21
Aug 12

Take Me Out To The Cubs Game: A Short Story

He grew up a Cubs fan just like his dad did. As a kid his dad would sit him down in front of the TV, turn on WGN and the two of them would spend a summer day with Harry Caray. It was a ritual as a kid, but then he got older and friends and girls and other things got in the way. He grew up and he didn't watch as much Cubs baseball with his dad as he used to. He didn't watch any at all really. Now that he's older he doesn't consider himself much of a baseball fan, more of a football guy. He probably couldn't even tell you who won the World Series last year, but he did like the Cubs. He loved the idea of it more than anything else. "Did you know that a guy lived his whole life without ever seeing the Cubs in the World Series? I hope that's not me." He'd say and he meant it too. The Cubs were his team. Forever and always.

He had a son of his own now and he figured he'd be a Cubs fan just like him. Harry Caray wasn't around and half the games weren't even on WGN anymore, but it didn't matter to him. He was a Cubs fan and his son would be too. He didn't realize that things were different now. His son couldn't relive his youth just like he couldn't suddenly become his father. His son didn't want to watch a baseball game on TV, not when there are X-Boxes and Nintendo DSes and interwebs to be played. His son didn't want to play catch with a baseball, he wanted to play a game of baseball... on his 360. Despite his best efforts he could not get his son to care about the Cubs of Chicago. The world had changed, his son didn't live in his world anymore and the man didn't realize it. Like Jack after he got off the island he wanted to go back.

A game. That's would fix things. If only his young son could see the Cubs live and in person he could finally see how great it is to live in the world as a Cubs fan. Cubs fans are like a big happy family, he thought. After a game he would see this and his son could join the family. Then they'd be closer, then they'd have something to share. Something just for them. He looked at tickets online, but Wrigley Field was just too expensive even with the Cubs not playing well. Between the drive into the city and the parking and the food and everything else he knew there was no way he could justify it to his wife. Plus, she'd probably want to come with which was out of the question to him. This was a father and son thing and she couldn't come. (Besides he could use a break.) He couldn't figure out how to afford the trip. The trip that would make his son love his team as much as he did. The trip that would make him and his son feel more like him and his father. And then it came to him. The answer was right in front of him all along: Wrigley North.

Miller Park was not only closer, easier to get to and more comfortable, it was also cheaper. He could hop on the expressway from the North Suburbs and be there in no time. He could be back before midnight and not spend nearly as much as he would downtown. It was perfect and it's not like there wouldn't be plenty of Cubs fans in attendance. They don't call it Wrigley North for nothing. He bought the tickets and August 20th they would go.

The ride up was more of the same for their relationship. The son played his video games while the dad drove. He tried to talk, but the son was too into his video game. Just like always, but the actual baseball game? That was different. His son was into it. His son stood and cheered, he laughed and he was in awe of every homerun. "I did it," he thought "I made my son a Cubs fan." He'd never felt prouder as a father.

The Brewers entered the bottom of the fifth and with the Cubs leading 3-1 it occurred to the man that his son's first Cubs game would be a win. This excited him to no end and he couldn't hold it in. He asked his son if he thought the Cubs were going to pull this thing off to which his son replied "yeah, maybe." He liked that. He liked that his son didn't count his chickens before they hatched. After all, there was a lot of baseball left to be played.

The bottom of the fifth got rolling and the Cubs remembered they were the Cubs. The Brewers went off on them for eight runs and any hope of a Cubs win probably went with them. When Jonathan Lucroy hit his second homerun the dad felt bad. He remembered how he felt as a kid when his dad took him to a game and he saw the Cubs get destroyed. That was so long ago, but the wounds still felt fresh. He wanted to make his son feel better at this moment so he turned to console him. Only his son didn't need any consoling. He was on his feet, cheering and high fiving strangers. His son was as happy as he'd ever seen him. His son was a Brewers fan.

The father felt betrayed. How did this happen? How could this happen? Where did I go wrong? He couldn't grasp why his son wouldn't want to be apart of the same family that he was a member of. It didn't add up. So he asked him. The boys answer did not surprise him because he had heard it before many times throughout his life. He did not, however, ever expect to hear the words from his son. These words were never supposed to be said by his own flesh and blood. His son's words were simple yet biting. Short yet pointed. There were only three of them, but the father felt every single one of them deep in his heart.

