The four-park sprint (and seeing some really great—and really patient—friends along the way) has ended. I'm off in a few minutes to restock my fridge and, at 4pm on the nose, to pick up Parker.
Sweeping Milwaukee into Lake Michigan?
Does anyone, any longer, doubt the Cubs are the real thing this year?
Apparently, I'm anathema to home teams. I've just attended another home-team loss, this time the Phillies beating the Nationals 2-1.
I will say, however, that when it's 2-1 at the top of the 8th, it looks really bad for the park to empty out. Yes, the 8th: guys, one run in the 9th is not unheard of. Sheesh. With fans like that, it's hard to feel sympathy.
Photos tomorrow morning (probably).
Quick update: The Cubs are 7-0 over the Brewers in the top of the 9th at this writing, which more than makes up for watching a lackluster loss in 32°C sultriness.
Since I went to the Philadelphia game two nights ago, a lot has happened—most of it in the last few hours:
So, I am aware of all these things, but the only purpose of this post is to put up photos from Philadelphia. First, city hall (which is becoming a trend in these posts):
Citizens Bank Park:
And this, which astute readers may recognize as the Noah's Flood bearing down on the city:
I will now dive into my photos from last night's game...
I'm flying out today to begin a four-day tour of baseball parks in the Northeast. Tonight: Angels at Orioles, Camden Yards, Baltimore. (The cheezy graphic is from MLB.com.)
The Orioles (48-54) are in last place (and want you to know that there are still seats available at the park for tonight's game). The Angels, at the moment, have the best record of any team in baseball, 63-39. (The Cubs' record is 60-43, second best overall and top of the National League.)
Photos from the park may have to wait until Sunday evening as I've got to scoot to Philadelphia Sunday morning to catch the Phillies (54-49) host the Braves (49-53) at 1:30.
Yes, that's right, I've earned the Master of Beer Appreciation from Goose Island Beer Co., here in Chicago. It took nearly four years—I started on 12 September 2004—but I persevered, drinking 35 different brews, and now I get Imperial pints (as opposed to regular ones) whenever I visit their twin pubs.
All right, it's not up there with my J.D., but it's still an accomplishment, if for no other reason than I no longer need to carry the very old booklet in my wallet any more.
At the All-Star break, the Cubs remain in first place, 4½ games out. I'm looking forward to October.
I'll attend tonight's game at Progressive Field in Cleveland with a cheery optimism. As feared, the Indians have dropped their last 10 in a row; what are the odds they'll make it 11? Very slim, right?
Addendum: Cleveland will play Tampa Bay, who are tied with the Cubs at 55 wins, making them the best team in the league right now. Does that change the odds?
As of this morning, the Cleveland Indians (my next stop on the 30-park geas ) have dropped their last 9, putting them two games out of next-to-last place in the American League Central. In fairness, four teams (Seattle, Washington, Colorado, and San Diego) are doing worse. Right now, though, the tension mounts: will they drop their 10th today? Will I see them win tomorrow?
Oh, right, forgot: the Cubs are still in first place, as they've been since April, and are the second-best in all of baseball right now, after the Red Sox. What a World Series that will be, eh?
I have to go through O'Hare four times in the next three weeks, so this will affect me:
Summer air travelers who use the Blue Line to get to and from O'Hare International Airport will face an inconvenience for most of July.
Beginning Tuesday, Blue Line trains will go no farther than the Rosemont stop, the last one before the airport, because of work on the tracks.
A 24-hour shuttle bus will begin running between the Rosemont station and O'Hare at 3 a.m. Tuesday. Normal train service is scheduled to resume July 28.
Still, having experienced a 90-minute trip from downtown to the airport, I'm glad the CTA is fixing the Blue Line.