If you haven’t already seen the Cubs’ holiday e-card, you can view it here. On behalf of myself, my wife Sasha and our son, Rhys, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (Maybe we’ll find Brandon Webb tied to the train tracks under the tree this year? Ok, that wouldn’t bode well for keeping him healthy in 2011. How about NEXT to the holiday train tracks?) Happy Holidays!
There have been some rather large events this off-season, signings that really jump off the screen at you, no?
(Note: Those of you looking for the Santo dedicated post titled “The Cubs Have Lost Their Voice”, it is listed right below this entry. RIP #10. You will be missed.)
Depending on where you live in the world, if asked right now, “What’s today?” some of you may answer “Friday”. Some of you may say “Saturday”. Some of you may say something that makes no sense because you are wasted. And for those of you who write a baseball blog and are a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, today you may answer “Why it’s Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day, of course!”
I have been writing Prose and Ivy for three years now and one of the highlights for me has been my relationship as President of the Cubs Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA). The idea of uniting baseball bloggers across the web and opening up opportunities to work on projects together seemed intriguing to me and it’s been an experience I’m happy I committed to. From working contributing to others’ columns, to hosting podcasts, to voting on end of year awards and worth inductees for the HOF, the BBA has a great group of writers who are passionate about their team and the sport in general. I have a list of all the blogs listed in my sidebar down on the right side of the blog. You should check it out if you haven’t. If you have a blog and are interested in joining (no fee, just a few guidelines for membership is all), I urge you to contact the BBA and jump aboard! The website for the alliance can be found here.
The logo for the group looks like this:
At the end of the award voting, I decided that since the Baseball Bloggers Alliance had come along so quickly, it might be nice to get an idea of who was actually in the group. To that end, I’m working through the roster and asking ten questions of each member. The first five are standard, while the last five are a little more personalized. Hopefully this will help us get a feel for our fellow members. So, here’s entry nine in a recurring series.
Website: Prose and Ivy
Question 1: How and why did you get into blogging?
My two main interests are comedy and sports. I’ve been writing and performing comedy for over 12 years. I stopped ‘performing’ when it came to organized sports after my senior year of high school (not including intramurals or club sports in college, I suppose). So basically, I never had a real outlet for my ideas/opinions/thoughts on sports.
I love baseball and when I saw the opportunity to have a blog on MLB.com, I jumped at the chance. Thought it would be a fun opportunity to joke, vent, rant, etc when it came to one of my favorite things in life. And then, when they made the site free, even better. : )
Question 2: Do you have any blogging projects planned for the off-season?
Over the off-season I plan on continuing to write and follow the trade rumors and signings as they happen. The moves that effect the Cubs directly, as well as some of the bigger signings that effect the team indirectly. In addition to that, I will continue a key feature on Prose and Ivy where I interview Cubs fans, much in the same nature as you are doing here for BBA members. The feature is called “Prosecards from Cubs Nation” and it’s been a blast getting to know Cubs fans from all over and here about their thoughts and experiences rooting for the Cubs. Will definitely continue that feature right up until Spring Training starts and into the 2010 regular season.
I also have a blog talk radio show where I discuss Cubs baseball and post the shows to Prose and Ivy. I haven’t recorded a show since the season ended, but that is something I’m looking to jump into again and post to the site just after the new year.
Question 3: What’s been your most enjoyable experience as a blogger (particularly well-received post, a high-profile link, a connection you wouldn’t have had otherwise, etc.)?
My most enjoyable experience as a blogger was when I was given the opportunity by MLB.com to review an X-Box game for MLB.com/Entertainment. They were looking for people to review MLB 2K8 and the write-ups would be featured on the site with an official MLB byline. That was all I needed to hear. I let them know I’d like to review the X-Box version of the game if possible and after they said it was a go, I went right out and bought an X-Box. Had the system for about a week, long enough to review the game, but short enough so that Best Buy would believe I had purchased it as a duplicate gift and take it back. Well worth the two trips to Best Buy and the opportunity to be prominently showcased on MLB.com.
Question 4: How did you find out about the BBA and what attracted you to the group?
