MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On the Cubs, World Series, and moving from...
Tinkers to Evers to Chance
- to -
Russell to Baez to Rizzo.

Cubs 2016 Pennant Winning Infield: Russell, Baez, Rizzo, Bryant
Today the Cubs play the first game of the World Series. I'll spare the reader the usual tales of woe endemic to lifelong Cubs fan. You can find that elsewhere on this blog.  Today we celebrate.

Regardless of how this series turns out, regardless of whether the Cubs win the World Series in four games or five, today we enjoy the moment. I can finally say I saw the Cubs win the pennant and play in a World Series in my lifetime. This is an emotional moment for all loyal Cub fans we react in different ways.  We all cheer. Bill Murray cried. I have been moved to verse. I'll get to that in a moment, but first, for context, a look back.

Fans watch Cub v Giants in Polo Field from Coogans Bluff - 9/23/1908
We've all heard, ad nauseum, about  the 108 years of frustration and futility since the last Cubs championship in 1908. That Chicago Cub team and the infamous 1908 pennant run against the New York Giants are legendary in baseball lore. It rated a full chapter in Jim Rasenberger's book "America 1908", right alongside Henry Ford rolling out the first Model T, Robert Peary's race to the pole, and the Wright brothers' historic flight at Kitty Hawk.

The 1908 Cubs were a championship team playing in a series that inspired some of the most colorful names and notorious events in the history of the game. Among the players - Christy "Big Six" Mathewson, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, Fred "Bonehead" Merkle, and of course the legendary Cubs infield of Tinker,  Evers and Chance.

(Cubs 1908 Pennant Winning Infield: Steinfeldt, Tinker, Evers, Chance)
Hat tip to Cub fan and blogger Aslam, who found the photo, and has the story:

"Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance were the Cubs’ shortstop, second baseman, and first basemen respectively. Along with Harry Steinfeldt, they were one of the best infield sets to ever step on the diamond. All four were great hitters, but they have been remembered in history for their defensive prowess. This infield combination was immortalized in a poem by Franklin Pierce Adams, a Giants fan (the Cubs’ biggest rivals at the time). The poem is entitled... 
Baseball’s Sad Lexicon.  
These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Unfortunately, this ode to the double-play left out Steinfeldt, who by the numbers has as much of a right to the Hall of Fame as Tinker or Evers. lists the 1908 Cubs infield as the second best in league history..."

After watching the Cubs win the pennant against the Dodgers with sparkling double play after sparking double play - including the gem that finished the game and series  - Russell to Baez to Rizzo in this 9th inning double play ....

... I decided it's time to update the most famous baseball stanza ever.
And this was before they added Baez...

1st Inning Double Play

With apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams, my new improved 2016 version:
Chicago's Happy Lexicon 
These are the happiest of possible words:
"Russell to Baez to Rizzo."
Unless it's the trio that often is heard,
Baez to Zobrist to Rizzo.
Ruthlessly defending day after day,
Fielding and throwing insane double plays ...
Oh wait!! Sometimes THIS trio makes them all pay:
"Russell to Baez to Bryant."
Play ball.


How about a 2017 update? April 10, 2017 - Home Opener / Raise the Banner.

Bottom of the 7th. Cubs leading 2-1 against the Dodgers. Grimm in relief with bases loaded and nobody out. Pederson flies out. Toles to the plate - then this:
Chicago's Happy Lexicon 
These are the happiest of possible words:
"Russell to Baez to Rizzo."
Unless it's the trio that often is heard,
Baez to Zobrist to Rizzo.
Ruthlessly defending day after day,
Fielding and throwing insane double plays ...
Oh wait!! Sometimes THIS trio makes them all pay:
"Baez to Russell to Rizzo."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cubs vs. Kershaw - National League Championship Series

Drove back from the Upper Peninsula on Friday. On Sunday we are at Wrigley Field for Game 2 of the National League Championship Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ticket prices in the lead-up to the NLCS were, of course, insane. This guy had some good advice on his blog:
"Interested in going to NLCS Game 2? I think you are in luck (relatively speaking). Since there are almost 6,000 tickets available, it is a Sunday, and with a slightly iffy weather forecast, there is a strong possibility tickets will decrease from their current pricing. See below for some recent observations made at two different times Friday."
It was good advice, but I didn't take it. As soon as game 1 ended, I was on Stub Hub getting bleacher tickets. I wasn't going to be in Chicago for the World Series, this was as close as I was going to get. The atmosphere around the park was electric.


