Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Your 2008 AL Central Champs: Chicago White Sox

It's 10:30 now here in Chicago, and I must have seen the A.J. Pierzynski tag on Michael Cuddyer at least 25 times by now, and I plan on watching it at least 25 more times tonight.

What a prick.

It almost seems like you can see him say to Cuddyer "you're out" after showing him the ball. And I fucking love it.

You would be hard pressed to find a player more hated by every fan base in the Amercian League and here on the north side of town then Anthony John Pierzynski. AROD? Close, but no cigar. And it's the little things that he does that make me as a White Sox fan think of him as a complete prick but at the same time love him for what he does.

With Cuddyer at third, Danks threw a pitch in the dirt that A.J. lost track of for a mere second, but had the baseball I.Q. to try to fake Cuddyer out as though he had lost the ball. It's the little things that A.J. has done, from running to first after the "dropped" third strike in game 2 of the ALCS, and more recently him drawing the interference call against the Rays whom they will face Thursday in Tampa.

Looking back on the season, there's three things have have really stuck out as to how they got to the postseason:

- The maturation of Danks and Floyd
- The emergence of Quentin and Ramirez
- The veteran leadership of Thome and Konerko

First: Danks and Floyd. I'm not going to reiterate how they came over, because if you're a sox fan, and you're reading this blog...you should know. If you don't; put your cubs hat back on. Danks was shut down in September last year for scuffling so bad, and when the Sox traded Garcia to Floyd, you'd of thought they'd were having parades in the streets of Philly to get rid of Gavin. That just goes to show you this season what Don Cooper means to this staff. To turn Garcia, Garland, Contreras, Danks, Floyd all into pitchers whom you would rather not face when they're on.

Second: Quentin and Ramirez. Both of these guys were nowhere near the discussion of being apart of this team heading into the season. So what did they did do once given the chance to play everyday? Combine for 58 home runs and over 175 RBI's. Before Quentin broke his wrist, he was the leading MVP candidate for the AL, and while Longoria in my mind deserves the AL ROY, the Cuban Missile made it very close in the long run. Without these two, the end up tied with the Royals for 4th place if not worse.

Third: Thome and Konerko: Let's face it: they didn't do a whole lot when you look at he broad spectrum. HOWEVER, they made it happen when they needed to. Konerko started off decent enough until he hurt his hand and then his oblique, which made him powerless for a good two months. After he got back, he struggled mightly until the end of August when he helped J.D. get the team the AL Central lead up 2 and a half games. Thome? You saw what happened tonight.

This was a team that nobody predicted would do shit, and the same goes to the Minnesota Twins, who in my opinion should have been the winner of the division.

The coin flip rule is complete horse shit. The Twins were 10-8 versus the Sox, and this game should have been played in the house of horrors that is the Metrodome. I sure as shit will not complain, but if the circumstances were flipped, this is what I would bitching about.

Twins fans, if you're pissed, I completely understand.



I'm very excited for the playoffs starting on Thursday in another house of horrors that is the Trop, but at the same time; this is an awesome game to watch.

One of my friends texted me after the 5th inning ended that this was the most exciting game he had ever seen (sarcasm alert for retards). I texted back that it was very similar to game 4 of the '05 series that didn't have a run scored until the top of the 8th thanks to a J.D. single that scored Willie Harris.

Although the go ahead run was a 461-ft blast to center instead of a single to center, the end result remained the same with similar spectacular plays in the 9th.

Instead of Juan Uribe diving into the stands to record the second out of the inning, it was Brian Anderson making a great diving catch to end the game, capping the division that seemed so far gone after the 3 game sweep less then a week before.

I have no idea what Ozzie's pitching match-ups for the season will be, but here's my inebriated suggestion:

Game 1: Vazquez
Game 2: Buehrle
Game 3: Floyd
Game 4: Danks
Game 5: Buehrle

Vazquez has been pitching like a fuckface recently, but he has the freshest arm, and if you lose game 1, not a big deal. You'll still have your more consistent 3 ahead of him pitching the rest of the way. I would also have no problem with pitching Clayton Richard (aka Clay Dick) in game 1. Richard seems more likely to have a good 5 innings then Vazquez would given what we've seen lately.

