Wrigley

There isn’t anything better in March than the Hot Sun, Beer and Baseball in Arizona (The Cactus League).  New friends and old friends come together to cheer on our home town teams. Also known as “Adult Spring Break” for Baseball fans.

In three quick hours and thanks to the two kind gentleman sitting in front and behind me at the newish Sloan park I learned all I need to know for opening day @Wrigley.  So, amid all the Vegas odds and Chicago’s premature parade planning…

What decisions remain for Joe Maddon and the Cubs before we crack open the champagne?!? Three come to mind:

Where in the world do we play Jorge Soler?
He would be a great DH but we only play 18 games at American League ball parks!  He has been used out in LF and RF and other than having one of the best arms in baseball he has shown to be a defensive liability anywhere you put him .  It looks like he will play the outfield in a platoon with Schwarber when lefties are on the mound.

Do the Cubs have a seven  or eight man Bullpen? 
With Lester, Arrieta, Lackey, Hammel and Hendricks already ticketed for the rotation, that sets up options left for the bullpen.  
For that matter how many pitchers are on the roster ????  Let’s go with the for sure spots taken with Rondon, Strop, Grimm, Wood, Cahill and Richard.  That leaves Neil Ramirez on the bubble with having no options left to go to Triple A.  His velocity seemed down throughout camp but he has been productive in most of his outings. 

And Finally who gets the coveted Bench Spot?
Kawasaki has played well throughout all of camp and provides a great clubhouse personality that can’t be overlooked.  The Cubs already announced that Shane Victorino won’t be going North with the team due to his reoccurring leg issues and Matt Szczur had the same problems with his oblique injury until his recent his recovery.  So, it seems that Szczur would have the advantage as an outfielder because the Cubs have LaStella and Baez who can do what Kawasaki would do in the infield. It’s nice to have quality options.
Cubs

The Cubs 2016 season is a guaranteed can’t miss with tons of media attention and fan support, here at Reverse the Curse we encourage feedback and ideas.  Most importantly what is going to be branded this year’s hashtag?

#wrigleyhustle #weareready  #northsidemagic #gocubsgo

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Anthony Rizzo 5 Qs

What a fabulous morning to be a Chicago Cubs Fan! I feel like a kid again, cialis although as a kid I rarely had the privilege to go to a playoff game and if I did I was never concerned with the price of tickets.  I went to the Home Run Derby last night at Wrigley and paid a friend of a friend more for a Cubs ticket than I ever had before. Not complaining, cialis it was an outstanding seat, pills incredible atmosphere, and record breaking game. The best part about the game was walking to the concessions stand and non-stop high fiving of every single fan! #WeAreGood.

A hilarious sign of the times was talking to this season ticket holder from Kansas about what others were offering him in exchange for his seats. My Grandfather, diehard Cubs Fan, always up for a great deal wouldn’t have had any idea what this stuff is, except for the electric guitar of course. Who really gives up a guitar for a playoff ticket? In any case some more intriguing “2015”offers included

  • Several credits at their AirBnB (in this case the season ticket holder would have a place to stay for the first half of next season in exchange for a World Series Ticket)
  • Unlimited Uber Rides for a Month (Not sure they even have Uber in Kansas)
  • A used iPad with a Cubs Case made of the leather from a real baseball.

Ironically enough today I am on a flight to St. Louis for business to meet with MasterCard (likely a room full of Cardinals fans),but what I can appreciate about MasterCard is their slogan priceless. My playoff experience thus far in Pittsburgh with their bitter fans, watching over the weekend with my friend and her 11 year old son, and last night at Wrigley… Truly Priceless

#LetsGo

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Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are in the Post Season for the first time in six years and if it weren’t for the local news and social media no one in Chicago would know.   I blame two factors:

  1. The Mayor:   Rahm claims to be a Cub Fan, viagra even during his reelection campaign he promised a Cubs Championship ”Imagine the joy! The excitement! The economic boost to very specific neighborhoods in our great city, viagra sale ” said an unblinking Emanuel at a news conference this morning. “It’s important for voters to know that only I can make this happen.” Rahm Emanuel at a News Conference on March 11, sovaldi sale 2015

