Showing posts with label Cubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cubs. Show all posts

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Salary Cost for Each Cub win vs. Salary Cost for Each Red Win

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

Sorry I didn't use charts for this, but you get the idea.

Through July 4th 2010.

The Cubs starter's 2010 salaries- : Wins

Zamrano: $18,875,000- 3 $6.2 mil/win
Dempster: $13,500,000- 6 2.25 mil/win
Lilly: $13,000,000- 3 4.3 mil/win
Silva: $12,790,000- 8 1.59 mil/win
Wells: $427,000 - 4 106,750/ win

Total: $58,592,000 24 = $2,441,333 per win

In contrast. The 2010 Reds' pitchers with the 5 most starts

(# of starts) 2010- Salary- Wins

Arroyo (17) $11,650,000- 8
Harang (17) 12,500,000- 6
Cueto (17) 445,000- 8
Leake (15) N/A- 5 (I counted this as "0" since it can't be a whole lot)
Bailey (9) 418,000 1

Total: 25,013,000- 28- $893,321 per win

That's how I roll.

Most Cubs Play of All Time

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter, get ready to mention this every time you bash the Cubs for the rest of your life.

In the bottom of the 6th today, Mike Fontenot singled with one out. The Cubs are down 5-3 and the ball is jumping out the stadium. Bob Brenley even said that he has never seen the ball jump out of here during batting practice like it did today.

Geovany Soto gets to the plate. The count goes full, so Fontenot will be running on the pitch. Soto strikes out swinging and has a really ugly swing, he tries to duck his head to avoid Red's pitcher Corky Miller's follow through from his throw down to second. Miller hits his head anyway, resulting in a call of Fontenot automatically being out at second due to batter interference. Double play. Inning over.

To add injury to insult, Soto was lying down after the play and being attended to by Cubs trainers. He would stay in the game however (thank GOD!).

That sums up our season pretty well so far.

That's how I roll.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Carlos Zambrano, You are Fat. Sincerely, TR Slyder.

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

-Carlos Zambrano is not even the best fat, Venezuelan-born pitcher on the Cubs named Carlos. Carlos Silva is. Zambrano isn't even the second best Cubs pitcher named Carlos: Carlos Marmol is better than him as well.

- He makes $19 million a year and is fat. That tells me literally everything I need to know about him. If he's going to have a meltdown, maybe he can melt down his waistline.

- If he got screamed at/punched every time he sucked on the field, maybe he wouldn't be a fat has-been.

-He was screaming at Derrek Lee. The same Derek Lee that has a World Series ring, THREE gold gloves and is an exemplary citizen and ball player. No one has saved more runs over Zambrano's career than Derrek Lee. To further the stupidity, Lee has been slumping all season long and really doesn't need to get screamed at by anyone, much less by the only Cub (other than Aramis Ramirez) having a crappier season.

- In 2009 Zambrano had to leave a few games due to muscle cramping. He doesn't like drinking water and would drink coffee and Red Bull before games. In other words, he would DEhydrate himself before playing a sport in the summertime while wearing pants and refuse to re-hydrate. He was being paid $19 million at the time.

-After punching his catcher in 2007, the catcher got traded.
- There is a 100% chance that he has the skid-markiest underwear of any Cub.

- Due to his sucking, he was relegated to the bullpen in 2010. Despite being paid $19 million (more than some team's entire starting rotation), he was not good enough to make his own team's starting rotation.

-In a related story, the Cubs have the highest average ticket price in the major leagues, despite being 9 games under .500 and in 4th place in the lowly NL Central. They are 8.5 games out of first place. And 7 games out of last place.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Nice to Know I am Being Heard

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

Chicago Tribune beat writer Paul Sullivan just released this article stating that the Cubs suck. He goes on to mention that they suck by any definition of the word, but suck grandiosly when their high payroll and ticket prices are considered. None of that is new, but what Sullivan reports that is new is that the Cubs front office is finally aware of this.

For the record, I am smarter than the Chicago Cubs because I posted this on 4/10, this article on 4/13 and this article on 5/11. You know who else is smarter than the Cubs? Every single person on Earth. I don't read any Cubs blogs, but I have reason to suspect I wasn't the only Cubs fan making similar points.

