Sunday mornings have always been about three things. 1) listening to a Beatles album ( Thank you very much Terri Hemmert.) 2) having a fabulous brunch. 3) Long bullet pointed sports articles in the Sunday papers. While he spends most of his time now being the largest boil on the ass of society, Mike Lupica always has, and still does, written a wonderful Sunday column called "Shooting from the Lip". His column not only my love of sports, but helped me become a better writer and exposed me to other writers as well. I remember my first time at Saratoga with my father. I read Lupica's column and he said "If you buy one book, any book, written by Dennis Lehane, you will soon by them all. Months later I visited my father, and sure enough there were a stack of Dennis Lehane books. Peter Gammons revolutionized sports journalism with his "Diamond Notes" column which was also a Sunday feature. Even old Off-his-meds Phil Rodgers, whose in rare form lately as his Starlin Castro trade rumors get more desperate and far-fetched, manages to put out an interesting Sunday tidbit column.
So that's what this space will do. We'll have a feature mini-column, some random "other thoughts" concerning the Cubs and baseball in general. ( I like to talk about the league a little more. Gives perspective to what's happening at Clark and Addison.) And a couple entertainment or fun thoughts.
And now is a good time to do it too. Because with the Cub convention in full swing, I got my first Cub baseball Jones.Which I think is the point of the thing. I don't even go. I usually hate those things. But consider all the good that's coming out of there this weekend:
* The renovation plans look super. Plus they're altering the way they're paying for it. You have to appreciate that the Ricketts are so committed that they'll move off their original plan in order to get it done. As opposed to just holding your breath and turning blue and threatening to leave. Cough*Reinsdorf*Cough.
* Television money is coming tra-la, tra-la. But it won't be for a few years. Yet, there's no panic. There's a confidence that they'll have plenty of money to compete ( as they should...) until these new deals fall into place. While I'd like nothing more than to have CUBtv on the air, ( I'm currently dwelling in Columbus, Ohio and my cable package offers YES and NESN. CUB TV could slide right in with those two perfectly.) The idea that the Cubs will have a refurbished stadium, just as windfalls of money are coming in and the team should be a smartly structured successful baseball team.... aw Hell yeah.
* Jed and Theo continue to speak. I love that these two don't talk as often but when they do, it's just brimming with information. Both in what they say and what's implied. Jed's honest assessment of Javier Baez was warm air on a cool day. And Theo's talk of draft structure was exceptional too.
* Dale Svuem seems to be more assertive. He seems like a man with a little more confidence and I don't mind him setting the bar high this year. Hopefully his actions back that up.
* David Dejesus is going to be the everyday CF...... and.......Ummm..... Hey did I mention how much I like the renovation plans?
When this management team took over, you filled your head with "possibilities". But now you're actually seeing it. And you can see how this all plays out. And while there's still lots of work to do, and many, many things can derail the Cubs success. But right now it feels great to be a Cub fan.
I've gathered a pretty neat group of Cub fans and Bloggers on Twitter. And they're not the usual "Rah Rah' white flag, sing with Harry kind of crowd. Smart, analytical, passionate fans. And the river of optimism flowing from them is really cool to see. 140 characters of Impressed here. 140 characters of didn't-think-they'd do-that-but-I-like-it there. It's all building to something amazing.
I'm probably not going to the convention next year either. But I hope to feel the same way I do now.
-John Arguello is in the final stages of his bout with NERDFLU. John had a temperature as high as 102. Which puts his TPBP (Temperature plus blood pressure) at 257/180. Which gives him a Slash line of 102/257/ 357....Boy is that sick. Plus he has a WISL (Writing independent Stress level) of 6.43 Haven't seen a number that high since Al Yellon first banned me from Bleed Cubbie Blue...
- What's flatter? The all you can eat pancakes at I-hop or Paul Sullivan's jokes?
- Cardinals don't do much for me but Stan Musial was an institution. I saw a stat that Musial was a career .305/.387/.506 hitter.....after age 35. RIP to "The Man"
- While we're at it, another candle in the wind for Earl Weaver- One of the greatest managers ever. Someone said it would be fitting if several managers kicked dirt on his grave at his funeral. Earl was certainly one of a kind. Plus it brought back this. ( Warning: This video is incredibly profane. INCREDIBLY PROFANE. and definitely not suited for minors, or other easily offended people.). And this might be one of the funniest things I've ever heard anywhere. There clearly was only one Earl Weaver.
- And since these things come in threes, a fond farewell to Prop Joe from the Wire. (Actor Robert Chew.) What a wonderful and dimensional fellow he was.
-Hockey's back!!!!!! So let me sell my brother's work one more time. He runs a website called thecommittedindian.com. He sells a program called the Committed Indian outside the UC every hawks home game. This lockout was incredibly hard on him and if you can throw some support his way that would be awesome. Kid knows his hockey forward and back. And he's a hell of a writer. When he ran Second City Hockey, it was voted "Best Chicago sports blog" two years in a row. He's just outside gate 3 on game days.
- OK, show of hands. How many people were just a tad embarrassed by all the Cub fans love for Tony Campana during the Q&A with Sveum? Yeah, me too.
- But who was happy to see Soriano finally get cheered? Right on. Soriano skipping the WBC to take care of his knees and get ready for the Cubs season is a testament to the kind of player and teammate he is. And always been for that matter. It's also the reason why there isn't a market for him.
This Sunday's Beatles album is Abbey Road.
First of many. This should be fun when there's actual fastballs, double plays and homers to talk about.