Wednesday, July 18, 2007

If you've been reading this space regularly, I think you probably know that I hate Barry Bonds by now. And if you haven't, then I guess I ruined the surprise. But every once in a great while, a writer of such talent, perspicacity and eloquence comes along and makes me think for a fleeting moment that I ought to reconsider my opinion of the man who will hold the MLB record for most home runs hit over the course of a career any day now.

Tonight, that writer is Jay Mariotti. I know I spend a great deal of time in a blog that is supposed to be about my hatred for the Boston Red Sox ripping a "man" who writes for a newspaper 1,000 miles from Boston. Sometimes I almost feel badly about it, but then I read his columns and I grieve for Chicago. Mariotti's recent piece that comes dangerously close to being about something but degenerates into an incoherent rant about Bonds is more a cry for help than anything else.

I know I'm no stranger to an incoherent rant in this blog. But I'm generally drunk when I post jibberish, and I usually apologize for it. Also, this site is free. I don't get paid for it. I don't have any ads to click. So I think I have the right to criticize people who are paid handsomely to do a job and who are covered by an editing staff yet somehow manage to submit disgusting mishmashes of sentence fragments and run-ons for profit.

I wonder why an organization like NOW hasn't noticed that Mariotti is as capable of sexism as any figure they've protested recently. If I started a post with a line like: "Swollen ankles? What is he, pregnant?," I imagine I would get some nasty comments back, but Mariotti's piece was published in a big city daily. Where was the righteous indignation?

What worries me is that Cubs fans are signing petitions and hoping that Mark Cuban wins the bidding process for ownership of the team. You know how I know that Mark Cuban isn't the answer to the Cubs' problems? Jay Mariotti thinks it would be great if Mark Cuban bought the Cubs.

Considering the fact that the Mavericks have not only won every NBA title since Mark Cuban purchased the team but have managed to scrape together 3 Super Bowls, 4 Stanley Cups (they might have had the 5th if not for the lockout) and a runner-up finish in the English Premier League, Cuban will bring 5 or 6 World Series championships to Chicago from jump street. Or maybe I'm the one that thinks an epic collapse in an NBA Finals and a quick exit at the hand of the eight seed the following year isn't much of a resume. Cuban is a shameless self-promoter, not a winner.

Yes, Mariotti loves Cuban now. Just wait until that day when the Benefactor brings his act to Chicago. Mariotti will be the first guy to rip him for acting like a spoiled 3 year old when the Cubs end up on the business end of a close call. Or wait until Cuban can't get into a nightclub and acts like one of the princesses from My Super Sweet 16 when she finds out that Cindy down the block is having a more expensive party.

That's probably why Mariotti wants Cuban to buy the Cubs. That means at least 15 columns a year without any thought on the part of the writer. That's like catnip to a writer of Mariotti's eminence. I don't think a writer owes it to a city to root for its teams, but I do think I writer owes it to himself to be honest about his motives.

I really wish I didn't have to keep saying the same things over and over again, but Cuban can't be allowed to purchase the Cubs. Plus I'm sure John Henry is in favor of Cuban buying a franchise. That way there will be at least one owner who is a bigger tool than Henry with his quaint little Howard Hughes mania for cleanliness. I couldn't begin to think of an executive who would be a bigger waste of oxygen than Larry Lucchino, so I don't know who Cuban's right-hand man will be.

This story arc is taking the jam out of my doughnut, and that's not cool. The Red Sox lost again to the Royals, dropping two out of three to KC. And the Yanks beat Toronto, picking up yet one more game. I should be much happier than I am.

On the plus side, Dave Chapelle said his recent trip to the ER was due to exhaustion. Perhaps it's not as easy to bear the burden of being one-fifteenth as funny as you think you are as I thought. I'm not going to lie, I did like the first two seasons of his show on Comedy Central. And I didn't care one way or the other when he left the way he did. It was his business.

But when I saw him on Inside the Actor's Studio, that was it for me. For a guy whose credits are very meager, Dave Chapelle is an arrogant, obxious dude. My first problem is that there was no mention of the very prominent role Dave Chapelle played in Robin Hood Men in Tights. And the complaints that the studio turned Half Baked into a weed movie for kids didn't sway me. Even if it were the Citizen Kane of weed movies before the studio bastardized it for mass consumption, that doesn't mean the movie deserved to exist in its own right. If you don't want your movie to be altered, don't sell it.

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