World Series Game 7: Hot Take

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  • It’s November 2. The Cubs are still playing baseball. The Cubs have a chance tonight to be World Champions. I don’t know how to handle this. Tonight everything changes. While it has been slowly disappearing over the past few years, tonight we shake the “lovable losers” moniker. Tonight, win or lose we prove to the world that the Cubs are a legitimate force to be reckoned with and no billy goats or curses or cute little jabs at us are going to be acceptable any more. We are no longer a national punchline. We are the fearsome, mighty Cubs and that is the narrative if we win 1-0 or lose 100-1. For the we true fans, our lives are about to change forever.
  • My prediction tonight is that Corey Kluber will go no more than 3 innings before handing it over to the elite 3 in the Indians bullpen. The Cubs will need to score early to have a chance. I think Kyle Hendricks will go a bit longer than Kluber, but that Joe Maddon will have a quick hook the instant Hendricks gets into trouble. Assuming things go well, I think he might go a maximum of 5 innings, with Montgomery, Chapman, and Lester coming out of the bullpen with possibly some split matchups for the righties in the ‘pen, like Carl Edwards, Jr.
  • Not that it’s a rarity amongst Cubs fans but I am extremely nervous and have been all day. Remind me why we don’t play Game 7 at 10 in the morning and just alleviate all of the anxiety? Also, Happy “Stress Awareness Day.” Yes, that’s a real thing, and yes, the fates have conspired to have it be today.
  • There was a period of time in my high school career where my mom wouldn’t let me watch Cubs games at home because I got too involved and–let’s say verbose– during them. It’s a good thing I have my own house now, because I don’t think I would have been able to watch any of this post-season.ct-cubs-indians-world-series-game7-photos-029
  • Who would have thought that Kyle Schwarber, he of the torn ligaments in his leg and ‘lost season,’ would have an infield hit and stolen base in Game 7 of the World Series of aforementioned season?
  • Hendricks getting around the Javy Baez error with a quick at-bat to Mike Napoli was huge. The defense will save him some embarrassment and he will in turn do the same for them.ct-cubs-indians-world-series-game7-photos-038
  • I cannot stand Jose Ramirez.
  • Jon Lester has some problems with the pickoff? Why, this is the first I’m hearing of this, Joe Buck. Please find a new narrative.
  • Games like this remind me of how young and inexperienced the Cubs really are. They are trying to do too much on the field sometimes at the expense of the simple out. They need to focus on the simple things and the big things will happen.
  • I want Jason Heyward to get a hit, not just for the Cubs offensive output, but just for him.
  • I’m so glad to see Baez get that home run. He was struggling during the Series, both at the plate and–especially tonight–in the field. That had to feel like redemption.
  • “Irregardless” isn’t a word.Anthony Rizzo, David Ross
  • The clip of David Ross talking to Anthony Rizzo about anxiety in this game was one of the most adorable things I’ve seen in quite awhile.
  • “Uh oh. Looks like Happy learned to putt!”
  • Just because the Cubs have a decent lead is no excuse to squeeze Hendricks…or pull him, for that matter.
  • I thought Jon Lester was only going to come into a clean inning. That plan went out the window pretty quickly.
  • Wow. That was really ugly for both Lester and Ross. The one critique I’ve had of Joe Maddon during this post-season has been his quick hook on starting pitchers to hand the game to a bullpen that Joe has stated publicly that he doesn’t trust. Hendricks was cruising along and got squeezed on some pitches that led to a walk. I don’t think anything he did that inning required him to get pulled so early. I understand the appeal of getting Jon Lester in the game, but he doesn’t have his good stuff tonight.
  • What are we going to without you, David Ross? I’m not only referring to the Cubs, I’m talking about the world in general.d747a5e7a9412b5ef1f81189793885f5
  • This is going to be a long 12 outs. I’m shocked this isn’t the 8th or even later.
  • I would give just about anything I own to be in that stinking, sweaty mass of humanity gathering outside of Wrigley Field tonight. I regret not being able to write my Papa’s name on the walls of the bleachers, as I’ve seen so many Cubs fans do for their own loved ones over the past two days.
  • I had friends request that I do a live stream of me watching the game, but i told them it wasn’t that interesting. Mostly I’ve been stress eating with the occasional burst of profanity-laden screaming.
  • This is happening, isn’t it? This is really happening? We aren’t in a bizarre An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge situation, are we? I mean, I can be OK with that…
  • Just 4 outs to go. That’s doable. That’s less than ’03. That’s OK. This is fine.
  • And then Rajai Davis happened. I had a feeling after his misplays in the field that he would come around and do something to help the team…and lo and behold he falls into the list of Chicago public enemies.
  • And with a walk, David Ross rides off into the sunset. Possibly the most beloved 3rd string catcher in the history of this grand game.
  • The review play on the Chris Coghlan slide was ridiculous and handled very poorly by the umpiring crew. Regardless, Coghlan did a great job breaking up the potential double play.
  • Moving into the 10th inning, I’m not even angry with Chapman or with Joe Maddon any more. I’ve become more or less numb at this point. No high and no low. I don’t like that.
  • Because of course the World Series between the Cubs and Indians falls into a rain delay. In extra innings. Of course it did. It is certainly not going to be an easy road to the championship.
  • My heart can literally not take this any more. And I love it.
  • No party at Napoli’s tonight!
  • Well, Rajai Davis, I hope you enjoyed your night tonight, because it clearly cost your soul.
  • I’ve waited my whole life to say this, but THE CHICAGO CUBS ARE THE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!
  • Thanks for taking this journey with me!

