That one on the left is Cody McCormick
(Intro Note: Friend of the Deeg Joe Pinzone just informed me the game was on NBC Sports Network last night, so most likely many more of you saw the game. You'll still get the point of the post. What am I, a journalist?)
I realize many people still watched the Sabres crush those douche-nozzle Bruins last night, but due to the TWC/MSG battle, a national crackdown on illegal feed websites, and overall disinterest for a team that is a long shot for the playoffs, there were also many more who missed it.
I fall into the last category.
It's not that I have totally given up on this squad, although I was incredibly close before the 3rd period against the Islanders at #OccupyNassau. I simply have had a shift in my fandom over the last few seasons of sports in general. When you take a look at the combined success of the Sabres, Bills, Knicks, and Cubs (the teams I cheer for) over the past three seasons, then you will see the obvious catalyst for this change. But first, let's take a journey back to 2008.
She needs to be the new *official* mascot.
So with nothing else to do and my two favorite sports teams months away form playing again, I decided to jump into baseball mode. Up until this point I have been mostly ignoring the Cubs. Back on April 1st I explained why I wasn't feeling baseball this year
, but after all, these are my lovable *cough cough* Cubbies. I have to admit, despite my early hate, I think this happens every season and I never notice it. By mid-July, I have attended several Mets and Yankees games, drank at two different Cubs bars, and am examining the box scores in detail every single morning. I love sports, and if baseball is all that is left to me during the summer months, then the obsession picks up. Of course by September when Chicago has been eliminated from playoff contention, all focus goes back to football and hockey. But at least I can admit to it. So without further ado, I bring you what went down Wednesday night.
Is there really anything better than a warm man-hug?
8:00 Girlfriend is working late and I’m planted on the couch with a Left Hand Stout. Let the game begin. Early stories are the domination of Lance Berkman, Starlin Castro, and Pujols hug-gate.
8:02 Holy shit. Castro speaks NO English. The guy interviewing him is both the interviewer and translater. This is amazing! Why did I not know ESPN does this. Mind-blowing! Still not sure what I just witnessed
8:03 Commercial break already. Seriously, Fuck ESPN. At least I can get my coffee maker ready for the morning.
8:07 Fan shown with Cubbie tattoo on his chest. Kill yourself dude. But first kill future trade bait Matt Garza.
8:09 Tony LaRussa still has Shingles. But he is safely tweeting so thank God for that.
Aaaaaaand Ryan Theriot leads off for the Cardinals. If he is batting over .300, I’m going to chug my beer. 8:12
Off the hook, batting .279. That bitch talked shit about the Cubs after getting traded to Cardinals. Strikes out! Boom! 8:13
Two outs and up comes future Cub Albert Pujols. He hugged the GM, of course he will be a Cub next year. HE HUGGED THE GM!!!! 8:15
As ESPN keeps playing up hug-gate (did I mention fuck ESPN?), he flies out to center. Hug it out Albie.8:16
COMMERCIAL!!!! X—Men: First Class looks kinda bad-ass
Cubs first at bat. I bet Fukudome flies out. He does. 8:20
2nd best Cub name behind Starlan Castro comes up. Mr. Darwin Barney folks. And he grounds out for the second out before announcers can even show the Cardinals defensive lineup. Cubbie tattoo guy needs to kill me too. 8:21
Just noticed girlfriend sent a text at 7:50 saying she will be home within an hour. Not working late after all. She may not be thrilled with my plans.
The Scizzette is PISSED. Just joking, she's awesome.
Never disliked Lance Berkman. Then he joined the Cards and started playing like himself circa 2001
. Full Count. 8:28
Fly out to left as they go to the studio for Curtis Granderson’s league-leading 12th homer. “But wait for the next homerun from Yankee stadium we show you!” Oh no, don’t make me wait. Already forgot as Garza gets K #3. PROVE ME WRONG BIG GUY!!!!! 8:31
Just realized how bad I’m milking this beer. Girlfriend text really having an effect on me. 8:33
First hit of the night as Aramis Ramirez knocks a single to center/left. Here come the 10 millions dollar man Carlos Pena. Ew. 8:37
Pena walks to put two men on for Starlin. NO HABLO INGLES!!! 8:39
Shot up the middle off of Westbrook’s glove bloops to center. Ramirez thrown out at home despite maybe the ugliest toss from center I have ever seen. I think someone needs to talk to Dan Marino about weight watchers, Aramis. 8:44
“That’s a big time Squander by the Chicago Cubs”. Thanks Dave O’Brien. No runs this inning. Time for another beer.
