The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

So many dogs, so many runs

Last night's Sox game was more fun than I think I could have there. First, the Sox got 7 runs in the 6th, which kept me in my seat until the game anded. Second, the Sox set the Guinness World Record for most dogs at a sporting event, with 1,122 in attendance:

The Sox needed a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance for the record, and the dogs had to remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 minutes, starting at the top of the third inning, in order for the record to count.

A clock in the outfield counted down the 10 minutes during the third inning, and the Sox announced the record was achieved in the middle of the sixth inning.

“They were a little noisy but it’s kind of fun,” Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said. “It brings a different atmosphere to the ballpark. I think that’s one of the beauties of The Cell, really nothing is off limits.”

Third, the weather was pretty good:

The Cubs, meanwhile, lost to St. Louis last night, keeping their Magic Number at 3 and bringing the Cardinals to half a game behind the Giants for the NL Wild Card. The Cubs play the Cardinals again this afternoon, and I'll be at Wrigley tomorrow night when they beat the Brewers to clinch the division title. I hope.

Not the best defense on the field

Last night, the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park 17-7, scoring 13 runs on 9 hits in the 5th:

For 37 long minutes in one-half inning Thursday, the Rockies sent 17 batters to the plate against the Giants at AT&T Park, starting with Trevor Story's home run and ending with DJ LeMahieu's groundout in the top of the fifth.

In between, the Rockies collected four doubles, five singles, two errors, one walk, one hit-by-pitch — and 13 runs. They shattered records. Nevermind Coors Field. The pitcher's haven in San Francisco busted open like a pinata.

And, eventually, the Rockies outlasted the Giants 17-7. The Rockies set a club record for runs scored in one inning, topping the 12 they scored at Coors Field against the Chicago Cubs on July 30, 2010.

It was the most runs scored by any team in one inning since the Arizona Diamondbacks notched 13 in the fourth against the Pirates on April 11, 2010.

Despite that, the Rockies are in a 3-way tie for first in the NL west at 14-14, while the Chicago Cubs top the league table at 21-6. I can't remember the first time the Cubs got to Mothers Day without losing at least 10 games. This year is unbelievable.

Warm-weather fan

I went to my first Cubs game tonight after not entering the park for an entire season. As I write this, they're up 8-0 over the Reds going into the 9th. But I'm not there, because I didn't dress appropriately. By the end of the 4th inning my teeth were shivering. It's April; 8°C is not that unusual.

I'll be back, when it's warmer. Possibly by then the Cubs won't be in first place anymore. I think it's going to be a weird season.

Reading list

Here we go:

It's also a nice day outside, so Parker will probably get two hours of walks in.

New Wrigleyville development to begin

Crains reported today that a 0.93-hectare hunk of Addison Street directly across from Wrigley Field will finally become the nightmarish eyesore in the neighborhood the Ricketts family always wanted:

The deal was completed after two foreclosure suits against the seller of the site, Steven Schultz of Preferred Equities, were resolved, Rossi said.

By gaining control of the 2.3-acre site, the M&R venture is on the verge of starting a development first announced by Schultz in 2007, before a real estate crash and foreclosure suits stalled the project.

The development, formerly known as Addison Park on Clark, will cost more than $150 million and include 148 luxury apartments, 405 parking spaces and 150,000 square feet of retail. The retail space will include a movie theater, fitness club and restaurants...

Yeah, but it's huge, it doesn't look like anything around it, and it barely improves upon the vacant buildings and parking lots that occupy the site right now.

Can't wait.

Was it a great year for the Cubs?

The Tribune waxes rhapsodic about the season that was:

Let's take stock of all that before we start with the wait-till-next-year business.

Let's celebrate this year.

It was awesome. It was unexpected. It was thrilling.

It was a gift to the city of Chicago from a team of overachievers, including four standout rookie starters.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Cubs all-time postseason home run leader Kyle Schwarber, age 22. Rookie of the year candidate Kris Bryant, 23. Cardinal-killer Jorge Soler, 23. And who knows how this series might have ended if clutch-hitter Addison Russell hadn't been forced to sit out with a pulled hamstring? He's 21.

Sure. Let me put it another way, in October 1918:

Let's take stock of all that before we start with the wait-till-reparations-are-paid business.

Let's celebrate this war.

It was awesome. It was unexpected. It laid waste to Belgium.

It was a gift to the nations of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Russia—sorry, the Soviet Union (a brand-new country!)—from a team of overconfident aristocrats, including four standout emperors.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the largest sum ever spent on a war in the history of mankind: $337 billion, which will be $5.3 trillion adjusted for inflation just 97 years from now. Fourteen million dead (equivalent to 56 million in 2015), not including the 20 million who are about to die of influenza. And who knows how this war would have ended had we not attacked American ships in the Atlantic? Maybe we would have held Alscace for another century. And who will ever forget how tanks changed the game entirely? No more endless trench warfare! Huzzah!

No, guys. The Cubs lost. Again. They lost the league for the 70th time in a row. They haven't won the World Series since just after Henry Ford sold his first Model T. They bloodly lost.

So win the damn pennant, and STFU until then.

AC0070107

It's a little like hearing from an abusive partner a year after breaking up. Glad you're doing better, glad you're getting on your feet, but you're still doing the really bad things that led to me leaving, so no, don't call again.

I've been a Cubs fan for most of my life, as were my parents before me, and some of my ancestors before them. My mother lived and died without seeing them in the World Series, as have about two billion other people who were born after October 1945. It's possible I may never see them win the pennant either.

After last season's 89 losses—not a great improvement over 2013's 96 losses—I broke up with them. They kept saying, "I promise to do better, if only you'll give me another $1,800 and buy some $9 hot dogs." And every year, I'd fork over the money. And then I stopped.

This year they won 97 games. Mazel tov. But when it counted, when they really needed to get their shit together and win, they completely fell apart. Tonight's 8-3 loss to the Mets ended what the Tribune unironically called the Cubs' "Magical Season," perhaps forgetting that they've done this repeatedly.

Keep in mind, they were the wild card this year; the Pirates and the Cardinals had 98 and 100 wins, respectively, putting the Cubs in third place at season's end. And the Cubs had 97 wins in 2008, another heartbreaking year. (And 98 wins in 1945, which wasn't so heartbreaking only because no one could foresee, just a few weeks after the end of World War II, and after the Cubs had just played their third World Series in 10 years, that the Cubs would never win another pennant.)

So tonight, I have mixed feelings. I'm happy the Cubs did better this year than in the preceding six. And I think they have some potential to win next season. But after 70 years, I just can't keep expending emotional energy on them anymore.

Someday, probably, they will win the pennant. Someday they might even win the World Series. But after so many chokes, after so many goats, after so many abject failures when it really counted, I'm done. I was done at the beginning of this season, and I'm still done. I wish the team well in 2016. I hope the fans enjoy the games. But until the Cubs actually win the National League Championship, I'm not giving them a dime. You can call me a fair-weather fan, or you can acknowledge that after hoping against reason for more than 40 seasons that this year could be the year, not giving any more shits is a rational response.

Maybe next year...but I won't be there.

Note: The title of this post echoes a sign across Sheffield from the park. The letters "AC" mean "Anno Catuli:" "Year of the Cub." The first two digits (00) count the years from them last winning the division, the second two (70) from the National League championship, and the remainder (107) from the World Series. They had to add another digit after the 2008 season. That should have told you something.