Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
P.s.---I already am. I love you all.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Go GRIZZ! GReat win last night!!!!!!! We want MORE!!!!!!!!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
the fans. That's right, friends. It's us. We are obviously not pulling hard enough for this team. They need us. They're young and frightened and good-looking and athletic and long. They just need us to support them in a way that is conducive to producing a winning team. I know that I'm willing to do anything. ANYTHING to help this team. I just get the feeling that not everyone is like that. Well, get your acts together, friends! And I'm sorry, but the Cat Boodle award goes to US, the fans. Because we're not doing our part. However, the Funnel Cake award goes to the FANS, TOO! Because we get to root for this awesome team and these AMAZINg players! GO US AND GRIZZ!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
THE FEMININE NAPKIN RACES!
Nothing gets me more excited about getting out to The Pad then the seventh inning running of FEMININE NAPKINS! It used to all fun in games when the runners were shaped as the napkins, but in 1998 when they switched over to one uniform feminine napkin costume, the races really turned for the best. I love fair and unbiased competition from tampons, pads, and adult diapers.
I remember my father and uncle telling me stories of the feminine napkin races of the old. When they would push, squeeze, applicant, unravel, pull on the strings and any other method to soak up a win. I could only imagine how unappealing that would be.
Here is a picture of my favorite napkin racer, Overnight Maxi coming down the stretch right before being soaked in a celebratory shower of dark red wine.
In closing, the Funnel Cake Award goes to ALL the Grizzly players that played tonight. You're all winners and I'd be honored to share a funnel cake with each and every one of you. That'd have to be a BIG funnel cake! However, for the MAvericks I made up a new award for you guys that I will hand out from time to time. It's to remember your heartless actions in the heat of battle. But you don't get something delicious like a funnel cake. Because this is a bad award. Instead you get the worst thing that I can imagine right now. It's something that turns my stomach and literally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You get the Cat Boodle Award. And the stench is all over you ALL.
Friday, November 21, 2008
No, the player of the game award should be named for something truly amazing. Soemthing that everyone knows means greatness. It should be synonomous with everything that's right in this great country. And I know just the thing. From here on out the player of the game award will be known as the Funnel Cake Award.
And if the winners of every Funnel Cake Award want to come to Branson after the season to collect, then that's just fine with me and my wife. We could all just head on over to Silver Dollar City, ride some super rides, play some neat games, and eat funnel cakes until the funnel cake stand worker cuts us off for having TOO MUCH FUN. It would probably be the most awesome day in all of our lives and we'd be best friends forever after that. We'd write each other letters and call each other when we were feelign down. And we'd ALWAYS cheer each other up. I bet that me and RUdy would eventually be the best friends out of ALL the Funnel Cake award winners. For sure. Me and my best friend Rudy. It has a nice ring to it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Player of the game against the Kings goes to the leading SCORER! GO GRIZZ! It's awesome to have you back!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Anyway, the game...I didn't see it because my wife gets carsick and also won't let me get a satellite TV. I checked the box score and added up all the points and the Grizzlies really did lose. The score was not mistaken. That sucks even more.
Hang in there Grizz fans.
Friday, November 14, 2008
So i've decided to put together a series of posts over the next many weeks, listing some players the Grizz should be targeting to acquire. Yes, they truly are the greatest team ever, but there are always openings to be found. I'll put down all sorts of helpful information about the players that i can, and hopefully this information will be as useful to us all as it is to the Grizz.
Our first player of many is a catcher by the name of Jake Taylor. Some may say to me, "Ryan, we already have the NL Rookie of the year as our catcher, and we have his fire-armed guide. Do we really need a third one?"
the answer is of course yes.
Taylor brings something to the team. namely, his grinder abilities and his sweet sweet fundamentals. Not to mention his intangibles! Taylor has spent some time on various teams over the years, including the Indians and a few teams in the Mexican League. He scored the game winning RBI for the Indians a few years back, and my scouts tell me that he hasn't lost any of the abilities in his knees. His captainship skills are probably the most important thing to note, as he helped several young Indians players grow into the team they became last year.
However, its also helpful that Taylor has a relatively carefree and relaxed attitude about many things. First and foremost is the fact that even though the Idaho White Sox are one of the major's most racist teams, Taylor was able to keep his cool no matter what the fans yelled from the stands at him and his team. He also stopped several intrateam fights and other onfield brawls, countering many Grizz players and their intensity. Sometimes, we need someone filled with calm and collectedness, not the red hot fire that is Pedro Zammano.
This is not saying that Taylor can't bring his A-game when its needed, like in the recent match between him and the Yankee closer. Taylor called his shot like that great Grizz hero of old, Ernie Banks. (Though technically, Banks was just yelling at Joe Morgan for being an idiot). Taylor's suprise bunt confused the entire Yankee team and won the game for the Indians.
Taylor also has some managing skills that could be put to use should Lou "angry Bobby Cox" Piniella get ejected again.
Position: Catcher, Backup Manager
BA-R-HR-RBI-SB = .268-68-8-70-1 (proving anyone can steal on Jason Kendall)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Crud. The grizzlies lost pretty bad. Looking at the box score, I'd have to say that Rudy Gay and Chandler were the best players on their respectable teams. They had the most points. I can't get too upset about the loss, though. The KNicks are ALWAYS good. I remember when Patrick Ewing played for them. They were good back then, too. We'll get them next time, though. GO GRIZZ!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Today, I had a boner. It was early, but it was awesome.
The GRIZZ are not playing right now, so not much to update or reflect on. I do know, however, that they're trying to get a guy named Gary Peevish. He is good, young, handsome, and good. Dad said that if they got him, he and Unkie were going to do the no pants dance in celebration. They like dancing a lot.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My wife was pretty upset with what he did. After I quit puking, I tried to calm her down, but I don't think it worked. I told her that big brothers were allowed to do stuff like that to little brothers especially when the little brother messes up as badly as I did. She told me that I was wrong but I told her that she just didn't understand because she wasn't a little brother.
She just stomped off and went to bed. I mean, mercy me, that wasn't even the worst thing that he'd done to my privates before. I don't want to turn this into some sort of sex blog so I'll spare you all the details. Let's just say it involved tape, a first pubic hair, 3 of his friends, and about 30 minutes of pointing and laughing at exposed privates.
The thing about big brothers that my wife doesn't understand though is that they always say they're sorry. And that's enough. Chances are, when I get back from doing some insurance stuff today, there's going to be a fresh funnel cake on my desk from I-know-who.
And everything will be alright. And my privates will be safe again.
As long as I don't do anything stupid.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
But I'm not QUITE ready for it, actually. I'm having a big party tonight and I don't have nearly enough supplies to keep everyone happy. My brother and his family will be here to watch our GRIZZ take on the Rockets and my brother likes to eat Doritos and nacho cheese when the GRizz take on the ROckets! He's the cheesiest!
That's what he tells me anyway. Anyway, I'm headed out to the store to get more stuff with cheese.
I can honestly say that opening day of the GRIZZLY season is like no other day. It's probably my favorite time of the year, but it doesn't come close to Christmas when I get to see my whole family.
My most favorite of gifts that I ever got was a Bryant Reeves flat top. It was actually a gift certificate FOR a replica real-life Bryant Reeves flat top which was to be given to me by my brother a few years ago when the GRIZZ first moved to Memphis and me and my brother became such big fans.
You see, my brother had apparently been practicing his hair-cutting for just this occassion. He had clippers(HA, like the team!) and everything. Well, I guess he didn't practice enough because when he was done, my hair looked pretty bad. It was like he was blind or something and he felt pretty bad about it.
I told him that it was the thought that counted and I'd wear that haircut clear up until I could get someone to fix it. Then I sang him a song about brotherhood and how I loved him.
When I went to get my hair fixed, the elderly lady felt sorry for me and took a liking to me. We started talking and she turned out to be a widow and she found out that I was single. Then, one thing led to another and I married her daughter and it's all thanks to that replica real-life Bryant Reeves flat top!
Thanks brother! Me and the wife can't wait to see you and your family tonight if they can make it. Merry CHristmas!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The honest truth is I was just plain bummed.
There's no other way to put it. I was bummed at Major League Baseball's cowardly last-minute decision to "level the playing field" by not allowing the Grizzlies to participate in the postseason this year.1 Something about "the game has become massively unpopular in several major markets " due to the near quarter century of unquestioned dominance displayed by our Boys in Pink. Those quarters? The decadent East Coast baseball establishment, led by the longtime also-ran sports network, ESPN. ESPN, if you may remember, came on strong in the early 80s, only to be ousted by the juggernaut that was formed when a winning Grizz team prompted a WGN/Lifetime Network merger in 1987. While ESPN still clings to life by duking it out with TBS and FOX for non-Grizzly table scraps every summer and feasting on its monopoly of winter sports like curling and indoor ping-pong, the jealousy felt by the media in the ironically nicknamed "First City" is palpable.
So, their endless and pathetic lobbying has finally found success. On a trial basis, the MLB office has suspended the Grizz from the postseason, citing that they violate Anti-trust legislation. A terrifying precedent to set. Grizzly Manager Skip Essian has retired in disgust, and several players are seriously considering forming their own barnstorming team. Alonso Sorialdo has selflessly offered to bankroll this Globetrotting team from his vast personal fortune,2 should the need arise, but most Grizz players are trying to ride this out, and hope that public outcry will be sufficient to get the Pink Train back on the rails in 2009.
However, in a gesture of love for their fans, the Grizz are giving back to the community the only way they know how: by playing baseball at a level not seen outside of the Gods of Olympus.3 The Real World Champions are playing a best of seven against the only team that stands a chance of winning: themselves.
And I was there for Game One last night at the Pad, still in my hospital gown,4 to cheer them on!
Though I was hoping for a surprise unveiling of the mythical "40-Therroyo roster6" vs. the rest of the Grizz, I was treated to a different, arguably greater experience.
The Grizz had designated two team-members as captainsof each squad:7
- Squad A: Third Baseman Extraordinaire and reknowned animal rights activist Ramis Rodriguez
- Squad B: "El Toro del Oro" himself, the always zany starting pitcher Pacho Zapato
A hush spread over the crowd, as thousands of Grizzheads checked their iPhones for a translation of Zapato's comment. A gasp spread over the same crowd when they realized what he meant.
"Ginormous Z" was challenging the entire Grizz lineup singlehandedly.
An argument ensued as various members of the Grizz lineup attempted to convince Pancho that that was madness. Of course, that was like pouring gasoline on the fire, as Pancho has had a long running bet with Ozzie Guillen and Hugo Chavez as to who is the craziest Venezualan alive.
I could say that cooler heads prevailed, but I would be lying. Eventually Derrick Li and Woodrow Kerrigan managed to talk Z into taking on a catcher, just so the balls wouldn't pelt celebrity umpire Jeremy Piven. Of course, given the choice between rookie phenom Giovanni Solo and seasoned veteran Carlos Negro (Or "Chuck Black" as he's known to his legions of fans), the Z-man made the only choice he could have made.
Mack "Little Big Klusz" Fontegna.
This was a stunning development, as Fontegna has never played the position before. Nor did he fit into either of the catcher's gear (a local little league coach living nearby had to race home to get pads that fit the diminuative infielder-turned-backstop). But just getting Z to agree to have a teammate took 25 minutes, and the lines to every Shenanigan's in the Pad were starting to grow full of hungry and restless Grizzheads.
Finally, the game began in earnest. And what a game! Zapata and "Little Big" took an early lead after Z hit a first inning grand slam off of Canadian newcomer Rick Wardon8 that brought in Fontegna and the "ghost runners" on second and third. After that, Wardon settled into a strong series of shutout innings before getting pulled in the seventh.9
Meanwhile, Zapato was pitching like a man possessed. He struck out the first 19 batters, despite the fact that he was clearly just aiming his pitches at Fontegna's (admittedly shaking) glove. Then, in the seventh, leadoff man Sorialdo got the first ball into play. It was a line drive comebacker that Z fielded barehanded.
For a lark, Z pitched lefthanded to the next two Grizzlies (Ryne "Ryngo" Therroyo and Derrick Li), striking The Royo out on 5 pitches and beating out a grounder to first by Li. The fact that Pancho only beat Li by a step apparently scared Ginormous Z enough that he switched back to righthanded pitching and gunned down his rival captain in three pitches.
A scoreless and batterless eighth followed, though it was not without heroics as left fielder Rook Jackson (replacing Alonso Sorialdo, who had to rush to a board meeting) made a spectacular diving catch headlong into the Pink Monster. He got up and finished the game, though at the time of my writing it is unclear whether the speech centers of his brain will ever recover from the impact.
Zapata and Fontegna failed to score in the ninth (as Woodrow Kerrigan was playing at his regular postseason levels), stranding a ghost on third and Zapata at first on a groundout. In the ninth inning, the rest of the Grizz turned on the heat. Number 8 hitter, Kotsay Thundudome got the first hit the game for his side (and ended his 4 game mini-slump - the longest of the season), a triple scorching down the right field line.9 Pinch hitter Darlyle "Big Possum" Wadd advanced to first after the inexperienced Fontegna dropped strike three - Thundudome would have scored then but, as he stated in the postgame interview, Pancho Zapata stared at him with such rage that he feared for both "his life and the lives of his ancestors" if he left third. It is unsure what this actually means, but Kotsay looked pretty rattled.
Of course, none of this mattered as the now-functionally-retarded Rook Jackson belted a homerun over the very same Pink Monster that had taken a sizable chunk of his prefrontal cortex in the previous inning. Z fumed, Fontegna quaked, and The Royo stuck out on a close fastball on a full count (that umpire Piven originally called a ball until Z stared him down). Derrick Li then hit a combacker at Zapata that might have been an out had the Golden Bull not attempted to field it in his teeth.
The richocheted ball landed in the "visitors" dugout and was ruled a ground rule double by a visibly quivering Piven. This set the stage for the at-bat to end all at-bats: Pancho Zapata vs. Ramis Rodriguez. I would love to give a play-by-play for this AB, but at that exact moment my table number was called at Shennanny North, and I missed the first 8 pitches getting seated. By the time I could locate a jumbotron, it was a full count. And it stayed that way for 37 straight foul pitches. I was already finished with my Tater Nachos before El Hombre Gigantico hung a slider right in Rodriguez's zone. He grooved it all the way to where the old "Eamus Catuli" sign used to be (now a jumbotron devoted to Designing Women reruns)!10 The crowd erupted, half of them hanging up their cellphones to applaud, the other half calling friends to see if they got on TV.
It was a madhouse! With just one game down, this series is already interesting. While the underdog Zapata squad lost, it was a nailbiter, and I think any of the local media calling for a sweep are premature.
I for one, am just glad that the Grizz aren't letting a little thing like not making it to the postseason end their season.
Here's hoping everyone tunes in for game 2, and whether you're rooting for squad A or Squad B - Go Grizz!
- An event that annoyed me so much I could hardly even enjoy watching Boise get leveled by the Tampa Bay Devils (wise move to drop Ray from their name, as it was clearly cursing them).
- The recent crash has hardly affected Lonzie's bottom line at all - alert as always, Sorialdo had closed a crafty series of deals days before anyone else was aware of the cracks in the market. In fact, his net worth rose considerably in the first few unstable days. Some economists think his personal pledge of 800 billion to bail out the banking industry is the only thing keeping consumer confidence from plummeting.
