Reverse the Curse

cubs-win-w-flag

When I was a kid it was cool to know Ryne Sandberg’s batting average and how many games the Cubs were above 500, viagra now when you turn up at Wrigley you better know walk up songs (music played in the stadium when the batter heads to home plate), tadalafil twitter handles (a players screen name used in tweets), decease and warm up rituals(Jake Arrieta prefers yoga in Centerfield).  To celebrate the Cubs entry into the post season I thought I’d create a Cubs match game. Without the use of Google or Twitter can you match the Cub Players’ walk up song to their Twitter handle???

Walkup Songs

A. Fatty Wap/Trap Queen

B. Omega/Ando en la Versace

C. Rod Stewert/Forever Young

D. Enrique Iglesias/Bailamos

E. Taylor Swift/Bad Blood

Twitter Handles

1.  @D_Roos3

2.  @ARizzo44

3. @DexterFowler

4.  @StarCastro13

5. @miggymont26

Answers will be in my next post, or tweet me your non-researched guesses to @NancyTiano.  There are seven regular season games left, and seven important 2015 Cubs hashtags #WeAreGood #LetGo #FlyTheW  #Cubtober #Cubs #Wrigley #gocubsgo .  Show your support!

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Cubs Win

cubs@2xAfter winning back to back series against the Pirates and Cardinals, look and just beating up on the the Brewers for two games, troche it only seems fitting to take a look at how the Chicago Cubs keep the mood so light this season.  Ranging from premeditated practical jokes to off the cuff pranks, buy viagra  no one is exempt from a stunt and the entire team plays a role in the fun.

Kris Bryant was the subject of a couple vintage pranks back in May.  It began May 7th , Starlin Castor decided to see if Anthony Rizzo could see double when Castro did a flawless job of mimicking Bryant’s  pick up, turn and throwing motion to first base real-time.  When asked by a reporter Castro responded with a big smile, “I just want to be like Kris Bryant

The very next day, Kris Bryant hit his long awaited first Major League home run.  This time the Cubs trickery was taken to the next level and even recognized by the New York Post.  Bryant rounded third base and as he crossed home plate headed for congratulations from his teammates, the entire Cub team ran into the tunnel leading to the locker-room leaving Bryant to high-five an empty dug out.

Fast forward to September, the Cubs Magic Number is three and Kris Bryant finally decided to play a prank on the entire city?!?  Maybe Bryant was curious to see if Chicago could recognize him after all this success.  He jumped behind the wheel of a “Lyft” car to act as a driver for some unsuspecting fans or soon to be fans. Check out this must watch video – undercover “Lyft” with Kris Bryant   Bryant’s tweet and link below…

The Cubs fearless leader sets the comic tone and always tries to accommodate the needs of his players and the fans.  Pedro Strop said he needed a day at the beach Sunday,  so Maddon thought an old school beach chair, and a cute baby pool filled with sand waiting for him the locker room might fit the bill.

And just last night Maddon decided to take the focus off the “Wild”Card and invite an array of zoo animals to Wrigley. Flamingos, Leopards, and an award winning Sloth made an appearance at the Friendly Confines!

The Cubs are about to clinch a wild card spot this week, the attendance at Wrigley is 40,000 plus each game, and Cub fans are loving the fantastic effort and entertainment!!!  #LetsGo # WeAreGood #Cubs

 

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Hello, ampoule Cub Fans! What do you really care about this season?  The Reaction to Wrigley Field Renovations, viagra sale the Maddon Effect, generic the Wacky Road Trip Themes, a No-Hitter, or All of the Above?  The reality is no one should be interested in any of the above because the Cubs are in a mad race for the Wild Card.  Let’s take a look at how the Cubs stack up against those slimy Pirates…

Best Manager: CUBS – Rumor has it Maddon may be running for President in the off season.  Bottom-line Maddon is the Buddha of Chicago.  Maddon’s confident, laid back, entertaining, fearless culture energizes the Cubs players and fans.  Interesting fact Maddon has an old school superstitious side.  It came out after he wore the same pair of socks for nine games straight during the Cubs most recent winning streak.  PIRATES Manager: Also a great manager Clint Hurdle took the Rockies to World Series in 2007 and the Pirates to a Wild Card Win in 2013, on the field Hurdle was known as a player who liked to have a good time, he played outfield for the Cardinals, Royals, Mets and Reds.

Source:http://www.cubby-blue.com/

Maddon’s RV vs Cardinal http://www.cubby-blue.com/

Best Record against the Cardinals: PIRATES are currently 8-8 with three more games at home against the Cards at the end of September.  CUBS Record against the Cardinals is 7-10, which evened out more this week and the Cubs also have three more games at home mid-September against the Cardinals.

