Tag Archives: Wrigley Field

Cruising Wrigleyville With Drei

Leading Off

Captain Clutch, back at it again as he starts the scoring off for The Blue. After a 1st inning home run from Kyle Schwarber to give the Cubs an early 1-0 lead, Dre would answer back and The Blue would never look back in a decisive 6-1 win, putting them 1 game away from the World Series for the first time in 29 years ! Though Dre’s playing time has diminished the last couple of years due to injuries, every Dodger fan including Dre himself knows his time may be running out. Is this the year The Blue...Wins It All For Dre ?

 

Cruising Wrigleyville…

20171017_144546.jpg Taking in the action at Wrigley Field, June 2004

Wrigley Field is one of 16 current MLB parks I’ve had a chance to venture. It is the 2nd oldest yard only behind Fenway Park. The 3rd oldest? Of course…Our very beloved Chavez Ravine! Wrigley Field is one of those classic yards that’s got that neighborly old-school non-retro vibe. The neighborhood around Wrigley Field really does become festive on game days. Even a stroll through Wrigleyville on non-game days gives off that vibe where you can hear the great Ernie Banks yell…”LETS PLAY TWO” ! Here are some pics from my visit to Wrigley, June 2004…

20171017_224649.jpg The late great broadcaster, Harry Carey, and his famous pose encouraging the fans during the 7th inning stretch…

20171017_145135.jpg View from above 3rd base. Even in the highest reaches, your not far from the action. Now if we can just get that pole out of the way…

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20171017_144751.jpg Just a friendly rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals…

20171017_145450.jpg The famous Wrigley Field Bleachers and Ivy. Above the CF bleachers, Marlon Anderson’s in game stats for the Red Birds. 2 years after this pic, Marlon would make some kind of history for The Blue…(Kudos if you know…)

20171017_145212.jpg This mural at the El station across the street, depicting two HOFers from my childhood, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith. You can see the flash on Ozzie’s mouth as he slides in to 2nd. I hope this mural is still up at that El station. Oh, speaking of El, or the letter L…

wrigley_L

The Blue “L” flag. A very familiar site to many generations of Cubs fans. Over the years, it’s a tradition to fly a white “W” flag for a victory or a blue “L” flag for a loss after each home game to let the neighbors and commuters on the El how the Cubs fared. Recently the Cubs have rally cry has been “Fly the W”! The Dodgers and the rest of us our hoping we see that BLUE “L” flag one last time….

FLY THE L !!!

LETS GO DODGERS !!!

ethier

This could be our year Dre !!!

Down But Not Out

No one said playing the best team in baseball would be easy. After shutting down the Cubbies in Games 2 and 3, it was only a matter of time before their bats would awake. With the season on the line heading back to Chicago we call upon once again to Kid K to save our season…

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We’ve been down this path before. In the NLDS, it was Kid K who we called upon to save our season. All Kid K did was give us 11 Ks. Some timely hitting and we sent the series to a winner take all decider. Can Kid K repeat that feat ?

It’s certainly not out of the question. The way the bullpen has collapsed in this series we certainly could use another deep outing from Kid K. It would also help if we can get Kid K some runs as well. If only this script we’re so easy. 

Tired Arms ?

Going into the playoffs one thing I feared was that our bullpen could be tired. Throughout much of the season particularly the 2nd half the bullpen on most nights had pitched from the 6th inning on. Of course injuries to what, 30 plus different pitchers certainly did not buy time for our arms. While Dave Roberts has certainly done an admirable job of getting our Blue to this point, the fatigue of our bullpen arms could finally be showing. That is exactly why we need Kid K to once again go deep if we are to make it to Sunday…

Scouting The Friendly (Or Not So Friendly) Confines…

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS

Current Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday called both Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field home during his playing days. He would know a thing or two on what to expect at Wrigley….

Drei’s Thoughts Heading To Wrigley…

If this Game 6 matchup is anything like Game 2 when Kershaw and Kyle Kendricks faced off, runs will once again be at a premium. 

The Blue has shown a resiliency on the road during the playoffs, going 3-2 at this point, including 2 having faced Max Scherzer. If the Blue can get on Kendricks early they will have a shot at Game 7, where Rich Hill would face off against Jake Arrieta. 