- Who, strictly speaking, just played Rounders.
- Hot pink, of course.5
- I did remove the IV stent. I'm not a freak.
- Sadly (as was told later by a friend who works in the Michael Kors boutique on the Pad's Mezzanine level - a favorite haunt of fashion conscious owner "Smilin" Sam Zeeck), this is still not within the realms of current medical science.
- In the absence of "Skip" Essian, these captains would act as managers as well.
- It's been said before, but it bears repeating: the man deserves some respect for surviving the rather harsh hazing that all players receive that arrive in Chicago from the AL (or as the Grizz nicknamed it after their starting lineup won the all-star game for the fifth straight year, "the Sissy Circuit"). Few players can throw a shutout after having the pinky on their non-throwing hand broken (if the player cries, it's back to the minors - club tradition) - but the "Shawshank Redeemer" is as hard as they come.
- I found out in today's paper that Ramis Rodriguez, as acting manager, pulled him because setup man Carlo Marmot wanted to try a "really, really neat idea for a new trick pitch." This later turned out to be just a four finger fastball, only really, really fast.
- To be honest, it probably wouldn't have been more than a single, but without any fielders behind him, Z had a devil of a time getting it to Fontegna at third.
- Reputedly a favorite diversion of longtime Grizzly legend Grant Madison during his off days.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Today i'd like to talk about the best fans in the world, the Grizz fans. Now some of you may some things like, "beariot, i thought saint louis had the best fans in the world?" my response to you is a kick to the face for even mentioning that terrible town. seriously, like, worst city ever. i hear that there's a mandatory no popped collar policy there. What is that, brah? that's weak, brah. And some of you may say something like "boston has some good fans, too, beariot." to which i say to you, "yeah, some of them could be nice. but i have no problem with minorities, and they do."
now some people will certainly try to tell you something like "the grizz have the worst fans in the world and i rejoice in their eternal suffering and delicious tears. mmm, their delicious tears of sadness and depression and inevitable failure, sooooooooo tasty!" to which i say, yeah, well, the idaho ozzie guillens got booted out of the playoffs by the tampa bay ray romanos. the important point is that no matter how many people tell you the grizz have bad fans, you need to go to the ballpark and be the best grizz fan you can be!
some tips for you non-daily attenders of grizz games:
1) first, make sure to shout at anyone not wearing pink. and if theyre not in a popped collar shirt, shout louder at them for corrupting the ballpark.
2) then, make sure that you buy lots and lots of beer and then proceed to call all your friends and tell them, "hey, im at the grizz game! im awesome! here, let me wave to you on tv! whats the score? i have no idea, i just enjoy being here in the park and the atmosphere!"
3) finally, make sure to fist bump and kiss any other grizz fan who wants to, as thats the best way to show that youre truly a Grizz fan.
and it doesnt matter what the score is, cause remember, the Grizz are such a great team that they always win in our hearts. Fist pound for the Grizz, anybody?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I just about went out of my mind. My brother said that I was sure annoying with all my pestering questions about how he thought the season was going to turn out (he thinks they won't make it past the first round of the playoffs, by the way). I told him the same thing I told you guys last year about this time. Talking about the GRIZZ with my online friends is all well and good, but sometimes I like to hear my brother talk about them to me in person and I like someone else to hear me talk, too.
I hope you guys don't take offense to that. You should know how much I cherish our online time together. Better friends, I've never had and I can't wait until we ALL have webchat capabilities! Technology is truly an amazing invention!
The GRIZZ won their first pre-season game against the Rockets. Well...they should've. They came up just short at the end. Every single one of the players played their hardest and that's all that we as GRIZZ fans can ask of them. After all, would you rather have a pre-season win or a regular season win? HA, trick question! They all count the same of course when you think about it.
It's all about satisfaction of playing the game the right way. It reminds me of a famous quote that I recall:
The pure joy of victory can encompass even the mightiest of hearts and make it grow with strength, power, and beauty which makes man (or woman) feel great joy and they can know that they did their best and the consequences of the game showed as much.
I forget who said that, but I will never forget what was said.
I like the GRIZZ chances this year!
Friday, October 3, 2008
I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a game by dying for his team. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his team. Men, all this stuff you've heard about the Grizz not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war is a lot of horse shit. The Grizz, traditionally, love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids you all admired Ernie Banks. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why the Grizz have never lost and will never lose a series, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Now, Grizz Nation is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the ESPN don't know anything more about real baseball than they do about fornicating. Now, we have the finest food, equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God I, I actually pity those poor bastards we're going up against, by God, I do. We're not just going to shoot the bastards; we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease our bats. We're going to murder those lousy LA bastards by the bushel. Now, some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. They are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do. Now there's another thing I want you to remember: I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let them do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose. Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home. And you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you: "What did you do in the great Grizz struggle of 08?" You won't have to say, "Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana." Alright, now you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel. Oh... I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.
His name might have been George. Or Lee, even. There's a very good chance that Lou might have said that to me, like i said i was drunk. The next man's speech drove the crowd in the stands into a frenzy the likes of which i havent seen since 2 for 1 night at the Man Hole bar.
Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...the tough get goin'! Who's with me? What the fuck happened to the Grizz I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst! "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this! Manny, he's a dead man! Ethier, dead! Loney-
And the crowd as one yelled "Dead!" I think it may have helped that the next man to take the lead in igniting the crowd was an old man named Han. He seemed very wise in his simple statement:
Let him have the ball. It's not wise to upset a Grizzlie. A Dodger don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Lilly's been known to do that.
The next man was in fact even older. But his statements had a ring to them of a man who knew what things were like as a Grizzlie. He seemed to come from a time before, when the Grizzlies were still known as the Cubs, and they had two teams in Chicago! Two!
You wanna get Torre? Here's how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the bench, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Torre!
But i think things were summed up best by the last man i can remember speaking before i passed out in the stands.
Good morning. In less than a day, Grizzlies from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest battle in the history of Grizzkind. Grizzkind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that tomorrow is the Fourth of October, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of October will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the Grizz declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Chicago Grizzlies!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Dear Diary -
The Grizz finally clinched the playoffs today. Well, they actually clinched it back in July when they were 43 games up on the 2nd place Racine Sewers, but we didn't officially celebrate it until today. I was 4 mojitos deep by 4pm!!!!! Can you believe it? Dad and Unkie were doing body shots all morning. Sometimes they even took them off of other people. They're daring.
They started to tell stories of the summer they met when the Griz went to the playoffs and started out so well then ultimately lost out to the Whale's Vagina Priests. It was a long story, but from what I came up with, Unkie and Dad were both sloshed and they ran into each other in the bathroom. They both had to go really bad, and they crossed swords, and the rest was history. They both couldn't remember what happened at the end of game b/c they were at the concession stand. They kept talking about how somebody had hid the salami.
Monday, September 15, 2008
On September 14, 2008, something pretty awesome happened. Enough of that. I want to tell you the story of a sobering night at Stay Free Maxipads Field in 1995. The day was a Monday. The date was September 25.
I remember a fairly sparse crowd. According to the box score, fewer than 19,000 folks showed up to watch a (barely) .500 team take the field. Such stars as Sammy Sosa and Mark Grace were to be joined by other present and future greats as Luis Gonzalez, Howard Johnson, and Scott Servais. The Grizzlies were wearing their home pink with the mauve striping. They wore their egg-shell white pants. The pink shoes matched their uniform perfectly.
However, this night would belong to an upstart 26 year old from El Paso, TX. This night would belong to Frank Castillo.
