Continuing CSTB’s evolution into an unofficial Derek Erdman fan site

Posted in Free Expression, Modern Art at 4:50 pm by

Responding to some of the negative criticism in response to last week’s Chicago Reader illustrations, Mr. Derek Erdman has prepared this illustration, apparently for use as this week’s CRcover:


NOTE: THE Chicago Reader website address returns the following error: “Firefox can’t find the server at www.chicagoreader.com.” Cause and effect has not been determined. UPDATE: The Chicago Reader site seems back live, tho’ after a quick once-over, I did not find this particular image on it.

As a side question, wouldn’t one need to first decriminate in order to then recriminate? In any event, I really like the airplanes in the background of the picture, they’re cute.


Last Call for ‘Pomp and Circumstance’

Posted in music, The World Of Entertainment, When Mascots Attack at 10:40 pm by

Seattle’s Tuba Man, R.I.P.

For the record, I didn’t like the guy when he was alive. I mean, I got the joke… a man, a grown man, at seemingly every single sporting and most non-sporting civic event in Seattle, in the fucking rain, at night, all the time, busking for dough, playing a fucking tuba. Two days ago the Facebook “status reports” of a few Seattle pals referred to Tuba Man’s brutal beating and subsequent death, and it has taken me 48 hours to kinda process what this all means, to me, anyway… And while The Seattle P-I’s Art Thiel does a much better job, here goes some typing of mine on the same subject:

Many years ago, very many, but cannot remember when, exactly, early 90s maybe/maybe not, Ed the Tuba Guy entered my consciousness and has remained there ever since. The guy was, to put it kindly, differently-abled. It took me awhile to figure this out, that he was “slow” or, I dunno, not “with it”, whatever IT came to mean. I slipped him a dollar or ten over the years in dollar bill increments, but his shtick was dumb and I hated it. His non-sardonic deadpan, the non-ironic jokes, and the ironic-hokey songs he played were dumb and I hated them, even as I know the rule: every song is funny if played on a tuba; yeah, well, after 10 years, fuck you.

The title of this CSTB posting was the one-sentence joke Ed The Tuba Man would tell as you’d run by him moving South to avoid the rain and wind, past the Qwest Field landing where he’d crouch or sit during inclement weather, with his tuba and his bucket of wet change.  It was his one joke, again and again.

It would be a disservice to humanity to add the sad news of the ruined life of Edward McMichael, Seattle’s “Tuba Man,” to a list of the reasons why the Seattle sports scene has been a bummer this year, but even as a human life shouldn’t be subject to this comparison, I will do so anyway:

The Mariners (61 and 101 in ’08, g-d did they suck)
The Sonics (worst or near-worst in the NBA / owned by greedy motherfucker Clay Bennett / are no more)
The Seahawks (jesus, this is depressing)
The T-Birds (4-10-1. next-to-last- Western Division, WHL; moving to KENT(!) next season)

I have since followed the flow of my paymaster’s teat to Silicon Valley, and in spite of all of the charitably “colorful” dopes I see frequently see around AT&T Park, HP Pavilion, and the the g-ddammed Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, or even The Castro and Mission districts on a good night, nothing really matched the strange, slightly antagonizing charm of Seattle’s Tuba Man.  I could go on and on, but I don’t want to paste html links to similarly miserable Tacoma Rainers, Portland Trailblazers, Vancouver Canucks, and, eternally, the Seattle Music Scene. Nah, I’ll just say that Seattle lost some of its charm on Wednesday when The Tuba Guy bit it.

(photo:  Karen Ducey; P-I / 2006; used w/o permission)
Requiescat, Tuba Man of Seattle.  I miss you already.


The change we need? Marinerz Hire Brewerz’ Zduriencik az GM

Posted in Baseball at 6:02 pm by

The American League team with the most room for improvement, The Seattle Mariners, announced the hiring of a replacement GM today, Jerry Zduriencik (above, ruined image swiped from The Newcastle News), the former Milwaukee Brewers’ Vice President-Special Assistant to the General Manager for Player Personnel.

Per the USSMariner’s always-reliable Dave Cameron:

Now, Jack Z isn™t exactly the new school analytical type we were all hoping for. His strengths are all scouting based, and he won™t be the kind of guy to come in and turn the Mariners into the next Oakland/Cleveland/Boston/Tampa Bay. With Engle, Fontaine, and now Zduriencik, the Mariners are clearly going to try to win with the Atlanta/Minnesota/Anaheim method of just outscouting everyone else on earth and developing so much good talent from within that they can™t help but be competitive.

Guess what? It can work. It™s not the best possible path, but it™s not doomed for failure, either. If Zduriencik can prove to be as adept at evaluating major league talent as he has been at amateur talent, and the M™s commit to a development pipeline that enables the team to grow a roster of homemade all-stars, they could line themselves up to be a very good team.

Apparently this person is at least partially credited with the building of the Brewers’ successful young nucleus of everyday players, but shouldn’t Zduriencik also receive the shame for assembling that bullpen? My take really just a simple reminder: at least he isn’t Bill Bavasi!


Misty-Eyed Bull Durham Fans Rejoice!

Posted in Baseball, Cinema, The World Of Entertainment at 2:49 pm by

Everybody, get it up for Bull Durham 2: The Gouging!


