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Preview: Wasting Away In Wrigleyville

Wasting Away In Wrigleyville

The most sarcastic, loving Chicago Cubs Blog on the web.

Updated: 2018-03-06T03:13:07.996-06:00


The 2014 WAIW/Ivy Envy Wrigleyville Pub Crawl


Oh. Snap. It's time for the greatest event of your entire year - the 6th annual Wasting Away in Wrigleyville Pub Crawl. Meet us at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at Lucky's Sandwich Company to lay a base worthy of nine innings of drinking. You want rules? We got rules.

- Bring Ca$h. So much ca$h, you feel like Rick Ro$$, who is, as we know, the BAW$$. There are a few dozen people at this fine event, and your credit card holds up all of them. Stop being an obstacle, Diamond Jim.

- Bottles or cans. Much like the last note, every drink poured on draft takes as long as opening 10 beers. I don't care if it's on special. Spend the extra buck so your fellow crawlees don't hate the crap out of you.

- Tip well. We're  coming in like a wrecking ball (which is a phrase I just made up) and sweeping out of there in a torrent of booze and noise. These people are working the day shift at a Wrigleyville bar. Treat them nicely.

- Don't be That Guy. I know that our thing is 9 drinks in 9 innings, but if you can't hang, grab a water or a coffee or one of those disgusting energy drinks the kids think are cool. Don't make a scene, don't ruin the bathroom. You're an adult - drink like Paul Bunyan or have the wherewithal to know you can't.

A Rundown of Your Fine Drinking Establishments

Summarized in One Sentence Each

Pre-game: Lucky's Sandwich Co.

This is where you lay your base for a day of drinking - meat on fries on bread on whiskey.

1st Inning: Nisei Lounge

As familiar and warm as a bottle of whiskey in a work desk drawer.

2nd Inning: The Stretch

They were really nice to my mom and gave us free shots two years ago, so they're in forever.

3rd Inning: Merkle's

The Boner and the Colonel.

4th Inning: Mullen's

The alley-drinking classic from my and Steve's 21st year.

5th Inning: Sluggers

Steve v. John - WITH BATS

6th Inning: O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen

If it's open, does it really matter?

7th Inning: Sports Corner

For fans of athletics, spirits, and right angles.

8th Inning: Murphy's Bleachers

Someone get Toto on the jukebox!

9th Inning: Bernie's

Motha Fuckin Shuffleboard.

Afterward, we'll go to D'Agostino's, where they'll delay our pizza and we'll get into an argument with a 22 year old manager who acts kinda shitty. It's as much part of the script by now as the batting cages!

See you tomorrow!

Announcing: The 2014 Wrigleyville Pub Crawl


We know what you're thinking, sitting there in your fancy chair. "Whoa, WAIW updated. Must be time for another Pub Crawl!" You bet your ass it is, FancyChair. You bet your ass it is. Once again, it's time to defy nature, good sense, and the naturally chill rhythms of baseball by drinking at 9 bars in 9 innings.Saturday, May 31st - mark it. It's a 3:10 game versus the hated Brewers, which gives us that sweet spot between "Wrigleyville is still sleeping it off," and "Wrigleyville is full of drunken children I hate."

This year, we're upping the game. Corey from Ivy Envy, a blog that has been BLOWING UP as much as we've been inactive and in the whiskey, is joining us with an entourage of Quad Citizens to join our Chicago tradition. He'll also be organizing a pre-game tour of Wrigley Field itself. It's a 90 minute tour that lets you go on the field and in the locker room, and we're assured it absolutely kicks the shit out of the Fenway tour. A mere $20 and this pre-game ecstasy can be yours. Payment details will be posted soon.

