thecubsfan.com

Heat 02/24 and Velocity 02/25

Feb
26

Heat and Velocity. Not much worth checking out. Tomko and Snitsky are breaking up, the minis match is back to US style wackiness, they had Funaki work most of the six man tag.

Look at this list of participants:

Eugene
Rob Conway
Lance Cade
Chavo Guerrero
Tyson Tomko
Snitsky
Viscera
Val Venis
Trevor Murdoch
Goldust
Super Crazy
Vito
Sylvan
Mascartia Sagrada
Tsuki
Simon Dean
Gymini I
Gymini II
Brian Kendrick
Paul London
Funaki

On Thursday’s Figure Four Daily, Dave Meltzer talked about rumored upcoming roster cuts. He did not name any names, but, with a name apparently in mind, declared that among the cuts would be “someone who’s joke has run it’s course.” Look at that list again – how many people don’t feel that description? (That was a rhetorical question. Though I think Chavo is safe)

Since they brought it up this week – why did they book a match where Val and Viscera win a title shot? You’re asking for something which doesn’t happen on RAW to be followed up on RAW, and it’s so meaningless, they don’t really need to do a match to set it up. It can only go wrong, and it’s going to be something only Todd remembers.

Heat was actually show# 400 – but that’s if you count the newly separate pre-PPV Heats as they’re own show, and I don’t know if I’m supposed to. I don’t care all that much. Velocity #200 is coming up 03/25, and maybe we’ll throw a party for Funaki.

Josh didn’t call Crazy/Nunzio a MOTYC last week or this week, so I wonder who got all hyper about it? It was good, I’m not saying it wasn’t, but I thought the Dicks vs London/Kendrick match was better.

This is SmackDown, but how long could “Helms faces a cruiserweight a week on SmackDown!” last before they get bored and yank it? Three weeks max? Gregory is not bad, but they could have tried this with someone more interesting and they might as well be doing clean finishes.

February Christmas

Feb
24

with one person left to report in

What I got
04/25 7pm vs Marlins (4 field box infield)
05/17 7pm vs Washington (4 Club Box Outfield)
08/19 12pm vs Cardinals (2 Terrace Reserved Infield)

What I’m other people got that I’m going with
06/14 7pm vs Astros
07/29 3pm vs Cardinals

It’s very hard to not go get more, but 5 was my limit for the initial rush. (With the 10 I’m getting for the Cougars, that’s 15 games already.) Have to think about it tonight – if no one else got Brewers tickets I want to see them, and I’ve got an urge to see the Giants, though playing them late isn’t great. And, hey, end of the season with Colorado – we might win those!

It’s a good thing today’s pay day.

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the race for bronze

Feb
23

The Horizon League is going to be quite a traffic jam

School        League Overall
1 UW-Milwaukee	   12-4	  19-8
2 Butler           11-4   18-10
3 Wright State	    8-7   13-13
4 Loyola	    7-8   16-10
5 UIC               7-8   14-14
6 Detroit           7-8   14-15
7 UW-Green Bay      7-8   13-15
8 Cleveland State   5-10  10-16
9 Youngstown State  4-11   7-19

In a normal situation, having tie(s) in the middle of the pack is irrelevant, because it only affects first round seeding and who wears home uniforms. In Horizon’s weighted tournament, that third seed is worth a first round bye.

There’s only one game left in conference – zero for UWM, they’re the odd team out this week – so if Wright State wins at UIC, they’ve got the last bye. If not, it comes down to record against teams you’re tied with, and it may get a little messy from there.

They posted an article on the Horizon League site explaining this, and I sorta got confused, and I sorta wanted to figure it out myself. What I did understand is the tiebreaker is head to head record, and best record of the tied group if it’s 3-4-5 way.

Head to Head records for the five teams that could tie.
wins—–>

          Wright   Loyola  UIC  Detroit  UW-GB
Wright      -        1      0      1       1
Loyola      1        -      2      1       0
UIC         1        0      -      1       1
Detroit     1        1      1      -       1
UW-GB       1        2      1      1       -

Using those numbers, and the 8 possible outcomes (remember, Wright State has to lose for any of this to matter, and I don’t care about the fourth seed), I walked thru the possibilities.

Wright/UIC   Butler/Detroit   UWGB/Cleveland   Loyola/Youngstown       3rd Seed
UIC          Butler            W-GB             Loyola               UW-GB
UIC          Butler            W-GB             Youngstown            UIC
UIC          Butler          Cleveland          Loyola               Loyola
UIC          Butler          Cleveland          Youngstown            UIC
UIC         Detroit            W-GB             Loyola               UW-GB
UIC         Detroit            W-GB             Youngstown            UIC
UIC         Detroit          Cleveland          Loyola               Loyola
UIC         Detroit          Cleveland          Youngstown            UIC

That’s still a bit confusing. Here’s what I think.

