The Cubs won the World Series.
I hate it.
I turned the game off in the fifth inning last night, with the Cubs leading 4-1. I couldn’t take it anymore. The Indians came back to tie in the eighth, but still lost 8-7 in 10 innings.
I have never liked the Cubs. NEVER. I got sick and tired of them in 1984, when they won the National League East division (although the Cubs should have been in the West), and Harry Caray gloated over them on WGN. Since then, they’ve been one of my most disliked sports teams.
One good reason you should hate the Cubs, too: Hillary Clinton loves them. That would be enough for me, but I hated them long before anyone outside Arkansas knew who Hillary Clinton was and how insatiable her desire for power is.
The Cubs are one of four MLB teams I truly despise.
Another is the other team in Chicago, the White Sox. I hate their black uniforms, which are not only ugly, but they evoke memories of the biggest cheaters sports has ever known, the 1919 White Sox, who threw the World Series to the Reds, another team I am not fond of.
I loved the uniforms the White Sox were wearing when I was born. I’m sorry, but the jerseys with the big floppy collars were cool. I bought the hat this summer, not only because the uniforms were awesome and it was the team’s hat when I was born, but because asshole Chris Sale cut up the throwback jerseys in July.
The White Sox play in a shitty ballpark in a shitty neighborhood. The original Comiskey Park had charm. The current park, now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, is the complete opposite of charm. It has a steep upper deck, and if you have a seat in the upper deck, you cannot move, period. Not even to sample the concessions. What a bunch of turds the White Sox are.
The biggest reason to hate the White Sox: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA or Barry Soetoro or whatever his real name is.
The third team in my axis of MLB evil: the Atlanta Braves.
I hated the Braves from the first time I saw them on TBS. I got sick and tired of hearing them proclaimed as “America’s Team”.
First, Georgia does not speak for all of America. Maybe for itself, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, but not all of the South, and certainly not all of the country.
Second, the Braves were shitty for the vast majority of their first 25 years in Atlanta. The only things mitigating it were (a) Hank Aaron setting the home run record (he still is the legitimate home run king; I will never recognize Barry Bonds) and (b) winning the NL West in 1982 with Joe Torre as manager. I loved watching the Braves lose, which happened often between 1985 and 1990.
Third, the Braves were owned until recently by supreme asshole Ted Turner. Not only is the son of a bitch far to the left, but he also has bought up all the water rights to the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water to most of central United States, including all of Kansas. Now farmers and the states will have to pay this piece of shit to reacquire the rights. What a fucking turd.
The fourth MLB team on my shit list: the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins are owned by another real fucking asshole, Jeffrey Loria. Jeffrey Loria, the man who ruined the Montreal Expos by running them on a shoestring budget and then selling them for a handsome profit to Major League Baseball, giving Bud Selig and his minions the excuse they needed to abandon Montreal and return MLB to Washington DC for the first time since 1971. Yes, Washington deserves a team, but Montreal should not have had to lose its team.
Somehow, the franchise has won more World Series (2) than division championships (0). The Marlins bought both championships, 1997 and 2003, by using high-priced free agents, then dumping them when their contracts expired after one year in most instances. For all of you who bitch and whine and moan about the Yankees buying their teams, shut the fuck up. The Marlins perfected it, simply because they went back to being shitty after their one year of glory on both occasions.
Right now, I’m sick and tired for all of the sympathy the Marlins are receiving.
Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ ace pitcher, died Sept. 25 in a boating accident. Turns out he was high on coke and drunk. Too fucking bad. Did himself in. Just like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and millions of others.
Four of my most hated teams. Here are some of the others.
—Anaheim Ducks–Don’t hate them, but California needs only ONE NHL team. The Kings fit that bill long before the Ducks or The Mighty Ducks. At least they can beat up on the Coyotes.
—Arizona Coyotes–The team moved from Winnipeg in 1996. That made me hate this team forever. Winnipeg has a team again, but it should not have been forced to go without the NHL for 15 years. That’s bullshit. Not only did the team leave Winnipeg, it refuses to let the new Jets have the old Jets’ history. What a bunch of shitheads. Bobby Hull and Dale Hawerchuk never skated one second in the state of Arizona. Why should the Coyotes get to claim their achievements?