After that? Back on our classic Pub Crawl game - straight from Wrigley to our beloved Lucky's Sandwich Company to lay the base for a day of drinkjoyment. Then to Nisei Lounge, who was super awesome to us last year, and who is now our Official First Inning Bar from now until the end of time.
As of now, we're considering the following:

Pre-pre Gaming: Wrigley Field!
Pre-Game: Lucky's Sandwich Company
1st Inning: Nisei Lounge
2nd Inning: The Stretch
3rd Inning: Merkle's
4th Inning: Mullen's
5th Inning: Sluggers
6th Inning: Club 162 (Edit: Apparently it's something called O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen now)
7th Inning: Sports Corner
8th Inning: Murphy's Bleachers
9th Inning: Bernie's

The awesome divey majesty of Nisei finally solved our first inning problems last year. Alternately, the Captain Morgan Club - "the Wrigley experience year round!" - is completely full of shit, and closed for the second year in a row. So that's out. We'll replace it with Club 162, the current incarnation of that Hi-Tops/Harry Caray's/McIrishCrap ship of the damned. (Edit: See above. Seriously, ship of the damned. But best of luck to the current owners of this cursed gypsy sports bar. We'll certainly do our best to buy your fine alcohol wares. Please don't change names while we're there - it'll confuse the drunks.) Hopefully that works out. All your favorite classics - Mullen's, Sluggers, Murphy's, and shuffleboard Mecca Bernie's are still there for your enjoyment.

We'll have that great t-shirt design you see above available for purchase soon. See you on May 31.



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Mullens doesn't even have the Cubs game on. Aaaaand they're being shitty about it.


Obstructed View



From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

Best. Tap. Ever.






Aw yiss



(image) (image) (image)
Malort. It has already happened. It's in me now. Doing stuff.


Vote With Your Liver: A Guide to the 5th Annual WAIW Pub Crawl


It's that magic time of year again, WAIW devotees - Nine Bars. Nine Innings. We have, as it happens, been doing this now for one half of a decade. Which, evidently, was just enough time to finally figure our shit out for the kickoff bar. More on that below.For the uninitiated, the annual Wasting Away in Wrigleyville Pub Crawl is a tribute to Cubs fandom through the ultimate test of stamina. Ever been out drinking and your mommish-sounding friend says something like "hey there, it's a marathon, not a sprint"? Well, you should get some new friends. And additionally, this event is both marathon AND sprint.You need to enter a bar, obtain a beer, and consume that beer in the time it takes to play ONE (1) inning of Major League Baseball. And have you seen our fucking offense this year? Half the inning's over before the cap hits the bar top. So, you know, fucking SPRINT! Then you repeat for eight additional innings. MARATHON!WAIW Pub Crawl: The World's Finest Drinking Sprintathon!But we didn't become the finest by doing this willy-nilly like a couple of suckers. It's not 'Nam. There are rules here:1. Cash only. When the twenty-six people behind you also need to get a beer while Nate Scheirholtz waves his bat somewhat in the direction of a pitch, you do NOT pull out a credit card. And if you do, those waiting are each allowed to huck an item of their choice. Rule exception: You're buying a round for the house.2. Bottles, not draft. You know what your friendly neighborhood bartender can do in roughly 1.4 seconds? Open a bottle. You know what takes much longer? Pouring a draft. Even longer? Pouring a draft for every non-savvy motherfucker in the bar. That draft special on the board? That's not for you. Move along. Pitchers? Share with your WAIW editors and we may have an exception.3. Know thyself. As previously mentioned, this marks our half-decade anniversary. We haven't had anyone wake up in county lockup yet. Don't be the first to overdo it and punch a police horse.4. Watch the game. Even if it's a shit-kicking of a game, it's important to start the transition to the next bar with two outs left in the bottom of the inning. Gotta keep this drink train a-rollin'.SchedulePre-game: Lucky's Sandwich CompanySteve and I will be at Lucky's Sandwich Company (3472 N. Clark) at about 12:30. If you ordered a shirt, he has it, and will accept $15 cash. We'll also have spanking new WAIW koozies for order, which you don't need to pre-order. $5 for those. Also, load up on some delicious motherfucking sandwiches. You're going to be drinking all day, you monster.1st Inning: Nisei LoungeWe did it. We finally did it. We figured out a fucking bar for the first inning whereas previous years have rendered the shirt obsolete by Crawl time. Blarney Stone was closed. Schoolyard was renovating.  Dark Horse burned to the ground (okay, so actually it was just that they were showing a Pittsburgh Penguins game). But not this time. NOT THIS FUCKING TIME.This time we start at Nisei Lounge, the finest baseball dive bar in all of Chicago and proud home of Malort Night. Are you brave enough to start the Crawl with a drink that tastes of the screaming souls of the thirce-damned? We'll see.2nd Inning: The StretchSome bars might be put out at a mid-afternoon pub crawl rush. Not the fine management of The Stretch last year. They proffered tiny mason jars filled with Fireball Whiskey. Clearly they're some upstanding Lakeview citizens. Two years ago, we caught the Kentucky Derby there during a rain delay. We drank whiskey. I'm starting to sense a theme. 3rd Inning: Merkle'sEvery year the same - pictures with the Colonel Sanders statue and jokes about Merkle's Boner. This is also where people tend to order draft beer for some unknown reason. So if I'm yelling, that's probably why.4th Inning: Mullen'sThe back porch (actually an alley) at Mullen's is still one of my favorite pla[...]

