thecubsfan.com

raw thought

Jan
31

What drugs is Shawn on?

Are they over the counter?

version 5? 6? I’ve lost count

Jan
31

Spike TV Cheif Resigns Amid Shakeup (Yahoo)

Sources now say MTV Networks brass want to broaden Spike TV’s appeal beyond its traditional male focus by potentially creating scripted dramas rather than stick with Hecht’s unscripted-comedic approach.

The network likely will build a new, broader identity around “CSI” and another recent acquisition, “CSI: NY,” which it purchased for $1.9 million per episode in November — then a record sum in syndication. That won’t necessarily mean changing the Spike TV name, but it could mean refining the Maxim-ish brand sensibility Viacom has spent millions to market with little success (though a widely reported legal battle over the brand name with filmmaker Spike Lee helped).

They must mean CSI: Miami, right? Awful daring to buy syndication rights to a show that’s been on the air two months, no matter the pedigree.

Anyway, this direction seems vaguely familiar. I wouldn’t bank on 7 hours of WWE on SpikeTV in 2006.

Heat 01/30

Jan
30

Heat. I guess they’re not punishing Maven anymore?

Royal Rumble recap won’t be up for a few days.

I’d write about the lucha show, but it’d be like an eight year old talking about their first trip to Disney World.

Velocity 01/29

Jan
30

Velocity is up already. Akio’s crossed over.

Heat will probably be up late – going to the lucha show, as long as nothing happens between now and then – but thankfully it’s a pre PPV show.

Cubs Index

In case you’ve come here under the strange belief that a site called ‘thecubsfan.com’ should be all Cubs, all the time, I’ve created a seperate index page for Cubs posts at http://www.thecubsfan.com/cubsindex.htm. Cub posts will still appear on the main page with everything else, but if you just want those alone, the option is there for you.

I spent most of Saturday putting on the finishing touches and I’m not sure it’s completely right with my taste in web design, but at least now it’s 100% functional.

Site junk:

I’m going to be out of town all of next week. I haven’t decided if I’m going to lug the laptop along with me; I’ll have occasional internet access, but not with it.

Between the Heat report, a secret Rumble report, and maybe a some lucha thoughts, there should be enough stuff to keep y’all reading on Monday. And I will have internet access during the day, but my schedule may not allow for many posts of serious length or thought. Just so you know.

If I’m supposed to send you a tape, I’m sending it tommorow, I think. But I think you’re still on vacation so never mind.

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the sun

Jan
29

Bad time to turn the world off for a day. Bad bad time.

Okay, first thoughts. Calm, rational, reasonable, emotionless THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS THIS SUCKS thoughts, no problem

I refuse to believe some settlement could not have been worked out with Sosa this season. Yes, it would have been a distraction, but there are always going to be distractions during the course of a 162 game major league season. Plenty of teams have done fine with malcontents, and I don’t believe that would’ve been Sosa’s aim for this season – he’d just been a loner (in public – he’d still have friends) on the way out, trying to prove himself for the next contract. It would’ve been an awkward situation, but not an impossible one.

Given that belief, I think the deal is a bad one for the Cubs. They’re saving $9 million, but they’re getting a backup utility man when they already have too many backup utility men, and two minor leaguers I don’t have much confidence in. Most of that saving in cash will go directly to a man (Burnitz? Wilson?) who can’t be expected to do as well as Sosa, so it’s not like we’re saving a lot of money here to use at the deadline; it’s just going to be a player exchange when we’re done.

It would seem a lot better if Magglio was still available and we could sign him. That’s not the case. Everyone else free is obviously a tier lower than Sosa – so we’re dropping a level in production for three players who may not make any impact. It couldn’t have been that bad with Sammy, right?

I didn’t want it to end like THIS. I was hoping for everyone to reach an workable arrangement, Sammy would have a better year while the spotlight was moved over to this group of Cub heroes, with the fans warming back up to him (both sides knowing it’d never be the same) and Sammy making two or three memorable plays down the stretch and the playoffs before thanking fans for supporting him as he slipped out the door. He didn’t even have to come to the victory parade.

