It’s been a while since I have had any idea of what I would like to talk/rant about. I have been leaving it up to the rest of World Series Dreaming to handle it all with their great insights and knowledge. From Anno to Rice to the rest of the gang here, I just did not want to wind up regurgitating the same ole stuff.
Living in Omaha I get an opportunity every season to see the Iowa Cubs in person. This year it is even more important as I will not be able to get back home to the Friendly Confines for the 100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field. The Iowa Cubs were just here for a four game series and I worked it out to attend three of the four games. (Hard when you’re a full time dad and your spouse travels) For Saturday, August 2nd’s game, my son and I returned with his Cub Scout Pack for Scout night. This was rescheduled from an earlier date due to rain. I put in the recommendation for August 2nd and it was granted.
My son and I got to the game 90 minutes ahead of time and got squared away for the Scout Night and proceeded to head to the ramp that the teams use to get onto the field. Players started coming by and my goal was to get Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur to sign baseballs for me. Missed as Szczur quickly went by, Baez and Soler just basically walked by without talking to anyone and I was fortunate enough to get Kris Bryant to sign a ball. Made the whole effort worth it to me. The game itself became difficult to watch as Dallas Beeler gave up four in the bottom of the third inning and the Cubs looked a little lost. Former big prospect Josh Vitters finally got the Cubs on the board with a solo shot; however, the game ended in a 6-2 loss.
The August 3rd game was set up in conjunction with my wife’s alma mater’s (Michigan State) local chapter of alumni. Javy Baez got the Cubs started on the right track with a solo shot in the first inning; however, the Cubs quickly gave that back and were down 2-1 after one inning of play. Next thing I knew the Cubs were down 6-1 after three innings and things did not look good. The highlight of the night is that the Cubs turned three double plays and finally scored some more runs as Baez hit his second of the game in the top of the sixth inning and the Cubs battled back. Unfortunately the comeback fell a little short in a 7-5 loss. Something special happened for my daughter that evening as she was able to participate in the Dizzy Bat Race. She did not win yet she still had fun participating. Made me wonder if I should not head out to the ballpark any longer!
There were unfortunately too many conflicts for me to make it to the third game. The pleasures of being a dad and wanting to coach my son in hockey as there was a special camp he is participating in. Tuesday, August 4th’s game started at 12:05 pm and after more hockey, my kids and I attended the series finale. We arrived during the bottom half of the 2nd inning with the scored tied. Top of the third and the bases wound up being loaded and Mike Olt came to the plate. I would not have expected it however, Olt hit a towering shot for a Grand Slam. Glad that we got to the game for my twins to see a Grand Salami in person for the first time.
So the Iowa Cubs came into Omaha to play the defending Pacific Coast League Champions and split the four game series. I personally found it quite entertaining and a lot of fun attending these games. To be able to watch the future key pieces of the puzzle that are in Triple A was giving me even more hope that as I have told many people that I do believe in the Theo Epstein Way even when I have wavered, that the Chicago Cubs will start to contend in 2015 and in my opinion will win it all by 2020. I agree that some of the process has been quite painful yet, seeing what I was able to watch in person does continue to tell me that the Cubs future is quite bright. Javy Baez is already in Chicago, I expect Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and possibly Matt Szczur to be in Chicago either on Opening Day 2015 or at some point during the 2015 season. Baseball is going to become incredible on the Northside of Chicago and like all of us are, I am anxious as can be to watch it all come together! LET’S GO CUBS!!!!!