Of the Cubs 4 starters, Arrieta seems to be the one the Dodgers can hit. His 2nd half of the regular season was not as dominant. Of course, we have to win Game 6 to get to 7, where anything can happen…

 

A Tale of Two Yards…

Leading Off… Going Yard…King of The Hill…

Some longball from YAZ-MONEY and JT, and a masterful 6 innings from Rich Hill have moved our Blue 2 games closer toward The Fall Classic…

A Tale of 2 Storied Yards…

Wrigley Field…

Dodger Stadium…

The 2nd and 3rd oldest yards in the Bigs. Separated by 48 years. One is known as a classic. One, in spite being over 50 years old, defies the “classic” moniker. Both yards, A Study In Contrasts

Yet both yards are steeped in both history and charm. Both yards host teams that wear Blue…Both yards are a definite reflection on their cities. Putting aside for the slightest moment your Dodger Blue thoughts, if you are a true fan of baseball, Wrigley Field is a MUST…For all baseball fans to see…

WRIGLEY_Sod
Sod out on Sheffield Ave…

Both yards have waited a long time to host a Fall Classic. For the Friendly Confines, it’s been 71 years…For The Ravine, it’s been 28 years…That’s 99 years combined without a Fall Classic. Someone’s wait will be over. Why not us ?

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The Blue “L” flag. A familiar site to generations of Cubs fans…A sight seen twice already in the NLCS. Let’s hope it’s flown 2 more times

9th Inning…Spotlight’s On You Kid…

Rockies Dodgers Baseball
Does Urias get us one step closer to The Fall Classic ?…LETS GO DODGERS !!!

Chi-Town Here We Come…

Leading Off…How The Blue Arrived

Anyone else still buzzed from that Thursday’s comeback ? If there was ever a true definition of “team effort”, Thursday night was the epitome of it….

A Long Time Coming…

136 years. That’s the combined amount of years these 2 teams have gone without winning the big prize. In the time the Dodgers last won a World Series our country has endured 2 Bush’s and when all is said and done we may go through a 2nd Clinton…(Witholding all political thoughts…It’s October, not November folks…)

Even with all talks of past curses, the Cubs are still the favorites among the pundits to go make it back to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945. Many a local college graduate wasn’t around during the Dodgers last taste of glory in ’88. Many generations of Cubs fans have never experienced the big prize, one that includes Mr. Henry Warnamont ( For you Gen X Dodger fans out there who remember this Punky Brewster episode…)

 

So, how do these 2 teams match up? During the regular season both teams took care of business on each other’s home field with the Cubs coming out with a slight edge, taking 4 of 7 from The Blue. During their last series at Dodger Stadium in late August it was the pitching, especially the bullpen that keyed their 2 wins by scores of 3-2 and 1-0.  The Cubs boast a deep rotation in which even their 4 starter in John Lackey can go deep into the 6th and beyond. The Dodgers rotation has been a battered bunch that has relied heavily on the bullpen throughout the season. It’s a true testament to Dave Roberts that with all the injuries particularly to our starting rotation that The Blue even made it to October. 

Kenta Maeda is slated to start Game 1 in Chi Town against Jon Lester. While Maeda has had a stellar season with 16 wins, questions have come up lately about his durability. With that in mind, it’s highly probable that our bullpen will have to come through once again. If Maeda can hold it down for at least 5, we got a chance to steal Game 1. 

This series has the makings of a low-scoring affair. If the pitching on both staffs comes through as advertised, every run will be at a premium. The Cubs present a much deeper lineup than The Blue and deserve to be the favorites. That’s ok. The Blue have been underdogs all season long and longtime baseball fans and even the players and coaches will tell you the playoffs are all about who gets hot at the right time. 

Cubbie fans, I feel your suffering. We may not have suffered as long as you but 28 years is still a long time. I was a high school freshman the last time we won the big prize. I’m less than 10 years away from 50. I may “quite” feel my age, but I’d like to see the grand prize come back to The Ravine before I hit the halfway century point. 

Back in April, I said The Blue would take the NL West with 91 wins…Check…Back in April I said it would be a Dodgers-Cubs NLCS…Check…Would you all like to know what else Drei here said back in April? Well, we’ve made it this far, and I don’t see any reason why I should take anything back…Does Drei here make it a trifecta? As the good folks at some major network have said, you can’t script October. 