The Coyotes also went bankrupt many years ago. Yet commissioner Gary Bettman demanded the team stay in Arizona. Heaven forbid the franchise move to a city which can actually support an NHL team, like Hamilton, Hartford, Quebec City, or Toronto, which could easily support two teams. Even Seattle would have been a major upgrade.
The Coyotes will always be the sixth most popular team in Arizona, behind the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Suns, Arizona State and the U of A.
—Carolina Hurricanes–Stole the Hartford Whalers thanks to shithead owner Peter Karmanos. Hartford supported the Whalers when they would get their brains beat in regularly by the Bruins, Sabres and Canadiens, which was most nights. The Nordiques even took their turn for several seasons. Karmanos said FUCK YOU to the loyal fans of Connecticut and moved the franchise to that hockey hotbed, North Carolina. The first two seasons, the Hurricanes played before empty seats in Greensboro, while the arena in Raleigh now known as the RBC Center was under construction.
What do you call a Hurricanes season ticket holder? One who is (a) too poor to own North Carolina State basketball season tickets or (b) someone who is too stupid to realize the NHL has no business in your state.
—Colorado Avalanche–Don’t hate them. Colorado should have a team. However, it still depresses me they were once the Quebec Nordiques.
—Florida Panthers–Florida should not have hockey. Period. Especially not the NHL. Gary Bettman is a fuckwad. Putting teams in Miami, Nashville, Raleigh and Tampa, yet teams can’t survive in Hartford and Quebec City? Or Hamilton? Or Saskatchewan? HOLY SHIT. Bettman, you fucking suck. Then again, you learned from the ultimate piece of shit, David Stern.
—Nashville Predators–First and foremost, Nashville does not deserve a hockey team. ANY CITY WHERE YOU CAN’T SKATE OUTSIDE IN THE WINTER SHOULD HAVE AN NHL TEAM. Second, my pissant brother and his wife are huge Predators fans, so another reason I hate them. Third, Carrie Underwood forced the Ottawa Senators to trade her husband, Mike Fisher, to Nashville. Since when does Carrie U. Fisher run an NHL team? The Senators should have sued Carrie and the Predators for extortion. I refuse to listen to Carrie’s music. She’s on my no-play list as much as Bruce Springsteen. At least in Carrie’s case, it’s not because of toxic politics. The Boss hates America and always has.
—San Jose Sharks–California only needs ONE NHL team. The Kings were around long before the Sharks came along.
—Tampa Bay Lightning–Again, Florida should not have any NHL teams. Worse, Tampa is a real piece of shit city with piece of shit people. It’s a cesspool. Yet somehow three of the four major sports organizations in North America see fit to place teams in the area. Steven Stamkos’ wife must look hot in a bikini. That’s the only reason he would re-sign with Tampa over going to Chicago, Detroit, Toronto or any other REAL hockey city.
—Atlanta Hawks–Once owned by Ted Turner. Good enough reason to hate them. Also, Atlanta is a shithole with no redeeming value. The only reason to even like them was the cool pea green uniforms they wore when Pete Maravich played for them in early 1970s. Otherwise, they’re a bunch of turds.
—Brooklyn Nets–Russian shithead owner who tried to buy a team. Great to see the team fail miserably.
—Charlotte Hornets–Owned by Michael Jeffrey Jordan. FUCK THEM.
—Chicago Bulls–Michael Jeffrey Jordan. His arrogance is all you need to know about why I despise this franchise. I do not worship Jordan. I do not believe he is the greatest of all-time. I do not believe the 1995-96 Bulls are the greatest NBA team of all-time. Jordan benefitted from a watered-down NBA, one which let him get away with everything. I’m sure he could have murdered someone on an NBA court and nobody would have said a peep. FUCK JORDAN AND FUCK THE BULLS.
—Dallas Mavericks–Mark Cuban can go fuck himself. He’s a complete asshole on Shark Tank, the same way he’s a complete asshole owning the Mavericks. I would love to see Kevin O’Leary (MISTER WONDERFUL) kick him in the balls on Shark Tank. Better yet, it would be much sweeter if Barbara Corcoran kicked Cuban in the jimmy.
—Miami Heat–The Heat committed collusion for FOUR YEARS and David Stern didn’t give a shit. Dwayne Wade begged LeBron and Chris Bosh to come, and of course, who were they to say no? FUCK THEM.