I can’t remember how I heard about the BBA, however I think I heard about on another blog or was approached by Daniel himself, I can’t remember. The most attractive part of the group is the alliance the blogs share, in that, if you are a fan of a blog on the list, and looking for more quality baseball information…if you look at the list of blogs the BBA members recommend, you will be forwarded on to another blog in the group. It’s great for referring readers along to other BBA blogs and a great place to get quality bloggers together to share ideas regarding how to improve their sites.
Question 5: What do you want to see out of the BBA in the coming year?
BBA representatives on sports talk shows. TV and radio, both. I think that would be an amazing jump for the BBA on networks like ESPN, MLB Network, as well as local sports news shows around the country. Might be a bit far fetched, but we’ve already received recognition on ESPN with one of the Yankees blogs being selected to represent NY (AL) in the covering the playoffs this year from the fans’ perspective. Seemed to me like a great step in the right direction to achieve what I mentioned above.
That and maybe keychains. Yeah, strike that. Definitely keychains.
Question 6: How would you describe the Wrigley Field experience?
I would describe the Wrigley Field experience as incomparable when you see it in person for the first time. If my friend Justin is reading this, that means you can’t compare it to anything. It’s like no other stadium in the big leagues and only Wrigley and Fenway can actually say that, both for unique, distinct reasons. No jumbo-trons showing you the same blooper reels from 1982. An energy of a fan base just chomping at the bit for a championship banner to raise on Opening Day the following season.
Being at Wrigley feels like attending a reunion filled with family members you’ve never met before. People you look forward to spending time with as you know you have a ton in common, whether you know their names or not. Before you know it, you’re having a beer together laughing about shared family stories and happy you had a chance to share that time together at the world’s greatest ballpark. Like favorite cousins by the end of the day related not by blood, but bleeding Cubbie blue (cheesy, but accurate).
The Wrigley Field experience is also kind of like a weird montage from a High School Musical film where when you see it for the first time you wonder, how on Earth do all of these people know the words to that song and why are they all singing it simultaneously? I mean, that doesn’t happen in real life. Does it?
Wrigley’s basically amazing. You see the names on the jerseys like family members you share the same memories about. Sandberg, Banks, Smith, Grace, Lee, Davis, Dawson. A feeling that you’ve shared the ups and downs and simply can’t wait to get to your seat, have something to eat and enjoy watching your favorite baseball club compete day in and day out. It’s possibly the greatest way to spend three hours on any given day, bar none*. (*pun intended. the bars are a bonus. it’s the team and the stadium that makes the day great.)
Question 7: Is it tough not to be fatalistic as a Cub fan, to not just expect something to go wrong?
Yes, but that’s all part of it. At this point, it’s part of being a Cubs fan. You expect the worst which is what will make the day the Cubs win the title that much sweeter. It would mean, finally, something didn’t go wrong. (Then of course, I believe you may cue the action sequences of the film 2012 to follow very closely behind. Pretty much right after ‘Cubs win! Cubs win!’. Consider yourself warned.)
Question 8: How did you become a Cub fan?
I think a lot of people either become a fan of team because their parents rooted for them, their friends rooted for them, or they end up with a favorite player and then the team follows suit. For me, it was Ryne Sandberg. I grew up in Connecticut with no professional baseball team to be found among the up-turned collars and Eastland knots. Most of the games I attended growing up were at Shea Stadium down the turnpike and into Queens so I saw a lot of National League ball. Ryne Sandberg was my favorite player. The Cubs attachment followed soon after and it’s been an interesting ride (to say the least) since it did. As always…Go Cubs Go.
Question 9: Do you enjoy having a MLBlog?
I definitely enjoy having an MLBlog. MLB.com is the go-to place for all things baseball (obviously) and MLBlogs is a great opportunity the league has given the fans. The system gives you the opportunity to add a lot of cool features to personalize it so it really feels like you’ve made it your own. I would highly recommend it. (That and chocolate frosties at Wendys. Those things are awesome.)
Question 10: What’s up with that blog address?
