Tagged: june

Retro Reviews: The Cubs Visit Me and Break My Heart…Again (Originally published 7-2-2013

The day that I had been waiting for was finally here and the Cubs were descending upon Anaheim. Yes, I had seen them in Los Angeles and San Diego, but having them here in my current town was very exciting and surreal for me. So was the desire to root for someone other than the Angels– the only time I’ll do that is when they play my Cubs.

I decided to be a decent person and not drag Lauren to the game at the crack of dawn to wait for the Cubs to come to the stadium and try to get autographs. We did, however, get there before the gates opened to wait for the guys to take batting practice and, hopefully, interact.

I waited down the right field line with two fellow Cub fans, a dad and young son. This would prove to be a good strategic move, as baseball players are more likely to respond to a small kid than to an unshaven 30-year old guy. This would prove true as the afternoon went on.

I wasn’t feeling well to begin with, and standing directly in the unrelenting Southern California sun was not doing me any favors, so I alternated standing at the wall and sitting in the seats. The first Cub that we saw was Jeff Samardzija who was coming out to run and do a bit of long toss. The kid next to me asked him if he’d sign and he said that he would after he worked out.

Jeff proved true to his word and signed down the line and got to us. I told him that I was really hoping that we would sign him to a contract extension and that I wanted to see him as a Cub for a long time. I’m sure he gets that a lot, but he seemed genuinely appreciative as he signed a baseball on the sweet spot for me.
Next out was Matt Garza who was to be the starting pitcher the following day. The kid again yelled out to him and he said he’d be over after he finished his work too. He did some throwing right in front of us, and as he finished I asked him for the ball and he nodded, but his throw was a bit off and the ball went to the kid next to me. While I could have grabbed it, I wasn’t going to be a jerk and take the ball from a kid. Gaza proceeded to the outfield for some running drills and the kid next to me just kept yelling to him. I tried to impress upon the kid that he was doing his job now and that he said he’d be back, so just relax and he’d be over when he was done.
Garza finished running and signed all the way from beyond the foul pole all the way down to us right near the dugout. He signed for me, again on the sweet spot, and I told him that I tweeted to him a lot and that I hoped he got the win the next day. He said that he needed to start throwing the ball well to get wins, and I assured him that I thought he was. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy and I hope he doesn’t get traded and we give him a contract extension.
By this time, it was about time to return to my seat. When I got there, Lauren had a hot dog and a bottle of water waiting for me, which was great because by this point I was physically not doing well at all.
Reinvigorated by my snack, I was ready for some baseball, though I had an aura of foreboding in my stomach. After all, the game was Jered Weaver versus (now ex-Cub) Scott Feldman. Feldman had been pitching well, but going against a (presumably) high-octane offense like the Angels with Weaver on the mound didn’t bode well.
Surprisingly, the Cubs scored early against Weaver, with a 3-1 lead after three innings. Feldman did a great job of holding the Angels down, going a strong 7 innings and only allowing 2 runs. The Cub offense, as so often happens, started strong but died after three innings, not scoring again. being handcuffed by former Cubs, Scott Downs and Robert Coello and closer Ernesto Frieri.
Unfortunately, again, the Cub bullpen was not up to the task, as Carlos Villanueva entered in the 8th inning and gave up a base hit to Erik Aybar and the big blow, Albert Pujols’ 54th career home run against the Cubs. There was no coming back from that as the Cubs were only able to scrape together a base hit from Darwin Barney in the top of the 9th and went home losers, as the excitement of the Cubs fans that had been evident since the early scoring bonanza evaporated into the ether of Angel Stadium.
This was the one time this season that I regretted the Angels lighting the Halo. I was excited to see the Cubs come back the following day and add to my autograph/baseball collection, but as the previous entry will attest, that was not in the cards for me.

Retro Reviews: The Time the Cubs Tried to Kill Me (Originally posted 6-18-2013)

So…I was only able to attend the first of the Cubs-Angels games, and while I had a fairly successful evening, and I will be writing it up shortly, but here is a letter that I wrote to the Cubs regarding missing that second game.

Hello-
My name is Andrew and I am 31 years old. My mother’s family hails from Chicago and I grew up watching Harry and Steve and Ryno and Mark and Andre on WGN. I have never wavered in my love of Cubdom, despite baring the slings and arrows of my friends, who were friends of more traditionally successful franchises.
Heck, even the Padres went to the World Series in 1998! Don’t even get me started on the upstart Devil Rays, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Marlins….or Astros or Mets or…well, you probably know the list as well as I.
Through all of that, I have prevailed. That is, until the Cubs tried to do me in! When I was 11, I diagnosed type-1 diabetes, or, as I call it, Ron Santo’s disease. While I certainly do not blame the Cubs for this malady, it is the first in a series of escalating medical bouts, many of which have Cub-related associations. These include such things as selective Tourettes syndrome, occurring during the playoffs of both 2004 and 2008 and the ever increasing Marmol-ian headaches which have persisted through much of the past two seasons.
Once again, all of this has been taken in stride, until the most recent occasion. I live in Southern California and rarely get the chance (or risk) to see my Cubs in person, but this year, my fiancee was able to procure excellent tickets to see the Cubs play the Angels in Anaheim on both Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. We very much enjoyed the game until the 8th inning, when Albert Pujols won the game on a late-inning home run, his 54th against the Cubs. I returned home dejected, but looking forward the seeing the game the following day.
That is, until about 2 in the morning, when I awoke throwing up blood with what was later diagnosed as a severely bleeding ulcer. This is the first time that such an illness has been associated with my love of the Cubs. I understand that you are doing the best that you can, trying to put a championship caliber team on the field but I beg you to please try to do so sooner rather than later. I am using my vacation this year to follow my beloved Cubs to both Phoenix and Denver this summer, and I am not relishing spending my time laid up in a hospital wing…or worse!
Thank you and yours in Cub-dom,
Andrew