The Cubs are a bad baseball team. They've suffered countless injuries, they did not adequately replace Moises Alou, and there's a new attraction outside of Wrigley Field called "Hit a Home Run off of Latroy Hawkins: $.50."
It is, therefore no surprise that the southsiders took 2 out of 3 from the Cubbies this weekend, including the game I attended on Friday in which Freddy Garcia outdueled Greg Maddux
. This is a fun series because the teams actually hate each other. Maddux started the game by hitting Tadahito Iguchi (he chose not to drill Scott Podsednik for obvious reasons. Podsednik did successfully steal a base later in the game). In the bottom of the first Garcia threw at Jerry Hairston, Jr. (not to be confused with Jerry Hairston, Sr. whoever he is), and eventually hit Derrek Lee, at which point the benches were warned.
After that the game was fairly pedestrian with the Cubs showing their typical lack of offense and the White Sox manufacturing a few runs, and getting solo shots from Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye. The true fun at a Cubs/Sox game is in the stands. I personally observed the following:
1. The bathroom setup at Wrigley is a bit odd. The men's room consists mainly of "urinal troughs" which is pretty standard for an older stadium, however, in the bathroom that I frequented that day the trough ran in a rectangle around a center island, and the island did not extend to the ceiling so you were always staring at someone else while doing your business. While this is not terribly disconcerting (especially after a few beers) it did lead to a lot of cross-urinal trash taking between the warring factions. In the top of the eighth inning a large frat-boyish cubs fan and a white sox fan with a rather large gut, probably in his early thirties, started yacking at each other over the island (a real pissing match, if you will) and eventually the dispute came to fisticuffs and "spilled" outside into the atrium where security guards pounced on both of them. They continued to talk trash all the way down the ramp, although it was too slurred to understand.
It's not really a Cubs/Sox game unless you see one of those.
2. I am a Brewer fan, of course, but I was with Cubs fans, so I was labeled as such by the southsiders in attendance. One member of our group is the friend of a Sun-Times reporter who was looking for Sox fans to interview. We had a few obnoxious Sox fans next to us (whenever they got up to get a drink or use the bathroom they would yell "Sox fans, coming through!) so we asked them if they wanted to be interviewed by the Sun-Times. They clearly associated us Cubs fans with the reporter that we had been talking to, and they smartly replied, "We only do interviews for the Trib."
The Trib owns the Cubs. Dumbasses.
3. In order to get in some pre-game priming we went to the Cubby Bear
, which is an excellent sports bar across the street from Wrigley Field. You would think that a bar called "The Cubby Bear" would offer die-hard support for all things Chicago, especially the Cubs and Bears. It is not so. The Cubby Bear's dirty little secret is that it is in reality a Packer bar
4. Old Style is a great baseball beer, and the Old Style cans at Wrigley feature the Cubs' logo.
5. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen got lost on the way to the game
6. Henry Blanco, who may be the worst offensive player in baseball, was responsible for the Cubs' only run when he reached second on an error committed by Tadahito Iguchi, and later scored on a single by Jerry Hairston, Jr. Blanco also hit a solo home run yesterday for the Cubs, which turned out to be the decisive run in the game.
7. The food at Wrigley was pretty good (I give their hot dog a solid "B"), but nothing at Wrigley can even compare to Miller Park's Secret Stadium Sauce
, the greatest condiment ever invented.
8. The White Sox fans made it through the entire series without assaulting an umpire or an opposing coach. Kudos.
9. Jennie Finch sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." Nice.
(Note: Will Ferrell sang it as Harry Carey last time I was there, and it was great.)
10. The White Sox are a superior team, at least right now, and Dustin Hermanson is doing a great job as the closer, but does anyone else think that his facial hair makes it look like he as a butt on the end of his chin
In about 2 weeks I'm moving to a new apartment, 2 blocks away from Wrigley Field. I can hardly wait.