Longest Home Run: CUBS Kris Bryant 495 Feet vs. PIRATES: Jung Ho Kang 472-foot home run.

Rookie Talent: CUBS take this by a landslide with Kris Bryant at third base, Addison Russel at second base and shortstop, Kyle Schwarber at catcher, Jorge Soler in the outfield and pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. are taking command of the National League.  PIRATES Rookies to watch include Jung Ho Kang at third base and Pitcher Arquimedes Caminero.

Super - Jake Arrieta

Super – Jake Arrieta

Most Shutouts: CUBS with 17 shutouts lead by Jake Arrieta’s No Hitter against the Dodgers on August 30th .   PIRATES only have 11 shutouts this season, but they do have a combined ERA of only 3.18.

Most Overlooked Player: PIRATES: Francisco Cervelli – Catcher .303 average, .378 on-base percentage, .800 on-base plus slugging caught fire the last few weeks.  CUBS Outfielder Dexter Fowler – is also out of control with 17 HRs, 42 RBIs, and a .350 on-base percentage.

Looks like the Cubs edge out the Pirates on many fronts.  October 7th is less than a month a way, get to Wrigley and support the CUBS !!  #wearegood #letsgo #cubs

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Cubs Sign

As Americans celebrated our nation’s independence this past weekend, clinic we looked to the sky to see the fireworks, medical sparks of light and a new beginning for the Cubs.  This edition of Reverse the Curse is dedicated to all the bright spots on the North side.

Between the media hype around the All-Star game next week and the Samardzija trade last week it is time to be buzzing about the CHICAGO CUBS!!  First, let’s reflect on our first Reverse the Curse article which gave some insight into the excitement in Des Moines, the Cubs Triple A Club, where now, (I’m sure thanks to SportsDivas) superstar Kris Bryant was recently promoted from AA from AAA,  Javier Baez is continuing to play well and Manny Ramirez#Mannybeingmanny (who I think now is in his 50s) some how delivered a game winning hit on Sunday. #mannybeingmanny.  Then we took a look at the Cubs Bull Pen stacked with Valbuena and Schlitter(Schlit). And last week, we felt great about Jake Arrieta, approaching a no-hitter twice in the last month including an incredible performance through 8 innings in Boston.  #sweep #classbostonfans

Today its Anthony Rizzo batting up to his potential.

2Jgz4ahY_reasonably_smallPlease Don’t Forget to VoteRizzo right now.  Per MLB.com He leads all NL first basemen in homers (17), is tied for first in walks (50) and ranks third in runs (56), while upping his average to .276 so far this year. Entering Saturday’s game, his 2.4 WAR was second best among NL first basemen. Rizzo, looking for a first selection, also brings Gold Glove-worthy credentials at first, coming off a .997 fielding percentage in 2013.

Addison

And finally Addison Russell from Oakland is 20 years old  and was acquired by the Cubs along with pitcher Dan Strailyoutfielder Billy McKinney, and a player to be named later for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.   Addison Russell was the 11th overall draft pick in 2012, he is a powerful short stop with a fearless attitude.  What could be better a player named for the street that Wrigley Field and Elwood Blues reside on.  GO CUBS!!

#famousbluesbrothersquotes

#FamousBluesBrothersQuotes

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wrigley-100

What are modern day fans really doing at Wrigley?!?  Can there be a happy correlation between the faithful Cubs fans who actually watch the game and endure the losing and those that just show up for the party?  On behalf of the true baseball fans out there, pills I am often surprised when Chicagoans (mostly fair-weathered fans or transplants) say they don’t love to watch the Cubs, seek but they do love going to the largest beer garden in the city.  wrigley100I’ve always thought that Wrigley is the best ballpark and baseball experience in the MLB, regardless of whether the Cubs are winning. But this weekend at the Pirates/Cubs series, I paid particularly closer attention to some ‘other’ fans at the Friendly Confines.   tripadvisorThere are even reviews of Wrigley Field on Trip-Advisor, good and bad, and while I am still dreaming that the Cubs will reach .500 before the All-Star break, I thought I would give some perspective on what (not so hopeful) fans are doing at Wrigley… After the torrential downpour Saturday night the Cubs began to play around 8:15 pm and I witnessed some younger guys participating in an online dating game of sorts called Tinder.

