Cubs Win World Series

Thursday, November 3, AD 2016

 

The Chicago Cubs, breaking a 108 year drought, have won the World Series, defeating the Cleveland Indians in the seventh game of the Series, eight to seven.  The two teams were evenly matched, with the Cubs managing the very difficult feat of winning the final three games of the Series.  In the world to come I suspect Billy Sianis and his goat Murphy are not too unhappy at this turn of events.  Go here to read about them.  Since the Brexit in Britain vote I have been saying that 2016 is an unusual year, and, as any resident of the state of Illinois would agree, any year in which the Cubs win the World Series is a highly odd year indeed!

On a personal note, my late father, like his father before him, was a Cardinals fan.  My late grandfather, Ray McClarey, was born in 1908, the last time the Cubs won the Series. I did not inherit their appreciation of the game.  If there are televisions in Purgatory or in Heaven, I imagine they were among those cheering on the Cubs in the next world to victory.  God bless them, and God bless all those who can see the art and passion in a well played, and hard fought, athletic contest.

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4 Responses to Cubs Win World Series

  • I didn’t “have a dog in that fight.”
    .
    Some thoughts: Joe Buck is one reason God created the mute button. I was happy when the Indians tied it late. Both managers over-managed, especially the pitching: both teams’ batters had seen enough (at bats and film) of Miller and Chapman to “touch them up” late in the seventh game.
    .
    Never been to Cleveland. I spent a long, hot summer in Chicago/Obamatown two weeks in August 2014, was on the job.
    .
    In conclusion, lock her up.

  • As a die hard Cleveland fan, I’d love to have seen them pull it out, crippled as they were it was a valiant effort. Still, I’m happy for the cubs … despite Joe Buck’s love affair with Schwarber.

  • I wanted Cleveland to win.

    In September 2015, a Cub slid into Pirate Jung Ho Kung, ostenibly to break up a double play. Kung was at least three feet away form second base, but got clobbered. His leg and ankle were broken unnecessarily and he was in a wheelchair for a while. Joe Maddon made a comment about “maybe he has plantar fasciites.”

    I hope they lose for the next 108 years.

  • Oh, the pain.
    Some over here were saying that maybe the Cubs winning after 108 years is an omen for the Irish.
    As you may or may not know, the Irish Rugby Union team played the NZ All Blacks today on Soldiers Field in Chicago in a test match – the Irish have not beaten the All Blacks in a test match for 111 years.
    So those bloody Irish beat us (the unbeaten All Blacks by any team internationally for over three years) for the first time in 111 years. Had to be the Chicago advantage 😉
    Congratulations to the Irish – they found weaknesses in the All Black defence and took full advantage.
    Of course, they had a Kiwi coach – from my own home town – who was able to show the Irish how to expose the greatest rugby team in the world (out of 73 countries) and now the Irish can thank their Catholic heritage for beating the pagans from the outer fringes of civilisation deep in the South Pacific.
    God Bless the Irish. 🙂

October 14, 1908: Cubs Win the World Series

Friday, October 14, AD 2016

 

 

Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States when the Cubs last won the World Series on October 14, 1908, defeating the Detroit Tigers 2-0.  Just barely within human memory, about one hundred Americans are still alive now who were alive then.  It was the second World Series win for the Cubs, their first being the year before in 1907.  Why the Cubs have had this championship drought, other than bad ball playing, has been a matter of much speculation.  The most popular explanation is the Curse of the Billy Goat.

In 1945 Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, was attending game four of the World Series being held in Wrigley Field, once again the Chicago Cubs facing the Detroit Tigers.  This being Chicago where odd characters are as common as blustery politicians, he brought his pet goat Murphy with him to the game.  Other patrons complained that the goat stank.  Sianis was thrown out.  As he was leaving Sianis was heard to say,“Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more!”.

When the Cubs lost the series, Sianis sent a telegram to P.K. Wrigley, the owner of the Cubs:  “Who stinks now?

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Saturday, May 7, AD 2016

 

Something for the weekend.  Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  My secretary’s two young sons have donned their uniforms and begun participating in their baseball league and that caused me to think of what used to be called our National Pass-time.  I have never been a fan of any sports, but my sainted father was, especially baseball.  I can still see him in his easy chair watching one game on TV and listening to another on a transistor radio plugged into his ear.  He was a Cardinal’s fan, which made sense.  His father had given him the middle name Dean after the immortal Cardinal pitcher Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean.

