Rivalries make otherwise routine matchups a bit more interesting. They breed adrenaline. They invite ingenuity. They spark passion, no matter how dormant.
But, as we witnessed earlier this year in the case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, baseball rivalries have also been known to get out of hand.
Admittedly, there was a time when I allowed my flippancy towards Chicago Cubs fans to reach a critical point. In the summer of 2007, fresh off a World Series crowning but at a time when my Cardinals weren’t playing too well, a few too many Old Styles found their way in my system and what started out as simple boasts of pride for my interlocking “STL” and redbirds-on-the-bat garb soon turned into a verbal shouting match with a gang of pinstriped kids from DePaul. Throughout the game, my taunting parried with their rage (they too weren’t quite sober) and it escalated when I found myself surrounded by them in a Wrigley field restroom.
Instead of shutting up, I just got louder.
And before I knew it, I was at the bottom of a pile of angry, angry feet.
I learned my lesson that day: sports aren’t any fun when you’re literally getting your @$$ beat.
So I don’t do that sort of thing anymore. I smile. I nod. I tip my cap to good plays and keep my nose buried in my scorecard (or beer).
And that’s how I’m going to enjoy my Redbirds coming to town on Tuesday.
Also, I’m taking my pal, Johanna Mahmud — Cubs fan extraordinaire. He’s scary looking… good for keeping the riff-raff at bay.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Dickensian Asylum, One Good Player, Bad Paper. Little to Make Me Excite.
The Cubs, for me, are pushing the human existence backwards and making hearts sad.
Another season is already bogging me down.
I was watching the Rockies kill/drub/maim the Cubs on Sunday (the same expansion team that has already been to a World Series, and, like the Marlins teams that have won two so far, also have exciting young talent despite playing in a small market) I couldn’t change the channel back to the NBA playoffs fast enough.
My beloved Bulls and D. Rose are the only things keeping me breathing.
With the Cubs, it’s not so much the bad baseball and the lack of power, but mostly just the fact that they’re boring and unsatisfying. I think I’d rather watch a touring band of angry flying Arabs and Mexicans on ice. Then you’d have something! Or just So Taguchi.
Starlin Castro might be the best player in Chicago, and some hope exists for that fact alone, but with all the bad contracts and old players getting older, I must face the music now: the Cubs can’t compete for baseball immortality by winning the World Series for at least another 2-4 YEARS. I guess that’s not the end of the world given the century mark came and went.
But, it still blows.
I had a birthday recently and time moves faster now. When I was 15 I thought I’d never be 25, but that happened. Then I knew I had forever til 30. Then… that happened.
The Cubs last had a real chance of winning it all three years ago. Swept by the Dodgers and feeling and hurting and poopooing and getting raped way too much like when they were swept the year before. Look, this isn’t 1500 words about how much pain I’ve endured in my life being a Cubs fan. This is about “I know they’re not great and won’t be for a while but please let them just. be. fun……”
They play station-to-station baseball, have very little power and carry a distinct lack of personality (the personality I get from Carlos Zambrano I don’t need so much). So in essence, they’re a slow team that can’t hit bombs and are extremely boring. On a daily basis. GUHHH…… HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??
The one thing to rely on (we thought) was decent starting pitching. Currently the Cubs have the least amount of quality starts in baseball.
For the love of god, if you’re going to suck, at least be fun! I mean be like fun bad!!?? Like when the Bears are bad you’ll at least have a good time watching Devin Hester returning kicks or Jay Cutler throwing it all over the field or Lovie Smith waking up once in a while to say something to our lesbian-looking offensive coordinator Michael Martz in a roller coaster train wreck loss. That can be fun!
The Cubs were terrible ten years ago but Sammy Sosa at least was exalting the baseball gods with soaring rips into the bleachers completely unaided by anabolic substances of any kind. Seriously. This is true. He told me. When Kerry wood pitched, grown men wept, women went into early labor, George Bush liked black people, and I thought Creed had potential as a legitimate artistic talent. Dusty Baker gave verbose speeches of the utmost linguistic integrity, dripping with so much backwoods gibberish that I hung on his every word and swooned with how a man so simple could speak so eloquently…
“It’s called hitting, and it ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk.”
