Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs


Wrigley to Keep the Charm of Troughs Alive

If you’re the type of man who is happiest when you can let loose your water cannon in a metal trough, then the Chicago Cubs have some very welcome news; while the bathrooms will be renovated at Wrigley Field over the offseason the urinal troughs will stay in place.

Generations of male Cubs fans have stood side-by-side at the troughs. The silver receptacles are spoken of both lovingly (in that they give the place character) and loathsomely (in that some struggle to go in the close company of others).

When I was growing up Fenway also had urinal troughs, and I can tell you that as a young child, and a particularly small one at that, using the urinal troughs was one of the great horrors of my young life. I for one applauded when Fenway removed them and can assure Chicagoans that you’d be much happier in your life without them. Traditions are nice, but not when there are light-years better options.

[Chicago Tribune]


Norman Rockwell — Destroyer of the Chicago Cubs

It’s long been believed in Chicago that the Cubs streak of futility was caused when a man wasn’t allowed to bring his lucky goat into the stadium during the 1945 World Series but perhaps the source of all the team’s failures is someone else, famed illustrator Norman Rockwell.

In an iconic 1948 painting entitled, “The Dugout,” Rockwell painted a forlorn Cubs batboy resigned to yet another failure, in the background are slumped over Cubs players and managers and over them are jeering, disappointed fans. Not a pretty picture. A study for the final piece (that’s housed down the street from where I live at the Brooklyn Museum) was recently sold to a private collector for $662,500. The original picture was the cover for a 1948 Saturday Evening Post and was done in Boston prior to a Boston Braves/Cubs game; in fact the batboy isn’t a member of the Cubs but was the visiting team’s assigned batboy and actually a Boston native.

Scott Simon, an NPR host and Chicago native, has a print of “The Dugout” hanging in his office: “The fact that this painting was on the cover of the most popular magazine in America at the time, and had been painted by the most popular illustrator at the time, cemented in people’s minds the image of the Cubs as losers. Of course, they did everything possible to live up to that image. But after that picture, we no longer talked about a team that won nine pennants but about lovable losers.”

After the Cubs posed for the picture the lost both ends of a doubleheader, their catcher (who is directly behind the batboy) was beaned in the head. On the day the cover was published, Sept. 4,1948, the Cubs lost 6-0 to the Brooklyn Dodgers; All Star pitcher Johnny Schmitz who stands to the right of the batboy gave up 5 runs in 3 innings during that game.

[Chicago Tribune]


Sammy Sosa Needs to Put His Face On

sammy-sosa1Recently in Las Vegas, former home run darling Sammy Sosa made quite a startling appearance, looking almost ghoulish under the harsh paparazzi lights.

He’s not trying to be Michael Jackson,” said former Cubs employee Rebecca Polihronis, who talks frequently with Sosa.

“He is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin,” Polihronis said. “Women have it all of the time. He was surprised he came out looking so white. I thought it was a body double. Part of (the photo appearance) is just the lighting.

“He is in the middle of doing a cleansing process to his skin. The picture is deceiving. He said, ‘If you saw me in person, you would be surprised. When you see me in person, it is not going to seem like the picture.’ People who saw him in person did not react the same way. He can’t believe it is such a big deal.

sammysosa2“He has always been concerned with the way he looks,” she said. “Probably just bad timing going to an awards show.”

Considering how vain Sosa apparently is, this has to be devastating to him. Unless he thinks he looks good. He can’t think he looks good right? The MJ/Joker look never works out well long-term.

I just hope he doesn’t get too sad by this — but if he does, at least he has some soft pillows to cry on…

[Chicago Tribune via The Big Lead]


Chicago Cubs Owner Loves Mound Visits

s-LAURARICKETTS-largeWith the sale of the Chicago Cubs finalized, the Ricketts family are officially the newest owners of a major league team. In doing so, they made history; while older brother Tom is the leading face of the ownership group, he shares equity with his three siblings and their parents, his sister Laura becomes the first openly gay owner in a professional sports league.

Funny, I always thought it’d be a WNBA owner first…

“I think for a long time I wasn’t really out to myself growing up in Omaha, Neb., to a Catholic conservative family,” Laura Ricketts said. “It took me a while to come out to myself and not long after that I came out to them. I think that it really couldn’t of been a better experience. They were all immediately supportive. … I have been really really fortunate in that regard.”

I can only hope that this first step inspires or encourages the first active openly out player; it’s embarrassing how homosexuality is treated within sports and it is shameful and it’s time to change.

[Huffington Post]


Well That’s a Metaphor for the Franchise

Eddie Vedder is a rabid Cubs fan and so, what better symbol of the continued futility of the franchise than Eddie singing a song he wrote just for the Cubs — entitled “All the Way” — than him forgetting the words halfway through. Although, it being Eddie Vedder it’s not like you can understand the words he says anyways…


I’m Sure She’ll Grow Up Happy and Positive

Nearly free of the Chicago Cubs after their sale, the Chicago Tribune can finally see the team in a light-hearted manner. Or at least one clever editor in the Birth Announcements section can where this notice was slipped in:

photo_132576897Suki and Justa Crapi Yeare of Chicago’s north side are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Waitle Nex, born Thursday, August 20th in Los Angeles. The entire Yeare family eagerly awaits her arrival back in Chicago. The first Waitle Nex Yeare was born in Chicago in 1909. It’s too bad great-great-grandma isn’t around to see her namesake.

