busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, February 2, 2021

    today i learned the guy who covers the cubs likes the DH 

    can you imagine working for a big newspaper in Chicago,

    sorta big, it’s the sun-times

    and you get to go to the most beautiful park 100 times a year

    and you are fundamentally against what makes the National League the National League?

    to me that would be like being a bartender but not appreciating booze.

    it’d be like saying you love women but would rather they be completely odorless

    it’d be like being a librarian but you prefer the film adaptations.

    we battled a little on twitter and he took offense when i told him that i was unfollowing him and then all of his fans piled on

    and one by one i picked them off.

    it was astounding how few of them really understood the nuance and truths about not just baseball

    but strategy, pace, and how to score a run.

    scoring runs, of course being the prime objective of baseball.

    one guy told me that he liked the AL style that included the designated hitter because it sped up the games and created more runs.

    i told him to find me the proof that the games were shorter in the AL than the NL

    he conceded he was wrong.

    so to reward him i showed him that the amount of runs scored in each league were virtually identical.

    i even showed him a chart

     

    more people defended the sun times reporter.

    one guy asked me a ridiculous scenario where it was the first inning and the pitcher was due up, would i pinch hit? he said he would i said, “why? your team had batted around in the first. you’re doing great, why take out your pitcher for the hope of another hit even though the odds of a pinch hitter being successful is low?”

    he was all, “well he has a better chance of a hit than a dumb pitcher!”

    which is true but still inane. so i asked him about another scenario.

    i said what would happen if its the bottom of the 7th, scoreless game, two no hitters until the Cubs #8 hitter smacks a double into the ivy.

    one out, man on second, do you let your pitcher bat or do you yank him because now you have the best chance youve had all game to score… but if you yank him you are also pulling out a pitcher who is mesmerizing the opposite team?

    he said, oh id let him bunt. its an obvious sacrifice bunt scenario.

    i said is it? and i pulled out this Runs Expectancy chart like the nerd that i am that shows you have a .66 chance of scoring if you have a man on second with 1 out. but you only have a .35 chance of scoring if you have a runner on third with 2 outs.

    so by bunting you are actually halving your chances, so you may as well let Kyle swing away and/or try to draw a walk… and make the pitcher waste valuable pitches.

    all he could say was that the stats i provided were 5 years old (as if that matters) and any time he sees pitchers they stand there for three pitches and then walk to the bench.

    it was then that i realized who i was talking with. and who this writer attracts. and that i was wasting my time with both of them and i should get back to actual work.

    which i did

    which i am nearly finished with.

    which makes me very happy.

    and tomorrow i will sell my OJ helmet.

    to a very nice man who once used it in an art show.

    and i will throw in an OJ football card.

    everything must go.

    im selling everything i own,

    new year new you.

  2. Sunday, December 27, 2020

    theres this thing in the bleachers at wrigley field 

    what you do is you keep your cup of beer after you drink it and stack the empties as the game goes on.

    eventually you might have this long snake of cups at the end of the game if you… have a close relationship with drinking.

    so shout out to the Cubs social media dept for this Elf on the Shelf tribute to bleacher bums.

    of which i am one. even though two old styles is all i need out there.

    amber and i have the most interesting relationship. many people probably think that it revolves around my hot bod and fancy clothes.

    while that may have been true at the beginning, her home cooking has been responsible for me gaining a few but she doesnt mind. far as i can tell.

    but because she doesnt drink, i stopped drinking too. not that it was ever that big of a part of my life but ive maybe had four beers all year? it almost seems impossible for a man who loves Isla Vista, Hollywood and the Bleachers so much.

    i hear some say that they are happy that UCSB isn’t really a party school any more. but i would disagree. i think it’s good to discover your tolerance at that age. i think it’s great to see that The Guy who can drink the most isn’t really the achievement we think it is as we’re doing that beer bong.

    although i gotta say, when i was driving Uber and this Korean CEO told me that heavy drinking is part of the biz culture there, it was a little shocking.

    like logically what does it prove if the CEO of Hyundai can drink a giant pitcher of a gross assortment of spirits? and how is it disgraceful if the CEO of Samsung can’t? am i really that much of a hippy dip idealist that all i care about are the quality of the crap and its price?

    tell me a good story.

    tell me about the hardest you ever fell in love.

    blow my mind with some truism you got from a fortune cookie.

    i went to a college where they were snorting ether off dirty rags and then playing Defender and Ms Pacman side by side and switching machines after each time they died. who cares how much Jager you can pound.

    tell me something cool.

    she me something beautiful.

    sing me a song on a broken piano in the back where the kegs are.

    drinking is fine, but it’s the set up, not the tale.