I probably should have just gone with the words prose and ivy in the url, would probably be easier for people to find. But…I didn’t. The url is www.onedayatwrigleyac000000.mlblogs.com. The w’s I had nothing to do with and in a way, I feel they’re a little redundant. We’ve seen what one ‘W’ can do, let alone three. The mlblogs part comes with the territory. The onedayatwrigleyac000000 part was all me. It basically refers to the sign at Wrigley that refers to the Year of our Cubs (the AC “Anno Catuli”) and keeps track of the number of years it’s been since the Cubs won their division, league and the Series. The day the Cubs win it all (including their division that is), the sign would read AC000000 as in Anno Catuli and then zero years since the last division title, league pennant and Series title. Lofty goals for sure, but then again, it’s not all about the seventh inning stretch and Lou throwing a fit now is it. Ask me again when we have more time and I’ll tell you how I came up with the .com.
Take some time to check out the group’s site and don’t forget to wolf down some peanuts and cracker jack. BBA Day holiday tradition…of course.
Go Cubs Go!
What an unbelievably sad day. I normally sign on to Twitter as an escape. As a place to be slightly more sarcastic or obnoxious than society allows me to be in real life. To hang out with my Cub friends who I would never have met or talked to if it weren’t for the site considering I live in New York City and most of them, in Chicago. It’s usually a rip-roaring good time.
This morning, however, was very different.
I have about a 40-minute walk to work. It flies by generally because of the hustle and bustle that is New York City. Lots to look at and take in to distract me from the journey and nowadays, the cold. Twitter is the perfect walking companion. When I signed on today as I headed downtown and checked my @ replies, the first thing I saw was RIP Ron Santo complete with birth and death dates. At first I wasn’t sure it was even real as it came from FakeLouPiniella. However, considering the date was just yesterday’s date, Dec 2nd, and not even FakeLouPiniella would make such an awful, unfunny joke…something told me that it was actually true. I checked my Twitter feed and unfortunately, it is true. My Twitter timeline was almost nothing but messages about Ron Santo’s passing. I couldn’t believe it.
The Cubs lost their voice and most likely their biggest fan.
There is always that moment when you receive horrible news that you are in fact speechless. You have absolutely nothing to say, mixed with the fact that you have no idea what to say at all. That moment usually passes when you utter the phrase “I’m speechless”. Technically you are speaking, yet still, you are speechless. Cubs fans all over Twitter could say nothing but tweet kind words about Santo, condolences to the Santo family and gratitude for the years he served as one of their favorite Cubs.
The Hall of Fame hadn’t come around to inducting Ron Santo and it’s unfortunate. If he gets in now, we won’t know if it was for sheer performance or because he’s passed before enjoying the moment. It’s unfortunate because no one deserved to represent the Cubs as a hall of famer the way Ron did and no one would have enjoyed seeing his Cubs win it all like Santo would have. People admire Dawson because of the way he played through injuries and they should. Santo was injured for a great portion of his career with a disease no one even knew he had. It says something about his performance that people consider him Hall-worthy and his play at that time as one of the best in the game that they couldn’t even tell he was dealing with a disease. Santo was a great Cub, a great ballplayer, a great person and a great listen on the radio.
Many Cubs fans I know watch the game on TV and listen to Santo on the radio. To a lot of Cubs fans, Santo’s calling of a game is the Cubs. There are also a lot of young fans who only know Ron as the radio voice of the Cubs. A Cubs broadcast will never be the same, not without one of the great Cubs in front of the mic. His passion from his playing days and his desire to win while in a Cubs uniform never waivered once he was away from the base and in the booth. This Old Cub is probably many fans’ favorite documentary as it chronicled his battle with disease in becoming one of greatest to represent the North Side. His number 10 hangs proudly at Wrigley, something he held dearly in his heart, perhaps even more so than a potential HOF induction. His love for the game and the joy he brought to Cubs fans after a victory was demonstrated in heel clicking delight. It became as much a part of a Cubs win as the W flag itself. Many little leaguers across the country who loved the Cubs I’m sure performed the same heel click a thousand times.
Ron Santo has passed away. Suddenly many things that normally bother Cubs fans about the Cubs don’t matter as much as they usually do. Today, all that matters is that we lost one of our own. A member of our family. And if it’s left everyone speechless, including the Cubs, it makes sense. The Cubs have lost their voice.
RIP Ron Santo.