Showing posts from 2015

That Shark Has Sailed

Jeff Samardzija, aka, The Shark, has decided to prey near the warm water of the Pacific ocean. I had hoped he would return to the Friendly Confines, but, apparently, his dinner date out west was more appetizing.  He accepted a five-year deal with the San Francisco Giants for $90 million.  I wish I could reap as much money from a prior year of failure in my job like what Jeff just succeeded in accomplishing.   Baseball-a warped profession that rewards sub-par performances.  Go eight-figure figure.

Cubs fans were left with a more economically priced St. Louis Cardinal leftover.  Free agent, John Lackey, has reportedly signed a two-year contract for $32 million. Putting aside the fact that he played for a team we despise, let's examine his numbers.  At age 37, his lifetime ERA is a respectable 3.92.  He produced the lowest ERA ever with the Cards last year at 2.77 and proved his continued longevity by pitching 218 innings, the most since playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2007.  …

Why I Want The Shark Attack Back

When Jeff Samardzija was offered $85 million dollars in 2014, I remember desperately hoping he would accept the deal and remain a Chicago Cub.  I adored The Shark - not only for his super cool nickname given to him by his former Notre Dame baseball teammates, but also because he hales from the same part of northwest Indiana that I do, commonly referred to as the Region.  He was born in Merrillville and grew up in Valparaiso.  I was born in Gary and grew up in Hobart. I love his voice and his long locks. He is, in my opinion, one of the best all-around athletes that Indiana has produced.  In 2006, he became the Fighting Irish football team's all-time leader in reception yards.  Football accolades weren't enough. A two-sport phenom he turned out to be, when he decided to step on the rubber for Notre Dame.  The Cubs selected him in the 5th round of the 2006 draft and lured him away from football altogether in 2007 with a deal totaling $16.5 million.  In July of 2008, my favorite…

A Great Cubs Season And What I Got Out Of It

I'm sitting on my couch feeling sort of numb and empty.  The Cubs season is over.  It ended last night, after a gut-wrenching loss to the red hot New York Mets  A loss that, not only completed a sweep of the Cubs in the NLCS, but also brought many a tear or sigh to the millions of devoted fans all over the world who stayed up late, praying for a miraculous comeback that never happened.  Was it the fault of ancient curses upon our team?  I think not. Was it a lack of preparation in the field or during pregame batting practices? Could it have been the relaxed coaching style of Joe Maddon? Again, it was none of these things.  It was nothing more than games that just could not be won.  Fly balls that dropped on outfielders before laid out bodies and outstretched gloves could snag them.  Bats that remained still because a batter looked at an armpit level pitch that got called for a strike.  Long hit balls that wound up just foul......I could go on and on.  That is the torture of baseb…

Riding The Cubs Coaster

Just a quick little post about the painful and also euphoric feelings all Cubs fans have been experiencing for the last few weeks .

We have recently endured the end of the Cub's consecutive game hitting streak which was a sharp kick in the ribs.  A hitch in the ride. Yet, it united many a fan with an optimistic and positive outlook for new records and achievements to take its place.  
Well, I think today we all hopped on the Cubs coaster for real. The Cubs coaster has been slowly and methodically making its way up to a precipice of unequaled proportions .  Up from the cellar dweller record.  Up from the floor of constant riddling and hearing that our team sucks and will  forever be cursed by ancient folklore. 
The sweep of the Brewers today and the dominance of the Cubs over the last 14 games is real and alive.  When the coaster reaches the apex and we look over the edge we will all be ready.  At that exact juncture of perfection; when our stomachs drop and our hands fly up in th…

A Birthday Trip To Great American Ballpark!

I love writing about my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.  So naturally,  I want to share the birthday trip my husband Rick bought me this year to see them play the Cincinnati Reds!  My older sister JJ, who has tracked our family tree back to the beginning of time (haha), reminded me recently that our fifth grandfather on our mother's side, Ephraim Kibbey, was one of the founding fathers of the greater Cincinnati area.  Cool!

