Take Me Out To The Cubs Game: A Short Story

milwaukee brewers August 21st, 2012

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."

John Axford: Filmmaker

milwaukee brewers February 27th, 2012

Fans of John Axford may know that he is quite the film buff. On twitter this weekend he had a lot to say about the Oscars and correctly picked 11 out of 13 winners. He majored in film in college at Notre Dame and even shot his own 16MM film with some friends while they were there. His love affair with film doesn't stop there either. In an interview with Adam McCalvy, John said that he has "lots of stories" in his head and foresees himself taking a shot at film in the future.

What you may not know is that John Axford has already started preparing for his post-baseball career in Hollywood. In fact, we have recently acquired a few pages from John Axford's spec script that he has been working on during the offseason. I can't 100% confirm it's validity, but it was sent to me by someone who identified themselves to me as "one of johns bros from notre dam bro" so I think it's pretty legit.

Read the rest of this entry »

MPD SPECIAL FASHION REPORT: Brewers heels

FASHION WEEK February 25th, 2012

So this is something that is actually happening in real life right now...

Stephanie: I, as are many of you, am riding high on Braun winning his appeal Thursday and then him absolutely crushing his statement Friday. (Did you guys see his hair? And that navy blue button down jacket thing with all of the pockets? Am I starting to like this new Braun?) But then Vince brought me back down to Earth and by Earth I mean a special Hell on Earth where Milwaukee Brewer themed suede pumps are a thing.

The website reads, “PLEASE BE CERTAIN YOU WANT THESE SHOES BEFORE YOU BUY. Due to demand, these shoes are currently available by Pre-Order ONLY.”

What stupid twats are ordering those fucking things? I love the Brewers with my entire being, but I do not want to wear high heels plastered with blue and yellow to a baseball game (you all know my thoughts on heels at the ballpark by now). Oh and they are suede! SUEDE!! Do you know what beer does to suede?? Well you are gonna find out when you wear them to opening day, dickholes.

I guess, we must now begin to mentally prepare ourselves for the parade of fat chicks we will see waddling into Miller Park wearing these heels with jean skirts this summer.

Vince: These heels are kind of conflicting to me. I mean, not liking the Brewers is like number three on Vince's Oh No-No's List (I learned my lesson on that one (that intro..ugh.)) I need to be with someone who loves this team at least 1/10th as much as I do. A girl wearing these heels would be a good sign that she might be worthy of hanging with vintown. On the other hand, oh my god are you frickin' kidding me? The only people who should own these heels are the kind of people who let their kids dress them before a night out on the town. Pink bra? Sure! White tank top? Sure! Brewers heels? Sure! These girls don't care what they look like, they only care that they are wearing clothes and that those clothes are covering their naughty parts (but not too much, wink wink.)

Actually, you know what, I'm sorry there is one other type of person who would like to own these. Really weird roleplaying sex perverts. If you want your wife/girlfriend to dress up like Ryan Braun on your birthday and play a couple rounds of bat and ball with you, that's your business. Buy these heels and never break up with her because she is ruined for the rest of humanity.

Look, I love the Brewers. LOVE the Brewers and the idea of a down ass bitch wearing her Brewers pride on her sleeve (feet?) is appealing to me, but this is just too far. This isn't Nam. This is fashion. There are rules.

The Brewers lost: WTF RRR

milwaukee brewers October 17th, 2011

A lot can be said about Ron Roenicke's handling of the Brewers in the 2011 NLCS. I'm sure that much of it will key in on his stubborn decision to start Shaun Marcum in game 6 despite all signs pointing to that not working out very well. Some people will argue that it should have been Gallardo in this spot and that we could have just "figured it out" for game 7 and that is a good, popular argument. I am not here to make that argument.

Baseball is not a game of small sample sizes. Shaun Marcum should not be judged by his last two starts and Ron Roenicke had every reason to believe that the "real" Shaun Marcum would pitch in this game. Did I believe that myself? Absolutely not. I think Marcum has pitched too much this year and his arm has simply had enough. It's clear to me watching him that this is the case (the way he struggles, the way he avoids hitters), but nobody seems to want to acknowledge it. Or at least Ron Roenicke didn't. So much of being a baseball manager is "having faith in your guys" or some crap like that and in this case it screwed us, but Shaun Marcum starting this game is not what lost this game. (And no, it wasn't the defense either.) What lost us this game was this:

  • Top of the third. 6-4 St. Louis.
  • Narveson gives up a homerun to Pujols, obviously.
  • Berkman's stupid face grounds out.
  • Matt Holliday single.
  • David Freese double. F this guy so hard, btw.
  • Yadier (sweet neck tat, brah) Molina intentional walk.
  • Punto sacrifice fly.
  • LaTroy Hawkins enters the game.

I am not going to bore you with charts or WPA or whatever else, but let's be absolutely clear about this: THIS WAS THE GAME. To put it simply the Brewers scored six runs in this game and by the time the Cardinals scored number seven this game was over. Runs 8-12 did not matter. They sucked, but they did not matter. It was this and only this that decided this baseball game. It'd have been nice not to give up 4 in the first or another in the second, but that didn't kill us. This sequence did. It was the most important sequence of the game and Roenicke blew it. Read the rest of this entry »

MPD Field Trip: The conversations at a baseball game suck

Baseball August 5th, 2010

When you go to a baseball game the odds are you are going to have a conversation and unfortunately, due to the nature of baseball and it's natural boring-exciting-boring flow, the conversation will not always be about the game on the field. Sometimes you will talk about the team and the GM and whether or not the manager should be fired. Sometimes you will talk about your relationships and your kids and the future. Sometimes you will talk bad about your friends who aren't there because you know it's really fun to do. You will talk about many things and just so you know if you are sitting in the vicinity of me I will eavesdrop on you. Part of this is because I like to try to enjoy the game and will be silent at certain points, believe it or not often times your conversations will come at times when you should probably be paying attention, and part of this is because I am a keen observer of the human condition. I'm a writer, you know. (*dismissive wank*)

When I went to Wrigley Field for two of the Brewers games there this week I ended up doing this quite a bit. I found out, to my extreme delight, that my lady friend shares the same hobby and will laugh at the stupid things that people say. (And then get entirely too angry about the stupid things that people say.) For instance, there is this Miller Lite sign in right field on one of the rooftops. Last season it read "We prefer a pennant race to a sausage race" and now that the Cubs are terrible again it reads "The brat stops here." I, of course, complained about this. It doesn't make any sense. I mean, the Brewers play at Miller Park. MillerCoors shouldn't be making fun of a team that they sponsor a stadium for. Do they think that Brewers fans are never going to see it? Why can't they make fun of the Cardinals? It's a joke. Anyways, at the game there are these doucheholes sitting behind us who are just saying stupid thing after stupid thing. We laugh at them, then we laugh again and then we think about leaving early just to get away from them. It's just too much, these guys are world class douchebags. Then one of them, to my horror, notices the same sign and starts to say many of the same thing as I did. It's weird how my own thoughts are echoed through this idiot's mouth and I start to think way too much about it. Am I this big of a douche too? Does she just figure that out? Am I getting left here? I didn't even get to do the weird stuff! And just as I'm about to begin defending myself in a desperate attempt to save myself, they do it for me.

"It's weird, you know, because the Brewers are owned by Miller. That's why they're called the Brewers because Miller owns them."
"I don't give a fuck about the Brewers, dog."

And they're called the Cubs because Wrigley chewing gum owns them. Of course. Read the rest of this entry »

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