Was this realization really all that diffult to foresee? It was like the Cubs front office was juggling plastic explosives in a boat and thought it was totally reasonable. Then after a few botched juggling attempts they kept at it. Only after another drop, a hole in the boat and the ship retaining gallons of water did someone think, "Wait....hang on a minute here.....this hole in the boat is actually a BAD just hear me out on this one, you guys...."

It's one thing to field a lousy team. It's another thing to command high ticket and concession prices, but you can't do both. Even Cubs fans will turn their backs eventually. If you're dating Halle Barry and she cheats on you, you might do your best to work through it and see to it that it doesn't happen again. But if the chick from Precious cheats on you, you tell her to get the fuck out.

That's how I roll.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ancient Chinese Riddle, in Association with TR Salutes, Presents: Cub fan Beer Catch

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

One day a few thousand years into the future, someone will assume this was ancient chinese riddle:

Is the guy in the movie a Gentleman or a Dude? I mean sure he's a dude. No question whatsoever. He's highly rated on the dude scale. But I mean, isn't that the most chivalrous, and thereby gentlemanly thing you can do? Like what Jack Donaghy or The Most Interesting Man in the World or James Bond would do in that position?


That's how I roll.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicago men Straighten out a Doofus

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

I won't put in my $.02 about Hanley Ramirez's dumb actions, but I will quote two other guy's two cents. Both former Cubs. Both referred to physical confrontation. Sadly, only one of them has a jheri curl. But hey, it's better than zero.

First, Rick Sutcliffe was quoted on Marlin's beat-writer Joe Capozzi's Twitter page: Ex-pitcher Rick Sutcliffe re: Hanley's loafing-I don’t know if I could woop Ramirez or not but after watching that, we would’ve found out.

Love it.

ESPN reported this about Hall of Famer Andre Dawson's conversation with , fellow hall of famer Tony Perez and Hanley Ramirez, "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.'

The city with broad shoulders, baby.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Great Photo of Aramis Ramirez's Walkoff HR by the Chicago Tribune

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

I am all about giving credit when and where it is due. It is due. I just don't know where because I couldn't find it on the (where these two pics came from), and I would love to give someone credit for it. I am sorry for not acknowledging a job well done, Trib photographer, but I assure you I am not profiting from your good work.

Those two photos arranged like that is great work.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pin the Tail on the Jackass: Would you Support This Mystery Baseball Team?

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

There is an MLB team that is the following:

3rd in team payroll with $146 mil. (see below, win %age inserted next to team name)
1st in ticket average ticket price ($52.56, SPOILER ALERT IF YOU CLICK THE LINK)
2nd in total cost to take a family of 4 to a game ($329.74, $5 shy of first place)
tied f0r 23rd best record in baseball (out of 30 teams) with a winning %age of .424.

1. Could you make a case for any team's general manager being worse?
2. Would you support this team?
3. (Spoiler alert if you click here) By the way, they have about 2 players worth watching.
4. They haven't won a world series in over 100 years.
5. The sizes of hot dogs at their stadium should be small, medium, large, Prince Fielder's Choice.
6. #5 was just something I threw in that wasn't totally related.

2010 Team Payrolls
No.Team Current Win %
1.New York Yankees .677
2.Boston Red Sox .515
3.XXXXXX .424
$146,859,000 $5,439,222
4.Philadelphia Phillies .625
5.New York Mets .531 $132,701,445$5,103,902
6.Detroit Tigers .563
7.Chicago White Sox .406
8.Los Angeles Angels .441
9.Seattle Mariners .387
10.San Francisco Giants .600
11.Minnesota Twins .656
12.Los Angeles Dodgers .469
13.St. Louis Cardinals .625
14.Houston Astros .323 $92,355,500$3,298,411
15.Atlanta Braves .438
16.Colorado Rockies .469
17.Baltimore Orioles .281
18.Milwaukee Brewers .469
19.Cincinnati Reds .531
20.Kansas City Royals .344
21.Tampa Bay Rays .688
22.Toronto Blue Jays .559
23.Washington Nationals .563
24.Cleveland Indians .379
25.Arizona Diamondbacks .424
26.Florida Marlins .469
27.Texas Rangers .563
28.Oakland Athletics .531
29.San Diego Padres .613
30.Pittsburgh Pirates .438

That's how I roll.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Giving Credit Where Credit is due: Carlos Zambrano Edition

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

Zambrano got sent to the bullpen and by all accounts went willingly and wanted to help the team whichever way the coach thought he could. Nice to see the playground coming out of a player in a good way.

