Category Archives: Chicago Cubs

Bryce Harper has a pretty cool box score line

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Who says we only do Bryce Harper posts when he homers.

On Sunday in Chicago, Harper was walked six times and hit by a pitch. He went 0 for 0 and reached base seven times. Has that ever happened in the history of baseball? Even to Barry Bonds?

The Cubs made the decision that win or lose, they weren’t going to let Bryce Harper beat them. And it’s hard to argue with the results – even if you’re a fan who bought a ticket this weekend in Chi-town to see Harper swing the bat. The Cubbies went out and swept the Nationals in four games, including today’s extra-inning 4-3 win on a Javier Baez walk off home run.

And no, it had never happened prior to today. It was an MLB record.

Jake Arrieta No-Hits the Reds, and the embarrassment of a 16-0 defeat

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[Cubs 16, Reds 0]

If there was any hope left, it has now vanished. Good teams don’t lose like this; even over the course of a long season. You hate to pile on, but the Reds lost yesterday in completely embarrassing fashion.

It was a game that wasn’t even going to be played. People I know who are Reds fans were asking me if they were even going to get it in. Others didn’t attend the game even to see who I believe is the best pitcher in baseball at the present; Jake Arrieta throw because of the threat of a rain out.

And then baseball went and baseball’d the shit out of us all.

Arrieta went the full nine, walking four and striking out six. Kris Bryant hit a grand slam and a second home run, and the Cubs completely dismantled the Reds with 16 runs.

Arrieta is now 15-0 in his last 16 starts. Read that back. He’s automatic, a winner every time he goes out. This was his second no-hitter in like a half dozen starts. The Reds simply never had a chance. You probably heard about this. I didn’t find it very funny, or cute or anything.

Anything Harry Caray just causes immense happiness

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MLB Network had a special feature tonight on Harry Caray, who in my opinion was the greatest ever when you factor in that he worked in the mystical land of Chicago for so long along with all his over lovable shenanigans.

Caray was so much more than just a ‘Carnival Barker’ as they referred to him affably tonight on the documentary. He was a great baseball man – arguably the best model of a baseball man that one could exhibit. Harry really just was one of us, which was why he connected so well with the fans. He was the real article. He didn’t try to pretend to be anything to be liked – this was really a guy who set up calling baseball games with a cocktail lunch – carried the party through the ballgame and on into the evening for a nightcap.

And he was a true pro. There he would be the next day ready to call your game and go again after being seen around town at seemingly every spot there was at 70 years of age. I know that I can’t think about going out and doing what Harry did and I’m only 33.

I spent so many afternoons sick and home from school or on spring break just watching the Cubs on WGN in the spring. There was something magical about it.

Why are these damn neato Cubs always on television during the day time, and who is this kinda goofy old guy who makes me giggle. That was my feeling on the Cubs when I was my 11 or 12 year old self. But I could never turn them out – I can still hear Harry talk about his wife Dutchie, or Dana Demuth, Jose Vizcaino, or Rey Sanchez. If you watched the Cubs during those days and you don’t remember the magical way Harry slurred those very names on those bitter cold spring days at Wrigley; you aren’t being honest!

I know the Cubs weren’t very good – but is there anything more enchanting than thinking about the Wrigley Ivy, Caray, Bill Murray and friggin’ Steve Stone? And a 70 year old man heading out after nine innings to tear up a town like it’s routine.

This documentary really did a great job of endearing you to ol’ Harry. And I realized as I watched; that the fact is that Harry Caray made me smile then and now. He was nothing if he was not totally infectious if you’re a baseball lover.

I love this well-hidden gem/Caray story from the Deadspin comments:

There was an old story about one of Harry’s neighbors running into him standing near a taxi outside their building at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning. The neighbor jumped in the cab and mentioned to the driver it was nice to see Harry up and around that early, that it appeared he was taking better care of himself. The cabby looked at the guy and said “Hell, I’m just dropping him off, I’ve been driving him around to bars all night”

The Mayor of Rush Street. Helluva guy.

Cubs fans and their weed

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We have written in the past about Cubs fans and their appreciation for Marijuana.

It’s possibly clear now more than ever before; show me a guy who bleeds Cubbie blue, and I’ll show you a guy who has ‘tried it’.

