THE CUBS ARE HEADING TO THE WORLD SERIES!
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
im not usually a nervous man. but i was nervous for a few innings last night at Dodger Stadium.
sitting next the the razor sharp nicole cifani in the second row of the upper deck we had a perfect view of the cubs taking a 1-0 lead through 4 innings. i hadnt really eaten all day (bc nerves) and had only drank about 16 ounces of my 20 ounce beer so i thought it would be a good idea to put something in my stomach.
i also think the irresistible aroma of garlic fries were getting to her as well.
plus i wanted to meet up with todd and bob downing’s nephew who had bought my extra tickets higher up in the stands.
and as we were walking along the promenade past very long lines for refreshments the dodgers started rallying.
it got very loud. dodger fans hadn’t seen their team win a world series in 28 years. they werent there to crown the cubs. and in this city of champions usually their wishes come true.
as we waited to pay the dodgers tied the game up. walking around was usually what i did to help the Cubs get hits but alas it was now working for the home team? F word!
so i mixed things up a bit. Todd looked despondent and the peppy young Downing could probably use some newer friends near him so i suggested that nicole and i sit with them up behind the foul pole in left.
mama mia was that a rougher, different crowd from where we originally were. big, tough, fat mexican dudes, drunk from lots of things stood up and chanted for their team. some would eventually get escorted out by well-staffed security and LAPD. we saw tattooed latinas warned by security to take it easy on the profanity. we saw a huge but quiet hispanic gentleman pointed at by a grim faced guard who said, “GET DOWN HERE NOW!” he obliged and never returned to his seat.
there were a few Cub fans around us who cheered at a respectful level because lets face it, if there was going to be a fight it was going to happen in this far, high corner of the park. and lo, around the 7th inning, when things looked dire for the Dodgers who were making unforced errors and giving up walks and hits and homers to the young buck Cubs, a giant latino man with a white tshirt rushed towards another while trying to be separated by a well intentioned girlfriend or wife. angry looks exchanged but not blows. as kids with Yasiel Puig tshirts watched, fascinated. as Dodger fans seemed to be taking it out on themselves.
so disappointed. all of them. as this very well might be the last time they see their team.
not Ice Cube in the box seats, not Vin Scully who made a guest appearance in the press box, and not their heroes on the field could turn their scowls upsidedown.
by the 8th i wasnt nervous any more. the Cubs had extended their lead to 6 runs, every time there was a close play the replay went against the home team. and the fans slowly made their way to the exits.
and then, it was done. the Cubs had come back from the deficit with two resounding back to back wins at Chavez Ravine and the plane ride back to Chicago would certainly be livlier for the Cubs than the Dodgers. Now the teams face off on Saturday with the Dodgers putting their ace, Clayton Kershaw on the mound and the Cubs will counter with the MLB ERA leader, the mysterious and unassuming Kyle Hendricks for Game Six. It’ll be do or die for the Dodgers.
And a trip to the World Series if the Cubs can pull it off.
After a nite cap at Little Joy followed by some grub at Tacos Arizas, Nicole and I said good night but not before she invited me to her church on Sunday.
but i wanted to tell her, ive been at church all week.
and it was good.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
i was right that the Cubs’ bat could not remain cold for three nights in a row
i was right that the 20 year old hurler of the Dodgers might be more than a little nervous on such an important stage.
i was right that I’d been wearing the wrong cap all along
i was right to shave my playoff beard.
and i was right to dip my head into Little Joy after the huge win, because Haley and Joaquin were there and all was good especially when we learned the 7 foot Cubs fan was none other than Bulls center Brad Miller
it was a beautiful warm night. ran into my man Dave. Chilled in Center with Todd.
spent a lot of time just watching it on the TVs because it was super good luck
I was all Todd do you wanna go back to the seats? He was all, not until we score 10 runs.
Cubs scored 10 runs and we returned to our seats, victors.
At least for the night.
Tonight it’s gonna be a hot one. It’s close to 100 right now already.
I will not be eating any hot dogs or drinking any beer. I am sick of them. I can literally still taste them after two nights in a row.
My poops this morning were all, dude.
But my heart was all, duuuuuuuuuuude :)
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
1. people rooting for the cubs to break their 108 year-old curse
2. people who find great joy in kicking Cub fans when they’re down.
this is nothing new to long time followers of the North Siders. it starts with White Sox fans and moves in every direction from St. Louis all the way to LA.
and it’s cool. this year the Cubs were the favorites to go all the way and everyone likes to knock off the big boys.
but how can you really be the overdog if you have never even been to the World Series in 70 years? let alone won it?
last night i was at the game, i wore my hat and jersey, we got lucky and had tickets next to a large group of Cub fans but Dodgers fans were plentiful.
the Cubs were down early and i tried my little trick of moving around the ballpark to generate some “luck” and as we were climbing some stairs we came across two gentlemen that Ralphy666 warned me about: both Hispanic, heavily tattooed, strong, and talking hella trash.
the stairs were between the upper deck and the super upper deck. they were enclosed, narrow, and it was just us and them. no security, no witnesses, nowhere to run.
