No “I” in team

“There is no I in team” has been the rallying cry of high school sport coaches for decades; the sentiment, usually ignored in professional sports, has found a new home on Chicago’s north side.

On Tuesday of last week, Kyle Hendricks was off to a solid start. In the 5th inning with the Cubs down by 1 run Joe Maddon pulled the 6’3” right hander, after throwing only 69 pitches because a scoring opportunity presented itself. Maddon called it a “national league moment” and Hendricks was happy to help his team, even if it wasn’t from the mound. Maddon put Tommy La Stella in to pinch hit for Hendricks and the trick worked. La Stella was walked to load the bases and Dexter Fowler followed up with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. The Cubs went on to win 4-3. Hendricks probably expected to pitch deeper than the 5th inning, but he had no qualms about stepping down when his skipper asked him, he didn’t complain, didn’t whine. Maddon commended Hendricks for his attitude, noting that he “gets it.” After the game Hendricks told the press “It’s all about the team this year. We have bigger goals this year than just game by game.”

The team first sentiment rings true in everything the Cubs have done thus far this year. From Kyle Schwarber’s cheering on his teammates from his hospital bed, to Jake Arrieta giving David Ross a watch to thank him after throwing a no-hitter, these guys are moving as one unit. Arrieta said of the thanks he gave to Ross, “It’s not an individual thing. I get the notoriety because I was the pitcher, but without the other eight, nine, ten guys who contributed to the game—I’m just one aspect of it. It’s a team thing.”

Yesterday the Jon Lester vs throwing to first base saga continued. Francisco Cervelli hit a ground ball back at Lester who proceeded to field the ball, while I let out a sigh assuming he wouldn’t make a play to first. Lester ran toward first base and took his entire glove off to throw to Anthony Rizzo; the duo beat Cervelli to the bag and got the out. This is the second time in recent history that a ball has gotten stuck in Jon Lester’s glove, and it was as if he and Rizzo had practiced the move a thousand times. Rizzo dumped his own glove to catch Lester’s and cradled it like a new born babe. Last season the two pulled off a similar play against the Padres but nothing can beat the look on Rizzo’s face yesterday after pulling Lester’s glove into his chest and hugging it. Working with a pitcher like Lester, who is reluctant to throw anywhere but across home plate, means knowing how to support him. Ross and Rizzo made a great play in the 2nd to pick of Sean Rodriguez at first base yesterday. Rodriguez had a huge lead when Lester threw his pitch. Ross, with cat like dexterity, immediately up and fired to Rizzo to get the out. Knowing Lester was key here, Lester saw how big of a lead Rodriguez was taking, but he wasn’t comfortable enough to make an attempt himself, so his catcher did it instead. Rizzo knew an attempt would come from Ross and not Lester; the three had great syncopation on the play.

The Cubs, now 20-6, are an example to be heralded this season. Considering the climate, in a time when participation trophies are handed out to every kid the roster, and we treat individuals like LeBron James like he is a one man show, the Cubs emphasis on team this season is unifying. Comparatively, of the big 4, baseball is the least demanding on team emphasis. Basketball, hockey, football- with very few exceptions the ball or puck gets passed among teammates constantly, this doesn’t happen nearly as often in baseball, but the Cubs are showing us why team is important. No team has embraced the idea of acting as a single unit this much since 1994 when the Minnesota Miracle Man, Gordon Bombay hog tied his team together to skate as one unit before the USA took on Iceland in the Jr. Goodwill Games. While Joe Maddon hasn’t tied the boys together yet this season, he has asked them to play with clowns and wear goofy looking outfits as a way of seeking unity, and with the best record in baseball… it all seems to be working.

God save the Cubs, long may they reign.

Jake the Ace

It’s been a hell of a week Cubs fans, most importantly on the list Jake’s second no hitter in as many years. But really it’s been a solid week all around in addition to that incredible feat of pitching.

The boys in blue began the week in St. Louis at Busch Stadium; this was Jason Heyward and John Lackey’s first time at Busch since leaving the Cardinals for the Cubs this winter. Lackey, in his first career start against the Cardinals struck out 11 batters and went for 7 innings to shut down the Cardinals offense. The Cubs offense, setting the tone with lead off man, Dexter Fowler’s double in the first and solo home run in the 6th, scored 5 runs which the Cardinals left unanswered. Jason Heyward’s first day back wasn’t as memorable as Lackey’s, though he did help get three outs in the game. What was likely more memorable was the taunting he received from his former fans. More proof that as Billy Murray says Cardinals fans are in fact “Satan’s messengers on earth.” Aside from booing and taunting, which is to be expected to a degree, there were numerous reports in the twitterverse of the N word being thrown around quite a bit, while there have been no credible confirmations there were plenty of folks accusing Cardinals fans of referring to J-Hey as such…fascinating since there were also reports of Cubs fan’s being turned away at the gates because “the man” found their Joe Maddon “try not to suck” t-shirts uncouth….right…stay classy St Louis.

