Cubs try to sell Zambrano’s contract on Groupon PAGE 4
Soriano gets ball pit in left to cushion dives PAGE 3
Joakim Noah seen vacationing in Cleveland PAGE 8
Vol. 8, Issue 5
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DRUNKEN RICKETTS HAS FIRST CUBS FAN EXPERIENCE New owner passes out in bleachers after 9th Mai Tai A current radio ad campaign that speaks to “Cubs tradition” inspired new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts to experiment with the “way of life” of a Cubs fan as he passed out in the bleachers after his ninth Mai Tai. Sources say that Ricketts drank all of the Mai Tais while mingling with fans in the bleachers, then wandered over to an open front-row grandstand seat and passed out. “Wow, that really is a true Cubs fan experience,” said Cindy Reese, 27, of Schaumburg. “The bleachers are the most appropriate place for a real fan to get blindly drunk.” Ricketts said he didn’t remember drinking more than one Mai Tai. “It isn’t like me to do that, but if anyone has the video on their cell phone, please give me your phone so I can watch it,” said Ricketts the next day, nursing a headache. “No matter what you do with that video, please don’t post it on YouTube.” Ricketts added that he is willing to pay an extortion fee for the video, or, he said, “one-half of Zambrano’s contract, whichever is more.” -- Rob C. Christiansen
Sox debut new Sunday Zubaz uniforms The White Sox have come to a decision to jazz up their Sunday home uniforms. Instead of donning alternate colors or throwback jerseys, the Sox will be sporting Zubaz. The new uniforms will feature elastic bands, unsupportive crotches and outrageous stripes no woman has ever found attractive. “I like the comfortable, airy pants,” said Sox first baseman Paul Konerko. “It works real well with this jersey I tore the sleeves off of. It’s like I’m playing in very unsexy pajamas.” Known to be on the cutting edge of poor fashion decisions and classlessness, Sox fans have instantly taken to their team’s new digs. “Dude, the new jerseys are so rad,” screamed Sox fan William Fiskley. “These uniforms make me want to do so many cool things, like drive a T-top Camaro or get a tattoo of a cobra.” In related news, the Bears considered following the Sox’s Zubaz trend, but they realized they are a mostly legitimate professional organization where the players have some dignity. -- Marvin Venis Benjamin
Len Kasper loses his cool on-air, utters ‘gosh darnitall’ Cubs announcer Len Kasper will be heading to anger management classes after a recent on-air tirade. Lamenting another recent loss, Kasper unleashed a slew of “Darnitalls,” “What the hecks?” and “Good griefs.” Network censors were not able to bleep out the profanity-laced outburst in time, subjecting millions of innocent children to Kasper’s foul-mouthed rant. “I have let down my family and the great
city of Chicago,” said Kasper in a written statement. “That type of language belongs where it came from: the sewer.” Despite Kasper’s apology, many parents are unforgiving. The Parents Television Council (PTC) has lodged a complaint with the FCC, condemning Kasper’s antics. “After watching the Cubs game, my sixyear old son told me his dinner was ‘doggone unpleasant,’” said PTC spokesman
Kenneth Shaw. “The only place he would hear that kind of filth is from the rancid mouth of Len Kasper.” If Kasper’s on-air demeanor does not improve, the announcer will have to find himself a new outlet to air his crude shtick. “Kasper would fit in on satellite radio,” said a media analyst. “It would be an all-out war with Howard Stern for the dirtiest mouth in America.” -- Jimmy Juliano
What to look for this month in the sports world 5/7 Under new “No man left on base” policy, White Sox base runners now allowed to carry flare guns for rescue when they’re inevitably stranded.
Bad GPS leads Sox to Metrodome instead of new Twins’ stadium. Play game there anyway, still find a way to lose to absent Twins 4-3.
5/21 Area Big and Tall shops officially downgrade “Big Z” to “Extra Medium Z”.
May 9: Hawks advance through playoffs Patrick Kane drives Zamboni home after work, replaces ice-smoothing apparatus on vehicle with cutting blade and mows lawn. He’s actually able to make a fairly nice Indian Head design in the backyard.
5/25 Fans in right field bleachers put on strict beer count. Cubs management: Any more than 100 beers an outing, our fans are risking a Mark Prior-like injury to their liver.
5/18 Fake pickoff throw to third, over to first correctly ruled no balk for the 1,000,000th time in MLB history. Fans cheer, finally realizing it’s the correct call.
5/23 After winning Super Lotto, Derrek Lee announces retirement. Lee: “It’s everyone’s dream to win the lotto and quit work, I’m not even putting in my two week’s notice.”
I knew this was going to be a long summer for Chicago baseball fans but this is getting a little ridiculous. Mark Kotsay as a your regular DH and #3 hitter? Soriano stumbling around the outfield like a kid playing Marco Polo? Yikes. When you’re watching a team like the 1975 Reds you don’t need to gamble. But the Chicago teams remind me of my Reds teams of the mid ‘80s, teams so horrible you have to gamble to keep yourself awake during games. Let’s gamble!
