Have you seen the Showtime movie Chuck, based on the life of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, whose 15-round fight with Muhammad Ali served the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky screenplay? What a sad-sack life that guy had. Rocky, as interpreted in motivational speeches by a naked Anthony Rizzo, was a big inspiration for the Cubs as they finished off the Indians in the 2016 World Series after being down 3-1.
And now it’s a Cubs article, because other than the announcement of who will be attending this weekend’s Cubs Convention, there’s nothing else to report. Yeah, I resorted to the Legend of Naked Rizzo. I’m not proud of that and it honestly took me two hours to get to this point of today’s Rundown. Keeping this post under 1,000 words is not going to be a problem. Surprisingly, Great Moments in Naked Baseball has not been updated to include Rizzo’s shenanigans.
This year’s version of the Cubs’ Rocky has to be Kyle Schwarber. The big guy has shed some girth and looks to be a more mobile, agile player who easily wins the award for earliest “best shape of my life” statement in history. It has only been 9 1/2 weeks since Houston won the World Series and Schwarbs looks this good this fast? Kind of makes me feel incredibly pathetic that I get winded just taking out the trash.
Speaking of 9 1/2 weeks and bad eighties references…(and send the kids to another room, this isn’t a video of Clark the Cub).
Who remembers this version of Cubs’ Rocky from 2003? I believe this incident was the catalyst that turned the Cubs from middling underachievers into eventual division winners. I don’t want to condone violence in baseball, sometimes just destroying the baseball is enough.
- Like this bomb from Glenallen Hill.
- Or this shot by Dave Kingman.
- And we have to include this blast from 2015 that Schwarber actually called an inning beforehand.
In keeping with my theme, legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully fought Sylvester Stallone in 1985, and won. “And a pleasant good afternoon wherever you may be. Today, it’s my lawyer against Sly Stallone’s lawyer and it looks like a dandy…” There was no rematch, though Scully’s victory is said to be the beginning of the end of Survivor’s career. Jeez that almost sounds like an oxymoron. Or do I mean a paradox?
The following sentence is true. The previous sentence is a lie. I’ll sit here and wait for your head to explode.
Finally, there’s no truth to the rumor that Rocky Balboa ended the Cold War, though Ivan Drago may have helped pioneer baseball’s steroid era. Those meddling Soviets.
Cubs News & Notes
Not on the list of alumni attendees this weekend’s festivities is Sammy Sosa, the Cubs’ all-time leading home run hitter with 545. Team chairman Tom Ricketts has repeatedly dismissed the idea of Sosa coming to the convention. How do you feel about Sosa’s estrangement/exile from the team? He was caught using a corked bat during a game in 2003 and he was included in the Mitchell Report, which linked a number of MLB players to the usage of performance-enhancing drugs. But the Cubs’ beef with their former fan-favorite is probably that he walked out on the team during the final game of the 2004 season.
David Kaplan gives his take on a most unpredictable offseason and how it impacts the Cubs.
For The Win believes Yu Darvish will sign with the Cubs very soon.
Bruce Sutter turned 65 yesterday.
Derek Jeter is guaranteed up to $8.8 million in bonuses if the Marlins remain profitable over the next five years. That is in addition to his $5 million annual salary.
Matt Garza is scheduled to have surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Jayson Werth believes he has a few good years left. The free agent turns 39 in May.
The Red Sox may pursue Manny Machado if only to block the Yankees from acquiring him.
The Astros have shown interest in Pirates SP Gerrit Cole, who won’t come cheap.
Tuesday Walk Up Song
Wish I Had a Girl by Henry Lee Summer. Until this offseason kicks into a higher gear I am going to post some of the worst videos ever in this space. I’m aware discerning GMs read this column. Horse on you fellas. That’s Wisconsin for “git ‘er done.”