The anthem of baseball, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, was written in 1908 by two Tin Pan Alley composers:  Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer.  Ironically, neither of these worthies had attended a ball game prior to composing the song which became such a part of the game.  The video at the beginning of the post is the original 1908 recording.  Below is one of my favorite renditions:

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2 Responses to Take Me Out to the Ball Game

  • Nice touch.
    We support our local semi-pro team.
    It’s convenient and fun to get close to the action. Saving time and money too vs. Driving to see the Detroit Tigers.
    It is a wonderful game.

    btw…I’m not a Kevin Costner fan, however Field of Dreams was a pleasure to watch.
    Fun story.

  • I had contemplated commenting that I prefer “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to the new, seventh inning stretch anthem: “God Bless America.”
    .
    However, the Yankees game is on TV. At the seventh inning stretch, the announcer introduced, and TV had him front and center, an Army vet who had “earned” (with his blood) a Purple Hear in Iraq. That makes it appropriate. And, the Yanks are besting the (arch-rival) Red Sox 7 – 2.
    .
    My son was stationed in NYC for a short time. The Yanks have free admission for GI’s in uniform. He got to see a few games before he headed off to Afghanistan.
    .

The Babe and the Brother

Friday, May 6, AD 2016

“It was at St. Marys that I met and learned to love the greatest man I’ve ever known. He was the father I needed. He taught me to read and write, and the difference between right and wrong.”

Babe Ruth

George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. hit his first major league home run one hundred and one years ago.  He would go on to hit 713 more over his career.  Playing for the Boston Red Sox in 1915, he was 20 years old.  He might well at that time have been in a penitentiary but for a life altering event.  Regarded as incorrigible at the age of seven, his parents sent him to The Saint Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a combination orphanage, reformatory and school.  There Ruth came under the tutelage of the most significant man in his life, Brother Matthias Boutlier, the Prefect of Discipline in the school.  A large man who brooked no nonsense from his charges, Brother Mathias was also a kind man.  He channeled the raw, animal energy of Ruth into baseball.  Ruth said he fell in love with the game instantly after seeing Brother Matthias smack a home run.  Throughout his life Ruth spoke of Brother Mathias in terms of veneration and gratitude.

Brother Mathias taught Ruth more important lessons than just baseball.  The Catholicism he was taught at the school, for all his well publicized sins, stayed with him throughout his life.  Both privately and through the Knights of Columbus he was engaged in countless charitable activities.  He lavished money on Saint Mary’s Industrial School for Boys after he became rich through baseball, including buying Brother Mathias two Cadillacs, the second one after the first one was wrecked.  When he wasn’t playing ball or drinking in night clubs, he could usually be found visiting kids in hospitals and orphanages, children having a firm grasp on Ruth’s heart.  When he died at age 53 of cancer in 1948 thousands of kids stood vigil around his hospital.  His funeral mass was held at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, with a crowd of 75,000 gathered outside the filled to capacity mass. 

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Various & Sundry, 8/28/13

Wednesday, August 28, AD 2013

Obama’s Half-Measures with Syria

I disagree with Abrams that we should intervene, but he’s right about Obama’s approach. Why are a hundred thousand killed by conventional means not a cause for action, but several hundred killed from chemical weapons means action NOW?

What I Meant to Say

Okay, we’re probably beating a dead horse, but this is a pretty funny satire of Jody Bottum.

Now, on to my non-arguments. I begin with a Bald Assertion: Although all of Western law, foundational decisions of the Supreme Court such as its original polygamy decision, and powerful dissents by Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, are all against court-imposed same-sex marriage—and although I am not a constitutional jurist myself, and haven’t even read those dissenting opinions, or any of the legal briefs—still, I say that THE EQUITIES ARE ALL ON THE SIDE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. NO ONE HAS EVER GIVEN A SINGLE COHERENT JURISPRUDENTIAL ARGUMENT AGAINST IT. NO PRINCIPLED LEGAL VIEW CAN RESIST IT.  And if you continue to doubt this, then, superb writer that I am, I will be able to find even other ways of stating the same un-nuanced point, until you finally acquiesce in it.

It’s very important for my purposes that you accept this point, because, you see, as a writer, my goal at the start is to play on the ignorance of my young readers especially and make them feel embarrassed for believing in marriage as solely between a man and a woman.  Ultimately I wish to undermine that conviction, or at least to lead them to accept the courts’ and my distinction between “marriage” and “civil marriage.”  And so, I want them to feel—maybe for the first time—that they are being grossly inequitable, unfair, unprincipled, fundamentally illegal, and basically un-American if they oppose same-sex marriage.

