Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Jon Miller

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It must be getting on baseball time again...

...because Jon Miller is a callin'. 

Since Jim Hendry finally got off his lazy ass and made some moves these last few weeks, I'll be on 1460 KXNO to talk with Jon Miller about the situation at around 2:20 central.  You can hear it even if you don't live in Iowa by following the link and listening to the live internet stream.  I'm sure you'll be able to guess what the sum of my message to Radioland Iowa will be...

Yes they can

Self-promotional reminder: tune in to hear me later today

Just a little after 2:30 central, I should be on Jon Miller's sports talk show on 1460 KXNO out of Des Moines, Iowa.  If you want to listen to it live, you can hear it streaming on the net.  Just follow this link.

We tend to wing the interviews, but I have a pretty good feeling that I know what's coming today.  Like a lot of Cub fans, Miller is going to be nervous because the Dodgers scare him, especially Lowe.  I'll be reassuring while complaining about the ridiculous Goat Curse Talk that we will be assaulted with until the Cubs either win it all or get eliminated.

I'll admit now - and later - that I'm ridiculously nervous.  I want it to start already!  I am petrified of another disappointing first round sweep, although I have no reason to be.

I took the liberty of going back and reviewing the archives from October of '07, and if I was feeling this nervous about last year's Cubs, I didn't blog about it.  I did say one thing that is worth repeating, though:

From a post dated October 3, 2007:

I'm a little tired about the media and all this talk about curses.  Which, in itself, is ironic since our website is a spin on the goat curse to begin with.

But tell me if I'm wrong.  When you're watching a Cubs game this week and the D-Backs begin to battle back, or perhaps when they grab a lead for the first time, how will you feel if the game's announcers start waxing poetic about the curse?  How would you feel if they created a goat graphic that races across the screen every time the Cubs opponents jump ahead in the score?  For me, it's a little belittling, a little condescending.   Cub fans deserve better.

In fact, there are a lot of things that Cub fans deserve, in my opinion.  We deserve to be recognized.  For some absurd reason, fans outside of Chicago see us as beer-swilling, ivy-watching botards who couldn't possibly care less about the performance on the field... as if there are no other teams in baseball in which beer is swilled in excess, and as if there are no ballparks out there that were designed with Wrigley Field in mind.

Cub fans are not the stereotype.  We are passionate, we are knowledgeable, we love our team and we are brutal toward Cub players who displease us.  At this late stage, we demand victory, and nothing less satisfies us.  So, let's bury the Cub fan stereotype once and for all.  Let's show the baseball world what kind of fans we really are.

Let's be clear.  I do not believe in the curse.  I do believe that the Cubs have had rotten, rotten luck.  I feel that, based on everything I've seen, the Cubs have a great chance of going deep into the post season.  This could be an awesome October.  Let's hope the Cubs don't disappoint... for once.

Four is a Magic Number

Editor's Note: This was promoted to the GROTA Blog from the Reader Blog section.  We'll be doing that from time to time.  Kurt promises that it has nothing to do with how Jon has been promoting the blog on his radio show for months now, but instead has everything to do with the length and quality of content

This month has been a wild and crazy ride as a member of the Cubs bandwagon.

Heck, this entire season has been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my quarter century of pulling for the Northsiders.

Kurt has had to talk me off the ledge a time or two, and I am glad that he did.  Now, when I first started talking to Kurt, I never would have pegged him to actually be the one to talk me off of any ledges.  But such is life.

The Cubs beat the Brewers 5-4 on Tuesday night, inching closer to the now inevitable National League Central Division Title.

That's what the 'experts' predicted the Cubs would accomplish, but we have all chased after that holy grail before, only to have our hopes and dreams dashed in May.

This year, the Cubs have actually lived up to the hype, and perhaps even surpassed it, which makes it so damned enjoyable.

Ok, I am getting ahead of myself a little bit, and for the extra-goatish among you, I am making you nervous...as if what I say can somehow fly back in the Cubs faces and add to some cosmic jinx.

Screw that, Jobu!

I don't care what the stats say about the following, I just believe that:

-This is the best situational hitting Cubs team in my lifetime, or IML for short.

-This is one of the best defensive teams when it matters a heck of a lot IML

-This is the best pitching staff IML

-This is the toughest lineup to face IML

My least favorite part of Tuesday night's game was followed by a stroke of genius; Inserting Bob Howry into the game nearly cause me to throw my remote against the TV, but I was glad to see that Lou started the bus early and sent Howry packing at the first sign of an open flame, the walk.

I don't know if anyone smokes in the Cubs Clubhouse, but please do not do so around Bob Howry.  Flames can ignite, you know, and Howry has to smell like 89 octane petrol.

How about Fonz's curtain call when no one was cheering for it?  That has to be the sign of a good team, right?  I will just assume the answer is yes, since I have never seen that before.

And though Kerry gave up another run, hey, he had two to work with, alright?  His curve ball to strike out Jabba Fielder was just filthy after Jabba had seen about 6 96mph heaters.   That was real sweet stuff right there.

