thecubsfan.com

Justin still doens’t tell anyone when he writes things

Nov
30

on Soraino

Nov
28

I’ve been dreading writing about the Cubs. After I got over my instant reaction to the Soriano deal, I found I really didn’t have anything to say about it yet, and I’m still kinda waiting for the non-yet part to happen.

I don’t know if the Soriano deal is a good deal or a bad deal. I don’t think we’ll know for sure till the deal is done or he’s gone (given the A-Rod and Manny drama, it seems likely they’ll at least try moving him sometime in the ’10s), but I don’t think I should wait eight years to write something about it.

The deal a high percentage of the payroll and he probably won’t produce at a level where it’s an even bargain…but if he contributes towards a World Series win (or, gasp, multiple ones!), then everyone will be fine with whatever he’s getting paid. At least for a year, anyway.

I think my real problem with thinking about how this affects the team, is that they really haven’t taken care of their biggest problems. I wanted more offense at the end of the season, which Soriano and (marginally) DeRosa takes care of that, but the Cubs ended the season with 2 pitchers for their 2007 rotation, and they’ve really done nothing there. I don’t believe in Cotts or Miller as a starter, and they’ve done nothing else. Yes, the pitching hasn’t gone off the free agent market, but if the Cubs don’t pull good pitchers out of it (not the remains of Jason Schmidt), then all the offense they’re signing might not get them past the Brewers. If all the money used for Soriano means that they’re settling for Gil Meche (or that they’re signing Gil Meche at all), than I don’t know how much progress they’ve made.

Other small things that bug me about this

– I’m not high at all on this idea of hitting Soriano leadoff. I think I spent a good third of a Nationals game at Wrigley mocking this very tactic, and it’s now coming back to haunt me. I don’t know who you leadoff instead – probably eventually Pie, but he hasn’t been that kind of hitter in the minors
– the idea of Murton/Jacque/Soriano in the OF really defeats the point of trying to have a good fielding infield. And Jacque/Lugo/Soriano isn’t really using money well. They kinda have to move Jacque to make this work, and now the market has changed where’s he actually worth the money based off last season (though he’s likely to fall off).
– they really have no lefty hitters and no place to get them into the lineup.

But if he HITS, and they take care of all the other problem, this is overcome. So who knows. At least they didn’t sign Matthews.

You know, when this site went down that week, I was actually writing a post how Hendry might have made the deal which everyone will point to when he got fired as an example of him over paying – but I was talking about the DeRosa deal. I think I may be wrong on that one, but that deal is looking even less great now. Even though they promised to keep Mark primarily at second, I still figured those promises don’t last forever, and they’d eventually move him around a bit – particularly if Theroit hit and Jacque still couldn’t against lefties. If Jacque is being swapped out for Soriano, then you don’t have that platoon advantage, and unless Derosa can suddenly play shortstop, no other place to use him except in rest day situations. That’s great for him personally, because they won’t be able to take back their promise, but not so much for the Cubs, since they’ve made it unlikely they’ll get any value from his ability to play multiple positions. In that sense, he’ll still be a a prime example of Hendry’s reign – an overpaid ill-utilized utility player.

The starting 25 is looking like

CA Barrett
1B Lee
2B Derosa
SS Cesar
3B A-Ram
LF Murton
CF Jones (again, this will not work at all, but that’s what they got at the moment)
RF Soriano

CA Blanco
1B ???
UT Theroit
OF Pagan
OF Bynum

SP Zambrano
SP Hill
SP Miller (?)
SP Marshall (?)
SP Cotts (?)

