Rambling About the Cubs while Wrigley is Rocking
Hello again, everybody! And I mean, HELLO AGAIN EVERYBODY!
It has been a long, long time, but Ramblings is BACK, and man it feels good! As I have said before, sometimes life gets in the way, but sometimes, it is for great reasons. I am no longer a resident of Wrigleyville as I have moved to Northwest Arkansas to live with the woman I am going to marry in five short weeks.
While life has displaced my physical being geographically, my heart still bleeds Cubbie blue and my belly still loves it some Cubbie Kool-Aid. I left Chicago a few shorts weeks after the 2015 season ended with dreams of World Series trophies whizzing around my head.
And now it is mid-June, and the Cubs, well the Cubs are the best freaking team in baseball, and are on the precipice of writing a chapter entitled:
One of the Five Best Teams Ever … in the Regular Season
And that is the kicker. Let’s get excited. Let’s scream and yell, and for the first time in way too long of a time …
Let’s get down to the brass tacks and go rambling!
- Man, I missed you guys. I really did. This is just good ole fashion and fine-free fun. The fun you can be fined for is also phenomenally fun when done frequently.
- Willson Contreras is channeling his inner-George Jefferson right now … “MOVIN ON UP … TO THE NORTH SIDE!” (I took liberty with the cardinal direction there)
- So much has gone right for this team that some of the accomplishments seemed to be lost, and one that comes to mind is the performance of Jon Lester. He has pitched himself back to the elite level and should find himself in San Diego for the Mid-Summer classic.
- Speaking of the All-Star Game and festivities, the idea of MadBum and Arrieta and a few other pitchers competing in the Home Run Derby is enticing and enthralling on paper. I believe it to be a bad thought if put into practice. I don’t want to ruin the fun, but this sounds idea sounds like it should be a line in the old SNL spoof commercial, “Bad Idea Jeans.”
- WOO PIG SOOIE. Sorry, now that I have moved to Arkansas, sometimes that just slips out. My apologies, it is rather hard to control.
- The Cubs starting rotation is ridiculous. It is so much fun to watch. And yes, I am fully aware that I am currently Captain Obvious.
- There are superstars on this team, but everyone is contributing. Everyone. It reminds me of the ’89 team. I recall that team referring to its decentralized hero system. Rizzo and Bryant are Grace and Dawson, but Alberto Almora Jr. sure did one heck of a Luis Salazar impression the other night!
- There is so much talent inside of Jorge Soler. It might not be on the Cubs, but I truly believe someone is going to unlock it and watch it blossom. We all have to remind ourselves that he is just turned 24. He is still four years away from the beginning of his “baseball prime.”
- In thinking about and discussing things that have surprised me thus far, I must say the performance of Tommy La Stella is up there. His production has been rather enjoyable to witness.
- Here is a shout-out to my Wrigley Beer Vendor, Ira. He has been vending at Wrigley for close to 50 years and patrolling the left field upper deck with his tray of Budweiser’s for decades. Ira has agreed to be a beer vendor at my wedding. How cool is that!
- While it has not been an everyday-kind-of-thing, it has been very nice to see Szczur have some success at the big league level. He is a fantastic human being who has worked very hard for his chance. Kudos to you, sir.
- What sophomore slump? I have enjoyed watching Bryant cut down on his strikeout rate while maintaining his pop. He should easily get to 30/100 this year and continue to build towards a consistent All-Star.
- The David Ross retirement tour is awesome. Grandpa Rossy is an awesome story to watch. Everyone could learn a little about taking themselves less serious, and finding the fun in all walks of life. It is definitely there to be had.
- Heyward just needed to get his feet wet. He has gotten them wet, and his production is following. Again, to bring up the prime of a baseball player, Heyward is just 26 with a wealth of experience, and I predict his offense will break out in a big way the next couple of seasons.
- Presented without comment: David Price, Mike Moustakas, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Wieters and Jason Heyward were all drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft. The Cubs picked third that year and selected Josh Vitters.
- Joe Maddon is awesome. He is the kind of guy you want to have a beer and a glass of wine and a shot with. Or four of each. It is amazing what he can do, how he can develop and his ability to instill confidence.
- Kyle Hendricks is 4-6 with a 3.05 ERA. And that is the “worst” pitcher on the team. Ha, this is fun!!!!
- I do not believe there is anything else I can say about Jake Arrieta that has not been said. Other than this … if you workout like crazy everyday, have a great pitching coach, return to the throwing form that you prefer and eat a very healthy diet … you can improve. You can get better. You can even pitch up to your potential. Not everyone cheats.
- WOO PIG SOOIE! Whoa, sorry, it happened again.
- The Cubs are 45-20, 25 games above .500 and playing better than any team in baseball with a rotation and lineup lacking any noticeable weakness. I know this sentenced just jinxed the season, but this has been simply awesome.
Well, that is all for now, folks. It is so darn good to be back. I hope you did not miss me too much, and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the first ramblings in almost eight months! The Cubs are rolling, the weather is warming and life is solid. I hope y’all have a phenomenally fun weekend, and until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!