Since Zambrano looks like a bigger version of Webster now, maybe he should get a mini version of Ma'am for good luck. It could be his good luck person like Pedro's little homey in Boston. It couldn't hurt.

That's how I roll.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Great Sun-Times Article by Mark Potash

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I hear what you're barkin, dog.

Soriano is talented and isn't a has-been just yet, but he needs to realize that at this point any arrogance is unjustified arrogance. Results, not excuses, 'phonsie.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My $.11 on the Cubs

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I am still trying to wrap my head around the 2010 Cubs. How did someone in the front office think Cubs fans would accept this current team? How could they honestly expect us to care about them when their on the field talent is anything but reflective of the highest average price per ticket in MLB?

I wrote the other day about the lack of excitement on the Cubs roster, and I would like to revisit that in more depth. No one on the Cubs is A) young, and B) awesome. There are no players who you are POSITIVE have their best years ahead of them, there are no "The sky is the limit with this guy" type of players, nor are they any of baseball's most underrated players on the Cubs. While I am big fans of Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, but at 34 and 31 years old (respectively) they are known entities for Cubs fans- good guys, and if they stay healthy have the chance to hit 40 home runs, drive in 120 runs play gold glove caliber defense and make an all-star team. But MVP candidates they are not. The 'staying healthy' part is a big "if", and frankly I have seen them before.

They aren't drawing me to Wrigley Field and I feel as though their best days may be behind them. So now that we have established who the stalwarts in the middle of the line up are, who else do they have? What kind of players would I like to see if I am going to pay $52.56, the cost of an average ticket at Wrigley (which is up 10% from 2009), or a Family Cost Index of $329.74- the price for taking a family of 4 to a game. I would like to see exciting players that might have a breakout 2010 year and cement their standing as a top tier player in the league, and for the team to collectively have success. So lets see what kind of entertainment our $329.74 can buy us.


pitchers of note: Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol
Starting infield: Lee, Ramirez, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Geovanny Soto
Outfield: Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Alphonso Soriano

This is a team made up of "just beginning the downside of their career" guys. That is certainly true for every pitcher but Randy Wells, and frankly, true for all the infielders and outfielders, with the only possible exception of Soto (who could go on to be solid, or could be a rookie flash in the pan). Here is another way I could group those 12 guys with the exception of Wells.

Likely to have already peaked as a player: Soriano, Zambrano, Lee, Ramirez, Marmol, Lilly, Soto

Still too solid to knock, but I'm expecting a decline in performance: Lee, Ramirez

So I guess if you were gonna be awesome, you would have been awesome by now: Theriot, Fontenot, Fukudome

So that's what the most expensive ticket prices in the game get you.

Here is another way to look at it. Lets say a family lives in Fort Wayne, IN. (a three hour drive from Wrigley) and is deciding which team to see play this summer. Living in Fort Wayne, the Tigers, Reds, White Sox and Cubs are all about a 3 hour drive from home, so all options are on the table. The family would probably want good economic value for their outing and also a chance of seeing something historic. You want to see a future Hall of Famer early in his career before he was a megastar, or you want to see a starting pitcher take a no hitter into the 7th, or see him pitch the year he won the Cy Young, or the year the team won the pennant, a team needs that "wow" factor in order to put buns in the seats.

With that in mind lets look at the players around the league you would pay to watch. By that I mean someone you think, "Cool, we have tickets for the game tonight and it will be nice to see XXXX play in person." I will go team by team alphabetically.

