Thursday, October 4, 2007

A running half-diary of game two.

Greetings and salutations everyone. We're here with a running diary for Game 2, but first, a quick recap of Game 1.

The Cubs lost 3-1.

Now that I've answered all the questions about that game, let's get started.

Tonight we've got Ted Lilly going for the Cubbies while the Diamondbacks are sending Doug Davis to the mound. Unfortunately, we're again stuck with TBS broadcasting games. I can't describe how bad the coverage has been compared to ESPN or to even FOX (I never thought I'd get to the point where I was giving credit to a network that has, against the better judgment of every baseball fan in the country, has continued to employ Tim McCarver. Though, to be fair, ESPN apparently believes Joe Morgan is a good announcer as well. Surely some player has retired in the past 20 years that could provide better analysis that those two. I don't wish death upon people, but if McCarver and Morgan were to develop some sort of freak vocal cord injury resulting in them not being able to speak again, it would surely strengthen my faith in a supreme being. As it is, I'm wondering what kind of God would force us to live in a world where those two are consistantly on television and paid to analyze games? I know we've all sinned, but are we that bad that our punishment is McCarver and Morgan. Were those two ever to be on television at the same time, the amount of suck that would be in that one broadcast booth would potentially rip a hole in the fabric of the time-space continuium and swallow the earth and everyone on it.

And the TBS broadcasts are worse that those guys.

Tonight we've got Dick Stockton and Ron Darling announcing. Hopefully they've learned to pronounce the names of the players. Last night they were talking about Cubs third base coach Mike Quade and mispronounced his name twice. (For the record, it's pronounced kwa-DAY, not Quaid or qwaid-EE) Also, Cub reliever Carlos Marmol (MAR-mol) was Carlos (mar-MOL) all night. Look, I know when you get guys who haven't covered the teams all year, they're going to speak in generalities and not be very insightful, especially if you've been following the team all season, but is it really too much to ask them to get the names right? It's like dating Brooke Burke all season long and when you get to the best part of the relationship, suddenly you've got Bea Arthur.

And while we're here waiting for the game to start, now seems like a good time to tell the following story. My boss at Georgia Southern is a huge White Sox fan from Chicago. If you don't know, you can't be both a White Sox and Cubs fan. You've got to pick sides in the same way you can't be both a Ginger and a Mary Anne fan. There can be only one. So anyway, being that yesterday was the first day of the playoffs and a little rainy, I wore my Cubs jacket and hat to work. I walked into his office to ask him a question and before I could say anything, he looked at me and said "if I had a pink piece of paper right now, I'd sign it and be done with you." So, of course, I wore the same jacket back to work today. (If I do get fired and lose my graduate assistantship, anyone out there want to take me in?)

10:05 - We're starting out on TNT since the Yankees/Indians game is going long. One minute into the broadcast and we're already mispronouncing Marmol's name again.

10:07 - Doug Davis has a career 75-75 record, leading Stockton to say "Davis has been basically a .500 pitcher all his career." That's the kind of insight you can only get from TBS. How the the world did they get a national baseball contract. Someone over there must have pictures of Bud Selig in a Minneapolis bathroom.

10:11 - Guess I should mention I'm wearing a Cubs jersey and hat tonight. Yes Dear thinks I look like an idiot, which is a step up from the neanderthal I usually get.

10:17 - Nothing doing for the Cubs in the first. Aramis Ramirez struck out. We've had our first "Frank TV" commercial of the game. We're going to get 30 of those tonight. I've only seen ads for the show for two days now and I will refuse to watch it. By the end of the month, they'll have found a way to cross-promote that show in the Chevy "This is our country" ads. No one wants to live in that world. If it comes to that, someone convince Bush to launch the nukes.

10:22 - American League fans laugh that the Cubs are counting on Ted Lilly. At this point, I'd count on Ted Koppel if I thought he gave us the best chance to win.

10:30 - Two on, one out for the Dbacks. Maybe we should have started Koppel.

10:31 - Derrek Lee drops a double-play relay throw. Hope that doesn't come back to haunt us.

10:35 - Lilly strikes out Conner Jackson to retire the side. And in an amazing turn of events, no FrankTV ad. This may be the first time in the entire postseason we had a break without one of those.

10:39 - Conner is one of those names that was popular in the late 90s. In another decade, frat boys all over the country will be trying to remember which Conner is which as they go out.

10:41 - Geovany Soto homers to put the Cubs up 2-0. I'm naming my son after him (only if Yes Dear shoots down Carlos Aramis Martin.) I don't want him competing with Conner's when he's job hunting, and he'll certainly stand out.

10:51 - Two breaks in a row with no FrankTV ads. You'd think they'd advertise more now since it's a late night show, but apparently they're after the elusive mid-afternoon, home-on-their-mom's-couch demographic with all that disposable income they have.

