Archive for the 'Cubs' Category

“If They Don’t Get This Run In We’re Shutting It Off”

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Aric: At work we have “Jeans Fridays” as long as a Chicago team is in the playoffs.  I guess we’re only gonna have the one.

… I really liked Jeans Fridays.

Given The Choice, I’d Take Zambrano’s No-No

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

For the first time ever I had a legitimate chance at winning the fantasy baseball league I’ve been in for 6 years.  After leading the whole season, I went into the playoffs feeling pretty good about my chances. 

Unfortunately, my team — loaded with Cubs — ran into Hurricane Ike this week.  All three of the Cubs-Astros games were postponed.

The Cubs and Astros were scheduled to make-up one of those games tonight in Milwaukee — the final night of the fantasy semi-finals.  I was pinning my hopes on Kerry Wood coming in and getting a save, which would propel me to the final round.

But Kerry Wood didn’t get the save.  Instead, Carlos Zambrano went ahead and pitched himself a no-hitter — the first Cub to do so since 1972.  I ended up losing the fantasy season 300.00 to 302.33.  

What Are You (Woo) Doing Here (Woo)?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Yesterday I filled in on bass with Aric’s band, Divebar (minus Aric, who was in Washington.) The show was outside of Cellular Field playing for White Sox Fans as they came to the ballpark. Despite having to kill 2 hours with 90 minutes worth of material and my lackluster bass skills, we had a good time and the show went pretty well.

Our sound guy — a friend from another band — said when they played the same stage, Ronnie Woo Woo showed up. Sure enough, about halfway through our set he showed up for us too. He was probably our best fan, singing along with songs he didn’t know and dancing around. Ladies would dance with him briefly while their boyfriends took pictures. Guys in Sox gear would pose giving his Cubs outfit the thumbs-down while their girlfriends took pictures.

As we were packing up, the lady who booked the show came by to say thanks.

PROMOTIONS LADY: I just wanted to let you know that you were really well-received.
KELLY: Ronnie Woo-Woo seemed to like us.
PROMOTIONS LADY: (A little upset) Oh, he was here again? He comes here a lot.

I don’t know if the Sox folks don’t like Ronnie coming around because he’s so associated with the Cubs (and came dressed in a full Cubs uniform) or just because he can be a little annoying.

PROMOTIONS LADY: I guess he just really likes baseball.

On the way home Kelly asked if Ronnie Woo Woo has a Wikipedia entry. He does.

Merkle’s Curse – Now Available

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Last year at this time I was not very excited about the Cubs. They found ways to lose games I never even knew existed. And even though they made the playoffs, I never found them very likable.

Today the Cubs came back from a 1-9 deficit to win 10-9. Who are these guys? It’s as if there’s some higher power at work here. How else do you explain Ronny Cedeno batting .300 or Ryan Dempster’s 2.56 ERA?

Is it the new field? The unseasonably cold weather? Bob Brenly’s mustache?

Well, my dad wrote a book called Merkle’s Curse with another possible explanation involving Dracula, the sale of Manhattan, the invention of the paper clip and, I don’t know, gypsies. There are gypsies too. He’s busy making the rounds at local bookstores, sports shows and rotary clubs explaining his complex (and fictional) theories on a curse that dates back to the Holy Roman Empire.

The book’s available on his website and at a few Chicago book stores including The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square.

100 Years of Crappitude

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

I’m listening to the Cubs’ second game on the radio right now. A balk was just called on Ted Lilly. I can’t see what happened, but the crowd is booing ferociously and in the background I hear someone yelling “Shennanigans! Shennanigans!”

So begins the Cubs’ 100th attempt at a world championship.

I mentioned before that my brothers, my dad, and I were all at the Bartman game — talk about shennanigans — but I haven’t mentioned that it inspired my dad to write a book.  Well, he did, and it’s coming out in a couple weeks.  Merkle’s Curse explains the real reason the Cubs haven’t won a championship in 100 years.  It has nothing to do with goats.  It does have something to do with Emperor Constantine, Dracula, Babe Ruth, and Simon Bar Kochba.  It’s a weird book.

More to come when the book is released.  In the meantime, Go Cubs!

Thank You Charles Tillman

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

I was at the Bartman game. My dad somehow managed to find bleacher tickets for himself, my brothers, and I. There’s a very clear picture in my head of my brother Brian holding five fingers in the air… one for each out the Cubs needed to move on to the World Series.

My brothers at game 6 of the NLCS in 2003 with high expectations.

We all know what happened next.

I wish I took a picture afterwards, but I was too depressed. The four of us trudged down Sheffield to my brother’s apartment, too miserable to get on the train. We joined thousands of others, dazed, silently wandering in the middle of the street. Every once in a while someone would vocalize their frustrations by shouting: “Dammit,” “8 runs,” or a simple Santo-esque “No!!” It was surreal and awful. Many have compared it to a funeral. In my experience, funerals are happier.

Seventh Inning Stretch — 3 to 0, Cubs — 15 minutes to meltdown.

A week later, looking to vent my frustrations, I sold my ticket stub on eBay with “Worst Game Ever” scrawled on the bottom. It was bought for $22 by someone in Indiana. (I refused to ship to Florida.)

As the Cubs embarrassed themselves against the Diamondbacks this weekend, I felt numb. I was disappointed but not depressed. For some reason I didn’t have very high expectations — maybe because this year’s collection of overpaid underachievers didn’t inspire me much — but I think Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS had something to do with it. That night changed me. I’ve lost my naive childish thrill. To quote Steve Goodman (again) “What do you expect when you raise up a young boy’s hopes and then crush them like so many empty beer cups year after year after year after year after year…” As the playoffs began this year, my dad said he wasn’t sure what made him happier: seeing the Cubs make the playoffs or seeing the Mets collapse. He still holds a grudge from 1969. These things stay with you.

“Worst Game Ever”


I hope someday I can feel that way about the Cubs again. They have some likable young players and 100 years is a nice round number. In the meantime, here’s hoping the back page of the Sun Times has some good news after a pretty depressing couple of weeks. Watching Charles Tillman literally wrestle a win from the arms of the Green Bay Packers was a pretty good start. Thanks Peanut, Chicago needed that.

So Much For That

Friday, July 13th, 2007

It seems my fantasy baseball team’s fortunes are inversely related to those of the Cubs.  Remember when my team was in first place while the Cubs were biting it hard?  Well, the Cubbies have been on a tear over the last few weeks, and during that time The Evanston Conans have gone on an unprecedented 7-game losing streak.  They are now in last place.

Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all… or, apparently, any of them.

A Living Cubs Fan’s Last Request

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Back in March I received an e-mail announcing the start of the fantasy baseball league I’ve played in for years. I actually wrote a whole big thing about baseball season getting started that I never posted. It went something like this:

“I think last year was one of the worst years to be a Cubs fan. I know those of you who were around in the 50′s and 60′s (i.e., Dad) may dispute this, but there was something about last year that was particularly brutal. They weren’t even lovable losers. They were just losers.”

This year might be worse: losing on a walk-off hit batsman, being thrown out on a walk… they really are amazing.

Normally before our fantasy baseball draft I rate some Cubs players a little higher than they deserve. I figure, if I’m going to have mediocre players, I might as well have mediocre players I want to root for. This year I forgot to rate the players and for the first time ever I don’t have any Cubs on my team. Last time I checked I was in first place.

No one understood it like the late Steve Goodman: