Cubs Clinch! Clubs Clinch!

September 23, 2008

What a weekend! While doing lots of work around the house, I did have the Cubs game on and am I glad! The Cubs clinched the Central Division. The funny/ironic/annoying thing is that Bill and I had tickets to that game. We had sold them on Ebay because we had too much going on, but we could have been there… Ahh well. The most important thing is that they are the Central Division Champs!!

As for the house, we have been some much needed touching up, painting, minor repairs, etc. We have also been doing lots or purging. Not nearly enough, but it is getting there. It does feel good to “lighten the load”. It also makes it easier to get rid of stuff when you realize that someone could actually use it. Stuff that is just sitting around your house could be a treasure to someone else.

As good as it feels to be cleaning and fixing, I am looking forward to it being done. It is exhausting work. I am ready to just sit on my butt for a few weekends with a good book and/or some knitting. I could use some serious R&R. Soon…


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No-Hitter For Big Z!

September 14, 2008


I didn’t realize that Carlos had a no-hitter going until the bottom of the 9th inning. We had been doing stuff around the house and I had to watch the game on the internet (thanks, Steve!) because of the stupid ESPN blackout. And then I was glad I didn’t know it was happening because those last three outs had me so nervous!

ESPN slightly redeemed themselves by showing the least three outs. The other cool thing is that this was technically a home game for the Houston Astros that was played in Milwaukee (90 minutes from the Windy City). Almost 30,000 Cubs fans filled the park, in a game that was announced late the night before. Boy did those people get to see a game.

It was amazing to see the team and fan reaction. I think my favorite part was watching the guys run in from the bullpen.

It’s a good day to be a Cubs fan.


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Cubs Clinch!!!

September 29, 2007

cubswinThe Cubs won their game bringing the Magic Number down to 1. They clinched if the Brewers lost. The Brewers game started an hour after the Cubs game so there was some waiting going on. The Cubs left the field not knowing if they would be celebrating that night. I think it was worth the approximately 60 minute wait. Brewers lost, Cubs enter the playoffs!!! Woo hoo!!!

I’ve been a Cubs fan my whole life. I remember in 1989, I was a freshman in high school and my mom and I went to my Aunt Judi’s house to watch the Cubs clinch. My aunt bought a bottle of champagne and I was allowed to have a sip. And then I remember spending an entire Saturday sitting on the floor of our extra bedroom trying to get through for playoff tickets. And I got through!! I remember 4 years ago. My husband and I went to Florida and saw 3 playoff games. It was amazing. And now they have another chance to get to the World Series. All I can say is that I Believe.

jjgogglesThis has been a crazy season. These are some of my highlights:

  • The Cubs-White Sox series at Wrigley. Bases are loaded with 2 outs. Fans are going INSANE. Then, D Lee coming up to pinch hit after having been out for a couple of games. The crowd takes it up to REALLY INSANE which I didn’t think was possible. And he hits a grand slam. AMAZING!!! And I was at this game.
  • Mark DeRosa having his first 5 for 5 game. Go Quakers!!
  • Soriano’s lead-off homeruns.
  • Jacob catching a ball during a horrible loss to the Padres at Wrigley. I thought we were going to need an escort out of the bleachers because he wouldn’t throw the ball back. But some nice young girl gave him a throw-back ball and we were saved. (I caught a ball during batting practice at that same game.)
  • Ivan DeJesus stopping to give me an autograph. He was going to walk right past but I recognized him and asked “May I have your autograph Mr. DeJesus?” And he gave it to me (and some other Cubs fans). I saw him play shortstop while I was growing up.
  • Hearing the crowd sing “Go Cubs Go” after the ball games. Even here in Washington, the Cubs fans would sing while leaving RFK. The fans were singing it at Clark and Addison last night after the Cubs clinched.
  • That our 7th wedding anniversary was the date the Cubs turned it around! What a great anniversary present.
  • Jacque Jones putting on goggles for the champagne celebration. Smart guy!