May 16: Day that Zambrano walks out of the bullpen in the 5th inning to head over to Starbucks for a quick caffeine boost. 2,108: Blog entries written during the month of May calling for the Cubs to call up Starlin Castro, breaking the one-month record set in July 2000 calling for Corey Patterson’s promotion. 65: Percent chance Juan Pierre and Mark Kotsay’s combined batting average will be above .300 by the end of the season. May 28, 2:00pm: Time that the first Sox fan wonders whether Peavy’s contract is worse than Soriano’s. May 28, 2:01pm: Time that the same Sox fan realizes that the Peavy contract is only “Zambrano bad,” not “Soriano bad.” May 8: Day Chevy forces the mulleted Patrick Kane to turn in his Tahoe for a 1988 IROC.
MAY 2010 | 3
Ball pit added to warning track in left to cushion Soriano dives Alfonso Soriano’s fear of the brick wall at Wrigley has been well-documented. In hopes of quashing the phobia of their $136 million man, Cub officials have added ball pits to the warning track, enticing Soriano to dive into the area. “It’s like going to Chuck-eCheese, where I love to hop into
the big pit of multi-colored plastic balls,” said Soriano. “It’s almost as much fun as hitting the home run.” While many critics believe Soriano’s defensive deficiencies can never be fixed, others like Cubs skipper Lou Piniella feel that the ballpark changes will be of significant benefit.
“Look, that ball pit is one heck of a great idea,” said Piniella. “I’m not sure that it will help Sori, but instead of going into the clubhouse for my fifth inning nap, I’ll be able to take a snooze out in the warning track. Now all I have to do is find a bat boy to wheel me out there.” -- Jeremy Barewin
Crosstown Cup finally gives Cubs Stonemasons decide Cubs an opportunity to win a trophy won’t win Series until 2087 The trophy case at Wrigley Field may finally house a quasi-legitimate piece of hardware, as the winner of the 2010 six-game series between the Cubs and White Sox will receive the Crosstown Cup, an accolade eclipsed by every other award in pro sports. “Our trophy case has been gathering dust for some time,” said Cubs GM Jim Hendry. “I have encouraged players to bring in their kids’ Little League trophies
to fill out the space. Finally, we might have a real trophy that our guys earned by being the least crappiest out of the two baseball teams in Chicago.” To make space for the Crosstown Cup, team officials have removed Ryan Dempster’s bowling trophy and Mike Fontenot’s “Team Spirit 2009” plaque from the glass display. While media members have criticized the Crosstown Cup for being “second-rate” and “utterly
pointless beyond comprehension,” Cubs players relish the opportunity to raise the Cup above their heads in victorious fashion. “When we win the crosstown series, I plan on filling the Cup with some sensibly-priced champagne and savoring the sweet taste of victory,” said Derrek Lee. “Between that and beating up on the Pirates, it looks like Cubs fans will have a lot to celebrate this season.” -- Jimmy Juliano
The predetermined season outcomes of the next 90 years of pro baseball were made public after a custodian found notes from an Ancient Society of the Stonemasons meeting in the basement of Goldman Sachs’ corporate headquarters. The Stonemasons’ reach is considerable: In addition to sports, prominent conspiracy theorists believe the organization controls currency exchange rates, all curricula at Ivy League universities, and the cover subjects of Us Weekly. According to the document, the Cubs will finally break “the Curse” in 2087 with a World Series victory over the Havana Smokes (which will become the
72nd MLB franchise in 2065, the year after Cuba becomes the 53rd state). By 2100, the Yankees will win 24 World Series more titles, the Yokohama BayStars will win 10, the Red Sox and Cardinals will each win seven, the Santo Domingo Lions will win five, and the White Sox will win two. The Cubs 21st century tally will remain at one. Immediately after they get their championship in 2087, the team will enter a new drought due to a contrived curse involving a camel, an Italian beef sandwich and the cryogenically frozen head of Richard M. Daley. -- Brian Summerfield
4 | MAY 2010
Wrigley skybox converted to actual money-burning machine While most of the Cubs’ offseason renovations to Wrigley have been standard stadium updates, one change is catching the eye of Major League Baseball. The Cubs have converted one of their skyboxes into an actual money-burning machine. “When we talk about new revenue streams we usually are referring to the Intranet, MLB Network or hidden ticket fees,” said Commissioner Bud Selig. “But this idea shows real innovation.” The Cubs estimate the change
will result in 10% more income than a standard skybox, with the bulk of that increase coming from no longer having to wait until the host is drunk enough before pushing for in-game luxury additions such as a dessert cart, top shelf liquor or a key to the bathroom. One of the skybox’s first visitors, Jeff Sanders of Goldman Sachs, said it was a perfect place to entertain clients. “Anyone who thinks owning a race horse or having a personal jet is the way to flaunt your wealth
hasn’t tried making it rain into a money-burning machine,” he said. “My clients are going to be really impressed.” But in small markets like Kansas City, the enthusiasm isn’t quite as strong. “Unless we can find a way to burn spare change at a safe temperature, I don’t see this working here,” said Royals GM Dayton Moore. “It’s just one more example of how the competitive playing field is tilted to the big markets.” -- Giles Tellum
Cubs try to unload Zambrano’s contract on Groupon When the Cubs moved former ace Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen last month, it highlighted the team’s need to offload the three remaining seasons on the five-year $90 million contract Zambrano signed in 2007. Hoping to find someone who would pick up even a percentage of Zambrano’s contract, the Cubs partnered with Groupon, a hot web site that offers
“ridiculous” daily deals and then splits the proceeds with the business partner. “By selling Zambrano’s services for half price and splitting the proceeds, we can earn back nearly $5 million a year from this god-awful contract with a moody manchild who’s only won 24 games in three years,” said Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. “It’s the best we can hope for.” Groupon normally sells experience-
based deals like sailing trips, dinner deals and event tickets. Groupon was hopeful a foolish baseball GM with deep pockets would stumble across the listing, but later regretted making the deal. “I learned there’s only one GM crazy enough to make that purchase,” said Groupon CEO Andrew Mason. “And he’s the one who signed Zambrano in 2007.” Groupon reported the listing for
Zambrano’s contract has received nearly 500,000 views, but no buyers yet. “I was, like, looking for something cool my boyfriend and I can do when his parents visit from Ohio,” said Lakeview resident Katie McDonnell. “The Groupon that day was to hang out with some Cubs player for three years. I love the Cubs but $9.5 million a year seems like a lot. I’ll have to ask my dad if he can spare it.”
