September 2006 Archives for Agony & Ivy
And so it is that I find myself waiting for a flight to Chicago on the second to last day of September. There are two Cubs games left, and I will attend. You might call this attrition; or perhaps completing the process of acceptance; in any case it’s some kind of coming to terms with not just this season, but the last three. The era is ending, and a new one begins when they announce on Monday not to renew Dusty Baker’s contract. You know, we’re assuming.
(Or, How The Cubs Gambled For A Pennant By 2006 And Lost)
My friends have returned to Chicago, exhausted and contented by the Austin City Limits music festival here in Austin, and as I sit this evening finally recovered from the blitzkrieg pace of music enjoyment, and watching the Phillies mop up the field with the Cubs pitchers.
It seems to me that a lot of the buzz in Cubs Nation these days that isn’t about Rich Hill surrounds Aramis Ramirez, who has had one of the finest second-halves of anyone in baseball. KJM pointed out to me a quote where, after Aramis’s 7-RBI game, Dusty Baker said, “And, boy, it came right on time for us.” Which made absolutely no sense given that the Cubs have the worst record in the NL with less than two weeks to go, and moreover inasmuch as it probably means Ramirez will be more expensive to retain if he exercises his option. Whatever you say about Ramirez’s outstanding hitting this September in particular, timely is not the adjective to use.
Six Marine F/A-18 Hornets flew low over Darrel K. Royal Memorial Stadium, first four and then two, such that just in case you weren’t sure Ohio State’s arrival in Austin was a really big deal, you were convinced. The walls shook, the crowd cheered, and the anticipation climbed yet another level. Then the football was in the air, the cannon fired, and what was supposed to be an epic contest was underway.
Labor Day arrives and nearly every season Cub fans mostly turn their attention away from baseball. This year is no exception. In fact, there has been nothing exceptional about this season at all, at least not in any positive sense. Michael Barrett’s recent injury personified what the season has felt like -- a deflected ball to the junk. There: I said it.