The Tribune just foisted two news alerts on me that I already knew. First, the Cubs lost their 100th game, which, it turns out, has only happened three times in the last 140 freaking years. The Trib's lede is beautiful:
Fifty years ago this week, only 595 fans showed up at Wrigley Field for the opener of the Cubs-Mets series, the last time two teams with 100-plus losses faced each other.
The '62 Cubs — with future Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Billy Williams and Ron Santo on the roster — wound up taking two of three from the expansion team, finishing with a franchise-worst 103 losses, to the Mets' major league record 120.
Wow. I mean, wow. It takes a special kind of baseball team to lose 103 games in a season, so the talent and vision that went into the Mets' 120 losses in 1962 defies rational belief. I am cowed. And I am also thankful no team has gotten to that record in my lifetime, if only because the Mets occupy the rung on my baseball ladder just above the American League and just below the one I try to scrape off before walking in the house. (The Astros occupy that rung, it turns out, only because they were the first team I ever saw play the Cubs).
All righty then. One must look forward, to the horizon of a National League win. And again, I say: Go Giants.
Almost forgot: The other news alert, announcing that the Tigers have eliminated the White Sox, did not distress me much, as it only concerns the minor leagues.
It is a mathematical certainty that the combined losses of the Astros and Cubs will get to 207 when the season ends Wendesday. They're playing each other right now, with the Cubs heading for their 100th loss of the year. One cannot but marvel at the prowess of both teams, both fighting quixotically for their respective honors. The Cubs can't possibly be the worst team in baseball this year, because the Astros have so totally dominated them in that respect. And yet, the Astros will move to the American League next year, meaning that both they and the Cubs will begin 2013 being the worst teams in their respective leagues as the new season begins.
New rule: Once your home team loses 100 games in a season, you get to pick another team to root for. And so I say, from now until the next opening day: Go Giants!
Chicago hit a new record for most consecutive months with above-average temperatures, which ended August 31st (only we didn't know for sure until yesterday):
For the first time in a year, Chicago has logged a month with below-normal temperatures. Averaging 17.8°C, September finished 0.3°C below normal, ending the city's record run of 11 above-normal months that began in October 2011.
Despite the lower-than-normal temperatures, sunshine was plentiful, averaging 75 percent of possible, the highest here since 2007 when 76 percent was recorded.
Climate-change deniers will no doubt take this as evidence that global warming has ceased. I mean, if there were global warming, shouldn't it always be above average?
Last night, in the West Loop:
After tomorrow's performance in Madison, Wis., Girlyman will be taking a break from performing. I'm glad I got a chance to see them.
Doris and Ty:
And the opening act, Chastity Brown, whose CD I bought on the way out. Great stuff: