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Happy Birthday Wrigley Field!

You won’t believe this but just as I am typing this, Apollo’s chariot is burning a hole through the wet, cold, ominous rain clouds hanging over ChiTown. Could it be that it’s DaFlubs Home Opener? Hasta be, right? Oops, Zeus-Cloud Gatherer has just interposed his mighty will and re-established his rule of the heavens. In other words, much like the Cubs winning consecutive games, a brief glimmer of April sunshine ain’t nuthin’ ta get all hot ‘n’ runny over. Oh well. Still, it’s FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY. Wrigleyville’s filled to overflowing with early-morning revelers, drunk on Wrigley Field’s 100th Birthday party and their brew(s) of choice, natch. More on this later. For now, let’s get started, shall we?

wrigley

WABBIT SEASON

 

*As it’s FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY and I’m not feelin’ like I wanna knee-cap anyone…well, I do but it’s FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY, so am goin’ a bit “lighter” on the Newsie aspects of normally found in this section. But first, here’s our H.G. Wellsian walk through what’s happened on this date in, with thanks to historynet.com…

 

527,    Being seriously ill, Justin made his nephew, Justinian his co-emperor. Isn’t that some kind of oxymoron? I mean by definition, an emperor is the supreme male monarch of an empire. The Romans invested theirs with the power of life and death over his subjects. So, how can there be two?

1581,   Magellan completed his circumnavigation of the world. No mean feat, that, when one considers nowadays folks can’t travel 5-miles without using their OnStar or GPS.

 

1812,   What was known as the territory of Orleans was welcomed as the 18th state of the Union while also becoming Louisiana. Which led to “Show us your ****s and get some beads!”

 

1818,   It is decided that the American flag is to have 13 red and white stripes and…at the time…20 stars.

 

1915,   McKinley Morganfield, aka, “Muddy Watrs”, aka, the “father” of Chicago Blues, was born. “I got my Mojo woikin’. Gonna try it out on you”. Enjoy the following whilst you read….

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8LesTvNuaw

 

1965,   Iron Man I, II and III, Robert Downey, Jr., was born.

 

1974,   Hank Aaron, a boyhood hero of mine, tied Babe Ruth’s home run record.

 

*AROUND THE NEWS…

-Nik Wallenda says he wantsta do his high-wire act in ChiTown. Ok, fine. But not if it involves Mr. Comb Over’s building…i.e., the Trump Tower. It’s bad enough that doofus’s name is on a building in our town. This would actually bring his sorry ass here. No thank you.

 

That said, we have plenty of skyscrapers where Nik could attach his cable.

 

That said, ChiTowners would best be served to stay away from downtown that day/night/whatever.

 

*HEADLINES…

 

“Senate panel votes to release CIA torture report”. Barry needsta be as open and transparent on this as he was when he demanded it as a candidate.

 

“Senators urge U.S. to deny visa to Iran ambassador.” 29 GOPer Senators led by Fightin’ Illini, Mark Kirk, want to deny a visa to former Iran Hostage-taker, now Iran’s choice to be its UN ambassador, Hamid Aboutalebi. Busted Clock time. Though we could allow him to come here and somehow some strange fate befalls him. Quick! Someone call Redd Reddington or William Goldman.

 

“Rents rising across U.S.” Not FEEL-GOOD” but a fact nonetheless. Seems owning could be cheaper, overall. Though, just got an estimate for a new roof on Da Wat’s nest and, well….

 

BASEBALL SEASON

 

*TUBULARLY SPEAKING…

 

-DAVID LETTERMAN IS  RETIRING…

 

“Late Night” host, David Letterman announced he’s pulling the pin. As his show’s on well after I’d had headed off to Z-Z-Land, won’t miss him as much as his true fans. However, now that clips are freely re-shown, Dude’s funny, man.

 

-”The Big Bang Theory”, was OK. Some funny moments but not one of its best. The central plot – off which the mini-subplots revolved – ”making life-affecting decisions”, had the basics of a could be side-splitter which wound up merely a “side-acher”.

 

-”Chicagoland”. OK, I don’t know where Robert Redford and his production company got its guidance but again and thus far, folks who have never been to ChiTown, will be left to think if you are black, you are poor; attend a sub-standard CPS school and unless Rahm takes a liking to you, won’t succeed. There was a twist in the last episode, though. Despite their mention that blacks comprise 1/3rd of Chicago’s population, watching this show, one is left with the impression that no whites, Asians or Hispanics live here. They did show last year’s Lollapalooza but that’s at Grant Park and garners worldwide attention.

