1. What do you suppose Jay Mariotti would have written had Ozzie Guillen been tossed in the pokey for allegedly roughing up a woman?
Well, you know it would start something like: "The White Sox have to fire The Blizzard of Oz, whose act has gone from vulgar and stupid to assault and battery. And if the gutless White Sox won't fire him, it's up to the Blizzard to do the honorable thing and resign."
OK, ESPN and AOL Fanhouse ... it's your move. Because one thing we know for sure: Mariotti won't do the honorable thing. There are decent people who do bad things, and then there simply are bad people. We're pretty sure on which side of the line Mariotti falls.
The thing about being Mr. High N. Mighty is that you don't get a lot of sympathy when you get accused of felonies.
Hmmm ... a felony? Hey, maybe it's all part of Jay's plan to be the next governor of Illinois.
Now wouldn't that be bleeping golden?
2. And speaking of wretched human beings ... Rod Blagojevich is so pathetic and delusional, I almost feel sorry for him.
The man actually thinks being found guilty of a felony and facing re-trial on 23 other counts - for which he likely will be found guilty next time - is proof of his innocence.
3. Were my ears deceiving me, or was Hawk Harrelson really blaming the umpires for the White Sox losing 2 of 3 to the Royals?
Turns out, the White Sox were neither as bad as the team that showed up the first third of the season nor as good as the team that was playing .800 ball in the second third.
In the third third, we're seeing the truth: They're just another mediocre ballclub. One that apparently can't get enough separation from the K.C. Laughingstocks to make the umpires non-factors.
Just curious: Did the umpires also cost the Sox that series against the Twins? How about the series against the Orioles? Or the other series against the Twins? Or ...
4. Bravo to Lou Piniella for doing what he should have done last month when he announced he was retiring after the season. There was no reason for him to stay on for two more months of wretched baseball.
Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry should have asked him to step aside back then. I'm glad Lou saw the light now, even if it was as much about his ailing mother as it was about his failing ballclub.
People often ask me, "Is so-and-so a good guy?" Or "Is so-and-so as big a jerk as he seems?" My answer usually is: "Well, I really only get to know so-and-so a little bit, so it's hard to say."
But I do feel I know Lou pretty well, and I do feel he is one of the good guys.
Lou's final postgame press conference was both poignant and classy. When I think back on it, I'll remember the tears streaming down his cheeks - not the fact that his last game was a 16-5 loss and the last play he oversaw as a big-league skipper was a double-play grounder off the bat of a guy who should be in Triple-A.
Enjoy your golden years, Lou. You deserve it.
5. I actually said my goodbye to Lou on Friday after he finished his pregame chat with us media mopes and did his radio show with Ron Santo. As he stepped onto the field to watch batting practice, I pulled him aside and told him it was my last game. (Little did I know, it was the start of his last series.)
I told him I was moving to North Carolina in a few days. I also told him I very much enjoyed writing about him and getting to know him these last four years. He told me he liked working with me, too. We exchanged a few pleasantries, had a nice handshake, wished each other good health and that was that. (I had a similar get-together with Ozzie at Sox Park the previous week.)
Later that day, Derrek Lee made his debut with the Braves and I had to write an extra story about that. Then, one strike away from a rare Cubbie win, Carlos Marmol blew the game in the ninth inning when, after walking the bases loaded, he served up a triple to Rick Ankiel. Which meant I had to rewrite my entire story, top to bottom, in about 5 minutes. I have a couple of minor projects to finish up, but that's how my final game-day went. Pretty wild.
About an hour later, I walked out of Wrigley Field, quite possibly for the last time in my life. Who knows? It might have been the last big-league ballgame ever for me. Really.
And if so, that's cool. I've had a hell of a ride ... and there's still plenty of tread on the tires for new adventures.
I'm extremely excited about whatever awaits me in Charlotte. It might include sports, but it might not. It might include writing, but it might not.
There's a whole wide world out there, folks, and I plan to experience it.