This collection of entries is from the Category "Cubs".
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Natural Order of things has returned to normal in Chicago.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
A city full of ties
My world is crumbling in front of me...
My team, the Chicago White Sox are tied for last place in the AL Central Division (13 games out with the Kansas City Royals).
And... there's that "other" team... the Chicago Cubs are tied for first in the NL Central Division with the Milwaukee Brewers (6 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals).
I feel ill.
And, with the Cubs up for sale, I have to admit that there's a noble campaign going on: a group of Chicagoans working to facilitate a fan-owned buyout of the Chicago Cubs and restore the voice of the fans within baseball - 4FansSake.com
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Cubs Lose! Cubs Lose!
Congratulations on winning your division. Sorry you didn't go any further.
To their fans: It's the Cubs. There's always next year.
Heh heh heh.
Sorry. This showed-up in my morning emails. I know I'll regret putting it up, but after last night, what's a disgruntled White Sox fan to do...
Now, everyone out there, leave poor Steve Bartman alone. He "did not even see Moises Alou".
Monday, September 01, 2003
It's September. It's Chicago. Historically, this has been a bad month for baseball for us. The Cubs, even if they've shown hope and promise earlier in the season have usually faded by now, or are in the process of fading. The White Sox, if they haven't been contending in the first half of the season, are nowhere to be found, usually prompting fire sales or "white flag" trades.
Welcome to 2003.
As I write this, The Cubs are in third, 1½ games behind division-leading St. Louis and Houston. However, they're at home with only a .500 record at home, and are in the middle of a 5-game series playing St. Louis, so there could be some movement this week. In contention? Possibly.
The White Sox, having the day off, are now in first by 2 games, ahead of both Minnesota & Kansas City. The Sox have 25 games in 27 days coming up, playing 7 against Kansas City and 7 against the Twins, not to mention 5 against the Red Sox and 3 against the Yankees. Hopefully their 43-23 home record will help. In contention? Possibly.
This is rare, folks. If neither team makes it into the post-season, fans will be pissed but they'll eventually chalk it up to the state of baseball in Chicago.
If one of the teams make it, there will be some very ungracious slamming of the other team, their management, and their fans.
If both teams make it, all hell will break loose in this city and God help us all.
Sunday, August 17, 2003
The Prince Of Darkness at Wrigley
Holy effin'™ cripes... Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne just "sang" The Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field...
Oh. My. God.
Update: If you must, here's an MP3 for you. (1.71 Mb). You have to hear "Lets go out out to the ballgame" and you have to listen closely to hear the lyric: "I don't remember what I have to do..."
Sunday, June 29, 2003
White Sox 2 - Cubs 5
Saturday, June 07, 2003
I actually had the Cubs game on the TV. That wasn't scary enough, but what I saw happen on the field was really scary. It's the top of the 4th Inning, 1 out, a 1-0 count on Jason Giambi, who pops up the next pitch. The popup is in the infield, in front of the mound. Kerry Wood sort of goes for it, but first baseman Hee Seop Choi comes in to make the grab. The two of them collide, and when Choi comes down, his head bounces hard off the the foul line dirt between 3rd and home. Well, he looked like he was out (as in unconscious). The trainers rushed out there and got in his face to see if they could get a reaction (I couldn't really tell), then they place a hand on his chest, sort of to make sure he was breathing and they took his pulse (carotid and wrist). He looked in really bad shape. They opened-up the big doors in right field and brought in a Fire Department ambulance (fortunately, there's a firehouse a few doors across the street and a few doors down from the left field corner). They eventually got him on a gurney, got him in the ambulance, worked on him a while, and they finally left. It shook up the teams and the fans. You never want to see a player get hurt. Oh, BTW, he held onto the ball for the out.
Update: He's in fair condition with a concussion.
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Friday, June 06, 2003
Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa has been suspended for eight games for violating Major League Baseball Rule 6.06 (d) in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on June 3, 2003, Bob Watson, Vice President of On-Field Operations, announced today.
Sammy immediately appealed the suspension, allowing him to play in what is being described as a "historical" series against the New York Yankees. Hmmmm... it's supposed to rain this afternoon...
Update: Yankees 5 Cubs 3. Sosa 1-for-4 2 strikeouts. (Boxscore)
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
So much for going to bed early... it's all over the news. In fact, lead story on each of the newscasts: Sosa ejected after cork is found in shattered bat. First inning of the game tonight (Boxscore), Sammy Sosa comes to the plate with Alex Gonzalez on 2nd and Mark Grudzielanek on 3rd, and with a 3-2 count from former teammate Jeremi Gonzalez he hits a ground ball to 2nd and his bat explodes. Sure enough, there's cork in it. Sammy is ejected.