The internet’s best Cubs/weed gem yet has been out there, but we just now found it. It’s naturally titled “A stoner’s guide to 4/20 at Wrigley”.  A few of the highlights:

Make sure you buy two tickets (only $7), and when you get up put on some long socks (I’ll explain both later). Next, grab some lunch, then hit up CVS. You probably just spent some money on weed, so do yourself a favor and don’t get snacks that cost $7.50 at Wrigley. I don’t think I have to tell you that smoking without snacks is like trying to pitch with your eyes closed: You can do it, but it doesn’t make any sense. Some personal favorites are Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids and, of course, Skittles.

“I hate Skittles,” said nobody ever. Seriously though, have you ever offered somebody some Skittles who said no? If you know somebody who has, he or she is probably that friend who nobody really likes.

This guy is SO baked while writing this. But it gets better.

Still, refrain from smoking in traffic-heavy areas. This isn’t Colorado. I recommend hopping on the Purple Line to Howard then switching over to the Red Line. Get off at Sheridan and go a block south and two blocks east to Gill Park. If it’s too crowded just go a couple more blocks east, where plenty of lakeside fields are just begging for college kids to come light up in them.

Once you’ve gotten your fix, pop on those gameday sunglasses (helpful for both glare and redeye protection), put any extra cigarettes in one of your socks (easily the best place to hide a joint) and head over to the ballpark!

All aboard! We are stoned, and heading to Wrigley!

Now, if you have managed your time well, you should have some time for another quick snack before heading into Wrigley. The two most obvious destinations are McDonald’s on North Clark St. and Taco Bell on West Addison St. Both are about a minute’s walk from the front gate of Wrigley.

Personally, I think of Taco Bell as drunk food more than high food. Plus, the Dees has McFlurries and McNuggets, basically a meal from a five-star restaurant when you are baked.

Once you get in line for a pat-down before entering the game, stay calm and try not to get paranoid. Remember, they don’t know you’re high even if you think everybody can tell. They can’t.

“the Dees” he calls it! Since this is a full guide to 4/20 at Wrigley, he’s going to go really in depth for you:

Hopefully the game has a lot of offense. Unless you are an avid baseball fan, a slow-moving game or a pitcher’s duel can get dry quickly. Even if the game lets you down, there are still plenty of things to keep a stoned kid entertained at a baseball game.

A true baseball fan loves a pitching duel, but a Wrigleyville puffer loves a slugfest!

The last time I went to Wrigley was two or three years ago, so I don’t remember the exact games they put on the big screen, but every stadium has them. You know, those mini-games where a banana, orange and apple race and the crowd is supposed to guess who will win. At Yankee Stadium, it’s always a subway race. And even though the game is predetermined before you select the winner, you always feel like a boss when you guessing correctly.

Take a look through the program and see which players you’d like to smoke a joint with and why. Sounds stupid, but a lot of stupid things aren’t so stupid when you are stupid.

Before you furrow your brow and say ‘what’ at the last sentence of Mr. Wrigley 4/20, it actually makes a lot of sense (in the eyes of a stoner) if you go back and read it again.

If you are a gambling man or woman, try making some bets on really obscure things. For example, friends and I always used to bet on whether the ball would land on the mound or roll off when the pitcher, catcher, etc. rolled the ball toward the mound at the end of each inning.

Be ready for some T-shirt tosses. Fact: Winning things are just better when you’re high. You know those numbers you can text mid-game to get a message on the big screen? Have a little fun. Try and incorporate some subtle 4/20 jokes.

That ball toward the mound game is so much fun without being stoned!

You have to find the right balance of school spirit and weed references. Trust me, I used to spend whole Yankees games trashing Joe Buck up on the big screen, even when he wasn’t calling the game.

Now this just sounds dull even if you’re high.

He goes on to tell you how to finish off the night (high of course), including which train to ride back to Northwestern.

There are so many references and connections to Cubs fans and their green out there on the internet. I don’t know what this conjunction exactly spawns from; but it’s very real. We’ll report back with more later in the year when another Cub or Joe Pepitone has given us more material.

Cubs fans and their adoration for pot is something to marvel at!

Chicago Cubs move on to the NLCS

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[Box Score]

It’s hard to believe this was the first time the Cubs have clinched a postseason series on Wrigley Field soil in their history. It’s hard to believe that Fernando Rodney and Clayton Richard got holds. I thought the Cubs were in trouble when Travis Wood was on in relief before the fifth frame was completed.

But the Cubs have such star power, and in our opinion their brightest start got the biggest hit.

