Thursday, October 16, 2003
The world continues to turn, life goes on, and the Thursday sun rises on a Marlins team that is headed for the World Series. And you know what? It's okay. The Cubs were outplayed in the last three games, pure and simple. We can bitch all we want about "The Fan" who got in the way of Alou catching a foul ball over the left field wall, but as much as it pains me to criticize my darling Alex Gonzalez, if he hadn't bobbled that DP ball, the inning would have gone much differently in Game 6. And if I think hard enough, I'll find a dozen other key moments that would have turned each loss into a win. Remember we lost Game 1 by only one run in the 11th! I was pretty despondent last night, needing some cuddle-time with the dogs (who were baffled and perhaps not as sympathetic as I'd like - I think Jazz is a KC fan), but soon after I actually felt a huge weight lifted from me. I've been a distracted mess for the past 2 or 3 weeks, putting off homework and laundry until the last minute, letting the cupboards get totally empty (we had toast and oatmeal and Ruffles for dinner last night), coming down with some bizarre cold that I couldn't shake, not sleeping well, and generally feeling like I do just before I have to give a presentation. Within an hour of the last out, I felt...like myself again. I'm actually really annoyed at myself for getting so stressed about what is, in fact, just a game, but I guess that's the price I pay for being an F instead of the T that I wanted to be. Now I see the glorious months stretch out from now until March, inviting me to get back in my own game, study hard, play with my dogs, clean up the garden, and otherwise be a productive part of society again. I'll even have the energy to plan our Spring Training trip!
As for the Cubs... I think the reason that I feel pretty good now is that it was a hell of a season, a hell of a post-season (let us not forget the humbling of Atlanta and their fans!), and for maybe the first time in most people's memories, we believe that we have a team that need not be written off before each season even starts. We believe that the Cubs are ongoing contenders. Dare I say it's the beginning of a dynasty? I'm not saying we'll win a WS anytime soon. That's a lot to ask. But at least we won't be camping out in the basement anymore. That's the Brewers' job. :P
So, what I hope happens in the off-season:
-Patterson returns and is 100% (or more) recovered. We keep Lofton as backup and trade O'Leary or Goodwin or both.
-Ramirez works on hitting the 1st baseman's glove for several hours a day. He's so great at stopping the ball, but his throws, and his decisions on where to throw, are too error-prone. I'd like to see him around for a long time.
-I think Grudzielanek and Karros were on one-year contracts. Would like Grudz to stay; Karros I can take or leave. Gonzalez *must* stay. You can't give up defense like that.
-Hee Seop will work and work and get back in the lineup. Simon should stay and be our great lefty on the bench. I admit, my opinion on Simon has totally changed from that day we sat near 1st during a Cubs-Pirates game and Simon seemed to devote all his energy to being pissed off. Some people just don't flourish under certain management, I guess.
-Paul Bako can probably go - I'd like a better batting catcher to back up Miller. I definitely think Miller should stay, because he's so good at catching Prior and Wood, and at calling games.
-And finally, the pitching. Keep the four together - Prior, Wood, Zambrano, Clement. Estes needs to either put up or go; we need a starting lefty. Keep Remlinger, Farnsworth, and Borowski, and the rest are trading material. I like to think that the team's success this year gives us a lot of bargaining power. Hey Redman and Beckett, need a job? :)
Enough about that.
We got to take Jazzy to his first-ever emergency room visit on Monday night. Strangest thing: he had round, mostly bloodless holes in the skin of both front legs (one about the size of a penny), and ripped the webbing between two toes rather dramatically. I saw tendon, bone, muscle inside... it was like he had a flesh-eating bacteria, or was attacked with a hole-punch. I searched everywhere, could not figure out how it happened. He had to actually be put under so they could stitch everything up. Now he has a drainage tube in the big hole (looks vaguely like mostaccioli) and two big round bandaged club feet. Tomorrow we'll go to our regular vet and hopefully he can take the tube out. I don't see any infection or swelling, which was the major concern. We tried the e-collar on him, but that just didn't go very well. We're doing the taped-on socks instead, calling him our sock monkey as he pads around amusingly.
We're going to Edward's Apple Orchard this weekend. I can't wait!! For the uninitiated, Edward's is an orchard in Poplar Grove, IL, and has the BEST donuts on the planet. Krispy Kreme would kill for donuts this good. They give them to you hot from the fryer, and by the time you get to the checkout table, your first dozen is gone and you end up paying for an empty bag. This is why it's important to get two dozen. Or more.