10:58 - It's not even 11 and I'm fading. My test earlier today took a lot out of me. Stupid education. Meanwhile, Lilly's laboring here in the second. Runners at second and third with two outs. Of course, it might help if we could play more than two innings in an hour.

11:03 - Well, I'm awake now as Chris Young (the black outfielder, not the white pitcher) hit a 3-run homer. Damnit! On the replay, Lilly is shown throwing his glove in disgust. If only he'd thrown the pitch that hard.

11:07 - Eric Byrnes hits a triple to score another run, making it 4-2. It's still early, but it might be time to get Lilly out of there.

11:10 - I don't know who the ad wizards are at Geico, but they deserve a raise. They never fail to deliver.

11:16 - It's not enough that FrankTV has commercials, but now we're getting promos in the game. We've clearly offended the God. Making things worse, the commercials aren't even funny.

11:24 - Cubs turn a pretty double play. And right after that, our dog, Wrigley, starts sneezing, that can't be a good sign. And now a nice catch by Soto, maybe things are turning around.

11:25 - Make it stop, make it stop. Get Frank off my TV. I hate you TBS. And two minutes later, there's another one. Someone go offer a sacrifice to the God. Burn a Yankees' jersey, perhaps that will appease him.

11:37 - Still nothing doing for the Cubs on offense. Official Brother called, telling me the Cubs suck. It's the support from family that will get me through this.

11:46 - Stephen Drew triples in two runs, not five seconds after the announcers just got done saying Lilly is 9-1 after a Cubs loss. Baring a comeback, he'll be 9-2.

11:50 - Kevin Hart pitching for the Cubs now. I know that means nothing to you. I'm just typing to keep myself from throwing things and scaring our dog. The good news is Lilly only threw 71 pitches, so he should be good to go in Game Five. The bad news is Lilly would be pitching Game Five.

11:53 - By the way, we're only in the fourth inning. At this pace, I'll get to bed around the time the next game starts tomorrow night. Seriously, I'm going to be worthless tomorrow when it comes to doing anything.

11:55 - We're due for another FrankTV ad, which means I'm due to test my patience in not throwing something at my television.

11:57 - Someone, somewhere must have burned a Yankees jersey as we avoided Frank. And while we're talking about pointless stuff, I've changed hats in the hopes it changes the Cubs fortune. I had been wearing the Blue hat with the red bill, but changed to the 1914 hat with the little Cubby bear holding a bat. Maybe Lilly's struggles are my fault.

11:58 - Soriano doubles to lead off the inning. I'm not saying it's due to the hat, but I'm not discounting it either. Afterall, this is a team that has been cursed for nearly a century. I'm not about to say me changing hats isn't the reason for their good fortune.

12:02 - Theriot flies out to deep left. Maybe my hat isn't warmed up yet. Lee pops out and Ramirez strikes out. Still, I believe in the hat.

12:10 - Ok, any time now Cubs, we could start the come back. It wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit.

12:17 - Two on, one out for the Dbacks. Pitching change, commercial time. (no Frank, no Frank, no Frank. YES!)

12:23 - I'm still watching, but until something important happens, I'm done with the diary, it's late. As I type this, Arizona scored again. 7-2. Making things worse, pitcher Scott Eyre tried to barehand the linedrive back up the middle, having it glance off his fingers. Luke's Free Career Advice: If you use your hand and arm to make a living, don't do something stupid like trying to catch a line drive off the bat of a major league player with that hand.

12:44 - I give up on the diary as I'm falling asleep. Who schedules a midterm the week the baseball playoffs start. Me and Caffine are going to get really well aquainted tomorrow.

Let's see what happens Saturday night. I still believe!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ok, so I'm a liar

George, with Elaine in Jerry's apartment: "So, I ran into the Rosses again."
Elaine: "Oh, right, at the coffee shop. Where did they get the idea that you
have a place in the Hamptons?"
George: "From me."
Elaine: "What did you say?"
George: "I told them I have a place in the Hamptons. What did you say?"
Elaine: "I told them you didn't. And I laughed and I laughed."
George: "So, they knew? Those liars!"
Elaine: "But you lied first."
George: "Yeah, but they let me go on and on all about the Hamptons, they
never said a thing! You don't let somebody lie when they know you're lying.
You call them a liar!"
Elaine: "Like you're a liar!"
George: "Yes. Thank you! Is that so hard?"

Ok, so I said there was a Cubs party at my house for every playoff game. Well, that was before I knew the games were starting at 10 p.m. Still, most days this won't be a problem. But I've got a huge, giant, enormous, ginormous test on Thursday and there's a good chance I'll actually be going to bed before the game ends (seriously, this test is freaking me out. It's freaking me WAY out.)

So I'm calling me a liar.

But Thursday night, come on over and we'll cheer the Cubs on to victory.