Anthony Rizzo, with the death blow. It’s nearly a carbon copy of last night’s home run:

Monster home run from forgotten man Javier Baez that swung the entire momentum of the game, while you were driving home from work. Kyle Schwarber with the exclamation point home run that left Wrigley.

Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon were electric in the 8th and 9th. The energy at Wrigley Field was absolutely incredible. This is a team worthy of watching in the NLCS, and they’ve now knocked off the team with the best record in baseball. This is the beginning of a long and glorious run for the Cubs, and it’s good for baseball.

Cubbies!

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No matter what happens from here, Cubs fans will always have this one night at Wrigley Field. And holy Hell, was that as fun as it looked or what?

The top six players in the Cubs lineup (Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Castro) all hit pretty tremendous home runs deep into the Chicago night. The wind was blowing out, and the Cubs powered past those evil rotten Redbirds from St. Louis 8-6.

Our favorite was definitely the Anthony Rizzo bomb; his first hit in the playoffs:

Sure, the Cardinals hung four runs on Jake Arrieta which is impressive in it’s own right. But Arrieta was nasty enough to strike out nine and get the Cubbies in control of this series.

Tomorrow at 4:37 eastern time when the sun is still in the sky; some late afternoon baseball will against be played at splendid Wrigley Field. We are really hoping this series wraps up tomorrow night and the Cubbies roll onward. Maybe Back to the Future was right all those years ago.

There’s baseball at Wrigley Field Today

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One of the most magical days of my life was when I visited Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was an absolutely, picture perfect day from start to finish. That day, we decided that it was one of the most magical places not only in baseball but in all of the world. That day, we decided that the Cubs were not an NL Central evil, but rather something that should be treasured by those who love baseball.

Today, playoff baseball returns to Wrigley Field. It’s the first time since October 2nd, 2008 when the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 10-3. That team was built around Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Derek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano started the first two games of that series. Good old Rich Harden took the loss in game three of that LDS series and the Cubs were swept. This team has a bit better foundation. We knew they would win the other night to ensure at least two games at Wrigley Field.

Tonight at 6:07 PM EST has the makings of a classic: the best pitcher in baseball at the moment Jake Arrieta takes the bump opposing Michael Wacha who is always solid in his own right. The Cubs have a golden opportunity to take control of this series and really as a -210 Vegas odds favorite, something weird is going to have to happen for them not to do so.

And we love it. There’s nothing more boring than the Cardinals grinding out 2-0 wins in the playoffs. It makes us want to move on to another sport. These Cubs however; they’re a breath of fresh air. They’re something new. And it would be good for the sport the longer these guys are alive in the playoffs and that huge market and their rabid fans get to live out the hopes of lifting the curse of the Billygoat and Steve Bartman!

So toast your 312 ale! We’re pulling for the Cubs to do this.

Betting on Baseball Saturday 10/10

A real wiseguy, Jimmy the Greek
A real wiseguy, Jimmy the Greek

Anyone looking for today’s casino bonuses will realize that they can grab the Chicago Cubs as a nice underdog this afternoon in St. Louis. The Cubbies are a +122 underdog currently at the Las Vegas Westgate for instance, with Kyle Hendricks opposing lefty Jaime Garcia.

The Cardinals Cardinal’d the shit out of the Cubs last night. That’s what the Cardinals do. They get home runs from Tommy Pham and great pitching performances from guys like John Lackey who was pumping 95 MPH gas and getting strike calls several inches off the plate. When those things are happening, the public is going to get slaughtered (Jon Lester probably had a huge public backing) and the casino’s and sportsbooks will absolutely slaughter you.

But DO NOT be swayed by all this. The Cubs are a good team. On name recognition sure, more people are going to know 10-6 Jaime Garcia and his 2.43 ERA. Kyle Kendricks is a solid 25-year old pitcher in his own right who has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last three starts. Meanwhile, Garcia has allowed four or greater earned runs in three of his last four.

This series is going to get evened up today. The Cubs have a lineup with lefties who OPS at a .772 clip against left handed pitching. They can get to Garcia tonight in St. Louis, and they’ll do just enough to get this series to Wrigley all tied up.

It’s hard to believe in all this time, the Cubs and Cardinals met for the first time in the playoffs last evening in their history! I would have missed that trivia question.

Our pick is the Chicago Cubs +122 on the moneyline. Go with the Cubs and make it a winning day.