Angels- Bobby Abreu, Torri Hunter, Hideki Matsui, Kendry Morales
Astros: Roy Oswalt, Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman
A's: None
Blue Jays: Ricky Romero, Vernon Wells
Braves: Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, Martin Prado, Jason Heyward
Brewers: Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun
Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Matt Holiday, Mr. Hat
Cubs: Lee, Ramirez (though Ted Lilly was the only 2009 Cub All Star)
Diamondbacks: Brandon Webb, Justin Upton
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, Jonathon Broxton, Manny Ramirez, Blake/Eithier/Loney/Furcal
Giants: Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Bengie Molina, Pablo Sandoval
Indians: Fausto Carmona, Matt LaPorta, Grady Sizemore
Marlins: Josh Johnson, Jorge Cantu, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla
Mariners: Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, Franklin Gutieriez
Mets: Frankie Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Jeff Francoeur
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (coming soon), Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn
Orioles: Matt Wieters, Adam Jones
Padres: Adrien Gonzalez
Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth
Pirates: none
Rangers: Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero
Rays: Grant Balfour, David Price, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, BJ Upton
Red Sox: Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Victor Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz
Reds: Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce
Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler
Royals: Zach Greinke.
Tigers: Justin Verlander, Joel Zumaya, Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge, Johnny Damon, Magglio Ordonez
Twins: Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan (currently out for the year), Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Denard Span, Delmon Young, Jim Thome
White Sox: Mark Buerhle, Bobby Jenks, Jake Peavy, Gordon Beckham, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Quentin
Yankees: CC Sabathia, Andy Petitte, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson

To recap: I listed 125 players and 30 teams. Math tells us that that is an average of a little over 4 players per team. The Cubs, the most expensive team to watch, have half of the expected # of fun players to watch. That is a problem.

Why can't the Cubs be like the Rays, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Cardinals, Phillies, Mets. Hell or even the Reds? At least they have an exciting young team with some talented pitching.

If the Cubs didn't have Wrigley Field why would anyone go to their games?

In a free market economy, the consumer votes with their dollars. You don't have write a letter to Cubs to complain like you might do with a politician, you simply stop giving them your money. Eventually they will get the hint and enact change. With the White Sox about 12 El stops south of Wrigley on the Red Line, I don't understand why someone would watch the Cubs instead of the White Sox, and I am a Cubs fan.

That's how I roll.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your 2010 Cubs (not mine)

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

Question: Can you name the 0 teams who have more expensive ticket prices than the Cubs?

That is correct. The Cubs have the most expensive ticket prices in all of baseball. So what is General Manger Jim Hendry doing with all of that money? Let us take a look at the Cubs 2010 Roster.

The bottom line is that the Cubs roster is not a well-constructed one. When a teams' defense up the middle is catcher Koyie Hill, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot at SS and 2B respectively, and Marlon Byrd in CF, someone screwed up. Do I blame Hill, Theriot, Fontenot and Byrd for not being awesome, or do I blame the GM who assembled this there-I-fixed-it team? I blame the GM.

After a cursory glance at the roster a few things jump out- the Cubs hallmark of a nauseous bullpen is still very much alive, a dearth of young talent, and a dearth of old talent, and somehow the names "Zambrano" and "Soriano" made their way onto the opening day lineup card.

We'll start with the paucity of young talent. The following are all of the Cubs players born after 1981:

Pitchers: Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, James Russell, Randy Wells.
Thrower: Jeff Samardzija
Catcher: Geovanny Soto
Infielders: none
Outfielders: Tyler Colvin

That is the exhaustive list of Cubs aged 28 or younger on the current Active Roster. Of that list, Randy Wells was the only player to have a respectable 2009 MLB season. *sigh* ok, because I am nice I will add Gorzelanny to that list too. Marmol's season was laughably terrible, same goes for Marshall. I could not in good conscience designate Jeff Samardzija as a "pitcher" on the list above, he is a thrower and will never be anything but. That being said, he totally sucked last year and has a 2010 ERA of 108.00. Moving on to infielders we find Geovanny Soto, who had such a horrendous sophomore slump that most people just assume he was taking performance enhancing drugs as a rookie (he was rookie of the year and legitimately outstanding) and obviously stopped before his second year. Did I mention he tested positive for marijuana before his sophomore season? He did.

