Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bad newspaper news - the only kind these days

The Bald Truth

Another bleeping sad day in my bleeping former business.

The Chicago Tribune on Wednesday whacked dozens upon dozens of newsroom staffers, including sportswriters Melissa Isaacson, John Mullin, Bob Sakamoto and Terry Bannon. Also given the boot was a great sports photographer, Chuck Cherney.

Meanwhile, the douchebags there are trying to pay some $13 million in bonuses to managers, directors and other honchos. Un-bleeping-real.

I'd laugh if it wasn't so freakin' sickening.

Every once in awhile, I get a call from a relative or friend asking if I considered writing for this newspaper or that magazine. These folks are well-meaning, but they don't understand that the jobs simply aren't there. Online jobs that pay anything at all aren't there, either.

Sam Zell bought a news empire he couldn't come close to affording. He has destroyed pretty much everything he has touched at Tribune Co. And he has gutted one of the best newspapers in the land.

He's kind of like the clueless people who run my former company, GateHouse - only more evil.

The Balder Truth

That's one nasty tattoo first-year Cubbie Micah Hoffpauir has on his back, just beneath his right shoulder blade.

It looks like a combination of a baseball and a squid, with long tentacles streaming away from the ball.

"It was supposed to be a baseball with flames coming out of it, but it's horrible," Hoffpauir told me. "It's gotta be the lamest tattoo ever. I'm glad it's on my back so I don't ever have to see it when I look in the mirror!"

There's nothing to love about his tat, but there's a lot to like about his 'tude. Hoffpauir's statement that he has to "pay my dues" while waiting to become an everyday big-league ballplayer showed a maturity and perspective unusual among today's athletes. 

While Hoffpauir and his .375 average returned to the bench for Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Reds, Milton ".043" Bradley was back in the Cubs' lineup Wednesday.

He went 0-for-4. Again.

Bradley has as many ejections (and suspensions) this season as he does hits. The $30 Million Man was booed repeatedly - and lustily - by Cubbieland denizens. 

This could get real ugly real fast, folks.

And I'm not talking about a flaming baseball tattoo.

Sorry, Celtics ...

... But after this one reference, I will never again call it the TD Banknorth Garden.


In the biggest no-brainer of the NBA awards season, Derrick Rose was named Rookie of the Year. He then admitted that he had been lying every time he said he hadn't even thought about winning top rookie honors.

"When I first came into the season, my big thing was to get this award," he now says. "I told you all that I didn't care, but when you're coming in, you really do want this."

It's tough to get mad at the kid for fibbing, especially now that he's being honest about the fib. It was about as innocent a fib as one can make, too.

John Paxson has done many good things as the Bulls' GM (and plenty of questionable things), but the best thing he ever did was get lucky as hell in the 2008 Draft Lottery.

Without Rose landing in their laps, the Bulls would be a team with a murky future and an even worse present.

With him, they've got a better than 50-50 chance to knock off the defending champs.

As I like to say after making one of my rare birdies: Luck is better than skill - always.


  1. i know this sounds dumb (because the net is supposed to replace EVERYTHING including us [see the movie The Matrix]) but have you ever thought of starting your own newspaper...

  2. Years ago, newspapers used to piss me off by finishing a story with "read more on line". Readers took the hint, figuring why bother paying for a paper when there was more content on the web. Journalistic/publishing geniuses did it to themselves.

  3. I went through the same thing after AIG bought American General, whom had had bought my old employer Franklin Life. Big bonuses for top guys who ran the company into the ground, and layoffs for underlings.