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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Long Wait

No, not THAT one.  I’m talking about the long wait until 7:08pm tomorrow.  These waits with the offday in between are just so, so long.  I already spend so much overthinking things, now I have another 24 or so hours to question and re-question everything I think I’ve convinced myself to think to feel. 

Anyhow, the Cubs are in position to clinch the pennant at home.  It’s a big moment, and as much as I try, it’s impossible to ignore history.  Luckily, history doesn’t really matter; or it doesn’t matter in how the game will play out.  There’s going to be so much talk about what happened last time, and any little play that might be similar is going to be compared to then.  It’s going to be hard to ignore all of that sort of nonsense.  But like I’ve been saying all year, this team isn’t those teams; these players, aren’t those players.  Now isn’t then.

I don’t like speculating or trying to project what the players are thinking or feeling.  So this next bit is out of character, but thinking about it does make me feel a little better.  If there’s any evidence - a big *if* - of either team feeling the pressure here, or letting the pressure affect them, it sure doesn’t appear to be the Cubs.  It was a silly, pointless moment, but last night there was a pop-up Rizzo caught, and Baez got a little too close, jokingly.  Rizzo laughed and threw the ball of Baez.  It likely means absolutely nothing, but it was a neat little exchange (that still made everyone a little nervous), but showed at least how those two were feeling.  At the same time, I feel like pressure is getting to the Dodgers.  They’re making a lot of little mistakes, things that seem out of character; Roberts appears to be overthinking -the IBBs in game 1, pulling Maeda before Lester’s AB, all the empty talk about bunting and running on Lester that led nowhere.  Those aren’t the moves of a guy who feels like he’s in control as much as a guy who wants you to think he’s in control.

Obviously, most of that paragraph is probably just useless bullshit.  It would also be completely irrelevant if Kershaw comes out and is as dominant tomorrow as he was in game 2.  On the other hand, I think the Cubs were starting to get to him.  He only threw 84 pitches, but at the end he looked like he’d thrown more.  Last night Smoltz talked about the mental stress on Lester, and how he probably felt like he’d thrown a lot more pitches.  The Cubs couldn’t touch Kershaw early, but the end of the game they’d hit a bunch of rockets off him; Baez’s last flyout was the hardest hit ball of that entire game.  I’m not going to predict the Cubs are going to knock Kershaw around, but I feel like they’ll look less helpless against him.  I have faith in Hendricks, and the defense, and there really hasn’t been a lot from the Dodgers’ offense this series to scare me.  Sure, I’m a little worried about Chapman, and maybe Rondon and Strop, but for the most part Maddon has put people in the best situations to succeed possible.  It’s probably going to be another cool, wind blowing in sort of night.  The Cubs offense can, and will, scratch enough out baserunners that they won’t need to count on the big home run, but they still could hit one.

Here’s to a mostly stressless 34 hours or so until gametime…

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:51 AM (#5330916)
Another Roberts one I forgot to add - batting Ruiz cleanup. This Dodgers offense doesn't feel like a $250mil team, and having your backup catcher hit cleanup reinforces that point. It's not like Roberts could have even pointed to a small sample of Ruiz hitting Lester - Ruiz is hitless off him. I'm not even sure the thought process that led to that decision.
   2. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM (#5330923)
I would like to see the Cubs really work the count against Kershaw early on. We've got to get him up around 20 pitches per inning, even if guys aren't getting a lot of hits. They've been really good about this at times this year, working to full counts and then fouling pitches off.

With the exception of Jansen, we've hit pretty well against this Dodger bullpen. We need to get in there as early as possible.
   3. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:57 AM (#5330924)
Not to say this result was predictable, but the Dodgers' lineup against Lester featured a guy who hit .190 in the leadoff spot, a cleanup hitter who had 15 RBIs on the season, a No. 5 hitter who slugged .292 against left-handers and a center fielder who hit .125 against southpaws.


That's from one of the other articles, and kind of reinforces what I was trying to say in post 1.
   4. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM (#5330929)
I would like to see the Cubs really work the count against Kershaw early on.

