Friday, April 12, 2013

Improv and Ivy

Big win today. 
A slow, steady and perfect rendition by up and coming comedy members means a solid group effort from multiple members of the team. No standout. No mistakes. A solid team effort win. 

Will Get another run in the last three innings due to the strong "LET'S GET SOME RUNS" call at the end.

Should be a strongly-pitched last two innings by the cubs due to the strong "ONE, TWO, THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT."


A strong effort today from both the ensemble cast from Second City singing the stretch and the Cubbies themselves against the durty Giants of San Francisco. 

The stretch translated into a win as I predicted and the correct "Let's get some runs!" call got the Cubbys a few runs and a good thing too as the Giants ruined my prediction trifecta by scoring three runs in the 9th and taking the lead until Starlin Castro came through with a knock off the wall to drive in the hot-hitting DeJesus. Navarro also had a clutch HR to tie it up.

Based on who they had stretching, I should have known that this win would require some improvisation on the part of the Cubs. And it just goes to show you how important nailing the Caray Call is. But apparently you can only emphasize one part of the song though or it backfires. I'll keep an eye on this trend. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


- Terrible rendition by old BlackHawk netminder Tony Esposito.
Cubs won't get the lead back.
- No rhythm and couldn't stay on tune
This hints to some weird late-inning shenanigans and not in a good way.
- Mic kept fading in and out and ended with "Let's get some runs, Cubbies!"
Changing the Caray Call won't give the Cubs the runs they need to come back.

Ouch. That was tough to listen to. 
The stretch AND the game. Esposito was all over the place and that  cost the comeback. 

I like getting the prediction right but hate seeing the Cubbies drop a game like this at home. They gave up the big lead and then wasted opportunities in the late innings. 

The botched Caray Call at the end of the Stretch did get the Cubs a run but it came at the expense of a double play, thus costing the Cubs their momentum and quelling any chance of getting the other run they needed to catch up. 

They also finished the game with two straight strikeouts from Rizzo and Castro stranding the hot-hitting DeJesus on base which just emphasized what happens when you botch the stretch. GET IT RIGHT!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Park ...

Defense will be a factor due to the start-stop cadence. Cubs will score some runs as per Fergie's request but not enough.
(I'm going to try to predict the final three innings right after the stretch) ----

Fergie Jenkins wore long sleeves during every game he pitched, hot or cold, rain or shine. Keep in mind that was in the days of non-breathing wool and 4-man rotations. A very cool customer.

Fergie brought some of that Canadian Cool to Wrigley today as he stretched out the Cubbies in their second home game against the durty Brewers.

Sloppy but fast, "Fly" was into Take Me Out before the radio commercial break even ended. The crowd was caught off guard but quickly got behind Jenkins before he got done with the first stanza. That's when it happened. HOF-er Ferguson Arthur Jenkins changed the words to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."  

Instead of singing "Ball Game" at the end of the first line, Fergie sang "Take me out to the Ball Park." It was an extreme shock and If one didn't know any better they would think he forgot the words but we know that wasn't the case. What we don't know is why he changed the words?

My guess is it has something to do with the impending Wrigley Field renovation. Stadium name change coming perhaps? What does Fergie know that he's not telling us?!?

The rest of the song was a little choppy in places - which led to a nail-biting - and predicted - diving stop and throw out by Castro to save a run in the 8th and an error in the 9th - but Fergie ended with "All right guys! How bout getting some runs, guys? Let's go!" 

And the Cubbies did just that.  A few clutch hits and DeJesus' third hit in a row got the Cubs a three-run lead!

Fun Fact: 
You have to love Fergie and not just because he's the sole Canuck in Cooperstown but how about the year he pitched 325 freakin' innings on the way to win the 1971 Cy Young?  Do the math, that's averaging 8 1/3 innings a game over his 39 starts. That's some Brass.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Welcome Back

And welcome back Mr. Cub! 

Ernie Banks - my second-all-time favorite cubbie and whose jersey I am sporting in my profile pic - opened the home-season stretch. Wow. I was giddy when I heard him take the mic to lead the stretch. This is huge as when you combine Mr. Cub and the first stretch of the season you are gonna have some powerful season-predicting mojo. Then I heard this: 

"Listen to me. The Cubs will be supreme in 2013. Don't forget it"

Just incredible. The man they call Mr. Cub used the first words of the most-powerful Cubs plupit to plead with fans to pay attention ... and believe just one more year. 

When the greatest Cub of all-time pleads with fans to not lose heart before they are even through the first Wrigleyville game of the year, things must be worse than I thought but a prediction like that from that guy on that stage could bode very well. I for one will be listening Mr. Banks. And I won't forget. 

Then he sang. Slow. Plodding with a certain sureness and grandeur, like Tony Bennet singing today.

Two big things to note. 

1. He threw in another plea, shouting "LOUDER!" in the middle of the song. This is really bad for moral as Take Me Out to the Ball Game is the Cubs' "Eye of the Tiger." It pumps up just on merit alone and should not require any additional encouragement. This can only mean the middle of the season is going to drag before a Cubbie comeback.

2. Mr. Banks ended with a bazaar, lengthy and sing-songy "gaaaa-uuuuu-aaaaa-uuuuu-aame!" which is a clear portent of the Cubs' closer situation this season. Based on Mr. Cub's rendition of TMO, the ninth inning is going to be up and down all season and never end when we expect. Thanks Marmol. But this could also predict the end of the Cubs season going on past when we expect. 

Buckle up Cubs fans. Ernie said so.