The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Cubs sale approved

The Twins hadn't even polished off the Tigers yesterday before Major League Baseball unanimously approved Tribune's sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts:

The vote was made during a conference call. Tom Ricketts, who has headed the sale for his family, could take day-to-day control of the Cubs by the end of the month.

Commissioner Bud Selig says the Ricketts family will be "great owners and custodians" of the storied franchise perhaps best known for a World Series championship drought that now stands at 101 years.

... The $845 million deal also includes Tribune's approximately 25 percent share of regional cable TV network Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Oddly, this item was the top story on Crain's Chicago Business this morning but totally buried on the Chicago Tribune's own site.

One more year to add to the sign

Baseball season ends today for Chicago, making it 101 years since the Cubs last won the World Series. Last year they had to add another digit to the sign on Waveland Street. This year, they only have to increment the numbers: AC 01 64 101. ("AC" means "Anno Catuli" or "Year of the Cub;" the numbers refer to the years since they last won the division, the Pennant, and the World Series, respectively.)

Here's the sign at the beginning of this season for comparison:

The one encouraging thing from this year's regular season standings is that no one lost 100 games. Baltimore won yesterday's game against Toronto and Pittsburgh won Friday's game, limiting their possible losses to 99 pending the outcomes of today's games.

So, even though the Cubs have one more game today, I've already switched to my Red Sox hat. Playoffs start Wednesday.

Cubs win, return to first place

The Cubs' win against Houston yesterday started early. Here's the scoreboard after Kosuke Fukudome's two-run double in the 3rd, right before Ryan Theriot got to first on a throwing error:

The inning started with back-to-back solo home runs by Jake Fox and Milton Bradley, and ended with Derek Lee striking out and Fukodome, in one of the stupidest base-running moves I've seen in a long time, running on the dropped third strike and getting caught sealing home.

Final score, Cubs 12, Astros 3:

Notice the thickening clouds. Since this was the rain-postponed May 15th game, rain would have been ironic. Instead it just rained on my cousin a couple hours later as he walked home.

Other notable moments: plate umpire C.B. Bucknor got hit in the face twice in the second inning, but stayed in the game. And immediately after the game, both teams announced changes affecting the day's starting pitchers: Cubs starter Kevin Hart got traded, and Astros starter Russ Ortiz got released.

Quick hits

Lots to do for the next, oh, 17 months, so I thought I'd get started. My first Duke box arrived today, containing 6 kg of books, course packets, handouts, and more books, all of which have to be read by August 15th. Fortunately I have a few extra hours each day to do all this (I use them to sleep right now, so they're kind of wasted).

Just a couple news stories of note today:

  • President Obama gave an hour-long press conference yesterday in which he spent 50 minutes discussing the single most important domestic-policy issue in the U.S. right now, health care. Since health care policy is complex, full of compromises, difficult to understand, and absolutely imperative to fix, the network talking heads spent all their time today discussing a stupid Cambridge, Mass., police officer who made an ill-advised arrest Monday. This, in turn, is why network talking heads are useless. I can't wait to see Jon Stewart's take.
  • Mark Buehrle, who plays for the other Chicago baseball team, threw a perfect game this afternoon, the 2nd club history and only the 16th time ever in the major leagues. (A perfect game is one in which none of the offensive players gets on base by any means.)
  • Finally, Gidget the Chihuahua, aka the Taco Bell dog, died yesterday at 15.

Back to work...