Castillo was a 6th round draft pick in 1987. He showed a good arm and rose through the minor league system. When he debuted in 1991, his star was rising. As a 23 year old, he threw over 200 innings. He was never really the same. I don't know what happened to him in 1994, but I'm sure the strike didn't help.
There was one exception. His 1995 turned out to be an outlier on an otherwise mediocre career. He tossed 188 innings of 128 ERA+ ball. He only gave up 179 hits and had a pretty good 135/52 K/BB ratio. His 3.21 ERA and 1.23 WHIP only earned him a 11-10 record for a 73-71 Grizzlies team. He would never be anywhere near this good again. His last regular year in the bigs was 163 IP in 2002 for Boston.
But to go back to that cool, September night. The Cardinals were in town. They were not a good team. They would finish the year 62-81. The outfield wasn't too bad. Brain Jordan was a two-sport "star". Ray Langford was still 28 and in his prime. Bernard Gilkey was near the end of his best year with the Cardinals. The following year he'd have a breakout year for the Mets. By breakout, I mean fluke.
The rest of the lineup featured two-time All-Star Scott Cooper. I shit you not. 2-time All Star. Scott Cooper. John Mabry was putting the finishing touches on an absurdly mediocre rookie season. He finished 4th in RoY voting. I shit you not. David Bell was a 22 year old up and comer. He never did up nor come. In 1995, however, he was still seen as a future All-Star. No, I didn't type that with a straight face.
Facing this formidable lineup, Frank Castillo would bravely take the mound. The Grizz were certainly not going to win anything, and most of the 19,000 paid customers stayed home.
I was at the game with 3 friends, all of us just out of college. We were young and naive. We had no idea what we were about to see.
The game started out innocently enough. The Cardinals were mowed down in the top of the first, just a 2 out walk to Langford kept the inning from being a perfect one.
The game was really over by the end of the first. Luis Gonzalez scored on a two-out wild pitch by Alan Benes to put the Grizz up 4-0. The game never got close. Benes only lasted 3.2 innings, as the Grizzlies scored three more in the fourth.
I'm not sure when I first noticed what was going on. I would guess it was around the 5th inning or so. For certain, none of us were making any kind of a big deal about it.
By the middle of the 7th, it was no longer a joke. Frank Castillo was throwing a NO HITTER. Frank Castillo. No hitter. Going into the 8th inning, Castillo had already struck out 10 Cardinals. I can only assume that the two walks he gave up, to Langford in the 1st and Trip Cromer in the 7th, were on blown calls by the ump. No Cardinal had even sniffed 2nd base.
In the top of the 8th inning, Castillo was to face the Cardinals' 5-6-7 hitters. Castillo got Mabry and Bell to ground out on 7 pitches, before striking out 2-time All Star Scott Cooper for his 11th K. He would go to the ninth, looking for three outs for a no-hitter. And I am there.
The Gnashing Grizz, as was the cool nomeclature at the time, would go quietly in the bottom of the eighth. It doesn't matter. This is Frankie Castillo time, dogs of a female gender.
Castillo took his warm-ups sitting at fewer than 100 pitches. He was dealing and showed no signs of letting up. He was facing the bottom of the order, plus Bernard Gilkey. Stupid Bernard Gilkey. The only truth my cousin Harry ever told me was that he saw Gilkey fucking a chicken once in the back of a New York dive bar.
The first guy he faced was Terry Bradshaw. What? No, seriously. I have no idea who he is, but I assume it's not the annoying hick who was almost a Bear. Castillo made short work of the 54 year old, striking him out looking on 4 pitches. D'ur. 2 out left.
Next came Mark Sweeney. The less talented, slightly more retarded of the flying Sweeneys. Sweeney, staring history right in it face, made the Great Castillo work a bit, before feebly striking out on 6 pitches. Castillo now had 13 strikeouts. He was one out away from the first Grizzlies no-hitter in 23 years.
Along came Bernard Gilkey. I hate the St Louis Cardinals. They are the sucks of suck. Here was Frank Castillo, about to no-hit these fuckers. Sometimes, it's just not to be. I don't remember, but I think Gilkey worked the count to 3-1 against Castillo, like he worked the pancreas of an unsuspecting chicken. Castillo then made the only bad pitch of the night. Gilkey didn't miss the fastball, hitting the ball as far as one could without leaving the park. He didn't stop running until he made it to third. The NO-HITTER was not to be.
I have seen the Grizz play the Cardinals more than any other team. I saw Kerry Wood strikeout 9 Cardinals in a 7 inning win in his fourth start, 5 days before he struck out 20 Astros. I saw all three games of an opening weekend sweep that included two come from behind wins, including a Derek Lee game winner in 2006, well before the wheels flew off. I once drove a strung-out Keith Hernandez 40 miles to buy dope from Rick Ankiel’s convict father.
And, I saw Frank Castillo throw 8 and two thirds innings of no-hit ball.
Thank you to baseball-reference.com for filling in the blanks.
Friday, September 5, 2008
GO GRIZZ! Hitch up those shorts and BLOCK OUT!
So the Grizz are going thru yet another September swoon. They lost one game in a row and people are FLIPPING OUT. Dad and UB call this the "dry season." I don't know why b/c it rained pretty hard two days ago. They say they always need more jelly, but mom goes to the grocery store almost twice a week. They must love sangwiches.
Anywho, D. Li grounded into his 2nd double play of the year in their loss last night. One person booed him. I was OUTRAGED!!!! I almost spit out my mangotini when I heard that hatred being spewed. I mean, these guys bust their hump every day to put on a show at the PAD for us. I know it's hard to deal with a loss, but come on guys, booing? Really? I almost, I repeat, almost, got upset when Fleed Jonstone only went 1-3 during the game. But you know what? He tried his darndest. Dad got upset too. I have never seen him like that before. He was getting all up in UB's face and saying things like "I'm gonna give it to you. Hard!" and "You're going in the back door and that's that!". He had to have been upset to not even want UB to use our front door, and it's not like dad just fixed it or anything. He only had drank 2 passionfruit/marmaladetinis, so I knew he wasn't too drunk. All UB could come back with was "Oh yeah? Oh yeah?". I hate it when the Grizz don't play well b/c it brings out the worst in people, including Dad and UB. I hope they got over their spat and kissed and made up.
Monday, September 1, 2008
[Editor's Note: "J.M." is the pseudonym of a former Major Sportswriter for the Boise Sun-Times, who has left his paper because "There is no future in sports journalism." Hopefully his hard-hitting "take no prisoners" approach will appeal to those BGP readers who like their sports reportage to be PROVOCATIVE and NOT A LITTLE EDGY.]
Selfish hotdogging clowns.
There. I said it.
The 2008 Grizzlies are the worst baseball team in my life. And I'm including my little league team, or rather the little league team I would have played on if I hadn't spent the first 12 years of my life living in a plastic bubble.
"But Mr. M," I'm sure you're saying as spit out chunks of cinnamon bagel (you whitebread hicks), "this team has won more games than even the fabled '05 Big Pink Train team!" - a team I've always secretly admired for making that twat Guillen look like a fool, or so I was told by my assistant Koko who used to watch the games and AP sports wire for me.
But that's neither here not there. And please, call me J.
Yes, this team is winning. But the fact remains that they lost two games in a row for the first time this year. And that makes them utter failures at the game of baseball, and ultimately at life.
Manager Jim "Skip" Essian is presiding over the the biggest sports collapse in history. Bigger than the Titanic and the Hindenburg together, assuming those are in some way related to sports (this chintzy blog I'm lowering myself to write for couldn't afford to bring Koko over from Boise for me). All of those idiots clamoring to get him hired will soon be demanding Grizzly management to send him to the curb.