While we are on the subject of disgraceful fans let’s sidebar from baseball for a moment to talk about Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, and how ridiculously terrible all of their fans are. Eagles, Phillies, and most integral to this talking point…Flyers fans. On Monday night in game three of the playoff between the Flyers and Capitals, the Flyers organization was making a valiant attempt to honor a founder Ed Snider, who had recently passed away from bladder cancer. In addition to Philadelphia fans usual boorish behavior they couldn’t even make it through a moment of silence for one of their own without shouting expletives at the Capitals and their fans. In addition the Flyers organization gave out bracelets in honor of Mr. Snider, most of those ended up being thrown onto the ice by cranky Flyer fans, one hitting Capital’s defenseman Dimitri Orlov in the face while he was getting medical attention on the bench. Social media was all over  it, but we need not be reminded by Twitter of how the  people who repeatedly throw batteries at opposing team’s players and who once boo’ d Santa Clause.

Back to baseball….the Hulk, tweeted from his post surgery hospital room on Wednesday a thank you to the fans, luck and encouragement to his teammates. By all accounts his surgery went well and he is in full recovery mode, while it is highly unlikely that Cubs fans will see Schwarber back in action in 2016, even late in the season, he remains an integral part of the team off the field as a fervent fan for his teammates and as an example of hard work and genuine love of the game. We wish him well.

The most important moment this week, Jake Arrieta’s no hitter. A support group hit social media, started by the Dodgers and joined by the Reds on Thursday night after the Cubs trounced the Reds 16-0. Jake’s mystical beard powers and pilates training brought him his second career no hitter. As both a way of joking and congratulating the Cubs Ace, the Dodgers tweeted “Hey @Reds, the Arrieta no-hitter support group meets on Mondays”  The Dodgers were no-hit by Jake last August. Arrieta joins a pretty small group of pitchers, the likes of Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, and Cy Young (lest we forget Jake is the reigning Cy Young award winner) with more than 1 no-hitter in their career. In fact Jake became only the 30th pitcher to do it, and he’s only the 4th who is still an active pitcher, which means…well I won’t say it out loud or even dare to write it, but you all know what that means. Not to take any attention away from Jake ever, but the offense also scored 16 runs that night, Bryant in the 1st with a two run HR, Zobrist with a solo HR in the 2nd, Ross scores on a ground ball hit by Fowler in the 2nd, Ross scores again in the 4th after a throwing error and  a single by Arrieta (he can hit you but you can’t hit him), Top of the 6th Ross with a solo HR (he went 3 for 4, scored 3 times, 2 hits and a walk, and caught his first career no-hitter, not a bad day for Grandpa Rossy), Rizzo then followed with a 3 run homer in the 6th, Bryant with a GRAND SLAM in the 7th, Heyward scores on a Szczur single in the 9th and Rizzo scores again by a Zobrist double in the 9th. I mean…I can’t even imagine how high the boys must have been feeling after that. As I said….it’s been a hell of a week.

One final thought, I think I found my soulmate. There was a Cub fan who rushed the field, and even made it into the celebratory group hug the Cubs were having to celebrate their win and Jake’s no-hitter on Thursday. Sir, if you are reading this from a holding cell in Cincinnati or if you’ve been released on bail, give me a call sometime, our mutual love of the Cubs may hold us together despite any future time you plan to spend behind bars.

Chasing the 69 Cubs

I was at the Cubs home opener earlier this week. It was beautiful, Wrigley was packed, the crowd was excited and the Cubs improved their record to 6-1. As I write, Jason Hammel picked off Billy Hamilton at first base, Dexter Fowler has just gotten on base for the 18th time this season, and if they win tonight they will be the only Chicago Cubs team to begin a season 8-1 since the 1969 team who began their season 11-1…let’s just hope the 2016 Cubs don’t run into any black cats.