 

I get it. The Principal from Fenger is a dedicated woman and her efforts are to be recognized. But…this show is beginning to look like the Liz Dozier show. Here’s a link to the Trib’s Rick Kogan’s item on the show. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-cnn-chicagoland-review-ep5-20140402,0,454227.column

 

-”Ellen DeGeneres”. As not much else was on, tuned into an HBO rerun of a 2004 rerun of the comedian’s special. Had several snorkle-laughs, as she deftly segued from “the pickle claw”, which is how one needs to get one’s fingers in order to remove a pickle from a freshly-opened jar; to its inverse-use in attempting to reach the replacement roll of toilet paper in a public restroom. It was on HBO Comedy for any who are interested.

 

-”Elementary”. Not a “thumbs-down” nor “thumbs-sideways”, maybe a “thumbs-downwardly-askew”. Yes, the show’s a modern day rendition on the greatest detective in history but in comparison, last night’s episode made even some Victorian, out-of-left-field, solves seem almost Spock-like in their logical conclusions.

 

-”Game of Thrones” returns Sunday night. The preview shows say that “The Red Wedding” will be avenged, while the “good” guys are a bit more prevalent. Am willing to bet MBH n me ain’t the only ones wanting to see the Lannisters get a dose of “Dracarys”.

 

Was I the only one shocked to hear that the Lady Olenna is played by none other than the erstwhile “Mrs. Emma Peel” of “the Avengers”, aka, Dame Diana Rigg?

 

*ON THE BIG SCREEN…

 

-”Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. The latest entry into the Marvel-movie universe, Captain America, returns to very good-to-rave, reviews. The Trib gives it 3-stars; Roeper in the S-T, 3-1/2; ‘GN’s Dean Richards gave it an “A”; IMDB gives it 4 outta 5 and Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 87%, i.e., a B+. We’ll probably see it some time next week. It seems it has the requisite action and eye-candy factors of Chris Evans, as Steve Rogers; Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow…obviously pre-preggers; Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Honestly, saw Evans and guys, we WISH we had his bod! No wonder he wants out from in front of the camera! To look as he does, he has to do nothing but work out till his ass drags. Think of a pumped-up Wolverine.

 

Will let you know. One thing…it’s 2-hrs, 16-minutes. Kinda lengthy for a comic book. Again, will let you know.

 

 

BASEBALL SEASON

 

IT’S THE CUBS HOME OPENER!

-For the uninitiated, this is un-buckin’-believable! Only experienced it once and it wasn’t even the official “Opener”, inasmuch as

the for-real-opener was snowed out. My old boss was a Cubs Trib stockholder and Cubs season-ticket-holder. His son was supposed to go with him but when the game was called, sonny-boy couldn’t get the next day off. So, I’m at work; the phone rings; it’s him. He says this…and this is close to verbatim: “You’re taking off tomorrow. Michael can’t get off and I’m not eating the ticket or sitting next to someone I don’t know”. Since I was the main cog in his machine, this was something. Also, it was colder than the proverbial witch’s boob in a Princess Leia brass bra.

 

Today, just about every news outlet as well as entertainment-based radio station has had someone at the local bars around the ballpark since 6AM…yes, 6AM. Of course, the folks who are there are enjoying “liquid bread” in the form of beer. Doesn’t “toast up” real well, nor does it taste good with raspberry preserves, though.

 

It’s kinda like another ChiTown Spring tradition, “smeltin’”. No, not melting metals but setting nets along the lakefront in the hope of catching the elusive, small, silvery, what I am told are quite delectable, fishes, Lake Michigan Smelt. Win or no win; catch or no catch, it’s an excuse to go out; get beered up and have a good time.

 

Today’s game features the return of twice-rebuffed-Cubs-managerial-candidate, HOFer, Ryne Sandberg to Wrigley Field but as the manager of the visiting Phillies. He is one of my fave, all-time Cubs in that he played the game the right way. He will be again…once he and his team leave town.

 

Speakin’ of the Phillies, in May of 1979, they were in town for a 23-22 slugfest which they won on a blustery day. As many know,

playing at Wrigley Filed is a “Tale of Two Ballparks”. When the wind blows in…from the northeast…it’s like trying to hit one out of the Grand Canyon. On that day…and with today’s forecast of sustained-winds at 20 to 25 mph, gusting to 40-45 mph from the southwest, i.e., …the wind was blowing OUT. Meaning any kind of fly ball might wind up being off the wall; into the bleachers or over them. Or better, watch an infield pop-up turn into a madcap adventure into the outfield; or a foul-pop, behind the plate, winding up as an infield single.