RP Wood
RP Wuertz (?)
RP Ohman (?)
RP Howry
RP Eyre
CL Dempester

XP Prior or Novoa or Marmol or Guzman
or
XH Cedeno or Coats or Moore

Bench needs definite help, now that I look at it. Since Pagan and Bynum hit from the left, I think they’re safe, even though they can’t actually HIT from the left. (Same think for Izturis, really.) I was sure Mabry was signed thru 2007, but he’s not, and that’s actually great. They need a lefty hitter who can actually hit; normally, I wouldn’t care which side they get it, because the bench so needs a hitter, but they’re going to be see so many right handed bullpen guys, it’d be nice to have a guy on the bench that puts fear into them. Luis Gonzalez doesn’t have that power anymore, but if he’d be okay with taking up the position he had with the Cubs previously – part time OF – he’d work.

I wouldn’t argue with Craig Wilson to replace one of the outfield bench guys, but the Cubs will never take me up on that.

boring bad host discussion

Nov
28

FWIW: I’m currently using fuitadnet.com to host this site, and we were using vizaweb.com to host luchawiki.com. They’ve featured unexplained downtimes and other goofiness, and I wouldn’t recommend them at all.

This reminds me that I ought to mention they’re moving thecubsfan.com from one server to ‘a better, more secure one’ (perhaps with less hackers) sometime this week, so things may be goofy the next day. The best case scenario is, everything blog post I make for the next couple of days has to be done twice (as does anything I do to the lucha db). That’s the best case, the worst case is everything going kaboom and the system backup not working (again), causing me to collapse in a heap and curse all electronics. I say it’s 50/50.

HEY! I guess I should explain the hacking

(more…)

Joe Versus The World – 31: Sven Mascarenhas (11.27)

Nov
27

Sven Mascarenhas joins us to celebrate the history of wrestling video games, from Mat Mania to Smackdown Vs. Raw 2007. We discuss the inherent challenges in making a wrestling video game, which ones got it right and which ones got it so very wrong, plus Bret Hart: Canadian video game hero, my class action lawsuit against Acclaim, the life altering THQ/AKI series, the Wrestlefest announcer, the No Mercy bug, does WCW Superbrawl exist?, and so much more. Total match time: 71:06. Listen to this and a winner is you!

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

To listen to this show, right click to download the mp3 file here, subscribe to the RSS feed @ http://www.thecubsfan.com/joe.xml, or add it to your iTunes Podcasts by clicking here. If you’ve missed an edition, click on the microphone icon in the upper right hand corner of this post to see all of the ones we’ve done so far, or scroll to the end of this post.

Sven’s list of The Top 100 Games Of All Time is over at the DVDMB, and you can contact him there.

Please visit http://www.joeversustheworld.com for an index of old episodes. If you use a non-iTunes podcatcher, check out Bryan Alvarez [being Bryan Alvarez] (07/12)
10: Mike Coughlin [MMA] (07/01)
9: Dr. Keith Lipinkski [Japan, general wackiness] (06/27)
8: Tanvir Raquib [ECW, parallel dimensions] (06/17)
7: American Balloon [his career] (06/10)
6: Justin Shapiro [RAW, ROH] (06/03)
5: Albert Ching [Judgement Day, ECW] (05/28)
4: Vince Verhei [everything] (05/21)
3: Matt Foy [ROH] (05/14)
Bonus: Hogan Knows Best recap (05/08)
2: Justin Shapiro [WWE] (04/29)
1: thecubsfan [lucha] (04/22)

Heat 11/11, 11/18, 11/25

Nov
26

* 11/11: past UK matches. This was mostly just showing matches all from the same taping – so lazy – but showing the One Night Only match was cool. Had that been shown in the US before? I know it’s on DVDs.

* 11/18: screwjobs. Of all the time to use the WCW library, you pick this time? If you’re going for the barely relevant, they should’ve used the time Giant won the title from Hogan by DQ thanks to an evil Jimmy Hart. Seeing a thin Giant is worth is always worth the price of admission.

* 11/26: actual matches! Everyone was a bit weirded out by the concept. They have matches again next week, I believe, and I can’t make heads or tails of the schedule from there (though I suspect not much, with holiday interruptions, the RAW in Iraq and such.)

I’m not smart enough to know what the deal was with Shelton and Crazy and who’s fault it was (though I could guess if you prod me enough), but there sure was something going wrong.

