Must See TV (or Live If You’re So Lucky)
With the season just a few short days away, I took a look at the schedule for the year to identify games where I wanted to try to get to Wrigley or else be seated comfortably in front of the television with proper game day food and beverage of choice. I won’t spoil my whole food routine as that might turn into it’s own post later in the season but I’m thinking nachos and a few bottles of Yuengling for opening night.
Unfortunately, after long hours in discussions with the VFTB legal team, we have come to the conclusion that I cannot do a “Top 10” list due to potential trademark infringements. After some more searching, I am free to post my “Top 9” list (patent pending). So without further ado, here are the top nine games that I am looking forward to this coming regular season (in reverse order for dramatic effect).
My Top 9 Games I’m Looking Forward to This Season
9. Sunday, September 9th vs. Milwaukee – I am predicting that this is the game where the Cubs clinch the division title so I just want it to be on record. If my prediction is off, this becomes about the 158th game that I am looking forward to this season. Big risk, big reward. Go big or go home. Plus any other clichés you can think of that fit.
8. Sunday, July 9th vs. Pittsburgh – This is the last game before the All-Star break. We’ll have a great indicator by this game on what the second half of the season will look like. Does the team need to make a trade or can they coast to the division title and take their chances in the playoffs? As I’m not a fan of the All-Star festivities, this is the last meaningful game for four days. This is also the most likely game of all in the list that I will be attending.
7. Sunday, August 6th vs. Washington – I chose this game because I think there’s a strong chance that these teams meet in the playoffs. A convincing series win would certainly put some doubt in the Nationals minds about their chance of success in a playoff series. Also, what is the over/under for the number of times that Bryce Harper is walked this series, 10?
6. Wednesday, May 10th @ Colorado – The last came at Coors Field this season. Will Schwarber break the record with five homers this game? To get to the often projected number of 83, a huge series in Colorado will be required. I still remember watching Javier Baez in his major league debut at Coors in 2014. Five at-bats with nothing to show for it besides three strikeouts. Then in a show of the flair for the dramatic that he continues to demonstrate, a 12th inning homer to lead the Cubs to victory. Just reviewing that box score from less than three years ago shows the DRAMATIC turnaround the Cubs have undergone (Alcantara, Baez, Rizzo, Castro, Ruggiano, Valbuena, Castilla, Lake batting 1-8 that day).
5. Sunday, May 7th vs. New York Yankees – I still enjoy the interleague action, especially when the AL East is involved. With the east coast bias so prevalent in the media, it’s always fun to put a beat down on them. I also always felt a little dirty having a mercenary on the squad last year in Chapman so I wouldn’t mind getting a few knocks against him during the series.
4. Sunday, April 30th @ Boston – I’ve never been to Fenway but it is on my bucket list. It won’t happen this year either but my time is coming. Theo going back to Boston with a ring from another team has to be like your ex-wife coming to your family reunion with a better looking, more successful husband. You certainly enjoyed the good times with her but you’re not overly excited that she’s made some new, and potentially better, moments with someone better than you.
3. Sunday, April 2nd @ St. Louis – Season opener against the Cardinals is usually enough by itself to make this a top three game. This year the significance is even greater as the narrative changes from lovable losers to World Champions. I promise that I won’t get tired of hearing about how the Cubs overcame a 3-1 deficit in the World Series to become champions no matter how sarcastic the Cardinal announcers are when they say it (yes, thanks to the glorious blackout rules, I have to watch non-national games with St. Louis announcers).
2. Monday, April 10th vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – The home opener could be twenty degrees or seventy degrees and it would still be special. The home opener for a World Series team is even more special (I have to believe, I wasn’t around for the 1909 home opener). The high quality opponent makes this even more fun. Unfortunately for those in attendance, but fortunately for the Cubs chances, Kershaw won’t be pitching this game.
1. Friday, June 2nd vs. St. Louis – The homecoming for Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals in a three game series in early June, summertime approaching. I anticipate the loudest ovation of the regular season will be for the Cardinals new leadoff hitter. Though Fowler’s time in Chicago was short, he will never be forgotten for his contributions. A chance to clap for Dexter and a chance to beat St. Louis on a Friday beats anything else I could have going that day.
There you have my Top 9 List. Six of the nine games are Sunday or Sunday night games, looks like America will get their fix of Cubs baseball. Any games that I missed that you’re particularly looking forward to watching?