Boston Red Sox

June 14, 2005

Bill and I spent 3 very fun and hot days in Chicago this past weekend. We have friends who are Boston fans so we planned on making it a long weekend if we got tickets, and we got lucky the day tickets went on sale.

We headed to the Friendly Confines for the Friday game. The atmosphere to this game was amazing. It was reminiscent of the NLCS games in Florida. Boston fans were out in full force. Everyone was friendly and in good spirits, though the Cubs fans ended up enjoying themselves a bit more. The only downside was the heat. It was sunny and hot and almost unbearable. My shoulders are still pink. The Cubs put on a good show and Bill and I enjoyed every minute of it. Our friends, not quite as much.

My girlfriend and I spent Saturday touring the city. What a great city. We started at Navy Pier where we saw Mia Garciaparra. It was definitely her. The city offers free trolleys which take a couple of routes through the city. Free and convenient, I highly recommend. We took a trolley to Marshall Fields on State Street, my all-time favorite store. Then headed down to the river and up to Michigan Avenue to check out the Magnificent Mile. We strolled down Michigan Avenue until we got to the John Hancock Center where we checked out the ovservatory. What a view. It was hazy so we couldn’t see Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, but a spectacular view nonetheless. We got some very good pictures. Before you get on the elevator, the staff takes your picture in front of a green screen and in the observatory they can superimpose your picture on a couple of different backgrounds. They also have a couple of other fun photo opportunities. And be careful, because they might put you to work washing windows on the 94th floor.

Being away from Chicago, I’ve forgotten what a great city it is. It was fun getting reaquainted with it.




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This guy stole my blog!

May 21, 2005

So I’m reading the Friday 5/20/05 Sports Section of the Chicago Tribune, enjoying a “Letter From The Cubs Beat” and what do I find? This guy stole my blog! He mentions the “Philly-ization” of Wrigley Field where fans boo first and think about why they actually booed later. Now, that is worded a little differently than my blog, but the idea is MINE.

Now I don’t actually think the guy stole my blog (but it’s flattering to think so). It does make me think I should be a sports writer as I put the idea to paper three weeks before he did.

Link to his version.


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Boo Birds

April 28, 2005

I’ve been really disappointed in watching Cubs games and to see fans turning into Boo Birds. For a second I was wondering if I was living in Philly again.

We’re Cubs fans. We know disappointment and heartache. But we still believe. I am sure we all would have liked Ryan Dempster get the third out yesterday, not load the bases and give up a grand slam. I’m even more sure that Mr. Dempster himself would have preferred the third out. But it’s baseball! It’s early and it’s a long season!

To be a “fan” is to be “an ardent devotee” according to dictionary.com. I have recently noticed that there are true fans, true believers out there, of which I am one. I will take the good with the bad and continue to believe and hope. My mother however, a lifelong Cub fan, doesn’t roll with the punches nearly as well and I have decided that she is not a true believer. So in my mind, there are true believers and believers. And then there are all the boo birds who I think have just hopped on the bandwagon and become Cubs fans.

Come on Cubs fans, support your team. As if losing isn’t bad enough, you don’t need your fans to boo your mistakes. Support your team. Cheer them on through the tough times. That’s what fans do. These could be defined as tough times. Nomar. Walker. Fox. Need I say more? Let’s not turn Wrigley Field into Philly West and start booing Santa Claus.

I believe. Do you?


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I jinxed Nomar!

April 22, 2005

I can’t believe Nomar is out for 2 – 3 months. I think it’s my fault because I mentioned his guardian angel pin. Don’t hate me, Nomar!

While Nomar hadn’t been swinging a very hot bat this month, he’s still invaluable. He’s a veteran, a leader and stregthens the middle infield. Perez and Hairson and Macias will do great, and Walker’s return will help. Nomar’s presence will still be missed. But as I’m a true Cub fan, I believe this will work out.

This must be devastating for Nomar. I can’t imagine the pain and can’t even get my head around how the muscle can be separated from the bone. Baseball aside, I wish him a speedy recovery.


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Pittsburgh

April 20, 2005

I have been a very bad blogger. It’s been almost two weeks since my last post! In my defense, work has been insane. My boss left the organization and it was right at the time our annual budget was due. It’s definitely been a learning experience, but insane.

To relax and get my mind off budgets, Bill and I went to Pittsburgh to catch 2 out of the 3 Cubs – Pirates games. I am happy to report that the Cubs won both games we attended!