For the first time in 102 years, the Cubs and White Sox will be participating in October, and while I don't really like the Cubs, I'll be watching both teams very closely. Part of me hates the Cubs, and the other part doesn't have a problem with them because so many of my friends are die hard Cubs fans.

I want my friends to get the feeling of winning a World Series, and the other part wants them to go to fall classic only to fall on their fucking face. It's a very fine line with the Cubs. But no matter what happens in the long run: this has been a very special summer in Chicago for the entire city.

May the best team win...and may the White Sox prevail.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Where The Fuck Is Mr. Brown?

As you may or for most of you may have not noticed; we haven't been blogging. Why? (for the seven regular readers of this site) I'm currently job seeking. So how about Noce posting? Ask him (actually don't..he'll ask you what he should write about and then do nothing about it!) I will tell you this much though: I will continue to blog (how much I do, I promise I will let know what to expect), but it will not be during the work day (once again, depends..if the job sucks, fuck it!). When I came up with the idea to start this shit, it was my contention to hopefully provide similar chicagoans with a forum to spew their A: hate B: sorrows or C: relate overall discontent with how we see things and the ways we would hope as logical self-owners to deal with these problems.

As part of my new ideals for Chicago Bull: If I was looking to read a Chicago sports blog, I would list this as the credentials for why I would want to read it; and this is what I hope we as your editor strive for:

A: To not provide with what you already know: We the writers, expect you as the readers to already know the breaking news. You probably don't check our site for breaking news. Therefore, we should provide you with bullshit jokes. I.E.:

-Joakim Noah has been suspended for 5 games for pot! He's hoping with this next batch of weed brownies to:

A: sit out for another 5 in hopes to catch up with Parental Control on MTV!
B: Speaking of MTV: Learn how Chris Brown decorates his crib with fashionable shit so that he might be up to par in case the producers come calling like they did with Kendall Gill!

-Where are they now? Chris Willaims: Rehabbing or sniffing coke with Gary Busey speaking about Freddic Mac? We'll give you 50-1 odds on the latter! You just never know with these Vanderbilt grads! They have some serious connections!

In other words, we'll probably give you our assertions from time to time as to what we think will happen; but at the same time, do you really look at us for analysis? FUCK NO! WHY WOULD YOU?! Granted, we are educated (though I may not prove it with my hold on grammar). But, as my new goal for this site, it's our aim to fuck with everything and everyone. We might be serious sometimes, but when you spend most of your time at McGee's on Sheffield and Webster taking fucking jager shots, it's hard to form full sentences.

For those that have been checking in with us, I promise to provide with above average jokes, and by that I mean 76%. At least I'm not to the point of pedding porn because I'm such a shitty writer like some people...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Album Review: Death Magnetic


Tomorrow marks the release of Metallica's ninth studio album, Death Magnetic. About a year ago, I started hearing rumors about how Metallica was going back to being "Metallica", but we all had heard that before with the last two albums. Load was a D- effort while Reload and St. Anger pathetically failed the standard.

If you didn't already know from reading our site, Noce and I are huge Metallica fans. HUGE. The first cassette I ever owned came in the form of the Black Album Christmas of '92 when I was 8. My first CD was Master of Puppets. Metallica has always been my favorite band, and the reason I picked up a guitar 9 years ago. I don't play as much as I used to when I was a teen, but once a week or so I'll pick up my Ibanez and launch right into the Four Horsemen.

Obviously I missed out on the glory days of old Metallica, but I'd like to think having been a fan for 16 years I know a thing or two about them. You'll have your different factions who will have their own "I was there in '81 shit", and the teenagers who think every single thing Metallica does or is is the voice of god almighty. I'd like to think I'm somewhere in between.

I acknowledge the Lars douche factor, the fact they haven't been themselves since Master of Puppets, but doesn't everyone eventually move on to trying different things?

Well, if the past 3 albums have been about experimenting with different shit, Death Magnetic is the tonal middle finger to those. Gone are the southern blues riffs of the Loads of shit, and the Drop C churning of the "raw" St. Anger.

Returned is the standard-tuned triplets, the face-melting Hammett solos, and crazy tempos shifts. Death Magnetic is what you would have expected following ...And Justice for all, with their 10 songs averaging 6-7 minutes each.

