St. Louis Cardinals in familiar spot

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals could not hold serve at home in the World Series, losing two out of three games at Busch Stadium. The Boston Red Sox lead three games to two heading back to Fenway Park for games six and seven. [Read more…]

Mike Trout Should Win the 2012 AL MVP

This writer is voting for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout for the AL MVP…PERIOD.  Why?  Let the debate continue!

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Shutting down Strasburg is. . .STUPID

Stepehen Strasburg

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding him when he became the #1 pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. Despite his elbow injury during his rookie season, which required Tommy John surgery, Strasburg has bounced back to nearly 100% health and strength. But a lot has been made on the Nationals decision to shut Strasburg down, no matter what, when he reaches 160-165 innings this season. With a legitimate shot to go all the way, is this really smart by the Nationals?

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Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp Are Threats For The Triple Crown

Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton

It’s still “early” in baseball terms, but Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp have done nothing but put on shows. Their superb play has gotten more attention than Philip Humber’s perfect game. Hamilton and Kemp are going for the Triple Crown in their respective leagues. The Triple Crown is revered, by many, to be the greatest single-season accomplishment in all of baseball.

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National Apathy for 2011 World Series? New Poll Confirms It

stl-cardinals

If you’ve said “DON’T CARE!” in reference to the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, you’re far from alone.

Poll Position (it’s a survey company, not anything affiliated with strippers) conducted a national scientific telephone survey of 1,110 registered voters.

They simply asked the respondents are you interested in the 2011 World Series?

Of those polled, 55% said no, 36% said yes with 10% not having an opinion (which is another way of saying no). So I think we can drop that whole “national past time” nonsense; if only slightly more than a third of our nation actually cares.

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2011 World Series Cardinals vs. Rangers Preview: Taiwan Animation Edition

stl-cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals had a rough time in the 2011 regular season. Kind of like the 20o4 World Series championship team that went just 83-79 in the regular season. But with a remarkable run of good luck, they back-doored into the playoffs at the last second, when the Atlanta Braves chokes.

And no one was expecting they would take the National League crown, especially the highly favored Philadelphia Phillies.

Then, the Cards downed the NL Central division champs, the Milwaukee Brewers.

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World Series to Determine Fair Value for Albert Pujols, Stl. Cardinals?

Shaun Marcum and Edwin Jackson struggled in their starts on Sunday night in the 2011 National League Championship Series. That was no surprise considering their previous track records. The eighteen total runs scored made the over betters elated in Las Vegas. Albert Pujols had a home run and two runs batted in for the Cardinals.

Pujols has an average of over four hundred in the postseason with an on base percentage of over .550. He is widely seen as the top hitter in the National League and is a quality teammate-citizen in the Midwest. His prowess at first base has really improved over the years due to his diligence. There is nothing negative that I can write about the man besides his age. The player on the wrong side of thirty probably has the best years behind him…if he is not taking supplements.

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Rambling about the Cubs and Groundhog Day

It’s Friday. And by now, we now that Friday means it is time to Ramble! That’s right. Get pumped! Get psyched! Scream out loud! Go crazy! Get nuts! Read your computer screens! Let me hear you!

Now that we are in the proper mindset, it is time to remind everyone that Groundhog Day is next Wednesday. Wow, that went by fast. Really? Groundhog Day is next week.

So in honor of one of the top-5 comedies of all time, we are talking all things Cubs and Groundhogs as we celebrate the Bill Murray classic video that though believed to be filmed in “Punxsutawney, PA” was actually shot in good old Woodstock, IL.

And what possible similarities do Groundhog Day and the Cubs have in common. Let’s ramble …

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Are the Stars Aligning for the Minnesota Twins?

Minnesota Twins stars 

For 19 years the Minnesota Twins have been fighting. [Read more…]

World Series predictions you can wager your 1st born on

World Series Phillies Yankees Baseball

By Jake McCormick

This team has a lineup in which nearly every player is a threat for a long ball and plays in a hitter friendly park. They boast a veteran pitching staff that is led by a nearly unhittable left handed pitcher. Their bullpen is solid, except for the closer, who is as close to an October guarantee as anyone can get.

Given that last sentence can easily be interpreted in a positive or negative fashion, is the entire paragraph describing the Philadelphia Phillies or New York Yankees, or is it both? With the defending World Series champions butting heads this year with the best team money can buy, the answer is pretty obvious. Both the Phillies and the Yankees are truly the best of their leagues. The World Series is meant to showcase the best AL team against the strongest NL team; Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason (minus the blood, decapitation, and terrible plots/endings.) The 2009 World Series promises to be everything those movies wished to be. Since you’ve probably heard every storyline, statistic and matchup because they were analyzed nearly a split second after the Yankees clinched, I’m going to go about this prediction stuff in a little offbeat way by predicting the highlights and lowlights of each game (I’m picking the Yankees in six, by the way). My formula is a freight train for success, as MLB 2k9 has never steered me wrong in score or statistics when I play out a series. And don’t worry about inaccuracies; the rosters are automatically updated every month.

