Today, February 26, is when the Academy Awards are being presented for outstanding achievement in not making shitty movies. You can check out the Oscar nominees here. Of course, I’m probably going to completely lose my faith in humanity if Jonah Hill actually wins an Oscar for playing Jonah Hill in “Moneyball” but I guess I’ve already lost a good chunk of it when he actually got a nomination. It’s not even Marisa Tomei-in-”My Cousin Vinny” bad, but at least Marisa Tomei was several orders of magnitude cuter than Jonah Hill. We’re still about a week out from actual spring training baseball, so let’s give out some random awards for the Cubs, shall we?
Best Alternative to Watching the Oscars
Unfortunately, because the Razzies just barely announced their nominations, and are going to do their awards show on April Fool’s Day, we’re left with one main alternative…the NBA All-Star Game. Unlike the MLB All-Star Game, the NBA version has literally no defense and very little actual effort on either side. So I guess it’s not really that much of an alternative. You might as well just watch the Oscars.
Best Wrigley Field Renovation Idea That May Have Pissed People Off But Ended Up Being Meh
The right field bleachers are going to be turned into a party deck, and there will also be a new LED board above the home run basket. They won’t actually do anything to change field dimensions, and won’t obstruct any rooftop views (but might piss off a few neighbors in the apartments who will no longer have as good of a sightline into the field of play). Actually not a bad idea to generate revenue through advertising and ticket sales as well as weaning the Cubs fan base into the 21st century.
Oh well, Cubs fans had to let go sometime, and the team has to make a bit of money to stay competitive. Win-win for all, and they didn’t even touch our precious scoreboard. Bonus.
Best Departure of a Former Cub That Benefitted the Leftover Cubs
Of course we had to say goodbye to a bunch of guys and there are numerous nominees for this category, including former Cubs legendary backup catcher Koyie Hill, Kosuke Fukudome, Aramis Ramirez, Sean Marshall and Carlos Zambrano. But I think I’ll give this one to Carlos Pena, as he signed a really team-friendly deal in Tampa Bay after declining arbitration from the Cubs on a deal that would’ve netted him at least $12MM in favor of a $7MM-ish deal with a contender in Tampa. I wonder if he beat the hell out of Scott Boras after this happened, but this helped the Cubs by 1- not having to pay a hefty sum for a first baseman; 2- giving a guy like Bryan LaHair, who makes league minimum, a shot to show that he belongs; and 3- netting the Cubs a compensatory sandwich round pick in this year’s draft. Congratulations, Pena!
Best Shit-acular Bunt That Ended Up Being OK
As you know, Tony Campana is out of the BuntFest 2012 tournament as he was decimated by catcher Steve Clevenger in the first round. However, he does win an award here for turning what should’ve been an embarrassing bunt into the catalyst that allowed the Cubs to win this game:
You ain’t gonna be lucky all the time, Tony, so learn to bunt-hit better, mmk? At least you’re fast though.
Best Carlos Marmol Meltdown
Poor Carlos…he’s got such good stuff, but he walks so many guys that sometimes he just gets himself into too much trouble to squirm out of jams. It’s hard to pinpoint one meltdown. We could have chosen any number of meltdowns against the Cardinals that some fans believe allowed our rivals to sneak into the postseason and win the World Series, but I think this one against the Astros is pretty epic:
Gotta keep those pitches down!
Best Training Idea to Pass the Two Extra Weeks of Spring Training Than Are Actually Necessary
You never know when a perfectly placed Alfonso Soriano squeeze bunt will score a guy from third in the late innings, so I guess this works out well. Way to go, Dale Sveum. I wonder how he can make first-to-third drills fun too? But the March Madness-like bunt tournament is a pretty sweet idea, kind of like a scaled down batting practice.
Best Thing to Happen to the Cubs Since, Like, 1908
Hiring Theo Epstein was pretty cool. Let’s see what happens.
Enjoy the Oscars, folks!