubs should make?

Friday Headlines: Anybody Want to Talk about Anything?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 30: The Times Square New Year s Eve Ball is tested the day before New Year's Eve December 30, 2010 in New York City. The 11,875-pound Waterford crystal ball will descend a 141-foot tall flagpole to mark the beginning of 2011. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Julie is fleeing the country, there's nothing going on with the Cubs and Snooki's not going to be dropped in a ball in Times Square. What does that leave us to talk about? Precious little. But if there's something you've just been dying to share with us, please feel free to open up the discussion in the comments. Otherwise it'll be a long New Year's Eve. Unless Jim Hendry pulls something out of his sleeve like he has the last two years. Please, Jim, do it for us.

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!

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No matter what you celebrate this time of year, LOHO wishes you all peace, joy, prosperity, and maybe a decent second baseman.

As we all celebrate the next few days with our loved ones, let's hear your Chrismahanukwanzakah wishes for the members of the Chicago Cubs, as well as your fellow LOHOers.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Community Poll: Who Should Join Pat In The Booth?

Why I'm Still Not On Board With espnW

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 Back in October, I wrote this piece expressing my indignation and disappointment at the creation of espnW. Clearly, the topic was a controversial one, and my thoughts on the issue were quoted in the New York Times, Jezebel.com. Ms. Magazine, and New York Magazine, among others.

Today, espnW writer Sarah Spain tweeted the following: "No disrespect to @juliedicaro meant there, but she's earned a lot of pub 4 a post on something she knew nothing about & hadn't launched yet."

Of course, Sarah is 100% right. Back when I was interviewed by the NYT about espnW, it was nothing but an idea on the horizon. The website hadn't launched, but espnW President Laura Gentile wasn't doing the concept any favors with statements describing an espnW planning retreat as a place  "where we talk about women finding self-esteem in sports and about getting a pedicure." 

 I didn't weigh in on espnW.com when it first came out, because I really hoped they would prove me wrong and we could all go about our business. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case.

Back in October, I had this to say about espnW:

The idea that women need a "girlier" version of sportis programming insulting. This is the same idea that has caused sports marketing geniuses to try to sell baseball to women, who already comprise more than 40% of the fan base, by creating sparkly pink hats and bedazzled t-shirts.

The idea that sports need to somehow be feminized to attract women is completely off-base. Like the Jennie Finches, Julie Foudys, and Lindsay Vonns of the world, women today are the daughters of Title IX. We grew up playing sports, just like the guys, and we still love sports, just like the guys. We don't need pink jerseys to buy sports merchandise and we don't need espnW to cajole us into watching sports programming.

The idea that we want our own ESPN for sunrise yoga and "learning how to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcyle" is, in a word, stupid. And by the way, I already get Lifetime. 


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Links Available for Ron's Funeral

WGN has Ron's funeral and subsequent final trip to Wrigley available for viewing online.

Link.

$10 for #10: Donate $10 to JDRF in Ronnie's Memory

Click to donate. And let us know you did.

In honor of Ron's ongoing fight against diabetes, LOHO will donate the proceeds from December's readership to JDRF That means you should all click on the site early and often!

Ron's funeral will be held on Thursday, December 9 at Holy Name Cathedral. Public viewing begins at 4:00 pm. 

RIP Ronnie: Cubs' Legend Ron Santo Dies at 70

We all knew this day was coming, even as we hoped it wouldn't:

 

Legendary Chicago Cubs player and broadcaster Ron Santo died Thursday night in Arizona. He was 70.

Friends of Santo's family said the North Side icon lapsed into a coma on Wednesday before dying Thursday. Santo died of complications from bladder cancer, WGN-AM 720 reported.

"He absolutely loved the Cubs," said Santo's broadcast partner, Pat Hughes. "The Cubs have lost their biggest fan."

Hughes noted that with all the medical problems Santo had--including diabetes with resulting leg amputations, his heart and bladder cancer--"he never complained. He wanted to have fun. He wanted to talk baseball."

We'll have today's headlines up later, but for now, let's all share our favorite Ron Santo moments: in the booth, on the field, off the field.

As for me, i'm not old enough to have seen Ronnie play live baseball, so my two favorite moments came while he was in the booth. The first was the infamous "toupee burning" incident at Shea stadium. For those that missed it, Ronnie's hairpiece caught fire under an electric heater mounted above the booth in Shea stadium. What made this moment so funny, aside from the fact that nothing has ever, EVER gone right for Ronnie at Shea Stadium, was his comment about the hairpiece afterwards: "Damn, that was my number two. Well, maybe number three now, with the singe marks."

I was laughing so hard I had to pull my car over on the side of the Ike.

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Surprise! Illinois Doesn't Want to Give The Ricketts $200 Million

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Expecting Illinois to give you $200 million to fix up your own property when it's $13 billion in debt is kind of like expecting Kosuke Fukudome to put the team on his back and lead them to the NL pennant.

Nonetheless, the Ricketts obviously thought their financing plan was worth a shot, and hoped to ram it through the fall session of the Illinos General Assembly.

Alas, there is no joy in Wrigleyville. The mighty Ricketts have struck out:

The organization's plan to use amusement-tax growth over the next 35 years to fund a $200 million renovation of the nearly century old stadium on the North Side is dead, sources told the Sun-Times Wednesday.

Ricketts has been trying to figure a way to revamp the stadium while using some sort of public funding, such as the amusement tax growth backstopped with a 2 percent hotel tax, but city and state legislative leaders are wary of saddling tax payers with the burden of paying for the renovation if growth slows.

Legislators told the organization to head back to the drawing board as their plans won't make it through the Fall veto session.

Other ideas include creating a tax increment financing (TIF) district around Wrigley, or broadening the 1 percent tax on downtown restaurant meals that was used to finance McCormick Place.

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Cubs Interested in Derek Jeter Purple Monkey Dishwasher

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Okay, so I  haven't heard anything about the Cubs being interested in Derek Jeter, but the way this off-season is going so far, it's only a matter of time.

This afternoon, as the clouds thicken and the flurries begin to swirl here in Chicago, let's take a look at some of the best (worst? most terrifying?) Cubs rumors to come down the proverbial pipe thus far.

1. Cliff Lee: Cubs fans could barely contain their glee at the prospect of Cliff Lee in Cubbie Blue. Alas, any real Cubs fan knew this story had no legs. We never get teh Cliff Lees of the world. Moving on.

2.  Lance Berkman: People, there is a reason Lance Berkman ended up in the AL as a DH. With Darlin' Starlin Castro's penchant for throwing balls into the dirt/stands/stratosphere, I'm not sure having a sub-par defensive player in the twilight of his career manning first base is the best idea we've ever had.

3.  Carlos Pena: Yes, he's good defensively. But offensively, he's a huge risk. His line from last season? A paltry .196/.325/.407. Given the departure of Derrek Lee and the inconsistency of Aramis Ramirez the last two seasons, I'm not really sure where our offense is supposed to come from, exactly. Pena's numbers are so bad, they make me wonder if Ryan Theriot can play first base.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26:  The Kermit the Frog balloon is prepared for deflation after completing its route during the 83rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the Streets of Manhattan on November 26, 2009 in New York City. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Canada and the United States and traditionally it is a time to give thanks for the harvest.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Safe travels and happy eating to everyone!

Don't Wreck Wrigley

 
 

I should mention at the beginning I am not a classicist, I'm not even really a preservationist; I'll leave that specialty to others. I am however a lover of good architecture, whatever the style, theory, and form it takes. I'm also a little bit of an architecture snob.  And I love Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field should be kept, upgraded, renovated, preserved and restored, but kept nonetheless. Chicago has a great tradition of architecture, much of it resulting from the need to rebuild after the Great Chicago Fire. The city transformed over decades, leading the way with skyscrapers and steel construction. This transformation brought us Louis Sullivan and Daniel Burnham early, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe later, and eventually Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and The Chicago Seven. Wrigley Field is part of that great history of Chicago architecture and should be seen, understood, and appreciated in that context

Here is why:

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Quiet Please, Carl is Sleeping

 

Drinky Carl is still sleeping. The headlines will be up later.

What Kind of Cubs Fan Are You?

While throwing assorted objects at the TV during Todd Ricketts' turn on "Undercover Boss" last night, it occured to me that nothing, NOTHING related to sports should have made me that angry. So Todd gives a paid internship to some guy from the grounds crew based on his stunning job pitch, which consisted of "I went to college and I want to work in the front office."Who cares if Todd Ricketts was unable to do any job at Wrigley Field to even a minimal level of competence? So what? What's it to me? It's a freakin' reality TV show, for crying out loud.

Is it possible that I've become one of THOSE fans? You know the ones I'm talking about; the ones who claim to be die-hard Cubs fans but can't muster a single kind word about the organization? Have I become . .  gulp . . .  a malcontent? And if so, what kind of Cubs fan are you?

Gallery sneak peek (15 images):

View the gallery...
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What I Like About You. . . Or Rather. . . Him

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 Let's be honest. These days, we really don't have the time, patience, or inclination to get to know people. Most of our daily interactions go somethign like this: Do I know you? No? Then i'm going to go ahead and assume I don't like you until you prove me wrong.

Enter Bruce Miles.

Bruce understands that we bloggers and blog readers have busy lives. We have basements to clean, parents to avoid, and World of Warcraft to play.

So Bruce took it upon himself to cut to the chase on our behalf with Mike Quade, giving us several reasons why we should just go ahead and like him right off the bat:

Honesty: One of Quade's early tests came when he benched rookie phenom Starlin Castro for Castro to clear his head and to gain greater focus on the job at hand.

I asked Quade whether his approach is the same for veterans as it is for the kids.

He said no, that veterans get handled differently from the rookies.

That's all well and good, but let's not pussyfoot around the tough questions: Did Quade ever tell Fontenot how stupid his mutton chops looked? Did he tell Theriot he sucked at standing on a base? Did he recognize the inherent danger in sending Ryan Theriot to Hollywood?

These are the kinds of questions that demand answers.    

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Wow, Hendry Really Screwed Up With Ryno

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FACEPALM:

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, passed over for the Cubs' managing job in favor of Mike Quade, is welcome to remain in the organization as manager at Triple-A Iowa, general manager Jim Hendry said Wednesday.

"He is certainly welcome to return to Iowa; we think he did a great job there," Hendry said.. "This was a very tough decision and one that I tossed and turned over. However, I love Ryne Sandberg and have tremendous respect for him."

The Cubs' interest in retaining him came as news to Sandberg, who said Tuesday he had received no offers from the team..

"I was unaware that they wanted me back until I heard it from you," Sandberg said by phone Wednesday from his home in Phoenix. "I guess it is an option. I'm going to take my time and see what is out there.
"

How is it possible for the GM of a major league basseball club, when informing his award-winning AAA manager that he has been passed over for a job with the big league club, to neglect to mention that he can keep the job he already has?

I don't care if they EVER wanted Ryno in the manager's role, you don't let the Pacific Coast League's Manager of the Year walk away without at least TRYING  to keep him in the organization, especially when he means as much to the fans as Ryne Sandberg does. 

Dear John Kass, Where's The Love?

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Please enjoy this visual representation of how John Kass imagines bloggers.

I'll be honest, I stopped reading your column a long time ago. Your predictably anti-left views and torturted take on the facts make my blood pressure rise, and I prefer to start most days without an aneurysm.

However, ChicagoNow Editor Jimmy Greenfield brought this little nugget of wisdom to my attention this morning:

Chicago Tribune reporters work in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. They do not blog from mommy's basement, cutting and pasting what others have reported, while putting it under a cute pen name on the Internet.

Guess what?

