As the CSTB faithful know, no one likes ridiculing Cub fans and the Cub œorganization more than I, with the possible exception of Rob Warmoski. Trust me, I try. Lou Piniella offers nothing close to Dusty Baker™s comedy gold mine interviews. Where are the arm bands? The tooth picks and circular sentences? Lou, who only has one adjective in his vocabulary “ “nice” “ even got rid of that neck-warmer haircut for the rap commercial with Ozzie. I had high hopes for the rap bit, too. It turned out a comedy-zero, too inane to parody, not even rerun enough to bore you with repetition. The Cubs hover over their closest rival by 5 games and 6 on the Cardinals. Mark Cuban, an ideal owner, leads the prospective pack of kazillionaires. It took an Act of God to stop the Cubs from sweeping the Astros this week. Even Kerry Wood is doing OK. No tantrums over announcers, no Zambrano v Barrret, even La Troy Hawkins’ return to Wrigely this week was laugh-free. How many times has anyone heard the sentence œAnd La Troy Hawkins fans the side to end the inning? in living memory? Kerry Wood™s blister, Bob Howry™s personal home-run derby, and an occasional Ryan Theriot little league level error covering 2B is all I get. Well, except for one constant: Cub Fans. Cub Nation, if you must use that term. From far and wide they e-mail Carrie Muskat’s Cubs Mailbag. Carrie, the only paid reporter left on the Tribune’s payroll, keeps Cub Comedy alive. Here at the mailbag, I answer the actual questions the way I imagine Carrie would, if only she didn™t fear Ronnie Woo Woo getting her job. Le’s get to it, shall we?
Laura F., Beloit, Wis.: I would like to know why they call Henry Blanco “Hank White?”
Sorry, Laura “ no idea. We™ve consulted a number of North Side baseball historians on your behalf, but can find no connection between the words œBlanco and œWhite. Could you please check the spelling of these words and resubmit your question?
Alex T., McAllen, Texas: Why do the Cubs keep putting Howry in situations where he has to hold a lead or save a game? …. Howry has given up four or five home runs that have cost the Cubs the game in most cases.
Alex, it’s a game, but it’s also a business. Upon learning that State Farm Insurance sponsors every 2008 MLB home run, Cub owner Sam Zell insisted Howry be placed in every game to generate team revenue with his massive home run count. We’ve got a big payroll to meet, and Bob Howry is one reason we can pay it.
Eric R., Chicago : Can you please let Wood know he should try Neosporin. I read the latest story about his blister, and Neosporin should take care of the problem in three days max. We need Woody back.
Huh ¦ let me write that down, Eric. N-e-o-s-p-o-r-i-n, you say? Are you suggesting Kerry Wood actually seek medical treatment for the open sore on his index finger? Look, the Cubs have the best medical team in baseball working on Wood™s œcursed finger. The blister that won™t heal has been diagnosed as the result of a voo doo, and Wrigley is being searched for dead chickens as I write. Thanks for the œadvice, kid, but the Cubs know how the game is played.
Btw, the Mailbag received many, many questions on Wood™s oozing open sore. For the record, Kerry Wood flat-out denies that it™s the result of an unprotected All-Star game hand-shake with herpes advocate Derek Jeter. At this point in the Mailbag, I offer the suggestions of Cub fans nationwide to cure Wood™s blister. Behold, the alternative medical practices of Cub Nation:
œSean S., a high school cross country coach, also suggested A&D Diaper Rash Ointment because it fixes blisters in a day. Eric C. of Metairie, La., wanted to know if Wood had tried urinating on his hand, or letting a dog lick it. Joe, a guy who “plays drums for fun, sometimes quite loudly,” suggested a product called “New Skin” which is a liquid bandage. Laura F. of Beloit, Wis., wanted to make sure Wood was tested to see if he is a diabetic because she says sores don’t heal as well. Jack R. suggested Wood should hollow out a raw potato to the size to fit the affected finger, then stick it on the finger overnight and cover his hand and the potato in a plastic bag. It may take two days. It’s a tip from an old-time pro bowler.
Bud P., Palatine, Ill.: Since this is the Cubs’ 100-year anniversary of the last time they won the World Series, I thought it would be fitting that they have a 100-win season. Have the Cubs ever had a 100-win regular season, and statistically, what are the chances for them to do so this year?
Hi Bud “ yeah, and maybe you could add a Wimbledon trophy and Westminster dog show gold flea-collar, or whatever the fuck they give out, to boot? Thanks for our millionth reminder of the Cubs title-free century, œBud. Fact: the Cubs have had several 100-win seasons, most recently in 1902, the last February-to-November MLB 300 game schedule played. The Cub pitching staff also boasts three 20-game winners that year.
Nick V., Muncie, Ind.: I see that the Cubs are playing a day game on Aug. 8, 2008, which will be the 20th anniversary of lights at Wrigley Field. Why isn’t the game at night? Will there be anything special occurring during the game?
Why a day game, Nick? Because the city of Chicago (run by Daley machine stooges and Sox fans) demands the Cubs play a certain amount of exhausting August day games. The deal paid off for the Sox who won an impressive 3rd World Championship in a century (take that Yankees!) giving them œbragging rights in South Side bars, if not Sesame Street birthday parties or dentist offices.
Mackey E., North Aurora, Ill.: I have the new Cubs 100th anniversary CD and in one of the songs, the singer mentions “The Vulture.” He says he played with Santo. Who is the Vulture?
Hi œMackey “ thanks for yet another mailbag question that conveniently promotes Cub merch about to drop. The 100th anniversary cd, celebrating a hundred title-free years, features songs from the golden age of Cubs loserdom. It open with teenage Jack Brickhouse in 1909 announcing on the first time on the Cubs PA system “ a tin can connected to a large oil barrel by a piece of string “ œNext Year is Our Year. Fun stuff. What was your œquestion?
Joel S., Humble, Texas : I’ve been a lifelong Cubs fan and have been to Wrigley more times than I can count. Every time I visit, however, one question continues to go unanswered. How does the grounds crew keep the ivy from growing over the numbers? I have always been curious.
Really? The Cubs have the best year in a 100 years and you sit there watching the vines grow? You™re question seriously makes me wonder how high folks in Humble, TX can count.