  3. Thursday, December 3, 2020

    today was sad for Cub fans for two reasons 

    first the Cubs announced they would be letting Kyle Schwarber join free agency.

    Schwarber the loveable pudgy catcher who was moved to outfield once Willson Contreras developed into a flashy all star.

    Schwarber the heart of the team that, like a cow, had several stomachs that were also hearts.

    Schwarber who once hit a ball so far that it landed ontop of a scoreboard and instead of trying to take it down, the grounds crew built a little glass case around it so it could live there forever.

    then the Twitter leaked the news that Len Kasper, the mild mannered announcer who often said how much he loved WGN because unlike other outlets didn’t force he and JD to wear shirts and ties.

    but then the Cubs ownership created its own Cubs network… and made the boys wear ties.

    so he quit and allegedly got picked up by the enemy, the White Sox.

    is life terrible?

    sometimes, yes. very much so.

    but sometimes life is beautiful and these two men gave us so much joy

    so much life

    so much hope

    and i am so grateful to them for that.

     

     

  4. Friday, September 25, 2020

    gonna try to unplug this weekend 

    it’s already hard. im addicted. and im procrastinating.

    i have so much work to do and a hard out on Thursday. maid’s coming, so i have to skedaddle outta here.

    two weeks worth of work boiled into six days.

    how will i do it? am i that amazing?

    i gotta say this about my first year with Los Angeleno, i always wanted to write more since leaving LAist way back when and it’s nice to write again.

    it makes me really appreciate those who do it every day or damn near every day. it’s not easy.

    my problem is not in the story ideas. i have 10 a day. good ones. perfect ones.

    its: can i remain excited about them 20 minutes after theyre approved?

    the answer is rarely yes. so i try to write as fast as i can before i get bored to death.

    my brain zips around so much these days FOR OBVIOUS REASONS and social media does not help because each page refresh or full screen scroll leads to two new moments of agita.

    thats one thing i miss about not being in Chicago, even though i havent been there in ages, i miss the italians

    today at the grocery store this black guy passed me and said nice hat.

    turned out he was from the South Side. super rarity to have that happen.

    most younger black dudes from that part of town are Sox fans.

    they view Cub fans as entitled white boy fratty dudes — and they’re not 100% wrong.

    so i asked him why a Cub fan and he said his grandma always had WGN on back in the day.

    i wish more networks understood the secret trick that WGN did to us:

    Ray Rayner cartoons in the morning, Bozo at noon and the Cubs at 1:20pm.

    it tricked millions of us kids to get addicted.

    i still dont know how a kids show at noon stayed so successful when most of their target market – pre TIVO – was at school, but thats another story idea for another media outlet.

  5. Tuesday, July 28, 2020

    what people may not know is theres bricks behind that ivy 

    chicago might look soft and fuzzy on the outside but

    theres a realness right there that you will never forget.

    wrigley fields over 100 years old,

    they had plenty of time to figure out how to put padding over those bricks

    and sew ivy into it.

    but fuck that.

    what is this, recess?

    wrigley field is where dick butkus played most of his games

    in the cold

    through the wind.

    gayle sayers, brian piccolo.

    it’s where ditka played.

    tinkers to evers to chance.

    at wrigley babe ruth pointed at right field in the world series

    and you know what he said?

    he said

    theres fucking bricks in that shit.

     

  6. Tuesday, October 1, 2019

    do you know i love you? sure, but *do* you? 

    i do.

    it may not feel that way if you judge the number of times i write in the world famous, but trust me, that’s no way to measure any of this

    ive been writing like a dog on Los Angeleno. did you know dogs can write? Woof!

    because i dont think my mom has bookmarked where my new stuff is, i will link to it now

    Famous Silver Lake Foot Sign Saved from Thieves by Los Feliz Store Owner

    Happy Foot Doctor Reunites with Nearly-Stolen Sign

    Despite AB 5, Uber Drivers Would Rather Quit Than Be Employees

    What It Was Like to Work at Popeyes During the Chicken Sandwich Frenzy

    Trojans Continue Unsafe Vaping Habits Despite Recent Warnings

    is that all i’ve done? i’m so exhausted i feel like ive done more. oh well. i got another coming out tomorrow about living on Obama Blvd. ive been doing the social over there too. going to meetings. meeting the people. meeting the readers happens this week too. so much.

    driving a lot. here, there, south central, the valley. my interior door handle broke. it’s just flaccid. i have to roll the window down, unlock the door, then open the door, then roll up the window, then turn off the car. then shut the door.