I love going to Pittsburgh. The city is nice and clean, has a great skyline, and the ballpark is great. We stayed at the Hilton which is within walking distance of PNC Park. It’s at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. There’s a beautiful park and river walk steps from the Hilton. The only bad thing is that we never seem to have time to explore the city except for the area around the ballpark. There’s the Church Brew Pub that I’d like to try out on our next visit.

A lot of Cub fans attend the series so you don’t feel like the visiting team and the Pittsburgh fans have always been friendly (and it’s quite obvious that we’re Cub fans – tees, jerseys, necklaces, hats…).

I was able to get 4 autographs on this trip – NOMAR! ARAMIS! Jose Macias! Dusty (I got his last year so not as exciting – kidding)! Dusty seems to make it a point to respond to every comment, even if it’s just an “okay” or “thanks.” I thought that was cool. And Nomar has a guardian angel pin on his left wristband. I saw Aramis in street clothes and even Bill admitted he looked good.

We like to get to the park early and catch batting practice. Corey took a lot of BP on Sunday and Hairston spent a lot of time working out at second base. We saw Wood and Zambrano working out with Larry Rothschild. Very interesting to see Rothschild make suggestions about Wood’s stance and hear them talk about what felt good, what didn’t.

The only disappointment was the absence of Todd Walker. Hairston played well (but don’t get comfortable there, buddy) but it wasn’t the same without Todd. I hope that he’s doing well and that he’ll be able to play for the Nationals series in May.

I watched Monday night’s Cincinnati game and was disappointed that one got away. It’s going to happen but they should have won. I was happy to see they split the series. Prior looked good. Wood’s not quite there but I think another couple of starts and he’ll be the Wood we’re waiting for.

Cubs and Cards are ready to start after a rain delay. Go Cubs!!


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There’s Nothing Like Spring Training

March 6, 2005

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a huge Chicago Cubs fan. My mom is actually the one who introduced me to Wrigley Field at a young age. You would think that sports = Dad, and my dad is a sports fan, but my mom is the one who fanned the flames on my love affair with the Cubs. In the summers around 1982 – 1987, you could walk up to the ticket window and get same day tickets. Fridays were Ladies’ Day, and you could get tickets for $1. I remember when bleacher tickets were $5. We’d always sit in Section K, mom would keep score. I remember Ryne Sandberg, Jodi Davis, Rick Sutcliffe, Fergie Jenkins…

One year, the spring I was in second grade, my mom took me to Arizona. We visited family but also made it to spring training. It was awesome! I got autographs, saw batting practice, it was very cool. I’m not sure if the same is true, but the players were more accessible than during the regular season. Everything is more more laid back. Spring training is about baseball and the team. There’s no names on the back of the uniforms. The only name that matters is the one of the front. Egos get left at the door (or at least much as can be expected from a professional athlete).

Since it’s spring training, the returning/roster players will play three of four innings, maybe more as the season gets closer. When they’re done, they run sprints in the outfield to cool down. In the middle of the game. It cracks me up. The non-roster players get a chance to put in some innings to show their talents and maybe play their way onto the team.

It’s also spring training for the broadcasters. While I was working from home last week, I listened to a game on XM Radio. It was the veteran team of Ron Santo and Pat Hughes, but there first game for a few months. Spring training creates an added challenge for the broadcasters since their are no player names on the uniforms and plenty of non-roster players. While listening, I was wondering what they were talking about when they said soon the actors would be playing. I wondered, “are they shooting a movie?” But when Bing Crosby came into play for Oakland, I soon understood. They don’t get updates from the press box so they can’t put a name with a number. It’s a shame for the young, eager players, but fun and light-hearted for the listener.

My mom told me a story she heard on the radio. I don’t guarantee it’s accuracy as she told me a year ago, but I think I’ll come close. A young boy and his mother, while waiting for dad to get the car, were throwing the ball around in front of a hotel in Arizona during spring training 2004. A man comes up and starts talking to the boy and his mom about baseball and starts offering tips and showing him how to throw the ball. That man was Sergio Mitre, pitcher for the Cubs. The family was in awe. The mother called the radio show and said what a moment it was for her son. I realize things like this don’t happen that often, but it can during spring training more than any other time.

I would love to get an opportunity to go back to spring training. It’s not about how many games out of first you are, but about baseball and all its possibilities.


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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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