A Contrarian View of the NL Central

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, March 31, 2011

I remember fondly throughout my childhood the February day in which my father would bring home a stack of baseball preview magazines.

I would devour those things and have continued the practice into adulthood. All of that reading material has helped me get through those final few weeks without baseball, but I learned long ago that such publications should not be believed as gospel.

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Rest in Peace, Ronnie

By Chris Rewers on Friday, December 3, 2010

Life has thrown me more than a fair share of curveballs, but throughout my many trials and tribulations, I have tried my best to maintain my optimism and to reflect on my many blessings.

And I could not have a better role model in regards to having a sunny disposition in the face of adversity than former Cubs star and longtime radio broadcaster Ron Santo.

It was very sad to learn Friday morning that Santo, the greatest third baseman in Cubs history, had died at age 70 from complications of bladder cancer.

Santo was one of my father's favorite ballplayers and I was very familiar with the nine-time All-Star's playing exploits long before he joined the Cubs broadcast team in 1990. Say what you will about Santo's on-air style ("Who's this guy pitching, Pat?"), but understand that listening to a Cubs game on the radio will never be the same.

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100 Worst: No. 91 Kyle Farnsworth

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pitcher, 1999-2004

22-37, 4 saves, 4.78 ERA with Cubs

(Editor's Note: Tenth in a series identifying the 100 worst Cubs of all-time.)

Tim Robbins played Eby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh in the 1988 movie, Bull Durham. Nuke was a young pitching phenom who was described by his catcher Crash Davis as a prospect who possessed "a million-dollar arm and a five-cent" head.

I always considered Crash's description of Nuke an apt one for Kyle Farnsworth, a young flamethrower who teased Cubs fans with his blazing heat and some fleeting success but failed to fulfill his promise because of a lack of commitment to his career.

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13 Moments to Forget

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, November 21, 2010

You don't put together a 103-year championship drought without a few infamous and embarrassing moments. Cubs history is full of head-scratching and gut-wrenching moments. I believe these are the 13 worst:

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102 Years and Counting... Why Us?

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My grandfather turned 90 earlier this year.

Pops is no saint, but I have always been struck by his ability to make friends. It's a testament to his talent for relating to others that a week does not go by when somebody in our neighborhood asks me how he's doing or tells me a story about a good time they had with him.

But the fact that he has been a Cubs fan since at least the 1930s has to be penance for something. The man has been subjected to more bad baseball in his lifetime than anybody else I know and has not even enjoyed the experience of watching his favorite team play in the World Series since 1938. He was serving in the Pacific while the Cubs participated in the 1945 Fall Classic.

"Wait 'til next year!" my late grandmother would mutter whenever she'd hear a Cubs fan speak those words. "It's always wait 'til next year with those Cubs!"

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2003: Cubs Sweep Into Postseason

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Only twice in my lifetime have the Cubs come out on top in a tight regular season race that wasn't decided until the final weekend.

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1989: Boys of Zimmer Clinch

By Chris Rewers on Friday, October 8, 2010

The 2007 Cubs Convention at the Hilton Chicago featured a panel discussion of the 1989 NL East champion Cubs. The panel consisted of seven members of that team: Mike Bielecki, Doug Dascenzo, Mark Grace, Les Lancaster, Ryne Sandberg, Dwight Smith, and Jerome Walton. The quote that sticks with me from that discussion came from Grace.

"1989 was my favorite year in a Cubs uniform," said Grace, who that year as a 25-year-old led the team in RBI, played first base superbly, and went an incredible 11-for-17 with five extra-base hits in the North Siders' disappointing loss to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.

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1998: Brant Brown's Error

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Memories are made of moments.

As great as Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg was - a consistently good hitter and spectacular fielder - during his 15-year Cubs career, he will always be remembered by most Cubs fans old enough to remember for his exploits on a single afternoon. On June 23, 1984 at Wrigley Field, Sandberg hit game-tying home runs off Cardinals relief ace Bruce Sutter in the ninth and 10th innings of a game that the Cubs eventually won. It has become known as the "Sandberg Game."

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Aisle 233, Row 9, Seat 10

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Sucker," is not stamped on my forehead, but Tuesday night I attended the first of three games I have tickets for at Wrigley Field this week.

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Red Sox, Yankees Highlight 2011 Schedule

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cubs will make their first interleague visit to play the Boston Red Sox and host the New York Yankees at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2003 during the 2011 season.

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2003: When the Cubs Decked the Cards

By Chris Rewers on Monday, September 13, 2010

The rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals is generally considered as one of the three best in the major leagues, placed on a pedestal alongside the Yankees-Red Sox and Dodgers-Giants antagonisms. But when it comes to late-season drama, Cubs-Cardinals ranks far behind the other two classic rivalries.

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Sincerely, JCB

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


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