Agreed, but to Kershaw's credit, he doesn't make that easy. He pounds the zone so much, not only do you not get walks you just don't see many balls.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM (#5330930)
So, how exactly does the standing room only ticket thing work?
   6. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:07 AM (#5330941)
Put this in the other thread, but When twitter is on it's game, it's great.
   7. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:08 AM (#5330945)
So, how exactly does the standing room only ticket thing work?

I had the same thought. For game 6, it looks like you pay $500 to try and find a spot where the ushers let you stand, hoping no one is standing in front of you. But also knowing you can't move the entire time.

I'm still considering it too...
   8. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:08 AM (#5330946)
Amen.

When someone brought up 2003 in last night's chatter, I was surprised it didn't elicit any knots in my stomach. It's a different team. They could very well still fall short but I just don't get a whiff of panic or pressure from this team. Even when the bats were in the midst of their 20+ inning hibernation, it sure looked like they were keeping the panic/stress in check. Sure - they were perhaps getting a bit out of their game, but of course - Russ and Rizz have come roaring back in the last two games, so whatever depths of stress were felt near the end of game 3 - they sure didn't have a problem carrying it like a millstone around their necks.

So hey, 2003... Nazi Child Molester in '84... whatever. Really doesn't faze me because none of it seems to faze this team.

The Cubs have scored 18 runs in the last two games. Tough to keep that going against Kershaw, but the back of my mind worrying about the lack of offense - except when timely needed late - is no longer something that concerns me. The bats are back.

Let's get it done.
   9. Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:12 AM (#5330952)
I like the cubs chances, they couldnt do much worse than last time out against him.
   10. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:17 AM (#5330960)
I got lucky enough to snag tickets to both Games 6 and 7 via the lottery. I can't even imagine what the vibe in the neighborhood and Wrigley is going to be like tomorrow before the game ... and if the unthinkable happens ... my goodness.

Here's hoping I get a refund on Game 7.
   11. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM (#5330963)
I did an SRO in last year's NLDS game 4 -- it's fun, though your view of the field is clipped.

Obviously, you can wander around (in a somewhat limited fashion, of course... you can't exactly walk up and down the aisles) - but yeah, you're basically standing against the back rails around the diamond. The SRO sections are pretty clearly marked -- but it's basically that back railing in between the 100 and 200 sections. You actually get not-terrible views of the field (you're technically close than people in the 200 level seats), but you have virtually no sight lines on flyballs. Anything in the air, and you're either watching the fielders/crowd reaction or looking up at the monitors.

The tough part - if you get a single ticket - is you need to get friendly with people standing around you... obviously - concessions and bathroom, etc - so leaving your spot means you may very well need to find another spot. People in my experience were really good about it - at least in the area I was in... you didn't have lots of people trying to save 5 spots, etc. The delirium of it all makes people a lot more friendly about that sort of stuff.

On one level, it seems like a lot of money to spend to have a not great view of the game... but, well.. Cubs... possibly clinching their first pennant since '45. I can think of a lot of stupider things I've spent too much money on.

I'm kinda kicking myself -- I think I'm going to do an SRO, too -- you could actually find bleacher tix in the 350 range as late before last night.
   12. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:22 AM (#5330965)
Oh, and I'm not one to really make predictions, but ... I have been to four games featuring KB the last two seasons. He has at least one HR in each, with 2 in last year's July 4 game.

Just sayin'.
   13. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM (#5330971)
I had the same thought. For game 6, it looks like you pay $500 to try and find a spot where the ushers let you stand, hoping no one is standing in front of you. But also knowing you can't move the entire time.

I'm still considering it too...


Is it really going to be $500(ish)? I will save my bullets for the hypothetical next series then.

EDIT: Oh, they are on stubhub right now? I thought they only did it the morning of the game. I am old.
   14. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:29 AM (#5330974)
I'm pumped, personally. Can't wait for tomorrow!
   15. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:29 AM (#5330975)
Here's hoping blue eyes rigged the lottery for you, Weeks!