Wright State needs: a Wright win. (1/2)
UIC needs: a UIC win and a Youngstown win. (1/4)
Loyola needs: a UIC win and a Loyola win and a Cleveland win. (1/8)
UW-GB needs: a UIC win and a Loyola win and a UW-GB win. (1/8)

Loyola sweeping UIC is the only reason this is more than a two team race; if Loyola wins, UW-GB has one more group win over UIC. Likewise, UW-GB sweeping Loyola makes them reliant on a Cleveland upset.

And the Butler/Detroit game is irrelevant; because Detroit split’s series with everyone, it doesn’t have any advantages when teams drop out of the picture.

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Projecting the 26 Man Roster

Feb
22

Bored. First day of position player practice. Might as well guess.

Safe Bets

01 DL Wood – and he won’t be ready on April 15. May 1st, maybe. I think there will be sales on Wood jerseys and I think they’ll be plenty available.

02 CA Barrett – I also want better info on a catcher’s effect on the game. Get to it!
03 CA Blanco – I’m not worried about the Great Catching Crisis of 2006; the starters are the same, these guys were here next year, and they’ll have time to work with the two-three different relievers. It’s not perfect, but it won’t cost a game. I’m just surprised they didn’t sign an AAAA-type catcher to eat some innings in Spring Training and split time with Soto in Iowa (if they could get him as a non-40 man minor leaguer.)

04 1B Lee – if you believe in this year’s team, you do the long term deal before the season starts.

05 2B Walker – thecubsfan.com will assume no trade will ever happen until such time as they actually make a trade, because thecubsfan.com is sick of hearing about speculation.
06 2B Hairston – hand injury or not, he wasn’t impressive last year and he’s a backup to backups – weird. There’s no way he’d be back if they knew Walker was still around. Both of these guys probably shouldn’t be safe if they’re really going to do a move, but I don’t believe a move will be done.

07 SS Cedeno – Somewhere along the line, I was thinking he was fair to middling, and everyone upped the forecast to good. I don’t know what I missed! If he’s good, I think he’ll get the majority of the PA. If he’s not, he won’t and it won’t matter.
08 SS Neifi – way too many at bats at any rate, but what can you do.

09 3B A-Ram – if he’s fine, we’re in good shape

10 LF Murton – HE’ll get the at bats, unless he bats himself out of them.
11 LF Mabry – I was excited when he got signed, and the more time’s past, I’m thinking he might done.

12 CF Pierre – This is a great spot for Juan. If the Cubs win and he’s a part of it, he’s the Messiah (they’ve already got the 2005 sPod comparison articles half written, and it didn’t actually have to be actually true for them to write it then). If they don’t win, the angry mob has already set it’s sights on Wood and Prior and Baker and Hendry; it’s going to have to be a long miserable season for people to get around to turning around him.

13 RF Jones – not a good sign when you’ve signed a guy for three years and the paper are already printing “he really needs to prove he’s not bad this season” articles. This will end in tears.

I can’t put Grissom on the Safe list without going insane, so there’s 1 OF position up for grabs. They may start with 12 pitchers anyway, because that’s the traditional dumb thing to do.

14 SP Z!!!! – plz don’t kill yourself in the WBC, okay?
15 SP Maddux – hopefully all the talk about him wanting to go out on a better note wasn’t just talk
16 SP Prior – he’s starting the season until they say different, and I refuse to care about twinges till April.
17 SP Rusch – though he may end up elsewhere. I think we’ve hit the wall on the Rusch experience in the third year, but someone’s gotta take the spot away from him.
18 SP Williams – If he can resume what he was doing at the end of the season, we’ve got something there. If not, he’s going to be quickly a man without a role. He’d be a lot better of in a team who can afford more patience for young pitchers.
19 CL Dempster – this won’t work as well as last year, but it’ll be fine.
20 RP Ohman – weird split of opinion on him depending on who you’re talking to and if they know what VORP is.
21 RP Eyre – same guy as above, but costs more
22 RP Howry – eh. eh.
23 RP Wuertz – not so sure about this one, even though I think he deserves it

The last start spot, if it’s even a spot (theoretically Wood’s going to be back in time to pitch in it the first time it comes up, but uh no c’mon on) is probably up for grabs. Since they have two left handers, I think Rusch isn’t going to get moved.

In the mix
RP Williamson – safest bet since he’s getting $$$$
SP Hill – been talking about adding a couple more pitchers to go as a starter, but I think he needs more AAA time
RP Novoa – I started calling him Super Nova at the end of the season, because (I was bored with saying “Novoa” and) had an annoying tendency to explode for a lot of runs.
RP Wellemeyer – should be traded already for someone they’d actually get value.
OF Grissmon – gosh no. This will end in sadness.

