Today on a whim I got onto the South Shore and headed to Wrigley Field. Before today I had seen 28 Major League teams in the 25 years I have been going to big league ballgames. The two that I had not seen yet were the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. What makes it weird is that I have seen over thirty games of the Diamondbacks low A ball affiliate the South Bend Silverhawks. I decided that today would be a good day to see my first Diamondbacks game. Dan Haren was on the mound for the D-Backs so I knew that I would see one of the better National League pitchers. I was disappointed from square one today as they canceled batting practice for some reason. The wind was blowing out fairly strong so I knew that I might make up for no batting practice with some dingers. I had a great seat that for some reason was available behind third base. This gave me a great view for some pictures. That is if the Cub fans would ever sit down.
I have noticed this for a long time, but Cub fans do nothing to dispel the myth that they are just at the park to party. Most of the fans around me in section 110 arrived late. The couple next to me showed up in the bottom of the third, and left after the seventh inning stretch. They did not see much of the game. Not too mention the fact that they were barely in their seats. In the eighth when the Cubs were putting together the eventual game winning rally the fans were more interested in the wave. With two on and one out they were cheering the wave instead of watching the game. Someday I will go to Wrigley and sit next to someone who actually watches the game. In fact the people next to me and in front of them were getting on me for keeping score. They asked how you could do that an entire game. You have to watch every batter. Isn’t that the whole point of attending the game? Why pay as much as they charge to get into a game if you aren’t going to watch it?
Former Silverhawks Mark Reynolds, Justin Upton, and Gerardo Parra did not disappoint today. Reynolds who I saw in South Bend in 2005 hit two home runs on the day. He really has an all or nothing swing to him. Upton hit a two run shot as well for the Diamondbacks. He was the #1 overall pick in 2006, and he came straight to South Bend. He could be on his way to being one of the better players in the league. Parra had a good day at the plate as well. He also made a nice play in left on a line drive that he trapped. For some reason the Cub fans decided to get on him about the trap, and let him have it the entire inning. I guess that is what you get when you play the outfield in Wrigley.
Dan Haren looked good as well. He had two hits on the day, and scored twice. He doubled in his first at bat, but lost some points on the play with his slide into second. The end of that slide is the picture that accompanies this post. For some reason he slid into second on his back. It looked awkward, and probably scared some people in the Arizona dugout. He pitched well enough to win, but a shaky bullpen blew that chance for him. I knew that he was a good pitcher, but was surprised at the good hacks he had at the plate today. Maybe we can trade Sweaty Freddy even up for him.
Vince Vaughn threw out the first pitch, and also sang during the seventh inning stretch. After he threw out the first ball he threw it into the crowd on his way off the field. He also threw his hat into the crowd after he sang “Take me out to the ballgame.” He really seems like a good guy, and my opinion of him went up today despite the fact that he is a Cubs fan.
After the Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the eighth Carlos Marmol loaded the bases in the ninth, but he also struck out the side to start the crowd singing that song. I tried to get out quickly, but could not get out before the whole song was played. At the end of the day the Cubs won 7-5, but it was still a good day in the sun (when it came out). A day in Wrigley is still fun until the fans show up. I am sure that I will end up in Wrigley at least one more time this season. It is late so I will have some pictures from the day up tomorrow.
By the way don’t boycott my post just because you don’t like the new Arizona Immigration Law. I expected to see some people picketing the new law at the park today. They previously had been outside Wrigley during this series. I think that they should be protesting the bullpen for Arizona instead of the new law. It is just as bad, and will take more money to fix. Also if the Blackhawks keep playing the way they did tonight we might be deporting some people back to Canada.