He never got a chance to make it up to everyone; a Sammy Sosa game winning play would’ve healed wounds no staged and scripted press conference could touch. And we’ll never see him in a Cubs uniform again – he’s going to be with the O’s this year, and he’ll be with someone else next year.

I know he walked out on his team.
I know he used a corked bat.
I don’t understand how this could’ve happened.

Would you trade the blue from the uniforms?
Would you trade Wrigley Field?
How could you trade Sammy Sosa?

From 1993 to 2002, Sammy Sosa was as much the Identity Of The Cubs as the Blue and Wrigley. Or at least the part of the identity which were not losers. He carried the franchise thru some awful, pathetic attempts at baseball teams, carrying the hope of the fans with him. Maybe the team wasn’t good enough to win over the course of the season, but any day, Sammy might change that for his team. And we all loved him for it.

Those days were perpetually warm, sunny and bright summer days. Today

offical statement

Jan
29

I dunno. I dunno.

This sucks. Everything.

More later when I’m sane.

somehow ongoing madden tactics discussion

Jan
27

The “lots of passes” thing comes from playing humans.

The most effective defensive tactic against humans is to blitz a lot. Their eyes are usually focused on their primary receiver’s route, and they may not check to see who’s coming in and where they’re coming from, especially the first few times you blitz unexpectedly.

(if you don’t get there, though, high scoring games result)

The side effect of the vastly increased blitzing is increased first line run pressure – if they’ve got guys in the backfield before the handoff, running is going to suck. SEADAWG was also doing a lot of edge blitzing…and that’s where I normally like to run. Which made for lots of fun to watch two yard losses.

(outside running seems to get more medium+big gains than inside running.)

So passing looks better in comparison, and that’s before considering the biggest factor in playing human on human – human players are usually their worst enemy. Humans take more aggressive lines to tackler, dive more frequently, go for picks with no backup more frequently, and hit the wrong button on brain freeze more often. If you get a receiver the ball in the open field, your chances of making one or two DBs miss and outracing everyone to the endzone go way up when you’re playing a human. You’ve got to get to that open field on a run yourself, but on a pass, you may already be there. The value of an average pass goes way up.

What happened particularly here is I was blitzing a bunch, but Philly’s DBs were playing good man defense and getting deflections, so SEADAWG would go three and out. Then I’d get McNabb, and throw while running backwards or sideways, and the throw would miss by three yards each time, and I’d punt back. And the whole sequence would take up 45 seconds or so, which gave us plenty of time for fruitless drives under the two minute warning.

oasis

Jan
27

horribly busy for the next two weeks. I had some mildy coherent thoughts about SD! being canceled, but then it wasn’t? and the thoughts were only ‘who knows what it means until the booking starts to reflect that decision’ anyway

Didja hear Psi is getting a WWE tryout? Obvioulsy, this is what happens when I miss lucha shows. Hope he gets his MSG dream too, as long as he knows what’s going with it.

The Rue/Josh news blows my mind. So can we now call him Josh DeBona? I think we can!

Actually, there was one great part where Josh and Rue had a romantic rendezvous in Central Park with a horse-drawn carriage. Josh has got moves like you wouldn’t believe: he claimed he was afraid of the Undertaker’s paranormal occurences as an excuse to cuddle up with her under a blanket. No big kiss though, as they’re clearly saving that for next year’s Mania.

Once again, WWE wastes 3 years of angle in like a month. What’s up with this booking.

madden bowl

Jan
26

Box Score: thecubsfan 34, Jake 17
Box Score: thecubsfan 32, Jake 44

We’re 2-2 lifetime now.

I need to install the sub categories plugin already. Geeze.

I have a live game of some meaning on Thursday and I’m feeling very unconfident about it after these games. The first game only turned out the way it did because Freak was unstopable and improbably picking off balls at the line of scrimage. I played like crap on defense – too much Street, too many bad controls, I guess – and paid for it the second game.

What We Learned From Cubs Convention

Jan
25

(ie: the last real news till Veteran’s Committee Day or shocking personel move)

– Kerry’s the Opening Day starter. Same as last year. While being the #1 starter is overhyped, it’s of slight importance to him, because it may mean another start for a guy who’s just starting his next contract run. Kerry needs 400 IP in the next two years to vest his 2007 option.