The Cubs  pitching staff has walked only 13 batters over the course of 9 games, meanwhile at the plate their discipline has earned them a base on balls 48 times. They have the best on base percentage in Major League Baseball with .381 and young Mr. Fowler who I mentioned earlier has, out of those players who have started regularly, the 2nd highest OBP (behind the Mets Daniel Murphy) of .559. This is a team to be excited about. These guys enjoy the game, they enjoy the fans, they enjoy each other and they seem to want this as badly as the fans who have been waiting a century want it. The 2016 Chicago Cubs are here to play ball. They go hard, so hard in fact that Kyle Schwarber will end up out for the season after colliding with Dexter Fowler in their victory over Arizona a week ago. While the loss of Kyle was difficult to accept, there is no doubt in my mind that Schwarber will work like a dog to be back as quickly as possible. There is also no doubt in my mind that the Cubs are more than a one trick pony, with the heralded hulk out of commission the rest of the Cubs will need to bring their bats, and thus far…well the statistics speak for themselves.

I was fortunate enough to witness Addison Russel’s first homerun of the season on Monday night. Addison smashed a three run homer in the bottom of the 8th after what began as a very stressful game. I sat waiting for the other shoe to drop as hitter after hitter went down with caught fly balls that would have been home runs with a slight change in the wind, and when that wind is blowing in from the lake, it’s not just the home runs that suffer but those of us in the stands who are bundled up to watch the “boys of summer.” Finally in the 7th Grandpa Rossy saved the day with a line drive single that turned everything around. A friend who lives in Wrigleyville texted me shortly thereafter, as she could hear the excitement from her porch, she asked what had happened and I was thrilled to tell her that number 3 broke up the no hitter with his single. The Cubs rallied late and won the Wrigley home opener 5-3. My palpitations stopped after the score was evened and my heart rate came down slightly after I was back in my hotel, thanks for asking. If loving this team doesn’t kill me nothing will. Then again a good friend also pointed out that it was entirely possible and probable that my soul mate and I were both at Wrigley Monday night, so perhaps even if the team tries to kill me a nice, tall, Midwestern Cub fan will give me CPR and we’ll live happily ever after. Let’s Go!

Shameless plug: buy my baseball tickets…or be my soulmate, your choice.

Reasons to be Cubs fan- For Dan Durak

Last week, my cousin sent a Snapchat while drinking a Goose Island beer. I returned a Snapchat also drinking a Goose Island beer (we’re so hip to the social media) I commented to him “good choice because Chicago whether in the form of beer or baseball is always a good decision.” No one in my family is a baseball fan, they all prefer Hockey and football, which is totally acceptable as I too am a fan of hockey and football, but to me, nothing matters more than my Cubs. After snapchatting our beers back and forth for a few minutes my cousin noted that he would like to go to Chicago as he wants to start traveling more, he also said “hey maybe I can be a Cubs fan” to which I replied in full caps lock, spilling my beer in excitement “YOU SHOULD” then I proceeded to give him several reasons why he should, before deciding to make him an official list of why he should be a Cubs fan. While there are hundreds of reasons to be a Cubs fan I submit for your reading pleasure 10 reasons that being a Cubs fan is the best thing in the world, in no particular order, below.

WRIGLEY FIELD: In 1914 the holy temple that is Wrigley was built as Weegham Park and that corner of Addison and Clark has never been the same. Renamed Wrigley Field in 1927 when the team was purchased by the chewing gum (formerly soap) magnate William Wrigley Jr. In 1937 the Ivy was planted and the scoreboard erected and up until 1988 when the lights were installed Wrigley stood fairly unchanged for half a century. Even now in 2016 with the 1060 Project in full swing the club is working to keep the integrity of the most historic ball park in the country. The friendly confines harkens back to the old days of baseball, the hand-operated scoreboard, the flags indicating if Lake Michigan has decided it will be a pitchers or hitters day, the smell of hot dogs and frosty malts; it’s all nostalgia and Wrigley Field is king.

MYTHOLOGY: One of my usual pilgrimages when I arrive in Chicago is to head to the Billy Goat Tavern for a Cheezborger Cheezeborger and an Old Style (because nothing tastes quite like a century of losing as does crappy beer.) In 1945 the owner of the Billy Goat was asked to leave game 4 of the World Series vs the Tigers because he brought his pet goat (Murphy) with him. Billy Sianis (the owner) then yelled out that the Cubs would no longer win, they went on to lose in the 1945 World Series and they haven’t won a World Series since 1908, thus instilling the old adage that Crazy old Greek dudes with pet goats should not be trifled with.