So that is the Cubs "young talent".

As for their nauseous bullpen, I don't know what to tell you. Here is the exhaustive list of what can safely be called "reliable arms" in the bullpen. The list is as follows:_______. That was the list. Again, there is only so much bashing of the players I can do for not being great- the GM should have known that he was working with insufficient personnel and assembled a better pen. For Jim Hendry to think this bullpen is non-god-awful is a fire-able offense. It just is. When I think about the job he did in assembling the bullpen, all I can think of is the website I linked to above. It's like he just said, "Perfect. I have signed more than enough pitchers to field a roster of 12. I guess I am done with that now. Man, all that signing of no-talent pitchers sure makes me hungry for trans fatty acids."

As for the aforementioned "old talent", the Cubs have Carlos Zambrano, Alphonso Soriano, Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. I will lay off Lee and Ramirez, but Zambrano and Soriano might be the two most overpaid players in the NL Central. They were/are wildly talented and at times electrifying, but those times grow further and further apart, and when they are not electrifying us, they are playing miserably. Oh, and Soriano is just incapable of hitting good pitching. He unloads on mistake pitches (especially in his first at bat before a pitcher gets settled in, or against 4 and 5 starters). Guess how many crappy pitchers Soriano faces in the playoffs? 0. Guess how Soriano has done in the playoffs in a Cubs uniform? Anus-y.

Those two lazy headcases remind me of the axiom, "An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.". Sure their contracts are bad, and that was an error to sign them to those sums, but Piniella continuing to start Soriano and naming Z as the opening day starter, makes this error a mistake. With them getting playing time, Cubs fans are getting it from both ends.

So half of our most talented players, somehow manage to hurt the team. The other half are solid, but not great, perennial barely-missed-the-All Star-Game guys, but are getting older and have had difficulty staying healthy. The bottom line is that they need some support from the guys around them. Additionally, they are solid players but Superstars they are not. No one would ever say that the sky is the limit with them, or there is no telling how great of a year they could have if they stay healthy.

It isn't Lee or Ramirez's fault that they are no longer young or have the upside of Justin Upton, Ben Zobrist or Carl Crawford, but the Cubs have 0 exciting players. Across town, the White Sox have Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin which are all young, outstanding, exciting and no-ceiling talents. Even the lowly divisional foe, the Cincinnati Reds, who I am watching the Cubs play now, have Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and the always solid Brandon Phillips. Those guys are fun to watch and all have All Star potential. The only young Cub that could possibly elicit excitement from anyone is Tyler Colvin, and he has 26 career at bats.

So here is what the Cubs do NOT have: young talent, old talent, relief pitching, All Star shoe-ins, rational ticket prices, and a respectable GM, a chance of making the playoffs with anything resembling their current roster.

I'm already starting to get un-excited for 2011.

That's how I roll.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cubs 2010 Season Opener Recap In Pictures That are Not of the Game But Convey its Essence From The Cubs Perspective

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

How do I feel about their performance today, and how do I feel for the season as a whole? Like doing the Cry and Wap (female version pictured below) thinking about what could have and should have been the past two seasons. It also makes me feel like they are family that continually lets you all down, but you rally behind anyway because you are used to it.

You gotta lotta nerve asking me about the Cubs this year.

(clearly it's a touch-y subject. HELLOOO)

That's how I roll.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Cubs Article

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I don't know a Cubs fan who is actually excited about the 2010 season. Here is a brief write-up on them, anyway.

That's how I roll.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cubs 2010 Season Outlook

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I don't even want to talk about it.

That's how I roll.

Friday, January 29, 2010

No Shit: Bill Simmons Names Cubs as the Most Tortured Sports Franchise

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

The article is here

The Cubs have left all of their fans to do the Cry and Wap (pictured above) more than a few times. I never realized the dire state of fandom until after I lived in Chicago for a while. After the 2008 post season sweep by the Dodgers I was commiserating with the best Cub fan I know. A (female) kindergarten teacher who has lived in Chicago all of her life. I told her that it wasn't so much that I am surprised, or angry, or hurt or anything like that. I wasn't so much pissed off, but it just made me care less about next season because I knew that if I ever got truly excited about this Cubs team, I was just setting myself up for more disappointment. I told her that I vowed never to allow myself to get very excited about the Cubs EVER, and this loss really lowered my ceiling of potential Cub joy. I viewed my allegiance with the Cubs like falling off a ladder: If you KNEW you were gonna fall off that ladder, why bother climb more than a rung or two?

