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Playoff Fever

Sep
08

Why is it that, when I was watching tv fifteen minutes ago, I couldn’t do anything but lay down on my couch and drift away, but now that I’m laying in bed, all I can do is stare at the ceiling, wide awake and figuring out posts?

Since I’m thinking and not napping, I thought I might as well compromise and start typing away on my itouch. Hooray for the wordpress app.

Quite feel like I’m paying the price for the weekend: cougars game Saturday night, dragon gate Sunday, early cougars game Monday. Plus a crazy marathon session of Fight Night in there – never more happy to win a fake belt – and all multiplied by (typical unexplained part here.)

Think I’ve now spent more time talking about the dragon gate show than It actually lasted. Cougars was fun because it was the first time in over a month I’d been, only having 2 tickets for august and getting pulled elsewhere both times. I’m kinda excited for the playoffs, despite all logic against it. Besides being minor league, they’re also not really the same team that qualified for the playoffs. Many of those who won the first half division championship got called or got overtaken by this year’s draft class, and the team hasn’t seemed too strong.

I’m still excited just for the concept of playoffs. It’s the one time of the year when development takes a back seat and teams ge to totally play for today, not tomorrow. And I haven’t actually gotten to see these in three years; last year, I got called away out of town after i had bought my tickets, and they just missed them. In 2006, I followed the team all the way to the exciting city of Beloit (not exciting, many high schools have better stadiums) and I’d hoping the cougars will last long enough for me to form excuses to drive around the midwest. Burlington on a Wednesday is a no go, but I’d go wher eever this weekend.

Short posts are posts too.

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KC Game 19: Kane County 2 – Lansing 1

Apr
29

two for two on going to Cougars games and forgetting my phone. I keep foiling my own play to twitpic Ozzie, so sad.

Anyway, I don’t have all that much to actually type about this game and there’s a lot more I’d like to type before I sleep. There was some epic weirdness here.

Pedro Figueroa did not pitch especially well tonight. 5 walks in 3 1/3rd is not so good, and apparently weird for him (he had 2 walks in 15 IP coming in.) Still, somehow, he got thru it while only giving up 2 runs because of some catastrophically bad base running. Figueroa got 10 outs, half of them on the bases:

– base runner thrown out trying to stretch to a single into a double
– runner doubled off of first on a flyout
– runner picked off first (1)
– runner picked off first (2)
– runner picked off first (3)!

I don’t count a conventional double play as a baserunning out, but there was one of them too. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen three pick offs in a game, much less in the span of two innings. I’m still not sure I saw three legal picks offs – balks are tough to tell when you’re not looking for them watching a replay, but all the baserunners were sure he was going to home when he threw to first, and they were quickly cut down at second (though the last might have been a generous out call.)

Besides that, not a lot here. Lansing’s Charles Huggins looked really dominant. Both shortstops looked really shaky – they each picked up two errors, and KC’s Coleman muffed another pickup but just got it over in time, plus struck out all four times. Not a good night.

Crowd was in the 2000s, and it seems like 1500 were junior high kids from one school or another.

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07/10: Kane County 6 – Peoria 1 (3rd, SUSPENDED)

Jul
10

(that’s today’s game, I know it’s hard to tell)

From the time I got home until about the time I normally leave for the park, it rained and occasioanlly rained very hard. I don’t live that far from the park, and saw the “groudns crew” untrap and set up the field last time out. It seemed to me that there was no way this one was starting on time.

WRONG. I showed up five minutes before the game started, and they were ahead of schedule if anything. Peoria games are huge to the Cougars – they’re easy sell outs with all the people willing to spend much money for a Cubs logo, and I guessed they wanted to make sure everything started normal. (WRONG again, but that was a bit later.) The field was taken care of, though the seats were all wet and even had a bit of standing water in the aisles. It’s a warm enough night that it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is having a pencil if you want to keep score, and I’d forgotten in the car. It occurred to me a little later that I forget the ticket window probably would’ve had one with their scorecard, but by then I decided just to see what I could see without tying myself to a pencil for a few hours.

Besides the usual Ryno appearance, the big news was Scott Eyre being with the Chiefs on a brief rehab assignment. In a few days, he’s going to be a slight roster headache for the Cubs, but today he was ruling the single A bullpen, chatting with all the Cubs youngsters who wanted to pick his brain. I had thought, due to the earlier rain, they might just have Eyre start so they were sure to his inning or so in, but apparently that wasn’t the plan.

Would’ve been a better one than the one they had. Jose Pina, making his second start with the team, had no control, had no help from the defense and was yanked after 8 batters and 2 outs. (Something in the 30 pitch rang too, and since he only went 2.0 last time out, he must be a low pitch count.) Mueller replaced him and really wasn’t much better. Larry Cobb touched him for a home run to straight away center, as long as I remember seeing in that park, and Cobb’s not a big guy.

