Bullpen Session – No Words

The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!

This session I’m covering topics over the last two weeks since I opted for Thanksgiving jokes last Thursday.

Speaking of which, I think the best Thanksgiving tradition is eating left over pecan pie for breakfast on Friday–not leftover turkey sandwiches.

–Dusty Baker deserved the NL Manager of the Year Award, not Bud Black.

I understand Black far surpassed expectations for what appeared to be a shabby Padres team in March. No one, after all, expected S.D. to content, but the group stayed in contention until the final weekend of the season.

Baker, however, led the Reds to its first postseason appearance in 15 years. His team didn’t fade down the stretch and actually won its division. Many of us expected the Reds to contend, but to win the Central? C’mon.

Dusty lost by one measly vote. Bruce Bochy, whose team defeated S.D to win the NL West and World Series, of course, finished third. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

–Pleasantly surprised to see Joey Votto nearly win the NL MVP race by unanimous decision. We know how great Pujols is, but Votto was clearly the winner for my money. I figured Pujol’s reputation alone would make it a closer race. So a tip of the cap to the baseball writers for getting this one right.

–Josh Hamilton in the AL was a no-brainer, too. Obviously, his redemption story is a terrific one. And to think Hamilton was once a Red. Imagine the Cubs having to face Votto and Hamilton back-to-back in a lineup. Yikes!

–Despite dreadful playoff television ratings, the lack of video replay and the ever-growing talk of playoff expansion, MLB still managed to earn roughly $7 billion in revenue this past season–a new record.

–The result of my Friday poll asking whether the Cubs should trade Carlos Zambrano showed 40% saying wait until July and 30% each favoring both Yes & No.

–The NHL’s No Words and History Will Be Made ad campaigns defeated a field of 25 to take home the inaugural PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards.

The ads beautifully sold the game of hockey, the intensity of its playoffs and the thrill of winning the best trophy in all of sports.

Major Leauge Baseball, perhaps, could benefit from a similar campaign highlighting great moments in baseball’s postseason: Edgar Renteria’s walk off hit against the Indians, Kirby Puckett’s and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home runs…

I’ve posted the ‘No Words’ spot along with my favorite two ‘History Will Be Made” commercials. Let’s go Hawks!

–I’m excited the Black Eyed Peas are playing the Super Bowl halftime show. I’m a big fan. Lots of their tracks on my IPOD Shuffle.

Disappointed, however, to see the AP fail to mention Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in its release that the BYP would join other hit acts who’ve played the Super Bowl including U2, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Paul McCartney and Prince.

Petty and Co. put on a terrific show in the best Super Bowl ever between the Giants and Patriots! Who can forget that?

–Each Sunday evening I watch NBC’s Football Night In America. Costas and Collinsworth are two of the best in the business. Dungy and Harrison feed off each other well, and Peter King (looking slimmer these days) gets better each week with his delivery of the league’s breaking news.

Dan Patrick, on the other hand, is driving me nuts with his over the top call of game highlights. Does he feel overshadowed by the surrounding cast? Is this his way of getting attention?

Whatever the case, Patrick’s antics and old-school catch phrases have me on the brink of going elsewhere for Sunday’s recaps. Dan, we already love you, stop trying so hard!

–I watched Blood Sport for the first time ever this week. Over-rated, people. The acting is just awful–not that I would ever tell that to Jean-Claude Van Damme.

–Best place I ate: ‘M Buger’ in River North at 161 E Huron St. Five dollar burgers with three levels of hot sauce. I’ll be back.

–Favorite television show other than the NFL and NHL: Intervention on A&E. I’m addicted!

–RIP Leslie Nelson. Seriously, who does it better than Frank Drebin?


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