To give you an idea of how big this series could potentially be, prostitution could potentially be the only way you can net tickets to any of these games. Unspeakable acts for upper deck seats? You betcha!

Wednesday, October 28
Game 1: C.C. Sabathia vs. Cliff Lee

NLCS Dodgers Phillies BaseballSabathia and Lee do their best Clash of the Titans imitation through eight innings as every baseball fan in Cleveland ingests 14,999 lbs of marijuana in a 15 minute span (15,000 lbs in that time span would result in an overdose) in an attempt to forget that both former Cy Young winners were ever wearing Indian colors, the Browns are perennially going nowhere, and LeBron could be leaving next year. Meanwhile, in sports relevancy, the Yankees take the pivotal first game when Phillie closer Brad Lidge, despite spitting, vomiting and defecating on the ball, throws an amazingly straight slider to Melky Cabrera that is blasted out of the park for a 4-3 Yankee win.

Thursday, October 29
Game 2: A.J. Burnett vs. Pedro Martinez

Burnett and Martinez are both chased after five innings when Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard hit a combined six home runs in the first five innings. After A-Rod puts the Yankees up 8-7 in fifth, he celebrates by jumping up on the Yankee dugout and mimicking the Mia Hamm/Michael Jordan “Anything you can do I can do better” Gatorade commercial while staring down Howard. Yankee fans are unable to cheer for the team’s 15-10 win because of their two hour “Who’s your daddy?” chant during ever Martinez pitch.

Saturday, October 31
Game 3 Andy Pettitte vs. Cole Hamels

ALCS Angels Yankees BaseballHamels bests the playoff-grizzled Pettitte, despite Pettitte picking off a record six Phillies in a row after walking each of them. Hamels goes seven innings and gives up three runs, but the Phillie offense flexes its muscles by recording six hits, five of which are home runs. After Charlie Manuel mutters something unintelligible about lefty JA Happ taking over as the primary closer if left handed hitters are due up in the ninth, Happ plays Jesus with a 1-2-3 save in the 6-4 win. The Yankees still lead the series 2-1.

Sunday, November 1
Game 4: Sabathia vs. Lee

The left handed Wolverine vs. Sabertooth battle returns in Philadelphia. Boosted by a traditional Philadelphia crowd armed with the same batteries they brought to the NLDS game Sabathia pitched in 2008 as a Milwaukee Brewer, Lee comes through with a complete game. Sabathia gets a shot of déjà vu against Shane Victorino in the sixth inning as he cranks a three run home run. Jayson Werth continues to look like everything Corey Hart should be by hitting a triple, home run, and stealing two bases.

Monday, November 2
Game 5: Burnett vs. Martinez

MatsuiWith the series tied 2-2, both Burnett and Martinez go six innings and give up two runs. Joba Chamberlain pitched the seventh and eighth innings, but is forced to leave the game after swallowing a Guinness World Record 5,265 Tse flies in one breath after going the entire eighth inning looking like the priest from Amityville Horror. Manuel doesn’t get out to the mound fast enough to take Lidge out, so Lidge once again does his best Brad Lidge/Byung Hyung-Kim/Ralph Branca impression by giving up a ninth inning jack to Hideki Matsui. Matsui credits his power and motivation to his massive Asian porn collection and gives the game ball to his favorite star, Katsumi.

Wednesday, November 4
Game 6: Pettitte vs. Hamels

In the top of the seventh with two outs, a runner on third and the Yankees up 5-4, Shane Victorino walks and begins to insult Pettitte by saying, “Pitcher’s got a big butt!” despite the fact that Pettitte’s butt is facing third base. Pettitte responds by stepping off the mound and calling the infield over. He discretely hands the ball to Mark Teixiera and begins walking around the mound daring and double dog daring Victorino to get a bigger lead. Victorino calls his bluff, and is picked off first in a hilarious situation only seen in the movies. Facing a similar situation in the ninth, closer Mariano Rivera realizes he doesn’t have his cutter working anymore. He looks, in slow motion, over to his mother in the stands, who motions for an underhand softball throw. Rivera takes a deep breath, and lobs the ball three times in successively slower motion to slugger Ryan Howard, who comically whiffs at each of them. The game ends and John Candy, who rises from the dead to broadcast this game, proclaims “Yankees win! Yankees win! Yankees win!”