That's actually how Ron Cey became my favorite player as a kid -- he homered in the first three Cubs games I ever attended... plus - I was told as a kid that I looked like I waddled when I ran.
   16. altavista Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:32 AM (#5330979)
I brought up 2003 and it was a stupid question I had (this seems to be my new role at BBTF). I asked if it was 3-2 going back to Chicago in 2003 merely to see if I remembered it right. But, of course, it had to have been 3-2 as the Cubs lost both 6 and 7, which I knew very well. Anyway, just being dense. 2003 clearly has no bearing on 2016. Nor did 1984 on 2003.

So, Cubs fans: Which drought is more important to break? 1945 or 1908? I mean to ask, if the Cubs win the pennant and lose the World Series, will you be satisfied with the season? Personally, I would think so. You break a long drought, you play in the World Series. I'm sure no one would be happy to lose the Series but you must still feel pretty good, no?

(Full disclosure, I'm a Braves fan and 1991 is still one of my favorite seasons of all time. I didn't get disappointed about losing the World Series until 1992. And then many years thereafter. But 1991 was special even if it ended badly).


As to actual strategy, sure try to make Kershaw work. But, as stated above, he throws strikes. Hitting behind in the count is also not good against him. I think I'd tend not to tell everyone to take and might even tell the first 3 to take their hacks in the first inning to make Kershaw think he needs to nibble more.


So, I'm clearly rooting for the Cubs and very envious of those of you who will be on hand. Good luck.
   17. Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:34 AM (#5330983)
Win it all. At this point anything else is soul crushing.
   18. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:43 AM (#5330994)
I'm with meatwad... top of the heap, baby,

Take out the back riding monkey fully and completely.

One step at a time, though. Get the pennant, celebrate that, and then move on to the last peak.
   19. altavista Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM (#5331002)
I suppose I felt no monkey in 1991. We had just been bad. We'd always been bad. Going into 1991 I had no idea we might not be bad and spent most of the summer laughing about how the Braves were leading the division. Winning the division would have pleased me a lot. Getting to the World Series was like science fiction and I felt no pressure at all.

Quite different than what you guys have gone through.
   20. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM (#5331003)
Another Roberts one I forgot to add - batting Ruiz cleanup. This Dodgers offense doesn't feel like a $250mil team, and having your backup catcher hit cleanup reinforces that point. It's not like Roberts could have even pointed to a small sample of Ruiz hitting Lester - Ruiz is hitless off him. I'm not even sure the thought process that led to that decision.

Yeah, but at least he was protected by Howie Kendrick.
   21. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:52 AM (#5331007)
Also, ElRoy and I will be in 528 tomorrow. Driving up in the morning.

Weeks, where are your seats?
   22. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:54 AM (#5331014)
I brought up 2003 and it was a stupid question I had (this seems to be my new role at BBTF). I asked if it was 3-2 going back to Chicago in 2003 merely to see if I remembered it right. But, of course, it had to have been 3-2 as the Cubs lost both 6 and 7, which I knew very well.

They were up 3-1 in that series, in fact; Beckett threw a 2-hit shutout at them in game 5 in Florida before the horror show of Games 6 and 7 went down.

So, this'll be the second NLCS game 6 I've attended; I feel confident in saying this one will turn out better than the first. Further the affiant sayeth not...
   23. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:57 AM (#5331023)
Thanks to an old VHS retrospective that WGN did following the '84 season that I literally wore out -- I've always associated certain songs with certain Cub feelings.

The music that played over the clips of the 84 Cubs clinching the old NL East was Prince's Let's Go Crazy... and that's the song I think I'm going to playing on continuous loop for the next ~30 hours.

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

Electric word life
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you
There's something else
The afterworld

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one - Dr Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You're on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy - punch a higher floor
   24. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM (#5331028)
#### it. I'm doing this. The only question is whether it's game 6 by myself or getting game 7 tickets with my co-worker (and hoping the game doesn't happen). He has to get back to me in the next couple of hours.

It's going to be a long day.
   25. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:04 PM (#5331035)
How do stubhub tix work if there is no game? I assume you get the refund?
   26. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:06 PM (#5331038)
How do stubhub tix work if there is no game? I assume you get the refund?

