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July 2017

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COMMENTS

Well, That’s a Change of Pace

Written by , Posted in General

Last year, I read through the Harry Potter series for the first time since I was a kid, back in elementary and middle school when the books were releasing every year.

My favorite book of the whole series is the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in which Harry competes in the Triwizard Tournament and is crowned the winner after defeating the other wizards competing for the top prize. Harry was younger than everyone else and his youth was seen as an obstacle to his success, yet he conquered the competition in dramatic fashion after a late-inning home run brush with death.

My least favorite book of the series is the fifth book, the book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Following the triumphal, epic ending to the fourth book, the fifth book in the series starts out depressing, in large part because Harry spends most of the first half of the book whining about how bad his life is. It was almost like he spent the first half of the fifth book on an emotional hangover from winning the World Triwizard Tournament. The second half of the book gets a lot better, though, and it ultimately redeems itself, even if the ending wasn’t as epic as the book before.

This is a parable. Let the reader understand.

The Cubs Are Good Again?

After the Brewers were swept by the Pirates and the Cubs won six straight following the All-Star break, the Cubbies are only one game back of the Brewers as they chase the top spot in the Central division.

Since the All-Star break I have only been able to watch the Orioles series because MLB.TV blacks out Braves games here in Nashville, but I listened to a couple of those on the radio. The Cubs’ bats have awoken from hibernation and the pitching isn’t as terrible as it was before.

Mike Montgomery‘s outing the other night was great, and it was nice to see him hit his first home run into the second deck of RainTrust Ballpark. The right decision is to move him to the bullpen, which makes me sad for him, but it will work itself out. My hope is that Monty will be our Travis Wood Part 2. It would be great to have a lefty long reliever for when John Lackey inevitably has trouble getting out of a second-inning bases-loaded jam sometime in the near future.

Maybe, just maybe, the Cubs players will be able to overcome their manager and make the playoffs. Right?  Jk, he’s doing fine. Sorry if I just triggered some of you.

The Cubs Are FUN Again!

Sure, I want the Cubs to be good again, and it looks like they’re headed that way. But honestly, as I have written before, I am more interested in them being fun again. I can deal with this team barely making the playoffs as long as they aren’t miserable to watch in the process.

After winning the World Series last year, of course I would love for them to win again soon, but I suppose that, this year, I am most interested in them being a fun team to watch that hopefully makes the playoffs and gives the god-like Dodgers a run for their money.

I adored last year’s team long before the playoffs, without knowing for sure what would happen in the postseason. The team was genuinely fun to watch on the field, keep track of on social media, and ride along with toward an exciting (and emotionally exhausting) playoff run.

I have not felt the same connection to this year’s team as I did last year’s, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the World Series last year or the poor first half this year. I think it has more to do with the departure of fun people like Dexter Fowler, David Ross, and Travis Wood than anything. There simply will not be another team like last year’s.

But, my hope is that the Cubs are fun enough to watch this second half that, despite what happens in the postseason, the 2017 season isn’t a bad memory we all hope to forget.

  • SouthCarolinaCubFan1991

    I feel you on the black out (Greenville, SC), but MLB.com has one big redeeming feature in my opinion……the condensed version of the previous nights/days game. Pretty cool that its just stadium sounds, no commentary/announcers, and I get to watch a game in like 15 min.

    • chrismartin17

      I have never used that feature! I need to.

    • King In The Nawth

      The condensed game is awesome.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I like it too. I watch it sometimes also

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    The only question I have is does CAPS with his 2.5 GPA know what a parable is? I assume that is who the sentence is for.

    • Michael S.

      It’s that u-shaped looking thing you get when you put an x with the funny little 2 in your TI-83, everybody knows THAT.

      • I have no use for math.

      • Michael S.

        Most people don’t, it’s a horrible drug.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s actually a parabola, what you’re referring to

      • Seymour Butts

        Well, the confusion is understandable.

      • It was a JOKE Caps, not an opportunity for you to point out incorrectness. In fact, EVERY time you decide to point out that someone is wrong, pause and think to yourself “oh, maybe they’re making a joke or being sarcastic or poking fun” and then move on without responding.

  • Read the top part for some goddamned reason.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Was it to find the parabola?

      • Doc Raker

        Parabola is going around, I understand mosquitos carry the virus.

      • That’s Zika. Parabola requires the exchange of bodily fluids.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        CAPS is missing out on all of this math fun.

      • must be faxin’ stuff

      • Sherm

        to idiots

      • Seymour Butts

        They are so unworthy.

  • Doc Raker

    Winning is fun. Losing blows. I think Contreras is fun, Baez is frustrating and exhilarating, Zo is slow, Rizzo is no gold glover let alone platinum glover, Bryant is overrated although very good. Underachieving is not fun. Winning is fun. Len is sad and boring. JD is mired in Len’s ambivalence. I am bored…..later

    I have no use for Harry Potter or the Parabola virus.

    • Brad Lyerla

      Babe Ruth couldn’t speak French.

  • here’s to multitasking.. just saw we have a day game 🍻

    • Seymour Butts

      Pity they did not play the 8th.