The bleachers are the best place to watch a game in Wrigley.

My facebook update...

The game itself, not so good. Hendricks was great, but Kershaw was untouchable. Adrian Gonzalez' home run in the 2nd was the only run of  the game. It landed one section away from us in the left center bleachers:

Cubs Dodgers split 1-1 after the first two games of the NLCS in Wrigley.
"Clayton Kershaw came to the Dodgers’ rescue. Pitching on two days’ rest, Kershaw shut down the Cubs during a 1-0 victory by the Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night at Wrigley Field....The Dodgers got all the offense they needed on a second-inning solo home run by Adrian Gonzalez. From there it was all Kershaw, who out-dueled Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks went 5 1/3 and yielded the one run on three hits while walking four and striking out five."
Nobody said this was going to be easy.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Duck, Duck, Goose.

The Hunters
It's duck season. New nephew-in-law Zach is a duck enthusiast. He recruited old nephews Brian and Erik to join him and his dad Jake for the opening.  They arrived at the lake house at 1:00 AM and were on their way to the duck marsh by 4:00 AM. I admire their commitment. Then they were at it again on Sunday.  Apparently no ducks were harmed in the production of this blog post, but two Canadian honkers did not make it much beyond the Canadian border on their way south.

Apparently, simultaneous shots made it difficult to determine who got the goose, but Zach was crediting Erik. I wasn't there and cannot independently confirm.

UPDATE - Tuesday 4-Oct-16:  Zach left Dad and me a pair of goose breasts after they departed. A new culinary adventure is a always an exciting prospect.  Based on Zach's advice and "The Best Damn Goose Recipe Ever" decided to treat the breasts exactly like I would steak.

 Marinated in red wine, oil, garlic, salt and pepper then seared on the grill and heated until we hit 160 degrees internal temp (plus or minus).  Sliced like a london broil.

Delicious. Doesn't taste like chicken. Tastes like steak. I will never look at a goose swimming in the bay in the same way again.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fishing Derby Recap

Dad and I arrive at the lake on Tuesday. Harlan & Clover Wednesday early, Brian, Erik, Bowser and Tucker Wednesday late, Wendy on Friday early, Kristy, Zach, Maverick, and Stella on Friday late.

 Fishing is always the first order of business, but the pontoon boat was behaving badly. Sometimes it starts, sometimes not. On Thursday, the boat was working and we were fishing.

We were able to get  the boat started often enough to get our various crews on the water with lines in the water throughout most of the week.

First Fish of the Fall Trip

Erik was first out of the gate with first fish, most fish (3), and biggest fish honors.  By day 2 Dad was on the board and recaptured biggest fish.

We learn that fishing with dogs is an interesting proposition.

Zach had duck on the brain, so really was not a factor.

The Pike Fishing Derby became an Erik, Poppa competition. By Friday Erik was leading 6-5.

On Saturday Dad pulled even with number 6.

Dad graciously decided to give Erik the last shot and retired to football and baseball viewing. The millennial crew boarded the pontoon boat Saturday evening to give Erik a generational boost in the derby. Apparently they spent an hour  drifting 10 feet off the dock as the motor mysteriously failed to start. The Derby finished in a 6-6 tie.

Oh yeah, by Sunday I finally was on the board with a 23" beauty.

UPDATE Monday Oct 3: Everyone departed on Sunday. Dad and I consoled ourselves with fresh Pike on rice using a variation on our current favorite go-to "Tasty Northern Pike" recipe.