In case you didn’t notice (and judging by the attendance, you didn’t), the Cubs Convention was this last weekend. Â Loveable LoserFest had a new home, this time the Sheraton hosted the events, and the first thing Cubs fans did was complain that the hallways weren’t wide enough.
How fat do you have to be to be too fat for a hotel hallway?
The second thing Cubs fans did was cheer lustily when Tony Campana and Darwin Barney were introduced. Â I can only assume it was because they thought they had stumbled in to an advanced screening of the second movie in the Hobbit trilogy, because there’s no goddamned way anybody would get that excited to see either of these guys, right?
Never underestimate the dumbness of a Cubs fan.
I didn’t actually attend the convention. Â I gave that up long ago. Â But I did meet up with many fellow Morans for beers and commiseration. Â The media elite were there to bask in our awesomeness, as well. Â One of them relished in introducing me to Cubs PR guys, waiting until they were shaking my hand then saying, “It’s the guy from Desipio.”
I’m not going to say who that was, but his initials are Jon Greenberg.
I was glad to meet these guys. Â A few years ago, Len Kasper introduced me to Peter Chase who suddenly looked as though he just noticed his car had caught on fire. Â Though I am a “fading blog star” the sheer horror and annoyance on Cubs’ employees faces at my presence has not yet abated.
I put my time with Cubs media relations to good use though. Â I used it to make a pretty solid case that Al Yellon should never be allowed a media pass to anything ever again. Â Other media types were quick to point out that though Al had a media pass to the Friday night pre-convention festivities, he spent that time eating meatballs by the handful and not asking any questions.
It’ll be a damn shame if Al loses his access. Â I mean, just look at what he does with it.
It’s not like I want access to this. Â I really don’t. Â While the working stiffs were up in one of the ballrooms chatting up Edwin Jackson about who the Cubs will trade him to, next I was in the Sheraton hot tub with Kim DeJesus.
OK, it wasn’t Kim DeJesus, it was Ivan DeJesus, and it wasn’t a hot tub, we were in line at the White Hen, but it’s practically the same thing.
I had a great chat with the nice guy who does most of the posting to the official Cubs Twitter feed, and he thanked me for “taking it easy on them.” Â I told him it was not a problem. Â Then I told him that I didn’t actually follow @cubs, but that I would from now on. Â He then vomited in his mouth. Â But just a little.
I pitched an idea for a CubsCare fundraiser that has real potential. Â Though I was surprised that none of the Cubs employees who heard it got really excited about it.
The idea is to bring back former Cubs, and let people bid cash money on them.
The examples I gave were Ryan Dempster and Dusty Baker.
I’d pay $500 to punch Dempster in the face, but $5,000 for Dusty, provided he leave the toothpick in.
I’m not alone. Â The $300 million the Cubs need to spruce up our beloved little baseball shitheap would be no problem at all.
I’m not going to say that the convention was a total bust. Â Both Bruce Miles and Greenberg agreed to be on the podcast, and at some point we’re going to do an unwieldy five man podcast with Brett Taylor and Sahadev Sharma from BleacherNation.com. Â Brett also volunteered to buy me a real microphone and to pay for Kermit’s next rehab stint.
The highlight was Miles’ entrance. Â We wandered over to the awful Chi Bar at the Sheraton to meet Miles and Paul Sullivan (Sully blew us off for the Billy Goat…because he hasn’t spent enough time there already), Bruce said hi and then immediately demanded to know what Kermit had said about him in the last podcast. Â Kermit was faced with the very real prospect of getting his ass kicked by the 2013 winner of the Bill Gleason Sportswriter of the Year Award.
I ruined the beat down by explaining that in our last podcast, Kermit had mentioned seeing Miles and Sullivan at the anti-social media night last summer and that Bruce’s daughter was “attractive.” Â I gave him shit for hitting on her, but War2D2 found that part of the podcast boring (imagine that) and cut it out. Â I thought it was still in, so I tweeted that Bruce was going to be very interested in what Kermit had said about his daughter.
I explained that and Bruce had a laugh, for a moment and then he turned to Kermit again and said, “You meant the 28 year old and not the 13 year old, right?”
See what you guys missed?
As for the 2013 Cubs, they’re going to be an absolute shitshow. Â And from the reports I’ve heard and read, the Cubs fans who dropped $60 on the collective misery that is the Cubs Convention aren’t taking it well. Â You know you’re in trouble when any of them start their “question” with, “I’ve been a Cubs fan for XX years…” Â Look, nobody cares how long you’ve been a Cubs fan, and just because you’ve been one longer doesn’t make your points any more valid or your suffering any more acute. Â Nobody is making you root for this team. Â You are free to change your allegiance.
We all know why people don’t quit the Cubs. Â There are two reasons acutally.
1) There’s a comfort in them not actually winning. Â No matter how bad things are going in your life, the Cubs are worse. Â When you get to the point where you think things can’t be more sad or depressing in your life, and you are losing the will to live, the Cubs send Brooks Raley to the mound and you see what true hopelessness is.
2) You’re deathly afraid that you’ll give them up, and they’ll actually win, and you’ll miss it.
So knock it off. Â We all want them to win, you pissing and moaning about it isn’t going to make it happen.
In the meantime, don’t cheer for mediocrities like Darwin Barney more than the actual good players (it’s not hard, there are only three of them, even you can keep track of them.) Â And don’t cheer for Tony Campana at all. Â It only encourages him.
As for the $300 million Wrigley rehab plan that the Cubs, laughably have Crane Kenney trying to sell in public, I’ll just say this.
They are completely right to say that the city should have no say in what they do to the park, short of the four things classified as ‘historic.” Â That’s the ivy, the marquee, the scoreboard and fifth place. Â Other than those things, the Cubs should have free reign to do what they want with it. Â If they need to put advertising on every inch of the park, so be it. Â If your fandom is based solely on the rickety old building that they play in, screw you if you get offended by a big Massengill ad on the Sun-Times wing of the press box. Â If I owned the team, I’d sell advertising on anything.
As for the prospects of an actual professional sports grade video replay board, it’s an absolute joke that they don’t have one. Â Every team in the low rent Frontier League has one. Â Every single team in Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, NHL and even the MLS have multiple boards in their stadiums. Â Not the Cubs?
Why? Â I’d like to think it’s to spare us from having to see them fuck up more than once, but the reality is that just like with lights, they were such late adopters that the lack of it is somehow supposed to be charming. Â It’s charming alright. Â Charming like refusing modern medical treatment for religious purposes.
And for chrissakes, stop bitching about ticket prices. Â Nobody is making you pay them. Â Ticket prices are driven by supply and demand. Â If there’s demand and short supply the tickets will cost a lot. Â If there’s supply and low demand (like there will be this year) you’ll be able to find tickets for cheap.
The fact that fans are already impatient with a rebuilding that is barely a year old is predictable, but still very sad. Â This franchise has been cobbling together rosters with no plan since the 1940s, and now you’re impatient? Â There’s no guarantee this plan will work, but at least there is one.
I mean there is one, right?