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The Pointless Index
The debut of a new feature on what's up and what's down.
It’s time for a new recurring feature here at the only newsletter you’ll ever need (oh, that’s so sad). It’s time for The Pointless Index, where you’ll see who is up and who is down. Don’t argue about who’s where. It’s science.
He spent three years in Philadelphia and got $75 million for his troubles. I spent three days there one time and had a cab driver point across the river and say, “Over there. That’s Camden. Don’t go there. You’ll get shot.”
Jake is coming off the worst season in his career since the last time he joined the Cubs, and this time he doesn’t have to deal with the incredible pressure of trying to replace Scott Feldman.
Toilet Flapper Field
The Cubs are off to spring training this week which means endless amounts of publicity for the good people at Sloan, America’s finest purveyors of toilet flappers, urinal cakes and, I assume those poop stools that nobody has ever bought. You know the ones, it’s basically a curved foot stool you’re supposed to put in front of your toilet so your knees are up at chest height while you crap. Does Sloan sell them? Who cares? Here’s a lady using one with her pants on.
The Cubs don’t start playing games until March 1, which means new TV play-by-play guy Jon “Boog” Sciambi gets a little extra time before he makes his debut. And, just like all of the players, he’s in the best shape of his life.
I do concede that this might not be a current photo.
Are we sure that’s not Matt Murton?
Long before Big Herpes™ started advertising Nurx during Cubs games, the good people at Prevagen were using the low-low ad rates that the Cubs can command for their awful TV network to tout their miracle drug. The return of Cubs games means bigger bang for Prevagen’s ad buck.
What does Prevagen do? Well, it purports to improve brain function and memory, and you know it’s good when this is the actual disclaimer they have to put on their website and read really fast at the end of their commercials:
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
Seems pretty good to me! Maybe they’d like to sponsor one of our podcasts.
Trevor Williams’ dad
New Cubs’ starting pitcher Trevor Williams grew up in San Diego, but his dad, Richard Williams, no, not this one:
grew up in Chicago, went to Brother Rice and was one of 5,264 fans to attend a May 12, 1970 game at Wrigley where Billy Williams homered off of Hoyt Wilhelm to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and Ron Santo walked it off with a single in the 11th off of Bob Priddy. Was that game remembered for anything else?
Oh, yeah. The only recorded highlight of Ernie Banks’ career:
It means a lot for Robert that Trevor is a Cub, and that’s pretty cool. So was this moment back in 2016.
Here’s Richard crying like Jimmy Swaggart after Trevor won his first big league game on September 12. It was also only the 17th win of the season for the Pirates. Probably. Oh, who knows?
We’re all Cubs fans, and just think how much it would mean to us if we had a kid who ended up playing for them. That’s what Richard Williams is living right now, which is nice. We’ll all think of that before we boo Trevor for giving up four homers in three innings against the Reds in a game. It’ll give us pause. And then we’ll do it anyway.
Ernie Banks highlights!
Intrepid reader Mario Sanchez found video of Ernie Banks’ playing days and it actually shows some footage of Ernie’s career with homers that aren’t the ubiquitous 500th homer off Pat Jarvis. Who knew?
Crane Kenney is in the video for some unknown reason emceeing the dedication of Ernie’s Wrigley Field statue (back before the fixed the punctuation on it—it said Lets Play Two instead of Let’s Play Two until Paul Sullivan pointed it out).
The dearth of highlights of Ernie in his prime hurts our perception of how good he really was. There’s a reason Ernie was an undisputed first ballot Hall of Famer, but little footage seemingly exists of him that shows him at his athletic best when he revolutionized how shortstop should be played at the plate and in the field. Most of us only know the older, hunched over, first baseman version of Ernie.
But things like this remind us that there’s a reason he’s still the greatest Cub of all-time and one of the two best shortstops to ever play the game.
I mean, holy shit.
We’re going to miss Mark Gonzales on the Cubs’ beat at the Tribune. He is a talented writer and reporter who is good at cutting through all the BS and finding out what’s really important and then actually telling us. In his time in Chicago he was on the beat for the Sox when they allegedly won the 2005 World Series and with the Cubs when they finally won in 2016, so that’s pretty good.
But, like the Cubs somehow salvaging Len Kasper’s inexplicable defection to Sox radio by hiring Boog, the Tribune did about as well as possible by hiring our good friend Meghan Montemurro. She covered the Cubs and Sox at the Northwest Herald for four seasons before paving the way for Cubs stars like Jerome Williams, Andres Blanco (Andy White), James Russell, Arrieta and Joe Girardi to go to Philadelphia to hang out with her, and I guess, play for or manage the Phillies.
