Some thoughts on yesterday’s Cubs opener:
1) The forecast, for once, was right on: 40 degrees, with a 20mph wind out of the northeast. That’s like having a personal wind just for my season ticket seat. So it was cold.
2) Sadly, no one wore a balaclava like Shawon Dunston used to do. I always felt like it was a form of protest from Dunston, saying, essentially, if you guys are going to force me to be out here in this shit, I’m going to look as silly as I can.
3) None of the players seemed to be playing with the urgency of people who realized how absurdly cold it was until the 6th inning, when three Pirates struck out, a couple of them on “We’ve got a six-run lead and my fingers hurt” kind of swings.
4) Not content with raising my ticket price 70% (from $10 to $17) in six years (and more than 100% in the twelve seasons I’ve been going to Wrigley Field), the Cubs seem in the last couple offseasons to have spent most of their time trying to figure out how to bring in more billions. Two seasons ago, they added silly little Sears ads by the dugouts. Last year, they added really tacky-looking LED screens along the roof of the upper deck in right and left. This year, they’ve replaced the three light boards–the one below the scoreboard in center and the two along the facade of the upper deck–with LED screens. So now we’ve got McDonald’s ads in center field during play. What’s their slogan these days? Gotta love it?
I half expect to show up for Opening Day next year and find the outfield grass mowed in the shape of a McRib.
5) Public address announcer Paul Friedman welcomed “those Cubs fans watching from the rooftops.” The request did not elicit the booing that the whole enterprise–and the strongarming the Cubs gave it–deserves.
6) The Cubs lost. Badly. I only lasted six innings, the fierce cold and wind overcoming my desire not to start the season with an incomplete entry in my book of scorecards.
Levi: By the way: I am a little bit embarrassed that I only lasted six innings. I don’t regret it, seeing as seven or eight of the thirteen walks the Cubs issued came after I left. But you’d think that, dressed for the cold, I could hold out longer.
Luke, hanger-on: Didn’t Stacey give you her flask to keep you warm?