After venting, I was waiting for a saccharine response along the lines of, "oh cheer up, next year will all be different", or "time heals all wounds", etc. Instead she simply said, "I think now you know what it's like to be a Cubs fan"

That's how I roll.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

International Perspective: Cubs Edition

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I'm not sure how to write this very well, so I'll start off awkwardly: With what I was wearing. I have an orange flannel shirt that I don't think is particularly fashionable, urban chic or cool, but it's excessively comfortable and I like to wear it once or twice during Autumn. It's a Fall rite of passage for me and I like it's agrarian feel. I usually wear it with a black shirt underneath for the orange and black Halloween feel. I think the flannel aspect helps accentuate the autumnal aspect. Living in a big city I miss wearing flannel shirts, and this shirt remains my only flannel one. Anyway, I wore it today, that will come up later.

So today I was taking the el back home and I saw a foreign-looking guy staring at his Chicago el map. His eyes didn't leave it for like 4 minutes solid. So I approached and asked if he knew where he was going. After being carless in the city for 5 years and working in a hostel for about 18 months, I don't know anyone that knows the train system better than I do, so I try to help people when I can.

With a thick accent, but very good grammar, this guy told me he was trying to get to the Navy Pier. That's the single biggest tourists-only destinatiton in Chicago, so after telling him how to get there from here, I asked where he was from. He said South Korea, then asked if I was American. At first I thought of a smart-ass answer along the lines of, "Well, I'm wearing a Halloween-themed orange flannel shirt (with a Nautica logo on it, no less), olive-colored khakis and a pair of Chuck Taylors, I kinda thought that would make it obvious. Oh, that and I asked you if you needed any help, and I asked in perfect English."

But I didn't feel like being a dick to a tourist, so I just politely said "yes". Then he asked if I lived in Chicago, and I' though, "No, I'm from Argentina, but I just felt like asking if you needed help on the Chicago Public Transit for shits", but I demured and just said, "Yeah, I live here in Chicago. I'm waiting for the train to take me home."

He became excited and told me that he likes Chicago and that last night he watched the Bulls game on television. He had the politely infectious tourist smiley enthusiasm that you have to love. He was smiling as he said it, he hoped I'd be impressed. So I said that was cool, and he said that Michael Jordan was a huge, huge star in South Korea. After working in a hotel for over a year and meeting countless people new to Chicago- this was expected. Foreigners know a TON about New York City and Hollywood. But Chicago? Al Capone, Michael Jordan and the Sears Tower. Sometimes they know Oprah, R. Kelly or Kanye West, but they don't know they're from Chicago. That's it. So we talked about the Bulls for a bit, and how they aren't as exciting anymore without Jordan. I conceded that nowadays Kobe and Lebron were cooler.

He later asked where in the city I lived. So I grabbed his map and showed him that I lived not too far from Wrigley Field- where the Chicago Cubs baseball team plays. At this mention his face lit up. "I know the Chicago Cubs!" he proudly blurted. He went on to start a sentence and then stop it, I think he was going to say something to the effect of, "They lose a lot", or "They are never very good" I forget exactly, but he politely cut himself off, and said, "Yes! They are....they are known for having bad ruck."

Very impressive that he knew that. Very diplomatically phrased. Why should he know anything else about the Cubs? For the record, he were was our final exchange upon his train's arrival.

Me: Ok man, this is your train. Take this to State and Lake, get off, then your map will tell you how to walk to Navy Pier.

Him: Ok, Thank you. Thank you very much.

Me: Hey man, no problem. Have fun here in Chicago.

Him: Ok, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day. Have a very wonderful day!

Sadly, that was my favorite Cubs-related converstion in about 6 months.

And I base that Seoul-ly on his politeness...Hello-ooooo!

