I gave up on the game because of the weather, and didn't find out it was actually going on til I was driving to a movie and turned on the radio. During the previews, I was reading my little Cubs score app thing on my phone, and here's how it reads in play by play: "T Campana reached on infield single to shortstop, C Pena to second, C Pena to third on throwing error by shortstop R Cedeno." Sounds innocent enough, right? Ex-Cub Ronny Cedeno starts at short for the Pirates, guy made his first error in 30 something games, right?
Well, I'll guess what happened and you can tell me if I'm right.
First, before the game there was a little talk going on in the Pirates' locker room. One guy said, "I heard Campana's starting today." Another guy said, "Jeez. That guy is fast." And then maybe manager Clint Hurdle said, "The fastest in the Bigs. Faster than Henderson ever was." And then somebody looked at Ronny Cedeno and said ominously: "They say he can get down to first in just over 3 seconds." And Ronny thought, "Maaan, I hope I don't have to field a grounder from CamPANa." (I imagine if you could hear the voice in Ronny's head, it would sound like Kramer from "Seinfeld", so when he says "Cam-PAN-iya" there's a little hitch in his throat.)
So Carlos Pena's on first, there's one out, and because the Cubs can't score against the Pirates, Quade puts on the hit and run. Just guessing, could be wrong.
I imagine the ball is hit fairly weakly to Cedeno, who thinks, "Holy GOD! It's coming right to ME! Pena's gonna make second easy so my only play is to HURRY LIKE THE CRAZY MAN AND GET THE THROW TO OVERBAY because...it's (remember the hitch) Cam-PAN-iya!"
Then the throw is short and off-line, it bounces in front of Overbay and skips over his glove towards the dugout and Pena goes to third easy.
That about right?
There aren't a whole lot of good things to look forward to with this year's team, but Tony Campana and his insane speed is one of them. He makes people make mistakes. They act like the alarm didn't go off and they've got a big meeting and they rush and when they get there they look down and their zipper is down, the socks don't match and there's a tile comet of toilet paper trailing from their left shoe.
Anyway, thank you Cubs for not getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And today we get to see the latest emergency addition the Cubs could scrape off the bottom of someone else's barrel - Rodrigo Lopez - starting in his first game for the Cubs against the I Hate The Astros.
And guys, it's Memorial Day. Take a minute and stop what you're doing and think about the people who protect your country. The National Anthem is a really good time to do this, by the way. Gentlemen, kindly remove your caps.
Seriously. Last week I heard Peter Gammons on ESPN radio say something like, "Did Aramis Ramirez retire?" Anyway, not talking about it.
Here's a story of the best commercial production prank you'll ever read.
I've done lots of commercials over my career, and when you go to another country, ANY damn thing can happen. Different cultures, different languages...it's all just different. One time in China, an assistant took a polaroid of what was supposed to be our location. It was a living room, and she didn't realize that the urns on the shelf contained the remains of someone's ancestors, and I guess you're not supposed to take pictures of that. The guy who owned the house went ballistic and...we weren't able to shoot there.
The beginning of any good prank must have a set-up. Before we even left, our producer/prankster Di explained to me that when shooting in Marrakesh, we would have to be very sensitive to the local culture there. Like, we may have to dress a certain way to get into certain parts of the city...
So to get you in the mood, here are some shots of a very different culture, where said prank took place.
My suitcase. "Gilligan's Island" about 4am on the flight. Awesome.
Shot from the roof of our hotel.
Snake charmers in a market.
At a market. Astonishingly beautiful.
There was a Prince or something behind this gate, and those guys weren't joking around when they indicated we should keep moving.
Not that hard to pretend you're a photographer for National Geographic here.
Pretty sure that's lamb.
So anyway, when you go shoot in other countries, you hire a local production company to assist your director and his team. They know locations and all that stuff. This company was called Dune Films, and they assisted on movies like "Babel". The night before we're to do our casting, a producer tells us that tomorrow we'll be casting in a very culturally sensitive part of the city, where anything Western would be frowned upon. He wasn't sure, but there may be some clothing waiting for us in our rooms at the hotel. I got back and here's the note I found (btw, I take photos of everything):
And next to this note was this pile of clothing:
So in the morning, I'm having breakfast with Bill, the group creative director. Literally, I said something like, "Pass the salt" and he went goofy with laughter. I simply thought I must be particularly funny. The director and his producer were at another table, kind of hiding behind a giant plant. So, they wanted privacy I guess.
Now it's about 15 minutes before the van is gonna leave, and I'm looking at this pile of clothes. I call Bill, "Are you gonna put this stuff on now or wait til we get there?" Giant laugh, which should have at least set off an alarm, and then "...Now."
Whatever man, this is for the greater good of the shoot and I am part of a team, right?