(above, Crash remembers his first kiss, his first limo ride, the making of B.D. #1, becomes subject to some inattentive video editing, belts out some truly horrible garbage disguised as music, including one song excerpt supposedly about NASCAR, around 3 or 4 minutes in.)


Mariners’ Howard Lincoln Has A Funny Way Of Accepting Responsibility

Posted in Baseball at 6:44 pm by

Oh, Jesus, what a fucking disaster area this is. And in case you’re wondering why the Seattle Mariners seem so broken and hopeless, you have two choices: 1. Keep wondering; or 2. Read this doozy of an interview with Good Ship Mariner CEO/Chairman Howard Lincoln (above, on the hot seat) as conducted by the usually wonderful Art Thiel of the Seattle PI.

As a long-suffering Mariner fan, almost every response provoked a full-body clenching, but please allow me copy/paste call this excerpt to your attention:

Q: No one could have anticipated the injuries to Erik Bedard, but how he related to teammates, manager and the club regarding himself and those injuries had to have been surprising. Did something get missed in the evaluation of his personality?

A: Because we were talking about such a big trade, a great deal of effort went into evaluating it. We talked to many who knew him on a day-to-day basis. With his record, he was one of the best MLB left-handed pitchers.

Certainly his personality was discussed. Whether his manner in dealing with the manager or media is a bit strange, if he had pitched up to expectations, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But he was injured. Fortunately, we found the injury wasn’t as serious. We hope he’ll be ready by spring training.

I was a little surprised by what I read in the paper, but no more than I am with peculiarities of some other players. There’s a wide variety of personalities.

This kind of thing comes to the fore when a team is losing. When a team is winning, you can have 25 psychopaths down there and nobody cares.

I think we did due diligence. In hindsight, was it good enough? Probably not. But his personality is not the key. The key is the injury. We better not evaluate this trade as a disaster until it plays itself out.

I don’t know who Lincoln means by WE, but I’ll go ahead and call it the worst trade since the 10 year old Heathcliff Slocumb for Derek Lowe/Jason Varitek deal. Also, regarding the bit about not caring (or noticing) psychopaths on a winning ballclub, I would hasten to remind Lincoln that a famous psychopath named Al Martin played for that Mariner squad that won a league record 116 games in 2001.

After throwing former Mariner GM Bill Bavasi under the bus for the 2008 meltdown, Mr. Lincoln admits that he serves at the pleasure of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s (former-ish) Chairman and President:

(Mr. Yamauchi, in four-headed form, stolen from 4colorrebellion.)

According to Lincoln, Yamauchi’s batting average in player/personnel matters is “1.000” based on his involvement in the Kaz Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki and Kenji Johjima deals.  By my math that seems about .333 too high.


Selfish hit machine’s workplace relations eerily similar to a Nicoderm CQ-inspired fever dream

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 6:59 pm by

ichiro beatup
(above, Ichiro’s would be new-look, inspired by Derek Erdman’s “STRANGLED: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders”)
I’ll spare you a proper introduction of myself with a simple statement: I quit smoking on Monday and am now on day five of The Patch. The process has been brutal, and I probably haven’t been the nicest guy over this past week. Numerous times I have caught myself snapping at co-workers, family and friends throughout, and while part of me feels kinda bad about my behavior, last night I received my punishment by having fallen asleep with The Patch on. During this turbulent sleep I was subject to the most unpleasant dreams, the most memorable of which involved a string of friends and acquaintances visiting my home in Silicon Valley, performing some kind of Trojan-horse home invasion, and submitting me to all kinds of humiliation and cruelty that I won’t detail here on my first posting on CSTB, but let me say that the premature aging, heart disease, cancer and yellow teeth which go along with smoking seemed appealing by comparison. …Anyway, that said, I was surprised to find my outlandish semi-conscious hallucinations to have a very similar storyline to an alleged situation taking place in my beloved Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse. Per Geoff Baker in Thursday’s Seattle Times:

“I just can’t believe the number of guys who really dislike him,” said one clubhouse insider. “It got to a point early on when I thought they were going to get together and go after him.” The coaching staff and then-manager John McLaren intervened when one player was overheard talking – in reference to Ichiro – about wanting to “knock him out.” A team meeting was called to clear the air. It was a repeat of May 2007, when Mike Hargrove was in charge and a team meeting had to be called during a series at Tampa Bay because of clubhouse bickering over Ichiro being a “selfish” player.

As a avid and loyal fan of the Mariners, I can confirm with certainty that there 20 or 21 Mariner players who should be knocked out, and none of them are Ichiro. The lack of quote attribution forces me to speculatively associate said quote with simpering Mariner tough-guy mediocrites Jerrod Washburn and/or Willie “Ballgame” Bloomquist, but for fuck’s sake, put a tent on this circus.

Mariner Manager Jim Riggleman displays an uncanny clarity in an ESPN and Seattle Times follow up as follows:

“We’ve lost so many games, so these types of things surface,” Riggleman said. “When the ship is sinking, the rats are the first ones off. They’re the ones scavenging everything on the ship when it’s going good, but when it’s sinking they’re the first ones off.”

On the bright side in Mariner-land, the M’s have a magic number of 2 in the Strasberg sweepstakes, aka the #1 pick, with the hard-charging Nationals trailing the Phillies 7-1 in the 2nd inning.