Cubs vs. Pirates, 5/10/07

July 16, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Well I've absolutely shattered my old record for the longest period of time it took for me to post a recap of a Cubs game I attended. Like the team's overall performance in May, this game was pretty lousy. A 6-4 loss to the Pirates. Zambrano pitched horribly and it was quite possibly one of Thunder Matt's worst games ever, going 0-4 and making a costly error in right field that led to two runs scoring.

Over the past 3 seasons I have been going to at least one day game with my buddy Mark from work. We drive from the QC to Aurora, then take the Metra to downtown, then hop on the Red Line up to Wrigley. If we time it all right we can be getting off at the Addison station by 9:30am. This is then followed by a brief walk around the stadium before we decide to head to Bernie's to drink lukewarm* Old Styles that were just placed in the bar cooler, minutes before our arrival.

This year was going to be a little different because two other guys from work wanted to come along too. No problem, the more the merrier I always say. But then a week before the game, Mark has a family issue come up and he's forced to bail on the trip. So I find someone else from work to take his place and everything is good, except for one small problem. Of the three people traveling with me, not only do none of them follow the Cubs, they don't even follow baseball. Here's what I had to work with.
  • One guy that knows a little bit about baseball but doesn't follow it regularly by any means.
  • A girl who also hardly follows baseball at all.
  • A guy from India and not only does he not follow baseball, he doesn't even know the basic rules of baseball (It's kind of like cricket, except that it's not at all like cricket).
Yeah, this should be fun. So we get to Wrigleyville at about 10:30am. I go to Will Call to pickup the tickets (Section 133, decent enough seats), and proceed to ask, "So is there anything you guys want to do or see before the game?"

I get a series of indifferent shrugs. This has all the makings of a boring pregame full of aimless wandering. At that point I say 'screw it', I'm at one of my favorite places on earth, and I'm not about to let it be ruined. "Follow me," and I proceed to make a beeline for Bernie's.

We hang out at Bernie's until about 12:30 and they all order burgers for lunch. I stick to my usual liquid lunch (Yay, $4.00 cans of Old Style!), and make my annual phone call to Brant, from a barstool in Bernie's, while he's at work.

The game, as I mentioned sucked. Zambrano got rocked early on, and I couldn't carry a conversation with the people I came with as they had either no idea who the players were, or no idea how the game was played, or both. Thank god for the guys sitting behind us. I'll admit I made some unfair judgments when I first saw them. They looked like a bunch of hoodlums, and for all intents and purposes they probably were. But after briefly talking with them, they were die-hard Cub fans. All of them had grown up on the north side of Chicago and had rooted for the Cubs as long as they could remember. So I start talking up my boy Thunder Matt, show them the TMS shirt that I was sporting, and what happens? We watch as Murton has an easy pop fly hit his glove and fall out, followed by a barrage of boos and "Murton you suck!" from everyone around us. Just terrible. Later in the game, while walking out of the bathroom a guy behind me shouts, "F'n Murton blew the game for us!", in which I immediately turned around and snapped back at him "Well Zambrano didn't exactly help matters!" Dammit, I'll defend Thunder Matt to the end.

A highlight from the hoodlums behind me were the constant cat calls and lame pickup attempts for every remotely attractive girl that came by, including WGN News' Allison Payne. One of the guys would simply shout "Hey! Hi-Tops! Hi-Tops!" at every girl. How that could possibly be successful in any fashion is beyond me. I can't imagine any girl going back to her group of friends and saying, "I know we were going to the Cubby Bear afterwards, but this guy just shouted at me and I think we should really reconsider and go to Hi-Tops instead." Then again what the hell do I know? I sure as shit wasn't going to Hi-Tops. Maybe there were a dozen girls there waiting for 'that one guy who shouted at me'.

After the game we set out to eat somewhere. I voted to eat somewhere new and exotic like a Thai restaurant but one of the members of the Killjoy Trio I was with didn't want anything "weird". So I dragged them down to Merkle's after reading Chaim's review of it in his Wrigleyville Bar Project. I got a California Chicken sandwich which had absolutely no flavor. Luckily a person in our group let me eat some of his nachos. I have a question. Does all California cuisine have avocados in it? Because in the Midwest it's become popular for restaurants to slap an avocado on something and suddenly add "California" to the name of the sandwich/entree. Just curious is all.

Overall I had fun. Probably the lamest Cubs trip I've ever had, but that surely will be made up for in September as I venture back, this time with Mark for sure, to see the Cubs face the Dodgers. Teaming up with us (in the bleachers no less) will be Chaim and Buzanis. Shenanigans will most certainly be afoot.

*Hey, look at that. I did find an instance where I drank lukewarm beer. My apologies to Chaim.

And now for some lame photos!

Ah Bernie's, a classic way to start the day.

There's Fat Z on the mound before his implosion. I'm an idiot, that's Rocky Cherry in the photo not Fat Z. I wasn't paying attention when I wrote these captions.

If you go to Merkle's, I highly recommend their nachos. A glorious mountain of chips, cheese, meat, jalapenos and olives, on a platter the size of a large pizza pan. Much, much better than the California Bland-wich.

The first thing I see when I reach the happiest place on earth.

I was disappointed that Old Style did commemorative Cubs cans this year but not bottles. At least I haven't seen any bottles. The Blagojevich sign just makes me wish I could still change my vote.

Another picture of Fat Z. Who knew all he needed to do was beat the shit out of Barrett to get back on track?

Thunder Matt stretching in RF.

I think we could create a new children's book similar to "Where's Waldo", except this one could be "Find Thunder Matt".