—New York Knicks–James Dolan is a big piece of shit. Cunt. Asshole. Motherfucker. Good enough reason to hate them entirely.
—Sacramento Kings–Left Kansas City in 1985 to move to the cesspool which is California’s capital city. Team was going to move to Seattle, but mayor (and former Suns guard) Kevin Johnson, an admitted criminal, bribed NBA owners to keep the team in Sacramento. Bought by a Russian turd who is just as big a turd as the one owning the Nets. FUCK SUCKRAMENTO.
—San Antonio Spurs–Bruce Bowen got away with attempted murder against the Suns during the 2007 playoffs, thanks to degenerate gambler/”referee” Tim Donaghy. Bad enough. Then there’s the gigantic piece of shit Greg Popovich. The walking definition of CUNT.
—Washington Wizards–Changed name from “Bullets” to be politically correct. FUCK THEM.
—Atlanta Falcons–Once employed dog killer Michael Vick. Also, Atlanta has no redeeming value.
—Baltimore Ravens–Where do I start? Let’s see: Art Modell stole the Browns from Cleveland because he was broke and desperately needed to pay off 700,000 creditors. Ray Lewis got away with murder. Ray Lewis flaunted his “innocence” and Baltimore fans thought he was the greatest athlete in the city’s history, not remembering men like Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken. Okay, that’s enough.
—Carolina Panthers–Once employed murder mastermind Rae Carruth, who was so callous as to order a hit on his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Cherica Adams, after she refused to get an abortion. Adams died; the baby survived, but is mentally retarded. What a total piece of shit. Why Carruth didn’t get the death penalty, or at least life without parole, is absolutely sickening. North Carolina has some really fucked up people.
(S)Cam Newton has done anything nearly that bad, but he’s an arrogant turd who can’t take it when things don’t go his way.
—Chicago Bears–They play in CHICAGO, home of BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA and birthplace of HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. There.
—Miami Dolphins–Sick and tired of the overrated 1972 Dolphins celebrating when a team loses so their perfect record can’t be equaled. The 1972 Dolphins played an absolutely shitty schedule. Would have lost Super Bowl VII had Redskins coach George Allen not been so fucking paranoid. HE lost the game for the Redskins. Not Billy Kilmer, Larry Brown, or the Over-the-Hill Gang Defense. George Allen was responsible. Hope he’s rotting in hell over it.
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Employ gigantic asshole Jameis Winston, who got away with rape and only a slap on the wrist for shoplifting. Once employed gigantic asshole coach Jon Gruden and gigantic asshole player Warren Sapp. Have disgusting uniforms which they stole from the Raiders. Tampa is a shithole. Need more?
—Tennessee Titans–Nashville is a shithole. I hate that city. I hate it. Vanderbilt is the only thing making that city remotely tolerable. I also hate Nashville stealing the Houston Oilers. Yes, Houston has another team, but for the nation’s fourth largest city to go without an NFL team for five years was very bad.
I do not recognize Major League Soccer as legitimate. Not as long as they want to have playoffs to determine its champion.
I’m only a few minutes from leaving Kansas City and heading back to Russell.
Had the World Series ended by now, I might have stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings in Salina, since my favorite trivia game, SIX, is tonight. However, no way in hell I’m going to battle the crowd for Game 7 of the World Series.
Cubs fans are the worst. They are the most arrogant, most insufferable, most whiny fans around. They believe God owes them the World Series after the franchise has suffered for so long. They believe they are God’s chosen team and there is no way you can possibly hate the Cubs. If you hate the Cubs, you are some freak who also hates America.
I have never been a Cubs fan and I never will be. I got sick and tired of it in 1984, when the Cubs were winning the National League East, and WGN broadcast almost every game. I got nauseous listening to Harry Caray gloat over the Cubs’ success. I hated his complete bias. His son, Skip, was just as bad doing it for the Braves, who were on TBS.
I was so happy when the Padres rallied from 2-0 down in the 1984 National League Championship Series to win, but it might have been just as good if the Cubs had made it to the World Series then gotten hammered by the Tigers.
I left Buffalo Wild Wings last night during the first inning, by which time the Cubs led the Indians. In the third, Addison Russell’s grand slam made it 7-0, and I just about gave up. Joe Buck, the worst announcer in sports, is so far in the bag for the Cubs it’s terrible. He and all the other national media are on the Cubs bandwagon, not only because the Cubs are trying to win their first World Series since 1908, but they’re also playing the Indians, who have that evil Chief Wahoo mascot.