I know that there are many other memories. And more to come.

Go Cubs!!

Check out the Chicago Tribune for more photos.


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Baseball in the Modern Day

July 31, 2006

It has been a long time since a baseball player started his career and ended it wearing the same uniform. These days, players are traded with surprising frequency. Chances are high that your favorite player will get traded during his career. But knowing it can happen doesn’t make it easier when it does eventually happen.

The Cubs made two deals today. One sent a legend, Greg Maddux, to LA and the other sent my favorite player, Todd Walker, to San Diego. I’m sure it makes the team stronger, but I’m quite sad inside.

Greg Maddux is a future hall of famer. He started the season 5 and 0. The rest of the season didn’t go quite as well, but part of the problem was the offense and lack of run support. I am very surprised the Cubs traded a veteran pitcher considering the number of starts that the rookies have made. It is an opportunity for some more young guys to get an opportunity, but the team has struggled with the inexperience of the young pitchers and now they have one less veteran.

As for Todd, I was a Todd Walker fan before it was cool to be a Todd Walker fan. He was invaluable to the team this year. When D Lee went out with a broken wrist, Todd filled in admirably. He played a great first base. He has a consistent bat and held his own defensively this year. He has a label of being a defensive liability, and I have seen him make errors, but I suppose I have blinders on when it comes to Todd and was able to forgive him those mistakes.

When it comes down to it, baseball is a business and this is the nature of that business. Business can’t be personal. But I’m a fan and being a fan is ruled by emotion. I wish both players a lot of luck, but personally, this makes a disappointing season even more so.


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I’m Sorry, Jaques

May 16, 2006

What is up with Cubs fans? For the first time, I’m rather embarrassed to be a Cubs fan. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Cubs are losing. I’m embarrassed because of how the fans are treating the players.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. The Cubs have lost some heartbreakers. They made some bad mistakes. They couldn’t get runners across the plate. They lost a lot. But rather than support the team, the fans boo. When did the “friendly confines” become the “unfriendly confines”? If I were a Cubs player, I wouldn’t want to play in Wrigley Field these days. I’d prefer to play all my games on the road where the reception is warmer.

Take tonight’s game for example. Jaques Jones gets doubled off second after a pop-up. He wandered too far from the bag, assumed the ball wouldn’t get caught on the fly, which is did, and gets doubled off. Bad play. The Cubs have had this happen at least three times this season. Poor base running. The Cubs go on to score four runs later and lead the game. But at the start of the bottom of the ninth, Jacques Jones called the umpire out to right field which meant that either a fan threw something at him or yelled racial slurs and we see two people get escorted out. I thought the bleacher fans were supposed to make it difficult for the other team, not the home team. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I am an idealist. I would prefer a world of rainbow and roses. But I also realize that fans are going to get frustrated once and awhile. That’s life. But these fans seems to be disgusted with everything. Every perceived mistake, perceived bad at bat gets booed. It’s getting to the point where I don’t enjoy watching games on tv because of the crowd reaction.

I have high hopes for this team. May the difference is that other fans have high expectations. Regardless of the reason, I’m embarrassed to be a Cubs fan and it has nothing to do with the team’s record.


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My Take on Derrek Lee

April 23, 2006

The injury to D Lee is not what the Cubs were hoping for. Derrek is going to be out for awhile. He broke two bones in his wrist during the collision. I don’t think this is worst case scenario though. Worst case would be he’s out for the season. Derrek will be in a cast for a minimum of six weeks and then will probably have at least 4 weeks of rehab. This gets him back before the All-Star Break. To me, this is good news.

There is no doubt that Derrek Lee is a huge part of this Cubs team. But this team does not rely on just one person. Let’s not look back at last season. Let’s look back a couple of seasons ago and realize remember that when the Cubs made the playoffs it was because everyone contributed. It’s a huge blow to lose his bat and his leadership. But it’s only temporary. “Everything is temp-o-rary” to quote my favorite movie, Moonstruck. This is a long season. The Cubs have plenty of other players that are capable of big offense – Jacques Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton. And let’s not forget Todd Walker’s consistent .300+ batting average.