MAY 2010 | 5
Theriot burns butt keeping seat warm for Starlin Castro Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said today that he wouldn’t go on the disabled list despite second-degree burns to his buttocks sustained while serving as a placeholder for 20-year-old phenom Starlin Castro, currently manning short for DoubleA Tennessee but sure to join the Cubs as soon as this year. With every sparkling defensive play or extra-base hit the youngster collects, Theriot’s seat literally becomes hotter. Though he waddled through the
locker room like a kid who forgot to pack his underwear for a week of Boy Scout camp, Theriot remained upbeat. “It’s still getting pretty hot down there,” Theriot said. “Everywhere I sit, it’s burning. I don’t like being in this position, but I have to just keep playing. If not, I’ll end up in Baltimore.” Theriot was no doubt referring to the mid-Atlantic baseball purgatory that has claimed several former Cubs, including Felix Pie, Corey
Patterson, and Sammy Sosa. With Castro hitting over .350, Theriot’s become paranoid that he’ll end up an Oriole by the end of July. “I’m constantly reminded of that possibility,” the scrappy Cajun said. “I hear people talking about ‘The Wire’ all the time. And the other day, I was shopping for a suit and a guy next to me says that pinstripes sure are slimming, even on chubby dudes. If that’s not a reference to trading me for Ty Wigginton, I don’t know what is.” -- David Dexter
Sam Fuld Fan Club becomes Tyler Colvin Fan Club Only required changing a single cardboard sign After suffering some disappointment when their favorite young player didn’t make the big league club out of Spring Training, the Sam Fuld Fan Club regrouped and latched onto another upstart—Tyler Colvin. “We think this is finally the guy who will be the face of this team,”
said Fan Club President Andy Otte. “At least I hope so. We’ve already been the Corey Patterson Organization, Bobby Scales Supporters and Fukudome’s Fanatics. I’m getting tired of changing the name every year.” Otte is not only the president, but the club’s only official member. However, he says he grants membership to whichever sympathizers chant with him in the area
around his usual spot in Wrigley’s right field. “Some people wonder why everyone gets drunk at Wrigley,” says Sam Cho, a season ticket holder who sits near Otte. “It’s because there are guys like Andy yelling every day that Bobby Scales needs to start at second. At least that’s my reason for drinking.” -- Dan Bradley
1933: Chicago World’s Fair The Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. The event was so popular that it was extended another year. The success had been attributed to the expo’s “Century of Progress” approach, but in truth it was the opportunity to meet the “Woo” man that truly dazzled the crowd. Fans reportedly lined up for miles to have Ronnie Woo-W Woo Wickers autograph their fedoras, which substantially decreased their value. E-m mail your Woo-W Woo pics to email@example.com or post them to the Woo-W Woo gallery at theheckler.com.
6 | MAY 2010
Hawk Harrelson finally runs out of excuses for terrible Sox Longtime White Sox play-byplay man Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, known as one of the biggest homers in all of sports, finally ran out of excuses for the slow start of his team. During a recent loss to the Yankees, Harrelson tried blaming everything from the sun to the United Nations. “I mean, you look out there, and the sun comes out when the Good Guys are in the field, then it goes back in the clouds when the
Yanks are out there,” he lamented as New York took a two-run lead during the third inning. “I don’t know if ol’ George (Steinbrenner) has some sort of deal with the atmosphere, I just know we always got the dadgum sun in our eyes.” Later, during a four-run sixth inning for the Yankees, Harrelson blamed a world-wide conspiracy. “I mean, those sanctions they got over there with the U.N., with the Iraqis and the WMDs.
