The most recent seven days of Cubs baseball saw the first weekend games as well as the first night game of the season. Unfortunately the Cubs lost two of three to the Reds over the weekend but came out of the first evening tilt with a victory over the Padres. We saw the offense come alive, finally, but saw our $136 million man fall victim to recent trend of April injuries. Last year after the first weekend/night game, the Cubs were 4-1, had just swept the Cardinals and were in first place. We all know how the season unfolded, so for those of you out on the ledge already, come back in and grab a glass of kool-aid, there is reason to be excited. First off, Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis have been nothing short of fantastic. Lilly should be 3-0 and maybe Rothschild found his “mentee.” Though allowing four free passes, Marquis looked sharp on Monday evening and solidified his reputation as an offensive force. Zambrano faltered last Friday, but with his recent history of slow starts, there is no need to panic quite yet. Z will win 20 games with the type of offensive support he received Friday afternoon.
Secondly, Mark DeRosa and Cliff Floyd helped spark the Cubs first home night victory belting homeruns. DeRosa is off to a positive start showing more pop than expected while living up to the “versatile” reputation. Speaking of versatility, Ryan Theriot is doing everything in his power to stay off the bench and in the game. His hot hitting, solid defense and impressive hustle are hard to ignore, giving Lou Piniella another weapon in his arsenal.
The most noticeable and refreshing addition to the ball club has obviously been the skipper. Sweet Lou’s passion, dedication and drive are hard to miss and it appears the guys love playing for him. His tirade last Friday was classic and comical while bringing a smile to my face. Gone was the toothpick, the Cali-cool attitude and the word DUDE, heck even Mariotti likes Piniella and he does not even like himself. This season promises to be memorable if only for Lou’s outbursts and general personality.
Though the product on the field left little to be desired at times, the first weekend and night games solidified what we all know. Wrigley Field is the crowning jewel of this franchise and needs to be left alone. I am sick of reading negative stories about the historic ball park and vehemntly disagree with the authors of these columns. Wrigley Field is an experience, the ultimate post card and in so many ways, another home. Comedian Tom Dressen once said that the best part about Wrigley is that you can go “sit in a seat that my grandfather sat in, that my father sat in, and that someday, my children’s children will sit in and for three hours, time stands still.” How right he was. Sure, there are many topical improvements that need to be made and the grandstand should be rebuilt, but that is all. The outfield and bleachers are perfect, the ivy is legendary and “Under Armor” advertising is, well, its….its, okay, the outfield is ALMOST perfect, but you get the point. Wrigley Field is truly epic and I am reminded of that fact every time I walk through the turn-styles.
Aprils will come and go, $100 million men will pull their hamstrings, 22 year old rookies will have their day, star pitchers will choke, career bench players will lead the club in homeruns, and all-star third basemen will experience arthritis, but Wrigley will always be king. And never will he shine in his glory more than when the World Series Championship banner is finally unfurled somewhere in the outfield. Until that moment, I will continue to go “sit in a seat that my grandfather sat in, that my father sat in, and that someday, my children’s children will sit in and for three hours, time will stand still,” and I will love every last second frozen in time.
What a week of firsts it was, now I am off for seconds.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and until next time….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!!!