Wrigley in May





Pub crawl?

You bet your ass Pub Crawl. Cubs v. Nationals - May 11.

More details to come.

Cubs 3 - Pirates 2: MarMeltdown! (A Text Message Drama)


Kevin Gregg glasses added for effect

Yesterday was another whip-fast game of completely offense-less baseball. Pat and Keith kindly praised the pitching for both teams, as to reflect overly on the offense would lead to madness. For much of the game, Travis Wood had accounted for 33 percent of the offense - for both teams. WAIW favorite Starlin Castro's RBI in the top of the third looked to stand up as the series-decider in this deal-ball garbagefart of an opening week. Nate Scheirholz of all people provided a cushion on top of that. But then Dale Sveum (and really, the front office if we're not playing coy) gave Marmol a chance to close things out. And now I'll steer you to the text exchange between Steve and myself:

John: Fucking. Marmol.

Steve: Why do we let him fucking play?

John: The futile hope of a trade.

Steve: On a fucking 0-2 as well [note: this was directly after Gaby Sanchez's hit]

John: This makes me insane with anger.

John: So it looks like we have a new closer. Anyone else.

Steve: I hear Kevin Gregg is getting tired of staring blankly at a wall.

John: Sighing loudly and eating Sour Patch Kids.

Steve: And every few minutes rewinding a music box.

John: The little ballerina has one arm broken off and the paint is chipped.

Steve: While he sits in a yellowing wedding gown

John: One bare lightbulb swinging overhead.

Steve: Poor Greggy.

Luckily, the Pirates are even more snakebitten than the Cubs over the last couple of decades and managed to waste the tying run on third with no outs. But the drama remains. Who will close games?  James Russell looks sharp, but he's a lefty, so rest assured that he'll only be under-used for stupid things. Kyuji Fujukawa looks good, but the meatheads on WGN's post-game show haven't learned his name yet apart from "Dat Japanese Guy" (we have two, you fucking idiots). 

Honestly, you all saw the "offense" on display. We might not need a closer for a while. Certainly not with that Braves lineup looming. Let's just pop an Old Style and hit the snooze button on this one.

Pirates 3 - Cubs 0: Ugly as Sin


Steve's text: "I never thought I'd long for a Patterson or a Pie."
Patterson or Pie? That's scary to hear from my co-editor - real car-running-in-the-shut-garage talk. And yet what else would be a proper reaction after watching Cubs team led off by Dave Sapplet (ugh) manage two hits and one walk all night against the reanimated corpse of Wandy Rodriguez? You put out Lillibridge in his Bartman turtleneck and expect good things? No sir.
Other ugly things:
- Team OBP of .197 right now. All-Valbuena lineup!
- We've started the year 0-13 with runners in scoring position.
-   New $52 million pitching guy Edwin Jackson lasted all of five innings.

- Michael Bowden looks about as bad as he did last year. Let's try to bring down that 18.00 H/9 stat.
- Anthony Rizzo looked to be decapitated at one point. Luckily this was not the case.

- The morning news and game reports blaming the poor game on the weather. They're going to have serious trouble playing at Wrigley through May, if that's really the case. I know it's hard to craft an angle out of a 2-hit nutshotting, but can't we just blame Lillibridge and his .000 OBP through two games?

Non-ugly things:

- We're still in a tie for first. SAVOR THE MOMENT!

- Travis Wood and his glorious mountain man beard take the hill today at 11ish with a chance to win the series. Let's go Beardy!

Cubs 3 - Pirates 1: Baseball!


