Archive for May, 2006

Cut It Out

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

When I was a kid, I used to watch Full House religiously. I’m not really sure why I did, but my brother and I were addicted to it. Uncle Joey used to always use the catch phrase “cut it out” whenever something was too good to be true. So I say it today. Cut it out, Cubs. Two wins in a row and a chance to sweep against a team that beat your brains in earlier. Zambrano goes tonight. I’m refraining from getting too excited, but I do admit, it is nice to see a pair of wins and a chance to finally do some sweeping in Wrigley. God knows the baseball has been a mess there lately. A good sweep might make the place look good.

Update from Chris

The Cubs have traded Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the Rangers for Phil Nevin.

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Don’t worry, be happy

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Last January my father suggested that we do a vacation together and we planned a tentative trip to northern California. Well, one thing led to another and we ended up meeting this weekend in Chicago under the guise of catching a weekend series at Wrigley. Quite frankly, I’ve not had the chance to visit the Windy City since the last time I lived there in 1982; I was very pleasantly surprised by much of what I saw. Except the Cubs of course, they reminded me of the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” But then again I fully expected them to lose, isn’t that what they always do? Always the same story, the best fans on earth and the worst management in baseball.

Chicago had it’s share of nice little neighborhoods, I’d move there in a heartbeat were it not for the winters. Everywhere I went I saw these magnificent brownstones being renovated and the tree-lined streets made me feel right at home. I can’t say enough about Chicagoans – everywhere we went people went out of their way to help with directions and the food scene was fabulous. Hold your heads up Chicago, you truly are America’s best city!

One thing that perplexed me was all of the rainbow flags I saw in the Wrigleyville area, finally one of the cab drivers clued me in on the nature of the neighborhood. I’m not a bar hopper and perhaps that’s a good thing. Cubs fans were loud and they cheered the good and booed the bad; the crowd seemed to be a pretty good cut of people. My father was surprised though at the lack of black fans at the ballpark, we only saw two or three African American fans amoungst the faithful. The ballpark was beautiful, for the first time in ages I felt like a little kid again, staring in wonderment at the world around me.

I’m already looking forward to a 2007 visit to the Friendly Confines – I strongly advise a pilgrimmage to Wrigley to all of you outside the Chicagoland area. Don’t be disappointed about the Cubs, there’s not much you or I can do as long as MacFail and Hendry are running the show. Don’t worry, be happy.

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Dodging the Karmic Bullet

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

I decided to blow off (yet again) a task that has gotten out of hand: mowing the lawn. The grass was getting so long that I was not at all surprised when I saw Laura Ingalls Wilder sitting in the back yard. I chose to shirk my responsibility in order to listen to the Cubs, and I was vindicated when the Cubs scored 4 in the first off of Smoltz. Then the game was in the hands of Jae Kyuk Ryu (whose last two syllables rhyme with something that rhymes with “duck pooh” and describe how the Cubs have been treating us this year) and he proved unworthy. Or, perhaps, worthy. Worthy of carrying on the legacy of misery I inherited from my father, who in turn inherited it from his father.

About three hundred fifty-seven Braves homers later, it was 11-5. I started to regret my decision, so I quit listening to Ron’s moans and Pat’s efforts to save the broadcast in order to face my duties.

I came back in just in time to see the bottom of the ninth: Braves 12, Cubs 8, a whole bunch of second basemen due up. Neifi!’s triple changed everything!

I started to worry. What if, like Earl, karma intervened (stupid Carson Daly!) and changed the game because I did the right thing? Then I’d be forced into a lifetime of good deeds and what-not.

Enter Aramis Ramirez, the “Skull of Free Will.” Thank you, Aramis, for your soccer-inspired fielding of that popup. You restored lack of balance to the universe and let me off the hook. And through it all, we learn the lesson we’ve been taught about 90 times a year since the day I was born:

This team sucks.

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Friday, May 26th, 2006

It’s embarrassing.

