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The Week in WTF

1. Carlos Zambrano, WTF?

On most days, a one-way Greyhound bus ticket from Chicago to Miami runs about $180. The Cubs bought the $15 million ticket just to get Carlos Zambrano out of town more expeditiously.

Think of this carefully. They paid $15 million of the last $18 million they owe him to pitch for anyone, anywhere else other than Chicago. That's one heaping pile of get-out-of-town.
Theo Epstein to Carlos: We hate you. But wait. It gets worse for Z. Not only did the Marlins have to give back only a small stipend to make it seem like a real transaction and one less-than-mediocre (but young) starter, it also means this was the official word of Organized Baseball.

This was the best deal the Cubs could attract, and they couldn't even get Carlos out of the league where he might come back to bite them.

Apparently general managers everywhere have been watching Zambrano's self-immolations with similar alarm.

2. North Chicago's Police Chief, WTF?

Don't worry. It's not what it looks like. North Chicago's chief constable is just taking a break to spend more time with his family to spend more time with his family. Right. If he doesn't have one of his own, he'll take any family.

Aside from the Great Lakes Naval Base and Abbott (which is run like a keep-out-the-locals Guns of Navarone fortress there) the only real going business in North Chicago is litigation over police beatdowns. It's a growth industry.

Their motto: You run, we chase; we catch, we beat.

3. Jerry Angelo, WTF?

And speaking of spending more time with this family, the ousted Bears GM will have some spare time for hearth and kin, as well.

Aside from the obvious sins made visible this year - the constantly inexplicable drafts, the quarterback menagerie of broken toys, the Hester Disaster - his greatest sin was subtler.
Even with marginally better offense this season, the Bears were a team built on defense that mostly survived as best it could even during the Cutler-Forte mess.

But when the season disintegrated this year, it was a rank waste of time.

In essence, by dawdling over the quarterbacks and letting the season wither on the vine, Angelo wasted an entire year for players who won't be here forever - Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers etc.

They are facing an age barrier that can tolerate no wastefulness.

By wasting their time, he also wasted the owners' time. And ours.

4. May, Kay and Sean, WTF?

For all you who thought the North Shore was just an insipid bastion of quiche-scooping, merlot-chugging trust fund babies, here's good news: They have lowlife scum living right there in Wilmette, too.

But in keeping with the presumption of superiority, even these mouth breathers had a fully formed but totally specious explanation for how the stolen TV got from there over to here. We give the story a solid B-plus grade on that.

Plus, on the North Shore, thieves just steal. Other places in Chicago and this would have ended in a full-fledged semi-automatic shootout. And somebody in the shootout would have said it all started over a lack of respect.

5. Cardinal George, WTF?

What are the chances an 84-year-old pope will tell a 74-year old cardinal it's time to retire because of creeping age?

Cardinal Francis George can retire now under the church's rules, but usually the exiting prelate is allowed to stage the exit at his own pace unless the pope insists.

However, it does seem as though it's getting closer to the proper time. His dust-up with the local gay community last month was both unnecessary and ugly.

It was the sort of trumped up argument that cranky old people are prone to employ. And stay off my grass, ya young punks!

In fact, it was gay community organizers who agreed to change the time of the offending parade to meet parish concerns.

But the underlying issue is as much generational as it is theological.

George believes the old view, that gays offend most Catholics because simply being gay is a bad thing. He thinks most Catholics agree.

That, of course, is not true and has not been true for decades. In fact, most studies of lay Catholic attitudes toward gays find them much in accord with the general tenor of the secular times.


Comments, complaints and suggestions welcome.


Posted on January 6, 2012

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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