do i hate everything today? yes.

do i believe that the people on the right side of this list will do the things the left side accomplished?

no. thats not how life is.

thats not how baseball is.

thats not how anything is.

ive never seen a situation where they took all the best people, got rid of them, paid a fraction for inexperienced people and those people did just as well if not better

this is why the good book says eat the rich

put them in a stew and eat them.

eat them all.

someone was telling me the way to raise money for the podcast is instead of shaking down thousands of people for a few bucks, find one or two very rich people and work on them.

but i dont understand why if i was rich i would just give money to a weirdo and not try to influence what hes up to

are there really silent partners in the world who just trust you after all these years?

why do i think thats a fantasy?

the cubs have made so much money off the top three dudes on the left.

they just gave them away for peanuts.

my niece called me and asked me to explain wtf is going on and i told her

life is short and filled with horrible moments.

fortunately there are also really super good moments

and i asked her to tell me about her favorite one so far

and she told me about going to the movies to see the Avengers Infinity War the night before it opened

she was so happy, she said, being in a theater with all these fellow fans who loved all these characters, they were cheering when they appeared on the screen, they clapped when they said cool things.

and i said, and then what happened at the end.

the end doesn’t matter uncle tony, she told me.

i said, why not.

she said, yeah, half of the world dies, but everyone knows a sequel was coming soon.

and i said, you have just explained wtf just happened with the cubs

the xbi took my shrink away from me

even if you dont work for them any more, they have a way of keeping agency secrets private

but for the while i was seeing her she would often talk about the wall i have around my emotions

today i was extremely sad.

after the cubs won the world series and they played their first game the next season

the team marched from under the bleachers, through a door in the ivy

to the great tune “It’s a Long Way to the Top if you Want to Rock n Roll”  from AC/DC’s first album,

holding the trophy was mr anthony rizzo

who the Cubs today traded to the Yankees for some disposable napkins

and three packets of ketchup.

sometimes you know things are going to happen but you hope the clock will run out

or you hope someone will do something heroic.

i dont know if you know me very well but the cubs are my favorite thing.

more than blogging, more than fighting crime, more than rock music.

if i lived in chicago i would figure out a way to go to as many games as i could

like, id probably sell hot dogs or something at wrigley in the summer

and sell weed to cops in the winter.

so today was heartbreaking in so many different ways

and yes i did cry.

which i never do.

people may take this the wrong way but i felt in some ways

like i did january 6

when the beautiful girl left for good.

this has been quite a year and before this week is over maybe more of my favorite cubs

will be gone to teams they should not be playing for.

it ruined all the plans i had today, all the productivity, everything.

fortunately two things happened:

i was interviewed on a new app and i believe i killed it.

in part because it happened before the trade.

and then after the trade i went for a little walk and ran into this old guy from the market

who never knows my name even though he asks it of me every time im in the store.

his name is george.

recently ive been saying, my name is george, which makes the cashier laugh

because usually it’s george with the yucks.

george was jaywalking with a bunch of boxes

and when he was half way across the street he said

tony

and i said, george, lemme help you with those boxes

and we walked a few blocks with them and i asked him who the first president he voted for was

and he said LBJ

and i asked do you regret that now?

and he said, why should i, I love medicare.

which i never knew was an LBJ thing, but turns out it was.

then i said hi to the new fortune teller on the block, Lola

who says she wants to be on my podcast

and then i had a sample of some vegan ice cream which was good

until the aftertaste kicked in

and i promised myself i would drink a can of Old Style to honor #44

but i dont drink alone.

then a wonderful woman, a beautiful young woman who interviews people for a living

told me that she has heard all of my podcasts and she said

“you are the greatest interviewer.”

and she wants to help me make money on that thing.

and i wanna make money on that thing too.

and then joe biden sent me an obama phone in the mail.

free phone, i just have to turn it on.

but with what energy, phone?

my light is gone.

cubs game was amazing today

the beautiful julie van maldegaim sent me a three ring binder of all the letters i wrote her in high school

she had been keeping them all these years.

it’s a tiny bit cringey reading them because allllllll i talked about was the cubs

so im a little gunshy right now saying todays game was the best, most exciting one all season

which couldnta come at a more important time because cub fans are very nervous

because theyre gonna trade some of our favorite players, probably

even though they dont really have to

it’s just cheaper for them if they trade them right before their contract expires

that way they can get some young players out of the deal

otherwise they just lose them unless they pay market value.

the market value for the three guys whose contracts are expiring are about $20-$25million a year and most of them want 4-5 year contracts. So $400 million to keep them all

WHICH THEY SHOULD TOTALLY DO BECAUSE

  • these players helped them win the world series
  • are beautiful wonderful men of honor and professionalism
  • are beloved by every single fan
  • the owners can afford it because theyve built up all around the park including a swanky hotel, and all of it is bringing in major revenue in part because of these men
  • for the last 4 years they haven’t had to pay very much at all for these guys
  • the Cubs have a chance to lead the league in Coolness

in conclusion i am very sad i didnt grow into a gazillionaire

this is what i predict for the cubs

they have four guys who are up for contract soon

rizzo, baez, bryant and contreras

some are calling them the Core Four

they won the world series for us

the owners dont want to pay all of them and would rather not let the pretty boy mvp go, but his price might be the highest.

theyd love to give the catcher away but theres not a viable backup to replace him yet

they cant really give away the cancer survivor first baseman

and the shortstop is the most exciting player in baseball who doesnt also pitch

so all of them are going to try extra hard to prove how much people should pay them

so they will be awesome, except maybe for javy who will just swing at everything and strike out a lot.

the cubs will be a first place team again

but their pitching will let them down.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.