Suburban Political Recount

Animal Farm exclusive interview with the man who posterized Obama

Posted by JP on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 14:44

In recent weeks Barack Obama played basketball with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Apparently he could use a lesson in defense.

Yesterday, the Democratic presidential frontrunner was playing a pickup game against Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias that got a bit rough.

For those unaware, Giannoulias played college ball at Boston University and then briefly for a pro league in Greece.

Animal Farm caught up with Giannoulias and here’s his version of the way things went:

Giannoulias: “You’re the first person I’ve talked to about this.
The game was competitive. We were playing pretty hard.
I was going to the basket on the right side (Giannoulias is a righty, Obama is a lefty)
He could have let me go but he decided to jump.

Suburban Political Recount

Pay raises rejected by House. A good day to be at the Capitol

Posted by JP on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 13:40

The Illinois House just voted to rejected the latest round of recommended pay raises.

State Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, sponsored the push to reject the raises. That's by design as Crespo is likely to be squarely in Republicans' political crosshairs this fall.

The objections to the rejection and desire to get more money came from other Democrats.

Now attention turns to the Illinois Senate, which must vote on the EXACT same rejection otherwise the raises automatically take effect. State Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat, is pushing the raise rejection in the Senate.

Best day ever

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Where have you gone, Daniel Garibay?

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 12:50
Pow, pow, pow, pow! Wow. Jon Lieber just gave up 4 home runs to the Cincinnati Reds in the second inning today at The Great American Ball Park. The Cubs tell us the last _ and only _ time a Cubs pitcher gave up 4 homers in 1 inning came on Aug. 8, 2000, when Phil Norton served up 4 at Dodger Stadium to Kevin Elster, Darren Dreifort, Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green. I try not to think about the 2000 season too often. The Cubs won 65 games that year. If Phil Norton was starting a game, things had to be bad. Here are some of the other pitchers on the staff that then-GM Ed Lynch put together in 2000: Daniel Garibay, Jamie Arnold, Andrew Lorraine, Oswaldo Mairena, Joey Nation, Steve Rain, Jerry Spradlin, Brian Williams and Danny Young.

Suburban Political Recount

Capital crunch time reality check, and ... Senate ate my homework

Posted by JP on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 08:03
The Illinois House AND Senate are back at the Capitol today. Here’s a quick reminder of the issues they face with a May 31 deadline for action, else House Democrats will need Republican votes. The current budget is, by some estimates, $750 million out of balance and will force state health care and possibly education payments to be delayed in order to make the books appear balanced. The next budget, which kicks in July 1, is in worse shape and so far has faced little to no public debate at the Capitol let alone agreement. Those budgets are where schools get funding, health care providers get reimbursed, state prison workers get paid, and on which everything else funded by the state hinges.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Dolly Lame-a

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 23:07
What's the best thing about Gavin Floyd's near no-hitter against the Twins Tuesday night? The postgame focus was actually on baseball, and it was a very big early season win for the White Sox. Before the game, and the last few days, all of the attention centered on manager Ozzie Guillen's tirade and, of course, the blow-up doll incident. Here's all I really have to say about the latter _ it was a stupid thing to do. Yes, the dolls were meant to bring a humorous touch to major-league baseball's time-honored "slump-buster'' theory, but why not bring them to the hotel bar or a player's room? Busting the dolls out in the clubhouse, which the media circles like sharks, was just asking for controversy, especially from outlets which love to blow things way out of proportion.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Lou's pregame

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 19:26
The best part of the day when covering the baseball beat is the pregame chat with the manager, especially when that manager's name is Lou Piniella. This is also especially true when the Cubs are on the road, and it's generally just the beat writers and Lou. Piniella doesn't like doing his pregame with a lot (or any) TV cameras present, and he doesn't like doing it in the Cubs' interview room, where a fair amount of media members seem to ask questions just to get a rise out of Lou. Others seem even to take delight when Lou chastises them because it gets them a little attention.

Suburban Political Recount

From Kerry Wood to "vast right wing conspiracies." What a difference a decade makes

Posted by JP on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 11:13

Bruce Miles reminds us all that May 6, 1998 was a very special day in Cubville.

It didn't take long for the men broadcasting Cubs baseball on May 6, 1998 to figure out something special was happening at Wrigley Field.
Maybe it was after Kerry Wood struck out the first five Houston Astros he faced on his way to 20.

Unfortunately, the last decade hasn’t been as kind to Kerry Wood. Here’s the link to the entire story:

And since this is supposed to be a political blog – you can find the sports stuff here: -- we’ll thrown in some political perspective.

Consider, for instance, how the last decade has changed the top Democratic presidential hopefuls.

In 1998 …


Hey, I know that town!

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 05/05/2008 - 23:40

I always feel a little burst of excitement whenever a movie or TV show name-drops one of the Chicago suburbs; it's like finding out that, yes, famous people do know there's more to life than L.A. and NYC.

Wheaton is the latest regional town to earn this distinction, although in a rather dubious manner: The gunman who took Trauma 2 hostage on last Thursday's "ER" told Dr. Archie Gates (Scott Grimes) he was from the DuPage County bastion of sobriety.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Random thoughts

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 05/05/2008 - 21:55
Some random thoughts from the White Sox' 0-6 road trip to Minnesota and Toronto: *Say what you want about the offense (It stinks right now comes to mind), the Sox have got to be feeling good about the pitching staff. Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Javier Vazquez all delivered great starts against the Blue Jays and have nothing to show for it in the win column. And John Danks wasn't all that bad, either. Hitting is going to come and go over the course of the season. If the starting pitching is solid, there is always hope. *That was just pure frustration coming from manager Ozzie Guillen on Sunday. As a player and now manager, Guillen has been around long enough to know how it works on the South Side.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Marty Brennaman says 'no mas'

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 05/05/2008 - 18:12
Ran into Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman today. You remember Marty. He's the guy who ripped into the Cubs fans who threw multiple baseballs onto the field after Adam Dunn hit a monster homer at Wrigley Field last month. Brennaman said on the air those kinds of Cubs fans make others in baseball root against the Cubs. He also said the Cubs would find a way to screw things up in the NL Central.