Kerry’s innings per year:

98 166 IP
99 000 IP
00 137 IP
01 174 IP
02 213 IP
03 211 IP
03 140 IP

As you can see, he’s only pulled off 400 IP in two years once. He’s got to get back to an injury free status for tow complete years to pull it off.

Corey’s the leadoff man. Do you think they actually write the “Corey’s learning the little things it takes to be a compentent leadoff man this Spring Training”, or they just have a form and fill in the blanks?

I’m taking May 5th as the day Todd ends up there instead.

Dubios and Hollandsworth are your LF combo. Dusty even acted like there’s a chance he’d play Dubios more than once a week!

BPro’s PECOTA numbers went up – today? I guess, they stopped e-mail me their newsletter at some point and I’m missing thing. What’s intersting, and probably not something worth holding them to, is Dubios’ predicted VORP was about the same as Alou’s.

Which isn’t saying much, becuase both were down from Alou’s 51.5 this past year.

(My subscription ends in a few days – I think I’m renewing just because I need idle work reading material – but I think ought to give money to people who aren’t asking for it first.)

Wish the numbers were freely distrubted, just because I’d like to walk thru the major changes from last year’s 2004 and figure out which side is better

2004 Alou + A-Gone + Ordonez + Neifi + Nomar vs 2005 Nomar + 80% Todd + 20% Dubios

(I’d do it just for myself, but it’s not as fun if I can’t talk about the results.)

I think, because Nomar was here at the end, we don’t take into account how much of an increase having him here all year will make – we were getting negative results for quite some time there, and a marginally all-star will be a huge increase.

And still, I fear the formula’s better for 2003.

Anyway, getting back to Jason – like for any Dusty rookie, it’s imperative he have a hot Catcus League season, or he’s going to be buried on the bench.

What the Cubs really need isn’t Magglio Ordonez – it’s a Time Machine to go back to 1988 and pluck out Ricky Henderson.

There’s orginizational discord about the closer. Jim Hendry and others seems to think Ryan Dempster is going into camp as the Guy, but Dusty’s pretty set on giving LaTroy another shot.

I think that’s a lot to do with it – Dusty feels he’ll lose LaTroy if he has to start another season thinking about the last, and maybe you can’t trust him as the second guy, while you can perhaps with Ryan.

It’s a debate which probably doesn’t miss a lot – there’s no reason to think either is Eric Gange (no matter what comparisions the press can work up), but no one’s going to be as bad over the course of the season as Hawkins was the last week. They’re not going to be top of the line guys, but they’re going to be competent, and that’s all we really can expect.

No talk about Joe is probably a bad sign.

Ryan Dempster is a funny guy. And yay for that.

Rusch doesn’t automatically have the 5th starter locked…which is probably just an escape clause if the bullpen seems to have no good left handed specialist and the young starters win Dusty’s affections. Not happening.

Speaking of bullpen lefties, Phil Rogers on WGN Radio, before the convention, mentioned that Will Ohman is expected to be on the team at this point. A bit of a surprise, but he did well in winter ball.

Lots of people talked things about Sammy Sosa, and nothing much new was said. There will be rumors about a deal till September 1st, but one looks unlikely. There will be a meeting between now and Spring Training between Sammy and members of the Cubs, and there probable will be a team meeting about the whole situation the first day of the season.

Which means more people talking and nothing really is resolved. This story will get cycled around, with the same body and nothing added or learned, as the Big Cubs Story until about the third time Sosa comes to Chicago as a member of another team, and we’re on pace for that to happen sometime in 2007. Wheeeee.

I’m guessing, in one of those meetings, Sammy will make a non-apology apology, pay (some of) his fine and give up his ‘C’ in an act of contrition. Someone will be named as Captain in his place, but not until he’s gone. Sammy won’t talk to the media much, except an occasional “I’m ticked about the fans booing me and would be happy to play [insert city here]” angry mumble. And nothing much changes. Wheeeeeeeeeeee.

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