Not Quite
SP Guzman – maybe later in the year, but not coming off a season like he had.
SP Miller – when/if he recovers from his injury, he’ll get a shot.
RP Koronka – if Ohman goes bad, I guess he’s got a shot. But he’s not making it.
UT Ojeda – only if there’s trade(s) and injuries.
IF Theriot – perhaps won’t make it past here
OF Pagan – I had to look up @ baseballcube to remember who this was, and then I no longer wanted to know. Why he has a spot on the 40 man and Greenberg does not, I do not understand.
OF Greenberg – doesn’t make sense to leave him on the bench, if they even manage to keep him.
OF Pie – see above, times a million. ’cause of Corey, they’ll go slow with this one.

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Patt*o*n. OHHHHH.

Feb
21

Finally!

WWE Referee bios are on WWE.com. Learn to tell your Chads from your Jacks.

I’m still not giving on calling Mickie J anything but Mickie J, but progress may be made.

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well I’ll be

Feb
13

Interview with New NWA World Heavyweight Champion Christian Cage

Okay, for this, I’m giving Impact one (more) shot to convince me something is happening here that I might actually care about. (I can’t believe the shows are as exciting as TNM makes them sound.)

On the other hand, should Jarrett win that title back this month – or next month or any time soon, really – I’m giving up on these goofs FOREVER.

I held this post overnight because I was thinking, given a night, TNA would have a decent picture of Christian with the belt that I could plaster on here. (WWE usually gets it done 5 minutes after the PPV is over, but whatever.) It’s afternoon Monday, what do we got?

Way to crop out the belt!

02/10 Heat and 02/11 Velocity

Feb
11

Heat and Velocity.

Kash vs Psicosis wasn’t really exciting, and neither was the three way traingle match. Disappionting.

let me be the only one to care

Feb
10

WHOA WHOA WHOA

Heart Throbs released

NO NO NO

I guess this explains all the singles matches.

how to be annoying

Feb
09

I just put a $6.17 sandwhich on my credit card. It may have cost more for them to charge me for it than it did to make it.

To be fair, I only had $5 and some change on me, so it was that or nothing. To be unfair, I had $12 of bills sitting on top of my change holder and forgot to bring it with.

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scattered comments

Feb
08

– I don’t know where my phone is, again. Don’t call me!

I won’t pick up anyway, I screen all my calls because I’m hilariously insane and you probably don’t have my number. But I thought you needed to know.

X-Men Legends 2 mid-game: I’m in Act 3, having just shut down the power plant. Yay. I haven’t unlocked any of the three ?s yet, though I’ve picked up both parts so far.

Hitting X X O should not be so hard to do, but it’s somehow impossible for me to get it to work in the X-Men games, and now that I’m running into ludicrous opponents who expect me to do just that, it’s tremendously annoying. Their own pop up moves throw off the timing, but the bigger problem is my own teammates getting in the way; the combo doesn’t work from behind, and it’s sometimes impossible to get the bad guy to focus on you. I eventually just dumped the rest of my team, used Rouge to slow the guy, and did the combo twelve times till it actually worked. What a pain.

They really powered down Wolverine in this game as compared to the last; at level 23, I’ve just now barely got his health regeneration up to a rate where it’s actually useful instead of a novelty. But other people are better and it’s interesting to work with the different powers (even if they keep wanting to auto assign lame status effecting specials instead of offensive moves.)

I assume Scarlet Witch is playable character instead of her brother despite Quicksilver actually being on an X-team at one point (even if he wouldn’t wear the uniform!) because they thought of a billion ways for Wanda to use her powers in cool video game ways and “running really fast” doesn’t immediately translate into this sort of format. But it could be she threatened to turn the video game into a line spanning crossover which would be pointless and suck, and they made the right decision. Definite possibility.

The one person who really mystifies me – well, there’s the whole “Iron Man? wha?” thing but that’s so random it’s fine – is Sunfire’s inclusion. It took me a while to figure out exactly who’s side he was supposed to be on – given a new outfit, his usual personality (actually not seen yet), and the way they’re telling the stories in the games, they could fit him in with Magneto’s group fine – and it eventually occurred to me he was supposed to be the replacement token Asian for Jubilee in this game. Which got me to thinking about token Asian X-Men and which ones I liked…

* Jubilee: Thumbs Up. Part of this is because my first (or something close to that) exposure to the X-Men was the cartoon, and she had no idea what was going on and neither did I, so we could relate. Also, I knew people who were exactly like Jubilee except for the mutant firework powers, and she’d act exactly how they’d act if they had mutant firework powers.