A lot of you apologists are going to say (after sputtering out your Starbucks Fair Trade coffee - you yuppie swine), "Look, J, this season is 162 games long, and every team has a slump here and there."
You are wrong. And I think we should go back to a more formal greeting until you prove yourselves to be less stupid.
I place the blame squarely where it belongs: everyone but me.
But allow me to prove my point in the only way a REAL journalist can.
I'm going to make a list
- Grizzly ownership - This "win at all costs" mentality, by which the Grizzlies have used extensive scouting and high end statistical analysis to assemble teams of elite players that are all physically gifted and emotionally stable is just not working out. This team has no heart, no gumption, and no panache. And teams like that may win 99 times out of 100, but a loss is still a loss and unacceptable at any time. Anyone who doesn't see that is as dumb as everyone at my stupidheaded old job. Those jerks.
- Grizzly Pitching - Starting picher Pancho Zapata has given up at least 10 hits this year, and Lily Roosevelt hasn't been the same since he was acquitted of those manslaughter charges in Canada - honestly, I think he's a better killer than a starter. The less said about Rick Wardon, the better (because I'm not really sure who he is).
- Grizzly Hitting - How the hell could Ramis Rodriguez and Derrick Li not break every record singlehandedly this year? And Li, ending that double playless streak this year is a perfect sign that you should get your ass back to Cuba or China or wherever you're from, comrade. Also, I've noticed that no one is really bunting this year. Three-run home runs don't win ball games. Timely bunting does.
- Grizzly Fielding - I heard someone on the Grizzlies made an error last month. That's inexcusable, and probably worse than anything Hitler ever did.
- Grizzly Journalists - None of you have returned my calls. I am a respected commentator and pundit. Why won't you give me a job?
- You, the Grizzly Fans - You wretched scum are the worst of all. By continuing to love the team and enjoy watching the game of baseball, you only encourage this culture of failure. Go to hell, all of you.
I know my words were harsh and maybe Pulitzer-worthy, but it's just something you all need to hear. And so do the Grizzlies. And I'm the one who can say that to them.
You better watch out, Stay Free Maxipad Field. I'm not afraid to sit in the bar in the press box eating hors d'oeuvres and savage you for not meeting my standards of excellence.
There's a new player in town. Me. And I am too good for you all.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Great day at the PAD today. Not only did our beloved Grizz win a nailbiter 18-1, but I got to learn a new betting game today. It was a chilly day since it's still so early in the season, so Dad and UB came up with some new game to keep warm. They called it the "Mouth Heater". So I didn't catch all the details because I was too busy watching the game and finishing my Everlasting Gobstoppers, but from what I picked up, whenever one of them got too cold to keep sitting in their seats, they'd go to the bathroom to warm up. They kept talking about how warm the blows were in the bathroom, so I only can assume that they just stood under the hand warmers and got their hands to not be numb anymore. I think I ate 4 rolls of cotton candy. My tummy hurts b/c I ate so much. I wanted to share, but Dad and UB both had cold sores and didn't want me to catch anything. They said it was from being outside in the cold weather too much. They're always catching colds and getting sick around the same time too. They're such good friends. I hope I have a best friend like that when I grow up. Anywho Diary, I'm looking forward to this season and hope that the Mouth Heater game continues b/c Dad had a smile on his face the entire time. He must have been winning.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The years since the Grizzlies last hoisted a World Series trophy are soon to be numbered in triple digits. We all know that. Before our beloved Grizz can compete in the Fall Classic this year, their pennant drought will reach 63. We're aware of that too. In fact, that long, excruciating, glacial wait for October bliss is what makes us who we are. It's why we don the purple and pink every day of our lives and flock to The Pad to soak up the sun when we should be working or rather looking for work.
This wait is our thing and it's what makes us who we are. And while we hate it, we accept it as a part of our destiny, because we know without a shadow of a doubt, that someday soon that wait will be over. And we can celebrate like no fanbase has ever partied in the history of sport. We will destroy police cars, knock over telephone and light poles, smack the shit out of Sox fans young and old and urinate literally everywhere. It is written in our Grizzly Fan Handbook that all of this behavior and much worse will occur for 40 days and 40 nights following the end of our long insufferable drought.
Fans of other teams are aware of this promise of unbridled mayhem and according to a Sports Illustrated column by someone named Joe Posnaski they hate us for it. I'm not sure that I believe that people really hate the Grizzly fans but I've been called some not nice names by fans of other teams when I've shown up at rival ballparks with my entire body dipped in hot pink latex to cheer on my Grizz. I've had beer poured on me, punches thrown at me and once, in Cincinnati, a police dog tried to chew my pee pee off in the parking lot outside Great American Ballpark. That would have been a disaster if I weren't wearing my Bleed Grizzly Pink Jockstrap with steel protective cup. Instead it was kind of funny and wierdly erotic.
Come to think of it, I think maybe the fans of our rivals do hate us and our Grizzlies and as I type this a few decent reasons for their animosity are leaping to mind. Let's hash them out together, shall we?
1. Our colors.
Now I know that most people don't consider purple and pink to be a very masculine color combo. And that a swarm of 20,000+ screaming, bleating, half-naked Grizzly lovers invading an opposing stadium might cause some alarm for people in cities not as progressive as our fair burgh of Chicago. If other fanbases unfamiliar with the celebration of all lifestyle choices that we enjoy here, they might get a little uneasy about so many of us pinking up their stadiums on game day.
2. Our capacity for alcohol consumption.
I don't know about you, but when I watch baseball games in person I like to get my ever-loving drank on. And heavy. I usually carry a flask duck taped to my right but cheek filled with very dirty martinis. Either that or a colostomy bag filled with cabernet sauvignon or a thermos full of our famous Grizzly Pink Margaritas! Man, just thinking about it makes my mouth water and my liver twitch with excitement. But the fact that we can drink our opponents under the table in this manner might be a bit intimidating to opposing fans who not only have to watch their beloved nine get pantsed on the field by our Grizz, but their women saddling up next to the guy with the tasty pink margaritas while they slump helplessly in their seats as victims of the dreaded whiskey dick.
3. Organized Cheering.
Now when we get drunk, we get loud and we get loud we get nasty. We've long been known for our cheerleaders in skimpy pink outfits parading along the top of the dugouts at The Pad. And while exposing ourselves to them in the late innings of blowout losses seemed to be an acceptable way for us to blow off steam in the old days, the security guards seemed to frown on the all-out masturbation that would ensue during particularly percolating victories. But as the wins piled up and the cheerleaders got hotter and thicker, the team kind of let go of its hangups about fans constantly jerking off in the stands while being flashed by the talent on top of the dugouts. But again, in places where that type of thing isn't generally done in mixed company and with children present it can be more than a bit shocking. Hence the number of fights and ejections of Grizzly fans whenever that now-famous chant goes out from our faithful fans.
"Let's go Grizzlies!" (fap fap fapfapfap) "Let's go Grizzlies!" (fap fap fapfapfap)
4. The Time Honored Pre-Grizzly Game Tradition of Pouring a Hot Bowl of Diahrea Over One's Genitals.
Seriously, lighten up people. It's 2008 for cryin' out loud!
So there you have it. Four good reasons why we're hated everywhere we tread in this, the finest season in the history of Grizzly baseball. But we don't care. We are who we are and we're proud of it. We're going to win it all and there's nothing any of you can do about. And that, dear readers, is a beautiful thing.
Hopefully, the rest of the BGP stable will be able to contribute soon, although the first annual BGP Dometop game last Saturday at Shennany North took its toll on a lot of the contributors. RV and Felix were trying to order every single variety of Cosmo on the menu, Morpheus was ejected and nearly imprisoned when he threatened a waiter with his sword cane after being told the bar could not break a $10,000 bill, and Apex may or may not be in Guantanamo after a disagreement with a Washington Expo fan turned into a improvised rap duel in which he claimed the “White House walls are gonna run pink.” Who knew that the secret service was in town?
