Virtual Waiting Room Virtually Gone
So, single game tickets went on sale yesterday (yawn), a couple of weeks later than what had been the norm for many years. I used to go at it on Day One via phone and computer both, from the opening bell until whenever I finally broke down the door to the virtual waiting room. Usually that was mid-afternoon and by then the pickings were slim for whatever prime games hadn’t already sold out.
Yesterday it was mid-afternoon before I even recalled that the ticket windows were open. Then I tapped into the Cub website for the sake of both old times and curiosity.
Opening Day was still wide open. So was the White Sox series. The Saturday Boston game in June was down to nothing but $140 (!) bleacher seats (that’s not including handling/processing fees) but the Friday and Sunday games were very available. Weekend series with the Cardinals in July and September still featured full menus of sections and price tiers. I checked again before I hit the sack last night and all of the above was still true. I couldn't find a sold out game. Feeling almost sorry for the organization I plunged in and bought four in the bleachers for a game vs. the Giants on Labor Day weekend when my alma mater Iowa Hawkeyes will also be in town for their season opener at Soldier Field. I got 'em for the comparatively low price of $27 (silver tier) plus about another nine bucks per in add-on fees.
The brand appears a bit tarnished after prolonged storage in fifth place.
But the thick manual the new management regime has been rushing to assemble apparently isn't limited to on-field ways and means of doing business.
One of my spring rites is to get pocket schedules from the Cub marketing commandoes. I'm unable to find them here in Des Moines, even so closely removed from headquarters as the team's Triple A outpost. They always oblige, but never so promptly or cordially as this year. The same day I e-mailed my request I got a reply from Barb, a "Wrigley Field Ambassador" assuring me the schedules were already in the mail. Sure enough, they arrived a couple of days later, tucked inside a handwritten note from Barb. She also tossed in a Cub decal and expressed her hope that I'd be able to pay (and I do mean pay) a visit to The Vaunted Confines sometime in 2012.
There's one born every minute. The trick this year will be luring three million of us enabling suckers through the turnstiles again. But if they can get someone who's used to driving across town to watch guys like LaHair and Barney play for free to spend lots of time and money for the privilege of watching them do less in Chicago than they did here in Des Moines, who knows? Maybe they can turn that trick.
15 minutes until first peek at the 2012 Cubs on WGN. I can hardly wait to see what I bought into.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.