I'm a blogger for ChicagoNow, the Tribune's blogger platform. I have a journalism degree, a law degree, and I get paid to blog by the same people that pay you to write your column. I don't live with my parents and I don't blog in my basement. In fact, I run my own law firm and I'm sitting (fully dressed!) in my office right now.  

I'm curious, John, when was the last time you broke a story or wrote something that appeared anywhere outside an op-ed column?

I see. So basically, you cut and paste what others have written and comment on it?

Hmmm. That sounds a lot like what bloggers do.

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Cubs Name Quade Next Manager: Let's Make a Sharing Circle

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 Several media outlets, including the Cubs in-house PR tweeter, @CubsInsider, are reporting that Mike Quade has been named the next manager of the Chicago Cubs.

I, for one, am underwhelmed.

On the other hand, it should make for an interesting Cubs Convention this year.

Even thought I've been saying for weeks that I don't care who the Cubs pick, it turns out that I really DO care, because when I heard it was Qaude, I went "oh man!"

So yes, even I can be swayed by the allure of the sexy hire.

So, I want to hear how you guys are feeling abnout this.

Let's have it.

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And The Winner Is . . . .

THE MINNESOTA TWINS!!!

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For the second year in a row, LOHO has spoken. And it has chosen to support the Minnesota Twins in their postseason run.

Game 1 is tonight at 7:30 pm CT against the evil Yanks.

Let's go Twinks.

Democracy In Action: Election Day!

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There are times in every American's life when he is called upon to cast his vote in the most vital of elections. To determine the course of his community, nay, his country, in the years ahead. To forge a new way for future generations. To decide, once and for all, that for which he stands.

Today, LOHO, this heady task falls to you.

I ask you, dear LOHOers, will you accept this challenge?!?!

Over the course of the last week, we've listened as fans from near and far have pleaded with us to take up their postseason cause.

The Yankees. The Rangers. The Rays. The Twins.

All have come before us on bended knee, asking for the honor of our favor. And we have heard their pleas.

The day of decision is upon us. Which team will we adopt as our own, following them bravely into the unknown, our standards held high in battle?

Let's look at the contenders:

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

View the gallery...
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LOHO Votes--Day 4 Of Democracy In Action: The Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer stands on the field during the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on September 14, 2010.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

Welcome to Day 4 of LOHO Votes: Democracy in Action, wherein we enjoy listening to fans of other teams cajole, plead, and beg for us to cheer for their team in the post-season. If you missed the Rangers, Yankees, and Rays posts, make sure you scroll back a bit and read their campaign pitches.

Today: the Minnesota Twins.

 

It's no secret that the Twinks are my favorite "other" team and that, id I had my druthers, we'd simply move them to Chicago and call them "the Cubs." Alas, my dream has falle n on deaf ears this far.

It's hard to believe that, after last year's post-season debacle, the Twinks would have us back. But there's a lot to be said for "Minnesota nice, eh?"

Erin Nagel of Girl Meets City, take it away!

Minnesota Twins, FTW!
So, your team didn't make it to the Postseason, but you still want to follow a team in October? Why not pick up the Minnesota Twins as your team to win it all? Besides being a team on the hunt in October, they're also a fun team to watch.


I grew up in Florida where I spent most of my time cheering on my favorite college football and minor league baseball teams. I adopted the Twins as my American League team in 2000 after moving to Minneapolis and I'm the first to admit that in my time as a Twins fan I've had it pretty easy. But I know how it feels to be a Cubs fan. I come from a long line of devoted Cubs' fans. I thank my Grandma for instilling the Cubs as the team of choice among my cousins and I. Like most I've made the yearly pilgrimage to Mesa, AZ for Spring Training to welcome the promises of a new baseball season. I've wonder each season it finally "this is our year" will become reality like the millions of Cubs' faithful.

 

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Why I Hate The Idea of espnW

 

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photoshop by @plamorte

This week, ESPN announced the creation of a new sports blog (that could eventually become a new channel) for women, to be known as epsnW:

Selling ESPN specifically to women might not seem sensible.

But ESPN, always on the prowl for spinoffs, wants to target women with espnW.

As ESPN vice president Laura Gentile notes, ESPN's own research finds "women see us as an admirable brand that has authority. But they see us as their father's brand, or husband's brand, or boyfriend's brand. They recognize it's not theirs"

No wonder. Men account for 76% of ESPN's overall viewership. And just two types of programming it produces draws majority-female audiences: The National Spelling Bee on ABC (63% female) and cheerleading shows on ESPN2 (52%) -- with ESPN2's Wimbledon coverage in third place with 48%.

The network plans to make espnW a new sub-brand that will soon begin as a blog and could end up being its own TV channel. Says Gentile: "I think espnW-branded programming is in the cards, but I can't say whether we'll make it into a network."

Gentile is overseeing a retreat this week at a Southern California resort -- which includes athletes such as Shannon Miller, Jennie Finch, Laila Ali, Julie Foudy and Marion Jones, as well as lots of sports marketers -- to toss around ideas for espnW.

And squeeze in activities such as sunrise yoga and learning to ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Studio show yak probably isn't the answer. Seven of the eight types of ESPN shows with the lowest percentages of women viewers are studio shows. (The programming with the absolute low is NCAA men's lacrosse, where females comprise just 12% of viewers.)

ESPN's research, says Gentile, suggests women don't see following sports as a "passive activity" as much as men do, so espnW "should take a more active approach, showing sports but also talking about working out and being healthy and connecting to other women."

Gentile says "the retreat, where we talk about women finding self-esteem in sports and about getting a pedicure, is a reflection of what we want to do with the espnW brand -- find a more holistic way of looking at sports."

Oh, where to begin?

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LOHO Celebrates Day 3 Of Democracy: The New York Yankees

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 We've hit Day 3 of LOHO Votes: Democracy in Action. If you've missed the campaign speeches from the Rangers and Rays fans, scroll back a couple of posts and make sure you read them.

Today we consider the New York Yankees, and our campaign speech comes courtesy of one of my favorite sports bloggers anywhere, Amanda Rykoff of OCD Chick.

PLEASE LET HER FINISH BEFORE YOU START YELLING. 

When the lovely Cubbie Julie asked me to write a guest post for LOHO on why Cubs fans should root for the Yankees this post-season, I was intrigued. How could I convince fans of one of the most storied and, um, shall we say... "unfortunate"... teams to root for one of the most storied and, um, "fortunate" teams in baseball history? It's like asking Gryffindors to fight for Voldemort. Or the Jedi Knights to join up with Darth Vader. Or anybody outside of Miami rooting for LeBron James and the Heat.

Of course I fully expect any neutral observers to root for the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League playoffs. Heck, if I wasn't a Yankees fan, I'd do the same. The Twins have a solid team, hometown hero Joe Mauer and a beautiful new ballpark. The Rays are likable, play solid baseball, have great pitching and Evan Longoria and a horrendous ballpark. Despite the inherent challenges in the task (enjoy pushing a rock up a hill much, Sisyphus?), I decided to give it a shot. I have nothing to lose. It's not like you'll hate the Yankees even more when I'm done.

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Democracy in Action, Day 2: The Tampa Bay Rays

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 It's day 2 of LOHO Votes: Democracy In Action.To recap, after hearing pleas from fans/bloggers of all the post-season teams, we here at LOHO will vote on which team we decide to collectively follow during the playoffs, in the hopes that we'll bring a team better luck than we brought the Twinks last season (sorry, Twinks fans). 

 If you missed Day 1: The Texas Rangers, make sure you go here and read.

Today, we consider the Tampa Bay Rays. On the one hand, I love manager Joe Maddon and cheering for the Rays will allow me to use my favorite funny nickname, Even Schlongoria.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I can get behind a team who only has 57 fans and whose star player wears douchey Ed Hardy t-shirts.

Then again, if the Rays win the World Series, maybe Jim Hendry will add Joe Maddon to his ever-growing list of interviewees.

I don't know. I can't figure it all out tonight, so I'm going to sit back and let Rays fan Jake Larsen (@jakelarsen) of the fabulous blog Deep Dish take it from here:

Cubs fans, I must admit that being a Rays fan is nothing compared to the bad luck associated with the Cubs. "The Billy Goat", "The Black Cat" and "Bartman" are far worse experiences than being deemed one of the worst expansion teams in the history of sports during the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays"(sorry, Andrew, don't fine them) Era of the franchise. Being a perennial loser and laughingstock for the 1st decade of existence wasn't a fun adventure to endure, but in the 3-years of the "Rays" Era of the franchise...it has been fun to watch. 

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Why ChicagoNow Screwed Up In Censoring Joe The Cop

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When I was originally approached by ChicagoNow, way back in February of 2009, my biggest concern about moving my blog to the Chicago Tribune's blog network was censorship. After all, the Cubs were still owned by the Tribune Company, and I was often. . .  less than polite in some of my critique of their baseball operations.

To my relief, I was reassured that my blog would remain MY BLOG, that ChicagoNow had no interest in influencing my posts, and that, short of porn or threatening the President, there was little I could do that would cause the powers that be to remove any of my posts from public view.

Though handing over the administrative reins to my blog was intimidating, ChicagoNow has been true to their word. Not a single one of my posts has been altered or influenced in any way, even when readers have complained about my sometimes-less-than-ladylike-language. I do blog about the Cubs, after all.

Unfortunately, not all ChicagoNow bloggers have been so lucky. Earlier this week, ChicagoNow removed two posts written by my friend and fellow blogger Joe the Cop. As former Public Defender, my official policy is to be wary of cops, whom I usually trust no further than I can throw.  Sadlly, Joe won me over right away. With his boyish sense of right and wrong and his willingness to listen to every side of a story, I came to admire and respect Joe as one of the most fair-minded people I've ever met. 

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On Women, Sports Media, and Sex

Sportscaster Erin Andrews joined Olympic champion figure skater Evan Lysacek for a bite to eat at local Los Angeles, California restaurant on July 16, 2010.  Fame Pictures, Inc

Whether you look like Ines Sainz or people often mistake you for a man, it takes a lot for women to put themselves out there in the world of sports media. And whether you're anchoring ESPN News or blogging from your basement, sooner or late the subject of you beauty, or lack thereof, is going to come up.

Maybe it's the fact that my looks have been disparaged (okay, "disparaged" is being generous. They both called me "fat" and "ugly") by two separate readers the same week the Ines Sainz story blew up, but it got me thinking about the way women are viewed in the world of sports media, trying to devine an over-arching theme, if there is one.

I think there is. And I think it's this:

Sports are the province of men. If you want to join in, fine. But if you do, your looks, for better or for worse, are fair game.

This works out well for the Erin Andewses and Jenn Stergers of the world. After all, what guy doesn't want to look at them throughout the course of a game? And as long as they play by the rules and don't rock the boat, everything is just fine.

But heaven forbid any of the sports media starlets complain of being ill-used or abused by any of America's golden boys. Then, the pact has been broken and the gloves come off.

Videotaped naked in your hotel room? You probably knew that guy was taping you and liked it. I think I'll go watch it and violate you all over again.

Harrassed in a locker room by grown men? Look how you're dressed. You were asking for it.

Dare to criticize a favorite player or team AND commit the caridnal sin of not being attractive to me? Let me skip an intellectual discussion of your argument and go right to pointing out all the things that make you unattractive to me. After all, you deserve it for daring to be a woman in a man's world, anyway.

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Cubs Announce "We Came Up With More Ceremonies!" Ceremony

Look people, if there's anyone that understands the value of a good promotion, it's me. It's how I keep all of you coming back day after day, even with the Cubs 57 games back and no good news on the horizon. Why do you think I keep dangling Sam Fuld's pants in front of you?

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But even I know when to say when.

In addition to the upcoming honoring of Billy Williams with the unveiling of his statue outside Wrigley, the Cubs are also going to re-honor Harry Caray with a ceremony celebrating (pointing out?) the moving of his statue from Clark and Sheffield to the area outside the bleachers.

