Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cubs, Tigers and extending shameful streaks

The only thing worse than watching the Mets lose in person is not watching the Mets in person at all.

I pretty much have to adopt this as my credo. Because it appears that the Mets are going to lose whenever I show up. As those close to me know, the last time I witnessed a Mets victory was all the way back on July 21, 1991, when the Mets beat the Dodgers at Shea.

Correct. We’re talking 17 years. Here is my streak of shame:

7/26/1995 Cardinals 3, Mets 2 in St. Louis

9/24/1995 Marlins 4, Mets 3 in Miami

6/17/1997 Yankees 6, Mets 3 in the Bronx

6/30/1997 Tigers 14, Mets 0 in Detroit

4/5/1999 Marlins 6, Mets 2 in Miami

6/10/2007 Tigers 15, Mets 7 in Detroit

8/4/2007 Cubs 6, Mets 2 in Chicago

Extending the streak was Monday’s debacle at Wrigley Field.

4/21 2008 Cubs 7, Mets 1 in Chicago

First, thanks are in order to my buddy Will and his lovely sidekick Laurie, who gave up her seat so I could go. Naturally, she’s a Cubs fan, and she knows how to ensure a victory for her team.

Final score aside, there’s nothing bad about seeing a game in the Friendly Confines. It’s a true neighborhood event, with houses for blocks and blocks showing their Cubs banners.

Inside, you can’t get closer to the players in too many other places. I was hanging out near the Mets bullpen watching Oliver Perez throw, and I bet he was less than five feet away.

And I was pretty impressed by the Cubbie vendors. Keep in mind I was proudly wearing enemy colors. Yet several ushers cheerfully offered to take our photos, and both the food and concession vendors I dealt with seemed to go out of their way to be nice.

You already know about the game, which was a great pitchers’ duel until our bullpen decided to let the Cubs batters pad their stats.

Sadly for many Cubs “fans,” they were already back at Sluggers and Murphy’s by the time game got out of hand.

So I thought you might like a photo tour of our adventures.

The blocks around Wrigley are filled with street vendors selling Cubsware.

Some their wares are of questionable legality and taste. Check out the Japanese headbands.

Will and I checked out the new Ernie Banks statue. Naturally I have my sweet new Shea Final Season t-shirt.

Part of the new Walk of Fame is a tribute to Bill Buckner, who was wearing a Cubs batting glove when Mookie's ball rolled between his legs in the glorious 1986 series.

It was nice to see Mets fans at the game -- even delusional ones.

Just like my game at Wrigley last year, Oliver Perez was throwing in the bullpen.

Derek Lee collected his Gold Glove Award prior to the game.

Cubs fans know how to party. I have no idea what the hats were about. Will says there are a lot of people there who are interested in a game, but it has nothing to do with the events on the field.

It's a little hard to see, but that's Cubs legend Ron Santo singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

With the game over and the streak of shame extended, I sought comfort in the fact that the Cubs have an even longer streak of shame. We celebrated this by reenacting the infamous Steve Bartman moment from the 2003 playoffs.

As we were going Bartman, I heard a voice saying "Nice try, but you're in the wrong spot." This guy said he was sitting in the actual seat, and was "reversing the curse" by sitting there after the game. Not sure how he was doing that, but he was having fun.

In other news...

I now have a favorite Tiger.

Sometimes my job takes me to cool places, and sometimes cool people come to my job.

Tuesday morning we got a press release saying that Curtis Granderson, the Tigers centefielder rehabbing here in Grand Rapids with the Whitecaps, was appearing at a middle school.

I suddenly became the most territorial reporter in the newsroom.

Curtis Granderson meets the local media.

I have to say that Granderson was impressive. I learned that he asked the Whitecaps to call the schools and said he had a couple hours of free time before the game, and offered to speak to students.

He spoke about how both of his parents and his sister are teachers, and that classmates are like teammates who you can call on for help. He's one of just 30 major-leaguers with a college degree, proudly discussing his business degrees from University of Illinois - Chicago.

We talked for a little bit after his time with the students, and he told me the event is just something he enjoys doing.

Here's my full story: http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/04/curtis_granderson_comes_to_gra.html

1 comment:

Bob said...

Nice write up, Dave. It sounds like you guys had a fun time.