The Frankly boys skipped work and school yesterday to head to Chicago to study the ivy-laden habitat of the native bear cubs of Wrigley Field.
Oh . . . the Cubs lost. . . to the in-last-place-until-playing-the-Cubs Pirates. The Cubs really suck this year.
Batting practice was a highlight, though. Juan Pierre threw a ball to my son, Jonah. And a BP dinger had me stretching out over the screen. I got leather on the ball, but dropped it! Pitcher Will Ohman made fun of me and nearby fans booed before Ohman tossed me the ball, which I caught with both hands. He tossed one to Caleb, too, after Caleb said "please." The guy was kind of a jerk, stopping during warm-ups for an outfield chat with a Pittsburgh player where they agreed they were counting down the "24 days left" until the end of the season.
In spite of the Cubs' loss, we enjoyed a three-generation day. I got to take my sons and my father to their first Major League Baseball game. The weather was great, the food was good, the company was exceptional. We even made it on TV when Pittsburgh center fielder Chris Duffy led off the game with a homer that landed close enough for my buddy, Sam Sprunger, and my son, Caleb, to wrestle with other Cub fans for the right to toss it back onto the field. The day was perfect - it was only the baseball that was mediocre.
With the Cubs in the NL Central basement and heading to Atlanta to face a Braves team that is battling to get back into contention for a wild card berth, we'll have to start singing the same old "Maybe next year" song. Maybe. If we get a new coach, a new GM (we should be so lucky), and a new owner (would that the baseball gods should so smile on us).
Memo to grandparents: you can buy a photo of the Frankly Speaking crew at yesterday's game by clicking here.