July 2006 Archives for Agony & Ivy

So Long

By JCB on Monday, July 31, 2006

So we say goodbye to Greg Maddux and Todd Walker, somewhat inevitable since both could help other clubs more than the Cubs for the rest of the season, and neither was certain to be back in 2007. Still, I liked both those guys. Yet again, I can’t help but turn my thoughts backwards in a what-if kind of mindset, because it wasn’t supposed to be this way for these guys this season.

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A Week of Texas Baseball

By JCB on Sunday, July 30, 2006

It was a long week. I knew it would be. Besides four baseball games, there was the Houston Museum of Natural Science; the gallery for the Menil Collection; the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library; the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library; the Sixth Floor Museum at the site of the assassination of JFK; and well, other than the meals, I think that was it. But it was still two things baseball-related which I was anticipating most.

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Best of Game Notes Vol. 7

By JCB on Monday, July 24, 2006

As we wonder yet again how things could possibly get any worse, it’s time to face up to the conclusion that this isn’t a season with a low point. The season is the low point. I mean, swept by the Nationals? Come on. The Cubs continue to make bad pitching look good, and continue to swing with futility. Ramirez gets hot; Jones gets cold. In the meantime, the defense continues to fail to make plays. It’s just torturous, tedious, agonizing, excruciating -- pick your favorite adjective for -- bad baseball..



So we might as well sit down for another round of Game Notes. Sorry there’s only a few -- the games were a lot more frustrating than amusing, I’m afraid. Plus, there are just so many easy Greg Behrendt daytime TV jokes that I wouldn’t know where to start. You know, besides the fact that I'm just not that into him.

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On Mark Prior (Vol. 2)

By JCB on Friday, July 21, 2006

As Zambrano builds his case for a Cy Young award -- tied for second-best record, sixth in ERA, first in strikeouts and opponents batting average -- our thoughts turn yet again tonight to Mark Prior. It’s the familiar dual refrain: ‘What If’ on the one hand, and ‘What Now’ on the other. In a little while, Prior will pitch again, and many of our thoughts will be elsewhere than the game at hand. Elsewhere, as in trying to balance our skepticism with our optimism.

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07.07.06 Cowgirl Fan Cam

By KJM on Monday, July 17, 2006

Calgary Stampede grounds and Nashville North.

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Of Rags and Silk

By JCB on Thursday, July 13, 2006

And so the second half of another excruciatingly long season begins tomorrow, meanwhile the song arrives on my stereo, “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” by the Velvet Underground.

And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

A hand-me-down dress from who knows where

To all tomorrow's parties



And where will she go and what shall she do

When midnight comes around

She'll turn once more to Sunday's clown

And cry behind the door

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Chicago, Soul, the Cubs and Urban Renaissance

By JCB on Monday, July 10, 2006

KJM e-mailed me the link to an article in the Tribune titled “Restless for heart of the city” because he knew it was right up my alley as far as thinking and writing about what my generation is doing. Here’s the hook:

“It turns out that nearly two-thirds of highly mobile 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees, the "young and restless," say they decide where to live first, then find a job, according to a new survey commissioned by CEOs for Cities, a national alliance of mayors and civic leaders.”

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Observations & Best Of Game Notes Vol. 6

By JCB on Monday, July 3, 2006

Well, certain things were proven true last weekend.



One, it struck me that Wrigleyville has finished the inevitable trajectory I noticed the last 5 years. New bars like Red Ivy and the Cantina across the street are a little bit swankier, a little bit loungier, and -- I’m certain, without going into either of them -- cater to the neighborhood types that don’t want to rub shoulders with people who are only in for the game. It’s not that they don’t like the Cubs; it’s that they don’t like the type of Cub fans who end up at Hi-Tops or Sluggers. Wrigleyville has changed enough to support both ends of that spectrum, and I’m not judging it at all. I’ll simply say that I’m curious if the new bars will make it -- never a certainty on Clark Street north of Belmont.

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Sincerely, JCB

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

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