Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Alex Ciepley
I went to the Friday and Saturday Cubs games this past weekend at Shea, and had a great time at both games despite the product on the field. I'm beginning to get a bit concerned about my presence at Cubs games, however: since watching the Cubs pull out a nifty 2-1 victory last September 24th against the Mets, the Cubs have lost five straight games that I've attended. And, in general, they've been five absolutely miserable losses.
There was nothing fun about Friday's game. I'd been excited to watch Rich Hill live, and he actually didn't pitch nearly as badly as his line would indicate, but the endless second inning fiasco had me moping for the rest of the night. It would have been one thing if Hill was getting rocked by line drives, but the inning was a series of dinkers here and there, bizarre misjudgements, and horrible infield defense.
The non-Lee sector of the Cubs infield is a misery to watch on-field. I'm as pumped as the next guy that Nomar is back, but watching him just miss grounder after grounder isn't easy to stomach. And Aramis and Walker weren't exactly strutting their stuff in the series, either.
Saturday's game was more pleasant, but only because it was a day game, allowing me to work on my hint of a tan.
I hope I'm wrong, but the Cubs look dead in the water. There are many advantages to watching games on TV, but I think you get a better feel for the energy of a team when watching them live. And on that energy front, the Cubbies are sorely lacking. Going through the motions at the plate, losing concentration in the field--for the second year in a row, I feel that the Cubs' visit to Shea signaled a death knell for the team.
On a non-baseball note, I'm a bit mushy today.
Five years ago, I was hired by my current company in large part to work on a specific TV show--a show that ended its run last night. I've had a relatively minor role to play in the show's lifespan--I work on the website--but my work has become a defining part of my professional life. There will be plenty of new projects on my plate in the future, but finishing up this one provides a marker of sorts for me, a moment of reflection.
When I took this job five years ago, I was in my mid-twenties, and my life was a bit all over the place. I was desperately in debt, having clung to a job at a dot-com that was woefully past its expiration date. I was enjoying New York but was looking to leave the city and move abroad again, only I didn't have the means to get to where I wanted.
I was single, and while I've always had tremendous friends in my life, I'm not sure I really appreciated them. I was even living a relatively sexless existence in a city where you can practically walk out onto your stoop and pick up a one-night stand. I think, perhaps, I was a bit of a sad clown.
On the surface, my life doesn't seem all that different five years later. I'm still at the same job, even if my responsibilities are changing. I'm still no good with money. I'm still single, though my dating life has picked up considerably. But once I get past the easy identifiers, I realize how much I've changed. I love New York, with no plans to leave. No longer uneasy with the world, I'm a pretty happy guy, and the people in my life--new friends and old--are more appreciated than ever.
It's a good day. I'm a bit melancholy that my five-year professional project has come to an end, but it's nice to know that new experiences are just around the bend, the best is still to come. And isn't that, after all, one of the defining qualities of us Cubs fans?