Tag Archives: chicago cubs

2015 MLB Postseason

Sorry that I haven’t been posting on a regular basis, but it’s the 2015 MLB postseason and I’ve been a little distracted. It’s harder to blog when you’re going directly to the bar after work to catch the game. It’s a little strange watching the games without the San Francisco Giants taking part, but it’s an odd year so that’s to be expected.. When the Giants are playing I’m either focused on offense or defense. It’s kind of nice watching teams that I’m not invested in because I can see the whole game

This has been a pretty exciting postseason. There have been a lot of memorable moments so far. Kyle Schwarber’s mammoth homerun that landed on top of the Cub’s scoreboard, Jose Bautista’s bat flip to end all bat flips, Daniel Murphy’s heads up baserunning and homerun tirade all stand out. All of the Division Series went to a pivotal Game 5 except for the Cubs vs. Cardinals.

Now the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays are battling it out for the American League pennant and the Chicago Cubs are trailing the New York Mets for the National League pennant. The winning teams will go on to face each other in the World Series. It doesn’t matter who wins. No matter what it will be good for baseball. All the competing teams haven’t won the World Series in decades. If your team isn’t in it, you should be rooting for the Cubs. Not for the fact that they haven’t won in over a century, just so that Back to the Future Part II is right. We don’t have hoverboards or flying DeLoreans, but I’ll take a Chicago championship.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Jose Bautista's bat flip

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Steve Bartman

Steve Bartman is perhaps the most well known Chicago Cubs fan in history, and for all the wrong reasons. He’s the guy who interfered with a foul ball during the 8th inning of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, potentially costing the Chicago Cubs their first chance to get to the World Series in a million years. Even non-baseball fans remember this play. The Cubs were up 3-0 in the 8th and 5 outs away from the World Series when Marlin’s batter Luis Castillo hit a ball down the 3rd baseline and several fans made an attempt to catch it. Steve Bartman was one of those fans, and he was the unfortunate one who managed to deflect it. Cubs outfield Moises Alou wasn’t able to catch the ball and he blamed poor Steve. And then the other Cubs players blamed poor Steve. And then the Cubs announcers and all the Cubs fans in the stands started to blame poor Steve. And then all the other Cubs fans started to blame poor Steve. And poor Steve received death threats and had to be placed under police protection, and he is still hated today. All because of something that was purely instinctual. There were half a dozen other fans who could have been the one to touch the ball. We could all be hating Susie Nonfan just as easily. It just wasn’t Steve Bartman’s day. Steve, if you’re reading this, I feel sorry for you and I’d love to buy you a beer sometime. You’re lucky I’m a Giants fan.
Critically Rated at 9/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Wait Til Next Year

The Chicago Cubs have a motto and it’s “wait til next year.” That’s because they haven’t won a World Series title since 1908. That’s a pretty big drought, the longest of any North American sports team. As each season crumbles away and they see their World Series chances dissolving, all the fans can do is wait till next year. I never really understood their grief. I’m a Giants fan, and we won two World Series in three years. But then the 2013 season began, and the Giants started playing like a Little League team. We still have the same core team that won it all in 2012, but this season we are last in our division, well below .500, and are about 20 games behind the Dodgers. We have no choice but to wait til next year. We can still gloat about being the defending champions, but we can’t ignore the fact that we suck right now. Only one team can win the World Series, everyone else has to wait til next year.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Rookie of the Year (film)

Funky buttloving, the early 90’s had a bunch of family movies about baseball. There was Little Big League, Angels in the Outfield, and The Sandlot. There was also Rookie of the Year, the tale of twelve-year-old Henry Rowengarter who gains the ability to throw 100 mph fastballs after he breaks his arm in a freak accident. Thomas Ian Nichols plays the title character, Gary Busey plays an aging pitcher, and Daniel Stern plays the annoying pitching coach and directs the movie as well. If you didn’t see this movie when you were a kid, you probably think that this movie sucks. And you’re right. It does.

Henry Rowengarter is an average kid who loves baseball. The problem is that he sucks at baseball. He spends his days hanging out with his two friends just having fun and being a kid. He lives with his single mom, and is annoyed with her new douchey boyfriend, Jack. Henry is the worst player on his Little League team and gets made fun of. One day he breaks his arm. When he finally gets his cast removed, the tendons in his arm have constricted, which gives him the awesome side effect of being able to throw a baseball at a hundred miles an hour.

Henry discovers his new ability when he’s at a Cubs game and the visiting team hits a homerun and he throws the ball back. The Cubs are a little desperate for talent and attendance and hiring a kid with an arm like Nolan Ryan would fill the seats. Jack sees dollar signs and becomes Henry’s agent.

Henry joins the Chicago Cubs without being drafted or playing a single game in the minors or even being of legal age. In his first game he comes in to relieve his pitching idol, the fading Chet “Rocket” Steadman (Gary Busey). He gives up a homerun, hits a batter, and throws a wild pitch on his first three professional pitches, but ends up with the win.

With the help of Rocket and the weird pitching coach Phil Brickma (Daniel Stern), Henry learns how to pitch. He starts to get sucked into the glamorous lifestyle of being a professional prepubescent pitcher and starts neglecting his friends. His sleazy agent hatches a plot to trade Henry to the Yankees, but Henry finds out and fires him. Henry realizes that he was being a dick and makes up with his friends and decides that this will be his last season.

Before he quits he wants to send his team to the playoffs. He comes in to relieve his idol in the final game of the season. He pitches well, but then he slips on a ball and loses his arm. He uses his wits and cheap tactics and an illegal pitch to retire the side and send the Cubs into the post season. The movie jumps ahead to Henry winning a Little League game and pumping his fist in celebration, and the movie ends on a close-up of his World Series ring. I guess the Cubbies did it. Even if it’s fictional you gotta take what you can get.

For a movie about baseball, they sure don’t respect it. You never see Henry take a warm-up pitch. You hardly see any real baseball plays. You just see a bunch of obvious discrepancies, like Henry isn’t even eligible to play, and he’s not eligible to win Rookie of the Year because he joined the Cubs in August and you have to pitch at least fifty innings to qualify. Nitpicky stuff, but other movies like Little Big League pay attention to baseball rules and that’s kind of important in a fucking baseball movie.

Gary Busey is a great actor and he has a decent appearance as Chet “Rocket” Steadman. His character is gruff and surly in the beginning but warms up to Henry and become a father figure to him. His great transitional scene is his moment on the mound with Henry where he talks about “hattitude” in a rambling attempt at a pep talk. Daniel Stern does a pretty good job directing this movie, but he insists on ruining it by playing the most annoying character in cinematic history. He is desperately trying to be funny, but even kids can tell when an actor is phoning it in. I know it’s a kid’s movie, but you can at least try to portray a character with a little respect for the audience. John Candy plays the announcer for the Cubs. It’s not his best role, but John Candy is always a plus. He made movies better just with his presence.

This movie is kind of lame. You might have fond memories of it, but if you study this film for its artistic merit you wont find any. It has its moments, but so do most movies. If this is your favorite 90’s kid’s baseball movie, you have obviously never seen The Sandlot.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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