Mercy!” Finally, Harrelson just didn’t speak for the final two innings, leaving some awkward moments for broadcast partner Steve Stone, who was forced to carry on a conversation with himself. “Another pop-up for Juan Pierre,” Stone said after Pierre hit his third pop-up of the game. “He’s really been struggling, hasn’t he, Steve? That’s right, Steve, he sure has.” -- Matthew Wood
Beckham struggles to fit in with older teammates No one stays up after ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Already a cornerstone for the White Sox, 23-year-old second baseman Gordon Beckham has accomplished more than most ballplayers can even dream. But the former University of Georgia star has struggled out of the gate in 2010, batting only.221 after 25 games. Sources say that the youngster’s slump can be attributed to his trouble fitting in with Sox teammates. “These dudes are so old!” said
the Beckham. “I mean, just look around. A.J., Konerko, Buehrle, the list goes on: These geezers were born in the ’70s!” Chief among his complaints is the early bedtime maintained by many of the team’s aging vets. “Oh yeah, our road trips are a blast,” Beckham mocked. “I knew how wild our swing through Cleveland would be when I overheard Buehrle saying he was interested to see what would happen on “NCIS: Los Angeles” that week, but wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay up for
the whole episode.” Beckham rattled off a list of grievances about the club’s senior citizen culture: most teammates are incapable of performing basic Xbox functions, that they wear an unacceptable number of jean jackets, and that they watch “Reality Bites” on team flights. “My backup [Omar Vizquel] is 43. He is actually, truly old enough to be my father!” Beckham said. “How many other big leaguers can make that claim? I mean, aside from dudes on this team.” -- Chandler Goodman
PRINCE FIELDER WRITES NEW COOKBOOK: STAYING FAT WITH VEGGIES!
MAY 2010 | 7
Playoff beards lead to ‘suspicious character’ reports While a few young Blackhawks have taken flack for their awful playoff beards, excited Chicagoans are finding out that sporting facial hair is no easy task. The grizzled fans are causing alarm among those not yet hip to the
resurging team. “It seems like if you sport a crooked mustache and wispy neck hair, the public is far more likely to call the cops on you,” said policeman Colin Styles. “And if you stand in one place for more
than 5 minutes, you’d better be prepared to show some ID.” The police have released a press statement outlining situations that can be hazardous for men with burgeoning beards. It lists “wearing a hoodie,”
“waiting for wife or girlfriend to finish shopping in women’s department,” and “walking into convenience store late at night” as raising the most red flags. -- Dan Bradley
Hawks still three weeks away from Adam Burish celebrates an growing decent playoff beards ‘Adam Burish Hat Trick’ The Stanley Cup playoffs have entered their second round, and the Hawks are again in contention, which can only mean the appearance of playoff beards-provided they have extra time by making at least the conference finals. “Funny, it feels all scratchy when I forget about the beard and rub my face,” captain Jonathon Toews said, fooling no one as he caressed peach fuzz, visible only in just the right light at just the right angle. “My mom called me from Sweden the other day,” added winger Kris Versteeg. “She said she could barely recognize me with my hairy face.” After a pause, he added, “Well, okay, she didn’t say that, but I could tell she was thinkin’ it.”
Some Blackhawks with legitimate beard-growing ability, such as Dustin Byfuglien and John Madden, reportedly offered trimmings to some of the young players so they could assemble beard wigs. “Really, Kane says he’s doing a mullet instead, but I catch him shoving his face right up to the mirror, praying for some beardage,” said Byfuglien. “Sad.” Not all Hawks share Kane’s dream of younger players sporting non-pathetic beards. “Yeah, we look like a midget league team,” said Madden. “But I broke down and promised Toews I’d show him how to shave at the end of the season-and I’m not looking forward to that.” -- John Biederman
One assist, one fight, one gallon of hair gel While you won’t find it among the NHL’s official stats, Blackhawks winger Adam Burish accomplished a namesake hat trick in the Hawks’ game 6 clincher over Nashville to send the team to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. “The toughest part was the actual assist,” said Burish. “Then it seemed Tanner Glass was givin’ me the evil eye-and he has too many teeth for hockey-so I dropped the gloves. I was onto something special, but it was missing something. So in the locker room during second intermission, I really pushed myself and smoothed a whole freakin’ gallon of hair gel onto my head.”
The led to Burish’s helmet shifting during third period play, seriously curbing his vision, which mattered little, given Burish’s style of play. “I already notched an assist, so who was gonna call me on it? Coach Q had no idea.” While a league spokesperson refused to comment on the “Adam Burish Hat Tricks,” Burish gained a confidence boost. “I didn’t want to waste that gallon by washing my hair after the game,” he said. “But the stuff’s fragrant. I just couldn’t go out with this stripper I’ve been seein’, because she smokes, and I think that stuff’s flammable. And, get this-Donald Trump called me after the game about joining ‘The Apprentice.’ Said something about how he, ‘Loved my style.’” -- John Biederman
8 | MAY 2010
LeBron James criticized for playing entire game with sandwich in hand After his Cavaliers dismantled the Bulls in five games of the opening round of the playoffs, LeBron James was criticized for playing the entire series with a foot-long Subway sandwich in his hand as part of a marketing agreement. After a Game 5 performance that featured James switching his sandwich to his right hand to shoot a free throw left-handed,
despite only holding a four-point lead, the prolific forward denied any wrongdoing. “I was in no way attempting to show up the Bulls or ‘showboat’ as some in the media have claimed,” he said, between bites. “I simply wanted to celebrate Game 5 with my five. Five dollar. Five dollar foot loooooong.” Members of the Bulls didn’t seem to mind.