Then they chanted "first place" for six hours, as they had a premonition they'd better savor the time.
Our long, baseball-less nightmare (WBC doesn't count) is finally over. We're now at the dawn of a new Cubs season that will surely bring other, far more interesting nightmares. Remind me in three months how excited I was to see Cubs/Pirates. Ah, the folly of a young season. As I write this, I'm looking at the Wrigley Field 2014 calendar. This month's image is the scoreboard, and the Cubs are losing to San Francisco and getting out-hit 4-1 through 2 1/2. That can't be a good omen. But we must rejoice that we have baseball to bitch about once again.

The Pittsburgh Pirates franchise, in one gif.

Yesterday was a pitcher's duel between Jeff Samardzija and AJ Burnett and I'm already bleeding from the ears from having written and processed that. At one point, 8 Cubs outs in a row came via strikeout. That's probably a little bit of AJ Burnett and a lot of what you're going to see this year. It's a good thing we have Rizzo, which as we all know is Italian for "Jesus." First pitch of the season and he uppercuts it into the far back of the stands. And we have Welington Castillo, who hit two doubles and the correct spelling of whose first name I'll make a personal project for 2013.

And it was not without its usual Cub-ness, even on this glorious first-place clinching day. Aside from the strikeout issues, we've also accelerated the timeline on the local media and fans jumping on Marmol. And holy hell did he look pretty terrible. Pro tip for you young kids out there: when you've shown control issues and the tying run is at the plate, he's probably not going to chase one of your wobbly sliders way the fuck out of the zone. When Marmol hits a guy, it's like ringing a bell warning everyone around that shit's about to go down. So we've already got a closer situation, made funnier by the fact that no one calling into Chicago sports talk radio can pronounce Fujikawa's last name.

Prepare for the 161 game tug of war with the Brewers for the Central Crown. BASEBALL!

Undoing Prior Damage?


The site with which we fondly recall Mark Prior

In a bit of news so shocking, it inspired me to post for the first time since June 6, 2012 (lay off, blogging is hard work), the Tribune is reporting that Mark Prior is being picked up by the Reds with a minor league contract.  Of course. the ironic part is that the Reds are "coached" by the very man that many of us blame for ruining his arm and career.

"We had a strict 150 pitch limit, so I don't get it."

Last I had heard, Mark Prior was an assistant coach at a high school somewhere in California, so this certainly is quite a step up.  It reminds me of another inspirational story where a man that was so close to being the best in his sport until an injury ruins a promising career.  Sure, this man went on to great success (at least financially, maybe not emotionally), but something was missing.  It wasn't until he got around to coaching a group of ragtag kids that he found fulfillment, and eventually got that second chance we all wanted him to get.  Of course, the inspiring man is none other than Gordon Bombay himself.  So best of luck Mark, and when things look bleak, remember what the man before you was told by his detractor:

Why'd you turn against me, Gordon? For six years, I taughtcha how to skate, I taughtcha how to score, I taughtcha how to go for the "W". You could have been one of the greats! An' now look at yourself. You're not even a has-been. You're a never-was. 

"You quack do it Mark!"