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A batter is out for illegal action when ...
(d) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire's judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes, bats that are filled, flat surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc. No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play shall stand. In addition to being called out, the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject to additional penalties as determined by his League President.
OK, now look: I do not follow the Cubs (I have chosen to follow the other Chicago Baseball Franchise
). I really have never liked Sammy. Yes, he does hit home runs. Well, in my eyes, that's all he's good for. He just came off the DL last Friday (he's only played in 39 of 55 games this year) and his team did absolutely fine without him. His Fielding Percentage has been at or below the league average for years. He has 47 strikeouts for those 39 games (an average .340 per at bat, compared to .258 for all of last season) and he only has 6 homeruns - his last was May 1, and he's batting 283. Since coming back, he's 2 for 15 in the three games he's been in, with 8 strikeouts (5 of which came in one game). He hasn't been the same since getting beaned on April 20 (broke the visor on his helmet, even) by the Pirate's Salomon Torres
. It's clear that he's struggling now.
No matter what happens, the man is now tarnished. It doesn't matter if the bats that Major League Baseball security confiscated last night all turn up un-doctored. Because of this one incident, everything he has done and everything he will do will have a question around it. (Update: MLB tested 76 bats, all were "clean").
Here's the thing that just bothers the hell out of me.
He admits to using a corked bat. ("It's a mistake, and I take the blame for it.") That's the good thing - he actually owned-up to it. OK, fine.
But why the hell is he using a corked bat to begin with? He claims that he uses a corked bat "for exhibition and batting practice".
OK. Exhibition. Like, Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game? (And, you know, I was looking at that bat he used in Milwaukee at that event last year and it has this weird-ass knob on it - identical to the one tonight.) Yeah, that's fair. I mean, nothing is really on the line, but was everyone doing it? If not, it's not fair. It's not fair to the competition, it's not fair to the fans. Period.
Batting practice? "...To put on a show for the fans." What? Hey, shouldn't you be more concerned with how you're swinging, your timing? Concerned with placement and consistency? Wouldn't you want to use a heavier and not a lighter bat to warmup with than what you use during the game? BP is actually The Sammy Sosa Show???
So, he admits to owning and using corked bats. Are they marked? Wouldn't he know he was using an illegal bat? He doesn't make an effort to keep the illegal bats away from the ones that he can use? Or is this going to come down to blaming it on the bat boy?
What it now boils down to is this: can Major League Baseball believe him? Can the fans (other than the ones sipping the Cubs Kool-Aid) believe him? And if there's any doubt that he may, just may have used a corked bat in the past, then what about the valiudity of those home run races he was in for few seasons, or his career 505 home runs?
And what about punishment? - a suspension should be levied. It says so in the rules. He damn well better not get a pass on that. And I don't want to hear "After all he has done for Chicago baseball..." bull crap. Punish him. Period.
And here's the next big leap... if you have trouble believing that he never used a corked bat before, then you call into question his integrity about what he says about how he plays the game. And, if you have that doubt, can you still believe he is innocent of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs?
See what I mean when I say that this one public incident has the potential to tarnish him?
So, punish him and move on. Oh, and knock him off his pedestal. He's a human for cripe sakes. A human that cheated - intentionally or unintentionally. And after his latest non-hitting streak, and the way the Cubs have played without him - I say they really don't need him.
(BTW, here's an odd coincidence: umpiring crew chief Tim McClelland who ejected Sosa also was the umpire who took away a home run from Kansas City's George Brett of the Royals at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 1983 because of excessive pine tar, and was on the umpire crew for the Albert Belle corked bat incident at Comiskey Park July 15, 1994!) (That one was the weird one - Umpires took the bat to their dressing room before Indians Pitcher Jason Grimsley crawled across the ceiling and switched Belle's confiscated bat with one belonging to teammate Paul Sorrento.)
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Wednesday, July 17, 2002
I wasn't even there
OK, I swear I wasn't there... It seems that the ivy at Wrigley Field is dying. Yes, I am anti-Cubs, but there's no way anybody should have done this. It's not right - the ivy at Wrigley is almost a sacred thing in the baseball universe. You don't touch it, you don't mess with it. There is speculation that a White Sox fan did this during the Cubs-Sox series there last month. I hope that's not the case - I wouldn't want to be associated with them.