“LeBron is the best of the best, there’s no denying that,” said Derrick Rose. “He easily could crush us using both hands, but he helped us avoid the sweep by trying to balance a messy meatball sandwich during Game 3. He even ordered Subway sandwiches for our whole team after each game. He’s a class act, all around.” -- Jeff GoodSmith
JOAKIM NOAH SEEN VACATIONING IN CLEVELAND
MAY 2010 | 9
Luol Deng lands big new shoe contract Will wear new Brooks Brothers loafers on bench next season Oft-injured Bulls forward Luol Deng has been looking for a shoe deal ever since he set foot in the NBA. Unfortunately, his time riding the pine hasn’t sent companies like Nike, Reebok, or even BK Knights knocking on his door. It all seemed hopeless, until Bulls’ Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorship John Viola had an idea, and placed a call over to a friend at Brooks Brothers, the top of the line men’s clothing company. “It just hit me like a ton of bricks,” exclaimed Viola. “Nike never comes calling because we never see Luol in their shoes. The only shoes we see him in are his favorite pair of Brooks
Brothers loafers.” “They’re absolutely perfect,” said Deng, already promoting like a pro. “They’re light, comfortable, and easy to take off before ice treatments and MRI’s. Now I can sit on the bench in total comfort.” But why stop at the shoes? Viola even plans on selling ad space on Luol’s next cast. “I’m sure Luol will get injured next year,” said Viola. “Now imagine the revenue we can create when he’s ‘chilling’ on the bench with a wrist cast by Budweiser.” -- Michael Kloempken
PAXSON HIRES 13-Y YEAR-O OLD COACH; FINALLY GETS SOMEONE HE CAN FIGHT
10 | MAY 2010
STUFF THAT’S DEFINITELY MADE UP
Gimme time, Obama
s the saying goes, there’s just not enough hours in the day. And that’s especially true when you’re a busy important guy like Screamin’ Johnny Blaze. Every single day is a struggle to get through everything that needs to be done and still get my minimum requirement of 10 hours of beauty sleep a night. Not that I need “beauty” sleep, you know. That’s just an expression. As you would no doubt expect considering my depth of sports knowledge, watching sports is by far the biggest time-consumer. Beyond sports, the amount of quality TV out there demands I spend most of my time each day in front of the boob tube. You got classics like “Two and a Half Men,” all those CSI shows and knockoffs, and any reality show where some expert tells loser people how pathetic they are. Add to that the amount of time I need to play video games and surf the Internet and you can see how a couple more hours every day would be useful. That’s why it’s about time Washington finally listened to my call to lengthen each day to 26 hours. I’ve been saying for years that the best thing Congress could do would
THIS I SCREAM By Screamin’ Johnny Blaze, Heckler Sports Talk Radio Host be to pass a law adding two hours to the day. But screw those do-nothing bastards, something this big needs to go straight to the top. That’s right Obama, I’m calling in a favor you owe me. Remember that time I voted for you for president even though you’re a Commie intent on destroying this country—when I could have voted for a war hero— because I decided being a Chicago guy outweighed all the bad? Well now it’s time you did me a solid. Make each day 26 hours, Obama. That’s something even the Tea Partiers, Republicans and other real Americans would love you for. You’d instantly be the greatest president ever, instead of heading down the road to Crapville like you are now. But I’m sure it won’t happen and I’ll be disappointed again. Maybe I could at least save some time by getting The Heckler to hire me an assistant to write these damn columns.
