Curious George and the World Series champs

Back in the spring of this year, I had a mission. There was an event being held in Downtown Chicago called March to College, which was designed to get Chicago schoolchildren thinking about the higher education options available to them. I had agreed to help man a booth at the event, and was looking forContinue reading “Curious George and the World Series champs”

Best of luck to Tito and the Tribe

When the Red Sox came apart last year, I called for the Theo Epstein/Terry Francona pairing to be transplanted into Chicago. What I got instead was the proverbial half a loaf: Epstein, with all of his cohorts, but not Francona. And the results haven’t been great, so far. But the Cleveland Indians have hired FranconaContinue reading “Best of luck to Tito and the Tribe”

and I believe in the Promised Land

Over the nine months I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve written more posts about the Chicago Cubs than any other topic. But I have other favorites, too, and Bruce Springsteen’s music is definitely on that list. This is the first time I’ve been able to fuse the two subjects together, and I’m excited to beContinue reading “and I believe in the Promised Land”

Someday we’ll go all the way

Being a Cubs fan is very hard. No, baseball is not life and death, and so I won’t pretend that people don’t have it a lot worse than I do. I’m fortunate, in many ways, with how my life has turned out. And yet…. Imagine waiting for something your whole life. Then imagine the senseContinue reading “Someday we’ll go all the way”

From small things

Hall of Famer Gary Carter died today, shortly after being found to have inoperable, Stage IV brain cancer. He was 57 years old. I hinted at this in an earlier post, but the most remarkable thing about Gary Carter’s career is that he started off maybe the best rally some people have ever seen. TheContinue reading “From small things”

The pivotal year

I was walking my dog this morning when I noticed a penny in the street. It was in the crease between the actual street and the asphalt lump that rises to form a speed bump. Speed bumps are prevalent in my neighborhood, and they’re irritating but, like squirrels, they continue to exist without regard toContinue reading “The pivotal year”

Welcome Back Buckner

I want to preface this by saying that I don’t think Bill Buckner will ever be a Hall of Famer, even though is career was longer and more productive than many current Hall of Famers. His .289 lifetime batting average, for instance, is higher than that of Eddie Murray, Ryne Sandberg, and Carl Yastrzemski. ButContinue reading “Welcome Back Buckner”

2011 in review

The year is coming to a close, and everyplace you can think of seems to take this opportunity to do a retrospective on the year gone by. I’ll join the crowd for this one time, and look at what happened in 2011 for the subject that I write about the most: Cubs baseball. The biggestContinue reading “2011 in review”

Hanu-Cubs, Night 3

As with the previous two nights, we’ll begin with some music by Steve Goodman. I find that by clicking on the video, and then listening to the music while reading the text below, it helps to enhance the experience somehow. This one seems to be from 1978, based on some of the lyrical references. OnContinue reading “Hanu-Cubs, Night 3”

Re-learning the lesson of 1986

As exciting and incredible as this year’s World Series was, there was a lesson to be taken from it by anyone who was paying attention. In a nutshell, it’s that the game isn’t over until the final out is made. In football, you can take a knee to run out the clock. In basketball, youContinue reading “Re-learning the lesson of 1986”

Goin’ to the Show

Bull Durham is one of my favorite movies, and I’ve written about it here. I had never heard the majors referred to as “The Show” before the movie came out, but ever since I saw it, the majors are now “The Show.” MLB itself has licensed the term to Sony, and they have used itContinue reading “Goin’ to the Show”

And the Theo watch continues

As the World Series gets going, the big story in the rest of baseball is what’s going to happen with Theo Epstein and the Cubs. The Red Sox apparently want some things, and the Cubs are going to have to cough some prospects up. Maybe they’re close to getting it done, any maybe they’re not.Continue reading “And the Theo watch continues”

I’m rooting for the NL team, even if it is the Cardinals

At the beginning of every baseball season, whenever somebody is making their predictions about how everything will turn out six months later, you can reliably hear two things: The American League East is a “strong division,” while the National League Central is a “weak division.” Any division with both the Yankees and the Red SoxContinue reading “I’m rooting for the NL team, even if it is the Cardinals”