But, where is his support? Why isn’t the antenna lighting on the Willis Tower and John Hancock Blue? Or even alternating Blue and Pink lighting #BreastCancerAwareness ? Why isn’t there a scheduled viewing party for the Wild Card Game by the City Park Districts? Surely, the city could bring out the screens from Movies in the Park? Chicago is forecasting  70+ degrees on Wednesday night!  And, Why don’t the Lions at the Art Institute have Cubs jersey’s on?  #LetsGo

  1. Chicago’s lack of appreciation for the game of Baseball:   Until Jackie Robinson West’s appearance at the Little League World Series Chicago barely acknowledged Baseball as a game which could bring the community together.  Baseball is not only a game where kids can strive to succeed on the Diamond, but a game kids can watch with their family and friends on a sunny day at the Ballpark.  Especially at a time when Chicago needs to come together to stop violence, the city should turn to Cubs Baseball.  Beyond the unique beauty of every Home Run at Wrigley Field, Chicago Baseball teaches fun long standing rivalries #HateTheCards.  Baseball, a game of math illustrates the simplicity and sophistication of statistics and regulations ranging from three strikes to fascinating batting algorithms.  And for adults, Baseball has the most attractive male and female fashion in all of sports, who doesn’t look good in a ball cap or Cubbie Blue?!?  Finally, at any age, nothing is more rewarding and joyful than watching a young Major League Baseball team come together over 162 games in a single season.

I’ll be in Pittsburgh rooting for the Cubs on Wednesday, so Bring it Chicago!!  #TurnOnTheBlue #FlytheW #GoCubs #WeAreGood

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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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dooleys 4 yr

As a lifelong Cubs fan, help bringing my twin daughters to a game at Wrigley has been a dream of mine since they were in the womb.  After several memorable trips to Cubs games over the years with my girls, Mia and Dani, who are now almost 4 ½, I’ve learned enough to know the prep-work, precautions, and expectations of bringing children to the Friendly Confines.  Take heart, die-hard Cubs fans that have recently become new mothers – or are in pursuit to – you can take your children to Wrigley and continue to experience the game that you love with the team we hate to love, just with some additional prep work and awareness.  Below I’ve detailed my experiences with my girls at 8 months, 20 months, and 4 years with hope that this helps other mothers, aunts, dads, or other charitable Cubs fans that agree to hit up Wrigley with the under 4 age group.

As soon as my girls were born in November of 2007, my husband and I began to plan our first trip to Wrigley the following season. It was an experience we couldn’t wait to share with them.  We decided on July when the girls were around 8 months old.   The experience was everything we hoped it would be, with memorable moments and some important lessons:

Tips for bringing 6 to 12 month-olds to a game:

  • If you can, go to a weekday game, it’s very pleasant with smaller crowds and a calmer atmosphere.  Avoid a major series like Cubs-Cardinals or Cubs-Sox game with your kids. Remember how you behaved at these big rival games before you had kids?
  • Do not sit in the “family section”.  Yes I said this.  The family section at Wrigley is on the third base side near the corner of left field.  The entire section is in the direct sun and you’re forced to continuously lather your kids in sun block throughout the game.  Then there’s the no-alcohol policy.   And while in theory this may seem like the ideal policy for a young family, it’s also very confining for parents who are used to enjoying Wrigley as solo adults.  You can enjoy an adult beverage with young children, just all within reason.  Furthermore, while you abstain from one of the highlights of summer ballgames, the person literally sitting in the row across from you can drink. And they do.  My husband made a comment every inning about how he wished he could just have one cold beer.  You are better off taking a chance with tickets in the Terrace Reserved section where you are completely covered from the sun (and possible rain), and if the kids are behaving, Mommy and Daddy can partake in a cold beer.
  • Don’t bring a stroller, especially to Wrigley.  Don’t be that mom trying to maneuver a stroller through thousands of people at Wrigley, half of them who are intoxicated.  We brought Baby Bjorns and carried the girls around that way.  (PICTURED) The Bjorns were ideal for when the girls napped in the seats.
  • Consider arriving a little late, like the 2nd inning, and leaving before the 7th inning stretch.  This way you avoid the crazy traffic (and crazy people) typically heading in and out of the ballpark.
  • Don’t expect to stay the whole game.  If you get 5 solid innings in, consider it a win.  Our girls barely lasted for six innings.
  • Bring bottles, it gets you through about one solid, non-interrupted inning.
  • If at all possible, try holding off changing diapers. I realize there are times when this is just not possible. But if you have an option of not changing them… then don’t.  The bathrooms are hot, crowded and usually not very clean.  We changed the girls’ diapers in the back of the car right before we walked in, and then immediately when we got back to the car.  Nice and easy.
  • Take lots of pictures.  This is your first Cubs game as a family, people get it. Be sure to get a good one with the field behind all of you.  If the drunk bachelor party who’s blocking your view of the play at first can get away with taking pictures, your adorable family should have no problem stealing a few priceless shots.