I'll just have him put it on his card and then stiff him since he would be costing me the opportunity to see the Cubs clinch the WS in person by getting me to skip game 6.
   27. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:11 PM (#5331047)
I think the Cubs have released limited tickets on gameday each of the home playoff games to date. But they can only be bought in person, and I'm not sure what time it happens.

---

I see some standing room for $360 now. The cheapest non-SRO ticket I see is section 538, row 7, for $440. Cheapest bleacher is section 311, $498.

---

I won lottery to buy single game tickets, too. Couldn't get any for NLDS, got through for NLCS and got 2 for game 1. So I will be in the lottery again for the next round and can get 2 tickets (there's a limit of 4 total through this lottery), so hopefully they win and I can start worry about getting through for that. It was $125 face value (plus another $20ish BS fees) for section 525. I'm sure it'll be a bit more next round, and there's no stopping me for splurging for that. The decision is whether or not to splurge now...
   28. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:12 PM (#5331051)
Seats in 528, row 5 are $515each (seats 7/8).
   29. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:13 PM (#5331053)
Yeah, but those seats are cut-rate on account of having to share a row with me. (Seriously, I'd jump on em....that's cheaper than I'd have thought.)
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:15 PM (#5331057)
(Seriously, I'd jump on em....that's cheaper than I'd have thought.)

That's your listing, isn't it?
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:19 PM (#5331063)
I've got some in the queue for row 6. Out of curiosity which seats are you guys in, Spahny?
   32. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:21 PM (#5331066)
####, if you're gonna go, too, maybe I should go and we all just hang out in 528.

I'm not him, but he has seats 1/2.
   33. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:23 PM (#5331069)
I haven't pulled the trigger yet...
   34. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:25 PM (#5331073)
I can't convince any of my usuals to go, so I'd be flying solo and would just tag along with people here.
   35. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:26 PM (#5331075)
So, this is how I plan on wasting my time? Considering doing this? Ugh.
   36. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:26 PM (#5331076)
Ha--no, Pops, you should know me better than that. I will sell no more tickets for 2016, regardless of what happens. (I have tomorrow night and WS games 3 and 5. I will attend any and all of those games that end up being played.)

Moses has my seats correct. Party in 528!
   37. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:28 PM (#5331077)
Do it, Moses. Who cares if you've got a formal "date."
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:30 PM (#5331081)
First round of beers is on me if any of you guys make it to 528.

EDIT: And I'm talking the respectable Goose Islands, not the Bud Lights.
   39. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:33 PM (#5331089)
Stubhub not working for me and now I'm on hold in the help line.
   40. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:35 PM (#5331095)
Rizzo laughed and threw the ball of Baez. It likely means absolutely nothing, but it was a neat little exchange (that still made everyone a little nervous), but showed at least how those two were feeling


I noticed that, too, but don't think anyone mentioned it in the chatter.

We hear so much about youth/inexperience being a detriment, but sometimes, it seems to have its advantages. I mean, I was in my first semester of college when the 03 NLCS went down and a lot of these guys make ME feel old. Addison Russell was 9! Javy Baez was 10! Kris Bryant was 11! Anthony Rizzo was 14! David Ross was 60!

Point is, most of these guys were children when the Bartman game happened. No, they aren't oblivious to that situation and the Cubs' history. I just don't think they care/think about it nearly as much as most of us do.
   41. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:37 PM (#5331096)
Alright, Vivid Seats came through (I think). Waiting on confirmation....
   42. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM (#5331098)
Weeks, where are your seats?


I'm in 527, row 2.

Count me in on the party .... Someone BBTF mail me and we can trade info.

   43. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:42 PM (#5331102)
I'M SORRY FOR LIVE BLOGGING THIS BUT THIS EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN EXCRUCIATING AND RIGHT NOW I'M WAITING FOR THE DAMN WEBSITE TO "COORDINATE WITH THE SELLER" SO I CAN CONFIRM I HAVE A TICKET. THIS JUST AFTER STUBHUB KEPT TELLING ME MY CREDIT CARD INFO COULDN'T BE VERIFIED AND THEN LOCKED MY ACCOUNT.

EDIT: Paydirt! Let's gooooooooooo Cubs.
   44. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM (#5331104)
So, here we are. After 13 years. We're back to where we were when it all happened. When the baseball gods rose up to smite the Cubs, choosing Steve Bartman as the catalyst of destruction. I can pretty safely say that, death of close family member aside, that day was the worst of my life to date.

But we made it back again. With the best team in my life, with the most fun group of players I have experienced. It's been a lot of fun. #8 talks about confidence. Sure, I have faith in this team. The players have shown a lot of talent and heart.

But I was very confident in 2003, also. In many ways the Cubs were in a much more favorable situation then. Unlike in 2016, they were able to pitch their top two starters in Wrigley. And they didn't have to face a Kershaw or even a Rich Hill. They had to beat Carl Freakin' Pavano and Mark Redman.

Fun facts: Carl Pavano's career ERA is two full run's below Kershaw's. Pavano had an ERA+ of 98 in 2003, Kershaw put up a 230 this year. They've pitched almost the same number of innings in their career. Pavano gave up 450 more runs than Kershaw has.

More fun facts: Mark Redman's career ERA+ is 93, worse than Pavano. He's a whole half-run worse than Rich Hill has been, but Hill has had an up-and-down career. Redman had a career year in 2003, with an ERA+ of 117. Hill this year put up a 214.

So the Cubs might win, or lose, or the baseball gods might make another appearance, and I might have a new worst day of my life this weekend.

Let's spare my heart, please.

Let's Go Cubs!
   45. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM (#5331105)
Looks like no singles in 528... only pairs -

I'm gonna reach out to some friends and see if I can scare up someone else willing to do the deed, if not - I see a number of singles a couple sections over in 530 at the same price, so I think I'll join you fellas.
   46. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM (#5331107)
With fees, the ticket is $645. Ugh.........
   47. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM (#5331108)
I'M SORRY FOR LIVE BLOGGING THIS BUT THIS EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN EXCRUCIATING AND RIGHT NOW I'M WAITING FOR THE DAMN WEBSITE TO "COORDINATE WITH THE SELLER" SO I CAN CONFIRM I HAVE A TICKET. THIS JUST AFTER STUBHUB KEPT TELLING ME MY CREDIT CARD INFO COULDN'T BE VERIFIED AND THEN LOCKED MY ACCOUNT.

EDIT: Paydirt! Let's gooooooooooo Cubs.


Nice. I was trying to comment on your being victimized by the inferior Ohio Valley interweb service, but my own Ohio Valley interwebs weren't allowing me to connect for a few minutes there.
   48. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM (#5331110)
zonk, I'd consider a pair. Which one?
   49. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:52 PM (#5331113)
Vivid Seats is showing singles, zonk
   50. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:55 PM (#5331116)
Count me in on the party .... Someone BBTF mail me and we can trade info.

Done.
   51. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM (#5331117)
I've got either 528 row 5 ($600) or 527 row 3 ($625) sitting in my carts. zonk, if you want to, let me know...
   52. altavista Posted: October 21, 2016 at 01:06 PM (#5331125)
But I was very confident in 2003, also. In many ways the Cubs were in a much more favorable situation then. Unlike in 2016, they were able to pitch their top two starters in Wrigley. And they didn't have to face a Kershaw or even a Rich Hill. They had to beat Carl Freakin' Pavano and Mark Redman.

I've been saying this to no avail all postseason but pitching matchups are way overrated. For a single game it just doesn't matter that much. Great pitchers commonly have bad playoff games and nobodies occasionally throw gems. It's all part of the "crapshoot" style. Sure, if you let me choose, I'd rather face peak Pavano than peak Kershaw. But I'd rather face Kershaw having a bad night than Pavano having one of his best. And you just don't know what you're going to get. And it isn't like the Cubs are pitching AAA-filler.
   53. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 21, 2016 at 01:15 PM (#5331137)
Pops and Spahn - responded to both you guys, thanks for emailing. See you fellas tomorrow!
   54. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 01:17 PM (#5331140)
I've got either 528 row 5 ($600) or 527 row 3 ($625) sitting in my carts. zonk, if you want to, let me know...