Does this really require a "rededication" and obligatory rededication ceremony?

Of course, after the ceremony marking hauling Harry's statue 500 feet is over, we only have another week until the ceremony to unveil Billy's statue. And this is only a little over a week after the ceremony to honor Bobby Cox. And Lou Piniella, and a mere few days after the ceremony to honor Andre Dawson. Not to mention the ceremonies to honor police officers, fire fighters, and the military.

It's only a matter of time until Ernie's statue gets jealous and wants a ceremony of its own. And how long after that until the statue of Santo goes up? And we've already had approximately 187 ceremonies to honor Ronnie, 67 of which took place this year. 

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Hey Cubs Fans: What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

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What's that? Pizza, you say?  Left-over Chinese? A Bologna sandwich?

Guess what the under-acheiving, leaving-everyone-on-base, 10,000-games-under-.500 Cubs had?

Caviar.

Now, while I will grant that caviar is about the grossest food product out there, both in theory and in actual taste, it is my understanding that caviar is something that people use to celebrate special occasions.

So um. . . what is it exactly that we're celebrating?

The Cubs have the highest average ticket price in baseball, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that the team served caviar in its pregame spread before Monday night's game against the Padres at Wrigley Field.

Manager Lou Piniella joked about the expensive delicacy to clubhouse man Tom Hellmann before the game, saying: "Hell, if we were in first place, we'd have a chef from France in here."

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Calling Fantasy Football Players

I'm setting up LOHO's fantasy football league. Email me if you want in.

aleagueofherown (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner gets their choice of Sam Fuld's pants OR Jeff's Derrek Lee Bobblehead.

RIP Ted Stevens: Sponsor of Title IX

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) walks into the Senate Chamber in the Capitol in Washington for the first vote of the night on October 1, 2008. (UPI Photo/Yuri Gripas) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

If you had told me, at any point in time before last week, that I would be dedicating part of LOHO's front page to the life and work of Senator Ted Stevens, I would have laughed you out of town.

Those of you who are familiar with my political leanings know that I agreed with Stevens about as much as Dennis Kucinich agrees with Sarah Palin. Plus, I loved making fun of his comment about the internet being a "series of tubes" more than just about anything else in life.

But recently, a loyal and beloved LOHO reader who worked for Senator Stevens made a comment about Ted Stevens and Title IX. Specifically, he asked why someone who held Title IX in such high esteem never gave Stevens, the co-sponsor of the Sentate bill, any credit for it.

The answer is because I had no idea he sponsored it.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the 1972 federal statute known as Title IX, it provides as follows:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...
--United States Code Section 20
In short, high schools and colleges who wanted to continue to receive federal funds had to do one of the following:

 

  • Providing athletic participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment, OR
  • Demonstrating a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex, OR
  • Demonstrating full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.

 

 

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Cubs Game/Open Thread: Does Anybody Care Anymore?

So, its like the 3rd or 4th or 5th inning and everyone has gone to bed.  Nobody cares about this game.

But my question is: does anybody care about this team this season?  Or at all?

Some things have been good:
  • Geo Soto has quietly put together quite a good season
  • Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin have done about all you can ask out of a couple of rookies
  • Carlos Marmol is fucking nasty.  And Marshall too.
  • Carlos Silva had a half year where he was almost worth his ridiculous $12 million salary
I'm not even about to bullet-point out the bad.  We've been there and experienced it.  Which is why I ask, once again: Does anybody care about this team?

This is my second game thread in three days, and I don't know who this team is playing.  I don't know who is pitching, what starters are playing.  In years past, I'd know this, as well as everyone's stats.  Yet, I didn't even know until last week that Soto was one of the three best players on the team (by far).  I don't even know who is in the bullpen except for Marmol and Marshall.

Clearly, I don't care.  But I have this question for everyone else:  Do you care at all what happens the remainder of this season?

Also, there's a game on, so if you're up, feel free to comment.

Lilly, Theriot Dealt to Mannywood

Several media outlets (read "MLB beat reporters tweeting in their underwear) are reporting that Theriot/Lilly to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt is a done deal. DeWitt is a 24-year old lefty infielder who made $410k in 2010 and has on OPS roughly 100 points higher than Theriot's.

But does he have that media "presence" Theriot was so proud of? Only time will tell. The good news is that we may be able to retire the "TOOTBLAN" stat for good.

This story is still breaking--there may be some prospects or possibly John Ely involved in this deal.

The Hawk's Hall of Fame Induction: LIVE!

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No offense to Jon Miller and Joe Maddon, who no doubt are entitled to enjoy their big day (even if Jon Miller DID have Joe Morgan introduce him), but no one really cares about your speeches. In the future, the media guys need to keep their acknowledgements a LOT shorter, because, let's be honest, we're all really here for the players.

Wille Mays hasn't moved for a good 30 minutes, and I think someone should check for a pulse. Right now, Johnny Bench is doing a really, really horrible impersonation of Harry Caray, and no one is singing along with his horrible rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Also, Ozzie Smith and Rod Carew are going to have to work out their wardrobe, because when I see a red suit, I think  "Rod Carew." Now we're watching a video retrospective of Doug Havey. I guess no one wanted to introduce an umpire.

Why is this taking so long?

2:09 pm CT: Selig is reading the inscription on Doug Harvey's plaque. Hank Aaron is wandering around in the background looking for his seat.

2:11 pm CT: Awwwww. Doug Harvey can't give his speech because of throat cancer. We're watching a tape of his acceptance speech taped in the Spring. How sad. Doug tells every umpire "from the Little Leagues, to the big Leagues . . .  this is OUR day. I'm here representing all of you."' That's nice.

2:15 pm CT: So far, Doug Harvey with the best speech by a mile. "How many guys have called a foul on Dr. J and a foul ball on Doc Gooden?"

2:18 pm CT: Julie is now pretty sure she could listen to Doug Harvey tell stories for hours. Too bad they didn't induct him while he could still speak.

2:20 pm CT: Doug Harvey with the best HOF induction speech since I don't know when: "You never know when an opportunity will present itself, and you always have to be ready. Ready to do your best."

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Cubs Suspend Z Indefinitely, I Propose Suspending Front Office Instead

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune.

Where to start?

Jim Hendry just confirmed to the media that, following his meltdown in the Cubs' dugout, Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely from the Cubs. Judging from the reaction on Twitter, everyone seems to be applauding this move.

Everyone but me.

If you missed the fireworks, it went down something like this:

After giving up 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st, Z stalked back to the dugout and starting uloading (about something). He was screaming, yelling and stomping around. At some point, he and DLee started yelling at each other and had to be separated. Whether Z was upset with Lee for oleing a groundball that went for a double OR Lee told just to "shut the f*ck up" first is anyone's guess. Z sat in the dugout for a while, then was sent home by Lou. Reportedly, Z managed to get in a few more swears at a camera crew on the way out of the ballpark.

And so. .  . um . . .  what am I missing?

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Dear Rock: I Can't Believe I'm Defending Erin Andrews, BUT

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Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I'm no fan of Erin Andrews.

And no, it's not jealousy. Well, maybe it is, but not the way you think. I'm not jealous of her looks, per se. However, I AM jealous of the fact that a woman who doesn't seem particularly bright or good at her job has managed to rise through the ranks of sports "journalism" based almost entirely on the way she looks. I'd be lying if I said she didn't have a job I would love to have myself, and I'm jealous of that. But I suppose this is no different than the legions of anchormen across America who have procured similar jobs in the same way.

But even though I'm not going to win any contests for being Erin's biggest fan, I feel compelled to defend her tonight.

My fellow ChicagoNow blogger and podcast partner, Rock Mamola, wrote a post tonight in which he accused Erin Andrews of "cashing in" on the infamy thrust upon her when some pervert decided to completely violate and invade her by secretly recording her walking around naked in her hotel room.

Rock raises a lot of different complaints, but chief among them seems to be this:

Face it Erin, you are benefiting from a personal hardship and it makes you look like a fraud.  The idea that you think all these things you have been asked to participate in is because of the interviews with SEC coaches you have done at half time is a joke.  You are a bigger star because of the same man who you said made you a "victim."  You should have a sizeable portion of all the money you made (including the 200,000 you made off DWTS) off your post-nude video career and set it aside for Mr. Michael Barrett who followed you and truly made you a star.

   
 

 

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Lilly Accused of Cheating: Shun the Unbeliever!

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Passed along without comment:

Reporting from Chicago -- Casey Blake accused Ted Lilly of cheating on Thursday, trying unsuccessfully to persuade the umpires that the Chicago Cubs pitcher should have been cited for starting his windup on some pitches from in front of the rubber.

"I know he doesn't have an overpowering fastball," Blake said. "I know he's trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in.

"That's cheating. You've got to stay on the rubber."

Lilly did not hesitate to fire back.

"Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he'll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines," Lilly said. "I don't think he's trying to cheat. It might not be intentional."

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The Hawk Lets Hanley Have It

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 Even though we're all feeling bad about the current Cubs, we can at least feel good about former Cubs.

It appears that Andre Dawson (with help from some other guy), saved the Marlins, as well as many, many fanasy teams:

Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez took Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez aside on Tuesday and let him know he needed to apologize and atone for failing to hustle and showing up his manager, according to The Palm Beach Post.

I don't know how Hanley felt about it, but getting set down to "talk" with Andre Dawson would be for me somewhere up there with being "set down" by B.A, Barracus or my dad. Especially when he says things like this:

Dawson said he did most of the talking, according to the report. He said he started the lesson this way, with Perez at his side: " 'I'm not going to say a lot, because if you say the wrong the thing to me, then you might wind up on the floor on your rear end.'

According to the Post, Dawson added: " 'But you've got to start thinking about setting an example and having your teammates respect you in the manner that they should. That act that you put on, that's poor. That's not going to cut it.' "

I wet my pants just reading that.

Shortly after, Hanely apologized.

The Mariners Hate The Fourth Estate, Free Speech, and Probably America

MLB: Mariners vs Orioles MAY 11

While I was checking out my fantasy teams on Yahoo Sports (and please remind me next year that two fantasy teams are fine, but three are entirely too many for me to handle), I ran across this little nugget, which made me both laugh heartily and gnash my teeth in abject rage.

Observe:

As if Mike Sweeney accusing a reporter of lying and challenging teammates to fight him didn't add enough drama to the ongoing Ken Griffey Jr. saga, after last night's game Cliff Lee refused to speak to the media until Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune left the room.

LaRue has covered the Mariners for 28 years and reported earlier this week that Griffey was sleeping in the clubhouse during a game, quoting unnamed players. According to LaRue several Mariners asked him to reveal the identity of his sources Tuesday and, when he refused like any reporter in his situation would, declined to speak to him.

What a bunch of arrogant jackasses. Especially you, Cliff Lee.

First of all, you're the Mariners. If the national media is paying attention to you for any reason, you should be thrilled. Before this, people had to talk about re: YOU was the fact that you signed a known headcase who is now on "emotional leave," or whatever euphemism your front office came up with for it.

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Take a Good Look in the Mirror, Cubs Fans

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Congratulations, Cubs fans. You've officially hit an all-time low.

Last night, you booed a 20-year old rookie in his Wrigley Field debut.

Never mind that this particular rookie hit the tar out of ball in Spring Training, hit a 3-run homer in his first major league at bat, and has done everything the Cubs have asked of him since he came to the organization. Never mind the pressure of being 20-years old and having 1,000,000 people hanging on your every play and every at bat. Never mind the fact that the Cubs were playing terrible baseball before this rookie got here.

If you make a mistake (or three) at Wrigley these days, prepare the be booed. 

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The Cubs Stink. Vote: Who Do You Blame And Why?