Baby Waitle was born several weeks premature but is somehow perfectly healthy. Doctors tell us that the chip on Waitle’s shoulder will wear down over the winter and she will be 100% healthy by spring. You should see how cute she looks with the albatross necklace around her neck.

Hey, what’s a century of failure between friends? Don’t worry Cubbies fans, now you have NEX YEARE on your side.

[Chicago Tribune]


How to Build a Championship Baseball Team

zambranoI would happily be willing to be paid $20 million a year. I would be even more overjoyed to receive such a salary for playing baseball. While I might be a dallier, for that kind of money, I’d be pretty willing to make sure I’m staying in shape and taking care of myself. Clearly, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano and I disagree.

On the DL for the last fortnight for back spasms, Zambrano told reporters yesterday that the biggest hurdle to his return is himself.

“My problem is I’ve been lazy,” Zambrano said. “There are things in life that you don’t like but you have to do. I don’t like to do abs, but I will have to start doing my abs every day and be serious about my abs.”

Then again, this is also the same player who once went on the DL with shoulder soreness from using his laptop too much…

Can you believe the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 100 years. Personally, I’m shocked.



Public Enemy #1 is CAPTURED!

beer_throw4500thisAt last, we can sleep peacefully now, thanks to an active campaign to track him down, the dastardly Chicago Beer-Tosser has been CAPTURED!

After Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino pressed charges for getting a beer tossed on him from a previously anonymous Cubs fan, the media blitz was ON to find the culprit.

Johnny Macchione, the fan in question, turned himself in yesterday to Chicago police where he was booked and released on bond after being charged with a count of battery and a count of illegal conduct within a sports facility. He’s now the second-most infamous Cubs fan.

“I’d like to apologize to Shane Victorino. It really was nothing against him,” he said. “The Chicago Cubs, I’m sorry I disgraced you.”

Wow, disgracing the Cubs is a hard task, and yet, Johnny feels he did. And in some ways he has, in others he merely threw a beer on someone in a cowardly manner. As Victorino was saying yesterday, “[The fan] i’s probably at home thinking, ‘I got away with it.’ I hope he gets the understanding, hey, you can’t do stuff like that. I mean, if it happened in the streets, I don’t think you’d be walking too far (without a reprisal). It’s just not something you do.”

[Chicago Breaking News]


Cubs Security Are Hard-Asses

For 65 years Yosh Kawano (front left) served as the equipment manager of the Chicago Cubs, retiring last season. Two weeks ago he went back to Wrigley — something he has done frequently since his retirement — to visit some of the grounds crew. 6SRibRUIThe team was out of town and three security guards came up to Kawano and told him he had been spotted by the security cameras and needed to leave. Interestingly enough, the Cubs home locker room IS NAMED AFTER HIM.

Club officials didn’t know about the incident when it happened and have said they will be contacting Kawano directly ”to let Yosh know he is always welcome,” senior vice president Michael Lufrano said.

”They [the security guards] apologized to me and said it bothered them,” Kawano said. ”They said I’m not supposed to be there when [the team] isn’t there. How do you think I felt? It’s embarrassing.”

Last season the team had a special day in his honor and flew a flag with his name over the stadium. In addition, along with the players and announcers the team has honored, a flag for Kawano hangs in the main concourse.

”Yosh was a fixture here for 65 years, and we celebrated him with a day in his honor last June 26,” Lufrano said. ”He has a standing invitation to come to any game here and we’ve offered to find ways to help him and his family in any way, and we’ll be in touch with him to express that again.”

Kawano went to Cooperstown last June to give them his trademark floppy hat for display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and has been nominated for the HoF’s Buck O’Neil award for lifetime achievement in baseball. Apparently those credentials aren’t enough for the Cubs crack security teams.



For the Cubs Fan Who Needs Constant Reminders of Futility

cubbietimeP.J. Tanzillo, a software designer with Bearded Pony who is originally from Chicago recently created a new app for all you Cubs fan iPhone users out there; CubbieTime, an app that keeps track of the time since the Cubs last won the World Series.

From the developers’ description of the app:

How long can the biggest let down for the biggest sports town in America go on? Right now it has been 101 years 1 month 29 days 14 hours 36 minutes and 27, 28, 29 seconds… you get the picture. The Chicago Cubs are the lovable losers of major league baseball.
Not only does Northside Clock act as your NIGHT STAND CLOCK and ALARM CLOCK, it also gives you the exact amount of time since October 14, 1908 — the last time the cursed Cubbies won the big one AND acts as a DIRECT NEWS FEED for everything Cubs – the most loved team in MLB.

I don’t see why the Cubs like losing so much, the Red Sox used to do it, but then we decided to start winning and it’s much more enjoyable. The Cubs should make a similar decision. In the meantime, spend the $.99 to buy this app if you want, and if you do, tell Bearded Pony to kick in something to me.

[Chicago Tribune]


The Battle for the Windy City

If you think that I wasn’t going to post these galleries of hot White Sox vs. hot Cubs fans then this must be your first day here at the Slanch Report. Make sure to check out the full larger galleries by clicking HERE and enjoy!

Loyal readers know who I’m opting for…

[Chicago Sun Times]


Mr. T Dominates “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

I’m not sure how I feel about the Cubs’ “tradition” of bringing in celebrities and such to lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” no one else is Harry Caray and almost always does it result in awfulness. Then again, it leads to plenty of easy blog posts so…

Here’s Mr. T taking the reins and leading the crowd.

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June 2023