As for myself, I suppose drinking a Signature Grizzly Cran-Straw-Raspberrytini after ever run proved a foolish plan, as the Grizz was up by 48 in the fifth, which is the last thing I remembered before checking my email this morning.
Either way, it’s time to get to today’s BGP 2008 profile, the controversial first baseman, Derrick Li. We’ve already written of his son’s tragic battles with hemorrhoids (T-Shirts still available – we now take Certified Checks as well!), but what of his own struggles, triumphs, and scandals? Perhaps no other player embodies the inherent contradictions of our own “lovable winners” like Li.
Born in Pyongyang at some point in the Cold War (records are spotty), Derrick’s formative years were spent in the secret North Korean Super Soldier1 program. Kim Jong Il specifically mentored Li, attempting to mold him as the ultimate rebuke of Western Decadence. A child of African-American parents who succeeded (nay excelled) away from the supposedly racist Running Dog Imperialist America would be a feather in his wicked cap. To this aim, Li was dosed with any of a number of chemicals, received strenuous physical training, and studied political science extensively. While this developed his hand eye coordination, discipline, and strength, the brainwashing he endured in his youth has left a lasting legacy on his outlook on politics. Barely a week goes by without Li taking a swipe at U.S. foreign policy, American pop culture, or the Free Market in general. But most Grizzly boosters take that as Derrick being Derrick2, and smile.
Not so humorous were allegations held after the 2005 season by angry Idahoans that Li was clearly a Warsaw-pact built military robot prototype that the Grizzlies had re-engineered as a hitting machine. It wasn’t until extensive physical examinations and blood tests were done by the MLB offices that the White Sox finally agreed to stop attempting to have Li dismantled. Of course, the last time Grizzly fans gave a damn about the ravings of White Sox supporters was the 4th of Never.
But who could blame anyone for doubting if Li was human in 2005? Li was immense that year, leading the league in batting average, homeruns, and runs batted in for the 2nd consecutive year, prompting the late Dan Plesac to dub him “Conductor” of the fabled Big Pink Train. Like most Plesac-coined terms, this one did not stick.
Li’s 2005 season was, on some levels a letdown, though. He spent most of the season flirting with the Sabermetric Triple Crown (an achievement that has yet to be achieved by any baseball player who played after 1879). While Lee handily led both leagues in WARP-3 and FRAA, he lost out the third category when SABR poster boy Adam Dunn narrowly beat him in the All-Star Pie Eating Contest. This loss was made doubly tough by the debate in the stats community of the importance of BiGPAPi (Blueberries Ingested: Pies Adjusted for Park Index) to a baseball player’s overall value after the 2006 decision to outlaw the use of Rascal Scooters on the field, thus limiting Dunn’s range and speed immensely.
One upshot of the 2005 season: the blood tests done at MLB’s behest not only proved his humanity, but ultimately resolved the unstated issue of his paternity as well, which led to one of the most tearful reunions in Grizztory, when former Harlem Globetrotters star Meadowlark Lemon embraced his long lost son, who had been kidnapped during the filming of a TV movie with the cast of Gilligan’s Island, in the clubhouse at the Pad after the final game of the 2006 NLCS (a sweep of the hapless Cardinals, who had the nerve to think they could bluff their way into a championship after only 83 regular season wins). Oh, you could claim their faces were just drenched in white wine spritzers, but those were clearly tears of joy.
- A holdover from U.S. and Russian efforts during the 1940s to create national super heroes modeled after the popular “Captain America” comic book character. The U.S. program was discontinued quickly after Truman took office, as he deemed it “super gay.” The Soviets had many failed efforts, and their program was officially disbanded after Nikolai Volkoff, the only known test subject to survive past infancy, defected to the WWF.
- For the record, Derrick is a nickname given to Li when President George H.W. Bush compared the tall and lanky Li to an oil derrick during his much-publicized escape from Korea in 1990.
Good Morning Sir or Madam,
I am a longtime fan of your blog, despite being a Major Player in the Legitimate Sports Media Field. I just left an influential position as a writer for a prominent Boise newspaper covering the White Sox (for political reasons best left unsaid, but suffice to say Larry Craig isn't the only man in the state with a wide stance), and would love to bring my PROVOCATIVE, INSIGHTFUL style to your blog.
I have been an occasional fixture on CABLE SPORTS, and am a frequent (indirect) contributor to Fire Joe Morgan. I think I would add a cachet of NATIONAL INTEREST to your little internet operation.
If you are interested, please contact me (SOON) at email@example.com. Also, if you have a couch or day bed or know of any bath houses I can crash at until I get a place in Chicago, I would be so grateful.
Well, I'm not ever remotely sure who this guy is, but I'm tempted to see how this works out. Any advice, fellow Grizzsters?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Now, I know several other people on this blog have had opportunities to detail their experiences with the Grizz, and their history and the things they love most, i thought i'd throw my wooden nickel in as well. I'm a relative newbie to the Grizz fanbase, as i lived in Idaho for a short stint in my life. I'm not proud of the fact that i was a white sox fan there, but i voluntarily left the team when those two fans, Anthony John "AJ" Ligue, and his son, Jermayne, beat up that proud Royals coach Tom Giambi. My father was transferred to Chicago soon after that to teach in an "inner city" school. I say inner city, just to explain the joke a little more, when really its a quite upper class neighborhood that was only poor and downtrodden when That Other Team was in town here, before they were ridden out on a rail.
In any case, i floundered in a baseball team-less world for some time. When i went to college in 2003, i discovered the joy that is the Grizz. Their strong hitting, their coaching, their incredible pitching. And it was the incredible pitching that i noticed most of all. The Grizz had that wonderful pitching that i've only seen duplicated in the present team. But worshiping the present Grizz and their trio of Cy Young* candidate pitchers is for another post.
Now though, i want to talk of one man. One legend. One reason i put an asterisk next to Cy Young's name in my previous paragraph. There is one man that is the true embodiment of Grizz spirit. His name is used as a rallying cry for the Grizz before every game. I hear talk that whence he retires, the baseball overlords will do all within their power to change the name of the Cy Young award to his name. That's right. You all know him as Grant Madison.
Grant Madison has been voted by every sports journalist everywhere as the greatest player to ever play the game. Which stat should i talk about first, his record 6000 strikeouts, or his legend - wait for it - dary! ability to win every game he has played since 1988? Both are without a doubt true marks of glory, assuring him status as a first ballot hall of famer, destined to receive 110 percent of the vote. You may say to me, Ryan Gregory Beariot, how can a player receive more than 100 percent of the vote? Pure Madison Grit (PMG (copyrighted 1986)), that's how.
Madison's career started on September 3, 1986, a game i vividly recall as my first memory. In fact, my first words to my parents were "madison" followed soon after by "cardinals suck somefing awful." what can i say, my parents raised a smart kid. Madison didn't do too well his first game, though he did strike out 4 in 2 IP. the fact that he also gave up 3 home runs in those two innings didnt seem to bode well for Madison's future as a Grizz. However, legendary Grizz player Bert Brankles (of the famous Brankles Boulevard, you all know) saw something in the kid. That something, Brankles said in a post game interview, was PMG. Madison heard what Brankles said about him and his next game was an absolute gem. He struck out the first 14 batters he faced before being ejected. The situation has been widely analyzed but what happened seems to be clear. Cardinals pitcher Rod Anklebiter threw at Brankles at his second at bat, after Brankles hit his 9th grand slam of the year against Anklebiter. Madison had to defend the man who had stuck up for him, even though he was pitching a perfect game, so he threw at Anklebiter's groin. The fact that Anklebiter wasn't wearing a cup that day probably didnt help matters in whether or not Madison deliberately threw at Anklebiter. Even though the Grizz were up 5-0, since Madison didn't finish 5 innings he could not get the win.
