today i learned the guy who covers the cubs likes the DH

can you imagine working for a big newspaper in Chicago,

sorta big, it’s the sun-times

and you get to go to the most beautiful park 100 times a year

and you are fundamentally against what makes the National League the National League?

to me that would be like being a bartender but not appreciating booze.

it’d be like saying you love women but would rather they be completely odorless

it’d be like being a librarian but you prefer the film adaptations.

we battled a little on twitter and he took offense when i told him that i was unfollowing him and then all of his fans piled on

and one by one i picked them off.

it was astounding how few of them really understood the nuance and truths about not just baseball

but strategy, pace, and how to score a run.

scoring runs, of course being the prime objective of baseball.

one guy told me that he liked the AL style that included the designated hitter because it sped up the games and created more runs.

i told him to find me the proof that the games were shorter in the AL than the NL

he conceded he was wrong.

so to reward him i showed him that the amount of runs scored in each league were virtually identical.

i even showed him a chart


more people defended the sun times reporter.

one guy asked me a ridiculous scenario where it was the first inning and the pitcher was due up, would i pinch hit? he said he would i said, “why? your team had batted around in the first. you’re doing great, why take out your pitcher for the hope of another hit even though the odds of a pinch hitter being successful is low?”

he was all, “well he has a better chance of a hit than a dumb pitcher!”

which is true but still inane. so i asked him about another scenario.

i said what would happen if its the bottom of the 7th, scoreless game, two no hitters until the Cubs #8 hitter smacks a double into the ivy.

one out, man on second, do you let your pitcher bat or do you yank him because now you have the best chance youve had all game to score… but if you yank him you are also pulling out a pitcher who is mesmerizing the opposite team?

he said, oh id let him bunt. its an obvious sacrifice bunt scenario.

i said is it? and i pulled out this Runs Expectancy chart like the nerd that i am that shows you have a .66 chance of scoring if you have a man on second with 1 out. but you only have a .35 chance of scoring if you have a runner on third with 2 outs.

so by bunting you are actually halving your chances, so you may as well let Kyle swing away and/or try to draw a walk… and make the pitcher waste valuable pitches.

all he could say was that the stats i provided were 5 years old (as if that matters) and any time he sees pitchers they stand there for three pitches and then walk to the bench.

it was then that i realized who i was talking with. and who this writer attracts. and that i was wasting my time with both of them and i should get back to actual work.

which i did

which i am nearly finished with.

which makes me very happy.

and tomorrow i will sell my OJ helmet.

to a very nice man who once used it in an art show.

and i will throw in an OJ football card.

everything must go.

im selling everything i own,

new year new you.

am i happy? no.

does this have to do with the Rona? probably. it also has to do with expectations and age and respect and lack of communication and so many things.

but maybe the worst is that MLB is trying to use all of this to figure out a way to sneak the DH into the NL.

it reminds me of horny teenage boys trying to slip their scrawny little dicks into the buttholes of their unsuspecting girlfriends.

at first the girls giggle and say whoops, not there

then they start to realize it isnt an accident and say Chad, come on. Be nice.

then they see Chad really wants it no matter what they say.

it’s foul. its unnecessary and it doesnt add to the game.

MLB’s excuse is that half of these games are going to have to be interleague because they have to play so many so quickly and probably not in MLB stadiums, so why not?

i’ll tell you why not. because it’s unnatural, dumb, foolish, and shouldn’t even be in the AL, let alone all of MLB.

use the DH in AL parks and play actual baseball in NL parks. how hard is that, Chad?

the shortened season interleague argument could also be used in the reverse: because the season is shortened, why not go back to traditional baseball rules, and use the old fat washed up DH’s as pinch hitters in the late innings?

You know why they wouldn’t do that?

Because if they did they would notice that the strategy involved and the excitement whenever a pitcher got a hit would far exceed the baloney in the AL.

last month on twitter matt welch asked about this sb little league picture

and i couldn’t find it anywhere, and lo, i just ran across it on facebook

we were probably the coolest little league managers of all time

but that doesn’t always translate to the wins column

however, one thing about being 9 and 10 years old, which these boys learned

probably not from us

is winning and losing is all relative

the fact that they were able to turn double plays

and not piss their pants at the plate

when, let’s say, that was not in their skill set before we all met and became the Santa Barbara Royals

is all the winning one needs.

it’s Oscar Saturday, so let’s Ask Tony

Oskar asks: what will you be doing this year during the Oscars?

If you recall, last year I roamed the red carpet, Dolby Theatre and the adjoining Loews Hotel publishing everything cool that I ran into on Snapchat.

This year I will be doing pretty much the same thing (except with another year of experience under my belt) but on the Academy’s Instagram. Instagram Story to be specific.

If you aren’t following us already, follow TheAcademy on Instagram and get ready to see all that my All Access pass can provide. I should start the transmission around noonish and end around midnight. God willing.

What will you see? You will see all the things that you won’t be seeing on TV. So if you want to see it all, tune in to ABC on your TV and have your buddy Tony on your phone or iPad.

John Smith asks: is it possible to go down to the LA river where they shot the car chase scenes in repo man and grease?

Yes. But I wouldn’t recommend going down there right now as it has been raining the last few days and that area (just East of DTLA) is flooded and you might screw up your sweet car.

Tony Kletch asks: Stones or Beatles? 