I'm not going to review every single song, but I will highlight the ones that I don't think hit the mark as well as the others.

First off: the first single off the album, The Day that Never Comes. The first listen I gave the song a week and a half ago, I got bored with it after 3 minutes. Noce gave up after one. But I was determined to listen to it all the way through. The whole tempo change and lyrics of "love is a four-letter word"..ending with the awkward shouts of "THIS..I..SWEAR" don't really fit. But that's when the palm muted transfer comes to the uptempo ending.

It's a song that grows on you, but it's nowhere near the likes of the blistering The Judas Kiss or the funky main riff of Beat, Broken & Scarred.

While I now have an appreciation for The Day That Never Comes, one that will definitely take some time is The Unforgiven III. First Unforgiven? Awesome. The second one? (Spews into some small cup handed to me from Garth). The third time around is not a charm either. It starts off with a mellow piano open, and goes into a decent riff. It's long-winded in my opinion (no, really?) and the hook doesn't do much for me.

With those two pointed out, the rest of the album is all that I could have hoped for. Any of the other 8 songs are worthy of playing on repeat for 10 times, but my personal favorites in order are:

The Judas Kiss
Beat, Broken & Scarred
All Nightmare Long

In all, I would have to give the album an 92% for an low A. I think The Day That Never Comes could have been improved shortened a bit and some lyrics changed, and the Unforgiven III should have been made with a better hook. But outside these nitpicking thoughts, the album is fucking solid. It seems like having Robert Trujillo come in helped, as well as enlisting Rick Rubin to do the album instead of Bob Rock.

While the wait to get the album finally ends tomorrow, a new wait for me will begin. Tickets the upcoming tour go on sale this Saturday morning at 10am. I will be on ticketmaster.com at 9:30 waiting to pounce. Once I have the tickets, it feel like an eternity again before they arrive in Chicago on Monday, January 26th and Tuesday the 27th at the Allstate Arena.

Thank you Metallica for finding yourselves again.

Here is the entire album so you can start the bleeding of your ear drums:

BallHype: hype it up!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're Screwed

It was bad enough losing Quentin. The frail, single game lead that the Sox hold heading into tonight's game is as strong as Paulie's twisted knee. What a fucking turn of events this year has been for the White Sox. Starting the year out with low expectations from everyone outside of the clubhouse, to claiming first place in May and fighting back and forth with the Twins for the past month.

"No...not like this." I believe those were the words of switch as she watched Apok (aka Quentin) suddenly dropped by Cypher in the Matrix. She, like Paulie fell immediately thereafter. The problem is this isn't the Matrix (or is it???)

No, it's not. We don't have a Nemo. We have Clay fucking Dick pitching. I just realized I spent the last 5 minutes staring at the screen thinking about the season. The Blow-Up Doll incident. The Cuban Missile starting a crisis around the league. The trade for the old man in center. The game in Detroit where JD hit the go ahead run in the 9th. Yelling at Swish from bleachers in center.

It's been a fun ride this season to watch the Sox materialize out of nowhere. But to have abruptly taken away just like that is what really sucks. If they played themselves out of it, I would have still been pissed but at least they had the components that got them there.

Now? Fuck, even Chris Getz just broke his wrist. This team couldn't stay out of harms way right now even if it tried. Next to go will be Dye from a slip in the shower, followed by Thome who gets his nuts shattered by a slider that runs in on him.

Sure, they could still possibly hang on (no, not really) and win the central division. But who fucking cares about central title? Congrats kid, here's a fucking Chinese finger trap for all these shitty tickets you spent 20 dollars to get.

It's worthless. What mattered was they had the firepower offensive to make up for a shitty start from Vazquez in an ALDS game, or a blown hold from Dotel in a pivotal game seven. They had the fight this year that wasn't even evident at the start of the '07 season. Swisher and Cabrera gave this team the boost it needed to get somewhere, and for the most part they did that. While I would have liked to seen Swisher hit for better average, he's had a decent BABIP.

Cabrera despite all his bitching about the official scoring of his errors/hits played a great shortstop. He, like Swisher, started off very slowly at the plate, but managed to use July and August to boost his batting average.