And the Brewers, who did something so Brewerish in not firing Ned Yost last year, or this May, only to fire him with 15 some odd games left in the season while they were actually tied for the wildcard lead, are now circling the drain, about to be eliminated by the Cubs from contention in the central.  And they beat C.C...who still has an arm, but not for long.  Any thoughts that this guy might be ready for some arm trouble for whomever signs him next year?

But that's not my problem, and it appears he won't be a problem for the Cubs in October, either.

Dang it, this is fun.

Listen live at 3PM central

It's time for your weekly heads-up regarding my regular guest slot on the Jon Miller Show, heard out of 1460 KXNO Des Moines.  I anticipate that it should be a pretty interesting spot as I had roughly 3 hours of sleep last night and I am bound to be punchy.

The show streams online, so if you have about half an hour free, you should tune in and hear my cunning rhetoric.   

Listen live and tickle my ego sometime after 2PM central

Just a friendly reminder, friends, that I will be appearing on Jon Miller's show again today sometime after the 3 o'clock hour. 

I'm told that my segments have been likened to radio gold, if not radio plutonium.  Actually, nobody has said that, but you should listen anyway. 

Hear me live

Just a happy reminder, I'll be appearing shortly on Jon Miller's show on KXNO 1460

You can listen online via streaming in order to discover if this is the week where I finally give in and drop a string of profanities across the Iowa airwaves. 

I guess it is I who am the guest host on the radio today

Both Jon Miller of KXNO and Kurt are being gracious enough to let my sorry ass on the air today, primarily to get my fledgling cause off the ground.  Oh yeah, some of you may have the memory of a asiatic spotted beetle.  I think Ron Santo should sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the seventh inning full time, in every park in the majors, and most of AAA, AA, and high A.  But, taking logistics into account, I'll settle for just all of the Cubs home games.

Fact is, though, I don't have a clue on how to set up a petition.  I really don't have any preferences on how I want to do it - I just want a way for people to be able to spend 30 seconds putting in their two cents, and have something keep track of them all so I can send it to whomever is doing John McDonough's old job.  Who that is, I'm not exactly sure, either.  They didn't really so much fill his position as much as split his duties amongst several existing underlings.

Anyway, I'm going to tell you what I am going to tell Jon today, when he invariably asks how people can get on board.  If and when I figure this out, I will let you all know about it HERE.  So come HERE.  Right HERE.  Goatriders.org.  None of us are confused about it...we're all straight?  Right HERE!

I'll let one of my other esteemed colleagues talk about Marky Mark's big night.  He was due, and it was outstanding to wake up this morn and to hear about it.  Go DeRosa!!  Go Cubs!

Dr. Joe Morgan, off the record, but on the air

For some crazy reason, I'm watching the Braves and Angels on Sunday Night Baseball rather than game 5 of the NBA finals. It's a good thing because I would have missed Jon Miller calling Joe Morgan, Dr. Morgan, two dozen times. (Morgan received an honorary doctorate this weekend from one of the Cal-State branches for funding a bunch of scholarships.) Oh, and there was this exchange.

Jon Miller: Just a bit high!.. Did you see that little essay by Buster Olney on ESPN.com [Link may require ESPN Insider Access] a few days ago, Joe, about Vlad and how some are wondering if his struggles so far this year are an indication that maybe he's starting to lose it? That ball is smoked foul deep down the left field line.

Joe Morgan: Well that's why I asked Mike Scioscia, you know kinda off the record, you know, what was going on? And that's when he explained to me that you know Vlad had gone through these types of stretches before and it had nothing to do in his opinion with age or the fact that he might be finished. It was just, you know, he's gone through stretches like this before. But he always ends up with those big numbers, you know.

Yes, I know this is needlessly piling on Joe Morgan, but he doesn't like Ryno, so I'll pile on needlessly and not feel too guilty about it.

So what was it, Joe? Was the conversation on the record or off the record? Did you try to ask Scioscia off the record and he refused to go off the record with you? Did he tell you one thing off the record, and another for attribution? Isn't the idea of an 'off the record' conversation that you won't repeat it on national TV? So either you just shattered your journalistic credibility, or you just lied to a national TV audience... which I guess would also shred you credibility.

Also, kudos to Jon Miller for promoting synergy among the various Disney brands. I'm sure the higher ups are happy with your plug for the website. (I would be too, but I chose to buy a few Proctor & Gamble shares instead, so could you mention how great Tide is for cleaning baseball uniforms?) I think I'll switch over the the NBA finals now. (Angels win 2-0. Does K-Rod really have 28 saves? Wow!)


Cubs Win Flag

Cubs 7, Blue Jays 4

I didn't really see the game, but Ted Lilly went 6 innings, allowing only 1 hit and no runs. Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez drove in 5 of the Cubs seven runs... and you can read the boxscore as well as I.

In other news, The Chicago Fire lost to FC Dallas 1-0. The U.S. Mens National team beat Barbados 8-0, Tiger Woods tied for the U.S. Open title and will play in a playoff tomorrow... and Turkey came back to tie the Czech Republic 2-2.

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