HECKLER STAT PACK Most popular White Sox fan hairstyles 1 - Mullet 32% 2 - Bowl Cut 24% 3 - Mohawk 23% 4 - Shaved Clean (to show “I hate the Cubs” tattoo) 20% 5 - Whatever the barber college kid could carve 1%
Most common good luck charms worn under uniform by NHL players during post-sseason 1 - T-shirt from junior hockey days 34 players 2 - A smaller teammate 22 players 3 - Women’s underwear 18 players 4 - Picture of Scotty Bowman in drag at the holiday party 15 players 5 - Original teeth 12 players
Overrated index 1 - Playoff intensity 2 - Tim Tebow 3 - KFC’s Double Down 4 - Jake Peavy 5 - Stoney’s baseball IQ
.678 .611 .567 .544 .498
OPS/BA/SLG/BB/HBP/SB/BMI/ BAC/IQ/SAT Leaders 2009 1 - Albert Pujols, STL 2 - Hanley Ramirez, FLA 3 - Joe Mauer, MIN 4 - Alex Rodriquez, NYY 5 - Miguel Cabrera, DET
Infinity 1.898 1.788 1.678 1.555
Most common game halting interruptions per season 1 - Beach ball on field 456 times/year 2 - Pitch gets loose from bullpen 423 times/year 3 - Drunk fan runs on field, thinks he’s Ron Kittle 356 times/year 4 - “Celebrities” singing 7th inning stretch at Wrigley 81 times/year 5 - Opposing player being mugged in game at Detroit 67 times/year 6 - Drunk fan runs onto field, thinks he's Ron Kittle, tasered twice 7 times/year
Off Base percentage Leaders 2010 1 - Glenn Beck, FOX 2 - David Ortiz, BOS 3 - Aramis Ramirez, CHC 4 - Omar Vizquel, CHW 5 - Mark Teixera, NYY
.834 .800 .788 .760 .750
MDPGT (Million Dollars per Good Thing) 1 - Carlos Zambrano, CHC 9.34/Strikeout 2 - Ozzie Guillen, CWS 7.34/Ejection 3 - Albert Pujols, STL 6.34/Times pointed at god 4 - Ticket Scalper, Chicago 1.23/Good deal given to honest family man 5 - Batboy, CHC 0.001/Times mistaken for Mike Fontenot
MAY 2010 | 11
Cutler: Olsen is already a prolific cock blocker Bears tight end Greg Olsen recently used his Twitter account to defend his blocking abilities in the face of alleged criticism from new Chicago offensive coordinator and noted prick Mike Martz. Quarterback Jay Cutler also defended his friend and teammate, saying that he’s already a high-performing blocker in at least one respect.
“Man, Greg is an amazing cock-blocker,” Cutler said. “The other night, when I was hitting on a couple of DePaul undergrads at Joe’s on Weed, he came over and tried to lay some of his ‘game’ on them. I think the only way he could have gotten them to leave faster is if he just came out and told them he had Chlamydia.” Cutler added that Olsen
can shut down almost any one-night-stand attempt, an amazing skill for a professional athlete. “Whether he’s reminiscing about his days as an amateur rapper at the University of Miami or grumbling about how his talents aren’t appreciated, you can count on Greg to scare off any trim within a hundred feet,” he said. -- Brian Summerfield
Peppers’ new workout has him in optimal shape Bench-presses pallets of cash Julius Peppers had no idea what to do with all the money he got from the Bears after he signed one of the richest contracts in NFL history. Rather than worry, he turned to his personal trainer. “It’s obvious that Julius is motivated by gobs and gobs of money,” said Peppers’ personal trainer, Leon Vance. “It’s only logical that he should include it in his workout.” And include it he did. To increase his endurance, the defensive end starts out every morning chasing a pile of cash tied to some
fishing wire being pulled up and down Lower Wacker by Vance riding a Segway. He treats the homeless as competing offensive linemen he needs to maneuver around or run over. He then goes through rigorous strength training by bench-pressing pallets stacked with hundred dollar bills and curling dumbbells made of solid gold. But these workouts are nothing compared to what’s next—swimming laps in an Olympic-sized pool filled with Cristal. “I heard Michael Phelps wants to start training like that,” said a grinning Peppers. “But he doesn’t have enough money.” -- Michael Kloempken
OCHOCINCO UNVEILS NEW MULTI-LLEVEL GLOBAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO SOLICIT ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ VOTES
THE REAL DEAL
12 | MAY 2010
Teachable moment Matt Forte talks nutrition with kids and football with The Heckler
att Forte recently met with football players from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago at the G Series Mobile Locker Room, a state-of-the-art roving facility where young athletes learn about the latest in sports nutrition. The Bears RB took a few minutes to talk about the initiative, his outlook for the Bears in 2010 and this year’s Favre retirement watch. The Heckler: It’s pretty unique that an NFL player addresses local high schools like this. What about this initiative interests you? Matt Forte: I just think about when I was a young athlete and how valuable it is to have a professional athlete come and talk to them. It gives a point of view of where you came from and how to get to that position. You know, today I’m talking to them about putting the right kinds of fuel into their bodies before, during and after workouts and games. It’s definitely valuable to get that message out to the kids, and I appreciate going and doing that. TH: What do you think was the biggest difference between your
rookie season and second year? MF: The first season was real fast. Right out of college you train for the combine, you go straight into mini camp and OTAs, and you really don’t get a break. So the first season, everything went by really fast. The second season you get a little more comfortable with the guys, and you know everyone a little bit better. My third year, going into it I’m even more comfortable with the guys. It’s a lot of fun, getting to know everybody. And you also get to know the business side of the NFL. Guys are getting traded and we’re getting new guys. So you see that side of it, which is a bit scary at times, but you see that it’s not just a game. It’s a business and
you see the business aspect of it. TH: What’s your understanding of how your role will be impacted by the changes so far this off-season like the Chester Taylor signing and hiring of Mike Martz? MF: I think it’ll change slightly to where they’ll customize the offense. In this offense you can actually have two tailbacks in it, and you can run pass routes. We’re actually going to have a lot of different routes in the passing side, and a lot of different run plays, formations and shifts. I think it’s better because it’s going to keep the defense on its heels to have another good running back in there. If
one of us gets tired, the other can go in and be just as effective. TH: What should fans expect from the offense in 2010? MF: Right now, I think the fans in Chicago expect the offense to just “not lose” the game. They expect the defense to shut the opponent down, and we score just enough points to win. But I think we can score a lot of points in this offense. We have a great quarterback, and I think when he’s comfortable in this offense it’s going to be really good. And having two good running backs back there who can do a lot of different things, you know, catching the ball and running the
ball, I think that’s going to help too. TH: What do you think it’s going to take for the Bears to compete for a playoff spot this season? MF: It’s going to take when we’re in the red zone to not turn the ball over, and to turn that into seven points instead of three points sometimes. The defense has always been really good, and they’re going to have to stop the other team, but we’ve got to go out and score a lot of points and continue to do that the whole season. TH: Got a prediction? Is Brett Favre coming back? MF: I think he’s coming back. He’s going to play until he’s 80. [Laughs.]
