Sammy Sosa, Chicago and Bardball

The reclusive, petulant, intermittently-English-speaking Sammy Sosa gave an interview recently, lamenting that his crappy attitude with fans and teammates has made him a pariah in the Cubs organization. In addition to comparing himself (of course!) to a suffering Jesus, he also bragged that he put Chicago “on the map”. Which was news to a lot of us.

So when I get a fat slow pitch like that, I have to pen a reaction to it for Bardball:

Sammy Sosa, the Founder of Chicago

Leave aside the famed DuSable
Who thought he wore this feather in his cap.
We’ll forgive you this historical bobble,
Twas Sammy Sosa put Chicago on the map.

Forget Jim Thompson and Hinky Dink Kenna
Who lay the town in corruption’s lap.
They came and went, but at the center,
Twas Sammy Sosa put Chicago on the map.

Dion O’Banion and Al Capone
Made sure the suds were e’er on tap.
Those slobs can’t call this town their own–
Twas Sammy Sosa put Chicago on the map.

Sure, Sandburg, Bellow, Studs could write,
Curtis Mayfield was a soulful chap,
Muddy Waters was a man, all right,
But Sammy Sosa put Chicago on the map.

I’ll admit MJ could play some hoops.
Hack, Ernie, Big Hurt and Pudge could slap
A few hits around, but no big whoops–
Twas Sammy Sosa put Chicago on the map.


An Oldie from Bardball

Feb. 17, 2017 —  but updated for today’s realities:

Life is Good

Winter’s been raw as a campout in Banff.
Your new basement walls are moldy and damp.
Your drapes caught fire from a knocked over lamp—

.         Relax!
.         Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Your check-writing hand’s developed a cramp,
Your bills are all due and you ain’t got a stamp,
Creditors cling to your neck like a clamp—

.          Smile!
.          Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Your yard now faces a new freeway ramp.
Your son is engaged to a gold-digging tramp.
Your “guitar hero” neighbor’s just bought a new amp—

.         Life is good!
.         Pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.

Breaking news makes you break out in a rant.
You want to stop watching; duty says you can’t.
I fear Lady Liberty’s being measured for implants–

.         With luck we’ll survive,
.         And pitchers and catchers are reporting to camp.


Now that baseball season is on the horizon, take a break and check out our doggerel, served fresh daily, and maybe even contribute if you have a mind to.  Consider it part of your “self-care” regimen.  We ALL need a short break now and again!


Good Things about the Trump Disaster

I don’t want to waste much time writing about Trump — I waste too much time reading other people’s writing about Trump, and they are much more thorough researchers than yours truly. I have other projects to shepherd at the moment, balanced with actual activism work.

But really, can you believe he’s only been in office 3 weeks now? If by “change”, his voters envisioned a constitutional crisis, real Nazis in the Oval Office, Cabinet members who can’t get endorsed by anything but a party line vote, and weekends in which SNL skits cause more upset than a lethally botched Navy SEAL raid — then I guess we consulting different dictionaries.

But before getting bogged down in DAYS worth of kvetching and worrying, let’s consider the positive aspects of Cheetolini’s tenure (and never forget, it’s the GOP’s mess to deal with):

  • More people are getting involved in politics than ever before. (Let’s just make sure, all you snowflakes, that it ain’t just on the national level — pay attention to your state and local politics, EVEN IF you agree with them now. Also pay close attention to voting rights protections and redistricting efforts.)
  • People are showing up at meetings with their reps incensed by the idea that their insurance could be taken away or fouled up BEFORE any replacement plan is even discussed. (Geez, what kind of genius came up with THAT plan?)
  • Thousands of people who work in government and take pride in their contribution to the country and its citizens are fighting back, overtly and covertly, against this brainless disaster.
  • Democrats in DC are finally being forced to show some spine, which I hope continues on an exponential scale. (Miracles do happen)
  • Contributions to ProPublica, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood are going through the roof, which will allow them all to hire more lawyers and advocates to stand up for policies that protect our rights.
  • We all know now that progress is not a given, that it always has to be pushed forward.
  • Be glad that Trump and his troop of bozos are so ham-handed at their game. If someone slicker and more adept at Washington’s culture were to be trying this, the venality, cruelty and criminality wouldn’t be so obvious. It’s the dogshit laying in the middle of the sidewalk that is easiest for everyone to react to.

These are generalities, which unfortunately won’t give comfort to people being deported, communities watching their drinking water fill with sludge, etc. America and its winner-take-all mentality can be unimaginably cruel, and is no way to run a government.

But if the past three weeks are any indication, we won’t have to endure four years of this “corned beef dirigible” (as described in Deadspin). I was more depressed in November and December, when everyone imagined the worst but had no evidence to guide their anger and grief.

Then I saw people flooding the airports on a Saturday night to protest the immigration ban, along with volunteer lawyers squatting with their laptops on the floor of McDonald’s, ready to fight for the rights of complete strangers.

As the sign says, “First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT THIS TIME, MOTHERFUCKER!”

Whoever came up with that deserves a Pulitzer.

Resist. Persist.