Saturday, February 05, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

Alright Peoria area Cub fans how are things going in P-town? I will be returning home to Peoria for a visit in a few weeks and am sure looking forward to being back home in the heart of Fighting Illini country. I am quickly growing tired of hearing nothing but Duke, North Carolina, and Weak Florist, I mean Wake Forest. It seems there aren't any good college basketball teams outside of tobacco road - at least that's what people here in Winston-Salem, NC say. We all know better. Some clown from work even had the nerve to say that my beloved Illini wouldn't finish .500 in the ACC. It is interesting because this statement comes from a Weak Florist, I mean Wake Forest fan. Yes the same Weak Florist, darn I mean Wake Forest, team that our Illini were destroying by 30 some points before showing mercy and putting the walk-ons in the game. Ok I can almost hear Chris screaming at the computer to keep it about baseball so here are my thoughts...the best thing about college basketball is the NCAA Tournament, and the best thing about the NCAA Tournament is that when it is over, it is baseball season. For my post this week I will tell my Kerry Wood and Rod "shooter" Beck stories...

Rod Beck and Kerry Wood are two Cubs players I, as a Cardinals fan, have no problem admitting to actually liking, and here's why. My family and I, along with another group of family friends had the opportunity to witness in person Mark McGwire tying Roger Maris' historic homerun record in 1998. The family friends we went with are Cub fans and we bought the tickets before the season even started - who knew.

Anyway during the course of the weekend we stayed at the Marriot across the street from Busch Stadium, where visiting teams always stay when they come to St. Louis. We were about to leave for some fun stuff around the city of St. Louis and my nephew (who was 5 or 6 at the time) forgot something in our room, so I took him back to get whatever it was he forgot, and then we'd meet the rest of the gang in the lobby. We got on the elevator to head down to the lobby, both of us decked out in Cardinal red. Well we went down a few floors and the elevator door opened up and this dude got on - I paid no attention to it. After a few seconds went by my nephew tapped the guy on the leg and said "excuse me sir." Now, I was about to teach my nephew that it is sometimes considered rude to disturb people, but before I could get the words out of my mouth my nephew says "excuse me sir are you Kerry Wood?" Then and only then did I look at the guy and sure enough it was indeed Kerry Wood. Kerry said "yes I am, what's your name?" My nephew said, "my name is Brendon, can I have your autograph?" Kerry was very polite and signed something for him and talked to him all the way down to the lobby. You should have seen the looks on the faces of our Cub fan friends when we got off the elevator with Kerry Wood, autograph in hand, and Kerry said good bye to Brendon.

Later on that night in a certain watering hole inside the hotel I was there with the Cub fan friend. As it happened - my friend went to use the restroom, leaving me by myself. Well, I happened to be wearing a Dale Earnhardt t-shirt and just sat there drinking a cold frosty Budweiser, all by my lonesome - When this guy came up to me and said "thats a nice t-shirt you got on there." I looked at the guy and was shocked to see Rod Beck himself, with a gorgeous woman on each arm, cigarette in one hand, and a beer in the other. We talked for a minute or two about Dale Earnhardt and then I asked him to groove one to Big Mac the next day if he faced him, and he calmly said, "If Mac breaks the record off me, he will earn it." With that he left. I think those two gorgeous woman were in a hurry to get their future paternity suits underway. My friend returned and I said "you will never guess who was just here. Rod Beck was just here shooting the breeze." He didn't believe a word I said. About that time the waitress came over with another round of unordered beers, and said "these are on Mr. Beck." Rod Beck bought us a round of brew, that was pretty cool.

There you have it Cub fans my Rod Beck and Kerry Wood stories, and every word is the honest truth.

I was reading my fellow poster Chris' post about the man who drank 60 beers and urinated his way to freedom. Chris used this as an illustration that drastic times call for drastic measures. It indeed was a funny story that got me to laughing. However I see things a little differently. Think about this dude trapped in a car buried in snow, and he calmly sits back and drinks a beer while trying to think of a solution to his problem. Drastic times do indeed call for drastic measures. However the proper way to get to the best solution is to remain calm in the midst of the desperate situation.

It would be wise for Jim Hendry in this drastic time to remain calm. The last thing he and all of Cubdom needs is to rush into any move just for the sake of making a move. I have said it before and I will say it again, stay away from $cott Bora$ and Magglio Ordonez. Bora$ is like a shark seeing blood, and Hendry can't afford to let Bora$ see him sweat. If that happens then Bora$ will have Hendry and all of Cubdom, as my dad would say, by the ol' short and curlies. My advice to Hendry is to remain calm, sit back, and wait. Also keep in mind that despite all the things that went wrong for the Cubs last season, they were right in the wild card race up until the end, and if the Cardinals hadn't tanked 5 out of 6 games to the 'stros the last week of the season, the Cubs would probably have been a playoff team last season.

Take care Cub fans and remember, spring training is just a week or so away. Hope springs eternal!