It’s a bold gambit, to be sure, yet it’s very likely to succeed, because after all a young Catholic without much experience of the world—or any poorly catechized layperson, for that matter—will feel that if a former editor of First Things can say these things so boldly, or if they are printed without correction in Commonweal, then they have to be true.  Why would a responsible writer say these things unless they were true?

Whither First Things?

A symposium on its future. Maybe it should hire Bottum back, you know, just for fun.

Today’s Adventure in Petty Attack Ads

I have no love lost for Chris Christie, but this is an especially petty beef. Christie stars in an ad saying that Jersey is recovering from Hurricane Sandy, so come on down, and his opponent runs an ad criticizing him for making it sound like the state is fully recovered. Christie is one hundred percent on the money with his response.

When a reporter asked about critics of the “Stronger Than The Storm” tourism ads, Christie shot back, “What would they have us do: go into the fetal position? I’ve never said everything’s all right.”

Christie should realize that carping about the fallout from a hurricane is much preferred nowadays to moving on and recovering.

Some of You Are Clearly Drinking Whiskey Wrong

$20 whiskey mixed with soda should be an offense punishable by death, or at least banishment.

Moving Past Errors and Pitcher Wins

Great stuff from Joe Posnanski on the silliness of relying on either state to measure player and pitcher performance. While you’re there, also check out his post on the Cleveland Browns.

The Tragedy of Derek Jeter’s Defense

Two baseball posts today as I couldn’t pass up this fantastic feature in Grantland.

If Michael Bay Directed Heartwarming Documentaries

It would definitely be something a lot like this.

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13 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/28/13

  • We should intervene. We are also accountable for what we fail to do.
    “… everyone is is doing (or not doing)” and “yesterday we did (or didn’t)” .are not good arguments.
    Did Christ sigh, “they’ve been profiteering in my temple all my life— why now?”

    This killing in Syria deserves a swift targeted response. We might die trying. Our culture is dying right now, maybe it ought to be about something.

    Do people think that if we don’t intervene that will mean that there will be no war then? Oh yes there is going to be war.
    Is this sunni or shia? is this atheistic communism? Is it just one bad actor? is it the Hydra? let’s see is HItler far left or far right. We’d better have our semantics and discussion correct.

    If Christians don’t fight for Right, who will? If we should not be the policeman who should?

  • Stopped Clock Department:

    The former Rep. from Saturn nails it.

    “So what, we’re about to become Al-Qaeda’s air force now?” said Dennis Kucinich.

  • We should most certainly should not intervene: these people need Christ, not more bombs raining down on top of them. Pity we do not pray for the conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic faith after every Mass/Divine Liturgy.

    And with a government as seriously, deeply in debt as our is, can we afford it? Bombing people costs money. Lots of it.

    Seriously, are the people (most especially the Christian community) in Iraq better off now than before we invaded many moons ago? How about in Afghanistan? Once we leave, can the government there hold it together in the long term? Or will the Taliban take over once again? And Egypt “post Arab spring” does not seem to have much to recommend for it.

  • AP and the former Congressman from Jeckyll Island weigh in (from Zero Hedge):

    AP reports that US intelligence officials are admitting that linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack is no “slam dunk,” as opposed to Obama (and Kerry) who are ‘unequivocal’ of the fact. This would appear to confirm Ron Paul’s comments this morning on Fox News that “We’re not positive who set off the gas,” and indeed – who is set to benefit most from any Assad-regime-smackdown? Al-Qaeda. “Assad is not an idiot,” Paul adds, “it’s unlikely he would do this on purpose… look how many lies were told to us about Saddam Hussein prior to that build-up.” “I think it’s a false flag…” Paul adds, there is a big risk that “we are getting sucked in” and the American people are against this war.

  • “AP reports that US intelligence officials are admitting that linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack is no “slam dunk,””

    Assad is a butcher just like his old man:

    http://middleeastvoices.voanews.com/2012/02/syrias-1982-hama-massacre-recalled-lesson-for-assad-today/

    I have little doubt that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, perhaps some spirited into the country by Saddam:

    http://blog.usni.org/2012/07/20/iraq-chemical-weapons-moved-to-syria-before-2003-invasion

    The basic problem with Syrian intervention is that I think there is zero possibility of replacing the current Syrian regime with one friendlier to the US. We are dealing with a situation where all the factions are profoundly hostile to the US.

  • Would evangelizing be a better response?
    Remember when the Kurds were gassed?
    What does “strong man” mean?

    Ron Paul’s opinion means nothing to me.

