Friday, November 19, 2004

A Season of Change

If you have read below, you know that I have added a new writer here. Joe is a good friend of mine from college and I think he is going to add something here that this site needs. The main difference you will see is that Joe is not a Cub fan. Which may on the surface go against what this site is about, but I wanted somebody that to write from a different point of view.
He is an umpire and a coach, so this adds a new dynamic for our readers here. He has many personal stories to tell about baseball in general and I am glad to have him here.
This is the first of many changes, so look for more as spring training gets closer.

Someone Tell Paul Simon We Found Him

Finally, I can stop listening to my dad tell me stories about, "when baseball ruled the world". The golden era of baseball has is a twinkle in his eye and just a Starting Lineup Figurine in mine. We have reached a new time in America. Never in our history as a country has there been so much division in American opinion over a two presidential candidates, divided by partisan beliefs about how to fight a war properly that we have never had to fight before. Only after 9/11 did baseball reach its level of popularity that it once had, and somehow edge its way into what I am going to call the Platinum Era. I mean why not? Bling, Bling baby.
Somehow between Sammy and Mark reuniting our hearts and souls as they chased Maris, and The Yankees-Diamondbacks World Series, our hearts grew caloused and hard. We are spoiled I guess, but for whatever reason the Maris chase wasn't enough. Perhaps it was Balco shattering the record the next year so easily. But to no evail, baseball is here to stay. The strike plague has found Hockey and destroyed whatever was left of it (was there anythign left of it?). High School and foreign players have demolished the NBA with a vengeance. And the NFL? America take heed, this is what happens to a league when it is set up to have every team at .500. Who wants to watch the 7-6 Eagles play the 8-5 Vikings at season end? No ONE!!! These 'beefs' set aside lets talk about what is right in sports. Baseball has done so many things right while everyone else has gotten so many things wrong.
MLB has recently said Instant Replay is not an option. We saw the most exciting post season in baseball history and 4 calls were questionable when they happened. Upon the end of each play the entire crews met together and got the calls right. America was so proud. It was like all the blunders we have made with Social Security and Welfare programs were forgotten, an establishment that is truly American in form, had actually worked.
The Washington Senators are back, and despite whether you think they should have moved the team to Vegas (bad idea) or New Orleans (Excellent idea) the move is a great thing. Selig botched the greatest season in Expos history during the strike season so he had to do something and bringing back the Senators, well for some reason, make me feel connected to some baseball past and lore.
Baseball has Marquee players, and lots of them. Name an offensive lineman for the Bengals. Name 3 NHL players from America. Name 4 of the 5 Atlanta Hawks players. Thank you, and as if my point is not clear enough....
America has Joe Dimaggio again. Every American can tell you their favorite baseball player. The loveable Red Sox gave us Curt, pitching thru a bloody ankle: Damon, wooly mammoth hot guy: Pappy, fun loving chubby kid. America saw the Yankees lose, which told us that us that sometimes Big Corporate America doesnt put the "mom and pop" out of business. Randy Johnson's perfect game, Clemens Cy Young, Jeter's hitting slump, the Cards choking, and yes those 8 games of glory that we shall never forget. So, Paul Simon get off baseball's ass, and tell me where have you gone Wayne Gretzky? Michael Jordan? Joe Montana? Hell even Jerry Rice is bitching like Keyshawn...what have you guys done with your sports? Baseball is Back! Bling, Bling!

Next week: Russ Ortiz a symbol of intimidation and strength on the hill...I wouldn't bat against Russ Ortiz if you told me you would buy me the new Brittney Spears "greatest hits" album....and by the way since when do 22 yr olds get "greatest hits" albums?
"What doesnt kill me, only makes me want another dip of snuff"

Cubs in a Rusch

It looks like the miracle doctor Glendon Rusch from 2004 is about re-sign this season. First off, he had a fine season in 2004, but can we expect a repeat of last year? I don't think we will see the low-ERA, but he will be the fifth the starter, and this will give the Cubs a lefty in the rotation. It also does something more important than that, it adds more money to sign a 2B, SS and a LF.
The Sammy Sosa rumors continue to fly around town, so I think we are still a month off before we know where he will be next season.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Just a test

Media Consolidation......Not Today

As many of you know I have become a full-time sports writer for the El Dorado News-Times in El Doh-ray-doh Arkansas. At first I did not think my writing would take a hit, but after a couple of strange weeks of moving and getting settled it did. I was unhappy with coverage that I was putting into the site. That left me with a couple of options:

1. Close down shop.
2. Work with a schedule.
3. Find new writers to help.
4. Go work for another Cub Blog.
5. Suck it up and start loving the Blog again.

I did not want to become a casualty of the ever-growing Media Consolidation within the Cub Blog Army. I started around the same time as Scott Lange and Dennis Goodman of the Northside Lounge couple of years ago. Since that time I have seen many blogs come and go about the Cubs. Some have been really strong and others just never got off the ground. I did not just want to hang aroud, so I needed to make a choice.

I have really debated about what to do here in the past week. I have talked to Joe Aiello of the View from the Bleachers and he offered a spot at his every improving organization. I am sure if I said yes, he would have let come on board with open arms, but I still felt something was not right about the time. I was very tempted by the offer of not running things any more, but that is why I started this whole thing in first place. Well that, and I needed a good resume piece.

I also was not happy with the look of my site. It was too bright, as my buddy Dan pointed out, and it was quite cluttered. So early this morning, for you or right before I go to bed for me, I worked to change things at the Yarbage Cub Review. I hope everyone enjoys the new look and there will be more changes in the near future.

So do not worry about consolidation right now, but there will be some more changes. I am looking for a couple of writers, so if you are interested and already do not have a blog, then please email me or leave some comments. I have a few ideas on where I want to take my coverage of the Cubs, but that will be laid out in the weeks to come.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Simulation Crazy

So what have I been doing other than work? Well, I just got into Simulation Baseball because of Joe Aiello from The View from the Bleachers. And I have to say that this is so much fun. Where else can you make trades and run a team? Not many places, and I have taken the Pirates from 67 wins to 87 in one season and I am the NL Central Champs.
Now Scott Lange, from The Northside Lounge has said some that our league would be easy to win. Well anytime you want to come over, you are more than welcome.
The playoffs start tonight and I face the Diamondbacks, so we will see if my trades pay off enough to make it to the NLCS.
If you want to check out the league, then head to International Sim League Homepage and see what all the fuss is about. We use Out of the Park Baseball and if you are interested then please email me and I will get back to you.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Sosa Loves L.A.?

According to ESPN News there is a trade on the table for Sammy Sosa to head to L.A. for Shaun Green. While we need to get Sammy to go, this would hurt the Beltran coming to the Cubs.
There are not many details, but maybe we will know more later.