I’m so glad the Indians have told the politically correct assholes SCREW YOU by wearing the Chief Wahoo hats every game.
The trip to Kansas City has been a very good one, save for an incident Monday night, when four illegal aliens were sitting outside an entrance to the hotel drinking and smoking, making me fear for my safety. I saw Robb and Dawn three times, which made it much more worth it.
Brittany Davidson Morgan, the bane of my existence, is pregnant. More on that when I get back to Russell.
I woke up this morning with a terrible case of indigestion. That’s what I get for eating a New York strip, coconut shrimp and a salad from Outback between 9:15 and 10 p.m. That was on top of a big order of wings, fries and mushrooms at Buffalo Wild Wings.
That brings the total to almost 15 hours at Buffalo Wild Wings since Thursday evening. I’m addicted. Fortunately my brain hasn’t exploded yet from all the inane trivia I’ve played.
I saw Larry at lunch, then Robb and Dawn at happy hour. Always a fun time when I get to match wits with them, or more accurately, match and share wits.
A surprise visitor showed up at 8:15: Lisa. She came in to get takeout, and she spotted me all the way from the register at the front of the restaurant. I guess I’m kind of hard to miss.
She had an announcement about another former employee. I’ll go into that in another post. It brought me to my knees (not literally). It also was a horrible reminder of my sordid past.
I should have just gone to the hotel and hit the sack. Instead, I ate and watched the rest of game 3 of the World Series. Cleveland won 1-0 to go up 2 games to 1. Then I stayed up some more, fooling around on the Internet looking for scores from the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s state volleyball tournaments and football games.
It wasn’t until 11:45 that I finally got in bed and put the CPAP mask on. I knew not to set an alarm. I finally woke up a little after 8.
I need to get to Buffalo Wild Wings when it opens today at 11. Kansas State AND Missouri both have 11 a.m. kickoffs. I’m sure it will be packed from the get-go. There should be a lull in the afternoon, but pick up tonight for the Kansas-Oklahoma glorified scrimmage and then Game 4 between the INDINAS and Cubs.
I am so proud of Cleveland for wearing the Chief Wahoo hats for every game in the series so far. Serves those politically correct whiners right. Too freaking bad.
I said I would get in the shower no later than 9:30. It’s already 9:45. Enough farting around!
I returned to Buffalo Wild Wings in Salina for the first time in almost five months. I want to forget May 28 as much as possible. I lost my cool, and then I got a speeding ticket for being stupid. That’s what driving 91 MPH on the Interstate is. STUPID.
I didn’t speed on the way here, and no way I’m doing it tonight.
I went to Buffalo Wild Wings tonight to play my favorite Buzztime game, SIX. I had trouble in the final round, especially with the sports question. I had no idea Pepper Martin, the Hall of Famer who was part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ famed Gas House Gang, was nicknamed the Wild Horse of the Osage. i also didin’t know the Thirty Years War started in teh 17th century. Always thought it was the 18th.
One thing about me: once I see a question, I won’t forget it if it comes up again.
I’m leaving at 9. I have an appointment with Crista tomorrow morning at 10. I typed out my agenda between trivia questions.
The Cleveland Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time in almost two decades. The Tribe wrapped up the American League pennant this evening with a 3-0 victory in Toronto, giving Clevleand a 4-1 series victory.
The Indians (that’s INDIANS for you politically correct buttheads) last played in the World Series in 1997, when they lost in seven games to the Marlins, the best team money could buy that season. While the series went seven games, it was horrible to watch.
I hated the Marlins then, and I hate them now. The only times (1997 and 2003) the Marlins have done anything is when they buy a team, get the wild card, and somehow get a HUGE break.
In 1997, Eric “Rerun” Gregg had the widest strike zone known to man during Game 5 of the NLCS, allowing Livan Hernandez to strike out 15 vs. Atlanta in a 2-1 Florida victory. Gregg was always a garabage umpire who thought the game was always about him. I don’t give a crap he weighed 400 pounds. I’m obese. But he was absolute garbage. Gregg got away with it, because he knew he could call the NAACP and sue the National League if he ever got fired.