  • Bryzzo1744

    I have never read any of the Harry Potter books or seen the movies, and you can thank the schools for turning me against them. The 1999-2000 school year, I was in 6th grade, and my teacher called my parents and said something is wrong with me because everyone else liked Harry Potter and I didn’t. She didn’t like that I wasn’t into fiction, and only liked reading non-fiction or books based on TV shows I liked (yes, Swan, Arthur was on that list). I defeated her and my parents by using the if everyone jumped off a cliff argument. Teachers like her are what is causing this country to decline. What kind of a teacher tells a student not to read books? It’s like Scout’s teacher in the book To Kill a Mockingbird.

    • Sherm

      Quoting “To Kill a Mockingbird” kind of ruins your entire story

      • Bryzzo1744

        It wasn’t true fiction. I like historical fiction, plus the events were based off of the author’s life

      • Sherm

        Then accuracy should dictate that you don’t read “Fantasy” because obviously you do read fiction. Historical fiction is fiction. True fiction is an oxymoron.

        Cue EVERYONE in 3…2…

      • Doug S.

        Me and my sub 2.5 GPA are steering well away from this action.

      • Adam Peters

        Every fictional work is based off the author’s life. Just FYI.

    • Seymour Butts

      It took until 6th grade for one of your teachers to notify your parents that you were aberrant?
      Mine were aware long before that.

      • Bryzzo1744

        No, I always marched to my own beat. This teacher turned me against Harry Potter though. I’ll read what I want, not what someone tells me to read. I like reading about sports and history. And I backtrack my original post. There is some fiction that I like, but I’d say that 90% of the stuff I like to read is non-fiction, and that is what this teacher did not like. Why in the hell would a teacher want someone to read a book they don’t like. There were books I didn’t like, and I lost a grade one year over that when I was borderline. When I moved to New Trier, it was a completely different environment, where teachers actually cared about you, didn’t try to control your thoughts, and valued your opinion. One of the books I had to read for senior year English was terrible, and I wrote in my review of it, if I didn’t have to do this assignment, I would have put this book down by chapter 4. My teacher thanked me for my honesty and decided to remove the book from future years, because he said a lot of other people said the same.

      • Sherm

        That whole thing sounds Orwellian to me

      • Brad Lyerla

        Caps, I didn’t know that you went to New Trier. My three kids did too. They loved it. But it’s not Orwellian. In Orwell, they control you with coercion.

        It’s more like Brave New World. In Huxley’s dystopia, they control you wth pleasure.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I grew up in Skokie. I went to McCracken for junior high and niles north my first 2 years before moving to new trier. New trier was way better than the Skokie schools. When did your kids graduate? I graduated in 2006.

      • Also what were their GPAs

      • Brad Lyerla

        ’99, ’02 and ’08

      • Bryzzo1744

        Too funny. I had some classes with kids from class of 08, teammates from swimming, and people I lifeguarded with. I don’t remember knowing anyone with the last name Lyerla though. New Trier was a way better school than Niles North. Most of the kids there actually cared about learning

    • Adam Peters

      Given your curmudgeonly disposition, CAPS, I assumed you were much older than you are.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I’m not an old grump. I’m a young grump.

      • That’s fair. Most line dancing insurance guys in Boston are presumably over the hill.

    • Doc Raker

      It took until 6th grade for a teacher to say to your parents, “Something is wrong with CAPS”, I don’t think I am buying that.

      • Bryzzo1744

        No it took that teacher to make me hate Harry Potter. Because once a week we could read whatever we wanted and she never saw me reading Harry Potter but everyone else was. That’s why I used the everyone jumped off a cliff argument to defeat them. I’ll read what I want and if I can’t, well then I won’t read at all. What kind of person tells a kid they can’t read something because it’s not what that person likes? It’s that kind of mentality that’s causing this country to decline

      • cap’n realist

        Cripes. 33 comments about Caps’ life. I’m betting everyone reads the top part tomorrow.

      • Seymour Butts

        I’ll take that bet.

  • Bartz

    Nice comparison between Harry and the Cubs hangover. Didn’t read the books, but the 3rd movie was my favorite. It would be nice to get out the ‘brooms’ this series and next.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Actually the next 3 or 4, depending on how you want to classify the home-and-home set with the trash as 1 or 2 series.

    • Doc Raker

      Harry Potter rode a broom

  • I know a few of you guys are tuned in.. this one is going to go down to the wire.

    • Doug S.

      Not if Strop pitches the 8th. The 7th was painful

      • Bryzzo1744

        Not happening! Hardee’s is in

      • Michael S.

        And Fowler (3-3 today) is up, 1st/2nd, none out.

        This ain’t looking purdy

  • Michael S.

    18 pitches, 8 for strikes (4 of those fouled off, 2 of them hits) for Rondon.
    16 pitches, 7 for strikes (4 of those fouled off, 1 of them a hit) for Edwards.

    Pitching changes should have maybe been quicker.

    • Doug S.

      Is it too late to put Jon Jay on the mound?

      • Michael S.

        I don’t care who they put out there, or when, so long as they can get an out. 11 straight have reached to start the inning.

      • Doug S.

        Sports Bar manager just mercy cut the game volume and put music on. I thanked him.

      • Michael S.

        If I weren’t at work, I’d probably be shopping for a new TV right about now.

      • Dork

        Yeah that sucked

      • Doc Raker

        How many Black and Tans did you down just in the 8th inning?

  • Doug S.

    Feeling sorry for the poor guy that recaps this POS. Unless there isn’t one and we all come back and dump on the pen here. Either way, lose-lose.