THE BLEACHER BUMS: True bleachers, an unassigned bench seat with no cover from the direct sunlight during those summer day games, the bleacher bums are historically rowdy. In the 80’s the Cubs played a lot more mid-week day games and the “bleacher bum” crowd was cantankerous, once even pouring a beer on poor Keith Moreland’s head. They often sat in various degrees of undress, throwing back the opposing team’s home run balls and drinking beer. Former Cubs manager, Lee Elia, said in 1983 after the incident involving Keith Moreland “85 percent of the f***ing world is working, the other 15 come out here.”  The bleacher bums are a bit calmer now, but their zeal for the team hasn’t died down one bit, and yes opposing team’s home run balls, still get thrown back onto the field.

JOE MADDON: A recent upgrade to life as a Cubs fan is skipper Joe Maddon. He is smart, he is feisty, he invites zoo animals and mimes to spring training and he loves being part of this team. Maybe I’m prejudiced because the team has been doing well under his direction but I must say he is my favorite manager in recent memory, and the Cubs have had some doozies.

FLY THE W: I’ve had to explain this concept to countless friends and family members over the years, especially last season when the Cubs rally towel during playoffs was in fact the white flag with a “W” on it. My Met fans friends kept asking if we were surrendering. Atop the scoreboard at Wrigley is a series of flags on a mast. At the very top flies Old Glory, the lowest level holds the pennants of each team in the National league in order of their current standings in their division. At mid staff there is a crossbar, at the end of all Cubs games a flag is raised to either the left or right field side of the cross bar. If the Cubs lose, a blue flag with an “L” is raised to the right field side. Should the Cubs win the left field side of the bar is adorned by a white flag with a “W.” The win and loss flags were originally put in place so that commuters traveling home on the EL would know the result of the game, another great Wrigley tradition. Basically being a regular at Wrigley Field should make any maritime signal flag test you may take in the future really simple.

GO CUBS GO: This goes hand in hand with the flying of the W. If the Cubs win at home, the crowd sings “Go Cubs Go” a Steve Goodman original. Last season a friend who had never been to Wrigley asked me if they sing after every win, or just if it’s extraordinary, like the walk-off homerun win he had witnessed. Nope, every win at home, we Cubs fans have had so little to celebrate over the years that even small victories get celebrated with song.

THE SEVENTH INNING STRETCH: Does it exist in nearly every ball park in America? Yes. Does any other ballpark do it nearly as well as Wrigley Field? No. This is another one I’ve had to explain to people, the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley is not a time for a pee break and to grab another beer, it’s a time to stand, sing and find out who is leading us in song. Since Harry Caray’s death in 1998 a guest “conductor” leads the visiting masses in song each game.  The last game I attended last year saw Pearl Jam front man and renowned Cubs fan Eddie Vedder leading “Take me out the ball game.” Bill Murray, actor/comedian and die hard Cubs fan has been known to drop by and lead us in song. Other notable names, Gary Sinise, Mike Ditka, former Cubs great’s like Ryne Sandberg and Ron Santo, Jeff Gordon and even Ozzy Osbourne, who left something to be desired, non the less the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field is a bigger deal than anywhere else.

THE YOUNG GUNS: More recent additions, which we, Cubbie nation are eternally grateful for- Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and the old man and our king at 26 years old Anthony Rizzo. These guys have breathed new life into the team. Last season the Cubs had the youngest infield in the MLB with Rizzo, Castro, Russell and Bryant, now with the loss of Starlin Castro and the addition of 34 year old Ben Zorbist, they have mostly the youngest infield in the MLB. These guys have meshed so well with the management, they’ve fallen in love with the ball club and the fans have fallen in love with them.

THE HISTORY MAKERS: Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, made famous the nickname of the Friendly Confines. His catchphrase was “let’s play two” because he so loved playing at Wrigley field over the course of his 19 seasons with the team. Ryne Sandberg, this game has a game named after him. In 1984 he hit two game- tying home runs of the St Louis Cardinals closer one in the 9th and one in the 10th inning. Fergie Jenkins, he won 20 games for six seasons straight. Ron Santo, legendary 3rd baseman, played 14 seasons with the Cubs and later went on to be the Cubs color commentator from 1990-2010 when he passed away.  Sweet Swingin’ Billy Williams, 16 years and 392 homeruns.  These guys and many others have been legends at Wrigley for years, some have statues some have banners, but all are legends. Don’t forget kids “heroes get remembered but legends never die.”