Thank God Gregg was stupid enough to follow Richie Phillips’ absolutely stupid idea to resign. The NL got rid of Gregg once and for all, and we never had to put up with his antics or his ridiculous strike zone again.
I like a big strike zone. I think the way pitchers are getting squeezed at the top of the strike zone is pitiful. Yet there’s a difference between a big zone and one which has no place in the game, which Gregg’s didn’t.
Six years after Gregg handed the Marlins a key victory, the Marlins got another break they should not have.
Bartman didn’t do anything wrong in trying to catch the foul ball heading into the left field stands in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Bartman did not reach onto the field, and Moises Alou had no case to complain.
However, the Bartman play caused the Cubs to self-destruct. The Marlins scored eight runs following the Bartman incident to win that game 8-3, and then won Game 7.
Enough about the Marlins. I’m sorry they lost their best player, Jose Fernandez, far too soon, but he was dumb enough to go out on a boat at night after drinking with two buddies. Also, Jeffrey Loria is a turd. HUGE TURD. I am reminded of him some mornings when I need to expel waste. Anyone who bitches about Royals owner David Glass needs to remember Glass is nowhere near as evil as Loria, who stole baseball from Montreal.
Back to the Indians.
I’m certain the buttheads who hate Native American imagery will be protesting long and loud in Clevleand and either Chicago or Los Angeles about Chief Wahoo.
GIVE IT UP.
The club was named IN HONOR of an Native American player. Getting rid of Chief Wahoo is not going to erase the national debt, is not going to make North Korea treat people with basic human dignity, not going to put life on Mars, cure cancer, or even get you a date with Gisele Bunchden or Tom Brady.
If you are that worried about a baseball team mascot, Styx had a song about you in 1981: Too Much Time on My Hands.
It looks like the NLCS is going to be returning to Chicago. The Cubs lead the Dodgers 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth. If this holds, the series will be tied 2-2. Game 5 is in Los Angeles tomorrow, and then it would go back to Chicago Saturday. Game 7 would be Sunday at Wrigley Field.
Turner Broadcasting executives are an unhappy bunch this morning.
Their network is televising the American League playoffs, and the League Championship Series will be Cleveland vs. Toronto, barring two unforeseen comebacks by Boston (vs. the Indians) and Texas (vs. Toronto).
One of Major League Baseball’s smallest markets vs. its only Canadian team battling for the right to represent the DH league in the World Series.It had to be TBS’ nightmare scenario long before the playoffs began Tuesday with the AL Wild Card game.
Canadian teams are the scourge of the American television networks.
If you ever took time to analyze the NHL schedule on NBC Sports Network and NBC itself, you will notice there are extremely few games involving the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Senators, Oilers, Flames, Jets and Canucks. If a Canadian team is involved in a game on an NBC property, it will certainly be in the United States.
During the first three rounds of the playoffs, if NBC broadcasts a game from a Canadian arena, it will use the CBC or TSN feed. ONLY if a Canadian team plays in the Stanley Cup finals will NBC send Doc Emrick, Eddie Olzcyk and Pierre McGuire north of the border. I’m sure an all-Canada final would cause some NBC execs to pull out their hair, but it hasn’t happened since 1989. ESPN wasn’t thrilled with its first Stanley Cup Finals, Canadiens-Flames in 1986. ESPN also had two finals from Edmonton and one from Montreal in its early years of televising the NHL, and USA Network did three from Edmonton and one from Vancouver when it had a contract from 1981-85.
The Raptors are almost never featured by TNT, ESPN or ABC for its NBA coverage, except during the playoffs. The Canadian teams in Major League Soccer, the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC, never have home games shown by ESPN or Fox Sports 1.
ESPN will show an occasional Blue Jays regular season game from Rogers Centre, but almost always it’s against the Red Sox or Yankees, and it is NEVER on Sunday Night Baseball. The good thing for Toronto is it can play Saturday afternoon games, since it is exempt from Fox’s exclusivity rules, which don’t allow local telecasts of games when it is broadcasting.
If the NFL placed a team in Canada–highly unlikely–would CBS or Fox show the game anywhere outside the visiting team’s footprint? Would NBC ever televise a Sunday Night game? Same for ESPN on Monday night and NFL Network on Thursday night?
I, for one, am glad the ALCS now looks like it will be Toronto-Cleveland.