LFlag

Though not seen as much during this past year, to many a Cubs fan, that “L” flag has been a familiar and frequent sight. Let’s hope we see it 4 more times…

Dodgers in Six

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9th Inning…The Evolution of a Curse

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If Drei Can Go Back In Time to 1985…

BTTF Happy Back to the Future Day baseball fans ! By now you no doubt know that today is the day when all things predicted about the future are “supposed” to occur, such as the Cubs finally winning the World Series

BTTF_CUBS In the immortal voice of Harry Carey…” CUBS WIN ! CUBS WIN ! “

If Drei Can Go Back In Time…

wpid-fb_img_1445460659740.jpg GREAT SCOTT ! MY VERY OWN TIME TRAVEL DELOREAN !!!

wpid-picsart_10-21-02.49.13-1.jpg OK, not quite my very own time travel delorean… In sticking with today’s theme of time travel, we all have our moments when we would just like to go back in time and change the past. This is true for sports fans, especially baseball fans. Especially in this very month of October. Dodgers fans are no different. 

So if Drei could just hop on a time travel delorean right now and change just one dark October moment in Dodger history, what would it be ? Ironically enough, it would be October 16, 1985. Game 6 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Top 9th, Dodgers up 5-4, one out away from sending this to Game 7 and…” Hey Tommy, DO NOT PITCH TO JACK CLARK !!!!  I REPEAT !!! DO NOT PITCH TO…”

On a sidenote, who was on deck for the Cardinals ? Andy Van Slyke. Yup, the dad of future Dodger Scott Van Slyke…

RANCHO_SCOTT VAN SLYKE GREAT SCOTT !!! Hey Scott !!! I say let’s go back in time to that fateful day in October ’85 and advise Lasorda to walk Clark, and pitch to your dad !!! How ’bout that Scott ?

wpid-picsart_10-21-02.37.52.jpg So there’s my one dark Dodger moment in time that if given just one, I would change. Dodger fans…Baseball fans… If given the chance to go back in time and change one dark moment, what would it be ?

Will the Cubs win the World Series as in Back to the Future 2 ? It will be a difficult task for them at this point being one game away from elimination….

Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Wrigley Field, May 2006 and September 2007

WRIGLEY_DREI UNDER SCOREBOARD Here I am, under the famed scoreboard, May 14, 2006. I really do look like your typical ballpark tourist..

As you can see from the line score, on this Friday afternoon the Padres we’re running away with this. I bought seats in the outfield bleachers that day hoping to get that Bleacher Bum experience. Unfortunately, with the Cubs mired in a long losing streak and the weather being the coldest month of May in over 100 years according to the locals, most of the Cub faithful decided to stay away from the Friendly Confines. I can’t say I blame them. As for me, that had to be the coldest weather I ever experienced at a sporting event. 

With the recent renovations to Wrigley Field including the new video boards, some have wondered whether the famed center field scoreboard is still relevant . I don’t see scoreboard going anywhere anytime soon. There’s still plenty of baseball enthusiasts out there who appreciate the history and charm of both Wrigley and it’s traditions. However, it should be noted that even the Cubs aren’t immune to public outcry for up to date features.

That should not deter you from making a trip to Wrigley and it’s surrounding neighborhood, known as Wrigleyville. For you Dodger fans reading this, and there we’re also plenty of them this past week in ChiTown, the surrounding areas between Wrigleyville and Chavez Ravine are like night and day. In many respects, the surrounding areas are a reflection of when each yard was established. Wrigley Field, now in it’s 101st year of existence, is surrounded by an actual neighborhood of housing. Walk around outside Wrigleyville and you get the feeling the Cubs are the residents next door neighbors.

Dodger Stadium, opened for business in 1962, is surrounded by a sea of parking, a huge necessity for and to this day for the city of L.A. Even with the improved and growing public transit options here in L.A., with our beloved city being so spread out, for most, driving to Chavez Ravine is really the only option, particularly for a weeknight game.