This has nothing do with anything but I’m convinced that whoever wrote her most recent appearance read the GenX book (where she was last a regular) and prosperously got her confused with Husk, since she was definitely heading in a direction where she’d end up running politically active websites and Jubilee was certainly not. That last cameo appearance wasn’t even consistent with the cameo from two weeks prior; it was just a random character shift that I’m forgetting happened right after I end this sentence.

* Sunfire: Thumbs Up. Though I think there was probably a twenty year period where every appearance started with him being a jerk, built to him coming to an understanding with his temporary partners, had him leave on better terms, and was back to being a jerk the next time. That’s sorta awesome – he knew who he was and he wasn’t changing. And now he’s – dead? not dead? dead but part of Rouge? dead but alive in future timelines? Probably a jerk.

* Sunpyre: Thumbs Down. What the heck was with that issue, anyway? Was the remit “do everything you can to make this look like a Big Event, but know that we’re going to ignore and reverse anything you do”? Admirable job! Years later, some intern must’ve been working on a list of established characters who can be killed off without anyone whenever they need a cheap death, and must’ve gone boinkers when they found out Sunfire had a sister he seemingly has never met – that’s a gimmie. I’m not good at comparing faked time spans between TV shows and comic books, but did Fraiser go longer without mentioning to the gang at Cheers that he had a sibling who was exactly like him than Sunfire did with the X-Men? One of the two has to have the record.

* Xorn and Xorn and possibly Xorn but certainly not Magento unless maybe it was: Thumbs up, then down, then up, then down, then down again. Call me when your story makes sense again. HINT!!!: That’ll be never.

* Thunderbird II: Thumbs down. No personality, no character expect being the rookie and then not being the rookie, with the name of the Dead X-Men (who I guess may or may not be dead now – boy is he going to be ticked! unless he dies again). They couldn’t spend the half second to think of an actual Indian name instead of just overtones? It’s not his fault he was written to be uninteresting – I was willing to like him – but he was and I don’t care.

* Psylocke and Kwannon: Thumbs down. One wasn’t around long anyway, one’s kinda just incidentally Asian and I really don’t care much about either.

That’s it, that’s the list? There’s others who’ve hung out around with the X-Men but I think these are the only one who were actually in the group (and I really can’t think of one I care much about to squeeze them in here.)

Back to the game…

I meant to half heartedly complain about not even a token mention of Angel in the first game – I didn’t even see a weapon named after him – because he’s one of the original five and all, even if they had like three ideas for him since he turned blue (and one was “unturn him blue”) – but what they’ve had him doing here is perfectly acceptable.

– TK essentially trading his excellent radio show for long bus trips and doing a late night football game I don’t/won’t care about unless it effects my fantasy team seems like a bad deal for me, but I’m sure he’ll say something that’ll cause a mildly hilarious controversy and that’ll be somewhat redeeming.

– You know it’s time to move on when all the places you eat lunch at know you and your order by heart. They all weirdly like me because I’m an easy order, but now I’ve decided that it’s a bit creepy when fast food places know you by order.

– Let’s look at the Figure 4 Daily standings

Justin Shapiro: 2
Joe Gagne: 2 (I think?)
thecubsfan: 1

I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Plus I think I told Hobbes one night I was retiring from radio gigs to go out on a high note, though I may have just been bored. I thought Justin was highly enjoyable yesterday, even if he would’ve lost Tough Enough. I figure he would’ve ended up wrestling Kid Kash and announcing on Velocity, but that’s just my guess.

The revelation, and I may have said this before, is that Bryan Alvarez is actually really good at this radio interviewing thing. That’s not supposed to be a knock – it’s just most of the radio shows who send their own show notes to all the sites each week read like things I would never ever want to listen, and on the occasion I’ve actually tried, I quickly figured out I should’ve stuck with the never ever concept. Bryan’s shows sound like you’re just eavesdropping on conversations rather than a forced interview. Maybe it’s because he’s done in a hundred times by now, maybe it’s because he goes (purposefully or not) the TK route of having on a lot of people who discuss things regularly rather than wrestlers/fighters themselves (who aren’t usually as good discussers), maybe I’m just biased? It just seems quasi-professional, which is another backhanded compliment and I really should stop.

I think I’m giving up on the MMA guest shows, just because I can’t manage to care the slightest bit about MMA shows and wouldn’t bother with them if I weren’t getting them with all the other shows. No offense to the people who do them, and I figure the same is true with a lot more people on the occasion I talk about lucha.

* I’m thinking about going to the SHIMMER show this weekend, and I actually believe the show’s going to be good, but I don’t if I’ll actually go. I mean, I definitely go if it was in my basement and I could stop watching to play video games whenever I’d like, but I think laziness is going to overpower me actually doing anything.

* I’m psyching myself out on doing lucha recaps and it’s killing me. I’d expound on that pointlessly more, but I see the bell’s about to ring and I’m out of time.