thecubsfan.com

take a picture, it’ll last longer

Feb
29

This is the second craziest thing I’ve seen today. I give it two weeks.

I don’t think FriedEgg has much to worry about.

BTW, can no one at .com figure out a script to remove all TNA articles? C’mon. Also, the luchablog has a full usable RSS feed if you need Mark Jindrak updates.

PS3 Releases delayed

Feb
29

This month, the blog of stuff for random internet people to read is far, far inferior to the blog of stuff I tell people I actually see in person.

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positon battle chatter

Feb
28

I’m not doing game by game for Spring Training this year either. It just doesn’t mean that much (and isn’t nearly as fun.) I get more out of the pregame shows this early in the spring.

On today’s radio pregame, Lou suggested KOSUKE may end up 3, or may end up 2, or may end up 5. He seemed pretty confident Fukudome could be a good 2, and that seems to be the fall back if he struggles at 3. Lou also went over the roster battles, as he thought of them:

– Closer (noting all three are capable)
– righty spot in the bullpen (looking for a power arm; Lou “off the top of his head” throws out Jose Ascanio, Seda, Hart, Petrick but it’s not limited to them)
– lefty spot in the bullpen (only Cotts mentioned)
– Centerfield

I think he skipped the 5th Starter, which actually sounds like a fine idea. Carlos is willing to pitch every 5th day if everyone else will go with it.

I can’t tell if Wuertz is locked in for a spot again and that’s why no one’s mentioning him, or if everyone’s forgot about him again, or if a package of Michael W/Murton/Marquis has been put on craigslist, best offer accepted.

Book Review: God Save The Fan

Feb
27

I was thinking it might be a bad idea to give this book a bad review, because Will Leitch is an all powerful godfather of the sports internet, who can deem a fortunate soul a made man or, just as easily, crush a site into small little shreds of HTML code, and I didn’t want that fate for myself.

(Which it wouldn’t, because no one knows this site exist and that’s the way we’re keeping it, but pretend for a second.)

I thought about it some more, and remembered Leitch is also a unrepentant spawn of central Illinois. Worse still, he’s a Cardinals fan. I don’t know enough Cardinals fans to hate them, I’ve been fortunate that way, but I completely understand why people might every time he puts up a post about that bunch or the Cubs.

And then I thought even more – lot of time to think today, I guess – and recalled that I liked the book so all of this preamble was space filler to obscure the lack of actual “review”.

The book mirrors the voice of the site. Outside of the (now annotated) John Rocker conversation, it’s all new content, but the ideas and concepts are things which have hit upon before. It’s as if Deadspin had been a twice weekly column for the last few years instead of multiple daily blog posts, and the final product was this book.

I know that makes it sound repetitive, and there’s definitely moments where it feels like like a rereading if you’re a daily reader of the site (I am, since the early days), but it more indepth and fully formed than the blog posts. “[ESPN does something dumb]”, becomes “[an example of ESPN doing something dumb, how they and us got there, and where this leaves us]”. (It’s not all about ESPN, even though my next example will make you think it is.) The short “downfall of Baseball Tonight” subarticle is great in this one; Will’s addressed parts of the problem at different times, but it’s all laid out into one cohesive discussion here.

The steroids justification article was the least of the book. Yes, at a time where PED have no bad side effects, no one would have a problem with it. I’m not sure it’s totally possible we’ll get there – even as the risk is lowered to a ‘safe’ level, they’ll switch to a new drug with new risks if the benefit seems high enough – but more so, it’s not the world we’re living in. The internal fan argument at the moment “do I care about athletes taking PEDs if it means less/worse life for them?”, and I think the answer for some fans is “no, until I realize you weren’t kidding about less/worse life.” But then I’m coming from as someone, unlike Will, who knows what “katie bar the door” means.

God Save the Fan is a good read for anyone who’s interested in the modern relationship between fans and the sporting institutions they follow.

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many words about non issues

Feb
26

If a heart issue only requires a week off before getting back to normal, is it really an issue? (Alternate question: if the old Cubs Post Only page, still with VGA era graphics, exists but I forget to include a link to it for a month, does it still count?) I think this at least a 2% chance it’s only a plan to get out of boring February drills (and a 50% chance a call was put into the O’s.)

Since Mark DeRosa will be back before they start playing games that even matter a little, this doesn’t seem to matter much. The projected lineup is kinda interesting…

LF Soriano
SS Theriot
RF KOSUKE
1B D-Lee
3B A-Ram
2B DeRosa
CA Soto
CF Pie

…because there seems to be a plan of stacking the OBP guys in front of Ram and giving him possibly a million RBI opportunities, while allowing Soriano to continue to be in his own world. It puts early pressure on Kosuke and Ryan to be getting on early, because flaws won’t be hidden there.

On the flipside, it allows Pie (and to a lesser extent, Soto) to just play every day and not worry about what he does at the plate. If everything else works moderately well, Felix can struggle at the plate as long as he’s fielding the way we figure he should and there’s no real problem. I’m still thinking they’ll find someone as a right handed platoon partner (because Pinella likes to rest guys anyway, and Pie off the bench in a close game has a lot of value), but it’s not a must situation if he’s batting eight.

Still, I’d be surprised if this was the default lineup by May 1st. Something will surely break before then.