  • “Would evangelizing be a better response?”

    Only if we wanted to end up with a bunch of dead evangelists. I can think of few things more futile than the efforts to evangelize the Muslims over the centuries in Islamic states.

  • Another question: What are Russia and China’s interest in this?

  • Russia has traditionally been an ally of the Syrian regime, from the days of the old Soviet Union. China depends upon the Middle East and is fearful of intervention being destabilizing.

  • Speaking of Jody Bottum Al Kresta had him on his radio show/ You can hear the interview here:

    http://www.avemariaradio.net/audio_archive/kresta-in-the-afternoon-august-26-2013-hour-1/

  • regarding intervention
    At one time in my life I was insulted by the terminology ” nattering nabobs of negativity ” — I’ve come on a journey since then to recognize my own natural conservativism, and see that both Democrats and Republicans take the nattering nabobs role by turns, even against the very position they were recently holding. apparently just because it is the other side saying it now.

  • Russia has traditionally been an ally of the Syrian regime, from the days of the old Soviet Union.

    The shady-character parliamentary governments which preceded the Ba’ath also had congenial and co-operative relations with Soviet Russia.

  • Greg, thanks for that link to that interview with Jody Bottum on Ave Maria radio.

    Bottum went on the show and clearly his interviewer, Al Kresta (whoever he is), thought that the defense of the article was brilliant and illuminating. What I still can’t fathom is how either of these gentleman reconcile his heretical position with that of the Church. There was a very concerted effort to make it appear as if his position was merely a prudential matter rather than one abutting Faith & Morals.

MLB Preview: AL East

Wednesday, March 16, AD 2011

The smell of freshly cut grass.  The thermometer registering above 50.  Birds chirping to signal the dawn of each new day.  Yes, if you live in the southern states, some of you might actually be enjoying these signs of Spring.  As for me, it’s perpetual rain and moderately cool  temperatures, which means that Spring is just around the corner in DC.  And those are the two best weeks of the year by far.

It also means it’s baseball time.  Yes, our long national nightmare – meaning the seven weeks between the Super Bowl and opening day for Major League Baseball – is almost over.  We can stop having to pretend to care about basketball and hockey and get back to some real sports.

So with baseball mercifully just around the corner, it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming season.  And I will begin with the best division in baseball, the American League East, or as it is otherwise know, “Four awesome teams and the Baltimore Orioles.”

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11 Responses to MLB Preview: AL East

  • We can stop having to pretend to care about basketball and hockey and get back to some real sports.

    Really? I can’t imagine caring about or watching any sport other than hockey and girl’s beach vollyball.

  • I feel kind of bad about bashing hockey, because in fact I love the sport. But it continues to languish in popularity and I haven’t really been into it for about a decade. As for basketball – pro and college – YAWN.

    Volleyball? It’s Lent and this is a Catholic blog. But yes.

  • Hockey is the only sport that I can bother watching for more than five minutes without my eyes glazing over, although I do deplore the dreadful playing of the game which gets in the way of the fights. As for girl’s beach volleyball, co-ed volleyball was the only sport, other than rappelling down cliffs with my army colleagues, that I engaged in as an undergraduate. Only for the exercise and the thrill of the sport, of course.

  • Speak no ill of hockey, pawn of the tempter!

    Really, the NHL regular season is something of a snooze, but there is no spectacle like overtime playoff hockey, where every shift is a nailbiter.

    As to the meat of the post: as much as I would delight in the Yankees missing the playoffs, they will probably scrape in on their formidable lineup alone. But they have no shot to get to the Series.

    Looking forward to your AL Lent-ral preview.

  • To be honest, I don’t really watch any sports anymore. I would certainly glue myself to the tube if women’s beach volleyball was on TV with any regularity. I so appreciate the athleticism of those dear creatures of fairer sex with the sun-darkened complexions and impressive uniforms. I still like hockey, but have little time or will to start paying attention again. I’ll take minor issue with Dale’s characterization of regular season hockey though. It may be less exciting than playoff games, but it’s still more exciting than even tournament/finals of baseball, basketball, football, and that activity where people run around and pretend they got a boo-boo when they fall causing the spectators to riot. Also to be noted. The boringest pre-1980’s hockey game was more exciting than just about anything now.

  • RL:

    Fair point. I guess I’m more thinking of the slog of the season, especially the overloaded scheduling of division rivals. Plus, in Detroit’s case, being in the Western Conference means a lot of West Coast games I can’t trouble myself to watch, given that the puck drops no earlier than 10pm. The regular season is still great when it’s old rivals (other Original Six teams) or bitter current rivals. And the game is always better live–TV is fine, but the atmosphere is much different in the arena.

