Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Updated: October 1, 3:35 PM ET
FUN FACTS: DODGERS VS. CUBS
What the heck is a bison doing in this pic? Just read on, will ya?
[Ed's note: We haven't done one of these in a while, so if you have absolutely no idea what it is, check this out as a reference point.]
Here we go with the Cubs storyline: 100 years since the last World Series 'W.' Got your goat/Steve Bartman YouTube clips at the ready? (We do: goat and Bartman.) For serious, the Cubbies have a tough first-round draw in veteran postseason anchor Joe Torre, equally veteran postseason bopper Manny Ramirez and a Dodgers fan base that hasn't seen a ring since '88. Eh, you know all that, right? We've got you covered on everything zany right here. Start here, then go here (from ESPN The Magazine). OK, you're ready to start. (1) Both the starting pitchers for Game 1 have connections to FOX Sports: Ryan Dempster famously announced the Cubs' lineup before a game this summer while imitating Harry Caray (here's a similar clip) and Derek Lowe is living with former FSN West 'Dodger Dugout' anchor Carolyn Hughes.
(2) Among the nicknames for Dodgers' reliever Jonathan Broxton: "The Biggest Man in the World" (given to him by Mark Grace), "Johnny Double D" (Dodgers fans) and "The Ox."
(3) Popular shirts at Wrigley Field this summer: "I'd like to see Mark DeRosa in every position."(4) Manny Mota, a coach with the Dodgers, is famously referenced in Airplane! Ted Striker's inner monlogue: "Now pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon…Manny…Mota…Mota." Side note: Mota has been a Dodgers coach for 29 years. That's the second-longest coaching streak in MLB history, behind Nick Altrock, who was listed as a Washington Senators coach for 42 years.
(5) Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild was the bullpen coach of the 1990 Reds, one of the nastiest groups of relievers in modern baseball. Bonus: read this.(6) Matt Kemp's nickname is 'The Bison,' emanating from a steal of second base in his second-ever MLB game (May of '06). After the successful swipe, Braves announcer Don Sutton said he looked "like a big buffalo running around the bases." It was eventually morphed into the simpler "Bison" nickname.
(7) Neal Cotts, now a Cubs reliever, was in the bullpen for the 2005 Chicago White Sox (who barely used the bullpen) and gave our current staffer Chris Sprow some quotes for this piece, which in turn was referenced by Tim McCarver on air. Yeaaaaa.
(8) You probably know this one, but Russell Martin's dad used to play saxophone in the Montreal subways.(9) Jason Marquis went to Tottenville HS in New York with current Chicago Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye. Odd. Doesn't it seem like Marquis is in the playoffs every single year?
(10) Five separate countries are represented by the Dodgers' bullpen: Takashi Saito is from Japan; Ramon Troncoso is from the Dominican Republic; Chan Ho Park is from South Korea; Hong-Chih Kuo is from Taiwan. The rest? Plain ol' American.