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The Cubs honor Pat Hughes in the most awkward way possible
And, thanks to your surveys there's new stuff coming to the newsletter and podcast!
Last night as the Cubs and Cardinals got ready to start the third inning the hapless dimwits watching the game on Marquee (that included me) were treated to Boog Sciambi throwing the broadcast over to the radio booth where Cubs President of Awkwardness Crane Kenney had perched himself next to Virgil Patrick Hughes.
The camera kept lingering on the two of them between pitches, and Pat was calling the game and Crane was just sitting there nervously. Given how this franchise operates, you really started worrying that Crane was going to fire Pat right on the air.
“You know Pat, you’ve done a great job here for the last, what is it now, eight years?”
”That’s great. Have you ever thought what you might do during your retirement? And by retirement, I don’t mean the kind where your longtime employer pays you a pension, I mean the kind where you are old and just stop working.”
”No, I can’t say that I have.”
”Let’s get Zach down here. Zach, come on over. Pat, Zach’s going to take over for the rest of the game so you can leave. He’s agreed to work for $8 an hour. That’s actually a raise for him.”
But, Crane didn’t fire Pat. Instead he started prattling on about the prestigious Cubs Hall of Fame and how apparently the process they use to pick the members is they ask Ed Hartig to come up with a list and then they have all of their “Hall of Famers” vote.
Even the dead ones. It is Chicago, after all.
[Here’s where if Zach were here while I wrote this he’d start guffawing in the background.]
To be clear, Crane meant five Cubs Hall of Famers which was confusing as hell. I guess it was Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson and Lee Smith? Greg Maddux, Dennis Eckersley, etc. need not apply for some reason.
You know they did that part at the unveiling of Fergie’s statue back in May. I guess Greg should have showed up.
It took the Cubs actually issuing the press release to learn that eight media members, including our old friend Bruce Miles, also participated in the selection of the three new Hall of Famers.
So Crane torturously, and misleadingly, puked out the selection process and we all knew that the reason we were being shown this was because Pat is going to be inducted.
But that announcement took like five more minutes of awkwardness. Crane told us that Buck O’Neil and Jose Cardenal were going to be inducted, and presumably he meant the real Jose Cardenal, not Joe Girardi’s aunt, but who knows with this team?
Then he just clumsily handed Pat a sheet of paper. Pat probably thought it was another “in Des Moines the s’s may be silent but the city is buzzing” read.
What a shit show.
It was great to see how truly honored Pat was by this, and he deserved a much less painful and awkward announcement. But hey, these are the Cubs.
The best part was that just a few seconds after the clip above ended, Ron Coomer just took over. Holding his mic like Dean Martin at a roast he shoved Crane out of the way and started emceeing. Thank God. Coomer saved the day, which is all you need to know about how well that announcement was going.
The second best part was that instead of this thing droning on even more, Nolan Arenado got rung up on a bad strike three call and got himself tossed, much to Pat’s amusement.
Here’s the Cardinals call of it.
You know they did it during the game because nobody watches the pre or postgames on Marquee. “I guess we’ll just have to do it while Pat is trying to work. It’s the only anybody will actually see it.”
I enjoyed how many Cubs’ fans Tweeted some version of, “I didn’t even know the Cubs had a Hall of Fame?”
“We’ve got plaques and everything. It’s really great.”
The Cubs Hall of Fame is actually a thing. Even though it’s basically just a piss stained alley way under the bleachers with a few posters that look like plaques slapped on the wall. It’s really prestigious.
We even devoted an entire very fun Remember This Crap to it last year.
While the announcement was botched, Pat certainly deserves it. He’s been a great announcer for a very long time. He’s the only Cubs radio announcer to ever call the final out of a World Series that the Cubs actually won. And, without him, how would we ever know what color trousers the players on the other team are wearing?
Why he’s not in the actual Hall of Fame is a true mystery, especially since they wasted a spot on Hawk Harrelson’s corn pone dumbassedry a few years ago.