Also, after this test, get ready for massive blogging about the playoffs. My thoughts on Bartman, what my world would be like if the Cubs win, how I'll annoy my boss from now until the end of the playoffs. A breakdown of the teams (granted, it'll be one game into the series) and more.

(And if things come up where I can't do this, just remember, I'm a liar.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Your 2007 National League Central Champs!!

Cubs Playoff parties at el Casa de Martin for each Cubs playoff game.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's Gonna Happen!

I don't know where to start. There's only one week left in the season and the Cubs are up 3.5 games over the Milwaukee Brewers after today's action.

I'm stoked. Look, I know if the Cubs were in any other division in baseball they'd be in third place at best. But let's not get bogged down in details here. The fact of the matter is the Cubs are any combination of four wins or four Brewer losses from being in the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

I'm already expecting to miss quite a bit of sleep during the month of October. Sure, my grades will probably suffer, my work won't be very good, I'll be miserable to be around and on edge all the time, I'll develop an unhealthy dependency on caffine and be insufferable, but that's a small price to pay to stay up late watching the team I've followed for 20 years have a chance to do something they haven't done in almost 100 years.

I haven't written a lot about the team this year for fear that I might jinx the good thing that was happening. (And at this point, I do believe in curses, fate and all that crap. I'm going all Earl Hickey and trying to collect as much good karma as possible. I'm letting people out in traffic, holding open doors for people 20 to 25 feet from even getting there. Waitresses that normally wouldn't get a decent tip are getting 25 percent and I'm apologizing for things I know aren't my fault to just to try to keep karma on my side. (After a century without a title, I'd confess to the Abe Lincoln shooting if I thought it would help. Note to any federal agents: I wasn't born when Lincoln was killed, no need to investigate me.)

The problem with living in South Georgia is that I'm surrounded by Braves fans, so there's no one here to share my joy and passion. There's a guy in my class who's a Phillies fan and a guy at work who is a Mets fan. My boss is a White Sox fan, so he'd rather the world end than have the Cubs win. So I'm forced to share my joy with you, whoever happens to stop by here.

More to come as the Cubs get closer to the playoffs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A little help from my friends

Hello again everyone.

I come to you needing help. At work, we're having our own little "World Series of Pop Culture" and half the fun of the tournament will be coming up with a team name. My teammates and I haven't been able to come up with anything yet, though I'm disappointed they rejected my suggestion of "Ferris and Sloane's Illegitimate Love Children."

So now I'm turning to you for suggestions. I can't promise any of will be selected, but I'd love to see what ideas you come up with.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

For those of you scoring at home, or even if you're by yourself

Sometimes you see something and you know you just have to have it. For me, it was the shirt to the right.

As a baseball fan, I care about second base. As a male, I definitely care about second base. So when I saw a story about this shirt (and organization) in Newsweek, I thought it was both a great cause and a really clever slogan.

So now Yes Dear has the shirt, and I can feel good that I've done my part to help fight breast cancer, or as I'll refer to it from now on, saving second base.

I also enjoyed the thank you card accompanying the shirt that had a picture of pink bra and the words "thank you for your support."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Should I be concerned?

So school is in full swing, keeping me busy, but it's a good busy. I'd forgotten just how much fun it is to go to class and learn something new or have things you kind of knew put in their proper terms. While working at a newspaper wasn't exactly mindless work, there was a lot of less-than-exciting work that eventually became so routine that I got bored with it.

There's only so many ways you can write a story and after almost five years, I'd pretty much reached my limit of ways to tell the same story, so it was good for me to get away and back into an academic setting, which I find I really enjoy.

But with school and two part-time jobs (school's much harder when you have a mortgage to worry about) comes a lot of time apart from Yes Dear. Even though she works at the RAC (the rec. center on campus where I'm doing my graduate assistantship), we don't see each other much.

I wasn't too concerned about that to begin with. After all, when she went back to get her Master's Degree, I pretty much went an entire semester only seeing her walk home from class and go to the computer room to work on her thesis.

But shortly after school started, I noticed something different with Yes Dear. She'd leave for about an hour and then, when she came home, she'd be all hot and sweaty. No real cause for concern, after all, she did work at a gym. But soon I learned some disturbing news.

She'd been going to meet a college guy. It started out just once a week, but now it's up to twice a week. She always puts on special clothes and goes to meet him. When she comes home, she's always hot and sweaty and telling me how hard things were.

Making matters worse, she was paying this gentleman cold, hard, cash to go see him. He, too, worked at the RAC and had the audacity to say hello to me and even act like my friend.

Could it be? Could my wife be cheating on me right under my nose?

Well, no, she just hired a personal trainer to keep her motivated and accountable to someone to work out. But that's a boring blog post, so I went for the cheap, tawdry story-telling approach in the hopes you would keep reading.

By the way, in case your curious, she's doing well with her trainer and enjoying it (after the fact, she's not really thrilled during the actual training.)