Cub Fans Feeling Bitter Blues

By Rikki Greenberg

There’s always been something mystical and alluring about the Chicago Cubs. Whether it’s the players (Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg), the broadcasters (Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse) Cubs fans consistently pack the house every baseball season.
One would think that after the huge letdown of last season’s NLDS and the already skeptical start to the 2009 season (Milton Bradley’s suspension and groin injury, Aramis Ramirez’s possible trip to the DL and the team’s mediocre start, enthusiasm for another “Lovable Losers” season would begin to fade, like the blue dye on a really old Cubs t-shirt.

The repetitive disappointments of almost-but-not-quite-there season finishes have truly begun to take their toll on the Cubbie faithful.

“I know that I am [bitter], said Paul Schmidt, sports writer and TSB contributor. “I felt as though the moves they made were classic overreactions to problems they had last season.”
Other Cub fans try to remain true to their optimistic nature, but concerns over habitual negative patterns create a conflicting mix of emotions.

“I feel like as a true fan, you should ALWAYS be optimistic about an upcoming season,” said Danny Jay, a lifelong Cubs fan living in California. “On the other hand though, what is it going to take for them to stop messing it up? Who knows? It’s hard to have faith for over a century.”

Other concerns over player troubles and performances complicate the path to World Series greatness and leave some fans shaking in their Cubbie boots.

“Our bullpen makes me nervous, with Marmol the only one I trust in sticky situations and close games,” said Scott Pinshower, a Cub fan since 1983 who’s well aware of his obsessive Cubbie nature.  Cub fans are definitely a jaded bunch. Who wouldn’t be after the quest to be World Champions is still going on after 101 years of setbacks?! After so many years devoid of happy ending, some Cub fans keep their emotions in check until the Cubbies reach the playoffs.

“I’m interested, but not as interested as I will be if they make the playoffs,” said John Brown, a fan who has been pledging allegiance to the Cubs for 23 years. “Last year hurt so much that now it doesn’t matter until the playoffs.”

For David Kmiecik, TSB Vice President and college hoops expert, the feelings are similar.
“For me, it’s almost gotten to the point where what the Cubs do during the season doesn’t mean a thing,” said Kmiecik. “They need to win a playoff series or even a single freakin’ postseason game before Cub fans might stop any bitterness.”

The fact that Cubs fans are taking a backseat approach to the 2009 season doesn’t come as a surprise. There’s only so much gas you can have in the tank before you hit empty. And the Cubs in October provide this feeling, if you add in a scenario with no gas stations around for miles. The members of Cubbie Nation will likely not start burning rubber again until something good happens in the playoffs, but given past performances, I’m not sure there will be something to go crazy about.

Which Drought Ends First- Cubs, Hawks, or Cats?

By Paul M. Banks
Being a fan of Chicago sports can sometimes be as character-building as walking outside for long distances in January. With Northwestern’s tournament bubble officially burst last weekend, the Major League Baseball season starting in a couple weeks and the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs commencing the following week, it’s time to revisit the long suffering dry spells that are Chicago’s very own. Before reading on, please do remember this George Michael lyric from his Wham! days “There’s no comfort in the truth, pain is all you’ll find.”


Northwestern Basketball: When NU begins the National Invitational Tournament (NIT critics pejoratively refer to it as the Not Important Tournament) at Tulsa this week it will be their first postseason appearance since 1999. However, the school that hosted the first ever Final Four in 1939 has ironically never qualified for any NCAA Tournament EVER. Of all the original Division-1 programs never to have been invited to the Big Dance, Northwestern is the only one from a big 6 (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pac Ten, SEC).

Northwestern Football: As spring practice begins in a couple weeks (the spring intrasquad game is April 25th), another year of tourney virgin status dreadfully reminds us of their current football streak: zero bowl wins since 1949. Yes, the Wildcats also hold this dubious distinction.

Cubs: I don’t need to bring up 1908 again. The mainstream national media has beaten this fact into the ground so much, you would think the story was once married to Ike Turner. Like the most shopworn of all clichés says “wait till next year.”

Blackhawks: The Hawks’ last won the Cup in 1961. This is the longest current cup drought in the NHL. At 48 years, it is the second longest Stanley Cup drought in NHL history, behind the New York Rangers, another “Original Six” franchise, which ended in 1994 after 54 years. Currently, the Hawks are in 4th place in the Western Conference standings, this spot gives them the final first round series home ice advantage over the fifth seeded team. Barring a major upset, their path to the Stanley Cup Finals would include a match-up with the top seeded team (likely their arch-rival the Detroit Red Wings) in the second round.