August 2005 Archives for Agony & Ivy

Len & Bob

By JCB on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I’m eventually writing about Len Kasper and Bob Brenley, but in order to understand anything about Cubs TV broadcasters you have to delve into history a little bit. Inevitably, we compare these two to the broadcasters who preceded them, and I always enjoyed Steve Stone. A lot of color guys can take you into the strategy of a game, but nobody was better than Stone at going a level closer to break down the strategy of a single at-bat. His partner, Chip Caray, was decent. He suffered -- as we all did -- during the Joe Carter and Dave Otto seasons, and with Stone back I thought Chip was getting better, (although a little too wholesome and corny at times for my taste).

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When It's Fun

By JCB on Sunday, August 28, 2005

Well, today’s game was as good as it gets for Cubs fans lately. We haven’t had many recent occasions to enjoy ourselves with this team, but today was one. It stands out even more for how glum the month has been, but today would have been a highlight even if the season had a lot of them. It’s a nice reminder that on any given day, baseball can be brilliant.

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It's Baseball

By JCB on Friday, August 26, 2005

* * *
       It was a very good day for a game, and without being aware of it The Kid began to settle down and relax. He caught The Shooter looking at him several times, and once he winked at The Kid.

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So That's That

By JCB on Thursday, August 25, 2005

You know, the Cubs are only 19 games behind the Cardinals with 35 games to go. I think they can do it. At least there are only three teams ahead of them in the division. In the Wild Card, it's six.

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On Aramis Ramirez

By JCB on Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I have to admit: I was a little surprised when Aramis Ramirez made the All Star team this season. He started so slowly those first six weeks that it took us a while to notice that he was putting up impressive numbers. It probably didn’t hurt that at third base, Rolen was hurt and Lowell has struggled, but still: Ramirez deserved to be an All Star, and hasn’t slowed down since. He’s having a brilliant season.

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Best Of Game Notes Vol. 10

By JCB on Monday, August 22, 2005

Well, it's been another brutal two weeks. The Cubs had a chance to get back to .500 with two games to go in Colorado, against vulnerable pitching. Instead, they dropped them both and tumbled right back to the bottom of the hole they're trying to climb out from.

Anyway, here are the Game Notes highlights from the last two weeks, in search of a tiny bit of levity as always.

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Questions About The Bygone Era

By JCB on Sunday, August 21, 2005

Well, those last two losses were just taxing. What little enthusiasm the Cubs had inspired in some of us is nearly dissipated. Watching them lose a pair of winnable games to a team like Colorado, it's starting to feel like the Cubs will be lucky to win 81, rather than 89 or 90. Worse, it's been so much of a repeating, numbing pattern that it's hard to feel more than lukewarm disappointment. I hate that.

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Mindset For The Final Six Weeks

By JCB on Thursday, August 18, 2005

When I started Barack Obama’s book Dreams From My Father last week, two passages stood out about a third of the way in. This is the first, recalled from a meeting when Obama was considering a move to Chicago to take a community organizer position:

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Something To Prove

By JCB on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

7 games back in the loss column, 42 games to go.

So let’s just say that maybe it’s too late, that 32-10 is too much to hope for. I’m not suggesting that, because I have Cubs disease, but part of me acknowledges how tough it will be. Is there anything else worth watching for in the last six-and-a-half weeks?

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Earning A Tiny Bit Of Optimism

By JCB on Monday, August 15, 2005

How many different Wild Card scenarios have you run through in your mind? I’m well into the dozens, and nearly all of them involve the Cubs sweeping Houston this week. That’s where it has to start, the cautious optimists think, because even winning the series only subtracts 1 from the gap in the loss column. Subtract 3 and Cub Nation's optimism will reemerge in full bloom.

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Sincerely, JCB

I founded Agony & Ivy about five years ago for two reasons. First...


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