It's been said that children make you want to live your life over. That the world through their eyes is so much better than the world through your own. This is not something the man thought about that day, but it is something he probably should have because his son's words were the truth. A truth he should have learned a long time ago. A truth his father should have told him. The truth, as the boy said, is this:

"The Cubs suck."


14
Aug 09

Hey everybody let’s go home!

trevor hoffman brewersI was at the game on Wednesday and it was a good time. Yes, the Brewers lost. I know because I was there and I stayed for the whole thing. It wasn't a bad loss though. The team fought til the end and had a runner on third at the end of the ninth that would have tied the game. Cameron did his best to fight off the tough pitches, but he ended up popping out. It happens, it's baseball. The point is that I got to see the entire thing play out. I got to see Hoffman take down his former team easily in the ninth. I got to see Prince get a big hit. I got to see Escobar steal a big base in the ninth. I got to see it all and the reason I got to see it all wasn't because I had good seats or because I am Ryan Braun's favorite blogger. No, I got to see it all because, and you are not going to believe this, I STAYED FOR THE ENTIRE GAME!

I know, crazy right? I bought tickets to a baseball game and I actually stayed for the whole thing and watched it. Not because I am like this crazy obsessed baseball fan who needs a perfect scorecard, but because the team had a good chance to win and I wanted to see them do it! I KNOW!!! RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look, it's your money and you can do what you want with it. After a really exciting 7th inning when the team pulled within one I had the good feeling that they were going to be able to comeback and win the game. After the 8th, when the team didn't score I still hadn't given up hope. Apparently everyone else did because a ton of people left after the eighth inning. Why? I have no idea. To me there are only three reasons to leave a game and they are as follows: Continue reading →


23
Jul 09

YES @bigleaguestew THE NL CENTRAL RACE IS GOOD FOR BASEBALL

nlwildcardBig League Stew currently has a poll up on their website asking if the current National League Central race is good for baseball. Thus far 345 people have answered with a whopping 89% saying that "Sure, why not?" it is good for baseball. To which I say, WELL DUH.

Look, let's come at this from the prespective that I am not a Brewers fan. Let's just say I am a mild mannered baseball fan from somewhere in Nebraska. I don't really have any allegiances because my parents hated me and raised me in Nebraska. I am too stupid to move anywhere cool because I went to school in Nebraska and only know that corn is real good for you. I do like to watch the baseball. The stars of the game are what draw me to it. Albert Pujols! Ryan Braun! Prince Fielder! Lance Berkman! Someone from the Cubs! You know what I would love to see these stars do? Make the playoffs! My enjoyment of baseball is built around my enjoyment of watching these superior athletes compete and what better way to see them than in the heat of a playoff race? Sure, they might only end up with a win total in the mid 80s but if we've learned anything over the past few years anything can happen in the playoffs. I don't care about the Cardinals or the Brewers, I care about Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun. Let me see the stars shine, that's why the Wild Card works. That's why division realignment works.

Let's look at it from the prospective of Major League Baseball and TV Networks. Playoff race=ratings. Makes sense to me.

Okay, now I am a Brewers fan. OF COURSE THIS IS A GOOD THING ARE YOU FREAKIN CRAZY?! WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS TWO YEARS IN A ROW!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES THAT HAS HAPPENED IN OUR HISTORY?! ZERO!!!!11 NEVER BEFORE AND YOU ARE ACTING LIKE ITS A BAD THIGN?! (OKAY ONCE BUT IT DOESNT REALLY COUNT BECAUSE IT WAS THAT STRIKE YEAR, BUT STILL!!!!!) 82!!!!! WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS TWO YEARS IN A ROW AND DEFEAT OUR HATED RIVALS DOING IT! WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!1 HALLADAY! HALLADAY! HALLADAY!

To Brewers fans, playing as poorly as they have and still being in the race, is great for us. But you aren't a Brewers fan 'Duk, you're a Cubs fan and you are exactly right. This IS bad for you. The last two years have hurt and I feel bad for you, I really do. You don't want your team to make the playoffs again this year because this year's team is a lot worse than last year's team and you're not sure you can handle that kind of thing again. What could be worse than that is making a late run, only to fall a game behind. Or losing a tiebreaker. That would suck. As a Cubs fan you desperately want someone to run away with this division so you don't have to worry about what might happen if they actually do this thing. And I don't blame you one bit. As for the rest of us? A tight NL Central is great.

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