8:53 Men on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Here is the Garza I know! Mike Fontenot
8:55 A “nubber” off of bare-handed Garza. Therior gets an RBI. Terrific.
8:57 WOW! Pena actually impresses me with a great catch on a line drive. Two men stranded and the Cubs get away only down one run. Not bad I guess.
8:58 While I have a moment, let me play tribute to our color-man for the evening. NOOOOOOMAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!! GIMME A COUPLA TAAAAAAAH BOOOOOOYS!!!! Alright I’m done.
9:00 WTF?!? Back from commercial and it is an absolute downpour in Wrigley. Like end of the world rain. Coincidence that this happened as the girlfriend walked in the door? Eerie.
9:01 ESPN heads to Toronto for bonus coverage of the Red Sox and Blue Jays. I think not. Time to check out the IIHF World Championships on Versus.
9:03 Czech Republic is up on Team USA 1 – 0 after a goal by…Jaromir Jagr??? Really?
9:04 And a penalty on the US by Van Riemsdyk. Sound familiar? No, because the refs didn’t call it enough when we saw him last!
9:06 Ty Conklin is in goal for Team USA. Let me type that again; Ty Conklin is in goal for Team USA. Time to check on the Cubs game.
9:09 Fantastic. Now it’s giant douche-bag Michael Kay and the Yankees/Royals game. I have YES for every Yankee game and ESPN puts this on. Baby Punching time…..and my next beer.
9:13 Starting to think this was a bad idea. Back to the hockey game and it appears Jagr scored his second goal to make it 2 – 0 Czechs.
9:16 Back to Yankees/Royals and Michael Kay is plugging Center Stage with Rex Ryan. Holy fuck cakes can it get worse?
9:17 I can hear the girlfriend watching old episodes of 30 Rock in the bedroom and I’m getting jealous.
9:20 At least the pitcher’s name on Kansas City is Adcock. It made me giggle. Then I thought of the Beastie Boys. I have issues.
9:25 Losing patience. Michael Kay is terrible, Patrick Elias just had two consecutive turnovers, and my allergies are causing me breathing issues.
9:35 Check into Miami/Boston game in time to see Lebron celebrating. How does it feel to financially cripple an entire city dick-hole? I’m getting angrier by the second. Time to check in with the Cubs.
9:37 Still no game. Rain continues and this experiment is an EPIC FAIL. I’ll DVR ESPN for the next 4 hours and check the game after work tomorrow. Addendum? Possibly
Thursday morning 6:07 AM Couldn’t wait until after work so I check the box scores. 11 – 4 Cubs wins. Starlin gets nasty with a 4 for 4 night and Garza goes for five solid innings. However, if I continued to watch, they would have lost 17 – 3. So it works out.
Thursday morning 6:11 AM Turns out they started playing 13 minutes after I retreated to the bedroom. Damnit, I suck. Oh well, maybe next time I can do this for a whole game and destroy my liver even more. GO CUBBIES!!!!!
Thursday morning 6:15 AM If you have not seen the video below, please do yourself a favor and watch this incredible interview. Just make sure your not drinking anything. I did a legitimate spit-take after the "hot guys that are like up for anything" line. Sadly it isn't real and only a local sketch comedy actress, but somehow that may make it even funnier because I'm not sure the interviewer is in on it, or not.
The Scizz on Monday afternoon
No "dismantling of the Bills' draft" column today folks. Not up for it. I have already posted once this week and I had a god-awful stomach virus in the last few days that was worse than watching Patrick Lalime or Jose Theodore suit up as Ryan Miller's backup. Which reminds me: What do you call it when you shit and vomit at the same time? I am not sure if an official word has ever been created for this phenomena. I was going to connect them and call it a "SHIVOM", but it sounds eerily Yiddish and I don't want to offend any of our fine Jewish friends (Hey Bluedot! Told you I'd work a shout-out in one day). Please leave your shit/vomit word creations in the comments. IT TAKES A VILLAGE PEOPLE!!!
Welcome to the 2011 MLB season. I'll wake you in November.
So what's up with the post? Well the fact is I am simply not ready for baseball right now AND possibly all season. Not feeling it. Interest has faded. More concerned with new episodes of Pawn Stars.
As you may know (read our damn bio's!), I am a Cubs fan, and have been since the days of grade school. It may be easy to blame my lack of concern with the game today solely based on the ineptitude of the Chicago franchise, but I swear to Jim/Thurman/Andre/Bruce, that's not it. You see, baseball and I have always had a love/hate relationship. I will not bore you with too much detail, but as a young child, Buffalo only had the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, so with no real MLB team to root for, I flat out didn't give a shit about Baseball. This went on through most of grade school until I discovered afternoon games on WGN. As soon as I walked in the door from school, there was the brilliance of Harry Caray calling the game, with the likes of Ryan Sandberg, Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson, and of course the world's greatest utility man, Luis Salazar! I was hooked. My love for baseball grew and my love of the Cubs grew. I always kept it to myself because my friends either didn't give a crap about baseball yet, or chose the Yankees or Mets because it was the same state.
This early Cubbies obsession went on through Junior High, but as soon as the strike of 1994-1995 occurred, I again was disillusioned with America's past time. Besides, I was in High School now with better things to do, like force myself to be accepted by everybody I came in contact with, ride the pine in basketball only to miss two gimme free-throws in my only chance to win a game, and make my parents feel guilty for not buying me six new pairs of Nikes yearly so that I would look cool. Gosh darn those were some wonderful years. SHIVOM! (still not working, is it?)
Enter College. Here I could ramble on forever, but I'll save you your time and effort. My interest peaked again in these years. I will say it started to rise right before I left, mostly because of the Home Run race between McGwire and Sosa, but it didn't completely get me back in the groove until that first full year of undergrad. Yes, having my "favorite" team on the front pages was awesome, but their was still this lack of coverage in Buffalo, or any love for the game from any of my friends, and that held me back. What pulled me back in, was attending a college that was filled with New Yorkers. In my entire life I had never seen people so obsessed with baseball. Their passion for baseball was equivalent to my passion for Hockey and Football. Watching games with all these guys that would eventually become my lifelong friends was one of the best parts of college. I could play the middle man between my Mets and Yankees friends because of my Chicago love and enjoy all of the games.
*Sidenote: During the 2000 subway series, my friends and I would go to our usual Thursday night hangout, this dirty and over-crowded bar that had cheap beer and would serve anyone with a shitty fake ID called....you guessed it, "CHEERS". As we walked in the side entrance, they were only letting in one person at a time, which of course made us nervous that the ID policy had suddenly changed. But what was really happening, was the bouncer asking everybody "Yankees or Mets"? He was a Mets fan, and if you answered "Mets", it was two bucks to get in. If you answered Yankees, it was five. I answered "I'm a Cubs fan". He shook his head, said he was sorry and let me in free of charge. YAY SADNESS!!!
Yup. These were the type of crazy assholes who got me back into the game of baseball.
After college, I moved back to Western New York briefly and my interest began to fade again. But the Cubs were on fire and there was no way I was leaving this team behind! Then Steve Bartman happened. Fuck. I actually blamed myself for this. I kept saying, "Holy Shit! As a Buffalo fan, my luck is now screwing other cities too." This is from a real conversation I had in my living room.
This did not last long however, because in the summer of 2004 I moved to New York City, the motherland of baseball (Up yours Boston! Every one of your franchises has won a championship now so you can no longer whine about ANYTHING!). Once here, baseball surrounded me. I got to see the Cubs play in Shea and Yankee Stadium several times (No wins on record yet), and I even found other Cubs fans to hang out with and watch baseball, a first for me. It has been pretty awesome to say the least.
The only place in New York City that is a Bills/Sabres/Cubs bar. A one stop shop for emotional distress and alcoholism.
Yet this season. I really don't care. I didn't care when the Cubs signed Carlos Pena. I didn't care when they re-signed Kerry Wood. And when I heard last week, "Opening day begins Thursday March, 31st", I sort of shrugged it off and went back to work. I have no clue why this is, and by the end of the season my interest may return. Maybe its because I'm in full-on hockey playoff mode, or maybe its because the possibilty of no upcoming NFL season has scared to death, but at the same time happy I won't have to deal with any letdowns this year. Who knows. Until I figure it out, you can find me in my room watching highlights of Jhonas Enroth and Nathan Gerbe over and over again on my laptop. Midget fetish? I hope not.
This picture would have made me nothing but proud five years ago. Now it makes my insides hurt.
Where to begin? Well, I suppose I want to start by thanking the Apologist and the Yachtsman for getting back on board with this God-forsaken blog after several high-alchohol content craft beers and only some slight pestering. I also want to thank some of our friends for asking us every couple months why the hell we stopped. And honestly, I want to thank the podcast world of sports and comedy (Sklarbro Country, The Nerdist, and Doug Loves Movies, to be more specific) for motivating me to start writing again in hopes of getting a Buffalo-themed, sports/comedy podcast of our own off the ground by this summer. I missed this damn thing. And I'm sure all 37 of our readers did too. (Hi, Mom!) Aaaaaaaanyways... on to the real post. Let us see where all of my teams and sports interests stand on March 4th, 2011.