The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Something’s Brewing pt. 7–Herb Takes Exception

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Note:  If you’ve been reading The Seeker for the past few years, you’ve come across some of Herb’s writing.  He reflected on Michael Jackson’s death a few years ago, and last year I was honored to put up his elegy to a late friend.  Though he never comments in public (despite my requests that he do so…), he does email me frequently with reactions to whichever posts attract his attention.  A few days ago, in what I can only imagine as a spit take when he read it, Herb let me know what he thought of my assessment that the Cubs played sorta respectable baseball this year.

Herb commented:

Respectable? Most teams have at least one hitter near Ramirez’s .300.  Certainly Castro is a true find even if he throws errantly at times or spends more time spitting sunflower seed shells than watching what’s going on on the field, and hits is the only area in which he leads compared to the leaders in all other categories in the National League. Plus, the Cubbies are tied with the Pirates as of this moment with a 70-87 record, 22 games out of first and ahead of only the Astros in the central division. Only two other teams in the National League including Houston have won less games, with Colorado having lost as many. Zambrano was an embarrassment and hopefully will not dirty the Cubs’ towels again. Hendry got fired before the season ended. Their boss seems to think all will be well if he goes out to the bleachers and hands out free baseballs. Soto may have 17 homers for the second straight year but is nowhere near his Rookie of the Year status from 2008.  Quade has not been the inspirational answer the players fought for at the end of last year, and it remains to be seen what kind of refreshing new g.m. Ricketts will bring in.  So, respectable?  I think not. But as you say, that’s the beauty of the game. It’s like starting a new school year: everything is clean and shining and nice and full of promise, and then…

 I did wrap up my very brief thoughts on the Cubs by noting that silver linings were hard to find anywhere near the corner of Sheffield and Addison, and honestly I skimmed over the crap that is that Cubs in favor of focusing on The Brewers, which is exactly how I dealt with the Cubs this year.
Truth be known, it was easy to unplug myself from the annual Northside Misery.  I still like the Cubs, but I’m tired of them.  I’m tired of the bumbling play and management.  I’m tired of the ticket scalping scene around Wrigley.  I’m tired of Zambrano.  I’m tired of the frat party atmosphere on game days.  Hell, I’m tired of being tired of it all.  Before this summer, it had been over two full seasons since I had gone to a game at Wrigley, and I didn’t miss it.  I was apathetic to the pathetic.  These feelings started to take root several years ago–last year I ran Carlos Zambrano Must Die, a serial examining the dolt’s game-by-game performance and his overall usefulness to the team.  Thankfully he short-circuited my short-sighted painfest by getting demoted to the bullpen, so I didn’t have to keep up with the serial.  Three years ago, I posted Notes on the Last Night of Misery, all about the assininity that was the Cubs playoff “run” and questioning the effectiveness of Lou Pinella.  Furthermore, at the risk of sounding heartless, I didn’t shed any tears when Ron Santo died.  While I respect his work for the Juvenile Diabetes Relief Fund and appreciate what he brought to the Cubs as a player, he was an unintelligible buffoon on the radio who all too often was out of touch with what was happening on the field and how to perform his job.  His pandering to the Hall of Fame diminished his accomplishments.  Fans ignore the fact that his fingerprints are part of an unbelievably epic collapse in the summer of 1969.  Instead, he is celebrated for being almost good enough.  Given all this, I’ll ultimately remember Ronnie as the embodiment of the most profound problem happening at the Friendly Confines:  He was all about nostalgia with no regard to excellence.
So yeah, I’m with Herb.  I guess I’m lucky in that I can unplug my Cubs feelings with relative ease when there is meaningful, well-played baseball to watch played by a nearby franchise that is finally getting things right.  And this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who knows me or reads this blog.  One of my first published stories, Shades of Blue, is all about how I came to my dual citizenship as a Cubs and Brewers fan.
Thanks for checking in, Herb, and setting the record straight.
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Written by seeker70

September 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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