I listen to the Stones at least once a week and if a Beatles tune comes on the radio I change it to Ozzy’s Boneyard. With that said, I listen to mostly the Stone’s 70s and 80s era tunes, so maybe my problem is mostly with the British Invasion era 60s stuff. But still, I prefer rock music as compared to pop.

Mark Johnson asks: Do you support expropriation of land from white farmers to be claimed by the State of South Africa?

I have the greatest friends. God bless you Mark. I don’t like the expropriation of any thing from any one. HOWEVER I think this is one of those rare moments where you can split the baby. I think instead of taking all the land from the white farmers, only half of it should be taken, and not by the state, but by the native South Afrikans.

Dougie Gyro asksWill Ohtani be a better hitter or pitcher?

Hitting MLB pitchers might be the toughest thing in all of sports. However, the Angels want to do this funky 6-man rotation which tells me they aint so confident about his pitching either. I know he’s young. I know he’s Babe Ruth. But I have a feeling they will use him as a SP and DH his first few years but will probably convert him to a long reliever and pinch hitter in years 3-4 when they realize there was only one Babe Ruth and he drank beers with children and ate hot dogs with strippers.

Michael Katz asks: Is Joe Flacco a elite qb?

History says nope. And says Jay Cutler should never have been a starter.

More to come!

happy mlk day

this is a picture of MLK

and his daughter Yolanda

in their backyard.

One of my favorite baseball players was Hank Aaron​ who in his book “I Had a Hammer”

wrote that when he was a teenager he never dreamt of playing in the Major Leagues

because at that time Blacks were not allowed to play.

Hank is still alive

and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame.

Which shows you how quickly

beautiful dreams

you didn’t even know you had,

can come true.

imagine the things today’s teenagers

can’t even conceive themselves achieving today

due to a plethora of man-made rules

rooted in bizarre and old school reasons

like race or sex or religion.

And then think how much better life will be

when we destroy those artificial boundaries that hold tomorrow’s heroes back

like they’re held back today.

matt and i went to the angels game

the junior circuit, whatever, i know i know

but matt has lived on the east coast since ’07, which if you recall motivated me to write to the Times which lead to that great opportunity

he’s also an Angels encyclopedia which is helpful because the AL is my blindspot

i mean it’s soooooorta baseball

it’s baseball enough.

lucked out and they were playing the Blue Jays so there were lots of Canadians in the house and families originally from Buffalo who now live in Oakland

and for some reason they decided to fly to Long Beach because Jet Blue had an amazing deal

so why not see the Jays take on the Angels?

i was all Buffalo? one morning i woke up in a toronto hotel with a canadian girl on new years day and i turned on the tv and they were playing hockey in a football stadium in buffalo

the winter classic, he told me.

yes! and the snow was coming down in thick flakes all over the ice, but it didnt matter because hockey players are the baddest asses in town. SNOW?

and then he riffed off three-four stats about that game.

so on the left, matt was predicting the future on the field (double play, right here)

and buffalo on the right was filling in the blanks of my past

on my lap was a thick grilled hot dog surrounded by french fries with shredded short rib on top a healthy scoop of guacamole on top of that, and because why not, an ice cream scoop of sour cream.

and i was working on a beer.

it was baseball enough, all right.

Lou Brock has bone cancer

in the early 70s the Cubs made one of the worst trades in all of baseball history.

they unloaded the swift footed outfielder Lou Brock for a donkey and three magic beans.

the donkey ended up hitting about .250 but the magic beans never became of anything

meanwhile Brock broke all of the major league records in stolen bases and eventually turned into a hall of famer.

but to me his greatest achievement was when he invented the Brockabrella, the quirky hat that doubled as an umbrella.

today it was revealed that he has cancer in his bones, reminding us, once again, that life can be cruel and unusual.

while we have world leaders who gas their own people and others who coerce with our enemies to steal elections, some of the best people in the world suffer for no apparent reason at the time of their lives when they should enjoy the riches that they’ve given the world.

so tonight when you’re putting on your Brockabrella for your evening stroll, look up at the stars and ask the Lord to have mercy on speedy number twenty.

the only cardinal who was ever worth a damn.

why are the Frisco Giants and SD Padres playing with each other

todays Cubs game against the Cardinals is rained out.

of course it its. it’s April 5th and the game is supposed to be played in St. Louis. a terrible place, especially in early April, in part because of the people, but also because of the weather.

on the left coast, for some reason the SF Giants and the SD Padres are playing each other beneath clear skies.

if i was running baseball, which i should be, the month of April would be games hosted solely on the West Coast, in Florida, Texas, ATL and in domes.

why wouldn’t they?

sure the east coast teams and midwest teams would be on the road for the first 30 days, but so what? why put butts in seats in foul weather cities in April? wheres the joy in that, Mudville?

instead, LA, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, San Diego, and Seattle all started on the road this week? For why?

in the last 60 hours the Cubs and the White Sox have been rained out three times in two different cities and the Sox game is in jeopardy vs Detroit tonight. In this modern world where interleague games are the norm, why aren’t the Sox playing in the dome of Seattle and why aren’t the Cubs in LA or SD or AZ?

Because the MLB schedulemakers want that Cubs Cards rivalry to kick off the season OMG OMG

well how good is it when there are rainouts?

last year the Cubs opened in Anaheim. perfect! it’s Opening Day week. fans are excited anyway. you don’t need to hedge your bets and have rivals play right off the bat. the seats will be sold.