Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs’

The road oft traveled: The ballad of Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman

April 22, 2016

Every year in Major League Baseball, there is an average of 137 trades made involving 276 players, millions of dollars in salary and occasionally dinners and even broadcasters. Legendary Tigers’ announcer Ernie Harwell was once traded from the Atlanta Crackers to the Brooklyn Dodgers for minor league player/coach Cliff Dapper. My favorite trade of all time happened when Dave Winfield was traded to the Indians for a player to be named later at the trading deadline in 1994. But, two weeks later, before Winfield could play for the Indians, a strike ended the season. Winfield never played for the Indians and a player was never named. To settle the trade, executives from Minnesota and Cleveland decided to go out for dinner and the Indians picked up the check. It’s not often that players get traded for a fancy dinner, but the fact that it happened at all is just one more reason to love the zany game that is professional baseball.

While most trades don’t have long last impacts on the history of the game, every once in a while we have a trade that restructures the fabric of the game. The recent passing of long-time pitcher Milt Pappas prompted me to tell my wife about the Frank Robinson/Milt Pappas trade between the Orioles and Reds in 1965. Reds’ General Manager, Bill Dewitt labeled Robinson “an old 30” and shipped him to Baltimore. They got journeyman pitcher, Milt Pappas in return, and while Pappas was solid, going 30-9 for the Reds, Robinson reshaped the American League. He won the Triple Crown and MVP in 1965, and led the O’s to World Series’ wins in 1965 and 1971 on his way to the MLB Hall of Fame.

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R.I.P. Milt; it’s not your fault.

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Early Returns

April 19, 2016

It’s no secret that our society has the attention span of a juvenile squirrel. We’ve condensed everything down as far as possible. We had Facebook posts and when those got too long, we switched to Twitter and when 140 characters became too much, we switched to Snapchat to get our message out even more quickly. Similarly, we live our lives seeking as much instant gratification as possible. This doesn’t just affect our social (or social media) interaction, it bleeds over into our interests as well. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and all the other ways we have to watch TV has changed how we consume media. We binge watch shows because we can’t stand waiting for another new episode; if the show is currently airing, it drives us absolutely crazy having to wait a WHOLE WEEK to find out what happens. When it comes to the consumption of sports, its common practice to watch a game while simultaneously tweeting your reaction in real-time. It’s not enough to just see the play happen, you want to share your opinion and know the opinion others have of what you just saw. This shift in viewing habits has matched up perfectly with football’s condensed schedule, basketball’s uptempo play and even golf’s shot by shot importance. The one sport that could seemingly left behind is baseball.

 

Between the slow pace, relative lack of scoring and ridiculously long schedule, baseball definitely lends itself to a longer term way of consuming entertainment. In a world built around immediate reactions and judgements, the game preaches patience and dedication. With that being said, it’s still possible to glean some nuggets from what we’ve seen so far and also have some absurdly early reactions. So after two weeks, here are some way too early reactions, as well as my top and bottom 5 teams in the league.

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Baseball; it’s supposed to be fun

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Lovable Winners: How the Chicago Cubs went from a punchline to contenders.

May 6, 2015

It’s finally almost next year for Cubs fans.

 

I’m friends with a lot of Cubs fans. Not just one or two scattered throughout my life, but a significant chunk of my social circle. While they come from different backgrounds, they all always had one thing in common: they seemed to enjoy the pain and suffering brought on by their favorite team. This isn’t a secret or some type of revelation, the team is even known as the “Lovable Losers”. However, something strange is happening to the North Siders this year; their team is winning, often in dramatic fashion, and they’re actually enjoying it. (more…)

Baseball 101

April 25, 2015

All my life, I’ve been obsessed with sports. While I’ve also dabbled in reading and music, I always come back to athletic competition. As a kid I was always doing something sports related; whether that meant running the pick and roll with my dad on our backyard hoop, playing one person baseball games in the backyard or even organizing my baseball cards into “teams” to compete with one another, I had a one track mind. With that in mind, sometimes I take it for granted that sports were such a big part of my life and I assume that everyone is as nerdy and sports fluent as I am. The other characteristic I’ve had most of my life is a desire to include and educate others; whether they wanted it or not.
Baseball is a relatively simple sport, but some of the finer points are a bit more complicated. So in order to help anyone who is new to the game, let’s dive right in with the basics. (more…)

The Best and Worst of Chicago… What’s Wrong With The Cubs

August 19, 2011

If you can't even make a McDonald's Start, perhaps retirement is best.

Recently, I’ve decided that I need to see a few more baseball parks throughout the country. While I love Wrigley, I feel like I owe it to myself as a sports fan to branch out and become more well-rounded (I swear that makes sense in my head). Since I’m never going to sit through a baseball game that doesn’t include the Cubs, I decided to take a trip to St. Louis to watch my North-Siders battle our bitter rivals.  (more…)

World Series Picks: Ballgames, Batteries, and Brawls?

November 1, 2009

As we press on with the 2009 “Fall/Winter Classic,” I cannot help but think that it is Bud Selig’s secret plan to extend the baseball season as long as possible in order to slowly kill all Cubs fans. Yes, it’s November. Yes, it has been nearly an entire month since my beloved North-Siders have played a baseball game. (Speaking of the North-Siders, new owner Tom Ricketts and family hope to bring a World Series title to the real team of Chicago next year. What a revolutionary. Glad to have such vision in our front office for once. You know, because we haven’t been trying to do that for the last 100 “next years.”) (more…)

What to expect from the Fall Classic

October 28, 2009

They say that sports can heal all wounds, cross racial lines, and even  re-unite families. However, can mutual love of sports ever unite bitter rivals? I am a White Sox fan, I was born a Sox fan, I’ll die a Sox fan. My friend Jake was not so lucky….. he’s a Cubs fan. Poor bastard…. So when it came time to write a World Series preview, we had to go with experience over beauty.  And as the only one to experience a championship season…. well, I think I have the right to this one.

All right, let’s get this started… (more…)