Definitely down for that... I just saw your e-mail -- I can shot over a chase quikpay with the total. I'm cool with either
   55. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 01:22 PM (#5331144)
Just responded back, Moses -- I'm good with either... let me know how you want to do it - got distracted by work for a few minutes, so if your cart cleared, no biggee -- I'm definitely pulling the trigger one way or another this afternoon, but I'm certainly up for a live chatter in section 52X!

   56. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 01:26 PM (#5331148)
There literally is nowhere to enter my CC information on vivid, either in the order itself or in my profile. wtf.
   57. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:18 PM (#5331195)
More Baez love, but with him trying to describe why it's so fun to watch him play. I agree with the end here:

There are canny athletes who can awe you with their ability to control the game, and then there are guys who can grab your eyeballs with their physical gifts. It’s rare to encounter a player who can consistently do both, but that’s exactly what Baez has been doing throughout the playoffs. His highlight reel includes plays that look like physical impossibilities, crafty and ballsy base running, split-second strokes of defensive genius, and plenty of swings designed to deliver prodigious dingers to the adoring public.

Watching Javier Baez play baseball is like watching Tim Duncan lock down his man with a bit of masterful post defense on one end of the court and then throw down a Russell Westbrook-style dunk on the other end. It’s like watching Mark Buehrle pitch if Mark Buehrle also had a 94-mph fastball. It’s like watching David Eckstein hustle for the extra base and then hit a 450-foot donger in his next at-bat. It’s impossible to not watch.
   58. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:31 PM (#5331207)
Moses and I are --

528, row 3, seats 5 & 6...

Elroy's beer bill grows larger!
   59. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:34 PM (#5331210)
I'm in 538, sadly.
   60. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:40 PM (#5331216)
This is gonna be a blast. Let's channel some energy at Ye Olde Balle Yarde.
   61. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:40 PM (#5331218)
This is gonna be a blast. Let's channel some energy at Ye Olde Balle Yarde.
   62. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:46 PM (#5331221)
Shitty Internet aside, the sentiments bear repeating.
   63. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:50 PM (#5331227)
Elroy's gonna need help carrying anyway :-)

Gonna be a long day tomorrow... tailgating in the AM in Evanston, then breathlessly counting the hours till evening.

Spot to meet up pre-game?

BTW - for anyone driving in, if anyone wants to try street parking in the neighborhood -- I've got a sheet and a half left of zone 383 daily stickers that expire in 2 months anyway. While I'll be out of pocket in the AM until early afternoon - the zone ticketing doesn't start till 6 PM, so I'm happy to provide a sticker to anyone who needs one.
   64. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:52 PM (#5331230)
This is gonna be a blast. Let's channel some energy at Ye Olde Balle Yarde.


Amen, brother!

Let the New Yorkers have their softball... we'll do our meetups in the playoffs!
   65. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:53 PM (#5331232)
I'm open to suggestions for pregaming. I'd like to get into the park not long after it opens (5-5:30ish?). I'll be getting into town mid afternoon.
   66. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:57 PM (#5331235)
I'll be taking the Metra (arrives downtown 3:45ish), so I'd be in the neighborhood by 4:30.

It's usually 2 hours before start when gates open, right?
   67. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:57 PM (#5331236)
I was there for this game last year. I'll take a sequel. Szczur won't be playing, but his bat will...
   68. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:05 PM (#5331247)
I think that's right, Moses.

I didn't click, but I assume that's the game where Bryant and Szczur homered off Kershaw. I think I remember reading that Bryant's was the only home run Kershaw's ever allowed on a curveball? (Or maybe it was just the only one last year. Whatever.)
   69. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:18 PM (#5331258)
Yep, that's the game.

   70. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5331262)
It generally seems to me that the spots north of Waveland on Clark are less crowded (yakzies?) compared to the spots south of the park, but I doubt there's anything "less crowded" on LCS days.

Fine with trying further west on southport, too. Or maybe Guthries on Addison, a block west of racine?

I suspect I'll be back in the neighborhood by 3ish, so whatever time works for me.
   71. madvillain Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:51 PM (#5331287)
Wanted to come in here and say the Cubs are amazing and don't appear to be wilting under any historical pressure. Party on Moses. I have turned full on heel against the White Sox' management so I'm rooting for a historic Cub win that convinces JR to sell the team. Barring that I'd take maximum embarrassment over the coming year as the Sox play in front of an empty stadium and their neighbors to the north fly a WS flag.

