View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2011



Chet's Corner: One more month…..

Written by , Posted in General

With football fast approaching and the final month of the season upon us, I decided to reflect on the little things that make me come back to the greatest game on earth every spring.

Earlier this year I tried to think of all the reasons I enjoy watching baseball.  I came up with a few…..

I love the subtle strategy on the field, like the way a base runner times a pitchers pick-off move and the way a pitcher tries to disguise it.

I love watching all the hitters go through their routine before stepping into the box.  A grip of the glove, a tap of the toes, a twirl of the bat, all with a precise rhythym .  Each one completely different, yet all ending with the same goal….be productive. (Nomar Garciaparra will always have the best one in my opinion.)

I love watching a pitchers wind up.  From Fernando to Nomo, like the hitters routine, none of them are identical, yet they all want the same result.  (I will never forget seeing Fernando Valenzuela pitch for the first time.  I looked back at my dad in awe, who shot back, “I better not see you try that on the mound!”)

I love the different stadiums and how they effect the games.  Of the four major sports, baseball is the only one where the actual construct of a stadium and its’ relation to the field of play, not the noise of the crowd, can effect the outcome of a game.  Hockey, basketball, and football can’t claim this.  In Boston they have the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole, in Chicago they have the ivy and the “wells” in the right and left field corners (let’s not forget the bullpens that are practically in the field of play).  Houston has Tal’s Hill not too mention a flag pole in center field. 

I love watching the managers pace the dugout.  I try to figure out what they are thinking at any given moment.

I love a soggy hot dog wrapped in tin foil.  I eat them bare.  No condiments.

I like grass, not astro turf.

I love bad beer in a wax cup.  It only tastes good in a ballpark.  A $7 Budweiser never taste so good.  The second I get home it tastes like crap.

I love Peanuts by the bag full.  Shell on.

I HATE August baseball when my team is out of it! It lasts an eternity! (I had to throw one dislike in there)

I love September call ups, especially when there is good young talent to watch.

I love watching an umpire call a strike.  Some guys are very subtle and generic.  Some act like they want to be the show itself.

I love how a team can suck one day and look like World Series champs the next.

These are just a few, what about you?








  • Mark P.

    I love that no matter how much logic tells me that it means nothing, that I still get excited when the Cubbies when two in a row.

  • Buddy

    I watch at least one game every night. God bless the Direct TV baseball package!

  • Chuck

    I get my baseball fix on Saturday when I watch/coach 4 of my kids games.

  • Buddy

    When it comes down to it, sports writers are about the only thing I don’t like about baseball. Not all of them, but many of them. These are the guys who ignored steroids for years, but now won’t shut up about them. They screw up just about every award they vote for. The applaud nit wits like Ozzie Guillen for shooting his mouth off all the time. They ignore stories that aren’t easy and obvious. They fall all over the Red Sox and Yankees. I could go on and on. Fortunately, there are writers like Keith Law, Rob Neyer, and David Schoenfield who don’t follow the moronic pack.

  • Eddie Von White

    Good write-up Chet. I too wonder about what is going through the managers’ heads at any given moment. Joe Girardi seems particularly curious to me for some reason – in a good way.

    I also like the way the game draws me in each year. I try to be a casual fan, but find it impossible. I grieve a little every Fall when the boys of summer hang up their cleats for the year. Baseball rules.

  • chet

    I actually wonder whats going through Qaude’s brain these days. I assume he sits in the dugout saying, “what would a good manager do here?”

  • Norm

    buddy, I agree…but Barry Rozner knows what’s up!

  • Buddy

    There are many good ones I left out, but hopefully you got my point. So many of them are complete hacks these days. It’s really sad to see.

  • I love baseball.
    My fav sports bar is also a meeting place for Liverpool soccer games.
    I must say I grow tired of defending baseball to people that haven’t got a clue about it. I don’t bother them when soccer is on some of the TVs, but I sure hear it when baseball is on. These “knowledgeable” sports fans seemed compelled to inform me how boring they find baseball.
    I love baseball.

  • I used to get all fired up when the Cubs would slide out of contention. Getting older has dulled that. Aside from that, and the hotdog thing, I’m with you Mr. West.

  • Chuck

    While I do agree that baseball writers have become a lot better these days I find that some of the hatred towards the “old” stats has gone too far. I consider myself to be very progressive as far as advanced metrics are concerned, but a small part of me cringes when people spout off things like “Pitcher wins are meaningless. RBIs and Rs are meaningless. Batting average is meaningless.” These things do have value. They do not have as much value as people thought 20 years ago, but they do mean something.

  • Norm

    Chuck, I don’t think anyone has ever said batting average is ‘meaningless’.
    Runs and RBI’s, not meaningless, just not evidence of a players skill/talent.
    Pitcher Wins, yea. When the ‘win’ was created, pitcher pitched the entire game. Look up Cy Youngs stats; 46 games started, 42 complete games. 49 games started, 48 complete games. Wins MEANT something.
    Now take a look at Giants pitcher, Madison Bumgarner (9-12), Tim Lincecum (12-11), and Matt Cain (10-9)…combined record of 31-32, yet all three of them are Top 20 in ERA. Does that Win/Loss record tell you anything about how good they pitch?
    Meanwhile, Aaron Harang is 12-4…John Lackey has a better winning percentage than Tim Lincecum, yet Lackey’s ERA is over THREE runs higher.
    “wins” don’t tell you how good a pitcher is.

  • Doc Raker

    I love the cat and mouse between pitcher and hitter. What will he throw now? That is what I am always thinking. People who don’t understand what is going on between the pitcher and hitter, like european socialist soccer fans, will find baseball boring.

  • Buddy

    Norm is right on the money once again. In 1987, Nolan Ryan led the NL in ERA and won only eight games. One year later, Joe Magrane had an ERA of 2.18 and won just five games. In 1991, Bill Gullickson won 20 games with an ERA of just under 4.00. These examples are off the top of my head, but you get the idea.

  • Norm

    Back to writers, my favorite Cubs guy, Bruce Miles at the Daily Herald, will no longer be accessible to me as the DH is moving to a subscription starting next week…$20 a month! Bummed!

  • Seymour Butts

    I’m not convinced you will be missing anything Norm.
    Daily viewing of VFTB over the last 2 years has shown me the newspaper writers are superfluous. There is better quality stuff here than on the Trib or Sun-times web pages. The lesson is that newspaper writers are not the smart guys they have always made themselves out to be, just guys with access. Guys with access that over the years develop axes to grind, thus becoming useless tool.
    The blogs have exposed these diaper loaders. All hail Joe Aiello.

  • Eddie Von White

    Seymour – I had the same thought when Buddy said: “sports writers are about the only thing I don’t like about baseball.”

    He is a sports writer right here on VFTB. We don’t have to rely on those old venues anymore.

  • Jedi

    Chet, I think Quade was probably in the dugout devising a strategy to squeeze in a trip to Arlington Park during Labor Day weekend.

  • Nothing wrong with Arlington!

  • Buddy

    I don’t like myself either Eddie!

  • Buddy

    In all seriousness, I was mainly refering to mainstream sports writers and beat writers. Not all of them are crap of course, but many are.

  • I don’t always dislike sports writers, but when I do, I hate Buddy.

  • Buddy

    I don’t blame you.

  • +1 self-deprecating

  • Eddie Von White

    That was meant as a compliment, Buddy. You’re the man! I also agree with you about the Yankees and Red Sox. Hasn’t ESPN or MLB Network heard that there are other rivalries in baseball?

  • Buddy

    No Eddie, you are the man!