    need to go to the shop, but when you drive a Benz you’re all, damn Klaus, how much is this gonna cost me? so i just go through the little window ballet. im not complaining.

    actually i am, about the firing of Joe Maddon, the Cubs manager. the guy who won us the world series after 108 years.

    im particularily mad because i see myself in him a little tiny bit. i too feel like i have been let go from gigs after accomplishing the miraculous and then as soon as it’s time to re-up they show you the door. Joe Maddon deserves a statue at Wrigley, not a kick in the pants. it tore me up yesterday when he was shown the door.

    he shoulda said sorry i didnt win the world series for you year after year. sorry i only broke a hundred year drought. sorry i treated everyone with class and answered every question, and injected fun and playfulness and love to this craziness.

    as drake says these hos aint loyal

    and you know shits fucked when im quoting the champagne papi.

    anyways, i wouldnt do you like that at zankou chicken.

  7. Monday, September 2, 2019

    today in cub twitter 

    Anthony Rizzo has played over 1,200 innings in the majors.

    A giant majority of that time was as a first baseman.

    Over the course of the last few years he has spent a total of 5 innings as a second baseman… on a technicality.

    occasionally Joe Maddon positions players very aggressively on bunts. Rizzo is positioned ridiculously close to home and the true second baseman covers first.

    Because he is basically to the side of the pitcher’s mound during the pitch,

    MLB rules say Rizzo can’t use a first baseman’s glove because those are only used for the player closest to first.

    He exchanges his huge glove with the second baseman for a normal sized one.

    During those outs, he’s being recorded as a second baseman.

    They are rare.

    Extremely rare.

    The Cubs have done that zero times this season so far.

    But Rizzo, always the jokester, identifies himself as a first AND second baseman on his Twitter bio.

  8. Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    how do you solve a problem like sammy 

    once upon a time baseball needed saving.

    it had just gone through a meaningless strike that turned off its fans to the sport

    basketball had arrived in full force and football filled in the blanks

    if anything the baseball strike reminded some how little they cared about the so called national past time.

    but then mark macgwire and sammy sosa started hitting massive dongs nearly every day which reminded some how much they love the long ball.

    not just that, but in chicago, sammys prowess at the plate helped catapult a not-too-shabby cubs team into the post season, something they hadn’t done in years.

    in the north side sammy was king. every time he stepped to the plate it was appointment television. in total good ole #21 slammed 541 home runs as a Cub, breaking none other than Mr. Cub’s team record of 512 set way back in 1971.

    near the end of sammy’s career with the cubs, two things happened: he got caught with a corked bat (which he claimed was his “practice bat” and never meant for a game), and he didn’t show up for his last day at work.

    and also he has been accused by many that he used performance enhancing drugs – although that has never been proved, and he has denied it. he never once failed a test nor was ever suspended for it despite having a long career.

    some say, well what about the leaked drug report of 2013 where sammy’s name was alongside other greats as having failed a secret drug test?

    well the commissioner of baseball is now doubting that report. as he should.

    which brings us to the weird state of sammy sosa in the hearts of chicago cub fans.

    many don’t like him.

    some have turned their back on him.

    the man who saved baseball from the greatest park in sport is not welcome in the friendly confines because, in part, he just didn’t want to spend an awkward day saying goodbye to the cubs on his last day of the season before he was due to get traded.

    and for some reason some cub fans, typically the most forgiving and lovable souls in the world, were so offended that they have not made him feel welcome enough for a return.

    and on top of that, the new owners of the team refuse to welcome him back until he apologizes for that last day.

    it is the strangest thing ive ever seen, and i specialize in strange fucking shit.

    former cub slugger Dave Kingman went to the Lake instead of Wrigley on Dave Kingman tshirt day, in part because he was one the injured list and didn’t want to deal.

    but nobody called Kingman an asswipe when he moved on with his life.

    perhaps it was because Cub fans were amazed with Kingman’s ability to hit monster homers, but he usually struck out 8-9 times for every blast. Sammy was a real player. And he was quick on the basepaths, and deft in the outfield. we had fallen in love with him and so it hurt when he didn’t say bye.

     

    well, i still love him.

    i am still grateful.

    i am glad he saved baseball and i dont care what he didnt do that one time, and what he may have done those other times. im just happy that he brought a light to my favorite place in the world.

    sammy doesnt have to say sorry for shit.

