Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I'll See You At a Football Game


I'm going to refrain from using words like horrible and embarrassing to describe how the Chicago Cubs performed in the National League playoff series that ended tonight at Wrigley Field.  

I plan to shop tomorrow for a doctor who will delete the four games the Cubs lost to the New York Mets from my memory. 

Hopefully, it can be done without an IV or an injection that puts me to sleep. 

I'm thinking my Medicare insurance will take care of the costs.

The 2015 baseball season is over for me. 

I may spend a minute or two recalling the 97 games the Cubs won during the regular season and the 3-games-to-1 division victory they had over the Cardinals.  

Call or text me sometime during the winter to let me know how many games it took for the Royals to clobber the Mets in the World Series. 

Meanwhile, I'll see you at a football game.

I like Theo Epstein's spirit. Maybe the Chicago Cubs' president has been hit in the head by one foul ball too many during batting practice at Wrigley Field, but, yes, I admire the man's spirit. "We can [bleeping] do it," Epstein told at least one sportswriter [Jon Heyman of CBS Sports] after the Cubs lost to the New York Mets, 5-2, last night to plummet into a 3-0 dungeon in the best-of-7 National League playoff series. Obviously, Epstein didn't use the word bleeping in his comment. My guess is his word started with the initial "f" and was much more descriptive of his emotions. Whatever, if the Cubs win the next four games, Epstein can say, "I told you so."

Theo Epstein

This is a copy of the email I sent today to Rick Brown: "Rick, I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your columns and stories in the Register over the past 37 years. It was a pleasure working with you for many of those years, and it's been a pleasure reading the columns and stories you've written since. You've had an outstanding career. The best of luck to you and your family in the future." Rick emailed me a very nice reply.

Rick Brown, courtesy of the Des Moines Register

Tuesday, October 20, 2015



I don't get many late-night phone calls from My Neighbor Al, The Health Nut.

But tonight was an exception. 

Al is among the millions of frustrated fans of the Chicago Cubs, who are now on life-support in the National League playoff series after tonight's 5-2 loss to the New York Mets. 

I mean, the Cubs are down, 3-0, in the best-of-7 series--so far gone that not even Lamar Odom's doctors will be able to save them.

"What do you think the Cubs' problems are?" Al asked. 

"It's simple," I answered. "Offense, defense, base-running and fundamentals. You can't blame the old culprits like billy goats. black cats, Bartman and Leo Durocher. 
It's obvious the Mets are a better team now than the Cubs. Sure, the Cubs beat the Mets seven straight times during the regular season, but the Cubs can't measure up to the New Yorkers now." 

Then Al had something else he wanted to talk about at 10:45 p.m. 

"Me and the missus were watching the channel 8 news here in town tonight after we saw the Cubs' game on TBS," Al said. "We noticed that the new guy anchoring the news is dying his hair so much now that we don't recognize him.  I'm figuring a facelift is next. Anything to try to look younger. Bring back Kevin Cooney.

"That was laughable enough. Then I saw the sports segment. Channel 8's coverage of the Cubs' game was one of the goofiest things I've ever seen on TV since the old test pattern days." 

"What do you mean by that, Al?" I asked.

"Well," Al said, "the 10:20 sportscast started with Tony Seeman, a guy from channel 8's sports department, talking outside of Sec Taylor Stadium here."

"Did people at the TV station think Chicago was playing the Mets in Des Moines?" I asked.

"Possibly," Al said. "But I'd have thought the reporter would've gotten a clue that the game wasn't in Des Moines because there were no fans in the stands"

"Sometimes those TV guys get fooled pretty easily," I said.

"Then they switched to Andy Garman, channel 8's sports director, who was standing in the rain outside Wrigley Field in Chicago after the Cubs lost," Al said. "Have you got any idea
Andy Garman
why he was outside of the stadium, not inside the stadium? After all, he was inside the stadium, interviewing the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber during the 6:20 sports show before the game began."

"Al, my guess is that the Cubs refused to give channel 8 a media credential to cover the game," I said. "The Cubs must have allowed Garman on the field before the game, then told him he had to stand outside after the game. 

"Lousy way to treat a guy from the town where the Cubs' Triple-A farm club is," Al said.

"Well, maybe the Chicago Cubs are like a lot of people around here," I said.  "They no doubt   think Mike Gartner, who owns the team here, is an asshole."

"You might be right," Al said. "I'll be over for a cup of Italian Dark Roast in the morning."

The Cubs and their fans are like me. When they won the division series over St. Louis, it was like they were World Series champions. The quickest way to make a Cub fan happy is for the Chicagos to beat the Cardinals. When the Cubs won three of the four games in the division series, you'd have thought they had just won the World Series. Since then, reality has set in. The Cubs still had to play the Mets in the National League best-of-7 series. Plus the World Series after that. Or so the Cubs and their fans were hoping. The Cubs have lost the first two games to the Mets, and have looked horrible doing it. Game 3 is tonight. If the suddenly-sadsack Cubs don't win, they're officially dead for 2015. It didn't take long for the positive feelings to disappear after clobbering the Cardinals.

Courtesy of Norman Rockwell