“When you first come up, you want to get some hits”
“Peoples have been trying to bring me down. That’s OK, that’s how it is. Actually, that makes me stronger. It’s OK. What are you going to say when I kick somebody’s butt?”
When I first moved to Chicago, going to Wrigley was a cathartic experience. Finally, I could go to games whenever I wanted, which was something I remember dreaming of when I was just a pup watching with Grandpa every Saturday on WGN with Stone and Harry. After watching the game with Grandpa, I would immediately run outside to field tennis balls off the concrete stairs, pretending I was Shawon Dunston.
I don’t have great memories of Wrigley anymore. Just heartache and a wanton desire for greatness. The fond memories I have of the Cubs are really just afternoons hangin with Grandpa. That’s what I miss.
Now it’s just pain.
And again, I’d see a priest but I’m still good looking enough that he might try to do odd things to me.
The Cubs may lose this season but for the love of god…. give me excite!!
Every time I turn on the TV or check the news, all I hear is budget this
and spending that. And it seems like there’s a race to see who can
slash the most and do it quickly. If MLB took the same approach, what
could be cut and what should be cut?
Oh, dude… Ramon… spending cuts in baseball?!? Well, it’s your lucky friggin’ day, my friend, ‘cuz I’ve just been waiting — WANTING — to slash the baseball budget for eons — to shred it back to its more recognizable roots.
Here’s but a shortlist of what could and SHOULD be cut from baseball, all together:Uniform Spending
You get one home uni and one road uni. One. Each. You rip it or get it dirty or stained, you deal with it, just like in little league. I don’t care if ya gotta run a shoestring through your pants to keep ’em up, you do it. And none of this alternate jersey crap. White. Gray. That’s it. Also, we’re making them out of wool.
It’s bad enough I gotta pay $44 friggin’ bucks to be assualted by the plebeian tongues of Chicago sCrUBS fan bleacher bums at Wrigley, but to pay $7.25 for a 16 oz can-o-crap (Bud Light)… someone oughta be caned for that sort of crime.
“God Bless America”
Um… if we HAVE to sing this during the seventh inning, then we HAVE to sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” too, ‘cuz Santa Claus is MY favorite mythical creature, m’kay? Whether you believe in god or not, this song has no place in our grand game. To make me stand up to prove I’m a patriot is even more asinine. I love my country because my country says I don’t have to conform to some crazy ideas thought up by a crackpot who has his own best interests in mind. Also, by mandating this song be sung, we are excluding our friendly neighbors to the north, who’ve never been the same since losing the Expos. Frankly, I’ve never been the same since losing the Expos… so let’s find a non-religious song that exemplifies NORTH America’s awesomeness… like, how about something by Rush?
Get that done, Ramon, and we get our game back.
I mean, seriously… have you seen Rush play live?
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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When I went mad back in early March waiting in an online queue for over four hours to land crappy, view-obstructed upper deck Cardinals/Cubs tickets for the September series at Wrigley, I was more than positive that my time spent in idle agony would eventually pay off — that, come September, the games would really mean something.
Heated battle for first place in the NL Central.
Wild card implications.
Wrong. Wronger. And WAY WRONGER.
Instead, what we have is a barely breathing, leaderless (no, Albert ain’t the leader) and underachieving Cardinals club squaring off against yet another maybe-next-year, embarrassment-infected sCrUBS team going nowhere. That’s right. The Cardinals/Cubs series will end as just another series between two kicked down and beaten up teams that no one cares about.
And that hurts.
Of course, it could hurt worse… like my ‘lil man here explains:
The Cards and Cubs are injured bad alright. No question. But at least they wear cups.
So we hope.
(thanks to C for bringin’ this kid to my attention)
That’s right, dear readers. The ginormously ugly head of the Chicago political machine is callin’ it quits. He’s done. Out.
