September 2005 Archives for Agony & Ivy

End Of Nothing

By PMC on Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bittersweet would be too positive a word to describe the end of the Cubs' 05 home season. I wasn't there for the official finale but watched with one eye and ear to the fitting ending -- bases loaded in the ninth and nothing to show for it. Jose Macias, a Dusty Baker favorite, made the last out; Corey Patterson, Wrigley wipping boy, struck out to help snuff the rally. The next noises emanating from Clark and Addison will be construction on the expanded bleachers.

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That Unique Feeling

By JCB on Wednesday, September 28, 2005

As I’ve returned home and caught up on everything that’s been happening in the Cubs’ world, it occurs to me that maybe it’s for the best that the Northsiders will not make the playoffs this year. One reason it might be for the best is the injuries. If the Cubs had Houston’s record but were still as tattered -- with Walker, Ramirez, Hairston, Cedeno, and Barrett all dealing with injury fallout -- there is no doubt that they would be undermanned in a series. Last night, even, Maddux gutted it through 9 innings to hope for a win to keep the chance at 15 wins alive, but the offense just wasn’t there. The lineup the Cubs can offer is not a playoff caliber lineup. Maybe other people have been saying this and if so I’m sorry for repeating the obvious, but I’m just getting to it.

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Chicago, Illinois (South Side)

By JCB on Monday, September 26, 2005

This is the final leg of our trip, after which I will stay in the greater Chicago area for a wedding before flying back home. I spent last evening doing laundry at my parents’ house and telling my mother some travel stories. And reading, but not writing. I do my best to stay focused, and I know from experience that even when you don’t have it sometimes you can sit down and start to write anyway, and then your writing voice wakes up to surprise you, but I felt more like lying on my parents’ couch after they went to sleep even though I knew full well the implication that I would end up 4 days late in my posting as a result. I guess I’m a little bit road-weary.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By JCB on Sunday, September 25, 2005

Driving away from New York City, there is a tension knotted between your shoulders that unwinds, and you don’t even realize it was there until it’s leaving. There is a slight chill in the air, the first hint that this is actually the end of the summer in what has been a very warm September. There are a few leaves changing colors (red and yellow) near the tops of the Allegheny Mountains, which are covered thickly with trees, but farther down everything is still green.

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New York, New York (2)

By JCB on Thursday, September 22, 2005

Part 2

“When did you start to hate the Yankees?” I ask.

“Didn’t take long,” my father answers. “Probably shortly after I became a fan and they won all the time. Every World Series, I rooted for whoever played them. After World War II and until ’64 the Yankees just ruled, and that’s a long time.”

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New York, New York

By JCB on Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Part 1

Well now: New York City. Or Manhattan, I should say, to be more precise. My goodness.

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Baltimore, Maryland

By JCB on Sunday, September 18, 2005

Part 1 (Friday)

It’s my birthday today, which is not a big deal to me, but as such I am going to ask you to forgive my self-indulgence for a minute as I stroll down memory lane. I couldn’t fall asleep last night, so I was trying to work backwards to see if I could come up with my earliest memory. Three of them tied.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

By JCB on Thursday, September 15, 2005

I think that Philadelphia is the largest city in the country that isn’t thought of like the others, which is to say that it’s not cosmopolitan or the hub of anything contemporarily cultural. There’s obviously as much History there as one could hope for, but past that its reputation is mostly absent. For a very long time though, it was one of the 3 major cities in the country, along with New York and Boston. It was so important that for a long time it also had two baseball teams: the Phillies and the Athletics. This is a sign of national prominence, you could say, since now that the Angels are officially the Los Angeles Angels the big three cities have a pair of teams, one in each league.

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09.13.05 Fall Ball

By KJM on Thursday, September 15, 2005

Cubs versus Reds at Wrigley Field

Section 102 Row 5 Seat 114

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September Song

By PMC on Thursday, September 15, 2005

As the Cubs wrapped up yet another disheartening loss to their divisional nemesis Cincy last nite, the stands at Wrigley Field had emptied to about 10 percent of capacity. The Cubs' efforts to squeeze in more and more night games when school resumes has boosted attendance, but why stick around when it's past 10 p.m. on a weekday, your team is going nowhere and the bullpen has blown another lead? This is called playing out the string, the Cubs' all-too-familiar September song.

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Sincerely, JCB

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


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