HARRY CARAY: Talk about a legend, and a guy with a statue erected in his honor outside the entrance to the bleachers, Harry Caray was as much a part of the Chicago Cubs as any player or manager. He really made “Take me out to the ballgame” what it is today. He would catch foul balls using a net from the broadcast booth, he openly rooted for the Cubs on air, he trained himself to use his catchphrase “Holy Cow” to avoid cursing on air, after a stroke in 1987 he confused players names and sometimes slurred them together, but that didn’t stop him from putting his heart and soul into a team. Caray was a man of the fans, he could’ve been a Bleacher Bum himself and we loved him and continue to love his legacy for everything he brought to that broadcast booth.

That’s it, that’s 10 reasons why being a Cubs fan is the best, and why you should consider becoming one if you aren’t already. The first Cubs game is 10 days away at Angel’s Stadium and the home opener is April 11th, this is your chance become a Cubs fan now!

Go Cubs Go!!

 

The Old and the Young

I finally joined Instagram this week. I’ve been avoiding it for some time because there are only so many forms of social media I can be expected to navigate at one time. That being said, I joined Instagram for the greatest of reasons, the amazing account created by none other than Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant to honor their aged teammate David Ross. The account @grandparossy_3 is meant to document Ross’s 15th and final season in the MLB. David Ross, the 38 year old catcher, seems to be having a great deal of fun with his young teammates, hanging out with Clark, using a walker in the clubhouse at Sloan. Since joining the Cubs in December 2014 Ross has served not only as the personal catcher for Jon Lester but as a mentor to the many young guns on the team. Ross started 72 games last season as catcher, and two occasions served as a relief pitcher, both times pitching perfect innings. Ross became the first position player since 1991 to make multiple pitching appearances as a Cub. On the same day as his second day on the mound, July 26th, he also managed to crush a home run, his first of the season last year.

Grandpa Ross is living up to his name, only when he fools around with the fellas it seems. As far as his in game abilities he is no grandpa. Just yesterday he turned an incredible double play during the Cubs Spring Training home opener. Not only did he make a fantastic diving catch, in which his 38 year old body did a full tumble, he immediately popped up and fired away to get the out at second. If you haven’t seen the play yet, go watch it on the Cubs website, it’s fantastic and will be one of the best catching plays you see all year. Here’s hoping Grandpa Ross keeps it up and makes a memorable go of his final season, we’d love to see as much of his prowess this season as possible, and I hope he continues to be a guidepost for the young guys who seem to love him so much.

Speaking of the young fellas he is helping mentor, today is Kyle Schwarber’s 23rd birthday. Yes I said 23, dear lord what am I doing with my life, the Cubs very own incredible Hulk will start his first full season in the big leagues come April. He is not in the lineup for today’s spring training game, but that isn’t unusual for spring games, especially considering today marks game three for the Cubs cactus league 2016 appearances. Though it still seems uncertain where Schwarber will be put in for the majority of the season, reports are that he showed up to Spring training early to work with the catchers (his primary position in the minors) and continued to work his butt off everywhere Joe Maddon asked him to go. He spent a good amount of time in left field last season, and occasionally made some stellar plays, but it was obvious that he had not been bred as an outfielder so there were a few mishaps that would’ve been routine plays had someone else been at the post, that said, there was no way any of the other fielders could have matched him offensively, hence why Maddon played him there so often.  Earlier this week CSN Chicago noted that Schwarber had been working so hard at both catching, and fielding during spring training that Maddon commented the only problem with Schwarber was that he wants to work too much. There are those that will say Schwarber is destined to move to the American League to be a true Designated Hitter but Schwarber seems happy where he is, playing real baseball in the national league where pitchers have to hit and hitters have to field. With any luck the 23 year old will prove them all wrong. He caught 21 games last year, mostly while Miggy Montero was out on the DL, but he was very clearly a work horse and by all accounts still is. So Happy Birthday to one of the many young Cub heroes and here’s to many more seasons with the Cubs you great big beautiful home run hitter you.

By the way my shameless plug again, let me know if you need tickets and hey since I’m on Instagram now give me a follow @emkiza13 especially if you’re at all interested in seeing pictures of my swell dog Winchester J

Excellent Week of ST!

There has been some great news from Cubbie Nation this week.