So the pants are very square and designed so that when they're all the way pulled up, the legs meet about mid-thigh. There are thin white socks, a long sleeve white shirt, a pullover white robe that goes over it all, a fes (hat), and these long, pointed yellow shoes. These shoes - the heel was folded down so they were meant to be worn like clogs, but they just fell off so I "broke" them by unfolding the heel. But when I walked, they'd fall off the back and the bottoms made a loud clacking sound, which is one of the reasons everyone in the hotel turned to stare.
The hotel was designed so you had to walk thru this restaurant area, down a long dark hall, then into the lobby. The guests here all stared at me like, "What the hell, man?" while the people who lived here...one even touched my robe and sincerely said, "Very nice!"
So I get to the lobby and nobody's there. I panic, sitting on a bench. The most uncool thing you can do while on production is be late, and I'm thinking I CAN'T be late, right? I walk up to the front desk, and idiotically say this to the Moroccan woman who speaks French: "Ummm, did you see a bunch of people who...look like me (pointing at my face), but are also dressed like this (pointing at my robes)." She and the rest of the crew there all guffawed, which made me kinda nervous. But she said "no".
So now I'm having a heart attack thinking maybe I missed the freaking van, when the producer sticks her head in the front door and yells, "EVERYONE'S WAITING!"
I regain my composure and walk out onto the street. I look like this:
And unfortunately for me, this is a still from the video (not sharing, sorry) that the director shot as I walked to the van, saw that no one else had on these clothes, registered the collective laughing and realized I'd been had.
I was so much in shock I actually got in the van and we drove all the way to the casting with me pretty much using every bad word you can say.
But the depth of prank, starting from well before we got on a plane, planned so well that everyone at the agency and client knew about it - it was all done so well that I couldn't even get mad. Just a brilliant use of the location.
Once we got to casting, it turned out we were way early so I had the Moroccan driver take me back to the hotel to change. I'm sitting in the front seat next to him and he says nothing and I figure maybe doesn't speak English, which is when I realize he's just trying to hold in his laughter, which is when he says, "BWAHHH HA HA GOOD JOKE WAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Anyway, I hope this story was better than talking about another miserable loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And the shoot went great, by the way.
Completely crazy (can you spot the director of photography?), but went well.
The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't finish in last place was 2006, when the Cubs beat them to the cellar by one game. But like vomiting in Echo Canyon, the Pirates have repeated last place since 2007. Last year, they had 57 wins and 105 losses. Revoltingly, 11 of their 57 victories came against the Cubs. The 2010 Pirate payroll: $34,943,000. The Cubs: $146,609,000. (I did some random math above that somehow arrives at an equation for joy vs. misery and Carlos Pena).
This, our season of 2011, opened on April Fool's Day with a 3-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and led to the first 3-game series loss for the Cubs. And now the two teams have identical 22-26 records with the Pirates losing 6 of their last 10 while the Cubs have lost 5.
But anyway, it's Memorial Day weekend, and it's baseball season and I'm conditioned to...I simply don't know any better than to watch the Cubs, so...
AND IF YOU LOSE TO THE FREAKING PIRATES AGAIN I'M GOING TO.. JUST GO AHEAD AND FREAKING BARBECUE ANYWAY AND LIVE MY FREAKING LIFE JUST LIKE YOU DON'T EVEN FREAKING MATTER AND INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT HOW FREAKING HORRIBLE YOU ARE I'LL JUST FREAKING TELL EVERYONE A FREAKING STORY THAT HAS NOTHING TO FREAKING DO WITH YOU.
ps: thanks for not losing to the hideous Mets yesterday.
I actually had tickets for the game. Didn't even try. This team, this weather... just not worth it.
Had to go pick up somebody at the train station, and while waiting I got to hear the twelve balls in a row thrown by Justin Berg. I think one time Keith Moreland said a ball looked pretty close, but you know - no control. Oh yeah, and the bases were loaded for two of the walks, and the score went from 4 up to 4-6 Mets.
Not so good.
Big rain delay. Bad loss. Mets 7 Cubs 4.
I guess Geovanny Soto and Randy Wells are on their way, so that's good. But every time the Cubs have to turn to a Justin Berg or a Scott Maine for relief, one can only think my god, there is truly no depth in the system.
Oh well, it's about to be Memorial Day weekend. Maybe something good will happen besides the sizzling steaks I'm planning to grill.
is a sports and art blog following the Chicago Cubs with cartoons, gifs, animations, and illustrations by Chicago artist Tim Souers.
I began the illustrations in 2003 - you can find the links to the 2003 - 2006 seasons below.
2007 - present is in the regular archives.
Feel free to contact me at CubbyDashBlue(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thanks for visting, and go Cubs.
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