 

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"It's not my fault I don't have a *%@&#$@#%@$$ bullpen, you know!"

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"So what you're telling me is that Corey Patterson is available? What about Brian Roberts? Uh-huh . . How about Vernon Wells?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's May 10 and half the fan base is already looking forward to Bears season.

Let's face it, things haven't exactly turned out the way Jim Hendry had planned. Our All-Star third baseman can't hit a baseball anymore. Our ace is in the bullpen. Our pigpen has lost more games than a 3-year old playing Monopoly. Things look bleak.

So LOHO wants to know, who do you blame for this debacle. . . and why?

Let it out. Let it all out.

 

Social Media, Two Bears, and a Bull: Photos of My Night Out with Johnny Knox, Robbie Gould, and Hakim Warrick

Chicago Bull Hakim Warrick

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to score an invite to a quadrantONE/Brand Affinity Techonologies' social media marketing event at 33 Club in the Gold Coast.

For those of you who don't know, quadrantONE sells advertising space to national advertisers across hundreds of local news, broadcast and entertainment websites. The event last week highlighted the power of the local audience and their loyalty to niche blogs and websites. In this age of media modernization, many of us wake up and grab our iPhones or laptops to check out the latest news and, if you live in Chicago, especially the sports news. This makes sports websites an idea place for many advertisers to sell their products.

The best thing about the q1/BAT event was that everyone was invited to bring their significant others, wives, husbands, aunts, uncles, crazy sports fan neighbor, etc. to meet Chicago Bears Johnny Knox and Robbie Gould and Chicago Bull Hakim Warrick. After a cage match in my living room decided the winner, I took Aidan.

After guarding at the top of the stairs for 45 minutes waiting for Robbie Gould to make his appearance (seriously, is there another kicker ANYWHERE in the country who is as popular as Robbie is?), Aidan spent the night perched on a bar stool while the staff at 33 Club brought him a never-ending stream of Shirley Temples and gourmet sliders. He got his football autographed by Robbie and Johnny and declared it "the best party ever."

I, on the other hand, go to talk to some really dynamic and smart people about the power of social media. And to Robbie about soccer.

A huge thank you to quadrantONE and Brand Affinity Technologies for hosting the event! 

Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

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The One Where We Talk About Sports Ads: With Tiger Masters Poll!

In case you haven't seen it, here's Tiger's new Nike Golf Ad:

 

 

So for me, here's the thing about this ad: I GET the unadorned, emotionally naked (wow, is that a loaded word when it comes to talking about Tiger these days) Tiger listening to creepy, disembodied voice of his father. But the way he keeps starting at the camera without emotion makes him look aloof, disconnected, and uninvolved in the discussion.

I would have liked it better if Tiger looked down in embarrassment at the end of the ad. It would have made him seem a little bit human. Instead, we get the same, emotionally detached Tiger we've gotten in every presser/interview he's done since he entered rehab.

Then again, I don't really care, as I just want to watch him play golf. But that had the chance to be a GREAT ad, and juuuuuuuuust missed.

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Cubs Predictions Guaranteed to Go Wrong

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More optimistic than psychic, all hope and no sense, these predictions are guaranteed never to come true. But if even one does, I will brag about it for the rest of my life. Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak


This is the last worthless weekend that we'll have to spend. All introductory east-coast-biased Sunday Night Baseball aside (that's right, Yankees and Red Sox, we don't care what happens between the two of you, no matter how much Joe Morgan insists that we must), Monday marks the dawn of the 2010 baseball season. So we're running out of time to make bold  educated  sabermetrically generated half-baked predictions for what the Cubs will be able to accomplish this year.

If the LOHO NCAA Pick 'Em Challenge has taught us anything, it's that my annual tradition of picking Kansas to win it all is guaranteed to go dreadfully wrong every year (except in the occasional instance when I break from tradition and allow them to succeed . . . sorry, Jayhawks). And if it has taught us two things, it's that I suck at predicting things. So here is a list of things I'm utterly confident will not happen, which is precisely why I am prognosticating that they will:

Alfonso Soriano will hit 40 homers. Do you remember last April? Soriano started the season hotter than a Gatorade-machine-bashing tantrum. And then he decided to test his knee reflex on the left-field wall. I'm hoping it was the injury that caused the precipitous production decline and not a failure to renew some Faustian deal with the devil. If I'm wrong (and I usually am) we'll be seeing more of Tyler Colvin in left than anyone is really hoping to get. (Tyler Colvin's mom excluded, of course.) If I'm right, Wrigley could be hosting its fair share of October baseball.


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What Cubs Players Would Do If They Didn't Play Baseball

They're big, sweaty and muscular. They eat, sleep, and breathe baseball (we hope). It's hard to imagine them doing anything else. But. . .

If the Cubs weren't Cubs, what would they be doing?

See our guesses below, but feel free to suggest your own. We'll try to get them photoshopped for you.

A HUGE thank you to @plamorte for photoshopping these!

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

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LOHO March Madness Pick 'Em!!

I've set up a Pick 'Em tourney for us, it's a public league and everyone is invited to play:

http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1?tid=386414

League ID: 69721

Winner will get this awesome Chicago Cubs Kitchen Towel Combo.

Sign up and start filling out those brackets!

Ozzie Tweets Off: This is Probably Why Kenny Was Worried

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sits in the dugout against the Boston Red Sox in Chicago

Oh Ozzie, I knew it was only a matter of time.

After so many delightfullly non-sensical tweets, you had to go and get all political on us.

The same man who gave us such tweets gems as "Big reazon to love my boat no trafic in the ocean" and the infamous "My son oney doing sport elec to have abs if tha help y will doe to," today we got this:

"Oh my god seam penn defended ours president hugo chavez thas easy when you no leave in venezuela and have money lol is a joke shame on y ... "

and this:

"Oh god you are very crazy go and move to our country you will change you mind"

and this:

"Que payaso el gringuito que vive bien chevre en estados unidos." (which roughly translates to "That clown chevre gringo that lives well in the united states.") We all know what "gringuito:" means. Glad to see the sensitivity traning paid off, Ozzie.

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Maybe Not Next Year

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been frustrated as a Cubs fan for the last couple of years. A fairly talented lineup, above average pitching and - despite how it may have felt at times - a pretty darn solid bullpen. We’ve had some good teams, albeit not great, but a lot of not great teams have won the World Series in recent years (I’m looking in your general direction, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals and Marlins.)

What we’ve also had is a ballooning payroll, which continues to be one of the highest in baseball with one of the lowest returns for the money.

And, I hate to break it to you, but the next few years look gruesome. A couple of Jim Hendry specials (how’s Alfonso Soriano’s $136M going to taste in 2012?) combined with the Ricketts’ fiscal responsibility equals … blech.

So, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, and growing somewhat disenchanted with baseball in general this winter, and that depressed me. I mean, c’mon. It’s BASEBALL. I love baseball more than anything except one of my two kids*.

* This is, of course, a joke. Anyone who knows me will tell you I love baseball more than BOTH of my kids.

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Poll: LOHO Get-Together

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As the day for buying single season tickets draws near, it's time to get serious about this year's LOHO get-together. In the past, we've simply picked a game and had everyone buy bleacher tickets, met up at Murphy's beforehand, and then all gone over to the bleachers to sit together. And sometimes two LOHO readers do the most awesome version of the National Anthem EVER. And sometimes we construct elaborate ball-retrieval systems from chewing gum and hot dog carriers, successfully retrieving a homerun ball from the junipers in center field. And then sometimes we go out afterwards. And sometimes horrible things happen that cause me not to be able to get out of bed the next day. But I digress.

This year, I'm adding another option to the poll: a rooftop game.  Rather than paying for a bleacher ticket, beer, food, etc., we would just pick a game and pay one price for admission, food, and drinks. It would probably wind up being cheaper than actually being at Wrigley.

Follow me below the jump to vote.

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Cubs Fans Word Association

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox
As this NSFW video of a hammered Freddy Garcia cursing the Cubs exemplifies quite well, Cubs fans and White Sox fans don't exactly love each other to death. And as our good friend Tim sitting over in Aisle 424 reminds us, it's really better for everyone in Cubdom to direct their hatred outward than at each other. 

All this animosity got me to thinking (I do that twice a year, so I'm glad to get the first one out of the way early) about the image of Cubs fans. As a group, we tend to get annoyed when people call Cub fans stupid. But really, if you were engaged in a rapid-fire word association exercise and the phrase you were given was "Cubs fans," wouldn't stupid be one of your first reactions? It's not the very first one that comes to mind; I'll tell you that later. But it does make me wonder: what word do you associate with the fans of other teams?
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Other Cubs Whose Numbers Should Be Retired

In case you've missed a day or 40 on the internet, you've probably noticed that there's a movement afoot to get the Cubs to retire Andre Dawson's number 8. That's all well and good, I suppose, but I don't think you should have your number retired just because you happen to make the Hall of Fame. Or when you played your 10 best years with another team.

After all, there are plenty of other accomplishments out there that are AT LEAST as noteworthy as making the Hall of Fame. So if we're going to start giving out retired numbers like cupcakes, I can think of a few other Cubs who should have their numbers retired, for various othe reasons.

Let's explore, shall we? Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

Gallery sneak peek (18 images):

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RIP J.D. Salinger

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J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

My childhood hero died today.

NEW YORK - J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose "The Catcher in the Rye" shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.

Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's longtime literary representative, Harold Ober Agency. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

Okay, so I wasn't exactly a CHILD. I was 13 the first time I read "Catcher in Rye." The last time I read it was last summer. I've probably read it 100 times in between.

Not only was Holden Caulfield the first "man" I ever loved, there were a good 5-6 teen years in my life was I was convinced that Holden Caulfield and J.D. Salinger were the only two people on the planet who understood anything about me. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized that 90% of the teenage population also felt that way. As I got older, my infatuation with Holden didn't last, but reverence in which I held JD Salinger did. He was the first writer to make me understand how deeply the power of a good story could touch a reader.

Of course, after "Catcher," there was also "Nine Stories," "Franny & Zoey," a series of New Yorker articles, and a few other items written by JD Salinger and set forth for public consumption, but nothing ever came close to the success he had with Catcher. Indeed, I've always believed JD Salinger and Harper Lee were part of a very exclusive club: one that knows what it's like to write The Great American Novel at a very young age. After all, how do you follow up "Catcher in the Rye?"

What's lesser known amongst casual readers is what a huge baseball fan JD Salinger was (if memory serves, I think he was a Red Sox fan). He idolized New York writer Ring Lardner. If you've ever read the book "Shoeless Joe," (the book the movie "Field of Dreams" was based on), you know that, in the book, it's not Terrence Mann that Ray kidnaps and takes with him on his quest to build his baseball diamond and reconnect with his father, it's J.D. Salinger. And the book "The Boat Rocker" is really "Catcher in the Rye."

RIP J.D. Salinger.

Cubs Sign Xavier Nady

Xavier Nady

Cubs have signed free agent Xavier Nady to be a 4th outfielder. I'm pretty sure he was absolutely the worst of our remaining options. Well, maybe that was Baldelli, but Nady was close.

Chi Trbi Sports:

The Cubs have agreed to sign free-agent outfielder Xavier Nady, pending a physical exam on his surgically repaired right arm, according to multiple sources.

Nady played in only seven games with the Yankees last season before undergoing a second Tommy John surgery. If he has recovered enough to be able to throw, he reportedly will sign a one-year deal worth up to $5 million with incentives.

The Cubs had been looking for a fourth outfielder and were considering former White Sox Jermaine Dye, Jonny Gomes and Reed Johnson, who filled that role before being injured last season.