That's how I roll.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Great Wrigley Pics

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

If it's Wrigley Field pics ye' be seekin, yer timbers shall be shivered cuz the Tribune posted some doozeys here, Arrrggghhh.

If you only have time for a few, I'd recommend #s: 7,8,9,11,24

The above pic is #11. You may notice that's old Scarface himself- Al Capone. The guy to his right smoking a cigar? Illinois State Representative Roland Libonati.

Alphonse may have been bald, but that kid with him (I'm pretty sure it's his son, but not positive) had the combover in the fam. That thing rivals Gene Keady's.

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tip of the Hat

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

To Cubs Catcher Koyie Hill. The Cubs needed you to be come up huge and be available every single day until Soto got back. You have done that. While I have seen players hit the ball with more consistency, you excelled defensively, took zero days off and did your job. When Soto went down the Cubs just started getting hot and that did not change during your tenure as a starter- the precise job description of a substitute; you didn't disrupt the rhythm. As it turns out, you didn't make a case to replace Soto, but that's ok. You made a great a case for being a solid backup during a crucial time of the Cubs ascendency to the lead in the NL Central.

To further my point: I lifted this from here

Hill has caught 207 innings since Soto was hurt. That's nearly three games more -- 27 innings -- than any other catcher in baseball. The Dodgers' Russell Martin is next, at 181 2/3 innings, followed by St. Louis' Yadier Molina (179 2/3 innings) and Milwaukee's Jason Kendall (174).

Job well done.

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Bartman Chronicle: ESPN Lacking Class. Again.

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

ESPN is going to make a documentary about Steve Bartman.

It's despicable that people still use his name. I have referred to him on this blog a few times, but never by name until now. If ESPN is doing a documentary about him, I don't think my not naming him will protect his anonymity.

Among my pet peeves in sports journalism is when sportscasters mention him by name. Everyone knows who they mean, and just calling him "the fan" would suffice, but instead they use his name- and perpetuate his feelings of alienation. Everyone remembers his name, but I doubt many people would recognize him on the street- so using his name is actually doing a lot of damage to the guy and it's not necessary to use it.

I'm as big of a Cubs fan as anyone you'll ever meet, but that guy has had enough. I wish he hadn't done what he did, but it didn't legitimately affect the game. It isn't as though Wrigley Field briefs fans sitting near the playing field to not reach for foul balls that are possibly catchable by Cubs. It's a ballgame. They sell alcohol and let any paying customer in- it's not the row of the emergency exit on an airplane- there is no briefing or screening process. Most people's arguments against the fan's actions are, "He should've known better. You don't interfere with the home team." I think a good bit of that is because he is a relatively young adult male. If it were a 65 year old female tourist from Kenya or Thailand, do you think the ire for the actions would be the same? I don't.

While a lot of people wished the fan knew better, we have no reasonable expectation in the intelligence of the public at large. How often do you seem something annoying in public you wish you could change? A bad driver who fails to use their turn signal while cutting you off in traffic, the moron standing in the doorway at the coffee shop- which is the only place you really shouldn't stand, the waitress who forgot to put your salad dressing on the side, the guy sitting next to you on the train screaming into his mobile phone, the blogger who uses too many examples of annoyances, etc.

I assume that strangers are not intelligent, and you shouldn't either. And you know what? I am proven correct at an alarming rate. Maybe "the fan" is intelligent, but had a momentary lapse of good judgement. It sucks, but is it shocking? Do we have the right to be disappointed that a guy at a sports game, where they sell alcohol, did something unintelligent? How is that surprising?

Since ESPN (along with Fox) beat us over the head Curse of the Bambino, and it is no longer profitable to exploit a dead "curse", ESPN needs profit from the misery of another fan and fanbase. So great job for making a documentary about him, ESPN and profiting from his pain and the pain of Cubs fans. With all of the positive sports-related stories that you could possibly document, you went out of your way to focus on one of the (comparatively) few stories of sports ruining someone's life. That's awesome because I was getting tired of all of that uplifting news that has been saturating the media lately.

I'm T.R. Slyder, and that's how you Tangueray.