est. 1985


2007 Season     

   Edition No. 1        

January 31, 2007






Our Husker basketball team just got slaughtered by the Jayhawks.  Our football team lost its offensive coordinator to the Bruins.  We have six inches of snow on the ground, and the weather outside absolutely sucks.  My better half (according to who?) is in Las Vegas on a “buying” trip for Harbor Farm, leaving me with two sick kids and a pile of extra responsibilities to go with this part-time law career (may be hummed to the tune of You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille).  Oh, yeah, and a sick Labrador poised to yak something vile all over the carpet, again.  But in spite of this, it’s all good, because in less than a fortnight, we’ll be hearing that magical refrain,


Pitchers and Catchers, Report


As long as baseball is on the horizon, it’s all manageable.  Without it, I’d be as crushed as Underbelly’s hopes after three rounds of the Draft. 


DRAFT DAY:  SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007, 1:00 P.M.


If you have not already done so, etch the above date on your calendar, on your brain, and on your wife’s list of “untouchable events.”  Once more, God willing and the creek don’t rise, we will all gather that day at the PHEB War Room for the 23rd Annual Hot Stove League Draft, where SloPay will endeavor to defend his title, U-Bob, Mouse and Tirebiter will do their darnedest to join “The Club,” and B.T. and Screech will split up their happy tandem and compete against each other for the first time.  That’s right, your eyes are not deceiving you.  B.T. will take back the reins on his beloved Chiefs franchise and go it alone for the 2007 season, while Screech forms his own fledgling franchise (Screech’s Leaches?) and enable us to expand the competition to a Baker’s Dozen.  It all portends a fantastic 2007 season. 




While I have failed my cardinal rule of keeping things in chronological order (spelling certain chaos in my linear world), let me take this opportunity to extend B.T.’s gracious invitation to open his home at 6710 Jackpine Court in Lincoln for the celebration of Brother SloPay’s first-ever, long-in-the-making but better-late-than-never, Hot Stove League Championship.  This festive event will feature spirited conversation, plentiful libations, tasty hors d'oeuvres, and a chance to test Beth’s mettle as a Hot Stove League spouse.  Only a few “house” rules, according to B.T.:  no crushing of beer cans against your forehead unless they are completely empty; no drinking of Cabernet or Merlot in any room with a white rug (aka “The Rule in Screech’s Case”); no wiping of barbecue-stained fingers on the good curtains; no screaming of “Big Johnny!” after 11:00 p.m.; and, finally, Shamu, no extended visits to the commode in the Lady of the House’s powder room. 


Heck, I thought somebody said it was going to be a fun party.  But them’s the rules. 


As for entertainment at the Winter Meeting, while the poor guy has more irons in the fire than any sorry schmuck should have to deal with, U-Bob promises to put together a snappy PowerPoint presentation entitled


“SloPay’s 20-Year Crawl to the Title”




“Denny’s Faustian Bargain”


Members only, please. 




In closing, let me just wrap up the first issue of your 2007 From the Bullpen by welcoming all of you to another season of spirited competition, fellowship, fun and baseball.  See you on the 17th in Lincoln. 






P.S.  A word about our new masthead picture.  It is titled Momentary Joy, and the caption reads: 

Team leader Gabby Hartnett (left), Tex Carleton (right), and other Chicago Cubs celebrate the 1935 season, which saw the Cubs win 100 games and nip the great St. Louis Cardinals for the National League pennant.  Led by Hartnett, Billy Herman, and such wandering stars as Rogers Hornsby and Hack Wilson, the Cubs were a darn good team in the 1930s, winning ninety-plus games four times and capturing three pennants.  Unfortunately, they bombed in the World Series, losing to the Tigers, four games to two, in 1935 and being absolutely flattened by the Yankees in a pair of four-game sweeps in 1932 and 1938. 

What a great picture!