Nady, 31, hit .305 with 25 homers and 97 RBI in 2008 with the Pirates and Yankees. With left-handed-hitting Kosuke Fukudome in right and newcomer Marlon Byrd in center, Nady could find plenty of playing time.

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Mystery Date: Who Will Get to be the Fourth Cubs Outfielder?

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Who will the lucky guy be?

It's no secret that the Cubs are on the prowl for a 4th outfielder to back up the underacheiving Fukudome, Soriano, and (probably) Marlon Byrd. I know a lot of people think Soriano will bounce back this season, I just don't a happen to be one of them. I hope I'm wrong. At any rate, when Fukudome corkscrews himself into the ground and Soriano goes down with his quadri-annual "tight legs," our 4th outfielder is suddenly going to command much more of our attention than he does now.

So let's take a look at the remaining candidates:

 

Gallery sneak peek (7 images):

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Too Big To Fail? Then Let's Make Big Banks Smaller

I'm slowly beginning to realize just how many of us have absolutely unjust and wrong incidents with our "big banks." Don't believe me? Just read the comments in the "Dear Chase, FUCK YOU" diary I wrote yesterday. Guess what? We're far from alone.

Phil over at ACB pointed me to the website Move Your Money, which he happened upon over at Huffington Post.  It even has a handy-dandy feature that allows you to put in your zip code and receive a list of small local banks with good reviews in your community. I plan to take advantage of this in short order.

I urge you to check out the site and consider moving your money to a smaller, community-based bank that hasn't engaged in the kind of practices that caused our economy to tank or that screw hard-working Americans over on a daily basis. If banks are "too big to fail," let's make them smaller.

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Tomorrow, we'll go back to blogging about the Cubs.

HELP THOSE IN HAITI

Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the International Red Cross.

CUBS SIGN MADDUX

World Series 6 Maddux

 

. . . as a special assistant to Jim Hendry. God knows he could use the help.

Maddux will help with instruction for major-leaguers and minor-leaguers during spring training, and he will scout throughout the season.

Maddux will be at Hendry's disposal to evaluate minor-league affiliates and to provide input on trades or potential free-agent signings.

So basically, Greg goes to Mesa with the team and Jim can call him on the golf course for the rest of the year.

HE's IN!!!!

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Hall Of Famer Andre Dawson.

Today former Cub Andre Dawson was the sole inductee voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Congrats, Hawk!  Now if we can just get Santo in. . . .

"A true gentleman on and off the field, one of my best teammates, and the toughest competitor I ever played against."                       --- Ryne Sandberg 

 

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HOFers all!

Worst Cubs of the Decade: A Photo Retrospective

If you suffered from OCD, your therapist might treat you by shoving you face-first into a huge pile of icky garbage to make you deal with your issues. Think of this as the same thing. LOHO will force you to confront the demons of the last 10 years, allowing you to begin 2010 with a clean slate.

WARNING: Persuing this gallery while consuming alcoholic beverages may lead to suicidal tendencies. Enter at your own risk.

Vote for the Worst Cub of the Decade below the jump!

Gallery sneak peek (12 images):

View the gallery...
Continue reading...

The 2009 Cubs: A Simpsons Retrospective

As 2009 draws to a close, it's time to take a look back at the year that was in Chicago Cubs baseball. However, that seems like a really depressing way to end the week, so we here at LOHO have decided to tweak our retrospective a bit, mostly because the Simpsons make me happy and the 2009 Cubs do not.

Accordingly, here is the cast of The Simpsons as the 2009 Cubs. Feel free to add in your own.

Update: I need to mention that Matt Lo Cascio at Jay Cutler Superstar did a Chicago Bears as Simpsons characters way before I did, and I swear I hadn't seen it before mine. You need to see his, it's awesome.

Gallery sneak peek (36 images):

View the gallery...

Ten Reasons Why This Off-Season Royally Sucks

I'm in a bad mood today. Terrible, in fact. And this is in no small part because of the Cubs and their inability to do ANYTHING to make this team better in the off-season.

Most notably, I'm angry that, despite having the third-highest payroll in Major League Baseball, none of the following will be on our team in 2010.

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

View the gallery...

Cubbiejulie On Tomorrow's ChicagoNow Radio Show (WGN)

Radio

Spinning the Dial

Hey everyone!


So fun news. In case you hadn't heard recently, Chicago Now, got their own radio show on WGN. I love WGN, it will always be my image of AM radio, and to be frank since living in non-Chicago places nobody else stacks up.

And guess what, our very own Cubbliejulie is going to be on tomorrow at 10:30 am CT!

The show is on Saturdays 9am-noon, oh, and online.
Chicago Now Radio
You can listen to WGN streaming live at http://www.wgnradio.com/

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Rich Harden Signs With Texas Rangers

Per Craig Calceterra

Farewell, Rich. I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave.

 

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It's a good thing we just got this photo now. I couldn't have handled it for 2 years.

 

Gallery sneak peek (6 images):

View the gallery...

You Won't Have Aaron Miles To Kick Around Anymore

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Yeah, keep using this photo, Assholes.

 As I'm sure you've heard by now, I.AM.OUTTA. HERE. Traded to Oakland for a couple of minor league prospects. I wish I could say I enjoyed my stay, but the truth is, I hope this franchise continues to lose and lose HARD.

You see, Cubs fans, I'm a positive person. I need a positive environment. I need people who will support me and be on my side, not people who keep pointing out how often I strike out, the fact that my arm is made out of linguini, or that I'm really bad at baseball.

But all I've gotten since I arrived here in Chicago is negative, negative, negative.

"Your batting average this year was worse than Rich Harden's," "You're OBP didn't even break .250," Blah, blah, blah! How can I be expected to perform in such an unsupportive environment? I prayed every day that the game would only go 10-11 innings so I could go home. And let me tell you, the fact that was brought in to pinch hit late in extra-innings didn't help me acheive this.

I've been the butt of every joke, blamed for everything from the fact that I one-hop the ball to the plate to global warming.You've called me "Error Miles." That shit hurts, people!   

Frankly, I've kept my mouth shut this whole season about the hate that's been directed at me and my son. He's 3! Every day I would take him to preschool, and teachers, parents, and kids would yell the "D" word at him. Do you

know what the "D" word is? "Designated for Assignment!" I can take people hurling hate at me, but at my son?

But you know what? I've dealt with adversity before  Sharing a shower with Matt Morris, having Rick Ankiel says his HGH syringes were mine, being forced to do body shots of Tony LaRussa. .  . I'll come out on top, just like I always do.

Smell ya later.  

 

Wherein I Defend NOT Trading Milton Bradley

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Point 1: He can jump higher than the rest of our outfielders.

Have you ever had someone give you a gift card to a store? And like, you go to the store to pick something out, but everything is all picked over and sold out and you can't find anything you really want? But yet, you still feel obligated to pick out SOMETHING, just because you feel like you HAVE TO? So you pull through the clearance bin, trying desperately to find something, ANYTHING just so you can use the damn gift card, rather than waiting and getting something you really, really want?

If you understood that scenario, you understand my argument for keeping Milton Bradley.

Kids, the Cubs aren't exactly flush with cash right now. We aren't gonna go out and sign Matt Holiday or Ray Halladay. Or even Carlos Beltran.

To be honest, the names I've heard floated for a Bradley replacement so far are terrifying. Curis Granderson? Marlon Byrd? Pat Burrell? Luis Castillo? For the love of God, Scott Podsednik?!?!?!

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Our Long Neighborhood Nightmare is Over!

Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers.

Aaron Heilman has been traded to the D'Backs for 2 prospects!!!!!!!!

 

I'd like to thank everyone who played a role in getting Aaron Heilman traded. The fans, the opposing hitters, and especially everyone in the Academy who voted for me. . . I mean for getting rid of Heilman.

 

This is such an honor, and I'll remember it for as long as I can.

 

One Aaron down, another Aaron and a Kevin to go.

 

Gather Round the Hot Stove: Updated with New Milton Bradley Rumors!

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I know, I know. It's hot enough in here already. This is because there are too many boys in here. You guys act as walking heating units even on the coldest of days. However, it IS hot stove time, and so we are obligated to have a hot stove.

The GM meetings started this week in Chicago, and rumors already abound. Feel free to post any rumors you come across below, or make up your own. Either way.

I'll start.

The diminutive Ken Rosenthal continues to assure us that we would be shocked (SHOCKED!) at the level of interest in Milton Bradley. Uh. . .no we wouldn't. He's one of the best hitters in baseball. So thanks for the condescension, Ken.

Multiple teams are in contact the Cubs about outfielder Milton Bradley, with one source saying, "You would be shocked at the level of interest."

The Cubs remain confident that they can trade Bradley without assuming the vast majority of the $21 million remaining on his contract over the next two years.

New owner Tom Ricketts has set a limit for how much money the Cubs will include in a deal, one source says. The Cubs can take back a contract but pay only a fixed amount of cash.

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Lilly Has Surgery, Presumably Operates On Self

Cubs Pitcher Lilly Throws Against the New York Mets

 

Today the Cubs stated that perennial bad-ass Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The Cubs did not realease any information as to whether Ted had surgery at the behest of the CIA or Barack Obama as part a Middle East peace plan or to solve global warming once and for all.

Ted expects to be ready by April.

Uh--don't pitchers and catchers report in February? Don't we need him ready by then?

Game 6 tonight. Pedro v. Pettite.

LOHO's Top Ten Scaaaaaaaary Free Agents (ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION, TOM RICKETTS?)

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Henry Blanco, Brian Roberts, Marco Scutaro

There are a lot of scary things on Halloween: teenagers who show up at your door, sans costumes, and demand candy, the ever-increasing cost of our annual Halloween party, the probability that the dads on our block will blow up another pumpkin with an M-500 without warning while I'm standing right next to it.

But few things are scarier than the thought of Jim Hendry hitting the winter meetings and coming back with the 2010 equivalents of Aaron Heilman, Kevin Gregg, and Aaron Miles.

Here then, in your own words, are this year's Top Ten Scariest Free Agents (in no particluar order). The name of the LOHO reader suggesting the player is included.

10. (gravedigger) Mark DeRosa

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Great Moments In Sports We Have Yet To See

 So the photo this morning of ARod groping Jeter got me thinking. Do you remember this episode of Seinfeld? Where George fell in love with a She-Jerry?

 

 

So when photos of ARod's strippers came out, was I the only one surprised that NOT ONE of them looked like this?

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Yoohooo, Alexander!

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Dear TBS. . . This Has Gone Far Enough

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 Dear TBS,

Uncle.

I give.

Name your price and I'll make it happen.

I'll be honest. When I first heard that you were sticking Chip Caray and Ron Darling on the booth for the 2008 ALCS playoffs, I was hopeful. After all, Ron Darling was my first ever baseball crush, and though I prefer Len Kasper, I don't have. . . un-fond  . . . memories of Chip from his time in Chicago.

But it quickly became clear to me last season that TBS has accomplished something I once thought impossible. You have assembled a broadcasting team that I hate listening to even MORE than Joe Buck/Tim McCarver and John Miller/Joe Morgan.

Do you understand what I'm telling you? I would rather listen to Joe Morgan sing the praises of himself and Ryan Theriot than listen to Chip Caray say the word "fisted" one more time.

I guess it's possible that you have yet to listen to your own broadcast team. After all, the holiday season is upon us, and you've undoubtedly been busy digging the Christmas and Halloween episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" out of the attic. So let me give you an idea of what it's like for the rest of us to have to listen to a TBS broadcast of the NLCS.

Chip: That ball is FISTED into foul territory pop-up line drive base hit with a rope out!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ron: Boy, you're right Chip. That ball was hit right off his fists. You know, when you hit the ball with your fists, it usually means that the pitcher threw it somewhere where it was harder for you to hit than anywhere other than off your fists.