Go Cubs Go

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It’s a Friday night in October. We have nowhere to be, and nowhere to go. The Cubs are playing playoff baseball, tonight against those rotten Redbirds. The only thing that could make this one more picture perfect is if Harry Caray and Bill Murray were toasting at Wrigley Field. Or if the game was being played at Wrigley at all.

The Cubbies think a changing of the guard is taking place in the National League Central. We certainly think they’re the more talented team on paper.

There’s just something that scares us about the Cardinals. They’re pesky. They’ve never needed to be good ‘on paper’ to go to a World Series and ruin an entire October of playoff baseball. They can take over the entire world with Thomas Pham and a can opener.

Just like tonight; it will be a dogfight and probably even a loss for the Cubs. You’ve got John Lackey opposing Jon Lester. Lester is nails in the playoffs. Everything should line up for the Cubs to take game one and get at minimum a sweep or two playoff games at beautiful Wrigley.

Yet we know how this works out for the Cardinals and this time of year. And their Cardinal way bullshit. The Cubs are our playoff horse and we hope they can give us something to really pull for into the next round. Lets end that curse of the Billy Goat together.

The Chicago Cubs are in the Postseason

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Here’s something that is good for baseball: the Chicago Cubs will be part of the MLB postseason. The Cubs are in the playoffs for the first time since way back when we basically started this blog, 2008.

The Cubs got in the playoffs even losing yesterday with the Giants losing to the Oakland Athletics. And this is great, because really I could not stand another year of the Giants getting their boring roster group into October and forcing me to watch three series of it.

The Cubbies are going to be our playoff horse we think. We would still really like to see the Angels weasel in in the American League. But overall, this is really good for baseball and we felt from the onset of the year that the Cubs would be left standing when the dust settled.

Now you just have to hope they get through the Wildcard game (sorry Pirates fans) and bring a long series or two to that historic cathedral Wrigley Field. It would be fun to watch this young group of players try to break the curse of the Billy Goat. Plus, Anthony Rizzo.

Anthony Rizzo is my National League MVP

I’ve seen enough. Anthony Rizzo deserves to be the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

This afternoon he and the Cubbies kicked off the holiday weekend in the best way possible, crushing a moonshot grand slam to right field with the bleachers full in a big 14-5 win over the DiamondBacks.

The numbers are there: 28 home runs, 83 RBI, 15 stolen bases, a .285 average and .927 OPS. The Cubs are entrenched firmly in the second wild-card spot, 7.5 games up on the Giants (thank goodness). Today’s win was their 76th  of the season.

Rizzo has been the best lynchpin on the best team in the race. I cannot think of another guy (Harper and Goldschmidt need to be omitted because their teams simply aren’t in it) whose team would be more affected without him. Rizzo is just the guy who stands out to me in the middle of it all, and his 5.6 bWAR is right in line with that (he could very easily finish around seven).

He’s hitting afternoon grand slams at Wrigley, handing out orange slices to teammates, buying pizza for fans; the guy is just doing it all right now.

Harper has been still spectacular but many measures, but has been pretty quiet the last several weeks and has been pitched around to no fault of his own. Goldschmidt is a monster – everyone knows this – but over his last 18 games is hitting .214 for the .481 DiamondBacks.

We often don’t talk enough about a guy like Rizzo, but he’s quietly been a really special part of a great Chicago Cubs season. It’s one of the best stories in baseball right now and he’s got our vote.

Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter Gem at Wrigley Field this afternoon

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Cole Hamels possible final Phillies appearance was a legendary one.

A Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field was the setting. He racked up 13 strikeouts in a no-hitter (he issued two walks) and a 5-0 Phillies win.

The latest reports have him in a flurry of trade rumors around baseball. If this was his last start as a Phillie; he’s sure to have given them a parting gift that Phillies fans will remember for life. It’s a special thing when a no-hitter comes to us all on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the summer, especially at such a legendary ballpark.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of this. I was on daddy duty from 9 AM to 6 PM and Disney Junior graced my television screen. When I saw what Hamels had done, I had to get this post up.

Jay Bruce turns a Reds loss into a Reds win at Wrigley with his glove

Jay Bruce isn’t helping the Reds win games with his bat (currently hitting .218). He took one directly out of the loss column and put it in the win column to kick off the weekend at Wrigley Field yesterday with this play above. The Reds won the game 5-4.

It is so nice to see in a lost season; a guy going all out on a play where it would have been easier to call it a day. There’s nothing worse than when you aren’t hitting and you have to go out and play defense. Jay Bruce showed he’s playing with pride right now with this play.