Blogging Offseason Over: Offical 2013 Cubs Con Recap


 Pictured: a roomful of people who will clearly never learn.  Hi there. This, if you recall, is often a Cubs blog. Mostly during baseball season. Problem: winter coverage and "hot stove!" makes us want to die. So to bring you some hot, steamy offseason action, we've contracted former Thunder Matt's Saloon editor Daft Funk to rock your faces with an official Cubs Convention recap notebook.Of course, WAIW being WAIW, I've delayed in posting this until it's juuuuuuuust this side of relevant. But nothing relevant happens there. So enjoy the lovely prose, the legends of Cubdom (Todd Fucking Walker!), and the fact that you're getting fucking anything from us before a week prior to Opening Day.  - Got to the Sheraton on Friday around 2. Got a few signatures in the lobby as players walked by to their rooms. Dave Otto walked by about 5 times. The entire time he looked confused and was holding some mysterious package from Amazon.   This is actually Micah Hoffpair. Not pictured: sad trombone. - Jay Johnstone was walking around the lobby talking up his own book (holding it in his hands the entire time of course). No one knew who he was. Either that or they didn't care. He sat down and tried reading it to some kids, but they seemed confused and a little scared.  It was probably the sweater-vest. - The one autograph I wanted going into the weekend was Rizzo. I was able to get my hands on a season ticket stub from his Cubs debut and I thought it would be cool to get signed. I thought that getting in line at 7:00 AM for his 10:00 signing session would be early enough to get in. Nope. My second chance was at the Sports Central panel where they do radio interviews and the players sign things leaving the stage sometimes. Missed Rizzo there too, but Edwin Jackson stuck around for almost a half hour after signing for everyone. - Coming home from John's birthday dinner on Saturday night, Rizzo was in the lobby signing for people on his way out. Had to sprint to the elevators to get my stub for him, but made it back to the lobby in time for him to sign it. He seemed really confused to be signing a ticket stub. I found out the next day it was because he was fucking smashed at the time.- 3 different Cubs said that the biggest party animal/drinker on the team is Scott Feldman ... based solely on a team function they had on Thursday night.- Darwin Barney seems to be stuck up now. One Gold Glove later, and I didn't see the guy sign one single autograph outside of the 2 hour long spots he had during the weekend.- When you're in line for an autograph, they give 100 - 125 vouchers out to the first people in line saying that you're guaranteed an autograph. Some guys really love to talk a lot, so they might take a lot longer to sign 100 or so people than just one hour, so that's how they make sure a good amount of people get things signed. I guess on Saturday Castro was supposed to sign for an hour. He showed up 15 minutes late and left 20 minutes early. Lots of people with vouchers didn't get an autograph. That's shitty.- Castro is a lot taller in person than I thought he would be. I'd say he's 6'2 or 6'3. Looks like he bulked up over the winter too.- Tom Ricketts continues to be fucking awesome. He was walking around all 3 days and you couldn't go an hour without seeing him somewhere. He talked for a solid 5 minutes about what they're planning to do around the stadium over the next few years to make the whole area more of a fun fan experience.- Poor Wellington Castillo can barely speak English. He did a radio sit down with DeJesus and after trying rally hard to get through the first question (and doing pretty well, altho[...]

Cubs Baseball Ends Prematurely Again


Following a mid-day 5-4 win against the Astros, the Cubs season ended quietly while another team of castoffs in Oakland capped a 93-win season and a legendarily horrible franchise in Baltimore secured a completely unforeseen playoff slot. I say this not to depress, but to inspire hope. Things can turn around. Quickly, even - though I'm not banking on much October baseball in 2013. The Cubs have the #2 overall pick next year. They have Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and what's shaping up to be an exciting minor league system. It's not a whole lot, but it'll seem like untold wealth by the time I'm begging baseball to come back (mid-February or so).

- Those of you with wrathful hearts, rejoice: Ryan Dempster crapped the bed again ala the 2008 posteason. With a must-win situation against the surging A's, Dempster Baby managed 6 hits and 5 earned runs in 3 innings. Only one walk, though, so that's different. The Rangers lost 12-5, giving the division lead to the Athletics for the first time all season. So if you can't have Randall Delgado, at least you can have a joyously spiteful memory, if that's your bag.

- I choose to look positively on things, so instead of focusing on Dempster crapping out, I'd rather talk about how awesomely 80s Oakland's jerseys were. Drink it in deep:

- Len & Bob switched places with Pat & Keith midway through the game. Glorious. I wonder how many people were paying attention to notice.

- With no (Cubs) baseball and no hockey, people are going to attempt to engage me about politics for the next month. I steadfastly refuse. It's time to learn about cricket, or start watching soccer again, or develop an interest the WNBA.

- Let's not forget - 2013 begins the era of Cubs prospects playing in Kane County. It might not seem like a big thing now, but that's because the previous regime didn't have much use for the minor leagues. With Theo and Jed drafting, some really exciting players are going to play just West of Chicago.

- 61 wins is absolutely terrible. I cannot imagine it gets worse before it gets better. But I've been surprised before.

Road Games: Wasting Away in Phoenix


The bearded half of WAIW traveled to Phoenix on Friday for some nearly-forgotten 99 degree heat and late season baseball. As it happens, the Cubs put themselves in position for the massive 100-loss milestone. I guess we might have seen that coming. Regardless, it's always enjoyable seeing baseball in a new park and getting my fill of Cubs games before a long, baseball-less winter.