THE REAL DEAL
MAY 2010 | 13
Ain’t no party like a Chris Festa party ...
dds are you’ve come in contact with Chris Festa, especially if you’re a Wrigleyville resident. In a neighborhood known for its parties, Chris puts on some of the best. His 12 Bars of Xmas is a can’t-miss event for as many as 7,000 people. And you’ve probably seen the shirts he sells at festastuff.com and retail locations around the country, with “In Dusty We Trusty” perhaps being the best known. On Saturday, May 8, Chris’s company Festa Parties is hosting the second annual Cover Your Bases Pub Crawl in Wrigleyville, which promises to be yet another great time from the guy who throws Wrigleyville’s biggest parties. The Heckler: Most Cubs fans segment. So it was pretty excitInterview by probably remember the “In ing! Things cooled off a bit in the Brad Zibung Dusty We Trusty” phenomenon summer but when the Cubs of 2003 but might not know you clinched the NL Central we were were the guy behind that. How did it come fortunate enough to get a feature article in the about and were you surprised it took off? Tribune, be on WGN Radio, and be on Chris Festa: Haha, I think I was actually not national TV with our banner in the stadium. surprised it took off because I kind of went Suddenly, orders were flooding in and I had into that season with a lot of blind faith and all my friends helping me (working out of innocence—and didn’t think about things my living room) to fulfill the orders and take too much! The phrase actually popped into wheelbarrows of packages to the post office. my head the day he was hired in November I was all set for fame, fortune, and early 2002, and after I was laid off of my last job, retirement until a man named Bartman put I decided to take the plunge and start produc- an end to all that! The day after Game 7, I ing and marketing the T-shirts. I didn’t know retreated into my bedroom with the shades any better, so I sent one to every sportscaster drawn for about six weeks, emerging only in town and dropped off about six dozen at for pizza deliveries. It was then I decided I the Wrigley office for the whole Cubs team should make a few more T-shirts so that my and Dusty. Within a few days, Dusty himself entire financial future wouldn’t be dependent called to thank me and invited me to have my on the Cubs—which I think any sane person picture taken during pre-game in the dugout, would agree was a wise choice. and the next week, Corey McPherrin of Fox TH: People also know you as the person News interviewed me and did a TV feature behind the wildly successful Annual Twelve
Bars of Xmas Pub Crawl. It’s grown from a few dozen people in 1996 to 7,000 last year. Can you explain the way that’s taken off? CF: I’d say the main reason is that its origins are completely organic, completely grassroots and that the concept is easy to grasp and broadly appealing. I started the event (I see a theme here) just to drink beer with my friends and meet girls, and avoid having the downside of having a house party and trashing my apartment! And the idea of a bar crawl is fun. if one bar is good, then 12 bars is great! The key is, I try to really focus on the friendship aspect—celebrating and
rewarding the longtime loyal participants by placing them on our “Royal Court,” and doing everything possible to make it an intimate, personal event where traditions are respected and carried on. TH: What can people expect if they join the madness at Cover Your Bases on May 8? CF: First, they can expect stickers—more than 10,000—and they’ll collect one different sticker at each stop along the route to fill out the baseball diamond on their shirt (including one extra position, but don’t worry, it’s not the DH!) People should expect a very friendly group of hosts and an atmosphere where it’s really easy to meet people and there’s a lot of camaraderie among the people on the crawl. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but I can pretty much connect every friend I’ve made and every date I’ve had over the past five years to one of my crawls—not to mention making a lot of business connections. On our events, we always like to have a strong theme and give people a “mission” and something to collect at every stop. So, I think you’ll see people at Bar 1 maybe a little tentative, and saying “what’s with all these stickers” who by Bar 7 or 8 will be all over it! We really like the events to be fun and entertaining and not just be “go to bar, drink, get drunk, go to next bar”— we try to make it like a fun excursion or scavenger hunt that just happens to have beer.