On the defensive side, everyone is going to have to step up a bit. You could shop for a first baseman for years and never find another D Lee. Walker, Mabry and Restovich will have to channel their inner Hoover to suck up every ball that comes towards first and the rest of the infields will have to try and be more accurate with their throws. Pitchers will have to keep things close.

Two losses after the injury doesn’t bode well, and maybe it was because everyone was shook up from the news. And maybe it was a guy having a bad outing and another guy not being able to get that last out. Maybe it stuff that happens all the time in baseball. Let’s not forget that the Cards came to Wrigley Field and got swept. It makes sense to me that the Cards were going to be strong at home. It would have been easy for this Cubs team to get swept, but they didn’t. The Cubs are still ahead 4 – 2 against the Cards and they’ll see each other 19 times this year.

This team needs to stay in it. They are capable, even without D Lee. And when D Lee comes back, they’ll be that much stronger. And D Lee will be rested and able to really push through the second half of the season.


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West Coast Roadtrips

April 19, 2006

I love baseball, but these west coast roadtrips require some pretty big sacrifices. The games don’t even start until ten pm. That’s bedtime! And because I’m so obsessed, I mean dedicated, I can’t go to sleep without knowing the final score. So I’ve taken to coming home and taking a nap so that I can make it through the game. We were very lucky Monday night when the game was over in 1 hr, 59 mins. I think that’s some sort of record. Last night was about three hours and that’s what we’re on track for tonight. Thankfully I have no huge, major proposals going on at work or we’d be in trouble because 2 + 2 has been coming up two 22 these last few sleep deprived days. But I would stay up to the wee hours of the morning if it means a Cubs win. The game is currently tied so that may be what I’m in for…

Update: As a note, this game was worth the sacrifice. The Cubs came from behind to win. But there was a scary play that took out two Cubs players. The Dodgers bunted and relieve Scott Eyre dove to field it. He tried to flip it from his glove to first baseman D Lee, but the toss put D Lee in the runners path and caused a collision. Eyre went out with a knee contusion and D Lee is out with what is currently being called a sprained wrist. The x-rays were inconclusive so he heads to Chicago to see the team doctors. Todd took over at first, again showing his flexibility on the field and his importance to this team. The Cubs were behind when they lost arguably their most important player, but they were able to rally for the win. Ronny Cedeno was able to put a throwing error out of his mind and made a great game ending catch. I was please to see the Cubs play good small ball and get out of some tight situations to come up with the “W”.


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The Bet

April 18, 2006

On our drive home from Pittsburgh Sunday, after a great Cubs’ win, Bill and I discussed the game. I was trying to remember if Todd scored the winning run in the first inning with his home run to right field. Bill corrected me and let me know that it was Aramis who hit the home run. “Want to bet?” I said I would put $100 on it. He said he didn’t want to take my money but I said I told him it was okay.

What was he thinking? First, how likely is it that I wouldn’t know what Todd did during the game? Can we not say Todd Walker obsession? Second, I keep score. I’m actually paying attention. Lastly, how confident must I have been to put up $100 of birthday money nonetheless. Not, I’ll go to the ATM where both our paychecks get deposited, but actual saving for a rainy day money. And I’m right about things 92.8% of the time.

We shook on it. But rather then refer to my trusty scorecard, I went to a non-biased source and dialed up the internet on my phone. And guess who was right. Out of pity, I told him it didn’t have to be birthday money. So far I have collected $60.

Since I’ve brought it up, how about Todd? I was convinced that he was going to get traded. I didn’t want it to happen, but for some reason Dusty is not a Todd Walker guy. He’s got a strong bat and is a consistent .300 hitter, but there are concerns about his defense and range at sescond. In the offseason, there was much debate about who the starting second baseman would be (with three potential candidates). Todd won the job. Before today’s game, his batting average was .455. I realize it’s a young season, but I think it’s a good sign he’s swinging the bat well. And a home run in the first inning of the last two games! So far his defense looks good. Go Todd! Go Cubs!