The good citizens of Toronto need something to cheer about, since the Maple Leafs have been pretty much putrid since winning their last Stanley Cup in 1967, and Toronto FC won’t be winning the MLS Cup anytime soon. Yes, the Argonauts have won more Grey Cups (16) than any other CFL franchise, but how many people outside the nine CFL cities (and all of Saskatchewan) know this?
Cleveland broke its sports jinx in June when the Cavaliers (or, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers) won the NBA championship, but the Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948. The Tribe played far too many seasons before tens of thousands of empty seats at Municipal Stadium (The Mistake by the Lake), and now don’t get the proper support at Progressive (nee Jacobs) Field, which once had a streak of 455 consecutive sellouts. Cleveland needs something to take their minds off the Browns. If the Indians make the World Series, it will work out perfectly: the Cavaliers will start their season while the Indians are in the World Series, so they don’t have to think about the Browns, period.
The dream ALCS for any network is Red Sox-Yankees (it isn’t mine). It happened in 2003 and 2004, but in was a different era for the playoffs. First, there was only one wild card team, so that team did not face a winner-take-all game to get into the main bracket; second, the wild card could not play the champion of the same division in the division series, so the Red Sox got to avoid the Yankees in the division series in both instances. The Yankees had the best record in the AL both times, and instead got to face Minnesota, which has won only one playoff series (2002 ALDS vs. Oakland) since winning the 1991 World Series.
Boston has the better chance of extending its series, simply because the next two are at Fenway Park. But the Indians beat the Red Sox’ two best pitchers, Rick Porcello and David Price, so John Farrell is up against it. And Terry Francona would love nothing better than to clinch the series at Fenway, where he managed the Red Sox from 2004-13, leading Boston to two World Series titles with sweeps of the Cardinals (2004) and Rockies (2007).
Texas is really behind the 8-ball. For the second consecutive year, the Rangers lost two games to the Blue Jays in Arlington. The Rangers have been a terrible home team during its playoff history. It lost Games 4 and 5 to the Giants in the 2010 World Series, and had to watch San Francisco celebrate at what was then Rangers Park (now Globe Life Park). The Yankees clinched the ALDS in 1996, ’98 and ’99 in Arlington. Tampa Bay won twice at Texas in the 2010 ALDS, even though the Rangers won all three in St. Petersburg.
Call the Rangers’ home struggles in the postseason the curse of Bowie Kuhn. It was Kuhn, as Commissioner of Baseball, who vehemently opposed the move of the second Washington Senators to Texas for the 1972 season. Bob Short, the owner of the Senators/Rangers, was a cheapskate who took a sweetheart deal from Arlington to play in a crappy minor league stadium in the shadow of Six Flags. Ted Williams may also be cursing the Rangers; he was the Senators’ manager who was forced to move from D.C. to Texas, and he absolutely hated Dallas/Fort Worth.
The Rangers are proposing to build a new ballpark with a retractable roof in time for 2021. Geez, shouldn’t that have been done in the 1990s, when George W. Bush owned the team and the Rangers were attempting to replace the decrepit Arlington Stadium?
Today is travel day in the AL. Hopefully by Monday morning, we’ll have our Blue Jays-Indians ALCS all set.
As for the NL, it was Blue Friday. The Dodgers beat the Nationals in Washington, and the Cubs won 1-0 on an eighth inning home run by Javier Baez. Game two for both series today.
The Royals won again last night. The Brewers and Indians both lost.
This is starting to look a lot like 1985. That was the year Kansas City won its first–and only–World Series championship, rallying from a 3-1 deficit vs. St. Louis, thanks in large part, though, to a blown call at first base in the ninth inning of game six by umpire Don Denkinger.
Meanwhile, the Brewers and Indians were in a dog-eat-dog race for sixth place in the American League East. The two teams occupied the bottom rungs of the division in 1984, with Cleveland 75-87 and Milwaukee 67-94. Although the Brewers played the entire 1984 season without their future Hall of Fame third baseman and team leader, Paul Molitor, there wasn’t much hope for the Wisconsinites even with Molitor healthy in 1985. The Brewers, who won the American League pennant in 1982 and came within one win of a world championship, simply didn’t have any pitching, despite Molitor and another Hall of Fame shoo-in, Robin Yount, anchoring the offense.
At least Milwaukee could hit. Cleveland couldn’t hit, nor could it pitch.