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  • I took this picture at the All Star game this summer. I thought it might come in handy this year.

World Series Game 5: Hot Takes

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  • This is it. I realize that even with a win tonight there are still 2 more to go, but a win tonight will remind these young Cubs of what they are capable of. These Cubs are capable of winning the whole World Series if they take it one game at a time. One inning at a time. One at-bat at a time.
  • These Cubs are different from any Cubs team I’ve seen. They are ignoring the history that has mostly happened before they were born and focusing on the “now.” They know they are a good team and when they play their style of baseball, nobody can heat them, Even down 3-1 they were confident in their ability.
  • “It’s one game at a time, don’t change anything, have fun, smile, just be ourselves.”–Kris Bryant
    “We’ve won 3 games in a row before.We’re not trying to do anything impossible.”
    –Jason Heyward
  • There has never, in the history of man, been such a desire to go willingly to Cleveland.
  • This World Series is getting me emotionally, not only because it’s the Cubs in the Series, but because of those I love who aren’t here to share it with me. Ernie, Harry, Ron and my Papa just to name a few.
  • The Ross-assisted pop out to Anthony Rizzo was a thing of truest beauty.
  • I realize that the World Series will create heroes out of anyone, but how has Jose Ramirez turned into Babe Ruth?
  • It breaks my heart that, in all practicality, this is the last time we will ever see the Lester-Ross battery that has been together for so long. davidrossjonlesterdwdishpcrkzm
  • Country Joe West is scheduled to work home plate in Game 6. I loathe Country Joe, especially at the plate, but I would give everything I own to see him work Game 6 in Cleveland.
  • There is an absolute reason that Jason Heyward is a Gold Glove nominee!ct-cubs-indians-world-series-game5-photos-002
  • David Ross is performing like a circus acrobat tonight on defense.
  • KRIS BRYANT!!!  img_2185
  • Small ball is putting a lot of pressure on Trevor “Drone” Bauer and the Indians…and they don’t seem able to handle it.
  • To paraphrase the film Major League, “F you, Jobu!”
  • The Cubs are starting to remember what it was that brought them to this place, and having some fun. Guess what? Keep that up and the wins will keep right on rolling!
  • John Smoltz seemed shocked by Anthony Rizzo’s deftness with the glove. This is not news. This is what Anthony does.img_2376
  • Jon Lester has earned every cent that the Cubs are paying him by coming up huge in these “must win” games. Every red cent.
  • I would like a lead of greater than 2 runs so that the inevitable Aroldis Chapman appearance doesn’t cause me to have a coronary.
  • I’m used to seeing celebratory patches on the sleeves of the Cubs jerseys. “100 Years of Wrigley Field,” “100 Years of the Cubs at Wrigley Field,” “20 Years Since Mark Grace Traded an Autograph for a Bag of Peanuts,” or whatever, but none of them have looked any better than the “World Series 2016” patch they’ve got now._35
  • I can’t believe it’s only the top of the 6th. I feel like I’ve lived 1,000 lifetimes since first pitch.
  • Lip reading is fun. Many of the players use the same word. It’s not a polite word.
  • Well…at least our mascot isn’t racist.img_2418
  • The ability of David Ross to throw out/ throw behind baserunners is astounding and he is criminally underrated in those categories.
  • I really don’t like Brian Shaw’s weird, loosey-goosey windup. It looks like he is trying to dislocate his shoulder and makes me physically uncomfortable.
  • It appears David Ross’ night is over. Thanks for catching one hell of a last game at Wrigley. Now go be a hero in Cleveland for the next few days, then ride off into the sunset. You will be truly missed.chi-cubindians-ct0044289411-20161030
  • Also, in light of David Ross, and his “Grandpa” nickname, it’s funny because he is obviously the senior member of the Cubs roster. It stopped being funny when I realized that Ross is only about 4 years older than me.
  • I don’t like Aroldis Chapman. I really don’t like him coming in mid-inning. I’m currently trying to breathe and wondering why my defibrillator surgery is tomorrow rather than before this. I think that ws a case of really poor timing on everyone’s part.
  • I don’t know how I survived that top of the 7th, but I’m glad I did, because Eddie Vedder leading into the stretch and dedicating the song to David Ross warmed the cockles of my cold little heart and I think I’m ready for these last 6 outs. I’m not, but I am good at lying to myself.ct-cubs-indians-world-series-game5-photos-042
  • A Dexter Fowler foot injury would rank up there pretty high on the “Things the Cubs Don’t Need to Happen” list.
  • Chapman not covering first base on the great stop by Rizzo is the kind of “small thing” that loses games. And championships. If you didn’t buy a ticket, you can’t just stand and watch the game happen around you.
  • 5 of 8 outs recorded by Chapman to seal the win. It’s the last 3 that are going to give me more ulcers than I already have. Can the Cubs just have a nice crooked bottom of 8? Please?
  • It’s interesting how as the evening wears on, so does the percentage of rum in my rum and Coke.
  • With Hector Rondon available, I would not let Chapman bat with 2 out in the 8th. I bring in a pinch hitter and let someone else close it out. Jason Heyward standing on second base is far too valuable a run in a series like this where a solo home run ties it.
  • The good Lord must be in Chicago, and at least for tonight, is a Cubs fan. Let’s get on that plane to CLEVELAND and come home with some jewelry!