Ever since I spent some time in PR (played catch with a few kids there as well although basketball seems more popular now) I try and follow PR born players a bit more. Absolutely loving Baez. Hopefully his fame keep the youth in PR into baseball, the island has such a rich history of players.
   72. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:56 PM (#5331291)
Fine with trying further west on southport, too. Or maybe Guthries on Addison, a block west of racine?

In my experience with crowded games, this is the best option, though, again, LCS.
   73. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:06 PM (#5331308)
South on Sheffield might also be a decent option - I hang out sometimes at Vaughan's. Its neighbors on either side (Kirkwood and Mad River) are pretty awful but Vaughan's is usually fine...unless there is some sort of Ohio sporting event going on. I would like to try to avoid the Lesser Fall Sport as much as possible.
   74. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:08 PM (#5331312)
Looks like tOSU@PSU is a 7pm Saturday game. So that would probably rule Vaughan's out.
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:10 PM (#5331313)
Ugh. Yeah, no Vaughan's. And are they really calling it "tOSU" now? Yeesh.
   76. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:13 PM (#5331320)
I dunno, but I always do sarcastically because they do emphasize the "The".
   77. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:25 PM (#5331337)
Well, come on, it's not just AN Ohio State University, now is it?
   78. Brian C Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5331361)
I'm going to start emphasizing a "the" in front of every college name. For example, I'm really looking forward to bringing up THE Northern Illinois University or THE Rutgers or THE Trump University.

Also, it's weird that some people pronounce the word as "thee" and some pronounce it as "thuh". It's a ####### three-letter word, probably the most common word in the English language, let's get on the same ####### page here, people.

No, I don't have anything meaningful to contribute to this conversation. I hate off days, especially when things are going well.
   79. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:48 PM (#5331363)
Well, come on, it's not just AN Ohio State University, now is it?


It's oodles of fun to respond to a self-identifying Buckeye with "Oh Really? Which one? Miami of Ohio? Kent State? Bowling Green?"
   80. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 04:51 PM (#5331369)
From now on, I'll thank you to refer to me as THE ElRoy Face.
   81. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:10 PM (#5331378)
I had the same thought. For game 6, it looks like you pay $500 to try and find a spot where the ushers let you stand, hoping no one is standing in front of you. But also knowing you can't move the entire time.

I'm still considering it too...


If you get SRO in the bleachers, I think you can get there early and get a spot at the bar at the top of the CF bleachers, under the scoreboard. A pretty decent view. When I was there for the NLDS games virtually no one was up there 60-90 min before game start, so it would have been easy to claim a spot. Who knows if you can come and go though.

This might sound dumb, but I was surprised how ridiculously full the bars were before Game 2 of the NLDS. Wrigleyville North at Sheffield and Byron was not too bad. A very divey place with a fairly low for Wrigleyville douche factor, but not a great beer selection, but they had a couple of Goose Island selections on tap and it did the job for me.

Also, I met Charles S and crew at a place called Dive Bar on Halsted between Cornelia and Newport before NLDS game 1; small place but few people there. The food was actually pretty good; similarly limited beer options but they also had Goose Island. Pregaming in Boystown is probably a smart plan if you really want to minimize the douche factor.

There are some interesting looking places now on Clark south of Addison with sprawling indoor/outdoor layouts, but it was prime ######### territory.