Sure enough, when the season ended, Milwaukee found itself 71-90 and in sixth place, a cool 25 1/2 games behind division champion Toronto.
As bad as that was, Cleveland was 11 1/2 games WORSE, going 60-102. The only thing which saved the Indians from the worst record in the Majors was the beyond pathetic Pirates, who were 57-104.
Pittsburgh baseball hit rock bottom in 1985. Numerous Pirates, both on the 1985 team and since departed, were addicted to cocaine, and they were subpoenaed by a grand jury in the Steel City to testify about the rampant use of the illicit drug in Major League Baseball.
Although the 2015 season is not a month old, the Brewers and Indians are in free fall. Through tonight’s games, they are a combined 10-30 (Cleveland 6-13, Milwaukee 4-17), and not surprisingly, own the worst records in their respective leagues.
The Cardinals and Dodgers, the two teams which played for the National League pennant in 1985, lead their divisions. The Mets, whose 98 victories left them three games shy of St. Louis in the NL East, have the best record in the Senior Circuit right now. 1985 AL East champion Toronto is hovering around .500, but it’s early, and the AL East figures to be a mediocre division.
I wasn’t quite nine years old in April 1985, but for some reason, several events from that month stick out in my mind three decades later.
The first came on the night of April Fool’s Day, when Villanova stunned Georgetown in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.
The Hoyas won the 1984 national championship, and with three-time All-American and 1984 National Player of the year Patrick Ewing back for his senior campaign, John Thompson’s club was the overwhelming favorite to repeat.
Villanova finished fourth in the rugged Big East Conference, finishing behind Georgetown, St. John’s and Syracuse. The Wildcats of coach Rollie Massamino earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, which expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The Wildcats, who had not been to the Final Four since All-American Howard Porter starred for the south Philadelphia Catholic school in 1971, were seeded eighth (out of 16) in the Southeast region.
However, once the tournament began, the Wildcats roared to life. They upended top seed MIchigan in the second round, and won regional games at Birmingham over ACC powers Maryland (led by Len Bias) and North Carolina to reach the Final Four, where they would be joined by conference rivals Georgetown and St. John’s, plus Memphis State (now Memphis) from the now-defunct Metro Conference.
Villanova dispatched Memphis State and Georgetown ousted St. John’s to set up the fourth meeting of the season between the Catholic schools, separated by less than 150 miles of Interstate 95.
The Wildcats played what has been called by many the best half of basketball in tournament history in the second half. Villanova hit 22 of 25 field goal attempts, an astonishing 88 percent, and won 66-64.
It was the final game before the NCAA adopted a shot clock for all games. Several conferences had experimented with it in the early 1980s, but it was not universally adopted until the fall of 1985.
Less than 48 hours after Villanova’s amazing victory, my parents, my brother and I departed for an Easter vacation to Walt Disney World.
Let me just say that trip is not one of the most pleasant memories of my life.
In fact, the opposite.
The first night told me this would be trouble. My father insisted on stopping for dinner at a truck stop off of Interstate 10 in the Florida panhandle, approximately 70 miles west of Tallahassee, the state capital and the city where we would stop for the night before completing the trip to Orlando the next day.
The food was terrible. The service was awful, and we got the short shrift since we were not truckers. My dad vowed never to eat at a truck stop again, the only good thing to come out of this trip.
The next day, it went from bad to worse.
One of the tires on our 1978 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon went flat on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, home to the Florida Gators. I already was not enamored with Florida, since it was a rival of LSU’s in the Southeastern Conferenc,e but the tire blowout gave me another reason to loathe Gainesville.
It wouldn’t be the last bad experience with the city.
Since only one tire was damaged, my dad put the spare on and we made it to Kissimmee, where we checked into our hotel.
I found nothing really exciting about the exhibits at Disney World. The lines were way too long. At least a cold front came through central Florida, meaning it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. However, the Saturday before Easter, we were stuck in the hotel most of the day by rain.
We visited Epcot Center the last full day, which was far better in my estimation than the Magic Kingdom. If I had my druthers, I would have far preferred Anaheim to Orlando.
When we left the Tuesday after Easter, my father got lost and we took a circuitous route back to the Florida Turnpike, which led to I-75 south of Ocala. Gainesville was on the horizon.
And more trouble.
