Hear the Cubs Roar!

Many Cubs fans have all ready seen this video, but just in case you haven’t, here it is:

It’s been doing the rounds and it’s getting me excited for the season.  Put together by  It’s incredible and amazing. Well done, Jay Tuohey!

Believe it!

Cubs Opening Day Is Almost Here Lets Go!

With Spring Training just around the corner, I thought I’d shift focus from baseball a little bit and talk about what some delicious Opening Day traditions Cubs fans do around the continent.

For my family, I’ve talked about in the past we’ve taken time off of work and spent the day preparing a BBQ with festive eats. One year we had sausages smeared with onions, peppers and all the fixins’ Another year, we had ribs(Those were amazing!) Invite family over and have a cake to celebrate not just Opening Day, but the unofficial kick off to spring, summer and an end to another long cold winter.

This year’s going to be different. The Cubs home opener falls on Easter Sunday. We’re kind of relegated to Ham, mashed potatoes and another choice of vegetables. That’s all right because  most fans love a good ham feast. The other cool point to this season’s home event is it’ll be broadcast on ESPN and the Cubs face the RedBirds of St. Louis. There’s no better home opener than squaring off against an arch rival.

We’re disappointed with the date this season because in seasons past, the home opener was meant as an opportunity to book work and school off and let the cool air and warm sunshine through the house. It was that one day of the year where we can play hooky and not feel ashamed. A day where my family can spend quality time together knowing that,”

“Eighty-five percent of the world is working, the other fifteen come here.” Lee Elia

That’s what we wanted to create, but this season will be somewhat different. However, one of my hobbies is home brewing. What I’m going to challenge is for some ideas as to a Cubs themed brew.

Post some ideas as to that special beer that might be enjoyed on Opening Day. I’ll have to start brewing it the end of February in order for it to be ready Opening Day.

UPDATE: I just bottled an ESB and renamed it, Canuck Cubbie ESB. It should be ready by Opening Day or at the very least Spring Training. It takes three weeks in the bottle to get conditioned or carbonated. It’s going to be delicious.

What’s your favourite brew?

Believe It.

Could James Shields Wind Up a Cub?

James Shields

There’s a scene in the Will Ferrell movie, “Old School” where he’s running down the street when his wife pulls up beside him, rolls down the window and says,”Honey, what are you doing?”

“I’m streaking.”

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to ITunes and my wife blurts out,

“What is that?”

“That my dear, is Iron Maiden.”

You see, there are certain things in life that wives will not understand.

  • ACDC sounds better at the volume 15+ in the car and miraculously, each song is different.
  • There’s a difference between putting BBQ sauce while the meat is still on the grill as opposed to when it’s on the plate.
  • Cutting the lawn is more than just making the grass look good. It’s Aroma Therapy.

This morning, I ran upstairs eager to share in the news that a rumour is circulating in the James Shields signing situation where the Cubs could be possible suitors. My wife looks at me and says, “Who?”

Ok, I understand it was early in the morning and she wasn’t fully awake. I explained to her this way.

The Cubs signing Jon Lester turns the Cubs into contenders for the World Series, but if the Cubs sign James Shields, then the Cubs can possibly turn into a dynasty.

Nod your heads if you know what I’m talking about.

I love my wife. She’s been understanding and patient when it comes to my passion for the Cubs. She cheers for the Cubs throughout the season and wishes more than me that they win the World Series. Believe me on that one. If James Shields signs with the Cubs, they will have the best rotation in baseball. My lovely wife doesn’t understand it and that’s all right because on Opening Day, we’ll be eating Easter Ham and watching the Cubs beat the Cardinals while the rest of our family sits there at the other end of the room shaking their heads.

She may not get the Cubs sometimes, but she gets me.

Believe it.

Cubs Win World Series? What Are The Odds?

Chicago Cubs

With Vegas odds now greatly reduced to 6-1, we all now know that the Cubs are potential favourites to win the Series. Is it warranted? yes. However, there is a great caveat on this prediction. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report and the snow is still fresh on the ground.

There’s a new catcher in town. Miguel Montero and early enthusiasm towards this game breaking guard of home plate, is astounding. We don’t know yet what is to become of Welington Castillo.

That’s okay.

The Cubs are solidified behind the plate. They’re strong on the infield and pitching is respectable although not quite where they want it to be. The outfield could use a few tweaks, but Fowler should carry the load.

With prospects Kris Bryant and Addison Russell leading the pack in the farm system, we know the Cubs are going to be highly competitive and should win between 85-90 games this season.

That’s a fact.

Of course, the excitement that Joe Maddon is bringing to the dugout is unparalleled.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than twenty days. As I write this, I’m listening to The Trio from Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Is this foreshadowing of the National League Central division? Will it be a duel to the end between the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates?

The Cubs won’t be pushed around this season. They’ll compete for the top spot with Ernie’s number patched to their shoulders. The sun will shine bright over Wrigley Field.

Predictions could be dangerous. The Cubs could win and the Cubs could very well lose.

No matter the outcome, what players, managers and fans should take away from the passing of Chicago’s mightiest hero, is to go out there this spring and compete hard, be fair, be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Remember, players should not play for the name on the back of the jersey, but play for the name on the front.

Believe it.

Has Instant Replay Run Its Course In Baseball?

Every year I attempt to understand the game baseball and every year I discover new things about the game that I didn’t know before.

Last season was the introduction of replay. For better or for worse, it was needed.

It was an experiment that failed.

You see, baseball has no time limits. There’s a reason for that and it goes beyond the game itself.

When we were children, the last day of school meant something more than an end of structure, lessons learned and getting up in the morning. It meant, sleeping in, lazing around on hot summer afternoons, getting together with friends to take part in irrelevancy and revelling in it. To other’s; it meant baseball.

Imagine something that has no time limits? A game where there is the possibility of having no end. It’s almost heavenly, isn’t it?

Before last season, I welcomed the opportunity of instant replay. It was the true definitive decision. There’d be no more,”Would have, could have, should have beens”

At last, there was an answer.

Going into this season, I’m changing my tune.

There’s a reason for this change in attitude. Part of the magic in the game is the, “Would have, could have, should have beens.”

For the most part, baseball is a game of honour. Life isn’t fair.

We’ve been taught that at very early ages and what kind of lessons are we learning if a manager can run out to the diamond and argue a call and be right?

Umpires are paid big bucks to make the decisions and the right calls. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

That’s life. When we go to work, sometimes we have to understand decisions that we may not agree with.

Again, that’s life.

How fair is it for a manager to charge after an umpire to dispute a call? A manager’s role is to work the bench and build the team strategy. An umpire’s role is to call the actions of the game.

The simplicity and magic of the game is for us bleacher creatures to dispute the calls next day or online. “Did you see that play? He was safe! There’s no way that ball was fair!”

We’re only human. We make mistakes. Baseball should be that kind of game where nothing is perfect. Baseball is a game of life.

Believe it.