World Series Game 4: Hot Takes

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  • OK, Cubs fans. This is it. This is the big one.Actually, they’ve all been the big one, but tonight is the BIG ONE (all caps, you see.) If Cleveland wins they can literally win the Series at Wrigley, a thought which makes me vomit, or at least head back to Cleveland with a dominating 3-2 advantage. If the Cubs can scrape out a victory, the series will be tied tonight and could possibly head to Cleveland with the 3-2 advantage, requiring only 1 win to take the Series. One win can be a fluke base hit after a few hits or errors, as we saw last night. That is certainly not insurmountable. While I will be watching until out 27 is recorded in the deciding game, it will be a lot more fun if it’s the Cubs recording that out. Let’s just win tonight.
  • Well Mr. Lackey, tonight you decide if you are here for jewelry or that haircut you keep talking about. Let’s focus on the jewelry.
  • Lackey looked like the Lackey of old in the first inning. Then the 30+ pitch second happened and he looked like the Lackey of recent memory.img_2338
  • I think Jason Heyward may have been playing a long con this entire season, holding off on regular season and playoff success to lull the Indians into a false sense of security in Game 4 of the World Series to get a base hit. It worked!
  • The Cubs are a good fielding team with 4 Gold Glove nominees and I don’t understand how they’re fielding (or not, rather) tonight. No one could catch the ball in the top of the second. It looked like a Benny Hill sketch, minus Yakkety Sax.
  • It looks like Corey Kluber may have lost a little mojo in the bottom of the third with a 2 out walk to Kris Bryant and hitting Anthony Rizzo. Here’s hoping.
  • UPDATE: It’s OK everyone. Looks like he found it.
  •  The Jason Heyward theory may be playing itself into reality.
  • For the Cubs to have any hope whatsoever, the bullpen needs to match zeros with Cleveland, NOT what Justin Grimm did.fullsizerender-2
  • After the Kipnis home run I was instructed that I need to breathe. That isn’t a problem. I need to breathe to be able to scream.
  • IF the Cubs don’t come back to win tonight, I cannot watch the Indians win tomorrow at Wrigley. Joe Maddon needs to manage like it’s Game 7 and move the remainder of the Series to Cleveland. The Indians CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT win it in Chicago. The heart of the city will be broken wherever it happens, but there is hope for the future if it doesn’t happen on the sacred grounds of Wrigley Field.
  • I hesitate to say it for fear of sounding insane, but this is where heroes are made. This is Gibson in ’88, Maz in ’60 and–I once again hesitate to say, but Garvey in ’84. Can we say Schwarber in ’16 and add him to the pantheon?
  • There is an episode of The Twilight Zone that features a virtually unhittable pitcher and SPOILER ALERT: it turns out the pitcher is a robot masquerading as a human in a grand experiment. I wonder if Andrew Miller is actually that robot.twilight_zone_mighty_casey
  • I’m not going to pretend that this is easy. Easy to watch. Easy to accept. But as George Will says “Cubs fans are 90% scar tissue.” I will watch to the bitter end of this World Series and hope and pray that the end is sweet rather than bitter but I’ll be there for it.I just can’t give up on these guys until they are officially knocked out.f08082d647c7e3fe35d06aa79051c51c
  • Let’s get them tomorrow. Moral victory.