  • I second Dale’s point about live hockey. By far and away it is the best of the sports to watch in the arena or stadium. The way the boards reverberate when guys are hit, the sound of the puck, etc – it’s just cool. With HD most of the other sports are frankly better on tv, especially football where there’s really almost no point in being there other than the crowd experience, which is admittedly nifty.

  • Oh yeah. Being at a hockey game is the ultimate spectator experience. I can only speak for the Detroit, but I bet any of the original six venues are the best. Oh, how I wish I could have seen a game at the Olympia or the Forum in Montreal!

    In the 80’s I was fortunate to get free tickets to a number of games a season at the Joe. 14 rows behind and to the right of visitor goalie. I always got the tickets for when the Habs were in town too (my second favorite team). It was from the time period when Park was coach then long into Demers reign. Got to watch a young and amazing Stevie Y speed around with great stick handling as well as Probert and Kocur kicking everyone’s butt (that was the whole of our strategy then – give Steve the puck and fight anyone who tried to stop him 🙂 ). I even got to watch an amazing rookie goal tender whose name on the back of his jersey made us chuckle – Patrick Roy. Ahh, good times!

  • The National Pastime has become the National Snoozefest until September at least. I look forward to the Masters at Augusta.

  • I’ve never been to a live hockey game, but I very much want to go. I used to be a very avid Dallas Stars fan, until the lockout knocked out most of the NHL TV coverage I get in South Louisiana (no Versus here unless you spend a pretty penny for it, and the Mrs. isn’t that big of a hockey fan).

    Football is better live. While TV allows you to better understand what’s happening more quickly, the crowd experience, particularly in college football, just can’t be matched. I’d say viewing experiences go in order or excellence: student section of college football, anywhere else in college football, Live NFL, TV, CBS’s crummy college football coverage.

    Basketball can be better live, but you need to be as close to courtside to do it. Otherwise, it’s just really just an outing to go (though it can be a lot easier than the grainy local feeds many NBA teams like the Hornets have). I think wherever you sit in baseball, it’s not that much better if at all. Again, just a fun outing.

    The sport that most requires live viewing to really experience it has to be NASCAR. You don’t get Daytona until you see the turns rising stories above, or the noise of the track. Moreover, you get to watch your favorite driver or the area where the racing is best instead of watching the stupid gopher pop out of the ground on FOX.

  • “I second Dale’s point about live hockey. By far and away it is the best of the sports to watch in the arena or stadium.”

    I’m a little shocked to read that from a baseball fan. Admittedly, I’m not much of a hockey fan, but when it comes to live sports absolutely nothing beats being at the ballpark to watch baseball on a summer evening.

    “Football is better live. While TV allows you to better understand what’s happening more quickly, the crowd experience, particularly in college football, just can’t be matched.”

    I don’t think so. TV timeouts have ruined watching football live. I can see the argument for attending a college game live, especially in a traditional venue, but probably only once or twice a year. I’d still rather watch it on TV on a week in and week out basis. Of course, I enjoy watching 2 or 3 college football games at once, which is difficult to do unless you’re at home in front of the TV or in a sports bar.

    And I’d rather watch paint dry than attend an NFL game. Nothing about watching the NFL live and in person appeals to me over watching it in the comfort of my own home with a fridge and a bathroom nearby to take advantage of all those TV timeouts.

Follow Me, Top Baseball Prospect Leaves For Higher League

Sunday, January 24, AD 2010

Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men. (cf. Holy Gospel of Saint Mark 1:17)

Grant Desme, a highly touted baseball prospect for the Oakland Athletics organization, decided that he could not fight his calling anymore and answered God by retiring from baseball and to begin seminary training immediately.

A terrific article by Jane Lee of MLB.com.

My emphases and comments:

“Last year before the season started, I really had a strong feeling of a calling and a real strong desire to follow it,” the 23-year-old said. “I just fought it.”

“As the year went on,” he said, “God blessed me. I had a better year than I could have imagined, but that reconfirmed my desire because I wasn’t at peace with where I was at. I love the game, but I aspire to higher things.

“I thought, I’m doing well in baseball, but I really had to get down to the bottom of things — what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. And I felt that while baseball is a good thing and I love playing, I thought it was selfish of me to be doing that when I really felt that God was calling me more [Sounds like the Church has gained a mature and strong man for God!], which took me awhile in my life to really trust and open up to it and aim full steam toward Him .”

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