THE REAL DEAL
14 | MAY 2010
Cubs bullpen has become a money pit
he Cubs front office makes compound mistakes as if the Cubs are a factory that makes compound mistakes that are to be consumed with nachos and beer. They solve a problem by throwing money at it, and we watch the mistakes compound while enjoying “Cubs tradition.” They’re going to have to risk another quick fix and bring Mariano Rivera on board next year. The Cubs can honestly say money is no object and offer Rivera $20 million to be their closer for 2011. If he balks, though I don’t think Rivera has ever has committed a balk, the Cubs should just ask Rivera how much he requires, and pay it. Next, the Cubs should do the same with Matt Capps, but instead of being their closer, Capps would be their eighth inning man.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
LOCO ROB Rob C. Christiansen firstname.lastname@example.org I know the Cubs approached Capps in the offseason and offered him the eighth inning role which he turned down because he wanted to be a closer, as he is at present for the Nationals. The Cubs should then double any offer to Capps and pay it so he pitches in the eighth inning for them. It is significant that both Rivera and
Capps will be free agents after the 2010 campaign. Marmol is two years away from being an effective closer. He isn’t seasoned enough to not walk and/or hit the first two batters he faces in the ninth inning. He should toil in middle relief for now and hone his craft. You wonder why pay all this money for a setup man? They already are. Zambrano’s in there since the Cubs refuse to teach Soriano how not to pitch. Soriano is versatile and already knows how not to play second base and left field. Why can’t he not pitch in the eighth inning for the Cubs? If Soriano took the mound in the eighth, his grandfathered-in “hop” would be allowed and take him part of the way towards the plate upon pitch delivery, serving as an advantage to Lou’s crew.
When good things happen to the Cubs, it is usually by mistake. Silva and Byrd are performing well for them, although each was frowned upon when he was acquired. The rookie Tyler Colvin has made this writer almost forget about Micah Hoffpauir, and I’m not even sure I can spell Hoffpauir’s name right anymore. I can tell you that whenever I hear Tyler Colvin’s name, I immediately think of Shawn Colvin the minstrel and her terrific song “Sonny” gets stuck in my head. The Cubs gave up 50 late-inning runs in April while not scoring nearly enough of same, which means one thing for sure. They’re going to have to unload their relief corps onto other teams and start batting against them pronto.
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5 HOURS AT THE BAR WITH WOOD
MAY 2010 | 15
Pigs and wings win out over a Cancun fiesta By Matthew Wood
Eventually they’ll have to decide if they want to be a sports bar, a real sit-down restaurant or some combination of the two. But for now, just enjoy the well-aboveaverage wings and go with it.
here are so many new places popping up in the Wrigleyville area, we didn’t want to limit our Five Hours to just one this month. So we split it up into three different spots - although An Hour and Forty Minutes at the Bar with Wood doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Here’s a quick rehash:
Dos Gringos Trailer Park
The Piggery 1625 W. Irving Park The smell of barbecue hits you even across the street and down the block at this month-old spot, at the former Cordis Brothers Supper Club (and Biasetti’s before that, which had much of the same ownership). Our waitress, Jean, claimed their ribs are “fall off the bone,” but doesn’t everyone say that? Well, these guys back it up, with a tender - and plentiful - rack that includes two sides (get the mac & cheese, obviously). The beer list is standard, although no specials were offered on our trip (from Jean: “We’re open, that’s special.”) TVs line each wall, all tuned to sporting events. For some reason, there were a bunch of Pittsburgh Penguins fans there, but we won’t hold that against them. Plans for a patio and back room are imminent, which will definitely air out the place,
Our girl Jean shows off our induction into the Clean Plate Club at The Piggery. but hopefully be shielded from the and worse service. But the former Fly Me to the Moon, Irving/Ashland traffic noise. Overall, a good place for dinner, and which abruptly closed (probably on account of the fact that nobody ever actually went worth the hike from the ballpark. there) and re-opened as this more casual wing joint, was surprisingly good. Wrigleyville Wild Wings The wings are plump and well-sauced. 3400 N. Clark Beers are cheap. And service is excellent We came into the place with the lowest of expectations. First of all, the name - really? (probably on account of the fact that there’s Secondly, everything I heard was bad wings still nobody in the place).
3438 N. Clark It’s hard to put into words the ridiculousness of Dos Gringos, which bills itself as “Cancun in Wrigleyville.” Yeah, like the neighborhood needs more booze cruises and foam parties (of which this place has neither, thankfully). Anyway, the name is apt, as I saw a whole bunch of white boys (unfortunately, not nearly as many gringas) on our trip. I will allow that our visit was on a Saturday night after a Cubs game, so the entire block is pretty much a hot mess by then. But that doesn’t excuse the overly blaring music (nobody’s dancing, hombres), lack of beer options and tremendous gringo-to-gringa ratio. On the plus side, um, the bright color scheme is a refreshing touch. It just seems that the Mexican theme is pretty much covered on the block, with Fiesta Cantina across the street and El Jardin down the block. But hey, you know what you’re getting into here. And if you still want to hit this place up, no me importa.