World Series Game 3: Hot Takes

  • People were lining up at 530 Am to get a precious seat at one of the Wrigleyville bars. At least one watering hole was reportedly charging a $100 cover, plus $250/hour bill with a mandatory 18% gratuity. Not a bad gig if you can get it!
  • The sound on this tv is godawful so I’m listening to Pat and Ron on the radio. I ain’t even mad.
  • This is a moment 71 years in the making. Cubs fans have been born, lived full lives and have died without seeing a moment like this. I may be 2,000 miles from Wrigley but I can see this at least. That’s a blessing. 
  • It’s only the top of the first but that overturned pickoff play could loom huge in this game. 
  • Jorge Soler in the starting lineup does not fill me with confidence. Nor did that second inning strikeout. 
  • Addison Russell earned his Gold Glove nomination just for the catch in the top of the third. 
  • So Mike Napoli was “indisposed” in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Indians stalled the start of the inning. I wish Napoli had come out with toilet paper on his shoe. 
  • I’m shocked that Hendricks is 0-7 when the Cubs score one run or less. Hard to win if the team gets shut out. 
  • Pulling Carlos Santana and his offense for Rajai Davis in the mid-innings of a 0-0 game astounds me. It’s not protecting a lead and the Indians lose a dangerous weapon in what appears to be a low scoring tight game. 
  • Getting “a mouth full of World Series pressure”?
  • I’d like to see a cutaway interview with the parent of an MLB player where the parent acts like a little league parent. ” Well I told josh not to throw his curveball and what does he do the very second he’s on the mound?? I’m glad they hit 3 home runs. Maybe he will listen to that because God knows I’ve tried everything else.”
  • Well that was not how I expected the first run of this game to score. 
  • The  Cubs were counted out versus the Giants and Dodgers and look how those turned out. Victory will have to come in enemy territory in Cleveland, but it is do-able. I still have faith until our 27 is recorded in the deciding game. That faith may kill me before that time, but I’m willing to risk it. 
  • I love that when they cut to them Derek Lee was texting on his phone while Ryne Sandberg was chatting on his. 
  • Jason Heyward continues his miserable season for the Cubs by giving me hope in the bottom of the 9th. 
  • Anthony Rizzo looks like he is in physical pain when Javy Baez didn’t (did) check his swing. 
  • Heading to Cleveland 3-2 isn’t ideal but the Cubs can do it. Still I believe. 

World Series Game 2: Hot Takes

  • Well, Game 1 was ugly. No denying that and I was reminded of it all day as I wore my Cubs hat and shirt, but that’s ok. The Cubs lost to one of the best in the game and it happens. To be the best you have to beat the best.
  • Some Cubs fans sent Trevor Bauer a drone from Amazon. I love it. I’d have done it myself, but that’s a bit pricey for a joke in my mind. Well done anonymous Cubs fan(s).
  • Willson Contreras tweeted an apology to the fans of both the Cubs and the Indians, apologizing for not running harder on his double that initially looked like a home run. The apology seemed very heartfelt and my heart broke for this kid who obviously realized he had made a mistake. I guarantee he will be running full bore on everything he hits from here on out. 

  • Andrew Miller will eventually come back down to Earth, right? Right?
  • “Former Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta?” How about “REIGNING Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta?”

  • Fred Willard narrating the opening video about Cleveland was brilliant. 
  • Trevor Bauer is not a great, or even a good pitcher, honestly. He is a mediocre pitcher who has gotten lucky. I think it’s about time for that luck to run out for good. 
  • Ben Zobrist’s battle with Bauer was impressive. 
  • I still maintain that Kyle Schwarber will have a “Roy Hobbs/Kirk Gibson” moment in this World Series.
  • Geez I like Francisco Lindor. But I can’t afford to for this week. His interactions with Javier Baez are still adorable, however. 
  • The end of that first inning reeked of the first inning of Game 1. Fortunately this had a happy ending. 
  • Javy Baez can kind of do anything he wants to on a baseball field. 
  • Most of the Cubs are bundled up like they’re traveling to the South Pole. Then there is Jake Arrieta wearing just shirt sleeves. He’s a beast regardless of how he pitches. 
  • Watching the game in the hospital sucks. They insisted on taking me away for some tests and I missed two innings and an RBI.
  • Jake Arrieta  hasn’t looked amazing but he is certainly getting the job done. 
  • Anthony Rizzo is battling like a beast. He is looking like he did during the regular season and that should scare Cleveland. A lot.
  • The Cubs are waking up and playing like the 103 win club that they were during the regular season. I think they will be going forward full throttle from here on out. Even against Corey Kluber. I honestly feel that the Cubs can win this game and the next 3.
  • So I hesitate to jinx this, but I think Jake might actually be able to throw a no-hitter in this game. 
  • Danny Salazar looks like he might legitimately have Jobu sitting in his locker.
  • Jake looked great–aside from a few isolated  incidents–but after giving up the hit to Jason Kipnis he was not pitching the same and needed to be pulled, but for most of the game he looked a lot like the Jake of last year. 
  • Aside from Andrew Miller, the Indians bullpen is full of a lot of anonymous journeymen. Even closer Cody Allen is fairly unknown outside of Cleveland. 
  • The Cubs are still looking great but I’m not thrilled with their inability to blow the game open and keep their feet on the necks of the Indians with the bases loaded.
  • Mike Montgomery has been one of the nicest surprises on this team. I literally expected nothing out of him, possibly to be a taxi player between Chicago and AAA Iowa, but he has become a key piece of the bullpen. 
  • This Cubs team is not the same team that was shut out last night. I don’t know what caused the change but they need to do it again for the next 3 games. I love what I’m seeing tonight. 
  • There is no temptation for Joe Masson to play Kyle Schwarber in the field at Wrigley because he has not been cleared to play defense.
  • Oh good. Aroldis Chapman is coming in mid-inning. That has gone so well in the past. 
  • Hey! That went well.
  • Go Cubs, Go! In fact, go all the way to Chicago and win the next three games st home!