A few weeks ago I posted a survey for readers and podcast listeners to see what kind of changes I could make that might enhance your reading and listening pleasure. And, the response was very good. I guess you guys will do anything for a chance to win six free months of the newsletter and a t-shirt.
The winner of first prize was longtime friend of Desipio Barry Fischer. Does it look bad that the guy who won was in a foursome with me and Mike Donohue at the Desipio golf outing last year? Probably. But he really won, and there were lots of entries.
Here’s the shirt he picked.
I decided to get generous and award a second prize, which was a t-shirt and you might not believe this, one of the ladies who reads the newsletter won. And she still has not responded to the offer of a free shirt. I’m not sure I blame her. If you are a woman and you subscribe to this newsletter, check your email. There are two of them now telling you that you won a shirt.
So what did we learn from the survey?
Your favorite targets of my mockery are the Garbage Family that Owns the Cubs™ and Crane Kenney. Well, you are already enjoying today’s newsletter, then.
You want more coverage of the Cubs but not necessarily more of the rest of Major League Baseball.
You want more coverage of the Bears but not necessarily more of the rest of the National Football League.
You don’t want more coverage of the Bulls or the NBA. Though the Bulls one was 49% so you might just get it anyway.
You overwhelmingly want more sports media coverage (81% of you said you did.) And, you want some more pop culture.
Sixty percent of you find the newsletters that promote new podcast episodes to be useful. So, those will continue.
The vast majority of you subscribe to the podcast through either Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
All of the podcasts rated well, with Remember This Crap and the Baseball Podcast ranking at the top.2
Donohue won “favorite co-host.” We’ll never hear the end of this.
I should have done “favorite all-time co-host named Mike” since there have been four. Can you name them?3
The answers to the question about who I should have as a guest on the podcast were entertainingly all over the place. The ones mentioned the most were Jon Greenberg, David Kaplan, Crane Kenney, Todd Ricketts, Bob Odenkirk and Kelly Dwyer.
I’m sure Bob would love to be on the pod.
I wonder if Crane and Todd will come on together?
Nearly 80 percent of you said you’d be open to listening to a regular podcast on sports media. And guess what? You’re going to get it. Jon Greenberg is going to join me on a regular basis to do just that.
And, I have some ideas about a pop culture one, but nothing to announce yet.
The Bears podcast with Mike Pusateri will return with a season preview Labor Day week.
The Baseball podcast with David Brown will continue through the playoffs, and beyond.
For those of you worried that we’re down to the final few Cubs seasons on the wheel of crap for Remember This Crap, don’t worry. The crap will not end when that gimmick does. We have all kinds of things to try to remember. And not just about the Cubs. There’s always Bears crap to remember.
And there will be more movie deep dives. Especially now that I found a process that doesn’t take me four days to edit the damn things together.
A special podcast episode on Formula 1 is coming up with old friend Andrew Lawrence. I’m one of those dopes who binged “Drive to Survive” on Netflix and now I watch every race and every qualifying and I have thoughts. Drew actually covers it for a living, and he can happily put me in my place. So that will be fun.
Basically, there’s going to be expanded content on the newsletter and the podcast.
For those of you who subscribe to either or both, I thank you for your time and your money. I take neither for granted and am appreciative of both.
For those of you who don’t yet subscribe. Now seems like a good time to start, doesn’t it?
Here’s where you can subscribe to the newsletter:
And here’s where you can sign up for the podcast.
Good luck finding that page on cubs.com. I tried. It took finding the direct URL in the news release. Clearly, the Cubs treasure this thing.
The ranked order was 1. Remember This Crap, 2. Baseball Podcast, 3. Movie Deep Dive, 4. Bears Podcast and 5. when I just interview somebody.
Mike Bradt (Bad Kermit), Donohue, Mike Pusateri, and Mike Praznowski