–Ron Santo during the 9th inning of Friday’s game

Ronnie may not be a great color announcer, but he described today’s ninth inning to a tee. For those who don’t know, Ryan Dempster came on in the ninth to protect a 2 run lead. 2 singles and 2 walks later, it was 5-4 with 1out and Andruw Jones at the plate. Andruw lofted a deep flyball to our own Jacque Jones, who caught it and actually got the relay in the vicinity of cutoff man Neifi Perez, as Brayan Pena scored the tying run. But Neifi failed to handle the throw, so Marcus Giles raced around third and scored when Perez’s throw to home was 10 feet over Barrett’s head. It was the first time I’ve ever heard of 2 runs scoring on a sacrifice fly. And the strange part is, Santo called the Cubs effort embarrassing BEFORE this all happened.

This team is lousy. There’s really nothing more to say about them. If Dusty Baker can ever engineer a 5 game winning streak, he’ll get an extension, but right now the Cubs don’t even look capable of that. The front office needs to go. I know I’ve been harping on Dusty Baker since last season, but today just provided me with more fodder. It’s bad enough that Perez was batting 2nd today, but with the team down 1 run in the bottom of the ninth, Dusty let Neifi hit for himself. That’s right, Neifi, he of .221OBP, the guy who was charged with 2 errors on the play that allowed the Braves to go ahead in the first place was allowed to bat, despite the fact that Matt Murton and Jerry Hairston were still both on the bench (Tony Womack may have been there too). Jim Hendry remains sequestered in an undisclosed location, emerging occasionally to tell us that he’s working hard on a trade, but that nobody will make a trade this early in the season (meanwhile, the Mets made two separate deals for starting pitchers). Finally, Andy McPhail assures us all that he will do everything in his power to make sure that he brings the Mackinac Cup* to Tribune Tower. Actually, that’s not fair. Andy McPhail just wants to remind us that the Astros started the season 15-30 last year and went to the World Series, so obviously the Cubs are following that same blueprint. Except instead of Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt all throwing 200 innings each, the Cubs will have Mark Prior, Wade Miller and Kerry Wood throw 200 innings combined.

So please, if you’re still entertaining thoughts that the Cubs are somehow “in it” don’t write me an angry e-mail or comment about how a true fan of the team shouldn’t give up. A true fan of baseball should recognize the crap we’ve been handed and realize that this team is an embarrassment. You know what’s really sad about this whole thing? There are 3 other baseball teams close by, the White Sox, the Cardinals and the Brewers. Now, I can’t bring myself to root for any of those teams, but I have been watching them, and they are all playing exciting baseball. They all have talented yet selfless players, who are fundamentally sound, who hustle, and who seem to have legitimate fun when they step between the white lines. I don’t see this with the Cubs, and it’s a damn shame, because as fans of the game of baseball, we deserve better from this team.

* for those who don’t know, the Mackinac Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual yacht race from Chicago to Mackinac Island

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Get the Word Out

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

It was just a matter of time. Got this e-mail last night. Normally I wouldn’t comply but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Is there any way you can pass the message below on in your blog? I’m new to this, and don’t have much time to get the word out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have just been contacted by fox tv. We will be in discussions tomorrow (thursday)regarding coverage of the protest. They are covering the game saturday and they want to cover the protest. Just showing up and helping us with the cause would really help, we’re not even going to the game, we’re just protesting the Tribune Co. in front of Wrigley (big red marquee) at 11:30am. We are protesting the lack of vision and forethought in putting a world series team together for the past 98years. 25 of it under tribune co. ownership! We still love the cubs, but we’re tired of the Tribune Co. taking us for granted. This is not a boycott, but instead, a protest. A peaceful one at that.

We want a team on the field that compares to the financial support us Cub fans have given the Trib. Co. for the past 25 years! If you have any other way to help out, let me know. Some will disagree with me and i respect your opinions, but this is my little effort for what it’s worth. Feel free to contact me for info.
Thanks for your support. Help spread the
word. Bill

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