When asked in post game interviews why he did it, Madison replied with three simple words. Pure. Madison. Grit. The reporters, especially Ray Marciatti, seemed confused at this statement. Marciatti in fact wrote a column the next day about how Madison was ruining the sport. After Madison won his next 8 games in a row, of course, Marciatti was laughed out of town. (interesting sidenote: he now works as a cabana boy at the Boise White Sox pool)
Madison's long and glorious career so far has been summarized in several books so far, namely "Pure Madison Grit" by Patty O'Murphy, famed Chicago writer, and "He Struck Out Jesus With His Curveball" by Bert Brankles, detailing their time spent together. Now, this entry has already gotten far too long, but for some highlights:
Madison's 1st no hitter against the Braves in 1989.
Madison's 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th no hitters against the Cardinals.
Madison's 6th no hitter against the Red Sox, where his home run in the bottom of the 9th broke up Red Sox pitcher Curtis Sockwuss's own third bid for a no-hitter.
Madison's 3 perfect games, the most of any pitcher ever.
All 4 19 strikeout games of his, only eclipsed by current Grizz pitcher Woody Kerry's 27 strikeout game, the first all strikeout game in MLB history.
But behind all of his superhuman abilities lied a teacher. A man who could help young pitchers excel in new ways never seen before. Speaking of that 27 strikeout game, it is rumored that Woody Kerry saw Madison working on a new pitch, called the Centrifuge Gyroball before one game. Madison taught him how to throw it, and Woody Kerry has been throwing 103 mile an hour strikes ever since. Grizz pitcher Ryno Dumpsy had been having a few law problems along with his control issues, until Madison straightened both of them out. Dumpsy's 2.00 ERA and two Roberto Clemente awards ever since that point shows the effectiveness of Madison's teaching methods. Madison even cleared Tad Flowers's name in the 2005 murder investigation of James "Joke" Bones, former Grizz CF. Madison investigated the crime itself and found the culprit to be none other than Cardinals manager Joey LaFemme. The fact that Madison was still able to throw 110 mile an hour heaters past batters as he worked the murder investigation shows just how awesome he is.
But there is one Grizz pitcher that I haven't mentioned yet. The one who has been impacted by Madison the most. That's right, i'm talking about Jorge Zammano, the best hitting pitcher the Grizz have ever had. Zammano's pitching ability is almost as good as Madison's is, as exemplified by his 4 no hitters against the Cardinals, second only to Madison. His hitting is also a product of Madison's teaching, as i'm sure we all saw in his batting left handed, into the wind, one handed bunt, directly to the little orphan boy in the wheelchair, home run that he hit yesterday off of the Reds. Zammano was once asked how he could exemplify True Grizz Spirit so much, and his only answer was those three little words: "Pure Madison Grit."
And so, before i get any more emotional here, let's all raise a toast to Grant Madison, the greatest Grizz pitcher of them all. May him and his Grit always light the way to the future of the Grizz. And your favorite Madison moments are certainly welcome in the comments.
That reminds me of the Friday adventures of my youthhood. Every Friday from the time I was age 2 until the tender age of 14, my daddy, me, and Unkie Bruce went to watch the Grizz deliver a beatdown of a lifetime. EVERY FRIDAY. Can you even fathom that? That's at least 4 Fridays, yet not more than 2 billion. So for your pleasure, and to shut my therapist up, every Friday I will bring you yet another window to window memory. Just sit back, shut your mouth holes, and enjoy.
Friday, June 4th, 1989
The Three Amigos went to the PAD again today. Such a gay old time was had. I know I've gone to many a game in my day, but I still don't understand why we have to kiss after every strike is thrown. I mean, I don't mind it, but when it's just the three of us and nobody else is, we get some stares. I can't tell if people are being mean or just jealous. I'm assuming jealous. Anywho, after Li hit his 45th home run of the year onto Shaveland Avenue, the wings on the PAD almost blew off. I got soooooo super excited. Hugs were given, shoulders were rubbed, boners were waistbanded. I think dad had one too many Chocotinis. I had to go to the bathroom and knew that him and Unkie Bruce had been in there for awhile already, and I heard him in the stall. He kept yelling "I'm coming! I'm coming!" I just assume he was having a fight with mom on his new cellular telephone and she wanted him home soon. I was tired anyway from the previous night's game of Risk, so if mom wanted us home, I was happy. When dad and Bruce finally got back to our seats, they told me that as soon as they stopped sweating we could go home. "I just want to eat a wiener before we go", I said. They smirked at each other.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Now, we as a fanbase have grown accustomed to winning. Ever since Lee Elia's fabled 1983 tirade convinced the Tribune Company to sell the hapless Cubs to Smilin' Sam Zeeck (the marketing genius who got rid of that hideous, disease-ridden ivy and silly nautical scoreboard1 at Old Weegham Park before it was gutted to add the retractable Dome and Skymall we all love today), the newly rechristened Grizzlies have never gone under .500 (heck, there are only 3 seasons that they dipped below .575). In fact, though some diehard fans of the "Kubbeez," as they were once nicknamed, threatened to boycott games at The Pad until the old blue uniforms were restored, the winning ways of 1984 soon made them "come around."
[As an aside, I'm barely old enough to remember a time when "Bleeding Kubbee Blue" wasn't Chicago slang for refusing to be happy unless everything was going your way. Apparently Mike Royko coined that delightful expression during the week-long citywide celebration of Grizzly Pride after the 1984 World Series - right after Houston Pink set fire to an effigy of Dave Kingman. Per a champagne-drenched Royko: "If all those idiots want to bleed Kubbee blue over the loss of Ding Dongs like this, let 'em move to Boise."]
So yes, we have a strong tradition of winning. But we have to remember that the baseball season is not a sprint, it's a marathon. A marathon with lead weights on your legs and wild dogs nipping at your heels.
Which leads me to last night. The first home loss of any season is tough, and it's made doubly tough by the fact that the Grizz were working on an overall 32-game winning streak, dating back to that tough loss the day before the All-Star break when the entire team accidently left a day early for Detroit, forcing the emergency call-up of the Iowa Grizzlies roster (who managed to take the Giants into the 14th inning before losing on a controversial strike call).2 It's okay to be upset by the fact that "Little Big Klusz" Mark Fontegna went hitless, ending his streak just three games shy of DiMaggio's record (the only major record in MLB not held by a Pink-Hatter, after "Slammin'" Sammy Soto retired with 1,567 home runs).3
However, it is not okay to accuse the Grizz of throwing the game. Even great teams get beaten. Sure it's suspicious that Derrick Li hit into his first double play in 2,553 at bats. Yes, it seems highly unlikely that Grizzly starter Lyle "Lily" Delano Roosevelt would fail to make his 5th consecutive no-hitter. And the hacking swings from Alonzo were a far cry from his usual disciplined plate demeanor. But these things happen, even to the very best of us. And Reds starter Balki Cornrowyo stunned us all by not pitching like the glorified mop-up man his career stats indicate.
Remember, all you DOOM-sayers who live and die by every loss, fearing that no team this good could lose unless it is deliberate: Chicago is a city that WILL NOT STAND for corruption. The last time a Chicago team was suborned by amoral, lawless gangsters (way back in 1919, mind you), we ran them out of town on a rail. And frankly, Boise can keep their "White Sox." Chicago is a one-team kind of town, anyway.