Buck Martinez: (rambles something insane and nonsensical in the background)

Chip: FISTED!!!!!

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HOUSTON, WE HAVE A POST SEASON TEAM!!!

(and no, it's not Houston)

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Who will it be? Captain of the football team? Artsy drama club guy? The dreamy quiet guy who just wants to be left alone with his music?

 

LOHO's 2009 Postseason Mystery Date is. . . .

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Where We Stand

Rockies Marquis Wins 13th Game in Denver

 

Hey, are you curious as to who we're going to follow this postseason?

Me too! Let's take a look! (rubs hands together in glee)

There have been a whopping SEVEN bids so far, with the high bid being $36.00. Of course, we'll have no idea what team we're going to cheer for until the mystery bidder reveals himself and makes his proclomation (pleasebethetwinspleasebethetwinspleasebethetwinspleasebethetwins).

We won't know our collective fate until Wednesday morning. Until then, let's take a look at how the playoffs are shaking out.

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Mystery Date: The 2009 World Series/Live Game Thread

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 We're 24 hours into the bidding and we already have an outstanding TWO bids on LOHO's postseason loyalties. And some of you thought this wouldn't work!

For those of you high rollers will $11.00 laying around (the current high bid is $10.50), make sure to go to Ebay and bid on LOHO now. High bidder gets to pick the team we root for in the postseason.

For the rest of you that can't afford $11.00, I'll say this: being disnefranchised sucks, doesn't it? Now you know how if feels to be Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or the mom from 'Mary Poppins. '

America doesn't believe in disenfranchisement. Or racism. Or, apparently, evolution. But I digress.

We here at LOHO strive to include all Cubs fans in our quirky little contests. That said, this is your chance to make your voice heard. Perhaps the winning bidder is even reading and will take pity on your plight.

Who do you want to cheer for the in postseason?

So far, the teams that have clinched postseason appearances area as follows:

 

  • Yankees (AL East)
  • Red Sox (AL Wild Card)
  • Angles of Anaheim off Route 95 near Denny's (AL West)
  • Phillies (NL East)
  • Dodgers (NL West)
  • Cardinals (NL Central)

That leaves only the AL Central and the NL Wild Card left to be determined. It looks like those two teams will be the Tigers and the Rockies (ODGJM!). With that in mind, who would you prefer to cheer for in the postseason?

(Vote on the next page) 

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LOHO Can Be Yours! (for a small fee)

UPI POY 2008 - Sports

 

Okay, okay.

We're eliminated.

Waiting 'til next year again.

Everyone is depressed and doesn't feel like talking Cubs baseball.

I get it. Sit there and pout if it makes you feel better.

But let me ask you this: Ever wondered what it would be like to cheer for your team (a team that probably WON'T break your heart) deep into a playoff run? I know that many of us got a chance to do this in 2003, but the ensuing trauma caused me to block the entire experience out. I'm talking about the chance to cheer for a team with a real leadoff hitter. A shortstop with range that can STAY on base after he gets there. A bullpen that you actually look forward to seeing, rather than running for cover and cowering in the corner whenever your starter leaves the game.  

Ever wondered what that would be like?

Because you're about to find out.

HOW TO BID ON LOHO ON EBAY

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Tuesday Barebones Game Thread: Pirates @ Cubs 8:05 EDT/7:05 CDT

Why can't this happen all the time?

So, folks this is a do it yourself gamethread.  Nuthin' fancy here.  It's just the Cubs against the Pirates.  Unfortunately, it's no longer International Talk Like a Pirate Day,  but feel free to tell pirate jokes, since it annoys gravedigger so much.

It's Dempster against Kevin Hart today, so this could be fun!

(Julie pipes up, just in from soccer practice): As this is probably the night we are eliminated, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it will NOT be fun, but maybe that's just me. Also, having just turned on the game, I can see that Mike Fontenot is starting, and that is definitely not fun. Oh, and we're playing the Pirates, so there's that.

On the other hand, we're already up 3-0 in the bottom of the 1st, so that's kinda fun. As long as it stays that way.

Continue reading...

Considering Milty

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune.

It's been a dew days since we've talked about Milty, and rightly so. I know I needed a break from the debate, and I'm sure everyone else did, too. Honestly, if you asked me last Tuesday, I probably would have been willing to give Milty away for a good, sturdy infield rake.

But time heals all wounds, and a few days apart has given me some perspective on Milty and his role on this team. Actually, what gave me a whole lot of perpective was the rumor that a Milty-for-Aaron-Rowand deal was in the works. Like a girlfriend who dumps her boyfriend and wants him back the minute he starts dating someone else, suddenly I was way jealous of a certain team from a certain city north of the one named after a whale's vagina.

While I am all too familiar with the "type" of players Hendry likes to pick off over the winter (or off the waiver wire, or hanging around Yakzie's after the game), I really feel that bringing Aaron Rowand into this organization would beg the question: How many scrappy players are too many?

While I understand that, at this moment, the Cubs' realtionship with Milty might seem irreparable, let's all just take one giant step back, okay?

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Milton Bradley Suspended for Remainder of the Season

Chicago Tribune:

The outspoken outfielder, who took shots at the Cubs in a Saturday interview with the Daily Herald, has been suspended for the rest of the season, according to general manager Jim Hendry.

"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said.

Bradley is not with the team as the Cubs prepare for a 7:05 p.m. game against the division-leading Cardinals. Bradley's whereabouts are unknown.

Blogapalooza!

Vinyl Ready Art - Holidays

 

Hey everybody, don't miss ChicagoNow's Blogapalooza!

On September 24, 2009, the ChicagoNow bloggers will be taking over the 900 N. Michigan shops from 5:00-7:00. Come hang out and meet your favorite CN blogger! Or tell off your least favorite! Either way, we'd love to see you.

Here are a few of the bloggers who will be participating:

Matt Lo Cascio of "Jay Cutler Superstar" and Julie DiCaro of "A League of Her Own" will meet, greet and talk Chicago sports, treating guests to Macallan Scotch, Joey's Brickhouse's Cheesy Noodle Bar and shoe shines at Mark Shale (Level 3); and for the ladies, Remy Martin Tropicana cocktails (Level 4);

Susan Cordogan of "Chicago RSVP," will offer wedding etiquette and planning tips with dainty sweets at Genevieve Lethu (Level 4);

Caitlin Giles of "Wee Windy City" will share with parents the best spots in Chicago to take the kids, while the little ones are treated to face painting, a scavenger hunt for store prizes and cookies in the "Kids Korner," Galt Toys, Oilily, Potbelly, Preggers and Mini Me (Level 5);

Matt McGuire of "Metromix: The Blog" will join a wine tasting with Alpana Singh, Director of Wine and Spirits for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, host of Check Please and also a ChicagoNow blogger of "What Would Alpana Drink?" sharing her favorite selections and paired with Frankie's Italian fare (Level 5);

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Cubs To Trade Z, Milty?

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000 seems to think so.

According to Bruce, even though the Cubs players insist they're "still in it" (whatever, YAWN), talks have already begun about next year. And, that next year may not include fan-favorite Carlos Zambrano and fan. . . not-favorite Milton Bradley.

So what does Lou think we need?

"We need a little speed at the top of our lineup," he said. "We probably need another nice RBI bat as well, but that's Jim's [Hendry, the Cubs' general manager] department. But if I'm asked, that's what I think is appropriate."

With all the backloaded contracts we're carrying, and with the Ricketts family probably flat broke after buying this train wreck of a team, how are we going to pay for a big RBI bat?

"The team will most likely explore deals for outfielder Milton Bradley and starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Bradley has had a disappointing season and has a back-loaded contract for the last two years of his deal that will pay $23 million.

Zambrano has three years left at close to $50 million. He also has a complete no-trade clause over the life of the contract. However, the Cubs pitcher told me earlier in the season that if the team ever wanted to trade him, he wouldn't stand in their way."

It is unclear to me how this would make our team better.

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Poll: How Unlikeable Is This Cubs Team?

Feel free to let fly in the comments.

Off-Day Fun: Wherein We Help WAIA With Sample Size

 

Those of you who know me and/or listen to LOHO's podcasts know what a big fan I am of the guys over at the hilarious Cubs blog Wasting Away in Wrigleyville. Their two bloggers, John and Steve, have always been willing to come on our podcast and help out, and now we finally get a chance to help them with something.

A few days ago, WAIW launched it's first ever Hate-Dex, which will be the only statistical index around to actually measure the level of the fans hatred towards each of the Cubs players. This is a stat that's going to surpass "Moneyball" and OBP in it's effect on baseball and will likely change the game forever (might I humbling suggest the "HAT" symbol?). And you get to be a part of it.

What an honor, really, for all of you.

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Hey Oprah, Your Ego Is Showing

17th Annual Women In Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast - Arrivals

Oprah laughs at your traffic woes

If you're wondering what a post about Oprah Winfrey is doing on a Cubs blog, I'll tell you: It's because certain things happen in this city that are worth commenting on, even if they don't have to do with baseball. And because I'm sick to death of talking about the Cubs. And because ChicagoNow muckity-muck Jimmy Greenfield asked me nicely.

If you haven't heard, Oprah Winfrey is shutting down 3 blocks of the Mag Mile (Michigan Ave. between Wacker and Ohio) for TWO DAYS in order to film her season premiere. Michigan Avenue, which is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Chicago any time of year, but especially in warm weather, is not only the prime tourist destination in Chicago, but also home to thousands of workers, hundreds of cabs, and dozens of bus routes.

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Wee Windy City: Wrigleyville Edition

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Many of us have tried, with varying levels of success, to enjoy a Cubs game with the littles in tow.

If, like me, you've missed 5 or so innings of a great game in the thick of a division race because your children can't stop a) asking for food, b) asking for giant foam claws, and c) asking you to take them to the bathroom, have I got a treat for you.

Caitlin Giles, of the fabulous CN blog Wee Windy City has some great tips on a fun day at the ballpark for all.

Take it away Caitlin:

Taking wee ones to Wrigley


Thinking about bringing your little Cubs fans to a game at Wrigley? Great idea! A trip to the ballpark with your kids can be a fun family outing. Or (and I am just being honest here) it can be a really expensive, exhausting ordeal. To avoid any major meltdowns (yours or theirs), keep these tips in mind when planning your excursion.

Plan, plan, plan. As with all outings with little ones, you have to make a good plan before you head out. Watch a game on television and talk about the team, players, Wrigley Field, etc. so your child knows what to expect. Practice singing "Take me out to the ball game" so you are ready for the seventh inning stretch. Think about the logistics of your trip. How are you going to get there? Keep in mind that lots of walking usually leads to lots of whining (plus you don't want to totally wear them out before the game even starts).

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Cubs Fan and Racism Podcast: The Diary

White Sox-Cubs

 

Date: Monday, August 31, 2009

Time: 8:00-9:30 PM CT

Link to Listen: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aleagueofherown

Call-in Number: (347)884-8570

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly terrified of how all this is going to do down. After all. solving the state of race relations in Chicago in 90 minutes is a tall order, but I think we're up to it.

Joining Matt and I tonight will be former White Sox pitcher and Cy Young Winner Jack McDowell, Ed Nickow of Chicago Sports in Haiku, Brian Moore from the Tribune's Red Eye, and others. Anyone and everyone is welcome to call, tweet, or email in to me or the show, and we'll try to get as many listeners and points of view on the air as possible.

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Saturday Night Potpourri: Cubs Win!

Chrysanthemum

Huzzah! A win! That makes two in a row, thanks to the timely hitting of Jake Fox (GS, 5 RBIs) and Milton Bradley (3-4, RBI double). Read about all the happiness here.

Also, don't forget about the LOHO podcast on Cubs Fans and Racism Monday night at 8:00 pm CT. Jack McDowell, among others, will be joining Matt and I as we resolve race relations in Chicago once and for all. Listening/Call-in info can be found here.