- I forget that other ballparks have the benefit of modern design. It blew my mind that I didn't get stuck in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd on the concourses, waiting for some dumbfucks from Iowa to decide that grouping up and stopping mid-concourse isn't the best idea. It similarly blew my mind that I never had to wait more than 30 seconds for a beer, and never for the bathroom. Drink and pee at will - WHAT IS THIS PLACE?

- Saw Darwin Barney's streak end. Bizarrely, this was the second time I'd seen it in person. Back when he was tied with the NL mark, he was charged an error at Wrigley that was eventually switched to Luis Valbuena. Buy me season tickets and watch him turn into Chuck Knoblauch.

- Apparently, Chris Rusin was kind of a douchebag in college. As our WAIW Special Correspondent reports, at least. Rusin played college ball at Kentucky, and after taking a Friday loss one weekend, gave a hickish "YewHARRRR" yell every time the opposing team's pitcher was going into the pitching motion. FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND. I wasn't even there and I want to throw a bat at him.

- On Saturday, Lendy Castillo loaded the bases and Trevor Cahill came to bat. Castillo walked him. On FOUR. FUCKING. PITCHES. I don't even know what to say about that one.

- The Big Unit, famously of Alice Cooperstown, is one big fucking hot dog. And, weirdly enough, comes plain unless you order the Man Vs. Food edition. I dressed the bastard up top myself. Since I don't have children, I imagine I'll keep a picture of the dog in my wallet to show strangers.

- Double points to Alice Cooper for (a) successfully marketing a hot dog that cannot be described as anything but "freakish" and (b) making sure it was a Vienna Beef dog.

- For a park with modern amenities and fan-aimed conveniences, Chase Field had the biggest collection of tube televisions I've seen in years. You know those super-sharp HDTVs at your favorite sports bar? If you covered those in Vaseline, it would look about the same.

- The win Sunday featured a nice meltdown of the sort that usually goes against us. Dave Sappelt, pinch-hitting with two outs and the bases loaded, dribbled to first and hit first at about the same time as reliever Matt Albers, who was covering. The umpire called him safe, Chase Field booed the shit out of him, and Albers plunked Anthony Recker (who?) on the very next pitch. The rout was on, and our seven game losing streak over. It was glorious.



Taking our inveterate posting on the road. [...]

On Chasing 100


I will not lie to you, dear readers. It is fucking hard to keep writing about a team inching toward 100 losses. Currently we're at 95 with 8 games left. I will be in attendance at fully HALF of the remaining Cubs games - three this weekend in Arizona and one next Wednesday to conclude the season's funeral march. A perverse part of me wants it to happen. I sat through the longest rain delay for the latest start in Wrigley Field history last week, and was rewarded with 80 Travis Wood pitches through the third inning and a 3-0 game that left me behaving like some sort of meth addict at work the next day due to lack of sleep and overexposure to rain. It was the very bottom, and it was my 8th loss of the year in attendance. I may 10. The Cubs may hit 10 times that. HISTORY IN THE MAKING!

 So what do we root for? People begin getting antsy that the rebuild will be rushed if we don't show well next year, but it would be legitimately difficult to match this nightmare season on the field. So that's out as a consideration. The last time the Cubs lost 100 games was in the 60s (twice), and those were some legendarily shitty teams. We came close in 2000, and again in 2006, but your modern 20 or 30something Cubs fan has never had to sit and take the medicine of triple-digit failure.

It'll be interesting to see what the reaction from fans - and more importantly, ownership - will be like. I'd hate to see them push more money Theo's way and say "win now," because I have a television set, and have been able to track the Boston Red Sox the last few years. Really, that mentality - economically-based though it is - is what brought us to empty seats and Justin Germano starts in the first place. At the very least, I'm hoping that 100 possible losses might hammer home the message that it's not okay to backload contracts, draft cheap, and ignore minor league development for the better part of a decade. It's already beginning to pay dividends - I've had casual conversations with people about the lineup in Boise and what the Tennessee Smokies might look like next year. That doesn't usually happen in the course of normal Cubs conversation - either friends of mine or other Cubs bloggers. There's hope there, like a tiny Zippo flame in the middle of North Avenue Beach on an icy February morning.