WRIGLEY_DREI OUTSIDE RF Here I am, passing through behind right field, late September 2007. As you can see, I am already outside of the yard on Sheffield Avenue as crews are working on the field with the Cubbies on the road. The fact that a you’re not far from the field while out on the street is another reason Wrigley Field has that old-school intimate feel, as if the Cubs really are a part of the neighborhood, even if the neighbors have a love/hate realtionship with their beloved team…, much like the neighbors around Elysian, Echo Park and Solano Canyon.  

WRIGLEY_Sod Yes folks. That right there is actual sod from the field laying along the exterior walls along Sheffield Avenue. Yes folks, I did manage to take a piece home with me back to L.A. ( Wouldn’t you ? )

wpid-wrigley_L.jpg A familiar sight to generations of Cubs fans and to Dodgers fans the last two days, the Blue “L” flag…

Off To South Beach…

After winning the last two at Wrigley to salvage a split in their 4 game series against the much improved Cubs, the Blue kicks off a 3 game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins. I am close to achieving my goal of visiting and watching a game in all 30 MLB Ballparks. For some reason, Marlins Park right now ranks high on my list of parks I want to visit. The fact that the Marlins decided to stay away from the retro theme that many parks post-Camden Yards era used, constructing their digs that is a reflection of the art-deco theme of South Beach tells me that this yard will be quite a refreshing change. I’ve always had this fascination, or perhaps acquired it during my ballpark travels, that a yard should also have a unique characteristic that should be a reflection of both it’s team and city. 

For Your Ballpark Travelers…

Planning on catching the Dodgers on the road this summer ? Or are you planning to visit any other of the 30 MLB yards on your ballpark excursions ? Check us out over at Stadium Journey for not only your MLB travel tips, but for other sports themed travel trips worldwide as well as some of my review of local Southern California venues.

Stadium Journey

Dre’s Thoughts 4/23/2014

At 12-9, half a game ahead of the Colorado Rockies heading into today’s action, considering the Dodgers recent offensive woes, the overuse of our bullpen, and of course, our porous defense at least early on, things could certainly be much worse then standing at 12-9 atop the NL West in spite of themselves. Last night’s 10th inning gaffe on a pop fly by the Phillies Carlos Ruiz on the part of Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez was a notable example of the Dodgers defensive ineptness. Dominic Brown would make the Dodgers pay by driving home the game winning RBI for the Phillies. Mattingly made no bones about the Dodgers defensive lapses after the game last night, as they have become a frustration .

crawford_hanram Somebody call for this !!! Crawford and Hanley bump into each other during Carlos Ruiz’s pop fly that would have been the 2nd out in the 10th. Instead, Ruiz reaches on this 2 base error and would be cashed in.

Tonight, Zack Greinke takes the mound for the Blue as he goes against Cole Hammels, making his 2014 debut for the Phillies.

Other Notes and NL West Thoughts

The Giants, after a 5-1 start, have leveled off a bit and have had their share of offensive struggles as well, losing 9 of their last 14.

Nothing has gone right for the DBacks this season, who currently stand at 5-18. I felt before the season that Kirk Gibson could be on the hot seat if the DBacks don’t make a run toward the post season. I’m starting to believe he may be gone before season’s end, maybe before the all-star break.

100 Years and Counting For Wrigley

And Ode to Wrigley, from Vin Scully

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field . Wrigley Field is the 2nd oldest ballpark in the Majors behind only Fenway Park . Many historic moments have happened inside Wrigley Field, except a World Series championship celebration. If you’re like me and have hopes of hitting up all 30 MLB Parks, Wrigley should definitely be up there on your ballpark visit lists . HAPPY BIRTHDAY WRIGLEY FIELD !!!

LFlag A familiar sight to generations of Cubs fans, the blue L flag. ( The white W flag has also had it’s fair share of time up there too….)

2006wrigley Back in May, 2006 beneath the famous scoreboard.

wavelandave Out and abouts on Sheffield Avenue, behind the RF warning track. Yes, i’m that close to the field

Also….

For those of you who like to eat, follow my friend’s blog A Voyage Through Food and Learning as Jonathan Revies guides you through his culinary schooling experiences from Tucson .

And for the latest on the Dodgers Lowdown, check out the Dodgers-lowdown for all your latest Dodgers news items from Dodger fan Eric Versolavich’s POV.