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The Week in WTF

1. Albert Pujols, WTF?

Every person with Cubbie Blue in their little corpuscles wants owner Tom Ricketts to pluck Albert Pujols from the Cardinals and then, at the very least, soothe those lingering bed sores from the Lou Brock era. How sweet it would be.

But how much sense does it make for Cubs fans to lust after Pujols, who is, by acclamation and evidence, the greatest player of this era?

The word from St. Louis is that the pre-free agent "negotiations" over the last few months actually did not exist, other than as sharp objects being poked at the participants from the sidelines. The usual players were doing the jabbing: terrified fans, outraged fans and the media.

What has stood immovable, immutable is "the deal that must be." Pujols believes - and who really can doubt him? - that he is worth even more than Alex Rodriguez was to the Yankees.

That's the market. The deal has a particular, definable shape. The only deal Pujols likely will take is 10 years, $300 million. A few million more than A-Rod got. And as opposed to the yada yada about deadlines unmet, negotiations stalemated, the Cardinals could have Pujols the very second they agree to that number. Tomorrow. Next week. Maybe the week of the All-Star Game?

Here's a thought while visions of Sugarplum Alberts dance in the heads of local fans. If Ricketts actually could or would write a $300 million check for the best player of this era, why would he not have paid $300 million for the next three greatest players? You pick 'em. That would have built the franchise for another decade in one financial big bang. Or what if had he bought the top four pitchers in baseball for a smaller total price than for Albert?

He could have done that were he the sort to let the pot ride at the craps table. Doesn't your instinct tell you he's just not that way?

That big bang number would have bought him the starting outfield or infield from virtually any franchise in baseball.

But the $300 million for three doesn't make sense based on Ricketts' tightwad history. And neither does $300 million for Albert. Sorry, Cubs fans. The Lou Brock Lamentation continues.

2. Carlos Zambrano, WTF?

The calendar over/under betting line for Carlos's first flameout this season is June 26, the date when he went bonkers last year. They seem to be getting earlier every year.

When asked if will issue another ironclad guarantee (WTF? Carlos's annual promises seem mostly made of zinc) against going berserk this season, he answered (in an article headlined "Zambrano Vows to Stay Out Of Trouble," WTF?) "What do you think?"

Maybe it's not the first sign of dawning self-awareness, but you take what you can get. As for being nuts, Trib writer Paul Sullivan suggests that if "Z" has the same sort of season he had in his last 11 starts of 2010, he could contend for the Cy Young Award. True, but if Bob Gibson has another season like he did in 1964, he'd contend for the Cy Young, too. But Bob is 75, so his fastball isn't what it once was.

But you can play along. Let's start the countdown on how many times a local beat writer predicts a career year for a new player in town and how that stunning turnaround performance could, might, possibly should lift the team to heights heretofore anticipated only during hallucinogenic dreams. Pass the effing hookah, baby. Let's play two.

Of course, the Cubs could always sign Pujols.

3. Holy Champion, Wisconsin, WTF?

If someone says they saw the Virgin Mary in Champion, Wisconsin, and thereby earned the shrine there a "must see" hot list spot from the Vatican, who am I to say no? Once in Wisconsin, I saw Statue of Liberty carved in butter.

From a credibility standpoint, you'd hope even the Vatican might admit the obvious on this one. It's something of a reliability issue that Mary hasn't been since there since an 1859 visit to some Belgium person, and Flemish people are notoriously unreliable. Except for Hercule Poirot.

Thus, the Church's experts have validated the bona fides of the sightings though no one now alive was there to witness them. It's like how they validate your identity at check-cashing joints.

4. Mystery Teen Fish Killer, WTF?

Based on the legal rules dealing with juvenile defendants, there's no way to find out who this WTF fish killer is. But I sure like his way of approaching a problem. He's got Chicago Mob Future written all over him.

Actually, I could find out who he is, and would if someone paid me to do it. I want 10 years and $300 million.


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 18, 2011

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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