Cuz's Corner

Blackhawks on the Brink
02/16/2011, 10:39 am
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Welcome back to Cuz’s Corner! As you can see, the blog has undergone some changes. First, I’ve gotten a lot more creative with the sites appearance. This will be an ongoing project. Second, I’ve opened the site up to not just Cubs but all Chicago sports… Which brings us to my first post of the new blog.

The Blackhawks have been teetering on the playoff bubble for the better part of the year. A number of things have contributed to this up-and-down season, but the most important factor has been the loss of key complimentary players. Because of the salary cap, the Hawks weren’t able to keep Byfuglien, Ladd, Versteeg and Sopel. We’ve been forced to replace them with a combination of journeyman veterans and some young players with hardly any NHL experience at all. The result has been a mixed bag, but mostly disappointing. Jack Skille, once thought to be the Hawks next great top-6 forward threat, failed to impress when given extended minutes and was recently traded to Florida for Michael Frolik. John Scott, or as I like to call him “the skating pylon” or after a few cold ones “that fucking asshole”, was a disaster of a signing. He was brought in to be a tough enforcer, able to play both defense and forward. The problem is he can’t play either. He could be the worst hockey player in the league. Sure, he wins most of his fights but does that really help the Hawks win games? At least his playing time has diminished recently. Viktor Stalberg, who was the key player the Hawks got in return from Toronto in the Kris Versteeg trade, is not panning out either. He is fast as hell – I mean burn any defenseman in the league fast – but his deficiencies in puck handling, passing and general hockey sense cancel out his speed advantage. Nick Boynton has also failed pretty badly at trying to fill in with regular minutes on the hawks 3’rd D pairing.

But not all of the new guys have been bad. Bryan Bickell, who has actually seen limited time with the hawks last year and the year before, has settled in nicely in his role on the Hawks third line. He’s a big guy with decent handles but the key to his game is his shot. Bickell has one of the quickest wrist shots in the game and has 13 goals on the season to show for it. Another pleasant surprise has been the play of defenseman Nick Leddy. With the departure of BSopel, and the subsequent poor play of his replacement Nick Boynton, Leddy has stepped in and played some great D for the Hawks. His play has been so solid of late that he’s been getting top-4 minutes, playing with Keith and Cambell.

Of course, the inconsistencies among the Hawks big dogs has held us back too. Keith and Seabrook are having bad seasons. Hossa has been a little disappointing as well. Marty Turco has sucked balls and has pretty much lost any chance to play regularly down the stretch.

But as bad as things have gone, we’re still in playoff hunt. As of today we are 6 points out of the 8’th and final playoff spot with 3 games in hand on 8’th place Calgary. 2 teams are in our way – Minnesota and L.A. We play Minnesota tonight. If there were ever a must-win game for the Hawks this season, this is it. Actually, it’s best to think of every game as a must-win from here on out.

That’s my take on the Hawks season up to this point. If some of you reading this aren’t as familiar with hockey as you are with baseball, here’s a little vid that will enlighten you to some of the sports finer points.

PS – If you haven’t seen this movie please leave my blog and don’t come back until you’ve watched it atleast 3 times.

– Cuz


Hey Jim Joyce – Stay Hot!
06/03/2010, 9:16 am
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So last night some guy neither you or I have ever heard of on the Tigers pitched a perfect game, except that Jim Joyce and his old balls stole it away from him. On the last out of the game, no less. This will probably go down as one of the worst blown calls of all time, as it should.

It’d be one thing if this were a bang-bang play. Or if it wasn’t clear whether Galarraga’s foot was on the bag. Or if Jim Joyce admitted that he was shit-housed drunk.

But none of these things were true. Joyce has no excuse for this garbage. To his credit though, he did apologize to Galarraga after the game and admitted he fucked him out of a perfect game.

It’s OK, Jim. No one’s perfect. Wait, nevermind. Let me rephrase. Some people are perfect until their perfection is ripped away from them by over-the-hill, oldballs umpires.

– Cuz

It’s getting Harder and Harder To Keep Hating Ozzie
05/27/2010, 6:24 pm
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LOL indeed

What - 1964 doesn't count, Ozzie?

(pictures via Deadspin)

A Buddy sent me this yesterday.  Apparently this is what Mr. Guillen wrote on a ball that an Indians fan asked him to sign before the Sox-Indians game on Teusday night. Not 100% on whether it’s real or fake, but I’m leaning towards real. The tone of the message just screams Ozzie. Pretty hilarious stuff.

– Cuz

Bleacher Beer Cup Catch and Chug
05/27/2010, 4:20 pm
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I’m not even sure when this game was because it looks like that’s the Braves in the field and last time I checked we haven’t played Atlanta at home yet this year. Anyway, this isn’t a big deal at all. In fact there are far more negatives to find than positives.

First, it’s clearly staged. The Braves guy probably tried to get him to catch it in his cup like 5 times before this asshole finally caught it. Second, this idiot wasted probably $4 minimum by catching the ball and splashing his beer all over everyone. Ballpark beer should never be wasted, especially on lame bleacher antics. Lastly – wow dude. Congrats. You chugged a 1/4 full cup of beer and balanced a baseball on your mouth when you were done with it. Took you long enough to finish, too, you pussy.

