The Northside Lounge
A Chicago Cubs blog with an occasional tangent on pop culture
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Nan Kemberling has a website, so if you need a teacher for cello lessons in Atlanta, she's the perfect choice.

Go Cubs!

: |

Monday, May 07, 2007


They say hope springs eternal, but for most of the last two years I've had precisely no hope for the Cubs to contend. Finally, somewhere between Zambrano's win over St. Louis and this tidbit from Peter Gammons...

"Then there's the matter of plate discipline and on-base percentage. After one frustrating loss in April, Piniella went into the clubhouse and yelled, 'There's nothing wrong with taking a walk once in a while.' 'In reality, plate discipline and patience has to be taught in the minors and become part of the club's culture,' Piniella says. 'But we'll get more aware on the big league level. Believe me, it'll happen.'"

...that streak of uninterrupted despondency has come to an end. We picked some long overdue close wins this weekend, including our first one-run win of the season (!) yesterday afternoon. That has evened out the luck a bit, and the projected standings shows a two-horse race in the Central.

I would generally say it's too early to worry exclusively about Milwaukee, but a number of factors conspire to allow for some scoreboard watching. Milwaukee is a talented young team, playing well, with a healthy lead in the division. You can't say any of those three things about any of the other contenders. St. Louis was old coming into the year and has played like it. Houston has been holding it together with duct tape for years now, and now with no Clemens to rescue them it's hard to see them as a likely division winner. Cincinnati is 14-17, and only doing that well with a healthy Ken Griffey, a Pujolsian Josh Hamilton, and starting pitchers like Lohse and Arroyo performing far above expectations. Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh.

So that leaves the Cubs and the Brewers, a hundred miles apart on the Lake Michigan shore, battling for the Central for the next five months. Of course its baseball, so a million unexpected things could happen, but right now I see a strong likelihood that one of these teams will win the Central and the other will be hoping for a wild card. Neither looks like a great team on paper, and probably not a division winner in some other situations, but this year in this division its looking like we have an exciting season in front of us. Let's go Cubs!

: |

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The Cubs mailing list I subscribed to had a little argument the other day about a Baseball Prospectus article (possibly this one although it's hard to tell since I'm not a subscriber.) Joe Sheehan was arguing that Cubs' problems are greatly overstated, and he predicted they'll be leading the Central by the All-Star break. He was met with derision on my list, which is understandable considering we've got 98 years of cynicism built up.

I think Joe overstates the case, but I agree with the thrust of his argument. The Cubs' OPS is sixth best in the league (Milwaukee is fifth) and our ERA is fifth best in the league (leading the division, Cincy and Milwaukee are seventh and eighth.) This team has major flaws, and would be essentially toast in either of the other two divisions. Nonetheless, they are playing like a .550 ballclub, and in the NL Central that gives you a real shot at the division and a trip to the postseason where anything can happen (tm Florida Marlins).

We've won three of four, so hopefully that's the start of turning decent looking numbers on the stats page into decent looking numbers in the standings. Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.18) against Tony Armas, Jr. (0-2, 11.57) tonight. Go Cubs.

: |

Monday, April 02, 2007

Opening Day

It's Opening Day, the greatest day of the year. I had planned to go to class today, breaking a long string of enjoying the Cubs' first game of the year. In college I would skip class to watch a full slate of games. Right after graduation, I had to wake up at 4am to catch the Cubs and Mets from Japan (fortunately I don't have to mention Benny Agbayani in this post because that happened in game 2). At Southern Company, I'd always schedule vacation and leave at noon on Opening Day to get home and see the games. One year I even flew to Cincy to see the Cubs on Opening Day with Dennis.

But now, as a determined law student, I took it for granted that I'd be going to class today. After all I've skipped class only a couple times all school year. But then, as I got dressed to head to school, I got an IM from Chris Y., and it suddenly hit me- it's Opening Day for crying out loud! It's spring, rebirth, joy, love, Opening Day! The Cubs are tied for first place, and the Cardinals are all alone in last! ARod and Jeter are each averaging 4.5 errors/game! It's Opening Day, and all is right with the world.

I won't have time to post regularly this year, but at least I have today. Wherever you are, I hope you are feeling the love for your friends, family, and baseball as much as I am. Play ball!

: |

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cubs HBO Documentary Drinking Game

As you may have noticed, updates have been non-existent this summer. I'm simply out of things to say about the Cubs management from Hendry on up. On any given day, the most relevant news to our chances of winning a World Series are on the business page where we see if the Tribune is coming any closer to selling the team.

That said, I'm planning to get some fun out of the HBO documentary airing tonight, one way or the other. Chris Y of Yarbage Cub Review was at my poker game last week, and we agreed the only way to watch such a film was to drink the pain away. I can't afford to knock myself out on a school night, so I'm recording it and we're going to relive lifetimes of suffering this weekend. Mention of a goat, take a drink. Mention of a curse, take a drink. Mention of Bartman, take a drink. We may not make it through the weekend. Once we formalize the rules, we'll post them here. Wish us luck.

: |

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Gut und Evil (I dont know "evil" in German)

Two fans from the US/Ghana game Thursdaz. Guess which one I blame for the loss?

: |

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Tuesday the Cubs lost, scored one run, and drafted a toolsy project outfielder considered by most a reach at #13 overall. The good news is, I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow, and I think the EU stand against torture includes a prohibition on televising Cubs games. If it doesn't, it should.

If you're curious what I'm up to over there, visit the aptly named Scott's World Cup Blog. There's not much there yet, but I'll be posting stories and pictures once I arrive in Berlin Friday and on through the rest of my trip. Till then, go Estados Unidos. Oh, and go Dusty (and take Hendry and MacPhail with you.) Ha. Sigh.

: |