 

Yes, it’s opening day for “the world’s biggest beer garden”. Yes, I do enjoy going. No, not to see them lose. And, I shall continue to refuse to pay for a ticket unless it is under special circumstances. That said, I believe I may have ingested enough beer there over the years to have inured myself to this. Not really.

 

Here’s the thing. Without doubt, I am a CubsCrackBabyComeSeniorCitizen. What I mean is this. As I’ve been looking for that “high” so many years, the wisdom of my old age tells me it’s not likely to happen. Thus I am faced with a choice, which truly is a “Hobson’s choice”, in that I can embrace them for what they are…or not at all.

 

So, I’ve decided to try…repeat, try…to embrace them for what they are; in all their BOHICA-inducing Flubiness. I will try to view them through my memories of…

Larry Biitner losing his cap and the ball winding up in it; which he could not see nor find;

Two-balls in the game at one time;

Adolpho Phillips — literally — keeping his eye on a flyball which went through his hands and hit him, guess where?

Leon Durham showing Billy Buck how toi “buck up” a shot at the World Series.

Moist Hands Alou acting as if he were Roberto Clemente; Willie Mays, Curt Flood and any other outfielder, including Dave Kingman, who could actually catch a fly ball.

Pedro Strop and John Baker colliding on popped up bunt effort.

OR, as ‘XRT just did, consider them an on-going episode of “True Baseball”, a riff on HBO’s “True Detective” with a wannabe Matthew McConoughay telling me why I’ll never see a World Series at Wrigley Field.

 

*YESTERDAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: After last season, Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates became only the 4th center fielder to hit .300; have an on-base % of .400 and a slugging % of .500. Who were the other three?

 

ANSWER: Mickey Mantle; Willie Mays and Junior Griffey. The recent “miss” was Mike Trout, who had an OBP of .399. That’s some pretty exclusive company. And, yes, I’d take any of those guys.

 

*SPEAKING OF STOCKHOLDERS…

The Cubs are reported to be looking for, “…several high net worth investors…” as non-voting-partners, in order to proceed with the improvements on the park they’ve been talking about since the Rickettses bought the team. As was mentioned on CSN-Live, last night, like a rich man’s version of Green Bay Packers fans owning part of the team, while having no say in anything. However, in this instant, I would guess these folks would expect to receive some monetary-ROI, which Packers stockholders/fans do not.

If you get Showtime, their current “60 Minutes Sports” has Flubs CEO, Tom Ricketts in some high dudgeon over the ridiculousness he and his family are having to deal with when they are prepared to make a $500,000,000.00-PRIVATELY-financed investment in the ballpark and surrounding area. As I had previously written in these spaces, any other bisdniss offering to make that kind of an investment with the only tax-break being around $8,500,000.00, would be invited to drop their trousers at State and Madison at Noon for all to watch a local pols get inline; pucker-up and kiss their heinies. Oh well.

 

*DaSOX…

Lost in their own weird-weather game. They’re 2-1.

 

*DaHAWKS won in a shootout. That’s all I’m sayin’.

 

*DaBULLS were idle.

 

*DaBEARS…announced Safety, Chris Conte had shoulder surgery which may sideline him 4 to 5 months. He may be on his way out..may have been anyway but missing a lot, if not all,  of training camp won’t help.

 

*My PACKEHS…re-signed FB, John Kuhn. May not seem like much but there is something to be said about role-players who, not only, understand their role but play it to the best of their ability. No? Next time a replay of that 4th and 8, game-winning, 48-yard bomb from Rodgers to Cobb, watch for #30, John Kuhn, to slide over and “chip” now-GB Packer, Julius Peppers…who was just-this-close to sacking A-Aron or disrupting his throw…to enable 12 to hit 18 for 6, to remove the NFC North title from the Bears grasp and take it for themselves.

 

*THE FINAL FOUR.

Only mention it as there’s a Big 10 team in it, Wisconsin, which if they get past Kentucky with their skiver of a coach, I may take a gander at them for the Championship game, Monday night…but that’s Monday.

 

OK, time to go. Hope you all have a great weekend. Remember, any day we can look down at our rosebushes instead of up at their roots, it’s a good one.

 

Oops. Almost forgot. Have my monthly visit with Doc Feel-Good, Monday, so Twacks’ll be a little delayed…

 

DaBigFatWat

 

 

 


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