Friday, August 1, 2014

Payola


The Dodgers begin a series against the Cubs tonight, and as luck would have it I just received a three-card package from Cubs fan R.C.

OK, I didn't just receive the package, it's actually about two weeks old. And, I didn't wait to post it until the Dodgers played the Cubs, it just fell that way. There really is very little forethought on this blog. I just do a good job of making it look like I know what I'm doing.

Anyway ... the cards came with a message. You might actually call it a "request".

Here it is:

"Please try to say something nice about my Cubs!"

My gosh, I think I'm being bribed.

In the newspaper business, this kind of tactic is frowned upon. I don't know whether it happens anymore because businesses and corporations have kind of stopped acting like newspapers exist, but back in the day, newspapers would be flooded with free books, free tickets, free gadgets just to get a writer to say something nice about the product or event. What usually happened was the editor who received the "gift" would give it away to someone who was interested or just throw it in the garbage. No words were written in response.

But here on this blog, I'm not above saying something nice about a team if I receive cards as payment for the task.

If I had to say something nice about the Yankees, Giants, Angels, Padres or Diamondbacks, that would be tough. But the Cubs? I think I can manage that.

I bag on the Cubs because they're the golden gods of ineptness. It seems they're finally trying to rid themselves of that label, but until they actually perform and the fan-base or media or whoever you want to blame it on ditches that "woe-is-me" martyr act, they're an easy target.

But enough about that, I'm supposed to say something nice about them. After all, I received a short-print variation Heritage card of Matt Kemp from this Cubs fan's envelope!

So, let's see here ... something nice about the Cubs ... something nice about the Cubs ... hmmmmm ...

OK, I've got something.

I like their broadcasting crew on WGN. Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies put on a good, intelligent, fun-loving show. Of course, I'm biased because I know Deshaies and have talked to him several times. But besides that, their broadcasting doesn't make me throw up, and I can't say that about about a lot of broadcasters.

So, there you are, something nice about the Cubs ...


Wow.

A Duke Snider card from 1961?

I guess I should find something else nice to say about the Cubs, if RC is going to throw a card like that at me.

OK ... let's see ...

Uh ...

That time when the Cubs' Rick Monday grabbed the flag away from those two flag-burning protestors at Dodger Stadium in 1976. That was pretty awesome. And I think it led to Monday becoming a Dodger, too, which worked out pretty well, although I'm still mad about giving up Bill Buckner.

So, there. That's TWO nice things about the Cubs.

I think I'm being very generous on a day when the Dodgers are scheduled to play them ...



Is that a 1954 Bowman card of Pee Wee Reese???????

OK, now I KNOW that RC is serious.

He wants me to say all the nice things about the Cubs.

All right, give me a minute to think about some. They're a lot more difficult to find than the bad things to say about the Cubs.

Um ...

Their uniform colors, blue, white and red, are the same snappy colors that the Dodgers use. Granted, it's not the right color of blue and there's too much red sometimes, but they're good colors.

What else ...

I like their city. Chicago is a good time. I've only been there once, but it was a  good time.

I guess that's not really about the team, so what else can I say?

Um ... think, think, think ...

OK.

Lee Smith, Greg Maddux, Bruce Sutter and Bill Madlock all came up with the Cubs. I like all those guys. And there aren't a lot of Cubs I can say that about. So I think that's pretty good.

OK, I got something else.

I like when WGN takes time out to show pretty women in the stands. Yeah, that's probably just because some production guy is a pervert, but I appreciate it. Thanks for that.

Something else.

I admire outfielders who can play knowing there's a brick wall behind them. There's probably padding in some areas, but still, bricks are scary.

One more thing.

I hate like hell that Ron Cey got traded from the Dodgers to the Cubs and it annoys the bejezus out of me when someone remembers Cey and says automatically, "played for the Cubs, right?" God I want to beat those people with their own deep-dish pizza slices, but ... ANYWAY, I'M LOSING FOCUS AGAIN ... I'm glad that another team was able to recognize the greatness that the Dodgers (and I) already knew about Cey.

So, there.

That's some good stuff about the Cubs.

I think anyway. I kind of had a difficult time with that.

And, if the Dodgers, who are red-hot right now, go in the tank this weekend against the freakin' bottom-feeding Cubs, I'm taking all of the above back.

1954 Bowman Reese or not, I've got a reputation here.

6 comments:

  1. If I knew that you could be bought, I would have sent you some cards years ago!
    Two things.....the 61 Snider card picture was taken at Wrigley Field.....the walls along the foul lines have padding, but the outfield walls are brick, ivy, and steel doors.....ouch!

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  2. That is way more nice about the Cubs than I'll ever be able to say.

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  3. Jim Deshaies leaving the Astros' booth made them a lot harder to follow. He's a great color man.

    That is one awesome group of cards. The Reese and Snider, wow.

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  4. Wow, lookit that score, keep saying nice things about the Cubs! That Pee Wee Reese is very cool, BTW.

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  5. Wow. Great vintage. The '54 set is pretty underated

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  6. Nice cards. Tough gig. I would have just said: well, ya know, you guys got Wrigley Field and that's something.

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