   82. altavista Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:11 PM (#5331380)
I always assumed it was The Roy Face but in Spanish. :)

Anyway, you guys are killing me with this conversation. I'm not a Cub fan and I'd love to be there. But it's your party, I'm over a thousand miles away and I have plans Saturday night. Have fun. I'll be looking for you all on screen.
   83. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5331384)
I like Guthrie's as an option *if* it's not too packed, but that's a big if.
   84. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:15 PM (#5331389)
Let's just plan for that and see how it goes. If people are down there between 3-4, we should be okish, I think. Spahn and zonk have my number, anyone else that wants it just primer email me. I'll plan on heading there. Brown line from Union is easier than Red line anyway.
   85. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:24 PM (#5331393)
Guthrie's looked like a zoo 2 hr before the game I went to. You basically couldn't get to the bar at Butcher's Tap, which is a pretty small place.
   86. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:29 PM (#5331402)
What about Matilda on Sheffield? I haven't been there in more than a decade, but it seems like the kind of place that probably has a decent beer selection and wouldn't attract much of a bro crowd.
   87. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:32 PM (#5331403)
Another option I'll toss out that shouldn't be too bad a few hours before the game is Wrigleyville North (corner of Sheridan/Dakin) - basically, walking due north on sheffield from the bleacher entrance (sheffield turns into sheridan) about 3-4 blocks. It's where I watched the NLDS game 1 - and actually had no problem getting a seat roughly 30 minutes before the game started. It's very much a dive bar, the beer selection isn't great (goose and the standards), and I think it's cash only -- but I don't think it goes it out of its way to be any particular college football bar, so pretty sure it won't be packed at all. No nibbles, either.

My preference would be Guthrie's - mainly because of the excellent beer list - but no idea how packed it will be and when (and Guthries gets pretty miserable if it's packed... not so much the clientele, but it's just not built for crowds).

   88. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:35 PM (#5331405)
Nevermind Matilda. Apparently it's a Michigan bar, and they play at 2:30 tomorrow. The Inferior Fall Sport really pisses me off.
   89. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:36 PM (#5331406)
Matilda works for me, too.

Always liked that place... and Baby Atlas!
   90. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:40 PM (#5331414)
Looks like it's gonna be just me in tomorrow's chatter!
   91. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:46 PM (#5331420)
How about Bar on Buena? Good beer selection, food, unlikely to draw the game crowd but still a pretty easy walk to Wrigley.
   92. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:48 PM (#5331421)
Other options --

Sheffields is somewhat bro-ish, sure - and probably crowded, but it's a pretty big space (and a good beer list).

It's been quite a few years since I've been in it -- but the old Laundry Ball/Newport Bar & Grill on Newport, just around the corner from Southport might escape the crowds because there's a salon or somesuch fronting ON southport, so if you don't know it's there, it doesn't draw in a lot of foot traffic. Not sure if it's got any IFS affiliations.

The L&L Tavern most certainly will not be packed! Fairly certain its regular do not like sunlight.

EDIT: Scratch Newport... the interwebs inform it has recently closed. Sigh.
   93. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:50 PM (#5331423)
The L&L Tavern most certainly will not be packed! Fairly certain its regular do not like sunlight.

That place terrifies me.
   94. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:53 PM (#5331425)
Nisei Lounge is another option - but on a Saturday LCS, I suspect its usual "not crowded" becomes "crowded" due to park proximity.

Bar on Buena definitely works for me...
   95. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:56 PM (#5331427)
That place terrifies me.


Oh, you just say that because it's a reflection of the darkest, most despairing part of the human soul.
   96. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:02 PM (#5331429)
Bar on Buena is terrific, and is a convenient way station between Chez The ElRoy and Wrigley.
   97. Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:16 PM (#5331434)
When do they do the lotto for the ws tickets I put in for it and am ready to max my credit card to see em play.
   98. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:17 PM (#5331436)
   99. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:22 PM (#5331439)
When do they do the lotto for the ws tickets I put in for it and am ready to max my credit card to see em play.


My bad news from the lottos arrived the day after the clinchers... so hopefully - you and me both will know Sunday if we're paying face value or selling a kidney.
   100. zonk Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:37 PM (#5331455)
alright fellas... I'm out for the evening to attempt to feign interest in sundry things unrelated to whacking the crap out of Clayton Kershaw in 26 hours.

Bar on Buena certainly works for me, and as it's a 3 block walk - times immaterial to me... I expect to be back in the hood around 3ish, so I'm also happy to take point on recon, too but I'll check back in on any decisions.

Primer mail appears to be working and Moses has all my info, so see/meet some of you tomorrow, expect and have no doubts the rest of you will do the chatter proud, and GO CUBS!



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