World Series Game 1: Hot Takes

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  • I still can’t believe it and I’m not sure my mom isn’t going to shake me awake any time now only to discover that it’s really 1997, the Cubs aren’t in the World Series and I haven’t done my chemistry homework. I have never felt so ready, yet so woefully unprepared as I am for this game. And tomorrow’s game…and Friday’s game.
  • The broadcasters need to stop encouraging people to root for the Indians in exchange for a free taco!
  • The nerves of Jon Lester tonight confound me. It’s not like he has never pitched on the big stage before–and very successfully thus far. He seems uneasy on the mound and that makes me feel uneasy.
  • If they weren’t playing the Cubs I think I would love this scrappy, hard-nosed Indians team.
  • David Ross running face first into the Indians dugout to make the out is one of the best things I’ve seen this postseason.chi-cubs-indians1025b-ct0044171457-20161025
  • Can Trevor Bauer please loan Corey Kluber his drone to play with? Just for a little while.
  • Corey Kluber is pitching a great game–he doesn’t need to have the home plate umpire in his back pocket.
  • The signs that are appearing in the stands are ridiculous. “’84 and ’03 Chokers” and “Bartman for President”? Those things mean nothing to these new young Cubs. They are focused on the here and the now. That being said, personally I always try to be nice to billy goats.1479713858_accbafc0ae_o
  • I really hope Jon Lester is having a civil conversation with Vanover, but part of me hopes he is ripping him a new hole. For the strike zone, for the Carlos Santana thing–whatever it was. If the player is injured or sick, you pull them from the game and replace them. They don’t get to have a few sips of Gatorade standing on second base.
  • Kyle Schwarber is a real life Roy Hobbs. I fully expect him to do something monumental to win this World Series.img_2337
  • So I guess the game plan is to win the games that Kluber isn’t starting.
  • So Jon Lester has finally decided to pitch like himself. Too bad it’s after 3 runs have scored. I’m a bit surprised Joe Maddon gave him this long of a leash.
  • The Cubs hitters look woefully overmatched against Kluber and I don’t think things are going to get much better once Andrew Miller comes into the game.
  • You know it must be chilly if Joe Maddon has the hood on and his jacket zipped to the top.
  • Thank Jobu that Rajai Davis was playing unaware and Kyle made it back to second safeoy.
  • Stupid Andrew Miller remembering how to be Andrew Miller.
  • I feel like the umpiring this postseason has been pretty bad across the board, but tonight’s game has just been awful and one-sided. This isn’t sour grapes. I’d say the same if the teams were reversed, I’d just be a little more gleeful saying it.Lester got a few close calls and Kluber lost a few but the call being correct seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.
  • I’m always a little uncomfortable when Joe Maddon starts burning through relievers, particularly long relievers in a relatively close game. If the Cubs manage to tie this up and it goes long into extra innings, they will have lost a vital weapon. I try not to question Joe, but I do sit uneasily  sometimes. img_2384
  • I certainly appreciate Anthony Rizzo’s f bomb after the pop out. I don’t care much for the circumstances leading to the swearing but it did make me laugh.
  • Really? The hero of the night is Roberto Perez? I don’t like this dreamscape.
  • A split on the road is OK. Then we kick tail when the Cubs return to Wrigley and take Game 4 from Kluber after seeing so many of his pitches tonight. Things will be OK.img_0492
  • The Brooklyn Robins later became the Dodgers? Wow, thanks Joe Buck. Now I know the rest of the story.
  • I was really hoping for the small moral victory of at least one run.
  • This game wasn’t as close as the line score would lead you to believe. Kluber was channeling his inner Bob Gibson and Andrew Miller worked his way in and out of trouble and the bases loaded incident in the 7th was the only time that I thought the Cubs had a chance to score. I’m not terribly upset with the loss with the way that Kluber pitched. Obviously I wish for a better outcome but there’s still 6 more games–if wthe Cubs need them–to demonstrate why the Cubs had the best record in baseball by a long stretch. On a positive note, Zobrist looked great, Lester calmed down after a rocky start and still got a “quality start” and Kyle Schwarber looks like his addition was a wise one by the Cubs braintrust. He swung the bat as well as he did when he was healthy. I feel truly optimistic going into the rest of this series. I still say Cubs in 5. ct-cubs-indians-world-series-game1-photos-032