The beauty of this online dating site is that it is based on finding a match that is in your immediate radius.  So if you happen to not be watching the game you could potentially meet your next date with few swipes and a stroll to the hot-dog stand between innings.  Interestingly enough a minor league ball park in Minnesota had the same idea…Get Your Beer Goggles Here! Baseball Team Hosts Tinder-Themed Game Along With $1 Brews  – The Saint Paul Saints helped their fans get on base with “Tinder Loving Care Night,” featuring a live on-field version of the dating app plus prizes for in-stadium hookups.

Wagering always keeps fans entertained at the game;  all kinds of bets from the over/under of how long it takes to sing take me out to the ballgame to one of my favorite activities to partake in while watching is a little side betting game call “DIRT NO DIRT”.

Also referred to as “Moundball”, this is the game played when everyone in your row takes out about five or six dollar bills, someone donates their cap and at the end of every inning everyone puts a dollar into the cap and whoever’s turn it is will call “Dirt” or “No Dirt” in reference to where the baseball is left by the fielding team or umpire at the end of the half inning.  I think I once collected $27 from this endeavor. Moundball has become so popular the MLB has its own Moundball twitter account complete with prizes and rules – Check it out Mounball MLB.

Finally, what about those of us who actually watch the game and learned to keep score as kids?  Keeping score on a #Wrigley100 scorecard is a great way to pass the time and have a souvenir for years.  Maybe if we all took a little more time reading about the players and keeping score, one of these days the Cubs would surprise us with some consistency.  This year is the 100 year anniversary at Wrigley …

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/wrigley/chi-140312-wrigley-100-fans-pictures,0,1608556.photogallery

Wrigley 100 Fan photos from the Chicago Tribune

Celebrate the ballpark, Celebrate the fans and Celebrate the team! GO CUBS GO!

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Reverse the Curse

Reverse the Curse

What is all the BUZZ about the CUBS BULLPEN?  Welcome to the second edition of “Reverse the Curse”.  Just as the Cubs were in the midst of a six game sweep at Wrigley, generic we were stung by a little bit of reality.

The bright spots…the Cubs won six of their last eight games and the bullpen is beginning to evolve.  With only 26 wins, patient the Cubs manage to spread their saves across four different guys.  And if that isn’t enough good news, a Closer has finally emerged. The credit goes to manager Rick Renteria who put together this bunch of Cohesive Chameleons.

Wrigley Field is one of only four stadiums in the Major League Baseball to have its bullpen on the field in foul territory.  All other stadiums have a designated Bull Pen Area off the field for pitchers to warm up.  #Wrigley100 (still waiting for an update on Wrigley renovations)

Wrigley Field is one of only four stadiums in the Major League Baseball to have its bullpen on the field in foul territory. All other stadiums have a designated Bull Pen Area off the field for pitchers to warm up. #Wrigley100 (still waiting for an update on Wrigley renovations)

Let’s take a look at these relief pitchers, a mixed bag of tricks which come complete with an interesting back-story and sense of fashion…

CT ct-spt-0409-cubs-pirates-041.JPGBrian Schlitter – Do we really have to refer to this 6’5’ right-hander as “Schlit”?  One of Chicago’s hometown heroes went to high school in Park Ridge at Maine South. He made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2010 for about two weeks until he was put on the disabled list and then bounced on and off waivers for the last three years until he attended Spring Training as a non-roster invitee and surprisingly made the team this April.

Carlos VillanuevaCarlos Villanueva –  This right-handed reliever is the only veteran in the bullpen for the Cubs and spurred these guys into action with what he calls tough love. “The biggest thing is they are not afraid,”  is just one excerpt from his hilarious ESPN podcast on the Cubs young bullpen.  Take a listen Podcast: Carlos Villanueva on young pen

rondon

Hector Rondon: Designated Cubs Closer has been throwing well.  Rondon has given up just one earned run on four hits and two walks over his last nine appearances as he settles into the Closer role for Chicago. He owns a 1.46 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.

The best of the rest of the bullpen:  Pedro Strop began to make a name for himself last year and continues his pitching and fielding success this season.  Neil Rameriz , who was primarily a starter in the minor leagues, shut down Brewer’s all star Ryan Braun for his first Major League strike out. Rameriz has been a good set up man for the team and even took the place as Closer when Rondon was on paternity leave last month.  And finally, a quick mention of Justin Grimm  who has been gaining confidence since late May when he displayed success against tough teams like the the Giants and Yankees.  Keep an eye on this young Cub team, as we head to the east-coast for a 10 game Road Trip. GO CUBS!!

FLASHBACK: Cubs famous closer, Lee Smith, 1984 NLCS against the Cardinals and one of the best saves in the history of the Cubs.
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