These aren’t easy on the eyes

One of the things that baseball has started doing in recent years, which I really like, is the “throwback” uniforms. The Cubs are actually 5-0 all time in throwbacks, with the most recent win coming when they beat the Red Sox in Fenway Park last May. Looking back on it, that game was one ofContinue reading “These aren’t easy on the eyes”

Here’s why I want Theo Epstein on the North Side

I remember the 2004 trade involving Nomar Garciaparra very well. “No-mah” was revered in Boston, and I was stunned that the Red Sox gave him up. And yet, just a couple months after trading him away, the Red Sox finally broke through and won the World Series. And there’s not a Red Sox fan aliveContinue reading “Here’s why I want Theo Epstein on the North Side”

We’ll have to get along without the Yankees

It’s probably a very disappointed crowd of people making their way home from Yankee Stadium. I can’t say I relate to their frustration, though. Yes, the window to win still another championship with Jeter and Rivera just closed for the year. And yes, A-Rod isn’t the man you want at the plate with the gameContinue reading “We’ll have to get along without the Yankees”

One million dollars. For a baseball.

I saw this story online today and felt like Mr. Hand when Spicoli had a pizza delivered to his classroom in Fast Times at Ridgemont High:¬†Am I hallucinating? The story of Bill Buckner and the ground ball that went through his legs has been played again and again in the 25 years since it happened,Continue reading “One million dollars. For a baseball.”

The game without any drama

When history looks back on the baseball games of last Wednesday night, the Red Sox/Orioles game in Baltimore and the Yankees/Rays game in Tampa will receive the lion’s share of the attention. The endings of the games were weirdly synchronized with each other, in a way that Hollywood would never be able to script. ButContinue reading “The game without any drama”

Cubs should get the F in, and let the Q out

In the thanks for nothin’ department, the Red Sox let Tito Francona go today. Something about a collapse or something. I understand the frustration that must come with such a shocking finish, and I realize some heads had to roll. But Francona will go somewhere else, and he’ll likely make any team he signs withContinue reading “Cubs should get the F in, and let the Q out”

Maybe this explains what happened to the Red Sox

Earlier this year, I went to Washington, DC with my family on Spring Break. Since it was in April, and baseball season had just gotten underway, I naturally wanted to take in a ballgame if I could. The Nationals were out of town that week, but the Orioles were playing at home against the Twins.Continue reading “Maybe this explains what happened to the Red Sox”

Midnight in Baltimore

How devastating was last night for the Red Sox? The collapse that consumed the month of September was one thing, which ended with a 7-20 record coming down the stretch. But there was still hope for them, as they were clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth inning. At the same time, the YankeesContinue reading “Midnight in Baltimore”

The difference between Cubs fans and Red Sox fans

In the Spring of 2004, I was in Seattle on business. One bright, beautiful day, I went out to lunch with some of my associates. We went to a seafood place on the waterfront, and as we sat down to lunch, the conversation turned to baseball. Two of the people at the table were RedContinue reading “The difference between Cubs fans and Red Sox fans”

The Buckner Surprise

At the end of tonight’s ESPN documentary Catching Hell, I found myself saying one simple word: No. To expand upon that, I offer the following instant analysis: No, I don’t see the connection between the Red Sox collapse in 1986 and the Cubs of 2003. For one thing, the Red Sox were at least inContinue reading “The Buckner Surprise”

Hard to believe

The last post I wrote was a celebration of the career accomplishments of Mariano Rivera. He’s been great, he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer when the time comes, and I don’t think we’ll see another one like him again. But, having said that, there’s at least one instance where he didn’t come up big.Continue reading “Hard to believe”

A celebration of the Knuckleball

Congratulations to Tim Wakefield, who just earned his 200th career win. The majority of professional pitchers won’t even appear in 200 games at the major league level, so to have the sustained success he has had is remarkable. Wakefield’s success is largely due to his ability to throw the knuckleball. Umpire Ron Luciano called theContinue reading “A celebration of the Knuckleball”