Confident with our success in the first Cubs experience with the girls, I immediately started thinking about our next game.  Our second trip to Wrigley was also in July, the following summer, when the girls were around 20 months. While this game was fun, it wasn’t nearly as successful as the first one.  (As displayed by my girls’ faces in the photo). Our biggest challenge was getting the girls to sit still.

Tips for bringing 15 to 24 month-olds to a game

  • Go with friends if you can.  Preferably ones that don’t have kids of their own. We went with another couple friend of ours (sans kids) and that helped a ton.  While the guys went to buy beer, I had another set of hands to hold one of the girls. My girlfriend and I also left the seats quite a few times to walk around with my girls. She could also go with me to the bathroom for a double diaper change, since we had no choice but to change diapers during this game.
  • Don’t plan on staying all 9 innings.  If you can get 5 – 6 innings in with 20 month olds, consider it a success! We left right before the 7th inning stretch.
  • We sat in Terrace Reserved section which was perfect.  It was another hot, sunny day and we were completely shaded and comfortable, with the option to partake in a few cold beers.
  • Keep them busy. Bring lots of snacks, and plenty for them to drink.  I brought cheerios, goldfish, water, cold milk, you name it.  And that still only bought me about two innings.
  • Don’t expect your kids to walk away understanding the game of baseball.  No matter how much you point out and explain to your kids, it is still too hard for them to see the game or understand it. Believe me, I tried.  They were more interested in staring at the people behind us or holding their ears when people cheered because it was too loud.  The most we got out of them was a “Go Cubbies” when we told them a Cubs player was up to bat. But at least we were building the foundation for their future love of baseball.

We clocked in additional games the summer of 2010 with the girls, and they were all enjoyable as we got smarter and knew what to expect.   Our girls were actually starting to watch the games and cheer with the crowd. And then came my favorite family Cubs game.  It was this past August of 2011 when the girls were almost 4 years old.  What a joy it is to bring 4 years olds to a baseball game.  And yes, this includes 4 year old girls too.

Tips for bringing 4 year-olds to a game:

  • Talk to them in the car (or walking) on the way to the game.  At this age, they are old enough to understand many elements of baseball.  We talked about how we cheer when the Cubs are up to bat and get a hit, what team the Cubs are playing, how we sing in the seventh inning, etc.
  • And of course, continue to talk to them throughout the game as well.  Expect a lot of questions.  The two questions we heard the most were, “Are we winning?” and “Why is everyone cheering so loud?”
  • You should be able to get 7+ innings in with a 4 year old. And if you can, head to the Wrigley area a little early.  We parked and walked around the neighborhood, bought cute t-shirts for our girls and got into the park before the game started.
  • It’s still important to bring lots of snacks and to keep them busy…after all, they are still only 4.  And hold out as long as you can for the special treat.  In the top of the fifth inning we all went to pick out an ice cream and they loved that.  We also brought little notebooks with some crayons, and a few small books, to keep them busy.
  • Roll with the punches (as best you can).  Our family was having a great time and all of the sudden our one daughter fell completely asleep in the bottom of the 6th inning. So I let her sleep on me for an inning and gently woke her up so she could sing the 7th inning stretch with us.  Yes both our girls know the entire song.
  • Still plan to leave a little early, there’s no reason to push it.  We left at the beginning of the 8th inning to avoid the crowd at the end of the game, and enjoyed a nice walk back to our car.

So rest assured, taking an infant or toddler to a Cubs game can be done, and it can be a fun and memorable experience.  Just go prepared with little expectations.  Check the schedule in February for the perfect game for your family for the upcoming season.  It helps get you through the Chicago winter and provides the kids something to look forward to.  The Wrigley experience is a unique one that we will continue to enjoy with our girls every season.  Knowing that my girls are growing up going to Cubs games in one of the oldest and most celebrated ballparks in baseball, brings me enough joy that I can try to overlook the Cubs 102-year World Series drought, at least until next season.

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Category: Cubs
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