Tanvir’s Almost End Of The Year Review

Nov
26

It’s almost 2007. I am now 25.5 years old and god damn, I feel old and almost dying. A bad back, an aching sense of godliness and a desire to sing that Kajagoogoo song has led me to the end of the year wondering, “damn, what the fuck happened?” Instead of waiting for the Time Magazine version of what went down this year, I plan on covering ALL of the major moments of the year. Why, you ask? Because I feel like it. Also, I like fulfilled my tainted ego by writing things for the internet denizens. Wrote a YEAR IN REVIEW a few years ago that, like, four of you read. I intend on having maybe two of you read this in full by making this as unreadable as possible. Do you think I can do it?

I surely hope so.

more

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Joe Versus The World – 30: American Balloon (11.23)

Nov
23

American Balloon, direct from Japan, returns to the show to talk about his stint with the DDT promotion. We talk strange gimmicks in DDT (including Mecha Mummy), sharing an apartment with 5 other wrestlers, long plane rides, longer bus rides, the dangers of pachinko, boob chants, and the best 10 year old worker in the world. A half hour of power!

To listen to this show, right click to download the mp3 file here, subscribe to the RSS feed @ http://www.thecubsfan.com/joe.xml, or add it to your iTunes Podcasts by clicking here. If you’ve missed an edition, click on the microphone icon in the upper right hand corner of this post to see all of the ones we’ve done so far, or scroll to the end of this post.

Please visit http://www.joeversustheworld.com for an index of old episodes! If you use a non-iTunes podcather, check out http://feeds.feedburner.com/JoeVersusTheWorld for easy ways to add the show to My Yahoo, Google and a half dozen other places.

Before he made it to Japan, American Balloon made it to Joe versus the World back in June. Kinda the same thing. You can learn more about American Balloon at his website and his mySpace profile. There’s also a thread dedicated to his adventures over on the Death Valley Driver Message Board. We thank him for coming on again and wish him good luck.

This is our third show this week! It bees that way sometimes. If you haven’t been around this week, make sure you check out our shows with Tom Feely (Survivor Series) and Scott Christ (TNA)

If you’ve got any feedback on this show or any other, we’d love to hear it. Either leave a comment below, or contact joe at joegagne AT charter DOT net. Thanks for listening – if you enjoyed a show, we’d quite appreciated if you told your friends, or at least told us!

You can download any of our previous editions below. Right click and save them to your computer to take a listen.

Previous editions:
30: American Balloon (2) [wrestling in Japan] (11/23)
29: Scott Christ [TNA] (11/21)
28: Tom Feely [survivor series] (11/19)
27: Rob Naylor (2) [indy] (11/12)
26: Matt Foy (4) [ROH] (11/07)
25: Vince Verhei (2) [comebacks] (10/27)
24: Justin Shapiro (4) [the Marine] (10/21)
23: Bryan Alvarez (2) [everything] (10/10)
22: Ken Dreiling and Jesse “J-tron” Irwin [IWA-MS TPI] (10/05)
21: Matt Foy [ROH] (09/20)
20: Tanvir Raquib [09/11 RAW] (09/16)
19: Rob Naylor [News and tangents] (09/09)
18: Dean Rasmussen [DVDVR, life] (08/31)
17: Phil Schneider [Best of the 80’s Japan Indies DVD] (08/26)
16: CRZ [being CRZ] (08/17)
15: Justin Shapiro and thecubsfan [WON HOF, US, Mexico] (08/10)
14: Dr. Keith Lipinski and Mike Sempervive [WON HOF, Japan] (08/04)
13: thecubsfan [lucha] (07/24)
12: Matt Foy [ROH] (07/17)
11: Bryan Alvarez [being Bryan Alvarez] (07/12)
10: Mike Coughlin [MMA] (07/01)
9: Dr. Keith Lipinkski [Japan, general wackiness] (06/27)
8: Tanvir Raquib [ECW, parallel dimensions] (06/17)
7: American Balloon [his career] (06/10)
6: Justin Shapiro [RAW, ROH] (06/03)
5: Albert Ching [Judgement Day, ECW] (05/28)
4: Vince Verhei [everything] (05/21)
3: Matt Foy [ROH] (05/14)
Bonus: Hogan Knows Best recap (05/08)
2: Justin Shapiro [WWE] (04/29)
1: thecubsfan [lucha] (04/22)

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Joe Versus The World – 29: Scott Christ (11.21)

Nov
21

Update: I poked the iTunes feed into working again.

