Before we get into tonight's pitching rematch of last Friday's game at Wrigley Field, I thought I'd share with you (with his permission) some thoughts on the end of the bleachers as we've known them, that Mike e-mailed to me last night:
He wanted to talk, and it was a curious conversation, he seemed to be looking or waiting for something. He bought me a hotdog, and to be polite I ate it, the only one I've ever had at a ballpark, I ordinarily consider them repulsive. We recalled old times and old people, and he finally asked me whether I thought I'd spent too much time in the bleachers. I said, I'd spent many of the best times of my life on that bench, with no regrets at all. He agreed such was also his case, and added, "I'm glad you said it first". Haven't seen him since, but that night he found what he sought.
After forty-two years in the "cheap" seats, and thirty-three on that piece of pine, I not only don't regret any of it, I resent anything that's ever stood between me and it. If I believed in fate, that bench would be my number one example. I'm not sociable by nature, and most of my most treasured friendships have happened there. The genius loci of that space was perfect for me, and I'm very glad I found it, I may never have found it elsewhere. It's now too well established to be affected by any change of venue.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
Derrek Lee must get two extra-base hits to get to 100, as we discussed the other day; he also has 388 total bases, which led me to ask Mike (since he knows this stuff!) about how often 400 total bases has been accomplished in a single season.
Here's the scoop:
There have been 29 seasons of 400+ total bases. Was done a lot in the '20s and '30s, rare after that. Jim Rice in '78 was the first in 19 years, it would be another 19 years for the next.
Multiple 400 seasons: Gehrig 5, Klein 3, Hornsby, Foxx, Helton, Sosa 2 each.
Records: AL 457 Ruth 1921 NL 450 Hornsby 1922 Chronological list, since Rice: 1978 Rice 406 1997 Walker 409 1998 Sosa 416 2000 Helton 405 2001 Sosa 425 2001 Gonzalez 419 2001 Bonds 411 2001 Helton 402Couple other notes: total 2005 attendance was 3,099,992, which means that the eight games that Phil said he was coming to, but didn't, were the difference holding back the Cubs from 3.1 million.
And, strong rumors are about that Ron Santo might do only home games next year. More on this as I get more info.
Discuss amongst yourselves.