There’s really nothing else going on, except the quiet dwindling of rotation options. It seems like they’ve set the order as

1) Z!
2) Lilly
3) Dempster – sounds as though a lock unless he stinks in Spring Training
4) Hill – 4th only for lefty/righty alternation
5) Marquis or Lieber
Out without throwing an in-game pitch: Marshall, Gallagher, Hart

I’m not quite sure it’ll end up being the best possible five, but I’m also not sure the difference between 5 and 9 is all that significant. Lou’s comments about Marquis or Lieber were interrupted as loser may be willing to go to the bullpen, but it feels more likely that a last minute trade might happen. I think the Cubs would like Lieber to take it and someone else to take Marquis, because the trust is gone there, but I don’t know if it’ll work out that way.

There’s that battle, there’s the closer battle (which I also don’t think is so vital – it’s more important to have people who can pitch well close & late than what order they’re in), the last two spots in the pen (totally unclear until the rotation falls out) and maybe the last spot on the bench (depending on if there’s a trade.) The roster spots are about as uncritical as they come, which is maybe why there hasn’t been much stuff to come out of camp so far.

The most intriguing news item of the spring to me so far is the new (home) bullpen seats being sold at auction. People might go a bit crazy spending for those on some weekends, though less than if they auctioned them out thru the season (they’ll only be doing it from 03/03 to 03/13.) The Cubs might make back all the money for the field resurfacing just from a couple St. Louis weekend stints.

ticket haul (2008)

Feb
22

* April 4 vs HOU
* May 12th vs SDP – really close to the field
* Sep 16 vs MIL – really far from the field

That’s about half of what I did last year (when I ended up eating some of the tickets), but I know I’m getting another game as a gift and going with someone else for two more. Also, I don’t quite recall which set of games I’m going to for the Cougars, and I’ve got other money concerns distracting me this year.

I feel like I should get more. I tried to get Rockies tickets at one point, but couldn’t get it to work. I want to get in the bleacher box lottery when that comes up.

Edit:
June 24 vs BAL. HEY SCOTT

PS3 Releases: week of February 18, 2007

Feb
22

on the shelves

The Club (gamestats) Third person shooter, adding elements of time trials and combos (the faster you kill people, and the bigger bunches you kill them in, the higher the score.) Single player is thin, unless you want to compete with yourself for high score. Multiplayer has a lot of options, but there are some complaints about the cap on participants (8), level size and weapon balance.

FIFA Street 3 (gamestats) Better than last year, but still not good. Gets old quick with the lack of variety in play. Looks good, but defense is much more luck than skill and playing creatively hurts your chances. Only 18 national teams are available, which seems absurd. You may get some value out of this if you’ve got a group to play against each other, but no career mode (and no create-a-player) means single player isn’t going to last you long. I’m disappointed.

Dynasty Warriors 6 (gamestats) The same game you might have played 5 times before. Not much new. Graphics do not look good, and slow down on the PS3 – IGN says multiplayer is nearly unplayable as a result. GameStats shows a wide gap between the press average score and the fan average score, which probably means people who are already way into this series are okay with it. Or it’s a sample size thing.

History Channel: The Battle for the Pacific (gamestats) Why? IGN’s the only I found who reviewed it, and notes there are many, many better First Person Shooters out there and this one brings nothing new to the table. There’s also all of 2 hours of game play. Avoid!

in the store (blog.us.playstation.com)

Add On Game Content
– Rock Band (singles $2, no combo pack)
* “Why do you love me” by Garbage
* “Sex Type Thing” by Stone Temple Pilots
* “El Scorcho” by Weezer

(yes, no, yes?)

PS1 Classics
* Jet Moto 3 {$6}

Demos
PixelJunk Monster (Demo) – since I still can’t figure out what this game is, I think playing the demo might help

Game Videos
* MLB 08 The Show (3, Stolen Base, Replay Vault, Pitcher/Batter Analysis)
* Conflict: Denied Ops (Development Diary #4)
* Bionic Commando: Rearmed (Trailer – this is a remake of the NES game)

Movie/Blue Ray Disc Trailer
– We Own the Night
Kung Fu Panda (kungfupanda.com) (teaser)

PS3 Themes
– Lair: Asylian

over the horizon
02/26: Lost
02/26: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
02/26: Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
03/03: MLB 2K8
03/04: Army of Two
03/04: Destroy All Humans!
03/04: Karoake Revolution Presents American Idol Encore
03/04: MLB ’08: the Show
03/11: Condemned 2: Bloodshot
03/11: Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
03/18: Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
04/08: Star Wars: the Force Unleashed
06/28: Grand Theft Auto IV
06/30: LEGO Indiana Jones

RSS feeds working? Maybe?

Feb
20

I set it up so the old RSS 2.0 feed is now forwarded to the new 2.0 feed, and brought back the 1.0/RDF feed. If it’s not updating for anyone now, let me know so I can keep looking at it.

some things take a little longer to sink in

Feb
20

I’m playing the demo of MLB ’08, just hoping the demo hitting isn’t motion controlled like last years 2k game was. The demo puts you right into a game, in Fenway Park, Colorado at Boston. I was confused for a second, but then realized they just gave you the World Series teams.

And – wait, the ROCKIES went to the World Series last year? The COLORADO ROCKIES were the best team in the National League? What the heck!

I need a nap.

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quick site design explaination

Feb
16

things I was sick of
– the gray background
– the sidebar, no longer updated because CustomFields is now a pay plugin (and not $99 worth)
– the always outdated links

2 of 3.

Since I was upgrading the software anyway, thought I might as well try a template. This was somewhat complicated by the website going kaboom. I may have been responsible for it, I actually have no real idea.

I actually dislike having two side bars, but I can’t figure out how to fix it. I may eventually. Also haven’t decided if the Cubs post will get a separate entrance or not.