NLCS Game 6: Hot Takes

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  • Tonight is not about Steve Garvey, Steve Bartman, Leon Durham or Ron Santo’s black cat. Tonight is about now and beating the best pitcher in the game. Tonight is Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez and Kyle Hendricks. Tonight is about NOW.
  • There is literally no outcome of tonight that won’t push me to the emotional brink. The agony and the ecstasy are co-mingling in my heart right now.
  • All other things aside, I want to win just to shut up Adrian Gonzalez.14725639_1501019903246706_6393321142420226201_n
  • My baseball boyfriend is better than your baseball boyfriend.img_1979
  • I love the fans behind first base waving at Clayton Kershaw to distract him. Too bad Wrigley is so quiet, right Adrian?
  • We had the champ on the ropes and we bloodied him and bloodied him good. He’s still in the fight, but I think he has lost a little something inside and I can’t help but be optimistic that the Cubs know it too and will take full advantage of it.
  • The term “cat-like” is often used to describe athletes, but Willson Contreras really looks like a cat when he is jumping around after a loose ball at the plate.
  • Even the outs against Clayton Kershaw are being hit really hard.
  • I’m pretty uncomfortable with Joe Buck talking as if the Cubs have already won. I’m an old time Cubs fan…I’m still uber cautious about good things.
  • I love seeing Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez screwing around with each other. That’s one way to show how loose and relaxed these young Cubbies are.
  • Ive been fairly uncomfortable with the comparisons between Kyle Hendricks and Greg Maddux, but tonight, Kyle looks like Maddux.
  • Somehow I’m more nervous with a 5-0 lead than I would be with a 0-0 or 1-0 game. I’m completely irrational.
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  • Kenley Jansen is good. Really good, but I think this may be a case of closing the barn door after the Cubs got out. the Cubs offense could literally go 0-the rest of the game, but as long as the defense and pitching hold up, you could bring inSandy Koufax and Don Drysdale and it wouldn’t matter.
  • This is what I’ve been waiting for my entire life. When I was getting teased and mocked for wearing my Cubs cap, I saw this moment in my head. When people wouldn’t shut up about the Cubs losing 14 straight to start the 1997 season, I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We are just about out of that tunnel and into the light and it feels so good.
  •  This can’t be happening. This is a dream, right? A cruel joke? Someone is going to wake me up and tell me what really happened during this season. I honestly can’t handle this.
  • The young Cubs are NOT trying to break any curse. The don’t care about a curse or a goat or anything like that. They just want to win!
  • The old joke used to be “An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says it’s half empty. A Cubs fan wonders when the glass is going to tip over.” That’s not true any more. Cubs fans are justifiably optimistic and confident that what SHOULD happen WILL happen. No curses or jinxes for this Cubs team.