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Cubs Open Thread: Do-It-Yourself Open Thread

Close-up of a vacancy sign board, La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA

 

I won't lie. This team has completely tapped me out. Emotionally, creatively . . . blogger-ly. I mean, I can only spend so much time writing "This team sucks" or "It's not over yet!"-themed posts.

As of right now, I've got nothing.

So, this is a TRUE open-thread. Feel free to talk about anything: websites you love, if Lou will be back next season, what's on your iPod, if you want Lou back next season, what you just saw on TMZ. Whatever.

Tomorrow, we'll get back to baseball.

Millertime Has Some Questions For You

Baby with question mark

It's mid-day on Thursday, we're hours from game time, and I am officially creatively tapped out.

Luckily for me, intrepid LOHO staffer Millertime has an inquiring mind. Here are some questions he would like you to answer:

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Group Therapy Through Motivational Posters

 

It's been a long time since we've busted out the ol' motivational posters game. But what the hell. . . we're all depressed and we've got 8 hours until game time.

To make your own poster, go here.

Because we can't yet add photos to comments, email me your poster at:

leagueofherown (at) gmail (dot) com  

I'll post them here.

Motivate away!

Follow me below the jump for the entries. Winner gets posted on tonight's game thread. What an honor!

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A Choose Your Own Adventure Story!

Cubs Fans Buy Souvenirs As Series Continues

 

According to Dave Kaplan, we can expect the sale of the Cubs to be completed this week.

The long awaited sale of the Chicago Cubs should finally be signed this week between the Tribune Company and the Ricketts family. The process has been ongoing since April of 2007 but now it is finally about to be completed. 

Excellent sources have assured me that there are no more hurdles to clear and the paperwork will be signed by Friday. It will then move on to an MLB ownership committee then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge and finally it will need approval of the other owners in Major League Baseball. All of this should be wrapped up by the World Series or shortly thereafter and it should pave the way for Tom Ricketts and his family to finally have the keys to the Cubs kingdom.

Since I'm pretty sure Dave said the same thing about 8 weeks ago, I'm not overly-optimistic about this gettting down. However, this gives us the chance to have some fun here in the Dog Days of August with our favorite team, currently FIVE (GAH!) games out of 1st.

You are Tom Ricketts. Tomorrow morning, Trib Co hands you the keys to Wrigley and the Cubs credit card. What are the first three things you do to turn this club around?

And remember, we have to have something to talk about until 9:00 pm tonight, so make your answers either really good or really provocative.

Go. 

Suck On That, Haters!

Red Sox vs. Orioles

 

I just want all of you haters, who couldn't WAIT to run him out of town, to know that my beloved Felix Pie just HIT FOR THE CYCLE against the Angels.

That is all.

Name Your Favorite Cub Hybrid!

Animal Passion

 

I'm not sure why it too me so long to hear about this (I think I blame Carl for not putting it in the morning headlines), but I recently learned that Kansas Senator Sam Brownback has sponsored a bill aimed at outlawing human-animal hybrids. I'll admit that I hadn't realized that human-animal hybrids were a problem, but this is why we need brave Senators like Sam Brownback, who are willing to keep the world safe from minotaurs at the risk of alienating the mermaid vote altogether. 

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John Hughes Dead at 59

 

Today Chicago icon John Hughes died at age 59. If you're of my generation and of Chicago stock, you grew up with John Hughes' movies, rolling your eyes as your parents repeatedly pointed out their high schools, their friends' high schools, houses on their former block, and high schools in your neighborhood every time you watched a John Hughes movies.

Of all the John Hughes movies, there's never been one that could touch "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." At one point, I could recite the enire movie the whole way through, and I can still do pretty well if the movie is on in front of me. Not to mention that I go into a two minute monologue every time I hear the words "nine times" or the name "Grace."

Though it's seriously dating myself to say so, John Hughes' movies (and the accompanying soundtracks) colored my pre-teen and teen years, Would I ever have discovered Echo and the Bunnyman or "Try a Little Tenderness" without "Pretty In Pink?" Or Simple Minds without "The Breakfast Club?" I probably would have, but not at 11.

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LOHO IDOL: The Search For The Next LOHO Editor

 

Wanted: New LOHO Editor to be enirely at my beck and call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Love of baseball and bizarre sense of humor a must. Photoshop skills a plus. Outside life will be considered a negative.

In all seriousness, I have a lot of help running this site. From Carl doing headlines almost every morning to the editors who jump in at a moment's notice and put up a game thread or post on breaking baseball news, it takes a village, people. From the inception of this site, we've sort of had a revolving staff of editors. People contribute when they can, and when life pulls them in another direction, someone else steps in. Right now, we have a lot of editors being pulled in other directions, and LOHO is requiring more work than ever, especially with the explosion of FB and Twitter. For that reason, we're looking at add one (maybe two) new editors to the LOHO staff. If you're interested in helping out, please email me at leagueofherown (at) gmail (dot) com. Lurkers are welcome to apply.

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Tom Gorzelanny Is A Cub

MLB: MAY 19 Pirates at Nationals

 

After the game the Cubs announced that they've traded Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny. Um . . does this help us? I'm not sure this helps us.

And good Lord, won't someone think of the women? You get rid of DeRosa, you get rid of Cotts. REEDZ is on the DL. . . and you go and bring in Baker, Fox, and Gorzelanny? What the hell are we supposed to look at? Rich Harden can't handle all the female attention himself!

In happy news, the Cubs stomped the Astros 12-3 today, reaching a season-high 8 games above .500. After the game, starting pitcher Russ Ortiz was unconditionally released.

Onward to Miami and "Land Shark Stadium" ("candygram!" . . snicker), where I'm sure there are still plenty of tickets available.

As for me, I'm on vacation until August 12, but I'll try to be around as much as possible. Go Cubs!

REEDZ Gone For a Month

Rumor confirmed:

Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson is headed to the disabled list with a left foot fractured that he suffered after fouling a ball off his foot in the first inning Wednesday.

Cubs.com' Carrie Muskat says Johnson could miss as much as a month with the injury.

 

I'm off to stick my head in the oven.

Down On The Farm

Curious Brown and White Cow

Those of you who've known me for a while know all too well that I'm not all that interested in the farm system. It seems too often it's name after forgettable name, 99 percent of whom we'll never hear from again. And every season there's some minor-leaguer who's should be called up to fix all our problems (see, e.g. Veal, Donnie; Gallagher, Sean; Cedeno, Ronny; Pie, Felix, etc.), almost all of whom fizzle out and incur my wrath before they're sent packing back to Iowa. Lo, over the years, my attitude has become "call me when they make the club and I"ll start caring."

Luckily for those of you who yearn for news from the minors, BP's Kevin Goldstein has undertaken an in-depth review of the Cubs' farm system. Well, kind of luckily. The news isn't good. Even *I* knew that.

At first glance, the Chicago Cubs should be an obvious pursuer of Roy Halladay. Selected by most to run away with the National League Central this season, they instead have been treading water with a record consistently around the .500 mark (the overall weakness of the division has kept them a mere two games back of the St. Louis Cardinals). Halladay could be the difference for any team in that division, but the dark cloud hanging over the Cubs' ownership situation and a current owner spending significant time in bankruptcy court likely prevent them from taking on the Toronto Blue Jays ace's contract. 

Even if everything were hunky-dory when it came to ownership, the failure of the organization in the middle years of this decade would keep the team out of contention in trade talks anyway, as the Cubs have done little to help themselves through scouting and player development.

Yikes. As bad as all that, is it?

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Julio Lugo Traded to Cards

MLB: JUN 23 Red Sox at Nationals

mlbtraderumors.com:

It's been a busy day for the Red Sox. They acquired Chris Duncan and a player to be named later for Julio Lugo, turning an albatross into a viable left-handed hitter.

They also dealt a pair of prospects for Adam LaRoche, adding a power bat who normally excels in the second half. And according to Jon Heyman's Twitter feed, they may not be finished yet.

My question: Do we care? Should we care?

I care just by virtue of the fact that, once again, the Cards are out making deals to improve their team, while we're sitting around sucking. And no, I don't care that we won today and went 5-2 on this road trip. I'm sick of sitting around waiting for the best team in baseball on paper to decide to start hitting the damn baseball. I want a trade to shake up this team, and I don't mean another Jeff Baker, either.

Discuss.

Wherein I Defend a Naked Erin Andrews (sigh)

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 24 Connecticut at Notre Dame

 

It's no secret around here that I'm not a huge fan of Erin Andrews. I'm sure that most people probably chalk that up to jealousy over her looks, and that's probably at least partly true. But it's more than that. I don't find her to be very bright or especially insighful. She often rambles on Sarah Palin-esque explanations that make no sense or asks really stupid questions.  

On the occasions I've seen her at Wrigley (usually sitting right next to the dugout), she's spent the entire game texting or looking at herself in her compact mirror, while I strain my eyes to see the game from 148 rows behind her. I suspect this is how she managed to get herself hit in the face with a baseball.  

But I think it had more to do with the fact that I've never seen her actually WRITE anything or say anything with any kind of substance. She seems satisfied with her role as sideline covergirl. She dresses to be seen rather than heard. ESPN shamelessly uses her looks to promote their channel, and she has certainly seemed more than happy to allow herself to be used.

Personally, I think Erin Andrews, and women like her (for she's certainly not alone in the sideline bimbo parade) set back women in sports media about 100 years. It makes me sad for women like Mary Carillo, Linda Cohn, and Melissa Isaacsson, who I'm sure had a much tougher row to hoe and are far more interesting to me than Erin Andrews.

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Chicago Cubs Friday Night Open Thread

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If you missed the game today, count yourself amongst the lucky.

 

It. . . it wasn't good.

It's in times like these when I find this Camus quote most helpful:

"All men have a sweetness in their life. That is what helps them go on. It is towards that they turn when they feel too worn out."                        --Albert Camus

In a desperate attempt to keep 90% of this community off the ledge, I'm asking you tonight what makes you happy these days? What sweetness do you turn to when you feel too worn out? Because God knows it's not the Chicago Cubs these days.

Tonight, for me, it's that there are still songwriters in the world writing lyrics like these:

From the entrance to the exit
Is longer than it looks from where we stand
I want to say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet
Things will shortly get completely out of hand
I can feel it in the rotten air tonight
In the tips of my fingers
In the skin on my face
In the weak last gasp of the evening's dying light
In the way those eyes I've always loved illuminate this place
Like a trashcan fire in a prison cell
Like the searchlights in the parking lots of hell
I will walk down to the end with you
If you will come all the way down with me

                         -The Mountain Goats

                          "Old College Try"

No matter how bad the Cubs get, they will never be able to ruin songwriting. I don't think.

Your turn.

"No matter how bad the Cubs get,  . . . . . . . ?"

 

 

Assessing The Cubs' Chances Using Black Jack's Formula

San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics

Because most Cubs fans have never had the occasion to see one, this is what the World Series Trophy looks like

There have been a lot of good things about the move to ChicagoNow, mostly involving me now getting to bug the Trib's Jimmy Greenfield with tech issues rather than gravedigger, who was prone to foul language and throwing things in my direction. Oh, and there's the avatars! And getting to use all Trib Co's photos without licensing issues!

And, of course, there's Jack.

Though I've spent the majority of my life hating the White Sox and their fans, I never thought I'd develop a relationship with one of them that would allow me to harass him on a daily basis! Plus, I get to ask him all kinds of annoying questions like: "Did you use PEDs, Jack?" "Can you PROVE you didn't use PEDs, Jack?" and "Jack, why are you so jealous of Ryan Dempster?"

I can't even begin to describe the joy this brings me.