Anyway, the Cougars were on pace for a nice win, something needed after a mediocre start to the 2nd half. The sky was really sunny to start the game, then got a little cloudy, but there seemed to be sun just on the other side of the clouds. Except, by the bottom of the second (after a really long first), that sun disappeared. “HMMMMM”, I thought, and took a look at the weather radar on my phone. A big wave of red weather was suddenly heading our way from the northwest. I did the reasonable thing. I got up, walked over the concession stand, and got myself a hot soft pretzel. (and it was the best one of the season, because it was actually SOFT.)

By the time I got to my seat, the 2nd had finished, and after the usual between innings shennagings, the PA guy made an announcement to the effect of “We’ve been told severe weather is on the way in 20 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to get to your cars RIGHT NOW. And now, the third inning.” It’s really hard to take such a warning seriously when they just keep on playing baseball, and there seemed to be plenty of people figuring it must not be so bad if they’re not pulling the players. But the players have a dugout, there’s no cover over this stadium (yet), and I had my weather radar, so I was getting out of there.

I briefly considered doing exactly what they suggested – going to my car, hanging out there for the storm, and then going back in the park once the delay was over. But I gave it another thought, and realized hanging out in a parked car alone during a thunder storm to see Scott Eyre pitch was not the way to go. There are plenty of times I’d take the lightning over seeing Eyre pitch, I’m not sure taking both is the best idea.

The storm’s going on right now, outside of my window. It was as severe as promised for a while (hail!), and now it’s just loud and off in the distance. If I knew they’d resume the game, I think I might drive back and see if I could sneak back in. But since i can’t figure that out, I think I’m going to stop writing this post, and start watching some AAA or playing some Burnout.

Update: they just suspended the game. Yay for not staying.

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i think that’s for me

May
01

The Chicago Cubs and the Peoria Chiefs have announced that the Chiefs will play a regular season game at Chicago’s famous Wrigley Field when they host the Kane County Cougars on Tuesday, July 29th at 7:05 pm. This will be the first time in the Chiefs’ 26-year franchise history that they will play in a Major League facility, and it is believed to be the first minor league contest to take place at Wrigley in the ballpark’s 94-year history.

Yes. I’m pretty sure someone sat down, thought about what I specfically would like to see, and invented this game. That’s the only reasonable explanation.

Though the idea that I might be rooting against a Cubs team while sitting in Wrigley is a bit hard to grasp. I think I’ll just root for the GAME OF BASEBALL

I actually think they’ll draw 30,000, just because of the low ticket prices and the sure to be nice July night. Though I guess it depends on how many tickets they put on sale – either they’re not putting them all, or the VIP season ticket people are getting theirs already. I’d be fine if it was just me and five other people if it meant I could get tickets easily tomorrow morning.

This probably should be an annual thing, though I could see them rotating with Iowa (and I’d go see that too.)

Game 133: Kane County 6 – Beloit 3 and Game 134: Kane County 4 – Beloit 1

Aug
31

I’ve got like no time today, which is a shame because I’m so glad I went to this double header, and I wish I could write a bunch about it.

Quick bullet points

– it’s quite enjoyable to show up to a baseball game in the bottom of the second, and get first row behind home plate tickets – for a double header, for $12.

(even when you get kicked out of that seat. And the next seat you try. And nearly the next seat you try. I really had front row seats, I just thought I’d sit in an empty row rather than right next to a random person, and it backfired after game 1. ALAS.)

– second game Kane County starter Trevor Cahill recent gamelog

07/18: 7.0 IP, 1 ER
07/23: 7.0 IP, 1 ER
07/29: 5.0 IP, 1 ER
08/03: 6.2 IP, 1 ER
08/08: 6.0 IP, 0 ER
08/13: 5.2 IP, 0 ER
08/20: 5.2 IP, 0 ER
08/25: 6.0 IP, 1 ER
08/30: 6.1 IP, 1 ER

I think he may have something here! AND Ozzie Cougar led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday for a man who may have been his father, so it’s all looking good.

With all that, Cahill only took the team ERA lead because Jared Fernandez gave up 3 runs in the opener, “slipping” to 2.77.

– Today’s Standings

                     what's left
Quad Cities    40-25 ---  1 v Peoria, 4 @ Beloit
Cedar Rapids   38-28 ---  1 v Burlington, 3 @ Peoria
Peoria         37-29 1.0  1 @ Quad Cities, 3 v Cedar Rapids
Kane County    36-29 1.5  1 v Beloit, 4 @ Wisconsin

These are second half standings. Top 2 advance to face the first half winners, who are both in the bottom half of the division this time around, so anyone alive can feel like they’ve got a real good shot. Cougars still can’t hit, but it’s pitching might just be enough to get them into the playoffs and who knows how far the hot streak will take them from there.

That’s a Sunday doubleheader in Wisconsin. I almost went to that park about a month ago, and if things keep up, there’s another place I rather be than my fantasy draft on Sunday.

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