Friday, March 28, 2014

Just One Bad Century--March 28

An incredibly eclectic mix of people at Today's Cubs Birthdays: The Arkansas Hummingbird, a movie star, a radio disc jockey, a Panamanian and more. As a bonus, there are four great Cubs songs.

The A/V Club features a look at the 1935 Cubs.

In the latest Cubs news: the final three roster spots on this year's team go to Mike Olt, Emilio Bonafacio, and Ryan Kalish, which means that Ryan Roberts and Chris Coghlan didn't make the team. Roberts was released, and Coghlan was sent to the Cubs minor league camp.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday. 1996 at Lambs Farm in Libertyville. Landecker and the Legends had just performed in front of our biggest crowd ever, and I was backstage with my wife and baby son Tommy. (Tommy is 18 now and is taller than me.) Luckily there are no photographs of me leading the crowd in the Chickendance (while wearing my lederhosen).

Just One Bad Century--March 27

Today's Cubs Birthdays include great nicknames like Patcheye, Tarzan, and Newt, plus a current Cub, and one who perished tragically.

The AV Club features baseball great Dick Allen talking about one of today's Cubs birthday boys. Allen says he had more power than anyone he had ever seen before.

In the latest Cubs news, Starlin Castro is 100% now (according to his manager), CJ Edwards made his debut and it was a good one, John Baker made the team as the backup catcher over George Kottaras (who was released) and Donnie Murphy was claimed on waivers by Texas (leaving a spot for Mike Olt), although no-one has said whether or not Olt has made the team yet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who Were You in a Past Life?

I took the quiz.

Turns out, according to this incredibly scientific quiz, I was a greek philosopher in a past life. The results said:
You are a quiet soul who enjoys reading and writing above all else. You spend a lot of your time thinking about religion, philosophy and how to make the world a better place. Just like your past-self, you are likely to influence others around you.
Like many Greek philosophers, I'm also surrounded by young boys. Although, probably not for the same reasons. These boys are my sons.

The CTA Train Video

This was posted on WGN-TV's website. The video of the CTA train derailment. They say now that the driver might have fallen asleep...

Just One Bad Century--March 26

Today's Cubs Birthdays include a pitcher who threw a no-hitter, a former starting shortstop, and cups of coffee from the 1910s, 1920s, 1990s, and 2000s.

The A/V club has an interview with one of those cups of coffee.

George Will has a new book out about Wrigley Field. The American Spectator reviews it.

As for the latest Cubs news: Does Samardizja know something we don't know? His condo in Chicago is being listed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My reaction when I saw the snow on the ground this morning

Just One Bad Century--March 25

Today's Cubs birthdays features nine different Cubs from all different eras including a 40-year-old All-Star, a man named Polly, and the trade bait for Jim Hickman.

The A/V Club features our Cub named Polly.

This Week in 1908 was also posted yesterday, and checks in with the Cubs at spring training in Mississippi. (Photo: Frank Chance). It also features the likes of Harry Houdini and Oscar Mayer (the real guy), and provides a musical taste of the era.

The Chicago Reader has an intriguing piece in their latest issue about Cubs history, wondering if racial discrimination played a part in their long slide toward the bottom.

The latest Cubs news: Cubs top pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks is keeping a diary, the Cubs made a few more roster moves (waiving Wada, optioning Ramirez), and they also sent McDonald to the minor league camp and released Chang Yong Lim.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Father Knows Nothing: It's Great To Be Eleven

My 11-year-old son Sean has been following baseball closely since he was six years old. In fact, he's such a baseball geek, he has even been following my fantasy baseball league for the past three years.

Last year he begged to come along to our fantasy draft, but I chickened out at the last minute. I just didn't think he could sit through the six hours of baseball talk, and worried he might become a distraction to the other teams when he got restless. Sean was very disappointed when I told him he couldn't come. He lobbied nearly every day for the past year to claim a seat at this year's fantasy draft table.

He finally wore me down. I greenlighted his attendance.

The draft was yesterday, and Sean was there. So was a similarly-aged son of one of the other guys in the league. Both boys sounded like us as they discussed their favorite players, and joined in the debates about which players were destined for greatness, which ones were being drafted too soon or too late, or which ones shouldn't have been drafted at all. It was like having two more adults in the room...except these two just had higher voices.

The two boys also bonded immediately.

When I told my wife about it, I was marveling at the ease of their new friendship.

"Isn't it great to be eleven?" I said. "Can you imagine going to a party now and being told, 'Hey don't worry you'll have fun. There's another 46-year-old woman there. Instant friendship is guaranteed.'"

As the words were coming out of my mouth, it hit me. Sean and his friend hadn't just bonded with each other. They'd also bonded with everyone else.

And it's not because the boys were acting like adults. It's that the adults were acting like boys. When we talk about baseball, we all have that same youthful enthusiasm Sean has. We aren't there to talk about the reality of our lives (our mortgages, responsibilities, jobs, and retirement plans). We're there to talk about a boys game; a game that we've loved since we were Sean's age. And we can make instant friends when we talk about that too...anytime, anyplace, and with anyone.

It makes perfect sense that Sean fits right in with this aging band of eleven year olds.

He'll fit in for the rest of his life.

Media Spotlight is on Spring Break

Sorry everyone, but believe it or not, the media spotlight features takes quite a bit of time, and with the kids home this week for spring break, I don't have time to do it.

It will return next Monday.

Just One Bad Century--March 24

Over the weekend Thiw Week in 1945 was posted. The War in Europe is closing around Hitler, Chicago streetcars in are the most popular mode of transportation, a ruling from the governement brings three Cubs stars out of the woodwork, and a talking cat makes his film debut.

Today's Cubs birthdays include a current Cub, a cup of coffee from the 1880s, a first round bust, and more.

The A/V club breaks down our current Cub birthday boy's sweet swing.

In today's Cubs news, the roster battles for the final backup spots, they still haven't officially decided on a fifth starter (although it looks like Villanueva has the lead) Castro should be ready for the opener, Travis Wood will start the home opener, and of course, Javier Baez was sent down to the minor league camp.