So be they 100-loss legends of suck or merely a very bad 98 loss team, rest assured that you, dear reader, have earned your lifetime Cubs fan bona-fides. You've supported the team - even if, like me, you've grown increasingly cynical - during a dark period. Remember that when we're kicking the piss out of Milwaukee again and some pink-hatted dipshit spills a Bud Light on you in the 500 level.

Tonight: Cubs Social Media Night #2


Tonight the Cubs are throwing a second Social Media night. Following the success of the first one - at which I consumed FIVE Vienna Beef hot dogs - it was inevitable. For less than $20, you get pre-game festivities, a Social Media Night t-shirt, and a truffle-mac hot dog. This cannot be beaten. Buy your ticket here and come meet your favorite sporadically-posting baseball blogger.

Weekend Recap: Spoiler Alert


That whole Pirates playoff run was a cute idea, but ultimately doomed. Much like San Diego two years ago, a slumping borderline playoff team was run into the bansaw of a Cubs sweep. Pittsburgh is still over .500, and is well-used to waiting another year for playoff baseball. Plenty of practice by now. And now that the NFL has begun, both fan bases can cheerfully ignore baseball results until next April.

Castro!/Rizzo!: Post-"slump," both young guys have raised their averages (to .300 for Rizzo and .280 for Castro) and racked up numbers in garbage time as the year crawls to a slow death. Honestly, it's the only thing left to hope for. They're going to be our core guys for the foreseeable future. so you'd at least hope they can string together some hits with absolutely zero pressure on.

Samardzija: The complete game on Saturday was significant not only in cementing Samardzija as our #1 going into next year, but in demonstrating his stamina down the stretch. Remember, this is a guy sitting at 174 innings on a thin pitching staff whose previous high was 88 mostly-useless innings a year ago. When guys like Strasburg are getting shut down on contending teams, that's not a little thing.

VitJack Watch: Watching our rookies, Brett Jackson lost a fight with a PNC Park fence on Friday. That was it for him. Josh Vitters, on the other hand, is still rocking a .132 OBP. The fence for him is Major League pitching.

Oh, right, is LaHair still around?: Yes. He went 1-2 in two pinch-hit appearances. I'm currently re-writing "Candle in the Wind" to memorialize his April-May run of dominance. It'll move you to yawns.

Brewers 3 - Cubs 1: Well, Now You're Just Screwing With Us


"Pay no attention to the scoreboard ... that's right, over here."

Lazy Recap: Darwin Barney survived the most pathetic run of play I've seen all season to set the single-season NL record for errorless games. The result? Eighth loss in a row to the damn Brewers.

Slightly Longer Recap:  Jeff Samardzija pitched a pretty solid game, overcoming a bad start to strike out 10 over 7 innings. Unfortunately, he had the Cubs offense behind him.

Damned if You Do: Early in the game, Cubs hitters were aggressive at the plate, which resulted in a low pitch count for Mike Fiers and plenty of frustrating early-count pop outs. Late in the game, the Cubs started being more patient, and took looking Ks for their trouble. Someone needs to take this offense to live with a nice family upstate.

Benny Hill-Style: The play that almost cost Barney his semi-meaningful record started with a crappy throw to second to try and nail a stealing Jean Segura. Barney wasn't covering terribly well, so Segura goes to third. Barney attempts to throw him out and Luis Valbuena is struck temporarily blind, waving his glove at the ball like a latter-day Helen Keller with more modest athletic abilities. Official scoring originally charged an error on the catcher and one on Barney. I honestly thought I'd seen the streak die, but apparently even that would be too meaningful to witness.

Today: One more shot against Milwaukee and the just-returned Shawn Marcum. If we lose, we get to end 2012 on NINE straight losses to a Brewers team that's had one hell of a disappointing year. What does that make our year? (The answer is the f-word screamed at top volume)

Castro's New Contract: Now Official


Fresh out of my email inbox. SHIT YES.

For all the people who have harped on Castro's mid-season slump and "lack of focus," I hope they remember that he's that rarest of Cubs - a system product at a premium position. These are the same people that bought Bryan LaHair shirts. They eat paste.