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My Matt Murton Moments

April 16, 2006

This weekend, Bill and I drove to Pittsburgh for our first two Cubs games of the season. We always enjoy Pittsburgh and this weekend was no exception.

For those who don’t keep up with the Cubs, Matt Murton is the young, Opie-resembling, left fielder for the Cubs. Our first moment occurred during batting practice before Saturday’s game when I was patiently waiting to catch a ball. For whatever reason, not many balls were going out over the 410 ft. sign (which is where I was) and for the fly balls hit near us, no Cubs were tossing them to the fans. I found that to be quite annoying because there were a lot of Cubs fans around. My irritation was starting to get the better of me, but still I waited. A ball was hit to left-center and rolled to the wall. Murton trotted over to get it and I yelled “hey, Matt”. He looked up, tossed me the ball, and jogged away. It was a short moment, but through our sunglasses our eyes met and we shared something. Also, patience is a virtue.

Sunday morning, Bill and I had a leisurely breakfast and then drove over to the ball park. It was 10:30 and 3 hours before game time. I thought it was late for the players to be arriving, but what do I know as I ended up with 7 autographs. My second autograph was Matt Murton. He and Derrek Lee signed for everyone who was waiting. As Matt handed my ball back to me, I said “Thanks, Matt. You threw me that ball yesterday.” He chuckled and looked up and replied “Oh, I did?” This time, there were no sunglasses and our eyes met. I think one of my teeth sparkled as I smiled at him. A definitely momement.

I also shared moments with Derrek Lee when I thank him and wished him a Happy Easter, and when I told Ron Santo he was an inspiration. (Ron Santo, does a lot of work on behalf of JDRF and will hopefully be in the Baseball Hall of Fame in the near future.) I also got autographs from Scott Williamson, Bob Howry, Glendon Rusch, Jerome Williams, Ryan Dempster, John Mabry and Will Ohman. After Saturday’s loss, I didn’t expect the players to be so friendly, but maybe everyone was in the Easter spirit. It definitely makes my top give mornings ever. If I had gotten Todd Walker’s signature it would definitely be my number one morning in history. I’m not sure what the other four mornings on the list are.

And I think if we have one more moment with Matt Murton I definitely qualify as his stalker.


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Sweeping the Bucs!

September 6, 2005

Todd Walker standing on firstI went to one of my favorite places this weekend – PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s a hike for us, but worth every minute! The ballpark is beautiful, the fans are friendly, lots of Cub fans attend, and I have not left the ballpark without an autograph.

The weather was absolutely perfect, both for the drive and for the game. Our seats were absolutely fantastic; we sat four rows from the field, the second section over from the Cubs bullpen, where the grass meets the infield. Every time Todd Walker had to backup the play at first, he ran right at me and distracted me from my scorekeeping.

Derek Lee signing my scorecardPNC Park is the one place where I am a cheap date. We always grab a hot dog, but my favorite souvenir is a $1 scorecard. It’s a way to remember the game and perfect for player signatures. This week I got Matt Murton (rookie) and Derek Lee (MVP candidate). To be honest, Bill got D. Lee’s autograph for me (thanks to his having long arms since he was three people deep). I did get a picture of D. Lee signing my scorecard. That’s my scorecard and my Sharpie in his hand. The Sharpie has since been retired, enclosed in a glass case for safe keeping. (I’m kidding, I still have to buy the case.)

Neifi Perez turning a double playMy absolute favorite part of the day was seeing the players in street clothes, Todd Walker in particular. He is a rock star. Seeing him sustained me during the long ride home.

I can’t really think of a better way to spend a Sunday – quality time with the hubby, autographs, Todd Walker, D. Lee, a Cubs win, and a series sweep.


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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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