Two tire blowouts on one trip is almost unheard of. To have it happen in the same city must mean we did something very wrong to anger God.
This time, TWO tires were blown out in Gainesville, and we spent almost three hours in a Firestone store in Gainesville while the tires were repaired.
I have not looked at photos from this trip. Ever. Maybe they were flooded by Katrina.
Two weeks after the trip to Disney World, New Coke debuted.
There were rampant rumors throughout the first quarter of 1985 Coca-Cola would be changing its formula in order to combat the rapid rise of Pepsi, which had been a rival of Coke’s for nearly a century, yet never could come close to eclipsing Coke’s popularity, especially in the South. Coca-Cola’s world headquarters are in Atlanta, and in the Deep South, when you say “soft drink”, it almost always means “Coke”. Pepsi is frowned upon as “Yankee Cola” by many southerners, although it was invented in North Carolina.
April 23, 1985 was the big day. It wasn’t a day which will live in infamy, like Pearl Harbor Day was, but it certainly will be remembered as the introduction of one of the great marketing flops in American history.
Less than three months after New Coke hit the shelves, Coca-Cola agreed to bring back the old formula as Coca-Cola Classic. You would have thought cancer and AIDS had been cured in one fell swoop.
Nobody had any idea what was in store for the rest of 1985. But April had more than its fair share of hijinks.
I was a good guy today. I drove from Tiffany Springs Parkway all the way to 119th Street in Overland Park to stop at The Cheesecake Factory and Lukas Liquors. The only thing I picked up for myself were two six-packs of Abita root beer.
I got three slices of cheesecake–two red velvets for Elizabeth Psenski and Brittany Davidson, and Kahlua for Jaclyn Blankenship. God I love Kahlua and was tempted to eat it myself, but I figured it would do my heart and mind good to give it to her. I bought Brittany some more beer so she and her fiance Zach can celebrate her birthday Saturday. I won’t be able to be in Kansas City Saturday due to the volleyball matches going on.
The Royals lost the completion of the suspended game to the Indians 4-3. They scored once in the bottom of the 10th and had a runner on second,, but Omar Infante popped up to shortstop. The Royals got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first of the regularly scheduled game and lead 1-0 in the second.
The Bears and Jets are the Monday Night Football game. Meh. There’s been better and there’s been worse. The Bears have a good offense and a bad defense, and the Jets have a bad offense and a good defense. If they could combine the Bears’ offense and Jets’ defense, that would be an unbeatable combination.
The Pulse, Buzztime’s sports trivia game, starts at 7 p.m. I’m going for my fourth consecutive national high score. I fell to #2 last time I tried for four in a row.
The Royals are taking on the Indians in the final game of the weekend series at Kauffman Stadium. Cleveland won the first two games of the series, 6-1 Friday and 3-2 in 11 innings last night.
Why is this significant? It’s not because the Royals are playing the Indians, it’s WHEN the Royals are playing the Indians.
For the first time that I can remember, the Kansas City Royals are featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, meaning people from San Diego to Bangor and Seattle to Key West can flip their televisions to ESPN and watch Major League Baseball live from the City of Fountains and its beautiful ballpark, which looks a heck of a lot different than the last time ESPN broadcast a Sunday night game from Kansas City.
The Sunday Night game invariably is skewed to feature the popular teams of Major League Baseball. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Braves and Mets all make multiple appearances per season. In fact, if the Yankees and Red Sox play a weekend series, you can almost be certain the Sunday game will air on ESPN.
The Royals have been so bad for so long ESPN has had no compelling reason to put them in the Sunday night slot. Since ESPN began televising Major League Baseball in 1990, the Royals have had only FOUR winning seasons out of 24, and one of those was the strike-shortened year of 1994, when the final 47 games and the playoffs were wiped out. The four winning seasons matches the number of 100-loss seasons the Royals have suffered through in that period; those occurred within five years (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006).
Tonight, the Royals get to strut their stuff for the sporting public. And tonight is a good night to do it, since starting next week, most sports fans will tune to NBC for Sunday Night Football, and baseball will be on the back burner, except for St. Louis and a couple of other places.
The Royals lead 1-0 n the top of the third. They’d better get this game in, because there is a line of very heavy rain marching east. The leading edge is at Manhattan right now, meaning it should arrive in Kansas City between 9:30 and 10. Yikes.