Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baseball Contracts

I was listening to the Cubs game on the radio the other night and heard a question someone emailed in to Ron and Pat. The question was directed to Ron and went something along the lines of questioning if the players in past years (specifically the 1960's and early 1970's when Ron played) where better conditioned than current day players as they spent less time on the disabled list and played in more games. Ron's response was interesting. He said that the baseball contracts back then were one year deals. So, even if you were injured you had to be out there playing day after day so no one could come up and take you job. In today's world of guaranteed and multi-year contracts, it is not as big of a deal. Players can go on and off the DL as needed without worrying about their playing status the rest of the season and next year.

It was a really good question. I find sports contracts like this interesting. It's almost like we baby the players of today. They get more conditioning, better medical care, and yet they play less often then players in the past who probably didn't even get free aspirin. Whatever happened to no pain, no gain or there's no crying in baseball. I understand if you can't play due to a broken foot (Johnson - foul ball off foot), but some other injuries like a left calf strain (Blanco - not considered a serious injury) put someone on the DL for 15 days. That's like me calling in sick for soreness in my left hand - can't type work related emails for the next 15 days. Don't I wish. I understand the need to be cautious, but it sometimes seems to go too far. We need more players that keep playing through the pain and manage their injuries and pain (Lee - bulging disk in neck). Just sayin'!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Celebrations and Old Friends

I love when I get to go somewhere and see old friends and acquaintances I haven't seen in years. It is always fun to see what people are up to these days. Yesterday, I was in the Chicago suburbs for my friend Tracy's wedding shower. I got to see several friends from college and celebrate her upcoming wedding. It was a lot of fun!
There were a ton of people at the shower, so Tracy got a ton of great stuff. One of the gifts was a really cool creative gift. I am not good at coming up with stuff like that, so I'll have to steal it for future use. It used candy and little sayings for clever thoughts on marriage. Like the Almond Joy bar with the saying for the joys in life you will experience. Very cute. I had never seen that before and definitely want to use at some point! The room the shower was in was decorated so cute with flowers on every table and a brunch/lunch buffet. The favors were adorable, too! But, the best part of the shower (for me, anyway) was getting to see Tracy and catch-up with old friends from college. Granted the time was short, but it was fun to see everyone!

Tracy, me, Kendra, and Sarah

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Cell = The Worst

US Cellular Field is the worst baseball stadium I have ever been to. Period. Each year we try to see a new stadium or two. We have seen most of the ones in the Midwest and a few East Coast stadiums, too. Out of all he ones I have been to, The Cell is the worst by far. I am glad we went to check it off our list and to never go back!

We decided to catch the Cubs at the White Sox, so at least we could see a game we would like. That was probably a bad idea in hindsight, but who knew at the time! Not me! I don't know the Southside very well, but there is nothing there. We tried to park, but had to use White Sox parking. They had us going around in cirlces through neighborhoods to a community college parking lot. We had no clue where we were, so had to follow the crowd to the stadium. Since there is nothing there, people just tailgaited at their cars. I seriously felt like I was at a football game and not a baseball game.

We finlly got to the stadium about an hour or so before game time hoping to get tickets. There were none because the police don't allow scalping around the stadium. Interesting since the same Chicago police department allows it on the Northside. We searched high and low, even coming up with a plan to catch one of the museums to make our trip worthwhile. We finally found someone who sold us the worst seats ever in the upper deck. But, at least he admitted before we bought them they would be crappy. Kudos for the honestly, but these seats were horrible. Upper deck near the top and also near the tunnel to the concessions. So, we never really saw the game since we were so high off the field and had a stream of people walking in front of us. I got hit in the head with peanut shells, had beer spilled all around me, and saw the police escort many people out for fighting in the stands. Literally throwing punches fighting. Oh, I felt bad for the guy next to us who brought his kid. Not only could they not see the game, but the people behind us were using inappropriate language the whole game. He finally left about half-way through. I probably would have, too. Actually, we did leave a few innings early. The Cubs played horrible the entire game and lost.

The thing I hate most about the stadium is all the advertising. Every place they could put a sign, sponsor, or flashing light, they did. You would never see this at Wrigley. You just watch and enjoy the game, not all the crazy advertising. Also, they played music all the time. Before every batter, between innings, during pitching changes. People we up doing the YMCA and dancing to other songs. Horrible. It is a baseball game, not a drunken party people!

I can promise, I will never be back to US Cellular Field again.

I'll take the ivy at Wrigley anyday for a REAL baseball game!