In which all of your questions are answered.

Just kidding. I don't have an answer for anything. I've said it many times, all of the times I've given unwarranted advice to anyone who seemed remotely interested in gaining my opinion...I'm nobody's guru. I haven't even met my own guru yet, so I can't be anyone else's. That would be sick.


Hip Hop Violinist?

Ok, who in the hell's blunted ass thought releasing an album by a "Hip Hop Violinist" was a good idea? Kanye West, right? I know this guy was all underground and hip when he was just "blowin up," but now that he's bigger than Jay-Z doesn't he seem just as pointless as all of the rest of the cash money millionaires queefing thier craptastic hits all over the pointless-ass radio? I mean, what was there about this guy that was so cool in the first place? The record store he shopped at to find all the soul samples for his first album? The fact that he's probably read books? But a hip hop violinist? I just heard her playing on the Tavis Smiley show, and I'm sorry, the MC sounded hip hop, but this girl's violin had to be the least hip-hop sounding thing going on during the track. OK, scotch-tape some classical violin over a rap track and whaddya got? Something like that disco version of "Beethoven's Fifth," to my ears. Give me a freaking break. Where's the Wu Tang when you need 'em? Where's Chuck D? Where's Ice Cube for chrissakes? How come every hardcore MC straight out of wherever gotta turn into a bonehead millionaire muttering about his rims whenever he breaks big?



Sox Mania

Believe it or not, I do have better things to do than to be blogging right now. I know, it doesn't happen too often. I've got to go to the store and gather ingredients for my famous chilli, which for the first time ever will be vegetarian. I've got to, ahem, apply for jobs. But things are getting out of control, and good ol' Jeff, aka the person least interested in baseball in the entire world, has summoned me to wax expansive on one of my favorite subjects to wax expansive. Yes, I'm going to talk about the Chicago White Sox, and Yes, I'm going to talk about "the play." Or "the scandal." Or, "Oh my god, baseball is so screwed up, the world is coming to an end, run for your lives." Y'know, whatever the kids are calling it.

First, some background. Everyone knows I'm a Cubs fan. Even the FBI knows. You read my letter to Luciano, right? Well, you did, Jeff, and you're the only one reading this. So, what is my job as a Cubs fan? To hear most Cubs "fans" tell it, I'm supposed to feign total disinterest in the goings of the Major League playoffs. I mean, think about it, who am I supposed to root for? The Angels, I guess. According to popular opinion, there's no way I can root for anyone else: the Cardinals or the Astros, both hated division rivals of the Cubs, and the Sox, mortal enemies of all things Cub. There's this guy who writes for the Tribune, which, total disclosure, owns the Chicago Cubs, like "duh," who has compared rooting for the Sox to cheating on one's wife. So if I care at all about baseball, all I have are the Angels. And I do like the Angels; when the season started, I thought they had as good a chance as anybody to make the Series. Vlad Guererro is amazing with a bat, and he's the model of a superstar in baseball's brand-spanking new post-steroid era.

But call me a cheat, call me a philanderer, or whatever you want to call it, I'm pulling for the White Sox. I mean, I absolutely can't root for the Cards or Astros, but if pressed, I guess I'd rather the Astros to win, just because they aren't the Cards. But I live in the city of Chicago. I've heard about the Sox all season long. I know who every player is on the team, down to the guys in the bullpen who rarely take the mound. Even though the idiots on both sides of town are dismissing the "civic pride" concept as ridiculous sentimental junk, I think that there's no way you can live here and not have a rooting interest in the Sox' success. Unless you're so bitter, so twisted, so...well, unless you're a Sox fan, I guess. Yes, I can say for a fact that the Cubs didn't enjoy this kind of civic support from the southsiders in 2003, when they got within three outs of the fall classic. It's a fact that the majority of Sox nation that live in this city were wishing for worse than what actually happened to the Cubs that year. So along those lines, it's an eye for an eye and all that garbage, right? Well no, not only am I Cubs fan, more importantly I'm a baseball fan. Sox fans typified by the aforementioned Journal Star "columnist" will tell you that no such thing exists in the United States of Cub. But whatever. That's the kind of thing that makes most "normal" people think that baseball fans, or sports fans in general, are touched in the head.

So yes, damn it, I'm pulling for the Sox to go all the way. I think it would be neat. And if you want to lord it over the Cubs when you win, go right ahead. They'll deserve it, and perhaps it will convince the front office and the Tribune tower to start running the club as though it were a baseball team and not a marketing brand or a cartoon character.

OK, about that play. The ball hit the ground. It looked like the ump called Pierzynski out. Josh Paul, who it should be known is the Angel's third catcher and a career third catcher at that, should have tagged him out or thrown to first, no matter what. All that's at issue here is what the home plate ump called, and no matter what he called, Paul should have tagged the runner. Call it a third-string catcher's mistake. The right call was made the wrong way, essentially. The same thing happened when the Yankees were playing the Angels in the Division Series. Yank second basemen and Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Robinson Cano swung at strike three, the ball got away from the Angel catcher (one of those ubiquitous Molinas this time), and Cano ran for first. Molina's throw to first went wide of the first baseman, but Cano was called out because the umps said he was blocking the lane to first, hence "getting in the way" of a throw to first. Interference, third out.

So a lot of complete morons, i.e. the morons that were calling the Sox/Angels game, one of whom is Lou Pinella, who up until a few weeks ago was the manager of the Devil Rays, and that guy McCarver who's just an idiot period, look at this play and say it calls for instant replay in baseball. This is complete and utter bullshit. The NFL adopted instant replay and officially-reviewed plays some years ago, and many around the league still claim it should be removed from the game. Major League Baseball has no such need, and should forget about insant replay. This whole issue is being attributed to the vague call made by the ump, so baseball is already taking care of the problem by attributing it to an individual's error.

But any talk of this play "changing the game" is patently ridiculous. The last major change to baseball in the proceeding century was the implimentation of the designated hitter in the American League about twenty years ago. People still think the DH should be taken away from baseball. Putting instant replay in baseball would be the most egregious change to take place in baseball since the DH, and arguably would be worse. People thought that playing baseball under electric lights was scandalous, but all that happened is that baseball took place at night, when people could see it on TV, rather than during the day, like it's still done at Wrigley Field, who nonetheless installed a tasteful bank of lights above the grandstand. Technological changes like lights and TV cameras have not changed the game itself, but instant replay would be a direct encroachment on the game as a pure and unchanged phenomenon.

Bad calls have always been made, and there have been plenty worse calls and plays throughout baseball's history. This play is nowhere near as significant as Merkle's Boner, which by the way led to the Cubs winning their last World Series. Blown calls, scandalous plays, and just plain human error are part of the fabric of baseball's history. To our great benefit and pleasure, baseball is being played just the same way as it's been played since a bunch of Knickerbockers took root on Elysian Fields, and that's the way it should stay. If it were technically perfect and scientifically sound, then it wouldn't be baseball.