And the pitching. Danks. Floyd. Linebrink (before the issues). Everyone contributed to make the staff turn it around, and the bullpen was and has been one of the best in the league.

While I will still continue to watch every game until the end of the season, my excitement is deflated, defeated and de..fuck it.

Sunday feels like a long way away.

Friday, September 5, 2008

So...Anyone Want The A.L. Central?

With the Twins losing 9 of their last 12 (including last night's sweep by the Jays), and the Sox having lost 5 of their last 7, you have to wonder which of these two bumbling front runners is actually going to come away with the division title.

The Sox are starting a 10 game homestand with the Halos, followed by the Blue Jays in for 4, then Detroit for a weekend series. After that, it's 10 on the road, with the final 3 in what will most likely be the decisive 3 game series in Minnesota that decides the title.

While I'm glad the Sox have a game and half lead at this point, I get the general feeling from other Sox fans I've talked to that we all suspect no October baseball for the Pale Hose, and here's why:

CARLOS QUENTIN'S WRIST IS HURT: Of all the things bad that could/may happen, this is up there. Quentin is 2-14 in his past four games in which he played with no homers or RBI's. Granted a four game stretch of such numbers is not all that cautionary, but it may be an indicator of his wrist pain. Paul Konerko had a hand injury in May, and went 24 games before hitting a long one again.

Dye has been having a sensational year, Thome has been Thome, and Paulie is back to hitting again, but this team has been all Quentin all year, and can't afford to lose him for a long stretch during this 24-game period.

DANKS' TANK IS RUNNING LOW: My fear documented here.

THE SOX DON'T DO WELL AGAINST CONTENDERS THIS YEAR: Good point by whitesox.com beat writer Scott Merkin:

Since June 20 - the start of a three-game Cubs Interleague sweep at Wrigley Field - the White Sox have a 1-4-1 series record in matchups against current playoff-bound teams.

They followed the Wrigley sweep with a three-game whitewash of their own at U.S. Cellular Field of the National League Central leaders. There also were three losses in four games at the Metrodome, from July 28-31, a home loss to the Rays and a loss at Fenway Park last weekend. The Red Sox and the White Sox split a four-game set in Chicago from Aug. 8-11.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday

My, how time flies when you're either drunk or pissed off at Juan Uribe. Today is Chicago Bulls' first birthday, and I couldn't think of anyone better to toast to it other than the official woman of the 'Bull, and the only person to have have his own sidetab for a couple months which we sometimes kept up with (notice he's staring at the cake. That was not by accident).

We already gave our blogger circle jerk to everyone when we recently hit 50,000, so no need for that. Thanks to all who read this site, and try to understand my terrible use of grammar. So with that said, enjoy Modern Love by David Bowie.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The City of Big Shoulders and Tired Arms

HOG Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:

These were the words penned by Carl Sandberg in the poem "Chicago" 92 years ago. If they were reflecting the current state of Chicago today, it might read something more like this:

Owner of Moo and Oink,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Old Autos,
Players with nagging injuries and sore arms;
Stormy, husky, brawling, (and whatever other adjectives that the Sun-Times likes to describe the weather on any particular day. Today? WAN)
City of Big Shoulders..which might need further examining.

Despite both teams leading or owning a piece of their Central division leads, it's ominous times on both the north and south side. Zambrano heading to the othropedist today. Quentin sitting out with a sore hand. Harden capable of breaking at any moment. Danks looking like Big Brown down the stretch at the Belmont.

Yes, it's not looking good right now. While the Sox have "something missing" according to Ozzie on a cut this morning on Mully and Hanley, the Cubs aren't looking that much better. Sure, they have the best record in the MLB thus far, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have an epic choke like the Mets last year, holding a 7 game lead over the Phillies on September 12th before not making the play-offs.

As we look ahead to the final 3 weeks of the season, the White Sox will have 13 games at home, and 11 on the road if you include today. Their second to last series of the year will be a 3-game set in Minnesota which the Sox do not want to be the deciding factor.

The Cubs will spend 16 of their final 23 on the road, two more 3 games sets against Milwaukee (1 in Chicago, other in Milwaukee).

The city with big shoulders and tired arms is accompanied with nervous thoughts, habitual chain smoking and lots of muttered cursing today.

BallHype: hype it up!