Sunday, June 30, 2002
White Sox 2 - Cubs 9
Back at Comiskey. Hot. No, HOT! Game time temperature - 91°. Heat index 103°. Oh, this is bad. On top of that, we've got too many Sox fans getting cocky and bringing brooms into the park, hoping for a sweep in the series. And now there's way too many Cubs fans here today, and they're the mean, venomous ones that I always hate coming into my ballpark. Sure enough, Sox lose 9-2 (but, I have to hand it to Matt Clement - he pitched a great game). Sure enough, security is very active today and there are fights in the stands at the top of our section. Time to leave early to go to my parents for dinner. Too hot, too ugly.
Saturday, June 29, 2002
White Sox 5 - Cubs 4
Back to Comiskey Park for a weekend series that I always dread - Interleague play against the Chicago Cubs. The game was sold out months ago. It's gong to be hot. It's not going to be fun. I mean, let's face it, both Chicago baseball teams suck right now. Game time is 12:15 for Fox. The parking lot opened 4 hours before game time to accommodate all those tailgaters that can't tailgate at Wrigley since there are no parking lots up there (all the lots that exist are "private"). Gate opened 2 hours before, and that's when we got there. We were successful in avoiding traffic and crowds, but we get inside the park... and there's no batting practice. Great. Nice PR move. get everybody there early and bore them to death. Great. The park fills just before first pitch. It's hot, but fortunately cooler near the lake - 86° at game time (it's going to be hotter tomorrow). The sun is a scorcher. The bottle water vendors are plunging their hands into the ice water that they're carrying and shaking their hands over the crowd to help lure them to buy more water. It's like they're baptizing the fans. Somehow, during the course of the game, there's a healthy give-and-take on the field and even in the stands. The Cubs fans that are here are good, and the Sox fans are on their good behavior around us. It turns out being a great day. It turns out to be the second-highest attendance ever at New Comiskey - 45,942 (yesterday, the first game in the series, was the highest ever - 46,027). Sox Win 5-4. A good day.
After the game, it's off to Barry & Buffy's to have a nice barbecue with Debbie. We leave the park, head east to Lake Shore Drive and head north. What a gorgeous day at the lake. People - believe me when I say this - driving north on Lake Shore Drive today reminds me of how beautiful this town is and why I live here. The new "bowl" is starting to take shape above the south rim of Soldier Field. Buckingham fountain looks great, Grant Park is full of people thanks to Taste of Chicago. Tons of people jogging on the bicycle path or riding their bikes... WAIT!!! HEY!!!... THAT WAS DICK BUTKUS THAT JUST DROVE BY ON HIS BICYCLE!!! OK, This is a great Chicago day! Had a nice dinner with B&B and Debbie - Barry grilled-up some pork chops on the grill. It was a very long day, but it felt like a good day.
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Watching the White Sox - Cubs preseason game on Fox Sportsnet Chicago (The Sox are winning 16-3 after 5 innings). There's a black cat running on the field. Of course, Chip Caray has to say that he feels good about it since it's on the Sox side of the field. I HATE Chip Caray. HATE him. (Update: Sox won 22-7)
Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty
The last two days have been interesting driving on the tollway & expressway - there have been a lot of trucks that have been sitting outside collecting snow over the weekend. Now, as they barrel down the road at a high rate of speed, the compacted snow is shooting off the tops of the trucks in sheets, causing havoc for anyone following behind. You don't want to be behind these things. I saw another truck that didn't have compacted snow, just light snow on top. It left a blizzard behind it - you couldn't see the traffic in the middle of this snow-cloud.
On the way to pick-up my parents, I saw a huge fire over in Harwood Heights. I think I heard later on the radio that it was some kind of auto body place. It was kind of startling to see - being on the Kennedy expressway, you're sort of in a wide ditch - below ground level, so you don't see what's going on in the neighborhoods around you. Then, when I got off at Nagle, you could see the black smoke in the sky, not very far ahead. It must not have been burning very long.
Ah... baseball on the radio... Sox playing the Cubs... gotta love it... and the Sox won 20-6! And it was a split squad game for the Sox! Update: Of course, bragging too soon, the Sox split-squad lose against Arizona 16-5 tonight...
Hey, did you know that an ostrich's eye is heavier than it's brain? See, the daytime version of the Weakest Link is educational!
Got an invoice from the Chicago Wolves for Calder Cup playoff tickets. Like they're gonna win the cup this year... We reluctantly spend money that we don't have and send in our ticket request (including a 25% deposit for next season's tickets).