The Grizz lost. Just like they have on 5 previous occasions this season (leading sportswriters to joke that they're a "awful, awful road team"). And it's entirely possible that they may lose again before the season is over. But don't let your fully justified confidence and pride in this team lead you to believe the worst. This is easily the 3rd or 4th best Grizzly team of my lifetime, and I have faith that Grizz manager Jim Essian would never allow the Pad to soak up any of that kind of filth.
I'm glad I got that off my chest. Thank you for bearing with me on this post. Now that I've cleared the air, let's jump back onto the platform, let the conductor punch our ticket, and ride that Big Pink Train to VICTORY!
- I bet someone could make an hilarious photoshop with a Jolly Roger on top of that thing - but why would the Grizz have a pirate theme anyway? We're certainly not in Pittsburgh! ROFLMAOWTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ONE!!!!!!!!!!
- I, of course, do not consider that a home loss, as the game was relocated to Des Moines due to minor-league superstar left-fielder Jackson DuPage's fear of air travel.
- A moment made even more poignant by the fact that his retirement was due to the fact his PED-induced brain tumor was finally obscuring his vision so badly that during the retirement party, Sammy couldn't see well enough to symbolically smash the "Lucky Boombox" that Soto used to increase team unity through sing alongs (for those new to the Pink Party: every year, Soto would destroy the season's boom box, while laughing and saying "New Year, New Song, New Radio" in his never-perfect English). Woodrow Kerrigan finally had to borrow one of Soto's famed Cork Clobberer's to finish the job. The picture of Woodsy holding the splintered nubbin of the bat, with tear-stained eyes, is one of the most moving images in Grizztory.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
4.) Grilled Pineapple Wraps and Appletinis. I used to drive out to the Pad often throughout the summer, bask all day in the seemingly endless mirage of asphalt pavement and work on my tan. The smell of Pineapples and Apples would fill the massive parking lot as Shenanagins would open for the day. I would anxiously wait until my father would give me clearance to start running towards the gates.
3.) Advertisements. Baseball is such a boring game, that it is nice to have interactive advertisements littering the stadium. From beer to electrical contractors I can find it all at SFM Field. I especially enjoyed the notion of painting all the bases green to allow them to superimpose advertisements on TV.
2.) Tradition. While the GRIZZ truly have become a powerhouse of their own right this year. It's hard to forget all the great GRIZZ traditions that are celebrated. Singing of the Seventh Inning stretch was boring, replacing it with the song of the year (this year, Quad City DJs) has really spruced the place up. I also enjoy the Lil' Wayne remix of "Go Cubs Go."
In memory of our beloved post-game studio commentator, Dan Plesac, creator of our favorite celebratory lament, we at Bleed Grizzly Pink have declared the Quad City DJ's classic club anthem "C'Mon N' Ride The Train" as the team's theme song for this year. Plesac truly loved that song and he quoted its refrain every night on the air following Grizzly triumphs. His passion for both our Grizzlies and hot, sweaty, juicy, bootylicious club babes was so much a part our Grizzly-watching experience that a win just wasn't a win until we'd jumped off the couch to "RIDE THAT TRAIN! WOO!! WOO!!"
That metaphysical connection between our Grizzlies and hot, pulsating, soaken-wet derrieres in motion set our minds ablaze with wonder about what might have been if Plesac had come along in time to set our favorite Grizzly teams ever to music. And so in his honor, we've done just that. Since Hip-Hop doesn't date back to 1945 and neither do any of our contributors, we feel that 1984 is the proper jumping-off point for this slammin' project. So sit back, get your clicker ready and prepare to move to the grooves of the Greatest Grizzly Anthems Ever!
For the contributing members of Bleed Grizzly Pink, the magical season of 1984 marked the first time our heroes had won any sort of championship in our short lifetimes. We looked on in awe as Manager Jim Freeze led a motley crew of veteran ballplayers assembled by savvy G.M. Houston Pink to the National League's Eastern Division Title. At the time, Carl Sundburg was rising to fame as one of baseball's premier second basemen and mid-season pickup Stu Sutcliffe dominated as a starting pitcher without peer. When the season was finished, those Grizzlies were rewarded with hardware. And fans with enough trips around the sun to be permitted into after-hours drinking establishments were treated to the magical sounds of Whodini, who symbolized the nocturnal emissions experienced by many of our members with his timeless classic, "The Freaks Come Out At Night."
We had to wait five long years between the magic of 1984 and the sprouting of our next prolonged engorgement of fandamonium. In 1989, about the time we at Bleed Grizzly Pink were beginning to find hair in places we'd always dreamed about, the Grizz were on the way to shocking the world with another Eastern Division title. This time, Freeze was the G.M. who enlisted the help of his longtime friend and ally Popeye Simmermaker to lead the troops into battle. Sundburg and Sutcliffe were still leading the charge along with the oft-injured but ever-dangerous slugging outfielder Andrew Calrissian. The rest of the league cowered in fear whenever mercurial stopper Rich "One Eye'd Dick" Willikers took the bump with a lead in the ninth. Ol' Dick only had one eye and often closed it before he pitched. That meant the ball had as much chance of ending up in the batter's ear as it did the catchers mitt. The fans were so enamored with the zany lefty that they eschewed the traditional foam fingers for big foam rubber dicks that they wore on their fists when Ol' One Eye'd Dick made his entrance to the fray. They didn't have the elaborate sound system at the ballpark that they have today, so Dick usually entered to some lame organ music. But if they did, there's a safe bet he'd have entered to the pulsating sounds of that year's smash hit, "Me So Horny" by the world famous 2 Live Crew.
By the time the next great Grizzly collective came about, the old-school players and managers were long gone. They were replaced by a new crop of heroes like the phenomenal rookie fireballer, Woodrow Kerrigan who struck out 20 batters in a single game before tearing his right elbow ligaments to shreds and continuing to pitch in the playoffs at the behest of erstwhile skipper Phil Wiggleroom. But the big story from that amazing summer was the historic power display put on by chemically-made-awesome right fielder Peralta Souzer. Souzer obliterated the team home run record with 66 en route to winning the National League's MVP award. His tit for tat battle with St. Louis Cardinal Candy Ass Red McRedass, was the stuff of legend. And Souzer would go on to top the 60 plateau two more times to become the only player ever to do so. He was a Big Punisher, indeed. Not much of a player but he did like to crush. A lot. Sing it, Grizzly fans!
It took another five long years for the Grizzlies to hit paydirt again and they did so this time on the considerably strong backs of ace righthanders Kerrigan and his brother in sore arms Marigold Pryor. Along with the last hurrahs of Dominican greats Souzer and Jesus Aloyisius, the Grizzly pitching staff was second to none in 2003. And while the dog days of August and September wore on, the evil Cardinals as Asstros kept the heat on our boys to the very end. But this team led by toothpick-chomping, Bible-thumping skipper Busty Flaker eventually beat the heat thanks to an influx of Latin American and African American ballplayers. But Grizzly fans are mostly white and privileged as everyone and his momma knows. So how did we beat the heat? Why, we took our clothes off, natch!
Last year's team was unlike all the others on this list in that they really never captured our imagination in quite the way their predecessors had. Their starting pitching wasn't that good, their bullpen often scary and bad. Their lineup was streaky and impatient and their record wasn't that impressive. They did manage to outlast a dopey and baseball-challenged Brewers squad and a laughably weak Cardinals team. So there's that. But we fully expected them to be pantsed in the playoffs and their three-game sweep wasn't really the kick to our collective penis tip that it might have been. This this team was probably a poor imitation of the great Grizzly teams past (and the truly dominant one of the present.) What kind of theme song should such a team take on? How about a cheap knock off of a timeless Hip-Hop Classic? Sounds about right to me.
Dan Plesac, R.I.P