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I Really Have To Go!

This morning's Chicago Sun-Times had an interesting article about the restrooms at the new Soldier Field.

Seems that they decided to equalize men's rooms and women's rooms there, but didn't take into account that Bears crowds are between 60 and 75 percent male, resulting in men waiting in long lines for the restroom. They are now thinking about reassigning some of the women's rooms, at least during Bears games.

What does this have to do with today's efficient 3-1 Cub win over the Mets?

Well, nothing, really, except that I spent the last five innings really having to go bad because the line for the men's room was halfway up the ramp, something I have never seen before. I went down there twice, in the fourth and then the fifth inning, but nothing doing. Not wanting to miss a couple of innings, I just went back and sat down and waited till the game was over. Luckily, it was a quick two hours and twenty-two minutes. In fairness, the line for the women's room was almost as long.

This says one of two things: either there were more people drinking today than usual (gee, and wouldn't that be a surprise?) or, they have oversold the bleachers by more than the usual. Either could be true.

Actually, I shouldn't have had to go at all, as my Super Big Gulp was kicked over again even before the gates opened, this time by someone who just walked up to the bleacher entrance, didn't watch his feet, kicked it over and then walked away. I should have learned by now. Anyway, Howard was nice enough to bring me another one, but since by the time he got there, I didn't finish drinking the replacement until almost game time, that's why I suddenly had to go around the fourth inning.

OK, enough of this, only to remark that once again, a kicked-over Big Gulp resulted in a Cub win. I will take anything for the team.

Greg Maddux finally looked like the guy the Cubs paid $8 million for three seasons. Though the strike zone was almost ridiculously small, Maddux did adjust, walking only one, giving up only one run (a solo homer by Mike Cameron) and playing good defense, starting a 1-2-3 double play and also spearing a ball off the bat of Mets pitcher Jae Weong Seo in the fifth. His ERA dropped more than two runs, from 8.62 to 6.35, and it was win number 290 for his career.

I was a bit puzzled, due to the dearth of runs today, why Maddux was allowed to bat for himself in the seventh with a runner on first and one out. He attempted a sacrifice which resulted in a force play, and then was lifted anyway in favor of Kyle Farnsworth, who threw yet another good inning in a setup role. But with one out, if you're going to take Maddux out (and he had thrown only 86 pitches), why not send up Todd Hollandsworth, yes, even against the lefty Mike Stanton?

It's all moot because the Cubs won, but we were all wondering about that. Joe Borowski threw what Dave called a "real confidence-builder" in getting through the ninth without allowing a baserunner, and striking out Joe McEwing to end the game. Borowski's velocity is down and Dave thinks it might be because he threw so many innings in key situations last year, that maybe something's wrong with his arm and he doesn't want to say so because he wants to live up to the multi-year deal he signed in the off-season, and who could blame him for that?

If Borowski can throw strikes and keep the movement on his pitches that made him so successful last year, a couple MPH off his velocity won't matter. Today, he had that movement.

So, that's four wins in a row (and the fourth straight game in which Cub pitching has given up exactly one run) and with Kerry Wood going tomorrow, the Cubs have a real chance of sweeping the series, that is, if the weather on Sunday will cooperate, and you know they'll try everything they can to get the game in, since this is the Mets' only visit to Wrigley Field this year. Actually, the weather today, for the 7th time in the eight home games, was comfortable. I came with three layers -- medium-weight coat, sweatshirt, t-shirt, but spent the entire day till about the 7th inning in the t-shirt.

Tonight, I am off to my son Mark's first ballgame of the year, played under the lights at Sosa Field. For once, he's been put on a team that I don't totally hate -- the Diamondbacks. So let's go Baby Snakes!