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Ponch, Child Porn, and the Cubs

As long as we're doing some fixer-upperering around here (you know, getting a real third baseman, selling Freel in a garage sale, hitting the ball), I have a request:

 

 

Can we be done with the "celebrity" 7th inning stretch?

Honestly, it was fun in the beginning. Bill Murray. Eddie Vedder. Bonnie Hunt. William Peterson. People from Chicago who love the Cubs. It made sense. It was a tribute to Harry. It fit.

Six years later, we find ourselves still enduring the off-key wailings of D-list celebrities who are usually up in the booth with Len and Bob to promote the "accidental" release of their latest celebrity sex tape or recent stint on "Rehab With Dr. Drew."

Note to the Cubs media department: Denise Richards, Sharon Osbourne, Jesse Ventura, and Kellie Pickler are not "celebrities." They are people who once did something that no one can remember and now inexplicably keep showing up on my TV screen. That's not the same thing.

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Chicago Cubs Second Half Predictions

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"I can tell you one thing: we're gonna need a lot more cocktails!"

The second half of the season is upon us. LOHO appears to have survived intact, though Carl will be out with a flashlight and search party to bring in the rest of the stragglers. Doc, it's time to end the hunger strike. Gravedigger, come in off the ledge. Flyball, more coffee is not the answer to this season. Abe, dust off the standings flags with the Cubs at the top.

Get out your "W" flags, prepare your bragging rights, and flip it up, spin it around, and strap it down (or whatever)! I've got a good feeling about the way things are headed.

It's time to think about Act II.

 

Ryan Braun has weighed in (and been sent to the corner to think about what he said):

"[The Cubs] starting pitching is a lot better than ours," Braun said. "They threw the ball a lot better than our starters did. They certainly swung the bats better than we did. Clearly they were the better team. It's nice to get the one win but they clearly outplayed us and outperformed us all series."

John Kruk has weighed in:

Chicago, despite its sluggish start, is going to be fine. Derrek Lee is starting to hit better and Aramis Ramirez is back from the disabled list, both of which should aid the Cubs in their quest for the division's top spot. They might have struggled for much of the season so far, but they're the best team in that division. And it's reasonable to expect their performance in the second half to be indicative of that.

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Cubs Sale Completed

For sale and sold sign

The Cubs will soon have new corporate overlords. And just in time for the trade dealine!

Tribune Co. has reached a deal to sell the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family, a source familiar with the matter said this morning.

The two sides reached a sale agreement over the weekend and have forwarded the contract to Major League Baseball, the source said. The deal must be approved by other baseball owners. With Tribune Co. operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the sale also will need court approval.

The source said the sales price is "close" to the $900 million bid the Ricketts family offered earlier this year that won an auction for the baseball team, stadium and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a regional cable television sports network.

 

Dear Santa Ricketts,

All I want for the trade deadline is a real second baseman. And maybe another reliever.

Love, Julie. 

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Should the Chicago Tribune Waive Phil Rogers?

Unveiling Of Interactive Hulk

cubbiejulie angry!

Living in Chicago, I am subjected to a fair amount of sports inanity. From Mike North to Mike Downey to Mike from Park Ridge, there are a lot of people in this town who specialize in making that vein above my left eye throb. Most of the time, I try to go to my happy place and ignore it. But every once in a while, a "sportswriter" puts out a column so absurd, so ridunkulous, so bat-shit crazy that I feel compelled to call them out on it. Today (like many days), that column was written by Phil Rogers.

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Wherein I Make Good On The Bet With Jack

Cubs vs. White Sox

 

As many of you know, this crosstown series was the subject of a heated wager between me and the diabolical Black Jack McDowell of the equally nefarious and malodorous White Sox. The best was as follows: the blogger from the losing club had to not only treat the winner to a few rounds of frosty beverages at the winner's behest, but also had to post a diary listing the glowing accolades of the winning team.

This is that diary.

Chung! Chung! (that was the Law & Order noise)

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Passed Along Without Comment

Ahem:

And now for another potential Cleveland deal to watch: For all the weird talk in Chicago last week about some kind of fictional rift between Mark DeRosa and Lou Piniella, we've been hearing that the Cubs have kicked the tires on a deal that could bring DeRosa back to Wrigleyville.

For one thing, the reason the Cubs traded DeRosa in the first place had nothing to do with any "rifts." It was because they'd have had to play almost an entire right-handed-hitting lineup if they'd kept him, and because they needed to move salaries to fill other needs.

But by late July, DeRosa would have only about $2 million left on his $5.5 million salary. So we're guessing the Cubs might be allowed to take on that kind of money. That's still unclear, though, given their ownership issues.

Finally, we know the Cubs have been doing some preliminary poking around for a bat. But because they aren't sure where they'd play that bat, they've been asking about what one exec they talked to described as a "DeRosa-type player," with enough versatility to be moved around as needed. But nobody fits that description, obviously, better than DeRosa himself.

Let fly, kids.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I jumped on here to post about Geo's positive drug test, but after being on FB, Twitter, and a bunch of other private sites with friends, it seems all anyone wants to talk about right now is Michael Jackson. So away we go.

 If you're part of my generation (let's say. . . people in their 30s. . .ahem) Michael Jackson was a HUGE part of your childhood. I still remember staying up late waiting for "Thriller," "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" to come on Friday Night Videos. For those of you fetuses out there, Friday night video was how those of us who lived too far out in the stix to get cable got our vidoes. And I still remember squealing my 7(?)(8?) year-old head off over this (which I had to BEG my parents to let me stay up to watch):

 

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Ozzie Tells Cubs Fans Not To Panic

MLB: MAY 01 White Sox at Rangers

Ozzie wants you all to relax:

"They've got a good ballclub," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "All respect for St. Louis, Milwaukee, all those teams, the Cubs are going to be in the pennant race. People in Chicago, relax. Quit panicking. Worry about something else. Worry about the family, kids going back to school and having good grades. Don't worry about the Cubs. They'll be fine."

But wait! Lou, being not a dragon, isn't so sure:

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Wherein I Throw Down With Jack McDowell

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"I am just saying. If I were Jack McDowell, I would not take this bet."

 It's that time again, boys and girls.

 Tomorrow the evil White Sox and their homophobic   manager roll into Wrigley. Luckily for us, Ozzie has already given us the details of his gastrointestinal response to our beloved ballpark, so we won't waste any time wondering about the inner workings of his bowels this week. Let's hope the visitors' clubhouse is well-stocked with flat Sprite and barf bags!

 In the spirit of competition, we here at LOHO are always looking to do our part to make the lives of White Sox fans a *little* bit more miserable. In this vein, I've thrown down the gauntlet with Chicago Now Sox blogger Jack McDowell.

The wager will be as follows: The blogger from the team that loses 2 of 3 in the series (that's me for the Cubs, Jack for the Sox) has to post the winning team's logo on their site, along with a glowing diary extolling the winning team's accolades. Losing blogger also has to buy many beers for the winner the next time Jack is in town. To that end, please feel free to send me you suggestions for the most expensive beers you can think of. I plan on ordering them all at least once.

I was going to attempt to keep this thing amicable and above-board, but then Jack had to go and bring up Mike Harkey over on his site. Accordingly, you should all now feel free to head over there and taunt Jack at your leisure.

In case you missed it, Jack has managed to incur Ozzie's wrath as well this week.  You can't fight us both, Jack! Prepare to be destroyed! And to buy me a lot of imported beers!  Your Cy Young can't save you now!

In honor of tomorrow's cross-town series, and to pass the time on an off-day, let's have Cubs/Sox moment.

Mine is easy: Watching AJ's jowels flap in the breeze as he got punched in the face. Though Sammy's 9th-inning homer at the Cell in 2000 is a close second. 

Next.

 

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Saturday / Freeze Your Ass Off with LOHO, the Twins, and the Cubs at 12:35pm CT

Cubs vs. Twins

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2009 League Of Her Own Get-Together

Immigration March in San Diego, April 9, 2007

Why yes, we DO have quite a few immigrant readers here at LOHO. Muchas gracias for asking!

Hey kids, only a few days left until the 2009 LOHO get-together, which will take place Saturday, June 13, 2009 at the Cubs/Twinks game. To attend, all you have to do is get your grubby little hands on a bleacher ticket for the game. Then, meet up with cubbiejulie and the rest of the crew at Murphy's Bleachers (right across the street from Wrigley) at 10:30 am on gameday.

We'll hang out for a while (you'll see us, we'll be clearly marked) then all head across the street together to choose a bleacher destination to our liking. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially those lurkers we haven't met yet!

Tickets are still available on Stub Hub, and there might be a few floating around here as well. If you need a ticket or have a ticket, pipe up! We'll do our best to get you there!

Wednesday Headlines/Open Thread

Blue-ear Pig Disease Hits 25 Provinces In China


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Sunday Headlines/Open Thread


Larry King in a Cub uniform = sign of the Apocalypse
Tribune photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo

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Wednesday Headlines/Open Thread

Pirates-Cubs
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Sunday Headlines/Open Thread

MLB: MAY 20 Giants at Padres
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Thursday Headlines/Open Thread


Sunset over Gateway Arch and Mississippi River

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LOHO Community Project: All-Time Favorite Cubs



$50 says none of you know who this is

As some of you know, every week the guys over at the hilarious Wasting Away In Wrigleyville send out "community roundtable questions," wherein they ask a bunch of different bloggers to weigh in on a specific question. This week, the question is one that involves more effort than I'm generally willing to expend on a weekday, so I'm asking for your help.

cubbiejulie :: Community Project: All-Time Favorite Cub Team
Our task this week is to put together an all-time Cubs all-star team. The catch? I don't want players that are just good, I want you to list the players that you really LOVED. If you want Vance Law at 3B and Mitch Webster in CF, say it loud and proud. For example, I don't care how good Cap Anson was, the man was a blight on humanity and he's not coming anywhere NEAR our all-time all-star team.  

If we can reach any kind of consensus, I'll submit our team as the official "LOHO entry."

As I said, players will not be chosen on merit but on the love they managed to engender in the fans while here. To make hard decision easier, I'll even give you a DH.

Now get out there and stump for your favorite players.

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Wednesday Headlines

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Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee



The only part of Ararmis Ramirez currently un-injured.

Yes, we lost last night. Yes, we're back in 4th place, once again looking up at the Reds (boo!). Yes, Aramis Ramirez has been mortally wounded, thus necessitating additional playing time for Aaron Miles. Yes, Ryan Freel is now for some reason on our team. Yes, I have a headache.

I suppose I could sit here and give you all a list of silver linings after yesterday's debacle, but I won't. Because Umbra has already done it for me:

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Five Teams I Would Rather NOT BE Than Us

 

littlecamper.jpg

Awwwwww. Buck up, little campers.

There's been a bit of panic in LOHOland lo these past few days. Not that I blame people for panicking. We are, after all, rather stinky as of late, and we are, after all, the Cubs. So I forgive all of you chicken littles out there who have momentarily taken a break from screeching about the swine flu to screech, instead, about the end of our season.

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Monday Headlines/Open Thread


Happy Birthday in Japanese!

After a string of a few not-so-good days, the Cubs managed to start a 146-game winning streak, winning 10-3 against the Cards. Yesterday's hero? D-Lee. By valiantly getting neck spasms in the second inning, he allowed for Hoffpauir to finally play first base and hit another home run. Actually, I think yesterday's hero was everyone's favorite, Mr. Fukudome:

But the biggest hero was birthday boy Kosuke Fukudome, who went 3-for-4 with a homer and a career-best 5 RBI. As far as celebrating, Fukudome played it low-key. "More than hitting, winning is the most important thing," he told reporters in St. Louis through his translator. "I'm too old for a cake, and I don't want to get fat."


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