Scott Christ joins us for our first all TNA show. We look at the 2 hour Primetime debut, plus the Genesis PPV, and break down what worked and what didn’t, how TNA always shoots themselves in the foot, and possible booking directions. Plus I butcher Scott’s name, Sting’s missing pec, Abyss’ weird growth, are groinshots legal in TNA, the Lance Hoyt formula, and what we’re thankful for in wrestling. We had some technical difficulties but that won’t slow us down. Almost 50 minutes of fun!

To listen to this show, right click to download the mp3 file here, subscribe to the RSS feed @ http://www.thecubsfan.com/joe.xml, or add it to your iTunes Podcasts by clicking here. If you’ve missed an edition, click on the microphone icon in the upper right hand corner of this post to see all of the ones we’ve done so far, or scroll to the end of this post.

Please visit http://www.joeversustheworld.com for an index of old episodes! If you use a non-iTunes podcather, check out http://feeds.feedburner.com/JoeVersusTheWorld for easy ways to add the show to My Yahoo, Google and a half dozen other places.

Scott’s writen dozen of articles for this site, and he occasional writes more about wrestling at his blog. He also writes about the Baltimore Orioles at CamdenChat.com. We thank him for coming on.

If you’ve got any feedback on this show or any other, we’d love to hear it. Either leave a comment below, or contact joe at joegagne AT charter DOT net. Thanks for listening – if you enjoyed a show, we’d quite appreciated if you told your friends, or at least told us!

You can download any of our previous editions below. Right click and save them to your computer to take a listen.

Previous editions:
29: Scott Christ [TNA] (11/21)
28: Tom Feely [survivor series] (11/19)
27: Rob Naylor (2) [indy] (11/12)
26: Matt Foy (4) [ROH] (11/07)
25: Vince Verhei (2) [comebacks] (10/27)
24: Justin Shapiro (4) [the Marine] (10/21)
23: Bryan Alvarez (2) [everything] (10/10)
22: Ken Dreiling and Jesse “J-tron” Irwin [IWA-MS TPI] (10/05)
21: Matt Foy [ROH] (09/20)
20: Tanvir Raquib [09/11 RAW] (09/16)
19: Rob Naylor [News and tangents] (09/09)
18: Dean Rasmussen [DVDVR, life] (08/31)
17: Phil Schneider [Best of the 80’s Japan Indies DVD] (08/26)
16: CRZ [being CRZ] (08/17)
15: Justin Shapiro and thecubsfan [WON HOF, US, Mexico] (08/10)
14: Dr. Keith Lipinski and Mike Sempervive [WON HOF, Japan] (08/04)
13: thecubsfan [lucha] (07/24)
12: Matt Foy [ROH] (07/17)
11: Bryan Alvarez [being Bryan Alvarez] (07/12)
10: Mike Coughlin [MMA] (07/01)
9: Dr. Keith Lipinkski [Japan, general wackiness] (06/27)
8: Tanvir Raquib [ECW, parallel dimensions] (06/17)
7: American Balloon [his career] (06/10)
6: Justin Shapiro [RAW, ROH] (06/03)
5: Albert Ching [Judgement Day, ECW] (05/28)
4: Vince Verhei [everything] (05/21)
3: Matt Foy [ROH] (05/14)
Bonus: Hogan Knows Best recap (05/08)
2: Justin Shapiro [WWE] (04/29)
1: thecubsfan [lucha] (04/22)

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Joe Versus The World – 28: Tom Feely (11.19)

Nov
19

Tom Feely joins us to break down the history of the Survivor Series. We hit the high points of all previous Series, including how the format has changed over the years, plus a preview of the 2007 edition. Plus talk of Just Joe, Karate Fighters, USA crossovers on RAW, headless Owen Hart, college football talk, a shout out to GSP, and a sexy commercial for our show. 50 minutes of fun!