The last time Chicago saw such expeditious light, names like Doug Dascenzo and Danny Pascua anchored both sides of the Second City’s streets, while far across the globe, the Soviets were just gettin’ out of Afghanistan, after the United States ignited what would later turn into the biggest American tragedy of all time.
In other words, Mayor Daley’s been around a while. Perhaps too long. And we Chicagoans have gotten used to his turbulent tendencies.
So who in the heck is gonna replace him?!?
Don’t worry, folks. The hardworking RSBS interns have put together a shortlist of candidates, all of whom come highly recommended:
month ago none of us knew who he was. But having gone 9-4 in his first
13 games as the Cubs manager, let it be known that no Chicagoan has ever
done more with less than Mike Quade. Believe that.
see… He’s a democrat. He’s a Chicago hardliner. He’s abrasive.
He’s on the take. He’s got “friends” that wouldn’t flinch in breaking
your legs. He primps for the camera. He’s full of himself. He dreams
bigger than he can act. And he thinks the world revolves around him.
If that’s all that’s required of the mayor of Chicago then someone give
this guy the key!
And… one final candidate to consider:
Why not? I live in Chicago. I love Chicago. Hell, I am Chicago (don’t believe me? Ask me to do my super fan
impression sometime). Seriously, why wouldn’t I be a good candidate
for the job? Because I love the Cardinals? Because I might burn down
Wrigley Field? So what, I support the Sox and I’d build a bigger,
better Wrigley (to house the Expos I plan to bring back once I get rid
of the sCrUBS). Okay, so maybe I’m lying about all that — Hey, I’m a
liar! That qualifies me on its own! — but I will say that I, too, hate
paying the highest sales tax in the country. I, too, am tired of
reading gang and gun-related headlines. Let’s make a change, people.
Let’s get deep dish pizza in all the schools and make it mandatory that
baseball theory is taught to every kindergartner, before they find out about basketball or football.
Hate me ‘cuz you don’t believe that ‘yes, we can’… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Once again, Jeff and Johanna tread the unconventional waters of mischief-making as they delve into important social issues such as cock-fighting Aramis Ramirez, Stephen Strasburg’s golden elbow, Katy Perry’s wisdom, the Lou Piniella mailbag and much, much more! Turn up the volume and chuckle with us, y’all!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. If you like laughing or just wanna listen to some wildly impromptu conversations about food, film making and other important life subjects like living on display in a museum, check out his Undercast podcast. Visit Undercard Films!
– – –
Recorded Saturday, August 28, 2010
Jeff!!! I loved your pictures from Nats park and I’m psyched that you
got to see Strasburg. I also saw that you’ve been to Sox park and
Wrigley recently. What’s your favorite ballpark that you’ve already
visited and which place would you like to see the most?
After a fiery, bloody internal debate that lasted well over an hour, I finally decided not to begin addressing this query by postulating what one would find if he/she were to actually venture to Manassas, VA… ‘cuz I’m pretty sure one can find Man-assas (a$$e$?) anywhere… including ballparks all across US America.
Still got it, folks.
Okay, maybe not.
But it doesn’t matter… and neither does the ballpark, Caitlin. What matters is the game. Sure Busch hosts my boys, Wrigley’s nostalgic, Nats Park has Ben’s Chili Bowl and Sox Park is a good place to pick up Latin Queens; but to be honest, I can find something positive about any and every ballpark I ever go to. And I’ve been to many.
My favorite random ballpark story is the one about the Oakland Coliseum. I happened to be in San Francisco on business. It was a Saturday night and I had nothing to do, so I hopped on the BART to Oakland, walked up to the ticket counter at the Coliseum and said, “I got forty bucks. Where can I sit for that?”
“In a good seat, Honey.” said the kind ticket lady.
Ten minutes later I’m sitting behind homeplate on the first tier above ground level and I can hear Nick Swisher’s awful jokes with my own ears. Ten minutes after that and I have a Fat Tire in my hand (at the ballpark!) and a few hours after that I was sufficiently drunk off the seductive elixir of the game itself.
And that can happen anywhere.
Though there is one place in particular that I just gotta go to, before it goes back to just hosting football games:
(Chewbacca image via 9GAG)