NLCS Game 5: Hot Takes

  • First of all, indulge me and allow me to address an issue from Game 4, the Adrian Gonzalez play where he was thrown out at the plate, had the play reviewed and the had the ruling on field stand. I can completely understand the frustration of an out like that., especially in such a high-stakes game. However, MLB upheld it upon review and the freeze frame shots show that his hand was above the plate as Willson Contreras tagged him. What I really don’t like is Mr. Gonzalez going on Twitter immediately following the game and continuing his whining there. I have always been a fan of Adrian, back to his Padres days as a hometown hero and to see him acting like a spoiled child is frustrating. (Yes, I also realize the Cubs had John Lackey on the mound and he is no stranger to wearing his emotions on his sleeves.)img_2325
  • I wish Willson Contreras was starting tonight, but Joe knows best and consistency has been the key for the Cubs. Having the flexibility to put Contreras in the game later might be a big factor in a close game.
  • Having Steve Garvey on the field to open the game was a gut punch, but having Vin Scully actually start the game was a nice touch. I don’t care who you root for, you can’t wish anything but great things for Vin.
  • Rizzo used Matt Szczur’s bat, evidently Addison Russell wore his underwear…who has dibs on his cup?
  • I do not like Justin Turner, Sam-I-Am.
  • Playing Beethoven for every out gets really old really quickly.
  • Jon Lester’s “inability to hold runners/field his position” is not a compelling storyline. It doesn’t bear repeating every time an opposing runner advances or hits the ball to him.26186875522_e3e9510ed7_z
  • I don’t know why, but the sight of Larry King in his suspenders sitting right behind home plate looking like he is about to fall asleep to an episode of Jeopardy! makes me smile.
  • God Bless you, Joe Blanton!
  • Now I’m afraid Adrian Gonzalez is going to have to get on Twitter to complain that he was safe at first on the overturned call. img_1165
  • Pedro Baez and the 30 seconds between pitches is utterly ridiculous. He may single-handedly be the reason MLB institutes a pitching clock.
  • 8 runs per win is something I can get used to.
  • I’m much happier with Pedro Strop getting his jitters or whatever it is in a situation with a seven run lead than a one run affair in Wrigley…or God willing, Cleveland.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s tank top is one of the best articles of clothing that I’ve seen in recent memory. kershawthrow_ff98tzdo_o9kvgmmv
  • I had little faith in Aroldis Chapman coming into this series and even that is beginning to wane. It feels like when Carlos Marmol used to come into games and it was a crapshoot as to what was going to happen.
  • Clayton Kershaw is good. There is not argument there. He might be “the” pitcher of my generation, assuming I’m slightly too late for Greg Maddux. However, Kershaw has never gone undefeated and despite what some would have the baseball world believe, he is HUMAN. That means beatable. It does not mean that it’s going to be easy. It just means that it is possible and the possibility is all that this Cubs team needs. I’m not guaranteeing it by any means, but the Cubs COULD beat Kershaw and take the pennant in Game 6. Believe!

NLCS Game 4: Hot Takes

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  • Unnecessary to say this, but if the Cubs lose this game I have very little confidence in a series win. A win tonight and I feel like this is a brand new series.
  • I like John Lackey but his antics on the mound make it hard to watch him sometimes. Especially when he is bristling about a pitch the was, in reality, called correctly.
  • The Cubs catchers are absolute beasts throwing out baserunners. I’ll never get tired of seeing that.
  • Once again, Adrian Gonzalez can’t run. Adrian Gonzalez has never been able to run. Is the Dodger third base coach unaware of this fact? That’s been two bad sends during this series.
  • Like it or not, there wasn’t a definitive enough angle to overturn the play with Adrian Gonzalez thrown out at the plate. If you have to slow a clip down 100x and zoom in 25x to try to find something, that play shouldn’t be overturned. It has to be clear and incontrovertible evidence to change a call. It was not there in that play. I feel like that is the case in most extremely close replays. That’s OK. That would be OK even if it went against the Cubs. I wouldn’t be thrilled with it, but that’s how replay works.la-dodgers-vs-cubs-live-updates-game-4-dodgers-don-t-score-in-second-after-1476925465
  • Oh thank God. The Cubs can indeed score.
  • This game is significantly more fun than the game I attended last night. ct-cubs-dodgers-nlcs-game4-score-20161019
  • I may or may not be more relieved by Anthony Rizzo’s home run than Rizzo himself. He needed that. The Cubs needed that.
  • Josh Reddick’s “Lambeau Leap” is my favorite thing I’ve seen the Dodgers do all season.
  • I can’t believe there’s still any thought that the Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw pitch in Game 5. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but there is no way he is ready to start a game tomorrow.
  • I actually kind of like Andrew Tolles. I don’t know that he’d be in my starting lineup, but I like him as a bench/utility piece.
  • With two walks to start the fifth I think Mr Lackey is done for the night if I’m Joe Maddon. This game is too important to lose with a pitcher losing his edge.
  • Well, the bottom of the fifth was rough, but the Cubs defense bailed them out. I don’t necessarily need a shutout. I just need the Cubs to end this thing with at least one more run than the Dodgers. However that happens.
  • I think Anthony Rizzo should buy all of Matt Szczur’s bats.
  • There have been more than a few plays tonight that look like they were choreographed by the Keystone Kops..not the least of which was the sacrifice fly that led to two runs and almost looked to be setting up a little league home run. From where I sit, that was a lot of fun to watch.
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  • Addison Russell has found his swing again even if they don’t always drop for a hit.
  • Hoping that the injury to Carl Edwards, Jr. is just a leg cramp or something minor. He has been too important out of the bullpen to lose him for the rest of the postseason.
  • Hey Anthony, I’m loving your production tonight, but you don’t have to make up the entire postseason in a single game.
  • Dodger Stadium is emptying out like the rats escaping the Wrigley Field bleachers. I realize that 10-2 is a rough score to swallow, especially on a weeknight, but leaving a game early is a sin to me.
  • Tonight was a big momentum shift and with the series now even at 2-2, the path to the World Series goes through Wrigley and I like the Cubs chances in that situation. I think tomorrow is definitely winnable and even if Kershaw pitches like Kershaw in the first game back at Wrigley, the Cubs can take Game 7. I’m feeling very good about this series.

