Mebbe Next Year: On The Occasion of The Chicago Cubs’ Impending Centennial of Futility


Tinkers to Evers to what’s the chance
a hundred seasons could come and go
so fast no one would celebrate
even one of them

Next year isn’t a mantra
it’s an elegy for wasted time
wasted efforts wasted hopes
and for all those losses
nothing is really lost
no one died from
the heartbreak no child went
hungry because Ernie Banks
never got his pennant

Instead we grew up
with our hopes either stunted
or getting ever larger
believing tomorrow will always
hold what today never can

Still going down to that damn
old park because we take defeat
as our due and know the team’s
reach never exceeds our grasp

Their wish — like our dreams — is
not of brazen prizes and spoiling
success but noon on a July day
when the breeze off the lake
might be just a little bit cool

Three Fingers Brown someone
asked you once if you could
have pitched better with all five
I’ll never know, you said
So what’s it like
to win it all?

(originally published in Eleysian Fields Quarterly)

“To know for sure,
I’d have to throw with a normal hand,
and I’ve never tried it.”
— Mordechai Centennial “Three Fingers” Brown
Win-Loss: 239-130
ERA: 2.06
Strikeouts: 1,375

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The boy who wishes he was named Sue: “Cubs fans name baby Wrigley Fields”

Wrigley Alexander Fields was born Sept. 12 at an Indiana hospital. … His parents are Paul and Teri Fields of Michigan City, Ind. They are — no surprise — fans of the Cubs, who have played at Wrigley Field since 1916. The Fields planned the name for years before their son’s birth.

Someone call child protective services, cuz this is wrong.

This kid will turn the 40-year-old virgin into a reality.

Here’s why I don’t wear funny t-shirts: They’re only funny the first time you read them.

My parents’ names: Ann & Nick. Youngest kid’s names: Aristodemus & Constantine. Further proof that people with normal names have no idea exactly how un-fun these names are in grade school. My kid’s name: Greg. He’s lucky it wasn’t Bob.

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Odds and/or ends

  1. Belated Headline of The Day (from last week): Wrigley Starts Online 'Cult' I would describe the Cubs as more of a multi-media cult…
  2. When life imitates the movies
    1. W&GWallace & Gromit and the Curse of The Real Were-Rabbit: "Furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit."
    2. Duckback Mountain: "Stockholm – In the middle of mating season, a pair of male ducks have returned to a park in southern Sweden for the third consecutive year, ignoring the siren calls of all the lady ducks around them."
  3. Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce: Is there anything it can't do? " After years of customers telling us that they use hot sauce to keep animals out of their garden and off their dinner table, we had an idea. We created this sauce to be a delicious addition to your food and a way to keep deer and rabbits from eating your roses and carrots. The pump spray also allows you to have a more even distribution of sauce on your food."
  4. meeple mugMeeple, Meeple, Meeple. My friend Alison Hansel coined the term meeple several years ago to describe those funny human-shaped wood pieces you see in a lot of the games I play and it has spread like wildfire through the weird subcult of us board gamers. I bring this up a) because there's a really great site called that sells meeple themed stuff and b) because in year's past this has been the week I have spent in Columbus, Ohio, at Alan Moon's industry fest/game convention "The Gathering of Friends" (how cultish is that name?) playing board games. It is very peculiar to hear the words, "It would be nice to be in Columbus" come out of my mouth. It's easily one of the most boring places I've ever been. The lack of distractions makes it a perfect place to hold a gaming event. Cultural highlights of Columbus include a topiary garden cut/planted to look like Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and the James Thurber House. Thirty minutes killed and there's plenty of time to get back to the game tables.