Kyle Schwarber dinged the car of yet another fan. (who dared to park within 20 square miles of his bat) This time the Cubs very own incredible Hulk didn’t break a windshield but he did dent the roof of the BMW. I imagine growing up that he was forced to apologize for a lot of broken windows. Every time the doorbell rung at the Schwarber home I can imagine his Dad just assuming he needed to have Kyle go rake the leaves of the neighbor’s house for breaking their windows, and I’m sure his three sisters just loved having their brother greet dates at the door with his baseball bat. Then again they could’ve just shown the video of Kyle’s high school show choir days and perhaps their dates wouldn’t have been quite so fearful anymore.

Dexter Fowler is back! After initial reports of signing a three year deal with Baltimore it turns out the deal was never confirmed and in fact the O’s front office spoke a little too soon which seems to have stuck in the craw of Fowler and his manager Casey Close. No matter, because the Cubs picked him up for 8 million in 2016 with a mutual option for 2017 on Thursday. We know that in order to make room for Dexter on the 40 man roster the Cubs moved LHP Zac Rosscuscup to the 60 day DL with shoulder inflammation. Dexter and the Cubs may have broken the internet on Thursday when Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein orchestrated the surprise return of Fowler at a team meeting on the mound in Mesa. According to reports on MLB, some of the players were told there would be a surprise and they assumed it would be some weird circus animal, magician or fire eater because of Maddon’s penchant for cooking up ways for the team to truly enjoy their time on the team. Little did they know their former teammate and force to be reckoned with would be walking up to the mound with Theo for an excellent surprise to start the season with.  Dexter was an integral part of the Cubs 2015 success, acting as the regular leadoff hitter, playing 156 games with an OBP of .346, 149 hits on the season and 102 runs scored, including two post season home runs. Dexter was going to be sorely missed both as a player and a great personality for the fans and around the Cubs clubhouse. You would be hard-pressed to find a Cubbie fan who is disappointed in this recent series of events.

The Cubs also dealt Chris Coughlan to the A’s earlier in the day Thursday in order to pick up RHP Aaron Brooks and to help make room to bring back Fowler. According to reports on MLB Joe Maddon said that Coughlan was “blindsided” by the trade. I don’t blame him, he was on a winning team for the first time in his career since his rookie season but he was losing playing time in the outfield to both Soler and Schwarber. Coughlan, at 30, has been a good all-around player for the Cubs, hitting 16 homeruns last season. Between losing time in the outfield to the young guns and the Cubs signing Zorbist in the off season, thus limiting Coughlan’s ability to make progress in the infield, as hard as the news probably was for Coughlan this was a good trade. The Cubs pick up a starting pitcher who they can send down to Iowa to get some real work in or use as a backup to add depth and the A’s end up with a great all around guy who doesn’t want to play just one position.  Coughlan has been taking notes from Ben Zorbist, always an all field player Coughlan looks forward to filling that spot back in for the A’s now that Zorbist himself is gone.

All in all the Cubs are having an excellent week out in Mesa and I am incredibly disappointed that I won’t have any time to go to Arizona this spring. Single game tickets went on sale this week, and my box o season tickets should be arriving the week of March 14th so if anyone has ticketing needs here is my shameless plug Section 416, row 7 seats 103 and 104…..buy my tickets! I don’t live in Chicago and it is very very sad.

God Speed Cubbie Faithful!

The Baseball Fan’s Tale

The Baseball Fan’s Tale- in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer

‘Twas Cold! A frost filled winter night,

watching men with sticks slash with all their might-

His thumb flicks north and north again,

his quest for springtime goes unavenged-

One more flick yields an orange orb,

and men in shorts! Though played indoors-

The scrape of skis, or sleds in snow,

a pig skin passed to and fro-

All these things the fan does see,

On a winter’s night in front of his TV

 

He sits in wait, remote in hand,

to see the ice melt from the land-

So cold and bleak, he prays for sun,

his sanity may come undone-

Bring ivy, grass and red dirt clay!

He does implore but gods nor groundhogs will obey-

To wait for spring, a thankless chore,

with nothing to watch, though channels galore-

 

The fan walks his dog, he goes to the gym

He learns to cook, he learns to swim-

To pass the time while he waits for spring,

but these fads do pass as do most things-

He heads for his stool, a comfortable spot

he’s been here before, he’s waited a lot-

He’ll sit and wait, with drink in hand,

months in and out if that’s the plan-

He’s been sadly sipping since the fall

since late October until he hears “Play Ball!”