You’re wearing the wrong colors, ese, the bigger one said.
Are you kidding, I joked, you should love the colors I’m wearing, we just spotted you three runs.
the logic stunned them for a minute. just long enough for us to pass by.
we were walking up, they were walking down.
at some point we realized they doubled back and were following us.
i wasn’t scared. why would i be. the only thing i was scared about was they were going to buy us beers for our generosity
and it would be a Bud Light.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Longtime reader Ralphy 999 says: It appears you are taking the Cubs thing serious. That’s OK, but please don’t wear your Cubs hat and shirt out in the parking lot at Chavez. It could get you seriously hurt. Some of the Dodgers fans are meaner than rattlesnakes. Especially those from the barrios. They take it just as serious as you do. As they have shown in the past.
Almost every day I wear my Cubs hat. When I don’t I wear a Cubs shirt. Tonight I might even wear Cubs condoms.
I appreciate the energy of Dodger fans, but if anyone understands respect it’s my amigos from the barrios.
Cub fans represent. We may not have tattoos, but we sport the colors. For over a century we have lost so that others may win.
If fans want to forget that very recent history, I will gladly remind them. If they want to throw down, well, I wouldn’t recommend them squaring off against a former XBI agent, especially during the playoffs.
But yes, of course I will be wearing my Cubs hat and my Carlos Zambrano jersey. How would anyone be able to positively I.D. me if something unforeseen goes down?
Speaking of, if someone gets a lucky shot in and that’s it, make sure they play this version of this song at my wake.
if you have noticed i havent been blogging very much recently. probably because i have been slightly insane in the membrane.
the Cubs have a very good chance of winning todays game, but still, it’s the Cubs so you never know.
the game is at 5pm. im going. the last time Jake pitched a 5pm game at Dodger Stadium he tossed a no-hitter.
i would very much like to see a playoff no hitter.
i have been trying to do the right thing, prayers, playoff beards, good deeds, lucky hats, lucky cat foods
but it sure would help if mr anthony rizzo and mr addison russell would hit the ball, preferably over the wall
and plunk a palm tree or two.
when i was a youngster i would root for the Dodgers in October because the Cubs were long out of it
id see those palm trees beyond the bullpens at Dodger Stadium
and id say, i want to be there one day, LA
i never imagined id actually be at the playoffs in October there.
and for sure i never thought my Cubs would be here too.
as favorites to win the whole enchilada.
BRB shaving my head
for good luck.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
i took the subway over to todds house. andy was there too. we drank and ate deep dish.
the cubs a pinch hit grand slam from its backup catcher
earlier javy baez stole home.
today i watched the game alone because on sundays its nice to just lay about
and check out football and read the bible
to have the cubs in the playoffs is bonus
and to have them as favorites
well thats the little added pressure
today clayton kershaw, pretty much the most dominate pitcher in baseball
over the last few years, but just average in the playoffs
tossed a two hitter on the cubs.
the cubs threw a four hitter on the dodgers.
but one of the hits went over the beautiful ivy.
tuesday wednesday and thursday ive got tickets to the games.
its gonna be hot
and the dodgers only have
Saturday, October 15, 2016
with such little knowledge of baseball?
One of the many ugly things he claims in his pouty whine in this morning’s paper is the Cubs intentionally lost games so they could draft Kris Bryant – never once giving credit to the Cubs for picking the sole star to emerge so far from that draft and the Cubs didn’t even have the top pick.
He amazingly includes hating on the Cubs for the rainstorm on the East Coast that rained out a Dodger game.
And claims the Cubs have “fancy new bleachers”. As someone who has actually sat in those bleachers recently I can tell you that they’re just as “fancy” as those at Chavez Ravine.
They are backless benches. Fancy in the way tap water and vanilla ice cream is fancy.
Or bitterness from unloved and untalented writer as his home team is about to face its doom.
There were many stories an actual columnist could have written as a table setter to this league championship series but Bill Plaschke chose to dip his pen into the inkwell of jealousy and unexpected bile all while shaking his fist at the storylines and metaphors that The Media has echoed over the years – not the fans – about goat curses and lovable losers.
And no one has played that piano as much or as beautifully as Vin Scully, but for some reason Plaschke just happened to overlook that fact. As if he hadn’t heard it hundreds of times from the lips of the retiring and beloved narrator.
Scully, who is clearly who Plaschke is subtweeting in this piece, gutlessly, foolishly, sloppily. Without the poetry, nor the precision, nor heart to just come out and say it.
It must be so cold there in that shadow.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
it was a beautiful night. instead of sitting in my seat in the upper deck i roamed around taking in the views from everywhere.
outside people wore their AC/DC Giants jerseys
and inside they wore giraffe hats for some reason
i had never been to the new AT&T Park before, but the smells of the garlic fries brought back memories of when i sold hot dogs and beers at The Stick back in ’97. Could it really have been 20 years ago?