It started out with me looking at the game schedule for the Cubs around my birthday, July 21st.  The Reds would be their opponent at Great American Ballpark! I've always liked the Reds, too.  I grew up watching the Big Red Machine win a lot of games.  Johnny Bench is my favorite catcher of all time.  His jersey number, five, is also my favorite number, because of the way he played the game.  We were originally going to attend the night game on the 21st but Rick couldn't get off of work until Wednesday so we …

Mrs. Winklepleck

Hobart Junior High was a lot like every other school in the seventies.  Red brick, two-storied, and filled with hopelessly geeky teenagers, like myself.  Students wore bell-bottom jeans and rock band T-shirts. Posters of teen idols hung inside locker doors next to class schedules.

Everyone who was cool smoked cigarettes.  I remember walking down to the corner drugstore where I would eagerly spend my lunch money on menthol Kools instead of food.  I'd smoke three or four and then get horribly nauseous in gym class afterward.  Gym class was called gym, not P.E.  Smoking would ruin athletic opportunities for me down the road in high school. Just a few years/cartons later I was caught with a cigarette in my hand by a Nazi hall-stalker who tracked me out an exit side door. No advanced P.E. for this rebel!!!  But, I had my smokes!  How did I graduate in the top twenty percent of my class?  Haha!  At least I quit smoking in my twenties. 

Home Economics, Home Ec for short, was a junior…

My Love Affair With The Chicago Cubs

My Twitter friend and blogger Andy Schmidt, (@ASchmidtSports), has asked a few female Cubs fans to talk about how they developed their passion for the team.  Here's a brief account of my particular love affair.

Alhough it was dad that took my sister and I to see our first Cubs game against the Astros in Houston, TX,  it was my husband Rick who took me to the Friendly Confines for the first time on October 1, 1988.  I still have my ticket.  It was only $6!  The Cubs played the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Some of the greats playing that year for the Cubs were Sandberg, Dawson, Grace, Maddux, and my then current crush, Rafael Palmeiro.  He belted his 8th homer of the season that afternoon.  The Pirates had the great Andy Van Slyke who hit his 25th homer in this game.  Andy was a badass!  Rick and I sat on the right field side in the warm October sunshine guzzling our beers and soaking it all in. I can't remember who smoked a foul into the seats right next to me but I will never forge…

A Baseball Game With Dad

On the eve of what would have been my dad's 88th birthday I thought it would be nice to write about the first Cubbie game that I ever went to with him and my older sister JJ.  It was another hot day in Houston back in 1976. Dad came home from his job with game tickets in his hand and said, "Girls, let's go to the Astrodome tonight to see the Cubs!"  It was totally unplanned. We were so excited because we had never been to a professional game before.  Not even when we lived in Hobart, IN or Highland Park, IL!  Go figure.  Why dad waited until we were 925 miles away from Wrigley Field to go to a Cubs game, I'll never know.  Haha!  But I have made up for it since then.  ; )

I believe, at that time, he was working for the Paragon Corporation. I know he was always flying off somewhere when he worked for them.  Before Paragon, he worked for Medical Ancillary Services.  This was one of the first organizations to group and market emergency room physicians, a predecessor …

Arizona Vacation 2015

I had not been to the great state of Arizona since the young age of seven.  My best friend Susan has a daughter named Kylie who is a professional pole vaulter. Kylie lives with her boyfriend Jake, a former college pole vaulter himself, in Phoenix, AZ. They also own a beautiful, sweet dog named Gizmo! : )

Kylie is training to hopefully qualify for the Olympics!  I mentioned to Susan one day that it would be so much fun to visit, and enjoy some popular attractions like the Grand Canyon and a few of the beautiful spring training facilities that are in the greater Phoenix area.  Susan talked to Kylie and boy was I thrilled when she told me a vacation getaway was in store for us!!! It was a lot of fun planning our itinerary, but even more fun enjoying it!  I can't thank Kylie and Jake enough for their wonderful hospitality!!

We flew on Southwest Airlines out of Indianapolis on Saturday, March 21st.  I was pleasantly surprised by the newness of the plane. Having only flown with United …