To listen to this show, right click to download the mp3 file here, subscribe to the RSS feed @ http://www.thecubsfan.com/joe.xml, or add it to your iTunes Podcasts by clicking here. If you’ve missed an edition, click on the microphone icon in the upper right hand corner of this post to see all of the ones we’ve done so far, or scroll to the end of this post.

Please visit http://www.joeversustheworld.com for an index of old episodes! If you use a non-iTunes podcather, check out http://feeds.feedburner.com/JoeVersusTheWorld for easy ways to add the show to My Yahoo, Google and a half dozen other places.

Besides coming up with the very graphic that you see at the top of this post, Feely’s writen some articles for this very site, and you can read him now at his college football blog. We thank him for coming on the show.

If you’ve got any feedback on this show or any other, we’d love to hear it. Either leave a comment below, or contact joe at joegagne AT charter DOT net. Thanks for listening – if you enjoyed a show, we’d quite appreciated if you told your friends, or at least told us!

You can download any of our previous editions below. Right click and save them to your computer to take a listen.

Previous editions:
28: Tom Feely [survivor series] (11/19)
27: Rob Naylor (2) [indy] (11/12)
26: Matt Foy (4) [ROH] (11/07)
25: Vince Verhei (2) [comebacks] (10/27)
24: Justin Shapiro (4) [the Marine] (10/21)
23: Bryan Alvarez (2) [everything] (10/10)
22: Ken Dreiling and Jesse “J-tron” Irwin [IWA-MS TPI] (10/05)
21: Matt Foy [ROH] (09/20)
20: Tanvir Raquib [09/11 RAW] (09/16)
19: Rob Naylor [News and tangents] (09/09)
18: Dean Rasmussen [DVDVR, life] (08/31)
17: Phil Schneider [Best of the 80’s Japan Indies DVD] (08/26)
16: CRZ [being CRZ] (08/17)
15: Justin Shapiro and thecubsfan [WON HOF, US, Mexico] (08/10)
14: Dr. Keith Lipinski and Mike Sempervive [WON HOF, Japan] (08/04)
13: thecubsfan [lucha] (07/24)
12: Matt Foy [ROH] (07/17)
11: Bryan Alvarez [being Bryan Alvarez] (07/12)
10: Mike Coughlin [MMA] (07/01)
9: Dr. Keith Lipinkski [Japan, general wackiness] (06/27)
8: Tanvir Raquib [ECW, parallel dimensions] (06/17)
7: American Balloon [his career] (06/10)
6: Justin Shapiro [RAW, ROH] (06/03)
5: Albert Ching [Judgement Day, ECW] (05/28)
4: Vince Verhei [everything] (05/21)
3: Matt Foy [ROH] (05/14)
Bonus: Hogan Knows Best recap (05/08)
2: Justin Shapiro [WWE] (04/29)
1: thecubsfan [lucha] (04/22)

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getting back up

Nov
17

The databases are back running, so all the posts till the site went down should be back up.

The files on the site are only to 10/27. I’ve got a copy of everything I’ve uploaded since then*, but I don’t have it on me, so the last couple JVTW and various recaps aren’t up at the moment and won’t be up till sometime tomorrow. My apologizes to Joe, Rob and Matt.

My e-mail may be working; I’m not really sure. I’d keep using the ddtdigest address for a couple of days.

* – with everything else that’s gone wrong the last two weeks, would you believe then when I grabbed my backup CDs, I couldn’t unzip the files due to a CRC error on one of the discs? Good thing I had another backup.