This contract is very, very good news. We find ourselves without the usual amount of cynicism to apply. That'll probably change after the game tonight, but for now: JOY!

Brewers 15 - Cubs 4: The Joe Mather Show


This picture needs to go on a banner at Wrigley next year.

Short recap for those of you in a hurry: Joe Mather pitched. That should tell you all you need to know about how the game went. 21 hits for the Lavergne and Shirley All-Stars. I may yet mail a box of my own feces to Jim Hendry's house.

Slightly longer recap: Joe Mather not only picked up the last out of the inning from the dueling tire-fires of Alex Hinshaw and Lendy Castillo, but he outperformed four of the six pitchers we had to use last night to get the interminable ass-whomping over with. Especially Hinshaw and Castillo. ESPECIALLY HINSHAW.

Hinshaw: Three home runs given up in 0.0 innings. I entered the calculations into my computer to project his value as a reliever over the season. Then I went to get a coffee. When I came back, the laptop had looped a belt over its neck and kicked the swivel chair out from under itself. I dropped the coffee and screamed Hinshaw's name to the heavens. ESPN has his game ERA at "INF." That's right - fucking INFINITY. His capacity to give up runs is literally INFINITE. He'll fit into the bullpen pretty well, I'd say.

ARAMIS!: Of course he's heating up at this point in the year. Two homers last night. Cubs fans will make excuses for why he's going to have another 25-homer, 100-RBI season, because they were always shitty about one of the best third basemen in franchise history. How's that Josh Vitters working out for you? I bet he's got "hustle" and "leadership"! He's also 5 for 53 since we called him up. 

Speaking of Vitters: HIS OBP IS .107! You know who beats that in the rotation? Samardzija, Wood, Germano, and Raley. Volstad's like two points back. It's literally like batting two starting pitchers.

11 Losses to the Brewers: That is unacceptable, even in a rebuilding year. They're 60-67 for fuck's sake.

Today: Yovanni Gallardo and Travis Wood. Could be a solid matchup. Here's hoping.

Weekend Recap: Slapfighting the Rockies


Late-Season Non-Contending Baseball: CATCH THE FEVERWhen playing terrible baseball, it helps matters greatly to run into an equally terrible team during a homestand. With this great aid, and Chris Volstad finally running into the one lineup that didn't tee off on him, the now 49-77 Cubs managed to take 2 of 3 from the now 51-75 Rockies. Ever see two skinny nerds get pushed too far during your grade school years? They come to blows in a sharp, angular cacophony of attempted violence, neither possessing the skill or physical gifts necessary to win decisively. Eventually, the wide-swinging open handed slaps start. This weekend of baseball was that very slapfight. Two nerds, just wailing away over the superiority of Next Generation over the original Trek. In the end, it was the Rockies that got their glasses broken.Lazy Bullets!- Of course this is the way Chris Volstad's legendary streak of horribility would end. Not with a celebration, or a dominant win, but a gross, rain-shortened slog of a year-end game. We at WAIW have never been the greatest Volstad fans, so we won't offer false praise. Instead, we'll say this: Congratulations to Volstad. He didn't so much earn it as finally put at end to a streak that was as statistically baffling as someone winning Powerball twice.- We caught on to this way later than we really have any excuse for, but for those of you even slower on the draw than us, we're excited to re-re-re-report that the Cubs single-A club for next year is looking like the Kane County Cougars. This is excellent news for those of us who like to bury our depression in dreams of the future. - Joe Buck is an unbearable, sanctimonious douchebag. His droning WHAMP WHAMP WHAMP of a voice hits one like a mist of Axe Body Spray to the eyes. His latest assault on the senses? This "beard" of his, from the weekend's preseason football "action."- At a department store the other day, I ducked into the baby section with my wife to scout presents for her sister's upcoming baby. I noticed that shameless money-grubber J.C. Penny is still charging full price for a baby-sized Marlon Byrd jersey. RIDICULOUS! My eye then wandered over to the solo Sox offering. Carlos Quentin! Womp womp.- Brett Jackson is up to .206/.306. The amount of "Brett Jackson is heating up" stories this has inspired is hilarious. Not that he didn't have a nice weekend. And at the very least, he isn't hitting like Josh Vitters. All the pitchers are, though, so there's that.[...]