– Cuz

PWI – A true test of hitting prowess
05/26/2010, 8:04 pm
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Quite possibly the finest beer ever made.

I was fortunate enough to attend last nights game, which the Cubs won 3-0 thanks to a superb start from Ryan Demptser and a surprising surge of offense from “Dog Doo” Derrek Lee (credit A. Rubenstein for Derrek’s new nick name). Normally this would be cause enough for a post on Cuz’s Corner. But something happened during the game, somewhere between my 6’th and 7’th Old Style, that will go down as one of the most important developments in our sacred game’s history.

Through a healthy dose of liquid brainpower, my friends (chiefly S. Grasso) and I came up with a new stat that is sure to revolutionize the way fans, analysts, even players themselves, look at the game – The Pulling Weight Indicator.

PWI is calculated by dividing a players batting average by their bodyweight.

Simple? Yes. Revolutionary? You betcha! Relevent to any discussion whatsoever regarding batting ability? Debatable. Nonetheless, who am I to stand in the way of progress?

Sabremetric nerds – no need to thank or praise me. For some people, shit just comes easy. Old Style helps, too.

Without any further adieu, I give you updated PWI statistics for your Chicago Cubs:

player                        Avg     Weight PWI

Ryan Theriot               297      180      1.65

Marlon Byrd               314      245      1.28

Dog Doo Derrek Lee  231      245      0.94

Aramis Ramirez          160      205      0.78

Alfonso Soriano          319      195      1.64

Kosuke Fukudome      303      200      1.52

Geovany Soto             257      218      1.18

Mike Fontenot            309      170      1.82

Xavier Nady               227      215      1.06

Jeff Baker                   215      210      1.02

Tyler Colvin                308      210      1.47

Starlin Castro              328      190      1.73

Koyie Hill                   205      210      0.98

 From this chart, we can conclude the following:

-A PWI of 1.25 or more is good or great.

-Between 1.0 and 1.24 is average or mediocre.

-A PWI below 1.0 is bad.

– If your name is Aramis Ramirez, you suck.


Just another day at the Cell
05/24/2010, 2:18 pm
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Top 5 reasons you can tell this is at the Cell:

1) Literally 10’s of thousands of empty seats
2) The fight is between sox fans…and sox fans. Probably because their team sucks
3) The fights main culprits are slimy-haired southside dbags
4) Said slimy-haired southside dbags’s girlfriends are not only present in the video, but partaking in the fight
5) Security doesn’t come in until the 1:45 mark. And the guy that does come in is at least 70 years old.

Real nice organization they have over there on the south side.

Cubs overcome Grabow Suckfest, Aramis turning the corner?

Despite his best effort to ensure a Cubs loss, John Grabow was bailed out by Carlos Marmol and the Cubs edged the Rockies on Monday after a mammoth game-winning home run by Aramis Ramirez in extra innings.

Ramirez with a walkoff homerun in the 11'th inning (AP photo)

With the wind blowing in all night, the game figured to be won on the base paths and with strung-together hits. Ramirez changed those thoughts with one swing of the bat, whacking a 1-0 fastball from Rockies reliever Matt Belisle deep into the left-center field bleachers for just his fourth home run of the season and first since April 15. The 2 for 5, 3-RBI night for Ramirez may very well be a turning point in his season, as he looked calm and comfortable in every at-bat and delivered in the clutch when the Cubs needed him.

But Ramirez very nearly never got his chance to win the game. After a solid outing from Randy Wells, John Grabow came in with 2 outs in the seventh inning and promptly retired hot-hitting Carlos Gonzalez to end the inning, retaining the Cubs 2-1 lead. So far so good. But Grabow started off the eighth by giving up a single to Seth Smith, then walked Brad Hawpe on 5 pitches. After retiring Troy Tulowitzki on a flyball to center, Grabow walked Todd Helton to load the bases. He was then relieved by Carlos Marmol who walked Miguel Olivo, forcing in a run to tie the game 2-2. But Marmol stopped the bleeding on the next hitter, enticing Ian Stewart to ground into a double play to end the threat.

Then it was the Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall show. Marmol struck out the side in the ninth, making way for Sean Marshall in the tenth. Marshall matched Marmols dominance by striking out all 3 batters he faced in the inning. Another perfect eleventh inning for Marshall allowed the Cubs to start off the bottom of the inning needing 1 run to win, and the heart of the order up. After a leadoff single by Starlin Castro, who continues to impress at the plate, Derrek Lee had his sharp line drive snagged by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. That set the stage for Ramirez’s heroics to end the game.

As if the nail-biting theatrics of the game weren’t enough, the day was highlighted by more off the field drama as well. Before the game, Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella addressed questions about their futures with the Cubs after a slow start to the season. Also, Carlos Zambrano was seen throughout the game sitting in Cubs dugout instead of down the 3rd base line with relief crew. After the game Piniella explained that Zambrano would now be transitioned into a long relief roll. For now. Take that for what it’s worth, but one need only look at how few instances the Cubs have actually needed long relief innings to see that this most likely means Zambrano will re-enter the rotation soon.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. Just another boring day in the world of Cubdom.