Now she’s returning to the Cubs with Jake and bringing Adam Morgan with (we won’t blame her for that—yet) and I haven’t confirmed this with her, but I’m sure she quit her job at The Athletic 11 months after she found out they weren’t renewing my contract in a show of solidarity. Welcome home, Meghan!
As the proprietor of America’s fastest growing podcast network, I suppose I’m biased when I say that terrestrial radio is in a death spiral, and I shouldn’t, because I have friends who work in that industry, but I’m going to anyway. And, does anything prove it more than The Score doing an “exhaustive” search to find a co-host for Danny Parkins newly abbreviated afternoon show and just picking the guy that used to host a midday show with Parkins less than three years ago? It’s like Larry King marrying Alene Akins twice, both times for no apparent reason.
The Score also announced they have extended their deal to carry Cubs’ games for an unspecified number of years, because that’s the kind of thing you want to keep top secret. Well, maybe it is, when Cubs fans immediately become depressed at the thought of being stuck with Zach Zaidman’s phony cackling and indecipherable fifth inning play by play for even longer.
Please, just shoot me.
Whatever this is:
It’s bad enough that we’ve seen David Kaplan videos from his own shower, but last week we had to see him fake urinate (at least, I hope to god it was fake) in a fountain in front of a house he was pretending was Tom Waddle’s.
I may never get Kap’s pee face out of my mind. This is nothing short of a war crime.
The biggest surprise is that when he teased the next day’s show that Tom Izzo wasn’t one of the scheduled guests. Then again, Tom just calls in whenever he wants.
The Garbage Family That Owns The Cubs™
They want credit for digging deep and opening the vault to allow Jed Hoyer to sign Joc Pederson and Williams and to bring back Andrew Chafin and whatever’s left of Jake? Nice try, trust funders. They’re passively trying to “tear down” a championship team just because they don’t want to pay anybody, and just “aww shucks” their way through it. Their daddy bought them a baseball team and despite acting like complete shitheels ever since he handed it to them they were on the scene when the Cubs finally won a World Series. That should have earned them a generation of good will from the fanbase, and impressively they completely pissed it away in less than four years.
(There’s a non-zero chance that the Garbage Family is a permanent member of the Going Down list.)
Sox fans when the PECOTA projections came out
There are few traditions in baseball that I enjoy more than all nine White Sox fans losing their shit when Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections come out. This year was no exception when not only did PECOTA pick the Sox to finish third in their own division, but also to finish with fewer wins than the Cubs, who have done fuck all to improve this offseason.
Then again, maybe PECOTA is wondering why the Sox would hire a 1,000 year old manager right after he got another DUI and look at all the free agent outfielders and think that bringing back Adam Eaton was their best bet.
Well, after years of going undercover in Asian brothels to fight “human trafficking,” (seriously) Laroche was back in the news recently when as a practical joke he shamed Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman into raffling off his custom truck for charity. Sherman had played a practical joke by putting 12,000 Oreos into Laroche’s truck, and Laroche got him back. All of this is just so fucking stupid. And not all that funny. A practical joke without an actual joke is just guys being dicks.
Second prize in the raffle is apparently a two-day hunting trip with Sherman and Laroche. What’s third prize? A four-day hunting trip with them?
The one time MVP candidate is on the way out in Philadelphia and the leading contenders to trade for him are the Indianapolis Colts and the Bears. The Colts have his old offensive coordinator (Frank Reich) with whom he has a very close relationship, the league’s best offensive line (important for a guy who has been sacked 118 times in his last 39 games (including 50 times in his last 11 games—yikes), and a chance to play every home game in the climate control blandness of whatever the Colts call that weird barn they play in.
The Bears have a GM and a coach who are hanging by a thread, an offense that is really just a random assemblage of plays that mostly don’t work, a terrible offensive line and one really good receiver who wants to get the hell out of town.
Wentz clearly wants to play in Indianapolis, but he has no say in where he ends up. The Eagles claim they want to find him a new home where he’ll be comfortable, but they really don’t care, they just want the best return they can get for a rapidly depreciating asset. The Bears are far more desperate and will almost certainly best any offer the Colts make.
Look on the bright side, Carson. Sure you’ll get sacked a lot with the Bears, but you’ll probably end up getting hurt before the weather gets really cold next season.
Super Bowl trophy lady
OK, so apparently this lady’s dad used to make the Lombardi trophy and she “didn’t sleep for two nights” after Tom Brady scarred for her life by throwing the trophy from one boat to another during the Bucs weird Covid-rich environment water parade.
I wonder how she’d feel if her dad crafted the Stanley Cup that hundreds of drunk Canadians (and Patrick Kane) have barfed in over the years?
Or, when Travis Wood spent an afternoon rubbing his nipples on the World Series trophy?
She might actually have not minded that.