  9. Tuesday, July 2, 2019

    i had a job interview yesterday for work at a cannabis company 

    it went so well.

    the guy was laughing, he was right there with me.

    when it was over he said he would call the person who this person reports to and set up a time for her to talk with me.

    i was so happy. i had researched this company Nardwaur-style. i read everything i could, i watched videos, looked at the HTML of their site in case they asked me about SEO.

    and then a few hours later he said she would talk to me today. today! perfecto!

    so we talked today. she is very smart, well spoken, she had all the answers to my questions. but it was hard to hear if she actually liked me. and she had to run to a meeting so we had to end it quickly.

    the other day i watched this video that made me cry.

    it was reactions that Cub fans had when the Cubs finally won the world series.

    old men and young women, all of them crying.

    i cried too.

    when you wait 108 years to grab the golden ring it is lovely but a bit bittersweet because of all the people who lived and died and never got to have that feeling of their team being The Best.

    after watching that video the other day it dawned on me that i have already “accomplished” my wildest dreams, seeing the Cubs in the World Series in person topped it. and going to their victory parade is something i never imagined. but there i was.

    i have had incredible jobs where we as a team had huge successes, bigger ones than i could have predicted. i have had the best girlfriends, the best friends, i live in an amazing town. i have had a good life.

    for months ive been sweating over what the next job will be. will i just work for myself? will i work for someone else? what will people think i am when they look at my resume and talk to me on the phone for a half hour?

    do they believe that the success i have had will help them achieve their dreams?

    who knows. then theres the wild card that we read in the Bible that the Lord hardens people’s hearts from time to time. mama mia.

    so i guess the thing is you have to Trust. if you’re going to believe in God, which i do, then you just have to enjoy the ride even if it takes you down roads you weren’t planning to take, and even if you’re stuck on the side of the road longer than you want.

    maybe you’re not stuck.

    maybe you’re there because there’s something for you to see.

    or maybe this is the time to read those books or podcast with those people or do that thing or get that rest or omg work out or omg go to the library.

    maybe you dont know everything and control is an illusion and

    maybe you said what is true for you in that interview

    and that is all you can do.

    the Cubs won the world series.

    all of this now is gravy.

    relax and enjoy the parade.

  10. Sunday, June 9, 2019

    my mom gets nervous when i dont update this blog 

    and its true, for years i would write 2-3 times a day, youd think that now that im lazing about the house i’d be writing twice as much but what do you say when you are constantly job hunting or working out on your soul and your six pack abs?

    the cubs are doing well, thats all that matters, really.

    this week they signed the closer that they need, an all star who for some reason wasn’t getting signed by anyone this spring. was he asking too much? was he nuts? was he too old at 31? was his agent a dope? if this guy was so good why had no one snatched him up?

    all fascinating questions. the cubs still paid him $43 million for three years. which is in the neighborhood that im looking to earn in my next gig, btw.

    last night i went to bed in not the best shape. i was nervous about the future, something the bible advises against. consider the lilies of the field, it says, they dont have agents, they belong to no unions, they dont have a sinking fastball and still they live great lives because God loves them, so think how much more he loves us, who have amazing changeups and circle curves.

    but i couldnt sleep so i turned my phone on and clicked over to linkedin… maybe there was a job i hadnt noticed that i should apply for. and there it was. right next to the job i am still waiting to hear from. yes at the very bottom they are asking for some space age futuristic things, but the bulk of the job is right up my alley.

    then i couldnt fall asleep for all the right reasons. i had visions of sugar plums dancing through my head. all the ideas came rushing though. color returned to my cheeks. my heart started beating and mama mia was my brain going into overdrive.

    one idea tapdanced in front of another. boom boom boom. and all brilliant ones. then, lurking in the background, arose the greatest of all ideas ever. it’s ambitious, it’s glorious, it would be a game changer, a sweeping force if ever there was one, and this company could pull it off better’n any of them. theyd have to believe in me though.

    but the crazy thing is, it wouldn’t cost much to pull off. i mean they could invest *money* into it, but it’s not necessary. the lilies don’t buy facebook ads and people drive out to the superbloom in droves. this would be a super dooper bloom of love.

    4am, 5am. finally i ate a croissant and drank a glass of juice. another idea. an old one from the past, but with a new hat. oh and another idea. what about this. MY COVER LETTER IS GOING TO BE A NOVELLA!

    so then i thought, should i go in great detail one some of these ideas so they can take a glimpse of my genius, or should i just list the code names of the concepts as teases?

    First in Line
    The Perfect Room
    Disturbing the Piece
    Somebody Walks in LA
    Press Conference, Jr.

    OK enough procrastination. On to the application.