NLCS Game 3: I Was There. Wish I Wasn’t.

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I swore off of Dodger Stadium two years ago. The parking lots are miserable, there’s little to no charm and I have been harassed by fans (read: hooligans) more than I care to remember. I also don’t understand the appeal of Dodger Dogs. They are just extra large Farmer John hot dogs. Essentially the same thing anyone could get at any little league game across the country. Sorry, I just don’t get it. I broke that oath for Game 3 of the NLCS. What could go wrong? Jake Arrieta was pitching in California, where he has been utterly dominant over the previous two years, and at a ballpark where he threw a no-hitter. I took nothing for granted, but I also was hedging my bets on this one and broke my own rule.

The last time I was at Dodger Stadium a guy named Rich H. got lit up by a team wearing blue. I was hoping for history to repeat itself. It did, but not in the way I was expecting or hoping, but I’m guessing you know those gory details and I won’t waste time or emotional baggage on them. Instead, I want to address my Dodger Stadium experience, which, after talking to many other fans, seems fairly typical.

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My brothers and I arrived at the ballpark a few hours before the game and slowly made our way to our section in the top deck. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by the section. There was a spacious concourse with high bar tables scattered around and a nice view. My brothers enjoyed a beer (in the process becoming beer holders/hand models for some unknown publication) as we whiled away the time until the game. We headed to our seats relatively early due to the fact that I have mobility issues and don’t like being a spectacle or recipient of pity as I make my way to my seat.

We ended up sitting in the front row, which meant that–unlike some other ballparks I have visited– I had to walk down many very steep steps, rather than entering at the lowest level with the rest of the section above and behind. While not terribly comfortable or convenient, the trek to the seats was not the end of the world. As we waited for first pitch the seats around us started to fill up–as expected–with Dodger fans. While there were other Cub fans in the general vicinity, we were all scattered apart. No little pockets of Cubdom in our section.

Immediately sitting behind me was a gentleman who was very knowledgeable about baseball and more or less a decent guy until he met his neighbor, who was a loud, ignorant aggressor throughout the entire game.

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My brothers and I sat fairly quiet during the entire game, only talking to each other in relatively quiet voice and not at all engaging with the people around us. This didn’t matter to the aggressor who spent the game screaming and making comments intending to infuriate us and get us to engage with him. We did not, but that didn’t stop him. In addition to his harassment of our group, he was adamant about getting a “wave” started. In the NLCS. The “wave” is never acceptable and certainly not in a game of this import, but I digress.

As the game ended my brothers and I stayed in our seats and let our section empty, again due to my slow speed and lack of mobility so I wouldn’t block or delay any other fans trying to exit. As our area cleared we recieved some empty platitudes of “good game” and “there’s still a lot of baseball to come,” which redeemed some of the fans around us, but, of course, nothing from the aggressor. I expected nothing less. As we were walking to our car there was a man in a Dodger jersey literally walking up and screaming in the faces of any Cubs fans he could find. Simple people and families who were just minding their own business. Seeing that left a terrible taste in my mouth. Fortunately we were able to avoid him and get to the car without further harassment.

What started as a promising redemption for Dodger Stadium ended as further damning of my least favorite ballpark that I have ever visited. The staff was friendly and helpful, but the all too common dealings with bad fans negated any goodwill that the staff earned. On the way home I went on Twitter to vent about my experiences and got many responses from fellow Cub fans who indicated that my experiences were not isolated incidents, which saddened me further.

Would my feelings be different if the Cubs had won 6-0? Maybe. Maybe that would have quieted the cocksure fan and their bullying…or maybe it would have made things worse. There is, after all, nothing more dangerous than someone with nothing to lose and this is the place where an opposing fan was beaten into a long term coma.

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I do not condemn all Dodger fans. I have many friends who are fans and are civilized human beings. I’m not even saying that the bad fans make up a majority of the fanbase. Every team has their “bad fans.” Witness the idiot throwing a bottle of beer on the field at the Orioles in Toronto of all places. All I’m saying is that a majority of my experiences with Dodger Stadium have been tainted by bad fan interactions and I know I’m not the only one.

Hey future self, please remember this game the next time you think about visiting Dodger Stadium and remember one of the most miserable sports experiences of your life. I went into this game expecting very little and left receiving even less.