TIME FLIES LIKE A MOTHER
there were Cub fans in the house but not many. Giants fans dont sell their tickets. they use them and I appreciate them for that.
but as i roamed around nothing felt right. if i stood somewhere and the cubs got a hit, i stayed there, but nothing worked. they couldnt get anything going.
if you remember, back in 2006 when i drove around the country i went to the Bears – Cards game in Arizona. the Bears were losing by 20 points in the 4th quarter. i left a little early and the Bears made an incredible comeback that made Dennis Green freak out in the post game interview.
the lesson i thought i learned that night was never leave a game because anything can happen. but when i was at the Giants game i thought to myself, maybe i can help the Cubs make a similar comeback if i just sacrificed my own personal joy for a bigger personal joy and leave.
so i left.
i walked down the street. i tweeted what i was doing. i told everyone i was doing it to give the Cubs luck.
it didnt look good for them, they were down by 3 in the 7th when i left. some dope was 2-hitting them. as i walked through the streets of San Fran i bought an It’s It ice cream.
the plan was to do anything that i didn’t do the night before when the Cubs lost.
so i walked to the parking lot and got in the car and drove across the beautiful Bay Bridge.
they were still losing.
i drove south down the East Bay. i was going fast thanks to the lack of traffic.
i had the game on the radio in the car.
i drove and drove.
then when i got on the 5 freeway things got better.
we got a hit. then Rizzo walked.
then there were some pitching changes. Contrareous or however you spell his name, our rookie catcher hit a screamer up the middle. two runs scored.
then Javy Baez tied it up. then Jason Heyward gave us the lead.
i was screaming in my car because i knew.
i knew it wasnt the Frisco Bullpen who had blown so many games, who was blowing this one, the most important one.
i knew that it was me. tony pierce. biggest cub fan alive. i had done it.
i was the missing ingrediant and i had to get out of the kitchen and drive all night like springsteen.
and then our flamethrowing closer came in and flamethrew and south of Tracy i pulled over to a truck stop and screamed and honked my horn and danced around my car and thanked the Lord Above because the Cubs had won.
the Cubs Beat the Giants.
In an Even Year.
At thier House.
and Cub fans jumped into the Bay and commandeered sail boats and raised the W flag.
and on the field the Cubs celebrated.
and in the Benz, hoarse, i called my mom and she was all, they did what?
THEY DID IT ALL MA!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
got the ticket off stubhub for $170 as did this young guy who works at pebble beach, originally from arlington heights
i was nervous it was gonna be a boring pitching duel. Madbum has crazy numbers in the playoffs. plus he’s always mad about everything. but as i sat up there in the chilly crisp air i thought, what if he’s actually just super sad that the Cubs havent won the world series in over a century?
and i also thought how worthless the scoreboard is at AT&T. it was my first visit to the park
they did a good job decorating it and making it “the scene”. lots of weird angles and faux antique touches. the irony of tearing down actual old buildings to develop new buildings that you spend millions on to look old was not lost in me. and when i asked a very loud Giants fan in front of me what he thought about our weird trend, he showed me his faux rings
he was there with his daughter and her friend and we were all cracking up when out of the blue he’s utter a school girl cheer on like Ball 1:
G-double-O D E-Y-E
and he’d punch the sky with the orange rag they gave to all the fans as we entered.
no seriously, they called it a Rag
sat next to these two dudes from the Castro who were fun too. one of them was keeping score, the other works at Apple. Everyone was cool except for this old guy in front of us who kept looking back trying to give me dirty looks because me and the golf guy were talking about every little detail of Pebble.
Greens Fees for 18 holes: $500-700
Caddy: $80 + tip
Cart: $40 unless you’re staying at the resort
Resort room: $600-$800 a night
And you have to stay at the Resort for a min of 2 days if you want a guaranteed tee time.
The Cubs at that time were knocking their boy Mad Bum around and Jake Arietta had pulled a 3 run homer and things were looking dire for the home team.
Finally i told the old man when he looked at me again, “it seems like we are bothering you?”
“I thought we were here to talk BASEBALL!” he growled.
I said, “we can talk baseball if you really want”, and tipped my beer to the dumbass scoreboard.
He took a little walk.
There was no shortage of bunting or drama. The Giants ended up with the lead somehow and then in the top of the 9th pretty boy MVP Kris Bryant just barely cleared the Chevron ad in left tying up the game and leaving me hoarse from screaming in the suddenly silent stadium.
The game went 13 innings. Some batboy pinchhitter drove a long double to center off Mike Montgomery who had been in since the 10th. And it was a long walk to Market Street to the 5 Fulton back up to the Panhandle.
Gonna make that old man super pissed tonight. I’m in the same exact seat.